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searching of heart to know wherein we have offended the Holy One of Israel. As described by one of the prophets : “ Every man will mourn apart.” It will be a season characterized by prayer, private and social, fervent, humble, and importunate. The Word of God will take a higher place, as more important in its instructions than any other writing, as infallible in all its teachings, as the very voice of God addressing each one of us personally. Men will not be “ ashamed of Christ” in that day. They will “ glory in the cross ;” their boasting will be “ in the Lord.” It will be a season of devout praise, in which the attributes and works, the judgments and the grace, of God, shall draw forth the most fervent acknowledgments.
Whoever will take the pains to read with care the writings of every man employed by God in promoting the true revival of religion, will observe that he strongly aims at bringing men to a low estimate of themselves, of their moral excellences, their strength and wisdom. Nothing human is magnified. There is indeed an exceeding jealousy of all that tends to exalt man. This you see in all the old prophets; and their writings are eminently calculated to promote at least the first stages of such a work. You see it in Paul, who in his unrivalled eminence, labors to elevate men's thoughts and affections to God, and to abase every lofty imagination, and all confidence in the wisdom and power of man apart from Christ.
Humiliation is then our great and special duty at this time. This is a work to be effected by communing with our own hearts, by recalling our sinfulness, by meditating on the infinite majesty of our God and Saviour, by condescending to do anything which promises to promote religious feeling in others, by ceasing from man in every form of dependence which seems to diminish our
Ꮎ sense of absolute and universal dependence on God. All sectarian pride should be abandoned. Not that we should yield our convictions of truth, and our fervent preference of it to error; but we should cherish meekness in estimating the differences between ourselves and others; and a dread of unsanctified motives in seeking
a the advancement of our sect. We must condescend to men of low estate, cordially and kindly, as Jesus did. We must set ourselves about it as a duty, to increase in ourselves and others every sentiment of reverence, godly fear, confidence, dependence, and thankfulness toward God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
OBSERVATIONS ON MEN, BOOKS, AND THINGS.
ROGER WILLIAMS AND HIS BETTERS. - In our January number, we made an allusion to Williams and the Puritans, which has drawn upon us and our fathers an ireful effusion from our Baptist brethren of the Watchman and Reflector. In the first volume of this work, we played the part of an iconoclast, or idol-breaker, in demolishing the entire Baptistical image of Williams's life and opinions. That essay has never been answered, nor can it be confuted. Our fathers turned Mr. Williams out of doors, because he was tearing their house to pieces. For performing this necessary act of selfpreservation, we leave them to be vindicated by John Quincy Adams, that foe of bigotry, and firm friend of civil and religious liberty. In a discourse published by him some six years since, after a candid statement of the facts, he asks : “ Can we blame the founders of the Massachusetts Colony for banishing him from within their jurisdiction ? In the annals of religious persecution, is there to be found a martyr more gently dealt with by those against whom he began the war of intolerance ? whose authority he persisted, even after professions of penitence and submission, in defying, till deserted even by the wife of his bosom ? and whose utmost severity of punishment upon him was only an order for his removal as a nuisance from among them ?”
The principal claims set up for Williams by his one-sided glorifiers, are without foundation. It is claimed that he was the first to write in behalf of “soul-liberty,” or freedom of conscience, and the first to give it full establishment in his colony. As to his tedious and prosy writings on this subject, it is certain that he was anticipated at least thirty years by certain Baptists in London, by Leonard Busher in 1614; and by Helwisse and others in 1615; and at least thirty-five years by Henry Jacob, one of the best and earliest fathers of modern Congregationalism. — And as for Williams's claims to be regarded as the first to establish entire religious liberty, it is enough to say, that this had already been done in Holland a quarter of a century before he was born. Lord Baltimore, a Papist, did the same thing, in his colony of Maryland, two years before the settlement of Providence Plantations; extending free toleration to all Christians, while Rhode Island refused it to Roman Catholics, and all persons not Christians, down to the year 1783. The Quakers made bitter complaints of Williams as a persecutor, and hated him as hatefully as they did John Norton, “the high-priest of Boston.” Williams's colony was obliged to procure the help of Massachusetts in banishing the fanatical Gorton and his outlaws; obtaining an illegal extension, over their own territory, of the very laws by which Williams was then excluded from Massachusetts. This hard necessity of theirs, may amply excuse the like necessity on the part of “the people of the Bay."
The prevailing notion of Williams among our good Baptist friends seems to be this: namely, that Williams was banished chiefly for being a Baptist; that he went to Providence, and gathered the famous First Baptist Church there, which is the mother church of
all that numerous fraternity in America ; and that he remained its pastor forty years, to the day of his death, and is therefore to be revered as the spiritual father of their denomination in this country. Now this whole notion is delusive. Williams was no sort of a Baptist, till he had been at Providence two or three years, when he was converted by Mrs. Scott, who soon after turned Quakeress; and who was sister of the noted Anne Hutchinson, that “ she-wolf of Antinomianism." Williams then immersed eleven persons, one of whom returned the compliment upon him. But all of these in a very few months forsook the cause, and the best Baptist historians ascribe the formation of the Providence Church to a different set of men, Williams himself, in about three months, renounced his baptism; never after communed with the Baptists; seldom, if ever, worshipped with them; and always insisted that they had no true churches, no authorized ministry, and no valid sacraments !
Surely our esteemed brethren of the Watchman and Reflector must be sensible of a sad poverty of great souls in the early times of their denomination, when they are forced to set up Roger Williams as their patron-saint, and to swear by his name” in all their allegations against the Puritans and their sons. We feel too much respect for the Baptist denomination, to place them under such a tutelary power.
MASSACHUSETTS ANTI-SLAVERY Society. - The Seventeenth Annual Report of the Garrisonian party, bas just made its appearance, together with an appended sketch of their last annual meeting. It has the old stereotyped boasts of the great success which has attended the stupendous efforts of this "mighty little ” faction. It has been very successful indeed! It first succeeded, by its outrageous violence and folly, in making the good cause of emancipation disgustful to the best men both at the North and the South, and in retarding its success by a half a score of years at least. It next succeeded, by yet greater violence and folly, in reducing its once formidable numbers to a mere handful of visionaries and disorganizers, who were once detested, then laughed at, and are now pitied. And by thus reducing and degrading itself, it has further succeeded, in giving the cause of emancipation opportunity to come forward again in the strength of patriotism and philanthropy, and to do something effectual in the great struggles of freedom. This report is very severe upon the defunct Liberty Party, asserting that “its influence, as far as it has gone, has been evil, only evil, and that continually.” Of the Free Soil Party, which has absorbed the Liberty Party, we are told, that it is an experiment, which in its present form must fail; that it is treasonable to the hopes, and “ deserving to forfeit the trust, of the AntiSlavery public;" and that it is not“ an Anti-Slavery party in any proper sense of the term.” More good news for Mir. Calhoun ! This Report is “not ashamed to speak evil of dignities,” and “of the ruler of its people," and of the honored dead, in these scandalous terms: “ God said unto Harrison, almost at the very moment he and his partizans were saying unto their souls, “Eat and drink, for thou hast much goods laid up for many years,' — “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee !?” Thus would William L. Garrison
and his well-known band of coadjutors, save their Maker the trouble of judging his creatures whom he has already summoned to his own bar; while they forget, that “whosoever shall say to his brother, • Thou fool!' shall be in danger of hell-fire.”. Among other atrocious slanders, so incredibly absurd that they carry their own confutation with them, these men affirm that the Rev. Dr. Parker, of Philadelphia, maintained in effect, at the last annual meeting of the A. B. C. F. M., “ that the possession of slaves, far from being prima facie evidence of sin, was prima facie evidence of holiness!”
These same consistent non-resistants and ultra peacemen say, that they “spurn and spit upon” the doctrine that there ought to be any “ forcible suppression of an attempt on the part of the slaves to vindicate their rights by an appeal to arms and the God of battles !” — It appears that Wendell Phillips defended the Churches against the assertions of poor Pillsbury, " and commended the energy, perseverance, and ability, with which they labored for the ends they sought." Though he would not regard them as Christian Churches," he said they were enemies not to be thought of lightly, and Abolitionists might learn a useful lesson from them of dauntless and unwearied self-devotion." It is odd to find this unchristian crew passing resolutions defining what a true Christian Church should be. This is equal to a knot of gibbering fiends, in some corner of pandemonium, voting that no place ought to be regarded as a real heaven, where fire and brimstone are not the prevailing elements of bliss!
IMPRECATIONS AND INSPIRATION. - There is among us a somewbat numerous and noisy class of transcendental reformers, who have rather singular notions upon these two subjects. They deny the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, in great part on account of the imprecations in the Psalms. And yet, though they claim to be truly inspired themselves, they utter little else than imprecations on all who stand in their way. They breathe out nothing but wrath and cursing against the Sabbath, the Church, and the ministry, as well as against society, government, and law. They, seem, like Balaam, hired out to work at the cursing trade. They make a regular business of it in the Liberator, and "old organization ” conventions, on all occasions. “ Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips.” So badly are they habited in this respect, “ that they have clothed themselves with cursing like as with their garment.” How inconsistent it is for these prophets and prophetesses, who claim to be filled with the most transcendent inspiration in the utterance of their imprecations, to deny the inspiration of David, because he sometimes denounced the just anger of God against the enemies of the Lord and His anointed, in this form of denunciation. One would think that they should have been thankful for any texts which might seem to keep them in countenance. A minister, a sort of kindred spirit with them, once complained, in an ecclesiastical assembly, of a new Psalm-book prepared for the use of its churches. He peevishly asked, what pieces, fit to be sung in his agitating conventicles, could be found in the book? The moderator of the Association
arose, and drily answered: “The imprecations ! · Break out their teeth, O God!' Is not that strong enough for you?” Surely, if men who pretend to be the very best and most finished Christians, have so much occasion for execrating all who do not run as wild as they do, they ought not to object to the Scriptural precedents which may be applied or perverted to their purpose.
HEBREW THEOCRACY. A small volume on this important subject has been put forth by Rev. Dr. Cogswell of New Brunswick, N. J. But though this new-born book is very small of its age, it is evidently a dear little pet, beautifully dressed in the whitest of linenstock, with double black lines neatly traced around every page. It is apparelled much like the famous “expunged resolutions records of the United States Senate. It discusses the peculiar form of government in the Hebrew Commonwealth, wherein God himself was the Supreme Ruler; and it traces many resemblances between it and our republican constitution, as well as many resemblances between the Jewish history and that of our pilgrim-fathers. We give the following extract from a discussion of capital punishment as enjoined by the divine law: “ It appears to be the fact that those most opposed to the execution of the cold-blooded murderer, have been most pleased with the slanghter of the Mexicans, and most disposed to justify it. They are not opposed to the death penalty, when it is viewed at a distance, and from which they feel secure. But the consciousness that they have hatred in their hearts, which may sometime lead them to commit murder, makes them anxious for the abolition of the proper penalty. The murderer who kills his neighbor, made in the image of God, would, if he had the power, murder God himself. The advocates of the abolition of capital punishment have the spirit of those, who said to Pilate, Release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. They had more sympathy for a murderer than for the Son of God.”
JOURNAL OF THE PILGRIMS AT PLYMOUTH IN 1620.
- A sort of fac simile of this precious and instructive relic, accompanied by a very copious Appendix of “ Historical and Local Illustrations of Principles, Providences, and Persons,” has been put forth by Dr. G. B. Cheever, of New York. He has evidently studied his subject with great labor and care, and he has treated it with all the force of his fine genius and fiery heart. It is truly an exciting book. In the proud Puseyite it will excite the utmost scorn and wrath; — in the pious Puritan, it will excite a glowing enthusiasm for those holy sufferers, who "filled up” so much of “that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in their flesh, for his body's sake, which is the church.” It was their rightful boast, that they had “ planted their churches the nearest to the Bible, and the farthest from Rome, of any in the world." They counted not their lives dear unto them, that they might set up the Kingdom of Christ in its purity; for they knew that “ when Christ reigns, then, and not till then, will the world be at rest."