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Theological School in Cambridge. The annual examination of this most interesting institution, took place on Wednesday, the 19th of July. The performances showed much learning and ingenuity, and breathed throughout a spirit of piety and evinced an attachment to what was conceived to be truth, tempered with candor and Catholicism, which were as gratifying to the assembly that heard, as honorable to the gentlemen who exhibited them. The dissertations read were as follows:
1. On the insufficiency of natural religion.—John L. Sibley.
2. On the existence and present state of the Jews, considered as an evidence of the truth and Divine origin of Christianity.—Artemas B. Muzzy.
3. On the present demands for an earnest ministry.— William P. Lunt.
4. On false and defective evidence of personal religion.—Samuel K. Lothrop.
5. On the peculiar characteristics of John's Gospel, and the causes by which they were produced —Frederick H. Hedge.
C. On the good and bad effects of the rivalry of the several sects of Christians—George Fiske.
7. On the tendency and probable result of the missionary spirit of the present day.—Frederick A. Farley.
8. What circumstances in the condition of our Lord preclude the idea of imposture in the account of his resurrection ?—Wendell B. Davis.
9. Why may not the success of the first preachers of Christianity be accounted for from natural causes ?—Jonathan Cole.
10. On our Saviour's purpose, or purposes, in forbidding certain miracles to be published.—Benjamin Brigham.
11. An explanation of Matt. xxiv. 29—31.—George P. Bradford.
1. An explanation of Matt. v. 3t<—42 — William A. Whitwell.
2. On true and false zeal in religion.— William H. White. [Not read.]
3. On the opinions of those German Theologians, who have denied the reality of the miracles of Christ.—Christopher T. Thayer.
4. On the sentiments with which the reformation should be regarded, and the manner in which the reformers are to be imitated.—Caleb Stetson.
5. On the progress of the principles of toleration.—George W. Burnap.
0. On regeneration.—Daniel Austin.
1. On the tendency of the abuses of Christianity to produce infidelity. —George W. Wells.
2. On the remote and immediate causes of the reformation.—Stephen Schuyler.
3. On pulpit eloquence.—George Ripley.
4. On the qualifications for the pastoral office.—George Leonard.
5. On the proper motives for engaging in the Christian ministry.— James A. Kendall.
6. On the character of the early clergy of New England Alonzo
7. On scepticism and indifference in religion, and the means of removing them.— Warren Burton.
Unitarian Dedication at Danvers. The church lately erected by the flourishing society of Unitarian Christians in Danvers, was dedicated to religious purposes on Wednesday the 26th of July. An introductory prayer was offered by Rev. Mr Upham, and selections from the scriptures read by Rev. Mr Colman, both of Salem. The prayer of dedication was offered by Rev. Dr Abbot of Beverly, a sermon preached by Rev. MrBrazer of Salem, from 1 Pet. iii. 8. and a concluding prayer made by Rev. Mr Bartlett of Marblehead. The sermon was from the words— 'be ye all of one mind.' It maintained, that although a unity of faith is an impossibility among men, yet that there is a unity of spirit, which it is the bounden duty of all Christians to aim at. It is bestowing great and deserved praise upon this performance to say, that it fully sustained the high reputation of the preacher.
JVea: Church in JVor/i Bridge,water. A new Church for the use of a Unitarian society in N. Bridgewater, was dedicated on Wednesday, the 9th of August. We have not before us the order «jf excrcisos for the occasion, and therefore cannot publish the names of the gentlemen who took the several parts in the services. The sermon, however, was from Rev. Mr Huntoon of Canton, and is spoken of as an admirable performance. The society was first formed a little more than a twelvemonth ago, and has since been steadily and harmoniously pursuing its great object, which was to make permanent provision for Unitarian worship and instruction, for the accomplishment of which they have now every prospect of success.
Unitarian Church in Northampton. After many disappointments and trials, the Second Congregational Church and Society in Northampton, have solemnly confirmed their connexion with the pastor of their early choice. The unanimity, and fidelity of purpose which they have shown throughout a period singularly fitted to try their constancy, evince not only the strength of their attachment to their pastor elect, which, during a long absence and protracted illness, has never been abated, but also that steady devotion to the cause they had espoused, which could proceed only from an enlightened christian zeal. The ordination of Rev. Edward B. Hall, the gentleman to whom we refer, took place on Wednesday, the 16th of August. The services were introduced with prayer by Rev. Mr Parkman of Boston, who also read appropriate selections from the Bible. A sermon was preached by Rev. Dr Ware of Harvard University, from Dan. xii. 4. 'And knowledge shall be increased.' The ordaining prayer was offered by Rev. Mr Pierpont of Boston; the charge given by Rev. Mr Willard of Deerfield; the right hand of fellowship, by Rev. Mr Lincoln of Fitchburg; the address to the people, by Rev. Mr Bailey of Deerfield; and the concluding prayer offered by Rev. Mr Brazer of Salem. We cannot but anticipate from this connexion the happiest results, not merely to those immediately concerned in it, but also to ttie great interests of rational religion throughout the neighbouring region. Church in Purchase Street, Boston. This church, which is built of granite, was dedicated to the purposes of Unitarian worship and instruction on Thursday, Aug. 24th. The clergymen who officiated, were all of Boston, and there were in their services an appropriateness and a simplicity such as we have seldom witnessed. The introductory, dedicatory, and concluding prayers were offered by Rev. Messrs Barrett, Parkman, and Greenwood; Rev. Mr Pierpont read selections from scripture, and Rev. Mr Gannett preached a sermon. The sermon is the only part of the exercises open to criticism, and that, in its general character, was precisely to our minds; a frank, manly, forthright, and powerful exhibition and defence of what the preacher believed to be the truth, without ambiguity, with no accommodation to the popular phraseology, but all clear, undisguised, and in open day. The text was in Galatians, iv. 18. 'It is good to be zealously affected always, in a good thing;' and the discourse was a vindication of Unitarian Christianity from a charge, which none bring against it but such as either do not, or will not know what are its doctrines ;—we mean the charge of being a cold and merely speculative system, a system incapable of kindling zeal, that begins and ends in the head, that never can touch the heart, engage the affections, or animate to great exertions, or support in trial or in death. If such be its real character, the preacher admitted, as he could not but admit, the consequence its enemies would draw from it, that it is utterly without support in reason or in scripture. But Christianity certainly takes hold of our best affections, is adapted to warm the heart, makes men active and zealous, and to Unitarians, Unitarianism is Christianity, the doctrines of Unitarianism are doctrines of Christianity, and, if Unitarianism is chargeable with coldness, so, with them, is the religion of Jesus. The preacher then examined the most important of our religious opinions with reference to the accusation brought against them. He spoke of the views we entertain of God; of His relations to us as our Creator, and Father, and our final Judge, and of our relation to Him as children, and as sinners. Upon all these points, our doctrines were shown to be peculiarly adapted to call forth deep religious emotion, to excite ardent religious feelings. We wish we could recall the language in which was noticed that most undeserved of all reproaches, that we make but a light matter of sin. It was an eloquent and a triumphant refutation of the calumny, and we know not how any one who heard it can in conscience hereafter repeat it.
Unitarian views of the Saviour were next adverted to, and it was contended that Uhitarianism alone gives him a distinct and visible place in the affections; that the Orthodox cannot exactly tell how to consider him, and therefore can have only a mysterious and inexplicable regard for him; and that Unitarians alone do in reality exalt him. Again, we are charged with undervaluing our religion, as well as with degrading our Saviour. We do not indeed regard the knowledge of our religion as essential to the salvation of every individual; but we do regard it as of the first importance to our progress in virtue and in knowledge, and hold that they who are without it, are under incalculable disadvantages. Three points were then mentioned, in which Unitnrianism is distinguished from other forms of Christianity. 1. It makes salvation, though a free gift, depend wholly on our own exertions, which is not Orthodox. 2. It carries religion into all the relations and circumstances of life, demanding for it an absolute and uncompromising control over every part of the character, which again is not Orthodox. 3. It connects every sin and every event with eternal consequences, which is not Universalism. These are doctrines which bear upon every part of the constitution, and tax its strength to the utmost.
On the whole, it appeared that if Unit onanism does not make men zealous, it is not the fault of the system, but owing to its not being intelligibly represented and thoroughly believed. It is much more spiritual, tender, and solemn than Orthodoxy, and therefore ought to be less liable to this charge. That it has made better men, there is no need of contending. But the preacher appealed to history, and challenged any one to produce from any denomination, more of zealous and able defenders of our common faith, or better or sincercr or more fervent Christians than can be found in the ranks of Unitarianism.
We are ashamed of this apology for an abstract of Mr Gannett's admirable discourse; it is so meager. Nor are we sure that we have not sometimes given our own views for his. But we have said nothing we do not believe, and as the sermon will doubtless be printed, we hope every one who can, will judge for himself, what and how good are its contents. We will only add that the proprietors of the church in Purchase Street, have engaged the services of a gentleman of acknowledged abilities as preacher, and that there is good prospect of a large and respectable congregation being gathered within its walls.
Dedication of Divinity Hall, Cambridge. This fine building for the use of the Theological School, was on Tuesday, August 29th, solemnly dedicated to the purposes for which it was erected. Dr Channing's discourse was worthy of himself and of the occasion. At this late hour we can only name the topics he so ably and eloquently unfolded.
The object proposed was to answer two questions; To what end is this institution established? How may it be accomplished? The end was declared to be, to train up powerful, energetic, and efficient ministers of Jesus Christ. Knowledge is not the highest qualification of a minister. It is in vain to give him weapons of heavenly temper, unless his arm be nerved to wield them. Power is therefore the crown of all his accomplishments, and to impart it is the great end of a theological institution. The Christian minister is to act upon intelligent and free beings, and to do it efficiently demands all his energies. The effects he is to produce are piety, righteousness, virtue. He is to quicken not only the intellect, but the conscience; not only to impart knowledge, but to enforce obligation. He is to sway the affections; to exhibit the loveliness of Christianity, as well as its truth and obligation; to rouse to self-conflict and a war with temptation, and, finally, to awaken the soul to a consciousness of its immortality.
But how is all this to be effected? What are the springs of ministerial energy? What is the great work of a theological institution? To impart power of thought and utterance, and to encourage free inquiry, without which it is a prison to the intellect and a nuisance to the church ; to inspire the love of truth, which is the best defence against the perils of free inquiry; devotional sentiment and feeling, which will quicken the intellect and open new fountains of thought; faith, not a mere speculative belief, but a confidence in the great issues of Christianity; a spirit of enterprise, if not of innovation ; and, which is the chief source of power, the spirit of self-sacrifice, the spirit of martyrdom. The discourse concluded with urging both upon the Orthodox and upon Unitarians, the call there is for a revolution in the present modes of administering Christianity; a call from society, and a call from the church. The services, begun in the meetinghouse, were completed in the chapel of the Hall. May the results of the day be as happy as the day itself was glorious.
TO READERS AND cORRESPOBDENTS.
An article on the Trinity is again reluctantly deferred. The New Version of the Book of Job is under consideration. 'Is Rammohun Roy a Christian ?' shall appear in our next. We wish C's Hymns were as faultless in execution, as in devotional sentiment.