Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

should publish but little over the half of the "whole,” and suppress the rest. This is a strange way of “allowing it all that it (the whole piece) can effect in my favor.”

I confidently believe you have, for the last score of years, suffered more from the garbled manner in which the numerous sectaries of this age have presented your writings and doings, than any other man in America. And hence I think you have had just grounds for the many loud and bitter complaints you have in that time uttered against those cruel proscriptions. And notwithstanding I agree with you in nearly every thing in religious faith and practice, you so far forget yourself as to treat me just as those zealous partisans have treated you; and thus bring, with a double force, upon your own devoted, and may I not say venerable head, all your eloquent sayings against the spirit and practice of religious intolerance and proscription. With a full, a tender heart before the Lord, I do say, "Oh! that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night” for the weakness and inconsist

ency of man!

am

But to return, that part of my letter which you withheld, was written for the express purpose of answering the very important question you put to me on the character of Christ. I answered you candidly, and that almost entirely in the language of the Holy Spirit. And it seems to me, that ought to have been satisfactory to you as it has since prored to others. See M. H. for July, 18.47, page 409. This shows that the fear you express of injuring "he reputation of your worthy correspondent (us you are

call me) in publishing my communication," was gro satisfied that if you had published my “whole piece

not have injured me; but, under the circumstances, your withholding the part you did, and by your remarks forestalling public opinion against me, you have (I trust not intentionally) but you have very much injured me. Or this, others who are capable and impartial judges have informed me.

But if the good cause of our Divine Lord and Redeemer is but promoted thereby, I shall cheerfully bear it, and still do what little I can for the conversion of sinners and the union of saints; pleading only in this communication, for what I understand to be the principles of the reformation of the nineteenth century-the Bible alone as authoritative in all matters of religion-the right of private judg. ment-Christian character, the true ground of Christian fellowshipand the glorious privilege of being heard in self-defence.

Now in conclusion let me say, if to enjoy yeur fellowship and that of the “Disciples of Christ generally, I must be a Trinitarian of any class, or a sectarian to any extent; or if you and they require that I must, in any way, entertain peculiar party views on the subject of religion, I must beg leave to decline the honor. But if to embrace Christ as the Son of the living God, and obey him in all things; if, in short, to be simply a CHRISTIAN in name and practice, will secure your and their Christian regard, I shall be most happy tó enjoy it; but on any other ground I cannot ask, nor would I accept of it.

These, sir, are the high and holy principles and doctrine in which

I have, as I conceive in truth and love entrenched myself; and here. by the support of the whole armor of God, I shall be invincible.

To the several important questions in my last, which remain unnoticed, I would again earnestly and respectfully invite your early and favorable attention. And at the same time to the following, on which I also ask for information, which I suppose you can give me, namely:--In the union which took place between you and our lamented and venerable brother Stone, and the respective friends of each, was the trinity or unity in any way brought into consideration as necessary to the consummation of the said Christian union! If 80, what view of the trinity or unity, and to what extent? And if not made necessary in that union among Christians, why, my dear brother, why have you brought both the unity and the trinity into --this discussion-the latter of which you are understood, by some, to

maka an essential part of every man's faith, with whom you now cooperate for the union of Christians!

All of which is candidly, faithfully, and, I trust, kindly submitted by yuur humble servant,

J. J. HARVEY.

ADDRESS OF J. T. JOHNSON, DEDICATED TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN KENTUCKY. Beloved Brethren-If the undersigned has any claims on your confidence and gratitude, you are entreated to read and consider what is herein presented with the design of advancing the cause in which we are engaged, and for the success of which we have pledged nur lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Be persuaded to read; and to read deliberately. Read, in order to a decision that shall stand the test of Him who is to judge the quick and dead. The subject now matured and presented for your adoption and active cooperation, has cost the writer much reflection and deliberation, and labor and painful anxiety; and it has been, and is yet, a burden upon his soul. You have it in your power to remove this burden by a practical exemplification of the system to which your attention is herein invited.

So far as known to me, there is no system of Finance, worthy the name, in any church in Christendom. This effort is designed to supply the deficiency. The Christian religion is the essence of benevolence, and the church, to say the least of it, is the most benevolent institution on earth. It is emphatically the Lord's dispen sation of benevolence; and it embraces all of God's creation with all its wants.

If we would have an individual, a family, or nation, to exhibit gigantic power, they must have an efficient, energetic, ever-active system of finance. They are weak, inefficient, and powerless without it.

The deplorable condition of the church and of religion in general, and especially the awful condition of the heathen and infidel world, demand this effort. Under the present zig zag, oscillating, confused, uncertain, and unscriptural state of things, nothing can be

means.

accomplished answerable to the demands of the Lord, or worthy of his honor. We cannot have prompt decision and action. The crisis calls for it in a voice of thunder. Instead of finding a shelter from the storm, a retreat from persecution, a home for the waderer, and relief from poverty and wretchedness in the church of Christ, all these seek refuge in the so called benevolent societies of the day. The following plan is judged scriptural, and it would neutralize all such temptations.

It is believed that the church is composed of a community unsurpassed by any on earth; and that it is prepared to meet any exigency or call that may be made upon it, provided it is scriptural. If we desire that our children shall become valuable members of society, they must be kept actively engaged in business, and made to feel that society is partly depei.dent upon them for all that is good and great. If we desire, then, to be benevolent, without extravagance, a continual draft must be made upon their benevolence according to system.

It we would prevent apostacy, they must be made happy and delightfully engaged at home in all kind and good offices; and they must be made to feel their importance. So of the church of Christ. The Christian philosophy demands the discipline and active cooperation of every soldier of the Cross, old and young, male and female, as the Lord has prospered and blessed each one with the

The following system or plan is presented for adoption by all the churches; and it is deemed to be scriptural--Because, Ist. It is weekly, 1 Cor. xvi, 1, 2. 2d. Because it is voluntary. 3d. Because it is as the Lord bas enabled each one. And 4th. Because it includes all the Disciples.

It will be perceived that the contribution ceases in cases of death, removal, or inability; and that it may be increased or diminished, as the circumstances of the party may justify.

Here we have system-flowing on in an unrufiled, overpowering, and constant current of benevolence, commanding the admiration and commendation of the world.

To consummate the work, the action of the church is indispensable. It seems to be expedient to adopt the following plan:A scriptural system of Finance for the Churc'es of Christ in

Kentucky. The Church of Christ at impressed with the importance of adopting and practising a scriptural system of finance, with the design of sustaining-1st. The Pastorship of the church, with the expenses incident to the worship. 2d. The relief of the poor and needy, the sick and affficted, the widow and orphan. And 3d. The proclamation of the gospel in destitute parts at home and abroad, and the dissemination of the scriptures all over the world; has resolved to attend to the weekly contribution as the Lord has prospered and enabled the individual members, male and female, old and young. And in order to the accomplishing an object so ardently desired and so infinitely important, it has been considered expedient to adopt a classification system, rating from 5 cents per week to 50

3

[ocr errors]

10

B. F.,

D. F.,

[ocr errors]

cents or 100 cents, as the case may be. Thus, Ist Class, 5 cents; 2d Class, 10 cents; 3d Class, 15 cents,

For convenience sake the names may be obtained in an alphabetical form, and the amount they can afford to contribute may be placed in a column opposite their names. These names and amounts may be transferred to a book comprising the classes. For example Ist class, 5 c. per week. 211 class, 10c.pr week. | ?d class, 25 c. per week. A. B., daughter, 5 B., mother,

D. B., husband, 25 B. C. do.

5
S.C.,
do.

10
D. C.,
do.

25 C. D., do.

5
A. D.,
do.

10
B. D.,
do.

25 A. E., son,

5 C. E., daughter, 10 D. E., bachelor, 25 widower, 5 C.F., widow,

10

25 5 10

25 5 12

25 The above is a specimen of the Record Book of the Church, to be preserved sacred by the Clerk. To perfect and carry into execution the above, the church can appoint

1. A committee of three or seven members, of experience, to superintend and put in execution the system adopted, and to disburse the funds.

2. A committee of three or seven female members, of experience, to superintend and relieve the necessities of the female department.

3. The Clerk to act as Treasurer; whose duty it shall be to furnish cach class with a list of their names, and receive and receipt for the contributions when paid.

4. Each class shall select its own receiver or receivers, collector or collectors, who shall receive the contributions and pay the same weekly as they are paid to the Treasurer.

5. The Committees, Clerk, and Receivers shall make a quarterly written Report to the church.

6. One tenth (or more, as the case may be,) of the contributions: shall be reserved for the poor, the widow and orphan, or disabled preacher.

7. One tenth (or more, as the case may be,) shall be expended in the proclamation of the gospel in destitute parts, at home and abroad; and in the dissemination of the scriptures.

All cases of expenditure are to be examined narrowly to prevent imposition.

Now, brethren, in conclusion let me recommend to you to expend your funds for the dissemination of the Bible through the American and Foreign Bible Society. This Society is in operation. It solicits our co-operation. We have been honored by it, and it would rejoice me to witness a cordial co-operation. It may result in a glorious union. I pray the Lord's blessing upon you and upon his cause in our hands; and the blessing of Heaven is entreated upon your active, co-operation in this labor of love. I pray the Lord that the churches may act promptly and make report throngh the Harbinger and other papers.

Most affectionately,

J. T. JOHNSON, Elder and Evangelist,

in the Church of Christ at Georgetown, Ky. The above is adopted by the church at Georgetown, Ky. SERIES III-VOL. V.

10*

REMARKS.

[ocr errors]

Our readers have thus presented to their consideration, the "financial scheme” of our beloved brother Johnson, for which we pray their unprejudiced examination. We wished to insert it in our last number; but other matters, claiming precedence, crowded it out; and even now, to make room for it, we are compelled to intermit some of our serial articles, as well as postpone other valuable contributions from abroad. Accompanying the scheme of brother Johnson, brother C. Kendrick has furnished us with a very elaborate and earnest commendation of it--with a serious and impressive appeal to the brethren, at once to adopt it. This, we regret, we cannot now present to our readers. As the subject, however, is one which we hope to see kept before the minds of our brethren for many days, even until the great erd we so much covet may be attained, it may not be unfortunate, that brother Kendrick cannot now be heard.

The scheme itself is evidently a work of much earnest reflection, and its easy practicability and great efficiency, if carried out, ought to commend it to every congregation alive to the high responsibilities under which they are placed by the distinguishing favors of the great Head of the Church. There are some persons we know, and we fear too many, who are ready to resist, “even unto death,” every plan for advancing the standard of the Cross, no matter how wise or unexceptionable it may be, which is not an exact “duplicate” of something in the book,-men who talk as though they thought the Bible were a sort of hand-book by which they could find out the exact locale of their meeting-house, determine by what door they should enter, fix the precise time o'clock for assembling, and even ascertain the very pew in which they should sit during their devotions. But this is no.reason why good men, who feel that God has not only called them to a good work, but enlarged and enlightened their minds for its accomplishment, should fold their arms in indifference and look upon the wastings of Zion in silence. No. There are men, a plenty, whose jealousy is not so. one-eyed as to see only the danger which threatens their purses, snug albeit they be in their pockets,-n.en and women who look alike to the danger which hangs over their unfaithful stewardships, and who will rejoice to take hold of any thing which is adapted to the contingencies of the cause for whose honor and success they have pledged themselves to forsake all. Christians should be no temporizers. Their reward is of God—not of men; and they should not fear to proclaim what they believe for his glory. Many ma

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »