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of pity and indignation, and then fied. This done, let those truths thundered in their ears : “ Last be faithfully presented which the week a man was hung at Tyburn !” Spirit most highly honors, and The people looked up and stared the preacher's words may become with astonishment at their pastor, mighty through God to the salvation while he, turning the anecdote to of souls. some practical account, proceeded In efforts to secure the attention, with his discourse, and was listened some resort to wit and sarcasm. A to attentively until its close. Ex sense of the ludicrous is, generally, pedients of this kind may, perhaps, the fruit of a fine imagination, debe properly used in some emergen- tecting a thousand analogies not at cies; but as a general rule they had once perceived by the common eye. best be avoided. In place of these, Under certain restraints, this may let the preacher's discourse glow give both force and a delicate beau. with feeling and imagination, and ty to style ; but it often engenders his fit words fitly spoken will com a wit on whose point there is no mand listening ears.
healing balm. The preacher's saIf it be objected to the use of this tire may cut the sensibilities ; but faculty, that it tends to draw off the his commission runs, that he should mind from present scenes, we re
wield the sword of the Spirit, which ply that it is often desirable so to slays only to make alive, and that do, because man is so absorbed in the he should possess the wisdom of the pursuit of honor, wealth, and pleas. serpent, not his venom. The fol. ure, that he seldom thinks seriously lowing sentences from Dr. South of his spiritual concerns. Bunyan's will show, that while such use of the man, who “could look no way but imagination probably secured the atdownwards,” with a muck-rake in tention of his hearers, it doubtless his hand, gathering up the small injured his religious influence. sticks and straws of the floor, in In one of his sermons, he says stead of regarding the angel who that Judas Iscariot,“ to receive and called to him from above with a swallow, as he did, the sop, season. celestial crown, is not an unfaired with those terrible words, ' It had representation of most men. Let, been good for that man had he nevthen, this moral lethargy be broken er been born,' must have had a fu. up. If, by a proper use of the im- rious appetite and a strong stomach, agination, the preacher can so pre- thus to catch at a morsel with the sent eternal realities that they will fire and brimstone all flaming about be seen and felt, let him use this it, and, as it were, digest death itinstrumentality; a channel may thus self, and make a meal on perdibe opened through which regene- tion.” Again, he is severe upon rating grace will descend. It is far those who say, but do not; and repfrom being asserted that the preach- resents one of these persons as er should do nothing more than aim standing forth on the defensive and to get the attention. He may rouse saying: “I am a great hearer and the sensibilities, and leave the heart lover of sermons; it is the very decold and dead. Tears excited in light of my righteous soul ; indeed the sanctuary may be no better than I am so entirely devoted to the hear. those which flow in the theatre. Buting of them that I have hardly any when the soul is regenerated, it is time left to practice them; and will in connection with the truth; the not all this set me right for heaven ? truth must be heard in order to pro- Yes, no doubt, if a man were to be duce its effects; and that it may be pulled up to heaven by the ears !" listened to, the attention must be Such preaching, it must be admitgained, often in the way above speci- ted, will get the attention, but it Vol. III.
will be at the expense of interests which should be held sacred. It is said the bear is sometimes taught to dance by being made to stand on heated iron. Now, his flaming eye, and brisk movements, may give infinite sport to the showman and the spectators, but it must not be forgotten that bruin is in uncomfortable circumstances. With proper limitations then, we say, let the imagination be employed, and thereby the attention may be roused and riveted, and a way opened for the successful presentation of truth. We have, thus far, considered the preacher as engaged in the preparation of his message: let us now, very briefly, contemplate the assistance which imagination may afford him in the delivery of truth. This, of course, will vary among different individuals, according to the degree in which they possess this saculty; but the aid which it may furnish to every one, is not inconsiderable. Force in delivery depends chiefly upon the tones of the voice, the expression of the eye, and simple earnestness in manner. Suppose then that the preacher's theme is some truth once uttered by John, Paul, or Christ. He may endeavor to conceive how it sounded when it fell from their lips; how, with the grace which they possessed, their feelings gave solemnity to the voice, animation to the countenance, and impressiveness to the whole demeanor. Again he is solemnly impressed by the thought that his office brings him into a peculiar connection with the souls of men. GALEN once said, “an unskillful sculptor spoils only a block of marble, but an unskillful physician spoils a man;” the preacher reflects that if he is unskillful he may destroy the soul. With such an impression, he looks forward, in thought, to the time when his work shall be finished, and he with the people of his charge, summoned to the judgment.
On the one hand, if he has been faithless to his high trust, he meets some who have been ruined through his remissness; and who perhaps lift their reproachful eyes as if to declare, “ had it not been for thee, oh ! my pastor, I had not been lost.” What keen remorse, what bitter self-reproach must be the portion of such a preacher! On the other hand, if he has been faithful, he meets redeemed spirits waiting to proclaim him the instrument of their conversion; and the Chief Shepherd gives him the glad welcome, “Thou hast been faithful in a few things, enter into the joy of thy Lord.” Reflections like these will serve to prepare him to “Preach as if he ne'er should preach again As dying man to dying men.” His voice, his eye, his gesticulation, will all be eloquent. But some object to the use of the imagination by the sacred orator, and require that truth be presented in her simple, native form, without garb or coloring. To this we reply, that she should not indeed be so decked off with millinery that we can not discern her features; but has divine truth such charms for the human eye, that to be loved she needs only to be seen 2 Alas! all experience gives a negative reply. We may learn something here from the actions of men in the common affairs of life. When an advocate at the bar is endeavoring to prove the guilt of the criminal, and secure a prompt verdict, he does something more than merely to state the evidence. He leads the jury, in imagination, to the scene of bloodshed; he brings before them the fiendish assault, the imploring look, the death-blow, the stiffened corse, the agonized friends, and then he asks the jury to judge righteous judgment. If, however, it is necessary for the secular orator to pursue this course in cases where he is obliged to contend with but little prejudice, and where the novelty of the subject
secures attention, how much more It is evident that Whitefield in this necessary is it for the embassador instance overdid the matter. of heaven, who presents truths both In conclusion, then, we say that trite and unwelcome. If it is desira- the imagination should not be cultible that the preacher deliver his vated to the neglect of the judgment message in the most simple manner or the affections; and that the aid possible, let him stand up in his which this faculty gives to the place, and read from the Scriptures preacher will answer no high end, without any attempt at illustration, unless it is crowned by the blessing with no beaming of the eye, no of the Holy Comforter. His “elomovement of the muscles. But will quence will be cold and lifeless, and he answer the great end of his office? his hearers will freeze and die unIn the days of miracles we know der the very brilliancy of its icy that the blowing of ram's horns splendor.” He who would reach prostrated the walls of Jericho ; but the hearts of men must show that we venture to say, that preaching he has all the sympathies of a man. must be appropriate in order to The prophet Elisha sent his servant break down the strong holds of Sa. with his staff, to be laid on the face tan.
of the Shunamite's child; but there As a matter of fact, the under was no voice or appearance of life. standings of most men are well in. It was not until the prophet stretchformed on the leading truths of re ed himself on the child, and put his ligion; the chief business of the face to the child's face, and his preacher is to impress these truths hands to the child's hands, that life more deeply upon the heart. But returned. The preacher must bring even here the imagination may be his own warm heart near to the excited at the expense of the judg- hearts of his hearers if he would ment. It is said that Chesterfield persuade and move them. While, was once present, out of curiosity, then, he is fervent in spirit, let him to hear Whitefield preach. The also cultivate that facully which will great orator seized upon the oppor. give to his services life and power. tunity to rouse the skeptic, if possi. Why should we hear it any longer ble, from his fatal security. Ac- said "as dull as a sermon?” The cordingly he represented the votary carpenters in the land are lowering of sin as a blind beggar led by a the pulpit; let the preacher endeavor little dog. The dog had broken his to exalt it. He holds the most imstring. Athwart the path on which portant of human relations, and is the blind cripple was hobbling, commissioned to speak upon themes yawned a frightful chasm. As he the most momentous that engage groped along, planting his staff be. human attention ; why then should fore him to feel the way,
his words be proverbial for dullness? unconsciously to the edge of the This need not be. Let him bestow precipice. His cane dropped down due cultivation upon all the powers the gulf too deep to send back an which God has given him, and men echo. He, supposing it to be on the will love him and hang upon
his ground before him, stepped forward lips; his fame may not ring through to pick it up; but he trod on vacan the world, but through his instrucy, balanced for a moment on the mentality something will be done brink, and as he fell headlong, Ches. towards hastening the meridian of terfield sprung from his seat, ex that happy day, in whose morning claiming, “ By heavens, he 's gone!" twilight we are now permitted to live.
UNITARIAN AND EPISCOPALIAN AFFINITIES.
We may almost take it as a pos. these brethren. Nor is it owing tulate, that when a man leaves one to any greater respect and kindness extremity of opinions, on any sub- shown them by the Episcopal body ject, he will soon be found a zealot -for it is well known, that that at the opposite extreme. Nothing church expresses less charity for is more in point, as proof and illus- them, and more contempt for their tration, than the easy transition of opinions, than do the orthodox of the sons of the Pilgrims, from Uni- their own church,
Those very tarianism to the dogmas and cere. characteristics of mind—that indemonies of the Episcopal church. pendence of thought and investigaWe have seen Episcopal churches tion—that self-reliance—that freeerected almost solely by seceders dom from a superstitious veneration from Unitarian societies—not genu. of priests—that respect for common ine converts to Episcopacy,—not sense—which are the admiration of believers in a triune mode of divine their orthodox brethren-are matexistence, nor in the corruption of ters of the deepest execration in that human nature by the fall--not in church into whose bosom they so original sin-nor in regeneration by eagerly press. Remembering our special divine influence-not in a
ancestry, remembering divinely appointed and exclusive our and their Coitons and Mathers ministry-guileless Unitarians, epis. and Hookers and the other glorious copally organized, and episcopally men whose sacrifices for the indeworshiping. We have also observ- pendence of the churches, and a ed individuals, now on a change of corresponding civil state, can never doctrinal belief, and now without be too much extolled—we are temptany such change, quietly leave their ed to say: Brothers, why, if you Unitarian churches, for the Prayer abandon 'Unitarianism, should you book, and communion in the “verita- throw yourselves and your posterity ble body" of our Lord Jesus Christ. at the feet of a hierarchy-to undo Even genuine converts from Unita- the work for which the honored rianism to the truth, have been dead, for our sake, spared no prayer, drawn away from the orthodox Con no toil, no privation! But this is gregationalists, among whom they not the place for expostulation, howwere enlightened, to connect them. ever sincere and heartfelt. We selves with an Episcopal church rather inquire for the cause of this under the rectorship of some zeal. evil, and whether there is any safeous Evangelical. So great has been guard against it, or any hope that it the movement in this direction, that may be arrested, we have heard, in Episcopal circles, We do not discover this tendency the confident boast that it is the of Unitarianism to melt into the opprerogative of their church, and posite extreme where private judgher special mission in Massachusetts, ment is sacrificed to church authorito recover the Unitarians to the true ty, in any single principle—but in faith. All this can not be ascribed many points of affinity. to the prejudice against orthodox A most obvious point is the gratiCongregationalists, which Unitarian fication afforded in the Episcopal misapprehension or misrepresenta communion to American aristocracy. tion has raised in that commu. Notwithstanding the leveling char. nity, nor to the technics, the philo- acter of our civil institutions, the sophical theories or logomachies of absence of all hereditary titles and
entailed estates, the unimpeded way of all God's nobility to their birthrights, whether born within walls of marble or of logs, we Yankees, like other men, are aristocrats by nature. The principle is seen operating in our villages, and most in our cities, forming exclusive classes, organizing sects, building churches, to fence in the “gentility” from the intrusion of the vulgar herd. Multitudes of men who spring at once from penury to opulence feel it to be the hight of their ambition to escape from the relations of their own kith and kin into this enchanted circle of respectability; and they are received. Another class is found among us, who, despairing of elevation by wealth, are willing, for the sake of admittance, to enter by grace, and form the canaille of this exclusive grade in society. It was in this upper circle that American Unitarianism took its rise ; not, as in the case of most religions, among the poor and vulgar, but among the most intelligent, refined and opulent people of the land. And it was not many years before it held the first places in church and state, and embraced a large proportion of the men of “property and standing” in the most cultivated part of the Union. But now, when it is found, or when many are finding, that Unitarianism fails to meet the wants of humanity, and some more satisfactory faith is eagerly desired, Episcopalianism beckons them into her ancient fold. She too is a court-religion. In England, there must be a peculiar personal merit, or a “ dissenter” can not be “respectable”—not even a Unitarian. Our intercourse with the father land is now so great, and so strong is the propensity of our people to copy her fashions, that scarcely a trace of Congregationalism remains in our navy, or in our diplomatic corps, or among our merchants who frequent her marts. The profession of this foreign religion must also contribute to the cor
diality of social intercouse between the élite of both countries. To be an Episcopalian is respectable, no doubt; very respectable; it can not be stigmatized as heretical nor novel, and it introduces one into good society. Nor does the Unitarian in his transition to another church, forget his contempt for the orthodox people about him. Vulgar ! I can not, he exclaims, throw myself out of good society into . He turns into the Episcopal sold, because it is respectable, blindly, like the stupid ox into his slaughter-house. That a desire of good society, and of an honorable position among men, may be a very virtuous motive, we do not question; so it is hoped no offense will be taken at our finding it to be a main reason why our Unitarian friends slide so facilely under the sway of diocesan bishops. Even the pastoral visits of the gifted Channing can hardly confer so much honor, as the presence of a man in lawn to “say grace” over the beef and wine of a family dinner. Were we, however, to attribute to the gratification of aristocratic feeling the whole movement of Unitarians towards Episcopacy, we should overlook some other causes of even superior influence. There is at first view no point of correspondence between the doctrinal opinions or creeds of the two communions. The Episcopal church has Calvinistic articles of faith— such, that the orthodox churches of New England have formally declared the belief of them to be sufficient; and throughout her liturgy the doctrine of the trinity is repeated in forms unsanctioned by Scripture, and, as one would think, the most offensive possible to Unitarian ears. But questions relating to the mode of divine existence would cause Unitarians no embarrassment, were it not for other doctrines commonly held by trinitarians. The doctrines of depravity and of regeneration occasion them