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fence of that interesting and tempted age; if our young men shall learn from him that they belong to God and society; then his early death may prove as useful as a protracted life.
We shall add but one more remark. The general sorrow which followed Mr. Gallison to the tomb, was not only honorable to him, but to the community. For he had no dazzling qualities. His manners were not imposing, nor was he aided by uncommon patronage. His worth was unobtrusive, mild, retiring, and left to win its own way to notice and honor. Yet how few young men have reared such a monument in the memories and hearts of the community ? Amidst charges of degeneracy, and with real grounds of humiliation, we should deem it a privilege to live in a state of society, in which such a character as Mr. Gallison's is so generally understood, and is recompensed with such heartfelt and
[I HAVE thrown into an Appendix parts of certain Tracts and Discourses, which were called forth by passing events in the political and religious world. I have aimed, in making the selections, to take passages, which contain general views, retaining only such references to personal, local, and temporary topics, as seem necessary to a full understanding of the extracts.]
EXTRACTS FROM OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROPOSITION FOR INCREASING THE
MEANS OF THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY IN CAM-
As a proposition is now before the public for increasing the means of theological education at Harvard University, it is thought that a few observations on the subject may be acceptable to those who have not been able to give to it much attention, and whose aid and patronage may be solicited.
It may perhaps be asked by some, though I hope the question will be confined to a few, Why ought we to be so solicitous for the education of ministers? The answer is obvious. The object of the ministry is peculiarly important. To the christian minister are intrusted in a measure the dearest and most valuable interests of the human race. He is called to watch over the morals of society, and to awaken and cultivate the principles of piety and virtue in the hearts of individuals. He is set apart to dispense that religion, which, as we believe, came from God, which was given to reform, exalt, and console us, and on the reception of which the happiness of the future life depends. Ought we not to be solicitous for the wise and effectual training of those, by whom this religion is to be unfolded and enforced, and to whose influence our own minds and those of our children are to be so often exposed ?
Our interest in a minister is very peculiar. He is to us what no other professional man can be. We want him, not to transact our business and to receive a compensation, but to be our friend, our guide, an inmate in our families; to enter our houses in affliction ; and to be able to give us light, admonition, and consolation in suffering, sickness, and the last hours of life.
Our connexion with men of other professions is transient, acci-. dental, rare. With a minister it is habitual. Once in the week, at least, we are to meet him and sit under his instructions. We are to give up our minds in a measure to his influence, and to receive from him impressions on a subject, which more than all others concerns us, and with which our improvement and tranquillity through life and our future peace are intimately connected.
We want the minister of religion to address our understandings with clearness; to extend and brighten our moral and religious conceptions ; to throw light over the obscurities of the sacred volume ; to assist us in repelling those doubts which sometimes shake our convictions of christian truth; and to establish us in a firm and rational belief.
We want him, not only to address the understanding with clearness, but still more to speak to the conscience and heart with power; to force, as it were, our thoughts from the world; to rouse us from the slumbers of an unreflecting life; to exhibit religion in an interesting form, and to engage our affections on the side of duty. Such are the offices and aids which we need from the christian minister. Who does not see in a moment, that much preparation of the intellect and heart is required to render him successful in these high and generous labors ?
These reasons for being interested in the education of ministers grow out of the nature and importance of religion. Another important remark is, that the state of our country demands that greater care than ever should be given to this object. It will not be denied, I presume, that this country is on the whole advancing in intelligence. The means of improvement are more liberally and more generally afforded to the young than in former times. A closer connexion subsists with the cultivated minds in other countries. A variety of institutions are awakening our powers, and communicating a degree of general knowledge, which was not formerly diffused among us. Taste is more extensively cultivated, and the finest productions of polite literature find their way into many of our families. Now in this state of things, in this increasing activity of intellect, there is peculiar need of an enlightened ministry. Religion should not be left to feeble and ignorant advocates, to men of narrow and unfurnished minds. Its ministers should be practical proofs, that it may be connected with the noblest improvements of the understanding ; and they should be able to convert into weapons for its defence, the discoveries of philosophy, and the speculations of genius, Religion must be adapted in its mode of exhibition to the state of society. The form in which we present it to the infant will not satisfy and interest the advanced understanding. In the same manner, if in a cultivated age religious instruction does not partake the general elevation, it will be slighted by the very minds whose influence it is most desirable to engage on the side of virtue and piety.
I have observed, that an enlightened age requires an enlightened ministry. On the other hand it may be observed, that an enlightened ministry is a powerful agent in continuing and accelerating the progress of light, of refinement, and of all social improvements. The limits of this essay will not admit the full developement of this sentiment. I will only observe, that perhaps the most reflecting men are not aware how far a society is indebted for activity of intellect, delicacy of manners, and the strength of all its institutions, to the silent, subtile influence of the thoughts and feelings which are kept alive in the breasts of multitudes by religious instruction.
There is another most important consideration for promoting an enlightened ministry. Religious teachers there certainly will be, of one description or another; and if men of well furnished minds cannot be found for this office, we shall be overwhelmed by the ignorant and fanatical. The human heart is disposed, by its very nature, to religious impressions, and it wants guidance, wants direction, wants the light and fervor of other minds, in this most interesting concern. Conscious of weakness, and delighting in excitement, it will follow the blindest guide, who speaks with confidence of his communications with God, rather than advance alone in the religious life. An enlightened ministry is the only barrier against fanaticism. Remove this, and popular enthusiasts would sweep away the multitude as with a torrent, would operate with an unresisted power on the ardent imagination of youth, and on the devotional susceptibility of woman, and would even prostrate cultivated minds in which feeling is the most prominent trait. Few of us consider the proneness of the human heart to extravagance and fanaticism, or how much we are all indebted for our safety to the good sense and intellectual and religious improvement of ministers of religion.
Ignorant ministers are driven almost by necessity to fanaticism. Unable to interest their hearers by appeals to the understanding,