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therefore, in the uprightness and purity of our intentions ; humbly trusting that we sincerely seek his glory in the promotion of that blessed religion, which he has so mercifully sent to guide us to eternal salvation ; we have come now, under the open eye of Heaven, to consecrate to Him the beginning of our labours, and to ask of Him their prosperous completion. To Him we submit the judgment of our spirits ; and, conscious as we are, that the way in which we worship the God of our fathers is by many called heresy,' and every where spoken against;' it is our conso. lation and joy to be permitted to appeal to Him, and to believe that He, who looketh not on the outward appearance, but on the heart, will approve our purpose, and graciously accept our humble offering. It is a small thing to be judged of man's judgment; he who judgeth us is the Lord.
“ As, therefore, the tribe of Gad and the half tribe of Manas. seh, -who, when they had built an altar for themselves on the otlrer side of Jordan, were accused by their brethren of revolting from the true worship of God, -answered in that bold appeal and said: “The Lord, God of Gods—the Lord, God of Gods, he knoweth, and all Israel shall know, if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the Lord, that we have built us an altar"*_so, Christian friends, if any of our brethren should imagine that this our altar is erecting in opposition to the truth, or the influence of our common Christianity, let us make the same appeal; not doubting that they will receive it with the same ready candour. For although we have been led by the dictates of our conscience and our honest understanding of the scriptures of truth, to withdraw from their temples, it is not in the spirit of rebellion or hostility; though we are about erecting another altar, it is not on the other side of Jordan, and need not destroy their confidence or friendship. We place ourselves under the broad banner of those protestant principles, which are the present glory of Christendom. We claim, and in this land the claim will not be denied us, to have our rights of conscience respected, and to be left accountable to God only; and we trust that we are ready freely and fully to extend to others the iovaluable privilege so dear to ourselves.
" It is true that we differ in some points, and, as we conceive, in some important points of religious faith, from many of the disciples of our common Lord. The Church has in every age had divisions. It is not stra.ge that finite minds should
vary their judgments respecting infinite things. While we see darkly, it is to be expected that we should see differently; and this dif
* Joshua xxii. 22. Nem Series --Tol. II.
ference cannot be sinful, unless it overthrow the foundations of holiness and piety, or occasion the destruction of the spirit of the gospel. It is they who have not the spirit of Christ, that are none of his. While, therefore, our allegiance to conscience, to truth, and to God, compels us to rear these walls of separate worship, we have unspeakable joy in the belief, that the great body of Christians are serving the same universal sovereignpursuing the same holy end; and that, when we shall leave this abode of imperfect knowledge for that blessed state in which imperfection shall be done away, then, all seeing as they are seen, and knowing as they are known, shall unite in one worship in the one Temple of which God himself shall be the light and glory. In that day, when, according to our ascended Saviour's prediction, “all shall be one, even as he and the Father are one;" in that day, it shall be our happiness to understand alike the nature of that union of the Blessed Jesus with our Heavenly Father, concerning which we are now at variance. It is with such feelings and anticipations that we proceed to lay the cornerstone of our religious edifice.”
This address was followed by a prayer. The corner-stone was then laid with a solemn invocation, and the following inscription deposited.
This is Life Eternal-to know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus
CHRIST whom thou hast sent.
FIRST CONGREGATIGNAL CHURCH OF NEW YORK,
DEDICATED TO THE WORSHIP OF THE ONLY GOD,
THROUGH THE ONLY MEDIATOR,
Founded upon the great principles of the Reformation—the sufficiency of the Scriptures, the right of private judgment and liberty of conscience;
On Saturday, the 29th of April, 1820.
Call no man master upon earth, for one is your master, even Christ, and
all ye are Brethren. to all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee and bless
The members of this infant establishment deserve great credit for their pure and disinterested zeal in the cause of christian truth and liberty, and should receive the encouragement and prayers of all lovers of true religion.
The Massachusetts Bible Society held their annual meeting on the 8th of June, and have published the following REPORT :
6 The Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Bible Society respectfully report, that they have distributed the following Bibles and Testaments in the course of the past year, viz.
180 Large Bibles. 1439 Small do. 1934 Testaments.
3553 Total. “The demands on our Society have been so numerous as to absorb our annual income, so that no surplus fund can be remitted to the American Bible Society. We owe, however, to that society an important benefit, which we anticipated from its institution; that is, the power of furnishing Bibles in a fair and handsome type, and in durable binding, at a moderate expense. The very poorest now read the Scriptures in better editions than were formerly used by the great body of the people.
“During the last year, the Trustees have been solicitous to establish regulations for preventing the abuses and impositions to which our Institution is liable, and they believe that such checks have been devised, as will, in a great measure, confine this charity to its proper objects. An important improvement, however, remains to be made. The experience of the last year has shown, that many, who cannot pay the full price of a Bible, may be induced to pay in proportion to their ability; and the distributors of our books are earnestly requested to invite and encourage this just and honourable effort among their poor brethren. In this way, our means of usefulness will be enlarged, and the Scriptures will be prized, preserved and read more faithfully, than when received wholly as a charity. In England, the poor are encouraged to supply their own wants, and some of them pay for a Bible by small weekly appropriations from their earnings ; and thus the British and Foreign Bible Society accumulates resources for its immense operations abroad.
" Your Committee are happy to state, that the uncommon zeal, which has been manifested for the last fifteen years in this good cause, gives no signs of weariness or exhaustion. Indeed, Christians cannot draw back from a work, the success of which
has been so sudden, wide, and unparalleled. To those who have not consulted the reports of the British and Foreign Bible Society, the extent and zeal of the co-operation now existing and continually spreading in this benevolent and Christian enterprize, cannot easily be conceived. That this remarkable union of effort in Europe may have been aided by human policy, we admit; but it is too spontaneous, sincere and ardent, to be ascribed to that as its main cause; and it ought to be regarded as a proof that, amidst the corruptions of Christeridom, a strong attachment to Christianity, much stronger than we had anticipated, is rooted in men's minds. The multiplication of Bible Societies in France, although their number and efforts bear little proportion to the resources and wants of that kingdom, is one of the promising events of the past year. In Russia, the Word of God has free course and is glorified' to an extent truly astonishing ; Bible Societies being spread over that immense empire even to Siberia. Similar institutions have also been planted in Greece. The Rev. Dr. Pinkerton, the indefatigable missionary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, writes, I have news to communicate, which will 6ll your hearts with joy. Athens also is become the seat of a Bible Society.'
“ The duty of giving to the poor, and of spreading through the world, a divine revelation, which we believe to have been intended for the whole human race, is so plain and urgent, that we wonder that its obligation was not formerly more understood and felt. We should be grateful, that we live in an age, which, instead of sheltering itself under the example of past times, is labouring to repair their deficiencies, and which is distinguished hy an earnest and enlarged philanthropy. To be inactive at such a period. when so good a spirit is circulating round us, when benevolent plans, which would once have been scoffed' at for their wildness, are prosecuted with fervour and success, would expose us to just reproach. Every sincere and enlightened Christian considers the religion of his Master as the most important interest on earth, and he cannot, in such an age as this, withhold bis prayers and efforts for its success."
The American Bible Society beld its annual meeting in New York on the 11th of May. We shall notice its report at some future time.
The Evangelical Missionary Society of Massachusetts held their semi-annual meeting in the first parish of Dorchester on the 7th of June. The discourse was delivered by Rev. II. Ware of Boston, from Galatians vi. 10. It has been published. A collec
tion was taken in aid of the objects of the Society, amounting to $95 23.
The Treasurer of the Society acknowledges the receipt of the following sums from churches and individuals, since the last annual meeting, October 5, 1819.
1819. Hon Benjamin Pickman, Salem, amount of two donations $ 50 Ladies of West-l'hurch, Boston, through Rev. C. Lowell,
58 accidentally omitted in last account, Contribution after the annual discourse, Oct. 7, in First
46 53 Church, Chauncey-Place,
1820. From Ladies in Brookline, through their pastor, Rev.
} John Pierce,
30 28 From a Lady in West Churcb, through Rev. C. Lowell,
10 Contribution in Second Church; through Rev. Henry Ware,
43 From a Lady of New-North Church, through the Rev. F.
10 Feinale Cent Society, in East-Parish, Bridgewater, through , ,
12 62 Rev. J. Fliot, From a Lady in Roxbury, through Rev. Dr. Porter, From Ladies of the West Church, Boston, through Rev.C.
106 Lowell, From contribution after semi-annual discourse, June 7, in
95 23 Rev. Dr. Harris' Church, Dorchester, From a Parishioner, through Rev. F. Parkman,
10 From a Parishioner, through Rev W. E. Chaoning,
20 First divideod, received on eight shares in stock of Marine Insurance Company, bequeathed to the Society by the
48 Jate Miss Sarah Russell, of Charlestown, In these accounts annual and life subscriptions are not included. Other churches have made or are making collections, the amount of which, not being yet ascertained, will be given in a future number. We are very happy in noticing the increased attention and patronage, which appear to be excited to this interesting and useful Institution.
The Convention of Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts, met in the new Court House, on Wednesday May 31, 5 o'clock P.M. Rev. Dr. Bancroft, moderator, opened the meeting with prayer. Rev. J. Pierce, who had been chosen scribe for ten years successively, was re-elected, but declined, and the Rev.J. Codman was chosen. Rev. F. Parkman was re-chosen treasurer. Rev. Dr. Worcester, of Salem, was chosen second preacher. The Convention attended to the usual business of the meeting, which was continued by adjournment through Thursday morning. At 12 o'clock they assembled for worship in the church in Brattle Square, when the annual discourse was delivered by Rev. Dr. Bancroft of Worcester, from Phil. i. 17., I am set for the defence of