« PreviousContinue »
little invention, has no principle, no ideas. It does the business, while it subverts the faith, of the world.
That happiness, mere comfortableness, is not the law, is true. Only the wilful man demands that. Destiny believes in the good and noble; and aims at blessedness, which is more than happiness. If the whole is perfect, the particles must be perfect. If some of the steps in the progress are sin, then the sin must be good, since all the steps are necessary. The best world to-day is not the best for to-morrow; but it is the best for today. Step by step we reach the heavenly heights.
VOTE OF THANKS. The discussion having subsided, remarks were made by Rev. FRANCIS TIFFANY, expressive of the gratification experienced by the society at Springfield in the present Convention, and explanatory of their inability to extend to their numerous guests all that attention they could have desired.
Rev. Dr. FARLEY responded warmly, maintaining that no apology was needed; and offered the following resolutions, which were adopted by a rising vote:
Resolved, That the thanks of the Convention are hereby presented to the First Unitarian Congregational Society of Springfield, and to their Committee, and to our friends in Chicopee also, for the warm-hearted and generous hospitality with which they have received and welcomed to their beautiful city and their Christian homes the pastors and delegates of our various churches here represented ; and that we devoutly commend them all, pastor and people, to the exhaustless love and blessing of our heavenly Father.
Resolved, That we recognize with exceeding pleasure and gratitude the fraternal spirit of good-will and Christian courtesy which has prompted so many members of other churches, of different name and polity, in this city, to call to their hospitable embrace many of the members of the Convention, and, by the domestic bearth, to entertain them as members of the common household of faith.
Resolved, That, with reverent and grateful hearts, we turn our faces homeward with recollections of this delightful season of Christian confidence and sympathy, which, we trust, shall never die out; but which, we pray, shall prompt us to better efforts for the Church of Christ, the welfare of man, the glory of God.
Some discussion ensued relative to the appointment of the Committee for the next Convention; and it was decided to drop one name on the old Committee; adding, in its place, that of Rev. JAMES DE NORMANDIE, of Portsmouth, N.H.
The Convention then dissolved.
THE SOCIAL ELEMENT of the Convention is by no means to be overlooked. So unprecedentedly large an attendance not only exhausted the utmost hospitality of our denominational friends, but drew largely upon the kindness of their neighbors of other communions. This opportunity for a better acquaintance could not but have been advantageous on both sides.
It is impossible that so many intelligent, genial, Christian people should sojourn, under such circumstances, in family intimacy, without giving birth to many new and abiding friendships, and doing something to extend that sentiment of brotherhood, the full realization and acceptation of which will mark the complete establishment of Christ's kingdom.
THE CONCLUSION may be best stated, perhaps, as being a profound conviction of the utility of “ Autumnal Conventions."
It is morally impossible that at least every parish represented at the Convention by its minister should not feel the stimulation of the fresh, earnest, and forcible thought to which utterance was given on the occasion ; and every person in attendance must have participated, to some extent, in the mental and spiritual refreshment dispensed so liberally.
The temper and spirit of the Convention were noticeably harmonious: not a jar or discord was observable, though the elements comprehended every phase of belief and opinion included within our communion.
The tone of the Convention was unmistakably progressive; to which, of course, is due the sharpness, brightness, and force of its exercises.
As a whole, though not absolutely the foremost of our Conventions in all particulars, it has, from various causes, produced an impression exceeding that of any previous meeting, and one certain to insure an attendance next autumn, which, unless some system of accredited delegates is adopted, will compel a general house-opening in such town or city as may be the scene of its exercises.
J. P. W.
The liberalizing tendency of the war appears in various ways. The mingling of ministers of different denominations on the field as chaplains has tended to do away a vast amount of prejudice formerly existing. We lately saw a very enthusiastic notice of our friend FORMAN in an Orthodox periodical; and here are two more, - one of ARTHUR FULLER, from a Methodist paper, the “ Zion's Herald ;” and the other, of Chaplain HUNTING, from the “Independent.” We think both notices worth preserving
The first article is on “ Chaplain Fuller," the interesting memoir published by Walker, Wise, and Company:
“Such thoughts as these, so imperfectly rendered, crowd upon the mind in closing the volume we have just perused, * Chaplain Fuller, a Life and Sketch of a New-England Clergyman and Army Chaplain, by Richard F. Fuller.'
“ Among our noble martyrs, our heroic patriots fallen upon the field of battle, or stricken down amid the miasmas of the camp, or faded away in the crowded hospital, no name bears a brighter lustre, no story has a deeper pathos or a more glorious inspiration, than Arthur Fuller's. One closes the volume with a grateful sense of personal gain. That such a pure life has passed in our midst, such an ardent soul aspired and realized and performed, cannot be less than a blessed help to any one who follows his course with a spirit in the faintest degree akin.
“How harmoniously are blended in him those hitherto incongruous elements of character,—the zealous minister of Christ ; the friendly nurse, bending with all a woman's tenderness above the dying soldiers of the hospital; and the valiant warrior falling on the field of battle, and, to do something for his country,' giving all, - ease, health, and life itself!
“ With the exception of the early days of boyhood, his own letters tell the impressive story, and in that vivid, eloquent way that seemed to bring his readers in the • Journal' face to face with the far-away scenes of camp or battle-ground, and make them selfish in their grief, when first that heart-rending message flashed along the wires, telling to all, how, lamented and bewailed by his comrades, Arthur Fuller had fallen, gun in hand, in the streets of Fredericksburg.
" That peculiar energetic vitality of his, that makes your breath quiver and your pulse stand still while you follow his matchless description of the contest between the “Merrimac' and • Monitor,' breathes through the simplest ļetter, and pictures for you so truthfully and strikingly the outlines, that every detail seems to have passed beneath your scrutiny. Almost those missionary labors at Belvidere seem more heroic and grand than the patiently borne sufferings, the persevering labors of the camp, and the enthusiastic valor, the inspiriting example, the great sacrifice, of the crowning act at Fredericksburg; and yet one succeeds the other naturally and harmoniously. No one, following along the pages the boy early inured to care and grief, and constantly urged onward and upward by the gifted sister, the day-star of his boyhood,' marvels as if it were something strange to find the earnest pastor among the discord and horrors of war. His memory were blessed, if only for this, – that in his life the world can behold the noble type of our New-England clergymen. What scoffing voice of baser treason than that of the vilest secessionists has lately reviled and maligned the Yankee minister ? We need no other answer, no prouder refutation, than this life of Chaplain Fuller.”
The other article to which we referred is from the “Independent” of last week:
“How CHAPLAINS ARE TREATED. – Rev. S. S. Hunting, the worthy pastor of the Unitarian Church at Detroit, accepted the office of chaplain in the army; and, after a faithful discharge of his duties for a few months, was summarily dismissed by the late Brig.-Gen. Welsh, on the false and groundless charge of
countenancing in his regiment resistance to a lawful order of a superior officer.' The facts were these : Gen. Welsh had given orders, in direct violation of law, for the Twenty-seventh Michigan Regiment to be searched for a slave, and for the slave to be delivered up. There was no resistance to the order ; and Mr. Hunting was not with the regiment at the time, but learned the facts afterwards, and wrote an indignant account to Rev. C. C. Ames of Cincinnati. Mr. Ames stated the case to Gen. Burnside, who promised to look after it. Gen. Welsh revenged himself by expelling the chaplain from his regiment. The colonel and other officers of the regiment unite in certifying most fully to the falsity of the charge, and the patriotism and good conduct of the chaplain. The case may serve to illustrate the difficulties which the Government has had to contend against