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precious time, not to put off to another day, what should be executed now, neither to overhurry or to slight our lawful avocations. Teach Thou us, O Lord, to wait and to press forward. To wait patiently for the day of our recall, for the giving up of our stewardship, and receiving our crown of glory, and to employ thankfully and faithfully the moments Thou art still pleased to bestow, but likewise so to hurry onward, so to enjoy the present as one who is ready to appear perhaps the very next minute before Thee. O teach us to be so wisely prepared, that we may dwell with delight on the certainty that there is no resting nor abiding for us here.
PLAN OF A NEW CATECHISM.
Mr. Editor-I was glad to see the subject of a change in our Catechism, brought forward in your April number. The defects of our smaller catechism must be evident to all those who have attempted to lecture from it. The plan is not sufficiently extensive to exhibit a full and comprehensive view of christian doctrine. Some of the most important doctrines in reference both to faith and practice are entirely omitted, whilst those which are touched upon, are so superficially passed over, as to leave no clear or permanent impression on the mind. That we may not speak without a reason, we will present a few cases in point. Of the first, viz. doctrines wholly omitted. Under the attributes of God we no where discover his immutability, of all others perhaps the most terrible to the sinner and comforting to the saint, being an assurance to the former of eternal wrath, and to the latter of life and peace. Moreover the various names of God as contained and illustrated in the old Testament which would be a great assistance to the reader, are entirely omitted. The peculiar offices of Christ, as Prophet, Priest and King, in the form of question and answer, are no where to be found.These constitute, when clearly developed, one of the most fruitful sources of pure instruction, exalted and lively pleasure that belongs to the state of christian pilgrimage here on earth. Numbers more might be pointed out; as our object however is not to enter at any length in detailing the faults of our Catechism, we will let those suffice. Of the second, viz. doctrines superficially passed over. We would say all have this fault without a single exception. The character of God, his works, will, attributes, the Holy Ghost, his peculiar offices, sanctifier, teacher, comforter, Christ and his offices, and besides there is no proof of the all-important doctrine of the Trinity, The text which is quoted to prove that point, in answer to questions is disputed and some of the best German authorities condemn it as an interpolation. Griesbach if we are correct in our memory, omits it entirely and Knapp declares it to be without doubt spurious. If then it be true, that our precious little Catechism is susceptible of improvement, and if there be men in the Lutheran connexion en
dowed with sufficient talents and learning to perform the work, why not send forth a production which will be more beneficial to the church and the world? Surely Luther never intended that the peculiar doctrines which he held, in their peculiar modifications, should bind the consciences of all Lutherans, neither did he intend that the form and the matter of divine truth contained in his Catechism, should be the only form and matter to govern the Lutheran clergy in their Catechetical instructions. However much we may reverence that man of God, who shook the Papal power to its centre, and however much we may admire his indefatigable labours and excellent productions, yet surely we cannot wish, (even if it were true,) that the march of improvement should terminate at him, or that Luther had said and done every thing in the best manner, and at the most suitable time. Our church is growing in intelligence as well as numbers, if the form of instruction therefore, should always be adapted to the condition of the people, then we stand in great need of an improved Catechism. We can see no rational objection to improvement in any thing more especially to improving the world in christian knowledge and piety. No objection can be derived from the fact, that no other catechism in existence can supply the place of our small one,-to Lutherans, because the one in contemplation is yet to be formed. Neither is it enough to say, that the Catechumens in general are not prepared to receive it. For according to our ideas of a Catechism adapted to the wants of the Lutheran church, it should present divine truth in as intelligible a form as Luther's, and surely no one who desires the welfare of the church could object to an increase of matter. We would not presume to lay down a plan to be pursued in the formation of the work. The one presented by Clericus is not materially objectionable. We would rather refer that part of the business, to the individual or individuals who would un dertake the work. We would like to see a full exhibition of bible truth, drawn from the pure fountain of life and light and happiness, irrespective of any of the peculiar systems of this systematising age. We would farther wish to see each doctrine or modification of doctrine, supported by one or more apposite texts of scripture, not such proofs as you may find in all the Catechisms of the day, and even in our precious little guide, and if scripture can not be found, let an argument drawn from reason be produced. Thirdly we wish to see all the doctrines of the bible presented in bold relief, so that he who runs may read, giving as a matter of course the greatest prominency to those which are most important. BETA.
The following extraordinary and alarming circumstances occurred, near New Market, Va. On the 8th day of March last, as a Mr. Overhalt and Mrs. Allen, were endeavouring to cross the North Fork of the Shennandoah River, the latter became alarmed and pre
vented the former from preserving the command of the batteau, which caused them both to be carried by the current over a milldam, and to perish in the waters. Mr. Overhalt was a young and single man, but Mrs. Allen left a husband and one infant to bewail her loss. Both their remains were interred on the 10th, and an uncommon concourse of persons had assembled on the solemn occasion. Between 1 & 2 o'clock p. m. the people crowded into the new brick church where a funeral address was to be delivered; and after several verses were sung, there was heard a hideous noise, like the cracking and breaking of large timber. The whole congregation was in an instantaneous commotion, and every face directed towards the doors. Some leaped from the gallery to the lower floor, while others threw themselves out of the windows! Some cried "the house is on fire! the gallery is breaking down!" &c. Such exertion and violence were used by many in order to escape, that along the aisles they lay, heaps upon heaps! Shoes, gloves, handkerchiefs, and veils were seen lying in almost every direction. The terror and confusion occasioned by the burning of the Theatre at Richmond, could not have surpassed this tragic scene, for the most apprehended their lives in danger, and but very few knew for what cause. After the tumult ceased it was found that all this confusion was occasioned by the breaking of the sleepers or lower joists, which caused the floor to sink about eighteen inches. Five or six ladies were considerably bruised, but they have all since recovered. J. P. E.
SWEDISH RELIGIOUS CUSTOM.
The established religion in Sweden is, as I have already said, the Lutheran, the forms of which are too well know to need any obser vations of mine. One custom, however, I have noticed in the interior of Wermeland, which may perhaps be worth recording. Near to the conclusion of the service, and after some observations apposite to the occasion, the clergyman read from a paper entitled per... sonalia, the names of those persons who had recently died within his parish. This contained also many particulars relating to the birth, parentage, &c. of each of the deceased individuals. He then expatiated on their good or bad deeds upon earth, and concluded with some remarks on the uncertainty of life, or other reflections of a similarly impressive nature. I subjoin a personalia which I happen to have in my possession, which to some may not be uninteresting. "There is but a step between me and death," said a man whose life was at that time in imminent danger; and every day, experience shows the truth of his saying. If we always thought and saw how near death was to us-how near he follows our steps-how soon he comes up with us then we should tread the uncertain path of life with more caution, and count the passing moments, and contemplate with awe his inevitable coming. Of what immense importance is this step! We must all take it, and how is it taken! In one mo
ment we are snatched from the theatre of life, on which we appeared as passing shadows!-What a difference between the light of day and the darkness of night-the warmth of life and the chill of death-the animating feeling of existence and the mouldering grave! We have now before us a melancholy instance of the uncertainty of human life. A young man, in the bloom of youth, in the full enjoyment of health and vigor, is in a few moments bereft of existence-lifeless. What an example does that corpse exhibit to us! What does it say to us, though dumb?-What I have just said, "There is but one step between me and death" He that has now taken this last earthly step, and whose remains have been this day consigned to the grave, was Olof Carlsson, from Bu-torp, eldest son of Carl Dicksson and his wife Christina. He was born the 22d October, 1810, and was drowned in the river Uf, the thirtieth of last month, being then in the eighteenth year of his age. This unlooked for event is to be deeply lamented for many reasons. All participate in your sorrows, disconsolate parents! You are advanced in years. Heavy will be the afflictions of your old age, now that they can no longer be lighted by the hand of your child. You had, without doubt, fondly anticipated that he would have been the prop of your declining years, when you were tottering on the brink of the grave, and have rendered you the last sad offices by closing your eyes. For many reasons, the departed has made himself worthy of our regrets. One of the sublimest, and, alas! unusual epithets of our days which we can ascribe to his memory as an example for the present and future generation is, that he was never known to take the Lord's name in vain. For this he deserves our unqualified praise, that sin being unhappily so prevalent. According to the concurrent testimony of every one, the life of the deceased, in other respects, was irreproachable. He was always to be seen near his aged parents. The evening of the day may be different from the morning. Every one knows in what short space of time this unhappy occurrence took place. Thus hastily was the prop of your old age, and the good example for youth, hurried into another life But you sigh heavily! Do you think he is gone forever? I will pour balsan into your bleeding heart, the departed live, and we become immortal through death. He is only gone a little while before you. When you have finished your course on earth, you will find him in the blessed abodes of eternity. And time flies so fast, that perhaps in a few moments some of us will be reckoned among the dead."-Lloyd.
LOUISA SCHEPLIR, the housekeeper of Oberlin, was honored with a prize from the French Academy, at a late distribution of the Nonthyon prizes, in consideration of her having been the foundress of Infant Schools. Baron Cuvier delivered the oration, in which he bestowed the highest encomiums upon her. At a very advan ced age she still devotes herself to her beloved gratuitous school of a hundred children, from three to seven years old.
At a meeting of the Stockholders of the Gettysburg Gymnasium, held on the 19th of May, the following were elected trustees for the ensuing year :-Rev'd D. F. Schæffer, Rev'd B. Kurtz, Rev'd A Reck, Rev'd E. Keller, and Rev'd J. Ruthrauff.
The Trustees then elected
In looking over the enormous list of the works of Daniel de Foe," of which Mr. W. Wilson has specified more than two hundred in his recent elaborate Life and Times of that remarkable man, we observe that in the year 1728, he published his " Augusta Triumphans; or the way to make London the most flourishing city in the world; first, by establishing a University where gentlemen may have academical education under the eye of their friends," &c. It is a curious coincidence, that exactly a century afterwards, such a university was opened and a second planned. De Foe also published in 1729, a plan for preventing street robberies; as he had done the year before, one "to save our lower class of people from utter ruin, by preventing the immoderate use of Geneva." The year 1829, a century after witnessed the plan of the new Police, which has effected the former : and temperance societies have recently been instituted, to promote the latter. It may be some comfort to those who devise schemes of public benefit, that their plans may probably be in the end carried into effect, though they may not live to witness the event. Sharpe, and Clarkson, and Wilberforce, saw the slave trade abolished; a consummation which appeared at one time, as unlikely, in any reasonable period, as to Mr. Pitt, and Fox, and Burke, and Canning would have seemed that much litigated measure, which their successor, in a few short weeks, saw voted by overwhelming legislative majorities. The more rapid march of public intelligence in the present day, may lead us to expect, in future, far less tardy results.We should be sorry to think that any lengthened period will elapse before our code and practice of jurisprudence will be amended; pauperism by law be abolished; our clergy specifically educated for their high office; all our parishes supplied with resident incumbents; colonial slavery exterminated; our population universally educated; and churches provided adequate to their wants. Our chief fear is, that this new march of mind may not prove a march of scriptural piety and Christian principles. Let the friends of religion look well to the result, and labour to direct it aright.-Phil. Rec.