« ElőzőTovább »
in himself "How important is my calling; for doubtless more than one copy that I have circulated has produced similar effects, without my knowing it!” Then turning towards the young female with whom he had been conversing, in order to ascertain the nature of those impressions which the above occurrence could not fail to have made upon her mind, he asked permission to see the New Testament which her deceased relative had so highly prized; and on her producing it, he begged that she would let him have it, in remembrance of her aunt. “No! no!” cried the young woman; "I would rather give you this house, and all that it contains---all that I possess in the world .--than part with this inestimable treasure. It has comforted, strengthened and given peace, and the assurance of eternal life to my dear aunt, and from it I hope to derive the same blessing."
The husband of the deceased soon after entering the apartment, the nature of the Colporteur's proposal was communicated to him, but he at once declared that the book should never go out of the house, and thai he himself hoped that, in his last moments it would prove a source of joy and consolation to him also. Two young persons coming in, sarcastically observed; "Truly, at such a time you will be doing well to read the book: it would doubtless prove of great benefit." The Colporteur, turning towards them, said, “My friends, to some extent you are right; but to-day is the proper time for reading the Sacred Volume, and its perusal ought not to be postponed to the close of life, for ye know not when the Son of Man may come.” The youths perceived with dismay that the Colporteur was speaking of death, and, in their ignorance, actually fancied that what he said was a prediction addressed to themselves personally of their approaching deaths. An explanation followed: and the Colporteur has good reason to hope that it was profitable to all present.
Such was the effect produced by one of those New Testaments which your Society causes to be so abundantly distributed, and for which the Lord is pleased to open so wide and extensive a door in France. Oh, what an encouragement, or rather, whata glory for your Society to be such an instrument in the hands of the Almighty for the
CONDITION AND PROSPECTS OF COUNTRIES NOMINALLY
CHRISTIAN. When we consider that there are millions scattered over the whole earth who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ---that there are na. tions upon whom the light of the gospel has shone for centuries.--and that there are hundreds of benevolent associations in every part of Christendom, whose object is to promote the advancenient of learning and piety ---We would naturally conclude that it would be impossible to present even an abstract of all that is accomplished for the cause of God, within the compass of a single editorial. But while many heathen nations present to the eye of the Christian the most interesting aspect; while idolatrous islands of the sea gladly receive the truths of the gospel, at the same time, in more favored regions of the earth, are to be found the most woful declensions from the faith once received and cherished.
The greater part of what is called the Christian world, possesses little more than the name and forms of religion. The Greek Church, which embraces in its communion the Russian Empire, and the Christians dispersed throughout Turkey, Abysinnia, and Syria, is cursed with a calendar containing more saints whose festivals are to be observed than there are days in the year. Forgetting the proper object of adoration, the attention of the church is chiefly occupied in securing patron saints, and in collecting pictures and erecting magnificent cathedrals. The heresies of another division of the Christian Church, the Romish, have been so frequently held up to view, that it is sufficient merely to allude to it. Were St. James to revisit Spain, his first business would be to preach to the ecclesiastics. To pass on to Protestant churches:---even in many of these, we find such departures from the simplicity of the gospel, as to make another reformation desirable. And were Luther to resume his labors in Protes. 'tant Germany, he would find it more difficult to contend against philosophical mysticism and paganisnı, under the disguise of religion, which has been well called baptised deism, than against the thunders of the Vatican.
poured light into the surrounding nations, has "suffered dim eclipse and disastrous twilight spreads." And even from favored England where religion is encumbered by its connection with the State, we hear more of ecclesiastical jealousies and bickering, than of the progress of evangelical prinoi ples. Such as these, may well account for the scarcity of interesting intelligence from countries nominally Christain. But the mere eircumstance that we hear of no extraordinary excitements, does not prove that a reformation is not taking place. We have reason to believe that truth is gradually and silently extend. ing its sway, and that notwithstanding the deplorable evils alluded to, there is much to gladden the eye and rejoice the heart:
The Protestant churches in France, must excite a deep interesti among the members of the Presbyterian Church and Protestants in general: There, fór successive generations, blood flowed freely in defence of the faith once delivered to the saints. Persecution kin. dled among them its hottest fires, and raged with almost infernal fury. But there, where once 5,000,000 of Protestants were ready to face every danger, where Blondel and Saurin and Claude adorned the Church, but 2,000,000 of Protestants are now to be found, and but a portion of these receive the gospel in its purity. Recent accounts however, give us reason to believe that evangelical religion is reviva ing in France. The labors of the colporteurs have been signally blessed, and brighter prospects for usefulness are continually opening around them. The greatest obstacle to the progress of the truth is the gross ignorance which prevails among the common people. One half of the whole French population are unable to read. Many are not only ignorant of the most remarkable facts in Bible history, but do not know of the existence of such a book. Hence the necessity of an order of men like the colporteurs, who go from village to village, and from family to family, reading and circulating and explaining the Sacred Scriptures. These men have been instrumental not only in awakening many of the people to a concern about their eternal interesis, but have been the means of convincing some of the Romislı Priests of their errors. The opposition of the clergy in general is ex.ceedingly violent. Their labors are regarded by the distinguished Catholics of both France and Italy with serious alarm. A cardinal.at Rome, declared that he dreaded the colporteurs of the Bible Society, more than all the Protestant Ministers of France
A report of the So
ing Marselloise Hymn, which were wont to meet the ear of the traveller, The colporteur, himself is accustomed to sing, and by his simple notes sometimes obtains admission into houses from which he would be excluded. Often wearied and worn out, he comes at the close of his journey to some humble abode into which he seeks entrance but in vain. He then sits down near the door, and begins to chant in French verse the words of Isaiah, 'How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that pub. lisheth peace.' Ere long the door is opened by the inhabitant, and the worn out traveller is invited to enter and often setures a purcha: ser for his inestimable book,'
In Holland we hear of an unwonted interest on the subject of reli: gion, and of Scotland, før months, glorious things have been spoken. Russia too is assuming a very interesting aspect. Like our own country, this empire suddenly started into being, and assumed an im: portant position among the nations of the earth Before the time of Peter the Great, this Russia, which comprises nearly one sixth of the world, was almost an unbroken forest. Now it is swarming with millions of men, Its productions attract to the Black Sea the vessels of Turkey, Egypt, and Italy, and make it the granary of the Levant. These are but types of greater and more important changes. Agriculo ture is the precursor of civilization, and civilization, of religion.-Moral and religions means are not the only agencies in evangelizing a nation. Some of these means are entirely physical. The exports of both Russia and Siberia are such as are chiefly in demand among enlightened nations, and the commerce of these countries is bringing them into contact with those who may give them in exchange for their productions, the pearl of great price. The sound of the churchgoing bell now gladdens the hearts of Protestants in the very capitol of the Czar; and thus witl the arts and institutions of man, continue to be subservient to nobler purposes. The Bethel ship will to low in the wake of the Merchantman, and the herald of the Cross in the footsteps of the hardy pioneer, until the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters do the channels of the great deep.... Watchman of the South.
THE SKY-ROCKET DISCIPLE.
Reader, you have doubtles seen a sky-rocket. You saw it start and flash---go hissing with its fiery train into the sky---sparkle for a mo ment, and then leave all in darkness again.
The rocket, beside being the glory “of stupid starers and loud huzzas" has some other uses. It affords a good illustration of the character of “certain of the disciples.”
There are some, who start out of their spiritual slumber now and then, like the rocket bursting out of the darkness. Some flash or other has set them in a blaze. They were powder, inert enough under the lock and key of the magazine. But the spark has fallen and ignition has taken place.
Now the suddenness of the start is not so much the object of rebuke, as that moral state which makes anything like a slart necessary. Disciples, “lights of the world," should shine on like the unwearied sun. Kindled once, they should burn with increasing brightness forever.
The rocket dashes furiously on in its way.--so do some disciples. It is not the steady march and firm footstep of the disciplined soldier ---the cool determined advance of the veteran. The disciple, who so lives that he requires to be started before he can do his duty, will be like to start off in some erratic course; as the rock, whose hardness requires powder, is likely to be scattered in dangerous fragments.
“Then you would rebuke all promptness and energy in religion." That lasty and rash inference of yours is the very sky-rocket sort of proceeding at which I aim). I condemn not enlightened, well-directed zeal and energy in doing good. I would throw my whole body soul and spirit into the scale in favor of such a course. But I do condemn fury and fierceness. I would not have a man leap in such haste from his bed as to throw himself through the window into the street. I rejoice in the speed and energy of my horse, but I beg of him not to dash the vehicle to pieces. I would have my little son promptly obey my commands, but not in such haste as to knock his little sister down, or break his own limbs over a chair.
But the rocket. There it flies brilliant and sparkling. But sud