« AnteriorContinuar »
those preparing for the ministry; | deal with credit, will afford him
From what is known of the partake of the nature of encouplan upon which education in our ragement. Be this as it
the theological institutions is now con- introduction of prizes is far from ducted, all additional excite- being calculated to supply that ment, of the kind in question, is defect. “For they which run in totally unnecessary. Appeals suf- the race, run all--but one receivficiently powerful are made to that eth the prize." It may happen that class of feelings, upon which this a man of fine natural endowments, new stimulus is designed to ope- though of habits by no means disrate; and it is wished to see tinguished by diligence, may carry them made less frequently than off the reward-and what is the at present,
rather than multi- consequence? That one individual plied. In illustration of this derives encouragement from his remark, consider the means em-success-nay, more—by the time ployed, with the immediate view his triumph is proclaimed abroad, of fitting the student for pulpit by a public recital or more ordiexercises. All the students, it nary means, he likewise becomes appears, are required in rotation inflated with vanity. But the arto deliver an essay or a sermon dour of the rest, many of them before their tutors and associates. probably of far more exemplary On these occasions, all present are diligence and greater merit, will be allowed freely to utter their re- damped, or even extinguished, by marks, and the composition read disappointment. What other reundergoes a general criticism.-sult can be anticipated, when they Should the production be an un- discover, that whatever assiduity fortunate one, it may easily be they may employ, another, with conjectured that so large a body much less effort, can outstrip them of critics will not suffer the author in the course, and seize that reof it to want any stimulus to im- ward which, if bestowed on genuprovement that can arise from pain ine worth, they only would be enand mortification, and should it, titled to expect? Hence it is evion the contrary be successful, the dent, that to the most patient and pleasure of having passed the or- unrelenting industry, unless asso
ciated with superior talent, the an appeal to either, in those premeasure in question furnishes little paring for sacred functions, exor no encouragement; while, ge- ceedingly dangerous. Nor will nius, for starting up perhaps from this experiment, it is conceived, be slumber into a momentary exercise followed by its natural conseof its powers, is crowned with quences, if it does not engender honour and pampered with ap- in the minds of those whom it will plause. And even if the success. drag into contention, feelings preful candidate should exemplity the judicial to the growth of piety and rare combination of superior talent mutual good will. Who can help and application, still the only con- dreading the influence it will have sequence will be, that one will be upon them, while living together impelled for an instant onward, under the same roof? Were they in while the greater part will be dis- a similar situation with the mempirited and driven back. In mere bers of an university, where in literary establishments, where in- such“ strivings for the mastery,” tellectual excellence constitutes the the antagonists may never have chief good, where, whether it be been in the least degree acquaintof natural endowment, or the re- ed, or may never have even seen sult of an extraordinary exercise each other's faces -- where, how of perseverance, triumphing over much soever the name of the vicnatural difficulties is never made tor may be blazoned, those of the a matter of inquiry or regard- vanquished remain unknown-the where, provided the work be good, measure would be less objectionthe merit of the workman is deemed able; but as they dwell together of trifling importance, and general in one family, meeting around the welfare is but little thought of, so same table, and living in hourly long as brilliant names adorn their intercourse, there is room for more registers--there is nothing so in- serious apprehension. To say that consistent in such kinds of stimu- they will be able to suppress the lus; but the same cannot be said risings of jealousy on such occaof those places which ought to be sions, is, in other language, to call regulated by contrary principles, them super-human; and when this where character should have its feeling is once produced, who shall proper weight, and the advance- set limits to its growth? The object ment of all in their respective of jealousy will be never out of spheres, be equally desired. sight-jealousy, in all likelihood,
If, however, the introduction of will give birth to envy-from envy prizes could be deemed a measure will spring dislike; and however merely useless, or admitted of no these feelings may be smothered, other objection than those already and suffered to operate only within specified, these observations would the bosom, yet there they will never have been written. But con-rankle, prejudicial at once to all sequences far more injurious must peace of mind, and free exercise be anticipated. For no one, of the of brotherly affection. And all most distant acquaintance with hu- union of feeling and sentiment being man nature, will pretend to deny thus to a great extent interrupted, the immense difficulty of awaken- those materials will be destroyed ing en on without exciting from which many friendships might envy, between which the line of be formed, not only interesting to deniarcation is scarcely discerni- those between whom they subsist, ble; a circumstance that renders but likely to be of future benefit to
the church. For much as the writer the love of human applause, by dreads the influence of such compe- which not only their usefulness, titions, in produciug discord among but, in some instances, even the them whiledwelling
together--much safety of their souls is endangered ; as he fears lestwe should be doomed, but if there be any one measure at no very distant period, to see more calculated than another to the family comfort and social feel- call such a principle into action, ing, which have hitherto distin- it must surely be the very exguished our academies, exchanged pedient now in question. « God for that cold, distant, worldly, forbid," said the apostle, “that envious spirit, which pervades an I should glory, save in the cross university-he is almost equally of Christ.” In this he has left apprehensive respecting its tend- an example, worthy the imitaency to diminish their future use- tion of all the ministers of Christ. fulness. All who have thought on But in the glorying of which he the subject will readily acknow- speaks, did he include the prostiledge, that it is peculiarly desir- tution of religious subjects to conable that union of feeling should tentions for the praise of men ? prevail among the several parts of Supposing the doctrine of the atoneChristian denominations, which, ment to be selected as the subject owing to their peculiar views of for one of these competitions, none ecclesiastical government, have no can be so ignorant as not to perother bond. Without it they can ceive that this is a modern, and never extensively spread their not the apostolic method of glorycommon sentiments, nor make ef-ing in the cross. Instead of such forts of any considerable magni- expedients for promoting the imtude for the advancement of reli- provement of candidates for such gion. Frequently, very frequently, important offices, let every attempt have we heard it lamented (“haud be made for impressing their minds ignota loquor") that more of the with the immense responsibility of spirit of union does not subsist their station ; let the glory and the among those who, in occupying doom which respectively await the pastoral offices, may be regarded faithful and the slothful servant be as the representatives of our continually kept before them; and churches. But if there is now never let these exalted motives be ground for such regret, what are thrust out from their minds by the we to expect from our future mi- | introduction of others altogether nisters, if, from the very first, they worldly and grovelling. Motives are taught to look on each other arising from a consideration of heaas rivals--if competition is made a venly things will stimulate to corpart of their theological education, respondent actions; but if earthly and, in our religious seminaries, things are held out as worth conthose seeds of jealousy are sown, tending for, we must not be surwhich future contact and opportu-prised to see them regarded as nities of comparison can only be objects of eager desire and purexpected to hasten forward and suit. When operated on by the mature ?
former, the mind is under the inBy the confession of all who fluence of a steady attraction, discharge ministerial duties, there drawing it continually onward is no principle with which they through those successive stages of have more frequent occasion or improvement which lead to the greater difficulty to struggle, than reward; while the stimulus afford
ed by the latter is nothing better be given to this object instead of than the thrust of a poisoned goad, being fixed as before, is left to which may give a momentary im- the influence of right feeling and pulse, but must, at the same time, principle. We are addressed as communicate a rankling soreness wise men, and supposed capable and disease. For these reasons, of knowing our individual duty, the writer cannot but be earnestly and it is assumed that love will desirous (and he is now expressing induce us to perform it. But though by no means a solitary wish) that the amount to be contributed by the introduction of prizes will be a Christians to this purpose is not measure never adopted by those specified, the duty of contributing who regulate the affairs of our is very plainly and powerfully urged theological institutions.
To the church at Corinth the
apostle says, God hath ordained A FAITHFUL Pastor's CLAIM TO SUP- that they who preach the gospel
should live of the gospel. A spirit FROM the peculiar nature of this of great benevolence and liberality subject, it is very seldom intro- prevailed in the primitive churches, duced into the pulpit, and it is and displayed itself even with regreatly to be feared that many lation to Christians at a distance, Christians and Christian churches though themselves in deep poverty. are but imperfectly instructed in It is not then for a moment to be this part of their duty. If it be a supposed, that they would suffer scriptural precept that churches those excellent men who devoted should support their pastors, deli- their time and energies to the procacy should not prevent ministers motion of their good, to be destifrom giving that prominence to this tute of what was necessary to their part of truth which is given to it comfort. The prevalence of this in Scripture, and to which its im- spirit of liberality will account for portance fairly entitles it. We feel the little that is said on this subbound then on the present occa-ject in the New Testament. Chrission, fully and candidly to state tians understood and practised this the doctrine of Scripture on this part of their duty so well, that the important subject.
apostles felt it unnecessary to say Under the former dispensation much to them respecting it. In the ministers of religion, the priests the church at Corinth circumstances were amply provided for by the existed that induced the apostle institution of tithes, and were not Paul to decline receiving from them allowed to be proprietors of land any pecuniary supply, and to this lest the pursuits of agriculture church, therefore, more is said enshould too much secularize their forcing this duty than to any other, minds and divert their attention lest an unfair advantage should in from their appropriate duties and future be taken of his conduct. pursuits. In the New Testament They are, however, severely centhe same principle is recognized sured for compelling him to act in and adopted. We live, it is true, this manner, while the church at under an economy far more spiri- Philippi are highly commended for tual and glorious than the Mosaic. the uniform kindness they had The principle is therefore, accom- shewn the apostle. Not that he modated in its operation to this was anxious on his own account difference. The precise sum to to receive the substantial proofs of
their kindness which they were so bishop that he should not be greedy
To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine.