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the shortening of the day of grace with large numbers of our population.
3. Assuming now God's willingness and readiness to renew these children, as evidenced by his notable providence, and assuming the solemn exigency in which they are placed by the simple fact of their being in the Sabbath-school, we remark, in the third place, that in order to the accomplishment of the saving work of the Holy Spirit upon them, there must be, humanly speaking, earnest and thorough consecration to the salvation of each child, on the part of the teachers and of the church-a consecration, hitherto, in a great measure unrealized. If the means of grace and holiness are so largely withheld from them at home, this lack must be supplied, to the utmost degree possible, by those who, in God's providence, have their spiritual welfare in charge. Especially should the teacher seek to take the place of faithless, godless parents. He should be now a father, now a mother in Christ to their children, a true sponsor, a real godfather and godmother. By frequent visitation at their houses; by taking them one by one to his own house and praying with them, counselling and instructing them; by providing them with suitable Christian reading; by writing letters to them; by a holy and happy example (and all this from year to year), he should supply to the Holy Spirit and to them, the means of sanctification. And the church, especially through her responsible officers preeminently through its pastor, should continually do all in her power to keep the pressure of eternal and divine things upon the minds and hearts of the children. . In this way it would soon be found out that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and heaven. The writer has a friend, a member now of the Roman Catholic Church, whose love for souls, and whose labors with God and with them for their salvation furnish a lesson to us. On a visit, paid her a year or two since, she took him into her place of private prayer. In an inner closet, whose door she opened, he noticed the photographs of nineteen persons. He asked her who they were. She replied, they were poor people she was trying to save. She visited them regularly, and instructed them carefully, but her great dependence was on God;
and she was accustomed to take these photographs, one by one, and put them on a little table she had prepared for the purpose, and then, looking at them, she would kneel, and name their names, and mention their wants and trials to her Father, and plead for mercy in their behalf. Would that we, Protestants, rivalled the fidelity, and earnestness, and determination of this Roman Catholic lady! Would that Sabbath-school teachers and Christian churches were so imbued with divine grace, were in such deep and vital fellowship with the Holy Spirit, were so heartily persuaded of the depraved, lost, and helpless condition of all children by nature, and were so bent on securing God's almighty power in their behalf, that they would make their salvation a matter of deeper concern than their own necessary food! If the spirit of Jacob, when he wrestled with the Angel of the Covenant, and said, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me;" if the spirit of Moses, when he said, “ This people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold, yet, now, if thou wilt, forgive their sin, and, if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which thou hast written;" if the spirit of Paul, when he wrote, “I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh;” if this were the spirit that possessed Sabbath-school teachers, it would consume their indolence, and worldlines, and selfishness, and consecrate them thorough, hearty, lifelong workers together with God in this sacred calling. And without this spirit in some good measure, the beneficial effects now derived from the institution would scarely counterbalance, we fear, the evil which it scals upon the souls of children by reason of its marked shortcomings.
If the views we have presented are just, it follows that the success of the Sabbath-school cause depends upon a mighty outpouring of Divine influence upon teachers and scholars. And this is our confidence, that as the providence of God has instituted the system, involving such solemn relations and consequences, so the Spirit of God will be given to it, and, by a pentecostal baptism, teachers will be consecrated and filled with the Holy Ghost, and the children will be renewed and flock to the church, as the clouds and as doves to their
windows. It is the cause of God, and he reigns sovereign and supreme over it; and none can stay the hand of his love, nor resist the energy of his invincible spirit, when the fountains of the great deep of the Divine compassions are broken up, and the time, the set time to favor Zion has come.
And how evident it is that no work can be named more blessed, and yet more difficult, requiring more assiduity and persistent faithfulness, than that of a Sabbath-school teacher. It is an employment transcending all earthly work, demanding supernal aid, and when properly performed throughout the church, will speedily usher in the millennial glory. To engage in it perfunctorily and prayerlessly, without a profound and vital sense of dependence on the sovereign agency of the Holy Spirit, is not only to sin against God, but also to sin most grievously and fatally against the souls of the rising generation in our land.
Art. III.-The Life of Samuel Miller, D.D., LL.D. Sec
ond Professor in the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church at Princeton, N. J. BY SAMUEL MILLER. In two volumes. Philadelphia : Claxton, Remsen & Haf
felfinger. Trere are two reasons why we approach this biography with much more than ordinary interest. One is that the subject of it was one of the commanding spirits of his day, one of the greater lights of our American Church. The other is that, though his grave las been made for nearly twenty years, he is still embalmed in our grateful remembrances for that kindly, formative, enduring influence, which rendered him to us, as well as many others, one of the best of benefactors. In going over the leading events of his life, and the prominent traits of his character, as they are brought out in these deeply interesting volumes,-notwithstanding we claim the position of impartial reviewers,—we do not pledge ourselves to ignore all past relations, or to forget that we are writing about one whose memory we cherish with unmixed reverence. VOL. XLII.-NO. 1.
It is not our design to present even an outline of these volumes, as if to diminish, in any degree, the importance of giving them a thorough perusal, but rather, by briefly sketching the life and character they so faithfully represent, to induce our readers to explore for themselves the source from which our material is drawn. We shall content ourselves with just glancing at Dr. Miller's eminently useful life, and then endeavoring to find out the secret of it.
It is impossible to form a correct estimate of the good influence which Dr. Miller exerted, without viewing it in connection with his various relations; for each relation was a channel through which that influence, in some form or other, flowed out upon the world.
First of all, we may view him as the head of a family, and as a Christian gentleman. In no condition can a good man be placed in which his influence acts with greater power than in his own home circle. Here he is brought in contact with immortal mind in its earliest development; and has the opportunity of lodging in the memory and the heart, truths and principles which may ultimately give complexion to the whole character. It is not certain, indeed, that his best efforts will always prove successful—for there is sometimes an onergy in the proclivities of human corruption that no earthly power is able to control-and yet there is no other sphere in which his fidelity is more likely to be crowned with the Divine blessing. Dr. Miller was the father of several children, who have lived at once to honor their parentage and to bless their generation. One daughter (the oldest) was married to the Rev. Dr. John Breckenridge, whose life forms an important part of the history of the Presbyterian Church, and her beautiful character is the subject of a fitting and graceful memorial. Another daughter (also deceased) was the wife of an able lawyer in Princeton, one of the trustees of the Theological Seminary,—and was a model in every relation that she sustained. Yet another daughter-thanks to a generous Providence-still lives; and may many years pass, before her whole life shall be a legitimate subject for review. Several of the sons have occupied important posts of public useful. ness, while one of the two clergymen is the author of these
poor as the
memorial volumes. It was indeed through the joint influence of the parents that this successful training was accomplished - they were fellow-helpers in the good work of thus moulding their offspring to lives of honorable usefulness.
But Dr. Miller's social influence reached far beyond his own domestic circle--as a Christian gentleman, mingling with different classes, and occupying various fields of useful activity, he made himself felt both benignly and powerfully. He would be at home as well in the hovels of the dwellings of the rich; in the vale of ignorance and obscurity as in circles of intelligence and refinement. With the former class he never took on airs of superiority, as if to make them sensible of the distance between himself and them, but, by his kind words and genial and accommodating manner, endeavored to breathe into their hearts the spirit of contentment and good-will. With the latter he could mingle with the utmost freedom, and, from his ample stores of intellectual wealth, could dispense thoughts on almost any subject to which it was a privilege to listen. Wherever he moved, or wherever he paused, his bland and gentle manner, and his well-ordered and kindly words, drew around him friends who felt it a privilege to listen to his conversation and share his regards.
Passing from the scenes of social life, in which Dr. Miller figured so extensively and so brightly, we may view him next in the higher relation of a minister of the Gospel. His whole pastoral life was in connection, first with the Collegiate Presbyterian churches, and, after the dissolution, with the Wall Street Church, New York. It lasted just twenty years —from 1793 to 1813; and though there were some causes of disquietude operating in connection with it, especially the question of a separation of the associated churches; yet it may safely be said that it was characterized throughout by great dignity, fidelity, and success. Not only was the congregation to which he ministered numerous and wealthy, but it embodied a large amount of intellectual culture and social and political influence; and it was no small matter, especially for a young man, to prepare sermons suited to such an atmosphere. He succeeded, however, admirably in this difficult