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real and permanent and universal; to grapple with difficulties; to separate false associations and accidental adjuncts from the truth. Study human nature and the divine. Study hu. man life, that you may penetrate through its mysteries and endless mutations to its one all-comprehending design. Study God's works, that amidst their infinite agencies you may discern the one power and spirit from which they all spring. Study especially the Holy Scriptures, the records of God's successive revelations to the human race.
Strive to gain profound, generous, and fruitful conceptions of Christianity: to penetrate into the import of its records; to seize its distinctive character, and to rise above what was local, temporary, partial in Christ's teaching, to his universal, all-comprehending truth. To gain this knowledge of Christianity, your first and chief resort will be, of conrse, to the New Testament; but remember, that there are difficulties in the way of a just interpretation of this venerable record. Other books are left to act on our minds freely and without control, to exert on us their native, genuine influence; but such a host of interpreters thrust themselves between the sacred volume and the reader, so many false associations of ideas with its phraseology are formed from the cradle, and long familiarity has so hardened us to its most quickening passages, that it is more difficult to bring ourselves into near communication with a sacred writer, than with any other. The student in theology must labor earnestly to escape the power of habit, and to receive immediate impressions from the scriptures; and when by his etforts he is able to catch the spirit which had before lain hid beneath the letter; to feel a new power in words which had often fallen liselessly on his ear; to place himself in the midst of the past, and thus to pierce into the heart of passages, which he had been accustomed to interpret according to modern modes of thought; he ought to rejoice as in the acquisition of untold treasure, and to feel that he is arming himself with the most effectual weapons for his spiritual warfare.
“ You will, of course, read other books beside the Bible; but beware lest these diminish your power. Perhaps in no department of literature are works of vigorous and original thought rarer than in theology. No profession is so overwhelmed with common.place, weak, worthless books, as ours. No text has been so obscured and oppressed by undiscerning commentators, as the Bible. In theology, as in all branches of knowledge, confine yourself very much to the works of men, who have written not from tradition or imitation, but from consciousness, experience, reflection and research; and
study these, that your own faculties may le roused to a kindred energy. Especially beware of giving yourself up to the popular literature of the day; which, however innocent or useful as an amusement, is the last nutriment to form a powerful mind, and which I fear is more pernicious to men of our profession than of any other."
“ Regard your oflice as meant, not to perpetuate what exists, but to introduce a higher condition of the church and the world. Christ was eminently the Reformer; and Reform is the spirit of the ministry. Without this spirit, our churches are painted sepulchres, and the preaching in them but sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. Comprehend the greatness of your spiritual function. You are entrusted with a truth, that is to create a new heaven and a new earth, to prostrate the abuses and corruptions of ages, to unite men by new ties to God and to one another, to revive the Divine Image in the human soul. Keep your mind in harmony with this great end. Let not pleasures, cares, honors, common example, or opinion, or any wordly interest, sever you from it. Cherish a living faith in a higher operation of Christianity, than is yet seen in any community or any Church. This faith is far from being universal, and for want of it the ministry is weak. But is there no ground for it? Is it an illusion? I know not a weightier question for a minister to answer. Other points of controversy will solicit your attention. But the greatest question which you have to determine is, Whether Christianity has done its work and spent its force, or whether a more regenerating manifestation of truth is not to be hoped? Whether a new application of the Christian law to private and public life is not to be longed for, and prayed for, and confidently expected? Whether Christendom is not to wear another aspect! whether the idea of perfection, of disinterested virtue, which shone forth in the character of Jesus, is not to possess more livingly the human soul, and to be more and more realized in human lite? Your answer to this question will decide very much, whether your ministry shall be a mechanical round, a name, a sleep, or be fraught with life and power. In answering it, do not consult with flesh and blood; but listen to the prophetic words of Jesus Christ; listen to the aspirations of your own soul; listen to that deep discontent with the present forms of Christianity, which is spreading in the community, which breaks out in murmurs now of scorn, now of grief, and which hungers and thirsts for a new coming of the kingdom of God."
The other services by Mr. Osgood and Mr. Hall, are in a like spirit; but we have not room to speak of them.
FOR SEPTEMBER, 1840.
CAMP MEETING, Do not thousands go to them
as they go to horse-races, for During the present month amusement, mischief, and even our Methodist friends have debauchery? held a large Camp Meeting We are among those who, about five miles from town.- not belonging to the MethoSeveral of their most noted dist body, and even somewhat preachers, Mr. Durbin, Mr. fearful that worldly ambition Maffit, Mr. Bascom and others, and love of spiritual power, were present, and were lis- may by degrees develope themtened to by immense multi- selves in that body, (as in any tudes day after day. The ex- other so large, so connected, citement produced was very so energetic.) still deem the great, the conversions 'nume- spirit of Methodism the nearrous, and much good we may est approach to a proper hope and trust was done. - Christian spirit which is now But was not much evil done to be found in any Church or also ? This is a grave ques. sect. The spirit of Methotion, and which for ourselves dism, as seen in Mr. Durbin, we feel unable to answer. Mr. Tomlinson, of Augusta, But we would, with proper Mr. Hamline, of this city, and diffidence, ask of those who other preachers and crowds of lead at such gatherings, why laymen, mechanics, laborers such are needed in a neighbor- and merchants, is a spirit of hood where Churches are as earnestness without extravacommon as in this vicinity!- gance,-a spirit of philanthroIn a new country Camp Meet- py without excess,-a spirit of ings are needful; the true re true learning without a devosult of the state of society: tion to mere learning. Among but are they among us? Are the Methodists we find rarer they not unnatural? forced !-- unions of piety, brotherly love, mere contrivances for causing entire temperance, untiring ingreat excitement? an engine dustry, and in short more of mighty, but unmanageable ?- spiritual life, than among any
other body of Christians. Such They feel (and such a feeling is our faith. It is also our is destructive of true faith) that faith that the extravagances they can at any time, by a which followed Wesley's re- new excitement, be drawn form, are passing by; dimin- from the mire again: resting ishing, not increasing. upon that hope, they live
Having so much of confi- along, religious when trouble dence in the Methodist spirit, comes, irreligious and immowe never witness the whirl- ral when out of trouble. wind of that spirit without We hope and pray that the deep pain. The revivals ef- leaders of the Methodist body fected by Mr. Maffit, in this may labor only for the spiritcity last winter, were of a ual' good of all whom they character to make us doubt affect, and never, under selftheir permanence and use; but deception, for the growth of they were harmless, it seems Methodism. to us, compared with such meetings as that just through.
COMMON SCHOOLS. If it were possible, we wish there might be presented, on We present below the sythe one hand, the conversions, nopsis, promised long since, of not to professions of Metho- these institutions in our city. dism, but to pure, upright, It is taken from the annual reChristian lives,—the only true port of the Trustees. evidences of true spiritual con- The number of children entered at the versions; and on the other several schools during the past year, has
5,057 the number of young men Number retired, from removals and women, whose morals and various other causes 1,793 have been undermined-whose The number in daily attend
2.614 religious feelings have been
The number of Teachers employed, 64 roused to a high pitch only to The amount paid for luisink lower than ever, or whose
The interest on building tastes have been so shocked fund, equivalent to rents of as to make religion disgusting school-houses,
The other expenses, to them. We fear, were a
1,192 86 balance struck, the result of
The average cost of each pupil, $7 50 such a Camp Meeting would In the Appendix to the Anstartle the Methodists them- nual Report, is a paper upon selves.
the subject of German Schools. One thing we know from The Legislature of the last experience, that no persons winter passed a law, which, are so hopeless in a religious literally construed, would enpoint of view, as those who able every boy and girl in town have been led to profess reli- to demand instruction in Gergion while under excitement, man. Such a construction the and then have backsliden.— Trustees deem in opposition to
the intention of the Legisla- very essential to the religious ture; and therefore so construe prosperity of a society. After the law as to assume to them- leaving you at Cincinnati, we selves the power of establish- got slowly on, the river being ing schools for the children of low and the weather hot. You German parents, where the saw in the newspapers an acGerman and English lan- count of the boat's company guages may be taught in such being poisoned. We had great à manner as will enable the reason for gratitude at our esGerman children to attain, in cape from this diabolical atthe soonest possible time, an tempt. On the passage I stuEnglish Common School Edu- died again the Epistle to the cation. To this, it is under- Romans, and was particularly stood the Germans object: struck with the Demosthenic they wish their children to compactness of its style. This study German thoroughly, to Epistle is the foundation of retain it as a language of the theology of the Western the country, and not to be Church, as the Gospel of John made Anglo-Americans in their is of the Eastern. At Wheelspeech.
ing I saw some Unitarian We trust the Board will re- friends, who are anxious for tain their stand on this sub- preaching—but I could not ject. To introduce German, stop with them, but took the
a common and lasting stage to Pittsburgh, through tongue among us, would be, Washington county, one of as we believe, to introduce a the richest and most beautiful source of division, disunion, districts of Pennsylvania. and constant trouble, where From Pittsburgh I went to union is now most needed. Meadville, where I found that
the society, under the pastoral ,“ Chicago, (IN.) August 10th. care of Brother Emmons, was “MY DEAR BROTHER
in a flourishing condition."I write a few lines for the There seemed to be an inquirMonthly Record, to communi- ing spirit prevailing in the cate a little information which community, and a desire to I have picked up in my trav- listen to our doctrines.
I els during the last two months. thought it would do no harm I left Louisville June 16th, on to gratify it, and accordingly the New-York. At a church preached a number of discourmeeting on the Saturday night ses, stating and defending the previous, the Louisville church views of Unitarians, which adopted a Constitution, by were attended by good sized which it obtained for the first audiences. In this way I time, a regular organization. I preached fourteen sermons duconsider something of this sort ring the twenty-six days which