Nos. 33 & 35 Congress Street.
THUS, and as it were casually, St. Luke, the inspired author of this narrative, introduces that honored appellation which has since overspread the world; which unites heaven and earth, God and man, and is the synonym of what is most excellent in human life and character, and most precious in human destinies.
Converts to the gospel of Christ had been variously called among themselves, "disciples," "believers," the "faithful," and "the brethren;" but by their enemies, reproachfully and with disparagement, "Nazarenes" and "Galileans."
Now they are to be known by an appellative taken from that holy and blessed name of their divine Master [5/6] and Head, which imports most fully and completely his heavenly office and mission. From Him the Christ, they are now called Christians.
It is obvious that this appellation has undergone some changes, and is now often applied in a way that might not recall its primitive import.
It belongs, by modern usage, perhaps as much to geography as to religion; and as often indicates a portion of the surface of the earth, as it describes a character, a life, or a profession of Ihith.
Certainly many civil advantages pertain to the sacred epithet, Christian, even when it is used in a sense remote from its primary meaning;--to live in a Christian country confers blessings and privileges of great value, withheld by the Providence whose methods and proceedings are dark and inscrutable, from those beyond the bounds of Christendom.
But our present concern is to consider its scriptural and primitive import, and whether we may rightly and truly take it to ourselves.
The appellative Christian, as received and understood in the days of the first disciples, means simply a follower and adherent of Christ; one who followed Him with faith, love, obedience and hope. Christians of that age believed Jesus to be the Son of God, who had come down from heaven, and had taken upon [6/7] Him the nature and likeness of men to save them from death.
They attached and devoted themselves to Him with earnest and true fealty and affection. They loved Him with unbounded admiration and gratitude, for his infinite excellence and his unspeakable mercy. They obeyed Flint with undoubting confidence, and with a prompt and hearty service. They lived, labored and endured, animated and supported by the expectation and the hope of being received into his heavenly mansions; and they departed from this troublous and sinful world, believing that they should be at once and forever with Christ.
The Christian of the primitive age received his religion-its doctrines and its precepts, its faith and its rule--from Christ. Him he regarded as the great prophet or teacher of the world. He received his words meekly and reverently; with earnest faith and willing obedience. Meekly, for he was conscious of ignorance and darkness; reverently, as hearing One from heaven; the Word of Him who is above and over all; with sincere and perfect faith, as taught by the incarnate Truth, who is infallible and unchanging; obediently, as instructed by one who Wright claim to teach and guide with authority, and bind his commandments upon men's consciences.
 To him the teachings of Christ were complete and perfect. He could neither add to, nor take from them; nor attempt their improvement, as if, perchance, in some manner or degree defective or redundant.
Humility and distrust towards himself, unaffected confidence and faith unshaken by contradiction, and unclouded by a doubt, towards his heavenly Master, were the marks of the Christians of that day.
Moreover, his faith saw in Christ the High Priest over the house of God. He sought pardon and reconciliation to his offended Maker only through Him, by his most precious sacrifice and effectual mediation. He trusted wholly and solely in the blood of the new covenant shed once and forever; nor turned even for a moment to the delusive refuges to which men from time to time have fled, when smitten and terror-struck by conscious guilt, and seeking for pardon and peace.
Nothing in Holy Writ is more manifestly clear than that, while the inspired authors of the New Testament repudiate and condemn as delusory and worthless, a faith not accompanied and attested by deeds of piety and charity; acd declare that eternal rewards will be proportioned and distributed according to the various degrees of excellence in virtue and measures of useful service the saints have attained on earth; they yet [8/9] always and unanimously ascribe the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life to the infinite and most precious merits and sacrifice of Christ our divine and anointed 'Saviour.
They declare most fully, with constant and harmonious utterance, that salvation will be to us, if attained, a gratuitous benefit; to Christ, our Saviour, the painful and bitter purchase of humiliation, and suffering, and death.
In such faith towards Christ as their Priest and Prophet, the Christians of the first age received Him. This faith they professed and maintained amidst contradiction, contumely and reproach; through suffering and to death.
By this they moulded and shaped their daily life, and directed the course of their earthly pilgrimage. On this they rested for support; from this they drew unfailing consolation; for this they died, many in the agonies of martyrdom.
The life and character of the early Christian were marked by affectionate devotion to Christ, equally as by his simple faith and steadfast trust.
The ancient prophet who had foretold our Saviour's humiliation and sufferings, when describing in vivid imagery his rejection by unbelievers, compared the [9/10] sufferer to "a root out of a dry ground," and added, "he hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him, and we hid as it were our faces from him." But with his loving and devoted followers how great the contrast! To them He was "fairer than the children of men; full of grace are thy lips because God hath blessed thee forever." They saw in Him bodily the beauty of an absolute perfection; the visible incarnation of the first Good and first Fair; moreover the Author and Giver of infinite benefits to themselves and all men; the ladder set on the earth whose top reached the heavens; the Saviour who sought to raise them to a likeness with his own holy beauty and a share of his own beatitude. And beholding in Him such a Saviour, their love to Him was deep and rapturous; a transporting passion; a flame ever cherished and burning in their hearts; a grateful, admiring and adoring affection kindled and fanned in their souls by the exceeding beauty of holiness, and the surpassing beneficence of his love: an affection chastened by reverence and mingled with awe, for they beheld in Christ the incarnate Son of God.
Expressions of warm and irrepressible affection came glowing from the lips or the pens of Holy Apostles. "We love Him because He first loved us. The love [10/11] of Christ constraineth us. Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." Nor were these vain professions, fruitless of kindred deeds. Each in his time verified the sincerity of his words to the utmost; withholding no sacrifice, avoiding no toil, shrinking from no suffering for the love of Christ. This affection for their Lord, passed from his own sufferings and sorrows into the heavens, sustained and cheered them to the last painful but triumphant close. Its light shone through every period of their course, increasing and brightening to the end. Their strong and blended faith and love towards their ascended Lord knit together the great Brotherhood of Christians, and was the bond of their fellowship. "Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema!" And Christ required of his disciples the homage and tribute of such devoted and surpassing love. "If any man cone to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." It has been well observed, "these words were intended to express, not how little we should love our relatives, but how much we should love Christ. So far from implying that our affection to the former ought to be weak, they derive all their spirit and energy from the [11/12] very assumption that it is, and ought to be strong and fervent. The lesson that they impress upon our minds is, that powerful as are these attachments of our nature to kindred and to life, they must never be allowed to stand in competition with our regard to the Redeemer."
Temptations to sacrifice the principles of Christian obedience and affection to the wish to please, or not offend the prejudices or tastes of friends and kindred, are of frequent occurrence; but let it not be forgotten, that, however amiable it may seem, to yield to the temptation is in truth the very opposite of virtue. Delinquency herein is a sad proof of the want or weakness of Christian affection ascertained by the test given by Christ himself.
He proposed this severe test of fidelity and truth to Himself, and forewarned his followers, and all who would be such, against a sacrifice of principle and duty which, as He foresaw, would be regarded as of very pardonable character, would have an amiable aspect, and be of frequent occurrence: and He has enforced his warning by the plain and awful utterance "he cannot be my disciple,"
The character of the early Christian was distinguished beautifully by his ready and glad obedience to Christ. This was the natural and irrepressible outgrowth of his faith and affection.
 He yielded willing homage and submission to Christ as his master and Lord, and he strove to imitate and resemble the example of his holy life. The strongest and dearest attraction, that could be laid upon his heart, drew him after Christ in the pathway of a loving obedience and faithful service.
With what affectionate reverence, with what ready and full submission of their whole souls to Him in the obedience of love did they of the early days, when believers were first called Christians, recall their beloved Master to memory.
How fresh and how cherished in their memories was the image of his person and his life; the touching beauty of his gentleness and his goodness, and the sound of his gracious words yet lingering in their ears. They set Him always before their eyes, and thought deeply and lovingly of his counsels and his commands; and said to themselves with the beloved St. John,"His commandments are not grievous," and with the sweet Psalmist, "how dear are thy counsels to me, O God. O how great is the sum of them and as the blessed image of their invisible and glorified Saviour rose up before them, how did they give more earnest and loving heed to walk in his steps; and his gracious committal, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I ant meek and lowly in heart," [13/14] returned to their memories, and pressed upon their souls with its gentle and sure persuasion.
The meek and heavenly temper, the forgiving love, the generous beneficence, the self-denial and selfoblivion, the spiritual life and heavenward aims and aspirations of the divine Master and Pattern, commended and enforced themselves with irresistible eloquence and power to the imitation of the devoted and faithful disciple.
The Christian of the primitive age was distinguished by his hopes as well as by the principles and rules of his life: his hope of attaining the likeness of Christ, which he so earnestly strove to reach, and his hope of passing ere long into his blissful presence and glory.
This, his earnest expectation and his hope, cast its cheering light over all his life of hard endurance and painful self-denial; it transfigured to a heavenly brightness all the darkness and gloom of his earthly state. Gleams from the holy and peaceful world to come, shot backwards to illumine and cheer his way; heaven was his home; the home of his affections, his faith and his hope: Christ and his saints the dear friends whom he expected to meet in a blessed and eternal union; and with a full affection he was ever reaching forward, looking for, and longing to attain it.
 Thus the early Christian expected with earnest hope and chastened joy the day in which he should behold with open face the unveiled glory of Christ, and have full redemption from the miseries and sins of mortality, and a complete restoration to the glory and honor of man unfallen; nay, an advancement to the higher dignity and happier estate given through the Second man, the Lord from heaven. The daily life of the early Christian was a continual anticipation of eternity, and illustrated those words of our Saviour, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
Would that we might see again, nay, that we might be so favored as to become ourselves, examples of the earnestness and simplicity of christian life and character, which distinguished so beautifully the first age. Indeed, we may thank God, that, through his grace and favor, we have been permitted to see, here and there among us, something of the truth and simplicity of the early christian pattern. But alas! that we must mourn their light and beauty departed.
The priestly Father full of years, and ripe in every grace and virtue, and Him following so soon, just declining from his prime.
The cloud of sorrow which overshadowed us, scarce lifted and dispersed, again gathers and settles over our dwelling. We are saddened by a loss which has [15/16] fallen suddenly and heavily upon us, and touches every heart with grief. It is a common affliction, a common sorrow. It has pleased Almighty God, in his wise providence, to remove from earth a dear and well-beloved brother.
We would not, nor, as inspired example is our guide, should we withhold our affectionate and heartfelt tribute to his worth.
By his departure our Parish is bereft of one of its earliest and truest friends, one of its firmest and most efficient supporters, one of its brightest ornaments. The sense of loss is heavy upon us. The stay of his support, the strength of his counsel, the admonition and encouragement of his example are gone. We would bow submissively and with resignation to the holy hand that has stricken us, but we cannot but sorely lament him; gone not immaturely, but alas too soon for us. The summons to depart was most sudden, and swift was his passage hence; but his loins were girded about and his staff was in his hand, and (we doubt not,) not unprepared nor hurriedly he went forth on that last journey.
Let us cherish his memory, and follow the good example he has left us-a dear and precious legacy.
 What he was here in the house of God, and before our eyes-and in that more especially let me commend him to your imitation-we all know, and shall long remember. The constancy and the frequency with which he came to our daily sacrifice of prayer and praise, as well as to the higher solemnises of the Church; his reverent and devout demeanor in the house of God, and his hearty participation in its worship; the gentle courtesy and exceeding kindness with which he did the minor offices of Christian fellowship to the humblest and poorest, making them to feel they were in their Father's House; how they crowd upon our recollection, how they will abide in our memory!
His unaffected humility, his genuine kindness of heart, and the beauty of his life would have yielded dignity and grace to the obscurest condition and the humblest lot; they have shown us how high earthly gifts full advantages are raised and adorned by ehristIan grace and virtue.
We saw in him the fruit and effect of the Church's influence and culture: I mean the Church of the Prayer Book, translated and set forth in living and visible reality. His heart was deeply in the work commenced, and with such loving and faithful diligenee prosecuted, by the lamented first Rector of this [17/18] Parish. He prized the Church's ministrations, because he knew and felt their value. He proved in himself their great benefit. His soul was refreshed and strengthened by their spiritual and heavenly virtue. Seldom, except when detained by illness or infirmity, did his clue feet fail to tread these holy, though humble courts, endeared to him beyond expression, by sacred associations and cherished reinembrances.
This experience it was, in great part we may believe, which matured his soul in holiness, prepared him to go up higher in his Father's House, and fitted him f'or the service and joy of that blessed advancement.
Our departed brother was also nurtured by the severe discipline of sorrow. I trust I do not trespass upon the sacred privacy of home scenes and home life, by this allusion. The loss of him is to us a taste of the same bitter cup: and, from his example, we may learn how to take the visitation.
From the shadows of domestic sorrow that tell thick and darkly across his path, he turned his eyes to scenes of unclouded joy in that world which his serene and steadfiist faith seized and appropriated; and, though held to earth by tenderest ties, his dearer hopes reached forth to the blessed reunion of that heavenly home. His glance was ever upward, and his [18/19] most cherished volume was that Divine Revelation, through which, as through a telescopic glass, he looked with aching and fervent desire, towards the rest and Paradise of the saints of God.
Thither, we trust, he has passed; there he now rests and rejoices.
O ALMIGHTY GOD, who hast knit together Thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical Body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow Thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which Thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love Thee: through JESUS CHRIST our Lord. AMEN.
 AT a meeting of the Wardens and Vestry of the Church of the Advent in Boston, notice being given of the sudden death of WILLIAM FOSTER OTIS, Esq., in France, on Saturday the 29th. ult., the following resolutions were passed:
Whereas it has pleased Almighty God, in his wise Providence, to take out of this world the soul of our brother, for several years the Senior Warden of the Parish:
We desire to express and record our sense of the piety, purity, fidelity, zeal, and gentleness towards all men, which were so visible in the daily walk and conversation of the departed.
We wish to acknowledge the great service he has rendered to this parish during the whole period of its existence, by a faithful discharge of all duties and trusts, and by a diligent attendance at the daily and weekly services.
We resolve to cherish his memory, and whilst we bless God for having delivered out of the miseries of this sinful world, we pray for grace to enable us so to follow his good example, that our departure, like his, may be with the testimony of a good conscience in the communion of the Catholic Church: in the confidence of a certain faith: in the comfort of a reasonable religious and holy hope: in favor with our God, and in perfect charity with the world.
Resolved, that a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the departed, and to the Christian Witness for publication.
HENRY M. PARKER, Clerk.
CHURCH OF THE ADVENT, June 20, A.D., 1858.