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hiding-places. From what is said, however, the reader will readily perceive, that Reinhard was no ordinary personage. Few have been more respected or useful in life, or more sincerely and universally lamented in death. The news of his decease clad old and young with mourning, and called forth spontaneous expressions of sorrow from almost every quarter. He appears to have been equally conspicuous as a scholar, philosopher and Christian. He had no deformities or excrescences of any kind. He was well proportioned in every part, and constituted a harmonious whole. On prying into his character, we meet with no disappointment, nothing offensive. The more we examine it, the more we find to admire. To develop such a character unable as we are to penetrate the sacred interior of the mind, and forced to content ourselves with its external phenomena, is, of course though desirable, a difficult task. It is delightful, however, amidst the pain and disgust felt by every reader of biography, on discovering in its most exalted characters, unanticipated faults and defects, to find here and there one, which we can contemplate with pleasure, and examine with satisfaction, constantly cheered with new beauties and excellencies, and assured of something superior beyond.
My sole object, however, in this work, is not to make the public acquainted with Reinhard's character. From his confessions I fondly hope for some beneficial results to the cause of truth. Not that the views expressed in the ninth letter, which excited such commotion among Rationalists and others in Germany on the first appearance of this work, are new to our countryme ›. The two principles there laid down have long been looked upon to a greater or less degree by Evangelical Christians among us, as the only ones in the case to which a consistent thinker can resort, as a third does not exist; and to reason as
Tzschirner has done, (see Note, p. 64,) is, as Reinhard justly remarks in a letter to Pölitz, a petitio elenchi, the contents of the Bible having nothing to do with the question. I refer to the main object for which these letters were written by Reinhard; which was, by pointing out the excellencies and defects of his own education, and by various hints, to show young candidates for the sacred ministry, the course they should take in preparing for it, as well as after they have entered upon the performance of its duties. Coming as these letters do, from one of the most distinguished preachers of his age, they must be deserving of attention in this respect. Will not some, on reading what is said in the sixth letter about eloquence, discover, that they have hitherto had wrong conceptions of it, and been unable even to define it? Will they not be compelled to admit, that they have often spoken in tones of thunder, when they should have spoken in tones of sympathy and tenderness; and by their manner excited strong suspicions of hypocrisy, when they thought themselves exhibiting the strongest proofs of sincerity? Will not some, on reading what Reinhard says about the study of the poets, find they have almost entirely neglected it, and hence, failed to use the best means possible, for cultivating susceptibility of emotion, without which, genuine eloquence cannot exist? And may I not hope, that they will hereafter follow his example, and apply themselves to Milton, Shakespeare, Cowper, and even the imperfect English translation of Klopstock's Messiah?-a work, which by its spirit throws more light upon some passages of the Gospels, than half the commentaries which have ever been written. And may not some when they read what Reinhard says of the importance of general literature to a preacher of the Gospel, find that they are quite deficient
in this respect? Those upon whom this work produces any such effects, will soon perceive, that little time enough is allowed the young disciple for a preparatory course, and that all systematic study should not be brought to a close, as it too generally is, as soon as a man is comfortably settled in the ministry. I hope that the motives which have dictated these remarks, will not be misapprehended. That they are well founded, those who reflect upon the subject, will, I fear, find too much reason to believe. I know the ambassador of the cross is not at liberty to turn aside into the field of literature, to pluck a single useless flower. With With every branch of study, however, which bears upon the business intrusted to his hands, qualifies him to a greater or less degree, for detecting the sophisms upon which error is founded, and enables him to trace the truth back through nature up to nature's God, he should be intimately acquainted. No matter how ardent his imagination may be, or acute his reasoning powers. The greater his genius in these respects, the more necessary is it for him to have a thorough training, lest, through ignorance of the history of other men's thoughts, he suppose himself peculiarly favor ed of heaven, and become a dangerous fanatic. There is no possibility of a minister's being too skilful in reasoning, or in detecting the movements of the heart. Christianity addresses itself to the noblest faculties of the human soul, and unlike every other religion, challenges the most thorough and extensive investigation; and in no other way than by a constant exercise of all the faculties of the mind in seeking truth and practising it, can one be suitably qualified to act as a negociator between God and man. Amidst the glorious revivals with which we are blessed, is there no danger of our degenerating in this respect from our fathers, those giant minds and rigid students of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? But I tread
on sacred ground and am entering a field wide and alluring, which I must not venture to explore.
The Lord grant, that the light of truth may beam forth, until Atheism and infidelity, which fade away before it like dew before the sun, are banished from the earth, and Jesus Christ is worshipped as the God of the universe.
OLIVER A. TAYLOR.
Andover, Theological Seminary, March 12th,