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is it that a minister's knowledge of it should be accurate, as well as extensive, that whatever can in any measure be made available for that purpose, should be most readily and thankfully embraced. This should be the case more particularly in the investigation of such portions of the Divine word as are selected as texts upon which to found pulpit discourses; and will frequently be the means of throwing light upon them, so as to enable the preacher, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to see and comprehend the truth, and to publish it to his congregation to edification and profit.
An acquaintance with the theological writings of the best divines will of course be of great assistance in obtaining systematic and correct knowledge of doctrinal truths. No minister, possessing a right perception of his own limited powers, will despise or think lightly of the labours and researches of great and good men, whose lives have been devoted to the investigation of the truth; but will thankfully avail himself of all such helps as their works may afford. Not indeed slavishly to adopt the opinions of any man, of whatever name or creed; but bringing all their opinions to the standard of revealed truth, and examining them in the light which_the Divine Spirit sheds upon his understanding; whilst he will feel it an imperative duty to reject everything which may appear to be contrary to God's word, he will be equally ready to assent to all that is consonant thereto, and both in his own experience, and in his work and ministry, seek to be benefited by the labours of others.
But Theology is not the only subject which claims the attention, or which ought to occupy the thoughts of a Christian minister. There are, it may be, but few if any of the numerous things to be met with in life, which affect and influence human happiness, upon which genius and learning have not poured forth their streams of light, and knowledge, for the purpose of lessening the sum of human misery, and for filling up its cup of bliss. Added to these is the volume of human nature itself, whose pages of every day occurrences arc filled with lessons of vast import, and which never fail to repay the attentive observer with the most ample returns,—with experience of the richest and highest order, and wisdom far transcending all human theories. It were difficult indeed, to conceive of a Minister of the Church of Christ well instructed in all things pertaining to his calling, and capable of ministering to the varied necessities of his people, whose general knowledge of men and things was not in some measure commensurate with the information to be derived from these varied, and most prolific sources: no ordinary labour therefore should be declined, and no sacrifice of any moderate extent refused, which may be requisite to ensure such advantages.
A diligent and persevering attention to the various studies, the nature of which we have but very briefly glanced at, would be followed, it may reasonably be supposed, by the acquisition of such Biblical and general knowledge, and such an intimate acquaintance with doctrinal truths, as would qualify its possessor to minister to a congregation in holy things, with great spiritual and moral advantage. But to do this the more effectually, and to a greater extent, I beg to suggest that a preacher of the gospel should also not overlook, or lightly estimate, a variety of minor matters, which, whilst they in no degree disqualify a man from addressing the most illiterate congregation, never fail to have an influence to a greater or lesser extent, upon a better informed, or mixed audience. The manners of a preacher in the pulpit, his style of address, his gesture, the tones of his voice, his pronunciation, the method of reading the Scriptures, and the mode in which he speaks to his congregation, dogmatically or otherwise, all have an effect upon the minds of the hearers, and cannot fail to dispose them favourably or unfavourably towards the minister, and consequently to his ministrations. Should it then be thought a matter of trifling importance by any preacher of the Gospel, that he should be at the pains to improve himself in respect to these, and a variety of other little things, which will readily suggest themselves to his own mind? or ought he to consider the trouble of acquisition a cost of too great value for the advantages to be realised? Experience, I am decidedly of opinion, will answer no!
It may be said, that hearers are too often fastidious, and disposed to faultfinding, in reference to trifling and comparatively unimportant matters connected with the pulpit duties of ministers; and I fear this charge may be but too true. Still, however, that is no sufficient reason for the neglect of those minor attentions, which go to recommend the ministry to persons of somewhat cultivated taste, but should rather be looked upon as included among the " all things to all men," which ministers especially are called upon to be,—the example of which was set them by the great apostle of the Gentiles;—for the purpose of gaining some. A correct manner of reading the Scriptures, as a part of public worship, has ever appeared to me to be of great importance, as well on account of the propriety there is in God's word being properly and truly read to the people, as for the effect which such a mode seldom fails to produce upon the hearers at large. To hear a stated minister miscall words in public reading, the inaccuracy of which perhaps a mere child detects, is painful, and especially so when it is known, and felt, that a little attention would prevent its occurrence; whilst on the other hand, to witness the hallowing impression which a correct and emphatic enunciation of Divine truth, as it is found in the inspired pages, generally makes upon an entire congregation, creates pleasure to a devout worshipper, of no ordinary kind. I would venture on this subject, to recommend a familiar acquaintance with Walker's pronouncing Dictionary as perhaps the best work of the kind in the English language; and also to take at least a few lessons from some competent teacher of elocution; which would materially assist in forming a proper mode of delivery of pulpit addresses, as well as in acquiring the habit of a correct and pleasing method of reading the Scriptures.
A WORD FOR YOUNG PERSONS GOING FROM HOME.
To The Editor,—Dear Sir,
Having been for some time, a subscriber to your excellent Periodical, I embrace the present opportunity of adding my testimony to its increasing spirituality and growing intelligence. I am also a subscriber to the Evangelical Magazine, and it is to the suggestions of a letter in that Magazine, from the pen of our esteemed minister, Mr. Corbyn of Derby, that I am induced to call the attention of the friends of the "Wesleyan Association.
It is a fact only very partially known, that large numbers of young persons from various religious societies leave home for different parts of the country without the knowledge of their ministers, and without any recommendations from any of their friends at home, and are consequently exposed to innumerable temptations which naturally present themselves on entering a large town, or other strange place. Mr. Corbyn, in his very timely and valuable letter says, "I have recently become acquainted with several cases which show the necessity for the adoption of some plan for preserving our dear young friends from the contaminations of the world. From different parts of the country I have received intelligence of young men residing in this town with whom I was previously unacquainted. I do not feel at liberty to relate the particulars of two of these cases, or I think that nothing more would be needed to convince ministers, parents, and friends, of the dangers to which young men are exposed in going from home, and of the deplorable consequences which may result from the want of an immediate introduction to a minister or some of his people. But it must not be left entirely to ministers, it may be several weeks before he is aware of it, and then it may be too late. In that time the mischief may have been done, a disaffection towards the chapel, the people, or the minister, may have been engendered, a bad connexion may have been formed, and the first step to ruin may have been taken. The evil in such cases might often be prevented by the parents of the young man, or by a brother, or sister, or some Christian friend. They might do one of two things—either write to the minister of the young man's future dwelling-place themselves, or go to their own minister, and make him acquainted with the fact, and ask him to write for them. One of the persons alluded to above, I know, has a pious father, another a pious mother and two pious sisters, and another a pious brother. But neither of these pious relatives nor any one of their three former ministers wrote either to my excellent colleague or myself respecting them, when they came to town. Had they done so, we might have taken some notice of them, and have endeavoured to make them feel at home among our Christian friends. Parents! is the moral and spiritual welfare of your child an object of desire to you? Pious brothers and sisters 1 are you concerned for the salvation of your brother's soul? Then, never let him go from home without endeavouring to enlist on his behalf the prayers, the sympathies, the counsels, and the care of some Christian friend in the place in which he is about to reside."
I am sure the very kind and pious sentiments of Mr. Corbyn must excite the most lively feelings of gratitude in the heart of every Christian parent who have friends, and it may be of their own family, just about to leave home and launch upon the arena of this busy contentious world. What an opportunity for usefulness; few young persons leave home for the Metropolis, or other large towns, who do not forcibly feel the want of a friend in a strange place; and who can calculate the benefit which may result from an introduction to some Christian friend at such a crisis, and especially when the heart is not fully established with grace. May not the frequent backslidings which are told us by young Christians in our love feasts and class meetings be often traced to this source; and how much anxiety on the part of Christian parents might be allayed from the consideration, that their child is not gone from home, but is under the protecting care of a Christian friend, or it may be a Christian minister. Much has been lost for want of attention to our young friends when leaving home, and at such a season the mind is naturally taken up with the anxieties of the world, and little disposed to attend to the necessity of an increase of the spiritual grace, and a culture of that grand preserving principle, the fear of the Lord.
I scarcely know of any thing more discouraging to respectable young persons, when attending their own place of worship in a strange place, than the thought of being overlooked by the members of their own denomination; and such must necessarily be the case when the young person in question goes from home without the recommendation of some Christian friend or minister.
The sentiments of Mr. Corbyn are so fertile with interest and importance, and so well calculated to lead to the most pleasing results, that, I wish they were stereotyped on the heart of every member of the Christian Church.
The importance of the above remarks, and the interest which now generally prevails in the welfare of British youth, will induce you, 1 trust, dear Sir, to pardon me for soliciting a place in your valuable Magazine.
Very truly yours,
Eobemont. A Friend to the Wesleyan Association.
Revival of Religion at Strut ton, in the Camelford and IVadtbridge Circuit.
""Venture great things in the Lord, and you will see great things."—
Stratton, a small market town, on the borders of Devonshire, about four miles from Kilkhampton, where Hervey commenced his meditations; and the northernmost part of the Camelford and Wadebridge circuit, was in the beginning of March last visited with one of the most extraordinary revivals ever remembered in the neighbourhood; though, by some inadvertence, no account of it has appeared in the Magazine. The case is so encouraging, and affords such a striking comment on those words of Scripture, "Have faith in God," Mark xi. 22, that it has been thought fit to transmit an account of it for preservation in the Magazine, that in after days it may be said, "What hath God wrought!" and even now may encourage others to expect similar results.
Stratton has had preaching in it by the Association almost since its commencement. For two or three years the preaching was in a small dwellingliouse; but some time ago the friends in the neighbourhood, and in the circuit, made an extraordinary effort, and built a large substantial chapel, capable of holding about 400 persons. From the first, the chapel was well attended,
£articularly on Sunday afternoons. ittle or no improvement, however, took place in the number of members. That number was very small, being but one class. They, however, continued united, believing that God would, sooner or later, revive his work. They had "ventured great things for the Lord," and could not but expect to see great things. The two or three praying friends with which this little Society was blessed, had been for a long time imploring God to pour out his Spirit and to revive his work. This had been the burden of
their prayers for a considerable time, even till they were almost ready to say, "our eyes fail with looking upward." God was pleased, however, to answer their prayers in a remarkable manner. For some time back the marked attention of the people was visible to all, and many retired from the house of God evidently concerned about their soul's salvation. God had also been visiting the various churches in the north, and did not forget Stratton. The work was so signal and so satisfactory, that all who saw it in its course and effects were led to say, " It is of God." A more than ordinary concern for the salvation of souls had also taken hold of the preachers. On February 27th, our esteemed brother Lambrick being appointed to preach in Stratton, felt an unusual burden on his mind on entering the pulpit. His heart melted within him when he saw himself surrounded by a congregation of his fellow creatures, who though attentive hearers of the word, were the greater part of them destitute of true godliness. He felt a shrinking under his burden, and could cry from the ground of his heart, "Who is sufficient for these things." The people stood in need of a convincing word, and his prayer was that God would both give him the word of conviction and carry it to their hearts. God was pleased to answer his prayer. On that occasion several were pricked in their hearts, but stifled their convictions till the following evening at the prayer meeting, when one individual, in an agony of distress, shrieked several times in an indescribably awful manner, " I am dying, I am dying." The whole meeting was alarmed, so unusual and alarming was the bitter cry. This person was presently joined by several others in deep distress, who gave vent to their feeling in sobs and sighs only known to the brokenhearted. The friends deemed it right, on receiving these droppings of the shower, to announce for preaching the following evening. The people responded at the time appointed, by attending the Lord's house in great numbers. On this evening several found peace. A meeting was likewise announced for the following evening, and so continued successively for three weeks, during which time between sixty and seventy souls were converted from the error of their ways to serve the living God. In a letter to Mr. Rosevear, from brother Lambrick, dated Stratton, March 17th, 1842, he writes as follows:—" I bless the Lord for what I have seen and felt at Stratton. The last three weeks of my life have been the happiest I ever enjoyed, and form an important period which I trust I shall ever remember with gratitude to God, and love to souls. I was almost going to say,'that the Stratton revival in three weeks has done me more good than a Theological Institution would do in three years; not that I undervalue the science of Divinity, but the experience of it is better." Several remarkable cases of conversion may with propriety be mentioned.
One old man eighty-six years of age regularly attended evening after evening in deep distress of soul, till the big tears of repentance, were exchanged for those which tell of " sins forgiven." Another, an old woman past seventy years of age, also found peace in believing. Several of the most reprobate characters were also brought to God. Amongst whom was one, who, though remarkable for sin, was singular in her deep hatred to the people of God. Some persons by way of provoking her, told her that if she went to the chapel she would also be converted; to which she scornfully replied, " I wont go near them." After the revival had continued about a week, she was prompted, partly by curiosity, and partly by an impression which appeared strange to her, and which she could not account for, to go to the chapel; and what is remarkable she had been dreaming the night before about the judgment day. On entering the chapel she was struck with awe the moment she saw the preacher, and was still more struck when he delivered his text: "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, &c." (2 Thess. i. 7.) As she sat and heard the word her alarm in
[ creased, and she began to say toherself, "What is the matter with me? I never felt like this before; what is come about me? I must be gone, or I shall shriek, and be as big a fool as any of them." She remained till the first service was closed, but soon after the commencement of the prayer meeting she left, saying in an agony, "What is come about me? I will never go near them again." However her convictions never left her, but pursued her wherever she went, and compelled her to go again and again to the chapel, and as she went her convictions deepened; her tears would often flow, but such was the pride of her heart, that lest she should be discovered, she would not use her handkerchief, but wiped them away with her hand. She thought she could do any thing, to get rid of her burthen, but submit to make her case known to the people of God. She felt she could be willing to pass through life as long as she lived on her hands and knees, if that would procure her ease. So sensibly did she feel her misery that she thought the situation of any creature in creation preferable to hers, while every thing she saw seemed to pronounce her wretched and condemned. Truly she could say,—
"Me the vilest of the race,
Nor until she was almost deprived of her senses did she submit to call in a praying man. On doing this, and by repeated seasons of prayer and exhortation she laid hold of pardon. When engaged with her praying friends she would often say, "I do but provoke God to punish me more through this unbelief. I will take Him at his word." Immediately on her doing this, shefelt she could say,—
"Bat oh I how soon thy wrath is o'er, And pardoning love takes place."
She still continues faithfully attached to God and his people.
Lostwithiel, Poundstock, and Tuckingmill, also had an effusion of the Spirit about the same time, and many were added to the Lord. But some may be ready to say, " What good came of the revival at last?" Why,