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stood to mean, a larger salary, or a more popular station. This, we very naturally consider, as a plain indication of Divine Providence, that our usefulness inust be greatly increased by a removal. For, who could not do more good with a large salary, in a populous place, than in an obscure country parish, with a mere pittance?We are not at all disposed, like the disciples of old, to go without purse or scrip; for it must be evident, that any man, who is inclined, can do more good with money than without. If we are without "purse" and "scrip," how can we build great houses, and line them with carpets, and furnish them with elegant sofas, and sideboards, and piano-fortes? We do not suppose, that James, and Peter, and their fellow apostles had their houses furnished in this style; but they lived in old times, and, of course, are no pattern for us. Besides, it is sometimes necessary for us to take agencies, with a thousand dollars stipend, that we may go about the country, and beg for the poor benighted heathen, and that the wants of the West, and of our destitute churches at home may be supplied. This we like very much. We would much rather beg for the heathen, than go and preach to them; inasmuch as we can travel at our ease, see the country, give directions to the churches how they shall dispense their charities, urge the duty of retrenchment, while our golden seals and keys are glittering to the eye of every observer, and spread our fame far and wide, as prodigies of benevolent exertion, while we promptly receive a liberal pay for all our operations. As for the old prophets and apostles, who were such fools, as to wander about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, in mountains, and dens, and caves of the earth, they had the right to do as they pleased; but their benevolence will never apply to the dignitaries of the church, in the nineteenth century. We mean to make the preaching of the gospel, and the spread of the gospel, a popular thing, and not to be obliged to meet with opposition at every step, as did Paul, and the other apostles. Mankind are making improvement in every thing else. They are having their steam-boats, and their canals, and their rail-roads, and almost every other invention, to facilitate their worldly operations. Why then, should not we make improvements in preaching and propagating the gospel?
These notions in our heads, we have no fellowship or sympathy for those old fashioned ministers, who endeavor to pattern after Paul, and the other apostles, in preaching the gospel. Paul was too much of a Hopkinsian to suit the genius and improvements of the present age. Some of us, in preaching, would think it no more prudent, to quote "Paul's wish," as expressed in the ninth chapter of Romans, and leave it, as the apostle did, to mean what is literally expressed, without note or comment, than we should to assert, in so many words, that "the sinner ought to be willing to be damned." Indeed, some parts of Paul's epistle to the Romans, Corinthians and Ephesians, have cost our commentators more labor and trouble, and perplexity, to explain them-away, than almost the whole Bible beside. Paul represented the fundamental duc
trines of the gospel, such as Divine Sovereignty, Decrees, Election and Reprobation, as "milk;" but we always calculate to represent them as "strong meat." Some of us, who have been settled for years, have not considered it expedient or prudent, in the exercises of public worship, ever to read that celebrated, but obnoxious hymn of Dr. Watts, "Behold the potter and the clay." Indeed, that hymn would seldom or never be appropriate, inasmuch as we calculate to select hymns adapted to the subject; for, we never preach Divine Sovereignty, in that awful sense, in which it was preached by Christ, when they in the synagogue were filled with wrath.”For this reason, one of us, a few years since, who undertook to improve Dr. Watts' version, left out that part of the forementioned hymn, which so awfully and strikingly teaches the sovereignty of God, as well as other entire hymns on the same subject.* With such feelings as these, it need not be thought strange, that we have a peculiar antipathy to those ministers, who mean to be honest, and preach as Paul did. Accordingly, we use every exertion in our power to render them unpopular, and to destroy their influence. In order to do this, we generally cry out against them, "They are Hopkinsians!!" This answers admirably. For there is not one in fifty of our people, who knows what a Hopkinsian is. It answers our purpose however, if, as we mean they shall, they consider him a monster, who holds that "hell is paved with the skulls of infants," that God" has made a part of mankind for the sole purpose of damning them," and that such part "could not be saved, even should they repent and believe the gospel." Now, notwithstanding we know, (I mean, those of us who know any thing) that this is entirely false; yet, we are never disposed to correct the mistake; berause, by so doing, we should in a measure, disabuse that class of preachers, and prepare the way for them to be heard with candor. Sometimes we tell people, "We should rather they would settle a Unitarian, than settle a Hopkinsian." We also calculate to represent that class of ministers as opposed to all benevolent exertion; and that their preaching is unfriendly to revivals of religion; that their congregations are like the "mountains of Gilboa, upon which there descends neither rain nor dew." In this way, it is easy to make people believe, that they must not fail to get rid of such preachers; and by our influence, direct and indirect, many such preachers have been dismissed.
If any persons have the temerity to rise up, and state facts, such as the following: That the "Massachusetts Missionary Society,' which is the mother of all the charitable and benevolent societies in the State, and which we have now, entirely in our possession, was founded, and nursed for many years by what were known to be, and denominated Hopkinsians, that this class of ministers and people now give more, in proportion to their ability, for benevolent objects, than any others; that the senior Edwards, who dwelt much,
* See Worcester's "Watts' abridged."
in his preaching and writings, upon those very heart-searching and heart-rending doctrines, which we now throw into the shade, was, perhaps, more blessed with the special influence of the Spirit accompanying his ministrations, than any other of his contemporaries in N. England; that such men, as the elder Spring, and Niles and Sanford, and Strong of Randolph, enjoyed very powerful and extensive revivals of religion; that Dr. Strong of Hartford, left one of the largest, most respectable, and flourishing churches in New England; that not less than three distinct seasons of special, and extensive revival, have been enjoyed in Franklin, under the ministrations of the venerable minister, who has now resigned his parochial and pastoral labors; that, in eighteen hundred fourteen, fifteen and sixteen, a most general and genuine revival of religion was enjoyed and continued, in East Attleborough, for two years, under the instructions of a preacher of the same stamp; that there was a general revival of religion in Rehoboth, under the ministry of one, whom we have hated above all men, for his obstinacy and perseverance, in preaching the fundamental doctrines of the gospel; that there was, a few years since, a very great revival in Reading, under the preaching of one, who has always invidiously been called a Hopkinsian; and a hundred other facts of the same kind, which time and paper would fail to record; it is all to no purpose. It is perfectly easy for us to shut our eyes and ears against stubborn facts, which we do not wish to see and hear; and, like the Ephesians, in vindication of the "craftsmen," and "the image that fell from Jupiter," we continue to reiterate, "These are the men, whose congregations are like the mountains of Gilboa, upon which there descends neither rain nor dew."
By dint of perseverance, we have effected the dismission of several such ministers, who have been settled some fifteen or twenty years; and we have no intention, that they shall ever gain a resettlement. It is our desire, that they may be passed by and forgotten, like the dead out of mind. If any vacant churches are disposed to employ a man of the above description, we just whisper in the ears of some of their leading members, He will not do for you; he is unpopular; he has been settled once, and dismissed; you must have a young man. If you will settle a smart, (we mean popular) young man, whom we shall recommend, we will help you all we can. It is true, you will have to give him much more, than some others, perhaps six or seven hundred dollars; but then, we will recommend you, as a "feeble church," to the "missionary society," and engage that a part of his support shall be made up from that source. If, however, you do not hearken to us, we shall not afford you any assistance, and you will all run down.'
In this way, we succeed in preventing the re-settlement of many ministers, who, before the events of these halcyon "days of revivals" and "benevolent exertions," were considered very sound, evangelical and instructive. I am acquainted with several such ministers, not less than six or seven, within comparatively a small circle,
The supreme love of the world extremely criminal. 13
who have had some fifteen or twenty years' experience in ministerial and pastoral duties, who have borne the burden and heat of the day, but are still sound and vigorous in body and mind; but who are for the most of the time, out of employ. Still we continue to preach, with the utmost pathos, that we must have more ministers; the wants of the West must be supplied; the coffers of the Education Society must be filled; we must educate more young men; our vacant and "feeble churches" must have pastors; and Christians must give more and do more, or the spiritual wants of this great people can never be met.
Such, Mr. Editor, is some of our management, and the process by which we have gained, and mean to hold the ascendancy over every other class of professing Christians. In stating these facts, I have had a sacred regard to truth and honesty; and if any one of our principal managers can look at the picture, and not see his own face, he has certainly no occasion to take offence. GAIUS.
From the Boston Telegraph. THE SUPREME LOVE OF THE WORLD EXTREMELY CRIMINAL. The supreme love of the world is a sin which reigns so universally among mankind, they seem disposed to think lightly of it, in themselves and in others, and even to applaud it as virtuous, rather than to reproach and condemn it as criminal. It leads men to act so much alike, in their secular and even religious concerns, that it is difficult to discover more of it in one man than in another. And, at the same time, it prompts men to do a vast many things, which attract esteem and respect. It makes some men industrious. It makes some industrious men rich. It makes some rich men kind and beneficent. A worldly spirit is admired and applauded by the men of the world. They love to see one another seek and secure the good things of the world. Hence, says the Psalmist, "Men will praise thee when thou doest well to thyself." Men will praise the rich, let them come by their riches by what means they will. Men will praise the great, let them rise to greatness by what means they will. Every man who loves the world supremely, loves others for their supreme love of the world, unless their supreme love of the world interferes with their own.
But, however venial or virtuous supreme love to the world appears in the view of men, it appears infinitely odious in the sight of God. He views supreme love to the world as idolatry. He views the man who sets the world in his heart, as setting up an idol in his heart.Whatever worldly object any person sets his supreme affection upon, is his idol, which robs God of all the love, and homage, and duty, which he deserves and requires. Heart idolatry is the greatest and most criminal sin in the world, and most displeasing to God.— There is scarcely an object in this world, but what has been and is idolized by the men of the world. No one of the ten commandments is so universally violated as the first: "Thou shalt have no
other gods before me." Not only Pagans and Papists, but the whole christian world are more or less guilty of that idolatry, which is a breach of the first and great command. Internal idolatry is far more extensive, more criminal, and more destructive than external. There are a vast many more internal idolators, than external. Internal idolatry reigns in the hearts of all unsanctified men, whether Protestants, Dissenters, or any other denomination of nominal christians. Internal idolatry is far more criminal, as well as far more extensive than external. Good men may be guilty of some species of external idolatry. Jacob's family kept idols. Solomon, and other pious kings of Israel, winked at, and were guilty of some idolatrous practices. Idolatry very gradually crept into the Christian church, and it was ages before the man of sin established it through his spiritual dominion. And it is possible, that some among the Papists at this day, may be pious men, though they erroneously approve and unite in some idolatrous forms and ceremonies of religBut internal idolatry, which consists in the supreme love of the world, excludes love to God, and is incompatible with vital piety, wherever it constantly and universally reigns in the heart. It is, therefore, far more criminal than external idolatry. It is a sin directly pointed against God, and robs him of all his glory. "Will a man rob God?" But every internal idolater does continually and constantly rob God; whether he casts off fear and restrains prayer before him; or whether he calls upon him, while his heart is far from him.
God sees, abhors and condemns all internal idolatry, as infinitely vile and criminal. God is angry every day with the world that lies in the sin of internal idolatry, and loves the creature more than the Creator.
But the idolatrous love of the world is not only very general and very criminal, but, of all sins the most destructive to the souls of men. The world is lovely. It contains ten thousand beautiful objects. These attract attention, and attention creates an habitual love to them. It constantly and insensibly makes deeper and deeper impressions on the heart. And, instead of becoming a mirror to display the perfections of God, and his great design in the work he is doing, it becomes a mask to hide him from the view of a corrupt and stupid world. The very objects which ought to lead men to see, to love, and to serve God, directly lead them to forget and forsake him, to their everlasting ruin. It is this idolatrous love of the world, that is the most prevalent and most destructive among men. It is every where alienating the hearts of men from God and every duty. It prevents them from having the gospel, from hearing the gospel, from understanding the gospel, from embracing the gospel, and from obtaining everlasting life. It has the same fatal influence upon all classes of men, whether young or old, whether rich or poor, whether learned or unlearned.
The supreme love of the world is rapidly turning philosophers into infidels, and leading them to turn their superior talents against Christianity. The supreme love of the world has already turned most of the greatest politicians, all over the world, into deism and