Gospel Herald, 1859-12-24, page 01
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Devoted to Oliristianlty, Morality, the Interests of Sab"bath. Scliools, Social Improvement, Temperance, Ed.-acation, and General News. BEHOLD, I BEING TOU GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOT .... ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN." VOL. 16. DAYTON, O., SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, m NO. 33. ORIGlNAL^fOETRY. "Wandering Pilgrim. I am a -ffandering pilgrim, an exile I do roam; I'm in a land of strangers far from my native home; I croi3S the lofty mountains, I face the snow and rain, To preach a risen Saviour, the Lamb for sinners slain. I take the Holy Bible to be my only guide; I know no other gospel than Jegus crucified; I have no earthly master to toll me where to go. To preach a living gospel to sinners doomed to woe. I fellowship all christians and aaints of every ]) ame. Believing pure religion is every where the same; I am not superstitious, nor filled with party zeal; The love of Christ is precious, its virtue I do , feci. But while I am a preaching, as Jesus gave command, I meet with opposition and trials on each hand; Some say that I'm deluded and filled with heresy, Bfeause I do not publish the mysterious Trinity. Some say tliat I am humble, some say that I am proud. Some say that I am sober, some say that I am rude; Some do not like my preaching, some siiy it is too plain; Some say they will not hear me, some say 1 preach for gain. But though the world tlespise mo, and call me poor and mean, And now do persecute me, and give mc cruel names, I hope the holy Saviour will help me still to bcai', In meelcnesa, those invectives which daily I do hear. OR^QINAUTI^ES. Written for the Qospal HeraU- Christian Character, THE ONLY TEST 01' CHRISTIAN AND CHURCH FELLOWSHIP. Sixty years ago, for tlie first ti mo since the days of tlie Apostles, the above principles were publicly proclaimed as the basis of a religious organization, and the distinguishing feature of the true Church of God. This was a grand movement! It would be no moan com¬ pliment to.the wisdom and sagacity of Jones, Smith, O'Kelly, Stone and the more proniinent proclaimers of these doctrines since their time, to suppose thattiieyhave comprehended thewholo significance of our denominational po¬ sition, and the necessary influenco of our principles. There has notbcon for seventeen h un - drcdyears, a revolution in State, or are- formation in the Church, beside, fraught with consequences so im.]jortant to the Church, and to all coming time, as the reformation which ushered in the -XlXth, century. This movement does not challenge our recognition of it, as divinely ap¬ pointed and constituted, without fnr- nL^hing, in its history, the trials and tests which constitute the credentials of God's approved agencies and instru¬ mentalities. As a denomination, the Christiana have never prospered, hu¬ manly speaking, as have some of the sects. After an existence of more than half a century, marked by the great¬ est exertions and sacrifices for the dis¬ semination of truth, the whole com¬ munion scarcely numbers half a mil¬ lion. Bat small as this number is, it is by far too large. There are very many among us, both in the pews and pulpits, who are "not of us"—who re¬ gard us only as one of the numerous family of sects. With them, church membership is a matter nicely hal- lanced upon the pivot of personal ad¬ vantage; and the importance of the Ipastoral relation, in any given place, is to bo decided precisely as is any oilier question of dallars and cents. Many have become "denominationally discouraged," and loft us for a more congenial home among the sects. Perhaps no other denomination, in proportion to its numbers, has lost so many ministers, by secession, or re¬ ceived so largo an accession from other denominations. But in most cases the loss has been numetiaal only, and the gain chimerical. To this alien ele¬ ment among, hut "not of us," I trace the spirit of unrest which has so an¬ noyed and troubled us. Only the in-, spired icord as authority in religious mat¬ ters, and christian character the only test of christian and. church fellowship, is to thoin not only unsatisfactory, but a position simply ridiculous. They can never be satisfied without some "image of the beast." Oar opinions must b& reduced to a convenient number of ar¬ ticles, in form, and with the force of a creed, and we receive a human name accordingly, whether Unitarian or Trinitarian, th atwc may take our place among the merchants of the mystic city. This done, and it only remains to travel out of the record to find a suitable title by which to designate our ministers. For that they should be called Elders simply, the same old title that Peter and the rest of the apostles wore, showing not the least improve¬ ment for eighteen hundred years, is absolutely sliocking! Hence the re¬ cent use among us of the title Bev., and its cognates. There is another sense, however, in which our prosperitj^, or the triumph of our principles, has quite exceeded our most sanguine expecta¬ tions. Various religious sects, within the last quarter of a century, of more or less numerical and positional impor¬ tance, have made important concessions to our position—concessions which are fatal to their denominational polity.'— The confidence which we repose in Je¬ sus Christ; a confidence and faith which form a part of no sectarian creed, and which cannot exist in any sect as such, has done much to awaken distrust of human usurpers of religious power and privilege. The adaptation and sufficiency of the holy Scriptures "for doctrine re]:)roof and instruction in rigliteousness that tlio man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work"—the grand idea that no man or body of men; Pope, Bishop, Synod, Presbytery or Confer¬ ence," has anything to do with the word of God but s,nn])\j to oley it," has wrought mightily "through God to the pulling down of strong holds—casting down imaginations, that exalt them¬ selves against the knowledge of God." The thumtiers of the Vatican are con¬ fined to the land of volcanoes, and the fnlminations of all other anti-christian bodies are not only ceasing to frighten men, but ceasing even to be respected by them. Excepting the Catholics, there is not a denomination in Christendom, whose respect for the creed as the sum and limit of religious belief has not ma- terially abated within a few years. An eloqent member of Parliament has said, that they (England) had a "l^apal church, aCalvinistio creed, and an Arminian clergy." It seems that such confusion of neutralizing elements must soon defeat the objects of the mo¬ dern, as the confusion of languages did of the ancient Babel builders. The almost numberless secessions from Methodism, within the last fifty years, have originated, not in distrust of the piety or zeal of that body, but in chiistian rebellion to their assump¬ tion of power to manufacture and con¬ trol the fiiith of the membership, and to constitute human tests of christian and church fellowship. Out of the efforts of the Baptists to sejjarate christian from church fellow¬ ship, has originated the monstrous no¬ tion of exclusive communion. Anotion so manifestly anti-christian, admitting that the conditions of membership in their communion are not christian but sectarian, has conviilsed the whole de¬ nomination, originating important di¬ visions among them, and enlisting, be¬ side the late Eobert Hall of England, a host of giant minds, both in Europe and America, encouragiug the hope that the good' leaven among them will work until the "old leaven" shall be purged out, and they yet be able to keep the fbast, only with the "unleav¬ ened bread of sincerity and truth."— It is this gospel leaven which has so softened the rugged features of puri¬ tanic Congregationalism in ISTew Eng¬ land ; and given birth among the Pres¬ byterians, in the Middle and Western States, to the Cumberland Presbytery and the New School party. Thirty years since, the President of Bethany College, Va., assigned as a reason for calling his followers "Disci¬ ples," rather than Christians, that the latter name was "appropriated." As our principles compel us to reject all other names (than Christian) as sub¬ versive of our position, they offered no lure to ambition, and hence the course of Mr. Campbell; and hence the sect of Disciples; and hence the fruit of christian faith, in a single in¬ stance, is made to represent Christiani¬ ty itself. Then there is a score of small sects, as scintillations struck off from the concussions of larger bodies, whose ex¬ istence is evidence of the working of "leaven," and also of the element of anti-christian resistance. They have seen, in the strong light that is poring around all religious subjects, some of the more manifest evils of sectarianism, and have agreed in their rebellion against that particular form of our re¬ ligious assumption and aggression with wliich they are most familiar. So far, no doubt, thoy were right. Thus much has been commendable in the antece- dants of every sect. Their negative character has all been right. And in their positive position they have erred seminally and principally in their wawt of faith in Christ. They cannot trust him alone. They must have some Militant head. Hence Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Campbell, Jno. Wincbrenner and others, and the prominence as¬ signed them in their respective organ¬ izations. Hence the different grades of power and responsibility, ^as repre¬ sented in the Episcopal and Presby¬ terian forms of church government.— They have not entire confidence in the iDord of God. Hence the existence and use of confessions, creeds and forms.— They have washed once, and "see men as trees walking.". They want another washing, that they may behold every object clearly, and we should like to persuade all of otir brethren who are exhuming, from the corruptions and ruins of the papacy, Babylonish titles for the ministry, and better organiza¬ tions for the church, that we may bo like other nations, to accompany them to the pool: brethren, it will do you good. Isaac *C. Gopp. Written for the Gospel Herald. Freedom of Thought. Men sometimes talk about freedom of thought. There is no such thing. Thought cannot be free. There is nothing free. All things arc com¬ pelled to move in certain elements and to be govcrencd by certain laws- mind as well as matter. 3Ien are gov¬ erned by two great laws—the law of sin and the liaw of righteousness. If the mind is under the law of sin, that law gives it the impulse, and it acts in accordance therewith. The same may be said when it is under the law of righteousness. Whatever cause pro¬ duces thought, that cause governs it.— A bird singing will cause thought in the mind of the person that hears it. The thought that is set into action by the singing of the bird, will be gov¬ erned by a variety of ciroumBtances, and will be of various kinds. An or¬ nithologist would think only of the class, order, genus, or species; a far¬ mer would think only of its propensi¬ ties for mischief. I have heard of a class of men called free thinkers; but this cannot be, for whatever cause sets the thought in motion, that cause gov- eims it. If the word "God" is pre¬ sented to his mind, it suggests the idea of a creator; the idea of a creator sug¬ gests the idea of a creation. The free thinker cannot prevent these move¬ ments of thought. If a man rejects creeds, thoaght is governed by the rule of rejection. If a man adopts the bi¬ ble for a rule of faith and practice, he comes into bondage under the bible. There is no freedom of thought. Noth¬ ing is free. The meanest insect is eon- trolled by laws. The groat Controller himself is controlled—by himself I do not want freedom of thought. I have the power to submit to the law of righteousness, and by that I am wil¬ ling to be controlled; It is true one may make himself free from creeds,'biit one must from necessity adopt soine law by which to be governed-—I will adopt the bible. David B. Hoixss.
|Title||Gospel Herald, 1859-12-24|
|Subject||General Convention of the Christian Church -- Periodicals|
|Place||New Carlisle (Ohio)|
|Source||V 286.605 G694|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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