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suitable knowledge, are thereby fitting themselves for increasing usefulness, in the world and in the church. “A word spoken in season, how good is it;" but how can that man be expected to speak a word in season, who neglects to furnish his own mind with various information? The barren desert yields no fragrant perfume; and the mind that is destitute of knowledge is incapable of conveying instruction or advice to others. A Christian ought to be ready always to give an answer to him that asketh a reason of the hope that is in him ;” and even the illiterate
become able to do this, if they will steadily and resolutely apply themselves to the task of their own religious improvement. St. Paul reproves
the Hebrews on account of their indolence and neglect, in reference to this very particular. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.” (Chap. v. 12.) I have sometimes been charmed in hearing a poor man, when speaking on religious subjects,—one who had evidently improved his leisure hours, or half-hours, in reading his Bible, and other valuable publications,--to observe how instructively, and with what propriety, at least as to sentiment, he has communicated his views of divine things.
But in addition to the arguments founded on the spiritual edification, the mental enjoyment, and the qualifications for extended usefulness in our several spheres of action, which will result from a habit of Religious Reading, it should not be forgotten, that the improvement of our time and opportunities is what our great Creator expects and demands from us all, and that he who neglects this part of his Christian duty must give an account of such neglect to God. If the man who buried his “ one talent” was punished for his unfaithfulness, those persons, surely, cannot suppose that the Supreme Governor will take no notice of their sloth and criminalty, who use no diligence in endeavouring to profit by the multiplied advantages which Christians now possess for improvement both in knowledge and in grace.
THE ANTIQUITY OF INFANT BAPTISM SUPPORTED, AND THAT OF POPERY DISPROVED, FROM THE WORKS OF CHRYSOSTOM:
(BY H. S. BOYD, ESQ.) Ir my memory be correct, some writers among a highly respectable class of modern Christians have asserted, that Infant Baptism was not known or practised in the Christian Church, for the first four hundred, or even the first five hundred years after Christ. I now send you a short but valuable passage of St. Chrysostom, which I met with some years ago, when studying that Father's writings. His works are so voluminous, that it would be an almost endless task for a person, not previously acquainted with them, to search out passages to illustrate the history of any particular opinion. It is therefore probable, that the testimony which I am about to adduce has not been brought forward by any advocate of Infant Baptism. In an oration to the people of Constantinople, pronounced by Chrysostom after his return from his first exile, he repeats a conversation, which the Empress Eudoxia had lately held with him. Amongst other things, she said.-Meuunuar ori dia των χειρων των σων, ΤΑ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ ΤΑ ΕΜΑ ΕΒΑΠΤΙΣΘΗ :-«I remember, that by thy hands MY INFANTS (or LITTLE CHILDREN) WERE BAPTIZED."
On the above passage, I think it is necessary to offer a few observations. 1st. It is well known that the venerable Prelate of Constantinople was a rigid disciplinarian, and was strictly attached to the forms and usages, as well as to the doctrine of the Church. It is equally notorious, that he never said any thing, or did any thing, to ingratiate himself with the Royal Family, but that, in his official character, he lashed their vices, unceasingly and unsparingly. He opposed Eudoxia in particular; and this opposition, at length cost him his life. It is, therefore certain, that he would never have consented to baptize the children of the Empress, if Infant Baptism had not been generally administered in his day. 2dly. At the period when this conversation took place, the young Prince Theodosius was only two years old. His excellent sister Pulcheria was four years old. Whether all the rest of Eudoxia's children were born before that period, I have not at present the means of ascertaining; but this is of no importance. absolutely certain that the Archbishop baptized at least two of them, and this is quite sufficient for our purpose. 3dly. The discourse which I have quoted was pronounced by Chrysostom about the year 403. One of these baptisms must, therefore, have occurred, at least as early as 401.
In the eighth volume of Savile's edition of Chrysostom, there is a Life of him, written by George, Patriarch of Alexandria. At the end of this Life you will find the Oration which I have cited above. It is one of the finest specimens of the extemporaneous eloquence of St. Chrysostom.i.
(To be continued.)
From Buck's Anecdotes.
Phil. i. 21, 22. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour : yet what I shall choose I wot not.
The Rev. William Tennent, an American divine, died 1777, aged 72. The following is a suitable illustration of the text for this day.
When Mr. Whitefield was last in America, Mr. Tennent paid him a visit, as he was passing through New Jersey; and one day dined, with the other ministers, at a gentleman's house. After dinner Mr. W. adverted to the difficulties attending the gospel ministry ; lamented that all their zeal availed but little ; said that he was weary with the burdens of the day; declared the great consolation that in a short time his work would be done, when he should depart and be with Christ; he then appealed to the ministers if it was not their great comfort that they should go to rest. They generally assented, except Mr. T. who sat next to Mr. W. in silence; and by his countenance discovered but little pleasure in the conversation. On which Mr. W. tapping him on the knee, said, “ Well brother Tennent, you are the oldest man among us, do you not rejoice to think that your time is so near at hand, when you will be called home?” Mr. T. bluntly answered, “I have no wish about it.” Mr. W. pressed him again ; Mr. T. again answered, “No, Sir, it is no pleasure to me at all; and if you knew your duty, it would be none to you. I have nothing to do with death, my business is to live as long as I can—as well as I can—and to serve my Master as faithfully as I can, until he shall think proper to call me home." Mr. W. still urged for an explicit answer to his question in case the time of death were left to his own choice. "Mr. T. replied, “I have no choice about it; I am God's servant, and have engaged to do his business as long as he pleases to continue me therein. But, now, Brother, let me ask you a question. What do you think I would say, if I was to send my man into the field to plough; and if at noon I should go to the field and find him lounging under a tree, and complaining, Master, the sun is very hot, and the ploughing hard, I am weary of the work you have appointed me, and am over-done with the heat and burden of the day. Do Master let me return home, and be discharged from this hard service ?'—what would I say? why that he was a lazy fellow, that it was his business to do the work that I had appointed him, until I should think fit to call him home.” The pleasant manner in which this reproof was administered rather increased the social harmony of the company: who became satisfied that it was very possible to err, even in desiring with undue earnestness “to depart and be with Christ, which in itself is far better” than to remain in this imperfect state, and that it is the duty of the Christian in this respect to say, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.”
MISSION AT CHATAHOOCHIE. The following letter, from one of the Missionaries labouring upon this station, will give some idea of the state of religion in that part of the Country. Indeed, the more we penetrate into the new and exterior settlements of our extended continent, the more we perceive the importance and utility of Missionary exertions, and of course, the necessity of supporting and extending the operations of the Missionary Society.
Savannah, July 21, 1823. DEAR BRETHREN,
I think it proper by way of introduction to the following letter to observe, that the writer has for the last two years been partly supported in his Missionary labours by the Young Men's Missionary Society of this place. This Society, the express object of which is to assist the itinerant ministers of the South-Carolina Conference in their Missionary labours, was formed in 1821, and has already expended in this good work, between four and five hundred dollars; and it is still continuing its efforts in the same blessed cause. In consequence of Brother Triggs's connection with the Society almost from the commencement of its existence, we have received several valuable communications from him. The one I now send you a copy of, is the latest; and if you think proper you are at liberty to insert it in the Magazine.
I am, dear bretbren, your fellow-labourer in the kingdom and patience of Christ,
JAMES 0. ANDREW.
Chatahoochie Mission, June 11, 182%. DEAR BROTHER,
Through the goodness of our blessed Saviour myself and my colleague are in good health, preaching the gospel of Christ in the uncultivated woods of Georgia, Alabama and West-Florida, and gatbering into the fold of our Adorable Redeemer, the scattered and lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Since Conference the work of the Lord has not advanced so rapidly as it did some time before. Yet, thanks be to God, the members that were joined in Society last year, are generally steady. Eighteen or twenty have professed conversion, and between thirty and forty have joined Society. In some places our prospects are gloomy, congregations small, the people seem hardened in wickedness. In others the congregations increase, the people weep, and we are encouraged to hope for better times. On Sunday, May 18th, when I had finished my sermon and was about to sing, a man rose from his seat and said, that he felt horribly, and begged the congregation to pray for him. This produced considerable excitement among the people, and many came forward weeping and desiring our prayers. Since that time ten have joined Society in that place. This was where I had but little success last year. At another place a certain Mrs. B.joined society; her husband on hearing this grew very angry, and bid her pack up and be. gone, declaring if she said a word he would beat her. He became so sullen, that he refused to eat for two days, cursing both preachers and people, wishing them all in hell together! On the evening of the second day, his brother (who was as wicked as himself, but not so much opposed to religion) remonstrated with him for his conduct toward his wife, saying, that he had better cut her throat if he could not allow her liberty of conscience. This reached his heart, so that he went home, begged his wife's pardon, and sent for some of the society to pray for him. They gathered and prayed for him nearly all night. He has since very much reformed, and his wife has found peace to her soul.
When I was at Conference I was highly delighted at the Sabbath School Institutions, and earnestly wished to introduce them where I might be appointed to labour. Since I have returned to my station I have got four in operation; two of them are very promising; the children learn fast, and the teachers appear to Vol. VI.
take an interest in this labour of love; but we are in difficulties in consequence of the scarcity of books in this part of the country.
In consequence of a disease which prevails much in this country among horses, my colleague lost his the first time he went around his circuit, and my own horse bas become so poor that I fear I shall lose him. Blindness soon succeeds to the attack. Though, by parting with all his money, and pledging his credit for the remainder, my colleague bought him another horse, yet through the warmth of the weather, excessive rides, and other difficulties peculiar to the country, our horses are both blind; but, supported by grace, and animated with the prospect of promoting the happiness of our fellow men, we persevere, sometimes riding and sometimes walking over the bogs and through the mud, singing,
"In hope of that immortal crown,
We now the cross sustain;
And smile at toil and pain." I hope, my dear brother, you do not forget to pray for us, who labour in this wilderness, for I am sure none need the prayers of God's people more than your humble servant,
JOIN I, TRIGGS.
STATE OF RELIGION IN THE MICHIGAN TERRITORY.
To the Editors of the Methodist Magazine. DEAR BRETHREN,
I transmit to you, some account of the present prospects of religion in this territory, for the benefit of the Missionary Society. If you think it worthy of a place in your useful, and widely circulated Miscellany, it is at your disposal.
A year ago last winter, four or five soldiers were converted at Sackett's Harbour. The next summer, they were moved with their regiment to the Rapid of St. Mary, on the outlet of Lake Superior, about four hundred miles north of this city.
In this situation, destitute of almost every religious privilege, these young disciples of Jesus, formed themselves into a class, chose their leader, and commenced their religious meetings in the woods, for the want of a house. But when their barracks were erected, they obtained a privilege in the Hospital, where they con tinue to meet twice a week.
During the winter and spring, the Lord has dealt bountifully with them, insomuch that the class increased to the number of twelve or fourteen members; and through the instrumentality of these pious soldiers, one of their associates died in the triumphs of faith.
This little flock has received much encouragement and protection, from Lieut. Walter Becker, a pious and friendly Presbyterian, whose liberal soul is willing to encourage virtue and religion among all sorts of people.
There are now about five hundred souls in the camp and settlement. Many of whom are inquiring the way to Zion; but have no other instructions than what they receive from the above-mentioned officer and soldiers. They want, therefore, a preacher for the pulpit, and a teacher for the school. And as the settlement is small, and no neighbouring settlements to call him away, the preacher might teach the school, with little or no detriment to his ministerial labours. There are upwards of twenty children in the fort, large enough for school, and nearly as many more in the settlement. In addition to this, it would be an eligible situation to instruct the surrounding Indians.
The place was visited a few weeks since by the Rev. Mr. Moore of this city, from whom I obtained part of my information, but the principal part of it, I obtained from serjeant Ryon, who was one of the little flock; and I can assure you, that it did my very soul good this morning, to hear him tell what God had done for them in that place. And when I contemplate their situation, on a distant frontier, destitute of the common comforts of civil and religious life, and yet many of them inquiring the way to heaven, it fires my soul with Missionary zeal.
But shall these precious souls perish for lack of knowledge Shall they lose their good impressions for the want of a little help? And can they not have that