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American Board of Missions.-The number of missionary stations under its care is 54; ordained missionaries 68: physicians not ordained 4; printers 3; teachers 17; farmers and mechanics 20; females, married and unmarried, 120; making a total of 237 laborers in heathen lands, dependent on and under direction of the board. There are also 4 native preachers, 30 native assistants, 1257 schools, 59,784 scholars, and 36 churches, containing about 1809 members. The printing presses at different stations have sent forth about 14,200,000 pages of Bibles, tracts, &c. during the year, and from the beginning of the operations of the board, about 61,000,000 pages, in 11 different languages.
Commerce of Liberia.—By a letter from Dr. Mechlin, the Colonial Agent, dated May 1st, it appears that during the past year 59 vessels had visited the Colony for the purpose of traffic, 32 of which were Ainerican, 25 English, and 2 French. The exports amounted to $125,543 16 in value. The cultivation of coffee, cotton, and indigo, all of which are indigenous to the soil, is rapidly increasing. One of the colonists expects to have a plantation of 20,000 coffee trees shortly completed.-Jour. of Com.
Slavery. In the Georgia Repertory of March 21, the editor tries to bring in A. Clarke, as countenancing slavery. The following are the sentiments of this "great and good" man. I here register my testimony against the unprincipled, inhuman, anti-christian, and diabolic slave-trade, with all its authors, promoters, abettors, and sacrilegous gains; as well as against the great devil, the father of it and them. O ye most flagitious of knaves and worst of hypocrites, cast off at once the mask of religion; and deepen not your endless perdition, by professing the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, while ye continue in this traffic! -Protestant.
Rum and Murder.-One Willing, in Maryland, while in a fit of intoxication, shot and killed his wife. The wretch is in confinement.More than half of the 140 murders committed in the United States during the last year, are attriuuted to the influence of ardent spirit.
Fifth Report of the American Temperance Society.-The following table of Contents will show the ground which is occupied by this report; which it is desired should be found in every family in the country. Editors of newspapers are requested to copy the notice of this Report, which appeared in our last.-Jour. of Humanity.
CONTENTS. Constitution-Annual Meeting.
Truths established by the Fourth Report-Opinion of a Member of Congress-Circulation of the Fourth Report-Testimony of old Men -Report re-published in Great Britain-Lord Chancellor's Declaration-Formation of the British and Foreign Temperance Society-Effect of strong drink in producing the Cholera-Guilt of those who sell Ardent spirit-Comparison with the Slave Trade-Connection with Burking-Chancellor Walworth's Opinion-Meeting at Washington -Wirt's testimony-Resolutions and Address of American Temperance Society-National Circular-Corresponding Secretary-Professor Ware's Testimony-President Wayland's Inquiries--President Fisk's Address to Church Members-Dickinson's Advice-Beecher's Address to the Young Men of Boston-Judge Dagget's Declaration— Opinion of Judge Cranch-Injustice of the Traffic in Ardent Spirits -The Rum Selling Church Member-Venders of Ardent Spirit in the City of Washington-Confession of a Retailer-Wives murdered by
their husbands-Children murdered by their Fathers-Loss of the Rothsay Castle-Commodore Biddle's Letter-Letter from an Officer in the Army-Massachusetts Lunatic Asylum-Demoralizing effect of the Traffic in Ardent spirit-Circular concerning Churches-Connection between Temperance and Religion--Influence of Church Members who traffic in Ardent Spirit-Testimony of the British and Foreign Temperance Society-The great obstruction to the Temperance Reformation-Churches in which are no Members in the Traffic -Family Temperance Societies-Facts in the State of New YorkTavern Keepers ruined-Temperance Taverns, and Groceries-Progress of the cause, and its results-The Sabbath the Proper time to speak upon it-Duty of Ministers and Churches-Temperance Societies in Africa and the Sandwich Island-Conclusion-Treasurer's Report-Honorary Vice Presidents and Members-Members of the Society.
APPENDIX.-Edgar's Speech-Wealthy Drunkards-Higgins' Letter-Jersey Temperance Society-Licenses in Glasgow-British and Foreign Temperance Society-Maryland State Temperance Society— Address of the Bishop of London-National Circular-The Immorality of the Traffic-Letter from -Resolutions of Ministers of the Gospel-Extract from the Ministers of the General Assembly-The danger of selling Ardent spirit-Temperance efforts in China-Important decision in Chancery-Tax on the sale of Ardent Spirit-The sale of Ardent Spirit a nuisance.
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Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.-PSALM ). 21.
Though there is nothing more necessary than the true knowledge of God, there is scarcely any thing less common. Men have formed more erroneous and absurd notions of the Supreme Being, than of any other object, visible or invisible. They have likened him to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.' But, more generally, they have changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.' Mankind have been more inclined to compare God to themselves, than to any other creature.
The words of the text are contained in an address, which begins thus, 'But unto the wicked, God saith.' It is no individual, or class of wicked men, that is addressed, but the wicked in general. It is true, as a general observation, which admits of few exceptions, that the wicked are prone to think the Supreme Being to be like themselves. To illustrate this observation, I propose to show,
I. In what respect the wicked are prone to think God like themselves. And II. Why they are prone to think so.
I. I am to to show, in what respect the wicked are prone to think God like themselves..
1. It is not to be supposed, that the wicked in general are inclined to think that God is possessed of human shape, parts and passions. If this were true of some of the more benighted and idolatrous, it is not credible that even the Heathen, generally, believed that the Supreme Being exists in the form of man, with human organs, affections and passions. True, they worshiped many inferior divinities, whom they represented to be like men. But these demi-gods, it appears, were deceased heroes, warriors, and statesmen, whom, in their blind veneration they had cannonized, and made objects of worship. They all, however, acknowledged a Supreme God, to whom their inferior deities were in subjection, and whom there is not evi
dence that they viewed as possessed of the shape and other properties of human nature. But should it be believed that the most stupid of the heathen, like our modern Swedenborgians, really thought God to possess the form and limbs of a man, it will not be maintained that the wicked in general, have had such an absurd notion, especially those who have been at all favored with the light of divine revelation.
2. It is not to be supposed that the wicked, in general, are prone to think that the Supreme Being is altogether like thenselves, as to his natural attributes. Though multitudes in the heathen world, and many in more enlightened regions, have entertained very low and unworthy thoughts of the knowledge, power, and other natural attributes of God, yet the wicked generally believe, that as it respects his natural attributes, he is vastly superior to man. They generally believe, especially those in Christian lands, that God has existed from eternity, that he is present in every place, that he knows all things, and can do all things. But,
3. There remains still one respect, in which the wicked are prone, generally, not to say universally, to think the Supreme Being altogether like themselves; and that is, his moral character. In this important respect, the wicked are very prone to compare God with themselves. They are generally inclined to believe, that his moral perfections, though vastly superior in degree, are, in nature and kind, like their own moral feelings.— They think he feels as they feel, towards every moral object; that he loves what they love, and hates what they hate. They think he regards himself as they regard themselves. They are prone to think, that God's gooodness is like their goodness, his mercy like their compassion, his wrath like their anger. The wicked, generally, think that God acts from the same motives, upon the same principles, and to the same end, as themselves. It is in respect to his moral character, only, that the wicked think God altogether such an one as themselves. I am to show,
II. Why the wicked are prone to entertain such thoughts of God. It may well seem strange, that wicked men, with such just and enlarged views of the natural attributes of the Creator and Preserver of the world, as they often possess, should nevertheless, entertain such erroneous thoughts of his moral character.— But this appears to be the fact; and it is thought that several satisfactory reasons may be assigned for it. And,
1. One reason why the wicked think so erroneously of God, is their moral stupidity. 'Man is born as the wild ass's colt.' The attention of wicked men is engrossed with the objects of time, the pleasures of sense, and the cares and pursuits of this world. They seldom find time, if they had the inclination, to attend to spiritual and invisible objects. They seldom think upon God. In the language of the Psalmist, 'God is not in all their thoughts.' Hence their views of the divine character are very low, contracted, and confused. Did they take due time to contemplate upon that great and glorious Being, on whom all other beings are dependant, they might attain far more correct and becoming thoughts of his character. If the wicked would seek after God, by the light of reason, conscience, and sacred scripture, they could not fail to obtain some just thoughts of the moral character, as well as the natural attributes of the Sovereign of the universe. And hence it is, that awakened, enquiring sinners, find that their former thoughts of God were vain, and that, instead of being like themselves, his true character is as opposite to theirs, as light is to darkness.
2. The self-righteousness, and self-complacency of wicked men, furnish another reason why they think the moral character of God like their own. It is natural for fallen man to think more highly of himself, than he ought to think. Nothing is more common, than for the wicked to think well of their own characters. Though they may not justify some of their outward actions, yet they generally maintain that their inward feelings and exercises of heart have been very good. Nothing gives them greater offence, than to call in question the puEven rity and goodness of their motives and moral exercises. when convicted of being selfish in all their affections and volitions, this does not destroy their self-complacency; for to be satisfied with themselves, it is only necessary to maintain that all virtuous feelings originate in self-love, and that it is impossible for either creatures, or the Creator to act on the principle of disinterested benevolence.
As the wicked thus take it for granted, that their own moral feelings are right, it is natural for them to think that God feels as they do; for undoubtedly God feels right. So long as they esteem their own affections and exercises to be good, they will, of course, think those of the Supreme Being to be of the same kind, if ever so much wider in extent, and higher in degree.— The complacency which the wicked feel in their own charac