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know, they have unexpectedly been thoroughly evangelical, which has been far otherwise as it respects pastors, many of whom have always departed from the truth as it is in Jesus, and led away churches and people after them, as in the New England Unitarian defection, and others; and, in such cases, evangelists have served to counteract the apostacy, and bring men to the truth.
As it respects "extra efforts" for revivals and the conversion of sinners, we maintain that, as far as multiplying meetings for preaching and for prayer and conference is concerned, it is just as much authorized as are the ordinary meetings for the same purposes on the Sabbath, and in the week; for it is lett wholly to the judgment of pastors and churches to arrange the number, kinds and times of their meetings. It was the practice in the primitive churches, for more than 300 years, to hold meetings, besides those on the Lord's day, on the morning and evening of every week-day, which were called the daily service; and Pres. Edwards, in a letter to Rev. Thomas Erskine, of Scotland, says, — “We ought to pray for a general revival, and use the means that are proper in order to it; and one proper means is the primitive practice of the daily service.” If he, in his time, saw that the ordinary services, substantially then as now, we suppose, were not sufficient to secure revivals, and that a multiplication of meetings was necessary, vastly more may we see the same now,
made manifest as it has been, more and more by the developments of all the intervening years; and if the trial, through so many of these years, of the occasional multiplication of meetings in extra efforts has almost invariably resulted in revivals and multiplied conversions, what fatuity would it be to desist from such efforts now, and fall back to a system which has so long proved to be almost a failure to secure these transcendent results! These efforts have constantly received the manifest indorsement of the head of the church by His Spirit, as they could not, if they were not according to his mind and will; and it behooves us to be careful, lest, in disparaging and opposing them, we fight against him.
As to calling on the awakened to signify their desire to become Christians, and for prayers or instruction, by rising, or going to certain seats or places apart by themselves, or holding inquiry meetings, it is also left entirely to the judgment of preachers and laborers to use them or not, and, if they do, when ; and no class of men has any right to lay down any rule for others, for or against such measures.
We think it good common sense, and very useful in times of awakening to use them, this or that; and we believe the Apostles and their fellow-workers used substantially the same; for we have abundant evidence that it was common for persons, after hearing them, to ask them in the meetings what they should do, and for their prayers; and they found out daily who believed, as the common expression was, and added them to the Church. Evidently there was much greater freedom in their methods of working, derived from the old synagogues, than is permitted by modern notions; and we like that “old scriptural régime" exceedingly.
In respect to excitements, we maintain that they are necessary to break in on minds absorbed in the mad rush and whirl of those of the world, and to draw them out of them to the gospel; and the greater and wider they are, the better, if only they result from the preaching and the pressure of the truth, and claims of Christ as they are, and not from mere playing ou the susceptibilities of the sensibility and the nerves, and are wisely guided. Produced by the truth, through the intelligence, they are always healthy, and are stimulated and fostered by the spirit ; and there never will be revivals without them. Nor is it any objection to them, that they can not be continued. Those produced by the preaching of the Apostles and their co-workers, were often very great; but they were not continued, and could not be; and, although good and necessary in their times, to some extent they ought not to have continued — which is true, and always will be, in the nature of the case, of all excitements. We discard the whole conceptiou of working which dreads and would exclude them, as sadly defective and inefficient, unscriptural and unphilosophical, and only suiting the old Stoical philosophy. If Congregationalists adopt it, they may make up their minds that, despite their popular polity, they will not reach the masses, but must leave them to our Methodist brethren, and others, who will labor so as to have excitements, or to perish. We know one, who will never adopt it! Streams do not flow on dead levels, but from elevations and mountains! Whatever influence we have shall go for converting the people to Christ, and for whatever agencies, efforts, measures and excitements are found best adapted, and most efficient for accomplishing that end with the greatest possible dispatch, and to the greatest possible extent. To our mind, an exclusive pastoral system, with no extra efforts, and no excitements, is the sure way not to do it, and for Congregationalists to fail of their mission.
It seems necessary to add a few friendly words in relation to evangelists. They should be eminently men of practical common sense, not fixed in any theory or manner of working, but flexible in adaptation to different conditions and circumstances. As pastors hold their relation to, and authority over, their churches by the call of the Lord and their people, they have no right to surrender these to an evangelist or any one else; and of course evangelists, whose only right to preach in their pulpits is from their invitation, have no right to exercise control over them and their churches. Having full liberty to preach the truth as they understand it, and to do what they deem essential to accomplishing their own work, they should respect the relation of pastors, and consult their wishes in all things, as far as practicable, throwing no influence against them, but what they can publicly and privately in their favor. So doing, instead of pastors being injured, they will be aided in their relation by them, if they do their part well in hearty co-operation, having no envy or jealousy towards them, and showing no dissatisfaction, if they seem to win more regard and attention than themselves do. But, if they hold back, and exhibit such a spirit, they will almost surely damage theinselves, and then charge it on evangelists. There is a mutual obligation of honor, fidelity and generous allowance; and if any evangelist is found to do otherwise than we have indicated, let
no pastor invite him. We feel constrained here to say, with the voice of a friend, that we do not believe an evangelist is warranted to adopt the rule that he will not spend more than so many days,— three, four, any definite number,— in holding meetings in any place; nor to require, as a condition of his laboring in it, that the different churches shall unite in the meetings, and the suspension of business during their continuance. Both the rule and the conditions are purely arbitrary, make no allowance for circumstances, and, in many cases at least, must work vast evil. It is very important that the evangelist should continue in a place as long as the work efficiently progresses; and the leading pastor and church inviting him to it are the only proper judges as to these conditions.
It is assuredly very important that they should have all the advantages of the best education in all respects, and especially that they should be good theologians. But, as to their being trained for their work in our theological seminaries, the first necessity would be to get theological professors trained for it themselves ! But, the fact, is, that the special qualificatione for an evangelist are not, and can not be, imparted by human training. Musical birds are such by nature; and so is the endowment for swaying the minds of men by public speaking, which is an essential qualification for an evangelist. All the training on earth would never have made a Whitfield or a Finney, or any successful less gifted evangelist. It can, however, and doubtless often does, suppress or prevent the proper development of this natural gift of God; else we might have many more of them. •Another special qualification is a peculiar impartation and call of the Spirit for this work. It is thus that the Lord gives them; and who can say that he did not thus give all that we have named in this article, as much as he did Philip, Timothy and others at the first? Who shall say that he will not thus give many more in coming times, when men shall run to and fro in the earth, and the knowledge of the Lord shall be increased? Who ought not to be very careful not to disparage them, and to be very thankful for them ? May the Lord multiply them; and may all pastors learn to be more direct in their preaching for the conversion of the people.
HUXLEY'S LAY SERMONS.
The Essays and Addresses thus entitled are fifteen in num. ber, nearly all of them upon topics within the domain of Natural Science. Three of them lie somewhat out of this range. One on Descartes' “ Discourse," endeavoring to show that Mr. Huxley's methods are but the ultimate development of the views of the Father of Modern Philosophy. One is on “The Scientific Aspects of Positivism,” in which the author, as a scientific man, handsomely pays his respects to the Positive Philosophy in two propositions: (1). That it contains "little or nothing of any scientific value.” (2). That it contains “a great deal which is as thoroughly antagonistic to the very essence of science as anything in ultramontane Catholicism;" a pleasant testimony from a scientific man. The third essay is on “Emancipation -- Black and White;" devoting some seven pages to what he terms the “ Woman Question;" advocating every educational facility for girls, and adding, “Nay, if obvious practical difficulties can be overcome, let those women who feel inclined to do so, desceud into the gladiatorial arena of life. Let them have a fair field, but let them understand, as the necessary correlative that they are to have no favor.” But when he comes to the result, he is obliged to pronounce that "nature's old salique law will not be repealed. The big chests, the massive brains, the vigorous muscles of the best men will carry the day, whenever it is worth their while to contest the prizes of life with the best women”; and “so long as potential motherhood is her lot, woman will be found to be fearfully weighted in the race of life.”
As there is, however, a general drift and character in the volume, we propose to direct attention to that, and to waive other topics, however inviting. But first a few introductory remarks upon his qualities as a writer.