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and by clear, judicious, and affecting delineations of religion, they can only acquire and maintain the ascendency which is so dear to them, by inflaming the passions, by exciting a distempered and ungoverned sensibility, and by perpetuating ignorance and error. Every man of observation must have seen melancholy illustrations of this truth, and what an argument does it afford in favor of an enlightened ministry !

Nothing more is needed to show the great interest which the community ought to feel in the education of young men for the ministry. But it will be asked, Are not our present means sufficient ? Are not our pulpits filled with well furnished and enlightened teachers? Why seek to obtain additional aids for this important end? I answer, first, that a sufficient number of enlightened ministers is not trained for our pulpits. There is a demand beyond the supply, even if we look no further than this Commonwealth; and if we look through the whole country, we shall see an immense tract of the spiritual vineyard uncultivated, and uncultivated for want of laborers.--I answer, in the second place, that whilst in our pulpits we have ministers whose gifts and endowments entitle them to respect, we yet need and ought to possess a more enlightened ministry. Many of our religious teachers will lament to us the deficiencies of their education, will lament that the narrowness of their circumstances compelled them to too early an entrance on their work, will lament that they were deprived, by the imperfection of our institutions, of many aids which the preparation for the ministry requires. We have indeed many good ministers. But we ought to have better. We may have better. But unless we will sow more liberally, we cannot expect a richer harvest. The education of ministers decides very much their future character, and where this is incomplete, we must not expect to be blessed with powerful and impressive instruction. The sum is, we need an increase of the means of theological education.

But it will be asked, Why shall we advance funds for the education of ministers, rather than of physicians or lawyers? Why are such peculiar aids and encouragements needed for this profession? Will not the demand for ministers obtain a supply, just as the demand for every other species of talent? This reasoning is founded on a principle generally true, that demand creates a supply; but every general rule has its exceptions, and it is one of the highest offices of practical wisdom to discern the cases where the rule fails in its application.

All reasoning should give place to fact. Now it is an undeniable fact, that whilst the other learned professions in our country are crowded and overstocked, whilst the supply vastly surpasses the demand, the profession of the ministry is comparatively deserted, and candidates of respectable standing, instead of obtruding themselves in crowds, are often to be sought with a degree of care and difficulty.

The reason of this is to be found in the difference between the ministry and other professions. Other professions hold out the strong lures of profit and distinction. They appeal to the ambition, the love of gain, the desire of rising in the world, which are so operative on youthful minds. These lures are not, and ought not to be, exhibited by the ministry. This profession makes its chief appeal to the moral and religious feelings of the young, and we all know how much fainter these are than those which I have previously mentioned. Can we wonder then that the ministry is less crowded ?

I proceed to another remark. The professions of law and medicine do not imperiously demand any high moral qualifications in those who embrace them. A young man, whose habits are not altogether pure, or whose character is marked by levity, may enter on the study of these professions, without incurring the reproach of impropriety or inconsistency of conduct. The ministry, on the other hand, demands not merely unexceptionable morals, but a seriousness of mind, and a propensity to contemplative and devout habits, which are not the ordinary characteristics of that age, when a choice must be made of the business of life. On this account the number of the young, who are inclined by their own feelings and advised by others to enter the ministry, is comparatively small.

I am now led to another reflection, growing out of the last. The profession of the ministry has an aspect not inviting to the young. Youth is the period of animation and gaiety. But to the hasty observation of youth, there is a gloominess, a solemnity, a painful self-restraint belonging to the life of a minister. Even young men of pure morals and of devotional susceptibility shrink from an employment, which they think will separate them from the world, and impose a rigorous discipline and painful circumspection. That path, which they would probably find most tranquil and most flowery, seems to them beset with thorns. Do we not see many obstructions to a sufficient supply of students of theology ?

I now proceed to another most important consideration. We have seen, that a large number of young men, qualified by their habits and feelings for the ministry, is not to be expected. It is also a fact, and a very decisive fact, that

young men, thus qualified, generally belong to families, whose circumstances are confined, and whose means of educating their children are exceedingly narrow. From this class of society, the ministerial profession, as is well known, receives its largest supplies. Do we not at once discover from this statement, that this profession demands from the community peculiar encouragement ?—Let me briefly repeat what I have said. From the nature of the ministry, but a small proportion of the young are disposed or fitted to enter it, and of this number a considerable part are unable to defray the expenses of their education ; and yet the community has the highest possible interest in giving them the best education which the improvements of the age and the opulence of the country will admit. Is it not clear, that there ought to be provided liberal funds for this most valuable object ?

Will it here be asked, Why the candidate for the ministry cannot borrow money to defray the charges of his education ? I answer, it is not always easy for him to borrow. Besides, a debt is a most distressing incumbrance to a man, who has a prospect of a salary so small, that, without exertions foreign to his profession, it will hardly support him. Can we wonder that the profession is declined in preference to such a burden?

Where this burden, however, is chosen, the effect is unhappy, and the cause of religion is often a sufferer. The candidate, unwilling to contract a larger debt than is indispensable to his object, hurries through his studies, and enters unfurnished and unprepared on the ministry. His first care is, as it should be, to free himself from his pecuniary obligations; and for this end he endeavours to unite some secular employment with his sacred calling. In this way the spirit of study and of his profession is damped. He forms negligent habits in his preparation for the pulpit, which he soon thinks are justified by the wants of a growing family. His imperfect education therefore is never completed. His mind remains stationary. · A meagre library, which he is unable to enlarge, furnishes the weekly food for his flock, who are forced to subsist on an uninteresting repetition of the same dull thoughts.

This is the melancholy history of too many who enter the ministry. Few young men among us are in fact sufficiently prepared, and the consequence is, that religious instruction is not what it should be. The community at large cannot perhaps understand how extensive a preparation the ministry requires. There is one idea, however, which should teach them, that it ought to be more extensive than

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that which is demanded for any other profession. A lawyer and physician begin their employment with a small number of clients or patients, and their practice is confined to the least important cases within their respective departments. They have therefore much leisure for preparation after entering on their pursuits, and gradually rise into public notice. Not so the minister. He enters at once on the stage. All the duties of a parish immediately devolve upon him. His connexion at the first moment extends to as large a number as he will ever be called to serve. His station is at first conspicuous. He is literally burdened and pressed with duties. The mere labor of composing as many sermons as are demanded of him, is enough to exhaust his time and strength. If then his education has been deficient, how is it to be repaired ? Amidst these disadvantages, can we wonder that the mind loses its spring, and soon becomes satisfied with very humble productions ? How important is it, that a good foundation should be laid, that the theological student should have time to accumulate some intellectual treasures, and that he should be trained under circumstances most suited to give him an unconquerable love of his profession, of study, and of the cause to which he is devoted !

THE SYSTEM OF EXCLUSION AND DENUNCIATION IN RELIGION

CONSIDERED. 1815.

Nothing is plainer, than that the leaders of the party called ' Orthodox,' have adopted and mean to enforce a system of exclusion, in regard to Liberal Christians. They spare no pains to infect the minds of their too easy followers with the persuasion, that they ought to refuse communion with their Unitarian brethren, and to deny them the name, character, and privileges of Christians. On this system, I shall now offer several observations.

I begin with an important suggestion. I beg that it may be distinctly understood, that the zeal of Liberal Christians on this point has no other object, than the peace and prosperity of the church of Christ. We are pleading, not our own cause, but the cause of our Master. The denial of our christian character by fallible and imperfect men gives us no anxiety. Our relation to Jesus Christ is not to be dissolved by the breath of man. Our christian rights do not depend on human passions. We have precisely the same power over our brethren, which they have over us, and are equally authorised to sever them from the body of Christ. Still more ; if the possession of truth give superior weight to denunciation, we are persuaded that our opposers will be the severest sufferers, should we think fit to hurl back the sentence of exclusion and condemnation. But we have no disposition to usurp power over our brethren. We believe, that the spirit which is so studiously excited against ourselves, has done incalculable injury to the cause of Christ ; and we

; pray God to deliver us from its power.

Why are the name, character, and rights of Christians to be denied to Unitarians ? Do they deny that Jesus is the Christ ? do they reject his word as the rule of their faith and practice ? do their lives discover indifference to his authority and example ? No, these are not their offences. They are deficient in none of the qualifications of disciples, which were required in the primitive age. Their offence is, that they read the scriptures for themselves, and derive from them different opinions on certain points, from those which others have adopted. Mistake of judgment is their pretended crime, and this crime is laid to their charge by men, who are as liable to mistake as themselves, and who seem to them to have fallen into some of the grossest errors. A condemning sentence from such judges carries with it no terror. Sorrow for its uncharitableness, and strong disapprobation of its arrogance, are the principal feelings which it inspires.

It is truly astonishing, that Christians are not more impressed with the unbecoming spirit, the arrogant style, of those, who deny the christian character to professed and exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, because they differ in opinion on some of the most subtile and difficult subjects of theology. A stranger, at hearing the language of these denouncers, would conclude, without a doubt, that they were clothed with infallibility, and were appointed to sit in judgment on their brethren. But for myself, I know not a shadow of pretence for the language of superiority assumed by our adversaries. Are they exempted from the common frailty of our nature ? Has God given them superior intelligence ? Were they educated under circumstances more favorable to improvement than those whom they condemn? Have they brought to the scriptures more serious, anxious, and unwearied attention ? Or do their lives express a deeper reverence for God and for his Son ? No. They are fallible, imperfect men, possessing no higher means, and no stronger motives for studying the word of God, than their Unitarian brethren. And yet their language to them is virtually this ;- We

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