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reference to the sermons they hat just heard in the sanctuary, or upon the Assembiy's Catechism. and seriously expounding to them the word of God. But chese lavs have passed away, and fathers have most. Thanicriuly accepted the orfers of any who have kindly tenderert their assistance to relieve them from such ardnons duties. Now we are not opposed to sabbath school instriction: hut when parents peid to others the sole instruction of their offspring ngon reincts subjects, they forget that God has commander them “o bring up their ehidren in the nurture and admonition of the Lori.“ ard are by thus resigning their children to strar.gers, abardcairg much of their own authority over them Sachach schocis may be good helps, but they are by no means a substitite for domestie instruction.
The next three chaçters. on the importance of eminent piety," "avoiding the appearance of evil." and -- eonformity to the world," we pass over, because they coustitute the every day themes of our lectures and sermons. Especially is this true with reference to the last, in this day when God himself by our commercial embarrassments, is uniting with his ministers in re buking the worldliness of his professing people. It seems as if on both sides of the Atlantic, the church of God has been in danger of abandoning his service for that of mammon, and the commercial embarrassments alluded to, have been felt upon both continents. For our own part, we must confess, that while we have sympathized deeply with the sufferers, we have also rejoiced, that God in his providence was stepping foward to arrest his church in her career of ruin, and save her before she became merged in an impenitent world. The blow which has fallen upon our land so heavily, has, we think, been felt more deeply by the church than the impenitent. At any rate, the spirit of speculation was as rampant in the sanctuary as on Change, carrying upon its rapid current, very often, both the shepherd and the flock. Christians began to vie with each other and the world in the splendor of their establishments, and casting off the livery of the Savior, threw around christianity the gorgeousness of a secular glory. Thus attired, she was fast losing her power to save. The salt had well nigh lost its savor; the light of the world was almost extinguished. But the Redeemer, who is alike the God of providence and of grace, interposed, and tearing off the tinsel robes which concealed her real beauty, again invested her with the garments of salvation. * Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even he shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord."
We most earnestly recommend to our readers a careful perusal of what is said “on the conduct of professors in reference to politics," as peculiarly deserving of their consideration in this day of high political excitement. The ground Mr. James takes, is, we think, the right ground. On the one hand he asserts, that duty to himself and posterity require, that the christian should improve his elective franchise, for the purpose of securing and perpetuating the civil and religious liberty of his country:
'It is his duty to give his conscientious vote for the election of his representative in his own branch of the legislature; he may join his fellow subjects to petition for the redress of civil, or ecclesiastical grievances; and to the extent of his influence, mildly and properly exerted, without injuring his own piety and charity, or unnecessarily wounding the feelings and exciting the passions of others, he may endeavor to direct public opinion in favor of what is just and beneficial
. The calm, dispassionate, charitable, and conscientious exercise of your political rights, without sectarian bitterness and party animosity, in such measure as does not interfere with your own personal religion, and in such manner as does not wantonly injure the feelings of those who are opposed to you ; which does not take you too much from your closet, your family, and your shop; if indeed you can thus exercise your rights, is quite lawful for you as professors. These rules and restrictions, however, must be imposed; for, without them, the subject will be sure to do you harm.' pp. 135, 136.
To these sentiments we most heartily respond, and sincerely wish, that they might be rung in the ears of every political professor of religion in our country. Who has not witnessed with grief the homage paid by professing christians to a favorite candidate for office, due only to the King of Kings? Who has not heard expressions of joy falling from their lips upon his success, which never fell when the scenes of a revival put the crown upon the head of the Savior? Who has not seen the prayermeeting vacated to supply the halls of a political meeting. Yes, professors of religion, servants of him whose kingdom is not of this world, have followed a liberty-pole, and superintended its elevation, with a jubilation of soul, and loud hosannas, whose gloomy faces, and whose silent tongues, habitually indicated hearts cold to the interests of Jesus Christ ! Yes, and they have lavished thousands to promote the political regeneration of their country, while but tens have been reluctantly advanced to secure the moral regeneration of the world!
But there is another aspect of the subject, if possible, still more humiliating. We refer to the spirit with which christians go to the ballot-box. Here, it really seems as if they laid aside their christianity, and acted without any reference to the judgment day. We allude, particularly, to their choice of candidates. The question asked, is not, What is the moral character of the man who solicits my vote? Is he a friend of the Savior ? Is he, at any rate, a man of sterling integrity, a lover of law and order, a respecter of God's institutions ? Oh, no. But is he a whig ? Is he a democrat? Does he belong to my party? If so, this is enough; I will vote for him, even if his opponent be a man of God, and he an infidel. It is enough to satisfy the conscience of the voter, if the man who asks his influence have been nominated by a caucus of his own political creed. It is in this way, that men are elevated to our highest offices, whose only claims to the suffrages of their fellow citizens, are founded upon their opposition to the sabbath, or their utter disregard of all religion. Yes, men are found in our halls of legislation, and wielding the executive power, whose hands are red with blood, and whose lives of debauchery ought to outlaw them from the society of the good. We say in this way, for were the professed friends of the Savior, in our country, to let it be known, that a reputation for a sound heart, as well as a sound head, were the pre-requisite qualification of any for whom their suffrages were solicited, so large is their number, that they could control our elections. Both parties, to secure their co-operation, would be careful not to alarm their fears, and drive them off, by nominating persons for office whose characters were suspicious. We do not wish to have christians organize themselves into a separate political party, but we do desire, most earnestly, that as they really have the balance of power in their hands, they would so improve it, as to defeat the election of corrupt demagogues, and secure that of honest men. This they owe to God, and to their country.
What our author says “on brotherly love,” will, we doubt not, be read with deep interest. In this day, when the church of Christ in our land, which ought, like his seamless robe, never to be rent, is divided into parties; when Zion's watchmen, even of the same communion, no longer see eye to eye, or lift up their voices together ; when wrath, and clamor, and envy, and evil speaking have usurped the place of fraternal confidence and affection, we need to be often reminded of the injuries which these alienations among brethren inflict upon the cause of the Redeemer, and called to repentance. Who, that watches the the signs of the times with a pious heart, can but weep when he sees the church of Christ, weak and powerless, bleeding to death from the wounds which she herself, and not the enemy, hath inflicted!
Let christians read pages 154, 155, if they would understand the meaning of the new commandment. In accounting for the want of brotherly love, Mr. J. says, “ The external prosperity of the church, and its worldly ease, are one cause. In times of persecution the sheep run together ; but when the dogs cease to bark, to chase, and to worry them, then they separate and quarrel with one another.” We have long believed, that this was the case, and have been anticipating, and we must confess almost desiring the day when the simultaneous and united attack of the enemy should call the church from waging an intestine war, to resist a common foe. Nothing would, we think, more effectually silence the strifes of our theological parties; nothing blend into one holy phalanx " the sacramental hosts of God's elect,” more certainly, than to be obliged to meet an enemy whose grand purpose was not the annihilation of any individual portion of a particular denomination, but of our common christianity. Not only under these circumstances, would the fragments of the same denomination be again united, but all the sects of evangelical christians would find, that there was, as upon the floor of the American Bible Society, a spot where they could unite in defending the truth. Then would Zion look forth as the morning,-fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. Then would the millennial sun pour its splendors upon a regenerated world. This is the only union we expect on earth. While men possess different minds, and are in different circumstances, they will probably always differ in their views of church government, and their mode of philosophizing upon the facts of theology. But these are not essential to salvation. The church, if filled with love, is still one.
Like the children of Israel journeying to the promised land, they may have distinct banners and leaders for each tribe, but they follow one Joshua,-even Jesus, the Great Captain of our salvation.
We have occupied so much time in the consideration of the first ten chapters, we can do but little more than to say concerning the others, that their perusal will well repay the reader for the labor. The bare announcement of the subjects will recommend them to the serious consideration of the christian. They are, in their order: The influence of Professors ; Conduct of Professors towards unconverted relatives; The unmar-. ried Professor ; The Professor in prosperity; The Professor in adversity; The conduct of Professors away from home; The backsliding Professor ; The influence of the Holy Spirit ; The dying Professor.
Some of our readers may, perhaps, differ from Mr. James upon the subject of the intermarriages of professors and non-professors of religion. He is decidedly of the opinion, that they are in every case contrary to the word of God.
This is the law then, that no Christian should marry any one who is not also a Christian ; or who is not upon good grounds supposed to be such. I say it is the law ; not merely advice, or counsel, but command, and as binding on our conscience as any other precept of the New Testament. We have no more right to attempt to annul or evade this command, than we have any other of Christ's laws.' pp. 207, 208.
If this be true, it is high time for the church to awake and vindicate the law against its daily violation. The following consequences, horrid enough, most certainly follow.--All such marriages are, ipso facto, void, and their offspring illegitimate : The minister who celebrates such unhallowed nuptials ought to be censured by his brethren, and the parties to be separated : The guilty should be instantly disciplined, and if they refused to confess their sorrow, that they had thus married an unbeliever, should be excommunicated. But is it true, that Christ has in every case prohibited such intermarriages? If he has, then we aver, that at least in America he has converted his church into a vast nunnery.
It is well known, that there are three females who profess religion, and possess it too, to one male. And is it possible, that Christ intended to deprive the world of all that influence which christian mothers exert upon its present and prospective interests? Has he proclaimed “marriage honorable in all," and with his own hand created the strong sympathies of woman's heart for the domestic relation and duties, only to crush them by conversion ? For our part, we do not believe it, and, had we time, think we could prove to a demonstration, that the texts which the author quotes are inapplicable to the question he is discussing. We, however, confess, that when a man seeks a companion beyond the pale of the church, among the impenitent, and commits the best hours of the existence of his children to an ungodly mother, he at the same time shows a sad state of religious feeling. He has, under ordinary circumstances, no apology. He may find a pious woman. But to the woman there is no such privilege granted. Her own delicacy, as well as refined public sentiment, confine her to her father's habitation until her hand is solicited. And is it possible, that when addressed by a man of christian education, dedicated to God in baptism, correct morals, amiable deportment, and all other qualifications, besides religion, for an excel