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cerning the public ministrations of many pious Arminians, Methodists, and Quakers. It will not hence follow, however, that a Calvinistic Presbytery ought to license an Arminian or Hopkinsian candidate, or that a Calvinistic Missionary Society should send forth a missionary of views hostile to their own, so long as they can find ambassadors that coincide with them.
We have been somewhat amused and mortified on reading the speeches which were made on the first anniversary of the New York Evangelical Missionary Society. It seems they were for doing business in the London style on this occasion. Of course, after the reading of the Annual Report of the Managers, a motion must be made, and a speech offered, in favour of its acceptance. The motion must be seconded, and another speech made: and here it is but justice to remark, that the Hon. Theodore Dwight offered the only appropriate and unaffected address contained in the pamphlet. Next a motion for printing the report, with a speech, and then another speech upon seconding the motion, were in order. Then comes the same parade about thanks to the Board of Directors.
But who should move for the acceptance of the Report of the Directors, but one of the Directors, the Rev. Philip M. Whelpely. This might be tolerated, however indelicate; but the speech itself is such as to move our compassion for the young man, and more especially for the highly respectable congregation in Wall Street to whom he ministers. If his sermons are like this address, his intelligent hearers must be repeatedly disgusted with mangled and jumbled figures of speech, with affectation, and shallow meditations. He not only moves, but after being willing to guarantee and pledge its acceptance, "respectfully would insist upon the acceptance of this report;” when he well knew that all were predisposed to accept it without any argument or solicitation. He reminds us of a very laborious speaker, who perpetually came to this, “still my first point is, point the first.” We shall quote his introduction as a specimen of " much ado about nothing.” VOL. I.
“ MR. PRESIDENT,
“I presume, that instead of anticipating an approval, I do but give expression to the sentiment that already pervades this Society, when I move the following resolution; that “ the Report of the Board of Directors," which you have just heard, “ be accepted.”
“ Assured, Sir, that your feelings, in common with those of every individual belonging to “ The New York EVANGELICAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF YOUNG MEN," correspond with mine, I should be willing, were such a guarantee necessary, prior to a vote, and independent of further remark, to pledge its acceptance. But as it will comport with the order of business for this evening, I beg your indulgence, Sir, while I make some remarks, grounded ultimately upon the Report itself, and explanatory of the reasons, why it should be accepted. You will pardon me, Sir, if I seem to take advantage of the fact, that the occasion does not require prescribed limits, since my remarks, if very general, cannot equal the amplitude, or if very particular, cannot exhaust the topic, embraced by the Report now on your table. My design, however, is to state, it may be in an unsatisfactory, as it must be in a transient and desultory way,) some of the general grounds, upon which I move, and respectfully would insist upon the acceptance of this Report.” p. 11.
And is this the successor to the venerable Dr. Rodgers, to the discriminating M‘Knight, and the chaste and polished Miller? Let us hear him again. “ What though the struggle between light and darkness be severe and protracted;—what though the lightnings of heaven and the flames of hell alternately narrow and extend the scene of conflict, yet truth and ho. liness shall triumph— Jesus shaLL REIGN.” p. 12. of Proceedings. Light it seems is struggling against dark. ness, and this field of darkness is now rendered wider and then narrower, by the alternate approximation or recession of the lightnings of heaven and the flames of hell. We never knew before, that the flames of hell were calculated to aid heaven in illuminating mankind, and in both enlarging and diminishing the kingdom of darkness. When he says, " the acts of civilization mul. tiply,” we suppose he means the arts; but it is not so easy to divine his meaning when he says “the true dignity of human nature, more than the original grade of human being, is about to be secured." He says,
“ Among the general reasons, why I move its acceptance, permit me to refer you,
" To the purity and excellence of the principle, which it involves. I mean, the union of intelligence and piety in the souls of men, as constituting the perfection of being. Upon this principle, the councils of peace formed, and were revealed from among the secrets of the eternal mind:--upon this principle, the designs of grace for the salvation of men determine;-upon this principle, as involved in this report, our efforts, as co-workers with God, proceed. It is to secure the union of intelligence and piety in the souls of ignorant and sinful men.-In an evil hour, this union was destroyed, but has since been struck by an officiating and consecrating Saviour.”
p. 14. The principle, about which he talks so much, we conclude must be this, that the union of intelligence and piety in the souls of men constitute the perfection of being. If this is not his principle he has stated none, and this is a false proposition: for God and his holy angels are beings, whose perfection is not constituted by the union of intelligence and piety in the souls of men. A stone is a being, but surely intelligence and piety constitute no part of its perfection. Yet the proposition relates to nothing short of universal being; and of being in the abstract these Hopkinsian metaphysicians are extravagantly fond. “ The councils," or the counsels, “ of peace (were) formed,” he must have intended to write. We have more jargon about being in general on the
“ Mark, sir, the purity and excellence—the grandeur of this principle. In the constitution of being;” let us suppose it the inanimate being called a cake, an egg, a peach, or an oyster-shell; for he has not limited the term to rational beings; "where sin has not diffused its poison, or death its darkness, knowledge and holi. ness are concomitant. Upon them, as its pillars, rests the arch of God's living Temple.” Now upon an egg, or a shell, sin has not diffused its poison, nor death its darkness; therefore, in the constitution of their being, knowledge and holiness are concomitant; and the famous
arch of Mr. Philip M. Whelpely's father, described in a triangle, rests upon the knowledge and holiness of an
egg or a shell.
It reflects no lustre on “ the star of Bethlehem" to couple it with the fictitious “ cross of Constantine," and to represent their influence in exciting an ignorant and groveling world to action as similar. p. 15. On the same page we are told, that in the gospel are opened the sources of knowledge, deep and exhaustless:- There the streams of virtue flow in purity and peace:-and there they mingle, forming the pure river of the water of life.'” The streams of virtue then, united, are the pure river of the water of life, proceeding out of the throne of God. This river has been hitherto deemed the continued operation of the Holy Ghost; and if so, our young divine teaches us, that our virtues are, not the effect of, but the agency itself of, the Divine Spirit.
One extract more will suffice. It regards toleration, for which the Socinians are most clamorous; a pledge, of some kind or other, we know not what: the introduction of sect into the inner sanctuary, [not of heaven! we hope,] by rending the veil; and a blushing young lady, an angel, with wings, and a crimsoned face.
Again, Sir, the spirit of toleration, which this Report breathes, is another important ground of its acceptance. It is well known that differences have existed, and still exist in the minds of brethren on various religious topics. But they are seen as differences of minor importance-as insufficient to countervail the strong and mutual purpose of sending such missionaries, as God might see fit to throw into our arms, to preach the gospel to the destitute. In the faith of such a pledge, the constitution of this society was originally framed, and adopted as containing the acknowledged principles of Christian union and Christian hope.--In the faith of such a pledge, the corner-stone of this institution was laid, and the superstructure carried
and tears. “ But, Sir, in an evil hour, that pledge so freely exchanged, was withdrawn. Shall I say, confidence became distrust-the hand of charity was thrust into the bosom--the frown of jealousy ruffled the brow of friendship—while the ardours of Christian benevolence, for a season, lay quenched and smouldering, ready to be extinguished forever? --I should not have
recalled, Sir, that unhappy moment, when the spirit of sect gained the inner
sanctuary by rending the veil, were it not alluded to in the Report; I rejoice to add, alluded to as having resulted in happier prospects, than before were seen;—in greater benefits than before were realized. The storm is pastthe rainbow is painted on the retiring cloud! May charity, daughter of heaven-angel of God, never again be seen to veil her crimsoned face, or turn away, and spread her pinions to be gone!
"Now the sacred pledge is almost universally exchanged. Day by day the spirit of toleration gains signal triumphs over the author and finisher' of party zeal."
“ In faith of such a pledge, the constitution of this society,” the Evangelical it must mean, for he addresses it, and speaks of no other," was originally framed." This pledge, it seems from his statement, was withdrawn, and in this newly formed society worse evils have already been experienced than in the old, unbending Calvinistic Society from which Mr. Whelpely and his auditors seceded. For the honour of their liberality we hope this representation of the reverend gentleman is incorrect; and from regard to truth we should be sorry to learn that he intended to charge “the NewYork Missionary Society of Young Men,” with having only a spark of Christian benevolence, and that “quenched and smouldering,” while ninety one choice men, like himself, of disinterested benevolence, remained in its embrace.
We now pass to the comparatively pleasant duty of reviewing Mr. M'Clelland's Sermon. It contains not one word of altercation with the speech-making society, unless it be a hint for Mr. Spring, that the doetrine of substitution was never designed by God for indiscriminate use; and a faithful exhibition of the inadequacy of Moral Fitnesses and a few Hopkinsian notions, for the reformation of mankind.
The author's text is in Psalm lxxiv. 9. There is no more any Prophet. He selected these words “merely as an introduction to a series of reflections on the benefits re. sulting from a standing religious ministry.” We protest against using a text in this manner. It is the business