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is essential to eloquence, and its inspirations are communicated principally by means of moral painting.
But we are stopped by the inquiry, What is all this to the preacher? of what use is moral painting in sermons? Much every way. To keep a congregation awake. How painful for the preacher who has toiled through the week in preparing an elaborate discourse, to look round on an audience whose minds if not bodies are asleep. Yet he should not be surprised:
"The clear harangue, and cold as it is clear, Falls soporific on the listless ear."
It is granted that the ambassador of heaven is not sent to amuse men with tropes and figures. He is to instruct them, to "sanctify them through the truth." But he presents the truth in vain, unless it is seen, unless it is felt. Men are not all intellect; on the contrary, while few have a cultivated understanding, all have a heart; while few can, and fewer will, follow an involved argument, all readily apprehend a comparison. Ask a man after he has heard a sermon, what he remembers? Is it a syllogism? No; an image-the shocking spectre of his own deformity; and it haunts him at midnight so that he can
The preacher who employs the imagination in preparing the way for truth, follows the example of the sacred writers. Almost every page of the Bible abounds with images which would almost electrify us were we not so familiar with them. When Nathan is called upon to reprove David, observe how he arms the royal sinner against himself:-There was a poor man who had a single ewe-lamb, which he had nourished, and which he had grown up with his children. It ate of his own meat, drank of his own cup, lay in his bosom, and was to him as a daughter. But a rich neighbour, who had abundance of flocks and herds, passing by them, took this single ewe-lamb, and killed it for his luxurious table. When the indignation of the king was excited
against this barbarity, the prophet says unto him, "Thou art the man."
Similar methods are pursued in the common concerns of life. When a solicitor pleads against a criminal at the bar he does not think it sufficient to state the evidence merely. He calls in the aid of imagination; conveys you to the place where the murder was commited; paints the horrid transaction before your eyes; until you see the unprovoked assault, the unequal struggle, the imploring look, the death-blow; and if this is not sufficient to excite your indignation, he points you to the agonizing widow and the weeping orphan. Is this necessary to give truth its proper influence when no prejudice exists against it, and its novelty alone secures attention? How much more necessary, then, is it for the preacher, who exhibits truths not only trite but unwelcome!
But, if a cold statement, or mathematical demonstration, be sufficient, let the preacher take his Bible, and read his message; it matters not how he reads it, if he only is understood. Let there be no feeling tones, no animated gestures, no grace of delivery. If anything is obscure, he may explain it; if anything needs proof, he may bring forward his strong reasons. Are men, however, thus converted? Tell a man that after death comes the judgment; he has heard it before. Prove to him that there will be, that there must be a day of judgment; he believes it already, but it is a thing of no concern to him. Describe to him some of the revealed scenes of the day of judgment; show him the graves opening, the dead rising, the world on fire, his Judge in the clouds of heaven, seated on a great white throne, and appalled millions (himself among the number) trembling before this Judge, in expectation of their doom: he looks at the tremendous scene with dismay, and feels he must prepare to meet his God.
The whole fault is not in the hearers when sermons do not interest or affect. Were the preacher, instead of dealing in chopped-logic and wire-drawn metaphysics, more frequently to employ Scrip
ture history and the objects around him; were he to argue less from principles, and more from facts; to seek his proofs, not in the schools, but in the study of human nature; to find his arms not so much in his own head as in the hearts of his hearers, we should hear less said about sleepy congregations. Masillon's congregations did not sleep. He believed that men have an imagination. Through this he sought an avenue to their affections. He reasoned, but his reasoning was like his eloquence, that of the soul. His hearers felt the hand of the preacher probing their hearts. Conscience was roused, and when at one time he stopped, and after a death-like pause, added, "I fancy now is your last hour, and the end of the world, and that the heavens are opening over your heads," the whole audience rose involuntarily from their seats. Whitefield's hearers did not sleep. By his power of moral painting, in which consisted the chief magic of his eloquence, he carried men where he chose, with a touch more effective than that which is fancied of a fairy's wand; and, annihilating everything but the scene he would present, he drew aside as it were the veil of eternity; now led his audience upward to catch the
songs of heaven, and now downward to
Let me not be understood to recommend gaudy decorations. It is beneath the dignity of the pulpit, and it is a most wretched substitute for thought. Nor yet do I recommend any painting addressed merely to the imagination. This may do for the poet, but the orator has a higher aim. He must paint to the heart. His images must speak to the soul. If he do this, his style will be as different from the rainbow colouring of a vaporing fancy as the steady sun is from the shooting meteor, which
"Leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind."
THE MEMORY OF THE JUST.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine.
My dear Sir,—Shortly after midsum- | portrait of the deceased pastor, I remer before last, on resigning a pastoral charge, of more than five years' continuance, in Staffordshire, I paid a visit to my relatives in the county of York, and spent a few days at Scarborough. While there, I went, on a week-day evening, to the chapel formerly occupied by the Rev. Samuel Bottomley, (under whose ministry I used occasionally to sit with much satisfaction, and, I hope, with spiritual benefit,) and heard an excellent sermon by his successor, the Rev. G. B, Kidd, from Jer. xxxi. 35, 36. Observing, on the left-hand side of the pulpit, a handsome monument, bearing a medallion
mained for some time after service, and read the following inscription :—“ Dedicated, by filial affection, to the venerated memory of the Rev. SAMUEL BOTTOMLEY, fifty-seven years the beloved, revered, and highly useful minister of the congregation worshipping here. His devout and catholic spirit, his sound understanding, and feeling heart, eminently qualified him for the pastor office, in the exercise of which, his public discourses were remarkable for the. evangelical strain, sententious style, and animated expres sion. In his private ministrations he was a judicious and familiar instructor, a
prudent adviser, a sympathising friend in sickness and distress, and the minister of peace to the departing spirit. As his strength failed, his confidence increased in his Redeemer, who received him to glory on the morning of his own day, February 13, A.D. 1831, after sojourning on earth eighty years." The countenance of my venerable friend appeared to be faithfully represented by the artist, and to every word of the inscription I could unhesitatingly assent; and now that I have a little leisure, I cheerfully transcribe the following passages from Mr. Bottomley's funeral sermon, delivered at Scarborough, March 15, 1831, by his intimate friend, the late Rev. Edward Parsons, of Leeds, which, I am persuaded, will be found interesting to many of your readers, and not unworthy the attention of our younger brethren in the ministry :
"From my occasional interviews with him, and all I have known of him, for more than forty years, I should ascribe greater uniformity to his character than is common to man in general. If the virtues which formed the most prominent feature of his life as a Christian and a minister, are estimated as they deserve, few men can be found whose names possess a higher claim to public veneration. In the habitual frame of his mind, he was placid and cheerful, affectionate and candid. In his conversation and manners he was simple, easy, ingenuous, familiar, lively, and engaging. Every one was at home and happy in his com pany. He knew nothing of the studied decorums of a cold, freezing civility; and though he had his trials, and felt them as he ought, I never saw his animal spirits in a state of perturbation. In the general tenor of his deportment, at home or abroad, he was vigilant and judicious, regular and punctual, beneficent and liberal. When in health, his days were spent in going about doing good; and, like his great Master, in administering relief, both to the maladies of the body and the soul. Possessing some useful portion of medical knowledge, which he was careful
not to use presumptuously, he was known to many, especially to the poor, as the good Samaritan, and, at the same time, as the faithful and sympathising pastor, who was well qualified to instruct the ignorant, and 'to speak a word in season to them that were weary and distressed in spirit.'
"No wonder that such a man was held in general and high estimation, even by those from whom he differed in opinion. In him the poor have lost a benevolent and active friend; his children have lost a father, whose presence and conversation they appreciated as the first and chief endearment of their domestic union; and you will feel that you have sustained a great loss as a congregation. To some of you he has proved a wise teacher and a paternal guide, from your earliest days. As you esteemed him very highly in love for his work's sake while he lived, for your own sakes you will lament and mourn the dispensation that has numbered him with the dead. And there are many, of various religious denominations, accustomed to visit this place on the annual return of the season, who will feel, with you, the absence of one whose name and presence they formerly identified with Scarborough itself,
"His preaching was peculiarly plain and simple, bearing more of the character of an easy, familiar, conversational style, than of studied method, or laborious composition. He affected nothing. He was always seen in his own mental dress, and heard in his own unlaboured language. Though his style was not without its attractions to more cultivated minds, there was no display of intellectual superiority, no parade of logical reasonings, no attempt to excite attention and applause by the blandishments of eloquence. He understood the art of descending to the lowest rank of intellect to the capacity of childhood. Though some, of a more fastidious cast, might think that he was in the extreme of plainness, I would rather recommend and imitate that extreme, than its opposite. Were we to divest some sermons of their gorgeous
apparatus, their conceited exhibitions of | Divine Providence, and knew how to superior intelligence, their witty allu- improve passing events, and the common sions, their shining tropes and figures, | incidents of life, in the illustration and their ingenious illustrations, their harmo- | application of evangelical truth. He was nious periods, what would there be left habitually sensible of his dependence to meet and satisfy the desires of a mind upon the Holy Spirit for aid and effect in hungering and thirsting after the bless- his ministerial labours;-labours in which ings of life and salvation? I would not he took great delight, and in which he speak invidiously of my younger bre- was often refreshed, even in the decline thren in the ministry; but when I think of his strength, and when sinking under of the foppish tinsel finery, and the the infirmities of age. Whatever were meagre starving legality, which, in so his imperfections as a man, a Christian, many instances, prove the bane of the or a minister, there was in his character pulpit, I turn to such men as your de- such an admirable combination of excelparted minister with the reverence due to lence, as seldom appears in the person of evangelical truth, though presented to any individual.” me in the simplest attire.
"Sermons, as well as men, have their temper, and his sermons were good-tempered. A good temper in the pulpit is everything. A preacher rises or sinks, stands or falls, in the approbation of God, and in the estimation of man, by the character of his temper in the administrations of the sanctuary. In his administrations the house of God was the scene of peace and good-will The bitter invectives of party animosity, the angry retaliating ebullitions by which the pulpit has been so often degraded, and ministerial usefulness so often obstructed, had no place here. He never wielded the weapons of hostility; it was his delight to bear in your presence, and put into your hands, the olive branch of peace.
"He was also a good-tempered hearer, a character to which very few preachers can prefer an unpresumptuous claim. But this was eminently his character. His devout attention, when a silent worshipper, was truly exemplary. The sermon might be very inferior as a composition, and unpleasing in the manner of its delivery; but if it was evangelical, and he saw that its tendency, and the sole aim of the preacher, were to promote the instruction and happiness of the people, he would always express his approbation, | and make some acknowledgment of benefit received by himself, with a devout wish that it might be useful to others.
"He was a devotional observer of
At the ordination of the Rev. Benjamin Hobson, (then of Great Driffield, now of Welford, Northamptonshire,) I was favoured with such a specimen of Mr. Bottomley's "sententious style" of preaching as I could never afterwards forget. His was the first discourse delivered on that interesting and memorable occasion, the introductory part of which was as follows:-" I need not inform you that many gentlemen, of family and fortune, come annually to Great Driffield, to fish for trout. Now we, too, are come on a fishing business: we are come to set our dear brother apart to be 'a fisher of men,'-not to catch them in his net in order to make them his prey, but to be the instrument of drawing them out of the lake of sin, that they may live in the atmosphere of heaven. On occasions like the present, it is usual to say something on the nature of a Christian church, and this part of the service has been allotted to me. Now if, in the days of my ignorance and folly, I had been questioned about the nature of a church, I should have been able to think of nothing more than a venerable building, with a steeple and a ring of bells, where people were christened, and married, and where, when dead, they were buried; whereas, if I had only looked into my prayer-book, I might have found that the visible church of Christ' is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly
administered according to Christ's ordinance.' Of the Congregational church at Great Driffield I was then a member, and one, I trust, whose heart had been opened, to attend, with the other members, to the important things then spoken, to remind us of our relative character, and excite us to discharge the various duties incumbent upon us. As a church, we were then few in number, and not so prosperons as we might have been, in consequence of the hyper-calvinistic sentiments which some had embraced. But
I hope that a change for the better has taken place, and that, "by works" faith is "made perfect." Remember them who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." Such is the injunction of an inspired apostle; and to obey this injunction, may "the memory of the just" be made instrumental by the grace of the Holy Spirit in every reader! Yours truly,
1, Windsor-terrace, St. Paul's, Bristol.
THE RECOMPENSE OF REWARD.
WHEN Moses " was come to years,"-to years of discretion and experience-when he was great, or come to maturity, at the age of forty years, he made this choice. It is an enhancement of the honour of his self-denial, and victory over the world; he was grown ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it.
Observe what it was that supported and strengthened the faith of Moses; "he had respect to the recompense of reward:" that is, say some, the deliverance out of Egypt; but doubtless it means much more--the glorious rewardof faith and fidelity in the other world. Remark, then, (1) that heaven is a great reward, surpassing not only all our deservings, but all our conceptions. It is a reward suitable to the price paid for it-the blood of Christ; suitable to the perfections of God, and fully answering to all his promises. It is a recompense of reward, because given by a righteous Judge, for the righteousness of Christ, to righteous persons, according to the righteous rule of the covenant of grace. (2) Believers may, and ought to have respect to this recompense of reward: they should acquaint themselves with it, approve of it, and live in the daily and delightful expectation of it.
Thus it will prove a landmark to direct their course; a loadstone, to draw
the heart; a sword, to conquer their enemies; a spear, to quicken them to duty; and a cordial, to refresh them under all the difficulties of doing and suffering work.
Verse 27.-Observe the principle upon which the faith of Moses acted in these motions: "he endured, as seeing him that was invisible." He bore up with invincible courage under all danger, and endured all the fatigue of his employment which was very great; and this, by seeing the invisible God.
Now remark, first, the God with whom we have to do, is an invisible God; he is so to our senses, to the eye of our body; and this shows the folly of those who pretend to make images of God, whom no man hath seen, or can see. But, secondly, by faith we may see this invisible God; we may be fully assured of his existence of his providence and of his gracious and powerful presence with us. And, thirdly, such a sight of God will enable believers to endure to the end, whatever they may meet with in the way.
ON A SPIRITUAL MIND.
The spiritual man is born, as it were, into a new world. He has a new taste, and savours "the things of the Spirit.". He turns to God, as the needle to the pole. But there are many who want