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among the students, and two-thirds of their number are hopefully pious. 'The spirit of missions is increasing in the state. Education societies, are also formed, and one of these societies, in two years, afforded assistance to 40 young men.
We have heard, with pleasure, of the exertions which are made in many of our cities, to promote the spiritual welfare of Seamen, and of the success which has attended these 'exertious. Places of worship for mariners, are opened in severai of our seaport towns, and both mariners themselves and their families have received great benefit from attending the public ordinances of the gospel. The assembly recommends to the ininisters and members of our churches, to encourage and promote these useful institutions.
The Theological Seminary at Princeton, continues to enjoy the smiles of the great Head of the Church. A missionary spirit is diffused among the students, and a few have already devoted themselves to the labours and privations of a foreign mission. The churches are already enjoying. the fruits of this most important institution. The 'Theological Seminary, at Auburn, under the care of the Synod of Geneva, is flourishing;
and efforts are also making, with encouraging prospects, to establish Theological Seminaries in other parts of our country.
The Assembly sincerely congratulates the churches, under its care, on the recent union which has been completed between the Presbyterian and the Associate Reformed Churches. We cannot but cherish the hope that this union will be productive of the most beneficial effects, and that the great Head of the Church will bless it to the promotion of the interests of his kingdom.
On the whole, the review of the past year is calculated to awaken the most lively sensations of gratitude, to the great Head of the Church, for the blessings which he has bestowed upon it, and to excite us to more zeal and devotedness in his service. We rejoice in the spread of the gospel. He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Reviewing his mercies to his Church in our land, we are constrained to offer to him our devout praises. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things, and blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.-AMEN AND AMEN. Published by order of the General Assembly Attest,
WILLIAM NEILL, Stated Clerk. Philadelphia, May, 1822.
UNITED DOMESTIC MISSIONARY SOCIETY--ADDRESS OF
To the Christian Public. BRETHREN- It is our privilege to see the day, when Christians of different communions are beginning practically to recognize their obligations to preach the gospel to every creature. It is now understood, that the command which the blessed Saviour gave his disciples to this effect, was not meant to be limited to them, nor to their contemporary fellow-labourers and immediate successors, but that it has rested upon the church through every subsequent age, and now rests
United Domestic Missionary Society.
83 upon protestant Christians, in all the freshness of its first authority.
spiritual circumstances of the great majority of mankind, and especially the entreaties for Christian instruction, which are heard from every quarter of the world, have penetrated the hearts, and opened the hands, of the benevolent and pious. Multitudes of devoted youth are now either coming up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, or are in a course of diligent preparation for his service. The holy enterprize will go forward, until the waters of life shall flow to every land, and “all Hesh shall see the salvation of God.”
But the command, to preach the gospel to every creature, does not claim our prayers and religious charities exclusively for the pagan world: within the bounds of this highly favoured country, there are not only many infant churches and congregations, which have need of immediate encouragement and assistance in supporting Christian ordinances, but innumerable villages, and newly settled districts, which have never enjoyed them. Every year serves to disclose, if not to augment, the spiritual wants of our new settlements. Unless something of a more efficient character, and upon a broader scale, be attempted on behalf of the waste places of Zion, and of our brethren in the interior, we must expect to see some of the fairest portions of the country become a prey to infidelity and vice.
It should be acknowledged, to the honour of our holy religion, that the churches have not been altogether indifferent to this momentous subject. Many of you have doubtless contributed liberally and often, to provide the means of instruction to the destitute. A considerable number of missionary associations have been formed in different places, which have sent into the field many faithful servants of Christ. We have observed these well-timed charities, and seen their cheering results, in the formation of numerous churches, and the revival of pure religion, in almost every direction. Still it must be added, that too many of these benevolent exertions, have proved desultory and ephemeral; and all have, in some measure, failed of their proper influence, from want of concert among those engaged in the work of missions. While some destitute regions have been regularly visited by missionaries of different societies, others, equally in want of missionary aid, have been passed by, and suffered to re.. main unexplored. The Christian public at large is, at this moment, almost wholly ignorant of the moral condition of some portions of the western country. Nor is it reasonable to expect, that a complete survey should be made even of the moral wastes in a single state, excepi under the auspices of a general missionary society. Much less can it be expected that any, but such a society, will be able to apportion the missionary services actually bestowed, to the religious wants of the people.
The formation of such a society was also called for, as a measure admirably calculated to excite a fresh, and more extensive interest in the cause of domestic missions. The way is thus prepared for circulating widely important information on the subject, making the most effectual appeals to the charitable, and forming the greatest number of efficient auxiliary associations. It is clearly possible that,
by uniting in this one enterprize every churcia and congregation of our communions, we should pervade all these destitute places, and eventually supply every section of the country with the preached word.
It would be easy to expatiate upon the principles of the constitution, as providing for the most efficient co-operation of all the branches of this society, at the same time that it secures to the auxiliaries every privilege in regard to the application of their funds.
We might dwell on the advantages likely to flow from adopting an uniform system of missionary operations, as well as from concentrating in one great institution, the information, practical wisdom, and active talents, which must command the confidence and patronage of the public. It is delightful, and encouraging to every friend of missions, to believe, that it will also upite, on its behalf, the prayers of many who do not plead in vain with Israel's God. But these circumstances are too obvious to have escaped your thoughts. The perfect harmony of the Convention on all these points, admonishes us not to occupy your time with unnecessary arguments and illus. trations.
It then remains, that in the spirit of Christian philanthropy, and with entire reliance on divine grace, we make a vigorous experiment of wbat can be effected for the destitute in our land. Our encouragement to do this, is as great and precious as Christ's promise, “ Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world,” is onequivocal and sure. It is as much our privilege, as it is our bounden duty, to proceed in this labour of love. The Saviour has said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive;" and we are elsewhere assured, that “ he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” With this gracious promise, the providence of God to bis visible church is observed remarkably to accord. He has ever imparted the most desirable prosperity, the greatest measure of divine influence, to those communions and churches which have been peculiarly active in disseminating bis Gospel. In this country, particularly, the churches have been watered in proportion to their missionary efforts. Were they all to unite their supplications and zealous endeavours in this cause, he would doubtless pour out upon them an abundant blessing; a little one would become a thousand, and a strong one a mighty nation.
In this confidence, the Directors make their appeal to the Christian public, on behalf of that glorious Gospel, which was never meant to be restricted to any one nation or class of society, but was intrusted to the church militant, to be propagated throughout the whole world ; on behalf of the destitute sections of our own country, of the dwellers in the new settlements, the emigrants from our cities, our churches, and our domestic altars, who now desire in vain the Christian privileges which they once enjoyed; on behalf of multitudes of precious souls descending to perdition through lack of knowledge ; and of other and still greater multitudes, who will come after them, and be educated in the ways of holiness, or of sin, according as we either espouse or neglect the cause of domestic missions ; on
behalf, dear brethren, of your own communions and churches, whose zeal in this pious work will never be overlooked, nor suffered to pass unrewarded. We could indeed multiply arguments on this momentous topic. God forbid that any considerations of interest, any sectarian prejudices, or local jealousy, and, above all, any unfeeling indiffere ice to the circumstances of thousands of our countrymen, without hope, and without God in the world ; should close our ears and our hearts against the earnest cry from the destitute, “ Give unto us the bread of heaven, that we may live; and send us faithful ministers of the Lord Jesus, who shall guide us in the way wbich our fathers trod, that we may hereafter enter with them into rest.”
The Directors would earnestly commend the cause of the Society to the benevolence of the friends of missions, and entreat their active co-operation in the formation of Auxiliary Societies, communicating information, and promoting, by every means, the object of the institution.
FEMALE MISSIONARY SOCIETY. The sixth anniversary of the Female Missionary Society for the poor in this city, was held in the Brick Presbyterian Church on the 12th inst, at half past 4 o'clock, P. M. The Rev. Dr. Spring commenced the exercises with prayer, and then read the Report of the Directors. The Rev. William Gray, the Society's Missionary, read bis annual report, and the Rev. Dr. Spring, Rev. Samuel H. Cox, Rev. E. W. Baldwin, Rev. Joho Truair, Rey. John H. Rice, D. D. of Richmond, Virginia, and the Rev. Mr. Stockton, addressed the meeting. The latter gentleman offered the concluding prayer, and the Rev. Mr. Baldwin pronounced the benediction.
There were nearly 200 ladies and several gentlemen present, and the exercises were rendered peculiarly interesting on account of the suggestion made in the Report, and followed up by some of the gentlemen who spoke, that the cause of the Society's failure was owing to the location of the Church ; and that the only plan which would promise success was the removal of it, or the erection of a new one in some neighbouring street.
To these opinions we cannot subscribe : and we believe it will be easily shown that the zeal and perseverance of this Society have been crowned with as great success as any similar efforts : if this be true, there can be no reason for removing the Church. But if there has been a failure we would inquire, with one of the Rev. Gentlemen who addressed the meeting, whether the cause of it may not be found somewhere else. We have not room for further remarks on the subject at present, and shall conclude by informing our readers that the Society need some pecuniary aid to fulfil their present engagements, which we hope will be immediately supplied. The Report shall be noticed in our next.
OF PROFESSOR FISHER. Mr. Editor—While I sympathize in common with many others, with the friends and relatives of those who found a watery grave in the Albion, I must be permitted to distingaish the loss of one on board, as a severe public calamity. Professor Fisher, of Yale College, was a young man of rare talents and great promise. He was the oldest child of Mr. Caleb Fisher, a respectable farmer of the town of Franklin, in Massachusetts. His early years were marked by an uncoinmon thirst for literary acquisition. With few exterior accomplishments, except the gracefulness of youthful integrity and industry, to ensure the partiality of his teachers and acquaintance, he never failed of distingushing him
self. His taste for science, induced his parents to give him an academical education. He entered Yale College at a tender age, where he soon evinced himself equal to the most difficult studies, and graduated in the fall of 1813, inferior in sholarship to no member of his class. The following year he passed with his parents at Franklid; and, in the latter part of 1814, became a member of the Theological Seminary at Andover. It was here that the writer became more intimately acquainted with his intellectual resources and moral habits. And he can safely affirm, that he was never more impressed with the gigantic powers of any man. The genius of Professor Fisher was not, however, of that popular character, which bursts like a flaming meteor upon the public, and attracts our gaze and wonder, by a momentary coruscation. It consisted rather in a singular aptitude for rapid and profound investigation. He was a most industrious as well as successful student. With the talent of approaching every subject by a natural and easy method, he possessed that of bringing to its elucidation, all the aids that his other acquisitions could supply, and a patience of investigation which was singular. “ He is a bundle of ideas,” said one of his most celebrated instructors. And probably few minds have been as exclusively occupied as his, with naked thought.
His election as Professor of Mathematics, in the venerable institution at which he graduated, was, in no degree, the result of favouritism. He was selected to fill that important station because he was known to possess the requisite qualifications. And though he was, at the time, a mere youth, and remarkable for a modest, retiring spirit, approaching to timidity; he is understood to have equalled the most sanguine expectations of the friends and patrons of the institution. Besides faithfully discharging the duties of his office, he occasionally employed his pen, with much credit to himself, for the public. The writer is unable to state precisely how much he furnished for the “Christian Spectator," and the “ Journal of Science;" but he is known to have contributed liberally to both these works. In the latter, his dissertation on “ Musical Temperament,” has been considered in this country, and in Europe, a masterly production.
It would have been unhappy indeed, if such a mind had not become thoroughly satisfied of the reality and ineffable value of personal religion. My impression is, that there was a time when he regarded the evidences of Christianity with a degree of perplexity and doubt. But the result of his investigations was most decided ; and though he never made a formal profession of his faith, he has left behind him very consoling evidence, that he was more than a speculative believer in Jesus Christ. His public testimony and more private expression of his views on this subject, were altogether in favour of the great principles of the Reformation. His penetrating mind discovered no force in the arguments with which a vain philosophy has dared to assail them. Having ranged the entire field of metaphysics and didactic theology, he found that he could rest his hopes of future blessedness on nothing but the grace of Almighty God through a crucified Redeemer. Here, it is charitably believed, he did actually suffer them to rest. If he did, the ocean's tempest has borne him to a nobler and more happy country, than even that to which the Albion was destined.