Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

tions so abundantly furnished by the Greek language, but intelligible only to the initiated. I must, of necessity, confine myself to general remarks, the full force and due application of which will not, perhaps, be recognized by all.

I need scarcely remind the classical reader of the chequered fate of this much abused, but still transcendently important branch of philological study. Its very abuses impress us with a sense of the uncommon difficulty of the pursuit, and prove the interest which it has awakened. But the day of its thraldom to enthusiasm and caprice, is nearly, would I might say, quite, at its close. The suspicion and discredit into which it was unavoidably brought by the indiscreet, but well meant, and ingenious lucubrations of a Valkenaer, a Lennep, and a Hemsterhusius, is giving place to a correct appreciation of its importance, under the auspices of a Hermann, a Buttmann, a Schneider, a Blomfield, and a Passow. We may confidently hope that the dark ages of Greek etymology are fled forever. And thanks to a kind Providence, whose watchful eye regards even the interests of literature, we have yet such a language to spread before the student of every age and degree of intellectual culture - the novice and the initiated— the raw inquirer, and the ripe scholar ; which, for the purposes of etymological exercise, and intellectual culture, accommodates itself to all a language whose acknowledged radical character forms one of the most beautiful features in its wonderful structure.

Even the youngest student, while yet a fledgling, and venturing timidly from spray to spray, can comprehend the first rudiments of the etymological arrangements of the Greek language, and trace the most ordinary and regular modifications of form, that ramify in all directions from the original stock or root, with associated significations, to distinguish and classify which, constitutes one of the best exercises for strengthening the judgment, enlarging the capacity of the mind, and gratifying its love of system and order.

How is it possible, without decided intellectual advantage, to form an acquaintance with certain radical forms of the Greek language - the ultimate radicles on which repose, indissolubly united in one common stock, those vigorous branches that shoot in every direction, themselves the proximate sources of other inferior and remoter branches, till the whole amazing production stands before us, a perfect model of system, symmetry, and order.

And if, while yet a novice, the student is instructed, delighted, and intellectually profited by the exercise, what will be his additional enjoyment and enlargement of mind, when, by the aid of the comparative anatomy of languages, amid his riper studies, he discovers, in other languages, even in his own, the innumerable shoots that have been transplanted from the main stock to form a new root and send forth new branches in a

strange soil.

I close with the wish that this whole subject, in all its bearings on intellectual culture, — the nice analysis of language that reflects, as in a mirror, the essential faculties of the soul ; the exercise of translating, so rich in promise of intellectual advantage to its faithful votaries; and last, but not least, the exercise afforded by etymological research, that boasts also an undoubted utility apart from the mental discipline that it eminently promotes – that all these uses of language as a means of intellectual culture may be duly appreciated and their application to the practical purposes of education universally made. Then, with one voice, we shall respond to every ruthless attempt to tear from our college course the study of the Greek and Latin languages: “Procul O! procul este profani.”

ARTICLE IV.

THE CHARACTER DEMANDED IN THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.

The Ministry we need: Three Inaugural Discourses delivered at

Auburn, N. Y. June 18, 1835. New York : Taylor & Gould.

Ry George Shepard, Prof. of Sacred Rhetoric, Bangor Theol. Seminary.

This book, as the title purports, is made up of three discourses, delivered on the occasion of the induction of the Rev. Samuel H. Cox, D. D. into the office of professor of Sacred Rhetoric and Pastoral Theology, in the Auburn Theological Seminary. The sermon is by the Rev. J. W. Adams of Syracuse, an alumnus of the institution ; the charge by the Rev. Eliakim Phelps of Geneva; the inaugural address by the professor elect.

ile yet a novice, the student is instructed, delightectually profited by the exercise, what will be his oyment and enlargement of mind, when, by the mparative anatomy of languages, amid his riper covers, in other languages, even in his own, the noots that have been transplanted from the main a new root and send forth new branches in a

the wish that this whole subject, in all its beartual culture, - the nice analysis of language that

mirror, the essential faculties of the soul ;translating, so rich in promise of intellectual adcithful votaries; and last, but not least, the exer

etymological research, that boasts also an unapart from the mental discipline that it eminenthat all these uses of language as a means of in

may be duly appreciated and their application purposes of education universally made. Then, we shall respond to every ruthless attempt to ege course the study of the Greek and Latin ocul O! procul este profani.”

Two reasons seem to have given rise to their publication. First and chief, the intrinsic merit of the performances. They are all vigorous, manly, well-timed productions. Second, the remarkable coincidence in the topics treated, in the respective discourses. Had there been a previous consultation, the authors could not have exhibited in a book, more harmony of design, and success and usefulness of execution. This falling upon substantially the same subject, by three independent minds, written for the same occasion, indicates that there was, in the state and complexion of the times, an unequivocal call for its discussion and enforcement.

It is not our design to enter into a minute analysis or topical criticism of the work; but simply to present a few thoughts upon the same general subject, “THE MINISTRY WE NEED.” It is a subject of the first importance, affecting as it does the interests of time and of eternity; and remarks, though not profound and striking, may be useful, by contributing in some humble way, to a more able and efficient priesthood.

We find, as we expected, that piety in a minister, is prominently laid down in the book before us, as imperatively demanded by the emergency of the times. By piety is meant, “not merely that the minister should be a converted man Christian in the common acceptation of the term ; but piety should be a prominent, an all-pervading feature of his character; it should be so high and deep and controlling in its influence, as to impart its character to the whole man; to his heart and to his life, to his habits of thought and his habits of action - his studies and his ministrations — to the services of the pulpit, the lecture-room, the sick chamber, the personal and the pastoral visit, to all his business intercourse also with the world, and to all else in which his character will be developed or his influence felt." The necessity of eminent holiness in a minister is so obvious, and withal so often stated, that every mind probably assents to the sentiment instantaneously. Perhaps we too readily assent to it. The mind, it may be, does not look long enough at the truth to see its importance or feel its force. It just catches the proposition, and at once responds, “ Oh yes, that is true; all are agreed on that point; let us pass on to something

But are all agreed in practice, if in theory ;- agreed in the actual cultivation of that tone and strength of piety, to which God's word and providence are summoning us? Those, who are preparing for the ministry, and those who Vol. IX. No. 25.

9

a

[blocks in formation]

else."

66

Review of Discourses

(JAN.

ety

are in it, should look at and reach towards a high standard of holiness, for this reason amongst others, that the church may be brought up to a higher standard. Lay Christians will not attain to such a standard unless ministers lead the way. How important that there be a more living and energetic piety in the church ; especially at a period like the present, when there is such a work on hand the conversion of the entire world to Christ. We have reason to fear, that there is not now religion enough in the church to do this work. There seems not to be piety enough to keep the balance, so that the work of renovation may go on with uniform and augmenting prosperity. The difficulty is

, there is not piety enough to bear prosperity and sustain success. We have an illustration in our revivals of religion; how brief

, spasmodic. And why this momentary warmth, these genial influences for a day, with such winters of ice and death between ? Because there is such a feeble, flickering pi

in the church. Our members must be wrought up by stimulants to a temporary exertion, and when the stimulants subside, they sink back again into insensibility and inaction. They do not sustain success, because they do not sustain a uniform and vigorous exertion for God and souls. In connection, we may remark, that a sense of dependence is lost. There appears not to be religion enough in the church to keep Christians humble, and in the attitude of dependence and prayer when God grants success. This fact, even if exertion were continued, necessarily renders success intermittent. God is obliged to withdraw and leave his people to barrenness and mortification, because, when he undertakes to do any thing, through their instrumentality, they will very soon begin to think that they can do it without his efficiency. The remedy is a watchful and very humble piety pervading the church ; high attainments in feeling, principle

, practice, and prayer, such as have never yet been reached. “Ministers must set the example ; they must take the lead in the upward career. Let a piety of this stamp live and glow in their breasts, and it will spread into the churches, an unsleeping energy, an undecaying flame ; and then we may hope there will be a more healthful and steady advancement of the cause and kingdom of God.

But it is not merely as an example, and an incitement to others, that the minister, at the present day, needs a profound and vigorous piety. He needs such a piety to animate and sustain him in the discharge of his professional duty ---in the study,

[ocr errors]

muld look at and reach towards a high standard di this reason amongst others, that the church may be

a higher standard. Lay Christians will not ala standard unless ministers lead the way. How

there be a more living and energetic piety in the cially at a period like the present, when there is n hand - the conversion of the entire world to have reason to fear, that there is not now religion church to do this work. There seems not to be o keep the balance, so that the work of renova

with uniform and augmenting prosperity. The ere is not piety enough to bear prosperity and

We have an illustration in our revivals of relispasmodic. And why this momentary warmth, uences for a day, with such winters of ice and

Because there is such a feeble, flickering pi7. Our members must be wrought up by stimorary exertion, and when the stimulants subuck again into insensibility and inaction. They ecess, because they do not sustain a uniform ertion for God and souls. In connection, we a sense of dependence is lost. There appears enough in the church to keep Christians humEtude of dependence and prayer when God This fact, even if exertion were continued, neuccess intermittent. God is obliged to withs people to barrenness and mortification, bedertakes to do any thing, through their instru

very soon begin to think that they can do ency. The remedy is a watchful and very ading the church ; high attainments in feel. ce, and prayer, such as have never yet must set the example; they must take the

Let a piety of this stamp live and and it will spread' into the churches, an in undecaying Aame ; and then we may more healthful and steady advancement of n of God. 7 as an example, and an incitement to othat the present day, needs a profound and reeds such a piety to animate and sustain of his professional duty - in the study,

when preparing his sermons; in the pulpit, when preaching them; in the closet and in the prayer meeting ; in the family and the personal interview, he finds that nothing can supply the place of a heart beating high with the love of God. Especially, at the present time, when fidelity must be employed or no good will be done; when the pointed appeal, the plain unshrinking application, the close cutting reproof, are demanded by the noise of business and the flagrancy of crime. If we talk to men“ at arm's length” only, they will not care for it. We want a spirit by which we may come into them, and leave on the heart a record for God, and in the soul an arrow of anguish : and this spirit is obtained by dwelling under the throne. Ministers and Christians most emphatically need it. There is too much of the feeling, that the world is to be converted chiefly as a pecuniary transaction, as a business enterprise, by money, and books, and bustle. We very seriously question whether it will ever be so converted. It is by no means certain, that we shall not all have to be Moravians, in economy, if not in creed, before the kingdom will be given to the Son. We may be obliged to come down to simple praying and preaching, and wield, and rely upon these, as the weapons which will do the most against Satan's entrenchments, and for the Saviour's building of heavenly beauty and glory.

Another point, briefly, but well vindicated in this book, is the imperative necessity, at the present time, of an intelligent ministry. Much is said upon this necessity, and we are not weary of it; on this point, we love repetition. For it is not merely an important point, it is fundamental to the success of God's cause on the earth. What,” says Dr. Cox, “has ignorance to do in the sacred office? As much as sin I had almost said and no more.

It is cheering to know, that the demand for a thoroughly educated ministry is steadily rising in its compass and tone.

Of the fact we have evidence in the diligent establishment of schools, colleges, and theological seminaries, by classes of Christians who have hitherto been rather disposed to disparage learning as an auxiliary to the ministry. We have further evidence in the circumstance, that institutions, established to countenance and accomplish a more hasty introduction to the ministry, have been obliged by public sentiment to elevate their standard of requisition and study. The voice of the christian public has been unequivocal: we want not green ministers ; give us mature and strong ones, or give us none.

been

career.

« AnteriorContinuar »