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From the Boston Recorder.
PREACHER TO MANY NATIONS.
The NATIONAL Preacher, which has been published for nine years in New York, besides being widely circulated in our own country, and to some extent in England, is also read with interest in China, in India, in South America, and in the far distant isles of the Pacific. The following extract of a letter from the Sandwich Islands shows how the work is regarded on the other side of the globe:
“This plan of calling forth the varied talents and united energies of cotemporaneous preachers, and bringing their happiest efforts before millions of our fellow-men, even while the authors, warmed by their own exertions, are still on their knees, imploring a blessing on the truths they have sent forth, appears admirably adapted to promote the strength and harmony of the churches, to facilitate their highest attainments in knowledge and piety, to excite them to that course of benevolent action which the present state of the world demands, and to supply, to some extent, the spiritual wants of multitudes who are not favored, statedly, with the pulpit and pastoral labors of any minister of Christ. The Natio.di Preacher deserves the confidence of the world. May this high commissioned messenger of Christ be received with thankfulness and joy by tens of millions of our race. May the Divine Author of all the valuable gifts in the church copiously shed down the graces of his Spirit upon the contributors to this evangelical publication, that their writings may be worthy of the enlightened age in which we live, and such as hundreds of millions may be edified to read, when the pens of the writers are exchanged for harps of gold."
A few entire sets of the Preacher are still on hand.--Among the early contributors, who have gone to their reward, were the Rev. Drs. Mason, of New York, Bedell, of Philadelphia, Rice, of Virginia, Payson, of Portland, and Rev. Messrs. Wilcox, of Hartford, and Walton, of Alexandria.
TERMS NEXT PAGE.
EDITED BY REV. AUSTIN DICKINSON. Office at the Bookstore of Taylor & Gould, corner of Spruce Street and Park Roro
NO. 3. VOL. X.-AUGUST, 1835.
CONTENTS—“ The great bond of holy fellowship;" by Rev. S. Williston.
“ Motives and means of peace to the Churches; by Rev. Prof. AGNEW.
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THE TRUTH, IN RELATION TO CHRIST AND HIS SALVA.
TION, THE GREAT BOND OF HOLY FELLOWSHIP. I. John, i. 3.—That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us : and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Fellowship in the moral system depends on a congeniality of views, feelings, and pursuits. Were these alike throughout a universe of minds, it would effectually secure their harmony, and render discord impossible. But the fellowship of the moral system has been broken in upon, and very discordant views are now entertained, even concerning matters of such high consequence, as the Creator's right to rule over his intelligent creatures, and their obligation to obey his commands. Discordant views and feelings on these points, interrupted the fellowship of angels; for a part of their number became disaffected with the government of God, while the other part remained steadfast in their attachment to it. This made a wide breach between them, which never will be healed. The first parents of our race took the side of the disaffected angels, and withdrew their allegiance from the Most High; in consequence of which we all find our native character is that of rebels against the divine government.
This interruption to the harmony of the moral system, occasioned by the apostacy of angels and men, was a dark and gloomy event. But a wise and benevolent God will bring light out of this darkness, and order out of this confusion. Through the mediation of his Son, he is recovering from their apostacy a precious number of our fallen race; whom he receives back into favor in such a way, that the bonds of fellowship between Him and them, and also between themselves, will be more closely drawn than they could have been, had no separation ever taken place. Since the apostacy, in connection with redemption, has made way for a clearer exhibition of His perfections, and of the dependence and obligation of His creatures, it has given a more interesting character to those things which lay the best foundation for preserving a permanent and holy fellowship in the moral system. Though it has lessened the number in fellowship, the number of
Vol. 10. No. 3.
friendly minds, (since some of the apostates will remain alienated forever,) still it may augment the sum of holy friendship. For such an augmentation thanks are due, not to rebel angels nor to rebel men, but to God alone.
Fellowship between kindred minds, namely, between such as are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and between them and their Redeemer, is the subject which the beloved disciple presents in the passage before us. Having in the two preceding verses made a brief statement concerning the person and incarnation of the Redeemer, together with the great opportunity afforded the apostles of gaining the most intimate acquaintance with him while he tabernacled in the flesh, he proceeds in the text to say: “That which we have seen and heard,” (seen of Christ, and heard from his own mouth,)“ declare we unto you, that ye may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Christian fellowship is here supposed to be very desirable, and susceptible of improvement by clearer exhibitions of Jesus Christ, and him crucified ; implying that the more entirely his followers harmonize in their views of him and his salvation, the more perfect will be their fellowship with each other. And is it not also implied, that their communion with God himself, is promoted by the same means, namely, the similar views which are entertained by him and them, concerning Christ and his salvation? For, the same kind of fellowship which they had among themselves, they are said to have with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. If I have not mistaken the import of the text, it furnishes this interesting instruction:
That the truths relating to Jesus Christ and his work in saving sinners, lay a foundation for the most perfect fellowship between those that are saved, and also between them and the God of their salvation.
I. Permit me to state some of the leading truths relating to Jesus Christ, and his work in saving sinners.
1. I will begin with the union of the divine and human natures in his person.
This was the truth on which the apostle now had his eye directly fixed. He begins this epistle, as he does his gospel, by asserting both the divinity and humanity of his Savior. In his gospel, he calls him “the Word," and "the Life;" in the epistle he joins them together, and calls him "the Word of life.” In the gospel he says, “ the Word was with God,” which is here explained by his being “with the Father.” There he says, "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory;" here he says, “the Life was manifested, and we have seen it—that eternal Life which was with the Father was manifested unto us." It is evident in both his gospel and epistle, that he describes the Savior as having two distinct natures, the one original and eternal, and the other assumed in time; the one divine, and the other human. And with this agree the words of scripture in general. The Savior is sometimes described by names exclusively divine, and then by those which are human; also by attributes and works of both classes, infinite and finite. At one time supreme homage is paid to him, while at another, he is found among the lowliest of worshippers, falling on his knees and on his face before God. In him these two natures, which are infinitely diverse, are so united as to constitute one person. Paul, in the ninth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans,