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God by us in this baltle but vic- Hocker offered himself to make an tory and great triumph ? Nay, de- attempt for carrying into effect ceive not your own selves by claim the design, long entertained by the of false privileges, as though, for. United Brethren, of forming an acsooth, Israel, even the peculiar and quaintance with the Christian church only people of God, carrying the in Abyssinia. For this purpose he sign of his covenant in their flesh, went in 1752 to Egypt, and hired acquainted with bis oracles, and a house in Grand Cairo. Here he possessed of the ark and temple of practised as a physician, and applied God, did not, notwithstanding, com- himself to the acquisition of the plain that God went not out with Arabic language, endeavouring to ibeir armies, but for or to them, so obtain such information respecting that they turned their backs upon Abyssinia, as might tend to promote their enemies; that God's ark, the the principal object of his mission. glory of Israel and ensign of the The Patriarch of the Copts, by victorious God, was taken of the whom the Metropolitan of Abysheathen, and that their whole nation sinia is consecrated, treated him was often enthralled in manifold with great kindness, and entered captivities in Egypt and Babylon... into several conversations with him In which process of God's judgment concerning the Brethren's church against his people, we are to con- and the state of the Coptic and template and consider the holiness, Abyssinian churches. To a letter, justice, and power of our jealous written to him by Count Zinzendorf, God, together with the abomination the Patriarch returned an answer of our own sins. So holy a God is in Arabic, which he thus prefaces: he that he will not acknowledge .“ In the name of the merciful and any professor of his law, who is not gracious God. In God is salvation. also a practiser of piety and holi. From Mark, the servant of the ser. ness : so just, that he will at length vants of the Lord. The peace of afflict his own children for their our Lord God, and the Captain of wilful transgressions ; so powerful, our salvation Jesus Christ, which he, that he can of beasts, elements, dis. in an upper room at Zion, poured eases, and (if these will not serve) forth upon the assembly of excelof the very heathen, and enemies of lent disciples and apostles. May God's truth, and of their mortally he pour out this peace upon the malicious swords, make rods to cor beloved, excellent and experienced rect them .........But say not with brother, the venerable bishop, our yourselves, that the light of God's father Aloysius, (Lewis, Count Zinglory shall be any whit eclipsed by zendorf,) the liturgist of the Unity punishing his own people : no, but of the Brethren. This is to testify, the contrary, as the prophet shew: beloved brother, that the blessed eth."
son and venerable deacon, Ireneus Hocker, has delivered unto us your letter, which was full of affectionate,
cordial love. We have read it ; and RELINQUISHED MISSIONS : it became unto us a taste of your ABYSSINIA.
love for all Christians. We, in like
manner, pray God for you and for For the Christian Observer. all the Christian people, that he may
exalt the glory of all Christians in Our readers will be interested in the whole habitable world, through being again introduced to their zeal- the nutrition of his life-giving cross." ous friend Frederic Hocker, whom His mission being thus far favoured, they lately lost sight of, after his he went, in 1754, by way of Smyrna, unsuccessful mission to Persia. to Constantinople, for the purpose
After his return from Persia, of furnishing himself with a firman,
or pass, from the Grand Seignior; tions, as every prospect of peneand, though the plague was raging trating into Abyssinia vanished, and in that city, he received not only a the political state of Egypt became firman, but several recommenda- every year more alarming, the estory letters to persons of distinction, tablishment at Cairo was relinquishwhich might be serviceable to him on ed, and Hocker and his companions his intended expedition. With these returned to Europe in 1782. he returned to Alexandria. While waiting, in that city, for a favour. able opportunity to proceed, the Grand Seignior died, and Egypt REPLY TO E. B. ON PHYSICAL was convulsed by political distur
INFLUENCES. bances, in consequence of which Hocker sailed for Europe in 1755. Tothe EditoroftheChristian Observer.
The year following he went again to Egypt, accompanied by George I am deeply obliged to your corPilder, a student of divinity from respondent E. B., for exciting my the Brethren's college in Saxony. attention to what he considers as Unable to leave Cairo for a whole a deficiency in my papers on Suyear, they renewed the acquaint- perstition ; and for the kind and ance Hocker had formerly made Christian spirit in which bis rewith the patriarch, and were treated marks are written. Our object is the with distinguished kindness by him same ; and I shall ever feel grateful and by all the Coptic and Abyssi- to any one who, engaged in the nian clergy. The patriarch publicly same pursuit, perceives a danger to declared, “ that he considered the be avoided, which may have escaped Brethren as an ancient apostolical my notice, and warns me to tread church, which had adhered to the cautiously. - It is not, however, my pure doctrine of the Apostles, with- intention to notice the misrepreout engaging in those controversies sentations of those keen disputants, which afterwards arose.". In 1758 who imagine that difference of opi. they set out for Abyssinia ; but, nion sanctions the employment of after suffering shipwreck, and being any weapon; all such fall shaftless in constant danger of attacks from to the ground: but I am truly the wild Arabs, they were obliged thankful to any sincere Christian, to relinquish their design and return who, in the spirit of that Christianity to Cairo. Pilder, having contracted which we seek to vindicate, states a dangerous illness, returned to his own difficulties and doubts; or Europe in 1759, and Hocker in endeavours to point out where evil 1761, after another fruitless attempt may possibly arise from a want of to penetrate into Abyssinia. Yet being sufficiently guarded or exnot discouraged by these repeated plicit on a subject which is condisappointments, Hocker once more fessedly in a great measure untried, returned to Egypt in 1769, accom- and on which therefore it is so easy panied by John Danke ; and the to overlook important points which following year they were joined by it would be desirable to render John Antes. But all the infornia. prominent. As I have no object tion they could obtain from Abys- in view but truth, I can be only sinia, convinced them that every anxious for its investigation; and attempt to visit that country must perhaps your correspondent will prove unsuccessful. They however kindly point out, (if the details would unexpectedly found an opportunity be uninteresting to the public, in a of preaching the Gospel to the private communication, the partiCopts, who inhabit several villages cular parts of the Essay which have along the Nile. But as no perma- appeared to him liable to abuse. nent success attended these exer- It has been my design to write
guardedly, but I am thoroughly to the lot of ordinary professional aware, that such design may not men; and I pray God, I may be always have been accomplished; enabled to employ them to His and in the revision of the whole glory. It is not easy, in so many subject, which I am about to under. words. to answer the inquiries of take for the purpose of separate E. B.: I thought they had been publication, I will not forget, par- sufficiently answered in the precedticularly, as I pass along, to take with ing papers, by shewing wherein illume E.B.'s kind hints, and any others sion consisted; by describing the with which he may be pleased to extent of physical influence ; and by furnish me; and I trust I may be keeping at an immeasurable distance enabled to perceive those weak the pretended miracles of man, from parts, where additional caution, or the revelations of Scripture, and of definition, or limitation, may be God: but in my approaching rerequired ; and, above all, to vindi- view, I will take this clue with me, cate the miracles and supernatural and cautiously try, as I proceed, to appearances recorded in Scripture, enlarge the view on the one hand, from the unhallowed touch of infi- and to make it more cautiously delity. It has been my object, guarded on the other. however I may have failed in effect- I have received other friendly ing it, to shew that all these are suggestions alleging the obscurity essentially distinct from the alleged and liability to perversion of some supernatural appearances of the of my remarks upon temptation, present day; and that they are to satanic agency, the support of the be received as matters for humble martyrs in death, and a few other faith, revcaled to us by the Holy points, upon which I will endeavour Spirit, and recorded by the pen of to explain myself more clearly in Inspiration, and therefore neither the forthcoming edition of the work. requiring nor admitting of demon- It would deeply pain my mind if stration; while all the visions, voices, any reader should so misconstrue dreams, spiritual appearances, mi- my argument as to distress the racles, and pretended revelations of weak believer, or to disparage any these later times, are to be submit- doctrine of the word of God; espeted to totally different tests, and to cially that important and consoling be tried by very different laws. It one of the blessed influences of the is here that we call in physical in- Holy Spirit as our Teacher, Sanctifuence, to account for that which fier, and Comforter, which I consi. a Christian ought not, with a proper dered I was most effectually upsense of the truth and majesty of holding while I was drawing the the Most High, to ascribe to the broadest line of demarcation beagency of such a Being of perfect tween what is truly a Divine reknowledge, uprightness, and love; velation and the mere counterfeits but, on the contrary, to attribute of a diseased imagination. to the agency of that perverting
θεραπευτικος. . cause, which has passed upon the spiritual manifestations of the most perfect creature man.-My attention has been awakened to this subject; METHODIST CONFERENCE ON and scarcely a week passes without enlarging my acquaintance with physical influence upon the mani. Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. festations of mind, and confirming most deeply the view which I have In your Number for last November taken of such influence. My oppor- you inserted several extracts from tunities of observation are larger the minutes of the Methodist Conthan those which commonly fall ference, on the subject of Negro
Slavery; the existence of which in simplicity in the exercise of charity; the British colonies is one of the but would it not have been wiser, foulest stains upon the nation. To and more lovely, if, instead of uncomplete the series, and to shew christianizing those acts of munifithat the feelings and principles of cence which some of the recent the Wesleyan Methodists upon this missionary meetings have exhibited, subject have not relaxed, I take the he had inquired rather whether the liberty of forwarding to you the circumstances under which they following extract from the minutes were called forth, and the spirit in of the last conference, held in July which they were given, did not make and August, 1829.
these offerings, like those of the Phi* Resolved, That it shall be ear: lippians, “an odour of a sweet nestly recommended to the mem- smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well bers of our societies throughout the pleasing to God?" There are many kingdom, to unite with their fellow- selfislr professors of religion, as well Christians of different denomina- as people of the world, ready enough tions, in any petitions which may to impugn the motives of those be sent to parliament, having for whose elevated piety, or extraordi. their object the carrying into effect nary benevolence, aro a tacit reproof those measures to which the legisla- of their own coldness and barrenture stands pledged for the mitiga. ness; it therefore behoves us to be tion and ultimate abolition of the very cautious that, in our zeal for state of Negro Colonial Slavery." right principles, we do not make
With best thanks to you, Mr. common cause with such persons in Editor, for the manner in which their work of detraction, “ lest haply you have opposed this most iniqui. we be found even to fight against tous and unchristian system,
God.” There were some that murI am, &c.
mured against the woman who poured her costly ointment on the head of our Lord, thinking it, perhaps, a vain display, as well as a
needless extravagance ; but Heknew EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTIONS better how to appreciate the deedAT MISSIONARY MEETINGS. “She hath wrought a good work
on me: she hath done what she Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. could."
It should be remembered that the In your publication for October meetings referred to were assemlast, there were some remarks on blies of professed believers, met in collections for religious objects, by the cause of their common Lord, a correspondent who signs himself and they were moved to do what "A Friend to Christian Simplicity,” they did, not by the mere persua. which appeared to me calculated, sions of eloquence, but by statethough undesignedly, to retard thements of facts, shewing the pressing progress of the cause of God, by urgency of missionary claims, and endeavouring to regulate Christian the absolute necessity there was for liberality according to the writer's increased exertions. Is it not lawmistaken views of Christian simpli- ful for an assembly of Christians, city. In your next Number, ano- under such circumstances, to make ther correspondent, “Paternus," ap- the most of those motives which had proves and enforces the sentiments been set before them, and to use of the former, without meeting the the holy impetus in order to “proobjection I have noticed. I indeed voke each other” to more generous cordially agree with your first cor. deeds ? --- the only sacrifices they respondent as to the importance of were called on to make the only
way in which they could discharge tempt minutely to define in what their share of obligation in this great the simplicity of charity consists, work of God.
but, however true it may be that Your correspondent seems to "simplicity is essential to Christian have been offended that “ large charity,” I will venture to assert sums were run up at these meetings, that concealment is not essential like biddings at an auction.” Now, to Christian simplicity: a generous sir, I think it a token for good, deed may be done openly without rather than a subject for regret ostentation, and publicly without or reproof, that that emulous spirit pride. I conceive that the simpliwhich an auction often displays has city which God requires in acts of been in any instance transferred to charity consists more in sincerity and the service of Christianity: happy purity of intention, than in any parwill it be for the world when all ticular mode of performing them. those who now bid so freely for It is the publicity connected with the vanities and luxuries, shall have no late liberal offerings to the missionother source of competition than ary cause that alone appears to have who shall do most in the cause of given the offence; but the object truth and righteousness. Your cor- proposed (that of raising a specific respondent speaks of "fixedness of sum during the meeting) could not, purpose," as essential to Christian perhaps, have been accomplished charity; this phrase is far less per- without it. The collectors, when spicuous than the Scripture precept, they received from an individual “ Every man, according as he pur- 501. or 1001., entered the name with poseth in bis heart, so let him give.” the sum, as is usual in all public When by some irresistible appeal subscriptions, and those who had on behalf of an important object, I not come prepared with an amount find my heart purposed to contribute equal to what they now “purposed towards it to an amount that I had in their hearts to give,” requested not before contemplated, must I their names to be put down as anwait a day, a month, or a year to swerable for the sum when called ascertain whether my purpose is “ But,” says Paternus, “ the fixed? And if, on such an occasion, apostolic rule should be applied in I am induced to give liberally, and these matters, •Let nothing be the next day should repent of it (as done through strife or vain glory.' your correspondent intimates would This is an important admonition, probably be the case), which would and I trust the true Christian will be the most reprehensible, the deed never lose sight of it; but to employ or the repentance; that cheerful it to the disparagement of such gift which the Lord loveth, or that noble efforts for the enlargement of grudging feeling which he hates ? the Redeemer's kingdom would be 2 Cor. ix. 7.
wholly irrelevant to its design, and There are two scriptural rules as groundless as were the scruples by which Christians are directed to of Peter about the use of things regulate their acts of charity: one “ common or unclean*." While relates to the time of bestowment, contentious strife (the evil referred “ as they have opportunity;" the to in the above text) must never be other to the amount to be given, witnessed in the church of Christ, " as, God hath prospered them." (see James iii. 14-17), Christians These rules must, indeed, be acted on, as your correspondent urges, • This will apply also to the application with simplicity ; but we must take made of the sacred text by another correcare not to weaken their obligation spondent, in your November Number, who in contending for the simplicity of for religious societies, because St. Paul has their performance. I shall not at- said, “I suffer not a woman to teach."