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tion of common school teachers, at once to teach the pupils a little would have accomplished ten fold, directly, and to teach the instruct(perhaps omniscience would say a ers, by precept illustrated on the thousand fold,) greater benefit in spot by examples in the mode of the aggregate, both for this world instruction. Teach them to learn and the next. To make one teach- children how to articulate well, to er a little better, is to make a great read in a natural tone of voice, to many pupils better. To make the understand what they read, to take whole mass of teachers a great an interest in their studies, &c. &c. deal better, as must surely and In the mean time, learn what you speedily be the effect of a good can yourself by such intercourse, institution for the purpose, whether as to means and modes of instructhey all personally attend it, or are tion, the best books to be used, only qualified by the instructions &c.; and ultimately be prepared of such as have attended it, will to give public lectures on schoolspeedily be seen to outrun, in its keeping, or to write a useful treahappy results, all possible compu- tise. As there is no seminary to tation.
call teachers together for instrucShall, then, such an institution, tion, go to them. In this way, who and such consequent benefits, be can tell but you may do as much suffered to exist only in imagina- good as Howard, though with less tion, serving by its suggestion, only fame. Fear not the want of peto mock and aggravate our neces- cuniary support. If found useful, sities? I hope the honour of my like our domestic evangelists, “ vernative state, and the welfare of the ily thou shalt be fed.” Whether a rising generation, and patriotism, week or a fortnight would be reand philanthropy, and piety, will quisite for such a visitation of the speedily induce our legislature, or schools in a town of common size, individuals who possess the means, experience would decide. Make to answer, no.
then, the experiment, if God has In the mean time, whether such fitted you for it; for should you a seminary is to be brought into not be pleased with the employexistence or not, I will suggest one ment, or should it not appear usemode of doing good which may be ful, it can be relinquished at any worthy of consideration, though I moment without detriment. Perdo not recollect of its ever being haps it will hereafter be found of tried, or even mentioned. I do as great political benefit, to have it with the hope that it may possibly our schools thus visited, as our meet the eye of some one whom prisons. While one is only to remProvidence may have raised up edy, the other is to prevent, crime. with qualifications and a disposition School discipline is at least as imadapted to the delicate nature of portant as “prison discipline." the service. The proposition is Some further remarks I have this ;—for the right individual, to offer in reference to common whenever found, to devote his life, schools, but lest they should render missionary like, to the business of this article longer than may suit visiting schools. To such an one your convenience, they must be let me say—come forth and make deferred to another Number. the experiment. Let your object be
V. VOL. I.--No. II.
OBJECTIONS TO CHRISTIANITY FROM fessors of it, who hated the gospel, THE CONDUCT OF ITS PROFESSORS. were vicious in their lives. I SOME decent but worldly people,
would ask the deist now, is there among other obstacles to their becom- any ground to disbelieve natural ing personally religious, affect to find religion, because there are some ing personally religious, affect to find that make profession of it are fallen these two:-they are scandalized at
into great sins ? The gospel itself the lax conduct of some of the profes- teaches us to deny all ungodliness sors of the gospel; and they are em- and worldly lusts, and does not barrassed by the discrepancies of creeds indulge one of them. and sects. I know not whether such And they are said to be enemies objections have been better answered to the cross of Christ, when their than by Dr. Watts, in his “ rational conversation is all earthly, when defence of the gospel;" to which I their god is their belly, and their beg leave to refer the reader,-partic- glory is their shame. This is no ularly to the following paragraphs.
fault of the gospel, for they felt not the
power of it. Nor is there any First, in respect to the inconsistent religion or profession in the world lives of some professors :
that would have had any followers This, I confess, gives it great at all by this time, if men must have dishonour among the men of the entirely cashiered that religion, beworld, and is sometimes ready to
cause there have been some pershake the faith of younger Christ
sons vicious that have been proians; they know not how to go on
fessors of it. There is no sect, no farther in Christianity, for such religion in the world, though the and such that made great profes- institution and the rules of it have sion, you see how they are fallen. been ever so pious, but what has This is a common temptation of produced some persons that have the devil ; it is a frequent snare,
been vicious in their lives. and there hath been many a pious
The objection is not unfrequently soul that hath been in danger of being caught thereby. The vices
extended to Christendom at large. of some professors were great even
The Christian nations, as such, are in St. Paul's days: there were no more virtuous, it is said, or less some among the Philippians, Phil. wicked, than Mahometan and heathen iii. 18. Of whom I have told you nations. The author, first showing often, and now even weeping, that that this assertion is not true in point they walk as enemies to the cross of fact, proceeds, of Christ, “and cast scandal and shame upon it. It makes my eyes But the chief answer I give is flow with tears, and my soul bleed this, that when whole kingdoms within me to hear of it: the gospel are made Christians merely by of Christ is so much dishonoured birth, education, and custom, it is by these means.”
not to be supposed that a twentiBut if we take a nearer view, we eth part of them believe the gospel shall see that no doctrine ought to upon any just and reasonable prin. fare the worse, because some wick- ciples of knowledge and choice. ed men are professors of it. It When whole cities and nations are was not counted a discredit to worshippers of Christ, no other. philosophy, that some of the pro- wise than the Ephesians were wor
1827.] Objections to Christianity from the Conduct of its Professors. 91 shippers of Diana, or the Turks of much plainness and evidence in Mahomet, it is not reasonable to the word of God, as would lead all expect that there should be much humble, honest, sincere and dilidifference in the virtues of such a gent enquirers into a belief of them, national sort of Christians, Mahom- and consent in them. Now it is etans, or heathens; for the princi- not necessary that the lesser matple from which all their religion ters of Christianity should be writsprings is the same, namely, their ten down so expressly in scripture : education, custom and fashion of for the all-wise God thought it their country; and therefore their proper to leave many of these artivices are much the same as they cles of less importance more dubi. would be according to the present ous and obscure, both to awaken reigning humour, disposition, or the diligence of men to study his political temper of the nation, what- word, and to leave amongst them soever were their form of religion some occasions for the exercise and their established worship. of their mutual charity and for
The true way therefore to put bearance. Our blessed Lord has these things to the test, is to con- thought it proper to put the universider those Christians only who
sal love, which he requires amongst believe and profess the gospel from his followers, to this test or trial, knowledge, and choice, and inward to see whether they will cultivate conviction, and who make their peace and charity to one another religion a matter of solemnity and amidst their various and divided importance, and not of mere form opinions in things of less concernand custom. Now if you separate
ment, these from the rest of mankind, I am well assured, that as bad as the
I have made the foregoing extracts Christian world is, you will find all chiefly for the sake of the following the human and divine virtues more just reflections,--just and seasonable, gloriously practised among such they always will be, so long as there Christians as these, than among an are Christians whose minds can fasten equal number of the professors of on the tenets of a sect with more teany other religion under the sun: for naciousness than on the great esseninward Christianity, and the faith of tials of their faith. the gospel, when it is built upon just foundations, will necessarily draw Since the gospel of Christ gives along with it such a train of virtues no just occasions of shame, you and graces as shall adorn the doc- that are professors of it should take trine of God our Saviour ; and by
heed that you do nothing to cast such a comparison as this, men
shame on this gospel. Do not would be constrained to confess mingle the Christian faith with that God is among us of a truth.
doubtful notions of your own. Do
not defile your Christian conversaIn regard to the second objection- tion with sinful practices. Do not the division of Christians into various make the lesser circumstances and denominations, it is answered, appendages of your religion the
matter of loud contest, and a partyThat almost all those things strife ; for all these things expose wherein protestants differ, are but the gospel to shame, and may justly of smaller importance in religion, put its professors to the blush, in in comparison of those many and the face of the world, when they great things wherein they agree. are guilty of these practices. The chief and most important points Let me insist a little upon each of Christianity are written with so of these.
Do not mingle the Christian faith, without involving them in faith with doubtful notions and doubtful disputations about matters fancies of your own.
The articles of less moment. Give no occasion of our Christianity, and the neces- to the infidel to blaspheme the gossary truths of the gospel, are di- pel by your factions and quarrels, vine and glorious : take heed you and the rage of a bitter and unsancdo not bring in your peculiar sen- tified zeal. Oh that the time were timents and favourite opinions, come, when the wolf and the lamb which have no sufficient evidence shall lie down together, and there from the word of God, and join shall be nothing to hurt or destroy them in the same dignity with the in all the holy mountain! But surearticles of your faith; and much ly, it is very hard if the lambs themless should you dare to impose selves, who belong to the flock of them upon the consciences of your Christ, cannot live without hurting fellow-Christians. The gospel it and destroying one another ; that self will suffer by it, and sink in the Christians cannot live without exesteem of the world, when the di- posing their divine and heavenly vine doctrines of it are mingled religion to the blasphemies of sinful with our weakness, and debased by men. Happy were the Christian the addition of our doubtful senti- world, if we could all behave ourments.
selves so as never to give occasion
to the adversary to reproach the Make not the lesser circumstan- professors of the Christian faith, ces and appendages of your reli- nor throw shame and dishonour upgion the matter of loud contest, and on the gospel of Christ! May the
We are called to blessed Spirit of God teach us this contend earnestly for the great and lesson effectually, and let it be necessary doctrines of faith, which copied out in our lives daily, till we were once delivered to the saints: arrive at the regions of perfect hobut we are commanded also to re- liness and love! Amen. ceive those that are weak in the
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Brief View of the American Educa- Our views respecting the claims
tion Society; with the Principles and operations of the American Edon which it is conducted, and an ucation Society were expressed at Appeal to the Christian Public considerable length in one of the in its behalf. Published by or- volumes of our former series. The der of the DIRECTORS of the So- state of the churches in our counciety. Nov. 1826. 8vo. pp. 24. try, the rapid growth of our popula
This pamphlet has been so wide- tion, the peculiar nature of our ly circulated, that any notice of its government, and the universal and contents on our pages may seem yearly increasing intelligence of superfluous. But it is not our in
our citizens, indicate, too plainly tention to review it, so much as it
to be questioned, the necessity of is to lend what influence we have great efforts to provide a competent to the promotion of the cause for supply of pious and well furnished which it pleads.
preachers of the gospel.
To labour in this cause is obvi. new thing under the sun to make ously no novelty in the history of contributions and to gather funds benevolence. For this object most for this object. The peculiarity of of our colleges, and all our theolo- education societies is rather in the gical seminaries were founded. mode of their operation than in the The funds which have been accu- end at which they aim. Other efmulated at Andover, and Princeton, forts in this cause have been directand Auburn, whether invested in ed to the general result of increasbuildings, in libraries, in professor- ing the facilties and elevating the ships, or in scholarships, are all con- standard of ministerial education. secrated to the education of pious In these efforts the aim is more speyoung men for the Christian minis- cific ; individual beneficiaries are try. And let it never be forgotten selected, and patronized, and suthat the foundation of almost every perintended, with a sort of paternal college in the United States was watchfulness, from the beginning laid by Christian enterprise seeking to the end of their course. Thus to compass this object of Christian the bounty of the Christian public benevolence. The venerable names in this cause is made to bear more of Harvard, and Yale, and Nassau directly and more visibly upon its Hall, and Dartmouth, and the object. So many individual minismore recent ones of Middlebury, ters are seen to be educated for and Hamilton, and Amherst, occur their work and brought forward inas particular illustrations of this as- to the field. This, no doubt, in the sertion. At no period then have present state ofour country, is a great the Christians of this country been addition to the general system of beentirely neglectful of the impor, nevolent operation. Before semitance of effort to provide for the naries of learning have been planted churches a well instructed minis- there is no room for the operations try. In the days of the pilgrims, of such institutions as Education the scattered and defenceless set- Societies, After seminaries of tlers paid a tax in wheat (because learning have been established, there no money) to found there is, in a young and growing the consecrated halls of Harvard, country especially, abundant occaChristo et ecclesiæ; and when that sion for such efforts. For let the work had just been done, the pas- means of liberal education be ever tors of Connecticut came forward so complete; still to a considerable each with his contribution, saying I class of the community, they must give these books for the founding be in a great degree inaccessible. of a college in this colony.” In And often, in that class of society, the days of Tennent and Edwards, may be found those who are by nathe fathers of the Presbyterian ture and by grace best qualified for church placed their students in the eminent services in the church of “log college" of New Jersey. Not God. long after, Wheelock was pleading with the churches for his Indian The highest native endowments, it college in the Woods. And in our is well known, are often associated day, we have seen the “ man of with poverty, and piety is more freRoss” at Newburyport, expending quently found in the dwellings of the his tens of thousands and his hun poor, than of the rich. In every age
and country, a large proportion of the dreds of thousands on the bleak
great and good have sprung from humhill of Andover.
ble life. Especially, has this been the The object then of the American case with ministers of the gospel. From Education Society is not a discov- the days in which the highest offices ery of modern times ; nor is it a of the church were filled by a few plain