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in many are only partially attended to. The Assembly also deplore the obviously increasing dereliction of truth, which, in some parts, pervades all classes of society; the prevalence of the profanation of the sacred names of Jehovah ; the violation of the Sabbath; and in many parts debasing intemperance in the use of ardent spirits. They deplore likewise the prevalent inordinate attachment to the things, and to the friendship of the world. We have still cause to lament, that in those situations where attendance is most convenient, and the advantages for religious improvement are at, many of our people forsake their religious assemblies on one part of the day. But above all, and in close and fatal union with this last and the preceding evils, they deplore the prevalence of unbelief; that state of mind which is enmity against God, reproaches his truth, and contemns ;: amiable glories of redeeming ve. In circumstances highly distinished by the blessings of Heaven, th in a religious and civil view, especially when contrasted with the state of many nations; such evidences of ingratitude and impiety present alarming provocations to a holy God. They awfully increase our guilt, and rouse our fears. Surely the Lord is long suffering and of tender mercy; therefore amidst all our provocations we are permitted to vic w Zion rising with increasing glories and extension ; and to see some late arrangements for increasing the number of pious and faithful ministers, opening a flattering prospect in this important conce tra. The Assembly, on the whole, praise God for the degree of success with which he has been pleased to crown their efforts for the cztension of his kingdom, and the edification of the body of Christ. And, relying on the liberal contributions, and pious co-operation of their people, both by their holy living and fervent prayer to God, desire to prosecutc, under the encouragement with which they are favoured, with redoubled diligence, the great and interesting undertakings which have hitherto employed their cares and their labours.”
At a meeting of the General Asscciation of Connecticut in June, 1806, “Inquiry was made with respect to the state of religion in the churches with which we have connexion, from which it resulted, that although much coldness and lukewarmness, in spiritual concerns, appear in many places, yet in others the spirit of vital piety eminently prevails, and various parts of the vineyard are watered and enriched with heavenly dews. The friends of real religion have much cause to render praise to the great Lord of the vineyard, and to persevere in prayer, that showers may descend in plentiful effusions.”
The business of missions is prosecuted with great zeal, and a very desirable success by the churches of Connecticut. Nearly three thousand dollars have been contributed, during the year past, for the support of missions, besides what has been received from the profits of the Evangelical Magazine.
Two acts of the General Association follow : , (1) “whereas a few individuals in the ministry have openly denied the divinity and personality of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Voted:—That this Association, feeling it a duty to bear testimony against
principles so subversive of the pillars
of gospel truth, of vital piety and morality, do recommend to their brethren in the State, earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints;—to hold no communion, and to form no exchanges in ministerial duties with preachers of this character.” * (2) “Whereas the relation be. tween a minister and his people is one of the most solemn that can be formed in the world, Voted :-That this body do disapprove of the growing usage in the churches, by which this relation is dissolved without making public the true reasons of discontent in the parties ; as tending, on the one hand, to shield the inmoralitics and erroneous opinions of a minister, and, on the othcr. to gloss over the unreasonable discontents and vices of a people.”
Extract of a letter from the Rev. Mr. jackson, Dorset, (Ver.) to one of the Editors of the Panoplist.
JRev. and dear Sir, THE interest, which the Editors of the Panoplist are pleased to take in the growth of our infant institution,” is viewed with much gratitude by the friends of religion in this country, and particularly by the Trustees and members of the Evangelical Society. We read, with much pleasure and encouragement, your approbation of such of our proceedings as "have come to your É. and the frank assurances you give us of your future aid and influence. Your brotherly freedom in suggesting ways and means for the promotion of our design is very pleasing to the Trustees. At the last meeting of the Board, we added to our charity list one more hopefully pious and promising youth : and the Trustees have the claims of some others now under their consideration. It is also to be noted with gratitude, that the Rutland Association, at their last meeting, were called to the pleasing, important work of examining and approbating for the ministry, four young men apparently endowed with more than an ordinary measure of that information and enlightened zeal, which promise usefuloness in the vineyard of our Lord. "Onc of these had been assisted in his education by the society. These events are very encouraging. At the present day, which seems like the fearful hour of the power of darkness, to behold talents and piety rallying round the standard of that Prince, who is the sign that shall be spoken against, must cheer the hopes of those, who wait for the salvation of our Israel. We may with confidence believe that, when the Lord shall give the word, great will be the com: pany of those who publish it. And should the Evangelical Society be succeeded, as instruments, in Paising up and bringing forward a few of this reat company, how pleasing would #. their reward ' We feel ourselves more and more bound to continue our
* A brief account of this Institution has been given in the Panoplist. See yol. II. p. 237.
efforts in this noble work, that we may be approved to our recent and numerous benefactors, and above all to Him, who hath required of stewards, that they be found faithful. For the liberal proposal of the Fiditors to put all the Panoplists sold in Vermont on a footing which shall give the profits to our fund, I am reuested by the Trustees and the Society to return you their hearty thanks. It affords them much pleasure and encouragement, both as they are wet pleased with the publication, and as they indulge a strong hope that, in the way you propose, it may not only bring present instruction and comfort to the destitute, but be instrumentally raising up a succession of enlightened, spiritual instructors for them and their children. The Panoplist continues to be well spoken of in this country. The clergy are well pleased with it. They esteem it one of the best publications of the age. What intuence the have will be devoted to give it a currency, if its merit should not decline, Your affectionate brother,
By an edict of the Emperor of China, which bears the date, 1805, it appears that a persecution was at that time carrying on against the converts to Christianity. The edict admits the right of Europeans settled in China to practise their own religious usages, but states it as a settled ław of the Empire, that they should not propagate their doctrines, among the natives. In contempt of this law, Te-tien-tse (who it seems is a Catholic Missionary resident at Pekin of the name of Odeadato) had taught his doctrines to many persons, and had induced them to conform to his religion, and had also printed in the Chinese character no less than thirty one books, with a view to seduce the minds of the simple peasantry. This is declared to be a very odious of fence, and Te-tien-tse is sentenced,
in consequence of it, to be conducted
to Ge-ho in Tartary, there to remain a
prisoner, and to be debarred from any communication with the Tartars in that neighbourhood. Several of the Chinese, who had been seduced by this European, were found guilty. One of them, a private of infantry, who had been discovered teaching the Christian doctrine in a church ; four others who superintended congregations of Christians, or were otherwise active in extending their sect; a female peasant who superintended a congregation of her own sex; and a soldier who had contumaciously resisted the exhortations made to him to renounce his errors, are banished to Eluth, and condemned to become slaves among the Eluths. Three soldiers who had been converted to Christianity are declared unworthy to be considered as men, and their
The Directors of the Edinburgh Missionary Society have lately received letters from Karass, dated the 28th of March.
The ransouned children continue to do well, and are a great comfort to the missionaries. A field of about 13 acres has been enclosed, which it is intended to cultivate this summer, for the use of the mission. It was nearly all ploughed. Mr. Galloway, who was bred to the weaving business, has got a loom made, on which he works at his leisurc. hours. He has finished one web, and was proPosing to get a loom made for a young
native who lives with him, whom he intends to instruct in the art of weaving. A Sultan, named Ali, who used often to visit the missionaries, died lately. Before his death he asked his friends to carry him to Karass. But this request they rejected with indignation. They suspected that he died a Christian, and on that account hesitated about burying him. He left a widow and three children whom he wished to be committed to Mr. Brunton's care. But they all dicq soon af. ter him of the plague, which was then raging in the district where they resided. . The Karmans are a numerous family among the Kabardians who live near Karass. The missionaries have had many conversations with them about religion, and not long ago a Tartar Effendi wrote to the Kabardian MahAemma, or Parliament, accusing the Karmas of being Christians at heart, and of practising Christian usages secretly. The Russians are gone to war with a mountain tribe not far from Karass, called the Tshitshins. These tribes are exceedingly restless and faithless. It is said that the Circassians are to join the Russians, and it was reported among the Tartars that the Tshitshins had killed a number of Circassians who were on their way to the Russian head quarters.
Dr. Herschel, the Jewish Rabbi, has addressed a second exhortation to his brethren, in which, after stating that the plan formed by the Missionaary Society, of an institution for educating Jewish youth, “is but an inviting snare, a decoying experiment to undermine the props of their religion,” and “to entice innocent Jewish children from the observance of the law of Moses,” requires the congregation to send no child to any such seminary, on pain of being considered as having forsaken their religion, as having lost all title to the name of Jews, and forfeited all claims on the congregation both in life and death.
an unanimous resolution at their last meeting to thank his Majesty for the abolition of thc Slave Trade. The following extract from their address to the King expresses their sentiments on this subject. “ In recollecting your Majesty's uniform zeal for the interests of religion, justice, and humanity ; the many public measures for the promotion of these great interests by which your Majesty’s reign has been distinguished; and the exalted character which, under your Majesty’s government, the British nation has acquired ; it is with heartfelt satisfaction that we congratulate your Majesty on the final abolition of the African Slave Trade, which had so long polluted the commerce, and tarnished the honour of the British name. We feel, in common with the great body of our fellow subjects, that the acts of the last session of parliament, which prohibited the farther importation of slaves into the West India Colonies, will ever be regarded as one of the most splendid events of your Majesty’s reign. And while it proclaims to the world the justice of the British character, will send the tidings of peace and benevolence to the injured natives of Africa.” [Ch. Obs.
long ceased to be mumbered among nations, induces us to offer an account of its proceedings to the English public. The French Jewish editor, M. Diogene Tama, in an advertisement prefixed to his collection, expatiates with wonderful complacency on the immense utility of his publication. Without being quite so sanguine in our expectations, we cannot help expressing our conviction, that it will prove highly gratifying to that euriosity which has been excited by the first mention of the meeting of such an assembly.” In the preface the translator gives a clear and concise account of the advantages enjoyed by the Jews under the old monarchy, and states various circumstances, by which it appears that their condition was preferable to that of the Protestants, and afterwards offers a few shrewd surmises as to the real views of Bonaparte in calling the present assembly. The work commences with a Collection of Writings and Acts relating to the former Condition of Individuals professing the Hebrew Religion in France. The reader's attention will be particularly arrested by a letter of M. Berr-Isaac-Berr, a Jew, resident at Nancy, to his brethren, on the rights of active citizens being granted to the Jews. It contains a fund of good sense and sound reasoning, which do the writer very great credit: its great length hinders us from extracting it. MM. Poujol and Bonald, having,
in 1806, written against the interests
of the Jews, the writer of this work enters into an elaborate defence of that nation, which is inserted under this head. To this succeeds the Imperial Decree by which the assembly was convoked. The number of Deputies sent by each district, with their names and occupations follow, and then the minutes of the various sittings, which took place, from the first sitting, July 26, 1806, to the last, February 7, 1807. * We cannot follow the author through the mass of interesting, instructive, and novel materials included in the work. It will particularly engage the attention of those persons who entertain an idea of the re-establishment of the Jews in Palestine, as it furnishes many obscure hints in support of this opinion. A considerable part of the work is occupied by the Questions proposed by the Commissioners of the French Emperor, and the answers given by the assembly, including some of the speeches and opinious of the Rabbies and principal Deputies. The ostensible reason for calling this assembly, it will be remembered, was the usurious extortions of some of the Jews of the northern departments. The answers to the questions relative to this subject are particularly curious. They are as follow.
Elev ENTH Q rest 1o N. Does the law forbid the Jews from taking usury from their brethren :
Axsw F. R. Dcuteronomy, ch. xxiii. verse 49, says “thou shalt not lend upon interest (English translation, usury ) to thy brother, interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of any thing that is lent upon interest.” The Hebrew word nechech has been improperly translated by the word usury in the Hebrew language it means interest of any kind, and not tuurious interest. It cannot then be taken in the acceptation now given in the word usury. It is even impossible that it could ever have had that acceptation ; for usury is an expression relative to, and compared with, another and a lawful interest; and the text contains nothing which alludes to the other term of comparison. What do we understand by usury Is it not an interest, above the legal interest, above the rate fixed by the law If the law of Moses has not fixed this rate, can it be said that the Hebrew word means an unlawful interest The word mechech in the Hebrew language answers to the Latin word fanus : to conclude that it means usury, another word should be found which would mean interest; and, as such a worl does not exist, it follows that all interest is usury, and that all usury is interest. What was the aim of the lawgiver in forbidding one Hebrew to lend up
Vol. III. No. 5. E. F.
on interest to another ? It was to draw closer between them the bonds of fraternity, to give them a lesson of reciprocal benevolence, and to engage them to help and assist each other with disinterestedness. The first thought has been to establish among them the equality of property, and the mediocrity of private fortune; hence the institution of the sabbatical year, and of the year of jubilee ; the first of which came every fifty years. By the sabbatical year all debtors were released from their obligations : the year of jubilee brought with it the restitution of all estates sold or mortgaged. It was easy to foresee that the dif. ferent qualities of the ground, greater or lesser industry, the untowardness of the seasons, which might ef. fect both, would necessarily make a difference in the produce of land, and that the more unfortunate Israelite would claim the assistance of him whom fortune should have better favoured. Moses did not intend that this last should avail himself of his situation, and that he should require from the other the price of the service he was soliciting ; that he should thus aggravate the misery of his brother, and enrich himself by his spoils. It is with a view to this that he says, “Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother.” But what want could there exist among the Jews, at a time when they had no trade of any kind It was, at most. a few bus bels of corn, some cattle. some agricultural implements ; and Moses required that such services should be gratuitous ; his intention was to make of his people a nation of husbandmen. For a long time after him, and though Idumea was at no great distance from the sea shore, inhabited by the Tyrians, the Sidonians, and other nations possessing shipping and commer e, we do not see the Hebrews much addicted to trade; all the regulations of their lawgiver seemed designed to divert their attention from commerce. The prohibition of Moses must therefore be considered only as a principle of charity, and not as a commercial regulation. According to the Talmud, the loan alluded to