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bility to it is profound. Men are overtaken with a fatal malady, but they are uiterly averse to the remedy. This very apathy is the strongest reason why the antidote should be applied. In this case we are not to wait for a demand. We are to go and create it. We are to tell men that they are in a starving condition. We are to make them hunger and thirst for the bread and water of life. We cannot afford, and they cannot afford, to wait till there is a voluntary application for relief. Ere that, they may be beyond redemption.
Besides, in our country, it is happily understood that none are to enter upon the work of preaching the Gospel, except those who have felt its saving efficacy. Accordingly, the number of educated men who assume the sacred profession becomes extremely limited. It is not a third, nor even a fourth part of those who graduate at our colleges. For a work so ihoroughly spiritual, as is that of preaching the Gospel, most students feel little inclination. And the number is still further diminished by the constant self-denial incident to the work of the ministry. We have no sinecures, no chapels of ease, no dainty pluralities, no cathedral stalls, no alluring college fellowships. There is liule leisure for literary studies, for pleasant literary companionship. Every thing must bear upon one object,-ihe preaching of the Gospel. Every book that is read, almost, has something to do with the construction or illustration of a sermon.
The prospect of ecclesiastical distinction can be but a fee. ble motive. Ministerial parity is the doctrine of seven-eighths of the people of the country.
Pecuniary motives are equally uninviting. Probably the annual average compensation of clergymen of all denominations throughout the United States, does not exceed three hundred dollars, if it does not fall short of that sum. It is generally understood that a minister who is governed by such considerations ought to vacate his office.
It is evident, therefore, that the principle of Political Econony can here find no place. The radical aversion of men to the Gospel shuts out ihat principle as inapplicable.
But the great deficiency in the number of the preachers of the Gospel, present and prospective, may be directly argued from various considerations.
In providing the means of grace, we are to remember, in the first place, the great number of sects. A town of five or
six thousand inhabitants must be sub-divided into ten or a dozen parishes. Two or three hundred individuals must set up their ecclesiastical banners, and lead a languishing life, in order that the rights of conscience may be maintained, or that some favorite dogma may be duly honored. This dividing process extends to every part of the United States. In the newly settled regions it is especially rife. A single community is frequently made up not only of the various sects which are indigenous to our soil, but of those of German, Irish, or Scotch growth. Each is pertinaciously attached to its peculiarities, and inust have the Gospel preached in its own way, or not at all. As if these divisions were not minute and distracting enough, there is the spectacle of one of the largest and most enlightened denominations, completely bisected throughout the United States, and refusing to meet together, though adhering to the same formula of doctrine and modes of worship
In making spiritual provision for our countrymen, therefore, this peculiarity must not be overlooked. 'To provide a competent clergyman for each one thousand of the population, though we are now immensely short of that provision, is, in effect, to withhold the Gospel from the great mass of the people. We must meet them as they are, not as we would have them be. We must conform to their peculiarities, if we would save their souls. They must have preachers with the technics of whose theology they can syinpathize. To deny them this, is to exclude the mass of them from the pale of salvation.
Again, the population in some parts of the country will necessarily remain ihin and scattered for a number of years. This is the case with large districts of the southern States. Compact villages, where a thousand souls can enjoy the pasloral superintendence of a single minister, are comparatively rare. And in the more densely peopled West, the restless spirit of emigration is always at work, breaking up or weakening the organized churches and societies. The heaviest draughts for new colonies are now made upon the older portions of the West. Ohio and Western New York are re-producing themselves on the farther bank of the Mississippi. Indeed there seems to be no barrier to this migratory life except the shore of the Pacific. The word home appears to have lost all its attractions, or to have been dropped from the
vocabulary, and the passion which has taken its place in the bosom is ihat for cutting down the primeval forest, and of plunging into solitudes hitherto unvisited.
But these roving Bedaween of our western wilds must be followed by the institutions of the gospel. They must be preserved from becoming the prey of thoughiless ignorance or of sophistical infidelity. Whatever comfort they leave behind them, they must not leave the institutions of ihe gospel. Whatever privations they shall suffer in their new, and, for a time, sickly abode, they must not be bereft of that which can alone console the dying parent, or carry the child's departing spirit to its gracious Saviour. In other words, this restless love of change and adventure will greatly augment the responsibilities of Education and Home Mission Societies. Two or three clergymen will be needed when otherwise one might be sufficient.
Once more, this country, like Rome, in its perhaps fabled early history, is the asylumn of all nations, the resort of men of every tongue and lineage. Such is the overcrowded state of many of the countries of Europe, so near a starving condition are multitudes of the population, so much is human liberty abridged in the old despotisms of the continent, so wide-spread and flattering are the reports there of our democratic equality, and otherwise happy state, that it seems altogether probable that the tide of emigration hitherward has, by no means, reached its height. We are called upon to grapple, not only with the vice and ignorance which are of native growth, but with much of that with which Europe is borne down.
A great proportion of these colonists, as is well known, are Roman Catholics, enveloped in the darkness which is the natural product of the Papal system. Multitudes of Protestants are such only in name. They know little of the gospel of Christ, and have less sympathy with our civil and sacred institutions. This heterogeneous mass are to be approached with candor, with all kindness, yet with the thorough conviction that if they cannot be woven, and fused into our system, and made with us one people, they will constitute a most malignant element for our utier destruction. Our only safeiy is in their conversion. Insensibility is ruin. If they get the mastery at our elections, retaining their European habits and views, we might as well at once give in our allegiance to
the old man at Rome, and receive as our protector some blood-thirsty Spanish-American wretch. We may depend upon it, that there is no other alternative. The gospel must find a lodgment in the hearts of these millions, or we may plunge into a sea of anarchy and blood like that with which the plains of Mexico have been for fifty years drenched. The preaching of the gospel is the only remedy. There may be admirable auxiliaries to this, but it is the living voice which is to pierce the vast sepulchres of the spiritually dead : it is mingled human and Christian sympathy, uttering itself through the eye, and giving vitality to every line of the countenance, We may lalk, as we will, of the assimilating influence of our free institutions; we may laud as we may, the benefits of knowledge to the lower classes; there never was, and there never will be, any national civilization without the inculcation of inspired truth from the living lips and the burning heart. Greece and Rome never were civilized. Many of the freemen were ; but how was it with the women almost without exception? How was it with the slaves, outnumbering, in some cases, the freemen twenty fold ? It was the civilization of the ape, the refinement of the wolf.
Once more, the lives of clergymen are shorter at the present day than they were in the days of our fathers. There may not be a sufficient number of facts collected, the comparison of which would show how great is the diminution. There is, however, no reason to doubt, that the term of ministerial life is abridged several years on an average. Why should it not be so ? This harp of a thousand strings is handled too roughly to endure. These delicate organs are too often strained to heir utmost tension not to snap in sunder. How can two sermons be composed in six days, and three be preached on the Sabbath, and several lectures be delivered in the week, and some old feuds between church members be reconciled, and pastoral visitation gone over, without consuming the spirit and the body together? Instead of marvelling that one young preacher falls before he has arrived at the anniversary of his ordination, the wonder is that scores of others do not.
This difficulty presses with peculiar weight upon our western brethren. They are often called to perform the pastoral labor of a county or of half a dozen counties, leaving their families perhaps in the midst of sickness and sorrow, or
bowed down under the disheartening effect of the principal malady of the country. It is no relief in such a case that one can preach without preparation. It is not very comforting to the nerves of a generous and high-minded man that he is able to give his hearers husks on the Sabbath. The reflection that one's mind is running to waste amid the always beginning, never ending calls for practical duty, will not be apt to lengthen out the life of a genuine scholar and minister. 'It is sad economy to send out an army just one-fourth large enough. It falls little short of a wanton waste of spiritual power to impose upon one man duties which could crush two
But such is the state of things in large districts of our country. While half a dozen men are in the process of education for the western States, the two or three who were in the field have fallen into the grave, or been disabled through excessive labors.
These considerations may be sufficient to show that there is, and that there is likely to be, a most deplorable deficiency in the number of preachers of the gospel. Particular facts, showing the same thing, might be multiplied almost without end. But it is not necessary. It seems like a work of supererogation to try to prove so plain a case.
ÎII. The only remaining question, which we will briefly consider is this :- Are Education Societies fitted to supply this deficiency, at least in part? Is the system upon which they proceed a wise one ?
În proof that it is, we remark that it is not a modern invention. ' It has been practised hundreds of years in all the principal countries of Europe. In the University of Paris as long ago as the 13th century, the pressure upon the poor students excited charitable benefactors to relieve it in an effectual manner. Houses were provided by individuals, as well as by religious orders, in which indigent scholars enjoyed the benefit of free lodgings. Free board was soon added, and in many cases small stipends or bursaries, in order to defray the necessary expenses of the schools, were procured. The same system has been pursued, to a great extent, in the Italian, Scotch, and English Universities. In some of the Scotch institutions one-third of the students are so aided. This generous
assistance has been rendered in many cases by persons who encountered great difficulties themselves in