« AnteriorContinuar »
? impairs the native energy of the English poet these thirteen years,
mind. The intellectual powers and but one these twenty years. are strengthened by exercise. If Imitation even of the best models we take the ideas of other men in- is my aversion ; it is servile and stead of working out a train of mechanical ; a trick that has enathought for ourselves, we are losers, bled many to usurp the name of whatever others may gain. A min- author, who could not have written
ister can preach and exhibit truth, at all, if they had not written upon ay and thus do good with very little the pattern of somebody indeed ori
mental labour--a doctrinal sermon ginal. But when the ear and the
can easily be made out by citing taste have been much accustomed and texts and commenting on them to the manner of others, it is =) but a minister if he would be ex- almost impossible to avoid it : and e tensively and permanently useful we imitate in spite of ourselves, just A ought to improve his own mind in proportion as we admire.” One 'while he is improving others. There of the most impressive preachers
is extempore writing as well as ex- of our acquaintance long since re. Bo tempore speaking. The mere me- solved to read no books of sermons = 1 chanism of filling two or three lest he should insensibly become in sheets of paper is nothing, if the an imitator of some favorite author.
intellectual and moral energies are The effect is equally disastrous
not summoned to the business of upon the native energy of the mind. in preparing a message. If originality This, if properly cultivated, is capa
of thought and expression should ble of almost any degree of improvey be studied any where, it is in ser ment and expansion. The mind
mon writing, where the sameness is like a bed of native ore, or rich of the subjects, their frequent recur- mineral, the further it is explored,
rence, the regularity of the rou- and the deeper you dig, the greatif tine of duty take so much from the er the treasure and the more valua
interest. We are no advocates for ble the material. Let a man ascer. affected originality. But tameness tain the bent of his mind, or as it is on a trite subject is like tedious generally termed, the character of ness, which, Johnson says, is “ an his genius, (or more properly speakevil that perpetuates itself.” The ing, let him find out, where his pow. originality we contend for, will in er lies, and then let him apply himmost cases be obtained by applica. self accordingly, and he will need tion. Every man, who has requi. no“ pulpit assistant”-such a thing site talents to preach the gospel, would only be a trammel. It recan, by dint of labor and close quires some time for a pious, reservthought, bring out of his treasure ed man, to obtain sufficient knowl. things new as well as old. We edge of himself, a sufficient confiwere particularly pleased with that dence in his own abilities, to venture trait in the character of Thomas upon an exhibition of his talents Spencer : he desired a friend of his before others. This consciousness to send to him a printed sermon, of ignorance of general topics, and but he would not see it, till he had deficiency of theological knowlfinished one he was writing on the edge, leads young ministers to read same text. The remarks of Cow- extensively before they commence per on imitation, are worthy of re- writing a sermon-a practice than membrance, and may be applied as which nothing is more injurious and well to ministers as to poets. “I embarrassing. If one wishes to reckonit,” he says, "among my prin- stir up the gift that is in him, let him cipal advantages, as a composer pray, let him meditate, let him of verses, that I have not read an peruse some finely conceived and ably executed piece as far from the to his own understanding, or a neg. subject in hand as possible, that he lect of prayer and dependence upmay bring to his work, a mind free on the Spirit of God; but we refer and unclogged, and clear as the to his own strength, in opposition to mountain air. We have often aid from other men,) and in ten heard sermons from good men, that years there will be a vast difference were excellent, plain, and evangel- in the intellectual stature and ical, but they did not bear sufficient breadth of the two. The one will marks of labour of thought. The rise, the other will be stationary native powers of the mind did not or he will loose the freshness and appear to have been bent upon fervor of his first efforts. Are there them. There was not that bold, not numerous melancholy instances vigorous, and manly current of in proof of this? Have there not thought running through them, been cases, where young men, who that would be visible if a mind well stood high in the theological semistored and powerful, were put in nary and who have given by their requisition, and sufficient time were first sermons great promise of emintaken to work out the plan and the ence and usefulness, have sunk execution. They appeared too down to an inglorious level ? After mechanical, too much as though a six or ten years of labour and preachgiven surface must be written over, ing, they have not bern able to exand not that so many ideas must be cel their earliest productions. cornpressed into a given compass. There are other causes that opeWe think many good preachers rate to impede the progress of a would correct this appearance by minister in the path of honorable just taking their Bibles and con- fame. In the country, and we may cordance, and sitting down to a ser- say in the city perhaps with more mon without ever looking into a truth, the generality of his hearers book till it was finished. In this are not capable of appreciating high way, these sparklings of genius and intellectual effort. In many conflights of fancy, that give interest gregations there are none, whose and even force to truth, would be intelligence and accomplishments, elicited.
will operate as a subordinate stimuThirdly. The uscof printed skel. lus to great mental improvement. etons prevents improvement. In the . They are satisfied as to the talents same proportion as they prevent of their minister, and are pleased close and intense thinking, they re- with his preaching. He has no tard intellectual improvement. Ev. confidential friend who will give ery clergyman ought to read McIn- him a critical opinion : he has how. tosh's “ Study of the Law," and ever many injudicious ones who Burder's “ Mental Discipline.” are always filling his ears with flat
Let two young men of equal taltery. No wonder that a minister ents and advantages, commence in such circumstances should relax. together the duties of the ministry. Very few have energy and princi. Let one use other men's skeletons ple enough to rise above every occasionally, and read every thing deadening influence, and task their he can find on the subject of the powers to the utmost in their weeksermons he is about to compose, ly ministrations. We recollect one and write with his table filled with of our ablest theological professors books open before him, and let the observed to us many years since other think out his sermons and that “perhaps it was not best compose them in his own strength, to put forth every exertion in wri. (we mean not of course, a leaning ting all our sermons, but a great
effort should be made at least once a new field, he must return to the in four weeks. We thought the labours and studies of his youth. remark judicious, and worthy of re. He must break up his sermons, inembrance.
cast the whole of his materials into How often do we hear of minis. the furnace, the ore must be melt. ters being dismissed in the meridian ed and wrought over anew. If of life, who travel through the there be not a spring given to his country in search of a place of mind, and an impulse imparted to settlement. They have gone on in his energies, he will sink down into an even, monotonous course, a dead an inefficient, powerless ministry, level, for many years, till they have and he will linger on, with little failed to excite any interest and comfort to himself, or interest to have lost their hold upon the his people. hearts of the people and they are No professional man ought ever dismissed. Such men have fairly to suffer his mind to lie fallow. rusted out. Now their complaints Even to old age, he ought to keep of the number of ministers, and the before him some object of com. difficulties of a location are to be manding interest, which will put received with many grains of allow. all his powers in requisition. ance. Had they been industrious Fourthly; But we have another (not to labor with their hands but serious objection against using othwith their heads and hearts,) they er men's plans of sermons. This would have been held in requisition is not an unfrequent thing. It is to the very close of life. A minis- common for clergymen to make a ter must not depend upon popular species of exchange. This is favor, but under God, upon intellec- doubtless allowable to a certain tual and moral power. A “grow- extent ; but after all we must say ing man” need fear no changes. If we consider it a species of decepa minister is faithful and conscien- tion. The people expect a ministious in feeding and guiding the ter to preach his own sermons. flock of Christ, the Shepherd and Now, whatever labour may have Bishop of souls will provide labour been bestowed upon the filling up, and conveniences enough for him. a sermon written after a full skele.
There is a period, however, in ton is not the minister's own. It the history of every faithful minis. is said, when the plan is formed ter that is peculiarly trying and and the introduction written, the painful. It occurs usually after a sermon is half done. If there is settlement of ten or twelve years. any truth in this, it proves the jus. If he has been studious and dili- tice of our remark, that a minister gent in his calling, he will have cannot say it is strictly his sermon, gone over all the great topics, and if he has adopted another's plan, have gained his points. His influ- A minister in doing it, will always ence will be at its height. His feel that he is doing violence to his strength has been laid out. Then conscience. Let two sermons be comes the trial of his faith and written upon the same plan, if it be piety. He is in danger of relaxing. original and ingenious, by two men He experiences a feeling that re- of the same school, and what will sembles slack water at the turn of be the impression upon the same tide: he fails to interest his hear. audience? This proves conclu. ers as he has done : his influence sively to us that it is morally wrong. he discovers to be on the wane. We know in saying this, we expose
Then, if he is not called in pro. ourselves to the remarks, and pervidence to leave, and a new im- haps strictures of many very good pulse is not given, by entering upon men; but we must beg the privi.
Vol 1.—No. VIII.
lege of giving our opinion. It best calculated to accomplish the surely cannot be wrong for a minis- greatest good. ter to make the whole of his sermon These are some of the objections from the bible and his own re. we have to the use of any “ pulpit sources; it is wise as well as Chris- assistant.” A further object we bad tian to avoid the appearance of evil. in view in offering these remarks Purity of conscience, consciousness was to prepare the way for some of integrity, and uprightness will brief observations on the history of more than compensate for any the pulpit ; the characters of the closeness of application, or fatigue preachers of the gospel in the seveof exertion that may be requisite to ral ages of the church; the comperform the duties of the ministry. parative effect of doctrinal and morThe time is coming when ministers al preaching ; and the general subwill preach more without writing. ject of sermonizing. A man with a well disciplined mind, and of industrious habits,
[What the writer had to say within will soon acquire a facility of extem
this part of his plan, as it was not natporaneous speaking, that will be more effective than preaching writ
urally connected with the foregoing reten sermons. Reading sermons is marks though valuable in itself, we not a natural way of preaching. On have already printed in a separate arthis subject, however, every one ticle, which may be found at page 337 must judge for himself, and adopt of the current volume.] the method which, on the whole, is
LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL INTELLIGENCE.
Webster's American Dictionary of works that no one of them is consisthe English Language, which will tent with himself; nor is there one make two volumes in quarto, is now English Dictionary which is not markin the press.
ed by frequent inconsistencies. This work will contain nearly eighty. The pronunciation of words will be thousand words; and form the most given according to the general usage copious vocabulary of the language of the educated classes of society in ever published.
England and the United States. The In the etymological department, author has visited England for the the affinities of words will be given in purpose of ascertaining the real state twenty-twoo languages throughout; with of the language in that conntry, and many affinities in five other languages. he has an advantage, which no other
The correct definitions of the Eng- orthoepist has enjoyed, of knowing lish Dictionaries are retained, but many perfectly from personal observation, of them rendered more precise and tech the actual usage in both hemispheres. nical. To these will be added many He has ascertained that for half a centhousand significations which are not tury past the people of this country found in any English Dictionary of the have had imposed on them, books call. kind.
ed standards of pronuuciation, which The common orthography of words were never regarded as authorities is retained, except in cases where the in England, such as Sheridan's and original and proper orthography has Walker's Dictionary--many of whose been mistaken, and in cases where peculiarities are not according to Eng• alterations have been necessary to re- lish usage, and which are received obduce classes of words to uniforinity. sequiously in this country to the imIt is a reproach to the authors of such mense injury of elegant pronanciation.
Already the pronunciation of many of at the office of the Christian Spectaour people of the higher classes, is so tor. corrupt, that they could not appear in
Scripturai Geology.--We have seen genteel society in England without
a notice of the publication of a work in being exposed to derision.
two volumes, rith the above title, or This Dictionary will explain the
Geological Phenomena consistent only peculiar uses of words in this country,
with the Literal Interpretation of the which have grown out of our peculiar
Sacred Scripture, upon the subjects of civil and political institutions. Many
the Creation and Deluge, in answer to words have a sense annexed to them in this country which is absolutely ne
Cuvier's Essay on the Theory of the
Earth, and Professor Buckland's Thecessary here, but which the English
ory of the Caves. do not well understand, and cannot ex.
The writer under
takes to demonstrate, both upon Scripplain.
tural and physical principles, that there In citing authorities, American au
is not a fossil bone or a fossil shell in thors of reputation are placed on a
existence that can be proved to be footing with British authors; and the
more ancient than the Noahic Delnames of Franklin, Washington, Ad. ams, Jay, Madison, Marshall, Ramsay,
uge. Dwight, Belknap, Hamilton, Trum. Our countryman, Mr. William C. bull, Ames, llare, Silliman, Cleave. Woodbridge, has been elected a corresland, Walsh, Buckminster, Irving, and ponding Member of the Geographical inany others will be found on the same Society of Paris, on the nomination of page with the names of Clarendon, the Baron Humboldt, so distinguished Hooker, Boyle, Milton, Dryden, Addi- for his researches in South America. son, Pope, Davy and Jameson.
The introduction to this work will New . Invention.-Mr. Richard P. contain a history of the languages of Morgan, of Stockbridge Mass. has inthe Shemitic and Japhetic families; vented a Railway Carriage, which so with critical observations on their reduces the friction that one horse can structure. The investigation into the draw fifty tons on a level road with origin of languages has developed perfect ease. The invention has been some facts and principles not general- tested by actual experiment. A pound Jy known, which, if they should be weight was suspended over a pulley, found correct, will be materially useful and attached to the carriage, which in elucidating the original languages moved quickly seven hundred pounds. of the Scriptures.
The friction is overcome at the axles
by means of four additional wheels Goodrich's Greek Grammar.-The which operate as rollers on the ground fourth edition of this work, with addi- axle, while the friction wheels move tions and improvements, is in press round but four times in going one mile.
Unitarianism Vindicated from the The Essentials of Religion, briefly Charge of not going far enough. Bosconsidered, in ten Discourses. By the ton. Bowles & Dearborn. 12mo. pp. Rev. John Dickson, A. M. Prof. Mor. 24. Phil. in Charleston College. Charles The Young Christian's Companion. ton.
By the Rev. G. P. Davis. Boston. Discourses on Intemperance, preach- Crocker & Brewster.. ed in the Church in Brattle Square, The Assistant to Family Religion. Boston, in April, 1827. By John G. In Six Parts. By William Cogswell, Palfrey, A. M. Boston. Nathan Hale. A. M. Boston. Crocker & Brews. 18mo. pp. 111.
ter. 12mo. pp. 384.