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ranks. This ignorance of true Church principles, and this unacquaintance with a genuine Church spirit, are owing likewise to a want of faithful clerical instruction. How many shrink from presenting our beloved Zion, in her integrity, to their auditors! How many fail of declaring the whole counsel of God about His celestial Bride, for fear they may give offense to this weak brother or that weak sister! How many hesitate about saying a word, from one year to another, about the divine organization of the three-fold ministry, and the Apostolic Succession, lest they may displease some, whose theories and sympathies are thoroughly Congregational! How many are afraid to utter a syllable about the doctrine, so prominent in Scripture, in the Prayer Book, and the Fathers, of Baptismal Regeneration, lest they may give offence to some members of their flocks, whose theology has been learned in the modern schools! How many hesitate to set forth boldly and clearly the glorious and awful truths of our blessed Lord's Divinity, Incarnation, and Atonement on the Cross, lest the sensibility of some amiable Unitarian listener may be wounded! How many fail to catch, in their sermons, the tone and unction of the Prayer Book, and thus impress on the minds and hearts of their hearers, the holy, majestic serenity of its Collects, and the godly quietness of all its services! We scruple not to say, that were the great body of the clergy more faithful in their teaching, more diligent to fulfill that ordination vow, whereby they solemnly promised before God and men "always so to minister the Doctrine and Sacraments and the discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church hath received the same," their people would be far less given to change than they are at present.
But the fact is, that the mass of our laity, even they who are descended from a long line of Episcopal forefathers, are not so well-informed about our Church as they were thirty, and forty, and fifty years ago. For we were then so small in numbers, and were so rudely attacked on every side, that every individual layman was compelled to read and study whatever standard writers in divinity were accessible, in order to repel the assaults of our opponents. Every man among us was in a great measure "a scholar armed.' We have been informed by an aged presbyter of the Diocese of Connecticut, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Burhans, that when he assumed the rectorship of Trinity Church, Newtown, more than half a century ago, he was told that "he had at least fifty Bishops in his parish." By this it was meant that he had this number of intelligent and able champions of Church order and discipline. There
was then, doubtless, a like proportion of accomplished defenders of the faith, among the laymen of other congregations. As a proof of this, how often is the young clergyman now, when he first enters upon the field of his labors in some of our most obscure parishes, pleased and surprised to find, here and there, among his scattered people, some wise and venerable old man, who once sat in years far back at the feet of the early Clergy of the Church, thoroughly acquainted with the distinctive features of Christianity, as taught in the Church. When this generation of well-read laymen shall have entirely disappeared from the stage, who, we ask, will there be among our younger laymen to take their places? Who will there be to give a right and wholesome tone and character to the several congregations to which they belong? Who will there be to prevent unworthy and ungodly men from gaining an ascendancy in the councils of our parishes, and to smother and extinguish that restless, unchurchlike spirit which is increasing among us, as the clergy too well know, and which is so withering to the true growth of so many of our parishes?
But we should be most unjust and partial did we not assign another reason for our frequent clerical changes, and this is an uneasy and restless spirit in the clergy themselves.
Both in the city and the country there are many removals of ministers from parish to parish, where they themselves are entirely at fault. We all know many instances where clergymen have been well-supported, where they are doing good, where their congregations are united and every way prosperous, where, indeed, in all respects their lines are cast in pleasant places, and yet as soon as an invitation comes to another and more attractive place, off they go. The common excuse rendered for such removals is, that they are called to a larger field of duty. It is sometimes hard to retain one's gravity when we hear such a reason given, for we all know there is business enough to do anywhere, in town or country. That some men are better fitted by their talents, education and manners for one sphere than another, is admitted. But we still think that where there is a congregation of three or four hundred immortal souls to be trained for heaven, even there is a large field of duty-a field quite enough to occupy all the faculties and powers of any one frail being. We fear that this plea would, in many cases, hardly stand the scrutiny of the Searcher of hearts.
We can mention still another cause: The common habit of running extravagantly into debt in the erection of a new Church.
Within the last five years an architectural mania has broken out. Our readers would misjudge us if they supposed that we dislike to see handsome Churches. No, it is our delight to gaze upon majestic temples built in honor of Almighty God. But it is also our delight to see such edifices paid for, and if it is ascertained beforehand that they cannot be paid for, we much prefer to behold humbler and plainer dwellings erected to the Highest. It is best to keep within one's means in every thing. If we do not, we are sure ere long to suffer for it, both pastors and people; and more than one estimable clergyman suffers in this way he is instrumental in gathering, by his faithful labors, a congregation which for awhile meets in some lecture-room or upper chamber. The congregation then think of building a Church, and they intend to erect one which shall not be expensive. They apply to some architect for a suitable plan, and after due deliberation they adopt it. But soon they grow more ambitious. Their views expand and soar. Instead of being content with a plain and unadorned edifice, they must have something showy and splendid. They must not be put into the shade by the magnificent Churches in their vicinity, and so they deviate from their original design, plunge most royally into debt, and go on, and complete a noble structure, which is the ornament of the town, and the admiration of the whole country round. The clergyman and his people assemble in their new and beautiful house, and their hearts thrill at the sight of its pillared and spacious courts. Sunday after Sunday, and week after week, the minister continues as assiduous in his pastoral duties as ever; but some how or other the pews do not fill up as rapidly as could be wished. Somebody who holds the purse-strings remembers, that a large debt is hanging over the congregation which must be extinguished. What is to be done? At last some wise financier suggests, that they must have a clergyman of more commanding talents, to fill up the empty seats. And the proposition takes well. Forgetful of all their obligations to the minister who has borne the burthen and heat of the day, forgetful how he has toiled in season and out of season, forgetful how he has nursed them as tenderly as a mother does her children, forgetful that his name is carved upon the corner-stone of their new temple, a living witness to all future time of their ingratitude; they push their benefactor from his place before he is hardly warm in his seat, and call in a successor who they hope will soon relieve them of their embarrassment. But if he disappoints them, as he usually does, it is not long before he in his turn has to take up the march ;
and another and another is tried, till the dishonorable debt is at last wiped out, or the Church itself, God's own consecrated house, is sold, like common goods and chattels under the hammer, to the highest bidder. This is not an uncommon history, and our readers know it well.
Another and most melancholy cause of clerical changes, is the frequent breaking down of ministers from excessive and unnecessary parochial labor.
The public are apt to expect quite as much from a young clergyman as they do from one who is advanced in years and ministerial experience. And oftentimes they expect more. Forgetful that he must have, of necessity, but very few sermons already written, and that he has not yet gained the habit of composing his discourses with ease; forgetful that he is but a novice in his profession, and that though a champion of the Cross, he is not yet inured to its warfare,-that he has not yet acquired that steadiness of nerve, that collectedness and selfpossession which enables him to go through, without being unmanned, the many trying scenes of his daily pastoral life; forgetful that he has not yet acquired, even by divine grace, that fortitude which it is hard sometimes for the most experienced minister to maintain; the inconsiderate public often. demand of him as frequent pulpit performances and as diligent parochial labors, as if he had his "barrel full" of sermons, and as if his head were white with the frost of three-score and ten winters. The result is, that many a noble and magnanimous spirit is cut off in his prime. Many a bright and heavenly-minded youth is lost to the Church on earth, and is sent to a premature grave, or made an invalid for life, by thus having his mental and physical powers overtasked before they had reached their natural development. Many, too, of the older clergy are frequently exhausted and laid on the shelf by a useless over-exertion of their strength. In some parishes, and especially those in our cities, the congregation are not content with two full services on the Lord's day-they must have a third service in the evening, and a weekly lecture at night, the whole year round. What a cruel exertion is this upon the strongest mind and the most athletic body, when it is considered that there is a world of parochial duty in addition daily to be discharged, and that very many of our clergy have severe labor to perform as members of our various Church institutions and societies, general and Diocesan!
Our readers will pardon us if we here interpose a few words with regard to these third Sunday services. After some experience we are compelled to say that they are labor almost
thrown away. Ordinarily, two services on Sunday are quite as much as any one people need. They who will not be profited by these, will not be profited by more. Besides, we think that the influence of these night services on the minds of young persons is often far from salutary. It induces a habit of gadding abroad-not for spiritual edification, but for the sake of seeing and being seen. The house of God should not be made, as it often is, at such times, a rendezvous for juvenile lovers and incipient courtships. There is, too, often, a sort of scenic effect from evening services-from the brilliant glare of many lamp and gas lights-from the music, always more touching and enchanting at night than in the day-timefrom the promiscuous and motley crowd heaped in strange propinquity together, favorable indeed, to feverish and romantic excitement, but not to the healthful glow of true piety. We think that the proper place for every Christian on the evening of the Lord's day is home, where the Bible and good books should be read, and where the services and sermons heard in the day should be digested and reflected upon, not criticised. To be sure, in some of our larger cities it may be well to have one or more of the Churches open, for the benefit of the large floating population of all classes who in such places have no sanctuary to attend regularly; and for a certain kind of persons who never saunter forth on the Sunday except in the evening. Among them, the good seed thrown at random may in time bring forth fruit. And for such occasions, a mutual arrangement among the clergy might easily provide.
We will mention but one more, yet very potent cause for our clerical changes, and that is, the state of the times.
The whole world is in a fluctuating condition, and the entire Anglo-Saxon population of this western continent is more or less unsettled. While Europe is sending forth annually almost half a million of inhabitants to our shores, tens of thousands of emigrants are pouring onward from the old Atlantic States to the remote western confines, and thus every new year is adding new States and territories to our national confederacy. Of course, with our spreading domain, new parishes are constantly forming, and new Dioceses are constantly coming into our ecclesiastical union, which must be supplied with ministers. The steam engine, too, has set every one in motion; and the shrill and piercing whistle of the rail car penetrates our inmost wilds and solitudes, and calls forth, with its talismanic summons, the young and old. Everybody is in action. The laity are all on the wing, and why not the clergy? The old pastoral relationship has therefore become