網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

no government ought to tolerate men, who cannot give any security to that government for their allegiance and peaceable behavior. But this no Romanist can do, not only while he holds that “ No faith is to be kept with heretics,” but so long as he acknowledges either priestly absolution, or the spiritual power of the pope.'

While we are combatting the errors of popery, it becomes a very important question, What are the most judicious means for Protestants to use in order to bring the Roman Catholics to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus ? Doubtless one is to detect and expose their errors in the spirit of meekness. This being done, the understanding is left open to its free exercise, and for the reception of truth. But the work is only half accomplished when we have convinced them of their speculative and practical errors. The heart must be changed. A thorough, radical reformation must be effected, or our labor is lost. This is essential for all, Protestants as well as Catholics. An unregenerate Protestant is no nearer the kingdom of heaven than an unregenerate Catholic. This, therefore, should be the principal aim and object of all our labor, all our preaching and writing. We have made these remarks with a view to introduce the following. Short meihod of converting all the Roman Catholics in the kingdom of Ireland, humbly proposed to the bishops and clergy of that kingdom,' also from the pen of Mr. Wesley :

6

a

a

‘. It is a melancholy consideration to those who love the Protestant interest, that so small a part of this nation is yet reformed from popery. They cannot observe, without a very sensible concern, that in many parts of the kingdom there are still ten, nay, fifteen, perhaps upward of twenty Papists to one Protestant. Nor can they see any prospect of its being otherwise; few Papists being brought over to our Church, notwithstanding all the methods which have been used, while many

Protestants are seduced from it. 2. Yet they cannot but earnestly desire that all the Papists were convinced of their errors. How much would this redound to the glory of God, who willeth all to come to the knowledge of his truth! How greatly would it advantage their own souls both in this world and in the world to come! What an advantage would it be to the kingdom in general to be no longer divided against itself, to have that grand cause of contention removed, and all its inhabitants of one heart and one mind! And how highly would it advance both the honor and interest of our gracious sovereign, to have all his subjects cordially united together, thinking and speaking the same thing?

3. Why then is not this desirable end pursued with a vigor proportionable to its importance ? Is it because we despair of any success ? Because we think it impossible to be attained? But why should we imagine it to be impossible? A common and plausible answer is, Because the Papists are so bigoted to their clergy; believing all they affirm, however contrary both to Scripture and reason, and doing all

that they direct, whom they generally believe to be the holiest and wisest of men.

4. Undoubtedly this is a considerable difficulty in the way. And yet I cannot think it is insurmountable. Still I conceive it is possible to convince all the Papists, provided there are proper instruments for the work. And what instruments are so proper as the clergy? Not only as they are in every place, distributed through the whole nation, and always ready on the spot for the work: but likewise as it more immediately belongs to them: as it is no inconsiderable branch of their business who are peculiarly set apart to watch over the souls of men as they that must give account.

5. But what way can the clergy take, with any probability of success? There is one way, and one only; one that will (not probably, but) infallibly succeed. If this way is taken, I am willing to stake my life upon the success of it. And it is a plain, simple way, such as may be taken by any man, though but of a small capacity.

For it requires no peculiar depth of understanding, no extraordinary height of learning; but only a share of common sense, and an honest, upright heart.

6. It was observed that the grand difficulty of the work lies in the strong attachment of the Papists to their clergy.

Here therefore we are to strike at the root. And if this bigotry be but removed, whatever error or superstition is built upon it will of course fall to the ground.

Now this may be effectually done thus. The Papists themselves allow that one set of clergy were holier and wiser even than their own, namely, the apostles. They allow these both to have lived and preached better than the present clergy even of the Roman Church.

Here therefore is the short and sure method. Let all the clergy of the Church of Ireland only live like the apostles, and preach like the apostles, and the thing is done.

The Romans, on the same ground that they prefer the apostles before their own clergy, will then prefer ours before them. And when they once do this, when we have carried this point, when their attachment to our clergy is stronger than that to their own, they will be convinced by hundreds, till there is not a Roman left in the kingdom of Ireland.

7. If it be asked, But how did the apostles live and preach ? I answer, (not to descend to particulars,) as to their inward life, (if I may so speak,) they lived the life which is hid with Christ in God, “ They were crucified with Christ. Nevertheless they lived ; yet not they, but Christ lived in them.” So that each of them could say, "The life which I now live in the flesh,” even in this mortal body, “ I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

And this faith continually wrought by love, that love of God which was shed abroad in their hearts, and was a perennial fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life. By this loving faith their hearts were purified from anger,

from pride, from all vile affections, from the love of money, of power, of pleasure, of ease, from the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life : all their “ affections being set on tħings above, not on things of the earth.” In a word, that mind was in them which was in Christ Jesus.

Let but this mind be in every clergyman of our Church, and popery will vanish out of the kingdom.

8. As to the outward life of the apostles, it was, in general, holy and unblamable in all things. Herein did they exercise themselves day and night, with regard to every word and action, “ to have a conscience void of offence toward God and man.” And their continual ground of * rejoicing was this, the testimony of their conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity they had their conversation in the world."

They were temperate in all things. They denied themselves, and took

up their cross daily. They “kept under their bodies, and brought them into subjection,” even in the midst of distresses and persecutions, “ lest by any means, after they had preached to others, they themselves should become castaways."

They were in every respect burning and shining lights ; they went about doing good as they had opportunity, doing good of every kind, and in every possible degree, to all men. They abstained from all

. appearance of evil

. They overcame evil with good. If their enemy hungered, they fed him; if he thirsted, they gave him drink; and, by patiently continuing so to do, “ heaped coals of fire upon his head,"s and melted his hardness into love.

In fine, it was their meat and drink to do the will of their Father which was in heaven. And hence whatsoever they did, whether in word or deed, they did all to the glory of God.

Let every clergyman of our Church live thus, and, in a short time, there will not be a Papist in the nation.

9. As to the preaching of the apostles, with regard to the matter of it, they preached Jesus, " the Author and Finisher of our faith, having determined not to know any thing, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” They preached Jesus Christ as “of God made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." They declared, “ Other foundation” of morality, religion, holiness, happiness, o can no man lay.” All they spoke, either in public or private, centred in this one point, “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for

66

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

66

ever."

66

More particularly, they preached that “a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law;" that “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

10. They preached, farther, that, "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God:” except he be “born from above,” born not only of water, but “ of the Holy Ghost:" and that the present - kingdom of God is not meats and drinks,” (lies not in externals of any kind,) but righteousness, the image of God on the heart, peace, even a peace that passeth all understanding, and joy in the Holy Ghost, whereby they rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

They declared that he that is thus “ born of God doth not commit sin;" that "he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not;" but that as Christ who hath called him is holy, so is he holy in all manner of conversation.

11. As to the manner of their preaching, they spoke with authority, as speaking not their own word, but the word of Him that sent them,

and" by manifestation of the truth, commending themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” They were “ not as many that corrupt the word of God," debase and adulterate it with foreign mixtures, but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, spake they in Christ.” They approved themselves the ministers of God," in much patience, in labors, in watchings, in fastings : by pureness, by knowledge,” knowing all their flock by name, all their circumstances, all their wants : “ by long-suffering, never weary of well doing, by kindness, by love unfeigned: by the word of truth, by the power of God attending it, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” Hence they were “instant in season, out of season,” being never afraid of the faces of men, never ashamed of Christ or of his words, even before an adulterous and sinful generation. They went on unmoved through “ honor and dishonor," through “ evil report and good report.” They regarded not father or mother, or wife or children, or houses or lands, or ease or pleasure : but having this single end in view, to save their own souls, and those that heard them, they "counted not their lives dear unto themselves, so that they might make full proof of their ministry, so they might finish their course with joy, and testify the Gospel of the grace of God.”

Let all the right reverend the bishops, and the reverend the clergy, only walk by this rule : let them thus live, and thus testify with one heart and one voice, the Gospel of the grace of God; and every Papist within these four seas will soon acknowledge the truth as it is in Jesus.'

Let all the Protestants, ministers and people, in this country, follow the above advice as the most effectual way to bring the Roman Catholic professors to the knowledge of the truth, and there will be less of vituperation and more of the breath of prayer and praise, as well as of brotherly love.

:

:

[ocr errors]

AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY,
We insert the following article from the African Repository and
Colonial Journal for May last, as an act of justice to that society, and
hope it may have a tendency to calm the fears of

any
of

our readers if any such have fears—respecting the purity of the motives, or the benevolence of the objects of this noble and philanthropic society.

MR. TAPPAN'S LETTER.

ARDENT SPIRITS IN THE COLONY.

[From the Liberator.)

Theological Seminary, Andover, March 29, 1833. MR. GARRISON,- In the correspondence of the Anti-Slavery Society, in this seminary, the following communication has been received from a distinguished philanthropist, which, it is presumed, will be read with interest by the Christian community :

6

6

New-York, March 26, 1833. Álr. Lewis F. Laine, secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society, in the Theological

Seminary, at Andover. DEAR SIR,-Your communication of the 8th instant has remained till now unanswered, in consequence of a press of other cares. You ask my opinion of the Colonization Society, and suggest the inquiry,

Whether, with its present principles and character, it is worthy of the patronage of the Christian public? My engagements do not admit of my giving an elaborate answer to this inquiry, or explaining at length my views of the colonization project.

When this society was organized I was one of its warmest friends, and anticipated great good from its influence, both in Christianizing Africa, and abolishing slavery in our country. At one time, I had a plan for establishing a line of packets between this city and the colony, and for opening a trade with the interior of Africa. I also offered to pay $1,000 to the society, if the one hundred individuals, proposed in the plan of Gerrit Smith, could be found within one year. í mention these things to show how heartily I entered into the scheme.

The first thing that shook my confidence in the Society, was the fact that ardent spirits were allowed to be sold at the colony, and, as the agents wrote me from Liberia, in giving the assortment suitable to make up an invoice, were considered indispensable. I used the little influence I had with the Society, to obtain a prohibition to the admission of ardent spirits into the colony, with what success may be seen in the* fact, that no less than FOURTEEN HUNDRED BARRELS of the liquid poison have been sold there within a year. With my feelings somewhat cooled by the knowledge that ardent spirits, tobacco, powder, and balls, were leading articles of trade at the colony, I read with some care the arguments of that distinguished and fearless philanthropist, W. L. Garrison, in the Liberator, and was soon led to ask myself whether this splendid scheme of benevolence' was not a device of Satan, to rivet still closer the fetters of the slaves, and to deepen the prejudice against the free colored people. I now believe it is, and that it had its origin in the single motive, to get rid of the free colored people, that the slaves may be held in greater safety. Good men kave been drawn into it under the delusive idea, that it would break the chains of slavery and evangelize Africa ; but the day is not far distant, I believe, when the Society will be regarded in its true character, and deserted by every one who wishes to see a speedy end put to slavery in this land of boasted freedom.

You are at liberty to make what use you please of this expression of

my sentiments. I rejoice to witness the effort that is making to let the captive go free, and that the number is daily increasing, of those who are resolved not to cease their efforts in every lawful way, to secure to our colored fellow citizens equal rights with others. That your Society may be eminently instrumental in dissipating prejudice, and pouring light upon the intellect of the millions of

every where

6

* This statement, I am assured, is made on unquestionable authority, and it is not contradicted by the Colonization Society.

« 上一頁繼續 »