Abbildungen der Seite

Father, who is above all, and in them all. This oneness, therefore, consists in the faith and practice which Christ makes essential to salvation--in the substantial reception of the gospel. When a man repents and believes in Jesus he is a new creature -is born of God, and is an heir of heaven. To deny him the privilege of intercommunion--to interpose a form between him and any company of believers—to preach that men must repent and believe in Christ,—that regeneration is the great essential requisite to salvation, and then, when they have repented, and are created anew in Christ Jesus, to tell them that they are not members of the church, and cannot be, until they submit to forms and ceremonies which they do not believe the Bible teaches or sanctions,—that until this is done they must take their place in the outer court, and company with separatists and schismatics, and rest their hope of heaven only in the uncovenanted mercies of God, is monstrous in the extreme, and bears on its very face the marks of a terrible contradiction. They are in the kingdom-units in that glorious assemblage of units which compose the church of Christ on earth. Whatever may be their difference of opinion about things not essential to salvation, around the cross all such are one. This is the great central point of assimilation, to which all Christians conform, and which, therefore, makes them one,-the great nucleus, where all the elements of the kingdom of God in this world come together, fasten, and crystalize alike into one glorious constellation of stars for the diadem of the Redeemer.

If we are right in this position, then it is easy to see how this unity of the church, about which so much is said, is to be effected. Christians must take the word of God as their guideand ascending above the dead level of forms and ceremonies, come up at once to a religion of love, emanating from a few divinely energetic principles, which pervade almost every page of the Bible, and which demand nothing for their reception, except a humble, holy heart, and allow to each other freedom of opinion on all matters not essential to salvation. This is the work to be done. The arms of every denomination must be open for intercommunion with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. A sufficient warrant for this must be found in the great doctrines of the cross, held alike by each—in the connection of all believers with Christ, and therefore with each other. Here we believe there is now among all evangelical Christians a substantial unity, a more correct, intelligent, and homogeneous faith, than has existed in the church since the days of the apostles. While they differ from each other on minor points, as Christians always have differed here, around the cross they think and feel alike--are one; and ought, therefore, to blend their sympathies together as such on earth, in anticipation of the day when they will meet as the disciples of Christmas the purchase of his blood-around the throne of God and the Lamb.

Another fact is equally clear. We see what hinders the manifestation of the spirit of this unity. The difficulty is in the externals of religion, the frame-work thrown around the sacred form of vital Christianity by the hands of men,-the ceremonies of worship claimed as apostolic,—the creeds and confessions placed above the Bible,--the assumption, on the score of these Things, of one denomination to be the church, and all others to be schismatics. This is the hinderance. This prevents the spirit of Christian union from acting itself out in all its loveliness and subduing power. It cannot speak out in such circumstances. It cannot shine forth

upon others through any external medium more dense than that, which allows the light of essential truth to pass through it, and to warm the bosom of others, and on the ground of a like sympathy in them with that truth. Denominational peculiarities do not disturb the unity of the church, where they do not interfere with the spirit of intercommunion. Ten thousand stars glitter in the firmament above us, and one star differeth from another in glory, yet they all harmonize, and form one bright and burning arch-a light to all below. So we would have it in the church. Each denomination of believers -a constellation of stars by itself-ought to blend its light harmoniously with that of others, and thus fill the whole hemisphere of man with the light and love of heaven. No fore, ought to talk about the desirableness of unity, whose zeal for its existence does not rise above the zero of denominational feeling. His expectation that all other branches of the church will ultimately be merged into his, is utopian,—the desire of it, only a refined species of selfishness. Those who would secure the unity of the church, must ascend to higher ground-must fix the mind on the great point of union, the cross, not indeed “ as traced on the brow at the laver of regeneration,” not as seen on the top of a bishop's house, or a Roman cathedral not as hung around the neck for an ornament but on the

cross, as seen by Paul-on Christ and him crucified, and look upon all believers as bearing his image, and as crucified with him. Amid

one, there

all the diversities of denominational peculiarities, this new life in men—this resurrection with Christ—this image of the heavenly in the soul-must become the one thing needful for Christian union—the central point of spiritual attraction. Christians must learn to look more upon this inward resemblance, and less upon their external difference,-more upon the similarity of spiritual feeling and action, and less upon the want of sameness in the forms and ceremonies of worship, if they are to meet and mingle together on earth in one glorious brotherhood of being.

The difficulty we say is in the externals of religion. Here it always has been Here the mind is left free, and each one, therefore, will think for himself. The claim of any denomination to be the church, or that its forms and ceremonies are the only proper ones, is perfectly futile. One man has just as much right to think for himself as another; and one branch of the church to frame its mode of worship according to its view of the Bible as another. Here difference of opinion exists, and always has to a greater or less extent. Uniformity here, we believe, is out of the question. The effort to enforce it has been the great source of mischief-has broken the unity of the church, and separated on earth those who will be eternally united in heaven. Let Christians then take a nobler position, and strive for a far higher attainment, the charity, which will constrain Judah not to vex Ephraim, and Ephraim not to envy Judah,—the charity which will embrace all who love our Lord Jesus Christ,—the feeling which, amid all our difficulties on minor points, will fix the mind upon the unity of the spirit, and make infinitely more of this than of any uniformity of the letter. Christians must cease to separate on points not deerned necessary to harmony in heaven. They must cease to exact from each other as a condition of intercommunion, while encompassed with darkness and beset with imperfection, as Robert Hall justly insists, more harmony and correctness of sentiment than is necessary to qualify them to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven, -- cease to repel from their communion, and brand, as a schismatic, a Howe, a Watts, or a Brainard, whom the Lord of glory will welcome to his

presence. They must cease, as some are beginning to do, *

See an able article in the British and Foreign Review for June, 1842. Also Archbishop Whately's Kingdom of Christ Delineated.

from the wretched inflation that their party or sect is the church, and all others are separatists. They must come down from the high and barren mountains of such sectarian pride and arrogance, and feel that in the possession and exhibition of love towards all who are Christ's disciples, consists the true apostolic spirit and succession—the practice of those to whom the faith was once delivered—of the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth as it is in Jesus.



By Rev. H. A. Homes, Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M. Constantinople.

Correspondance et Mémoires d'un Voyageur en Orient, par Eu

gene Boré, Chargé d'une Mission Scientifique par le Ministère

d'Instruction Publique. Tom. I. 424, II. 498 pp. Paris: 1840. [Correspondence and Memoirs of an Oriental Traveller, by

Eugene Boré. In two volumes. Paris: 1840.]

The following article from one who stands on a good post of observation, possesses especial interest at the present time, as it lays before us the operations of those politico-religious missionaries of France, which, in connection with the movements of Puseyism, have resulted in the destruction of the Christians.

Some remarks occur here, also, on the mooted question of the Jewish origin of this people.

ED. These volumes of M. Boré have been published for more than two years, but as they contain matter of peculiar interest 10 our readers both as Americans and Christians, we hope we are doing them a favor in giving them some account of their contents.

M. Boré, after having passed a very honorable examination at one of the Royal Colleges of Paris, completed his education in 1835 under the tuition of the able corps of professors of the Oriental Languages in that city. The same year he went toVenice, where he spent inany months with the industrious and philanthropic Armenian Catholic monks, who conduct the extensive printing establishment in their monastery. He had long been animated with some of that new religious enthusiasm, which swells in the bosoms of not a few of the Catholic youth of France; and with most fixed will, he determined to gain all his honors under the wing of the Catholic church, and for its glory. “ I have no ambitious views,” he writes; “ I desire neither riches nor office; the love of God and of my brethren, and of science, is enough for me. I am ready to go to the East or to "the West as soon as I see any social or religious good to effect.” He made it an axioin, to maintain, as founded in reason, all the dogmas that the church enforced, and he aimed to exhibit that it was possible for a highly cultivated and scientific mind, to be enamored of the beautiful and the holy as represented by that church, even if the majority of his countryinen were pronouncing it all to be effete and absurd, and ready to vanish away. Yet with all his professed, almost apostolic, devotion to the cause of mother church, it would still perplex a reader, uninitiated in the doublings of the human heart, of the French heart, and of the heart of M. Boré in particular, to decide what feelings most predominated in his breast, those of the Romanist, the Frenchman, or the Egoist. We happen to know that his earliest purpose was to obtain the professorship of Armenian at the College de France. It appears, also, that although he became a zealous propagandist and proselytist after he had entered on his travels, yet that his first avowed intentions were, to pass over the whole of the Eastern world that has any classic associations, in the short space of three years. His commission from the minister of Public Instruction was not obtained till long after the commencement of his tour, and then only through the most pressing solicitation of his friends.

The preparations for his land journey he made at Constantinople, and there and elsewhere he was engaged in the study of six or seven languages at a time--and doubtless with a proficiency corresponding to the variety. In the same letters from Constantinople in which he describes his studies and speaks of his plans for the advancement of the church, and of his bliss in partaking of the communion, he gives us a precious specimen of his more social occupations. “ The three Armenian sisters in the family where I reside are charming. Our habitual game with these young ladies is cards, which they love exceedingly. It is the only game which I have been able to teach

« ZurückWeiter »