PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 4th, 1825.

THE well earned reputation of the Christian Spectator requires no expression of our sentiments; yet we feel no indisposition to say, that its comparative excellence has not disappointed our most sanguine expectations. Deliberate and decisive in its judgements, temperate and just in its censures, it has neither practised dictation, nor hampered fair discussion; but undisguised truth, without fear, or local preferences, appears to us to have been its distinguishing characteristic.


THE Christian Spectator is among the most valuable religious periodical publications in this country. We approve of the plan of issuing it from NewYork, and of the endeavour to give it a more extended circulation. There is a conspicuous advantage in possessing a national work of this sort, which shall lift up to the whole community lucid views of religion, connected with candid and decided criticism, equally upon the advocates and the foes of truth. We.commend the enterprise to the fostering care of our friends in particular; and ask from the public, such a reception of it as it may continue to deserve.

NEW-YORK, Oct. 20, 1825.






From the Rev. Lyman Beecher, D. D. of Litchfield.

THE Christian Spectator has been in existence six years-has been established and continued by great exertions, and not without pecuniary sacrifice has answered the design of its establishment, as an organ of defending the faith, and exposing the futility of error-has called out the talents of able men, both young and old-has gained a reputation, at home and in England, such as no similar theological work in this country has ever obtained. Dr. Rice, of Virginia, has pronounced it superior to any religious periodical work published in England; and Dr. Wilson, of Philadelphia, has declared it to be unquestionably superior to any thing of the kind in this country, and has honoured its pages by a number of very able and learned essays. The patronage of the work has been, and must be select. Upon ministers of the gospel, and laymen of talents and learning, and intelligent Christians, the work has relied principally for support, and has accommodated its pages more effectually to their edification. It cannot however be concealed, that this select patronage has never been equal to the ample support, and increasing prosperity and excellence of such a work. The point has heen settled, that matter in abundance, of great variety and excellence, can be obtained. But the question is yet to be settled, whether the religious and literary reading community will support one able National theological magazine, and if determined in the negative, the writer is convinced, froin


some experience, that there will be little reason to expect another effort of the kind for a great while yet to come. He would regret that such an establishment, gained by such arduous and persevering efforts, should go down, only to lay upon another generation the toil of erecting what this may so easily preserve. He cannot behold without solicitude, the naked, defenceless condition of the churches, should this work cease in the presence of an enemy, exasperated at the chastisements it has inflicted, or relinquish the opportunity and motives its pages have afforded to young ministers and theological students, to become early and able writers, or the great amount of learning and talent, combined with religion, which its continued existence will not fail, it is believed, to call forth for the edification of the churches. And he would be still more afflicted to ascertain that our reading countrymen will patronize imported periodical works of inferior merit, and refuse to patronize national talent, literature, and religion. Impressed with these considerations, I have volunteered in this appeal to my fathers and brethren in the ministry, and to men of letters, the friends of science and religion, in behalf of the Christian Spectator.

LITCHFIELD, Dec. 28, 1824.


From the Hon. Roger M. Sherman, Fairfield,

BEING requested to give my opinion of the Christian Spectator, published at New-Haven, I can say with great confidence, that for the judicious selec. tion, classic eloquence, sound plain religious instruction, and intelligence, it is not surpassed by any religious periodical publication, within my knowJedge, in the nation.


The publisher of the Christian Spectator has, from the beginning employed an editor, whose time has been devoted exclusively to the work. He has also paid one dollar for each page of original matter contributed.

In a few instances the premium for contributions has not been called for these exceptions however are few, and we do not menfion them by way of complaint-but only to say that the voluntary expense incurred by the publisher, to give the Christian Spectator a character above every other publication of the day, is so great, that he would like, in all practicable cases, to pay contributors in books at a fair price.


The Numbers shall be issued on the first day of every month, and shall contain an average of 56 octavo pages.

The price of the work is $3 per annum, payable on or before the publication of the 6th number.

Persons who become responsible for 25 copies and over, will receive the work at $2 per copy. Those who become responsible for less than 25 coptes, and over 10, will receive it at $2.25 per copy. Mail subscribers who pay in advance for four copies, will receive them at $2.25 per copy-for two copies at $2.50.

NEW-HAVEN, Nov. 1, 1825.

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RARELY has the death of an individual, just entering on the career of public usefulness, occasioned a wider or a deeper sensation, either in the circle of his own personal acquaintance, or among the friends of truth and piety, than was felt when it was announced, in April last, that the Reverend Chester Isham of Taunton had departed this life, at Boston, in the 28th year of

his age.

Though the events of such a life as his can present only a brief and to most minds an uninteresting record, yet it has been thought that the peculiarities of his character, the circumstances of his death, and the high hopes of usefulness that were laid low by that event, demand some memorial of his talents and his piety. This mournful yet not ungrateful office has been imposed, by solicitations not to be resisted, upon one who was the companion of his studies, who shared in his hopes and his pursuits, and from whom, therefore, must be expected rather the eulogy of fraternal love than the accuracy of uninterested observation and cold analysis.

VOL. VII. No. 12.


In attempting the performance of of this duty, I shall act without restraint or affectation, speaking in my own person as his early friend and most intimate acquaintance, and describing,for the most part,only what I witnessed while I was with him.

My acquaintance with him began in the summer of 1813; when, at the age of 15, he entered the Latin Grammar School in Hartford, without any definite plan, and with no distinct expectation, save to gratify for a few months the ardent desire of study that had by some means been implanted within him. He was surrounded by boys most of whom, though his inferiors in age, were far his superiors in attainments. He was to almost every individual among them a stranger; for though Hartford was his native place, his circumstances and previous education had been such as could not bring him in contact with the boys to whose society he was now introduced. Study was evidently a new thing to him; and he commenced the pursuit of knowledge, under every disadvantage, with nothing but his own force of character to urge him forward.

It soon became evident to his instructor and to his competitors, that he was not to be overlooked or une

dervalued. His intense and constant application evinced a deep resoluteness of spirit, while the rapidity of his attainments made it manifest that his mental activity was equal to his industry.

In the winter following he became the subject of serious impressions on religion. The instructions of a pious mother had imbued his mind with a knowledge of the essential truths of revelation; and an incidental question from a stranger excited him to thought, to alarm, to long inquiry. The impressions which he received at this time, though they failed of leading him immediately to God and to the way of holiness, had ever after a visible influence on his character.

At what precise period he formed the resolution of acquiring a liberal education is uncertain. But this I ascertained soon after I began to know him, that the ardent desire of knowledge which had brought him to the school, had become a distinct and settled determination of making the highest possible attainments. He had no resources; the circumstances of his father's family were such as made the privileges of a college unattainable except to resolution and perseverance such as his.

He became a member of Yale College in the autumn of 1816. Here he immediately took that high rank in his class which those who knew him expected he would attain. In the severer studies of college, in the recitations of every sort, he was acknowledged to be eminent. For this eminence his preparatory studies and his habits of application had fitted him. But in all exercises of elocution and composition, his inferiority was so manifest that his classmates generally regarded him as one of those men, who, though by dint of application they carry the highest honours of college, turn out at last to have but little activity of intellect.

To gain the highest honours was at that time his only ambition; and under the inspiriting influence of that ambition, he applied himself to study with a persevering diligence which resulted in improvement as general as it was rapid. The culture which his mind received in the process of studying his lessons-for at that period of his education be studied nothing else, read nothing else-gradually became visible, not only in the recitations, but in all the exercises to which he was called.

Those who were members of the church in Yale College at the time, cannot fail to remember, that in March and April 1818, there was in college, not a revival of religion, but an unusual seriousness among the pious, attended with several cases of inquiry and hopeful conversion. At that time the impressions which Mr. Isham had received at an earlier period were revived, and he was brought, as he trusted, and as his subsequent life most fully evinced, to the knowledge of Him "whom to know is life eternal.” From that time his views and hopes and purposes were changed. The change was not the breaking forth of Christian character at once in all its symmetry and graces; it was the commencement of a new principle within him urging him forward in a new career of improvement. At first, the evidences of his piety were less distinct and less convincing, either to his own mind or to the minds of others, than are often seen in those who have been made the subjects of renewing influence. But from that time, there was something about his character which had never been there before; something more than a temporary or an occasional excitement; something that went on through life with a gradual yet ever progressive developement of its strength and beauty; something that became a controlling and absorbing principle of conduct, giving a new impulse to his pur

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