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descanting on the delights, and we might almost say conversing in the language, of that blissful world; endeavouring by every means to allure thither his perishing fellowcreatures. But an habitual spiritualmindedness in a minister, casts a holy radiance around his path: it diffuses, as it were, an atmosphere of piety in his family and his parish; it spontaneously gives birth to the "thoughts that breathe and words that burn" in his sermons and conversations; it not only teaches men that they ought to be Christians, but it shews them practically what it is to become such; it kindles their hearts by contact; it persuades almost before it convinces ; and leaves on the minds of those who witness its simple and unostentatious coruscations, an effect somewhat similar to that felt by the disciples in the journey to Emmaus: "Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and opened to us the Scriptures?" For want of this devout ardour of soul, many sincere and pious men are very languid pastors; and the defect is the more to be dreaded in the present day, because the widely prevalent, and, to a certain extent, just, terror of fanaticism, is too apt to furnish an excuse for this coldness and secularity of spirit; as if there were any thing in the highest elevations of an habitual spiritual-mindedness contrary to truth and sobriety; any thing enthusiastic in a life of the most intense devotion, or in the hallowed communion of the soul with its Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
3. Another frequent cause of ministerial failure, even among good men, is the absence of an affectionate and tender spirit.-A clergyman, however wise or pious, if he is deficient in the kindly sympathies of the heart, must be content to forego a large measure of useful ness, especially among the poor, the young, and the afflicted. Even though there should be no assign
able error of doctrine, or inconsist ency of conduct, a coldness of heart, or even of manner, in a minister, will usually prevent his gaining access to the affections of his people. Tenderness was the predicted and the fulfilled character of Him who is the great exemplar to his church in Christian and ministerial attainments. He did not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax; his whole life was a career of mercy, benevolence, and disinterested affection. How deeply his immediate disciples drank of his spirit, may be seen, not only in the Epistles of his be loved Apostle St. John, whose memory is proverbially characterised by tenderness and sympathy, but even in those of a perhaps naturally less gentle spirit,-St.Peter; yea, of him who was once a 66 persecutor, and injurious," who "breathed out threatenings and slaughter," but whose altered character is evinced throughout his writings, and no where more so than in his Epistle to Philemon on behalf of his fugitive but penitent slave. It will instantly be felt, in perusing this affecting Epistle, or indeed almost any page of the New Testament, how efficaciously an affectionate spirit in the ministers of Christ finds its way to the human heart; and how very different would have been the effect, if, instead of such a spirit, had been exhibited the mere coldness of scholastic admonition, or the imperiousness of official dignity. Against nothing should a minister, who values his pastoral usefulness, more strenuously guard, than against unkind or objurgatory habits of address, either in the pulpit or in his private intercourse with his flock. Yet this is not enough: his heart must be imbued with amiable affections; he should feel a prompt and unsolicited expansion of soul towards his fellow-creatures; he should love them as Christ loved him, and bear with them as his heavenly Father has borne with
him. It is impossible to calculate the ill effects arising from a hard, unfeeling discharge of clerical duties; or from austere or morose habits in the more retired walks of pastoral intercourse. Unhappily, the largest heart is not always accompanied with suavity and kindness of deportment; yet, without these, a minister, however justly respected, cannot hope to be the friend and adviser of his people; except so far, indeed, as the weight of his character, and a consciousness of his real excellence, may be a counterpoise for his external defectfor if the defect be a defect of heart, nothing can atone for it. The urbanity of the most accomplished courtier would be an utterly unworthy and inefficacious substitute for that Christian affection which urges a pious minister to " I spend and be spent" for his people.
It would be tedious to enter into particulars on this inexhaustible subject; but it may not be inapposite to remark, that a clergymau of piety, if he would be generally useful in his parish, should especially beware of indulging a harsh spirit towards those who slight or oppose his efforts for their wel fare; and also towards religious persons who do not quite accord with his own views of Christian doctrine. He must not be a man of party-spirit: his parish is his family, and it is his duty to be zealous for the benefit of all its members. He will, indeed, like the Royal Psalmist, make his delight with "the excellent of the earth;" but this just preference will be far from leading him to display an acrimonious, or censorious, or supercilious spirit towards others. If he could fully imitate his Saviour, no degree of vice, no species of provocation, would be able to overcome his gentleness and patience.
The importance of this tender and affectionate spirit is the greater, because "man is born to trouble," and the majority of those scenes, in which the presence of the mini
sters of Christ is most welcome, are those of pain, and want, and suffering, and dejection. A minister, therefore, must weep with them that weep;" his sweetest melodies must be attuned to a somewhat plaintive key. For his sake, his Redeemer became a man of sorrows;" and though, for that very reason, his followers are privileged to rejoice, yet their joy is allied to a tenderness of spirit which is not very remote from sorrow; or which, at least, even in its most elevated moments, is not unapt for the tenderest sympathies of our nature. Habitual cheerfulness is the frame of mind which a minister will desire to cherish; but, at the same time, it must be a cheerfulness so chastised, and so growing out of devout affections, as readily to blend with the solemnities of religion, and the most afflicting scenes of human misery. His whole conduct should seem to say, The world is full of vice, and pain, and depression; but religion suggests an allpowerful remedy. His flock should ever feel that he is the bearer of this remedy. Whether he visits the sick or the healthy, the destitute or the prosperous, the young or the old, his presence should be hailed as the harbinger of good. His very remonstrances and reproofs should be more in affection and sorrow than in anger. The most erring of his flock should feel that he loves their souls, and seeks their happiness; and, however much they may at first neglect or despise his message, such a line of conduct will in time usually melt the hardest heart, especially when those visitations of sickness, desertion, or bereavement arrive, which sooner or later fall to every person's lot: at which periods the presence of a devout and affectionate pastor will be often valued as the visit of a ministering angel, even by those who least courted his admonitions in their hour of prosperity.
(To be concluded.)
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.
It must be peculiarly gratifying to every Christian mind to witness the great extension of a sincere and zealous piety among so many of the young men under instruction at our Universities; from whose future exertions incalculable blessings may be expected to the church and to the world. Those of them who are studying with a view to the sacred office, have, I doubt not, duly weighed the motives which have influenced their choice; and have reason to hope that they have not been actuated merely by a prospect of preferment, or worldly interest; but that the benefit of immortal souls, which cannot be unconnected with the glory of God, has been their primary inducement to turning their thoughts to the sacred ministry.
It is not, however, sufficient that the motive be correct; the end is still to be attained; and unceasing diligence and watchfulness are required for persevering in the path marked out for the candidates for this important office. In particular, very close attention to various preparatory studies is requisite. Without habitual vigilance, much valuable time may be frittered away at college; and if, through neglect or indolence, the opportunities of improvement afforded during the period of academical education be lost, the evil can never be wholly repaired. In this, as in all other departments of human life, the parable of the Talents affords great encouragement to the diligent, and a solemn warning to the slothful; "For unto every one that hath, shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
Religious students have many advantages over others. Besides those habits of diligence, sobriety, and temperance, and that repose of mind, which a religious course of
life is calculated to inspire, the Christian student enjoys the advantage of being actuated by a strong sense of duty, and of living in a spirit of prayer: for he who prays most diligently, will study to the greatest advantage, because he will enjoy the blessing of God on his exertions; and I need not remark, that prayer, and a diligent use of the means for attaining know. ledge, are both necessary, and should ever be united.
But, even to the most pious and conscientious student, à college life presents many snares. Circumstances will frequently occur to unsettle his mind, and to withdraw him from his pursuits. Decision of character is therefore indispensable. The hours of study should never be suffered to be in truded upon; even intercourse with friends should be restricted; worldly associates especially should be avoided; and a constant guard should be kept, to repel whatever has a tendency to distract the thoughts. Common gratitude, as well as a sense of duty, should prompt to this necessary self-denial; for nothing surely can be more distressing to the friends of a youth, who may perhaps have made many painful sacrifices to promote his wishes with regard to his future designation, than to find that his improvement has not kept pace with his advantages.
This decision of character is also necessary with regard to the interests of the soul; for scholastic studies tend powerfully to deaden devotional feeling; so that, without great watchfulness and circumspection, the heart may almost insensibly become cold to the most affecting and important subjects, while the thoughts are engrossed by others of a merely secular character. Many a warm-hearted religious youth, in his eagerness to excel in literary attainments, it is to be feared has lost sight of the principles which influenced his conduct at first setting out on his acade
It is lamentable that the means which are necessary to be used, in order to the ultimate attainment of a laudable object, should thus, by the weakness or corruption of our nature, be perverted to the purposes of evil. Piety and learning, like prayer and diligence, should go hand in hand; the one reflects lustre on the other: though, to the student who forgets the end in the means, it may be necessary to add, that the one so far outshines the other, that the Apostle Paul was content to forego all the advantages which he had attained at the feet of Gamaliel, and to count all things as loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord.
Not only in proportion as the Christian student withdraws from the influence of the world, and lives near to God in private, will his own soul prosper or decline; and his future usefulness, to a considerable extent, take its measure from the right or wrong use, he makes of his academical advantages literary and spiritual; but his conduct is important also to those around him: for the eyes of his companions and contemporaries are upon him, and he is responsible for his example, not only as far as regards himself, but as respects them also. When a student for the sacred ministry reflects upon his future designation as a servant of the Most High, to whom will be committed the care of immortal
souls, how incumbent is it upon him to ask himself; "Am I walking consistently with my sacred profession, as a Christian man, a Christian student, and an intended candidate for the Christian ministry? Am I humble, gentle, and forgiving? Am I diligent and studious? Am I pure and temperate in my habits; devotional in my spirit; and in all things endeavouring to adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour?"?
I have suggested these few cur. sory hints, for those whom they may concern to improve upon at their leisure. There is one part of the subject in particular, which I could wish to see treated more at length by some person equal to the discussion; I mean, the duty of religious students conscientiously devoting their minds to the peculiar studies of their college and university. Those who are much acquainted with either of our univer sities, and especially Cambridge, will feel the great importance of this topic;-a topic well worthy the pens of those whose piety, talents, and experience on the sub. ject, entitle them to guide the minds of the religious part of the public, and especially of the rising race of academical students. Should any person, thus qualified, see fit to take up this suggestion, he would confer a favour on many of your readers, and promote the cause of sound learning and religion.
REMARKS DURING A JOURNEY THROUGH NORTH AMERICA.
(Continued from p. 418.)
Philadelphia, Oct. 1819. As I am now resting a little after my wanderings, I am anxious to take
the earliest opportunity of complying with your wishes, and of giving you the impressions I have received of the American character in the course of my route. I might indeed have done this at an earlier period, but it would have been with less satisfaction to myself.
Indeed, I have occasionally been led to doubt whether I have viewed the subject with impartiality, either while receiving the kind attentions which I have so generally met with, or when exposed to the inconveniencies incident to travelling in the unsettled parts of the country. I have sometimes been ashamed to find how much my opinions were influenced for the moment by humour or circumstances, and how necessary it was to guard against forming ideas of a particular town from the reception which I might happen to meet with, or the circle into which I might accidentally fall. I shall in future have little confidence in any general conclusions respecting a country, founded on the experience of a single traveller; since, however candid may be his representations, they must necessarily be drawn from a range of observation comparatively limited; and be tinctured, at least in some degree, with his own mental peculiarities.
Having thus prepared you to receive my statements with caution, I will give you my impressions without reserve.-If, in opposition to their republican principles, we divide the Americans into classes, the first class will comprehend what are termed the Revolutionary Heroes, who hold a sort of patent of nobility, undisputed by the bitterest enemies to aristocracy. Their numbers, indeed, are few, but they have too many peculiar features to be embraced in the description of any other class of their countrymen. Many of them were educated in England; and even those who never travelled had generally the advantage of the best English society, either colonial or military. They were formed in the English school; were embued with English associations; and, however active they were in resisting the encroachments of the mother country, they are, many of them at least, delighted to trace their descent to English families of rank, and to boast of the pure
English blood which flows in their veins. In the families of these påtricians, in which I have spent many agreeable hours, I met with nothing to remind me that I was not in the society of that class of our welleducated country gentlemen, who occasionally visit the metropolis, and mingle in fashionable or political life. The old gentlemen of this class are indeed gentlemen of the old school; and the young ladies are particularly agreeable, refined, accomplished, intelligent, and well-bred.
The second class may include the leading political characters of the present day, the more eminent lawyers, the well-educated merchants and agriculturists, and the most respectable of the novi homines of every profession. It will thus comprise the mass of the good society of America; the first class, which comprehends the best, being very limited, sui generis, and about to expire with the present generation. The manners of this second class are less polished than those of the corresponding class in England, and their education is neither so regular nor so classical; but their intellects are as actively exercised, and their information at least as general, although less scientific and profound. The young ladies of this class are lively, modest, and unreserved; easy in their manners, and rather gay and social in their dispositions: at the same time, they are very observant of the rules of female propriety; and if they ever displease, it is rather from indifference than from either bashfulness or effrontery. Their appearance is generally genteel and agreeable; their figures are almost universally good; and they dress remarkably well-in this city, indeed, more to my taste than in almost any place I recollect: for which they are indebted partly to the short passages from Europe, which waft across the Atlantic the, latest fashions from London and Paris; partly to their accommo¬