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ITEMS OF NEWS.
January 3, 1844. DEAR BROTHER.–A small congregation of disciples has been recently formed at Lewisham, Kent. Five were immersed last Monday for the remission of sins, and are now added to the assembly. Your brother in the Lord,
S. P. (We have some letters of correspondence in our possession between these brethren and a Baptist Church, some of which will probably appear in the Messenger.- ED.]
Edinburgh, January 23, 1844. In my tour through Fife I was very glad to find the brethren in general in a very happy and prosperous situation. Many of them are well acquainted with the Scriptures, and exemplify in a remark. able manner the power of the truth over the mind. In Auchtermuchty, Kinglessie, and Kirkaldy six became obedient to the faith, during the time I was there ; and there is very considerable prospect of more coming forward to acknowledge the Lord soon, Yours faithfully in the Lord,
Edinburgh, January, 1844. QUERY.--Is it lawful for the disciples of Jesus to attend their worldly occupations on the first day of the week, so as to prevent them attending the ordinances of God's house ?' Answer. --No! Whoever violates any of the laws of primitive Christianity will be sure to suffer the penalty, whether they be expelled the church or not. Some offenders are peremptorily to be put away from the body, among which are all those who wilfully and perseveringly disobey the positive institutions of the King.
CONTRIBUTIONS to the Evangelists’ Fund have been received during the last two months from Auchtermuchty, Donnington, Perth, Penrith, Dundee, Kilmarnock, Cupar (Fife), Lanark, Sanquhar, Chester, Coxlane, and Ashton-under-Lyne.- N.B. All monies sent either from individuals or congregations for the support of evange. Lists, will be regularly entered into one fund.
Sanquhar, 17th January, 1844. BELOVED BROTHER,– Inclosed is a post-office order for our mite to assist in proclaiming the original gospel of our blessed Saviour. There is the greatest need for every exertion, and the disciples of Christ being active and zealous in the cause of their Lord and Master. It is our grief that we can do so little for him who has done so much for us. We had a visit from our dear brother Wm. Thom. son, a few weeks ago, on his return to Edinburgh, which was a great refreshment to us all, and was the means in the hand of our great High Priest of causing a few to be brought to submit to the anthority of Jesus. The forcible manner in which he declared the original gospel had a wonderful effect: some it caused to yield to its
- authority, others it caused to rage and blaspheme, which we see is its native tendency when declared as the apostle Paul would have done it, that is to say, kept nothing back. What are termed the old Scotch Baptists, were the greatest enemies we had. Their conduct here was 80 contrary to every principle and spirit taught in the New Testament, that we are ashamed to let it see the light. Indeed, darkness, gross darkness, of that blessed truth which purifies the heart, is the only cause of such a line of conduct as they manifested on the occasion. We, as a church of Christ, are living in peace at present; we number at least twenty-two, and are very comfortable, and not without hope that our number will be multiplied. Brother, as the coming of our Lord draweth nigh, every disciple ought to be upon his watchtower, anxiously waiting for his approach. It is lamentable to think how few there are who have any thought about his coming, either one way or another; indeed, the way in which the great body of mankind are taught leads to no reflection of that kind, for they will not read the word for themselves. We have done all in our power to circulate the Messenger, but you have no idea how we are opposed in that as well as in other things. It is confidently asserted here that the gospel can be fully preached and Baptism never mentioned. Is this a correct assertion, or is it not? God willing, we shall not be long in writing to you again. I am, dear brother, yours in the hope of a blessed immortality,
At the conclusion of the third day's debate in Lexington a Luthe. rian and a Methodist, both intelligent men, arose and confessed the faith, and were forthwith immersed into Jesus.-Christian Journal.
TE X AS. We invite attention (says the Christian Journal) to brother Mar. shall's communication. Texas calls to Kentucky for aid. Can she have it? Have we no young men who are willing to volunteer? The spoils to be wrested from sin and sectarianism in that republic are great; and the true Christian soldier who would undertake the warfare would have, in the GREAT DAY, & countless number of jewels wherewith to bedeck his crown! What an immense harvest is to be gathered there! What eternal honours await the gleaner! Brother B. L. De Spain has gone to wield his sickle in those promising fields, -fields so large that a hundred labourers would find more than they could do.
December 11, 1843. MY DEAR SIR,- In pursuance of your request, now proceed to give you some account of the progress of the cause of primitive Christianity in the republic of Texas. In the spring of 1841, I entered the republic at Galveston, and met with much opposition from the different sects; but in the spring of 1842, I was joined by elder P. W. Roberts, of Louisiana, with whom I laboured in the word and doctrine, and upwards of four hundred persons were immcrsed during the year in that state. In June of this year, he left me to prosecute the work alone, and returned to New Orleans. In October 1842, I immersed six persons in Sabine, Texas--the first fruits of that country unto Christ. Since then, nearly one hundred became “ obedient to the faith," and a church was constituted in Sabine of forty members-one in San Augustine county of forty-two members, one in the city of San Augustine of seven members--one in the parish of Sabine, of fifteen members -one in the parish of Natchiotches of fifteen members and one in the city of Natchiotches of ten members, all of which have acknowledged “ the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, as the only rule of faith and obedience.”
In Western Texas, brother Giles has laboured with much effect; and after a debate with the Methodists, he immersed some eighty into Christ" for the remission of sins."
I could write a volume respecting the organized opposition of the Presbyterians, Methodists (who are numerically superior to all the other sects), and even the Baptists, who, indeed, are more exceed. ingly virulent than all the others, which reminds me of an expression of David's, “ It was not an enemy that did it; then I could have borne it,'' &c. But you desire concise articles for your publicationtherefore I must forbear.
I am pained to have it to say, that the first example of the interruption of public worship that came under my notice in Texas, was set by the Methodists, who publicly contradicted us in our assemblies by such words as," I doubt that!” “ You are wrong, Sir!" or,“ That's your opinion !" But their opposition is not confined to us Christians. They even turn their arms against each other, and a Methodist preacher having attacked a Presbyterian minister of San Augustine (whose names shall be given if requested), was shot by him, to the no small disgrace of true religion, whereby the enemies took occasion to blaspheme the holy name of the Divine Author of the gospel of peace.
Notwithstanding all the obstacles in the way of the gospel, the cause is onward, and I rejoice to say that those who have confessed the Lord, have been careful to“ maintain good works.”
The harrest truly is great in the republic, and the labourers lamentably few. Could you not, my brother, in your capacity as editor, stir up the pure minds of some of our young brethren to respond to the Macedonian cry which is coming up from the far west. Alas! as it was in Paul's time, so now, “ All seek their own and not the things that are Christ's."
The churches of Texas are not able to sustain their teachers, who are compelled to resort to other means of support, such as medicine, agriculture, &c.
Could not the wealthy churches of Kentucky be able to imitate the example of the churches of Macedonia ? I know they can. Mr. Editor, will you set this matter before them through your publication? I hold it to be true in Christianity, that only while we are actively engaged in imparting the blessing of the gospel to others,
we enjoy it ourselves. “ It is more blessed to give than to receive, Farewell, your brother in Christ,
J. P. MARSHALLA
EXTRACT FROM THE OPENING SPEECH,
DELIVERED IN LEXINGTON, AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE LATE DEBATE.
(From the Millennial Harbinger.) GENTLEMEN MODERATORS,—I feel myself peculiarly happy in being specially called, in the good providence of God, to appear before you, and your honourable associates, in the midst of this great community, to act an humble part in the long-protracted controversy, commenced more than three centuries ago, when the genius of Protestantism first propounded to Europe and to the world, the momentous and prolific questions :-“Is the Bible an intelligent document? Is it a book to be read by all the people ? Does it fully contain, and clearly reveal, the whole duty and happiness of man ?”. The bold and intrepid Luther responded in the affirmative; and immediately a numerous and powerful host gave in their adhesion,-seconded his efforts,-erected their standard,-unfurled their banners, and rallied under the sublime motto, “ The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is the religion of Protestants.”
The pope, his cardinals, and lordly prelates, heard with a scornful and indignant smile this bold and comprehensive declaration of independence. Little did his Roman holiness Leo X., and the lions around him, imagine what mighty revolutions of empire, civil and ecclesiastic, were concealed
under those symbols. No one, indeed, then living comprehended that motto in all its amplitude. No one saw that the regeneration of a world was in it. No one anticipated the mighty impetus which it was about to impart to the human mind, to the cause of human improvement, to the advancement of civilization, and to the eternal redemption of the world from ignorance, error, and crime.
It was not merely a renunciation of Popery-of all sorts of Popery, ecclesiastic and political—it was not merely a renunciation of despotism, of tyranny, of anarchy, of misrule, of every species of cruelty and oppression on account of opinions, on account of human traditions or political interests. It asserted the rights of man, liberty of thought, liberty of speech, and liberty of action. It asserted that God had no vicegerent on earth-no representative amongst men; that he alone is Lord of the conscience.
From that moment to the present, the march of mind has been onward and upward. The mighty spell that had for ages held all Christendom in abject slavery to kings and priests, those demigods of human admiration and worship, began to be broken. Opinions held sacred froin times iinmemorial, began to be discussed ; learning awoke froin the slumber of centuries; science assumed her proper rank; the arts, both useful and ornamental, began to be cultivated with new vigour; and, Protestant society at least, laid aside the stern sanctimoniousness of a religious grinace, put off the cowl of superstition, and appeared in the more pleasing costume of an open countenance, a smiling face, a generous heart, and a more spiritual devotion.
Still, however, all error was not detected, discussed, and repudiated. The human inind, like the human body, takes but one short step at a time, and that step rather indicates the decreptitude and feebleness of age than the vigour and energy of youth. Unfortunately, Protestantism soon obtained favoir at court, and immediately mounted the throne of the greatest empire in the world. In doing this, she had, indeed, to retain so many of the traditions and doctrines of the fathers as secured the favour of kings and princes, and fattered the pretensions of bishops, arch-bishops, and their dependents, who, in affection, were wedded to Rome, while abjuring her power, merely because it eclipsed and dimibished their own.