« السابقةمتابعة »
and desire to walk honestly as children of the day; and while we are encircled in the boundless love of Jehovah and enjoy the smiles of our victorious Savior, the reproaches of our brethren and the scoffs of the ignorant
can never harm us.
For the origin of our doctrine, we refer you not to man or any set of men, but that God who built the skieswho cannot lie. He sware unto the patriarch, saying"In blessing, I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed," &c.-and to our great head and intercessor, his beloved son, who hath declared, saying"I will draw all men unto me." With human creeds, we have no fellowship. The Bible is our creed and the man of our counsel. It is there we are to read our Creator's will, and our Father's love! It is there we are presented with the "Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, by giving himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time!" Those who would learn our theory are invited to fulfil their Savior's command, "Search the scriptures," and we assure you, kind friends, a happy acquaintance with the religion we profess.
This system of truth is making rapid progress, both in America and in Europe. The human intellect has at length risen superior to the impositions of priestcraft, and is now soaring on the bright pinions of science to her own native skies. Wherever science has exerted her influence, the feelings of community have been liberaliized.
Already has the impartial grace of God given an impulse to the moral world, which promises the most happy and glorious consummation. The little leaven which is now operating will continue to ferment until the whole lump, marred as it now is, shall feel its transforming, renovating and immortalizing power. It shall continue to purge out the old leaven until the empire of charity shall become universal; the widely unfurled banners of
the cross shall be displayed in every land, and wave triumphantly on every mountain, and until creation's ample round shall become a sanctuary of rest and devotion. The light which now skirts the eastern horizon, will continue to advance, until the "kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
With this glorious prospect before us, we have laid this foundation stone. The enterprise in which we have embarked has for its end the glory of God and the happiness of his creatures. While we seek our own, we seek another's welfare. The doors of this temple will be open to all; no denomination of christians will be excluded. Have we not all one father? hath not God created us? While we shall sit under our own vine and fig tree, the wanderer and the bewildered outcast, who shall turn their feet hither, will find a shelter from the storm and a seat among the happy.
Here we humbly trust, the golden trump of the gospel will break upon the multitude in accents of mercy and truth, and breathe forth the deathless love of our Savior. Here will souls be invited to come round the table of Christ to commemorate the glories of his grace. No cringing vassals will kneel before this altar to invoke the favor of an incensed divinity. Here shall no human victim bleed to pacify an indignant God. But here shall grateful multitudes assemble to pay their willing devotions and present to God the only acceptable offering, a willing heart. Here may the oppressed and the burdened find repose; the mourner and the sorrowful, a sweet oblivion to their woes. Here will life-giving, sin-pardoning and peace-inspiring grace be proclaimed, and our hearts burn within us while we contemplate the wonders of redeeming love.
Go on, brethren, and while you raise these walls, may the out stretched arm of Jehovah shield and defend you,
Fear not, is the language of Omnipotence; "Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." And may all who come within these temple walls, be constrained to confess that "this is none other than the house of God, and the very gate of heaven." May the benediction of Heaven rest upon this spot, and the gentle distillations of impartial grace forever descending from on high, fall in drops of eternal life from the altar we erect. With these anticipations, brethren, "arise, let us go hence."
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEALINGS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN NEWFANE, VT. WITH MR. JAMES
LAMB, THEN A MEMBER OF SAID CHURCH, ALMOST
SEVENTY YEARS OF AGE.
In the beginning of the year A. D. 1821, said church being destitute of a Pastor, called Mr. Chandler Bates a licensed candidate, then preaching with them, to settle with them, who accepted the invitation, upon conditions that before his ordination the church should settle all existing differences. Accordingly in the month of April, Mr. Lamb was cited to appear before them in churchmeeting, (having chosen Rev. James Tufts of Wardsboro', for their Moderator), to answer to the charge of heresy preferred against him by some of the members, in consequence of his acknowledging a belief in the final restitution of all things by Jesus Christ. Accordingly he appeared before them; and after laboring with him some time, they proceeded to appoint Deacon John Wilder, Mr. Daniel Phillips and Mr. Jonathan Hall, a committee to labor with him in private. About two weeks afterwards, upon an appointed day, Deacon Wilder called upon him and began the labor by lament
ing that he should embrace such an error as the final restoration sentiment appeared to be. To which Mr. Lamb replied; "Deacon, if I am in an error, do, sir, show me by scripture wherein I am wrong, or misunderstand the scriptures." He then stated many passages of scripture which he thought clearly proved universal salvation, and asked the Deacon how he should understand them; but the Deacon would not pretend to explain them, nor could he answer to one out of twenty questions put to him upon the scriptures. After laboring in that manner two or three hours, they were joined by Mr. Hall, and after the usual ceremonies, Deacon Wilder observed to Mr. Hall, that Mr. Lamb had so much of the scriptures at command, they should not be able to do much with him. Mr. Hall, however, thought he must do something, and began in the same manner that Deacon Wilder did, and with no greater force of argument, nor could he answer questions, nor explain scripture with any more consistency than the Deacon. Mr. Hall then stated that the church were sorry to lose Mr. Lamb-he had been a father in the church, and they had looked to him, in some measure, as an exemplary Christian and guide, in matters of faith and practice. Mr. Hall then stated as the wish of the church, that he would come back and walk with them. Mr. Lamb replied that he could not conscienciously do it, if he should he must renounce his belief in the sacred scriptures, and it would then be with him as it was with Annanias and Sapphira, he should not only have lied unto man but unto God.
In the course of this labor, Mr. Lamb had stated to these gentlemen the exercises of his mind and his study of the scriptures for half a century back. That he had been an honest inquirer after truth, and if he had embraced an erroneous sentiment it was one he had embraced by searching the scriptures daily to see whether
these things were so, and not from searching other men's opinions, nor from preaching; for all the preaching he had ever heard, had been in contradiction to his present belief, and to the scriptures, as he must understand them.
These gentlemen after finding they could not obtain an argument against him in the scriptures, retired from his house, and at the church meeting in May, severally reported that they had labored with Mr. Lamb, but got no satisfaction. Mr. Phillips also labored with him a few days after the other gentlemen, much in the same manner, and with the same effect, and reported to the same meeting that he got no satisfaction. Mr. Lamb attended the meeting, and the Moderator and Church began to labor with and ask him questions concerning his belief; to all of which he replied, by stating many passages of scripture too lengthy to be detailed in this history. After consulting among themselves, the church voted to withdraw fellowship from him, requesting him to consider the case and return to their discipline.. Mr. Lamb then requested the privilege of conversing with the members at their houses and other places occasionally, and retired from the meeting.
On the 4th of July following, Mr. Bates was publicly ordained to the pastoral care of said church, and Mr. Lamb's case remained untouched until the summer of 1825, when wishing to know his final destiny, he called upon Mr. Bates and inquired whether the church had done, or were about to do any thing concerning him. Mr. Bates replied that nothing was done. Mr. Lamb then requested to be dismissed from the church without any recommendation or any further ceremony. Mr. Bates replied that could not be done, he must either renounce his sentiment and return to the church, or be excommunicated. Mr. Lamb then requested that the church would do something about it immediately.