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office or a back shop, waiting till the principal was at leisure to give me a refusal in person. Frequently I visited the same office five or six times, Mr. So-and-so being either engaged or out. I saw that every matter of petty secularity was to take precedence of my work—that is, my Master's work. In one instance I remember to have driven six miles out of town to find that the gentleman I was in search of had removed from that neighbourhood some time ago. In short, in a day or two the chivalrous emotions with which I had entered on my mission were very much subdued. I felt that I had incurred a sudden but most obvious unpopularity. I remember to have met in the street an old friend whom I had seen rarely for some years. He always used to be delighted to see me, and rejoiced in a talk over old times, being a man of ample leisure. But on this occasion there was a look of positive pain upon his face, and hardly shaking hands with me, he fled as if he had seen the genius of the plague looking over my shoulder. I gave him not the most delicate hint of the cause of my visit to town, but he had scented my object and he was off. From that moment I began to see how I and my mission were looked upon; and I walked on with something of the feelings of a sweep who knows that his sooty calling will make his friends give him a wide berth.
I could run through a long series of such reminiscences, but these may serve to let you know what you have to expect if you start on your proposed begging tour. Only that, going on your own account, you would find all the evils I met with multiplied and aggravated. Two or three lessons I learned at that time, and I wish the church would learn them too.
First of all, this kind of promiscuous “ begging,' even for an excellent and necessitous object, is degrading to the minister engaged in it, and, in a measure, to the ministry itself. I would distinguish here between pleading for a cause and for a case. But, anyhow, the collecting of funds by personal solicitation should not fall upon ministers. Let them freely and fearlessly proclaim the gospel duty and privilege of giving, but let other hands be held out to receive the offerings of the people.
Further, the system of which I speak, and which has grown to so formidable an extent since I made my first and last essay, is fitted not only to be lowering to the ministry, but also to be injurious to the laity. They are plagued, perhaps even irritated, by continual interruptions of this kind while they are engaged in business, and often they pay an unwilling guinea rather to get rid of a troublesome solicitor, than from interest in the cause he pleads. In some instances, where such cases are very frequent, the less stable members of our church become actually alienated, and not unprepared, in case of a change of residence, quietly to give in their adhesion to some less tormented church. Almost all that is got in this way is got from a certain limited range of givers. The field to which any man goes to beg, he may rest assured, has been not only reaped, but gleaned already. One has not, therefore, even the satisfaction of thinking that this plan of pressure calls forth gifts from the hard and unwilling. It does no such thing; those that give thus are men for the most part that would give otherwise.
What, then, is to be done? I confess it is not easy to say. But this seems to me plain, that if such work must be done, laymen ought to do it. It is not ministers' work at all. If “begging” is not “serving tables," I don't know what is. It is lowering to the status, injurious to
the spirituality, and sometimes fatal to the highest hopes of the minister who engages in it. I have recently felt grieved because of some young ministers who, in the sincerity of their hearts, choose the holy office from love of the gospel and of souls. In a year or two they have to travel up and down the country raising funds to build their church or to liquidate its debt. I have known such a youth return to his sphere more than half heart-broken. His energies and time, instead of being devoted to the labours of the study and the pastorate, are squandered upon these secularities. His spirit fails; it was never for such work he chose his profession, and perhaps his congregation fail him too, not considering that it is impossible to spend himself wholly upon the secularities of the church, and yet have all his powers at command for its spiritualities. Just as in the storming of some cities it has been matter of necessity that the trench should be filled with the fallen bodies of the foremost ranks that the army might march over them; so have we been too willing in certain cases to let the pioneer fall in the bootless effort at once to serve tables and to feed the flock, that over his prostrate form a successor might stride on to usefulness and success.
Are there none of the noble-hearted laymen in your church that will take up this matter? Can a lay committee not be formed at once to raise and to dispense a supplemental fund for necessitous cases, and this to the entire exclusion of ministerial mendicancy? Would not the givers in the church be willing to give the average of their miscellaneous givings for the last three years into such a fund? Some, I believe, would gladly double the amount to secure the absence of such solicitations, and the wise dispensing of their charities. Your Synod is about to meet; will it do nothing to meet this claimant evil ?
Meantime, my young friend, don't go a-begging. If I were you, I would try my hand at breaking stones first.
(Original and Selected.)
THE COLLEGE. THXSE two questions, the position of the There are other matters of some moment College, and Church extension, if the Pres- demanding adjustment to the right shape byterian Church would accomplish her and true position of our Church ; these are mission in England, must speedily be essential and vital to her stability and considered and promptly settled. They progress. The hymn-book and organ con. ought to be discussed, and we hope they troversies can wait-these require instant will at the meeting of Synod in April. arrangement; and in seeking their right
The right settlement of these two ques- settlement we must not look merely to tions-1. How many Professors ought to existing circumstances or our more pressbe appointed to our College, and how is ing wants. We must look well a-headtheir permanent support to be provided calmly consider and calculate for what is for? And-2. How shall Church er- likely to be, as well as what actually is. tension be most wisely and vigorously It cannot resonably be questioned that prosecuted ? -- is all important,
the permanent interests and stability of
every Protestant Church very materially depend on the encouragement given to sacred learning within her pale—that the success with which sacred literature is cultivated, mainly depends on the provision which the Church makes for the instruction of her students, and that the scantiest possible apparatus for conducting the work necessary to the theological education and training of her aspirants to the ministry, is a Divinity Hall with three professors. We have not made this scantiest provision; we have two professors, assisted and supplemented by two London ministers, who cannot be expected, immersed as they are in all the anxieties and labours of ministerial duty, to devote much time to professorial work, nor long to give even that small portion they have hitherto been able to afford. This is not as it should be. Two professors cannot teach as they ought to be taught Exegesis, Apologetics, Systematic Theology, Church History, Hebrew, and Greek. It is monstrous to expect any two men to undertake such an amount of labour. It is utterly impossible that any two men can satisfactorily undertake it. Some branch of theological learning must be neglected. Our two professors are second to none in any theological hall, in mental vigour, literary acquirements, earnest piety, and in that energy, enthusiasm, and love for their subjects, so absolutely necessary to evoke sympathy with and love for them, and to impress the minds of students; but they cannot do impossibilities. Just as long as they are left to do the work, which to be done efficiently requires three or four professors, will our College bestigmatised as a sham—the mere mockery of a theological hall; and the story of the elder Boswell about “a schule,” and “an aeaademy” will be sneeringly applied to it, and we must confess, with some show of reason. To place our College in a right position —to make it what it professes to be—to do justice to our present professors, students, and congregations, one other professor, at least, must be appointed by the Synod in April. But how is their permanent support to be provided for? “Aye, there's the rubl” Have another professor by Il means, every
one answers; but first of all see to it that an adequate salary is provided for him. How, then, is this to be done? By annual collections? by sending an agent through the length and breadth of the Church with a piteous tale of starving professors and an empty exchequer? Not at all. Endow our College. Endowed it must be if we would insure its pre-eminence. You cannot evoke sufficient sympathy in the great mass of the people for a theological school to insure an annual collectionlarge enoughforits support. The annual collection will still be needed for mere incidental expenses. By the way, while our present arrangements continue— while our professors are mainly dependent on this annual collection for their promised support, we hope that not many ministers will tell their congregations that they need not give very much for the support of the College. We are credibly informed that the minister of one of our wealthiest and most influential congregations made some such intimation to his people when announcing a College collection. How should such conduct be characterised? The endowment of our College is the ideal of the right and the good in our circumstances. How much soever some may laugh at it as “a devout imagination”—we believe it practicable. The Free Church of Scotland has one college with four professors, fully endowed; another with three professors, two of whom have permanent stipends attached to their chairs, and a third with five professors. If the Free Church of Scotland, after building churches, manses, and schools—after erecting three colleges at a cost of not less than £50,000, could afford to endow six out of her eleven professorships, surely the Presbyterian Church in England might endow three. There is, we are persuaded, no want of money, nor of willingness. It requires only to be fairly discussed, deliberately resolved on, to be done.” The wealthier members of our Church would liberally respond to a call for such an object. The question of Church extension is intimately connected with that of the College. If the services of some of our present students are to be retained to the Church in England, the field of her labours must be widely extended—and it ought to
LETTER TO A UNITARIAN.
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be. It is a shame and disgrace to Presby- ¡ to appoint another professor, and to take terianism that our Church does not provide measures to provide permanent endowment Gospel ordinances for all those at least who for all the chairs. This is the very least. hold by her standards. She ought to 'assume It occurs to us that something more is res more aggressive character, fairly and fear-quired_._viz., to remove our Theological Hall lessly expound her principles, and openly to Oxford or Cambridge, and along with it declare that her mission is to preach the establish a Presbyterian College, at which Gospel, and gather within her pale, not all Presbyterians from England, Scotland, only the Irish and Scotch Presbyterians, and Ireland, who aspire to the highest who have come to England to seek the honours in the state, might be educated. fortune their own countries deny them, Unless this be done we shall lose the sons but to the people of England, whom she of our wealthy commercial class, as we have can persuade that her government, and already our aristocracy. On this large worship, and teaching, are 'scriptural. " question we cannot enter at présent. In
The very least that should be done for some future number we may return to it. the College at next meeting of Synod is!
LETTER TO A UNITARIAN. MY DEAR SIR,- In the course of our But let me direct your attention to conversations on the subject of Uni- the capital defect of your creed-a detarianism, you used an argument, or fect which springs from its essential rather started a difficulty, which I cer- doctrine, the denial of the divinity of tainly did not expect to hear from you. our Lord, and we will then see which On this let me now say a few words occupies the vantage ground as to moby way of supplement to my previous rality or good works. Your system, as communication.
18!!! a system of morals, is pure and perfeet, Your objection is a very old one, as far as it is derived from the Scripand one that has been so often refuted tures. - But it wants à motive force. that, in my simplicity, I had imagined It is an engine constructed with all the few at all acquainted with theological ingenuity of a master. The only thing writings, would, at this time of the wanting is the steam to make it work. day, venture to make use of it. You Now we have the same perfect code referred to the ungodliness of many and perfect example as you have, but professing Christians, which you seemed we have something more. We have a to attribute to the doctrines of grace; motive force sufficiently powerful to indeed, your impression seemed to be, animate to obedience. In truth, this that nothing else was to be expected is the characteristic of Christianity. from men who believed they could only You differ from the heathen moralists be saved by faith and not by works. merely in this that you have a more Now, it is needless formally to answer perfect code, inasmuch as you have the this objection. You knew as well as I New Testament, which they had not. that there are false as well as true pro- But you have little more than they fessors of Christianity ; and I must say had to animate to obedience. And that it is ungenerous and unjust in the hence, we assert again, that Unitarianextreme to hold the truth responsible for the sins of those who do not believe the
Their past history, as a sect, gives no indiit. To use an old illustration, you cations of special uprightness. We need might as well assert that there is no lonly mention their possession of the chasuch thing as gold in the Mint, because pels and endowmen
pels and endowments of the old English now and again you happen to receive Presbyterians. But we hope that their a bad sovereign.*
conduct, in this 'respect, will continue to | be so exposed, that the very word.“ Presby
terian" will call up such a host of disagree* The English Unitarians ought to be able associations, that they will be glad to the last to assume the Pharisaic tone leave the designation to those who alone ** Stand by, for I am holier than thou."| are entitled to it.
ism is Deism baptized, or rather, christened, and nothing more. Now, it is here that Christianity stands sofar apart from all systems—in that it brings to bear upon the spring of human action such a force as overpowers o.” and produces a steady obedience. To this your system can make no pretensions; and hence it is barren of all results, and, were your sect blotted out of the denominational map of the world tomorrow, we should not in the least be conscious of a void. But on the other hand—“Who is he,” asks the apostle John, “that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” And why should the belief that Jesus is the Son of God exercise such a mighty influence? Because, “This is he that came by water and blood.” That is to say, the “blood which cleanseth from all sin” puts him who believes into the right position, makes him free, delivers him from the guilt and the condemnation due to his sins, and this gives him confidence towards God; and this “water” by which he came, or the Holy Spirit, becomes his also, and thus he not only occupies the only position which renders obedience possible, but he also possesses the means—that which delivers him from the power of sin, and gives him the will to obey. I will not further enter into this profound subject. Allow me to conclude by quoting the following beautiful sentiments attributed to Napoleon, as they contain some vivid and truthful glimpses of what we have alluded to as the characteristic of Christianity :— “How should a man, the particulars of whose history are better attested than that of any of his contemporaries —how should he alone, the son of a carpenter, give out all at once that he was God, the Creator of all things? He arrogates to himself the highest adoration. He constructs his worship with his own hands; not with stones, but with men. You are amazed at the conquests of Alexander; but here is a conqueror who appropriates to his own advantage, who incorporates with himself, not a nation but the human race. Wonderful! the human soul with all ts faculties becomes blended with the
existence of Christ. And how P By a prodigy surpassing all other prodigies, he seeks the love of man, the most difficult thing in the world to obtain; he seeks what a wise man would fain have from a few friends, a father from his children, a wife from a husband, a brother from a brother,-in a word, the heart; this he seeks, this he absolutely requires, and he gains his object. Hence I infer his Divinity. Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, Louis XIV., with all their genius, failed here. They conquered the world and had not a friend. “Christ speaks, and at once generations become his by stricter, closer ties than those of blood, by the most sacred, the most indissoluble of all unions. He lights up a flame of love which consumes self-love, which prevails over every other love. “The founders of other religions never conceived of this mystical love, which is the essence of Christianity, and beautifully called charity. Hence it is that they have struck upon a rock. In every attempt to effect this thing, namely, to make himself beloved, man feels deeply his own importance. So that Christ's greatest miracle is, undoubtedly, the reign of charity. All who sincerely believe in him taste his wonderful, supernatural, exalted love. The more I think of this I admire it the more; and it convinces me absolutely of the Divinity of Christ. “I have j' multitudes with such affection for me, that they would die for me. God forbid that I should compare the soldier's enthusiasm with Christian charity, which are as unlike as their cause. But, after all, my presence was necessary—the lightning of my eye, my voice, a word from me, then the sacred fire was kindled in their hearts. I do, indeed, possess the secret of this magical power which lifts the soul, but I could never impart it to any one; none of my generals ever learnt it from me, nor have I the secret of perpetuating my name and love for me in the hearts of men, and to effect these things without physical In eans. “Now that I am at St. Helena; now that I am alone chained to this rock, who fights and wins empires for me? Where are any to share my mis
fortune, any to think of me? Who