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things alike to be distinguished; the place and circumstances of each must be weighed; and a nice discernment to hold the scales of evidence, and cool impartiality of judgment are equally necessary. Whatever sagacity in reasoning distinguishes the advocate; whatever love of truth, and patient search for it, immortalize the judge, are here in constant requisition. Hence the greatest reasoners of our country and the world, have been theologians. So in removing objections, and establishing the claims of religion to be received among the most certain matters of human belief, the minister will have occasion often to compare the teachings of Christianity with the inductions of science. The benevolence of God's constitution, and the rectitude of his eternal law, have to be defended before the reason of man. The grounds of all religion, and thus the highest moral questions are involved in the harmony of nature with the word of God. Thus the world of science, as opposing or upholding religion, is the field of his debate. It will not do to say that philosophy has no right to influence religious belief. Many of its conclusions are as certain as the evidences of Christianity. All objections to a divine religion, it is his high duty to meet. When the natural philosopher has arrived by induction at the laws of a particular science, it is his business by a higher induction to show the harmony of all well founded science with the truths of man's moral nature and accountability, and complete the victory of faith over unbelief. Frequent exercise of the intellect on the grand truths and arguments of religion, thus imposed as a part of ministerial duty, never fails to produce an enlarged habit of mind, a commanding reach and power of thought. To a part of these evidences, Butler and Paley devoted numerous and toilsome years, and illustrated in their philosophic emiWol. III. 7

nence, and still more in the elevation and serenity of their lives, the influence of their pursuits. Where they led, the ministry are called to follow. If the Gospel is ever to triumph over the world, its truth must be placed on impregnable foundations. The work is not done. The evidences of Christianity are but beginning to be explored. We are invited to new worlds of discovery. On this field lie the treasures of universal learning and history. Nature gives testimony to her Creator. Arguments of infinite force and extent are found in the analogies of the external world. Connected as man is by invisible relations with the universe; placed midway in the scale of being between the insect and the Deity ;every thing within him, in the world around, and the heaven above, every gradation of intelligence ascending from nature to spirit, and to God, bears witness to the dignity, and capacities, and worth, of an immortal soul. Christianity is sometimes reproached as an arbitrary appointment, neither requiring nor admitting explanation—an impression, as unjust to religion as it is pernicious to man. There is no institution, human or divine, which is less arbitrary. It has its foundation in essential and ineradicable wants, in the undying nature of a human soul. Let the ministers of religion set themselves to this high argument. Let it be shown that Christianity is adapted as no other religion is, to every faculty and sentiment of our being; to man in his intellectual, social, and religious character, as a spirit intelligent, accountable, and immortal; that it alone sets before him life's true end and dignity; leading to that harmony of the soul with herself, of reason and conscience with appetite and passion, which is the sum of her aspirations; of mankind with each other, and of all with God; that it alone can bring man into that tranquil and blessed condition for which he was intended, and in which only he can attain the full growth of his powers, and a happiness which is perfect. Such is the exposition of the Gospel for which the world is sighing. Christianity can not assume her universal reign, till she comes forth arrayed in celestial beauty. This will be done when the gospel shall appear in its own native character, a scheme broader than philosophy, whose origin is higher than earth, recognizing man's true nature, dealing with his highest interests, answering the supplications of want, and more than fulfilling the prophecies of hope. We indicate the liberalizing tendency of a profession, by designating its duties. The minister stands on the high places of the field. Overlooking the defenses of religion, he is ever strengthening its walls, and deepening its foundations. His mind is continually exercised to fortify and establish the power of Christianity on earth, by profounder investigations into the greatest subjects, to which the human intellect is ever directed. All the topics we have named and more; the empire of law as governing the universe, knowing nothing of pardon, except through the New Testament in a Redeemer's blood; the debasing and hardening tendencies of sin; the purifying influence of Christian faith and hope; the effect of Christianity upon civilization ; the results to flow from the spread of the gospel; with a multitude of like subjects of a comprehensive character, all come properly within the range of ministerial study and discourse, requiring close and prolonged examination, and giving scope to the loftiest human powers. Thus we have spoken of religion as fitted to enlarge and strengthen the intellect of man universally, and above all, of the Christian teacher

as its student and expounder, through the simple grandeur of its subjects alone, and the study of those general principles which give it the character of a science. Here we may pause and look around. We have before us already a power of expansion beyond all estimate, in the simple influence of habitual communion with truths, awful as the being and attributes of God, vast as eternity. He who wanders among realities and interests such as these, climbing those awful heights of Divine existence which at once excite and baffle human inquiry, and hanging over the abysses of the universe, is like the traveller among the mountains of Switzerland, where he is surrounded at every step, by the gigantic forms of nature, and feels his soul alternately bowed in the deepest dust of humility, and raised to heaven with emotions of awe and grandeur. The soul, rapt in contemplation day by day, whereinto God's word and spirit enter and abide, is emancipated at length from the bonds of space and time. It has a source of elevation which no lesser influence can inspire. Genius may climb the mountain top, but if it leave not earthly things, its vision is hemmed by low and narrow bounds. But where imagination tires, devotion taught by God, soars aloft to dwell by the eternal throne, to learn the celestial hymn, and look out where around unnumbered suns rise and set, and beneath, stars and systems roll. Thoughts taking hold on eternity, affections embracing the universe and the Deity, constitute the religious spirit already an inhabitant of the unfading world, and life bears witness to a growing conformity to the perfect existence of heaven. But on this point we have lingered too long. The delightful theme betrays us. The ministry has other duties than the investigation of truth. It is rather in the application than in the settlement of principles a minister's time must be passed, and we have now to contemplate him entering on this new field for the exertion of his powers. We have spoken of deduction as a high effort of mind. By this, or by reasoning generally, is meant application of established laws to particular facts under them, or the reduction by a logical process of complicated phenomena to simple principles intuitive to all, and at which discussion terminates. How important a part this kind of discourse plays in all public instruction is obvious. The statesman can occupy but a small part of his time in studying the abstract science of political economy. On his skill in applying a few general principles to intricate questions of policy will chiefly depend his success. In the multiplicity of duties which this new department of ministerial labor has created, how wide is the range given to intellectual power. Here the practical character of this office comes into view, and its value is recognized as a mighty moral infiuence ever operating for the wel the wisest of mankind, and the faithful instructor is justly honored by them as a benefactor to the human race. Thought, quickening of the mind to activity, the energy of selfcommand, and the triumphs of life, are the gifts of early education. Moral cultivation has superior excellence. By so much the office of a religious teacher excels all others. Communicating higher views of man's nature and destinies, leading to a juster estimate and more correct principles of this life, and fixing the uplifted eye of faith on another and better to come, the blessings he imparts, the sacred memorials he leaves behind him, are in the changed character and happiness of the soul, in purified desires, enlarged affections and elevated hopes. If such be the demands in preaching the Gospel on the reasoning powers, no less wide is the field which it opens to the imagination, and no less powerful is the appeal to every feeling of the human breast. To the orator these are essential. The preacher may reason well and yet his hearers be unaffected. His arguments are conclusive, yet sin is not alarmed. Lines of truth fall clear and soft as moonbeams on the painted windows of the cathedral and the marble of the altar, yet as cold. Imagination is indispensable to the highest eloquence. Men, especially when addressed in large bodies, are controlled more by images than abstract ideas. “The vision and faculty divine” irradiates all human thought, and gives it life, brilliancy, and power. To the preacher quick conception and imaginative powers are especially necessary, to diversify the instructions of the pulpit, to infuse new life into those solemn services which sometimes weary in the act of repetition; to suit the music of religion to each changeful mood and temper of the human heart, and make its old truths like the timeworn sublimities of nature, ever

fare of society. Rules of duty are

to be applied to men in a thousand different circumstances. Into no relation, social or political, can man enter, into which the obligations of religion do not follow him. And never shall we witness the full ef. fect of Christianity until its influence is felt restraining, governing men in every relation, and at all times. The position occupied by the minister as the guardian of pubBc morality is wholly peculiar, and supremely important. His object is nothing less than to bring every human soul, and relation, and act, into strict conformity to the everlasting law; and thus, as his influence flows on into futurity, to bring under the control of truth and secure to God the mind of generations. Rules are laid down by him for the guidance of life more com

prehensive than any human government can prescribe. Actions which no earthly power deigns or dares to notice, are fit subjects for his approval or condemnation. The bearing of Christianity on society and government opens another field into which as God's ambassador he has a right to enter, and where the divine law must reign. Religious principle must pervade every social organization, and regulate all duties between man and man. Is here no opportunity for strength of mind to show itself? In this are no wide grasp of intellect, no power of argument, no eloquence of persuasion, demanded ? Does the legislator lay down laws to govern his fellow men 2 The Christian minister lays down a law which is to govern him in his legislation; a law supported not indeed by the penal enactments of men, but by the more terrible sanctions of infinite wrath and almighty power. Among the ambassadors of earthly courts he appears a messenger of the King of kings. It is thought high praise of one's abilities to be honored as the expounder of a state constitution. But here it is given to a feeble mortal to expound a law to kings; to unfold and apply the principles which guide, not the administration of one state or nation, but which govern the whole universe of God, unchanged from the beginning ; and which are to last and extend their mighty sway over infinite worlds, and through interminable ages. It seems proper in this connection to remark on the dignity of the ministerial office as devoted to religious instruction. Intellectual culture is owned in the instinctive homage of society as adding elevation to individual character. The gift which it is so honorable to possess, it must be still more so to impart. Accordingly, however unworthy and tri

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fresh and new. Vivid description and deep emotion—feelings awakened in the orator's own bosom, and communicated to those around him, with striking delineation of past and future scenes, these are the influences which seize on men's hearts and carry them away. Bursts of eloquence, such as charm and sway the world, are not the product of a cold and reasoning intellect. They come in moments of self-forgetfulness and devotion, when the heart is possessed by truth, and those feelings which come from the Spirit of God, with a power which admits neither resistance nor control. For these there must be a theme, an audience, and an occasion to kindle the speaker's imagination, and arouse his feelings to the utmost effort. All these impulses surround and animate the faithful minister. He is an orator. Labors of thought and agonies of prayer are his preparation. Placed in the midst of a hurrying, worldly age, he addresses men as estranged from their Maker, at war with God, while hastening to his bar. Before him lies the image of a world in ruins. On a dark and swift-rolling billow man flies to eternity. Generation after generation hurries onward and away without God and without hope. Here, then, the preacher stands to call men back from their wild pursuit of pleasure and wealth to seek first the kingdom of God. He comes to man polluted by sin, and points him to heaven. To reason of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come ; to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; to unite and purify the church; to quicken piety, and encourage effort;-are the objects which animate the toil, and give urgency to the appeals of the minister of Christ. If zeal and constancy correspond at all with the greatness of the work to be done, then must he who stands on the watchtower of religion, as of freedom, be ever awake. At home, and abroad, in his chosen flock, and upon the church universal, must his influence be felt in the encouragement which he gives to Christian enterprise in every form. Look, what gigantic schemes the ministry are appointed to carry on. While the heralds of salvation are plunging into the depths of our western forests, and bearing the word of life to every shore, on pastors at home rests the business of sustaining them, of increasing their numbers and strength until the banner of the cross waves on every hill, and the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of God. An enterprise so stupendous, summoning into action every faculty and noble sentiment of man, exalts together all the elements of his being. The force of that single motive, the conversion of the world, has produced more grandeur of character than all worldly ambition beside—a motive that made Paul and Luther the fathers of ages in which their influence should control the destinies of mankind; that awoke the unconquerable minds of Loyola and Xavier to such prodigies of human exertion ; and that still sends forth thousands to perish in distant climes for the universal regeneration of Inan. And not merely the objects sought, but the records of inspiration themselves from which the mind learns its lessons of benevolence, call into exercise imagination and feeling. All the scenes of history and prophecy, the primitive innocence and sad apostasy of man; sin with its train of woes; the life, sufferings, and death of the Son of God; with the retributions of eternity, are at the preacher's command. Scope is given him for every variety of subject and illustration, from the gentle whisperings of Calvary to the lightnings of Sinai, and the thunders of the judgment day.

Such is the inspiring character of the Gospel. Join with this a power of language adequate to the expression of Christian themes, and the pulpit will witness effects transcending all other human impressions. “When Massillon entered the pulpit,” we are told, “not the pious and the sober merely, but the votaries of pleasure and business thronged the church. The theater was forsaken, the court forgot their amusements, and the monarch descended from his throne to hear the illustrious preacher. While he spoke, the king trembled ; while he denounced the indignation of God against a corrupted court, nobility shrunk into nothing; while he described the terrors of a judgment to come, infidelity turned pale; and the congregation, unable to resist the power of his language, rose from their seats in agony.” In the production of such wonderful effects there was no great secret. The power of that humble priest lay in the simple fervor, the natural earnestness and eloquence of a glowing and sanctified mind. So the flash of Whitefield's eye, and the tone of his voice, wrought with electric power, because through every outward art and grace shone a celestial fire, a soul baptized with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. Such examples show us the power of religious truth presented with that divine ardor and love which is its natural accompaniment, and raise our ideas of that office whose duty it is to publish it to the world as the first of earthly dignities. To the previous arguments for the superiority of the ministry, may be added, its influence, though silent, is more wide-spread and lasting than any other. It is sometimes objected that the labors of the minister are not followed by that marked effect which attends efforts in the senate and at the bar. If immediate impression alone be re

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