« ZurückWeiter »
sense of his own sufferings. So much strength and courage does religion communicate to the dying Christian !
“The fresh proof he received of the interest taken in him by the Elector, on the arrival of a physician belonging to the court, excited his gratitude, and he loudly praised God for this consolation. But, added he, as if fearful of yielding too much to the pleasure it gave him; let us not place our trust in princes, they cannot help us, however good they may be, and whatever desire they may have to be useful to ms; my help comes from God! When M. Demiani expressed to him the
esteem and affection the prince had for him, and the alarm his illness occasioned at court, Gellert shed tears of gratitude. He fervently prayed for the prosperity of so good a sovereign, and for that of all, his family. The sufferings of our Saviour being constantly in his thoughts, he compared afresh his state with that of Jesus on the cross; observing that mere subject as he was, he died honoured with the compassion of his prince, whilst the Redeemer of mankind had not even obtained justice from men. At a moment when the disorder seemed to have attained its height, he exclaimed with a sigh, 'O what sufferings !! But,' resumed he immediately, 'what are those sufferings in comparison of those of my Saviour! He was reviled by those about him, and I, unworthy creature, experience the good will of my prince! Thus he intermixed acts of thanks for temporal benefits, with testimonies of gratitude for the great blessing of redemption ; and thus in prayers, continually renewed, he implored without ceasir.g his pardon, and the completion of his salvation. His intimate friends resident at Dresden, and in particular his beloved Wagner, had hastened to see him ; he consoled them with the most affecting tenderness, and required from them no other office than that they would pray for him, and help him to elevate his mind to God, when the violence of his disorder should make it impossible for him to pray himself with, uninterrupted fervour. I find it difficult,' said he, to follow what is addressed to me, only repeat to me the name of Jesus; whenever I pronounce it or hear it pronounced by others, I feel myself animated with new strength, and fresh joy. Full of these sentiments, his deliverance drew nigh. His extenuated body decayed gradually ; his soul maintained itself in that happy tranquillity arising from hope. The day preceding his death, some hours' rest gave him power to renew his prayers for his sovereign, his relations, and friends, and the disciples who had been entrusted to his care; he named them all and blessed them. His wishes in their behalf was his only return to the world he was leaving. At length he thought he felt the final approaches of death, and wished to know of his friends how much longer he might have to struggle with it. On being answered, perhaps an hour; God be praised,' said he, with looks of joy, and raising his hands, ‘only one more hour! Then with a still more serene countenance, he turned on his side, prayed to God in silence, and in the midst of this prayer, and those of all present, who surrounded his bed, he slept the sleep of death, on the 13th of December, 1769, at midnight.”
The death of Gellert was universally lamented throughout Germany: and his brother, the superintendant of the post, survived the grief of his loss but a month.
Possessed of enlightened benevolence, he constantly endeavoured to promote both the temporal and everlasting happiness of his fellow ereatures. With a slender revenue he was more liberal than many who live in affluence. “His moderation constituted his riches." On one occasion when a present was offered him, “I want for nothing," said Gellert, “and many more deserving people are in indigence ; give them what you had the goodness to intend for ine In such a mind it is unnecessary to add, that friendship glowed with the purest flame.
But perhaps one of the most peculiar features in the character of Gellert was his humility. It was not that false shame, that disguised vanity, which frequentiy prevents men of talents from benefitting society as much as they might; it was a just consciousness of human imperfection, which led him to court the advice of his friends, to submit his compositions to their examination, and to be thankful for their cen
We are naturally desirious to know by what means Gellert attained to such eminence in the practice of Christian virtue. His biographer has afforded us ample information on this interesting subject. Gellert was frequent in the perusal of scripture, regular both in his private devotions, and in his daily attendance on public worship. During the last seventeen years of his life he kept a journal, chiefly composed of observations on his spiritual state. It contains lamentations on account of his weakness; resolutions of amendment; prayers for the pardon of sin, for divine grace, and for repose of conscience. Hence it was, that to use the words of his biographer, this thoughts in solitude, his conversation in society, the lessons he gave his scholars, his writings, his letters, his labours, his recreations, all that he said and did, was animated by the spirit of religion.”
REFORM, The editors of the New-York Journal of Commerce have received from Washington the bill reported by the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, to erect “the establishment of the Attorney General” into an Executive Department. It proposes some important changes in the various duties heretofore assigned to the State and Treasury Departments. The Secretary of State is to be divested both of that portion of his official patronage, which has hitherto been deemed a means of corruption to the press, viz: the superintendance of the publication of the Laws of Congress, and also of the supervision of the Patent office. The Treasury Department is to be deprived of the superintendence of all suits and other legal proceedings in which the Federal Government is a party; all which duties and powers are to be vested in the Attorney General. All opinions given by that officer, upon questions involving the construction of an Act of Congress, or of the Federal Constitution, together with an annual report of the condition of the business committed to his Department, shall be transmitted to the President, to be, by him, laid before Congress. The salary is to be raised from $3500 to $6000. A chief Clerk learned in the Law, with an annual salary of $3000, and five Assistant Clerks, with inferior salaries are to be appointed.-Balt. Gazette.
FROM PORT AU PRINCE. We learn from Capt. Cordell, of the schooner Oristella, which sait. ed from Port au Prince, on the 31st January, that the Spanish frigrate Casilda, from Havana, had been there for 14 days, having landed an Ambassador with authority to demand from the Haytian Government, the Spanish part of the Island. It is well known that St. Domingo was formerly divided between the French and Spaniards-the western part being allotted to the former, and the eastern to the latter. France has but recently relinquished her claims to the territory. formerly under her jurisdiction, and that only on condition of the payment of a large sum of money in the shape of indemnity to the French colonists. Spain now comes forward to enforce her claims, by demanding the restitution of her former territory. . This of course will be refused, and it remains to be seen whether she will repeat the experiment in Hayty which has been made so unsuccessfully in Mexico. A blockade of the island is anticipated.
Jour. of Commerce.
FROM BUENOS AYRES. Accounts from Buenos Ayres state that Gen. Rosas was elected Governor and Captain General of the Province on the 6th of December; and on the 8th he was installed : the Congress invested him with extraordinary powers. A decree has passed, doubling the former pepalty for keeping arms, without express permission. $150 is now to be paid for having an English musket, 140 for a French carbine, 120 for an officer's sword, &c.
JEWS IN PRUSSIAN POLAND AND SILESIA. Two members of the Committee of the Berlin Society for promo ting Christianity among the Jews, during the course of the last summer, says the London Jewish Expositor, undertook a journey through a part of Prussian Poland, in order to ascertain the real state of the Jews, with reference to missionary exertions. They agree in stating their conviction, that a great work is going on among the Jews in the district they visited
Professor Schiebel gives a very gratifying account of the increase of Jewish proselytes in Silesia. Two Jewesses have lately been baptized. Three respectable Jewish-Christian families have for some time been in the habit of assembling regularly with a few other Christian families of their own rank, for reading the Scriptures. The Jews of Breslau and the neighborhood, who are very númerous, are chiefly of the "enlightened" class.-N. Y. Observer.
The Treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Missionary and Education Society of Maryland
and Virginia, acknowledges the receipt of the following Money. From Miss Rebecca Bayer Treasurer of the Missionary and Education Society of the city of Frederick.
$41.. LEWIS MEDTART, Treasurer.
The Bible our rule of faith! -The right of private judgment our privilege.
IS BAPTISM ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION ?
This question is answered by many Christians, even by learned Divines, in the negative. A certain learned Divine in his Theological Dictionary says: “It is not however essential to Salvation, for mere participation of Sacraments, cannot qualify men for Heaven; many have real grace before they were baptized; besides to suppose it essential, is to put it in the place of that which it signifies."
Before I proceed to shew that Baptism is essential, I shall make a few remarks on the foregoing expressions. “It is not however essential,” and for what reason ? because “mere participation of Sacraments cannot qualify men for heaven.” We admit that mere participation of Sacraments cannot qualify men for heaven, but is this a sufficient proof, that Baptism is not essential ? if I were a Deist then I would argue upon the same ground: the Christian religion is not essential, for mere participation of it cannot qualify men for heaven, hence it makes no difference, whether a man is a Christian or not. O ye heralds of truth, instead that you should defend the holy institutions of God and shew their real virtue and use, you represent them as not essential to salvation, and thus sink them as low as possible in the estimation of your hearers, and give to the enemy an opportunity to make light of them; it is your fault, that they are slighted and received with indifference, and produce not so many good fruits, it is because you degrade these institutions, and pluck from the minds of the people, every sacred promise, which God stipulated to them, in them.
We are not to conclude, that if the Sacraments possess saving virtues, they must infallibly, and irresistibly save every one, to whom they are administered. They are spiritual means, hence the design of their operation is not physical but spiritual, they therefore can only prove sahutary where they do not meet with too much opposition. It must alas! be admitted, that many of the baptized do not walk in newness of life, yet this is no evidence, of the deficiency of Baptism, or that it be not essential, but only that many stifle its blessed. operations,
Further : “many have real grace before they were baptized." This again is no proof, that it is not essential; for instance, Cornelius of whom we read in Acts 10, enjoyed grace before his Baptism; he had more good qualities, than many of those who slight or despise Baptism and view it as a mere insignificant ceremony; notwithstanding, it appears, that all his good qualities, his alms, his prayers, were not sufficient to obtain remission of sins and salvation; he was advised to send for the_Apostle Peter, who should tell him, what he ought to do, and St. Peter after declaring unto him the word of faith, commanded them (Cornelius and kinsmen and near friends) to be baptized with water in the name of the Lord, Acts 10: 47 48, and besides this : a person that hath real grace, will receive Baptism, and submit to all the institutions of his Lord & Redeemer, only self-righteous highminded people will omit it, because they can see no good in it. Further: “to suppose it essential, is to put it in the place of that which it signifies" a poor objection !--there is no passage in the New Testament, which tells us, that Baptism signifies something; under the Law, there were significations, emblems and types; for the Law had a shadow of good things to come,
Hebrews 10: 1. But this is not the case under the Gospel Dispensation, there is nothing but reality!
The reason, why many call Baptism not essential, is, because it seems so insignificant a ceremony in their eyes, as if it could not be a means of grace and salvation. It is too simple, the grace of God can be had on too easy terms, they would rather do some hard and difficult task : something that looks great and meritorious, hence their language is : “what good can water Baptism do ? shall a handful of water cleanse us from sin ?" But such must have camal eyes, otherwise they would see more in it than water, they would see in it the Saviour's Command, the word and promise of God. They can justly be compared with Naaman, whilst in his rage, 2 Kings 5 : 1 14. The cure prescribed by the prophet was too simple; and that very
circumstance made it hard, for it put the great man in a rage. If it pleased the Almighty God, to connect blessings with the viewing of a brazen serpent Numbers 21: 69, with the washing in the water of Jordan, 2 Kings 5, (for there was no medical virtue in Jordan's water) why should He not likewise connect blessings with water Baptism?
Í shall now prove, from the clear testimonies of holy Scripture, that Baptism is essential, and that it is more, than, a mere insignificantceremony.
1st. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, after his glorious resurrection and shortly before his ascension, commanded his Apostles Mathew 28: 19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. By this command and name the value of Baptism is ascertained. If an earthly Monarch gives a command to his subjects, would any one of them venture to say: "it is not essential, it makes no difference whether we obey that command or not?” surely not! else he would be considered as a rebel, and be punished. Now if Christ, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, giveth a command, and by this command institutes a Holy Sacrament, has any mere mortal and sinful being,