« VorigeDoorgaan »
you are ready to think they serve another God, and are going to an inferior heaven
Within the last six months, he has adopted a plan, which promises to be of incalculable benefit to the parties immediately concerned; and if imitated by the thousands who ought to imitate it, it would go far towards reforming the world
This good man has about thirty people in his employ; some are journeymen and others apprentices. It appeared to him that he had not done all for these people which, as a Christian, he ought to have done, and he immediately set about a reformation. His first step was to consider how to promote their spiritual interests; and having laid down his plan, he next proposed to them the following questions:
1. Who among you can read?
2. How many of you are destitute of the Holy Scriptures? 3. Who among the ignorant are willing to learn?
To these questions he received immediate answers; and having purchased books for those who could read, he called them around him, and explained what he wished to do, and requested their willing concurrence; that is to say, "Let half an hour be spent every evening in reading the Scriptures, and explaining those parts which any of you do not understand." The books were then given them, and they began, and the delightful work is pursued regularly. Those also who cannot read, attend and listen, and are encouraged to learn from those who are able to instruct them; and both master and people appear mutually pleased and benefited.
Thus the man who, a few years ago, was ignorant of letters and treated every thing sacred with indifference, is now purchasing the Scriptures for his workmen, sitting among them when they read, and instructing them in those things which are able to make them wise unto salvation! The subject is full of instruction to Christians in general, and to pious masters and manufacturers in particular.
To master tradesmen and manufacturers I would say, Your opportunities for doing good are very great. Some of you have hundreds of people in your employ, and others have thirty, or fifteen, or one. Were you to imitate this aged tradesman in his efforts to do good to the souls of his people, what a change would it produce through the nation! How it would reform the lives and improve the morals of those who are grown up; and what a preservative would it be to the multitudes of children and youth who are compelled early to work for their bread, and as early are corrupted by the conversation and vice which surround them. Be assured of this, dear countrymen, if there were more of the fear of God in your workshops, your warehouses, your factories, they would go on better. See what opportunities you have for bringing about a reformation! Remember that every advantage you possess brings with it an awful responsibility. Fear not to make the attempt. The Lord God, merciful and gracious, will not suffer you to be losers by it; nor will he suffer you to make the attempt in vain. Only begin; enter up. on it with fervent prayer; fear not; provide means for supplying
your people with Bibles; let the ignorant be instructed; let half an hour in the day be devoted to the service of God. Will it impoverish you? No! It will draw down the blessing of heaven upon yourselves, and upon your people, and your business; and the town, the neighborhood, and the nation will be partakers of the benefit."
TRACT ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS IN NEW YORK.
To encourage the hope, that Bible religion will prevail, in defi ance of Infidelity and Popery, we would inform our readers, that all the different Protestant denominations are engaging in the cause of Bible and Tract societies. The Friends, (generally called Quakers) who have cleaved to the truth as it is in Jesus, the efforts of Hicks to mislead them, notwithstanding, appear as we learn from their Journal "The Friend" to be very active.
The following report of their Tract Association, as adopted in May last, we are sure, will be read with great delight, by all true Protestants.-Editor.
It is a property of true Christian benevolence, in whatever way it be brought into action, not to be easily discouraged, or diverted from its purpose; yet such is the mutability of all things human, that, without a continual accession of members alive to the spirit of it, no charitable institution can flourish, or be long sustained. It is therefore the duty of those who would carry on any work of philanthropy, not only to perform their own part seasonably, but to commend the cause to others.
Thirteen years ago, "a number of individuals belonging to the Society of Friends, believing that much benefit would result from the circulating of tracts on moral and religious subjects, concluded to form an association for that purpose." They accordingly met on the fifteenth of First month, 1817, adopted a constitution for their government, and appointed the first committee of management. Since that time, the "Tract Association of Friends in New York," has existed; and its affairs have continued to be managed by such a committee annually appointed. Of the twenty-two members who composed the first committee, five are deceased; eight have for various reasons declined further service; and seven others have either removed from the city, or forsaken the principles and the ociety of Friends. So that, of the original board, two only remain attached to the concern. Similar changes have occurred among the members of the association itself; and of one hundred and fiftyseven names entered since the commencement, forty only remain now on the list of subscribers. From these facts, it might seem natural to infer, that the concern itself could not long survive. But though we are neither rich nor many, there remain some who are
not yet discouraged, but who are willing to do what they can, if it be but little. And, as they who trust in Him who is strength in weakness, are permitted to hope under all circumstances, the committee would discharge their present duty, not as despairing of the cause, which they believe to be good, but as endeavouring to "strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die."
The vital part of the association is, and always has been, the few persons who are willing to serve punctually on the committee of management; and as these have endeavoured to apply with the greatest economy, to the purpose intended, the very limited funds afforded them, the changes which have so greatly reduced the numbers of the association, have not been followed by a proportionate reduction in the number of tracts annually issued. By making use of the stereotype plates, and obtaining some reduction on the charges for printing, &c. the committee have been able to publish this year, without overdrawing the treasury, a number about equal to an average of what were issued during the preceding twelve years. They have adopted and published one new tract, viz.
No. 32. A Memorial of Hannah Field,
And have republished the following ten:
No. 9. On Self-examination,
No. 14. On the Peace of God,
No. 15. On Christianity,
No. 16. On Time,
No. 17. On Education,
No. 20. On Troubles,
Number previously published,
Total number published,
The whole amount of funds received by the committee since the commencement of the association, and expended in the publication of the above mentioned tracts, and the payment of some small incidental expenses, is 1872 dollars; averaging 144 dollars a year. During the last year, 63 dollars have been received into the treasury, and 90 dollars and 6 cents have been drawn therefrom by order of the committee. The balance in the treasury, reported in 1829, was 57 dollars and 64 cents. The treasurer's accounts have been examined, and found correct. There is a balance of 30 dollars and 58 cents now in his hands.
The different tracts approved and adopted by the committee, are now thirty-two; each of which consists of twelve pages; except No. 2, which has four; and Nos. 17-18-28 and 29, which have twenty-four each. A small spring, if it fail not in the drought, may in course of time pour forth silently much water for the refreshing Vol. V. No. 5.
of an arid district. This little association has, since its commencement, printed on good paper and type, for gratuitous distribution, no fewer than two millions, six hundred and ten thousand duodecimo pages of the best moral and religious tracts. When presented, these silent instructers have generally been thankfully received from the hands of the distributers; and, though we have had but little opportunity of noticing and recording their particular effects upon the minds of those who have perused them, we are persuaded that it cannot be utterly in vain that such appeals are made to the understandings and consciences of rational beings, And we reverently trust that the blessing of God will rest upon such labours, while they are conducted with a view to his glory and the good of mankind.
PROGRESS OF THE TRUTH IN NORTH CAROLINA.
We have lately received a letter from a valuable friend, containing very cheering information as to the progress of the Truth, in North Carolina. Our Synod in that state, has been very active in adopting such measures as are calculated to promote the cause of Christ, for some years past. And, in defiance of opposition from the children of darkness, we learn, that different districts, are gradually supplied with the preached Gospel.
One of our young men, who was prepared for the service of Jesus Christ, at Gettysburg, has lately been located at Lexington Davidson county, and we are informed, at a late communion season, many persons, were deeply impressed. Our correspondent says,' that many respectable persons are turning their attention to the all-important subject of religion, although they were heretofore careless and unco concerned, whilst our young brother, is received every where, with marked attention, and affectionate regard. He has been very successful, in establishing a Bible class, which is well attended by young and old. That great auxiliary, in our war with satan, sin, and error, the Sunday School, has also been introduced, although it was deemed impracticable. Our young brother, exaplined the nature of the institution, and proved so satisfactorily, that the greatest advantages result from it, that severa Gentlemen of wealth and influence, who never took an active part in any religious operations, have enlisted under the banners of Jesus Christ, and now not only earnestly upon some occasions, recommend the Sunday School system, but actually visit families in order to induce them to send their children to the Sunday school.
Very important business, relative to the Church of Christ, and especially in reference to our own destitute brethren, was transacted at a late meeting of the Synod. As soon as the minutes, shall reach us, we will furnish our readers with a synopsis.-Editor.
UNION AMONG PROTESTANTS.
Mr. Editor-As you have the kindness, to admit into the Intelligencer, communications from your fellow-christians generally, if they are calculated, to unite the Protestants, I shall occasionally of Yer you my lucubrations.
For the present, I shall merely introduce myself to you and your readers, as one, who although a Methodist, is sincerely desirous of seeing all Protestants uniting their powers, in defence of the truth. There are many, especially natives of the United States, who have no idea of the necessity of exposing error, and the wretchedness of those who are under its influence, and therefore I approve of the course you pursue. I have known you for a number of years, as the Minister of the Lutheran Church in this place, and the numerous members you have, and the general peace that prevails among them, is proof to me, that your labours are blessed. That you are very much attached to your church and its discipline, I also know, but still you are upon very friendly terms with all the Protestant churches among us, and open your church to any approved and faithful Minister. Now I infer this; Mr. S. agrees in the essential truths of salvation with all. He is at the head of one class of soldiers and has his particular order, regulations and method. He is certain they do not hinder and therefore he will not hear them condemned, and for the same reason, he does not condemn those who differ, as if they could not help him to fight against the great enemy of souls. Surely all protestants could do so too. But Mr. Editor, I think union among all can easily exist, indeed it does; but a schism appears to exist and this I find proceeds from an unnecessary interference with each other, for the purpose of taking soldiers from each other. A man surely has the natural right to select any class he pleases, but neither openly nor secretly, should one seek to alienate any one from his particular society. Let this be attended to, and there is union. And, as long as repentance, faith, justification and the Divinity of Jesus are taught in any society according to the Bible, no one can have a motive for deserting it. The time has come when one effort must be made among us, for the greatest exertions are making, to destroy the work of the Reformers, and to take from us our Bible privileges.
No man thinks better of Dr. Luther than I do. I believe he was called by God, to put out of the way, the hindrances to the salvation of man, and though he was a fallible man, yet called as he was, God would not have permitted him to teach any doctrine or introduce a church government contrary to his will. But, Wesley, was also a man of God, and so was Zuingle and all those servants