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Christ should, occasionally at least, allure his people to the higher region of devotion, by taking a bolder flight than usual, and uttering the language of strong faith, ardent love, unshaken confidence, assured hope, and rapturous gratitude, admiration, and joy. Some of his hearers can, probably, at all times, follow him; and many others, who, at first, tremble and hesitate, many, who would scarcely dare adopt the same language in their closets, will gradually catch the sacred flame; their hearts will burn within them. While their pastor leads the way, they will mount up, as on eagles' wings, toward heaven, and return from the house of prayer, not cold and languid, as they entered, but glowing with the fires of devotion. In this, as well as in other respects, it will, in some measure, be like people like priest.' If we thus strike the golden harp of devotion, we shall soon find our pious hearers able to accompany us through its whole compass of sound, from the low notes of humble, penitential sorrow, up to the high, heart-thrilling tones of rapturous joy, admiration, love and praise, which are in union with the harps of the redeemed before the throne.
"We may praise God, or confess sin, or pray for mercy, or return thanks for divine favor, in a general way, without being ourselves affected, and without exciting the affections of our hearers. But when we descend to particulars, the effect is different. The mind receives drop after drop, till it is full. We should, therefore, aim at as great a degree of particularity, as the time allotted us, and the variety of topics, on which we must touch, will allow. Especially is it important, that we enter deeply and particularly into every part of Christian experience, and lay open all the minute ramifications and almost imperceptible workings of the pious heart, in its various situations, and thus show our hearers to themselves in every point of view. In a word, our public prayers should resemble, as nearly as propriety will allow, the breathings of a humble, judicious, and fervently pious Christian, in his private devotions. The prayer of the pulpit differs too much,-it should differ as little as possible, from the prayer of the closet. A neglect, in this particular, often renders our performances uninteresting and unacceptable to those whom we should most desire to gratify."*
While we have been turning over the pages of the book named at the head of this article, and observing the kind of directions which Dr. H. has thought it necessary to give to his son, the thought has been again and again pressed upon us,— How inadequate are the notions entertained by most persons in the community of the nature and importance, the obligations and the responsibilities, of the Christian ministry! How little do they understand their own concern in the piety and faithfulness of those who fill the sacred office. People cry out often against the deliberate and faithful discharge of ministerial duty, as if it were a disaster. They wish the services of religion to be as short as possible, as if three or four hours on the Lord's day were an excessive demand upon their time and patience; or as if the business of secret devotion were so
*Life of Dr. Payson,-pp. 233, 236, 237. First edition.
sweet to them, that they could scarcely consent to be withdrawn so long from the closet, even to engage in the fervent worship of God in public; or, as if the less time given by their spiritual guides to the care of their souls, the better. They seem to think, that, if their minister, in opening the way of salvation and pressing the Lord Jesus Christ upon their acceptance, embraces the whole in a discourse of fifteen or twenty minutes, they are highly favored. And, if he only spends five, or seven, or, at the most, ten minutes in interceding for them at the throne of the heavenly grace, they seem to imagine it a great mercy to be prayed for so little, to have so little confession and thanksgiving offered up to God in their behalf, to have so little intercession for the world of mankind; to have so little notice taken of God's gracious invitation to us to come boldly to the throne. And yet, these are immortal men, dying men, whose earthly probation hastens to its close; men, who are soon to stand before God and be judged! In accordance with the tendency of the age, men demand short sermons and hurried prayers. As, in travelling, the great desideratum with them seems to be to reach the end of their journey, so in these spiritual employments, while worldly policy requires their attendance upon them, their chief ambition is to get through with them as quickly as possible. Hence, if a minister of Christ gets very near the throne in public prayer, feeling that God fills his mouth with arguments, and draws forth his soul in melting desires for the people of his charge, he must be checked in his spirit of prayer, and called out from the holy of holies, because his ten minutes have expired. If his heart is made tender by the consideration of the dangerous state of his people, and he rises to an unusual fervor in pleading with men to be reconciled to God, in the very heat of his argument, or plea, the suggestion comes up, that he has overrun his time, and his heart sinks like lead within him. It is true we cannot change at once the spirit of the times. We cannot alter men's likes and dislikes. If this which has been suggested, is their spirit, we can bewail it; but we cannot immediately cure it. That must be a work of patient endurance and silent influence. But happy is that pastor, if such an one can be found, among whose parishioners these modern ideas of things have never been introduced!
The subject of revivals, and a young minister's conduct in
VOL. VII.-NO. XXVII.
them, is treated perhaps more fully than any other subject in the book. Seventy pages are devoted to this theme. Under this head, many modern methods of promoting revivals, and the measures that are adopted in them, are discussed in a very judicious manner. We are happy to find views so sober and scriptural, emanating from the high places of influence in the community. In these pages, an effort is made to redeem revivals from the reproaches cast upon them by the enemies of religion, not by a set argument, but by recommending such exertions of the pastor, during those seasons of religious excitement, as will"hide pride from man," while the Lord alone is exalted. The author remarks in the introduction, that he has consulted no books, in the preparation of any part of his work, but this. We perceive his book of reference here is "Sprague's Lectures on Revivals;" a standard work on this subject, and one which we recommend as a manual worthy of a permanent place on the table of every pastor. It will not soon be superseded by any book in that department, either in judiciousness or thrilling interest.
The last two letters are on miscellaneous matters, relating to health, reading, &c. The book of Dr. H., though not a great effort of a strong mind, will be useful to young preachers in their work. It contains a plain digest of ministerial and pastoral duty, and is well adapted to the times, and to our country. EDITOR.
PRESENT COLLEGIATE SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES.
Thoughts on the present Collegiate States. By FRANCIS WAYLAND. dall & Lincoln. 1842. pp. 160.
System in the United Boston: Gould, Ken16mo.
THE subject of education is one which comes home to the business and bosom of every American citizen. It is on the combined influence of religion and learning, that we depend, under God, for the stability of our institutions. . History forbids us to believe, that we have any adequate safeguard, ensuring the permanency of our republican freedom, in the absence of either. The more generally our citizens can be brought under the influence of these two principles, the more
completely they are made to imbue with their energy all classes and every individual of our population, the higher is the prospect that we shall be able, as a nation, to work out the great problem of a successful democracy. There is evidence of the universality of this conviction in the large number and perpetual increase of private as well as public schools, and seminaries of the higher class, in various parts of the Union. The American Almanac for 1842 contains a list of one hundred and one colleges, thirty-nine theological schools, and ten law schools. These institutions have been founded and are maintained at an expense of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, for the purpose of diffusing the highest possible intellectual culture throughout the community. A large number of the soundest scholars and most estimable men are occupied in giving instruction in them. Such modifications have been made, from time to time, by way of experiment, in the internal operations of some of them, as the voice of the people has seemed to demand. And if these modifications have not been successful in meeting public expectation, they have reverted again to the old system. Our colleges, in respect to their form, partake of the character of an old institution grafted upon a new country. They are not precisely after the model of the British or of the continental Universities; but they resemble the former much more nearly than they do the latter. It would not be surprising, if they should prove less adapted to the genius and necessities of the American people, than the German system, or a mixed one, combining the peculiar excellences both of the British and the German. But it is evident, that the successful operation of a system of education in Germany is no proof that the same system would be successful here. The successful operation of a system of education in England is no proof that the same system would be of the highest utility here. The state of society, the genius of the people, the character of elementary education, the encouragement of talent, and many other things would need to be taken into account, and perhaps it would be necessary to try several experiments, before any judgment could be safely pronounced. It could not be certainly predicted that the Prussian school-system would flourish in the new settlements of Ohio, however sanguine the legislators of that State might have been in respect to it. The people must become Prussians, the spirit of society, the habits of thought, the books
and teachers, and means of education, and the rewards of success, all must be Prussian, if the system of Prussian education is to prosper. Our ancestors in the New England colonies were chiefly familiar with the British Universities. Hence, in founding their earliest colleges, they adhered to the models of Oxford and Cambridge. It did not occur to them, perhaps, that they could have a literary institution, with its president and professors and a high-wrought system of education, in any other manner. The steward's establishment, the dormitories, the daily worship, and all the appliances of a boarding-school sprung to life, in the carrying out of their idea of a college, as naturally as if all this were an essential part of an institution for the diffusion of knowledge. The colleges since created have followed in the same path. But the community have not been wholly satisfied with them. Either they have not taught a sufficient variety of things, or their instruction has not been practical enough, or the expense has been too high, or the right motives have not been set before the young men who have resorted thither, or some other objection has been frequently urged against them. These have been stated as the defects of our colleges. They have stood most promi
nently before the public eye. But the view which has led men to find fault with these things is a superficial one. There are defects in our colleges; but they are of a graver character than these. It is the defects urged by the community, together with these of a graver cast, to which the book of Dr. Wayland owes its origin. He has taken a clear and strong view of the matter. He has gone to the bottom of the investigation. He has shown what the true defects are, and suggested the appropriate remedies. The style of the book is eminently clear. Perhaps no person among us was better qualified to undertake a discussion of this subject. No one could have done it better. The book may be viewed as a substantial contribution to the cause of collegiate education; a contribution which, though offered in a most unpretending manner, may exert an important influence, in future generations, in favor of sound intellectual culture, and the welfare of our citizens.
We shall give our readers a brief analysis of the work; hoping that, by such a condensed view, we may induce all who are interested in the cause of sound learning, and especially the officers of our colleges and the members of the Boards of Trustees, to purchase and read it for themselves.