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The Bible our rule of faith!-The right of private judgment our privilege.'
A NEW ENGLISH LUTHERAN CHURCH.
Mr. Editor :-Knowing that you and many of your readers take a deep interest in the progress of our dear Zion, I have thought it would not be an unacceptable service to communicate the agreeable intelligence that on Lordsday the 18th inst. a new church was dedicated in Philadelphia Pa. under the appellation of "The Evange lic Lutheran Church of St. Matthew."
The religious exercises of the day were conducted by the Pastor of the congregation, the Rev. Mr. Krauth, (who performed the ceremony of dedication,) Mr. Morris of Baltimore, Mr. Keller of Germantown, and Mr. Kurtz of Hagerstown, Md. The audiences were numerous and attentive, and there is good reason to indulge the hope that the word spoken was profitable to them that heard it, and will bring forth fruit unto life eternal.
The local position of this beautiful and commodious house of God, evinces the good sence & forecast of those who selected the site. It is situated in New Street, between 3d and 4th streets ;--a most pleasant and convenient section of the city for a christian sanctuary. It was erected by an english Lutheran congregation, collected and organized within the last few years mainly through the pious and active instrumentality of our highly esteemed and beloved brother Krauth; and is designed chiefly for the benefit of those descendants of Lutherans, who do not understand the German language, and whose laudable partiality for the form of worship and doctrine peculiar to the Lutheran church, has led them to continue faithful to that church, amidst all the discouraging difficulties they had to encounter for want of a convenient place of worship and, a knowledge of the language of their fathers. But as the tenets of that church, and its usages also, when its discipline is judiciously administered, commend themselves so forcibly to the conscience of almost every one that is made acquainted with them, a considerable number of strangers have already attached themselves to it, and from the numerous applications that have at this early period been made for seats and
Vol. V. No. 7.
pews, it is confidently believed that every disposible part of the church will be taken up and occupied in a very short time.
Thus we perceive that nothing is wanting to insure, a rapid and successful extension of our little Zion in this land of free inquiry, but a plain and faithful promulgation of its truly evangelic principles.
What a noble contrast does this little band of Lutheran worthies, present to those faithless individuals, who, instead of consenting to make any sacrifice and endeavouring to surmount any obstacles for the sake of the church of their fathers, have rather seized with avidity upon every trifling occasion and sought for an opportunity to desert it; and in the day of her trial, like Esau, have willingly bartered away their birthright for a contemptible mess of pottage. Numerous have been the pretexts assigned by various persons for their denial of the faith of their ancestors-for their inglorious and reprehensible flight from the mother of protestantism; and while we admit the plea of a few, whose peculiar circumstances may have justified their retreat, we are bold to say, that in most instances, pride, self-conceit and an itching desire to effect the company of "the high and the rich," and associate with those for whose intercourse neither nature nor nature's God ever designed them, lay at the foundation of their treachery.-What should induce a member of that church which is designated by the name of the immortal Reformer, to turn his back against it, or to bring up his children in a different department of Christ's visible kingdom?—an absence of talent and spirituality of zeal and faithfulness in our ministers ?-we challenge so groundless an imputation;—a want of purity in our doctrines and discipline? we fearlessly bid defiance to such a charge; a departure from the faith once delivered to the Saints or a cold heartless display of the principles of that faith? Who that understands that faith, and is acquainted with the ministers in our church, will dare to insinuate such an accusation? We hazard nothing when we declare that no class of ministers labor harder than those of the Lutheran community, and at the same time are required to put up with a more disproportionate remuneration for their unwearied exertions. Let those then, who with sinister views, for worldly purposes, or actuated by any other ignoble motive, have forsaken the church of their pious ancestors, and have fled among a strange people and living at a strange table, singing the songs of Zion as it were in a strange land, blush and be ashamed, and learn from that faithful little band in Philadelphia, to appreciate more highly that system of christian doctrine, which stands pre-eminent for its conformity to the Gospel and its efficacy in changing and renewing the hearts of those who are practically acquainted with it.
To our brethren of the faith in Philadelphia we say with all the cordiality of our soul : "God speed you;" may the Great Head of the church constantly keep his ever-watchful eye for good upon your house of prayer, and meet you and your children, and children's children, as often as you assemble there, and make you
richly and abundantly the participants of his divine favor, and thus prepare you for a glorious entrance into that building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
THE BALTIMORE CONTROVERSY.
(Continued from page 153.)
The last remarks of the Protestant writer, appear to have excited his adversary, to such a degree, that he could not conceal his hostility to the Bible. After his hypocritical cant, "that he experienced the blessings of a liberal intercourse with persons of every denomination," he pretends, that the Protestant in asserting that many Catholics joined the Protestant church, and that indulgences were imported by the South Americans, does not adhere to a proper order.
"Behold him Sir, after scouring the plains of Cavan, rushing, breathless and hopeless, across the channel, hurrying himself (and labouring to bear me off with him in his hurry) to the mountains of Lancashire and the "neighborhood of Preston," numbering as he wanders, the few, scattered, unprincipled, men who, through “interested motives," joined in the ranks of Protestantism. Then, Sir, as it were on the wings of the wind, he bends his flight to the Seven Hills of Rome, perches on the summit of the Vatican, and frightened at the majesty of Popery" so grandly, so awfully, displayed in that "eternal basilick," he claps his wings, and with the speed of lightning, rests, at least, on the bales of indulgences just landing in one of the ports of South America.-Mr. Editor, I appeal to you-I appeal to any rational man, if it is expected of me to follow him in such a course !"
To prepare the minds of the public, for receiving passively, his terrible thrust at the Bible, he again tells the reader, that he has many dear friends among the Protestants, and hopes that the liberal Protestants will not take umbrage at what he says.
"We next pass, Sir," says the Romanist, "to that grand and collosean pile that has been reared, not by the sale of indulgencies, not by contributions at the shrines of Saints, but by the tribute which Christian Europe has brought to the altars of Jesus Christ' the British and Foreign Bible Society. Mr. Editor, in the purest and most venerable days of the Christian Church, I have read of the erection of Churches to the God of truth, but never of the establishment of a Bible Society. The Emperor Constantine, the first of the successors of Augustus, who embraced the doctrines of Christ, reared many a basilick, of which some are still stand
ing in the waste of time,-the basilick of St. Lawrence, of St. Sebastian, of St. John, Lateran, &c. but we no where read, that it ever entered the mind of that illustrious convert, to institute a Bible Society. I confess, sir, that if the bibles were distributed among the people merely that they might make themselves acquainted with that inspired volume, that they might derive from it those consolations and lights which it contains, without presuming to form, each as his caprice may suggest, their various religions, the Bible Society would deserve much of the christian world. But when that sacred book is put into the hands of the people who are utterly unacquainted with the original language in which it was written, strangers to the nature of the regions from which so many figures are drawn, and perplexed, at every page, with difficulties, and even apparent contradictions, and when they are told, that in it alone they are to look for religion and true faith, I contend, sir, that the Bible Society, either British or Foreign, will prove the source of innumerable errors, and of calamities the most lamentable."
The object of establishing schools, under the direction of Jesuits had been touched by the Protestant, and we rejoice at it, as it has at once drawn forth from the Romanist an acknowledgment, which Protestants should well consider.
"Your 'Subscriber'" says the Romanist, "recoils with acute sensibility, from the prospect of our academical and literary institutions;" and well he may-their halls are crowded with a rising generation, who will go forth, one day, to bear witness to the world how perfect is the education which they there obtain, and how solid the principles of the faith, which is there taught, proved, elucidated, and against which the gates of Hell shall not prevail.”
That Protestanism is detested by Romanists, and that nothing but the great majority of our citizens being Protestants, deters them from such operations, as would at once dissolve our Bible and Tract societies, will have been seen from the above extracts. We think the following will justify the impression.
"I shall defend, vindicate, and expound the principles of my religion, and expose the groundlessness, and 'errors' of that of your Subscriber.' But while I do so, it shall be with great respect for my Protestant friends, to whom I am sincerely attached, and whose good offices I every day, experience with gratitude. I conjure them not to suppose that I am writing against their individual con
Mark "the groundlessness of the Subscriber's religion." What is his religion? the religion of the Bible, and therefore it is ground less. But by all means, individuals, are not to suppose that they are written against-no, no, only the whole body of Protestants.
In the Gazette of May 24, the Protestant writer appears again
After expressing his regret, that he has been led, involuntarily, to examine the opinions held by Papists, and admitting that he found among them fidelity and benevolence and zeal in attachment to their faith, says, that he is at variance only with some of the essential dogmas of the Catholics. After shewing how little the Romanist is influenced by the spirit of meckness, patience, forbearance and love, in his writings, he remarks:
"There is something, Mr. Editor, in the tone of your Correspondent's observations which seems to indicate that his mind is more familiar with what should be, in his estimation, the privileges of the Church of Rome, than with his present actual power-with its favorite mode of inculcating its doctrines in those countries in which it is sustained by the throne, than with that mode which alone in this country we are inclined to admit.-He honestly avows his intention "to intimidate." It must be acknowledged that had my observations been given to the public in any of those countries usually denominated Catholic, his threats might have sent to my heart a different emotion from that which they have hitherto inspired: and conscious that I was exposed to the bland reforming influence of the Inquisition, I might have deemed it connected with Christian prudence to hear in silence any boast which he might utter, and to behold without the expression of my sorrow, even a more harrowing conflagration than that of copies of the word of God. But I thank the spirit of the age; I thank the free institutions of the country; I thank the boon which the Gospel bestows of holding my conscience unfettered by the awe of any human power; I thank my God, that I dare to lift my voice "unintimidated" by your Correspondent's warnings and denunciations, when the means of promulgating the pure religion of Christ are assailed. And more than this, I frankly confess, that instead of pursuing the desultory course which he so unjustly attributes to me, I design, should this controversy be prolonged to fix and confine his attention, and that of the public, to the fact, by disclosing which I have unfortunately so much exasperated him. Of this intention of mine he is already apprised. Discovering his desire to stray from the matter before us, and to involve the consideration of points foreign to it, I intimated in my last that when one affair-(meaning the destruction of the Bible,) was satisfactorily accounted for, I should have no objection to discuss with him some of the other characteristics of the Church of Rome. But until that has been, it would be unprofitable and almost impracticable to come to an understanding of any other point. And for this reason. I profess, Mr. Editor, to have no other authority for my religious faith than the word of God. I acknowledge that I have no other basis for any doctrine, any hope, and assurance, than that which I find in the sacred Scriptures. And this I believe to be sufficient, because I read therein ;-(2 Tim. 315 to 17.) "The Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All scripture is given by inspiration