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extending the influence of true religion generally, whether by the conversion of those without, or the augmentation of brotherly union and mutual goodwill, within the church. Happy was the father to have such a son to share, and, by sharing, to lighten bis labours. Mr. Alliott, junior, was ordained co-pastor with him on the 6th of January, 1830, at the unanimous request of the church, on which occasion, the charge to his son was given by himself from the words of Moses to Joshua, “ Be strong, and of a good courage, for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them, and I will be with thee.” The address on this interesting occasion was affectionate, and really encouraging, a quality of which not a few charges to ministers are exceedingly barren. Mr. Alliott, at different times, expressed his opinion that the young pastor ought not to have presented to him such representations of duty as would be really impracticable, nor be pressed by an accumulation of such awful considerations as must either crush or stupify him. He preferred rather to animate with hope, than to depress with anxious dread.
Thus relieved by the efficient aid of his son, he continned, till within fifteen months of his death, to take share in the regular services; nor did he feel happy when indisposition or weakness precluded his entering that pulpit which he had so long and so acceptably occupied. When compelled by increasing infirmities to decline any regular public duty, he still seized upon such occasions as a temporary flow of strength permitted, to encourage his church, by reminding them of the glorious truths and promises which he had ever felt it his happiness to set before them. The last of these seasons of refreshment was on the 29th of January, 1840, when eleven individuals were received into church fellowship, and amongst them a son of his surviving wife, the only one of either his or of her family who had remained out of the pale of the visible church. It was a delightful fact, and the thought of it cheered him in the prospect of speedily leaving the world, that the people over whom he had presided continued peaceable and prosperous, and that all those who had been most intimately connected with his family, had been induced to confess the Redeemer before men, giving thereby a pleasing ground of hope, that that Redeemer will acknowledge them at the great day.
His strength, after this, more rapidly declined, though still its diminution was so gradual, as much io veil the form of approaching death. He was not insensible to the fact, that the period of his earthly course could not be distant, and expressed, at times, his confidence in the great truths which had constituted the subjects of his ministry; but as he had fallen into a mental coma some days before his decease, we cannot record any specific remarks which are more emphatically considered as dying testimony. To the last of his intercourse with those around him, he enjoyed, however, great placidity, and in the most gentle manner conceivable, was finally withdrawn into that unseen world, whither, in the exercises of faith and joyful hope, his surviving friends follow him in thought, and thus soothe their sorrows and seek to heal their wounded affection.
As a preacher, Mr. Alliott maintained and enforced throughout bis ministry, the great, substantial, cheering doctrines of the gospel ; those which relate to the personal dignity of the Saviour, the unlimited value of the atonement, justification by faith, and, in connexion with divine truth, the agency of the Holy Spirit alike in the conversion of man and on the minds of believers for their establishment and sanctification. He seldom entered publicly into discussion, and never attempted the modern style of popular eloquence; but excelled in lucid statement and simplicity of illustration. His meaning was so minutely unfolded that it could scarcely be mistaken, leaving little to be done by the minds of his hearers; so that, with an earnest manner, a facility of language, a natural emphasis, and an agreeable modulation of voice, he kept alive the interest of those who at all exercised their understandings. In domestic intercourse he was uniformly cheerful and lively, a pleasant companion and a steady friend. His disposition was, to be cautious, jealous of novelties of all kinds, prudent in the management of others, but decisive in his measures. The influence he exercised amongst his people was greater, probably, than they were conscious of; nor was it inconsiderable, generally, in the town where he had so long resided. Being, as before observed, born before the day of societies, of the rapid multiplication of new measures, and of that precocity of youthful talent for public speaking which marks the succeeding times, he cherished a lingering attachment to the old forms of the churches, in withholding their sanction from persons as public teachers, and from plans for propagating religion, till they had been tested by the accustomed rules. Yet, though he could not be said to have largely imbibed the spirit of the new era, he readily afforded his sanction and support to not a few of the modern institutions.
He died on the 19th of April, 1840, and was interred in a vault in the yard of the meeting-house on the following Friday, on which mournful occasion the Rev. James Gawthorne, of Derby, one of his oldest and most intimate friends, officiated. Nine other ministers, of various denominations, attended at the funeral, and the corpse, in addition to the bereaved family, was followed by the deacons of the church. A large congregation was also present, to testify every respect to the memory of the deceased. In the evening of the same day, a suitable discourse was delivered by the Rev. Joseph Gilbert, to a very numerous auditory; and on the following Sabbath additional funeral sermons were preached by the Rev. James Gawthorne and the Rev. William Pickering.
SUGGESTIONS RELATING TO PREPARATIONS FOR THE
CHRISTIAN MINISTRY. A PAPER appeared in the January number of the Eclectic Reviere, on the subject of academical preparation for the christian ministry in connection with congregational churches, which contains many valuable remarks and many forcible arguments pressing that important subject upon attention. With the reasoning employed, I, for the most part, coincide ; but I cannot help thinking that the writer of the article pointed at, has made an important omission. There cannot be a question " that christian churches ought to consider the maintenance of the christian ministry in an adequate degree of learning as one of its special cares ;" there can be no doubt in any enlightened mind, that generally the object of that care will be best secured by the imposition of academical studies, and academical studies of a high order too. I say generally secured, because these facts cannot lead me to the inference that the churches of God should refuse men, filled with piety and zeal, added to energy of character, original vigour of intellect, and sound and various acquirements in knowledge, who may be placed in situations in which the reception of collegiate instruction is impracticable. This is the point to which I crave consideration, which will at once exhibit the omission referred to in the Eclectic Review. Is college education to be rendered a sine qua non? In our anxiety to avoid the evils of an untaught and vulgar class of teachers, is it necessary to make the rule so stringent, that men should invariably be presented with the alternative, either to go to college or abandon the ministry? These questions are of incalculable importance to the churches ; and professing Christians are entreated to pause and think well before they are dismissed from consideration. Take heed and refuse not him whom God has called ; despise not him whom his Spirit has filled with wisdom and power, and designed to be a chosen vessel! Let the churches recollect their sacred privilege, “to call forth such of its members as may appear to be qualified by the Holy Spirit to sustain the office of the ministry."
While upon this part of the subject, I cannot do better than invite regard to Guizot's remarks, in his History of Civilization in Europe, on the constitution of the christian church in the fifth century. Viewing the matter philosophically, he traces the influence of the christian clergy to the fact, that the church secured in her service all the intellect and all the zeal, from all classes, in her communion. If a young man presented himself, she embraced him; if a man of mature age, after commerce with the world, was converted to his Saviour, she desired to take advantage of his ex. perience. M. Guizot says,
" It admits of no doubt, that the indiscriminate admission of all men to ecclesiastical charges, and the continual recruitments of the church upon a principle of equality, powerfully aided in maintaining and unceasingly re-animating its activity and energy, and in preventing the triumph of the immutable or stagnant spirit.”
Again :-“ Returning to the epoch immediately under view, the christian church then derived a prodigious strength from its respect for equality and legitimately superior minds. It was a society in the highest degree popularised, illimitably accessible and open to all the faculties, to all the noble aspirations in human nature. THENCE SPRANG ITS POWER, much more than from its riches and the illegitimate means of influence which it has too frequently employed.”
Now, if a college education, (which it is admitted, under ordinary circumstances, is most desirable,) be insisted on as an indispensable requisite in all cases, it is plain that our congregations will lose the advantage, and waste a class of strong-minded men, more calculated than any other to lead the way in great efforts, with dearly-purchased experience, fixed principles, and unity and energy of purpose. Burke has declared, that “the greatest spirits the world ever produced, were reared on the floor of democracy;" and the Rev. Sydney Smith, in his recently published works, has demonstrated that the vast majority of the great men of modern times never got a college education. The question under discussion is not whether or no academical education is valuable, (for that is admitted,) but whether it would be prudent, whether it would tend to the health and usefulness of the churches, to exclude men of purity of life, conspicuous piety, excellent sense, active habits, original mind, and great acquired knowledge, because circumstances denied them the advantage of a residence at a college.
Let us take a practical view of the case. What college produced Shakspere, or John Milton, or John Bunyan, or Benjamin Franklin, or Carey, or Fuller, or Steadman? Some of the very professors at the colleges, this moment, have never been themselves at college; take, as an example, Phillips, Professor of Geology at King's College. All these circumstances weighed, who can doubt the fatal consequences of invariably applying an academical test to candidates for the ininistry? But it is probable that it will be asked, what is there to prevent men from making some preparation at a college? I shall answer the question with all possible brevity; and shall do 80 best by proposing a case supposable.
There is a man who was trained up from youth in a knowledge of christian principles. Care was bestowed on his education; he studied the classics of Greece and Rome, and was imbued with elegant and polite literature. In his bovhood he had religious impressions, but he became contaminated by intercourse with the world; he became careless, gay, emulous of distinction, proud of his intellectual superiority ; he became sceptical, and threw off the restraints of religion; he plunged with avidity into the business of the world ; he was engrossed in it. But he begins to see the world with a different eye. He has married at this juncture; his partner is a woman of unobtrusive godliness; her gentle example operates on his heart ; his opinions begin to right themselves ; he begins to examine the evidences of religion. He reads Butler with amazement, Paley with pleasure, Locke with desire; and as he steadily pursues his course, rising early and sitting late, through Watson and Addison, Baxter and Jeremy Taylor, he feels his heart burn within him, and says
Adgnosco veteris vestigia flammæ !
He meets a christian minister, introduces the subject of religion, and retires from a conversation with the barbed arrows of conscience quivering in his heart. He reflects, thinks again, and attends a faithful dispenser of the word of life. He is convinced of sin, but attends for another year without a public profession. At length he joins the multitudes in “ the valley of decision,” and ranges himself on the Lord's side. How he grieves for the breaches in Zion! how he laments the prevalent infidelity and sin ! how he longs to engage himself in undoing the mischief, in the doing of which once he was engaged! He betakes himself with fresh ardour to study. Let us suppose that, after a consistent course, the church with which he was connected, calls him to the ministry. Is this man to be refused-thrust back--because his age and his ties render residence at college impracticable? How will the Eclectic Reviewer answer this question. Fas est ab hoste doceri ; and as it is, I may mention that many of the clergy of the established church are not collegemen; indeed, I have now in my mind's eye a highly respected and eminent minister near me, who for years has laboured with success as a rector of the establishment, and he never was at college. Why should not Congregational churches, when Rome does it, press into their ministry the converted from among physicians, lawyers, soldiers, sailors, and public writers? Why should they not secure the mind and the devotedness that is available? Why refuse to call those whom God has called in advanced life? Let us have a Icarned ministry by all means; but let us not, by our frigid rules, extinguish the fire that has been lit by the Holy Spirit? Assuming, then, that a man in the case supposed ought to be received into the ministry, I proceed to offer a suggestion or two relating to his preparation for the office.
I. Let an examination take place in October and April, at any given college belonging to our body.
II. Let the examination be for certificates of proficiency; each certificate to be given to those qualified, on payment of a fee of ten pounds.
III. Let those only be eligible to sit at these examinations who are specially recommended to it by the church to which they be. long as persons not in a condition to be subjected to the usual routine.
IV. Let the examination continue through five days, to consist of the following subjects :
1. The Evidences of the Christian Religion and Biblical Criticism.
2. Religion, doctrinal and experimental. 3. Modern History, civil and ecclesiastical, 4. Greek and Roman Classics; say, 1st Book of Virgil and