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parative » if not positive , unimportance . To make such an exposure is the chief object of the Essay before us .
Art . IV . — Hie Liberal Preacher . — No . I . New Series . — The Duty of Improvement . A New Year ' s Sermon . By Henry Ware , Jun . Boston , U . S . 1831 . The Connexion between the Duties of the Pulpit and the Pastoral Office . An Introductory Address delivered to the Members of the Theological School in Cambridge , Massachusetts . By Henry Ware , Jun . London . Hunter . 1831 .
If we are to take this Sermon as an average specimen of what is to be offered us by the Editors of the Liberal Preacher , we shall not know where to limit our expectations of the good they will do by their publication . The discourse before us is remarkably beautiful : true , fervid ,
eloquent . We can scarcely believe we did not hear it delivered , so strong is the impression of the preacher ' s earnestness which it conveys . Though this impression must be impaired by breakiug in upon the unity of the composition , we cannot resist giving an extract .
" For consider , once more , what it is to be prepared and safe ; what it is > to hare done the work assigned us on earth . This is not a light work ; not a superficial and transitory labour , which a few days may perform , or which may be the incidental occupation of some leisure
seasou . It is an extensive , complicated engagement , — not for a day , but for life , for every day of life ; with which every occupation of life is concerned , aud which the doings of every hour serve either to promote or to thwart . And what is this business ? this object for which God has placed man here ?
* ' It is , in few words , to form his character for eternity . And what is this character to be ? Holy , disinterested , and pure ; devout toward God , benevolent toward men , self-governed , and free from sin ;—a character , of which earth has yet seen but oue perfect model .
After all the study , and prayers , and effort , after excellence of so many good meu for centuries , the world has seen but one perfect exein plication of this character ; and that , in the person of Jesus Christ , —the meek and lowly , the holy , harmless , undented , aud separate from siu . Him we are to imitate . His character is to become our * .
" And is this to be done in a day , or in a year , or in many years ? Is it some easy thing , to be accomplished by feeble exertion at any hour , that we may be thus unconcerned about it , and so little anxious to advance in it ? Fashion to yourself what manner of man you should be , if you had the spirit of Jesus , if you had made it your great and chief
concern to imitate Jus excellences . Do you find yourself near to it now ? so near that you may pause and cease to go further ? Alas ! it is at a far and mortifying distance that we follow his glorious bteps ; scarcely do we seem to reflect a ray from his bright excellence . Yet that is our pattern . There is our business in this world . If we have done something toward it , the better reason that we should
do more . We may not fully reach it ; the better reason that we should not pause in the pursuit . There are hindrances , also , in the path ; in the affairs of our calling , in the cares of business , in the pleasures aud companions of our pilgrimage ; the greater , then , the reason for effort aud toil , that these may not defeat the great purpose of our being . There are hindrances from our own
desires , propensities , and passions ; from our weakness , irresolution , and faintheartedness . It is not an easy task to subdue them ; and when seemingly subdued , they may rise again in unsuspected strength and drag us back . Where , then , is the moment for pausing ? At what hour mav the child of God , having such
a work to do , aud such obstacles to hiuder him , . say to himself , It is enough ; I will cease from my labour ? At what age may man , with his eye on his Master , and his hope on heaven , lay down the staff * of his pilgrimage , and say , I have attained ; I have reached the stature of my Lord , aud my soul may rest from toil ?
" Not while we have it recorded that the prince of the Apostles , the inspired , the indefatigable Haul , felt himself at a distance from perfection , and feared to stop in his attainments . Not while man ' s life is likened in the gospel to a race ; for he that pauses must lose it . Not while it is called in Scripture a warfare ; for he that lays down bis arms , or sleeps upon his post , before the warfare is accomplished , suffers for infidelity and treason . Not while sin is in the world
and temptation abounds , aud the love of many waxes cold . No ; the pilgrimage of duty and toil must go on while the heart throbs aud the pulse bcuis—without intermission , without fainting , steadily , resolutely . Through the desert it
Critical Notices . — Theological . 34 1
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1831, page 341, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2597/page/53/