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We close by merely remarking that the indications of Providence appear to point forward to such an inevitable final result, whether we will or not. The work has been already begun in certain quarters ; and once begun, it is not likely to stop where it is. The stone once set to rolling, it is likely to roll on. The foundations once unsettled, they are not likely to be again settled but by a complete and new formation. The only question then for us to decide, seems to be, shall the plan be effected in an orderly and constitutional manner, as pro-. posed in the memorial, or irregularly and by direct revolution?
For there the blessing God commands,
J. W. S..
OLD VERSION, 133.
"Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest
thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then ere thou bid the people return form following their brethren ?" 2 SAMUEL II. 26.
For the Peace-Maker.
SEPARATION OF ABRAHAM & LOT.
"And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land be. fore thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other." GENESIS XIII. 7-11.
This passage has been relied upon, in former days, and has occasionally been referred to in our own day as affording something like divine authority for a friendly separation of Christian brethren, and a breaking up of religious intercourse and connection for the sake of greater peace and purity. It is very doubtful whether any such authority is here given. Abraham's conduct and character indeed stand high in this transaction—and if all the professed sons of Abraham would on all similar occasions, manifest an equal degree of the spirit which he manifested at this time, there would be fewer disputes and still fewer separations among the great family of the Redeemer.
Few are disposed, it is presumed, to say that Lot's conduct, on this occasion, is equally worthy of imitation. No one will dare to say that the consideration by which he was induced to make the choice which he did, was of a very elevated character, and worthy of a professed servant of God. His eye and his heart were fixed upon the rich pasturage in the vale of Jordan. That the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly, does not appear to have presented to him any discouragement. All must also acknowledge that all the results of this choice were most disastrous. No christian head of a family certainly can calmly and deliberately wish that his speculations for the welfare of his sons and daughters and grand children should end as Lot's speculations and arrangements for the future prosperity of his family ended.
There was something, then, radically wrong in this separation. The wrong was not with Abraham. It must have been with Lot. The separation was the separation of the members of the visible church of God, to the utter ruin of those who separated. Lot and his family, of their own accord, left Abraham and his family. They perhaps were not conscious of their real principle of action. It was however an undue attachment, in some form or other, to their flocks
and to their herds and to their men servants and maid servants. They had the prospect of securing by the move, a considerable increase of wealth. They perhaps also were foolish enough to believe that they would have better neighbors and more agreeable companions. Had they loved their immortal souls more, and known the value of the society of the true worshippers of God better than they did, they would have given up some portion of their flocks and herds, or dispensed with the service of some of their herdmen rather than have separated from Abraham and his family. OMIKRON,
Of the First Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Mo., from a Sermon preached on the 1st Sabbath of 1839. By Rev. A. BULLARD.
To aid you in the efforts with which you should accompany the petition of my text, allow me to direct your attention mainly to the lessons of wisdom to be derived from the history of this church and congregation for the last year. Such a review, only more full, I intend to take every year while I remain your pastor. As a basis for such an annual historical sermon, it is now necessary to go farther back than the commencement of the last year. I will begin with the first settlement of our city by civilized men.
PSALM XC. 12.-"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
This was effected by a company of French merchants or traders in 1764, seventy-five years ago. In 1770 the whole Louisiana Territory, embracing all west of the Mississippi, now organized into states, was taken possession of by Spain, to whom France had ceded it a few years previously.
In 1800 it was retroceded to France, and by her sold to the United States in 1803. Up to this period, thirty-nine years, St. Louis, and the whole territory, remained under the control of Roman Catholic nations, and very little was done for the intellectual or spiritual interests of the inhabitants. * Very few of the earliest emigrants from the States belonged to any Christian church.
* Not a few now living, who came to St. Louis between 1803 and 1820, will testify to the truth of these statements. A general want of churches, priests, schools, observance of the Sabbath, and the morality of the Gospel, afforded clear evidence of the fact.
On the 12th of June, 1811, Mr. Stephen Hempstead, the spiritual father of this church, landed in St. Louis.
Just seven months after this, he heard a Baptist minister preach a funeral sermon of a neighbor's child, which was the first Protestant religious meeting he had an opportunity of attending in the Territory.
For four years after his arrival in this city, there was no Protestant church in St. Louis, and no male member besides himself, that he could find in the vicinity. Sabbath, 4th of July, 1813, he writes in his journal, was spent in feasting and mirth, as usual on week days, without a religious meeting in St. Louis.
In a letter to a minister at the East, who had made inquiries respecting the West, Mr. Hempstead writes, in 1813, that "there are in St. Louis from 180 to 200 houses, and 40 American families, containing 300 persons, and no stated religious worship of any kind in the place. There is an old Roman Catholic church, where they have service at .times; but they, have no priest steadily.
I find, on inquiry, there are more than one hundred families in a circuit of fifteen or twenty miles around St. Louis, that have been educated Presbyterians or Congregationalists. But there is no Presbyterian society in this or the Illinois Territory.
"There are in Missouri 6 itinerating Methodist preachers. They preach in our court-house perhaps once a month. They are uneducated men, and have gathered but few members.
"The Baptists have 10 churches and 270 members in the Territory. Their preachers have little influence with the inhabitants."
On the 6th of November, 1814, twenty-four years since, Rev. Messrs. Samuel J. Mills and Daniel Smith preached in this city. They were sent on an exploring tour through the West and South by missionary societies at the East. They preached the first Presbyterian sermons that were ever heard in Missouri.
Those brethren were gratefully received by the inhabitants of all ranks. They had crowded audiences wherever they preached. During their short visit in St. Louis, they made arrangements for the organization of a Bible Society, and procured a subscription for the object of $300.
Could either of these brethren have remained in this city, he would have been supported by the people. They were, however, obliged to complete their tour of the West, which resulted in arousing all New England to a simultaneous effort to supply the spiritual wants of this great valley.
*Mr. Hempstead's family have kindly furnished me with his journal, from which many of the following facts have been taken.
In June, 1815, in a letter to Rev. William Channing of Boston, Mr. Hempstead says: "I have been desired by leading men in St. Louis, (among them Gov. Clark and the Judges of the Supreme Court,) to write the society and solicit the return of Mr. Smith, whom they would gladly receive and support." In this letter he inquires "if two men could not be sent, one of whom should open a school in St. Louis, and thus lay the foundation for an academy." He says it was often mentioned with regret, that there was no school in the Territory, and that they were obliged to send their children to Kentucky for an education.
He continues: "I well know the destitute portion of the U. States is very great, and to supply it all with preachers is more than can be expected. But I do believe no place stands in more need of missionary aid than the Territory of Missouri. I do not think I exaggerate, when I say, there are 1000 families who have removed from the States to this Territory, that were born and educated in the Presbyterian order, and many of them were members of the church, and. yet there is not a Presbyterian minister in the country, nor has one church or society been formed in Missouri. "Tell it not in Gathpublish it not in the streets of Askelon." A territory in the United States, with more than 25,000 inhabitants, has not a Presbyterian minister or society in it!
"I must entreat you for myself, for my family, and for my brethren in this country-far separated from our native land and the church of Christ, and living from year to year without enjoying the ordinances of the Gospel-that, with us, you will continually pray unto the Lord of the harvest, that he would speedily send faithful laborers in this portion of his vineyard, who may break to his people here the bread of life!
"You have the means. God hath put it into the hearts of the people of New England to give bountifully for the supply of the spiritual wants of thousands ready to perish, You have sent your ministers to preach to the destitute in our own land. You have sent the Gospel to the isles of the sea; and the blessings of thousands ready to perish will be your reward. Tell Messrs. Mills and Smith we have not heard a sermon since they were in St. Louis, more than seven months, and we do not know that we shall ever have another opportunity to hear one. But we wait with patience; hoping and trusting the time is not far distant, when there will be preachers and preaching in St. Louis, whether we are living or not."
Good man! he did not trust in God for naught. He lived to hear preaching, and to rejoice in its fruits.
In February, 1816, eight months after the date of the letter from