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is thought, may war. In other cases the feelings are understood to give some warning to the conscience; but a zealot sanctifies his outrage by accounting it the victory of his duty over his weakness. If there is any thing which, more than all the rest, is sickening to a fair mind, and urges it to look to a better state of being, which may correct the inequalities of this, it is to see the treatment which an honest man receives for avowing a sentiment which conviction and a sense of duty will not let him conceal. No sooner is such an avowal made, than men of character and sensibility-responsible, respected, unspotted men become the scoff of every conceited neighbour, who chances to be afflicted with a zeal beyond his knowledge. In such a contest all the usual supports, on which, in other cases, men who have earned them may lean, are unavailing or worse. Piety is called in question; profound and humble investigation termed the pride of reason and learning, and respectability but furnishes a theme for vulgar sarcasm. They who can urge no better recommendation to notice, can style themselves "the weak things of this world," and think themselves appointed to confound what they denounce as "the things that are mighty." To a discussion the most important and sometimes the most intricate, there is no man but thinks himself equal; and when general ideas fail, personalities are at hand; and that may be made up in positiveness and vehemence, which is wanting in argument.
We make no application of these remarks, except to say, that, to what they describe, the method of the author of these pages is a contrast. We have seen that he did not profess his novel sentiments with impunity, but he defends them without any appearance, not to say of uncharitableness, but even of irritation. We admire the temper which his little work exhibits. He appears in it a man of honourable and intrepid, but kind and considerate mind; ardently attached to protestant principles, and showing his respect for them by forbearing to encroach on them in others; jealous of any aggression on his right of private judgment, but too well taught in the school of Jesus to be willing to repel it at any sacrifice of the fruit of christian truth, the christian temper. If controversy were conducted only by such men, men who, having some delicacy themselves, knew how to respect others, it would no longer be such a dreadful thing. Truth might be sought at no cost of brotherly love, nay, by its exercise and culture; the tree be pruned without shaking from it a healthy blossom. We are not so blind to what is going on about us, as to expect to witness much of this. As yet, in most parts of our country, what New Series-vol. I.
we hold for the sense of scripture is much in disrepute. We cannot expect, that they who profess it will not meet with discouragements like those of Mr. Eddy; and we rejoice, that they have so fair an example of the manner in which, by a Christian, such discouragements should be encountered. For ourselves, we are taught to value our privileges. We live in a place (and while we sympathise with others, whose lot is less favoured, it is not lost on our gratitude) where difference is not danger nor estrangement; where men know how to tolerate without acquiescing, and are willing to have our friendship, though they cannot go with us in our belief. Now and then we hear a railing accusation from without, but we are spared the trial of having enemies of our own household.
We wish this little work may have a wide circulation, for it can teach nothing either in doctrine or in temper, but what is worthy to be learned.
The Evangelical Missionary Society of Massachusetts.This society has for its object, to provide for the destitute inhabitants of our own country, the means of christian instruction and moral improvement. It has now existed for twelve years, and is increasing in importance and influence. Its mode of operation upon the people of our new settlements, especially the peculiar attention it gives to the education and improvement of the rising generation, has rendered essential service to the cause of religion, and been favored, under the blessing of a kind providence, to the advancement of knowledge, and piety, and happiness, and, we trust, to the salvation of many, who without its kind aid might have lived and died with little learning and still less religion. It is our intention at some future time to lay before our readers a more minute account of its origin, its plan, its operations and success. For the present we confine ourselves to the publication of the last annual report, from which some pleasing intelligence may be gathered.
The annual meeting was holden in Boston, the first day of October, 1818, when a discourse was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Bancroft. The following in the Report of the Trustees.
In reviewing the origin, progress, and influence of the E. M. Society, the Trustees consider it an imperious duty, to invite
all who are friendly to its principles and measures, to unite in a thankful acknowledgment of the divine blessing on their labours. We cannot forget that, which, in comparison, was a "day of small things.' It is to be ascribed to the Author of all good influences, that the Christians who originated our system of operations, were directed to a course, which, ou fair and full experiment, has been found to conduce to the furtherance of the Gospel. Wise in their selection of missionaries, who had cultivated minds, who called "no man their master upon earth," who were free from sectarian views, and who had allotted them for cultivation particular portions of the vineyard; they have seen under their nurturing care, the extension of the social spirit of Christianity, the advancement of useful knowledge and the triumphs of catholicism and piety.
The year which has elapsed, since the Society, under Legislative sanction, offered itself to the general patronage of the State, may be hailed as an auspicious introduction to a more extended scene of service. It is a tribute due to our fellow Christians in Salem and its vicinity, that their kind reception and liberal contribution in aid of our general object, at the first semi-annual meeting, have strengthened our confidence in the rectitude and correctness of our measures, and given us fresh ardour in the application of our time and means to the promotion of the interests of our Redeemer.
Circumstances, which we deem it our duty to state, render the continuance of our charitable aid to the inhabitants of Jackson, in the District of Maine, indispensable. This is a new settlement; has a thinly scattered population, and are of themselves unable to support the ministry. They have evinced an ardent desire for "the bread of life;" have sent us expressions of their gratitude, whose sincerity we could not suspect; and are bringing forth in their life and conversation the fruits of charity and righteousness, which we trust will be to the glory and praise of God. Their minister, the Rev. Mr. Warren, has a scanty support, is a pattern of exemplary diligence and fidelity, has been unwearied in his solicitude for the improvement and virtue of the rising generation, and his labours have been blessed to the growth of the temporal and spiritual interest of that people. We have for these reasons granted towards his support the past year $200.
Mr. Joshua Barrett has been three months in our employment in the towns of Belfast and Searsmont. An occasional in
Till this time it had been composed of members from only the counties of Worcester and Middlesex.
difference and lukewarmness may be considered the natural effect of living long without the stated administration of the word and ordinances. In our new settlements, another cause has unhappily aided in producing a spiritual lethargy. Itinerants, without knowledge or a respect for order, who have obtruded themselves as religious teachers, and whose exclusive aim has been to advance a sectarian interest, have for a time enkindled a spirit of unhallowed zeal and fanaticism. The men who had listened to them, being left to the exercise of sober reflection, have perceived the contrariety of their instructions and manners, to the dictates of more enlightened reason. They have turned with disgust from a course of operation, unfavourable in its influence on the temper and morals. From reiterated lessons, which are dictated by a sound mind and which are a fair representation of the "doctrine which is according to godliness,' we may expect an animated attention to religious duties, and an ameliorated state of public sentiment and practice. The report of Mr. Barrett gives us consoling proof that his "labour has not been in vain."
The Trustees feel a desire to stand justified in the view of the Society, in reference to the measures they are taking for the comparatively flourishing town of Belfast. Our fellowchristians there were labouring under peculiar embarrassments, arising from diversity of opinion. A general disposition appeared to listen to sober and reasonable ideas of Christianity. A laudable effort was making, even beyond their ability, to build a house for the worship of God. A bright prospect was opening for the re-settlement of the ministry. Good reason exists for believing that our encouragement has aided the accomplishment of their desires. Their union has been advanced, their meeting house is nearly completed. Through the charity of the 2d church in Worcester, we have sent the brethren, who are few in number, furniture for their communion-table. That the seed already sown might not be suffered to perish, for want of culture, we have recently commissioned the Rev. Seth Stetson to preach to them three months. Our hopes are raised by their previous measures, that an united and prosperous church will soon exist, who will stand in no need of charity.
The town of Nobleborough in that vicinity, has commanded our commiseration, and is now receiving our assistance. The inhabitants of this corporation have set their face as a flint, against all teachers and measures, which should interrupt their union, or give countenance to an intolerant or fanatical spirit. A desire for knowledge, and a respect for Christian institutions,
have led them the past year to the extent of their means, to support Mr. David Reed, as an instructor of youth, and teacher of religion. Viewing with delight their state and prospects, receiving from them earnest solicitations for assistance, and being addressed in their behalf by their sympathizing neighbours, we have continued Mr. Reed among them at the expense of the Society three months.
In addition to these labourers, the Rev. Seth E. Winslow has been sent out by us, on a mission to Holton Plantation. Of his reception and prospects, we have had no opportunity for collecting information.
The Trustees congratulate their associates on the adoption of important measures in the District of Maine, to advance their benevolent design, and that a branch of this Society is this day employed in Portland in celebrating the anniversary of their establishment. We affectionately wish them a benediction from the Author of all good, and that prosperity may attend their well directed efforts for spreading the savour of the knowledge of Christ.
We are invited to encourage the Society from a consideration of the increased number of their friends; from the general approbation of their proceedings; from the liberal contributions to assist them in their works; from the recollection of their past usefulness, and that a number of Christian churches have been edified and built up, through their instrumentality, to continue their labours. We feel authorized in behalf of the Society, to give to the Christian community a renewed and solemn pledge, that the monies with which we shall be entrusted, shall be faithfully applied to the promotion of common and religious knowledge; that the men employed by us shall be alike distinguished for their learning, candour, and piety; that we will use every means in our power to keep a respect for human creeds and the words which man's wisdom teacheth, in subordination to a reverence for the sacred scriptures; that we will encourage regular christians of every sect, to friendly intercourse and communion, and, that at the return of each anni versary, we will make a faithful report of our measures. We ask all the friends of charity, and of pure and undefiled religion, to unite with us, in a devout supplication for a blessing on our desires and labours.
The following named gentlemen were chosen as officers for the ensuing year.
Hon. BENJAMIN PICKMAN, Jun. Pres.
Rev. EZRA RIPLEY, D. D. V. Pres.