« ElőzőTovább »
suit the serious people. His lan- also whatever in composition or guage is what I suppose he calls manner is inconsistent with the supsublime and elegant, but I appre- position of the speaker being deeply hend not adapted to the capacities in earnest; such as sparkling ornaof common hearers. There is an ments, far-fetched images, and that affectation of such language, and exuberance of flowers which seems! of what they call oratory in many of evidently designed to gratify the our young preachers. It is a very fancy rather than to touch the heart. easy thing to talk in that strain. To When St. Paul recommends to speak in plain, familiar, yet proper Timothy that sound speech which and pertinent language, is not so cannot be condemned, it is probable easy, but requires more pains than he refers as much to the propriety they choose to take; yet, without of the vehicle as to the purity of the this, I see no good end their preach- instruction. There is, permit me ing is likely to answer.”*
to remind you, a sober dignity both Similar quotations may be mul- of language and of sentiment suited tiplied almost indefinitely. Let the to the representation of religion in most esteemed writers, whether all its variety of topics, from which among the Episcopalians, the Pari- the inspired writers never depart, tans, or the Nonconformists, be con- and which it will be our wisdom to sulted, and the same testimony will imitate. In describing the pleabe borne. The counsel and the sures of devotion, or the joys of heaexample of such men is important; ven, there is nothing weak, sickly, their voice ought to be heard, their or effeminate: a chaste severity experience, their wisdom, and their pervades their delineations; and usefulness, entitle them to the high- whatever they say appears to emaest regard. Lest any, however, nate from a serious mind, accustomshould object that the instances ad- ed to the contemplation of great duced are old fashioned and un- objects, without ever sinking under worthy the attention of a modern them from imbecility, or attempting divine; lest it should be urged that to supply a deficiency of interest, by our congregations differ, that they puerile exaggerations and feeble are more enlightened, that taste is ornaments. The exquisite propriety more refined and habits more ac- of their representations is chiefly to complished, I will trespass upon the be ascribed to their habitual serious.' reader's attention by introducing ness, and the latter to their seeing the sentiments of an illustrious liv- things as they are.”+ ing author, who cannot be suspected Let the fact of usefulness be conof enmity to any of the graces or sidered. The question, whose mibeauties of language. " There are nistrations have been most blessed, two qualities inseparable from reli- is not an unprofitable one. gious instruction--these are serious- excite thoughtfulness, and be proness and affection. It is scarcely ductive of good. necessary to remark, how offensive
Surely the reply will not be in and unnatural is every violation of favour of those whose discourses it in a religious discourse, which is,
+ A Discourse on the Discouragements however, of wider extent than is ge- and Supports of the Christian Minister, by nerally imagined; including, not the Rev. Robert Hall. pp. 27, 28, 29. merely jesting, buffoonery, and un- # Many alas, who should be factors for
their own disguised levity of every sort, but Christ, play the merchants
credit. They are sent to woo souls for * Letters to Dissenting Ministers, by Job Christ, and they speak one word for him and Orton ; published by Palmer. vol. i, p. 200. two for themselves, This is a great wick
partake more of heathen philosophy alluded to, because the prosecution ihan. Christian doctrine, more of of the subject would show, that criticisms and politics than the holy those who have been most useful, Gospel, more ol rhetorical self-seek whose memory is most endeared, ing than a single aim to awaken insisted, with studied plainness, șinners, or to edify those who have upon man's guilt and danger, the believed. “ I think it is the re- necessity of regeneration by the mark of the pious Flavel) the plain- Holy Spirit
, and free justification est men have done the greatest ser- by faith in the perfect righteousness vice in the church of Christ.”* of the Redeemer, and the import“If," observes the judicious Char- ance of holiness : in short, every nock," it were only by suasion doctrine and every precept of reand exhortation, the most eloquent vealed truth. M. Henry, speakpreaching were like to do most good. ing of St. Paul's ministrations said, Whereas it never was God's method “ He did not affect to appear a fine to found conversion upon the words of orator, or a deep philosopher; nor man's wisdom, though enticing in did he insinuate himself into their themselves, but upon the demon- minds by a flourish of words, or a stration and power of the Spirit.”+- pompous show of deep reason, and “Myspeech and my preaching was extraordinary science and skill. He not,” said the great Apostle to the did not set himself to captivate the Gentiles, “ with enticing words of ear by fine turns and eloquent exman's wisdom, but in demonstration pressions. Neither lis speech, nor of the Spirit and of power ”-Why? the wisdom he taught, savoured of
faith should not stand human skill; he learnt both in anoin the wisdom of men, but in the ther school. Divine wisdom needed power of God.” I Cor. ii. 4,5. Mr. not to be set off with such human orScott ț excellently remarks on this naments. He laid down the doctrine passage, that the Apostle would as the Spirit delivered it, and left the use no other arts of persuasion than Spirit by his internal influences on that plain and faithful address to the hearts of men to demonstrate the hearts and consciences of men,
the truth of it, and procure its rewhich the Spirit of God always ception."-Henry, on 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5. makes use of in convincing them of
No doubt this is one of the reasin, and in powerfully demonstrat
sons of the attachment of pious pering the truth and preciousness of sons to the writings of the old dithe Gospel to their souls.”
vines." A predilection observable, A regular historical detail of the in the devout episcopalian as well effects of preaching would not com- as the congregationalist. There is port with the space or design of this in the compositions referred to, and Essay; but the thing itself may be which mainly are specimens of ac
customed preaching, a powerful sa
vour of divine truth, an exhibition edness, which Paul solemnly clears himself of the fulness that is in Christ, an of. Nor as a cloak of covetousness, God is evident disregard to things extermy witness, nor of men, sought we glory. O how seldom are any converted by such sermons! $ If we maim the Gospel, and suppress a These gloriæ animalia, vain glorious preach. good part of it, we can expect but a very deers, may be like Rachel fair, but their minis- fective success in the nature of things ; nay, try is like to be barren.
may we not fear God's honour is concerned tian Armour, vol. iii. pp. 709-10, ed. 1662. in such case to blast us, and we shall be Works, vol. viii. p. 465.
like to labour almost in vain.--- Jennings's 4 Works, vol. iv. p. 589.
Discourse on Preaching Christ, p. 30. ed. # Commentary in Loc.
nal and imposing, especially when is recorded, that during one of our brought into competition with in- Lord's discourses, “a certain woman spired truth. There is manifested of the company lifted up, her voice, a sincerity of intention and effort, and said unto him, Blessed is the which reminds the reader at once of womb that bare thee, and the paps divine influence. Instead of the at- which thou hast sucked.” Luke xi, traction of laboured finery, instead 27. She no doubt studied the pleaof astonishment being excited by sure of the Saviour, in giving a testia calculation of toil as bestowed mony to his ministry and dịctrine upon a period, or the construction so decided and so public. But obof a passage, the mind is led into serve the answer -“ Yea, rather itself—is elevated to the Saviour. blessed are they that hear the word There is observable in their produc- of God and keep it.”. A plain intitions a deeply rooted' affection formation, that he who would be faithsouls, an anxiety to reach the heart, ful must deny and resist the opera, which gains upon the human mind, tions of selfishness and ambition, and causes, under a divine blessing, and manifest, as well as feel, a suthe reader's feelings to respond. preme, and single regard to!
the Let the text be what it may, the glory of God in his ministerial sentiments of the Holy Ghost are work. anxiously elicited ; the writers seem Would I describe a preacher, such as Pauls to grasp the whole object with a Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and firmness and distinctness, which are own, of essential importance for the right in doctrine uncorrupt ; in language plaint,
I would express him simple, grave, sincere ; explanation of truth.
They seem, also, to have studied character. And natural in gesture; much impress'dini
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste, There is a variety of application Himself, as conscious of his awful charger
, is which shews, not merely a watchful And anxious mainly, that the flcck he feeds inspection of themselves, but a care
May feel it too; affectionate in look, ful observation of others. Motives
And tender in address, as well becomes ] are analysed, the depths of sin deli
A messenger of grace to dying men. of 2 neated, the devices of Satan unra
It will be evident 'that the prevelled, holy doctrines ably explain- ceding remarks intend no reflection ed and brought home to the heart on the cultivation of sound learning, in their practical bearings and sanc- no objection to the impassioned elotifying influence. In short, they quence of devout feeling: " Amidst bowed with reverence to the book all the beautiful simplicity which a of God; they discerned the weight decp conviction of the Gospel tends of their office, and estimated their to produce, there is room left for own responsibilities in connexion the most manly and noble eloquence; with the work of Christ. In
which, therefore, the Christian using their discourses, it never preacher should labour to inake haoccurs to the reader that the ordi- bitual to him, and of which St. Paul nance of preaching is a nursery for is a most illustrious example." t It display; but that it is the divinely is the want of the one, it is the abuse appointed method of introducing of the other, at which these animadthe redeemed of the Lord to the versions are aimed. The observaglories of the heavenly state. They tions, therefore, are directed to the were not content to preach before counteraction of an evident design their hearers, but to them ; to avoid to please and to attract, at the exthe guilt of blood rather than to
be extolled by a mixed assembly. It
* Cowper. The Task, Book 2.0)
pense of all that is sublime and im- tle enjoin" If amy man speak," portant; it is to the subversion, as not only as a private Christian, but much as may be,' of a system which as a public teacher" let him is destructive of the very ends of speak as the oracles of God”g– preaching; a system which leads that is, speak "Faithfully, holily and hearers to imagine, that, notwith- wisely, gravely and decently, that standing a minister professes to re- light expressions, and affected flougard a crucified Saviour as the rishes, and unseemly gestures be foundation of a sinner's hope, and avoided ; and that there be a sweet to believe that the influence of the contemperature of authority and Holy Spirit is indispensable to ren- mildness." II der the word effectual, he ever (To be concluded in our next.) seems to rest for acceptance and success upon the artifices of rhetoric and the ornaments of speech.
THE ORPHAN.-A FACT. The subject may be pressed by From the Southern Evangelical Intelligencer. enquiry-leaving the answer to calm It was on a pleasant summer's eve, reflection. Is unintelligible decla- that the pastor of one of our Newmation, are crude metaphysical dis- England villages took his usual cussions, entertaining essays, deck- walk, after spending the day in ed with quotations from Shakspeare, study. He was a good old man, who Sterne, Walter Scott, and a host had long been faithful over the beof writers (all useful in their place,) loved people of his charge; and he the
proper themes for a Gospel mi- had been a successful labourer, in nistry? Will they tend to promote the cause of his Master, till his head the main business of the Christian in- had become silvered, and his totterstructor-" to make clearer the nar- ing tenement needed the support of row road to eternal life, and incline a staff. The sun had already sunk in us to walk in it?”* Thus saith the the west, and was pouring his last chief of the Apostles—“ We use rays into the golden sky, as the pasgreat plainness of speech."+"And tor entered the village grave-yard. I brethren, when I came unto you, There is something in this hour of came not with excellency of speech the day that gives a pleasing melanor of wisdom, declaring unto you the choly to the soul, which, added to testimony of God. For I determined the place in which he was walking, not to know any thing among you, was peculiarly adapted to assist the save Jesus Christ, and him cruci- holy man in his meditations; and, fied." # It is impossible to peruse if need be, to raise his thoughts such a declaration as this, which from this world, and to place them embodies all the alins and all the on that which he felt was his home. plans of a devoted minister of the The good man was pressing beneath New Testament, without perceiving his softly trembling steps the sods its force, especially when it is con- which covered many of his beloved sidered, that it was made by one of parishioners, when he came to the the most learned men, and address- spot where lay his wife and three ed to the polite but speculating Co- beautiful daughters, whose lovelirinthians. Well might another Apos- ness, like the opening rose, was
Dean Milner. Sermons, vol. i. p. 142. + 2 Cor. iii. 12.
1 Cor. ii. 1, 2
§ 1 Peter iv. 11. Archbishop Leighton's Works. vol. 257, &c.
blasted ere it was fully exhibited. was to sooth him into confidence, The pastor leaned on his staff, and and then to direct him to a Father bent over these graves, and was who would never forsake' bim. just marking out by their side the With patience he satisfied his cuspot where he hoped shortly to lie riosity respecting death-how that in peace, when he was startled by it is a long sleep, but that the voice the sobs of a child. He turned, of God will one day awake even and, at a little distance, beheld á the dead. He told him how death lovely little white-headed boy, who was introduced into the world, and was kneeling and sobbing over the made him understand that it was grave
of his father, whose ashes had the consequence of sin. He exlately been deposited beneath. With plained to him the natural depraa melting heart the good shepherd vity of the heart-how we, “ like approached the child of his friend, sheep have all gone astray.”. He and, with the tenderness of an an- laboured to impress upon him a gel, he raised and kissed this or- correct view of the character of phan lamb of his flock, whose face God-his attributes of love, mercy, was pallid through grief, and whose justice, &c. and then explained how bright blue eyes were swollen by we might be saved by Jesus Christ. weeping. He sat down beside the He next strove deeply to impress grave, and pressed the weeping upon the listening boy what is the boy to his bosom.
chief end of man;" and thus con0, Sir," said the child, “ let cluded, while his hearer seemed to me cry for my father-he lies deep hang upon his lips : " And now, my in that grave; they tell me he will dear little boy, you have indeed lost never again be my
father-I fear a tender father'; but I have been that I have offended him, that he trying to point out to you a Father, will no more be my father, and I who has promised never to forsake want to ask him to forgive me, and the poor orphan.” to kiss me as he used to do !-Oh! But,” says the child,
if he would once more be my father, it to be an orphan ?". I would never again offend him. “ It is to be loft destitute of parents But they say he is dead! 0, I would while we are yet children.” sit here and cry all night-I would “ I think I understand; but what never stop if my poor father would is a poor orphan ? ” come to me! But he will not The clergyman was affected, but come-for, a few days before they replied, “It is
" It is a child who is put him in this hole, he told me left destitute of property as well as 0, I do remember it-he told me he friends." was going to leave me, and I should “0, I wish," said the child, in never have a father any more; and the simplicity of his heart, “ I wish he stroked my hair with his sick that I was a poor orphan, if God hand, and told me when he was bu- would be my father.” ried in the ground, that I must be a The good minister wept—for he good boy and love God : Oh! my knew that the child's wish respectpoor, good father!”
ing property would be fully satisThe feeling pastor pressed the fied_“I trust, my dear child, that hand of the sorrowing child within God will be your father. You his; and, ere he could answer him, know how short are
our liveshe had wet with his tears the silken how certain our death-how much hair of the orphan. The first object we have to do to prepare for death
16 what is