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writings without reproach, and in some even with approbation, But we do call upon you to come out from the world, and to be separate, whenever its customs or maxims run counter to the precepts of Him, whose we are, and whom it is at once our duty and our highest privilege to serve. We do call upon you to dare to be singularly pious; and to set your faces like a flint against every fashion, however general, which is inconsistent with the plain, simple, and unchangeable morality of the gospel.
ON AFFECTATION IN MINISTERS.
To the Editor, You have attended with great condescension to the complaints of Pew-Openers and others, and, therefore, I hope you will listen with patience while I relate to you the strange manner in which I am sometimes affected in a place of worship. I know not exactly by what specific term to characterise my disorder, nor can I think of any thing in the whole Materia Medica that is likely to reach my case. It is a species of nausea in my
sto'mach : but the existing causes are not irregularity of living, nor unwholesome food , nor am I seized with it anywhere but at church or chapel. The symptoms usually attack me after the preacher has been a few minutes in the pulpit, though I have known them excited by his manner of ascending the pulpitstairs.
I will state to you the peculiarities which I conceive to be the real causes of my affliction, for it is not one minister in fifty that so distresses me. A pulpit-fop, arrayed in all the insignia of affectation, disorders me more than any thing. I never shal! forget how I felt when, on lifting up my eyes to the sacred desk, in a place where a genteel auditory were assembled, I beheld an exact representation of a Bond-Street Beau, with a fashionable brush
upon his head, and an enormous broach in the bosom of his shirt, of which the wearer secmed not a little vain. Thus equipped, he rose with self-complacent dignity, and placed himself in the most bewitching attitude. This, Mr. Editor, was too much for my poor stomach. However, I continued to keep my place, and heard rather impatiently, what the gentlemen, I dare say, thought a very clegant discourse, of about twenty-five minutes. There was nothing in the matter of the scrmon, Mr. Editor, to which I could object. It was the same gospel wbich Peter delivered when three thousand were pricked to the heart; but it had- none of Peter's plainness, nothing of his servour, nothing of his cutting energy and faithfulness ; and, if a wound
had been given to the conscience of a wretched sinner, none in the assembly, to all appearance, would have been more alarmed than the preacher. I felt a little recovered, just as we were about to retire; but all the symptoms of my disorder returned when this clerical beau gave us the blessing ; when, with outstretched hands (in the attitude of a bishop at confirmation) he made a gradual semicircular motion with his hands, gracefully bowed, and sat down. I thought of Him who spake as never man spake; I thought of Paul, I thought of Peter, and I was sick at heart.
The pulpit-actor is another character from whom I have greatly suffered; and I hope never to meet him again. I can assure you, Mr. Editor, I have seen stage-tricks in the pulpit that would have been hissed at the theatre as over-done. A youth of this theatrical cast was the other Sabbath relating to his auditory the story of Altamont, from Dr. Young : he acted the dying man with such effect, that every body pitied him; and when he seemed to sink under the weight of a thousand mountains, the ladies were alarmed. It completely overcame me; but not exnctly in the way the orator intended : he was in a feigned agony, -- mine was real. I saw the pulpit degraded, and felt that my understanding was insulted.
The last character I shall introduce, which has producel in my stomach all the effect of an emetic, is the pulpit ape. You and ), Mr. Editor, know a preacher who is in earnest in the sacred cause, who detests affectation, and who has cultivated with great success the eloquence of the pulpit. When he stands op, we forget the man, – the subject is every thing: he touches every chord of the human heart. His celebrity has produced an host of imitators. The other day a little meagre-looking man in appearaivce (the reverse of the minister to whom I allade) ascended the pulpit. I was just before him : he began to speak; and before he had uttered five sentences, my disorder became violent. In voice and gesture he resembled Mr. nothing else.
Perhaps, Mr. Editor, were you to insert in your Magazine this statement of my disorder, and its existing causes, it might be of benefit to those whom it may concern; and let them not think that I am a puritanical old-fashioned sort of a fellow. I wish to sce a minister a gentleman, not a fop. I think pulpit-oratory of considerable importance; but I think it very remote from the attitude and gesture of a player. A minister is to speak, not to act; and if the great motives of love to God, and love to souls animate him, he will forget himself. Every man should cultivate his own manner; and his principal business in the study of oratory is to avoid faults. The end of preaching should be always kept in view, and when this is the case, a sensible man will seldom err in his manner of preaching, so as to prevent effect. I am afraid the sources of foppery, trickery, and mimicry in the pulpit, are selfishness and pride. I am, Sir, yours, &c.
: but in THE PRESENT MOMENT IMPROVED.
ís That is very
When Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was making great preparations for his intended expedition into Italy, Cincas, the philosopher, took a favourable opportunity of addressing him thus: “ The Romans, Sir,” said he, " are reported to be a warlike and victorious people; but if God permit us to overcome them, what use shall we make of the victory?” Thou askest,' said Pyrrhus, ' a thing that is self-evident: - The Romans once conquered,no city will resist us; we shall then be masters of all Italy.' Cineas added, “ And having subdued Italy, what shall we do next?" Pyrrhus, not yet aware of his intention, replied, “ Sicily next stretches out her arms to receive us.' probable,” said Cineas ; “ but will the possession of Sicily put an end to the war?" God grant us success in that,' answered Pyrrhus,' and we shall make these only the forerunners of greater things; for then Lybia and Carthage will soon be ours: and these conquests being completed, none of our enemies can offer any further resistance.' Very true,” added Cineas, “ for then we may easily regain Macedon, and make an absolute conquest of Greece ; and when all these are in our possession, what shall we do then?” Pyrrhus, smiling, answered, Why then, my dear friend, we will live at our ease, drink all day long, and amuse ourselves with cheerful conyersation. When Cineas had brought Pyrrhus to this point, he said, “ Well, Sir, and why may we not do all this now, and without the labour and hazard of enterprizes so laborious and uncertain ?"
The greater part of mankind is as unwilling to take the advice of the philosopher as Pyrrhus was, who ardently engaged in these ambitious pursuits, and at last perished in them.
rs Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears
The palm : " That all men are about to live,”
For ever on the brink of being born !" There is a wonderful propensity in man to engage in vain pursuits; to live in a constant bustle ; and to expect in the future success of his projects the satisfaction he might at once enjoy. “Men have a secret instinct," says the famous Pascal,“ prompt. ing them to seek employment or recreation ; which proceeds from no other cause but the sense of their inward pain, and neverceasing torment. They have another secret instinct, a reliqne of their primitive nature, which assures them that the sum of their bappiness consists in eise and repose; and npon these two oppu: site instincts, they form one confused design, lurking in the secret recesses of their soul, which engages them to prosecute the latter by the intervention of the former, and constantly to persuade themselves, that the satisfaction they have hitherto wanied will infallibly attend them, if, by surmounting certain difficulties, which they now look in the face, they may open a passage la peace and tranquillity.
" This is the ground of all the tumultuary business, of all the trifling diversions amongst men; in which our general aim is to make the time pass off our hands without feeling it, or rather without feeling ourselves.
" I bave often said, that the universal cause of mens' misfor. tunes, was their not being able to live quictly in a chamber. A person who has enough of the uses of this world, did he know the art of dwelling with himself, would never quit that repose and security for a voyage or a siege. This aversion to home, this roving and restless disposition, proceeds from the native unhappiness of our frail and mortal state, which is incapable of all comfort, if we have nothing to divert our thoughis, and to call us out of ourselves. The principal thing which supports men under great employments, otherwise so full of toil and trouble, is, that by this means they are called off from the penance of self-reflection. For, pray consider, what is it else to be a superintendent, a chancellor, a prime president, but to have a number of persons flocking about them from all sides, who shall secure them, every hour in the day, from giving audience to their own inind ?
“ Whence comes it to pass that men are transported to such a degree with gaming, hunting, or other diversions ? Not be, cause there is any real and intrinsic good to be obtained by them,not because they imagine tbat true happiness is to be found in the money, which they win at play, or in the animal which they run down in the chaee ; for should you present them beforehand with both these, to save their trouble, they would be unanimous in rejecting the proposal. "Tis not the easy part which they are fond of, such as may give them leisure and space for thought; but it is the heat and hurry, which divert them from the mortification of thinking. Hence it is that a prison is a seat of horror; and that few persons can bear the punishment of being confined to themselves.
" I speak of those alone who survey their own nature, without the views of faith and religion. Having no remedy against ignorance, misery, and death, they imagine that some respite, at least, may be found, by banishing them from their meditations. This is the only comfort they have been able to invent; but a miserable comfort it proves, because it does not tend to the removal of these evils, but only to the concealment of them, for a short season; and because in thus concealing them, it lynders us from applying such proper means as should remove them. Man grows sick and weary of every object, and engages in a multitude of pursuits, because he still retains the idea of his lost happiness ; which, not finding within himself, he seeks it through the whole circle of external things; but always seeks without success, because it is indeed to be found not in ourselves, nor in the crcatures, but in God alone.
" It is indeed one of the miracles of Christianity, that by re. conciling man to God, it sestores him to himself; that it makes
him bear the sight of himself; and, in some cases, renders solitude and silence more agreeable than all the intercourse and action of mankind. Nor is it by fixing man in his own person that it produceth these wonderful effects; it is by carrying him to God, and by supporting him under the sense of his miseries, with the hopes of an assured and complete deliverance in a better life.
6. Let a man examine his own thoughts, and he will always find them employed about the time past, or the time to come. We scarcely bestow a glance on the present ; or, if we do, it is only that we may borrow light from hence to manage the future. The present is never the mark of our designs. We use both past and present as our means and instruments; but the future only as our object and aim. Thus we never live, but we ever hope to live; and under this continual disposition and preparation to happiness, it is certain we can never be actually happy if our hopes are terminated with the present life."
Happy, and truly wise, is the real Christian, who, sensible of his sin and misery, looks for both present and future happiness in Christ, who hears his instructive and saying voice while it is called to-day, who considers the present as the acceptable time, the day of salvation ; and who, while he enjoys, amidst the mia series of life, the well-founded hope of future glory, is concerned to live to God, and to serve his generation according to his will. Thus the Christian is the true philosopher, and learns to make a right use of time, the past, the present, and the future. In a word, he is “ wise unto salvation.
FRAGMENT OF A VISION.
« Önce more Eugenia," said my celestial guide; with as much complacency and sweetness as could possibly shine in an angel's face,“ once more will I bear thee hence; and to thy won dering sight present a fairer prospect of the unbounded love of Christ, manifested to the sons of men. Thus far my commission extends; and then I leave thec." With humble submission I bowed assent, my heart glowing with delight at the pleasing reflection of being indulged with a still nearer view of the exhaust less treasures of mercy and grace continually flowing from the wounded side of my blessed Lord. “ Is it possible," exclaimed 1, “ under a self-abasing view of my unworthiness, will yet my heavenly Conductor condescend to comply with the inquisitive desires and inclinations of one so undeserving?" ( I am but a creature, and servant of the same Master with thec," replied he: " then, cease to wonder, and know this, that it is the delight and happiness of the angels of light to be the ministering attendants on those that are the scaled of the Lord."-Silenced at the gentle reproof, I prepared for Night; and encircled in the arms of my