תמונות בעמוד
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be judged of you, or of men's judgment: he that judgeth me is the Lord.' Do I seek to please men ?' he asks. If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.' To the approbation of the wise and good, no one who is deserving of it will be indifferent. The esteem of our brethren is one of the natural rewards of duty; and it is consistent with the design of the former of our frame, that we should not be wholly unconcerned about this reward. We may and ought to rejoice in it as the consequence of our good conduct : but we must not make it the motive of our actions. The fear of man bringeth a snare;' the love of human praise is not less ensnaring. You, I trust, my dear sir, will not yield to the one, nor covet the other. What your conscience dictates, you will speak and do, regardless both of the censure and the applause of the world. The censure, the calumny, the opposition of the world, you must expect. To the religious principles you maintain, the world is now vehemently opposed; and so long as you avow them, you must proceed through ill report. It is indeed well that the spirit of the age, notwithstanding the religious fervour that prevails, restrains the fury of the bigot and the fanatic; otherwise it is probable that we, like the first confessors, should, 'through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.'

“ The approbation and praise of the world at large you will not receive; but there are those in the world of whose praise you may be too desirous. When even among the most rational classes of Christians, we see so much stress laid upon the possession and exercise of popular talents in a preacher; when the gratification of the ear seems even amongst them to be more highly valued than the services of devotion, and the communication of sound religious and moral instruction, there is a danger that the young preacher should be led to study the arts of popularity, rather than the furnishing of his mind with an extensive and accurate acquaintance with scriptural and moral truth ; and seek to obtain for himself the admiration and praise of his hearers, rather than their increasing knowledge of the Word of God, and of their own hearts, and their continual advancement in the Christian life and cha. racter. Be it your anxious desire, your constant and earnest endeavour, my young friend and brother, 'to present yourself approved to God,' whose judgment is infallible, whose decisions are equitable, whose favour is life, whose loving-kindness is better than life. The praise and favour of man cannot support you in the trials which in the course of your labours you must have to sustain ; nor comfort you amidst the secret sorrows, which in proportion to your fidelity you will probably be called to endure; nor give you hope, when the time comes at which you must render an account of your stewardship. Fulfil your ministry with a single eye to Him who seeth in secret; seek his approbation above all things, and you will be a workman not ashamed.' All the praise of man that is desirable, you will by this means most effectually obtain ; and thus obtained, it will not be attended with danger. On the contrary, it will tend to give weight to your counsels, efficacy to your admonitions, and power to the influence of your example. Study to present yourself approved to God, as his faithful servant, and the genuine disciple of his Son, and you may justly expect that his work

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prosper in your hands. Your zeal and diligence will by this means be supported and quickened, your labours will be well directed, and carried on wisely and perseveringly. You will not be disheartened if your success should not always be equal to your desires and your hopes, since you will feel assured that the divine blessing is not withheld on account of any unfaithfulness on your part. You will have all the comfort that an enlightened zeal in the service of God and man can administer, and you will look forward with joyful anticipation to the day, when for having been' faithful in a few things, you shall be made ruler over many things, and enter into the joy of your Lord.””

The Address to the Congregation is from Mr. John James Tayler. It is wise, gentle, affectionate, tender, and, which is necessary where these qualities are found, melancholy. Alas. there is a pensiveness about every thing that connects itself with the beauty and holiness of man's moral nature. It excites a state of longing and desire, and the consciousness of deficiency and want. But such pain is sanctifying,—and he who has the power of exciting it is a true benefactor to the soul. What is the eloquence that dazzles and astonishes to the eloquence that lingers, like a heavenly voice, in the still, sad soul, and awakens the sighings of aspiration? It is, indeed, impossible for any man of sensibility to introduce a young Minister to his solemn charge, or to speak of what may lie before him, without strong and sad emotion. What may not occur to take the edge of hope from the finest spirit? What certain disappointments are awaiting the most faithful, and the most able? What humiliations, self upbraidings, bitter agonies of solitary despondency, utter abandonment to the sense of weakness and insufficiency, tears almost of despair, shed in secret, over the bareness and poverty of both intellect and spirit, must be the certain lot of that man, who with any elevation of nature, any communion with Christ, prepares himself to speak worthily to the highest faculties of his fellow men? They must be wonderfully gifted, or wonderfully careless, to whom these things are unknown. But through such struggles lies the way to that pure, trustful, unambitious service which God blesses and accepts.

We extract the passage which describes the relations of Duty and Affection, and the sentiments which should determine the intercourse of People and Pastor. Your

young Minister, my Christian friends, has this day received most judicious and affectionate counsel and advice from the lips of an experienced and venerated instructor ; whose words of wisdom and love, I do not doubt, he will lay seriously to heart. Allow me, as a friend equally of yourselves and of him—in a very few words, obviously suggested by the train of foregoing observations—to remind you, as the members of a Christian church, of the consideration and tenderness which are due from you to him-not only as your Pastor—but as a young man, inexperienced as yet in the world, and liable therefore, with the very purest intentions, to occasional mistakes and error, which only the knowledge that is acquired by years can teach him how to avoid. The nature of the ministerial office among Protestant Dissenters renders the existence of such kindly feelings towards it indispensable to its pleasant and efficient exercise. It is founded on no outward authority; it fills no exactly prescribed sphere of jurisdiction; the precise extent of its powers is not defined by the law, nor ascertained by invariable usage; it throws itself entirely on the feeling and sympathy of those who benefit by it; it is altogether a moral compact, held together by no external force whatever, and can only appeal to moral influence for the execution of its most important functions and for the enforcemeut of what


be deemed, in the eye of reason and conscience, its most unquestionable rights. When sustained by the pious and Christian feeling, in which only it ought to originate, such a relation may become one of the most endearing and ennobling that can subsist between human beings. When abandoned by such consecrating influences—stripped of all its higher associations, and reduced to an ordinary bargain of service and compensation—it sinks into one of the lowest and most irksome occupations to which a man of feeling and character can be reduced—far below the average standard of social respectability—because it has no clear and definite position in the world attached to it, and those sentiments of brotherly love and of mutual kindness and esteem, which it affects to cherish with peculiar force as a compensation for the loss of secular advantages—are mocked and violated every instant. Deep piety and earnestness to do good on one side, and on the other kind consideration for human imperfection, and the grateful, courteous acknowledgment of services, which, when performed from the heart and in the pure love of God and man, are altogether inappreciable—furnish the indispensable conditions of giving to the Christian ministry its highest efficiency and respectability. It may even be regarded as some security for the preservation of a pure and earnest spirit of religion among the Churches and Pastors of Protestant Dissenters, that without the presence of a feeling of piety, the former must decline and the latter become useless and despised.

“ I say nothing of the worldly sacrifices, in every point of view, which are incurred by entering into the ministry among Dissenters—and especially among Unitarian Dissenters—at the present day; both because, I believe, no one will deny that they are unavoidably great, and because no one, with the facts of the case before his eyes, ought to engage in the profession, who has not made up his mind to encounter those sacrifices, and to find a compensation for them in those far higher sources of happiness, which the love of truth and goodness supply, and which, as the world does not give them, so the world can not take away. Nevertheless, my friends, it is but right that you should have a regard to them in your behaviour to your Minister-I do not mean only by providing to the best of your ability for his temporal comfort for this you will of course do, if you duly estimate his spiritual services--but still more by letting him enjoy a double share of your affection and sympathy-by freely giving him from the riches of your hearts what you cannot give--and what he would not take--from your purses—by letting him feel, that the plain and simple life which his circumstances may render it necessary for him to adopt, does not diminish, but rather increases, the respect which you accord to him in society, when it is fully deserved by the earnestness and zeal with which he discharges his important duties. There are men who can cheerfully submit to pecuniary sacrifices and forego the idle distinctions of the world for the sake of truth and freedom and a good conscience ; but who cannot live without affection and sympathy; who pine and droop beneath the freezing influences of contempt and indifference. The best fruits of the human heart and character will only ripen in the warm and genial atmosphere of mutual love and confidence.

“All these claims to tenderness and forbearance should be urged home to your minds with double force, from a consideration of the youth and inexperience of your Pastor. To some this circumstance has occasionally seemed to furnish an objection to the undertaking of the ministry by very young men. But if it has its evils, it has also its advantages. It is something to bring an untainted and ardent mind to the work of the ministry; to love virtue and truth with something of the romantic and enthusiastic love, which the studies of a liberal education inspire, unchilled by the miserable and sordid utilitarianism of the world ; to interpret humanity in the warm aud glowing spirit of a generous confidence and hopefulness, without a shade of the chill distrust which longer experience is only too apt to cast over the aspects of life. These qualities of mind will take their departure soon enough. Rather help your young Minister to retain them as long as he can. Help him to preserve his faith in God and man unchanged, unweakened, through all the trials and adversities of coming years, and to labour on in his Master's service with unfaltering joyousness and trust. Concede to him freedom of thought and honesty of speech. Do not demand from him too soon the caution and reserve—the cold maturity of judgment—which only years and experience bestow. Wait for the natural effects of age on a young and sanguine mind. Be satisfied if his heart and purposes are right, and give him, in the kindness and sincerity of true friendship, those counsels which it is the privilege and the duty of years to administer to the young. Require from him devotedness to duty, seriousness of spirit, and a deep concern for the moral and spiritual interests of the human race; but do not tie him down, in the pursuit of these objects and in the working out of these principles, to one minute and rigid course of action, but allow something for the expansion of individuality of character, and the tendency to growth and progress in all human affairs.


this day consecrate your union as a Christian church, with the Pastor of your choice. Take your young minister to your hearts ; give him a cordial welcome in your homes ; have consideration for his youth, and honour him very highly in love for his work's sake. Do this, my friends; give him confidence to labour for you earnestly in his Master's service ;-and I trust and believe in God, he will not disappoint your expectations. On you and him may the blessing of the Almighty Father descend! May the relationship, now formed between you, grow up into a bond of the holiest attachment and most enduring obligation, which death shall not dissolve, which heaven shall renew and perpetuate!”

Mr. Robberds' Address on giving the Right Hand of Fellowship to the young minister, is in the very best spirit. It is at once paternal and brotherly,—and this happy union was just what the occasion and the relation of the parties required. There is no man better qualified to impart a genuine grace to an act so simple and expressive. As these services may have something of novelty for our readers we give the Address entire,

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“ I have now, on behalf of my brethren in the ministry, to welcome among us our young friend, the Minister of this Congregation. And most heartily, I am persuaded, are all of us disposed to welcome him as a fellow-labourer in our Lord's vineyard. We would express to him our earnest wish to enter with him into a friendly covenant of mutual aid and encouragement.

We do not pretend to confer upon him any authority, or to give any additional sanction to his exercise of the ministry. We consider that he has a sufficient call to his office in his own strong desire to make it the business of his life, and in his own consciousness of having endeavoured, with the Divine help and blessing, to qualify himself for a judicious and faithful discharge of its duties. We consider also that he has sufficient authority for the exercise of his ministry to this congregation, in their own expressed wish that he would become their pastor and teacher.

“ But we think we may be allowed thus publicly to testify our favourable opinion of the Minister whom they have chosen, as well as to join in prayers for the Divine blessing on both him and them. Those of us who have known him, may be allowed to express the high hopes which they entertain of him, from their knowledge of his character; and, as one who has had much pleasant intercourse with him, and especially frequent communings with him on the nature and duties of the office on which he has entered, I may be allowed to say, that I believe him to possess those qualities of mind and heart, which are among the chief requisites to ministerial diligence, fidelity, and usefulness.

In his presence I cannot so freely speak of him as otherwise it would be very pleasant both for me to speak and for you to hear. But this much I may be allowed to say, he inherits, as we have been already reminded, a name honoured and beloved for the labours and virtues with which it has been associated in the instance of one who, we may truly say, being dead, yet speaketh,' and will continue to speak instructively and profitably through many generations. The honour of that name

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