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The Religious World.
AMERICAN SYSTEMATIC BENEFICENCE SOCIETY.
Tuis is a new Society, formed to advance the work of benevolence in a systematic way. The object, as stated in its constitution, is “to promote, through the press and otherwise, the adoption of the scriptural principle of systematic contribution to religious and benevolent purposes." The circular states a little more definitely :- The object of the Society, as indicated by its name, is simply and only to endeavour to promote the great work of systematic benevolence, according to the scriptural principle,viz. : that of giving statedly and according as the Lord has prospered each person. See 1 Cor. xvi. 2, and similar passages.” The circular further states that the Society does not mean to interfere with Societies already established, nor with denominational Boards and efforts,” but simply to co-operate with all who may feel disposed to aid in this unselfish and truly Christian work.” The object is a very important one, and the very name of the Society will strike terror into many a parsimonious, carnal Christian. (?) While we wish well to this experiment, we somewhat doubt the wisdom and the necessity of the new movement. As the operations of the Society must consist very much in enlightening the public mind by publications, we see not why the existing Societies might not do the work. Still, when so many good men get together and devise a scheme for advancing the cause of benevolence, we are disposed to bid them God-speed. If any Society can accomplish a reformation on the subject referred to, it deserves to be held in high esteem. With MATTHIAS W. Baldwin as President, and GEORGE H. Stuart as VicePresident, the public have a guarantee of the efficiency of the new Society and of confidence in its operations.
TRIAL OF THE REV. SIMEON BROWN.
The following charges were preferred against the Rev. Simeon Brown, a member of the Miami Presbytery, and he was required to answer to them,viz.: Ile is “charged with unsoundness in the faith as held by the Presbyterian Church":
1. “On the nature and extent of the atonement.” 2. “In affirming that the atonement of Christ perpetuates the race;" also, "that the curse pronounced upon Adam for disobedience was annihilation.” 3. “In affirming that the righteousness of Christ had no merit with the Father to procure the salvation of the sinner, and that it was not the righteousness of a God, but the righteousness of a man;" also, "that Christ took on himself fallen human nature, and did not sin because he was filled with the Spirit above measure." 4. “With teaching doctrines on the subject of the state of departed spirits not in accordance with our standards, asserting that there is a second or intermediate state for departed souls.” 5. “With an indulgence in his writings and public teachings in novel, unprofitable, and dangerous speculations on many points."
The testimony having been taken in the case, the prosecutor and accused wero heard at length, when the roll was called, giving to all the members an opportunity to express their opinions on the case; after which, the final vote was taken, which resulted as follows:
The first charge was sustained. The second part of second charge was sustained. The first part of the third charge was sustained. The second part of the charge--viz. : "that Christ took on himself fallen human nature,” &c.was not sustained. The fourth charge was not sustained. The fifth charge was divided; and the charge of “indulging in novel and unprofitable speculations” was sustained. The word “dangerous," as applied to these speculations, was not sustained.
A committee was then appointed to prepare a minute expressive of the judgment of Presbytery on this case. Said committee reported, and their report was accepted and adopted, and is as follows:
"The Committee appointed to prepare a minute expressive of the sense of Presbytery with respect to the definitive sentence to be pronounced upon Brother Brown, after having sustained a part of the charges upon which he has just been tried, would recommend the adoption of the following minute :
“(1.) That, wishing to deal with Brother Brown with all the tenderness possible, Presbytery do express their very great dissatisfaction with some of the doctrines preached and some of the phraseology used by him in his sermons and printed pamphlet, and do solemnly admonish him in future to abstain from using such language and introducing such sentiments as Presbytery have just decided to be injudicious and not in accordance with the teachings of our standards.
(2.) The Committee recommend to Presbytery the appointment of a committee to prepare an overture, to be presented to the next General Assembly, on the subject of the atonement, and that said committee be directed to present said overture to Presbytery at the next stated meeting, for their examination.”
Brother Brown gave notice that he should appeal from the decision of Presbytery in his case, and complain to the Synod of Cincinnati.
JAS. H. Gill, Stated Clerk.
THE NEW VERSION.
It has long been known that the New Version Baptists, although fully aware of the origin and intention of their contemplated version to make the Bible directly and verbally favour their peculiar dogma of immersion, have sedulously circulated the report that the Presbyterian body favoured their enterprise, and in proof refe to the Rev. Dr. lie, of the Second Presbytery of New York, as one of the translators. It appears that this gentleman, acting upon his personal responsibility, and without any sanction of the Presbytery, engaged to furnish a part of the translation, which could not in any way involve the Baptist controversy, and with a full persuasion that he was violating no duty in thus employing his literary abilities. Of his course we have heard the most emphatic condemnation, not as wrong in itself, but wrong and injurious in its associations. While we have been reluctant to express an opinion on the subject, our convictions coincide with those of our brethren who regard his connection with this measure as unjustifiable. The plan of a new version, with the object which we have stated, is a wrong done to the Scriptures, which are thus wrested to serve a sect, and a wrong committed against the public who are thus to be deceived. If it be a wrong in itself, then is every participator a wrongdoer. He gives his countenance to one of the most monstrous attempts ever made to give to the Bible a party colouring; neither can he excuse himself on the plea that the parcel executed by himself is not of that complexion. Each person engaged in perfecting the measure has his full share of responsibility in the mischief which may result from the whole.
This is the position of the gentleman spoken of; and not only this, but, in a measure, he has compromised the whole Presbyterian Church. He knows that that church is almost to a man opposed to the scheme, and yet, by lending his name to it, he has given plausibility to the representations of unscrupulous agents who affirm that that church is favourable to it.-Presbyterian.
THE CONNECTICUT SEMINARIES.
The Hartford Courant publishes a card from the Rev. Drs. Clark and Clereland, and Mr. Tyler, in reference to the union of the East Windsor and New Haven Seminaries. These gentlemen were appointed a committee of the trustees of the East Windsor Seminary, to consider the means of rescuing the Institution from its embarrassments. The plan of relieving it by means of a union with the New Haven Seminary was suggested to them from quarters and with considerations that made it desirable to ascertain practically whether it could be accomplished. They accordingly proposed a union to the Corporation of Yale College on this condition:—that the professors of the United Seminary should be nominated by the Pastoral Union, (which has the legal control of the East Windsor Seminary,) and be elected by the Corporation of the College. This would secure the united choice to both institutions, yet preserve for the East Windsor the supervision of the Pastoral Union required by its charter. The Corporation of Yale College declined that condition, but substituted one to the effect that the two Boards of Trustees should constitute separate houses of convocation, an election in both being necessary to incumbency. They added that, while no insurmountable theological hinderance lay in the way of union on their part, other and very obvious difficulties must necessarily arrest further action at present. The negotiations are thus at an end, and the trustees of the East Windsor Seminary are about to take care of it where it is, which will prove, we think, much the wiser way.—Evangelist.
ROME - LENT AND CONVERTS.
Roue, February 16.-Rome has passed from the revels of Carnival to the rigours of Lent, and the versatile inhabitants of the Eternal City, who so recently frolicked in the Corso with flowers and confetti, or chattered in masks and dominoes at the festini, are now gravely attending the daily quaresimal sermons, and comparing the oratorical powers of Capuchin and Jesuit preachers. This is the season for converts. Two persons have recently abandoned their own creeds to join the ranks of Papacy at this fountain-head of Romanism :—the first a Florentine Jew, yclept Solomon Bassano, who was baptized with great solemnity by the Cardinal-Vicar on the 2d instant; and the last—" quantum diversus ab illo”--the Rev. Mr. Oldham, a clergyman of the Church of England, whose conviction was so sudden and so powerful that, although he had preached to a Protestant congregation at the English chapel on the Sunday before, struck by the “pride, pomp, and circumstance" of the Pontifical Court on Candlemas-day at St. Peter's, and urged by the example of another quondam Protestant, but now Catholic priest, he fell on his knees as the Pope passed and abjured the faith of his ancestors. Mr. Oldham is now in riliro, as it is termed;—that is, he is undergoing a course of doctrinal instruction in a monastery, where he will remain until Easter, when his formal reception into the Roman Church will take place.
His Holiness, who sincerely rejoices in the acquisition of every new subject in his spiritual realm, has expressed his great satisfaction at this conversion, which he trusts will be followed up by many more.
FRUITS OF THE CONCORDAT BETWIXT AUSTRIA
If the intelligence which has reached us from Milan be correct, the Austrian Government must have already regretted its late contract with Rome. The Concordat has caused so much confusion among the priests themselves, and the exercise of its power so much disgust among the people, that the civil law has been ordered by the Austrian government to check the new ecclesiastical decrees. The Church interprets the Concordat one way and the State another. To meet difficulties, a conference of bishops is to take place at Vienna; meanwhile, the Concordat is expected to remain a dead letter. The Vatican began its old trick of prohibiting books, and then passed on to other matters which the State does not feel inclined to countenance. The ecclesiastical history of the Austrian empire, like its temporal policy, has always been one of singular elnsticity. It has ever acted on the emergency of the moment, and never on principle. It was not for the sake of Rome that Austria carried on a bloody war against Protestants in the days of Charles V. and Ferdinand II., but because she dreaded the temporal consequences of Protestantism. After the cruel deeds of Bohemia had been enacted, and yet Protestantism existed, she found it prudent to be tolerant to Lutherans, Greeks, Jews, and Moravians. Austria banished the Jesuits after she no longer required their services; and in 1848, Popery in the Austrian dominions was not allowed to exercise any exceptional powers. The present sovereign, however, has been told by his advisers that a period has again arrived when the aid of the Church was necessary for political reasons; hence the new Concordat is introduced. But the advisers of Francis Joseph did not calculate that times had changed, and it is found difficult to work the old machinery in a new generation. There appears every probability that the Austrian government will be compelled to revise the Concordat in self-defence.—Paris Correspondent of the Morning Post.
Good Words for full.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF CONVERSION.
THE SHADOWS FALLING. A WRITER in one of our cotemporary papers, in describing the new birth, as some are“ born again,” says:-“But often,” he says, “God does his great work in sinners' hearts so still and gently that nobody can tell just when it is done. They often doubt about themselves; they wonder whether there can be the new heart within them; they're afraid they have made some mistake. Especially when some young Christians make such a great, sudden change, it makes others say, 'If that is the way we have to be converted, I can't be a Christian.' Now, I want to clear up that trouble for you. Often the change in feeling is just as quiet as the sun's going over our heads at twelve o'clock; it makes no noise at all, but the shadows begin to fall the other way.”
SPOKES OF THE WHEEL. I REMEMBER on one occasion, when the Rev. Elon Galusha was pastor of the Broad Street Baptist Church, Utica, a discussion arose between some members of a Bible-class, in reference to the first Christian exercises of the converted soul. One contended that it was penitence, or sorrow; another that it was fear; another lore; another hope; another faith; for how could one fear or repent without belief? Elder G., overhearing the discussion, relieved the minds of the disputants with this remark:—“Can you tell which spoke of the wheel mores first? You may be looking at one spoke and think that moves first, but they all start together? Thus, when the Spirit of God moves upon the human heart, all the graces of the Spirit begin to affect the penitent soul, though the individual may be more conscious of one than another.”—N. Y. Examiner.
BY THE LATE FRANCIS S. KEY.
LIBERTY OF THE SOUL. The nearest approaches of the soul to God, its most intimate union with him, and entire subjection to him in its glorified state, make its liberty consummate. Now is its deliverance complete, its bands are fallen off; it is perfectly disentangled from all the snares of death, in which it was formerly held; it is under no restraints, oppressed by no weights, held down by no clogs. It hath free exercise of all its powers, bath every faculty and affection at command. How inconceivable a pleasure is this ! With what delight doth the poor prisoner entertain himself when his manacles and fetters are knocked