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step from the family is to the social circle, so several families may blend their amusements, or seek amusement in each other. Hence the advantages of the social party-we mean not the gorgeous and fashionable party, where everything is bound in the fetters of an icy formality, and where display is sought rather than enjoyment,--such, it is true, may have their enjoyments, and may serve to “chase the winged hours with flying feet,” but they have their pangs, deep and pungent, as all know,—but we mean the informal and truly social party where the pleasures of the intellect and the heart are blended, and the flow of good feeling and fancy is unrestrained, where there is no pride to be mortified, and no envious display to arouse its canker in the heart.
Beyond the boundaries of the family and the social circle, let all innoxious and refreshing amusements, and all manly, or if you please, boyish sports, everything that is not immoral or morbidly fascinating, in the city or in the country, varied to suit all classes and employments, be honored and used as nature and manhood require. For those needing intellectual variety or stimulus, let us have the musical soncert, the lecture, the lyceum, the literary club, exhibitions of art with certain exceptions, and such like. For those needing to have the physical secretions promoted, the shattered nerves repaired, and the overwrought brain relieved, let us have physical pastimes, sports and games of skill, and let us honor them accordingly. Let us regard gymnastics, boating, foot-ball, ten-pins, skating, quoits, angling and gunning to supply our tables, and such like, as indispensable condiments, specifics for dyspepsia and nervous derangement, and the legitimate antidotes of sedentary occupations. Why should not these things be raised above their collateral abuses? Why should the ascetic frown upon them, or the gentleman regard them as beneath his dignity? Why should our clergy be condemned to “ die at the top” rather than use essential means to maintain their physical and mental equilibrium? We are becoming a nation of dyspeptics and hypochondriacs. Work, and especially mental work, is an American sin. We must have both safety-valves
and reliefs. Our national morals and our national health demand a change in public sentiment on the subject of physical pastimes. In this matter homoeopathy, after a fashion, is the true doctrine. It is said to cure disease by creating similar, counteracting disease. The evils of our popular amusements must be remedied in some measure, by amusement. The moralist will carry on a fruitless war against the indispensable demands of nature.
The subject would be left unfinished did we fail to notice the very ancient and popular amusement of dancing. It is a subject on which much may be said both pro et contra. doubtedly has some foundation in nature. · It is one of our instincts to accompany music with certain corresponding motions; but the same instinct exists in the bear, the monkey and the elephant, and hence, if nature is to be infallibly followed, we should have dancing schools for bears, monkeys and elephants. The fact is there is no more harm, as far as it pertains to the thing itself, in a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, a young man or a maiden, accompanying music with the motion of the
light fantastic toe,” if they feel disposed to do so, than there is harm in the bear or the monkey doing the same after their fashion; but experience has abundantly shown, and we think there is a philosophical reason for it, that when this thing is reduced to a system, and inaugurated as a promiscuous popular amusement, it brings into play certain activities of our nature, which had better have as little stimulus as possible. The same objection, too, may be brought against dancing which was brought against another class of amusements, viz: that it is too exciting. Who does not know that nine tenths of the votaries of the ball-room retire from it, not refreshed but exhausted, and unfitted for the ordinary duties of the following day? This alone is fatal to the claims of dancing as a popular amusement; for the essential idea of amusement is, not exhaustion, but invigoration. A grave physical objection also may be urged against dancing on account of the time most generally devoted to it. The “witching hour of night,” and those bordering upon it, are not, as any physiologist will tell us, the hours for exercise but for repose_and dancing is a flower which never blooms well by day-light. However plausible may be the abstract reasons in favor of any practice, if history and experience unite in putting a black mark upon it, we beg leave to harbor our distrust.
In thus discussing a few of our leading popular amusements we trust we have not been unmindful of the adage, in mediis tutissimus ibis," Chambersburg, Pa.
Art. IV.-QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.
The ministerial office occupies an important position in the relations of society. Its intimate connection with the morals and intelligence of the community is generally felt and acknowledged. The influence it brings to bear on all with whom it comes in contact tends both to purify and to elevate. however, in its relation to the great economy of salvation, that it receives its special prominence. It constitutes an important and indispensable part of the appliances which have been appointed, and are made use of, for the purpose of realizing in the experience of the children of men, the great ends of human redemption. As such, it is constantly recognized in the word of God, a special instance of which we have in Paul's epistle to the Romans, 10 : 13–15.
Calling upon the name of the Lord, as embodying all practical religion, is there set forth as the only and indispensable condition of salvation. A series of questions, however, is immediately propounded, indicative of the particular process
through which the sinner must pass in order to attain to this important position. “How then,” inquires the Apostle, “shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ?” Whilst those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, it is, at the same time, impossible that any should thus call upon him, who do not believe in him. Faith is indispensable to the rendering of any acceptable service to God. “But without faith it is impossible to please him ; for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11: 6. This faith again, cannot be exercised in God whilst we are ignorant of him. Knowledge and faith are inseparable. The one may be considered as the necessary compliment of the other. Whilst, in an important sense, faith is indispensable to knowledge, knowledge is, at the same time, inseparable from faith. There can be no faith without knowledge. This knowledge also, has its particular
It does not spring from mere intuition. In order to its existence, there must be those who form the medium or channel of its communication. This is the particular relative position in the economy of grace, assigned by the Apostle to the ministry of the Gospel, in the connection under consideration, and it is sufficiently indicative of the great importance of the agency which it specially represents.
The series of questions started by the Apostle does not, however, close here. It is yet added, “ And how shall they preach except they be sent?” Those accordingly who preach the gospel, if they are rightfully called to their work, must do so by virtue of a divine commission, and in view of a special fitness for the work. “No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Heb. 5: 4. Still, this calling of God itself necessarily includes in it submission to the order established in the Church. Paul himself furnishes a striking exemplification of the truth of this position. Although he was baptized by Christ himself with the Spirit, yet he refused not to be baptized by Ananias at Damascus ;
and although he was especially designated from the first for the work of preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, yet he entered not upon the sphere of labor for which he was thus destined, until he was specially chosen and set apart to it by the Church at Antioch. With this divine commission, however, are invariably connected, the requisite qualifications for the work. God never calls any to the ministry without having qualified them for the duties it involves. He is incapable of committing the folly of assigning men to a work for which he has not specially fitted them. What these qualifications for the work of the Gospel ministry are, it is important for all who are aspiring to the office, or who already occupy it, to know, and to point them out, shall be the particular object of the present article.
These qualifications are partly natural and partly acquired. The former are susceptible of improvement, and the latter must have their foundation at least, laid by nature itself. The two are accordingly so inseparably connected with each other, that the attempt to classify them on a basis which shall involve their separation, must prove a failure. We shall consider them in the order in which they seem to us most naturally to occur.
Personal piety has ever been regarded as an indispensable qualification for the ministry. It lies at the foundation of every other. In its absence, it matters not what may be an individual's gifts or acquirements in other directions, he must be wholly unfitted for the work of the ministry. “The natural man,” the Apostle tells us, “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:13. The same authority also informs us, that “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom. 8: 7.
Without an experimental acquaintance with the truths of religion, therefore, it is impossible to enter fully into their spiritual character, so as to be able to unfold them successfully to others, whatever may be our knowledge of them so far as mere