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to the uncharitable private judgment of many minds. Besides it is part of his commission to reprove and condemn the sins of the people; and hence it cannot be expected that he should be without enemies. No faithful minister can please all men. Even Christ could not. St. Paul could not. The Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs could not. Indeed our Saviour says: "Wo unto you, when all men speak well of you." St. Paul says: "Do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Do not therefore expect this of your pastor.
Remember also that your pastor, though highly honored of Christ, and sincerely devoted to his cause, is yet not an angel. He is a man "of like passions with yourself," and exposed to all the imperfections and infirmities which cleave to christians in this life. Even St. Paul could say: "Not as though I had already attained either were already perfect." The same Apostle, speaking of the ministry, says: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (I Cor. iv: 7). Regard, therefore, with great charity whatever faults and failings may appear in his spirit and life. To err is human; to forgive is divine. All eyes are on him. His position is delicate. His resposibilities are many. His perplexities are great. Much is expected of him, and his mistakes are readily magnified. If you see an occasional open fault in him, remember that you see him not in private, where he writes bitter things against himself, and weeps over his imperfections, and rejoices in the pardon which he has received of God, even while men are still severely holding him to ac
The children of this world especially, who are most heavily laden with guilt, are prone to be most severe in their censures of his little defects. With beams in their own eyes, they profess to discern keenly a mote in his. You must take his part when assailed; defend him when he is misrepresented. In this way will you sustain his character, and enlarge the circle of his influence. In proportion as you inspire respect for him in heart, do you increase his power of doing good.
Study how you shall be kind to your pastor. Words of kindness, acts of kindness, marks of kindness-these are the earthly sunlight of a pastor's life, and the nerves of his strength. It is by these that he is encouraged in his numerous cares, heavy toils, and responsible duties.
Seek to cultivate your pastor's love toward yourself. This is a duty too generally overlooked. We say cultivate his love, because it is in your power to do so. The holy Apostle exhorts: "Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love." (Heb. x: 24) It is plain that one person is capable of drawing the spirit of another toward himself to incite him to love. We can do that which will awaken love in the bosom of another toward us.
God makes it the duty of your pastor to love you; but remember that he also enjoins on you to provoke him to love you. Why are we more inclined to some persons than toward others? The answer is easy: Because we see more that calls forth our love in some than in others. This is the reason why even Christ was drawn peculiarly toward John, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. They were lovely, and provoked His love toward them.
Love is not arbitrary. It cannot be produced by force of will. It presupposes some attractions in those to be beloved. We see this law of attraction everywhere, even in nature. Attractions are ever toward that which, by its congeniality, attracts. The birds love the leafy grove. The lambs love the green meadow. The wild beasts love the deep wild forest. In human society, like seeks its like. Sinners love sinners. The gay love the gay. All are drawn after the attraction which provokes them toward itself.
It is just so in religion. The pure are drawn toward the pure-saints to saints-because they discover in each other, that moral likeness, and congeniality of taste and feeling which meets outgoings of their own hearts, and thus imparts happiness. Your pastor's love is under the same law. He is a human being like all others, and can only love what is lovely and what attracts him. It is plain then that he is drawn toward you just in proportion as he finds in you attractive traits of character; and he must be repelled from you just in proportion as he discovers the opposite in you.
All christians are imperfect, and have consequently more or less about them which repels love; but this the kind pastor takes into charitable consideration, because he does not claim perfection himself, and is therefore dependent on the same kind charity. But, as he is, so are you, bound in duty to cultivate a lovely spirit and character, not merely for the reward which goodness secures, but in order that it may be possible for him to love you.
We have all observed how easy it is to love some christians. They are so firm, so consistent, so regular and decided in all their christian acts, that we must see an excellence about them which commands our esteem. On the other hand, we have all felt how difficult it is to keep up an exercise of love toward others. They are so cold, so inconstant there so much lack of all the finer feelings of the christian life, we must be ever making apologies to ourselves for their inconsistencies and unkindness; and when we have put the best possible construction upon their acts and christian characters, we must still stand in doubt of them, and find ourselves ever repelled instead of attracted.
Pastors are sometimes blamed for confiding more affectionately in some than in others. Whose fault is it? Do not blame your pastor for the absence of special love toward you, when there is so little special in you to love. First blame your Saviour, the Chief Pastor, for his special love toward John and the family of Bethany. Make yourself like themact toward your pastor in all kindness and love, as they did toward John and the family of Bethany. Make yourself like them-act toward your pastor in all kindness and love as they did toward our Saviour, and then, as John was to Christ, so you may be to your pastor, a "beloved disciple'.'
This is a point of great importance. We would impress it deeply on your mind. Your own comfort, as well as the pastor's happiness and power of benefiting you in his ministrations greatly depend on it.
Do you ask how you are to cultivate his love toward you, your question has already been substantially answered: By cultivating your own christian character, and thus making yourself worthy of a christian love. Nor must you overlook the influence of what, by an unreflecting person, might be regarded small matters. Show toward your pastor little acts
of kind remembrance. That circle of lovely female disciples which we find so constantly near our Saviour, and toward whom He was drawn in such special holy love, "ministered unto him," with unceasing attentions. She who anointed his feet with the alabaster box of ointment, "very precious"-Martha who so kindly "received Him into her house"-they who hastened to His tomb so early "with spices which they had prepared, to show such touching love to His sacred body-could not fail to cheer his weary way, in all His ministerial life, with little gifts of love, tokens of their affectionate remembrance, and grateful offerings to His comfort. Tradition says-perhaps truly-that "the coat woven without seam from the top throughout," was the work of the hauds and the gift of the heart of Mary! Of whom more likely! Can any one doubt that such like acts of love affected the heart of even the Son of God, and served to draw forth that strong holy human love, the special manifestation of which the Evangelists incidentally, and yet so touchingly, represent as characterizing His conduct toward these ministering disciples. Do not think for a moment that your pastor's heart is either too dull or too etherial to be affected by such delicate touches of kindness and love.
Do not trouble yourself as to the pecuniary value of the gift you be stow. Its virtue does not consist in its commercial worth, but in the evidence of affectionate remembrance and kindly wishes which it furnishes. Your pastor sits in his study in weariness and care; what a sunlight comes into his heart, with even a bunch of flowers which some thoughtful and kind-hearted parishioner has sent to him by a child. By that small token, the sender quite delicately says: "I have thought of you I have been comforted by your ministrations in the past-grateful feelings well up in my heart-the Lord cheer you in your toils and cares!" This, and much more which cannot be told in words, is the language of the smallest token of kind remembrance and christian affection coming to a faithful pastor from a grateful member of the church.
If your gift of kind remembrance be of a more substantial and valuable kind, it will only evidence in yourself a stronger feeling of gratitude and love, and may serve to lessen the pastor's worldly cares, while in an increased degree, it cheers his heart and lightens his labors.
WISDOM. Every other quality is subordinate and inferior to wisdom, in the same sense as the mason who lays the bricks and stones in a building is inferior to the architect who drew the plan, and superintends the work. The former executes only what the latter contrives and directs
THE light of a cheerful spirit, is as necessary to enable one to perceive the just proportions of moral truth, as the pure light of day to see the dimensions and true color of natural objects. Seneca exhorts to study by the consideration, that if you devote your time to it, you will avoid all the irksomeness of this life, nor will you long for the approach of night, being tired of the day; nor will you be a burden to yourself, nor your society insupportable to others; while St. Evremond urges, that study has something cloudy and melancholy in it, which spoils that natural cheerfulness and deprives a man of that readiness of wit and freedom of fancy, which are required for polite conversation. Meditation has still worse effects in civil society; wherefore, says he, let me advise you to take care, that you lose not by it with your friends what you think to gain with yourself.
Such opinions are to be reconciled by the distinction between the use and abuse of the best things.
Of studies, some serve for pleasure, some for ornament, and others for use. The first are chiefly enjoyed in privacy and retirement; those for ornament are employed in improving discourse and style; and studies for use, are such as strengthen the judgment and qualify men for affairs of life and business. For expert men may execute and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; and to judge wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience; for natural abilities, are like plants, and need pruning by study: and studies themselves, give forth directions too much at large, unless they be bounded by experience.
Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them for they teach not their own use; that is a wisdom beyond and above them, half won by observation. Read not to coutradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are only to be tasted, that is, read but in parts, and not curiously; and some few to be read thoroughly and with diligence and attention. Some may even be read by deputy and extracts made of them by others; but that should be only in less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books ;for distilled books, like common distilled waters, are flashy things. Reading makes a full man; conference, a ready man; writing, an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he should have a great memory; if he converse little, he should have a ready wit; and if he read little, he has need of much cunning, that he may seem to know what he does not. History makes men wise; the poets, witty; the
mathematics, acute and subtile; natural philosophy, profound; moral philosophy, grave; logic and rhetoric, able in debate. Abeunt studia in mores.* There is, indeed, no dulness or impediment in the wit that may not be worked out by fit studies. As diseases of the body, have their appropriate remedies and exercises; shooting being good for the lungs and breast; gentle walking, for the stomach; riding, for the head, etc., so if a man's wit be wandering, let him study mathematics; for in demonstrations, if the mind be called away ever so little, he must begin again. If the mind be not apt to distinguish, or find differences, let him study the logicians, for they are "Cyminc sectores;" able to divide
"A hair twixt south and south-west side."
If he is not ready in comparing one thing with another, and calling upon one to prove and illustrate the other, let him study the lawyers' cases: So every defect of the mind, may have a special receipt.
*Studies change into habits.
VANITY OF EARTH.
"GENERATION after generation," says a fine writer, "have felt as we now feel, and their lives were as active as our own. They passed like vapor, while nature wore the same aspect of beauty as when her Creator commanded her to be. The heavens shall be as bright over our graves as they are now around our paths. The world will have the same attractions for our offspring yet unborn, that she had once for ourselves. Yet a little while and all this will have happened. The throbbing heart will be still, and we shall be at rest. Our funeral will wind its way, and the prayers will be said, and then we shall be laid in silence and darkness for the worm. And it may be for a short time we shall be spoken of, but the things of life will creep in, and our names will soon be forgotten. Days will continue to move on, and laughter and songs will be heard in the room in which we died; and the eyes that mourned for us will be dried, and glisten again for joy, and even our children will cease to think of us, and will not remember to lisp our name."
Touchingly and plaintively to the same effect, is the sonnet of that too early lost and true poet, Henry Kirk White :
"Yes, twill be over soon. This sickly dream