페이지 이미지

not be satisfied with low attainments of the people. This enabled him in piety. That every faculty of his to throw around them cords of influmind, every acquisition he had made ence, gentle and constraining, by in knowledge, every influence which which he drew sinners to Christ. he possessed, or could acquire, He took heed to himself, kept his should be devoted to the service of heart with all diligence, lived and God in the gospel of his Son, seemed preached for eternity. By purging to him not only important as contri- himself from false ambition's aspibuting to his success in preaching, rations, and crucifying the flesh but pre-eminently reasonable. From with its affections and its lusts, he the commencement of his course as became a vessel unto honor,' sanca Christian, he said with all sinceri. tified, and meet for the Master's use. ty, with all his heart in his words, Honest with himself and with his Lord, I am thine in body, soul and God, he could not deal " in the false spirit—thine, now—thine, through commerce of unfelt truth.life—hine, till death-thine, for Hear him describe his habits of ever.' He had such assurance that spirituality, just before he took or. he was really a converted man, that ders. “Oh, what sweet communion Christ was formed within him the had I daily vouchsafed with God in hope of glory, and made unto him prayer, after my coming to Glouwisdom, righteousness, sanctification cester! How often have I been car. and redemption, that his mind was ried out beyond myself, when medirelieved in a great measure from tating in the fields ! How assuredly embarrassment and perplexity on I felt that Christ dwelt in me and I this point, and his undivided ener. in him; and how daily did I walk in gies left free for the prosecution of the comforts of the Holy Ghost, and his great work. He was not merely was edified and refreshed in the mula moral man, or a serious minded titude of peace !” Again he writes, man, or a gifted man, or a learned long after he had begun to preach, man, or a man who hoped to be con- “There is nothing I dread more verted at some future time; but, as than having my heart drawn away his life shows, a regenerated man. by earthly objects. When that time Nor was he merely a regenerated comes, it will be over with me inman; but a man of deep and ar. deed; I must then bid adieu to zeal dent piety. Daily he “walked with and fervency of spirit, and in effect God.” As on the mount of trans. bid the Lord Jesus depart from me. figuration, he gazed upon the Re. For alas, what room can there be deemer's glory, till his own soul for God, when a rival has taken pos. became penetrated with its beams, session of the heart? My blood runs and itself radiant. Cultivating inti- cold at the very thought thereof. I mate fellowship with the Father and can not, indeed I can not away with with his Son Jesus Christ, he became it.” “It is not for me to tell how a lucid medium of communicating a often I use secret prayer; if I did divine influence to his fellow men. not use it, nay, if in one sense I did As a general rule, he went from his not pray without ceasing, it would closet to the pulpit, and returned be difficult for me to keep up that from the pulpit to his closet. He frame of soul, which, by the divine walked “in the garden where his blessing, I daily enjoy.” Speaking great and only master dwelleth,” of his popularity, he says, " It is too and came forth daily“ from that much for one man to be received as paradise, with his robes exhaling I have been by thousands. The the perfume of its spices.” This thoughts of it lay me low, but I can made him interesting. This drew

This drew not get low enough. I would wil. to him the attention and the hearts lingly sink into nothing before the

blessed Jesus, my all in all.” “Let the vail, because he was a Jacob the name of Whitefield die, so that within the vail. His face shone when the cause of Christ may

live." he came from the mount, because he In reading the Life of this won had been long alone with God upon derful man, noting his first introduc- the mount. He was so often at the tion into the kingdom of Christ, and throne, and always so near it, that, marking his progress as a preacher, like the apocalyptic angel, he came from the time he was reported to down clothed with its rainbow." have driven fifteen mad by his first “ He loved the world that hated him; the tear sermon, till the day of his depar That dropped upon his Bible was sincere ; ture, when he exclaimed, 'Lord Je

Assailed by scandal and the tongue of strife,

His only answer was,-a blameless life; sus, I am weary in thy work, but And he that forged, and he that threw the not of thy work,'--the evidence is


Had each a brother's interest in his heart." constantly breaking in upon us and accumulating, that he was a man of Such were the endowments of deep and ardent piety. His religion the Rev. George Whitefield. Thus was spiritual. It entered the heart. he felt, thus he prayed, thus he lived. It stirred and purified its depths; Therefore, he acquired an influence and out of the abundance of the over the multitudes unparalleled in heart, the mouth spoke.

the annals of preaching, and made " For touching hearts, the only secret known, for himself a name that will outlast My worthy friend, is this; to have one of your stars and suns, and be had in ever. own.

lasting remembrance. The follow. “After all,” says his biographer, ing inscription, copied from the " the grand secret of Whitefield's monument erected in Newburypower, was his devotional spirit. port, to his memory, may not be Had he been less prayerful, he an inappropriate close to ihis brief would have been less powerful. He account of his excellences as a was the prince of preachers without preacher.

[ocr errors]

Is erected, with affectionate Veneration,

To the Memory of
Born at Gloucester, England, December 16, 1714,
Educated at Oxford University; ordained 1736.

In a Ministry of Thirty-four Years,

He crossed the Atlantic Thirteen times,
And preached more than Eighteen Thousand Sermons.
As a Soldier of the Cross, humble, devout, ardent,

He put on the whole Armor of God;
Preferring the Honor of Christ to his own Interest, Repose, Reputation, and Life.
As a Christian Orator, his deep Piety, disinterested zeal, and vivid

Gave unexampled Energy to his look, utterance, and action.

Bold, fervent, pungent, and popular in his Eloquence,
No other uninspired man ever preached to so large assemblies,

Or enforced ihe simple Truths of the Gospel, by Motives
So persuasive and awful, and with an Influence so powerful,

On the Hearts of his Hearers.
He died of Asthma, September 30, 1770,
Suddenly exchanging his Life of unparalleled Labors

For his Eternal Rest.




The various treatises on the po- of constant, growing light and insition and duties of the ministry, fluence, in which are ripening towhich within the last few years have gether all the faculties, and unfoldgone abroad, have contributed much ing all the virtues of man. to form the advanced character of The answer to our inquiry will the modern American pulpit. There now depend on the estimate formed is yet one view of the sacred office, of the active and contemplative duwhich, though not difficult of appre- ties of the ministry, as every charhension, we have no where seen the acter is chiefly determined by the subject of particular remark. It is nature of its studies and its assothe mental and moral influence of ciations. Before pronouncing how its duties returning on the minister far any profession cherishes the nohimself. This therefore we propose bler attributes and manifestations of for present consideration.

mind, we consider the nature of the The intellectual and moral per. subjects it offers to our thought; the fection of man is the highest end of exercise it affords to the reasoning his being. Minor pursuits are alone and imaginative faculties; the field possessed of value and dignity as which it opens for the action of they subserve this final attainment. gentle and heroic moral qualities, There is no tyranny of circumstan- and the stimulus it supplies to exerces, or depraved character, like that tion. Under the force of such conwhich checks the upward tendencies ditions all human greatness is born. of the soul. Likeness to God is our The first point of argument then chief end and happiness. Nothing for the superiority of the ministry is a permanent injury which does to other professions as most favoranot hinder mental or moral growth; ble to enlargement of the mind, is and no gift is a real good but as it found in the grandeur of those subadvances our spiritual well being. jects with which religion, attentively

In choosing a profession for life, studied, brings the soul in contact. therefore, it becomes a question of Truth is the life of mind. It is that high interest and importance, how on which it feeds and grows. There far the particular duties to which it is no plainer law of the mental conconducts us, favor in a greater or stitution than that we become gradless degree that intellectual and mor- ually assimilated to the objects of al culture, which are the power and constant thought. That the soul beauty, the glory and greatness, of may become great, it must have the human mind.

great objects of contemplation. A These observations show what man can hardly be a of low mind, constitutes the highest development if that mind is continually open on of mind. Culture of the soul exists vast objects, and filled with enduring in every degree. Intellectual ma interest. For illustration, take the turity and perfection imply, not science of astronomy. Here is a extravagant expansion of one pow. great system of truth, exalting the er, but the united growth and har. soul, as it lifts the eye, to heaven. monious exercise of all. By a com The first reason is the immensity of plete development of mind, we mean the objects filling the astronomer's ihen, not extraordinary cultivation vision. The mere contemplation of of a single faculty, or the excess of the heavens is ennobling. It awaany emotion, but the full-orbed soul, kens the soul to a new world of

thought, and fills it with the gran

First and chief is the idea of deur of the universe.

God—the Eternal and the AlmighSo in the world of active life. ty. Let us contemplate it in itself, The same truth recurs in the histo- and in its influence. The idea of ry of all great men and revolutions. God is the highest conception of the Truths which overwhelm the soul human mind. We behold in it all with a sense of infinity, which take that is grand in a power which exhold of everlasting interests, have tends around and above us without an omnipotent energy abiding in limits; all that is sacred and venethem. Like God in his absolute rable in wisdom and goodness, which reign, they admit no fellowship, no no finite intellect can fathom, with equality. In their presence man whatever is alluring in kindness and loses the thought of common cares. touching in mercy. It is this idea, Trifling interests are forgotten while infinitely more grand than the most the mind gives itself up to awe in astonishing attainments of philosocontemplation of infinite and sol. phy or conceptions of poetry, which, emn truths.

in the steady contemplation of sancA single great thought, continu- tified intelligence, contributes more ally revolved, understood, and felt, than all else to the endless advance. is often enough to change entirely ment of minds in heaven. the character of a mind, and the But such mental illumination and course of a life. One clear insight advancement come only from dwell. into the true end of life, one glance ing on the object by devout meditainto the mystery of our nature and tion on the creation where lines of destiny, one deep conviction of the celestial glory are revealed, or in immutable rights of man, has revo the intense solemnity of prayer. lutionized men and kingdoms. Be. The promised land lies beyond Pissides, there is a connection between gah, and he who would see it must great thoughts, by which one intro- climb to the point of vision. Go duces another. The eye is hardly forth, then, and learn God in his fixed on a single star before the sky works. Explore the wonders of the is filled with the rushing glories of earth and heavens, till the mind a universe of worlds. Such is the comes back, overwhelmed with the law in all human investigations and greatness of that Being whom we pursuits.

worship, bowed in reverence, and The idea of a profession is exclu- trembling with awe at thought of sive. It is the conception of a class infinite wisdom and almighty power. of men, and a class of ideas. To Such objects no man can steadily each belong certain engrossing top- contemplate without having his mind ics, ideas of its own, upon which lifted up to something of that greatthe mind is oftener and more in ness which he adores. tently occupied than on all others. The idea of God is indeed an So that, unless its peculiar trains universal one. It is peculiarly a of thought are themselves of libe- truth for the human race, giving auralizing tendency, there is danger thority to law, and furnishing to man that confinement to a profession will a source of boundless consolation. contract rather than enlarge the Still it is a truth like all others, to mind. In the character of those be appropriated by the free action original and ever recurring ideas as of the mind. And who so likely to trivial or grand, resides the primary receive its benefit as he who is ever element of feebleness or strength. revolving it in the recesses of his

What then are the ever-present thoughts? The priest of the Lord ideas of the minister—the controlling dwells in the pavilion of the Almighthemes of reflection and discourse? ty. He ministers at the altar, and

[ocr errors]

lights its sacred fires. He treads the class of views, without any variety, inner courts of the temple, and hears belittles, or at best but feebly imdaily the solemn voices of the sanc. presses the mind. It is the glory of tuary. It is but natural that on him, Christianity that its ideas are not more than on ordinary men should so bounded as to imprison the intel. fall the spell of its heavenly power. lect, like the narrow creeds of pa.

Whatever of grandeur belongs to ganism. It opens the mind on a God, attaches itself to the adminis. vast field of truth, and at the same tration of His government. The time, its principal ideas-God, Christ course of Providence, moving aloft, and heaven, are capable of indefi“as on eagles' wings,” through the nite enlargement, at once the result storms of the world, marks divinity and impulse of renewing mental to men.

How superior to ordinary power. views of human life is the faith So with Christian views of human which beholds all events obedient to life.

life. Man, as the child of eternity, the control of a Providence, wise the heir of endless life, or endless and just, and directed to the accom woe, is invested with a dignity and plishment of a benevolent end. It importance unknown before. Life is easy to see how such wide pros. becomes solemn and earnest. The pects affect elevation of character. prophet of the Lord walks among

Religion, operating through its men, but his thoughts are on eterhigher truths, is inseparable from nal things. While the crowd around the advancement of the human in. him are consumed with momentary tellect. The greatest character can cares, he is dwelling on the destidevelope only under an impression nies of the soul ages to come, when of the eternal realities of the uni. the heavens shall be rolled together verse. Man attains no resemblance as a scroll, and earth and time be to God while living in a world of gone. He sits upon the mount of shadows. This land of dreams, contemplation, amid the undimmed which fits before us, but decoys brightness of eternal day, and glory and wastes the mind. Only looking covers him. In the hours of lonely through it and above it, inhabiting a meditation, thought wanders afar world of higher conceptions, and above to the celestial world, “ there conversant with the nobler truths in the land of faith adores,” or and interests of religion, the mind broods with untired wing over the towers up to the stature of an intel. blackness of darkness, and the ever ligent and immortal being.

burning lake.

Oh! what scenes And this suggests another point, here rush upon the mental eye. the impression of the Christian idea Such a mind can not degrade itself of God on the temper of mind. A to the level of ordinary men. Standcalm, philosophic temperament is ing on the heights of revelation, often as needful to success as gran. and looking away at God and eter. deur of thought and force of intel. nity, with overpowering thoughts lect. Religion aids this. It makes and emotions crowding on him, he the timid brave, and the weak strong. will not stoop to the low things of Belief in God, more than all things earth. His intellect, his aims, his else, lifts us above the depression of character, naturally take the vaster calamity, and gives that settled and proportions of the unseen world. tranquil mind, which is best suited Next, we observe the exercise to intellectual effort and success. given by religion, and the studies of

There is another distinction of a minister, to the reasoning faculties. these truths, answering more com A prominent difference between repletely to the law of our mental ally great and common men in the progress. The presentation of one

same department of investigation or

« 이전계속 »