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pear learned and elegant writers, and too little to be useful in a religious view? Are not some discourses constructed more like polished essays than gospel sermons? With such discourses many of the enlightened and learned may be pleased; but will they be likely to receive any religious impressions? And the ignorant and unlettered hear them unmoved, and go away dissatisfied, if not offended. Little or no moral good effect is produced by sermons of this character, on the larger portion of hearers. The great design of preaching seems to be overlooked, and its main object is not obtained. And if a cold manner of delivery accompany this style of sermonizing, very few of the hearers will be likely to receive religious benefit. Preachers must not forget that they are ministers of the gospel, ambassadors for Christ, whose great business is to beseech sinners to be reconciled to God, and to do his will. Coldness in such a cause, is very unsuitable, and will be generally ineffectual. The great mass of hearers need plain and direct addresses; they love to be excited, and are gratified when the preacher is in earnest, and makes them feel their own interest in the sentiments advanced.
Many persons, it is believed, have been captivated by the animation and zeal of sectarian preachers, and thereby induced to embrace errors, who might have been retained by a more plain, fervent, and interesting manner of preaching. This sentiment, I believe, was more applicable in years that are gone by, but it merits notice at the present day.
I would be far from objecting to learning and refinement. No matter how much learning a sermon con
tains, nor how elegant the composition, provided the whole be intelligible, and adapted to the capacities and moral wants of the hearers, and also have a manifest aim and tendency to impress a sense of moral obligation, and induce obedience to the gospel. Ministers should convince their hearers that they believe and feel the truth and importance of what they preach, that they are in sober earnest, and do sincerely desire to promote the best interests of the souls of their hearers. I recollect to have heard persons express high satisfaction with a minister, whose delivery was very ordinary, because, said they, he appears himself so sincere, humble, and interested in his work.'
While great improvements in theological knowledge and religious advantages are manifest; while the forward march of intellect and a higher cultivation of moral
powers are obvious; let the advocates of Liberal Christianity and Unitarian doctrines take courage, and redouble their exertions; and especially in the active and faithful performance of the appropriate duties of their respective stations. I have no doubt of the eventual triumph of the Unitarian and Liberal cause. The conflict of the opposing sects appears to me to approach a crisis favorable to correct views and feelings. It will be hastened by the measures of the Exclusionists. But the contest for a time, will be serious, sharp, and strong. It is needful that we not only commit the cause to God, trust in him, and continually seek his aid and blessing, but that we be wise and prudent, and united in our efforts to promote pure christianity,
If we would successfully recommend our views of christianity, we must not only prove them to be according to the scriptures, but must exhibit them in good temper, in a kind and charitable spirit, free from bitterness and reviling. Let our adversaries, and the world, see that we have learned of Christ, that we have imbibed his spirit, and are constantly imitating his amiable example in all practical piety and goodness. We ought also to exert ourselves to diffuse the same spirit through the community.
PREFACE TO AN ALBUM.
How beautifully lie these stainless leaves,
That once soared high in heaven, and drank its dews
Open thy leaves my prophetic eye,
All shall be here, perchance; but, oh, no place
And, lady, let a friend the friendly wish
In lingering age, you turn its pages o’er,
SKETCH OF A PLAN FOR A SUNDAY SCHOOL.
Messrs Editors : Being supposed to have had some success with a Sunday School with which I am connected, I have often been applied to for information concerning the plan there pursued. For convenience' sake, and in the hope that it may not be without use to some of your readers, whose attention has been drawn to the subject, I request you to give the following sketch of that plan a place in your work. I do not suppose that it is the best that could be laid out, or that it is even as suitable to all other congregations as to that in which it has been tried. Every congregation and school has its own character and wants, which ought to be carefully considered in devising a method of operation. But a comparison of different methods is useful, and that which is not "preferred may still suggest hints for the improvement of some other.