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it may seem paradoxical, it is we believe an accurate statement, that what is true to one mind, because in harmony with all its beliefs and habits of feeling, may be false if admitted by another, because at variance with its persuasions and principles. We are not then to think it strange, we are not to be grieved, because at the first statement of what we feel assured is right, others oppose, or even harshly condemn us. The just way, the wise way, the kind way to destroy error, we think, is the positive statement of truth. We believe more in giving full utterance to our own cherished convictions, than in attacking or tearing down what others prize. We have great faith in explanation and the full declaration of opinion, but not much faith in controversy. Controversy enlists too many selfish passions. But again; there is often fundamental agreement, where there is apparent divergence. How often does it happen, that two minds, which have cherished, quite conscientiously, suspicions of each other's sentiments, find to their surprise, when trial opens the heart, that their confidence reposes on a common foundation; that their hopes desire a like good; that in prayer they seek a similar relief; that in penitence they confess the same inward wants; that of them the sublime words are 'true, there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all."
From these various considerations it will appear evident, that, in our opinion, the Western Messenger ought never to be the organ of a sect. “Sectarianism is Heresy," we regard as one of the best sayings of our time. We seek union, not division. If we know our own hearts, our solemn purpose is to co-operate with the good of all parties, sects and denominations. We would preach and practice Christian Eclecticism. We would prove all things and hold fast the good" everywhere. We would imbibe from our brethren their best spirit; we would open our minds to all the suggestions they can communicate. And on the other hand, we would be frank, unreserved in the expression of our own sentiments. In simplicity, without fear of misconstruction, desire of favor, pride or policy, we would declare the truth committed to us. The weary wilderness of theological strife, we trust, lies behind us; prophets from their Pisgahs behold the promised land of charity, and pioneers of every sect bring in rich clusters from vines of peace. In all religious movements of the day, a revival of pure affection is sought rather than a correctness of creed; and the various philanthropic enterprises, which promise really to christianize men, and not merely christen
them, unite the best hearts from every fold. The history of sects is well known. The simplicity of the Gospel seemed tame to men whose ingenuity had been nursed by mysterious speculations. The Jewish Cabalists, the Oriental Gnostics, the New Platonics mingled their subtleties with the sublime moral truths of Jesus. Then came heresies, schisms, councils, mystifying in countless ways and degrees the few grand doctrines of the word of life. But the spirit of Jesus has been too mighty for these perverse influences to subdue. It has for eighteen centuries been silently working in humble hearts, sanctifying through them society. And now a better and a brighter day is opening upon us. It needs no gift of prophecy to foresee, that the time is not distant, when creeds, and platforms, and systems, and articles will cease to be the bonds of connection among Christians. Human yokes and halters must be broken. “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin," is written on all spiritual Bastiles. In every denomination are hearts deeply meditating on the "New Commandment;" and surely as the Prince of Peace shall come, must the true test of discipleship, which He gave, be recognised, “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." This jubilee of true liberty we would hasten. We would dwell upon the grand essentials in which all agree, not upon the trifles in which they differ. We bear indeed the name Unitarian. It is a name, which in the present state of the Christian world, we are bound to wear. But we would gladly change it. Not because it is everywhere spoken against; for so long as the truths, of which it is the symbol, are unacknowledged, we feel constrained, by our love of our Master, and our reverence for what we consider the faith first delivs ered to the saints, to use it. We dislike the name Unitarian, because it is a mere scholastic title, associated with thoughts of the unworthy dissensions, which have disgraced Christendom, and because it does no justice to the spiritual tendency of our body. We would be distinguished, if indeed there is necessity for the division of believers into separate bodies, which we doubt, by a truly Christian badge. The first disciples were called Brethren. Beautiful and holy name! significant at once of their faith in a common Father, and of the law of love by which they were bound in mutual duties. Brethren-Christian Brethren; thus would we call ourselves, and open our communion to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."
The leading aim of the Western Messenger we think then should be the inculcation of a spirit of Life-individual and
social Life. We would seek to conceive and realise an Ideal of Humanity. The temple in which the Holy Spirit loves to dwell is a true man; the acceptable worship is a pure character, manifested in acts of dignity and love. The end of existence is growth; progress is the vital law of the soul; hope will admit no limit but perfection. Man's restlessness is a sign of his grand destiny. Even misdirected energies reveal his greatness. The whole discipline of providence is a proof of God's interest and regard. In Jesus we see our perfected nature. In this view the whole of being, all powers, all circumstances, the grand relations, the minute details of earthly existence become sublime. As the Master teaches his pupils to draw straight marks and outlines, and to copy fragments, that his hand may be formed; so by the ever returning perplexities of this work-day world, God is training man to the art of virtue. We would strive in every way, by essays, tales, biographies, poems, translations, extracts, maxims, to show the worth of true Manhood. Again; we see a progress in the past history of our race; we feel that a mighty power of good is stirring now in society; we believe in the coming of the kingdom of God. We have full faith that the time is approaching, though it may yet be distant, when national greatness will be tested by virtue and wisdom, and not by numbers, wealth, or extent of possession; when the only policy tolerated will be rectitude; when the object of legislation will be not only the common weal, but the highest good of individuals; when those men will be raised to power, who in their characters embody true greatness, and thus prove their right to rule; when measures will be the result, not of artful maneuvering or party sway, but of the consenting judgments of an intelligent and upright people; when castes will be broken down, and reverence and courtesy act freely; when servitude, military glory, the sway of fashion and the tyranny of public opinion will be banished; when all will seek to give the most favourable opportunities to each, and each will find his highest joy in blending his energies with the best designs of all; when among men, as “with God there will be no respect of persons." We would lend what aid we can to bring on this glorious consummation, by the statement of great principles, by the exhibition of social needs, by encouraging all enterprises of true charity, of moral or intellectual improvement, by descriptions of scenes now occurring, by illustrating in every way the idea of Brotherhood.
Such is our conception of what the Western Messenger should be. The aim is high, but we do not see why the ob
ject cannot be attained in a Monthly, as well as in a Quarterly, or a volume; and time and place, we think, encourage the attempt. But we end, as we began, with saying to all, who wish to see the monkish cowl removed from the simple beauty of our faith; to all, whose souls feel the duty and the privilege of spiritual freedom; to all, who desire individual and social progress-Brethren! speak out what your hearts and reason dictate. Our pages are open. Only speak strongly, candidly and kindly.
LIFE IN CINCINNATI IN 1810.
(From the Cin. Daily Gazetto.)
Few of us know how our neighbors live; few of us ask even what are the daily doings of those about us. to learn more of the strange world in whose midst we walk, is perhaps the surest way by which to put off prejudice and error, and acquire in their stead liberality and wisdom.
To present true portraits of some of the many varieties of life which now, at this hour, have their being in this city, is my object ; and every portrait is from life.
A room 12 by 8, with a window of 4 panes of glass, and a chimney-place 4 by 3; a bed is in the room; a table having three legs, and an empty candle box set upon the end to serve as a seat; no chairs. In one corner three sticks of wood. In the bed and among the clothes upon it, which consist of blankets, coats, petticoats, pantaloons, and ragged quilts, are a mother, her son of sixteen, her daughter of fourteen, and three younger children; all
, are asleep but the mother, though the hour is half-past nine, A. M. The mother, lies with her eyes fixed on the three sticks of wood; presently she shakes the oldest boy by the shoulder, and says, “Bill, I say when did the council tell you they'd give us some more wood?” “Next week, I telled yer, last night; let me sleep." So he drops away again into slumber, while the mother with many a deep-drawn breath, makes her calculations for fuel during four days, her capital being three sticks. Her financiering thoughts terminate, where so many do, in concluding to borrow. Having settled this, she gets up, puts on her outer clothes, (the under ones are never taken off except to wash, at rare intervals,) and proceeds to fish-out the smaller childern, whose faces she rubs with a damp crash towel till all are red and roaring. Sally and Bill, much relieved by the absence of the juniors, stretch themselves and prepare for a new draught of oblivion; while the mother makes ready her thick coffee, and puts a little fat into the frying-pan to melt before the one stick which she has kindled at the end, while she mixes the unleavened flour and water which are to supply their staff of life.
At first glancing into this room, one thinks it the home of vice; the abode of intemperance, licentiousness, idleness, and
Vol. VIII, -2