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SECRETARY OF BIBLE SOCIETY.

71

attempts: it governs the heart; it not only forbids all criminal practices, as murder, adultery, theft, bearing false witness, lying, etc., but it also forbids all hatred, wrath, malice, envy, and all evil passions. It not only enjoins the performance of all virtuous actions, as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, doing good unto all men, being ready for every good work, abstaining from all appearance of evil, and the like; but it also requires us to cultivate all pure and noble sentiments, chaste and magnanimous affections, justice, mercy, and truth, love, gratitude, patience, charity, and whatsoever is lovely and of good report. Furthermore, in order to secure the happiness and harmony of community, the morality of the Bible demands a rigid and jealous conformity in conduct to the institutions of society. No man can meet his obligations to his fellow-men without carefully complying with their requirements. Whoever abrogates the holy Sabbath, thereby robs the laboring classes of that portion of time which they need, and to which they are entitled, for bodily rest and moral improvement. Hence Bible morality remembers the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. To annihilate the family compact, to vitiate or discard the domestic relations, would be to visit with the frosts of death every flower of earth that delights with its beauty or regales with its fragrance; to contaminate the fresh blood of infancy, to poison the red current in the veins of age, to make leprous the whole mass of humanity, and to convert the sanctuary of the affections into the mad-house of the passions.

Civil government is also absolutely essential to the wellbeing of any people. Without it, society would resemble the ocean when the fury of the tempest is troubling its waters, exposing to the most disastrous shipwreck every vessel of State, and placing in awful jeopardy the many precious interests with which they are so richly freighted. The man who would break down the institutions of civil government, who would destroy the authority of the magistrate, the judge, and the rulers of the land, is so incendiary in his spirit, that, if he could do it with impunity, he would set fire to the temple of virtue, and exult to see her loveliest altars in flames. Such

character and conduct are strongly reprobated in the oracles of God. Civil as well as domestic government is therein most authoritatively established and must solemnly sanctioned. The superiority of the morality derived from the oracles of God is seen in the absoluteness of its authority. No doubt, in the estimate of their disciples the names of many morališts have given a degree of authority to their precepts : yet the wisest and most excellent among them have deeply felt, that in order to clothė their teachings with authority, they must also give to them an apparent fitness, and clearly establish their expediency and propriety.

That there is a perfect fitness in all the precepts and principles of scripture-morality is unquestionable. It is not necessary, however, that this fitness should appear in order to invest these precepts with the highest authority. The source from which they emanate endows them with this attribute. ... Therefore, though there are some things in the divine requirements above our understanding, there is nothing unreasonable. When we cannot explain, we can consistently confide. The sanctions of Scripture morality are vastly more impressive and efficient than those of any other code. . . . But the Bible brings to us a religion of truth and praise and purity, a religion of light and love and joy. ... The Christian system derives exceeding glory from the competent Saviour which it provides and presents.

That man is wicked in character and ruined in condition is a fact universally felt and generally confessed. His utter inability to retrieve his condition and regain his lost character is self-evident. Therefore if relief and restoration are obtained it must be at the hands of another. But in whom can help be found ? To this engrossing question the oracles of earth are silent, but the oracles of God distinctly announce his name-it is Jesus ! They also fully describe his character, and clearly set forth the manner of his mediation.

· God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.”

SECRETARY OF BIBLE SOCIETY.

73

As showing the high appreciation of Mr. Janes's services to the Bible Society, I insert a copy of the resolutions passed by the Board of Managers when the voice of his Church in its highest council had called him to another sphere of action :

Resolved, that the resignation of Rev. Dr. Janes be accepted in accordance with his wishes.

Resolved, That in so doing the managers would express their unqualified satisfaction as to the efficient and impartial manner in which he has here discharged his official duties, and would fervently invoke the divine blessing upon him in the new station to which he is called.

Resolved, That while they regret the loss of his entire services in connection with this Society, they anticipate still, from his known attachment to the Bible cause as well as from his present letter, his occasional aid, and would therefore authorize and invite him to present its claims on such occasions and in such portions of the country as in his judgment may seem proper and useful.

Many years afterward, when this eminent servant of God had been called to that higher and wider sphere which is above and beyond the calls and appointments of the militant Church, the same board, in an extended minute with regard to him, made the following reference to this period of his services:

In the year 1838 he appeared as one of the anniversary speakers. Two years later he was made the Financial Secretary of the Society. The duties of this office, which he discharged for four years, awakened the rich enthusiasm of his soul. Impressions were made by his thrilling appeals, espe

cially in the West and South, of which mention is made in glowing terms after a lapse of more than thirty years.

Almost immediately upon Mr. Janes's resignation as Secretary, he was elected a member of the Board of Managers, and thus through all his subsequent life he was intimately associated with the good and honored men who have brought this benign institution to its present marvelous proportions and usefulness.

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

75

CHAPTER V.

1844

THUS

The Methodist Episcopal Church — The General Conference

Elected to the Episcopacy.
HUS far I have said but little about the Church

of which Mr. Janes was an accredited and useful minister. Historically and geographically it might be regarded at this period, 1844, as more truly the national Church of America than any other one denomination of Christians. While not as old as some in its organization, it exceeded any other in the number of its members, and in the universality of its spread. While other Churches were strong in the North or the South, in the East or the West, in the central East or central West, in the larger cities or the rural districts, Methodism obtained every-where, and had attained, by a remarkably equal growth, a firm footing in the whole land. It stood side by side with the oldest and richly endowed Churches of the great cities: entering the Southern States when they were colonies, it became quite generally the Church of the South :- in New England, though late in the field, it fought its way amid strongly intrenched Congregationalism, and soon conquered recognition : and

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