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and Ileaven's unobstructed light shine here, and let those who shall be sent hence, go forth, not to echo with servility a creed imposed on their weakness, but to utter, in their own manly tones, what their own free investigation and deep conviction urge them to preach as the truth of God.
2. In the second place, to give power to the teacher, he should be imbued, by all possible inculcation and excitement, with a supreme and invincible love of truth. This is at once the best defence against the perils of free inquiry, and the inspirer of energy both in thought and utterance. The first duty of a rational being is to his own intellect; for it is through soundness and honesty of intellect that he is to learn all other duties. I know no virtue more important and appropriate to a teacher, and especially a religious teacher, than fairness and rectitude of understanding, than a love of truth stronger then a love of gain, honour, life ; and yet, so far from being cherished, this virtue has been warred against, hunted down, driven to exile, or doomed to the stake, in almost every Christian country, by ministers, churches, religious seminaries, or a maddened populace. In the glorious company of heroes and martyrs, a high rank belongs to him, who, superior to the frowns or the sneers, the pity or the wrath, which change of views would bring upon him, and in opposition to the warping influences of patronage, of private friendship, or ambition, keeps his mind chaste, inviolate, a sacred temple for truth, ever open to new light from Heaven; and who, faithful to his deliberate convictions, speaks simply, and firmly, what his uncorrupted mind believes. This love of truth gives power, for it secures a growing knowledge of truth; and truth is the mighty weapon by which the victories of religion are to be wrought out. This endures, whilst error carries with it the seeds of decay. Truth is an emanation from God, a beam of his wisdom, and immutable as its source; and although its first influences may seem to be exceeded by those of error, it grows stronger, and strikes deeper root, amidst the fluctuations and ruins of false opinions. Besides, this loyalty to truth not only leads to its acquisition, but, still more, begets a vital acquaintance with it, a peculiar conviction, which gives directness, energy, and authority, to teaching. A minister, who has been religiously just to his own understanding, speaks with a tone of reality, of calm confidence, of conscious uprightness, which cannot be caught by the servile repeater of other men's notions, or by the passionate champion of an unexamined creed. A look, an accent, a word, from a single-hearted inquirer after truth, expressing his deliberate convictions, has a peculiar power in fortifying the convictions of others. To the love of truth, then, be these walls consecrated, and here may every influence be combined to build it up in the youthful heart.
3. To train powerful ministers, let an institution avail itself of the means of forming a devotional spirit, and imbuing the knowledge of the student with religious sensibility. Every man knows, that a cultivated mind, under strong and generous emotion, acquires new command of its resources, new energy and fulness of thought and expression; whilst, in individuals of native vigour of intellect, feeling, almost supplies the place of culture, inspiring the unlettered teacher with a fervid, resistless eloquence, which no apparatus of books, teachers, criticism, ancient languages and general literature, can impart. This power of sensibility to fertilise and vivify the intellect, is not difficult of explana
tion. A strong and pure affection concentrates the attention on its objects, fastens on them the whole soul, and thus gives vividness of conception. It associates intimately, all the ideas which are congenial with itself, and thus causes a rush of thought into the mind in moments of excitement. Indeed, a strong emotion seems to stir up the soul from its foundations, and to attract to itself, and to impregnate with its own fire, whatever elements, conceptions, illustrations, can be pressed into its own service. Hence it is, that even ordinary men, strongly moved, abound in arguments, analogies, and fervent appeals, which nothing but sensibility could have taught. Every minister can probably recollect periods, when devotional feeling has seemed to open a new fountain of thought in the soul. Religious affection instinctively seeks and seizes the religious aspects of things. It discerns the marks of God, and proofs and illustrations of divine truth, in all nature and providence ; and seems to surround the mind with an atmosphere which spreads its own warm hues on every object which enters it. This attraction, or affinity, if I may so say, which an emotion establishes among the thoughts which accord with itself, is one of the very important laws of the mind, and is chiefly manifested in poetry, eloquence, and all the higher efforts of intellect by which man sways his fellow-beings. Religious feeling, then, is indispensable to a powerful minister. Without it, learning and fancy may please, but cannot move men profoundly and permanently. It is this, which not only suggests ideas, but gives felicity and energy of expression. It prompts "the words that burn;" those mysterious combinations of speech, which sends the speaker's soul like lightning through his hearers, which breathe new life into old and faded truths, and cause an instantaneous gush of thought and feeling in susceptible minds.
We dedicate this institution, then, to religious feeling. Here let the heart muse, till the fire burns. Here let prayer, joined with meditation on nature and Scripture, and on the fervid writings of devout men, awaken the whole strength of the affections. But on no point is caution more needed than on this. Let it never be forgotten, that we want genuine feeling; not its tones, looks, and gestures, not a forced ardour and factitious zeal. Woe to that institution, where the young man is expected to repeat the language of emotion, whether he feel it or not; where perpetual pains are taken, to chafe the mind to a warmth which it cannot sustain. The affections are delicate, and must not be tampered with. They cannot be compelled. Hardly anything is more blighting to genuine sensibility, than to assume its tones and badge where it does not exist. Exhort the student to cherish devout feeling, by intercourse with God, and with those whom God has touched. But exhort him as strenuously, to abstain from every sign of emotion which the heart does not prompt. Teach him that nothing grieves more the Holy Spirit, or sooner closes the mind against heavenly influences, than insincerity. Teach him to be simple, ingenuous, true to his own soul. Better be cold, than affect to feel. In truth, nothing is so cold as an assumed, noisy, enthusiasm. Its best emblem is the northern blast of winter, which freezes as it roars. Be this spot sacred to Christian ingenuousness and sincerity. Let it never be polluted by pretence, by affected fervour, by cant and theatric show.
4. Another source of power in the ministry, is Faith; by which we
mean, not a general belief in the truths of Christianity, but a confidence in the great results which this religion and the ministry are intended to promote. It has often been observed, that a strong faith tends to realise its objects ; that all things become possible to him who thinks them so. Trust and hope breath animation and force. He who despairs of great effects, never accomplishes them. All great works have been the results of a strong confidence, inspiring and sustaining strong exertion. The young man, who cannot conceive of higher effects of the ministry than he now beholds, who thinks that Christianity has spent all its energies in producing the mediocrity of virtue which characterises Christendom, and to whom the human soul seems to have put forth its whole power and to have reached its full growth in religion, has no call to the ministry. Let not such a man put forth his nerveless hands in defence of the Christian cause. A voice of confidence has been known to rally a retreating army, and to lead it back to victory; and this spirit-stirring tone belongs to the leaders of the Christian host. The minister, indeed, ought to see and feel, more painfully than other men, the extent and power of moral evil in individuals, in the church, and in the world. Let him weep over the ravages of sin. But let him feel, too, that the mightiest power of the universe is on the side of truth and virtue; and with sorrow and fear, let him join an unfaltering trust, in the cause of human nature. Let him look on men, as on mysterious beings, endued with a spiritual life, with a deep central principle of holy and disinterested love, with an intellectual and moral nature which was made to be receptive of God. To nourish this hopeful spirit, this strengthening confidence, it is important that the minister should understand and feel, that he is not acting alone in his efforts for religion, but in union with God, and Christ, and good beings on earth and in heaven. Let him regard the spiritual renovation of mankind, as God's chief purpose, for which nature and providence are leagued in holy co-operation. Let him feel himself joined in counsel and labour, with that great body of which Christ is the head, with the noble brotherhood of apostles and martyrs, of the just made perfect, and, I will add, of angels; and speaking with a faith becoming this sublime association, he will not speak in vain. To this faith, to prophetic hope, to a devout trust in the glorious issues of Christianity, we dedicate these walls; and may God here train up teachers, worthy to mingle and bear a part, with the holy of both worlds, in the cause of man's redemption.
5. Again, that the ministry may be imbued with new power, it needs a spirit of enterprise and reform. They who enter it, should feel that it
may be improved. We live in a stirring, advancing age; and shall not the noblest function on earth partake of the general progress? Why is the future ministry to be a servile continuation of the past? Have all the methods of operating on human beings been tried and exhausted? Are there no unessayed passages to the human heart? If we live in a new era, must not religion be exhibited under new aspects, or in new relations? Is not scepticism taking a new form? Has not Christianity new foes to contend with? And are there no new weapons and modes of warfare, by which its triumphs are to be insured? If human nature is manifesting itself in new lights, and passing through a new and most interesting stage of its progress, shall it still be described by the commonplaces, and appealed to exclusively by the motives, which
belonged to earlier periods of society; May not the mind have become susceptible of nobler incitements than those which suited ruder times? Shall the minister linger behind his age, and be dragged along, as he often has been, in the last ranks of improvement? Let those who are to assume the ministry be taught, that they have something more to do than handle old topics in old ways, and to walk in beaten and longworn paths. Let them inquire, if new powers and agents may not be brought to bear on the human character. Is it incredible, that the progress of intellect and knowledge should develop new resources for the teacher of religion, as well as for the statesman, the artist, the philosopher? Are there no new combinations and new uses of the elements of thought, as well as of the elements of nature? Is it impossible that in the vast compass of Scripture, of nature, of providence, and of the soul, there should be undisclosed or dimly defined truths, which may give new impulse to the human mind? We dedicate this place, not only to the continuance, but to the improvement of the ministry; and let this improvement begin, at once, in those particulars, where the public, if not the clergy, feel it to be wanted. Let those, who are to be educated here, be admonished against the frigid eloquence, the schoolboy tone, the inanimate diction, too common in the pulpit, and which would be endured nowhere else. Let them speak in tones of truth and nature, and adopt the style and elocution of men, who have an urgent work in hand, and who are thirsting for the regeneration of individuals and society.
6. Another source of power, too obvious to need elucidation, yet too important to be omitted, is, an independent spirit. By which I mean, not an unfeeling defiance of the opinions and usages of society, but that moral courage, which, through good report and evil report, reverently hears, and fearlessly obeys, the voice of conscience and God. He who would instruct men, must not fear them. He who is to reform society, must not be anxious to keep its level. Dread of opinion effeminates preaching, and takes from truth its pungency. The minister so subdued, may flourish his weapons in the air, to the admiration of spectators, but will never pierce the conscience. The minister, like the good knight, should be without fear. Let him cultivate that boldness of speech for which Paul prayed. Let him not flatter great or small. Let him not wrap up reproof in a decorated verbiage. Let him make no compromise with evil because followed by a multitude, but, for this very cause, lift up against it a more earnest voice. Let him beware of the shackles which society insensibly fastens on the mind and the tongue. Moral courage is not the virtue of our times.
The love of popularity is the all-tainting vice of a republic. Besides, the increasing connexion between a minister and the community, whilst it liberalises the mind, and counteracts professional prejudices, has a tendency to enslave him to opinion, to wear away the energy of virtuous resolution, and to change him from an intrepid guardian of virtue and foe of sin, into a merely elegant and amiable companion. Against this dishonourable cowardice, which smoothes the thoughts and style of the teacher, until they glide through the ear and the mind without giving a shock to the most delicate nerves, let the young man be guarded. We dedicate this institution to Christian independence. May it send forth brave spirits to the vindication of truth and religion.
7. I shall now close, with naming the chief source of power to the minister; one, indeed, which has been in a measure anticipated, and all along implied, but which ought not to be dismissed without a more distinct annunciation. I refer to that spirit, or frame, or sentiment, in which the love of God, the love of men, the love of duty, meet as their highest result, and in which they are perfected and most gloriously displayed; I mean the spirit of self-sacrifice—the spirit of martyrdom. This was the perfection of Christ, and it is the noblest inspiration which his followers derive from him. Say not that this is a height to which the generality of ministers must not be expected to rise. This spirit is of more universal obligation than many imagine. It enters into all the virtues which deeply interest us. In truth, there is no thorough virtue without it. Who is the upright man? He, who would rather die than defraud. Who the good parent? He, to whom his children are dearer than life. Who the good patriot? He, who counts not life dear in his country's cause. Who the philanthropist? He, who forgets himself in an absorbing zeal for the mitigation of human suffering, for the freedom, virtue, and illumination of men. It is not Christianity alone which has taught self-sacrifice. Conscience and the divinity within us, have in all ages borne testimony to its loveliness and grandeur, and history borrows from it her chief splendours. But Christ on his cross has taught it with a perfection unknown before, and his glory consists in the power with which he breathes it. Into this spirit, Christ's meanest disciple is expected to drink. How much more the teachers and guides of his church! He who is not moved with this sublime feature of our religion, who cannot rise above himself, who cannot, by his own consciousness, comprehend the kindling energy and solemn joy, which pain or peril in a noble cause has often inspired—he, to whom this language is a mystery, wants one great mark of his vocation to the sacred office. Let him enlist under any standard rather than the cross. To preach with power, a man must feel christianity to be worthy of the blood which it has cost; and, espousing it as the chief hope of the human race, must contemn life's ordinary interests, compared with the glory and happiness of advancing it. This spirit of self-exposure and selfsurrender, throws into preachers an energy which no other principle can give. In truth, such power resides in disinterestedness, that no man can understand his full capacity of thought and feeling, his strength to do and suffer, until he gives himself, with a single heart, to a great and holy cause. New faculties seem to be created, and more than human might sometimes imparted, by a pure, fervent love. Most of us are probably strangers to the resources of power in our own breasts, through the weight and pressure of the chains of selfishness. We consecrate this institution, then, to that spirit of martyrdom, of disinterested attachment to the Christian cause, through which it first triumphed, and for want of which its triumphs are now slow. In an age of luxury and self-indulgence, we would devote these walls to the training of warm, manly, generous spirits. May they never shelter the self-seeking slaves of ease and comfort, pupils of Epicurus rather than of Christ. God send from this place devoted and efficient friends of Christianity and the human race.
My friends, I have insisted on the need, and illustrated the sources, of power in the ministry. To this end, may the institution, in whose