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finds that he needs a familiarity with the plain matters of these sciences, far more than any insight (which perhaps he has never really obtained, and never will obtain,) into the abstruse He wants a stock of materials to draw from, not for scholastic debate, but for popular instruction. He is to "teach his people knowledge ;" and his own knowledge must be of a kind which he can teach them, and which, when imparted, will be of solid benefit.' We believe most fully, that a young man, while in College, and in the Theological Seminary, had better keep closely to the prescribed course of study; and that when that course is finished, he is ordinarily better fitted for the pastoral office, than he would be after a longer term of preparation.
In many cases, it is to be feared, young men of a certain class deceive themselves, when they suppose that they desire a better preparation for the ministry. The real desire is to gratify their love of literary pursuits, and their ambition to shine as literary men. There are indications that the oldfashioned idea of a "call" to the ministry is, in many quarters, getting quite out of date. Many young men think that they are called to something else, and all their tastes and feelings flow in the corresponding direction. Their call is to cultivate fine scholarship-to enlarge the sphere of human knowledge to fill professorships, or write books. They study for the ministry, as the Jew in the process of his education used to apply himself to some art or trade, namely, that they may have something to rely upon for a livelihood, if their favorite schemes fall through. The ministry is a matter by the by. We are sorry to say it, but we believe that there are many
We say not, that he should have no knowledge which he does not mean to impart. We say not, that he should let abstruse matters entirely alone. Both of these positions we repudiate as emphatically as any one. The Queen of Sheba's "hard questions" it is well for all the Solomons, and all the wouldbe Solomons in the world to grapple with. But no sensible man will have a Queen of Sheba at his elbow always. As of old let her be a visitor, not a companion. A minister certainly, or a candidate for the ministry, can be in better business.
students in our Theological Seminaries-we might go further, and say, many men actually holding the pastoral office-to whom this description applies. We were struck with a remark recently made by an intelligent Christian lady in our hearing. She had shortly before, on a certain Sabbath, listened to the preaching of a young man whose sermons were more than commonly interesting. But on subsequently meeting him in private, she got the impression that he did not care about preaching, if he could only obtain an elegible situation at some college, or other institution. Said she, "I had supposed that every minister ought to feel, and did feel, Wo is me, if I preach not the Gospel!" When this is the genuine feeling in a young man's mind, we imagine that little difficulty will be found in persuading him to assume the pastoral office. The difficulty will be, not to get him into it sufficiently soon, but to keep him out of it sufficiently long.
On a subsequent page of the Lecture upon Settlement in the Ministry, the question is briefly discussed as to the desirableness of a temporary itinerancy, as preparatory to the pastoral office. Dr. Pond decides it in much the same manner
as the foregoing. He says,
"I would by no means have a young man over-anxious for settlement; so much so, as to lead him to take any unwarrantable measures to effect his object; or to feel discouraged, should God see fit to try him by some delay. But, as I have before remarked, when the preparatory studies of an individual are closed, and he is favored with health and streng h, and God in his providence opens a door for settlement, I see not why he should hesitate to enter in; or why he should prefer to turn away from the open door, and wait for a more convenient season. He may think to gain some valuable experience; or to see more of the world; or to prepare a stock of sermons. But his experience as an itinerant will not be of much value to him as a settled pastor. A sufficient knowledge of the world he may have opportunities to acquire in other ways. And as to a stock of sermons prepared under such circumstances, and without any particular object in view, they are of less value than young inexperienced ministers generally suppose. They may save the labor of preparing new ones; but they will be less appropriate and effective than new ones; less creditable to the preacher, and less profitable to those who hear. Besides, if one door of usefulness is declined, another may not soon be
opened; and the individual may deplore his error, when the time is past for him to retrieve it."—p. 30.
The question here discussed, is one of those on which we should have been glad if Dr. Pond's suggestions had been a little more copious. We had supposed that there might be a process of gradual initiation into the duties and trials of ministerial life, which should be better than entering upon them fully at once. Perhaps Dr. Pond's idea is, that there will be enough of this initiatory discipline connected with the usual vacational and other efforts of the last year of a young man's theological course. These, however, are very different from the continuous labors of a five or six month's sojourn in some particular place or places. In these latter circumstances, a young man certainly learns something in regard to reaching the minds and consciences of men. His sermons come to assume a somewhat more effective character. And it would seem that, after a six month's or year's experience of this sort, he might, to a certain degree, be better prepared to enter upon the duties of a settled pastor. Whether any perceptible influence would be exerted upon a man's permanent usefulness, we undertake not to say. We must confess, that we have some doubts whether it would ordinarily be of much consequence. Certainly it would not be of consequence enough to justify one, for the sake of it, in turning aside from any important field of pastoral usefulness.
The following Lecture contains, among other things, an able argument in favor of the Congregational position, that a pastor should be a member of the church to which he ministers. We should be glad to make some quotations; but our limits forbid. Indeed, on this, and many other points, no short quotation could do any justice to the writer.
Two Lectures are devoted to the subject of pastoral Visiting. That it belongs to a pastor to visit his people, is a position which Dr. Pond thinks too obviously correct to require any protracted argument. Few, we trust, think otherwise. Many valuable directions are given in regard to the mode of performing the duty, and the treatment of different classes
of persons. This last topic, however, forms the subject of an additional and distinct Lecture.
In some of the subsequent Lectures will be found various judicious counsels in regard to the management of cases of Discipline, the solemnization of Marriages, the conducting of Funeral Services, the administration of the Sacraments, the admission of members to the Church, etc. Some excellent remarks, which we wish had been more extended, are made on the duties of a Pastor as the presiding officer of his Church in their business meetings. A Lecture is devoted to the subject of Sabbath evening and other extra services. Many hints are thrown out in regard to the number of these which should ordinarily be held during the week; the manner in which they should be conducted; the dangers to be avoided, etc. The question respecting the propriety and desirableness of layexhortation, Dr. Pond does not touch. He takes it for granted, however, that this will occur, and thinks that there should be at least one meeting every week of the social kind.
We have already alluded to the Lectures on Revivals. These are five including a Lecture on Protracted Meetings, and one on Evangelists. Dr. Pond's heart is evidently very much interested in this subject. We know not whether he meant to make it the great subject of the book: but it cer tainly occupies a central place, and is discussed with an ability not surpassed in any other part of the volume. Those who have seen Dr. Pond in revivals, know that he is never more at home, and that his preaching and conversation at such seasons have been greatly blessed. Much practical wisdom may of course be expected in his counsels. He does not take the trouble to discuss the propriety of various minor expedients, which a rash zeal has so often employed within the last ten or twelve years. He takes it for granted that they are exploded, at least in the practice of all sensible ministers (if indeed such ministers ever employed them). But he does discuss the great leading objects to be aimed at, and the great leading measures to be pursued: and determines them in strict consistency, alike with the directions of the Bible, and
the dictates of a sound philosophy. He makes it very clear that both in order to the commencement of a revival, and its continuance, there is a human work to be done; and he explains clearly what that work in its successive stages is.
We are particularly pleased with Dr. Pond's remarks on the importance of conviction of sin, and the methods by which, with the blessing of God, it is to be produced. Nothing can be more evident than that this "law-work," as our fathers called it, is fundamental to genuine conversion. They did well to insist upon it as strongly as they did; and we love to see it insisted upon now. We only wish that instruction upon the point could reach the quarters where it is most needed. We have seen preachers (not of the Congregational or Presbyterian denominations, though we will not undertake to say that none such are to be found) who seemed to have no conception that there was any process appropriately coming in between awakening and conversion; and who seemed to think persons "mourners," in the sense of the Beatitudes, and entitled to be "comforted," the moment they were anxious or distressed. We have known protracted meetings, lasting many days, where the word sin was hardly mentioned, and where, certainly, there was little attempt to produce conviction. To our utter surprise, we have seen preachers of considerable intelligence falling in with their more ignorant brethren in this respect, all seeming alike to forget that the work of the Spirit in regard to sinners, as described in John xvi., is not two-fold, but three-fold. Who wonders that, in certain quarters, the doctrine is held of "falling away?" If a man is converted without being convicted, he must fall away. And, as a matter of fact, such converts do "fall away" in vast numbers. Of a hundred converted in the winter, sometimes not ten, perhaps not five, will "persevere" through the summer. We make these statements-the truth of which hundreds of men all over the country can vouch-in no spirit of unkindness, but rather in that of unfeigned surprise and sorrow, that there should be any evangelical ministers, and especially that there should be so many, making here so fatal a