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AND ABOLISH THIS PESTILENCE AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.
LY DANGEROUS TO SOULS.
In the mean time, we heartily, congratulate you venerable brother, and we commend you again and again in the Lord, as it is fit we should, upon the singular zeal you have displayed under circumstances so hazardous to Christianity, in having denounced to the Apostolic See THIS DEFILEMENT OF THE FAITH, MOST IMMINENT
And although we perceive that it is not at all necessary to excite him to activity who is making haste, since of your own accord you have already shown an ardent desire to detect and oppose the impious machinations of these innovators; yet in conformity with our office, we again and again exhort you, that whatever you can achieve by power, provide for by counsel, or effect by authority, you will daily execute with the utmost earnestness, placing yourself as a wall for the House of Israel.
“ For this end we issue the present letter, viz. that we may convey to you a signal testimony of our approbation of your laudable exertions, and also may
endeavour therein still more and more to excite your pastoral solicitude and vigilance. For the general good imperiously requires us to combine all our means and energies to frustrate the plans which are prepared by its enemies for the destruction of our most Holy Religion : and therefore it becomes an episcopal duty, that you first of all expose the wickedness of this nefarious scheme, as you already are doing so admirably, to the view of the faithful, and openly publish the same, according to the rules prescribed by the Church, with all that erudition and wisdom in which you excel; namely, “That Bibles printed by Heretics are numbered among prohibited books, by the rules of the Index, (No. II. and III.,) for it is evident from experience, that the Holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have through the temerity of men, produced more harm than benefit:' (Rule IV.:) and this is the more to be dreaded in times so depraved, when our holy religion is assailed from every quarter with great cunning and effort, and the most grievous wounds are affixed on the Chutch. It is, therefore necessary to adhere to the salutary decree of the Congregation of the Index, (June 13th 1757,) that no versions of the Bible in the vulgar tongue be permitted, except such as are approved by the Apostolic See, or re-published with annotations extracted from the writings of the Holy Fathers of the Church.
“We confidently hope that even in these turbulent circumstances, the Poles will afford the clearest proofs of their attachment to the religion of their ancestors; and this especially by your care, as well as that of the other Prelates of this kingdom, whom, on account of the stand they are so wonderfully making for the faith committed to them, we congratulate in the Lord, trusting that they all will very abundantly justify the opinion which we have entertained of them.
" It is moreover necessary that you should transmit to us, as soon as possible, the Bible which Jacob WERIEK published in the Polish language with a commentary, as well as a copy of the edition of it lately put forth without those annotations, taken from the writings of the holy Fathers of our Church, or other learned Catholics, with your opinion upon it; that thus, from collating them together, it may be ascertained, after mature investigation, what errors may lie insidiously concealed therein, and that we may pronounce our judgment on this affair for the preservation of the true faith.
“Proceed, therefore, venerable Brother, to pursue the truly pious course upon which you have entered; viz. diligently to fight the battles of the Lord in sound doctrine, and warn the people intrusted to your care, that they fall not into the snares which are prepared for them to their everlasting ruin. The Church waits for this from you, as well as from the other Bishops, whom our epistle equally concerns; and we most anxiously expect it, that the deep sorrow we feel, on account of this new species of tares which an enemy is sowing so abundantly, may, by this cheering hope, he somewhat alleviated; and we heartily invoke upon you and your fellow Bishops, for the good of the Lord's Rock, ever increasing spiritual gifts, through our Apostolic benediction, which we impart to yourself and to them.
“Given at Rome, at St. Mary the Greater, June, 29th, 1816, the seventeenth year of our Pontificate.
"Pope Pius VII." (To be concluded in our next.)
For the Methodist Magazine.
LETTER TO A JUNIOR PREACHER. My Dear Brother, You have been pleased to ask my advice. So many things have been written, and so much to the purpose too, on the subject of preaching, and the duties connected with the gospel ministry, that to add more seems almost needless. Besides other works to which you may have recourse for general information on these subjects, I refer you, as a Methodist Preacher, to the Preacher's Manuel, a little book published at the Methodist Book Room, which contains Dr. A. CLARKE's Letter to a Preacher, his Clavis Biblica, and Dr. Coke's four Discourses on the gospel ministry; and to those pieces published in the Methodist Magazine, on the Importance of study to a Minister of the Gospel ; but do not forget the Reformed Pastor.
However, as I can hardly deny any thing to one whom I both love and respect, and in whose welfare and usefulness I cannot but feel a deep and lively interest, I will suggest a few thoughts which may not be unimportant to one just entering upon his ministerial work. As you have already taken a very consid
erable range in the sciences, and have enriched your mind with a knowledge of some of the learned languages while at school, I need say nothing in reference to those subjects, only continue your studies with the same assiduity, having continually a higher end in view than when you knew not the Lord. The field of science, you know, is vastly amplified, and will admit of perpetual enlargement and profitable culture.
1. I advise you to be much in private prayer and meditation. In order to this, avoid all company except such as your duty as a Christian Minister calls you to mingle with. Only visit as a Minister of Christ; letting every inviter know that he must receive you in that character, or not at all. The sick, and the poor, you must visit or offend Christ.
2. Keep your own secrets, and let others keep theirs. The observance of this rule will save you much time, much trouble, and many heart burnings.
3. Rise early in the morning, not allowing the birds to be beforehand with you in praise to God.
4. Be always neat, not fine, in your clothing and person. A sloven disgraces the pulpit.
5. The moment you find any one to suspect your sincerity in conversation, stop talking.
6. Never ask the counsel of any man who envies you, or who entertains suspicions of the purity of your motives.
7. Never contradict a low slander. Let the slanderer have all the credit of his lying report.
8. When you find a person always contradicting you, resorting to dogmatisms instead of using arguments, leave him to himselt. He acts not from judgment, but from a testy disposition, which Omnipotence alone can change.
9. When you find a person always finding fault, passing over a thousand excellencies with “ frigid indifference," and seizing upon an infirmity or an accidental blunder, with the avidity with which a vulture would seize his prey, let him pass with you only as a way faring man. Never make him a companion. These two last advices apply only to those who consider themselves your equals. When called to instruct the ignorant, to reclaim the vicious or the wandering, you must persevere, whatever insults you meet with, until hope gives up to despair.
10. I have often thought of a saying of COTTEN MATHER, that when you are most sincere and zealous, you will meet with the greatest opposition. Let not this discourage you. He that proclaims war against hell must expect hell's rage.
11. Let the ignorance of others instruct you to be ashamed of their defects; the wise to be emulous of their virtues ; the haughty to be meek; the avaricious to be benevolent; the indolent to be diligent; the disdainful to be kind and affectionate to all; the testy and clownish to be patient and gentle. There is one enemy
I would, above all, have you, if possible, keep at a distance. It is not the devil; he cannot hurt you
. It is not your own heart, though that is sufficiently deceitful of itself to destroy you; and therefore you must pray mightily to God, to give you a constant victory over inordinate self-love. It is, then, a self-conceited, ignorant, dogmatical, overbearing, affected, envious, whining man, who would attempt to teach you, to dispute with you, or to inspire you with a contempt of self. If you will stand against such a fellow, and keep your temper without a flush, I'll pronounce you not a philosopher, nor an able minister, but what is incomparably better than either, a Christian hero, who has conquered self. But when you find such a person, (and they are by no means scarce) if you cannot run from him, I advise you to put a bridle on your tongue ; and while he beats you over the head and eyes, suffer in silence; only lift up your heart to God for both yourself and him.
12. In certain companies, you had better be taken for a fool than to have it suspected that you have the least confidence in your own judgment. Choose the former, therefore, in most cases when so circumstanced; for if you must suffer from such kind of beings, you may, by letting them think you a fool, save them from the sin
of wilfully slandering you as such, because they are determined, right or wrong,
you shall never have the reputation of a wise man. In regard to preaching, I have only to say,
1. Select the leading idea in your text and make that the subject matter of your sermon, and not mingle up every doctrine of the gospel in each sermon.
2. Neither read nor memorize your sermong. Study all you can, write all you can, pray and meditate all you can,
you will not be at a loss for language to express your thoughts extemporaneously. Thus furnished, after maturing your subject, trust to your judgment, and not to memory. If a man of God, he will always help
you by his Spirit. 3. Take it for granted, that your hearers know something as well as yourself
, and therefore do not fatigue them with long sermons, dwelling on points of little or no importance, which they have heard a thousand times. Compress your thoughts in as few words as possible, and stop when you have done. Long sermons do no good by their length.
4. Don't court a grin when you should woo a soul.” Gravity is as essential as sincerity, to effect the objects of a gospel ministry. And affectation being the companion of ignorance, renders the latter doubly disgusting. Diffidence may prevent you from saying all you know, but affectation will make what
say appear as the offspring of both pride and ignorance.
5. Study to be good and not to be great. If you must be great let it be the effect of goodness, and the unavoidable consequence of a conscientious discharge of all your
duties. Vol. VII.
6. Labour for God, and He will both help and reward you. You shall be fruitful in your own soul, and witness the beneficial results of your labours in others.
In respect to your general deportment,
1. Be serious and solemn. ' In your intercourse with families, do not entertain them with facetious anecdotes to excite laughter. “I have said of laughter it is mad.” I have been tormented at being in company with some professed ministers, who, instead of inspiring respect for the character, by grave and religious conversation, have disgraced themselves by a perpetual round of trite and trifling remarks, perhaps even boasting of their dexterity in making a bargain, not knowing that these very exploits of which they boasted, evinced the disgusting frivolty of their minds. Never descend to this abominable trash.
2. Make the children of the families where you visit bless you, by kindly noticing every one of them, giving a word of instruction suited to their age and capacities, not forgetting them in your prayers. Never unnecessarily censure a child. And remember that they are children, and therefore you do not expect the wisdom and propriety of age and experience in them.
3. Never reprove a parent in the presence of his child, a husband in presence of his wife, and vice versa, unless it be for some crime that is notorious and flagrant; and even then it should, if possible, be concealed from each other; at least, you ought not to reveal it to them.
4. Eat such things as are set before you, not affecting a delicacy of appetite, as though you belonged to another race of beings. You may recommend, both by precept and example, cleanliness; but do not needlessly put any one to pain.
5. Be kind and affable to all ; respectful to the aged, and to all in office, whether civil, military, or ecclesiastical; condescending to inferiors, instructing the ignorant, communicative with the well informed, bearing with the foibles of youth, and commiserating to those in servitude. He that is greatest must be servant of all.
6. Avoid that most fruitless and unprofitable of all ministerial traffic, foolish chit chat. You hint about marriage. You will doubtless marry. If
you think it most for the glory of God and few ever thought otherwise-fix on a suitable person, and have done with it. Do not pay your addresses to half a dozen or more at once. Never thus trifle with their affections and your own. Piety, good sense, and industry in a wife, are essential to conjugal happiness. When married, let not your wife govern either yourself or the church. God has made you the head, and if you are not qualified for the station, it is her misfortune, and therefore she must submit to it with patience. Enough on this subject.
You wish to do all the good you can. Call to your aid, therefore, every auxiliary in your power. Circulate good books.