Page images
PDF
EPUB

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

MISSIONARY SOCIETY. OUR Readers will be gratified to find the Work of the Lord still

prospers in various parts of the World. In Germany and Switzer. sand, Religion seems recovering from the Wounds it had received during the Ravages of War. In North America the Power of God appears to have been displayed in a most extraordinary M uner; the Account subjoined of it by Principal Baxter, appears to us the most correct, judicious, and satisfactory we have seen; and the general Facts are confirmed in the recent Letter of Dr. Stillman. The Indian Talk, besides its beautiful Simplicity, strongly shews the Readiness of the Natives to receive the Gospel,

GERMANY,
To the Rev. Mr. Steinkopf, Minister of the German Chapel, Savoy:

· Elberfeld, January 3, 1802. Receive my thanks, in the name of the whole body of our Society, for the communication of the letter from the Comiittee of the Religious Tract Society, and their Address to the Religious Public. They are both already printed in our language. The same we have done with the first volume of the Village Dialogues, which you have sent us. May God, the Faiher of our Lord Jesus Christ, impart his blessing to our endeavour:! and may he shew us further what we shall do, in order to set forth the majesty of his name, and to glorify the riches of his unspeakable love!

In our city and its enyirons, a great revival of real religion is to be observed ; and many sinners are awakened, mostly by the instrus mentality of a dear ininister of Christ, named Nurnay. He is about forty years of age; -- his preaching is accompanied with power, and with the denonstration of the Spirit of God; and he is possessed of a singular ability to address the heart. He attracts every Sunday such a crowd of hearers, that our very large church is quite full, even before the bells begin to ring. Yesterday morning, being a fastday, such an emotion prevailed among the thousands of his audi. tors, that I am in hopes many have received a blessing, never to be forgotten.

A Lutheran minister in our vicinity, who was infected with principles of Socinianism, was, a short time ago, truly converted to the living faith of Christ; and, after having made a public confession of his former infidelity, not only bound himself by the most solemn oath of allegiance to the service of Christ, but also faithfully ad. dressed his congregation to take the same oath of allegiance with him.

In many other places, where spiritual darkness and death were predominant, there have lately arisen Societies of vital Christians, several of whom contain the number of eighty members. In one of these places lives a coppersmith, about forty years of age, endowed with excellent gifts, who is author of a little prayer-book; and renders hinself very useful, by the exhortations given by him to numbers of people.

Please to give our most hearty respects to the Directors of the Missionary and the Religious Tract Society; and to send us such of the tracts published by the latter as you may think proper.

Extract

Extract of a Letter from a Christian Friend.

Wupperfeld (Westphalia) 28 December, 1801. The day after Christmas-day was a very remarkable one for eur congregation; and God grant it may be a blessed day to eternity! On the Christinas-day three very excellent sermons had been preached by our dear minister Barbels, on the love of God to lost mankind. Such an impression was made upon the people, that next day a crowd assembled, amounting at least to five thousand persons. The text of his sermon was taken from iChronicles xii. 17, 18.; and, as the leading head of his discourse, he declared “our sacred obli. gation to an allegiance to the new-born King Jesus." As he was coming to the exhortation," Who will now,' said he,“ take the oath of allegiance to this King Jesus? Well! I will be the first." Then humbling himself before the Lord Jesus, and freely confessing that in time past he had unworthily doubted of his person and doc. trine, he made a public confession of faith before the whole congregation; finishing with a solemn oath, by which he.pledged him. seif to fight against the dominion of the Devil; and, with all his might, to promote the Redeemer's kingdom. Immediately after this was done, he cried with a loud voice, “Whoscever amci.gst you also will take an oath of allegiance to the Lord Jesus, let him stand up."And what an affecting sight was this! the whole congregation rose up, and repeated the words of allegiance, as they were spoken out of the mouth of the preacher. You cannot conceive what a great emotion prevailed in our church. Many tears were shed, and the hearts of all the children of God were filled with an unspeakable joy.-Rejoice ye with us, and pray earnestly to God that his king, dom may come, and reside in the hearts of all men,

SWITZERLAND.
Extracts of a Letter from the Basil Society, to the Directors of the
London Missionary Society.

Basil, April 7th, 1802. Rev, and beloved Brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ,

The interruption that has lately befallen our correspondence, has been accounted for to us, by the Rev. Mr. Steinkopft, our late Secretary, who being now settled as a minister in your city, has transmitted to us two letters of yours (dated Noy. 2gth and Dec. 8th); which, however, did not come to hand till March 23d, when they proved a very seasonable encouragement to our hearts; and we now feel bighly delighted with your invitation, to renew the bond of union and fellowship.

It is remarkable, indeed, that in our warlike times, seemingly diametrically opposite to religious operations, such striking phę. nonsera hould have appeared, as, by the confession of millions, are God's own work. Notwithstanding the enemy's spite and opis position, great things have been done by your means, if things may be called so that refer to the salvation of human souls; one of whom, according to our Saviour's expression, is of infinitely more value than the whole world! We are sensible that other Christians have shared with you in the blessed exertions to spread the knowledge of Jesus Christ among Heathen nations ; and for the success. attending their attempts as well as yours, dear Brethren, we desire to bring our Hallelujahs to Him who causeth these things to be lone,

And

And what are we to say to you, dearest Brethren? You that proceed in the power of the Lord: you who have covenanted not to retract the hand once put to the plough; and whose watch-word seems to be,Plus ultra .!(Let us proceed!) We do not hesitate to infer, that your exhortations to us were preceded by fervent prayers for enabling grace, to come, and to practise yourselves what you recommended to us. We join wishes and prayers, that the Lord would strengthen both you and us; and, in particular, make you a light that is set on a high mountain among the nations, to diffuse illumination over the Gentile tribes of the earth ! May hosts, yea, whole nations, be gained as a reward for the toils of our Saviour ! and may they enter the gates of spiritual Israel, praising his glorious name! May Jesus prosper the work of your hands, till his name hath filled the whole earth! Should disappointments prevail for a season, and were the seed of the woman to receive still many a repeated sting from the serpent, well we know, in this case, nothing new or uncommon happens to us. When his hour comes, the Almighty King will pronounce his fiat, and all his enemies will fall at his footstool! Oh let his kingdom come at last, for which his believers have been looking out these several thonsand years, though not in vain, seeing the arm of the Lord lingereth not! Oh for a constant renewal of our faith and faithfulness! that we may grow more and more in grace; and that ever and anon a little more may be done for the honour of his blessed name, to whom be glory for ever more!

We are to communicate something concerning our Society and country. All that can be said on this head, may be reduced to the subsequent particulars : - The new order of things has enabled Infidelity to raise its baneful crest more boldly than ever : through want of a regular system of opposing him, even well-inclined ministers seem to be discouraged and drcop. As peace is not yet fully established, it is reasonable to suppose that the time for a good police is not yet arrived ; yet, that better regulations will make their appearance at some future period ; but meanwhile, the morals of the nation are daily loosening. From the Brethren's unity, whom we had written to by occasion of their synod last year, we received an answer in a brotherly style. The Danish Sociсty has acquainted us with their late successess ; mentioning, amongst other things, That a peculiar blessing seems to rest on the labours and publica. tions of a Norwegian farmer, though as yet a legal vein seems to run through them. They have been able to extend their connections into Sweden. We also received, in the last ycar, a letter froin the South African Society, expressive of their desire to correspond with us. The Minister's Society in East Friesland, scems to have met with some interruption to their blessed labours, through unisconceptions creeping in between them. Six clergymen from Lower Silesia, have uttered a wish to coalesce with our Society at Dresden. From various quarters, wishes are brought to our ears that a college might be formed, where young people could be prepared for the ministry, under the superintendence of faithful adherents to Bible-truth, since Infidelity stalks about without disguise at all our universities: and our friend, Mr. Antistes Kind, of Chur, has communicated an anxious desire to have the Dillingen Prayer-book, written by the famous D, Seiler, a Roman Catholic,

translated

translated into the French language; which, if imported into France, would be of infinite use.

For the future, we shall wait the arrival of accounts from you, unless something of importance should happen here, which we might communicate to you. Begging a continuance of interest in your love, aud your prayers, we remain, your affectionate Brethren of the Society, at Basil. By order of the Committee,

JOHN SCHAUFELİN.

BAVARIA.
The following pleasing Article is taken from Le Moniteur,

the Oficial Paper of the French Government. , ; The Elector of Bavaria, among other wise and benevolent measures, has paid a particular attention to the reformation of the Criminal Laws. Experience has proved, that severe and barbarous punishments do not tend to diminish the number of crimes. In the little district of Burghausen, which contains only 174,000 inhabitants, 1,100 persons were executed, from 1748 to 1776. Convinced, there. fore, of the necessity of a new code of criminal justice, the Elector has assigned this important task to M. Kleinschrodt, Professor at Wurtsbourg, and one of the most able lawyers of Germany; and, after he has accomplished it, the whole will be submitted to the revision of the States,

The Electress being a Protestant Princess, of the house of Baden, the public worship of that religion is freely exercised in Munich; and the sermons of her chaplain are very frequent.

Sunday schools have also been opened here, where persons of both sexes are taught to read and write : and these are become so popu. lar, that they appear to have given a new impulse to the public mind; insomuch, that Bavaria promises to be one of the most enlightened countries of Germany; though not long since, one of the most ignorant and superstitious.

AMERICA. Extract of a Letter from the Rev. G. Barter, Principal of Washingtoie

Academy to the Rev. Dr. Arch. Alexander, Prince Edward; dated Jan. I, 1802.

Rev, and dear Sir, I now sit down, agreeably to promise, to give you some account of the revival of religion in the state of Kentucky; you have, no doubt, heard already of the Green-river and Cumberland revivals. I will just observe, that last summer is the fourth since the revival commenced in those places; and that it has been more remarkable than any of the preceding, not only for lively and fervent devotion among Christians, but also for awakenings and conversions among the careless; and it is worthy of notice, that very few instances or apostacy have hitherto appeared. As I was not myself in the Cumberland country, all I can say about it is froin the testiinony of others; but I was uniformly told by those who had been there, that their religious assemblies were more solemn, and the appearance of the work much greater than what had been in Kentucky; any enthusiastic symptoms which might at first have attended the revival, had greatly subsided, whilst the serious concern and en. gagedness of the people were visibly encreased.

In the older settlement of Kentucky, the revival made its first appearance, among the Presbyterians, last spring; the whole of that

country, country, about a year before, was remarkable for vice and dissipa. tion ; and I have been creribly informed, that a decided majority of the people were professed infidels. During the last winter, ap. pearances were favourable among the Baptists; and great numbers were added to their churches : early in the spring the ministrationsof the Presbyterian clergy hegan to be better attended than they had been for many years before ; their worshipping assemblie's be came more solemn; and the people, after they were disinissesi, shewed a strange reluctance at leaving the place : they generally continued some time in the meeting - house, - in singing, or in religious conversation. Perhaps about the last of May, or the first of June, the awakenings became general in some congregations, and spread through the country in every direction with amazing ra. pidity. I left that country about the first of November, at which time this revival, in connexion with the one in Cumberland, had covered the whole state, excepting a small settlement which borders on the waters of Green River, in which no Presbyterian ninisters are settled; and I believe very few of any denomination. The power with which this revival has spread, and its influence in moralizing the people, are difficult for you to conceive of, and more difficult for me to describe. I had heard many accounts, and seen many letters respecting it before I went to that country; but my expectations, though greatly raised, were much below the reality of the work. The congregations, when engaged in worship, prés sented scenes of solemnity superior to what I had ever seen before ; and in private houses it was no uncommon thing to hear parents re: late to strangers the wonderful things which God had done in their neighbourhoods, whilst a large circle of young people would be in tears. On my way to Kentucky, I was told by settlers on the road, that the character of Kentucky-travellers was entirely changed, and that they were now distinguised for sobriety, as they had formerly been for dissoluteness : and, indeed, I found Kentucky the most moral place I had ever been in : a profane expression was hardly heard ; a religious awe seemed to pervade the country; and some Deistical characters had confessed, that from whatever cause the revival might originate, it certainly made the people better. - Its influence was not less visible in promoting a friendly temper ; nothing could appear more amiable than that undissembled benevo. lence which governs the subjects of this work: I have often wished that the mere politician (or Deist) could observe with impartiality their peaceful and amicable spirit. He would certainly see that nothing could equal the religion of Jesus, for promoting even the temporal happiness of society : - some neighbourhoods visited by the revival, had been formerly notorious for private animosities; and many petty law-suits had commenced on that ground. When the parties in these quarrels were impressed with religion the first thing was to send for their antagonists; and it was often very affecting to see their meeting. Both had seen their faults, and both contended that they ought to make concessions, till at last they were obliged to request each other to forbear ali mention of the past, and to act as friends and brothers for the fu ture.. Now, Sir, let modern philosophers talk of reforming the world by banishing Christianity and introducing their licentious systems.' The blessed Gospel of our God and Saviour is shewing what it can do! VOL. X

sont

3 D

« PreviousContinue »