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ORDINATION AT Northampton, Mass.-Rev. John Sullivan Dwight, of Boston, was ordained over the Second Congregational Church in Northampton on Wednesday, May 20, 1840. The Introductory Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Everett of Northfield; the Scriptures were read by Rev. Mr. Brown of Brattleboro' Vt.; the Sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Ripley of Boston; the Ordaining Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Frothingham of Boston ; the Charge was given by Rev. Dr. Channing of Boston ; the Right Hand of Fellowship, by Rev. Mr. Osgood of Nashua, N. H.; the Address to the People, by Rev. Mr. Hall of Providence, R. I.; and the Concluding Prayer was made by Rev. Mr. Hall.
The Sermon was upon the subject of the Gospel ministry, from 2 Timothy, ir. 5: * Do thou the work of an evangelist.” Mr. Ripley declared the office of the Evangelist to be the exposition and illustration of the Gospel, and not the discovery of new truths, nor speculation upon doubtful or controverted subjects. Among the means for improving the condition of man the ministry of the Gospel holds the first place. The idea which was realized in the life of Jesus must be also realized in the institutions of men, before the kingdom of God can be established on earth. In aid of this consummation a new evangelist is now ordained. He should go to his work cheerfully, notwithstanding the changes in the standing of the Christian minister, and the dangers, which, in the opinion of some, threaten his office. The preacher of Christ has nothing to fear from the progress of light and liberty, and the changes induced by these in society. His work is to bring the religion of society into accordance with the religion of Christ. The prevalent religion in all sects is lamentably deficient in the true spirit of Christ-in morality and piety-in true fellowship of be. lievers with each other, and true communion with Christ and the holy Spirit. Christ taught the preeminence of spiritual worship over the observance of forms, and how sadly is this feature of his religion opposed to the cold formalism of the Church. Christ preached the supremacy of holiness over speculative belief, and how different is his doctrine from the spirit of exclusiveness in matters of speculative belief, which prevails in the churches of Christendom. Christ taught the necessity of personal religious experience, of the witness of the Spirit in the soul; how little is this admitted in the Church, and what blind reliance upon tradition and outward authority. Again, Christ announced the coming of the kingdom of God on earth; how much remains to be done to bring on this consummation. To accomplish this is the great work of the Church. Thus having stated the great principles of the Gospel, the preacher closed with exhorting his brother to enter upon his work in the true spirit and preach Christ with his whole soul.
In his Charge, Dr. Channing confined himself chiefly to the duties of the Minister as a preacher of truth. He enjoined it upon him to be an earnest and honest student of truth. He urged the importance of severe thought and study. He alluded to the distinguished Edwards, formerly minister in Northampton, as an illustrious example of a Christian student. He insisted upon the importance of plain and bold preaching, of preaching with the heart and to the hearts of the people ; of earnest faith in the power of the truth over the human soul. He deprecated the usual faults of the pulpit, especially that of exaggeration, and begged his young friend to seek to interest his people by clear and pointed preaching, rather than by affecting novelty or ornament. If a people are slumbering, the best way of awaking them is by letting in the light. Dr. C. closed with an affectionate exhortation upon some of the more minute and personal duties of his young friend.-Mr. Osgood, in his Right Hand of Fellowship, welcomed his young brother to the duties and pleasures of the sacred profession, and closed with an allusion to their personal friendship, and to the fact, that the last time they were together in presence of a public assembly was the day of parting from College, eight years since, when the Valedictory Oration and Poem were pronounced by the two. With the parting wish, then given to his classmates, Mr. 0. greeted his brother to the Christian Min. istry.—Mr. Hall, in his Address to the People, called on them to aid their Pastor by a due appreciation of his office, and an earnest cooperation with him. He closed with some allusions to his own past connection with this people, and to the changes in their homes since his ministry.
Divine service was holden in the evening, when Rev. Mr. Briggs of Pls. mouth preached from Rev. xxi. 22: " And I saw no temple therein."— The services of the ordination, we understand, are to be published.
RELIGIOUS ANNIVERSARIES. The anniversaries which are celebrated in this city at the close of May, were observed this year with more than usual interest. The weather was most propitious, and the facilities of communica. tion between the country and the city brought together large numbers of the clerical brethren. We do not remember ever to have attended more profitable or pleasant meetings of the kind than those which were held in the Berry Street Vestry and the Federal Street Meetinghouse. Of these meetings, of which our readers will feel most desirous to have some record, we proceed to give as full accounts as our limits will permit, while of other similar celebrations we must confine ourselves to brief notes.
American UNITARIAN Association. This Association held its meeting for business in the Berry Street Vestry early on Tuesday evening, May 26. Rev. Dr. Nichols not being present, Hon. Samuel Hoar, one of the Vice Presidents, took the chair. The Report of the Treasurer was read and accepted, and the Officers for the ensuing year chosen, viz. Rev. Ichabod Nichols D. D., of Portland Me., President; Rev. Charles Briggs, General Secretary ; Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop, Assistant Secretary ; Rev. Samuel Barrett, Rev. Artemas B. Muzzey, and Rev. George E. Ellis, Executive Committee; and for Vice Presidents the samne gentlemen as last year, with the exception of Hon. Jonathan Phillips, of Boston, in place of Hon. William Sullivan, deceased. Rev. James Walker D. D. offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted.
Resolred, That the death of Rev. Dr. Bancroft, the first President of this Association, calls for an expression of our deep sense of his personal worth, and of our gratitude to God for his long and valuable services in the cause of Christian truth and freedom.
Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop off red the next resolution, which was unanimously passed. It expressed the sense felt by the Association of the loss they, in common with the whole community, had sustained in the death of Rev. Dr. Tuckerman, whose connexion with this Association in the earlier days of the Ministry-at-large was gratefully remembered, and whose labours entitled him to a place among the eminent philanthropists of the age. Mr. Lothrop's departure from home before we were able to obtain a copy of the resolution, and his prolonged absence, prevent our giving the precise language.
Rev. Ezra S. Gannett presented a resolution, which was unanimously adopt
Resolred, That the sudden death, within the last year, of Rev. Dr. Carpenter of England, and Dr. Follen of Massachusetts, the former filling a large sphere of influence in his native island, the latter for his love of liberty driven from Europe to this country, where his character secured universal respect and esteem, but both taken from life by a similar catastrophe in the midst of their usefulness, while it calls upon us for submission to the Divine Providence, presses on our minds the duty of instant and earnest fidelity to the service which God has assigned us in our several situations.
Rev. Francis Parkman D. D. presented the following resolution which was ananimously accepted.
Resulred, That the Association entertain a respectful sense of the character and services of the late Hon. William Sullivan, who as one of the Vice Presidents of the Society, as well as in other relations which he sustained to the community at large, has a claim to our grateful notice for his faithful labours and enlightened zeal, and especially for the interest he expressed for the objects of this Association.
The Association then adjourned to the Federal Street Meetinghouse, which was well filled. Rev. Mr. Damon, of West Cambridge, offered prayer. The Annual Report was then read by Rev. Mr. Briggs. After adverting in general terms to the good which had been done by the Association during the fifteen years of its existence, the Report presented an account of the operations conducted by the Executive Committee and the General Secretary the past year. One object had been to form auxiliary associations in our various religious societies; the Secretary had visited about 50 societies, and formed 32 Auxiliaries. The amount received from auxiliaries had increased. The number of Life Members added the last year was 27. The demand for Tracts was large, and the supply had been made to correspond to the demand ; between 60 and
70,000 had been printed this year; they had done good, and been acceptable. To destitute or small Societies appropriations had been made in 8 instances, and missionary services been rendered in 12. The number of persons employed in Missionary labours had been 12, mostly for short periods. The Western congregations were represented as being in an interesting and flourishing state, and the importance of houses of worship for their use was urged, in an extract from a letter to the Secretary. Extracts were also read from letters on the subject of a Western Agency, towards which the Committee had made a guarantee of $500. The increase of Unitarian Societies since the formation of the Association was noticed. At that time, in 1825, the number in Massachusetts was 100, now it is 150 ; in Maine in 1825 there were 6 congregations, now there are 15; in New Hampshire 6 in 1825, 19 now; out of New England 8 in 1825, 36 now; west of the Alleghany Mountains 1 in 1825, at the present time 17 ;-making the result throughout the United States to be 120 congregations in 1825, 220 in 1840. The extent to which our views are embraced must not however be estimated by the number of Congregational Unitarians, since other large sects are also Unitarian. The proceedings of the Council at their first annual meeting were mentioned, and notice was taken of the success of the Ministry-at-large, which was originally under the care of this Association. A tribute of grateful respect was paid to Rev. Dr. Tuckerman, the first incumbent of this Ministry, and to Rev. Dr. Bancroft, the first President of the Association, both of whom had died within the last year. The Report concluded with some remarks on the excellence and reward of philanthropic effort.
The meeting was then addressed by Hon. Mr. Hoar, who filled the place of President. He spoke in approbation of the Tracts published by the Commit. tee; their practical character recommended them to his mind. Compare the subjects discussed in them with the questions which ecclesiastical history records as having in former ages agitated the Church-how much more important and profitable are they. Some religious teachers, said Mr. H. go too far—they transcend our heads, much more our hearts; they impute to lay men a greater amount of knowledge than they possess. Generally, however, our religious teachers regard our real wants.
Rev. Rufus P. Stebbins, of Leominster, then occupied the platform. Much, said he, is to be done. But a small part of the world is Christian. Labour must convert the world—the Pagan world. And nearer home, there are those of our faith who need sympathy and help. Our country must be saved by Christian truth, which must be diffused by labor. We can do much for the West. Our faith is surely worth something; if so, we should be anxious to spread it in the right way. This Association has done good. We rejoice in all Christian activity and progress. Let us only be active and faithful, and we shall succeed.
Rev. Jason Whitman, of Portland, began by remarking that the history of this Association showed the leadings of Providence, for, alihough such was not prob. ably the intention of its founders, it had become virtually a Missionary Society. There was danger however of forgetting the true foundation on which all suc. cessful effort must rest, viz. an interest in spiritual things. Let a man feel the worth of the soul, and he will then encourage missionary effort for his own sake. Effort for missionary purposes is the best effort wbich we can make for the good of our own churches. The same principle is true in regard to individual action and improvement; we should put forth our strength as fast as we gain it.
Rev. Frederick A. Farley, of Providence, while he acknowledged the evident increase of interest in this anniversary over what had been manifested the last two or three years, regretted that the attendance was still smaller than at the commencement of the Association, and noticed the unwillingness of laymen to speak on these occasions. There were two prominent difficulties under which we labored, which he thought we ought to contemplate-first, the want of sympathy among ourselves, and secondly, the need of a more deep and fervent piety. We are charged with coldness; but our views are not cold; as a sect, we are cold. There is not enough of acquaintance and sympathy among the members of our congregations. As a denomination, the charge of deficiency in piety may lie against us. Let cach one ask himself, Am I a true Christian? This is the important question.
Rev. Henry Ware Jr. D. D. next rose. He recurred to the remark of a previous speaker, that a great work is to be done. Now how shall we get the means for accomplishing this work? He would only state one fact, that might help towards a reply to this question. He was authorized to state that a gentleman, whose name he was not at liberty to give, had devoted $50,000 to the same end which is contemplated by this Association, although the management of the income would be in the hands of a separate body of Trustees.
Rev. Calvin Lincoln, of Fitchburg, spoke of the character of Dr. Bancroft, the late President of the Association. The circumstances of his early ministry were peculiar and his trials many, but he had faith and patience, and he lived to see his labours crowned with success. As he lived, so he died-with a clear mind and a heart full of religious trust. He has left us the important lesson which bis whole life illustrated, that with faith in truth and faith in God we should go fearlessly forward.
Rev. Mr. Damon, of West Cambridge, corrected a slight error in Mr. Lincoln's statement respecting the loneliness of Dr. Bancroft's situation, when he began his ministry. At that time two other clergymen, but only two, in Worcester county, would exchange with him.
The usual Doxology—“From all who dwell below the skies &c” was then sung, and the meeting closed precisely at 10 o'clock.
From the sketch we have given of the topics introduced by the several speakers it will be perceived that while they were various in character, they were all practical in their tendency. They were presented too with animation. The meeting was in all respects a good one.
The Council of the Amer. Unit. Assoc. met on Thursday afternoon, May 28, John G. Rogers Esq.in the chair. Various Committees appointed last year made