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the meaning of baptism be indispensable to faith in the Messiah, it will follow there has not been a believer for a thousand years before the recovery of the ancient gospel! Not one adult has been saved if my assumption cannot be proved, which is still more absurd, because contrary to many express oracles in both Testaments. Both my assumptions are true, or else the promises of God have failed!
R.-I have various other objections which I will reserve for another opportunity.
A.-And I have sundry things to say which I deem of much importance on this subject, not yet said. One thing I wish you to reflect upon till next we meet, a proposition of much meaning. It is this-Baptism cannot be repeated unless in its full sense. No person can const tutionally be immersed for remis. sion alone for the Holy Spirit alone for coming into the kingdom alone. He must be baptized into Christ, in the whole and full sense of the institution, or not at all. Whether you may think it makes for you or for me, I request you to examine it as an independent proposition.
In conclusion let me remind you of the danger of running into extremes and eccentricities. The sanguine are liable to take detached and isolated views of favorite topics. Let us regard the whole truth in all its connexions, and give to each its proper importance. A goiind understanding will always be on its guard against one-sided views of cardinal truths. Let us not be bewitched by the glare of yovelty, by the brilliancy of new discoveries, nor obstinately and superstitiously attached to old opinions. R.--This advice is always seasonable. I go for truth whether old or new..
· PRAYER, OR COMMUNION WITHI GOD_No. V. THIS is the spirit of the spirit of true religion. Without communion with God there is 'nothing gained by faith or hope, by promises or commands, by professions, confessions, or institutions. This is the sanctum sanctorum, the holy of holies, the inmost temple of religion. This was lost by Adam, and if we do not gain this by Messiah we have gained nothing but a name. But what is communion with God? Let us ask, for illustration, what is communion 'with man? The reciprocation of common sentiment and common feeling. Language fails to define its intimacies. Two sentimental spirits in conversation with each other is its best illustration--two spirits of kindred thought and kindred interests pouring into each other the overflowngs of congenial views, feelings, desires.
Speech with us is the channel of thought. In this channel betwixt man and man flows every sentiment, feeling, and desire. And it is not only the circulating medium of spirits on earth, dwelling in houses of clay; but it is the medium of converse 'twixt God and man. Arrayed in words of human language the Eternal Spirit appears to man not now only; for in Eden, blooming in primeval beauty and innocence, the voice of God, in harmonies sweeter than nature knows, fell upon that ear not yet polluted with the serpent's poisonous breath. Since then God has spoken to man through the mediation of angels, celestial and terrestrial; by prophets in times of old; and in later ages by his Son. The stipulated signs of human thought are the stipulated signs of all divine ideas suggested to man. God now speaks to us in his written word, and we speak to him in our prayers. Thus we have communion with God through his Holy Spirit which is imparted to us. If we listen to God when he speaks (for he speaks first as it becomes him) he promises to listen to us. But if we hear not him, he hears not us. What an honor to be admitted into the audience of the Almighty Father upon such gracious terms! We hear the recorded words of God spoken by him through angels, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, his own Son; and thus having given our ears for a while to the voice of God, we lift up our voice to him. We utter our adorations, confessions, thanksgivings, petitions, and our unconditional submission to the will, authority, wisdom and goodness, mercy and love of him who is, and was, and evermore shall be!" Thus our spirits ascend to the heavens and commune with God. This is the delightful fellowship which the christian indeed has with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ; spraying always, with all prayer and supplicatton in the spirit;" in the closet, by the way, in the field, morning, noon, evening, he prays without ceasing." "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord! In the morning will I direct my prayer to thee, and will look up." "In the morning shall my prayer anticipate thee.” “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save' me. Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice." "Seven times a-day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.” “[Iis praise shall be continually in my mouth.” “By Jesus let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually.” Thus speak the saints of both Testaments.
Men may talk about religion, about sound doctrine, about ordinances, about institutions, about every thing present and future; but without this communion with God, this habitual devotion of mind, these constant aspirations, ejaculations, and soarings to the throne of mercy and favor, man is unfit for heaven, and unworthy of the chris. tian profession. A zealot he may be, orthodox in doctrine, moral in demeanor; but he wants the life and power of christianity. Meditation on what God has spoken to us, and the outpourings of our spirit to him, is to the moral man what free respiration in a pure atmosphere is to the physical man-life, health, vigor, beauty.
These musings remind me of a devotional reading of the 12th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, which was over-heard from the closet of an Iraelite indeed, reported by a brother who dated his conversion from it. As a specimen which illustrates the above remarks, we shall transcribe it from our pocket-book of memoranda. He read from the common version, and mingled his readings with the following ejaculations:
“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Yes, Lord Jesus, it is most reasonable that I give myself to thee; not my body only, but my soul; for hadst thou not made thy soul an offering for my sins and given thyself for me, I had sacrificed myself to my lusts and sold myself for vanity. My body, Lord, is thine-a living sacrifice offered by
my soul to thee. Osanctify it wholly!) “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (From the lusts of the flesh, the lists of the eye, and the pride of this life, which are of this world-O my Father and my God, deliver me! And let my mind, O Saviour! reflect thy moral image as thou didst reflect on me the brightness of thy Father's glorious image.]
[Here is a hiatus of six verses.] v. 9. “Let love be without dissimulation; abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.” O Lord! thy love to mankind was without dissimulation! so let my love to the saints and my good will to mankind ever be!) “Be kindly affectioned one to another, in honor preferring one another.”. (May my affection for the saints be as tender and as kind as was that of thy servant Paul, who endured all things for their sakes; and always may I rejoice to see them honored, and to honor them without one envious thought. Lord, thou knowest my natural pride and frowardness; may I regard myself as nothing, that thou mayest be all.) "Not slothful in business:" (May I rise betimes and redeem time, that I may by industry in my family, provide for my household, and have something to give to him that needs; and while I do so may I be fervent in serving the Lord !” “Rejoicing in hope" fof being delivered from the bondage of corruption and the evils of this life; may I be patient in tribulation,” and “continue instant in prayer.”] “Distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality." [O Lord, may thy poor saints share my bounty, and may I be often honored with showing hospitality to thy people. May they who know me regard my house as thine, and ever feel themselves at home under my roof. Lord bless the labor of my hands and prosper the industry of my family, that I may have it in my power to be more like thee, who went about on earth doing good!]
"Bless them which persecute you; bless, and curse not.” (Heavenly Father, forgive all my enemies, if enemies I have, and reconcile them to thyself for Jesus' sake!) “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." [O Lord! may I be more full of thy divine sympathy!) “Be of the same mind one to another. Mind not high things; condescend to men of low estate." [Deliver me, O my God! from the spirit of this world! May I choose rather to
suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the company of · those called great and noble here. May I never be ashamed of the poorest of thy poor, but esteem them as rich in faith and heirs of the kiprom!)
“Be not wise in your own conceits." [Lord save me from conceit! May I have a due regard to the attainments of others, and respect the gifts of wisdom and knowledge which thou hast vouchsafed them. To ano man let me recompense evil.] • Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” May I pot only he honest in fact, in eating, drinking, and wearing my own labors, (and when I give may it be my own which I give,) but may I, by my diligence in business and con VOL, 111.
stant industry, appear to all men to be honest, lest I should bring reproach upon thee, O Lord! and may I be honorable in my dealings with all mankind!
«ff it be possible, as much as lieth id you live peaceably with all men.” [May the God of peace enable me to live peaceably with all mankind. May I rather suffer wrong than be over-righteous in exacting what mere justice awards me, and by civility, courtesy, and all manner of kindness rather propitiate than irritate the evil tempers and dispositions of men.]
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." TO Lord! this is a lesson not easily learned. May I in spirit and in truth cultivate this temper; and when I am injured by my fellowman, may I not take thy weapons into my hand, nor assume what belongs to thee, the avenger of them who suffer righteously. May the example of thy martyr Stephen, and of my Saviour, be ever before me in such times of trial. And when I have an opportunity of requiting good to them who have injured me, may I do it not in appearance only, but in reality and with all my heart! Lord Jesus, may these excellent precepts, all of which my soul approves, be written on my heart, that I may from the heart yield obedience to them all!"}
This is a pretty fair specimen of that communion with God, and with his Son Jesus Christ, enjoyed in reading his word and in calling upon his name. This is a way of reading the holy oracles which commends itself to all; and incomparably transcends all commentators in giving to the mind the true meaning of the word, and in con- . firming it in the faith of all its exceeding great and precious promises. Prayer without the use of means necessary to the object desired, and the use of means without prayer, must be equally unsuccessful to the attainment of christian excellence,
STEPHIEN GIRARD'S WILL. STEPHEN GIRARD, late of Philadelphia, the most opulent individual in the United States, as is generally conceded, in his last wilt and testament did, among many other very benevolent and liberal bequests, appropriate the sum of two millions of dollars to the founding of a college for the education and maintenance of orphans. This most benevolent and judicious appropriation has deservedly excited much attention; and one of the provisions for the education and training of the orphans admitted into this institution, more than any other, has attracted the attention of all, and elicited many curious coniectures and remarks from the editorial corps, religious and political. The provision to which we allude is in the words following:
"Secondly, I enjoin and require that no ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any sect whatsoever, shall ever hold or exercise any station or duty whatever in the
szid college; nor shall any such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visiter, within the premises appropriated to the purposes of the said college. In making this restriction, I do not mean to cast any reflection upon any sect or person whatsoever; but, as there is such a muliitude of sects, and such a diversity of opinion amongst them, I desire to keep the tender minds of the orphans, who are to derive advantage from this bequest. free from the excitement which clashing doctrines and sectarian controversy ere apt to produce; my desire is, that all the instructers and teachers in the college shall take pains to instil into the minds of the scholars the purest principles of morality; so ihat, on their entrance into active life, they may, from inclination and habit, evince benevolence towards their fellow.creatures, and a love of truih, sobriety, and industry, adopting at the same time such religious tenets as tbeir matured reason may enable them to prefer."
This, for the reasons assigned, is one of the wirest provisions in the whole establishment, Were it not for this 'exclusion, in a few years this.immense capital, in an indirect way, would be building up the interests of some of the aspiring sectarian institutions in the country. But what a reproof is here to the spiritual rulers of this age! The first truly charitable and useful institution (I mean first in magnitude) in these United States, erected by one whom the clergy call a Deist, has to preclude even from its premises tbat very cast in society whose 'calling ought to have given them not only free access within its walls, but have made them guardians of its interests. How is this, gentlemen, that the Ruler of the Nations permitted this aforesaid Stephen Girard to amass, in a long life, by his own exertions, such an immense fortune, and then to lay it up for the poor of many generations for the very persons for whom God has the most tender care, (for he is the orphan's stay,) and not only did not permit you to be his instrument, but permitted this “deist," as you call him, to will and bequeath to you a place without its walls? For what misdeeds of yours did. he thus proscribe you? For none! you say. Yes, for your sectarian zeal and efforts to seize the infant mind and pollute it with schismatic dogmas. Ale respected your calling and professions; but dare not think of meeting the Judge of all unless he had secured the fatherless from your sectarian influence! Tell it not in Gath! But think, we beseech you, how this reflects upon your course and try to amend your ways!
DEAF AND DUMB, UNABLE TO KNOW GOD BUT BY
New LISBON, January 3th, 1832. Dear brother Campbell,
AS we have no meeting in this place to-day, the Baptist meeting house being occupied by the Reformed Methodists, I take my pen in hand to write to you.
In the fourteenth Report of the Directors of the American Asylum at Hartford, for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, exhibited to the Asylum, May 8th, 1830; speaking of a valuable improvement introduced in the mode of instruction, they say, “The value of such a blessing can only be fully estimated from the