« PreviousContinue »
It has been well said that the people hardly apprehend to what an extent these societies have already robbed the nation. What is given to them might as well be annihilated; for it is taken effectually and forever from the public.-And we suspect that they have been in no small degree the cause of the complaint of the present scarcity in the circulating medium throughout the country. Here what Gov. Lincoln says, "within five years only, more than thirty millions of dollars have been authorized to be held" in Massachusetts alone by corporations of this description. Suppose, what is perhaps not unlikely, that the other states have extended an equal proportion of this kind of misplaced indulgence; the result would be, that in the United States, within the short time of five years only, authority has been given to certain institutions to take forever from the public, property which can never again return or be taxed, to the amount of six hundred millions of dollars. Let this policy continue, and how long will it be before all the wealth of this nation must be under the control of a certain number of corporations ?
The orthodox are continually petitioning for acts of incorporation. They are permitted to hold money in trust-property which must descend forever to their disciples only. They obtain money by begging and extortion, which they are authorized to hold. Government cannot tax it-unless it be an advantage to have the country overrun and enslaved by their priests. In this way a religious aristocracy is growing up among us, which threatens destruction to the very vitals of national and individual prosperity.
This is another reason why we are opposed to the patronage of those numerous sectarian corporations, which, like the horse leech's daughters, are continually crying, give, give, and never say enough. Those who
encourage them, however innocent may be their motives, are contributing to create a power that is already dangerous, and may yet prove fatally destructive to our national freedom and independence. And we hope our fellow citizens will give this subject at least a serious consideration; and not suffer their confidence in a few religious leaders, to make them forget or neglect a paramount duty which they owe to their country.
HUDSON RIVER ASSOCIATION.
The Hudson River Association convened at Princestreet church, in the city of New-York, September 12, 1827. The following brethren attended, viz.-Hosea Ballou, S. R. Smith, L. Willis, D. Skinner, T. Fisk, A. Kneeland and T. F. King. The Circular Letter was written by Br. H. Ballou, which we insert below.
To the fulness of the brotherhood professing faith in God, as the Savior of all men, through Jesus Christ, the Captain of our Salvation :
Dearly beloved in the Lord
The giver of every good and perfect gift has seen fit to favor the Hudson River Association with a session in the bonds of peace; and, although some trials were laid upon us, we were happy to realize that we had the assistance of our heavenly Father in supporting ourselves under them, and his wisdom and spirit to guide us through them to a righteous settlement and a just conclusion.
Experience has taught us, that we have great need of caution, that we may be suitably guarded both against the attacks of our numerous and determined enemies without; and those more formidable and dangerous enemies within ourselves. These last would lead us blind
folded to all the fatal exposures which the former can desire. Let us then be constant and fervent in prayer, that we may be enlightened in our understanding, piously inclined in our affections; that we may be, and continue, united in one mind and one judgment, that unity of effort may insure success in all our labors in the vineyard of our common Lord.
Great joy and encouragement are occasioned by the information which has come from various parts, which assures us, that the redeeming light of the gospel, reflected by that bright constellation of the promises made to the fathers, and the testimony of prophecy, all which meet and are fulfilled in Jesus, in whom the promises were made, is quickening its march and fast extending its conquests, by demolishing the strong holds of spiritual wickedness in high places, and setting at liberty such as have been long confined in the darkness of error.
If green and flourishing fields are suitable encouragements to the husbandman, and if the golden harvest invite him to labor, we have reason to double our diligence, and a fair prospect of great reward. Let us lay hold of the great and precious promises, and "hold fast our profession, for he is faithful who hath promised." We live to see the fir-tree extend his branches, where once grew the thorn, and the brier give place to the myrtle.
Do our opposers wonder and ask us, why we thus labor? Let them look through our land and see what God has done! But a few years ago it was a wilderness; it is now fast becoming a fruitful field; it was then covered with wild and noisome weeds of error and superstition, and the night-shade of despair; now vineyards and olive yards every where abound, and young and smiling hope puts forth in promise of future glories. Who will fold his hands while the Lord is doing this?
Brethren, we are sure of abundant success, but let us be careful that our confidence does not induce to carelessness, but let us be so much the more vigilant, as we see the day approaching.
From the Telescope and Miscellany.
REPENTANCE IN GOD.
It is recorded in Genesis vi. 6, "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." This passage, together with some other similar passages, have caused infidels to laugh and jeer at divine revelation. They have never stopped to examine whether this passage is rightly translated or not; but have taken it for granted that it is, and have made themselves merry with the notion that Christians worship a God who is subject to all the passions of a weak, fallible man. But a little attention to the different renderings which this passage will bear, and all the cause of their merriment vanishes at once.
Mr. Bellamy, of London, a very celebrated Hebrew scholar, who is about favoring the Christian world with a new translation of the Bible, renders the passage thus -"Yet Jehovah was satisfied that he had made the man on the earth; notwithstanding he idolized himself, at his heart." Some of the reasons which Mr. Bellamy has given to justify his rendering, are the following:"There are two words in this verse which have been misunderstood, and misapplied by the translators. The word on, it repented; there certainly is no word for the pronoun, it; if translators had attended to the true reading of this word, they would have found that throughout the Scriptures it means to comfort, to be satisfied, appeased; and all the words are applicable that
may imply a state of comfort, or consolation, on account of something having taken place which brings the mind into a state of comfort and peace. Such as to strengthen, to enliven, to invigorate, to countenance, to assist, to support the mind under calamity."
Mr. Bellamy refers to a great number of passages, where the same original word is translated to comfort, to console, to be satisfied, &c.
In Genesis xxxviii. 12, we have the same word, both consonants and vowels, which is there translated right, viz. On", and he was comforted. That is, Judah was comforted. See also 2 Sam. xii. 24, And David comforted.
Again, Gen. 1. 21, And he comforted. Also chapt. xxiv. 67, And he was comforted. Also Job xlii. 11, There came unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and comforted him. Ezek. xxxi. 16, And shall be comforted. Now as it cannot be said, that Judah repented, that David repented, that Joseph repented, when he consoled his brethren; that Isaac repented when he married Rebekah: or that the brethren of Job repented when they comforted him; so neither can it be said that God repented that he made man.
As the words comfort, and repent, with any modification whatever, cannot be applied to him who is perfection in the absolute, who changeth not, consequently who never did any thing at one time, and repented that he had done it another; who cannot repent, because he is the fountain of all comfort, consolation and tranquility: it follows, that a state of perfect tranquility is to be perfectly satisfied. That God was satisfied with his last and best work, when he had created man-When he had created man, he declared all that he had made was very good.
To represent the omniscient Jehovah, with whom there