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Roman Catholic, the preceding blished sects, he would undoubtmust give way; and, if “ the edly be somewhat surprised to Pagan Church” preponderate, then find that the Government had Paganism must be the Established slighted all his assertions and Religion of the Empire.
all his arguments : and, perThe total population of the haps, he would contend that, in British Empire may amount to so doing, it had opened the more than 250 millions; and, of door for the re-establishment of those millions, who can doubt “THE PAGAN CHURCH.” that, according to this great prin- But, upon his own showing, the ciple, .“ THE PAGAN CHURCH" Government, in return, might constitutes an overpowering ma- answer, that it was but paving jority.
the way for the application of The learned Prelate probably his great principle of an Eccledid not contemplate such an siastical Establishment of the maapplication of his principle and jority; and, when that mighty rebis argument; but, could he re- sult of the principle had been sume the pen, now that the ex- effected, the test-law should be tent and the circumstances of again enacted, and Episcopalians, the British Empire are so ma- Presbyterians, &c. &c. must be terially altered, I am disposed rendered eligible to offices of to think he would seriously re- trust and emoluments in the State, consider both his principle and by a declaration of belief in the his argument.
Hindoo Shasters, and the transAs to the absolute necessity of migration of souls, and by cera test-law to guard against the tain offerings presented at the encroachments of the unesta- altars of Vishnu and Brahma !
A PASTOR'S LETTER TO A STUDENT AT A DISSENTING COLLEGE.
H- , Jan. 27, 1829. securing wealth-a means of afMY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,
fording a suitable arena for the
bustling activity of a restless spirit, ..... As I have this op- or of furnishing a retired and portunity of writing, I avail myself quiet abode for the enjoyment. of it to give you some hints of literary and learned leisure. which you have requested me to Many of those who have assumed offer, as a guide to you in the very the ministerial character, have disresponsible and highly important played their want of every suitasituation which you now occupy. ble qualification for the discharge No one who believes the truth of of its duties, both in the pulpit Revelation, and seriously reflects and in the parlour. As to the on what ought to be the charac- pulpit. It has furnished a pilter of its ministers, can, for a low for the drone, a stage for the moment, think lightly of their mountebank, and a place of disoffice. That it has been frequently play for the actor, where the disgraced is both true and lament. “ start theatric, practiced at the able. It has been made a mere glass,” has been exhibited to the stepping-stone to worldly honours delight of the ignorant, the grief and priestly influence-a method of the pious, and the scorn of of obtaining a competence, or of men of sense. As to the domes
tic circle, the minister by pro- which should never, by a theolo. fession has too frequently pre- gical student, be omitted even for sented himself there in any light, a single day. For, let it be obrather than in that which his served, that the very first qualifisacred office demands—the learned cation of a minister of the Gosdisputant, the retailer of thread- pel is personal religion. Withbare anecdotes, or the fiddle of out this, the most splendid ta the company while present, and lents, the most profound erudithe object of its derision so soon tion, will not only be useless, as he has retired.
but, in all human probability, Let us oppose to all this incon- injurious to the church. If, then, sistency, the frequently quoted, you are indeed desirous (and I but yet interesting description of have no reason whatever to bethe estimable and consistent ser- lieve you are not) that the great vant of God, presented to us by end of your studies should be the poet Cowper: he pourtrays attained, and thus the wishes of him as
those who have placed you in ........“Simple, grave, sincere,
your present situation as a student, In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
be fulfilled, and their prayers for And plain in manner; decent, solemn, your usefulness answered, I am chaste,
persuaded that you will make And natural in gesture; much impress'd Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
daily prayer and habitual comAnd anxious mainly that the flock hé munion with God at once your feeds
duty and your pleasure. This May feel it too; affectionate in look,
will ensure your happiness, and And tender in address, as well becomes A messenger of grace to guilty men.”
evince to your own mind the
safety of your state before God; But you will be ready to say, for to draw near to Him by earnest what is all this to me? I have, and habitual prayer, is the very indeed, the work of the ministry best proof we can possibly have as my ultimate object; but the that we are His. And the duty prospect I take of it is a distant I am now merely glancing at, one, and years must roll away, will be found necessary to you, before I am called upon to fulfil not only for your own comfort and its duties. Allow me to reply to assurance of faith and hope, but this, that it is the part of the wise for your preservation too. There man to keep the main object of his are no circumstances by which we life constantly in view that old can be encompassed which may father Time flies with no sluggish not prove to us either temptations wing—and that every study to to sin, or occasions of our transwhich you devote yourself, which gressing You are not exempted, does not bear either nearly or even in a college devoted to reliremotely on your proposed mi- gion and learning. I say nothing nisterial engagements, will be a of gross sins. Inferior motives loss of time and of energy. I am may serve to preserve you from perfectly aware that preparatory these. There are more insidious, studies are both numerous and though not less dangerous, eneimportant; and that very many of mies, to which you will, in all these are not only without any probability, be exposed. Ever direct bearing on the work of the recollect that there are sins of ministry, but also, that not a few the spirit as well as sins of the are unfavourable to that spiritua- flesh. Some of us feel inclined, lity of mind, the cultivation of from the society in which we have
been accustomed to move, and affliction, at the couch of the dye the habits we have long cherished, ing, or amidst the sombre scenery to condemn the latter, while, if of funereal pomp. It is well for we do not palliate, we at least the pious man, be he minister overlook, as mere peccadillos, the or layman, to have his mind so former. It is true that the ex. impressed by surrounding objects cessive gratification of any inor- as their nature and his own prodinate appetite is a gross and cry- fession of religion demand. But ing sin; it is equally so, that the it is possible to utter the approindulgence of pride, of envy, and priate words, while the heart is of the irascible passions, have destitute of the feeling; to asa similar measure of 'condemna- sume the appearance of sentition meted out to them in the ments adapted to the trying or word of God. You cannot live, mournful occasion, where no such in what, in religious phraseology, sentiments exist in our bosom. is called the world, without nu. Need I say to you, avoid such merous temptations to the indul. conduct, as you would shun the gence of these hateful tempers of impression on your moral being the mind; and from these, the of the very worst character that assumption of the scholastic habit, this earth bears on her bosomresidence in a religious college, as you would avoid that which and the society of young men, may impose on man, but which professedly, and even really pious, cannot impose on Him, “who will not afford you an entire exemp- looks not at the outward appeartion. After what I have said, I need ance," but who observes with hardly add, that your best, your fixed and unwearied attention, the only defence against these assaults secret purposes of the heart. of the great enemy of your soul, Here, whatever be the conseis, the “ breastplate of righteous- quence, “let integrity and upness, the shield of faith, the helmet rightness preserve you;” and reof salvation, the sword of the collect that two of the very best spirit, and ALL PRAYER.” qualifications you can possess as.
The man, especially the young a man, as a student, and as a miman, and perhaps much more so the nister, are simplicity and sincerity. youth, who is (if you will bear You will not, I feel persuaded, for a moment with such an ex- misinterpret my meaning, and pression) pious by profession, is in imagine that I intend to inculcate some danger of becoming only a wreckless indifference to deprofessionally pious. He is ex- meanour; in this reference, he pected to wear a certain gravity who respects himself will be of exterior appearance; and it respected. I would say, to sum is perfectly right that he who up all in as few words as posis called to look chiefly at “the sible, maintain at all times a things which are unseen and eter- habit of mind so subdued, so nal,” should avoid every thing like calm, and so spiritual, that you an excess of levity. But it is an- may not be taken by surprise, ticipated that, in particular cir- aud, for your own character's cumstances, he will utter particular sake, compelled to utter words words, expressive of the senti- expressive of emotions you do not ments which ought to be ex- feel, or of sentiinents which you cited in his mind by the situa- cannot at the time realize. tion in which he is placed, It appears quite unnecessary whether it be in the chamber of for me to write to you on the N. s. No. 53.
subject of your studies; and, exclusively the writings of Xeno. indeed, did I feel inclined, I am phon, and the rest of the illus. not sufficiently acquainted with trious Grecians, as to have disthe plan pursued at W- Col- qualified himself from composing lege to render it suitable for me in the Roman tongue. While I to offer you any advice on this make these passing remarks, I head. For this your pious and ought to add, that a knowledge highly respected tutors are in- of the learned languages will very finitely better qualified than I can materially aid you in acquiring possibly be; since this is a work an extensive and accurate ac. to which their best energies are quaintance with your own. Our devoted. From them I feel as- scientific terms are, with few exsured, if there be no obstacle in ceptions, derived from the Greek; your own mind, you will derive and some of our most eminent information and direction in all authors have employed a style the studies in which you are called abounding in words derived from to engage. I have only one word the Latin, and characterized by here. It will be highly desirable much of what an Englishman for you to obtain an extensive and would call the involved and parencorrect acquaintance with the Eng. thetical idiom of that language. lish language. I mention this, As to the choice of words, howbecause in some Colleges devoted ever, it is worthy of notice that principally to classical and ma- some of our best old writers, Milthematical instruction, it not un- ton in particular, appear never to frequently happens that young have employed a Latin, when a men, left to themselves as to their Saxon word could be found to exprogress in the above important press their idea. particular, in their zeal to acquire A s to the best method of bethose languages which it will coming a good English scholar, never be necessary for them to a very few observations will suffice. speak, neglect that which they To know the principles and deneed every day, and almost tail of the English grammar is every hour. The present is not well; but to hold intercourse with a period in which our tongue the best society, and to read the is to be neglected. The editors standard authors is better. Mere of the lowest of our daily and grammatical precept may do much weekly prints, write the language for 18 in the study of a dead in a manner equal to many of language, but there is nothing but the best authors of the early practice which will avail us in part of the last century--the learning with accuracy a living colloquial, the diffuse, the ele- tongue. It were well were every gant, and the terse style are to passage of an indecent and of be met with in publications in an inpious kind expunged from which, had they existed as pe- the pages of Addison, of Steele, riodicals fifty years since, no and of Swift; as the first is always style but the vulgar had been elegant, the second always exdiscoverable. For one, therefore, pressive, the last succinct, forcible, who professes to be a scholar, and pointed. The histories of to be ignorant of his own mother Humne and of Robertson, the tongue, is as if Xenophon had sermons of Walker, (of Edinstudied Persic till he could not burgh,) the pages of Paley, and write Greek; or, as if Horace all the writings of Hall of Brishad 'turned over so frequently and tol, are deserving of careful and repeated perusal. You will not of his skill in mathematical deforget to read with attention the monstration, and regards this as Lectures of Blair, and the Phi- the ne plus ultra of argumentation; losophy of Rhetoric by Camp- will never be a good reasoner bell; these will give you much on moral subjects. A valuable valuable information on the sub- minister of the Gospel must be ject of books and authors, and far superior to the man who is at the same time, furnish your merely skilful in languages : and mind with many useful ideas on if a mere mathematician assume a variety of other topics. This the sacred calling, as he knows leads me to add, that you ought not how to weigh moral as well to read extensively on all sub- as demonstrative evidence, there jects of importance, mastering, will be room to fear that he will so far as time and circumstances become a wavering sceptic, rather will permit, one or two books on than an humble and well grounded any given topic. For if you do believer in the Gospel revelation. this, you will find on that par. For while the word of God has all ticular subject very little that will the evidence for its divine autho. appear new to you in the authors rity which moral certainty can you may subsequently read. It give, the arguments which support is to this that Erasmus alludes, it are not of that kind which when he says, “ T'imeo hominem admit of mathematical demonunius liber ;" I fear to encounter stration. Nor will the two branches in disputation the man who has of knowledge of which I am now made himself thoroughly conver, writing, sufficiently inform the sant with one author on the mind of the theological student point in question. This practice as to that which is most intiwill give you that habit of fixed mately connected with the disattention, of close thought, of com- charge of his ministerial duties. prehensive view, which will save They may indeed show us someyou from the character of a mere thing of what man can do as an prater about many things, who is intellectual being, but do not completely master of none. afford the least information as to · Young men are very apt to his moral and religious circumvalue themselves on a knowledge stances. They do not teach us of the learned languages and of the science of human nature, mathematical science. Without than which, none is more useful uttering a word in deprecation of to him who acts as God's mithese two branches of useful nister in “ holy things.” There knowledge, you must allow me is this striking difference also beto remind you, that the former is tween these two species of knowonly the key to open to you the ledge; the merely scientific is door of wisdom; and the latter, too apt to inflate with vanity in the greater number of instances, and pride, while the knowledge only a valuable mode of afford, of what is “iu man,” and an ac. ing discipline to the mind, and, quaintance with our own particu, therefore, not to be regarded as lar imperfections, infirmities, and the ultimate object, but as that sins, will tend to induce humility. which gives keenness and vigour Let me, however, add, that it is to the instrument of study. A only the mere smatterér in science mere linguist will never be a who will be proud of the knowwise man; and he who is proud ledge he has acquired; he who