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Shall we not own, with grateful trust,
Such earnest of a Father's love, And looking upward from the dust,
Rejoice in Him who reigns above ? While o'er the infant's open grave
The early birds their carols sing, And summer boughs in beauty wave,
And sunbeams fall and flow'rets spring; Shall we not hear His voice, who said,
To dry the eyes that tears bedim: “God is the God, not of the dead,
For all are living unto Him."
66 Well with the child ? ” Ah, yes, 't is well
With that bright creature evermore, Gone up, ’mid seraph bands to dwell,
With God, on yonder starry shore. Well with the child? Ah yes, 't is well,
Though marble-cold the lily brow, And though nor sage nor seer can tell
Where soars the mind, that beamed there, now. Well with the child ? Ah yes, 't is well,
Though fixed in death that speaking eye.
It passed — a star is in the sky!
With her, the joyous, guileless one!
Though gilds her grave the morning sun. Well with the child ? Ah yes, 't is well, And well with us who
we, By penitence made pure, might dwell, Sweet child of God, with Him and thee!
C. T. B.
Revelation. - Press Thou On.
When one who walks by night in fear
eye To find the way to his abode,
Perceives at length its distant light
The image of the home he loves;
'T was thus, through many a weary day,
That leads to happiness and God;
And travellers guided by its rays,
PRESS THOU ON.
ONWARD, Christian ! though the region
Where thou art, be drear and lone.
Very near thee; — press thou on.
Rolleth o'er thee-“God is Love."
· Upward ever — heaven's above." TOL. XLI. -4TH. S. VOL. VI. NO II.
By the thorn-road, and no other,
Is the mount of vision won.
Guiding, cheering, like the sun, -
Oh! for their sake press thou on.
For thy life of pain and peace.
Pray thou for thine own release.
That thou be a faithful son,
May thy will, not mine, be done."
ART. VIII. – FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CONGREGA
The Christian Church, - the principles and forms of its organization, the rights and proper qualifications of its ministers, the modes and the efficacy of a true administration of the offices and ordinances of religion, — in short,
* 1. History of Congregationalism, from about A. D. 250 to 1616. By GEORGE PUNCHARD, Author of " a View of Congregationalism.” Salem. 1841. 12mo. pp. 388.
2. A Church without a Bishop. The Apostolical and Primitive Church, Popular in its Government, and Simple in its Worship. By Lyman COLEMAN, Author of "Antiquities of the Christian Church." With an Introductory Essay, by Dr. Augustus Neander, Professor of Theology in the University of Berlin. Boston. 1844. 12mo. pp. 432.
3. The Puritans and their Principles. By Edwin Hall. New York. 1846. 8vo. pp. 440.
4. Congregationalism. A Discourse delivered before the Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers, Boston, May 28, 1846. By Alvan Lamson. Boston : Crosby & Nichols. 1846. 8vo. pp. 30.
5. Puritanism: or, a Churchman's Defence against its Aspersions, by an Appeal to its own History. By Thomas W. Coir, D. D., Rector of Trinity Church, New Rochelle, N. Y., etc. New York. 1845. 12mo.
all the subjects included under the general term “ecclesiastical polity,” " — occupy at the present moment a large portion of the religious discussions and religious interest, not only of our own community and country, but of the whole Christian world. Questions that have slumbered for nearly two centuries, and which most Protestants at least considered definitively settled, have been revived; and many signs indicate that the old battle of the Reformation, the conflict between Church authority and Gospel liberty, between the Bible as a rule to the individual, and the Church as the only competent and qualified interpreter, must be fought again, with something of the earnestness, the determined courage, the watchful and unfaltering zeal, that marked the original contest.
To have matters of form and organization excite so much attention, may seem, at first, no very favorable evidence of the state of practical religion. It may be thought to augur ill for the prevalence of an inward, spiritual, living faith, a heartfelt reception of the great moral truths of the Gospel, and a faithful application of them to life and character. Dispute and discussion on these topics may seem idle and mischievous, elevating into importance what is insignificant in itself, withdrawing thought and interest from that which is of first moment in religion and most directly addressed to the heart and conscience. But this would be an erroneous conclusion. We admit, under one aspect of them, the utter insignificance of forms and ecclesiastical organization. They are of no account in the sight of God. We do not believe that anything outward in religion is in itself alone of the slightest consequence in his regard, or that the efficacy or the acceptableness with Him of any external religious service depends upon the manner or the office of the person performing it. He cares not in what language, or in what posture the prayer be offered, provided it come from the heart with a sincere and earnest utterance. He cares not when, or where, or how, or by whom baptism be administered, or when, or where, or how, or by whom the word of life be divided and spoken, or the bread and the wine, symbols of the body and the blood of the crucified Redeemer, be offered and received by humble and penitent sinners, provided there be a sincere, reverent purpose, a devout, childlike, trustful faith in the soul. If this purpose
and this faith be absent, the most splendid, regular and orthodox administration of Gospel ordinances and institutions fails of acceptance and efficacy. If they be present, the most simple and, according to our ecclesiastical conventions, the most irregular administration of them is accepted and blessed.
“Ye shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him ;" this is the great principle and rule of Christ in regard to worship. This spiritual worship of the heart is always accepted. It breathes an efficacy into all the forms under which it may embody and express itself.
In this respect forms and ecclesiastical organization are of too little moment to become questions of discussion and contention.
Under another aspect, however, they become matters of consequence in their effect upon man, upon the progress of truth and freedom, of enlarged and elevated views of Christian duty and character. They may promote or retard the spiritual growth of the soul and the best influences of the Gospel upon society. There is a connection between the form and the spirit of religion. All Christian history teaches that the kind of religious character that prevails in a community, is more or less determined by the kind of ecclesiastical organization that is established in that community, is an expression of the religious ideas comprehended in that organization. The difference between Catholic Mexico and Congregational New England is to be attributed mainly to the different ideas embraced, the different influences exerted by the different modes in which the Christian Church has been organized and the Christian religion administered, in the two countries. A Roman Catholic or a Puseyite Episcopalian must have a conception of the Gospel, of its essential spirit and influences, a conception of the important elements of the Christian character, of " the covenanted mercies of God” and of the conditions of the Divine acceptance and favor, widely different from those entertained by the Congregationalist. The religious character of any man will be modified, his religious conceptions more or less moulded by the ecclesiastical organization under which he has been educated, and which from habit or principle he approves and helps to sustain.
As the influence Christianity exerts, the results it produ