« 上一頁繼續 »
is gone. Gone in his beauty, his manliness, his purity, and his love. Gone in the fullness of promise, in the gladness of his realized hopes. A whole-souled man is always but ill spared ; how doubly sad the loss when youth and holiness have combined to make him dear. He has gone from us who loved him, and has left in many hearts a void which cannot be filled. He was firm in his integrity, warm in his affections, white and spotless in his purity. Unwearied in industry, he was blessed with powers of intellect which enabled bim to attain abundant fruits of his labors. Joyous and serene in temperament, he was fitted to experience the world's best pleasures, and was armed to contend with its sorrows. An unruffled amiability of temper was eminently characteristic of Mr. Wheeler, and did much to endear him to bis many friends. No recollection of past ill-nature can arise to shade our remembrance of him, no thought of past unkindness to chill our warm love for his memory. Life wore ever to him a smiling aspect, and its highest developments and its most homely experiences were alike the sources of gratitude and love.
“Do what I will," he says in a letter, "all things will wear a shining and a smiling front, and so I cannot help smiles and laughter. Let me laugh then, 'for he who laughs much commits no deadly sin.”
The letter, which next succeeded that from which we have just quoted, contained intelligence of the death of a dear and affectionate brother, and it breathed a tone of confidence and love, which comes home to the hearts of those who now mourn for him who wrote it.
“ You remember that in my last letter, I said that life would wear a cheerful look to me, do what I would. I feel bound to say that my state of mind is as cheerful now as at the time of writing that letter. I am not, nor do I care to be, in so riant a mood as then. But I now believe as a thing of faith, what I have long held as a theory, the perfect manifestations of the Divine Love in the life of each one of us. So far as concerns the living, the saddest experiences are but the shadings in the picture which Providence is ever painting.' Sorrow that those we love are taken away is not wrong; but faith that God holds the issues of life and death in his hands, and that nothing can take place without his will, will rob that sorrow of its sting. I have been called upon to taste a new cup of sorrow, and found that the pang
of separation was sharper in this case than ever be
fore ; but found also that I had not lived two years and three quarters since Hildreth’s death for nothing. That event found me a boy ; this finds me a man; that came upon me a dreamer of theories ; this finds me a believer. That event saddened my feelings for a time; this, as I verily believe, has deepened my whole nature for eternity. I said then I will resist evil; now sin seems to me well nigh impossible. My views of life are as cheerful as ever ; my thoughts of death far less unpleasant."
Let us take example from him who has gone before; in his own words we may read our consolation ; in the purity of his life we may realize how sin was to him well nigh impossible, how holiness is atiainable through sorrow and bitter tears.
He was lovely and beloved, for he was earnest, pure, and true. Away from his home and his kindred, he met his Father's call. Absent, but thank God, not alone, he laid him down to die, and in calmness and serenity breathed forth his latest breath. By friendly hands were his falling eyelids pressed, and a voice of his native tongue was speaking his last farewell.
THE MINISTRY AT LARGE IN BOSTON.
In the last number of the Examiner some remarks were made, in relation to the present form of the ministry at large, in Boston, which have called forth the communication which follows, and to which we very willingly give a place in our journal. The opinions we then expressed were expressed with deliberation, and with no more strength of phrase than we then thought, and now think, the case requires. If this were not a subject of great practical importance, we should not have offered our pages for the present communication to our correspondent, nor occupied them with any further words of our
But its real importance must be our justification with our readers. Still, if more is to be said on one side and the other, we think a paper of more frequent appearance will
prove a more convenient medium of communication.
We now ask the attention of our readers to the communication of “One of our Ministers at Large," and then to the observations subjoined.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHIRISTIAN EXAMINER:
In the September number of the Examiner is a notice of the Eighth Report of the London Domestic Missionary Society. In this notice but little is said respecting the London Mission, while several reflections are offered respecting the Ministry at Large among ourselves. Some important and just views are presented respecting the poor, and the duty of the more prosperous classes towards themn; while several statements are made upon the ministry at large, which might lead many readers to very erroneous conclusions.
In alluding to Dr. Tuckerman, the writer says, “ We still think the device of Dr. Tuckerman the most perfect, and practicable as perfect, ever conceived for the nioral redemption, as well as the present immediate relief of the poor in cities." The writer then goes on to say, that “the ministry at large, according to Dr. Tuckerman's idea, has declined or perished of late years. In Providence, we believe, there is a single minister. In Boston, we suppose we are correct in saying, there is now not one.”
It seems to be an imperative duty that this statement should be corrected. There are individuals connected with the fraternity of churches, who are employed as ministers at large. And unless these men are false to their trust, they are what they profess to be. They visit daily among the poor ; they devote time and strength to this work ; they search into the waste places; they penetrate into the darkest regions of vice and poverty ; they cultivate a personal acquaintance with the wretched -- administer, as far as they can judiciously, to their temporal wants; but especially do they strive to reclaim them from error, and to elevate them from their degraded state.
The ministers under the direction of the fraternity of churches, are not only understood to be ministers to the poor by the fraternity, but by the community at large ; and hence the poor and the vicious are constantly sent to them from various sections of the city. The same idea is prevalent among the poor, who in their hours of trial, seek the ministers for aid and counsel.
It may matter but little, perhaps, by what name these laborers are known, yet while they are universally called ministers at large, it might convey a false impression to say that there is not one at present in the labor, and that the mission itself had perished.
The Examiner speaks as if, since Dr. Tuckerman's death, the ministry in which he was engaged bad taken a different turn; whereas, during Dr. Tuckerman's life, (and under his superintending care,) this ministry was carried on precisely as it is at the present day.
When Dr. Tuckerman first entered upon bis labors, he probably had no very definite purpose, except to do good in the way which should seem to bim best
waiting until continued labors among the poor should enable him to devise wise methods for their improvement. He very soon found it important to obtain a lecture room, where many gladly gathered around him ; so fully was he satisfied of the advantage of publicly addressing those who would come to hear, that in his second report, he asks if no one is willing to build a “Synagogue.” Not long after this, a “ Free Chapel" was erected, in which for some years Dr. Tuckerran preached. As he extended his visits and labors among the poor, he became more generally known, and larger numbers flocked around him that they might listen to his counsels. If what he said was worth saying to fisty, he felt that it was worth saying to many more. The first Free Chapel accomodated about three hundred persons. It was felt by the friends of the mission that yet more good could be accomplished by a more permanent building, and one which would accommodate a somewhat larger number. The first meeting, which was called to take the subject into consideration, was held at the house of Dr. Tuckerman, he being most deeply interested in it. His views, at this time, were strictly adhered to, as they have been throughout. He looked upon the whole plan as being in harmony with his fondest desires, and as the happy result of his arduous labors. When the building was completed, he said, “My hopes are now realized; this puts the ministry at large on a perinanent foundation, and is as a guarantee of its success.” After this chapel was opened, Dr. Tuckernian, though in feeble health, preached in it several times, and those who heard him remember the fervor with which he looked around and expressed his gratitude to God for such a fulfilment of his prayers. He lived
several years after this, and watched the operations of the chapel, and the general labors of the ministry, with affectionate interest. Never did he express the thought, that the chapels were a departure from bis idea; but, on the contrary, to the day of his death, he expressed strongly his entire sympathy, and considered them as a most important auxiliary in the great work.
The poor constantly attend these chapels. The vicious and the wretched attend them. Persons who come from “
garret and cellar, and alley and lane;" and persons too, who come with bitter griefs in their hearts, and who feel the woes of a crushing poverty. It is true that some attend the chapels, who are not absolutely poor, and this is considered by many as one of their most beautiful features. They are so conducted as not to cut off the poor as a cast. Those who are not absolutely poor are willing to mingle with those who are less fortunate, and labor for their good. They are generally elevated but a little above poverty themselves, and to the very utmost of their ability these individuals contribute to the support of the chapels and the institutions of religion. To cut off such persons from attending the chapels, would be like cutting off the right hand of the ministry. These are the connecting links which run up from the lowest towards the higher. They give all they are able to give, to defray the chapel expenses; and in addition to this, they aid by their visits among the poorer, and by coöperations with the ministers at large, in their general plans. It is no departure from the Christian labor in which we are engaged, that some such worship with us. It is probably not saying too much when it is said, that never has a poor person been crowded out of these chapels since the day they were opened, while many poor persons have been led to enter them from the general appearance of comfort, and the harmony and love that reigned within.
In regard to preparation for the Sabbath labors, if a minister to the poor is to preach, he ought to prepare as faithfully to meet one hundred as five hundred. If he were to meet one hundred in a small hall, and the one hundred were edified, if the address had been in a chapel, and a larger number had heard it, probably more good here might have been accomplished. If a minister visits
poor, and never meets them collectively - he has a congregation, but they are scattered so that he must go and say to each one, what, if they were together, might