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The Bible our rule of faith-The right of private judgment our privilege.
Again are we called upon, to cast a retrospective view upon an important period and measure of time that has fled away! Again are we upon the threshold of a New-Year, the events of which cannot be foretold by us, and yet may affect us most seriously.
The whole world has been compelled to acknowledge during the past year, that "the Lord reigneth." Algiers, for centuries entrenched by the power of Satan, against the operations of the soldiers of Christ, has at length been compelled to surrender to the God of Truth. By the unexampled success of the French, in their attack upon the hitherto impregnable land of barbarians, the door is opened wide, for the Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and already are many convinced that Mahomet was an impostor, and that "Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and the life."
Scarcely were the friends of the Bible engaged, in contemplating with wonder, love and praise, the, operations of God, to kindle the lamp of the Gospel, for the barbarian, when they were amazed, by the unexpected and unsuccessful revolution in France. France, for centuries the home of Popery and Despotism, is as it were in the twinkling of an eye, converted into a most desirable retreat, for Bible Christians. The Pope has lost one of his most powerful engines against religion and civil liberty, by the dethronement of the infatuated, depostic and abandoned Charles the 10th, to make room for the constitutional and enlightened Philip.
Our own beloved country, whatever differences exist, and heated controversies are carried on among politicians, enjoys still unin 16.
Vol. V. No. 11..
terrupted peace within and without. No nation is equally prosperous-no other constitution for our government, than that which our fathers gave can afford us such prerogatives and such protection as we now enjoy.
Although Popery and Infidelity have increased their exertions, yet the cause of the Bible has received an accession of friends, beyond the most sanguine expectations of its active friends. Numerous benevolent institutions have been ushered into existence, and many that were languishing, have been received. Large districts of country destitute of the Bible, have been supplied. Protestants of different denominations, have established additional Missionary, Sunday School, and Tract societies, whilst Theological Seminaries, generally, received increased evidences, that they are sanctioned by the great head of the Church.
Thus far then, we can retrospect with delightful sensations. But, have we all been as zealous and sincere as we should have been, in the cause of the Lord? Have we sought, first, the kingdom of God? Have Ministers and their people proved, that they have, more than the form of godliness? Have we displayed from our souls, courage in the cause of the Lord, and declared by our acts, that we are ready to sacrifice every thing if called upon, to promote Zion's cause? Alas, the best and most active have cause to weep in deep humility, that they are unworthy servants. Many are indifferent and cold, whilst others are zealous without knowledge. Drunkenness, profanity and licentiousness prevail still to an alarming degree.
In our own beloved Church, the Lord has displayed much of his power and mercy. Benevolent institutions have been increasedmany members have become more concerned for their soul's salvation, and our Seminary of the General Synod, has experienced greater aid and support from God, than its most sanguine friends dared to anticipate. This fact is to be ascribed to the goodness of God, who, beholding the niggardly, the cowardly, worldly-minded, and ignorant, rising against his means of providing sinners with faithful and talented instructors, at once, proved, that he needeth them not. Yea, he has set at defiance, all who are opposed to the institution, whether they be united in a body, or war against it, as individuals.
It is then a solemn duty incumbent upon us as men, as christian, as friends of liberty, to pause, and inquire, what course shall we
pursue henceforth. Perhaps beloved reader, you will be summoned to the eternal world,before the close of this year!!! Are you prepared to give an account of the manner, in which you have spent your time, talents and property?
We are earnestly desirous, that liberty may march on with success, throughout the world-that the period may soon be at hand, when men generally shall act under the influence of the Spirit of Christ -that the liberties of the United States, may be handed down inviolate, to the latest posterity—that all denominations may increase in biblical piety, and that all may enjoy the smiles of God's countenance in life and in death
And finally, our beloved church being dear to us, we cannot omit, beseeching its members, to walk worthy of the privileges they possess. Without bigotry, love and sustain the discipline and doctrines of our ancient church. Imitate the good in others-bear with the errors you see among them-be ready however to give an answer at all times, and love all, that love the Lord Jesus.
If you believe that the Intelligencer has been useful in the cause of our Zion, and desire that it may continue to exist, then sustain it. If what is due, remains unpaid, and if no additional subscribers are obtained, then will the work scarcely survive through the year, and leave a canker which will not cease its devouring operations upon our slender Treasury of the Synod for several years. To avert such an event, we have not failed to do our part. This is our last appeal, and we pray it may be successful.-Editor.
Mr. Editor-It must cheer every pious heart in our connexion that a spirit of Christian benevolence is beginning to be exhibited amongst us, and that our various institutions of charity and learning are supported with some degree of liberality. This state of things may properly enough be called an "innovation," for it is new, but it is the same kind of innovation in our church, as the Reformation. of Luther was in the miserably corrupted church of his day, an innovation that is hailed with transports of joy by every friend of the Redeemer, and which none but the veriest enemy of the cross could ever oppose. God Almighty speed the work, until every congregation and minister feels its influence, and the man who stands aloof shall feel himself alone and ashamed! Who ever heard that religious benevolence was "burthen some to the people ?" Who is now the poorer for contributing largely to benevolent institutions ? The man who dares avow this, is unacquainted with or has no faith
in the promises of God. He that watereth, shall be watered again. It is better to give than to receive. He that giveth to the poor len deth to the Lord. Blessed is the man that considereth the poor. Are the people of the United States this day poorer because during the last year they contributed $500,000 in support of the great religious enterprizes of the day? During that time some millions of dollars have been saved to the country by staying the awful desolation of intemperance-100,000 persons have adopted the principle of entire abstinence-families have been delivered from the fell destroyer, the wilderness has re-echoed with the sounds of the gospel, thousands & tens of thousands of tracts have been circulated to preach salvation through a crucified Redeemer. Good order has been preserved, souls have been converted, the sanctity of the Lord's day promoted, a few hundred thousand bibles distributedan almost countless number of children brought into Sunday Schools and the blessing of God received in a variety of ways. What an incalculable moral influence will not all these combined operations exert? We ask again, are the people of this Union poorer for contributing that amount of money? have they found it "burdensome ?"must we believe that the introduction of associations into a certain quarter of our church, would be "burdensome" where the Lord has most liberally dealt out his temporal favours ? Oh ! tell it not in Gath.
Though, blessed be God, this "innovation" has been introduced among us, yet we often hear brethren complain that they cannot collect more for our institutions and especially for the Education Society. It has always appeared to us that a want of proper system was one great cause of their failure. The brethren for the most part, ask for dollars, when they ought to be satisfied with pennies-they aim at the choicest of the table, and let the fragments lie. The people of Great Britain who are not more numerous, or more pious or more wealthy than we in this country, give nearly $3,000,000 annually to the great religious institutions of the day, and how do they accomplish this? They "gather up the fragments that nothing be lost." They collect pennies and by the end of the year it swells to an immense sum. The principal part of the funds of these societies issues from "penny-a-week contributions." A person can become a member of a branch society by paying a penny a week to its funds. This sum, however, is regularly collected, and not allowed to run in arrear, and to be paid once a year, or once a quarter. The collector calls regularly once a week and receives the contribution, for these institutions in England are principally supported by the poor." Now let this system be tried by those of our brethren who have complained that they cannot collect dollars-there is not an individual in the church who would refuse one cent a week. though there are some alas! who refuse half a dollar a year! Let their names be taken down; let the Sunday School teachers or other well disposed persons regularly call on them for their contribution, and at the end of the year, they will be astonished at the sum theyhave collected. I know many a little village within the bounds of
the Synod of Maryland in which at present 25 or 30 dollars are collected, where $100 might be annually raised with all possible ease, and that by the system above recommended. Let it but be tried and then we might educate every indigent young man who applies and assist every poor church that would call upon us for help. Let the innovation be introduced, and the mighty experiment be made whether it would be "oppressive to our people" for them to contribute out of their overflowing substance one single cent a week!
INTERESTING TO PROTESTANTS.
BRUSSELS, June 10th, 1829.
Through the blessing of God, I am again permitted to address you from this City, and in tolerable health. On my way from Calais I spent a night at Tournay, and had an interview with the Rev. Mr. De Faye, who superintends the distribution of the Scriptures in that district. He employs a Hawker, who exposes the copies for sale in the villages around. It sometimes happens, he says, that the Priests take up the books, examine them, and exclaim, "These are Protestant Books good for nothing but the fire." I encouraged him to extend the circulation by every possible means, and not so much regard the price obtained from such a poor and ignorant population, as the act of having placed Gods word in the hands and before the eyes of those who never handled it nor saw it before, and where there is a prospect of its being perused, In the conferences which I have had with our dear friends here, they also bitterly lament over the stern and systematic opposition of the Catholic Clergy, and the gross Ignorance of the people, who seldom fail at confession to make it known when a testament has been given them, and this generally leads to these being deprived of it. Let us hope that we shall be favoured to see in Belgium something like the spirit of inquiry now so powerfully raised in France in favour of the sacred Scriptures. One pleasing instance of good done, is, however contained in a letter from an English Lady residing at Spa. "Yesterday," she writes "a venerable peasant, aged 82, met my husband and said, “Pardon the liberty I take, but I have long desired to have an opportunity of thanking you for the Gospel of St. John, which you gave to my son, some years ago, in the Wood; it has been my companion ever since. I read when I walk by the way-I meditate upon it; my mother valued her Bible, but when she died, her relations got it. When I lost some of my children I grieved and offended my God, but' added he, and he wept as he said it, "the Gospel of St. John has taught me better things; and now if it shall please God to take the rest I know that they are his, and not mine. I learned to read, ten years ago, with very little difficulty.
On the 26th of September, I reached Dijon, on my way from