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in any respect from the rest of their fellow-citizens, it is only by their own choice. This liberality is not without its ef. fect. Jews are men, and have the feelings of men: they are fully sensible of injustice and oppression on the one hand, and of equity and urbanity on the other: we can therefore approach them without the irritation of injured feeling, on the ground of fair unprejudiced discussion, as men like ourselves, who have souls to be saved; as men like ourselves, who are sinners against God, and who look to that God for his pardoning mercy. It is not necessary to enter upon a field of difficult controversy, and rabbinical learning: very few of them know any thing about it; but they have conscience: and conscience, though stifted and perverted, will raise her voice. Where is their sacrifice for sin? Who shall make atonement for the people? Where is their Genealogy? What scribe shall trace the tribe of Judah, and ascertain the lineage of David? Alas! they feel that. 7193 * is written over the door of their Synagogue, the glory is departed! they feel, and they have the candour to acknowledge, that they are suffering under a righteous judgment for their sins as a nation; they believe in Messiah promised to their fathers, a Prophet, a King, a Saviour: but their eyes are not opened to behold the glory of Christ, as sustaining these characters. Should this discourage us ? Let us ask, was it not so at the first promulgation of the Gospel? If the preaching of the cross was efficacious then, and multitudes, myriads, of the seed of Abraham, embraced as their Saviour him whom they had seen crucified at Jerusalem, and experienced joy and peace in believing; why should not the same means be effectual for the conversion and salvation of their brethren in our day? " Is the Lord's arm shortened that it cannot save? is his ear heavy that it cannot hear ?"). Although the Jews feel no interest in our pulpit discourses addressed to professed Christians; yet let them be made the objects of our tender regard, of earnest and affectionate appeal, and it will be found that they will listen with respect, and receive with candour the word of exhortation. What! shall a blaspheming infidel, who throws contempt on Divine Revelation, secure the attention of this interesting people by flattering pretences of respect, while he derides their hope ; and shall not the voice of undissembled friendship be heard? Let us not wrong them by such a supposition, but exert ourselves on their behalf. Let us remember that the preaching of the cross of Christ, although to the unbelieving Jew and Gentile, an offence and a stumbling block, is still
, and ever will remain, the power of God and
the wisdom of God to eternal life in all that believe.. It is the blood of Christ, and that alone which can cleanse the conscience from guilt, and purify the heart, and enable the sinner to contemplate, without terror, the character of God as a holy and righteous Judge. And seeing that the preaching of the cross is the ordinance of God for salvation, let us look to him for his blessing on the faithful and diligent discharge of duty, undismayed by difficulty, undaunted by opposition.
I hope your correspondent will prosecute the subject, and give a further developement of his plan. I concỉude with quoting his words, “ should these hints be deemed worthy a place, 1 propose, in a future number, to extend my thoughts on this most interesting subject."
FOR THE CHRISTIAN HERALD.
Formation of a Religious Tract Society in Baltimore.
At a meeting of a number of citizens, recently held to take into consideration the expediency of forming an association for the purpose of distributing Religious Tracts among
it was unanimously resolved, that the advancement of the cause of true religion and virtue renders the institution of such an association highly desirable; in consequence of which, the persons present formed themselves into a Society, to be denominated " THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY OF BALTIMORE;" adopted a Constitution, and elected the following gentlemen to be managers for one year: viz. Dr. James Inglis, Mr. D. W. Boisseau, Mr. J. F. Keys, Mr. W. R. Swift, Mr. T. G. Hill, Mr. J. H. Parmele, Mr. R. M. Hall, Mr. I. P. Coulter; and the above mentioned managers, at a meeting held on Monday, May 13, chose the following officers : viz. Dr. James Inglis, President ; Mr. I. F. Keys, Treasurer; Mr. W. R. Swift, Secretary.
Resolved, That these proceedings be published, together with the 2d Article of the Constitution.
Art. II. of the Constitution of the Religious Tract Society of Baltimore: “ Every person becoming a member of this Society shall pay an annual contribution of Two Dol. lars; one half at the time of subscribing, the other half at the expiration of six months ; or, by paying twenty dollars, shall become a member for life."
By order, May 13, 1816.
W. R. SWIFT, Secretary.
FROM THE PORTLAND GAZETTE.
COWPER. SOME observations were lately inserted in the Gazette on the character and writings of Henry Kirke White. They were an elegant and affectionate tribute of deserved praise. It was gratifying to find a favourite poet receiving merited eulogium. It has suggested a few reflections on the productions of a poet, of a character, in some respect, resembling Kirke White. Cowper's poetry was marked with a peculiar purity and delicacy of feeling. His heart was refined by celestial fire. Even before religion became the particular subject of his thoughts, he was singularly free from those vices and errors, to which there is a strong natural tendency in all men.
But from the period, at which he experienced a grand renovation of nature, he exhibited a temper of angelic sweetness and benevolence. The tale of Cowper is as melancholy and affecting as that of White. The latter was an early victim to intense application; the life of Cowper was protracted to the age of seventy years. But he often laboured under the pressure of a most distressing disorder, which his exquisite sensibility rendered doubly afflicting. Both could indulge the most delightful anticipations in prospect of death ; for heaven was their home. They sung their Saviour's praise on earth, they will sing it “ in nobler, sweeter strains" above. Cowper is rarely quoted by English authors of fine moral feelings, but with such epithets as “ the inimitable Cowper,”! “ Christian poet.” In the poetry of Kirke White,“ Fancy soars on the boldest wing;" his genius was lofty, and there is often a wonderful sublimity in his conceptions. We
We may adduce a single instance:
Once more, and yet once more,
I give unto my harp a dark-woven lay;
I heard the flood of ages pass away.
In thine eternal cell,
I saw thee rise, -I saw. the scroll complete,
The universe gave way. This, one writer has declared, is sufficient, if he wrote nothing else, to give his name immortality. Cowper has less vigour, but more ease and artless simplicity than White; his numbers flow without the least impediment, and he does not seem to be at all shackled by his rhyme. He had, if possiblc, more tenderness and delicate sensibility than White, though his affections for his friends could not be stronger. The feelings of Cowper were too exquisite; they overwhelmed his reason.
He shrunk from the difficulties he met with in an employment his friends procured for him. The shock was too great for him. It disordered his mind : and though he recovered from this attack, his distressing malady returned
upon him at intervals, and rendered the remainder of his days sorrowful and afflicted. To this circumstance perhaps much of the tenderness of Cowper's poetry is owing. At an advanced age, during a temporary relief from his afflicting malady, he wrote those beautiful lines, addressed to Mrs. Unwin :
" Mary! I want a lyre with other strings." No poet could be put into the hands of the young so safely as Cowper: his simplicity renders him intelligible, his tenderness, interesting and affecting. There is nothing to corrupt the heart and lead the mind astray; no false and distorted views of the world. He excites no expectations of unalloyed happiness, nor does he paint every thing in melancholy and gloomy colours. He was guided by the word of truth. Instead of leading us to the adoration of the god of nature, as a distinct Lord from the God of the Scriptures, he guides us to Him who alone has made the heavens and the earth. His religion, is the religion of the Gospel. He has not perpetual allusions to heathen mythology; he has needed no recourse to absurd fables. He has shown that on the simple, religion of Christianity, beautiful poetry may be written, without the use of ridiculous fictions. He has dressed divine truth in the most pleasing and alluring colours. He has displayed it in its own native charms.
“ Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose.” Cowper is distinguished for purity of morals, for simplicity of language and manner, for correctness of taste, for freedom from overstrained sentiment, and for soundness of principles; and with these qualities a true genius for poetry. How valuable these qualities are, we can easily perceive by a survey of English poets of the present day, and a review of the whole range of English poetry.
You will search throughout, almost in vain, for the Christian religion, or indeed for any consistent scheme of religion. The poets of Greece and Rome wove their religion into their verse, and why should not Christian poets pay the same respect to their own religion?. But very few English poets have done this: but they who have ventured it, bave succeeded remarkably. Milton, Young, and Cowper, are certainly among the first of
English poets; and their genius, if we may use such language, has taken its fire from the altar of our religion.
Here to devotion's bard devoutly just,
COMMUNICATED FOR THE CHRISTIAN HERALD.
SUNDAY SCHOOLS. AS it may not be generally known, that a Society exists in the city of Nema York for the support of Sunday Schools, or if known, what are its specific objects and plans ; the Committee, anxious to extend this great and uscful sys. tem, have deemed it their duty to address a few words to the public in general, but more particularly to their fellow citizens of the State of New-York, on this interesting subject.
The Society was formed in the month of February last, under the title of The New-York Sunday School Union Society. The sole object was to arrest the progress of vice, and to promote thë moral and religious instruction of the depraved and uneducated part of the community, on the Lord's day.
Though repeatedly told that the state of the poor, did not call for such an Institution, the committee entered upon their duties under the persuasion that their task was arduous, and the objects of selection numerous. It was indeed objected that the Free Schools in this city could receive a great number more than they then contained, and yet few or none offer themselves for instruction. The committee knew, and lamented this fact; but they did not therefore inser, either that there did not exist objects sufficient to fill the Schools, or that the establishment of instruction on the Sunday, would prevent Scholars from attending on the days of labour. They argued the direct contrary, and their reasoning and expectations have been fully verified. Already they have in this City, in active operation, twenty-four Schools for male children and adults, under the care of upirards of two hundred gratuitous superintendents and teachers—and with a glow of heart-felt pleasure they can add, that since the commencement of their labours, nearly three hundred scholars have been admitted in the Free Schools.
Though the committee believe that not one fourth of the uneducated poor are yet within their control, and though the time for trying their system has been but a few months, yet the beneficial effects are evident to the slightest observation. The streets in many parts of the city are no longer crowded with profane and idle children. Either they are to be found in the Schools, or wishing to avoid the visitors who are seeking out scholars in every corner, they confine themselves to their houses. The improvement in learning has been so great, that one day seems to accomplish the ordinary instruction of a week. The attention to religious instruction has also been such as to satisfy the visiting committee, that God will raise up a seed to serve him out of these schools when those who founded them will be sleeping in the dust.
The committee are now engaged in printing such books as will most facilitate the learner-and in addition they will publish a few as rewards for good behaviour, but designed at the same time to promote the single aim of this Society, the preserving our undirected youth from the influence of the vicious examples which surround them.
By a resolution of the board, every Sunday School formed, or to be formed, can be supplied with the Society's books at first cost. This will enable any association in the country to support a school at an expense which can never exceed fifiy cents per annum, for each scholar. Applications to the Secretary for the publications of the Society, will always meet prompt attcation.