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The Minister and the Age. A Sermon preached at the Ordina
tion of Rev. Frederick R. Newell, as an Evangelist, in the Meetinghouse of the Cambridgeport Parish, August 1, 1847. By Rev. Rufus P. STEBBINS, of Meadville, Penn. Boston:
J. Munroe & Co. 1847. 8vo. pp. 24. An Oration delivered before the Authorities of the City of Bos
ton, at the Celebration of the Declaration of Independence, July 5, 1847. By Thomas G. Cary. Boston. 1847. 8vo.
A Treatise on Religion and Christianity, Orthodory and Ra
tionalism; an Appeal to the Common-sense of all who like Truth better than Error: By FREDERICK MUNCH. Boston: B. H. Greene. 1847. 12mo. pp. 88.
In his sermon preached in behalf of the Irish, for whom contributions were made in the chapels of Liverpool, Mr. Thom traces the present condition of Ireland, alike in its physical and its social aspects, to the treatment which for seven centuries she has received from England. By a series of historical references, chosen with discrimination and presented with striking effect, he shows that “the nation which appeals to our compassions is not voluntarily wedded to weakness, and of her own will sunk for ever in moral death.” In his remarks on the fast appointed by the government on account of the famine, he exposes the false and immoral views of the Divine Providence involved in the idea, that this particular calamity is a judgment upon the nation for its general iniquity, rather than a natural consequence of the special sins of certain classes. — His discourse on the death of the late excellent and beloved minister to the poor in Liverpool seems to us like the unstudied, and yet admirably couched, expression of the feelings which must have been awakened in the supporters of a mission that had proved so costly. In them and in himself Mr. Thom seeks to deepen the convictions of faith and duty which may still sustain the work to which their friend“ gave all that he had, even his own life.” — Along with the above we are happy also to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Kell's appropriate discourse, delivered in London, “ on occasion of the annual collection for the Academy connected with the Old General Baptists," and afterwards to his own congregation at Newport, Isle of Wight, "in behalf of the Manchester New College.” The remarks on the state of Oxford and Cambridge are undoubtedly called for, though they will probably be little heeded in quarters whence a remedy to existing evils and abuses must come, if it come at all. The notices, in part historical, of the Institution founded in 1794, by the “Unitarian Old General Baptists”; of University College, London ; of the academy 1847.]
Notices of Recent Publications.
“ known as Coward College, so long formerly under the care of the Rev. T. Belsham,” now removed to the vicinity of University College ; and of Manchester New College, add greatly to the value of the pamphlet. — Mr. Furness, in his Derby lecture, maintains that there is an insensible education of the heart continually going on under the laws of Providence, and that this is better than the education of the intellect, better than opinions ; "suffering and oppressed humanity” is awakening men's sympathies, is “ beginning to pierce through the thick walls of sectarianism ” ; thus, and in all ways,” God is "showing” to man " what is good” (part of the text); doing goes before believing. Such, so far as it can be stated in few words, which give no idea of the richness of language and glowing expression of the original, is the general strain of the lecture, which concludes with a forcible appeal to a sense of justice and mercy in the hearers on the subjects of war and slavery. - The doctrine of the discourse concerning the Coming of the Son of Man is, not that Christ is to come especially in the “judgment hour of the individual,” or hour of death, but he comes with the “ truth of God speaking” in our hearts, “ discoursing of those things which belong to our eternal peace”; if we open our hearts and are on the watch, always “ ready for the coming of truth,” it will come and dwell with us and in us, revealing to us “ a new beauty," and leading us farther and farther “into the kingdom of heaven.” The application is here again made to the subjects of war and slavery. – Mr. Stone does not suppose that the “constitutional tendencies of man are entirely evil," but that the “moral constitution ” of the race was changed by the “first sin,” and so“ hereditary depravity” may be affirmed of all the descend. ants of Adam; a doctrine which it is the purpose of his discourse to sustain and illustrate. — All parties will not be pleased with the whole of Mr. Lunt's Artillery Election discourse, yet none will deny that it has the merit of vigorous thought, and is open, manly, and independent. “Force, Reason, Love,” are his topics, the first represented by “the military,” the second expressing itself in law, understood in the largest sense, and the third constituting the foundation principle of Christianity." The first is the lowest agent or principle, the second rises above it, and the third is the highest of all; though all are legitimate, and, in the present condition of the world, necessary. Their several prov. inces and relations are clearly defined and illustrated by Mr. Lunt, who brings to the support of his views arguments drawn from the general constitution of human nature and from history. – Mr. Briggs, in his Fourth of July sermons, following “the gush of feeling more than logical rule,” speaks in his usual fresh and glowing style of the great Christian law of love, and with it compares the action of our Revolutionary fathers, which he cannot wholly approve in regard to slavery, and the action of the nation at the present day, which is far more indefensible : all great and noble works, however, he says, proceed by gradual and slow steps, and we must not lose patience, but, while we do not cease to labor for particular reforms, must do our best to purify the world from that “ general selfishness" in which, lying " deeper” than “ laws,” slavery and war have their origin. The ser. mons are such as befitted the day. - Mr. Stebbins's sermon presents us with a specimen of plain, strong preaching. We like its doctrines, in the main, respecting the authority of Christ and the demands of the present age upon the ministry ; its earnestness, sincere and direct, without a particle of fanaticism ; its style, clear yet ornate. Now and then, under each head of discourse, we fall upon a statement that we should hesitate to accept in an unmitigated form, but the concluding remarks contain ample qualification of what precedes. We should rejoice if there were more such preaching.' We must enter our protest, however, against Mr. Stebbins's method of making up a text, by fragments of verses arranged to suit his purpose ; any thing may be made out of Scripture in this way.
Mr. Cary's oration is marked by a high tone of moral feeling, which he brings to the discussion of different questions possessing a peculiar interest at the present moment, - as the Mexican war, with the policy and acts which led to it, danger to the Union, and, incidentally, slavery and others. Such attestations to the principles of a sound patriotism and an immutable morality, uttered on an occasion of such deep significance to the whole American people as the return of their great national festival for Independence, are encouraging symptoms, and cannot prove wholly fruitless. - Mr. Munch's pamphlet should not have been called a “Treatise.” It is a statement rather of the views of the “ German rationalists," or we might say, perhaps, a sort of panegyrical oration upon them, - quite thorough-going, stripping Christianity wholly of the miraculous and supernatural, and indulg. ing in visions of the “good and beautiful ” results which are to attend the final triumph of “Reason." The author does not appear to be overburdened with modesty, and would do well to write with a little more discrimination. The impression left on the mind of the unlearned reader of the pamphlet, if such it finds, would be, that the German rationalists, Paulus, Strauss, and the rest, are all of one mind as well as one heart, — that all critical questions are now, at last, settled to the satisfaction of all but a few “superstitious old fools." We apprehend that it is not exactly so. We do not think that much harm or much good will come from the publication.
Ecclesiastical Record. — The number of ministerial changes which it falls to us now to notice is even larger than usual ; - some occasioned by the feeble health of the late incumbents; others, as we learn, by inattention or inability on the part of congregations in regard to the minister's salary. Both these causes, and all causes which produce a speedy dissolution of the pastoral tie, we lament, though complaint and grief are of little avail.
Rev. Dr. Dewey has relinquished all care of the church of the Messiah in New York, carrying out in full an arrangement partially adopted a year since; but will preach to the congregation three months in the winter. The society are anxious to settle a successor. - Rev. Mr. Lord of Milwaukie, Wis., has retired from the ministry; the congregation do not, however, wish to dispose of their meetinghouse, as has been gratuitously asserted in one of the religious journals of the day, but are seeking a future supply of their pulpit. — Rev. Mr. Palfrey has closed his connection with the church in Barnstable. - - Rev. Mr. Moseley has resigned his charge of the church in Scituate.- Rev. Mr. Kinsley has left the people at Marshfield. - Rev. Mr. Gale has left Norton.- - Rev. Mr. Farley has closed his engagement at Norwich, Conn. – Rev. Mr. Rice has left Mendon. – Rev. Mr. Fosdick of Boston has given notice to the Hollis Street society that he shall terminate his connection with them at the expiration of six months.
- Rev. Mr. Niles, recently pastor of the Second Unitarian society in Lowell, has, since the appearance of our last number, resigned his ministry in that place, been installed over the First Congregational church in Belfast, Me., and, by a most unexpected providence, been called away from all earthly labors to service in a higher world.
In contrast with such examples of the mutability of clerical life in this country, we copy a paragraph which has met our eye in the London Inquirer for July 3, 1847. Mr. Turner resigned the charge of the pulpit at Newcastle a few years ago, and had previously been aided by a colleague, but his strength till old age was given to the people with whom he had settled in his youth.
“Rev. William TURNER. This venerable gentleman, now in the 86th year of his age, officiated once more, on Sunday week, in his old pulpit in Hanover-Square Chapel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which he first occupied in the year 1782! He used no spectacles, nor had his voice lost any ibing of its wonted force or fulness. We have before stated, we believe, that Mr. Turner is the son and grandson, father and grandfather, of a Nonconformist minister."
We hear of the establishment of Unitarian preaching where it has not before been maintained, as well as of its interruption in some other places in consequence of the loss of a minister or other temporary circumstances. There is now preaching every Sunday in the new town of Lawrence on the Merrimac, and in Upton, Mass. ; and arrangements are in progress that will probably produce a similar result in West Newton and in Melrose, both near Boston. -- The efforts of the Unitarian society in Hartford, Conn., to place themselves beyond all financial embarrassment deserve honorable mention. Being burdened by a debt incurred by the erection of their meetinghouse, they proposed to raise $ 10,000 among themselves for its reduction, $ 8000 of which, when we last heard, were already secured, and probably the whole at this time; besides a further subscription of $ 2300 for the purchase of an organ. The meetinghouse which the congregation under the care of Rev. Mr. Waterston are building in Bedford Street in this city is nearly completed, and will be dedicated in a few weeks. — The meetinghouse into which the society now worshipping in Purchase Street will remove, on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Beach Street, is rapidly advancing towards its completion. The corner-stone of this edifice was laid on the 3d of May, when the services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Coolidge. – The Indiana Street Congregational society, formerly • the Church of the Warren Street Chapel," are also proceeding in the erection of their house of worship; the cornerstone of which was laid June 17, the services being conducted by Rev. Messrs. Fox, Huntington, and Barnard.
We are glad to learn that the foundation of a ministry at large has been laid in Salem, Mass. Through the munificence of a lady of that city, Mr. John Ball, a layman long devoted to the improvement of the condition of the poor, has been employed to visit the friendless and destitute, with a particular view to aiding them in the care and training of their children. The result of his labors, we learn, is such as gives proof of their value. – Mr. Peter Betsch, late of the Meadville Theological School, has, in consequence of a physical infirmity which, he fears, would hinder his usefulness as a preacher, undertaken the work of a colporteur in Western Pennsylvania and the neighbouring States. It will be his object to sell or bestow Unitarian books and pamphlets, with other valuable works, in that part of the country. Other persons, we are told, contemplate engaging in the same employment in other sections of the Union.
pen, Pa.; "
Meadville Theological School. — The Anniversary Exercises at the close of the third year since the commencement of this institution were attended in the Chapel of Divinity Hall on Thursday, July 1, 1847; an examination of the several classes in the studies of the past year having taken place on the previous day, and the anniversary sermon having been preached in the evening by Elder J. E. Church. The Dissertations were read by members of the Middle and Senior classes, as follows: Middle Class: “ Advantages of the Study of Ecclesiastical History, ??? - Charles M. Taggart, Ky. ; “Martin Luther,” – Rush R. Ship
English Versions of the Bible," — Noah Michael, Ohio; * Christ a Dependent Being,"— Samuel McKown, Ohio;“ 1 John v. 7,”
Evan W. Humphrey, Ohio; " The Samaritan Pentateuch,” — James Elliott, Ohio; " Sunday Schools,” William Cushing, Mass. ; “ The Character of Balaam,” — Alvin Coburn, Vt. ; “ Peter's Sermon on the Day of Pentecost,” — Nathaniel 0. Chaffee, Mass.; “ Religious Liberty,” — Liberty Billings, Me.; “Critical Editions of the Greek Testament,' Stillman Barber, Mass. Senior Class : “ The Characteristics of Effective Preaching,"
" — Daniel Boyer, Pa.; " Piety in a Minister,' Peter Betsch, N. Y. ; “Moral Reforms and the Ministry,” – George S. Ball, Mass.