Sivut kuvina

delight to officiate. They can wipe off the suspicion of unhallowed ambition on the one hand, and disingenuous craft, (and all craft is disingenuous,) on the other, by refraining from political exertions, directly or indirectly, and by a straight forward course in the truth, plainness and simplicity of the gospel. The example of St. Paul is before them, who whilst he arrogated nothing to himself, affected no political or spiritual power, sought no peculiar distinction in the church, raised no seditions in the state, and conducted with the humility of a true disciple on all occasions; yet was bold, heroic, and dauntless, in vindicating the Truth of Revelation; was appaled by no danger, and shrunk from no responsibility, where the banner of the Lord Jesus led the way. It was this happy combination of real Christian humility, with dauntless and sublime moral courage, in the character of St. Paul, that opened the way for him wherever he appeared; that made “the stormy wave of the multitude” recede at his approach; that gave irresistible force to his exhortations, and crowned his exertions with surprising and unparalleled success. All saw, that he had no sinister designs, no selfish motives; all were convinced that the love of God, and consequently the love of man-(for no man càn love God without loving his fellow-creatures animated his heart, and quickened his zeal: And hence t was, that Goldsmith's allusion to the preaching of a country curate, would apply with ten-fold force to him.

66 Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, - “ And fools, who came to laugh, remained to pray!”

Let, then, every American Clergyman look steadily to the gospel for his principles, and to Jesus Christ and St. Paul for his practice; and Infidelity, vith its unhallowed zeal in a bad cause, its mock patriotism, and its pretended regard for constitutional principles, where no constitutional principle

queni, convinguiste paralle cron

was in jeopardy, will be driven from the field, overwhelmed with the oblivion which ought ever to be the fate of mischievous error, as well as unprincipled design.

But I cannot take leave of this subject, without suggesting, as worthy at least of some reflection, that much good might result if the Clergy would make it a point to treat sceptics, and even avowed. infidels, with the same attention that they do believers. To come at the head, it is often necessary, and always justifiable, first to get possession of the heart: Not that I mean to advise to dissimulation, which is detestable, and ever to be destested in every shape. The man, who will intentionally stoop to deceive in the smallest matter, is capable of any crime which a supposed necessity may call upon him to commit. It is, therefore, to kindle a spirit of charity where it does not exist, or to revive it where it may have slumbered, that I give these hints. Infidels are like other men, and no man was ever made worse, if he was not made better, by kind and liberal treatment. Would it be amiss, then, would it not indeed be the surest evidence of a real Christian spirit, if Clergymen in particular, as well as Christians in general, would visit sceptics and infidels with the gospel law of charity in their hearts, and the gospel spirit of kindness on their lips? Let them see, in short, that if the fagot has ever been used to cure. Infidelity, it was political finesse or rancor, and not gospel religion or love, that kindled the flame. In all such instances, it would soon be seen, whether the subject was incurable or not; and consequently, whether the intercourse, with a view to conversion, should be kept up or suspended. Obstinate cases, however, should not be too hastily abandoned; for as very extraordinary cures have been accomplished in the physical system by perseverance in the application of proper means; so moral and intellectual disor

ders may be conquered in the same way. As an example in the physical world, the Italian Philosopher Canari, it should always be recollected; lived to the age of a hundred and upwards, though very many years before his death, he was abandoned by a council of Physicians as a candidate for the graveyard; as one whose immediate descent to the tomb no medical genius or art could arrest: And so, in the moral and intellectual world, the thief on the cross, after a life of sinfulness and depravity, was so thoroughly converted, as to receive the divine promise-To-day shalt thou be with me in Parudise! Why, then, with such examples to animate and encourage him, should any Clergyman tire out suddenly, in a labor of love,” like that of luring Infidels, by honorable and gentle means, to the altars of our God, and our Redeemer? Let them never forget, in the language of Arthur O'Leary, the catholic champion of Ireland, “ that oil smooths the ruffled sea; and that a long time before Cicero and Quintillian had laid down rules for rhetoricians to work on the passions, Solomon, a greater adept in the knowledge of the human heart, had said A soft word healeth anger, and a hard word raiseth up fury :" And again-If Cæsar's clemency outshone the splendor of his victories; how much more ought the clemency of the servants of the true God, the mild and merciful Jesus, to exceed that of a heathen usurper and tyrant.

Clergymen of the United States ! On you, aided by the goodness and grace of Heaven, depends the success of the gospel, “the last best gift of God to man,” in this country, if not in the world at large. We know that in the old world there are many corruptions in the Church; and would God we could say there were none in the Church of America : But be this as it may, on you, I repeat it, under Heaven, depends the success and the glory of the Redeemer's cause in this land of boasted, if not

can posty zoal, prudenoppositio envy,d venerad oppos

real, light and liberty. On you the eyes of your countrymen are fixed, many with due respect and veneration, some with silent envy and suspicion, and others again with avowed hostility and opposition. To preserve the respect and veneration you have obtained, to disarm envy, obviate suspicion, and conquer opposition, requires on your part wisdom, prudence and piety; all the discreet and holy zeal, all the faithfulness and energy, you can possibly call to your aid. Your task is indeed one of the greatest that can fall to the lot of humanity to perform, as well on account of its in- * trinsic and vast importance, as the formidable obstacles, which the frailty and corruption of the human heart oppose to the success of it. But still we believe, that in proportion as you display the Christian gifts and graces, will they become the property of your Congregations and of the people. Where Paul faithfully plants, and APOLLOS faithfully waters, there will God give the increase. Your example must and will sink deep into the hearts of your hearers. If they find you faithful and persevering in the cause of God and humanity, they cannot remain idle spectators of your zeal, your fidelity, your toils and your privations. The flame of Divine Grace, and of Divine Love, which is kindled in your hearts, and which glows upon your lips, whether at the altar or the fire-side, will communicate to theirs, and warm them into a holy zeal for the cause of truth and righteousness: For God, we believe, never did, and never will, thwart the labors of his faithful and devoted Servants. He has ever bleSt them; he will ever bless them. Be ye, then, patient as Job, and persevering as Paul. Be ye, then, meek and humble, as your Divine Master was meek and humble; and let your charity and benevolence be like unto his. Use the good things of the world, as not abusing them, or yourselves; and be always ready to communicate

with the poor as well as the rich. Remember, that LAZARUS was the favorite of the blessed Saviour, whilst Dives, with all his wealth, could not escape condemnation. Let the world see that Christ and him crucified, is the theme of your preaching; that love to God and to Man glows in your discourses, and that your whole practice corresponds with your professions. This, and this alone, is the course that will elevate your character, and preserve your influence, individually and collectively. This, and this alone, will enable you to stem the torrent of opposition; to put INFIDELITY at defiance; to establish the Church of Christ, on which hang the everlasting destinies of mankind, on a sure and permanent basis; and finally, to receive yourselves, the great reward of-Well done, good and faithful servunts, enter ye into the joy of your Lord !--[A.]

I will barely add, that whatever may be thought of my advice, no sensible and sound Clergyman, I think, can take umbrage at it: It flows from gratitude, as well as regard to the welfare and usefulness of those to whom it is addressed: For it has lately been my destiny, to have a good deal of intercourse with the Clergy in this and the neighboring states. From many of them I have received that hospitality and kindness which flow from Christian benevolence; and have, at the same time, witnessed their fidelity to the cause of their Divine Master. And although their hospitality and kindness, would not warp my judgment in regard to their merits or demerits; yet I should be devoid of all virtue, if these considerations did not quicken my zeal in their behalf, when I saw them, as I now see them, exposed to injustice and persecution, through the illiberal spirit of the Liberals, as the Infidel corps style themselves. Sublime liberality, indeed, to adopt themselves the same persecuting spirit which they falsely charge upon their opponents !

To repel any imputation of PRIESTCRAFT-(the

« EdellinenJatka »