Puslapio vaizdai

The National Magazine.

JUNE, 1858.


THE AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.-It has been intimated that our brief note relative to sectarian

predominance in the management of this institution was unkind and unnecessary. As to its necessity we claim to be the best judge, and we are unable to see how any law of kindness is violated by a plain statement of facts. He is not an enemy who tells us the truth, and the truthfulness of our statement has not been questioned. Excuses indeed have been offered, in the guise of reasons for the Presbyterian ascendency in the Board of Managers. We are told that vacancies seldom occur, and that it is an ungracious task to displace men who have served faithfully, and that in due time the various religious denominations who sustain the society will have an equitable share in its management. All this has a very plausible sound. But a gentleman who has been. for many years in the service of the society, and who has carefully looked into the subject, informs us that during the last twenty years, that is since 1838, there have occurred sixteen vacancies in the board, fourteen by death and two by resignation. These have all been filled at the annual meetings succeeding the occurrence of the vacancies. The result now is, and we give it a little more definitely than in our former notice:

Managers of the American Bible Society.
Presbyterians, (Old and New School,)


Dutch Reformed







Total 36

Thus it will be seen that although there have been sixteen vacancies within the last twenty years, the relative predominance of one sect is greater now than it was then. Whether we are right or not in the inference that such a result has been reached by maneuvering and management, the reader, we think, will agree with us in the opinion that it ought not so to be in a national society, from whose banner the very word sectarianism is professedly blotted out. The Philadelphia Conference, the largest body of ministers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, men who have been, and still are, among the most devoted friends of the society, adopted, at their last session in Easton, Pa., the following significant resolution:

Resolved, That inasmuch as the American Bible Society is a great national institution, and is sustained by contributions from the various evangelical denominations, it is the judgment of this conference that each particular denomination is entitled to, and by right ought to have a fair and equitable share in the management of its affairs.

We commend this resolution to the notice of those who at present control matters at the Bible House, and assure them that the sentiment therein expressed is very general among the Churches.

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In all former collections made in this country the line reads,

This inward, dire disease, etc.

and the lynx-eyed critic, having never seen, or if he had seen, not having noticed, the Wesleyan true reading, accused the compilers of "mangling" the poetry of the great hymn writer. They had made him speak nonsense, and their mending was-marring. Unfortunately for the critic, but happily for the "menders," in this instance they had only restored the true reading as it came from the poet's pen; and if it speaks nonsense, the "maker," and not the "mender," is responsible. The moral of all this is, Never attempt to criticise without adequate acquaintance with the subject in hand.


AN ALTERNATIVE.-The Rev. Morgan Dix, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, is reported to have said, in a sermon "before the provisional bishop and a large congregation," at Trinity Church in this city, that "it must be evident on the face of the matter, that if the revivalists are right the Church must be in the wrong." Of course he took the ground that the Church, meaning his own denomination, is not in the wrong. Others will prefer the other horn of the dilemma; and it will not be an easy task to persuade the tens of thousands who have

recently been led to Christ, and have found peace in believing, that the revival so long, and still in progress, is a delusion, or without the sanction of the great Head of the Church. It cannot be reasoned away into a mere outburst of fanaticism; nor, by those who have felt its power, can it be attributed to mere human skill and contrivance. "The whole movement," Mr. Dix tells us, 64 occurred among those who are without episcopal order and government, and who discard the idea of sacraments in the sense in which the Church formularies use the word." In this he speaks truly, and the inference is that the revival is a delusion and a sham, OR that what Mr. Dix calls "episcopal order and government," is not essential to the salvation of souls, and that the "sense" in which his "Church formularies" use the "idea of sacraments" is not indispensable to the building up of Christ's kingdom upon earth.

PLAGIARISM. It is bad enough for men of the world to steal, and a political writer who should be proved guilty of appropriating to himself the thoughts and the language of another, would assuredly lose caste in the republic of letters. Of course it is no palliation of the offense that the guilty party is a Christian, or even a minister of the Gospel. Indeed some people have an idea that the preacher who utters as his own what he has committed to memory from the writings of others, and the learned divine who prints in a book page after page of another's thoughts without giving him credit, is no better than the ordinary pilferer, worse, indeed, because of his position and the more extended influence of his example. The most glaring case of this kind which has recently been exposed, is that of the Rev. Dr. Breckenridge, whose work entitled, "Theology Objectively Considered " was highly eulogized at the time of its publication. Some of the papers of the doctor's own Church hailed him as the Calvin of the age; but one of them, the North Carolina Presbyterian, charges him with gross and extensive plagiarism, andproves the charge. It is true the author's friends make a defense for him by referring to some general acknowledgments in his introduction; but, in that introduction, the doctor does not say that he has mainly made his book by copying from others, nor give any credit to STAPFER, a Swiss divine, whose Institutes of Polemical Theology were published at Zurich about a century ago. The following passages are taken from the doctor's "Preliminary Remarks." They are certainly sufficiently egotistical:

"I have not aimed to produce a compend of theology. I aim to teach theology itself." "It is this knowledge of God unto salvation, which I accept and develop, as a science of absolute truth; and these which I attempt to demonstrate, to classify, and to expound." "That for which I alone must be responsible, is that which makes the work individual, the conception, the method, the digestion, the presentation, the order, the spirit, the impression of the whole." P. x. "I am not aware that either the conception I have of this immense subject, or the method I adopt in developing it, or the order I pursue in treating it, have been distinctly recognized hitherto as a basis either of inquiry or instruction in theology." P. xii.

After perusing the above, and counting the great I's, the reader will admire the marvelous coincidence in the thoughts and language of two

men writing a century apart, as here presented, merely by way of a sample, in parallel columns: Stapfer, ch. iii, sec. L vol. 1, p. 67.

$271. By God we understand a self-existent Being, distinct from our mind and the universe, in whom there is contained a sufficient reason for the existence of this world and of our spirits; or, (a Being) that is absolutely neces sary and independent, but upon whom all things depend.

Dr. B., ch. xviii, p. 267. I-1. The simplest idea we can form of God is, that he is a self-existent Being, distinct from us and from the universe, who contains in himself a sufficient ground and reason for the existence of ourselves and the universe. Stated in other words: that God is a being absolutely necessary and independent, in whom and upon whom all things are contingent and dependent.

2. As it is impossible for anything to be, and not to be, it follows that a sufficient reason exists, and can be given why any particular thing is rather than is not; and why it is in a particular mode, rather than in some other. This sufficient reason being discovered and stated, nothing more can be required concerning the fact or mode of the existence of that thing.

278. It is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be. This is a first Truth, and therefore incapable of demonstration.

274. There exists a sufficient reason for all things; whence it is known why any particular thing is, rather than is not; why it exists in this particular mode rather than in another; and which being stated, nothing more is required to explain the existence of that thing.

BRADY'S GALLERY.One of the most attractive places in relation to the fine arts in the city, is the gallery of Mr. Brady, 359 Broadway. Under the enterprising skill of this gentleman the photographic art has reached perfection. The most perfect representations, from the miniature to the life size, are taken in all styles. Those which have been painted, present the most perfect specimens of art we have seen. Mr. Brady has recently enriched his gallery with imperial photographs of the most distinguished divines in the different denominations in the city; and this gallery of itself would well repay a visit. The most distinguished officials in state as well as Church, from this and other countries, with a full representation of the literary men of the times, can be found in his collection. Among the photographs may be seen most exact likenesses of our bishops, with quite a number of our pulpit celebrities in New York. The whole corps editorial of the Book Concern is represented with admirable exactness. Mr. Brady is a native of New York, and among the first to introduce this beautiful art among us, and to him, perhaps, more than any other artist, is the country indebted for the perfection to which it has attained. His gallery in Washington city, as well as the one on Broadway, is one of the largest and most attractive of the kind in the country; and as they are open to access to all visitors, our friends would doubtless be gratified in looking upon his finely-executed pictures.

SLAVERY.-The New York East Conference, at their late session, adopted the following resolutions, and ordered their publication :

Resolved, That we affirm the language of our Church in 1784, namely, that the practice of holding our fellowcreatures in slavery is contrary to the golden rule of God and the inalienable rights of mankind, as well as the principles of the American Revolution; and we therefore deem it our most bounden duty to take some

effectual method to extirpate this abomination from among us.

Resolved, That it is the duty of our Church as a unit to educate her membership to the high standard of these her primitive doctrines, and to this end it is her duty to inculcate them prudently but firmly through her organs, whether press or pulpit.

Resolved, That, while we oppose slavery as citizens, and give our sympathy to those who, in the state, are maintaining the cause of freedom against the slave power, we are especially the opponents of oppression as a sin, and the supporters of emancipation as the requirement of righteousness; and we would therefore remember that our anti-slaveryism should be deeply imbued with the spirit of the Holy Gospelthat it should wisely consult the honor and unity of our Church, in the full faith that the highest good will be obtained through the legitimate instrumentality of her established institutions.

Resolved, That we offer our unfeigned thanks to Almighty God, and tender our cordial congratulations to the friends of humanity, for the rapid extension of the principles of justice and freedom during the past year, as well as for the cheering prospects of the extension of free institutions in our country; and we cherish the anticipation that, with proper effort in maintaining and diffusing light and truth on the subject, all misunderstanding will disappear, and tho Church will unite, as with the heart of one man, upon the ancient Wesleyan platform, and, as in the great English emancipation struggle, Methodism will be unanImous and energetic in the cause of freedom.

An official Methodist paper, one of the "Advocates," says: "Why any Methodist preacher should oppose such resolutions, we can't tell. To us they sound very fourth-of-Julyish."

Our brother is not alone in this respect. Many of those who listened to the warm discussion occasioned by their introduction, were unable to see why the resolutions were opposed with such zeal. It is gratifying to be enabled to add that the opposition was a very small minority of the Conference, and that with equal, if not greater unanimity, the New York conference, sitting in the same city, a few weeks later, adopted the following:

Whereas, There are few, if any questions agitating more deeply the public mind, or involving moral and religious principles of higher moment, than slavery, we consider it fitting and proper that we as a conference should give utterance to our convictions on the subject; therefore,

Resolved, That the system of slavery is at war with the Gospel of Christ, the rights of man, and the best interests of society.

Resolved, That we point with just pride to the position which the Methodist Episcopal Church has, from her first organization, occupied upon the subject, ever regarding it as an evil, for the extirpation of which all wise and prudent measures are to be employed.

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This may be regarded as initiating the movement: for its due consideration will very naturally result in the determination to establish a school of the kind in one of the localities named. Indeed, the adoption of the first resolution settles the question of necessity in the opinion of the Conference; and all that remains to be done is to project a plan, and carry it out.

AN EDITORIAL CALAMITY.-The Christian Inquirer, in noticing the fact that the editor of the Churchman has retired from his post, thus gives vent to his regret:

We are afraid we shall never find another editor so interesting as this highest of all Churchmen was to us. What shall we do now for an authority in Ecclesiology? His weekly lucubrations were always looked forward to with the assurance of finding, in addition to unquestionable ability, such strange Ishmaelite arrogance, presumption, and contempt for all outside of the "covenanted mercies," as were almost sublime and quite amusing. It was as healthy a laugh provoker to most of the editorial fraternity as if intended for a weekly ecclesiastical Punch, and will be much missed.

A TERRIBLE FOE.-Banker, in his work on Ceylon, states that on one occasion he came across an enormous serpent which lay in his path. His head was about the size of a very small cocoa-nut, divided lengthways, and this was raised to about eighteen inches above the coil. His eyes were fixed upon us, and the forked tongue played in and out of his mouth with a continued hiss. Aiming at his head, I fired at him with a double-barreled gun, within four paces, and blew his head to pieces. He appeared stone-dead; but, upon pulling him by the tail, to stretch him out, he wreathed himself into convulsive coils, and lashing himself out at full length, mowed down the grass in all directions. This obliged me to stand clear, for his blows were terrific, and the thickest part of his body was as thick as a man's thigh. Cutting some sharp-pointed stakes, I pinned his tail to the ground with my hunting-knife; and thrusting the pointed stake into the hole, I drove it deeply into the ground with the buttend of my rifle. The boa made some objection to this, and again commenced his former muscular contortions. I waited till they were over; and having provided myself with some tough jungle-rope, (a species of creepers,) I once more approached him, and, pinning his throat to the ground, I tied the rope through the incisions, and the united exertions of myself and three men hauled him out perfectly straight. I then drove a stake through his throat, and pinned him out. required our united strength to tear off his He was fifteen feet in length, and it skin, which shone with a variety of passing colors. On loosing his hide he tore away from the stakes; and although his head was shivered to atoms, and he had lost three feet of his neck by the ball having cut through this part, which separated in tearing off the skin, still he lashed and writhed in a frightful convulsion, continuing till I left him, bearing his hide as my trophy.

SLANDER. Yes, you pass it along, whether you believe it or not. You don't believe the one-sided whisper against the character of another, but will use your influence to bear up the false report, and pass it on the current.

Strange creatures are mankind. How many benevolent deeds have been chilled by the shrug of a shoulder! How many individuals have been shunned by a gentle, mysterious hint! How many chaste bosoms have been wrung with grief at a single nod! How many graves have been dug by false report! Yet you will keep it above the water by a wag of your tongue, when you might sink it forever. Destroy the passion for tale-telling, we pray. Lisp not a word that may injure the character of another. Be determined to listen to no story that is repeated to the great injury of another, and, as far as you are concerned, the slander will die. But tell it once, and it may go as on the wing of the wind, increasing with each breath, till it has circulated through the State, and has brought to the grave one who might have been a blessing to the world.

ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH.-The London Times announces that the general programme of the second, and, it is to be hoped, final attempt to submerge the Atlantic telegraph wire, has already been decided on. The four hundred miles of cable ordered to replace the three hundred and eighty-four which were lost last autumn off Valentia have been completed, and it is intended, in order to make better provision for casualties, that an additional three hundred miles shall be at once proceeded with. The Agamemnon and the Niagara are the vessels again to be employed in the attempt to lay the wire, and the operation will this year be commenced in the middle of June, in which month, it is said, there are some five or six consecutive days during which a gale in the Atlantic was seldom or never known to occur. The line will be joined and laid from the center of the ocean, the Niagara bringing her end of the cable to Ireland, and the Agamemnon conveying hers to America. The Niagara will take on board, at the Keyham Dockyard, one thousand five hundred miles of the wire. On this occasion the cable will not be piled away in one huge mass, but will be distributed equally in the fore, midship, and after part of the vessel, in three coils of five hundred miles each. As soon as the wire has been stowed away, the two steamers will proceed into deep water, when a number of experiments will be made with the paying out machinery, to ascertain practically if any difficulties exist in the proposed plan for submerging the wire from the center of the Atlantic.

ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.-Mr. Bancroft, in the first volume of his History of the United States, gives an account of the early traffic of the Europeans in slaves. In the middle ages the Venetians purchased white men, Christians, and others, and sold them to the Saracens in Sicily and Spain. In England the Anglo-Saxon nobility sold their servants as slaves to foreigners. The Portuguese first imported negro slaves from Western Africa, into Europe, in 1442. Spain soon engaged in the traffic, and negro slaves abounded in some places of that kingdom. After America was discovered, the Indians of Hispaniola were imported into Spain, and made slaves. The Spaniards visited the coast of North America and kidnapped thousands of the

Indians, whom they transported into slavery in Europe and the West Indies. Columbus himself kidnapped five hundred native Americans, and sent them into Spain, that, they might be publicly sold at Seville. The practice of selling North American Indians into foreign bondage continued for two centuries. Negro slavery was first introduced into America by Spanish slaveholders, who emigrated with their negroes. A royal edict of Spain authorized negro slavery in America in 1508. King Ferdinand himself sent from Seville fifty slaves to labor in the mines. In 1511 the direct tariff in slaves between Africa and Hispaniola was enjoined by a royal ordinance. Las Casas, who saw the Indians vanish away before the cruelties of the Spaniards, suggested that the negroes, who alone could endure severe toils, might be further employed. This was in 1518. Sir John Hawkins was the first Englishman that engaged in the slave-trade. In 1652 he transported a large cargo of Africans to Hispaniola. In 1657 another expedition was prepared, and Queen Elizabeth protected and shared in the traffic. Hawkins, in one of his expeditions, set fire to an African city, and out of three thousand inhabitants succeeded in seizing two hundred and sixty. Thomas Keyser and James Smith, of Boston, first brought the colonies to participate in slavery. In 1654 they imported a cargo of negroes. Throughout Massachusetts the cry of justice was raised against them as malefactors and murderers; the guilty men were committed for the offense, and the representatives of the people ordered the negroes to be restored to their native country at the public expense. At a later period there were both Indian and negro slaves in Massachusetts. In 1620 a Dutch ship entered James River, and landed twenty negroes for sale. This was the epoch of the introduction of slavery in Virginia. For many years the Dutch were principally concerned in the slave-trade in the market of Virginia.

POINTLESS SERMONS.-In one of his discourses John Newton has this pithy remark:

Many sermons, ingenious in their kind, may be compared to a letter put in a post-office without a direction. It is addressed to nobody, it is owned by nobody, and if a hundred people were to read it, not one of them would think himself concerned in the contents.

Such a sermon, whatever excellences it may have, sword which has a polished blade, a jeweled hilt, and lacks the chief requisite of a sermon. It is like a a gorgeous scabbard, but yet will not cut, and therefore, to all real use, is no sword. The truth properly presented has an edge; it pierces to the dividing asunder intents of the heart. of soul and spirit; it is a discerner of the thoughts and

THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER thus speaks of a new organization which professes to collect money from Sabbath-school children. It is called the plan of Systematic Beneficence. It says:

A communication containing a "Plan for the Sabbath School Charity Fund,” will be found in another column. The plan proposes the "raising of six cents a week" for this fund "by every Sabbath-school scholar of stock to the amount of ten million dollars. Those in America." The Society proposes to issue certificates who pay six cents a week for three years are to be life members; those who do it for six years, honorary managers; those who do it for ten years, honorary vice presidents; and "those who do this (from love to Christ) while they live, will have a free admission

through the gates into the heavenly city, a crown of gold, and a seat at the right hand of the final Judge." To many this plan appears monstrous! nothing better than buying indulgences, by which papists strive to obtain the pardon of sin, or a licence to indulge their unhallowed passions. It appears to be in harmony with popery, and every other false religion; but our Bible teaches us that the crown of life is a gift, not to be gained as a reward of works; a gift of unmerited, infinite GRACE.

NO JEW FARMERS.-The Friend, published at Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, contains the following curious statement:

Passing along the very busiest street of Honolulu, in the very busiest part of the day, a shopkeeper called our attention to the statement, which he asserted as a fact upon the authority of the last census of the United States, that out of seven hundred thousand (700,000) Jews residing in the United States, only one was registered as a farmer. He desired us to account for the fact. Upon the ordinary principles governing the migration and settlement of different nations resorting to the United States, this fact is unaccountable. It has no parallel. It stands forth marked and isolated. Other nations emigrating to America gradually become absorbed, and mingled with the general population, but not so the Jews. Singular fact. Rare exception. How shall it be accounted for? Let us open the Bible and read the ninth verse of the ninth chapter of the prophet Amos:

"For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth." Here is a pledge or promise of God that the Jewish people shall not be lost. They are scattered abroad, but not lost or forgotten. They have wandered among all nations, but do not find a home among the nations.

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thinks that genuine titles involve theological intuitions, and that true aristocracy enjoys an instinct for the discernment of true faith. If the list had run on thus, three mathematicians, one physiologist, two chemists, four geologists, eight natural historians, ten physicians, two surgeons, eighty-five solicitors, and two hundred and seventy-two other persons engaged in intellectual professions, it would have been somewhat more to the purpose.

THE DIVINITY OF RANK.-The Univers boasts that during the last few years there have been converted to popery in England, three duchesses, one marquis, two countesses, four viscountesses, eight ladies, ten baronets, two archdeacons, eighty-five clergymen, and two hundred and seventy-two persons moving in the upper ranks of life; and further glories in the fact that English titles imply genuine aristocracy, and not sham. Apparently the Univers

CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT ALLIGATORS.-Lyell, the geologist, says that alligators' nests resemble hay-cocks. They are four feet high and five in diameter at their bases, being constructed of grass and herbage. First, they deposit one layer of eggs on a layer of mortar, and having secured this with a stratum of mud and herbage, eight inches thick, lay another set of eggs upon that, and so on to the top, there being commonly from one to two hundred eggs in a nest. With their tails they beat down round the nest the dense grass and reeds five feet high, to prevent the approach of unseen enemies. The female watches her eggs until they are all hatched by the heat of the sun, and then takes her brood under her own care, defending them and providing for their subsistence. Dr. Lutzemberg, of New-Orleans, told me that he once packed up one of these nests with eggs in a box for the Museum of St. Petersburgh, but was recommended before he closed it to see that there was no danger of the eggs being hatched on the voyage. On opening one, a young alligator walked out, and was soon followed by the rest, about a hundred in all, which he fed in his own house, where they went up and down stairs whining and barking like young puppies.


STICKING TO THE TEXT.-Selden, in his amusing Table Talk, has the following story in illustration of his remark that preachers will sometimes bring anything into the text:

The young masters of arts preached against nonresidency in the university; whereupon the heads made an order that no man should ineddle with anything but what was in the text. The next day one preached upon these words: "Abraham begat Isaac." When he had gone a good way, at last he observed, that Abraham was resident; for, if he had been nonresident, he could never have begot Isaac; and so he fell foul upon the non-residents.

minister who was almost possessed on the subThis is something like the anecdote of the ject of the prelatical controversy, and could never refrain from introducing his opinion on it, no matter what the subject in hand. Once he was set to discourse upon the first verse in the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." His first remark was, "Yes, my brethren; but it does not say that God created bishops."

NOT QUALIFIED.-When John Brown, D.D., had settled in Haddington, the people of his parish gave him a warm and enthusiastic reception; only one of the members of that large church and congregation stood out in opposition to him. The reverend doctor tried all the means

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