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first place, to "make their calling and election sure.” Let those to whom pertains the introduction of others into the ministry, endeavour, by all such means as do not imply the judging of a man's state without external evidence, to ascertain the fruits of faith in their candidates for the pulpit. Let parents and friends be extremely cautious in destining a child, or a relative, at a very early age, to the ministry of reconciliation. Let him first, as a condemned sinner, "receive Christ Jesus the Lord;" and then, as a saved sinner, "walk in him," before he "profess to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

But let us not be quoted as countenancing, by any thing we have now said, the arrogance of certain preachers and "gifted brethren," who set themselves up as exclusive judges of grace in their neighbours ; and, with the most offensive self-sufficiency, go about praying for "unconverted ministers." It would do such men no harm to commune now and then with their own hearts; complying with the advice of Paul to the fastidious teachers at Corinth, who "sought a "proof of Christ speaking in him. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith," lest they fall eventually, under the reproof administered to those bloated religionists "which say, stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou."

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Piety, however indispensable to the ministry, is not, of itself, an adequate preparation. A man may be a very good man, and yet a very incompetent teacher. The apostle Paul has positively required that he be "apt to teach*;" i. e. have the faculty of communicating instruction.

This comprehends

(1.) A good natural capacity.

We do not mean that every one who is admitted

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into the ministry ought to be a man of genius. Whatever be suggested by individual vanity, or the partial fondness of friends, genius is so extremely rare, that if it were essential to public office, the Christian pulpit, the bench of justice, the university-chair, or the senatorial seat, would very seldom be occupied. — When it does appear, it is misunderstood, fettered, tortured, and, as far as possible, crushed, by vulgar dulness, by scholastic pedants, by that medium race, the mere men of letters-we wish we were not compelled to add-and, too often, by small Theologians. It will, however, force its own way and as its proper object and work lie out of the ordinary routine of official life, it cannot enter into the standard of fitness for official employment. On genius, therefore, it is vain to insist, for it cannot be had. But a good natural capacity is much more common, and should be peremptorily required. He who is not apt to learn, will never become apt to teach. Most people imagine that education is to do every thing, and nature nothing. But what is the province of education? Not to create faculties, but to call them forth. ral capacity is the material with which education works: It is the soil which she cultivates, and where she sows the seeds of instruction. Expend your utmost labour and skill upon a brick, and you shall never impart to it the polish of marble. Why? simply for this reason, that it is a brick, and not marble. Let a lad be tolerably stocked with brain, and his improvement in the hands of an able preceptor will repay every care, expense, and toil. But if that important article be wanting, it is a hiatus valde deflendusthere is no method of supplying such a lamentable lack. One would think that this is so evident as to be a mere truism. And yet, evident as it is, the incessant introduction into the ministry of men whose natural incapacity renders themselves and their office


eontemptible, shows that it is practically disregarded. We may not dissemble-the interests in jeopardy are too precious to admit of temporizing-It is too notorious to be denied-the very Christian ministry seem determined to try, upon the largest scale, that most ab. surd and hopeless experiment, the education of a blockhead for public usefulness! The instances, we believe, are comparatively few in which the powers of a youth are put to any reasonable test in order to ascertain whether, in point of intellect, he is really worth training up for the ministry. College diplomas, considering the dishonourable facility with which they are granted, are but suspicious pledges of either knowledge or talent. Some years ago, a young man who had been originally a maker of brooms, and had "studied divinity," as it is termed, for two or three sessions, was exhibiting a specimen of his improvement before a foreign Presbytery; and acquitted himself so little to their satisfaction, that they judged it necessary to remand him to his first vocation, as more commensurate with his abilities. This decision was announced by a venerable old minister, in the following manner:-"Young man: It is the duty of "all men to glorify God. But he calls them to glo"rify him in different ways, according to the gifts he "bestows on them. Some he calls to glorify him by

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preaching the gospel of his Son; and others, by making besoms, (brooms.) Now, it is the unani"mous judgment of this Presbytery, that he has not "called you to the ministry, since he has not qualified you for it; and, therefore, that it is your duty to go "home to your father, and glorify God by decent industry in making besoms."

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The mode of the old gentleman was, to be sure, somewhat original; but his spirit ought to pervade the church. Would to God he had dropped his mantle, and that it had been borne on the wings of

the wind across the Atlantic. If every preacher incompetent, from a gross defect of natural capacity, were put to the same trade with the young Scotchman, how great would be the increase of brooms!


Matthew Mead, an eminent non-conformist, was politely addressed by a nobleman, "I am sorry, Sir, that we have not a person of your abilities with us in the established church: they would be extensively useful there." "You don't, my lord, require persons of great abilities in the establishment." "Why so, Sir; what do you mean?" "When you christen a child, you regenerate it by the Holy Ghost. When you confirm a youth, you assure him of God's favour, and the forgiveness of his sins. When you visit a sick person, you absolve him from all his iniquities: and when you bury the dead, you send them all to heaven. Of what particular service, then, can great abilities be in your communion ?"


Sinful man, saved in Christ, always was, and always will be, a mystery. But where is the mystery of our being saved by an inherent righteousness?




The excellence of the Church: a Sermon, preached at the consecration of Trinity Church, Newark, New-Jersey, by the Right Reverend Bishop Moore, on Monday May 21, A. D. 1810. By John Henry Hobart, D. D. An Assistant Minister of Trinity Church, New-York. Published by request. New-York, T. & J. Swords, pp. 41. 8vo.

THE "ministry of reconciliation" is the standing

ordinance of heaven, for the edification of the Church'; and its principal work is to preach the everlasting gospel. To this employment, ministers are commissioned by him who hath all power in heaven and on earth, and in this they act as ambassadors for Christ. We must, therefore, dissent from those who endeavour to degrade the services of the pulpit, by representing "reading the liturgy" as of greater importance than delivering the message of the living God. Doctor Hobart has, indeed, a better right than we have, to judge of what is suitable for an Episcopal congregation; and yet we cannot admit, that it is a part of the "excellence of the Church," to raise the reading desk above the pulpit. Of so very little importance does preaching the gospel of God appear to Dr. Hobart, that he declares it to be not only inferior to the liturgy, but a thing, which the Church may, without very great inconvenience, dispense with altogether-which, however corrupted, ought to be no cause of separation from that Church-which is but a secondary part of divine service-and, in fact, no part of the public worship of God. Entertaining

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