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it resembles its divine Author, of whom it is said with true sublimity :-"God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all !"
The great source of that class of errors about to come under review, will be found in man-not in the limited nature of his mental powers, for these are fully equal to the comprehension of that divine and heavenly truth which is intended to form the character and regulate the conduct : but in his disposition. A depraved heart, we consider to be the fruitful source of almost all the errors in theology in existence : in consequence of this, truth is not beheld in its own transparency, but through a discolored medium. That freedom from prejudice, which is generally acknowledged to be of so much importance, in all enquires relating to human character and conduct, is wanting. We easily believe what we wish to be true; and can resist almost any amount of evidence, when it goes to establish any fact or doctrine, which denounces and threatens fondly-cherished feelings and favorite courses of conduct. As the darkness of night is favorable to the perpetration of crimes against society; so is the darkness of error to a life of rebellion against God. In the dark, conscience slumbers, and guilty fears are allayed. A man, who is conscious that all is not right, and who is still disposed to persist in an evil course, has an instinctive dread of the light. The light of truth must act upon his wicked heart, as does the light of the sun upon a diseased eye; it must annoy, irritate, and render miserable. When such a state of feeling exists, it is in vain to look for impartiality in searching the scriptures. There is a prepossession in favor of error, because error is favorable to the indulgence of sin ; and this will lead its subject to falsify and pervert the statements of the Bible if he can.
That there is this intimate connection between theological error and the state of the heart, is evident from the fact, that all systems, which are seriously erroneous, sofren offensive truths, release from unwelcome obligations, or connive at some favourite sin. Idolatry had its origin in the heart of man--no better account can be given of it than that furnished by the apostle Paul: “ They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” Rom. i. 28. What is the Papal apostacy, but an elaborate attempt to make a religion distinguished for its purity, simplicity, and spirituality, agreeable to the depraved feelings and earthly tastes of man? Can it be doubted that some deny the divinity of our Lord, beause they dislike the humiliating consequences, in relation a the depraved character, ruined condition, and gratuitous salvation of man, which would flow from an admission of that glorious truth? Why do we meet with those extremes in doctrine, which would on the one hand ascribe to man the glory of his own deliverance, and on the other deprive him of those things which are essential to his accountability; but simply because they nourish pride and foster indolence ?
That the Scriptures regard the depraved heart of man as the great source of infidelity and error, a few citations, without any comment, will clearly prove. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." “ How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which cometh from God only ?” “ If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” John iii. 19. v. 44. vii. 17. “ Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Heb. iii. 12.
Now, because error is thus closely connected with the state of the disposition, it cannot be innocent. Truth, divine and sanctifying truth, is placed within our reach; and under these circumstances, to continue in ignorance or persist in error, cannot but be sinful. We are justly held accountable, both for our sentiments and conduct; and error upon the essential points of religion, is as truly punishable as a disregard to its sacred claims. Where there is error and guilt, there must be danger. Truth purifies and ennobles, but error corrupts and degrades: the one is the instrument of salvation, the other leads to ruin. How important and de. sirable is it therefore, to seek and obtain the influences of the Holy Spirit, whose prerogative it is to guide into all truth!
London, 23rd. December, 1842. Rev. T. CRAIG, Dear Sir,
By a letter which we have recently received from the Society's esteemed Missionary, at Nagercoil, I am enabled to lay before you some particulars respecting the labours of the Native Teacher, supported by the liberality of our friends at Bocking.
The following is an extract of the letter.
“ The district to which the reader William Milne is appointed, contains several villages, in which he visits as many as 67 families, comprising 239 individuals, urging and entreating them to accept the gracious offers of salvation, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and blessed be God not without some success. There is a church formed at his station, containing seventeen members, and eleven persons meet him several times in the week for instruction in the scriptures. He is a young man of considerable talent, and is improving very much in public speaking, which I hope to turn to a good account. The number of children in the school under his charge is fifty-six.
Mr. Moult in his letter to the directors', referring to the subject of native teachers states. The character and efficacy of our readers, are subjects with us of great solicitude, as so much depends on their piety, prudence, and zeal. They are frequently placed in circumstances exceedingly trying. They are looked upon by the heathen as decided foes to their ancient customs and superstitions, and in consequence, often meet with much ill usage. And they are not unfrequently treated with great rudeness and unjustly accused by some of the unreasonable people of their congregations, especially if they refuse to take a part in their litigations or insist on the maintenance of discipline among them. While on all sides they are assailed by those whose interest it is to oppose the gospel and uphold the present system of idolatry and other diabolical practices. In the midst of these difficulties we are thankful to observe that our readers conduct themselves with admirable prudence.
I shall feel greatly obliged by your communicating this information to those friends who kindly contribute to his support. I trust it will prove encouraging and satisfactory.
I am my dear sir,
Your's very truly,
MARTYRDOM OF TWO MORE NATIVE
CHRISTIANS. (from Mr. E. Baker, Mauritius, August 4th, 1842)
AGAIN the blood of the martyrs of the Lord Jesus has been made to flow in the Island of Madagascar! The district of Vonizongo is now stained with the blood of two de
voted disciples belonging to the little flock, which had long time taken shelter in the hospitable province of the Chief Obadia. They were condemned to death, and ordered to be executed in their own country, one upon the Sunday and the other on the Monday, in the market-place. These days fell, I believe, upon the 19th and 20th of June last. To a messenger of the Christians, who took them food during the interval, they on one occasion whispered an affectionate farewell to all the Christians; saying, “ Let them not fear that we shall disclose their names--we shall do them no harm, but say farewell l-if we do not meet again here on earth, we shall meet in the future life.” With unflinching fortitude they kept this noble promise to the last; and seem to have been even cheerful in death. Obadia speaks of them as having only ascended into heaven before their companions. Their heads were cut off after execution, stuck on poles, and le ft to bleach in the scorching sun of Imerina, as an intended warning to the people, but really serving as an additional evidence of the unmitigated cruelty of the Queen, and the sustaining power of that grace which kept our departed friends faithful unto death.
INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANÍTY INTO NEW
New Caledonia was discovered by Cook in 1774; and as it is both the last and the largest of the islands of the South Pacific Ocean to which the gospel has been conveyed, . the circumstances of its introduction will be read with interest. This, it will be remembered, was one of the isles of Western Polynesia, upon the evangelization of which the lamented Williams, through years of hope and desire longdeferred, had set his heart, and while in this country, he frequently described it as a sphere of considerable promise, and peculiar importance. During a visit to Scotland, these representations deeply interested many of the leading ministers of the United Secession Church, and led to an arrangement by, which they stood eagaged to make this island the sphere of their first missionary efforts in the South Seas; and with this design placed a sufficient sum in Mr. W's hands to cover the expences of equipping and conveying there two native pioneers to the brethren who would follow them from Scotland, as soon as the way had been opened.
These teachers were in the Camden, and proceeding to their destination, when their devoted leader fell at Erromanga. But although his noble design was thus deferred, the period of its accomplishment was not distant. In 1840, Mr. Heath so far carried out the benevolent project of his martyred predecessor, as to convey two native teachers to the isle of Pines, which is surrounded by the same reef as New Caledonia and lies within sight of its shores. Their reception was favourable, but nothing was known of the result, until the return of the Camden in April 1841, when the teachers brought the pleasing intelligence that in the interval, they had not only received kindness from the natives amongst whom they resided, but had also been visited by some of the principal Chiefs of New Caledonia, who gladly listened to their instructions, and drew from them a promise that a teacher should settle at their island so soon as the ship returned. Happily, Mr. Murray was able to fulfil this engagement, and accompanied by Capt. Morgan, Daniela the teacher who had given the promise and two Samoau evangelists, they put off for the shore, fully expecting a cordial welcome from the inhabitants. To their great surprise, however, as they drew near to the landing place, they saw the natives congregated in great numbers, and standing in fierce array with their spears poised and their bows bent, as if just about to discharge their deadly missiles. When, therefore, they had approached within bow shot they paused, and Daniela stood up on the bow of the boat to address them. But in a moment the whole scene was changed. No sooner did they recognize his person than, without waiting to hear his voice, they flung away their weapons of war, rushed peli mell into the water, and in a few minutes those on board who had witnessed the scene with trepidation, were relieved and de lighted to see their brethren borne aloft in the boat upon the heads and shoulders of the people, who made the surrounding hills resound with their shouts of joy. The subsequent intercourse was most satisfactory. The return of the Camden and the arrival of missionaries just at the time promised by Daniela, exerted a most salutary influence upon the Chiefs, and established their confidence in the character of the teacher, and when Mr. Murray left them, he did so with the assurance that New Caledonia had become the Lord's and his Christ's. After a few months, these pleasing anticipations were to some extent confirmed by the following laconic, but satisfactory communication from Daniela to Mrs. Williams and her daughter, who witnessed the scene now