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this world's dissipations? Shall we not try to snatch them from the shrine of ungodliness as quickly as we can, lest the workings of covetousness should so steel their hearts, and so stupify their consciences, as to repel all the powers of argument, and all the beseeching entreaties of the most tender affection? Shall we not, in fine, endeavour to embrace them, speeding their way to an undone eternity, in the arms of our compassion, and guide their feet into the paths of righteousness, lest the offended Majesty of heaven should swear concerning them, that they shall not enter into his rest? If the Synod's foreign missions, then, be instrumental in rescuing only a few from destruction, and of conducting them to the regions of everlasting happiness, it will do more than repay all the contributions, labours, and sacrifices which can be made.
The Presbyterian habits and views of a great proportion of the emigrants to the Canadas, form another powerful inducement for the Synod of Ulster to fix upon that field for missionary labour. Persons baptized and educated in the Presbyterian Church have been accustomed to hear preachers of learning and talent-they have been reared from infancy in acquaintance with a catechism replete with substantial truth; seldom, therefore, do they deteriorate to such an extent, as even to become satisfied with the flimsy, shallow, and unsubstantial productions of uneducated and self-called ministers of the Gospel-seldom will they feel pleasure or edification in churches where the form is more regarded than the essential doctrines of the Christian system. They may not have improved the advantages afforded them in their native land; but unless the love of the world has deadened every early impression, and seared their consciences as with an hot iron, when in a foreign country, think they must upon privileges formerly slighted; and the recollection of the gitted ministers, whose ministrations they were wont to attend, and whose church's discipline they were wont to revere, will induce them to procure similar benefits for themselves and children, in the distant colonies whither they have gone. In England, Scottish ministers imagine they have grounds to lament, that many of their countrymen, who have travelled thither, seem to forget the principles of the church from which they received their Christian education; but in the colonies it has been ascertained, that the Scots settlers retain, in a very laudable degree, their love of country, and their strong attachments to the Presbyterian Church.
It is no disadvantage, and ought to be no discouragement,
that the Colonial Society of Glasgow has sent many licentiates of the Scots Church into Canada. This, in fact, constitutes one of the most powerful inducements for the Synod of Ulster selecting that country as the field of missionary operation. To have missionaries scattered over the surface of the globe, at wide distances from each other, or broken down into different sects, so that they cannot act together, would be just as unwise and as powerless as the soldiers of an army advancing one by one to meet the common enemy, instead of proceeding in a united phalanx. The Scots ministers and missionaries who already occupy the field, hold the same standards, preach the same doctrines, and maintain the same church-polity with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Ireland; they will, therefore, give your preachers an affectionate welcome; they will co-operate cordially with them, and in these respects UNION will, indeed, be strength. Besides, it ought not to be forgotten that the missionaries from Glasgow are already acting as pioneers in the Canadas for your Presbyterian missionaries. To explore an unknown country usually occupies much time. Your brethren, however, have already reconnoitred the camp-they are performing the kindly office of the Messiah's harbinger, levelling the mountains and smoothing the rough ways-ready to receive your heralds of peace with open arms, and to point out the territory where they may be instantly and usefully employed.
Since I commenced this epistle, the Orthodox Presbyterian for July has arrived, in which a very interesting narrative of the Synod's proceedings appears, superseding details that I might have otherwise introduced. I have only, therefore, further to mention, as deserving special notice, the time spent in religious instruction and in devotional exercises, during the sitting of the Synod. The assemblies of the church, as well as her individual ministers and members, ought never to forget the unseen power which can alone make their counsels efficient for the defence and the extension of the truth. It is well, and, indeed, quite indispensable, for the purpose, humanly speaking, of giving effect to means, that the watchmen of Zion, whose office requires them not only to sound the alarm among the thousands of a slumbering garrison, but also to withstand the numbers, the stratagems, and the persevering attempts of a formidable enemy; to be properly equipped for the awfully inportant and responsible station which they occupy. But the Lord's words ought likewise to be remembered, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of
hosts," -a minister may have all the talents of a Paul, and all the oratory of an Apollos, but God alone can make his ministrations effectual, in extending and in upholding the Re-deemer's kingdom. Convinced, therefore, as I am of the powerlessness of all human endeavours, apart from the gracious influences of heaven, you may form some conception of the pleasure which I felt, in the Synod's appointment of an hour for prayers every morning, between six and seven o'clock; and of sermon every evening, accompanied by similar devotional exercises as in the morning.
The benefits of prayer are incalculable :-it has, ere now, shut up the clouds of heaven for the space of three years and six months; it has again opened the heavens, that they gave rain to fertilize the earth; and in answer to fervent prayer, the Christian Church shall be made a praise among the nations of the world. How suitable, then, must the prayers of the sanctuary be, along with the deliberations of the Synod, as well as with the whole work of the Gospel minister, in restraining every thing unseemly in his carriage, temper, and general demeanour in such solemn circumstances! Denied entirely the charge can scarcely be, that the meetings of ecclesiastical councils have proved the arena for some to display their controversial powers, for others to manifest their acquaintance with acts of assembly, and knowledge of technicalities and forms, to the actual hindrance of business, to the disturbance of a Synod's peace, and to the annoyance of every body but themselves. In many cases these allegations have, it is to be hoped, been exaggerated,-that the vehemence of argument and the ardour of zeal have been often construed into vehemence of passion and the ebullition of angry feeling. But whatever abatement the amount of charge may admit of, few will contend that there have existed no grounds for it at all. Let the man, however, of hot temperament, the man proud of his abilities, and the man thirsting after human applause, go devoutly to the throne of God's grace in the morning, and let him look forward to the self-reckoning, to which the exercises of devotion will again bring him in the evening; and the thoughts and feelings required in the performance of such duties, will, through the blessing of the Almighty, tend powerfully to keep God's glory before the mind in all the business of the day, to soften down the asperities of unsanctified passion, and to promote brotherly affection and kindness, even in honour preferring one another." The church whose ministers thus exercise a total dependance upon
the wisdom which is from above, and whose councils are conducted in the spirit of holy supplication, cannot fail to enjoy the smiles and to succeed in the benevolent measures for which they so earnestly intercede.
In concluding these somewhat lengthened remarks, I have only to subjoin, that the maintenance of its high protestations in behalf of Home and Foreign Missions, will confer lasting honour upon the Synod of Ulster. The spirit of missionary enterprise is essential to the character of a christian church, and affords the best evidence of its prosperity. The Almighty Saviour identifies his dignity and glory with the success of the Gospel in the world. If his doctrines be rejected, his servants despised, and his cause obstructed in its progress amongst the nations, he views such opposition as tantamount to the pouring open contempt upon himself; and as the utmost indignity to his Father, (Luke x. 16.) And can Christ's Spirit be abroad in that church, where the truths, the institutions, and the zeal of Christianity are not exhibited? Unquestionably not. What was true of the church at Thessalonica, must, in some measure, be realized in every Christian society: "When that church received the word with joy of the Holy Ghost, from them sounded out the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place their faith to God-ward was spread abroad.” It, however, scarcely seems needful to adduce proof from the oracles of God's word on this subject; for a better evidence of the spirit of missionary enterprize being inseparable from a church where the love of pure doctrine reigns, and of a church's success where that spirit abides and operates, cannot be found, than in the province of Ulster itself. As long as the pernicious weight of Arian heresy hung over its ecclesiastical councils, a deadness and a disorder were superinduced, that interrupted all attempts to diffuse the Gospel, and even threatened to extinguish the light that remained; but no sooner was the darkness of error dispersed, and the Sun of Truth arisen with a clear and steady light, than all the warmth and activities of renewed life diffused their beneficial influences throughout the length and breadth of the land. Let the Presbyterian sons of Ulster, then, go forth in all the majesty of truth; let their two hundred and thirty congregations, with their sessions and their presbyteries, exert all the energies they possess; and let them wrestle mightily for the outpouring of the Divine Spirit to accompany their laudable exertions for the welfare of others;-then shall the moral wastes of Ireland "revive as the corn and grow as
the vine;" then, also, shall it be found, "That the liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself;" in proportion, too, as purity, prosperity, and joy return to the church of which he forms a part.
"My heart's desire and prayer to God is," that all evangelical associations, whose powers are put forth for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, may be abundantly blessed; and that Ulster's Presbyterian Church may, in this the season of her well-constructed plans and gigantic labours for the spread of the Gospel, especially obtain showers of blessing. I am, &c.,
Cumberland, 15th August, 1834.
[It will be in the recollection of our readers, that a number of articles appeared in our Periodical, some months ago, under the title of Bible Instruction. We can scarcely account for these having been so long discontinued; but the series is now resumed, and it is intended to continue it without interruption from Number to Number until completed.]
THE FAMILY RELATION.
"I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment."-GEN. Xviii. 19.
WHILE the first great concern of the Scriptures is with men, as individuals, they have respect to them also in the various social relations by which they are connected with one another. Of these relations the family is the most simple, yet influential, and we shall devote the present paper to a consideration of the several duties arising out of it.
The origin of the family relation is declared in Gen. ii. 18, 21-24. Hence it is recommended to us as divine in its origin, for God is its author; holy in its nature, for it was instituted before men became sinners; and paramount in its duties, for the marriage connexion, which is the foundation of it, is represented to be more intimate and binding than even that of blood, since "man is to leave father and mother, and eleave unto his wife." In this arrangement, the wisdom and mercy of God are very conspicuous, for upon it all the blessings of civilized life are dependant, and by it are they secured.