Page images

volume, ought to do it with the upon him and would not be driven awakening consideration, that to from her rest. Dr. Parish found some, the same truths have proved his ministerial usefulness apparentthe word of eternal life.

ly decreasing, from this report, and I shall mention but one discourse under these circumstances wrote more, and this is the fourth. Psalm this sermon, and preached it first xlv. 6. The express object of this to his own people, and then to discourse is to set forth the divine some of the neighboring societies, character of the Lord Jesus Christ. and finally printed it at his own And it is what the author intended charge, and circulated it among the it should be, a plain, popular exhi- people in the vicinity. And it may bition of revelation on that subject; not be improper to add that notnot a learned, critical discussion, withstanding all this, it was declar. but a sermon which could be writ- ed perhaps by more than one, that ten only by one who had given con- neither this sermon, nor any thing siderable attention to the subject. which Dr. Parish had said or could The history of all the circumstan- say, would produce the belief that ces which gave rise to this dis- Dr. Parish was not a Unitarian, at course would be, in respect to our least, in heart. Well might the race, a mournfully interesting, but learned biographer say “it is not probably not a desirable document. easy to conceive the horror and disI revert to the subject, that if there may which is occasioned by the sug. be any suffering under the same gestion that such or such a minister evil, they may not feel as though is becoming a Unitarian." some strange thing had happened I have thought it best to revert to to them. The author of these dis- this subject because it is supposed courses, who had all his life been there are individuals yet found who considered and indeed considered have never had their fears pro. himself, of the strictest sect of or- duced by these surmises corrected. thodoxy, found himself fallen under And that there are many who perthe suspicion of leaning towards haps have heard that these sermons Unitarianism. Evil surmises spread have been published, are insensible among his people, distressed the how great a support the cause of minds of his church, and took con- truth and religion does actually find siderable hold of the feelings of in them. neighbouring churches and minis- I had not intended, when I perters. No one to our knowledge ceived the extent to which my reever alleged that he had preached marks reached, to refer particularly in public, or intimated in his con- to another discourse. But I cannot versation, that he had in any degree well refrain from mentioning the become doubtful of the truth of his next in order, on the Human nature former faith. On the contrary, his of Christ, from the use the author preaching remained the same; his makes of this fact, to show the erconversation the same; to every rors of the Unitarian scheme. Here one who asked him concerning his the author has raised up an almost faith, he was free and open to con- new mound against the spread of fess that his mind had undergone no that error.

And one which I think change. To a written question the advocates of that doctrine, as “ Is Dr. Parish a Unitarian ?” put now held, will find it difficult to reinto his hand on convention day, in move.

It would not be easy to preBoston, he replied in writing, "no! sent the reasonings of the author in no! no!” All was however to little such a condensed form as to allow or no effect. Suspicion had fixed their insertion in this place. We

must refer the reader to the work fore us. It is not a little surprising itself, promising that he will find to observe how many facts and his advantage in its perusal. thoughts are frequently brought to

I must bring my remarks to a gether in a small space. As many close, though I am free to confess are often found on a single page as, that I have hardly touched upon being dilated in some men's minds, those parts of the volume to which would fill a sermon. But while so when I commenced, I intended to condensed I believe the reader will direct my particular attention, nor agree with me that there is no obreferred to those passages which, in scurity. Whatever the author inperusal, I had marked as of more tended to advance, be it truth or peculiar interest. The reader may be it error, be it important or be it rest assured that the real silver and vain, he has said it in such a way as gold has not all been extracted. to be understood. There is a rich untouched mine re- That there are no faults in the maining, which those who seek for style or arrangement of these disknowledge as for hid treasure, will courses, no words or sentiments do well to secure to themselves. which need qualification, is not in

Of a volume so perfectly miscel- tended to be said. What human laneous as this, it is not possible to composition is without them? It present any very condensed view. must be remembered too that this In passing through it, one is enter- is a posthumous publication; and tained very much in the same way though most or all of the sermons as a traveller, by the constantly are said to be prepared for the changing scenes, that pass before press by the author, yet every one him; who, so far as he reasons who has the least experience on the on the subject of his enjoyment, subject, knows how much more is surprised that he can be so easily a fault in style, arrangement, constantly pleased, and perfect- or words is detected in the proof ly taken up with objects diversi- sheet than in the manuscript, with fied by so great and often abrupt all its interlinings, transpositions, discriminations. Mountains and and erasures. Many little things plains, hills and vallies, rivers and which would have given a finish to brooks, all beautiful, all differing, the work would no doubt have been and yet all filling the soul with the attended to, had the author lived most pleasurable satisfaction. to superintend the publication of

These discourses are marked for this volume. originality of conception, arrange- The circumstance which will perment, expression, and illustration. haps strike the mind of the reader I know of no volume of sermons as the most liable to exception, is equal to them in this particular occasionally a want of qualification Nor are they scarcely less noticea- in some of the sentiments. Yet in ble for their spirit and animation. most instances when these occur, The author was awake when he if the reader will have patience to wrote them, and the reader will be see his author through before he in no danger of sleeping when condemns, he will find all the antidwelling upon their pages. Dr. cipated evils and errors, into which Parish was long ago pronounced, he feared these assertions would by a distinguished divine, who has lead, removed, and just the truth now also gone to the judge of all taught and the impression made the earth, to be almost unequalled which he would wish. In the disin his powers of condensation. And courses on Education, and Dilihis title to this praise he has abun- gence, there are exemplifications dantly supported in the volume be- of these remarks.

To say that these sermons ap- of Pitt or Burke or a host of othpear as well from the press as they ers, who in their writings have left did from the pulpit would be a an inexhaustible source of informastigma upon human nature. Ev- tion and delight; though could we ery one who is made in the com- have seen them in their personal mon form or condition of man ought exhibitions, we undoubtedly should to be ashamed to have this said of have been even more instructed any of his performances, designed and better pleased. for a public assembly. Shall the In conclusion, I must recommend voice, the manner, the life and pre- these sermons to the divine, to the sence, of the noblest work of God, man of letters and the man of taste, add nothing to the beauty, the in- to the humble Christian, and to terest, or to the impression of di- those who have persuaded themvine truth? Dr. Parish, I am happy selves there is nothing which can to know, was not one of those of command the respect of the wise whom it could be said

and great in the peculiar doctrines

of the religion of Christ. * In point of sermons 'tis confess'd, If these remarks have any influThe English clergy make the best. But this appears we must confess

ence in drawing the attention of Not from the pulpit, but the press.”

the community to a book which has

afforded me increased pleasure in Though these sermons lose some- the third or fourth reading, the obthing of their interest because we ject for which they are made will can have them no longer from his be answered. The volume is cerlips, who,“ in his eloquence, says tainly valuable, and the family have his Biographer, was equalled by performed a very commendable serfew and surpassed by none,” the vice in causing it to be published. reader must not infer that there is And if the community are not ina scanty repast for the understand structed and improved by it, the ing or the heart or life ready for reason must be sought for not in the him. Who has inferred this of the want of opportunity, but in the negorations of Demosthenes or Cicero, lect of the means.


To the Editor of the Christian Spectator. conduced to draw me any nearer

With much interest and satisfac- the point of dubitation. Shall I be tion I have read your remarks upon permitted to express two or three the “ Brief view of the American queries respecting the foundation Education Society,” &c. in your of some of your doubts. You take No. for February. I am much it for granted, that by “ the present pleased with the deference and af- system,” the “ spirits” of beneficiafection, which you manifest toward ries, after entering the ministry, that Society, while you express will be “ oppressed, and their indeyour honest “ doubts respecting pendence of character restrained, the present system of appropria. by a heavy load of debt.” There I was far from feeling any

is a kind of independence, the opsuch doubts, when I read their ad- posite of humility, which may inmirable communication ; and I dare deed be“ oppressed” by the “presnot say, that your reasons have ent system”--an independence, of

Var. 1.-No. V.


which most young ministers, from much more in the knowledge of hutoo much admiration, are in the man nature? Will it not be peculgreatest danger-an independence iarly conducive to improve his which none perhaps would more style of writing ?—not indeed to ardently deprecate than you. But render it more classically* elegant is not "the present system” pecul. more conformed to the model of iarly fitted to call into exercise and Cicero, Sallust, Johnson, or Blair ; confirm that sense of entire depend- but more perspicuous to the illiteence upon Christ, to form and im- rate ; more suited to impartinprove those habits of vigorous in- struction, conviction and salvation dustry, which united, constitute to children, in years or in knowlthat true Christian independence, edge? How often has piety wept which can face a frowning world, to hear the youthful ambassador of and urge on the war of extermina- Christ deliver his ardent and sotion against all the powers of dark- lemn message, as it were, in an unness ? Is it not good for a man, es- known tongue!-in language above pecially, if destined for the sacred the understanding of most of bis ministry, that he bear the yoke in hcarers! is not experience in his youth? May we not presume, teaching children one of the best that in almost every instance, the preventives of this barbaroust and stimulated and devoted energies of soul-destroying practice? the beneficiary, by the good hand Is it not highly important, that of his God upon him, will disburden ministers should be experienced in him of the "load" that is feared as school-teaching, that they may the so great an evil ?—and that by ef- better discharge their duties to forts which will be really benefi- teachers, to schools and to their cial ?

own households ; and also that they What if he should find it need- may more effectually co-operate ful to devote twelve or eighteen in improving literary institutions months to school-teaching ? Would throughout the world? the time be lost to his own im- I knew a man about thirty years provement ? Would it be lost to

ago, who upon leaving college with the holy cause, that warms and di- the ministry in view, devoted one lates his heart ? Would not the ad- year to teaching. His chief object vantage be much, I had almost said

was to qualify himself for the sacred much every way? A bishop should office, which he afterwards sustainbe apt to teach. Next to piety it- ed. The acquisitions of that year, self and holy zeal, perhaps no qual- he has ever since considered as ification is more conducive to min

more conducive to pastoral usefulisterial usefulness, than aptness for teaching. Where shall it be ac

*Is not the CHARMING word classical, as quired ? At the Academy? At opposed to colloquial, producing incalcuCollege ? At the Theological Sem- lable injury to the style of some of our inary? Are these institutions fa. theological students. If the preacher revoured with professors of this in- jects colloquial expressions, how can he valuable art? Would to Heaven

be understood by those who know scarce

ly any other? It is one of the brightest they were. Will not one year, glories of the gospel, that it is designed spent at the head of a school, ef- for the poor. Wo to that evangelist,who fect more proficiency in this art, addresses them in language which they than ten in these institutions ? Will cannot understand. Upon every dishe not also in that year, be likely

course of this character, let him write to make as much progress in men

The glory is departed," and water it with

the tears of repentance. tal improvement and useful literature, as in any year at college ? and +See 1 Cor. xiv. 11.

of our

ness, than those of any year at col- with the heart of a missionary, lege. It is bis decided opinion and plead with them to be rethat all, who have the ministry in conciled to God? May we not al. view, should, if possible, devote so expect, that both in his closet one or two years to this important and in his school, he will plead with employment.

God to have mercy on them ? and The more immediate good to

that his effectual fervent prayers their pupils, which must result from will avail ? Nay, have not such the labors of beneficiaries in this prayers availed already? Have not employment, is yet to be consider- beneficiaries already pursued these ed. This I cannot but estimate ve. methods of advancing the Redeemry highly. Confident, I am, that if er's kingdom ? And are there not "two or three hundred” of these some new-born souls, who feel precious youths could take the themselves to be the spiritual chilmanagement of as many schools dren of these sons of charity: some, for a few months annually, it would that are prepared to become themprove, at least, for several years to selves beneficiar:es, and to purcome, a better means than any oth- sue with others, the same course er yet proposed, “ of elevating the that has brought them out of darkcharacter and usefulness

ness into marvellous light ? What common schools.” I ana indeed might we not hope from three hunfavorably disposed to the highly dred such ;-50 many Christian commended plan of making the warriors, commanding and training business of instruction a distinct each his school ? Could we expect profession.” But a considerable better things from an equal number, time must elapse, before any of the who should be teachers by profesadvantages of this plan can be re- sion ? Better literary instructions alized ; and many years more be- we might indeed expect. But the fore they can become extensive. Christian Spectator need not be in. It is doubtful, whether any now liv. formed, that these'are not the one ing will ever see half of our schools thing needful. They are lighter supplied by those, who shall be than vanity, when put in the balteachers by profession. In the ance with the weightier matters of mean time, what shall we do for the law. How many real Christ. teachers ? Can beneficiaries be ex- ians can we expect to find in three cused from this momentous work? hundred such teachers ? Perhaps Have we not reason to be thankful thirty. Even if there should be not only for pious beneficiaries, twice that number, it is my decided who as pupils, bless our academies opinion, that the three hundred and colleges, but that so many of beneficiaries, considered merely as them are blessing our schools, as teachers, would have the greater teachers ? Can the beneficiary for- influence in promoting the welfare get, that he is not his own !--that of the world. he has most solemnly devoted him- Even if we had a supply of teachself to Christ and the church ?-- ers by profession, it seems that we that to Christ and the church, he could hardly release beneficiaries must be forever devoted ? Must he from the same employment. How not feel something of the awful and much less, as the case now is. It elevating responsibility of a mis- will not be thought strange, then, sionary? May we not hope, that that with these views, I am very far he will be an example to his pu- from doubting either the “policy" pils of whatsoever things are love- or the “ wisdom” of the Directors ly and of good report ; that under in relation to this subject. the commanding influence of such Some beneficiaries, indeed, may examples he will address them not have health to keep school, and

« PreviousContinue »