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which may tend to reconcile them to their situation, and dispose them to engage cheerfully in the duties of it. I think, them, that the disadvantages of this union are not so great as they appear; that they are counterbalanced by several collateral advantages; and that one advantage, of very superior magnitude, results directly from the union in question. The chief disadvantage is the consumption of time; and that, too, in labour not strictly clerical. But I am persuaded, that the more this objection is considered, of the less magnitude will it appear. For it is to be remembered, that the labour of a schoolmaster is regular, and at stated hours; he, therefore, becomes habituated to an orderly distribution of his time: and the common observation is, I believe, justified by fact, that more is often done in the way of study, by men who devote to it the comparatively little leisure time which remains to them from their daily calling, than by those who have nothing else to do. For my own part, I do not see that those serious clergymen who have schools, do less, either in study, preaching, composing, or visiting the sick, than their serious brethren who have none. The latter are also subject to much interruption, from their being considered as men of leisure. And if the schoolmaster should ever obtain the emancipation which he longs for, it is to be feared that his projects of more devoted occupation in ministerial studies and labours, might prove, in a great measure, visionary. Do not his vacations disappoint him Does he not find that he projected much, and gets
little done And though it be al
lowed that a teacher's vacations bring peculiar engagements, yet the experience of what actually does take place is much more to be depended upon than the promise of an untried situation. Further, the disadvantages which
attend this union of clergyman and preceptor are counterbalanced by some advantages. * The clergyman is hereby taught to bear his cross. How often has he occasion, in addressing his hearers, to bid them be content with such things as they have; to instruct them that those things which appear to them inconvenient and adverse, are in reality the gracious appointments of Infinite Wisdom; and that their duty is to fulfil the task assigned them, leaving it with God to order the circumstances under which they shall labour P Let him, then, learn his own lesson, when he groans under the drudgery, the expense of time, the irritation, the vexations, which attend a school. Let him consider the hand of God, and check every repining thought. Let him say, I would wish to meditate more in the word of God, and to give myself wholly to it; but my heavenly Father marks out for me another line: let me cheerfully accept his will, and be found diligent in the work which he assigns. If Paul laboured with his own hands, why should not I be content, if in preaching the Gospel, I cannot live by the Gospel ? And as to any hindrance which my want of leisure may occasion to my usefulness and knowledge as a mimister, the Lord knows how to make his *f; perfect in my weakness, and he can enable me to turn my little leisure to a good account. —Could his study do much more for him than a daily practical lesson like this 2 A second collateral advantage is, that a school is a daily trial of temper and of principle. While the teacher endeavours to observe entire impartiality, without regard to the rank of the parents; to maintain strict discipline, without undue severity; to unbend without levity, and punish without passion; what grounds has he for humility, what opportunities of self-knowledge, what means of ascertaining his progress in self-government Nay, even what is secular in his employment makes him an exercised man in secular things. He can speak better to his congregation on the trials which attend business, and the manner in which they are to be encountered, from the tutoring which his own heart has had on the subject. These, however, are indirect, collateral advantages. But, there is one advantage, of the very first moment, the direct result of his maintaining the double character of tutor and minister. His school is a church ; his scholars a congregation. Here he has an opportunity of daily inculcating Christian truth, and observing the effect of his instructions. What though he should visit fewer sick beds, or the same sick bed less frequently, on account of his school ; is not rising youth a more promising field than declining age 2 If it be inquired, whether more good is done by catechising, or by visiting the sick; I believe, all who have tried both, will, without hesitation, determine in favour of the former. The time which a clerical schoolmaster spends among his pupils is not all to be deducted from his work as a divine: he is often forming Christians, sometimes preparing ministers. The above remarks are solely designed to reconcile those to their lot, who are obliged to unite the schoolmaster and the minister; not to encourage any clergyman to take upon him the office of a teacher for the sake of greater gain, or a more splendid appearance. To such, it is evident that much of what has been said could not apply. As long as a conscientious minister is under the necessity of adding a school to his church, let him not care for the inconvenience, but in his calling let him glorify God. If he may be free, let him use it rather; and pray that he may faithfully improve the larger opportuinities of ministerial usefulness thus afforded him. J. F.
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver,
Being lately present at a county assize, I heard a cause tried which led to a discussion of the importance of fox-hunting. On this occasion two clergymen were examined; the one, to prove that the defendant was not on a certain day in the preci place in which the evidence for the plaintiff had described him to be; for which purpose he produced what I think he himself called, a “ small diary of the winds and weather,” and from which he stated (doubtless with accuracy) the track of the fox and his pursuers. The other repeated a conversation that had taken place between him and the plaintiff in this action, in his own church, when the Fo acknowledged the damages e had received to be very trifling, but said he was compelled by his landlord to bring the action. I trou. ble you, Mr. Editor, with this recital, in order to introduce to your readers, if you think proper, the observations made on this occasion by a highly respectable barrister (when commenting on the evidence to the jury), not without a hope, that, should it meet the eye of any clergyman disposed to spend his time in such amusements as fox-hunting, it may be received as an admonition * undeserving his rearol. The learned Counsel spake nearly to the following effect. “When I was examining the reverend gentleman, I ventured to use a phrase, which, at the moment, I hesitated whether it was a proper one to use to a clergyman. I asked him to shew me his “ log-book.” The propriety of this term, however, on reference to the contents of the book. can no longer be doubted. I turned over the pages of this diary, with the hope that I might find some account of the sick he had visited, of the poor that he had relieved, or of the aged that he had comforted ; but no such record did I find | Such entries would probably have afforded the gentleman a more pleasing subJect of reflection on a winter's evening, than the history of a fox-chase.” I was struck, sir, with the delicate solemnity of the manner in which these sentences were delivered, and was satisfied that the worthy counsel entertained a just sense of the importance of clerical duties; and I hoped his observations would not be without a suitable effect on the clergy who were present. I am reminded, by these circumstances, of a young clergyman whom I lately knew, and who had the “cure of souls” in a large country parish, but whose chief pursuits were those of hunting and cricket-playing. But, alas! sir, he was summoned, and that almost instantaneously, from this earthly scene. He expired in a very few minutes after he was seized, and has been called to give an account of his stewardship. It would ill become me, Mr. Editor, to judge of the state of my fellow-creatures who are removed by the hand of death; or to limit the divine mercy and compassion towards the children of men : but if the representations of the Bible be true, surely the appropriate employments of those who take upon themselves so sacred an office as that of the ministry, to which they profess “to be moved by the Holy Ghost,” must be of a very different description from those to which this young clergyman devoted so much of his time. I am, &c. One Of the LAITY.
For the Christian Observer. Quis talia fando, temperet a lachrymis?
My father's family latterly consisted of an elder son, myself, and one younger, a Po youth, who fell a victim to the fury of a fever at the age of sixteen. On the virtues of my deceased brother I have no inclination at present to dwell: suffice it to observe, that he has left behind him a name, and the reChrist. Observ. No. 117.
membrance of worth, which will ever be embalmed in the hearts of those who formed the narrow circle of his acquaintance. But to return to my surviving brother, who is more immediately concerned in this communication.-At twenty-three he gained the af. fections of a young lady in the neighbourhood, with whose hand he was, not long after, made happy ;
and who, in somewhat less than a
twelvemonth, presented him, to use his own expression, with “a lovely boy.” No sooner was master Jonathan ushered into this scene of vanity, than, to the eyes of his fond parents, he discovered perfections which the sagacity of others vainly endeavoured to detect. Every glance of the infant bore upon it a presage of no mean intelligence. Ever
smile which enlivened the littie darling's aspect, brought increasing assurance of an ornament to the rising race of his countrymen.— Amid such blissful anticipations, time, continuing to roll on, had introduced this great one in embryo to his fifth year; when it was judged fit to give his parts ample encouragement, by initiation into the alphabet at that tender age. But here, alas! was a final stop to their triumphs. Poor Jonathan by no means exhibited the same discrimination" with regard to the forms of the letters, as hitherto he displayed in separating white marbles from brown. He was far from being an apt scholar, and, notwithstanding the unwearied attention of us all, his apprehension did not grasp these lowest elements of science till a seventh year had opened on his mind. Meanwhile it was some consolation to reflect that the dawn of genius did not always appear in childhood. Nay, it was with some tartness suggested, that children were seldom the better for appearing smart at an early period of life. These golden dreams being indulged, the luminary of heaven had now shone on no fewer than sixteen anniversaries of Jonathan's birth, and still saw him
yield in point of knowledge to children of three or four years' standing at school. Nevertheless, on being apprised of the necessity, at his years, of fixing on a profession, to my grief and astonishment he mentioned that of a clergyman | While a belief prevailed of his talents “that were to be,” he had been destined for the bar, as the theatre most likely to afford celebrity to merit; but since, from existing circumstances, that was quite out of the question, those whose indubitable right it was to direct him, deemed it cruel to thwart him in this favourite pursuit; and my representations of the incongruity, not to say impiety, of the measure, bein held in an invidious light, I desisted, and left the youth to prosecute his studies for the sacred profession. The intermediate time having been on his part spent, or rather abused, I had the mortification to learn, that, by the unaccountable negligence of the chaplain whose duty it was to examine into his proficiency, he had obtained orders to preach that Gospel, the meaning of which he scarcely understood; and on the following Sunday, I heard him read from the pulpit a sermon of Tillotson's. The end being so far accomplished, the next care of his parents was to procure him a living. In this they had at first little fear of disappointment, as a near relation of ours was intimately connected with a man in power, whose word would have been sufficient for the purpose ; but, on ascertaining that the relative alluded to had sentiments o the qualifications requisite for so important an office, widely different from what they had conceived, no resource was left but an application for clerical preferment in the navy. ... They solicited, and obtained, a chaplainship in the navy. In vain did I expostulate: the necessity of the case was argued; Jonathan had been educated with the ideas of a gentleman, and therefore could not *oop to the degrading employment
of a country curate. I urged the moral dangers attending the situation: the reply was, “ Could l dis. trust Jonathan's prudence did I expect him to become an Atheist?” Unable to combat prejudice like this, I at length gave up the point, and Jonathan was accordingly equipped for one of his Majesty's ships. As l had foreseen, he soon, by his weakness, exposed to ridicule those sacred truths which he professed to inculcate; and, what is worse, corrupted by the pestilential influence of example which he had : not strength to resist, he did not even maintain that decorousness . of external conduct, which had been
nistry. o With what regret does one con
f : . his sole qualification for the mi- |
template such an instance of admis
sion into the sacred ministry of the church' We must lament, indeed, every instance of a worldly, spirit, or of pastoral neutrality, in clergymen. Such characters cannot but
prove injurious to the interests of
religion. But when drivelling imbecility, or open profligacy, are known to occupy the holy place, the evil is still more extensive. My object in this paper is to excite those, whose province it is to decide on the qualifications of candidates for ordination, to institute a more careful inquiry into the capacity and piety of the young men who come before them; in order that, at least, the future exclusion of decidedly unworthy pastors may in some degree be secured. I am a friend to all who love the Lord Jesus in truth and in sincerity, but especially I love our venerable establishment; and out of our Zion 1 would have the perfection of beauty to shine torth with a peculiar brightness.
Gillies’ Historical Collections (vol. i. p. 461, first edition), it will probably gratify many, besides the transcriber. Some one of your correspondents may be able to state what has become of the Christians mentioned in it, after the Dutch were expelled the island of Formosa in 1661; and what is the present religious state of their descendants. Yours, &c. W. J.
“Mr. Robert Junius, late of Delft in Holland, was nominated, by the honoured and pious senate of the Famous Expedition of the United Provinces for the Conversion of the Eastern Indians, and particularly in Formosa: who accordingly undertook the charge, went over to the place, bestowed much pains in laying the ground-work and principles of religion amongst them; so that, of persons grown up in the isle of Formosa, 5900 of both sexes gave
up their name to Christ; and professing their faith, and giving fit answers to questions propounded out of the word of God, were baptised by him. He set up schoolmasters
to instruct them, and gained 600
scholars to read ; collected the chief heads of religion, and composed several prayers, and translated certain Psalms into the Formosan language. This in the northern parts mostly: but in the southern also he planted churches in three and twenty towns, and promoted the worship of the true God. At last, having set divers pastors over them, being grown weak and unserviceable in body, and desirous to see his aged mother and native country, he returned home again. This narration is published in Latin by Casp. Sebellius, and prefixed to his book called ‘Antidotum Ambitionis,' and attested by several others. See the Narrative published at London 1650.”—Vol. i. p. 461, 1st edit.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Practical Piety; or the Influence of the Religion of the Heart on the Conduct of the Life. By HANNAH Moke. 2 vols. 4th Edit. Cadell and Davies, London.
It is justly considered as a distinguished privilege, that in this protestant country we are permitted to think for ourselves on subjects of religion, and to consult our own conscience alone in the worship of God. There was a time when our belief was regulated by the dictates of others; and when the exercise of ... reason, that noble faculty, which our Creator has bestowed upon us for the highest purposes, was, with respect to the most important of all subjects, deliberately proscribed. But the age of darkness and intolerance has passed away; and every
person, it might fairly be presumed, who professes to believe in the revelation of God, would be disposed to apply to the consideration of it the best energies of his mind, and with a degree of ardour proportioned to the interests which it involves. That some difference of opinion should exist on passages of doubtful construction, and on topics of inferior moment, might reasonably be expected from the condition of fallible man; but that ignorance should be voluntary; that error and misconception should be suffered to prevail from mere habits of carelessness; that an easy assent should be afforded to delusions the most palpable, purely to avoid the pain of inquiry; that the faculty of reason, which is ever on full stretch to improve the liberal arts and to en