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us tremble at the threatening—“If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Let us hold fast our integrity, and bear an unshrinking testimony for God and his truth. This is not the time for halting indecision or timid half
When “the enemy comes in like a flood,” we must “ lift up a standard against him.” “Having our loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace--above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and prayer, which is our first comfort and our last hope, let us go forth under the Captain of our salvation, and we shall prove more than conquerors.” Lord prosper
own cause until every error and wickedness be utterly consumed.
J. D. C
“The conclusion of the Anniversary of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Hamilton, (United States,) was rendered deeply affecting by the following circumstance. William Brown, son of Dr. P. P. Brown, appeared before the society and related his experience, and his conviction that God required him to labour in Burmah. He is now fifteen years old; his exercises on this subject commenced immediately on his becoming interested in the Saviour, which is four years since, and he is now fully determined to live and die, if God will, in Burmah.
“The peculiar circumstances of his father not allowing him to give the lad such an education as was necessary, he, after his son bad ceased speaking, 'Gave him up to God, his cause, and his people. At this moment, Deacon Jonathan Olmsted came forward in the fervour of Christian philanthropy, and declared, in the presence of the people, that he adupted the lad as his son, to educate, and so far as human means are concerned, prepare him for Burmah, and hoped hereafter to meet him and many of the Burmans, who should be converted through his instrumentality, around the throne of God. The scene was touching beyond description, and by many, while memory retains her seat, will not be forgotten.'
“I confess this was a spirit-stirring incident to me. It touched me exceedingly, and I rejoice from my inmost soul, that America has witnessed so interesting a sight.
“Reader! did it not make your heart thrill ? Think of William Brown-a lad only fifteen years of age, standing up in a grave assembly, and declaring it as bis conviction, that God required his services in Burmah, and there, by divine permission, he would live and die.
“And are there not thousands of young persons in Christian lands be. sides thịs dear youth, who at the age of fifteen have felt the love of Christ in their hearts--have found the Lord Jesus precious to their souls? Yes; and I firmly believe that many of them are ready to go, and serve God in the Gospel of his Son, amongst the heathen ; but they are young, and modest, and retiring. They would but cannot open their minds to any one on the subject. Now ought not every effort to be made to elicit this holy feeling ? Should not our Sunday-schools, and our Bible classes, and missionary meetings, and missionary sermons, fan this spark into a flame?
O my God! touch the hearts of many young persons who may read this, that they may feel a mighty working in their breasts to imitate William Brown, and break through every hindrance which has hitherto prevented them from making a similar profession.
“ Youth is the season which affords the best capabilities for attaining an accurate knowledge of the language of the heathen, and for speaking it with fluency. Indeed the latter is seldom attained by those who commence late in life. This is a strony reason for urging our pious youth to decide early in favour of missionary work.
“ The conduct of Dr. Brown, the honoured father of this youth, is calculated also to produce the most blessed effects. I am persuaded that few pious parents will read it without deep emotion. Some will feel the tear of joy start in their eye; others will feel a holy desire, like him, to devote their sons to God. Some will recollect that they have been guilty in keeping back their sons and their daughters from this glorious service. While others will perceive, that though they have one Isaac to offer, yet they love him too well to permit him to go. Not so Dr. Brown, 'he gave him up to God, his cause, and his people. I imagine this was not the first time the doctor had made the surrender, I rather think he had done, it a thousand times; and here is the grand secret. When this transaction becomes familiar with a parent, by its being bis habitual daily work, then he can do it with joy; and it is well when it is so; for the writer is acquainted with some painful instances where choice young disciples have been kept from the service, because their parents would not give them up.” We hope, however, that the scene is beginning to change, since Dr. Wardlaw, and Dr. Brown, and some other zealous ministers, are giving their children to the work. Now we may joyfully anticipate the day when hundreds of pastors at home shall have the exalted honour of furnishing missionaries to the heathen. In this we do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
“There was a third person mentioned in this spirit-stirring incident who must not be overlooked. How admirable is the conduct of Deacon Jonathan Olmsted! He rejoiced at the opportunity, as one wlio had found an invaluable treasure! He caught it as eagerly as most men do what they call ' a good bargain ;' no sooner was the offer made, than it was accepted: 'I adopt him as my son, and shall bear the expenses of his education. A happy moment this for Deacon Olmsted. Honoured man! I love thee. This is using the office of a deacon well, and purchasing to thyself a good degree.' May many other deacons be induced to imitate so laudable an example. Suppose it does amount to £50 per annum, for five years, to be sure it is more than a guinea a-year, the usual subscription; but it is for Christ, to whom both Americans and Britons owe their all. Besides, Deacon Olmsted did it in hope hereafter to meet William Brown and many Burmans, converted through bis instrumentality, around the throne of God! Ought not anticipations of this kind to make us all more in earnest?
“O ye whom providence has favoured with riches, look out for such
devoted youths, and educate them for the Redeemer! Can you expend a portion of your property in a more glorious enterprise? In this way you will set an illustrious example to those around you, and greatly advance the work which shall fill the whole earth with the glory of the Lord.
“R. K. Petersburgh.”
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. SIR,
I LEARN with pleasure, from an announcement in a late Number, that you design for the future to devote one department of your highly useful periodical to the illustration of our church government. It is to be regretted, that many pro- fessing Presbyterians are utterly ignorant of the great principles of our ecclesiastical polity. I have often listened, with extreme pain, to the observations even of well-meaning persons upon this subject. How frequently may we hear it said, that modes of church government are matters of indifferencethat the excellence of the system depends upon the manner of its administration--and that if a minister preach sound doctrine, it is of no consequence with what religious body he may be associated. Such statements are but the dregs of that liberalism which so lately threatened the destruction of our Zion. Not long since we were asked—Why should you wrangle about modes of faith? If a minister lead a moral life, why should you condemn him for his doctrine ? Is it not the very essence of bigotry to think the worse of a man for his creed ? We do not mean to say that the ecclesiastical constitution under which we worship is of the same importance as the evangelical doctrines which we cherish, for the doctrine is the “water of life,” whilst ordinances are only the “earthen vessel" out of which it is poured. If, however, God has prescribed cor his church a certain form of government and worship, we are bound to respect his institutions, and we are chargeable with impiety when we interfere with any of his ecclesiastical arrangements as well as when we pervert any of the doctrines of grace. We must honour the commands of Jehova' as well in the mode as in the matter of our worship. Then only can we be said to worship him in spirit and in truth.
It is to be feared that such Presbyterians as attach no superior value to our ecclesiastical machinery, are aware neither
of its intrinsic excellence nor of its scriptural authority. They certainly cannot regard, with any high degree of veneration, the memory of our pious forefathers. Why was it that our predecessors, the Presbyterian Ministers of Ulster, were driven from their flocks and from their homes ? Why was it that Scotland, in the short space of twenty-eight years, was stained with the blood of twenty thousand martyrs ? I need not tell you, that it was because they refused to conform to an ecclesiastical system which they deemed tyrannical, and to a ritual which they loathed as superstitious. Let it not be said that our forefathers were narrow-minded and ill-informed. Let it not be said that they suffered for their stubborn bigotry. In point of general literature and of theological acquirements, some of them had but few compeers. Melville and Buchannan, for instance, were amongst the most learned men in Europe. The Scottish Ministers who contended so nobly for the establishment and the maintenance of Presbytery, were, as a body, in every respect incomparably superior to the men who wished to intrude into their places. Their zeal and their steadfastness were the result of matured and of enlightened conviction
- they believed that Christ is the sole King of Zion—that he alone has a right to frame laws for the regulation of his church-and that every attempt to deface the simplicity of his worship, by the addition of human forms, is an infringement on his divine prerogative.
Whilst some of the politicians of the present day seem to think that every system of ecclesiastical polity is equally good, I have often looked on with wonder as they struggled so perseveringly for a change in our civil government. We hear, indeed,
much of a contemplated reform in the church. But do our statesmen purpose to alter the framework of the English and Irish establishments ? Do they purpose to set up a cheaper and a more effective species of machinery? In the appointment of Ministers of religion, do they intend to bestow the franchise upon the Protestants of England, and thus to infuse into the British Church the free spirit of the British constitution ? No such thing. They are still disposed to allow every part of the structure of our religious establishment to remain, and they are merely prepared to sacrifice a few of its appendages to the popular outcry. Whilst many care not what may be the constitution of the church, they act as if they could scarcely be sufficiently scrupulous in modelling the constitution of the state. Whilst they will not tamely part with one of their privileges as the citizens of this world, they
will ingloriously surrender their rights as the Lord's freemen. Whilst they will burst asunder the fetters of civil domination, they will quietly bear the yoke of spiritual thraldom.
These observations, Mr. Editor, lead me to direct the attention of
your readers to some of the excellencies by which Presbyterianism is distinguished. In the first place, it entrusts the election of church officers to the people. It is deeply to be deplored that the Established Church of Scotland has departed from this principle, and has recognised the system of patronage. It should, however, be remembered, that this is an anomaly in her constitution, that she was forced to make this concession by political intrigue—and that the right of the people to choose their pastors is still inculcated in her acknowledged standards. There is perhaps no point connected with the government of the church which can be more clearly ascertained, than that every congregation should nominate its ecclesiastical officers. The New Testament supplies us with several cases of popular election. See Acts i. 23, and vi. 5, and 2 Cor. viii. 19. It is admitted by candid ecclesiastical historians of all parties, that for the first three hundred years of the Christian era, this practice generally prevailed. We have indeed heard much of the evils of popular election. We have heard how it has separated chief friends, and convulsed a peaceable and industrious community. But may not our best blessings be abused? The Gospel itself has been so perverted through the corruption of our nature, that a man has been set at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother. A whole city or country is often agitated for months by the fermentations of a political canvass, and the hustings often present a scene of indescribable uproar and confusion ; but will our patriots say that the mischief counterbalances the good-will they consent to resign their votes as a grievanceand will they, in disgust, fold their arms, and yield themselves up to the good pleasure of an oligarchy? I trust it is unnecessary to pursue this objection farther. I cannot, however, pass from the subject without expressing my conviction, that the evils resulting from the popular mode of appointing ministers have been greatly over-rated. Owing to various circumstances, the public usually hear of the distractions of our vacant congregations, whilst many peaceful settlements occur without exciting observation. On examining the records of the Presbytery with which I am connected, I find that the seven ministers who have been last ordained have all been unanimously chosen. I have reason to believe, that in seye