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To the Editor of the Christian Spectator. spread to a great extent, and is
rapidly spreading under Christian I was much gratified with the example and patronaga And the article in your August number,* on time is not far distant, probably. the substitution of the heathen when nothing will be heard or name Sunday for Sabbath or Lord's written but Sunday ! day, the scriptural names of that We now hear of Sunday schools holy day of rest which the Lord - we are invited to patronize Sunbath appointed.
day school Magazines-Sunday While Christians are pleasing school Catechisms, and a great vathemselves with mutual gratula- riety of prints and other things, of tions on the progress of the gospel the Sunday family. among idolators, and with the pros From the characters and standpect of the conversion of the hea- ing of the Directors of the Amerithen world to Jesus Christ, they can Tract Society we had reason are themselves adopting the lan. to expect purity of language in guage of idolators, and substituting their publications. But from many it for the language of holy Scrip of their tracts it is manifest that ture. The Sabbath or Lord's day, they too have drunk deeply into the is almost expunged from the con- fashion. And as they are about to versation of Christians, and from stereotype their tracts, they will a large portion of their books, and adopt the most efficient method of Sunday has become the fashionable propagating the heathenish name word. This is, indeed, a great ac- throughout the nation, and as far commodation to an ungodly world. as their tracts are read. Men of the world very naturally Almost every newspaper in the and cautiously avoid every thing in nation is devoted to Sunday, and sonversation or writing which shall as they are read by thousands of excite a suspicion that they have families, they cannot fail to forward any thoughts of Jesus Christ.or the the cause in the most effectual sanctity of the holy day. They very manner. And the same thing is cordially, therefore, receive and done by a variety of publications use the heathen Sunday, rather than under a Christian name and dress. Sabbath or Lord's day. It corres- I was a subscriber for Dwight's ponds with their feelings and con- Travels, and was exceedingly surduct. And this change too, I prised to find the volumes stuffed think, marks the progress of hea- with Sunday ; and that a man of his thenism among Christians. I have superior mind was not aware of the often been grieved to see then iminense mischief he was doing ashamed to call the holy day by its to the Scriptures, to the purity divine name, apparently out of com- of Christian institutions, and to plaisance to Sunday men. Minis Christian conversation, by so free ters of the gospel, who of all men a use of the heathenish dialect. ought to be the most circumspect, This might have been corrected and be, “examples to the Rock," by the editor of that work, had are, in this respect, offenders too. he not been a Sunday man too. In common conversation, and even And, Mr. Spectator, from severin the pulpit, they are quite familiar al instances of the use of this fawith Sunday. Is it strange then vourite name in your volumes, I that their congregations should be perceive that you have no great fond of it too ?-The evil has aversion to the prevailing fashion ; * See Vol. of 1824. The article allu.
though you profess to aim at purity ded to, was a curious extract from a ser- of language as well as purity of mon preached two hundred ycars ago. doctrine.
· The time may come when a spe. sions,—and entreaties to return cial regard to the holy institutions and preach again. It is hardly of the Lord, and the scriptural possible for a New-Englander to names of sacred things, will subject realize the advantages, both public the people of God to the sneers of and private, which accompany the the world, and of nominal Christ. stated, faithful preaching of the ians, as it did our ancestors ; and gospel, until he is removed to the reproachful name of Puritan places, where, with equal civil may be revived and applied to some privileges, and natural advantages, of the descendants of the ancient the gospel of Christ is not enjored and persecuted Puritans. And if in its weekly administrations. it should apply and mark the revival The scenery of the mountains is of pure religion, it will be matter most congenial to a contemplative of joy to every disciple of Christ. mind. Unaccustomed for months
And while I am on the subject to the sight of mountains, the feelof unscriptural innovation, as a ings excited during this route were subscriber to your work, you must new and indescribable. While permit me, Mr. Spectator, to ob- beholding the firm foundation of the serve that you do not in all re- everlasting hills against whose base spects, come up to the standard of the foaming river raged, and around scriptural purity with which you whose summit the tempest gathers, began your labours. In almost and the first roll of the thunder is every number 1 see, the Right Rev. beard, how pleasingly did the mind -the holy order of Priests--the revert to Mount Zion, which is holy order of Deacons. "The Free- unworn by the lapse of time, and will Baptists, and Socinians have unshaken by the storms of ages. crept in. And to crown the whole, And the winding river, at once the the ordinations of the apostles of ornament, and convenience of the the old serpent are placed in the country, seen from an eminence, same list with the ordinations of brings forcibly to mind, There is the ministers of Jesus Christ ! a river whose streams make glad
the city of our God. And passing beneath the projecting precipice in the narrow, and dusky road, it is
easy to feel the force of the entreaEXTRACT FROM THE JOURNAL OF A ty “Rocks fall on us and hide us." MISSIONARY IN VIRGINIA. . From such scenes, the missionary
may go, with animated feelings, to FROM Winchester I proceeded preach the gospel of him whose on the great western road, former- works of grace transcend all the ly known as Braddock's road, hay- beauty of the interesting, and all ing been the rout of a division of the sublimity and grandeur of the that unfortunate General's army, suprising works of nature. crossing the waters that flow into the í found, what I suppose other Potomac, and the broken ridges missionaries have not unfrequently of Mountains between the North found, instruction from sources and Mountains and the Allegany range. in places little expected. The uni
As I passed along, I witnessed ted voice of religion and of nature what all missionaries witness, and in its simplicity, may preach more with feelings which none but a mis- powerfully to the heart, than learnsionary can know--a destitute coun- ing, or religion in the admired dress try,-neglect of religious institu- of fancy and imagination.--Heartions--attentive audiences,--hope. ing of 1-, an old Presbyterian, I ful appearances,-good impres- determined to go and preach at his
house. Early in the morning I left a horse-shoe, enclosed a beautiful the house of Mr. S-, on the great fat of no great extent, chequered road, and began winding among the with orchards, fields, and dwellC-hills. It was the most wild and ings. The course of the stream sugged country I had ever seen, was directed by a rugged lofty preThe road lonely, presenting no hu- cipice, on a part of which I stood. man residence for some miles. In- The mountains and precipices on deed it seemed to me, there could one side of the winding stream, be no residence here, except for and the beautiful flat on the other, the beasts of the forest ; though I presented a striking contrast of the soon discovered that the number grand and the beautiful. “That is of inhabitants in the rocks was not my house," said the old man, small. As I was passing along a pointing to the one that stood narrow winding path, approaching at the point of the bend. We the destined spot, I met an old wound our way down the preciman bent almost double, whose pice, dangerous to my apprehengrey locks almost touched the pom. sion, but very safe from its familmel of his saddle, of prominent iarity to the old man. "'This is a features, bis dress and riding equip- missionary,” said the old man as ments all of another age, patched we entered the door. “Go, son, and mended to suit the exigences and tell the neighbors, and bid of this : I knew him from descrip- them tell theirs there is preaching tion to be L. “Who are you?" here to-night.” From the respect exclaimed he with a penetrating paid the old man by the gathering look, raising himself a little, as I congregation, he appeared like accosted him. A Presbyterian Mis. their patriarch. And perhaps he sionary-_-6 welcome ! welcome!” might be called one. "For," said said he with a smile, “ I will go he, “I often get them together on hoine again--come on--we will Sunday, and read a sermon from send for our neighbors and you Watts, and pray with them. After shall preach to-night.” What ?-- sermon, the congregation retired, in the night-and among such wishing to hear preaching again. mountains ? “Oh! we are used to In conversation during the evening, them, and it is long since we have the old man appealed to his own had preaching, long since mission experience, in confirmation of some aries were here. L. and G. and passages of Scripture. “When unH. used to come; but we are der distress of mind before I made wasting away : once there was a my peace with God, I was long in little nandful of Presbyterians here, darkness and sorrow - I prayed but we are wasting by death ; I read--but I seemed worse and and the young ones-we have few worse.—At length I read, "the that come into the fold.” As I wicked are like the troubled sea followed him along the narrow path, whose waters cast up mire and suddenly I found myself on the dirt." Oh! thought 1,this is my case! brink of a precipice, and at once a I shut up my Bible and thought I landscape, presenting the good and would read no more. I walked out the beautiful, burst upon my sight. and looked at those great rocks, for I I pauscd involuntarily to contein- livedhere when a boy--Oh! thought plate. The C-, a considerable I, that they would fall on me and stream, in its winding course, lay hide me from the presence of God. before me. It had burst its way Thien the passage struck my mind through rugged mountains directly like an arrow, “though I make opposite the precipice on which I my bed in bell thou art there." I stood, and bending in the shape of was almost distracted. I went and Vol. I.-No. IX.
got my Bible again, and opened, boy--I never liked that war-but and my eyes fell on the words, “Let when the draft was made they took the wicked fursake his way, and the my boy to go to Norfolk--I prayed unrighteous man his thoughts."- for my child--when he went away Oh! my wicked thoughts oppressed we all wept. I knew he was a me--but that blessed word let, and good boy and had courage-I gave then, Let him return, and those him my best rifle--he could shoot blessed words, abundantly pardon well-go my child said I-I never --that was what I wanted, abund- liked the war--but the enemy has ance of pardon. My heart broke come-your country calls you to as I tried once more to pray, and I defend her your grandfather had found that pardon.”
to defend her long ago against the When I adverted to the grace of Indians--go, and if you come to God " Oh! yes," said he, “ his battle, fight well--dont run. They grace.” And then his counten- tell me he was a good boy in camp ance brightened still more--every -but he died soon with the camp feature spoke. “ His grace is suf- fever. He could not withstand ficient for me. You see this crook- that raw country air : it was not ed body--sickness has bent it like the mountains. Poor bordown--but his grace has made it my heart ached when they told me" tolerable. Many a wave of troub- --and he added while the tears ran le has gone over me--but his grace down his cheek and his voice tremhas borne me up. My children”- bled—“it aches now-but God's looking round on those who were grace is my only balm--and in a present-." one is far away--and one little time I hope to be where he lives no more"--here he paused will wipe away all tears." and dropped a tear--"he was a good
WATTS ON THE OFFICE OF DEACOXS. received the gospel. And thus it
is still, “not many rich, not many “We shall consider four things, noble, are called, but God hath srespecting the office of deacons, chosen the poor of this world, rich viz. The business of it; the reason in faith, and heirs of the kingdom." of its institution; the duration of 1 Cor. i. 26, 28. and James ij. 5. it ; and the ordinary method of in- Now as it is the duty of the rest of vesting a person with it.
the church, and especially of the First. The business of a deacon rich, to communicate toward the is expressed very briefly in Acts supply of the wants of their pool vi. 2. “To serve tables,” or to brethren, so it is the proper busi. manage affairs that relate to the ness of the deacons to receive and provision for the table of the poor, to distribute these supplies; and to which are added in the general no doubt but it is their duty to construction of the words, the table excite and exhort those whom they of the ministers, and the table of see negligent, and to urge them to the church at the Lord's supper. the performance of these works of
The poor oftentimes make a con- love and piety. siderable part in Christian church- The table, or outward support of es. In the beginning, the poor the ministers ought to be provided
by the church also. 1 Cor. ix from of the ministry; for it hardly seems the 4th to the 14th verse. " The decent for the minister himself to Lord hath ordained, that they that urge this duty on the people. preach the gospel should live of the The table of the church at the gospel.” And it seems very con- Lord's supper, is maintained by venient, that one or more persons the contributions of the church. should be deputed to see this per- The bread and wine must be bought formed, that so the ministers may at the public expense, but particunot be too much exposed to a so- larly provided for by the deacons, licitude about outward things, nor who in short are stewards of all the their cares too much laid out upon temporal affairs that relate to the the necessaries of the life of their church, even as the bishops and bodies, while they should rather be elders are of the spiritual; and devoted, or entirely given up to both under our Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God and prayer for who is the great pastor of pastors, the service of souls.
and churches, and the feeder of Besides, if the ministers of the his own poor, and provides all church were forced to expect and things for all. receive the several portions of their I might add to these, that the maintenance from the several per- business of a deacon seems also to sons of the church, their own col- extend to some care of the place lection of it would take up too much of public worship, and all the neof their time, would expose them cessaries that belong to the outto the censure of covetousness and ward service of the Lord, such as greediness, would too much impose tables, seats, vessels for bread and upon their modesty, or would make wine, and for water in baptism, &c. their maintenance fall short. For though these things are not
And I might add also their sub- particularly expressed among the sistence, which is but an act of businesses of a deacon, yet they justice due from the church, would will never be performed, unless look too much like mere charity, some one or more persons be deand appear too precarious and de- puted for this service ; and who can pendent ; and their obligations to be more proper persons than those, particular private persons, would who, by divine institution, are intoo much expose them to the trusted with the contributions of temptation of partiality, in the ex- the church. Yet in most of these ercises of their ministrations, and affairs it is necessary to advise with in their pastoral care. Whereas the pastor, and with the whole this is forbidden to ministers, 1 church, and in every important Tim. v. 21. “Do nothing by par- matter to take their direction ; for tiality.” We might be more afraid the deacons are but stewards, and to reprove some that were rich and not proprietors or possessors of the kind, and more negligent in com- church's treasure, nor are they forting and instructing others that lords of the temporal things relawere poor, and could give but little ting to the church. But when the minister receives his Secondly. The reason of their support from the church in general, institution, which is to assist the by the hand of the deacons, as offi- ministers or elders of the church cers of the church, then he is much in the care of all those things, which more secured from these tempta- if devolved entirely upon the elders, tions. And no doubt it is the duty would hinder them from their propof the deacons to see to it, that er business, viz. “ the word and each member of the church per prayer.” The apostles, who were forms his part toward the support the elders and rulers of the church