« AnteriorContinuar »
generated. The proportion of professed friends to Immanuel which I mentioned, is the proportion of the whole community of which I have spoken. But it is not much greater in Pilgrim street itself, and the streets contiguous.
Ard. British street has, I conclude, very much improved in its moral condition, since those pilgrims fled from it; for there, I understand, are the greatest institutions in the town, for the circulation of the King's book, and other benevolent objects.
Exp. Its condition has improved, in some respects. The real friends of the Prince, who sojourn there, do not meet with any such interruption, in their attempts to serve him, as was frequent in those days. They are rather had in honour, and treated with respect, by the great ones of the town; and have so great influence, that many, who are not in heart friendly to the Prince, assist them in their benevolent efforts. In this is to be seen the good providence of the King, who turns the hearts of men whithersoever he will; and when it seems good to him, inclines them to shew favour to bis people and to his cause. The great institution for circulating the King's book was formed there, at the beginning of the present eentury, and through its influence and aid, similar institutions have been formed in several other streets in the European quarter, and many copies of that book have been circulated in various languages, not only in the European quarter, but to some extent in other quarters. And they have given some aid to a similar institution in the American quarter, wbich is actively engaged in the same work.
Ard. It cannot be long, if these institutions go on as they have begun, before the King's book will be in the hands of every man in the whole world.
Exp. The British institution probably does more than all the rest put together. It now issues about a third of a million copies a year. If the world contains nine hundred millions of inhabitants, it would take that institution twenty-seven centuries to furnish that number of copies. If the world were now supplied, and one half that are born and die every thirty years should once in their life time have a new copy, it would require the supply of fifteen milțions a year to do it, which is more than twenty times what are now issued yearly, by all such institutions. You may easily see, therefore, that, at the present rate of their progress, they are not making very rapid advances towards supplying the world,
Tk. I am surprised at this result ; for, though I had thought the amount of what is doing towards the supply of the world was overrated, yet I had not thought it was so very far short of what is necessary.
Exp. A similar mistake is often made with regard to the efforts of other institutions. Several associations have been formed in British street, and some in other streets of the European quarter, for raising up and sending forth, suitable persons, into various parts, among the revolted subjects of the King, to persuade them to lay down their weapons of rebellion, and become reconciled to their lawful Sovereign. Some success has attended these efforts, which is matter of rejoicing and thanksgiving to every one that loves the cause of the Prince Immanuel. And because of this success, some have seemed to conclude that the work of converting the world was very far advanced, and approaching rapidly to its accomplishment When, in truth, if the whole number of those who are perishing for lack of knowledge were considered, it would appear that the work is yet scarcely begun, and that these efforts must be rastly increased, in order to make any considerable impression upon the territories of darkness.
Ard. Much is done, I understand, in the American quarter, and especially in Pilgrim street and the streets adjoining, to assist young men of hopeful qualifications, in obtaining a suitable education to become ambassadors for the King; and the number of such, I conclude, is rapidly increasing.
Exp. It is increasing, in the community in which I reside. But it is not increasing so fast as the increasing need. For the vacancies by death, and by the increase of population, more than keep pace with the increasing number; so that the actual deficiency is becoming greater and greater. Indeed, if the population of this community should increase, in the same ratio, for a century to come, that it has during the last century, and the increase of competent religious teachers should not be at any greater ratio than it has been, it is believed that a large majority of our population would be destitute.
Ard. I have seen statements of the amount annually expended by the various benevolent institutions, 'which look as if the time had come when men devoted themselves and all they possess, to him who is Lord of all.
Exp. A few appear to do that; but they are very few, with those who appear to think all things made for themselves, to minister to their own gratifications.
Ard. Are not great complaints made, by those who feel no inter. est in the work, that so much money should be expended for such purposes?
Exp. Yes; but they do not make the same complaints at the much greater amount which is consumed upon those vices which ruin both soul and body,
Th. I suppose the single article of intoxicating liquors costs more than all that is given for charitable objects.
Exp. The amount in other parts is not so well known. But, the inquiry was made, not many years since, how much was into this community in a single year, besides what was manufac
tured in it, of which no account was taken ; and the result proved, that the whole income of the benevolent iustitutions, in the European and American quarters both, for thirty years, had been less than the amount of that single year's importation of liquid poison !
Th. We interrupted you, I believe, in your account of the general state of the different quarters of the town, in regard to religious matters.
E.zp. In the European quarter, most of the real friends of Immanuel are to be found in British street, where the proportion is probably something less than in our section of the American quarter, but is thought to be on the increase. In French street, the number is very small. In Dutch street, perhaps something more, in proportion to its population ; but very much helow what it was in former times. In some portions of German street, though the number is small, it is thought to be increasing a little of late. In Swiss street there are a few, but in a depressed situation, especially in Geneva square, the former residence of John the Theologian, where they are scarcely tolerated, the house he occupied having gone into the hands of those who style themselves Liberals, but who in reality are a bigotted and persecuting sect, at once stripping the Prince Immanuel of his honors, and persecuting his humble followers. In Spanish street, pilgrims are not tolerated at all, nor in Portuguese and Italian streets. In Swedish and Danish streets true pilgrims are rarely met with, though tolerated. In Russian street they are scarcely tolerated, and the few who sojourn there, often meet with trouble. Turkey street is un:ler the control of the disciples of the False Prophet, In the Asiatic quarter, the most populous of all, and the ancient resting place of pilgrims, no real pilgrims are known, except those who have gone from the other quarters, and a few whom they have been instrumental of turning from their allegiance to the prince of darkness. Ambassadors of the King, have been sent from the European and American quarters, into various places in that quarter, and have had sufficient success to be great ground of encouragement, and give reason to hope that through their influence in instructing the rising generation, and in circulating copies of the King's book, some sensible and permanent impression will be made upon that quarter, of a salutary nature.Something to the same amount may be remarked of the African quarter, the inhabitants of the central and southern parts of which, are more generally ignorant and savage, than those of the Asiatic quarter, but at the same time, more ready to receive instruction, and to cast away their idols, when the knowledge of the King's book is introduced among them. It is in the southern extremity of that quarter, where the inhabitants were previously more debased in their condition than in the north, that the ambassadors of the King have had the most success ; but they have not yet penetrated very far from the borders : and the great mass of the inhabitants of that quarter, are the willing slaves of the prince of darkness.This is a brief view of the religious state of our town, according to the best of my knowledge, at the present time.
Th. Do you think that those who are really pilgrims now, are in a better state, and have more of the true spirit of their Lord and Master, than those of former ages ?
Exp. I think not; though I must acknowledge that some of my friends are of a different opinion.
Ard. Was there ever a time known, when so much was done for *tending the kingdom of the Prince Immanuel, by circulating the King's book, promoting the instruction of the rising generation, raising up and sending forth ambassadors of the King, and the like? And is not this evidence of a decided superiority of the pilgrims of the present age, above those of any former period ?
Exp. It is acknowledged that more is done for these objects, at the present time, than was done a few years ago ; but nothing that will bear a comparison with what was done in the days of Paul and his associates. Besides, the times are changed ; and many things conspire to render these objects popular, and there are many worldly inducements to join in promoting them ; so that great ex. ertions to promote them, may proceed from other causes than an uncommon share of the true spirit of pilgrims.
Th. I have supposed that worldly prosperity commonly has an unfavourable effect upon the spirit and temper of those who are true pilgrims, as well as upon that of others.
Exp. It has been so in all ages. A state of outward depression and trial, is the state in which the church has ever enjoyed the most internal prosperity. With outward prosperity, corruptions have come in; many have assumed the name of pilgrims who were not so at heart, and those who were so, have degenerated in spirit, The love of wealth and the love of distinction, have sprung up
in their breasts, and been suffered to have great influence. And jealousies, and envyings, and strife, and evil speakings have followed in their train. And with all the seeming zeal and activity of the present day, there is reason to fear that very much of the temper of this world is intermingled. It is painful to see those, who, we hope, are at heart really friendly to the meek and lowly Imman el, so far forget what becomes them as his followers, that, not that the subject of their deliberations has a relation to his cause and kingdom, we might sometimes istake them for an association of politicians, attempting to compass their ends by imposing ap. pearances, by craft and subtilty and management, and by every
art which is practised by the men of this world. Yet, such things are too often seen, painful as they are; and I believe more frequently than in former times. I think the piety of this century, if more active than that of the last, is also more superficial, more boastful of its achievements, more noisy in its pretensions ; and on the whole, it is extremely questionable, whether it is not farther from the true standard. I trust there are some to whom these remarks do not apply; but I fear their number is comparatively small.
Th. Why should outward prosperity produce this effect, while persecution is favourable to deep and humble piety?
Exp. Many reasons might be given. I will mention one. It is the influence of example and of persuasion. When men persecute us, it rather drives us off, and disposes us to be unlike them; but when they favour and court us, we are more likely to listen to their persuasions, and endeavour to please them, and are easily influenced by their example. So that a pilgrim is scarcely ever courted by men of the world, without great injury to himself, and to the cause of his Master.
When they had thus discoursed together, the pilgrims retired to rest for the night, after they had united in the customary devotions of the evening, which were concluded by singing the following hymn :
" See the vain race of mortals move
Like shadows o'er the plain;
But all their noise is vain.
Some dig for golden ore;
And straight are seen no more.
From creatures, earth and dust?
And disappoint our trust
My fond desires recal ;
FOR THE HOPKINSIAN MAGAZINE
TO THE STUDENTS IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY AT NEW
HAVEN, (con.) Gentlemen—I take this method of congratulating you, in view of the pub lication of your Rev. instructor's late truly metaphysical, logical and able discourse upon the nature and cause of sin. In this very brilliant period of theological science, Dr. Taylor, in many respects at least, has appeared a “burning and shining