תמונות בעמוד

genuine spirit of devotion. The names of Dr. Collyer, Mr. Styles, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Bogue, Mr. Bennet, and Mr. Jay, are well known in the religious world. Mr. Clayton, å respectable Minister in London, has the happiness of being the father of three young men in the same ministry, all of them worthy of such a father :-Among the Baptists, besides the missionaries in India, whose literary efforts have obtained the high meed of Dr. Marsh's praise, and who are entitled to the grateful and affectionate remembrance of every pious man, there are names never to be mentioned but with the highest respect. Mr. Hall possesses a mind of a powerful and vast grasp, and his elocution, as well as the elegance of his style, is calculated to do justice to the penetration of his mind, and to the elevation of his sentiments. Mr. Foster has shown the literary world that he is in possession of a mind richly furnished with general knowledge, as well as with that professional information which is necessary to a minister of Christianity. Mr. Fuller, in various works, has exhibited ratiocinative powers, which though calm and dispassionate, are highly correct and vigorous, and accompanied with an eloquence that is firm and manly. Mr. Hughes is so well known as an eloquent advocate of the Bible Society, that every reader of its reports, and of its Auxiliary Meetings, must know that his talents are respectable, and his oratorial powers interesting and persuasive.

The two bodies of Methodists, the Arminian and Cal. vinistic, bring a large accession of strength to the cause of Evangelical religion. Among them we behold much fervent piety, active zeal, and indefatigable exertion, for the glory of God and the good of men. They also possess men of learning and talent, qualified to shine in the

[ocr errors]

literary world, as well as in preaching the doctrines of the Cross of Christ. The many accomplishments of Dr. Coke have been justly appreciated by the best judges.* The profound and various learning of Dr. Clarke; the luminous and well informed mind, and the strong energies and powers of Mr. Benson, are known and respected by many who are in no connexion with the society of the Methodists. Of the other party, the distinguished abilities and impressive eloquence of · Dr. Drapier, are generally acknowledged, and no doubt there are many other excellent and valuable men in both these connexions, of whom we have not the happiness of having any knowledge.-The Moravian Church, though not very considerable in numbers, is nobly, eminent for Evangelical doctrine and animated zeal. In carrying the Gospel to the most barbarous and inhospitable shores, they have with a Divine heroism, encountered the greatest dangers, and patiently submitted with fortitude to the greatest privations, and perseveringly continued in their labours of love, amidst the greatest discouragements; till they have reaped the fruits of their continuance in well doing.

The Episcopal Church in Scotland has been long known to possess many Ministers of highly cultivated talents, and most respectable characters. It would appear from Mr. Adams's account of that Church, of which he himself is a member, that its ministers are generally men of Evangelical sentiments. As they subscribe the thirty nine Articles of the Church of England, they cannot consistently be otherwise. Mr. Adams's own sentiments

This amiable and excellent man is now in a belter world.

are correctly Evangelical. The same thing is to be hoped of the Episcopal Church in America.

The old and new Independent Churches in Scotland are supposed to be universally of Evangelical sentiments, and among the latter there are several ministers of strong natural, and highly cultivated powers: of these Mr. Ewing, and the two Mr. Haldens, are among the most distinguished.-In America, the same Evangelical doctrines are said to have been widely diffused in the Presbyterian, as well as among the Independent Churches, and also among the Methodists.-In Ireland, which has long been sunk into a state of ignorance and supineness, great exertions have been made, both by the pious Clergy of the Church, and by Evangelical Dissenters, to rouse men from their general apathy, and to awaken in their minds a sense of the importance of the truths of the Gospel. In these labours none have been more indefatigable, or more successful, than the Methodists.- The Reformed and Lutheran Churches on the Continent have in many instances, shaken off the slumbers of more than a century, and felt the resuscitating and warming rays of Evangelical piety quickening them to the most vigorous exertions in the cause of religion.

To every pious mind it must communicate sensations of the strongest and most refined pleasure to know, that in the very midst of India, and though surrounded with the gloom of the most abject superstition and the polluted rites of pagan idolatry, there is a Christian Church that has, probably ever since the Apostolic age, preserved the purity of the Christian faith and worship, and still continues to have that holy fire burning on her altars. Such is the Syrian Church, with its venerable Bishop Mar Dionesius, at its head. This aggregate body comprehends

fifty-five particular churches. “ The following,” says Dr. Buchanan, 66 are the chief doctrines of this ancient Church :

« First.--They hold the doctrine of a vicarious Atonement for the sins of men, by the blood and merits of Christ, and of the justification of the soul before God, 'by faith alone' in that Atonement.

“ Second.—They maintain the Regeneration, or new birth of the soul to righteousness, by the influence of the Spirit of God, which change is called in their books, from the Greek, Meta-Noia, or change of mind.

“ Third.-In regard to the Trinity, the creed of the Syrian Christians accords with that of St. Athanasius, but without the damnatory clauses. In a written and official communication to Colonel Macaulay, the English Resident at Travancore, the Metropolitan states it to be as follows: We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons in one God, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance, one in three and three in one. The Father generator, the Son generated, and the Holy Ghost proceeding. None is before or after the other; in majesty, honour, might, and power, co-equal; Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Uni. ty.'~ That in the appointed time, through the disposition of the Father and the Holy Ghost, the Son appeared on earth for the salvation of mankind: that he was born of the Virgin Mary, through the means of the Holy Ghost, and was incarnate God and man.' "*

The same Author observes that, in the East, the vestiges of Evangelical religion everywhere present themselves.

• Dr. Buchanan's Christian Researches, p: p. 124, 125. Dr. B. visited these Churches in 1806.

These, he says, relate to the Trinity in Unity; to the incarnation of the Deity; to a vicarious Atonement for sin; and to the influence of the Divine Spirit on the mind of man. “ Now," adds this excellent man, “ if we should be able to prove that all these are represented in the systems of the East, will any man venture to affirm that it happens by chance ?” The testimony, which the religion of the Hindoos gives to the doctrine of the Trinity, we have already seen in our Reflections on that subject.

The second is the doctrine of the Incarnation of the Deity.—

.-" The Hindoos believe that one of the persons in their Trinity, (and that too the second person), was manifested in the flesh.' Hence their fables of the Avatars, or Incarnations of Vishnoo. And this doctrine is found over almost the whole of Asia, Whence then originated this idea that God should become man, and take our nature upon him ?' The Hindoos do not consider, that it was an Angel merely that became man, (like some pbilosophers in Europe), but God himself. Can there be any doubt, that the fabulous Incarnations of the eastern mythology are derived from the real Incarnation of the Son of God, or from the prophecies that went before it? Jesus the Messiah is the true Avatar."

Third.—The doctrine of a vicarious Atonement for sin, by the shedding of blood.- To this day, in Hindostan, the people bring the goat or kid to the templè, and the priest sheds the blood of the innocent victim. Nor is this peculiar to. Hindostan; throughout the whole East, the doctrine of a sacrifice for sin seems to exist, in one form or other. Ever since “ Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain ;" ever since Noah, the father of the new world, "offered up burnt offerings on the altar," sacrifices have been offered up in almost every na

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »