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Rev. John Reichard, living in Davidson county, N. C. baptized 9 infants, and had 3 burials.
Rev. G. Shober has resigned all his Congregations except one, in consequence of old age; in that congregation, he baptized, during the past year, 1 adult and 7 children, and celebrated the Lord's Supper three times, with 12 communicants. This congregation did not increase in number, owing partly to sectarianism, and partly to the removal of church members to Indiana. He dedicates most of his Sundays to the progress and increase of Sunday Schools ; to their prosperity, he is particularly attached. In his congregation, there is a flourishing Sunday School, with about 50 children: -16 Sunday Schools are auxiliary to the Stokes county Sunday School Union; more than 1000 children are there instructed.
Thus it appears from the Parochial Reports, though they are deficient, that our borders are still enlarging and the number of members gradually increasing. Although the Virginians have formed themselves into a new Synod and some of the brethren have attached themselves to that Body, our Synod still consists of 16 members. Three active and promising young men have been received from our Seminary at Gettysburg in the past year, were licensed, and are now labouring in the bounds of this Judicatory with considerable success. Forty five congregations, besides several which are vacant or in a declining state, are attached to this body, and in the past year there have been reported 1888 communing members, 204 that bave been added by confirmation, 28 adults by baptism, and 640 infants.
EXTRACTS FROM REV. ROSENMILLER'S MISSIONARY
Rev. D. P. Rosenmiller under the authority of the Lutheran Missionary Society of North-Carolina, &c. commenced his missionary labours on the 27th of June 1829, and pursued them among the destitute, from Salem, N. Carolina, through a part of Stokes to Surry county, and thence to Wilkes, Lincoln, and Burke, and then returned through Iredell and Rowan, and preached to several vacant and destitute congregations in the Forks of the Yadkin River, and from thence through Davidson back to Stokes. During this time he preached 35 times, and occasionally to pretty large and attentive assemblies, and it is hoped not without some good and lasting effect.
The time occupied in this tour, was six weeks and a half, in which time he travelled 663 miles and collected for the Missionary Society in different places $14 25 cts. In some of the above named counties the people are very destitute of the means of grace, and the gross vices of intemperance, sabbath breaking and profane swearing prevail to an alarming degree, and call loudly upon the friends of humanity to exert themselves in diffusing a knowledge of our holy religion and to rescue the multitudes of immortal souls who are perishing and going down to the chambers of death for a want of the means of grace.
VIRGINIA CONFERENCE OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH.
The Lutheran Conference, for the valley of Virginia, assembled at New-Market, Shenandoah county; Saturday the 29th ult. Divine service commenced on Saturday and was continued morning, afternoon and night, until Monday evening, in the Lutheran church and during Sabbath in the other churches of the place, which had generously been given for the purpose. Such kind christian feel, . ings we love and shall ever be ready to reciprocate.
On Sabbath, sermons were delivered, and the services of the day conducted by the Rev. Professor Schmucker of the Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Rev. Riemenschneider, Meyerheffer, Medtard, Cline, and Eichelberger, in both the German and English languages. After morning service, the Lord's supper was administered in the Lutheran church, both in German and English, to a large number of communicants who in succession crowded around the table of their divine Lord and Master, making the whole solemn and impressive—a season we have reason to hope, that will not soon be forgotten.
During morning service such was the crowd in the Lutheran church, that when such as wished to join in the communion, retumed from the service in the other churches, it seemed impossible for them to gain admittance through the mass of hearers literally stowed together in every part of the building, giving the congrégation the best proof that the church of their fathers had grown too small, as well as pleasure to themselves that already they had engaged in enlarging it. The congregation much regretted, with all present, that this enlargement had not been made before conference, as many were deprived of an opportunity of hearing. They hope, however, to have it completed during the present summer, when their consecrated house of worship will be a large and hand
Not only during Sabbath, but till Conference adjourned, the congregations were large and attentive, many having come from a distance and remained till the Conference adjourned. All these will join with the clergy in grateful expressions of the kind, gener: ous, and hospitable attention on the part of the citizens and congregation of the place. They were such as shall cause the people of New Market to be long and affectionately remembered.
On Monday morning at 9 o'clock, the Conference was constituted with singing and prayer by the Rev. Riemenschneider ; after which the Rev. J. Medtart of Martinsburg was elected president, and the Rev. L. Eichelberger of Winchester, secretary ; when the
Conference proceeded to the transaction of the business for which it met-such as the state of vacant congregations and districts of country within the limits of Conference, and the manner of supplying them--the general state and prospects of religion, and the adoption of such measures as, under God, may tend to its promotion. The brethren were delighted to see that, amid many discouraging circumstances, the cause of Christ, their divine Lord and Master, and his truth, was prevailing over ignorance, error and irreligion. As the necessary preparatory measures have been taken for the formation of new ecclesiastical bodies, they look forward with satisfaction to the complete organization of their synod in the fall; in which the interests and wants of the church in Virginia will claim and have hereafter that attention which its situation demands.
The business of conference being over, the brethren, after service in the evening, and the singing of their usual hymn at parting, separated leaving with the people the gospel they preached, together with their prayers for the kind attention they received, and with each other the earnest exhortation to remain faithful-in our ministry to offer ourselves unto God to remember that our recompense of reward is on high-and that in this the work of our hands, the God of heaven will prosper us : On Tuesday morning the members, generally, left for their respective homes.-Vir. Pa.
THE QUESTION_WAS LUTHER AN ABSOLUTE PRE
DESTINARIAN-EXAMINED!. Under this head, the following communication was received, after our own remarks, and the several other subjects following them, were already in type. Our high esteem for the author, as a valuable and youthful her, his talents, and devotedness to our church, induce us, to introduce him in this place, to our attentive readers. Whilst we are among those, who most sincerely desire, that Protestants should use all their time and talents in resisting the Beast ready to devour the friends of the Bible-whilst we stand ready, to love all our Protestant brethren of every denomination, and to fight by their side, unmindful of the distinguishing uniforms we wear, we cannot silently and passively, permit any imprudent soldier, to strike us, or intermeddle with the things that belong to our own regiment. Hence our few remarks in the July number, which produced more from us in the preceding pages, and elicited the following, from Lutheranus which we hope, will render it' unnecessary, for us ever again, to touch the subject.-Editor.
Mr. Editor,–] was much surprised to see in your last number that the question : “Was. Luther an absolute Predestinarian ?" was again compelled to make its appearance. thought with you, that it had been put to rest. I would however, since it has again been proposed, make a few remarks on the statement of the question itsell, before you dismiss the subject entirely. The question is very unfairly stated. What would you think, if the Catholics, irritated by the many charges which are now so frequently, and so deservedly made against them, would retort by asserting that Luther was a Catholic ? Would not every sensible man call it a pitiful subterfuge, if the Catholics would, triumphantly as they thought, exclaim : you call yourselves Protestants—you renounce doctrines, and call them unscriptural and absurd-you deny the authority of Councils and the supremacy of Popes. But you forget that the very author of your secession from the Catholic church, Luther was himself a Catholic--you forget that he maintained the supremacy of the Pope, and was as much opposed to heresy as we are now. Luther was a Catholic.” “True" we would answer, “but did he remain a Catholic? We know that, owing to his early education, he was led to believe and advocate those doctrines of your church, which we now reject. But as soon as divine light broke on his mind, he speedily renounced them himself.”
'Or, Mr. Editor, what would you think of the Jews, if they would “come out against" us, and exclaim-“These Christians pretend to have a fuller revelation than we possess
they renounce our holy law, .slight our ceremonies and call them useless. What inconsistency! Their very founder, and his messengers, who propagated this religion were all Jews--all observed our ceremonies--St. Paul himself was a warm defender of our faith—and yet these Christians pretend that they cannot retain our ceremonies because Christ, St. Paul, and the other apostles, who were all Jews themselves and observed those ceremonies, inculcated a desertion of the Jewish religion.” We would again say ; “True-but did these Apostles remain Jews ? If even they were Jews, you have still no just reason to triumph. Is a man never allowed to correct his errors, remove his ignorance and defend the truth ?". Why then, Mr. Editor, why
harassed by the perpetual recurrence of the question: Was Luther an absolute Predestinarian ?" Why do you not sometimes vary the question, to gratify the Catholics or Jews, and say: “Was Luther an absolute Catholic p» or “was St. Paul an absolute Jew ?"It is a well known fact that Luther entered into a convent of Augustinian friars, and that he studied with much interest,* the writings of St. Augustine, who may be called the Father of the Predestinarian scheme. It is notorious, besides, that St. Augustine, whose youth, by his own aecount in his “Confession") was spent in perfeet idleness and the worst dissipation, till be was converted, knew so little Greek, that he could not read
*Seckendorf col. 59. of the German Translation.
the Greek Testament with ease.* Hebrew was quite out of question. After he directed his mind to Theology, he zealously defended whatever he imagined to be the truth. In his endless controversies with the Pelagians, he was of course, much excited, and being frail, as we all are, he proceeded in the heat of the dispute, too far, like the Pelagians, and made many assertions which his sober reason would have disclaimed.t Whenever he found in the Vulgate or Latin Bible the words proedestinare, eligere, electio fc, he immediately concluded that these were so many confirmations of his own preconceived opinions, without examining their true import, or proper application. He grasped with eagerness at those latin words, just as all warm disputants will force every thing that has the least shadow of resemblance to their views, to bear on their side of the question, and think that as they are right, every thing must coincide with their opinions-verifying the well known maxim, that the head is often the dupe of the heart. He knew not that these words frequently refer, not to a choice from among Christians, but from among heathens and Jews, and had no reference to Christianshe knew not that they often signified, in the greek idiom, merely the chosen--well beloved of God that the elect, as when a whole congregation is addressed by that name were those who had renounced the errors of Judaism and Heathenism, as we often apply, in familiar discourse the word “choice” to an object which appears to us to be possessed of excellence or be free from defects. But without entering into a discussion of this thorny subject, we would add that St. Augustine's want of a correct knowledge of the greek language, which he often regretted, together with his ignorance of the right rules of interpretation, per
*Doederlein, says (Inst. Th. Ch. Lib. i. Cap. i. Sect. ii. 196 p. 360 sixth ed.) Sed cum Augustinus, vir sane disertus et ingeniosus, linguarum autem, prout, ipse fatetur, ignarus, hanc predestina tionis voculam amplexatus esset, eamque e linguae latinae consuetudine explicaret &c. &c. See also Reinhards Do gm $119. p.442 s. of the 3d ed.
Perhaps too, St. Augustin wished to atone for his former heresy, by defending with the greater warmth and zeal that which he now believed to be the orthodox faith, in opposition to the heretics.He had been a strenuous advocate of the Manichean system. His previous attachment to this strange, fantastical heresy, does not however militate against our belief that his subsequent profession of Christianity was sincere. Like Luthers like the Apostles in their previous notions of a temporal Messiah &c.) he had commenced with opinions not founded in truth ; but instead of being censured, he deserves our warmest applause, for having burst from his trammels, and having rejected at least some of his unchristian and heretical sentiments. We have not time to make long extracts, in order to substantiate this statement, nor are they needed. But if they should be required they can at any time be easily furnished