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of prayer, and to provide them, when on shore, with a refuge from those houss: which are "dens of vice," and " ways to hell!”.
But in order to accomplish the objects contemplated in the Constitution of this Society, system and co-operation are necessary. All therefore who feel interested for the spiritual good of seamen, are respectfully and earnestly invited to unite, ar. cording to the articles of this association, in active exertions:--First-To support praver meetings at the boarding houses of seamen, and on board vessels in port.Secondly-To encourage secret and social praver by a ship's company, while at sea.- Thirliy-Toercourage public worship on the sabbath, and persuade seamet to attend.-- Fourthly-To promote the distribution of Bibles, Reports of Societies, Tracts, and other religious publications, particularly to aid and encourage the es tablishment of libraries in cabins, and at the boarding houses of seamen.-fifthly
-To patronize such boarding houses for sailors as shall be governed by the rules of sobriety, good order, and religion. --Sixthly--To increase the circulation of the Christian Herald and Seaman's Magazine
To promote the systematic exertions which are necessary to the success of such a Society ; it is proposed to divide the Members of the Union into committees, whose duty it shall be to act in rotation in arranging and conducting prayer meetings.
A Standing Committee also will be appointed to provide vessels or houses in which to hold these meetings, and to notify the Chairman of the Committee whose duty it is to superintend the meetings for that week. When thus notified, it will be the duty of the Chairman to give public information of the time and place of meeting, by a notice in one or more of the daily papers; and if on board ship, by hoisting the Bethel Flag at the mast head during the day, and the signal lantern at night, and to notify his co-members, and, with their assistance, or that of such mipisters and Christians, as may be invited to attend, to conduct the exercises of the meeting.
Having made this representation of the objects and plan of effort proposed by the Charleston Bethel Union, the members of it confidently hope that many will cor. dially join them in their hunble attempt to advance the glory of our Redeemer, and the teinporal and everlasting good of seamen. ·
THOMAS NAPIER, President. HORACE UTLEY, Secretary.
JOURNAL OF THE BETHEL FLAG. The season having returned which admits of holding Bethel prayer meetings on board of vessels at our wharves, the Committee convened last Tuesday evening on board the British brig Marshall Wellington, Capt. Ayres, lving at Murray's wharf The exercises commenced with singing and prayer. The Rev. John Truair, made a short address, and was followed by the Rev. Chauncey Lee, of Colebrook, Con Divie Bethune, Esq. President, made a few remarks, and engaged in prayer: after i singing a few verses from the Hymns, added to Burder's Sea Sermons, the Rev. H. Chase pronounced the benediction, and the Committee distributed Tracts to the sailors, a good number being present. The exercises being concluded, there was a general congratulation amongst the friends of sailors on the favourable auspices attending the Mariner's cause, and the following interview took place between
A Sailor and his old Instructor. A hardy looking sailor went up to Mr. Lee and announced himself as A- Bformerly one of his pupils. “I could notsaid the trembling sailor, as the big tears started from his eyes, “ I thought I could not wait until the meeting was done, before I come and spoke to you. I knew you as soon as you came on deck, I want to see you, I want to talk to you a little, when shall I come to see you" Mr. Lee stated that this man was the son of pious parents who now live in Utica; and that he was a pupil of his at Colebrook more than twenty years ago. Six o'clock the next morning was appointed for the sailor to call on him. May the Lord bless this singular interview to the spiritual benefit of the wandering sailor.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States met in Philadelphia on Thursday last. Ve have not room to notice their proceedings in this number
The Christian Gherald.
SATURDAY, June 1, 1822.
THOUGHTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SPECIAL PRAYER FOR THE GENERAL OUTPOUR
ING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. WITHOUT the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit, all our efforts in the cause of the Gospel will fail of their desired end;—and hence we may be excused for dwelling longer on the important subject of this paper, and endeavouring to stir up the minds of our readers to the more frequent exercise of prayer for the DIVINE INFLUENCES. With these considerations we have determined to enrich our pages with the excellent and catholic conclusion to Mr. Stewart's essay, notwithstanding the number of pages it has already occupied in our Miscellany.
But though I first address the clergy of my own Church, I would by no means wish to confine these suggestions to them. The object proposed, is one which equally concerns the ministers and pastors of all Christian Churches. In our present state of infirmity, there are some points in which our sentiments may vary; but here all whom the Lord Jesus has sent forth to preach His Gospel agree. Every Christian minister believes that the Holy Spirit is the great blessing we all need. That now that “Christ has died for our sins and risen again for our justification," what mankind especially require is the complete fulfilment of “the promise of the Father,” the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Permit me, then, to entreat you, my Christian brethren, you who are the pastors of the flock of Christ, by whatever particular name you may be called, permit me to entreat your aid in this interesting subject.
It is one which, as you reverence our divine Lord, will be dear, very dear to your heart; for it regards His glory, and the spread of His name throughout the earth.
It is no private or peculiar question, no doubtful point, which connects itself merely with the separate tenets or discipline of some peculiar church. It is a subject which claims the regard of all the churches of the saints.
For as “no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost," (1 Cor. xii. 3.) all who desire that Christ should be honoured, have an equal concern in the general outpouring of His divine influence.
It is delightful to consider, that there are some subjects upon which all Christians agree, and in which they can all in heart upite. This is one of these subjects.
LET, THEN, EACH MINISTER OF CHRIST EXERT HIS UTMOST EFFORTS TO PROMOTE SUCH A SPIRIT OF PRAYER AMONG THAT CLASS OF CHRISTIANS TO WHICH HE MORE PARTICULARLY BELONGS.
If there be any contest among the servants of the Lord, let this be the only contest; who shall be most zealous in the service of his divine Master, most earnest in prayer, most patient in hope, most lowly and gentle in spirit. “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” This is the only contest worthy of the ministers of the Lord.
The time past has been quite sufficient for other differences. We have had enough of strifes, and divisions, and controversies. Satan has too long observed, with malicious joy, the distressing spectacle of Christian ministers wasting their strength in internal disputes. Let the world now witness another scene. Let them now behold the ministers of Christ, like the leaders of a great and well-appointed army, each in his proper place, each waiting for the signal, each encouraging the troops, and all, as with one arm, manfully fighting under the great Captain of their salvation, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." O that the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of life and of love, may thus unite the hearts of all his servants ! Then, indeed, the Church will appear fair as the moon, and clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." (Canticles, vi. 10.)
But whilst I thus attempt to stir up the pure minds of ministers, I would endeavour to impress upon Christians generally, and O that the Lord would himself do this! that this subject addresses itself to every sincere follower of the Saviour. Success principally depends upon this supplication for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit being the general prayer of the Church of Christ—"Ye are a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” (1 Peter, ii. 9.) Every child of God has free admission to a throne of grace. The Lord says to every one of his family, “ Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm lxxxi. 10.) « Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name : ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John, xvi. 24.) The priests indeed accompanied the ark in going round Jericho; but it was when all the army shouted, that the walls fell fat. (Joshua, vi.) Your ministers may take the lead; but, unless you follow, the army of the Lord will want its soldiers. No one can be left out in this summons---- The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the batttle.” (Isaiah xiii. 4.) • Who is on the Lord's side? Who will go and pray before the Lord ?" Each, when invited by his neighbour, must say, “I will go also.” (Zech. viii. 21.) O then let each Christian consider himself as a centre, from which this union for prayer may proceed. Remember, it requires no extensive talents, no large funds, no costly sacrifice. The only question it asks is, Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, pray that his kingdom may come. Have this settled as a principle in your mind, that never can the Church of Christ expect to rise in height, or to extend in breadth, till there is a much more abundant grant of the divine influences of the Holy Spirit. There may indeed be a great outward appearance. The vision of Ezekiel may be repeated. There may be a noise and a shaking, bone
Thoughts on the Iinportance of Special Prayer.
coming to its bone, and the sinews and the Besh coming up upon them, and the skin covering them ; but still there will be no breath in them. The Church of Christ must pray for the life-giving Spirit; must “say to the wind, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” (Ezek. xxxvii.) Then by the divine blessing, we shall see multitudes of those who are now dead in sins, stand up as a great army of true believers.
O then, my Christian brethren, of whatever name or wherever resident, cultivate this sprit of prayer ; set apart such a time as will be most eligible for secret prayer and meditation, and for your family devotion; and persuade your Christian friends to do the same. Recollect that there is a point which unites the hearts of all Christians. However distant their climate, ħowever different their rank, however varied their age, their sex, their circumstances; there is one point where the rich, the poor, the young, the aged, the African, the Hindoo, the barbarian, Scythian, bond and free, all meet--All look unto Jesus.--He is the centre which unites them all. Their eyes are fixed upon Him sitting on the mercy-seat. Let then this petition from the hearts of all meet there. Lord, fill the earth with thy glory. Pour thy Spirit opon all flesh. Convert the Jews. Convert the Gentiles. Destroy the power of Satan, and reign thyself for ever and ever. The united prayers even of millions of sinners are not worthy the acceptance of the Lord Jehovah, and therefore can merit nothing. But we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He will present our poor petitions with the incense of his own merits, and they shall bring down an answer of peace. Let us then offer this prayer in faith, and let it be frequently renewed. Let us leave the time, the order, the circumstances of its fulfilment to the Lord. He may try our patience, but he will never disappoint our hope. “ He never said to the sons of Jacob, Seek ye my face in vain.” O, then, pray in faith, and let your prayer be accoinpanied with deep humiliation. Whatever other cause has occasioned the Lord hitherto to withhold a larger supply of His heavenly grace, each Christian must feel this to be one cause-his own sin. This has helped to separate between God and his people. Let the Church of Christ, then, now take its proper posture—that of an humble penitent. (Isaiah, Ixiv. 6.) Each Christian, each family, each communion, humbly confessing their sins to the Lord. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit--a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” And that your future progress may correspond with this beginning, let me recommend to all the followers of Christ, to search the Scriptures daily ; to seek a conversation becoming the Gospel; to be particularly cautious against grieving the Holy Spirit, and to cultivate brotherly love to all Christians, and good will to all mankind. For many an age the world has been trying what pride, and vanity, and strife, and selfishness could effect; and, after all their experiments, they find “ there is no peace to the wicked." Let the Church of Christ take another course. Let it be seen what love, and peace, and harmony, and good will can produce. The religion of our blessed Lord has
never yet shone with its proper lustre. When it first appeared, it had to defend itself against all the prejudices of the Jews, and against all the ignorance and idolatry of the Gentiles; and since its truth has been established, the divisions of Christians have weakened its force and marred its beauty.
Let it now be seen in its true character-uniting the hearts of all its followers. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (Jobn, xiii. 35.)
OBJECTIONS TO FOREIGN MISSIONS ANSWERED.
To the Editor of the Christian Ilerald, SIR-Interesting occurrences, affording opportunities for religious instruction, are often fortuitous, and their impressions on the mind are usually deep and lasting, in proportion as they are novel and unexpected. Sensible that the subject of the following narration cannot appear with equal advantage from the press, as it did from the desk, yet, should it be half as interesting to your readers as it was to the writer, it may well claim a page in the Christian Herald.
Journeying through Connecticut, on my return from a western tour, while passing a neat country village, and when coming in sight of the Meeting-house, I observed the appearance of a considerable number of people; and upon inquiry, was informed that that they were attending divine service, and a Mr. , an elderly clergyman from a neighbouring town, was delivering them a Missionary Sermon. Though a stranger both to the place and people, the interest which I felt in this great common cause of Christianity, induced me to alight, and hastily make my way into the house as one of the assembly. I took the first seat that presented, without disturbing the congregation, for their minds were happily too much preoccupied even to notice the entering of a stranger. I was unfortunately too late to hear any but the closing part of the sermon ; yet the application was too pointed and pungent, to leave any doubt respecting the method of arrangement and discussion in the doctrinal branch. Every appearance was in a high degree imposing. At my first entering, my mind was struck with a peculiar awe : the stillness, solemnity, and fixed attention of a numerous congregation--the subject of the preacher--his manner, original, feeling and animated—who, though apparently about sixty, displayed all the fire and sprightliness of youth, and was so evidently inspired by the subject, that his whole soul appeared depicted in his countenance, words and gestures;-in fine, every appearance throughout combined to excite and deepen the impression, “how awful is this place, this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.” The text, I soon perceived, was the words of Paul to the Philippians ; “Let the same mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus." His object was, from the unparalleled benevolence of the great Redeemer, as the most alluring and powerful example for human imitation, to enforce the obligation of Christians to follow their divine Master: and especially to inspire a spirit of zeal and liberality