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from Coomassie, and 73 from Cape Coast. His testimony appears to favour the opinion of Mr. Bowdich and others, that the waters of the Bahr al Nil or Niger discharge themselves into the Nile. The Quollah, he constantly maintained to be a different river, running in a contrary direction, viz. from E. to W., and entering, as he was informed, the sea to the westward. Of the Barneel (Bahr al Nil) he spoke as flowing from Sego to Sansanding, to Jinne, to Timbuctoo, and thence through several countries he had not visited; then, leaving Houssa to the southward, it passed through Turicak, (being the same river he had crossed within one day's journey of Agades, on his route from Mourzook to Kano,) and thence to Habesh, and before it arrived at Masr (Cairo), it formed a junction" ' with the Nile of Egypt.'
Art. VII. The Christian Stewardship. A Discourse on the Nature and Responsibility of the Sacred Office. Preached before the Homerton College Society, June 22, 1824. By Thomas Morell, President of the Theological Institution at Wymondley. 8vo. pp. 34. Price 1s. 6d. London, 1824.
WERE a competent observer allowed to inspect the internal state of the various theological institutions in this king dom among Dissenters,-could he ascertain the real value of the literary advantages they impart, and the degree in which sound discipline is maintained in them,-the rank of life from which the students are chiefly taken, and the average standard of their previous attainments, he would not require to be gifted with miraculous foresight, to predict what will be the character of the Dissenting ministry to which will be confided, in a great measure, the moral direction of the next generation. Should it be found, on such examination, that these institutions are adapted to make good preachers, rather than good scholars, and that previous learning is rarely brought to them,
he would not err in anticipating a decay of solid learning among the body. Should he find any symptoms of relaxed discipline, he would tremble for the cause of piety. Should it appear that the proportion of candidates furnished by the middle classes of society, is on the increase, he would augur wel! from a circumstance which would indicate that the Christian ministry is rising in public estimation, and that the secular respectability derived from the patronage of the State, is not "equired to make the station of a Christian pastor honourable. From such circles, he would predict that young men will proceed, of good-breeding and intelligence, who may be expected to
adorn the office which they sustain. Should the contrary prove to be the case, he may console himself by thinking, that an efficient, if not a brilliant or influential ministry may spring up, and that natural talents and fervent zeal may supply the place of cultivation and learning. Yet, the decline of the cause would be but too reasonably inferred from so ominous a presage. Dissenters may go on multiplying in numbers, but, if their principles lose ground among the cultivated classes, the declension of the cause has begun.
The oldest Protestant Dissenting college has not existed quite a century. The pastors of Dissenting churches in the seventeenth century, were, for the most part, University men. That race became extinct in the reign of King William. Their immediate successors were their pupils, and many of them inherited their learning, and did honour to their instructors. Dissenting academies began to be formed early in the last century, and among the names of those who presided over these institutions, some occur of considerable celebrity. The ministers who occupied our pulpits from about 1720 to 1770, were brought up after the regular methods of what may be called this old school. Then arose new-school and no-school divines; learning and orthodoxy quarrelled and parted company: the former turned Socinian and died, the latter became a Methodist. That season of effervescence passed, we have seen Dissenting Academies multiplied in all directions, and among almost all denominations, except the quakers,-with what advantage to the cause of sound learning and piety, the next generation will more fully shew.
The view taken of the sacred office in this plain, affectionate, and judicious discourse, is one with which it is most desirable that every academic should be deeply impressed: "Stewards "of the mysteries of God."
It is readily admitted,' says Mr. Morell, that there is a peculiar and appropriate sense, in which this title might be given to the Apostles and other inspired teachers of Christianity, inasmuch as they were more fully instructed in the will of their Divine Master, and empowered authoritatively to make known that will to others. To them it was given to know, not by the ordinary process of research, but by immediate revelation from God, the mysteries of the kingdom. They were the depositories of revealed truth, by whom it was to be conveyed to mankind. Yet there is also a high and important sense, in which, we apprehend, this title may be given to ordinary pastors and teachThat we are warranted in this application of the term, will be evident, by referring to a passage in the Epistle of Paul to Titus, in which it is applied to the pastors, or elders, who were to be ordained Vol. XXII. N.S. 2 A
in every city: "A bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God" pp. 19, 20.
The honourable nature of the office is vindicated in the following passage.
'But in speaking of the Christian ministry as a stewardship, did the Apostle intend to degrade, or did he not rather magnify his office? For who is the Master of the household? Is he not a Prince, a Sovereign, the Universal Monarch, the King of kings, and Lord of lords? Does he not sway the sceptre of universal dominion? To what can angels and archangels,-to what can the flaming seraphs before the throne aspire, beyond this distinguished honour of being numbered among the servants of the Most High God? Consider also what inestimable treasures are those committed to the trust of the stewards of God:-the Gospel of Christ, with all its amplitude of spiritual blessings; its doctrines, and precepts; its institutions and privileges: its consolations here, and its glorious rewards hereafter; these, all these, are the treasures which are committed to their trust; with which they are to "occupy till their Lord comes" and which they may hope to be instrumental in conveying to the ends of the earth, Souls, too-immortal souls, are represented as forming a part, and O, how tremendous a part, of this stewardship! Is it not, then, an honourable and confidential service? Let men of worldly feelings and principles and habits, if they will, pour contempt on that office which is sustained by the Christian minister, as mean and despicable, as servile and dependent ;-let them choose, if they will, a calling that opens a wider door to ambition and affluence; if a just estimate be formed of the nature of that office, it will be felt that 'there is a sacred dignity attaching to it, which monarchs might envy, and beyond which the highest archangel cannot soar.' pp. 23, 4.
Society is incalculably the sufferer, when, from whatever cause, the office is depreciated. How anxious was St. Paul that Timothy should not give occasion to despise his youth!
Art. VIII. Hints on Extemporaneous Preaching. By Henry Ware, jun. Minister of the Second Church in Boston. 18mo. pp. 94. Boston. (U. S.): 1824.
THIS sensible little treatise, drawn up for the use, in the first
instance, of the Students in Harvard University, is well deserving of republication in this country. While it has been the Writer's object, fully and fairly to state the benefits which attend the extemporaneous mode of address, he has taken pains to guard against the dangers and abuses to which it is confessedly liable. By extemporaneous preaching, he does 'not intend unpremeditated preaching the latter word, he considers as applicable to the thoughts, the former to the
language only. The attempt to preach without premeditation, he justly deprecates as most unjustifiable. Among the dan gers of the practice, the temptation to indolence in preparing for the desk, is admitted to be undoubtedly the most serious and formidable.
A man finds that, after a little practice, it is an exceedingly easy thing, to fill up his half-hour with declamation which shall pass off very well, and hence he grows negligent in previous meditation, and insensibly degenerates into an empty exhorter, without choice of language, or variety of ideas. We see examples of this wherever we look among those whose preaching is exclusively extempore. In these cases, the evil rises to its magnitude in consequence of their total neglect of the pen. The habit of writing a certain proportion of the time, would, in some measure, counteract this dangerous tendency.
But it is still insisted,' continues Mr. Ware, that man's natural love of ease is not to be trusted; that he will not long continue the drudgery of writing in part; that when he has once gained confidence to speak without study, he will find it so flattering to his indolence, that he will involuntarily give himself up to it, and relinquish the pen altogether; that consequently, there is no security, except in never beginning. To this it may be replied, that they who have not principle and self-government enough to keep them industrious, will not be kept so by being compelled to write sermons. I think we have abundant proof, that a man may write with as little pains and thinking as he can speak. It by no means follows, that because it is on paper, it is therefore the result of study., And if it be not, it will be greatly inferior, in point of effect, to an unpremeditated declamation; for, in the latter case, there will probably be at least a temporary excitement of feeling, and consequent vivacity of manner, while, in the former, the indolence of the writer will be made doubly intolerable by his heaviness in reading.
It cannot be doubted, however, that if any one find his facility of extemporaneous invention likely to prove destructive to his habits of diligent and careful application, it were advisable that he abstained from the practice. It could not be worth while for him to lose his habits of study and thinking, for the sake of an ability to speak, which would avail him but little after his ability to think had been weakened. As for those whose indolence habitually prevails over principle, and who make no preparation for duty, excepting the mechanical one of covering over a certain number of pages, they have no concern in the ministry, and should be driven to seek some other employment, where their mechanical labour may provide them a livelihood, without injuring their own souls or those of other men.'
The temptation to indolence attendant on the practice of reading sermons, is at least equally strong. It can hardly be expected, that such persons will rigidly confine themselves to the use of their own compositions; and if they do, a practice
which discharges them from the necessity of a moment's premeditation before entering the pulpit, the manuscript being once prepared, is but too likely to have an unfavourable influence, by inducing a carelessness in the only effective kind of moral preparation. An indolent man, too, will not study the more, because he writes: he will only read the less. There can be no doubt that the practice of composition is favourable to correctness. And yet, it is well known, that a tolerable degree of correctness of language may be obtained in conyersation or public teaching, by persons, strictly speaking, illiterate, and incompetent to write either a sermon or a letter with any thing approaching to the same degree of propriety. It is, therefore, no paradox to affirm, that a preacher's written compositions may be inferior in correctness to his extemporaneous discourses. There is, moreover, a peculiar tact required in writing for the pulpit, which few possess. Good writing differs so essentially from the style proper for oratory or familiar address, that there is great danger of falling into an intermediate style possessing the character of neither. We should be disposed to recommend the student to exercise his pen in any species of composition rather than sermons. His object should be to improve himself by writing, not as regards style, which may be better learned from reading the best authors, so much as in the power of close thinking. And sermon-writing is of all kinds, perhaps, the least adapted to foster this habit, being, for the most part, with the shew of method, the most loose and desultory in its character. The chief advantage to be derived from writing one's thoughts, is the obtaining of clear ideas. Furnished with these, little or no preparation of language would be found necessary by the speaker.
Language,' says Mr. Ware, is the last thing he should be anxious about. If he have ideas, and be awake, it will come of itself, unbidden and unsought for. The best language flashes upon the speaker as unexpectedly as upon the hearer. It is the spontaneous gift of the mind, not the extorted boon of a special search. No man who has thoughts, and is interested in them, is at a loss for words— not the most uneducated man; and the words he uses will be according to his education and general habits, not according to the labour of the moment. If he truly feel, and wish to communicate his feelings to those around him, the last thing that will fail will be language. The less he thinks of it, and cares for it, the more copiously and richly will it flow from him; and when he has forgotten every thing but his desire to give vent to his emotions, and to do good, then will the unconscious torrent pour, as it does at no other season. This entire surrender to the spirit which stirs within, is indeed the real secret of all eloquence. "True eloquence," says Milton, "I find to be none but the serious and hearty love of truth; and that whose