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ship and the Lord's Supper was brought forward by one of the brethren, and discussed till the usual hour of adjournment, when the Conference was adjourned to the next year.
Sunday School Society. This association celebrated its nineteenth anniversary in the Federal Street meetinghouse, on Wednesday evening, May 26, Hon. Stephen C. Phillips, the President, in the chair. The Annual Report was presented by Rev. Charles Brooks, the Corresponding Secretary, and was heard with general approbation of the frank and thorough manner in which the defects in our present system of Sunday school instruction were treated. Several questions, relating to the proper methods of instruction and the interest which should be felt in Sunday schools, were then offered as topics for discussion, and addresses were made by B. T. Congdon, Esq., of New Bedford, Rev. Mr. Peabody of Boston, Rev. Dr. Nichols of Portland, Me., Mr. T. S. Harlow of Medford, and Rev. Mr. Willis of Walpole, N. H. The President in some closing remarks reviewed the positions taken by the different speakers; after which the Report was accepted. Hymns were sung in the course of the evening by a select choir of children, and added much to the interest of the occasion.
Convention of Congregational Ministers. — The Convention assembled on Wednesday afternoon, May 26, Rev. Mr. Cooke, Moderator. Rev. Mr. Adams of Boston was reëlected Scribe, and Rev. Mr. Lothrop of Boston, Treasurer. The usual financial business was transacted, principally by accepting reports of committees. Rev. Dr. Ide of Medway was chosen Second Preacher for the next year. A communication was received from the “ Pastoral Association," desiring the appointment of a committee, to consist of six “Orthodox” and six Unitarian ministers, to consider and report upon the relations and rights of the two denominations in the Convention and in the Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society. The proposition was accepted with very little debate, and such a committee was appointed by nomination from the chair, consisting of Rev. Messrs. Storrs of Braintree, Holmes of New Bedford, Aiken and Adams of Boston, Albro of Cambridge, and Harding of Medway, from one denomination, and Rev. Messrs. Frothingham, Young, Gannett, Lothrop, and Robbins of Boston, and Ellis of Charlestown, from the other. The annual Convention Sermon was preached in the Brattle Street church on Thursday by Rev. Parsons Cooke of Lynn, on the union of believers with Christ, from 1 Corinthians xv. 45. At the usual Convention dinner, which was provided at the Revere House, a pleasant improvement upon the custom of other years was introduced by the delivery of spontaneous remarks from some of the company.
Other Meetings of the Week.— Meetings for prayer and conference held on Tuesday morning in the Bedford Street chapel, and on Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the vestry of the Bulfinch Street church. They were numerously attended by persons of both sexes, and many excellent addresses were made by both ministers and laymen. The sing1847.]
ing was particularly agreeable, as it came from the whole body of worshippers, in free and harmonious strains, interrupting the continuity of individual addresses. The only complaint we were disposed to make arose from the comparative infrequency of the devotional services. It seems to us a great mistake, — the neglect of a blessed privilege and the loss of an important benefit, to fill the time of our conference meetings with speeches or exhortations, however good, to the diminution of those exercises of humble, fervent prayer which are more suited to produce spiritual impression. Let us have less of man's counsel or man's experience, that we may enjoy more communion with God. We have noticed a tendency for some time to convert our conference meetings (of course unintentionally) into occasions for religious speaking, with an opening, and perhaps a closing, prayer, - very much like our other religious celebrations. Spontaneous remark is not the only characteristic of a true conference meeting; the souls of the people should be lifted up to Heaven by frequent offices of praise and supplication. These meetings have become among the most pleasant and useful of the anniversary week, and we wish them to retain every feature of excellence.
The Communion service was celebrated on Thursday evening, May 27, in the Federal Street meetinghouse. A sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Hill of Worcester, from Acts i. 14, on the thoughts appropriate to the hour; and the elements were administered by Rev. Messrs. Hosmer of Buffalo, N. Y., and Thompson of Salem. The number of communicants who participated exceeded what we have seen on any previous occasion, the seats on the floor of the house being insufficient for their accommodation. The service and the spectacle were suited to awaken emotions of grateful joy in every Christian heart.
The Evangelical Missionary Society held its annual meeting on Thursday morning. The officers for the ensuing year were elected, and the usual business transacted. Rev. Mr. Peabody of Boston was appointed to preach a sermon on the next anniversary. A resolution was passed, expressing the sense entertained by the Society for the services and personal excellence of the late Rev. Mr. Rogers of Bernardston.
The Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America, which was incorporated sixty years ago, held its annual meeting on Thursday afternoon. The Select Committee made their semiannual report, the officers for the year were chosen, and other necessary business transacted.
Hon. Stephen Fairbanks of Boston, and Rev. Dr. Lamson of Dedham, were chosen members of the Society. The funds of this Society, notwithstanding full appropriations to its proper objects, have, by careful management, been of late years constantly accumulating.
The Boston Society for aiding Discharged Convicts, an association of recent origin, but one that promises to do much good in a field of benevolent effort which has been almost wholly neglected, held its first anniversary meeting on Sunday evening, May 23. The annual report was read, addresses were made, and the officers for the year were elected, viz. Walter Channing, M. D., President ; S. G. Howe, M. D., VicePresident ; Mr. J. W. Browne, Secretary; J. A. Andrew, Esq., Treasurer; Messrs. R. F. Walcutt, C. K. Whipple, H. I. Bowditch, Counsellors; Mr. A. C. Taft, General Agent.
We might speak of the American Temperance Union, the Massachusetts Colonization Society, and meetings numberless of other denominations, and of no denomination, of Christians ; but where should we stop? We have gone as far in our account of the week as our readers may feel any special desire to follow us.
Installation. – Rev. William Gustavus Babcock, late of Providence, R. I., was installed as Pastor of the First Church and Society in LUNENBURG, Mass., May 12, 1847. The Sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Gray of Boston, from John xviii. 38 ; the Prayer of Installation was offered by Rev. Dr. Frothingham of Boston ; the Charge was given by Rev. Mr. Lincoln of Fitchburg ; the Right Hand of Fellowship by Rev. Mr. Osgood of Cohasset ; the Address to the People by Rev. Mr. Smith of Groton ; and the other services by Rev. Messrs. Withington of Leominster, Chandler of Shirley, and Babbidge of Pepperell.
Rev. William Mason died at Bangor, Me., March 24, 1847, aged
Mr. Mason was born at Princeton, Mass., and was graduated at Harvard College in 1792. In 1798 he was ordained as pastor of the Congregational church in Castine, Me., of which place he was the first, and for many years the only minister. In 1834 he resigned his ministry and removed to Bangor, where he resided till his death. Mr. Mason was more remarkable for soundness than for brilliancy of mind, of clear and independent judgment. He was one of the first clergymen in that part of the State to bear the reproach of Unitarian opinions, reproach which did not disturb his equanimity, nor weaken his kindness and charity for those who bestowed it. He was distinguished by sincerity and openness of character, gentleness of disposition, and uniform cheerfulness. His eminently social qualities have left a vivid impression on the hearts of his friends. The sunshine of his face was indicative of his hopeful temperament and serene happiness. He visited the people to whom he had so long sustained the pastoral relation annually during his residence in Bangor, with equal pleasure to himself and them. The infirmities of age were borne with singular patience, and ended in his removal to a better life.
Rev. William Bourne Oliver Peabody, D. D., died at Springfield, Mass., May 28, 1847, aged 47 years. We have the promise of a suitable notice of Dr. Peabody's character, which we hope to give in our next number.
Rev. Tuomas Gray, D. D., died at (Jamaica Plain) Roxbury, Mass., June 1, 1847, aged 75 years. We hope to be able to present, in a future number, a suitable notice of Dr. Gray's character and life.
ART. I. - JOHN CALVIN.
The author whose name we connect with this article is a Catholic scholar with a decided fancy for Protestant subjects. He had already achieved extensive celebrity by a “Life of Luther,” and in “ The Life of Calvin,” if he has not advanced, he has not lost in reputation. Luther appears to be a greater favorite with him than Calvin, if we can admit degrees of comparison where the opposition to both is fundamental and unqualified. But there is a glow in his life of the manly and burly German, a latent admiration which often bursts forth into eloquence, and at times amounts almost to enthusiasm. There was nothing in the colder Frenchman to excite such emotion or such expression; and assuredly there was nothing in his speculations to do it. Audin's estimate of either would not, of course, satisfy the votaries of either ; but the adherents of Calvin would be more displeased than those of Luther. Antagonist in princi ple to both, from temper as well as theology, his personal antagonism is naturally the stronger against Calvin. But this does not hinder him from doing justice to Calvin's great merits as a thinker and a writer. Intellectually he awards him special praise, - many would say too much at the ex
History of the Life, Works, and Doctrines of John Calvin. From the French of J. M. V. AUDIN, Knight of the Order of Gregory the Great, etc., etc. Translated by the Rev. John McGill. Louisville : B. J. Webb & Brother. 8vo. pp. 562. VOL. XLIII. 4TH $. VOL. VIII. NO. II.
pense of the other Reformers, - and personally his tone towards him is not always harsh. In the Life of Calvin, as in that of Luther, there are frequent passages of genuine eloquence; but in the Life of Calvin they are suggested by topics subordinate and incidental, in the Life of Luther they are inspired by the hero. In both works, he evinces considerable powers of description; and by scenes and episodes, presented with a happy dramatic liveliness, he contrives to relieve and refresh the mind of the reader, while at the same time he illustrates the main subject and adorns it. To this purport are his agreeable chapters in the biography of Calvin on “ The Universities,” “ Private Life at Geneva,” and “ Literary Friendships.” In the history of his hero, he gives in a great measure the history of the times; and this not in cold and abstract generalities, but in the fleshand-blood life of their feelings, opinions, habits, and institutions. The author has evidently brought to his task a diligent and elaborate scholarship. He has prepared himself thoroughly for his work ; spared no pains in collecting materials; and neglected no means to establish and to guard his positions. On some points he has thrown a light of certainty for ever. Among these is the remarkable letter of Calvin to Farel, expressive of bis intention, should Servetus come to Geneva. Grotius asserted that he had seen the letter; Mosheim doubted its existence; Audin has set the matter at rest. He copies the entire document verbatim in his book, and marks the exact position of the original in the King's Library in Paris.
The works of this writer present a fair specimen of the Catholic temper of our age in the discussion of disputed subjects; we do not think, that, when compared with the Protestant temper on the same subjects, it has any cause to fear on the ground of charity, learning, or candor. At all events, these works give us the Catholic view in our own day of the extraordinary revolution in the sixteenth century. Protestants may read them with advantage ; we need not say, they should read them with a liberal and enlightened caution, with as much vigilance as fairness.
We cannot praise the author's style. Yet we cannot condemn it as singular. It combines faults, however, which, though common to the literature of our day, are distributed over many species of affected composition. We cannot wait to give a full account of any, but we will hint at two or three