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of his moral and spiritual excellence. But let us see all the gifts that had been given that day. But a gift that we do not allow ourselves to admire for a wrong of love has quite another value besides that which a reason, even when our admiration may be resting on banker assigns it, when it lies on his counter; and in its the right man. Though we may on no account admire spiritual excellence this poor widow's poor gift stood mere wealth, we ought to admire heartily the grace quite apart from all its companion-gifts-it was perwhich is frequently given to the wealthy Christian, and to fectly unique. Her gift included herself and her worldly praise God for raising up faithful witnesses of this class. all; she gave her entire living, and her whole heart. Yes, while we give a high place in our inmost hearts to Now, though Christ is no longer on earth, his treathe martyr whom the world crowns with thorns—the cou- sury still is ; and his Church is here to represent him in rageons man, who, in front of gibbet or of stake, has visible presence. Donors are still pouring in their faithfully confessed his Lord—let us accord at least an gifts, and many of these are still, as formerly, very equal place to the other, and sometimes the nobler mar- handsome. But who now is happy enough to win the tyr—the martyr whom the world attempts to crown Church's commendation ? Alas! so imperfectly does with roses ; who, amid all the luxuries of life, finds little she enter into the spirit of her Lord, that she reserves sweetness in them compared with what he finds in the the most of her smiles for that class of gifts which manna of the Word; who, while others bow the knee to he regarded with perfect apathy—the large gift, which, him, bends his own in lowliest humility before the only after all, may be but a small percentage out of a much King, and who also bows his head meekly before the larger superfluity. As for the poor widow's mite, it is least of all the little ones, in whom he recognises the too often overlooked ;-no, not quite overlooked; for, unchildren of that King. It is comparatively an easy seen, the Lord still sits beside his treasury, still notes. thing to forsake the world when it drives us out, but it the offerings, and shall by-and-by adjust more rightneeds more grace to rebuke the world when it is smiling eously the present ill-distributed approval. What comits sweetest ; to condemn the world when it fawns and fort may be gathered from this story by the godly poor ! flatters is; to break with the world, like Moses, when What a model does it furnish to the godly rich, who it presents us with its all, and by all our acts to declare will need generally to multiply their offerings manifold, plainly that, smitten with the love of another country, ere they attain to the same high approval ! And what the glory of the world has ceased to be glorious in our a lesson does it give us all in the proper exercise of this eyes. Yes, such men we admire with all our powers of responsible talent of admiration ! admiration; while, beside them, but placed not a hair's- Even when the object of admiration is altogether breadth above them, we honour also the other martyr, worthy of it-I speak chiefly of mental and moral quathe heroic man who witnessed for his Saviour in the lities—the inexperienced are in danger of making a flames. In these days, and in this land, few of us have mistake in the drawing of practical inferences, a misopportunity to attain the blessed martyr's death ; but take which is often productive of the most melancholy God gives every unit of us ample opportunity for living, results. Seeing a man to be possessed of one quality in in one or other of its many forms, the equally noble a very eminent degree, the groundless inference is hastily martyr-life.
drawn, that he will equally excel his fellows in other It is never to the money itself, therefore, but to the faith- respects; and hence he is rashly intrusted with responful grace displayed in the proper use of it, that the Chris sibilities which, it may be, he is more than usually intian is to accord his admiration. A remark like this competent to discharge. It would, in most cases, be a seems so very trite, that it is apt to be despised as a much safer inference to argue the other way, and to say, mere truisn. And yet, alas! though our heads be so Since this man so manifestly excels on one side, he is Fell instructed that we can treat such a statement as sure to have some compensating deficiency on another. the stalest of commonplaces, our hearts are so far be- As the proverb says—“A long tongue and a short hand.” hind our heads, that practically we often live as if the The records of statesmanship, of literature, and of truism were not really true. When Christ was on the general social life, are filled with illustrations of this. earth, he once sat down over against the Temple trea- Let France admire if she will, and let her profit if she sury, and noted the gifts which were dropped into it. can, by the gushing sentimentalisms of her Lamartine ; Wealthy donors cast in their wealthy offerings as they but let her by no means be tempted to make him her passed ; but not one of these awoke on that solemn president: let Rome applaud the matchless oratory of face the faintest sign of gracious approbation. The her Cicero, or accept instruction from his pen, but let gentle features retained their expression, as if the face her choose some one with a stiffer tongue to be her had been cut in marble. At last a gift was cast into consul. It is of immense practical importance to every the box which, all at once, kindled the soft eyes with a one of us that we limit our admiration to the actual exstrange radiance, and covered the sorrowful face with a cellence which the admired man possesses, and that we pleased smile. And what sort of gift was it which had refrain from crediting him with qualities which he has power in this way to stir the soul of the Man of Sorrows ? not, and perhaps could not possibly have. It was the very poorest offering of the very poorest of As one instance of the application of this principle, widows ; possibly the paltriest, in its money value, of we may refer to the present unhappy janglings between scientific men and theologians. Several of our leading natural. They are in their own way as bigoted as a men of science take up a hostile attitude towards re- Paul Cullen, as one-sided, as self-conceited; and with vealed truth; and young inexperienced thinkers are in all their boast of reason, they are quite as unreasonable. danger of according a respect to these men's words, when Admiration may seem to the thoughtless to be a very they speak of divine things, somewhat commensurate slight thing; and the influence which it may have in with the admiration which is universally accorded to forming the popular judgment, and thereby in giving them as men of science. Now this is a complete mis- ultimate shape to the conduct of a whole people, is very take; and to the youthful admirer of these men it may apt to be overlooked ; but it is nevertheless of tremenbe a fatal one. Masters in their own department of dous importance. What a noble and stirring episode science, these men,-the Tyndalls, and Huxleys, and in Jewish history is the story of the Maccabees! There * Owens of the day, -are scarcely even babes in theology; is scarcely a grander narrative of courageous devotedand their utter incompetency to handle successfully the ness to be found in the preceding annals of that remarkone set of truths arises out of the very qualities which able people; and we can easily understand that this story have given them such eninence in the other. They of Judas and his fellows could have been told only of men have succeeded so wonderfully in their investigation of whose prior national history had been such as that of Israel. natural phenomena, simply because they have so de- Had it not been for the predecessors of Judas, and had votedly and so exclusively confined their attention to it not been for the national admiration accorded to them such subjects; but this same exclusive addictedness to for centuries, Judas himself would scarcely have been the natural, with its consequent neglect of the super- possible. And how many must have had their zeal natural, has so narrowed their mental range that their quickened in after ages by the narrative of these courminds cannot work at all out of the familiar groove. ageous men; so that in this way they continued to live The methods of ascertaining spiritual and scientific for centuries in their influence upon their people. But truth are so entirely distinct, that exclusive devotedness this popular admiration had an unfavourable as well as to either for a lifetime will render any man unfit to deal a favourable aspect. It must have gone far to form, and with the other. So far, then, from receiving the dicta to foster, the popular ideal which the Jews came to of purely scientific men on questions connected with cherish of the character and work of their expected theology with that reverent regard which one would ac- Messiah. It led them to think of the promised Delivcord to the scientific statements of the same men, I erer as being similar in character, though operating on should look upon their ability to investigate such extra- a grander scale-to think of the coming Christ, in short, professional questions as being greatly less than that of as being just another Maccabee, only more gigantic. an average intelligent working-man. The absurd pro- And thus the national admiration of Judas and his posal recently made by some of them, to subject super- fellows came to be one of the elements which worked natural phenomena to scientific tests smells most rankly together to produce this dreadful issue,—that when of the shop, and indicates how completely their all- Christ came to his own, his own received him not, but engrossing devotedness to physical science has misedu- rejected him with scorn, and nailed him to the cross. cated them, has unfitted them for handling in a proper It awakens the gravest reflections, when one connects spirit alien and loftier subjects.
in this way the national admiration of a hero with the We admire the patient research of scientific men, and nation's greatest crime; and remembering that we too accept their guidance in their own peculiar walk; we are as fallible as they, we feel that we need to put our admire still more heartily the spiritual attainments of admiration, and all else, under the guidance of a wisdom the lowly and gracious Christian, familiar with his Bible, that is higher than our own. nowhere so much at home as in his closet, and ever We have not time to dwell on the way in which tre walking Enoch-like with God: but, just as we would ought to express our admiration. By all means let us assign no value whatever to the opinion of this latter, manifest our high approval of the good, not in loud and on questions which fall to be solved, not by the Bible, windy sentimentalisms, but, so far as is possible, by but by the spectroscope, so we would assign no value patient imitation of it. This is the highest style of to the opinion of the purely scientific man on ques- praise. Every noble act, every devoted worker, calls to tions which are to be satisfactorily solved, not by a us through our very approval of bim, “Go thou and do self-reliant science, but by a reverent faith. The two likewise.” If we yield to the appeal, our admiration of regions of truth are quite distinct, let them be kept the good shall not only go to encourage the good man, distinct; and let the evidence for any alleged fact be but shall help to make us partakers of his goodness ; examined in accordance with its own principles. This while, if we content ourselves with idle words of praise, modest course, however, is what the savants referred to the unfruitful admiration will become sentimental and scorn to take. They are the people, and wisdom shall insincere ; it will tend to slacken the whole of our own die with them. As haughtily as ever religious fanatic moral machinery, and to cast it out of gear. refused to examine with care the proper evidence for It is bad policy, as well as culpable vanity, to lay traps a scientific finding, they on their part refuse to examine in order to catch admiration for ourselves. If we strive in a becoming spirit the peculiar evidence for the super- rather to cultivate goodness, content with the honour which cometh from God alone, man's approval shall be avoidable recoil, when, on fuller knowledge, they dissure to follow us sooner or later. But this morbid cray- cover that he lacks the excellences which he led them ing for admiration will, if indulged, unspeakably debase to expect. In this case they will naturally avenge ourselves; and the more we strive to win it, the less themselves for the disappointment; and he has himself likely shall we be to succeed. Indeed, if a man be eager to blame, if he now receive a degree of respect as much enough, his very eagerness will secure him, not admira- below his real merits as the respect which he desired to tion, but contempt. Even though the vanity which receive was above these merits. Humility is the surest prompts these efforts should not be discovered—a very say to honour, though it does not always seem to be the improbable contingency, indeed - his efforts to procure shortest; while pride as certainly leads to contempt and admiration will scarcely fail to secure the opposite. to utter destruction. “Every one that exalteth bimself For, in proportion to the expectations of excellence shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be which he leads his fellows to cherish will be the un- exalted.”
HE warm grasp and cordial greeting I he is always there, stimulating by his enthusiasm
received from George Hay Stuart, as and inspiring by his eloquence.
the platform of the railway depôt in a man, I had ample opportunity, brief though Philadelphia, made me almost forget that the my stay was, of seeing Christian life and work broad Atlantic separated me from home. No in Philadelphia. man in the United States is more widely known, I arrived on Saturday, and Mr. Stuart had or more universally respected, than Mr. Stuart; only returned the day before from a Sunday. and no man has more deeply at heart the best school convention at Chicago; yet all arrangeinterests of the land of his adoption. Connected ments had been made for me. On Sunday I was officially with one of the smallest and most ex- to preach in Calvary Church for Dr. Humphrey, clusive of the Protestant sects, and clinging to it Moderator of the General Assembly, in the mornconscientiously, in spite of ill-judged ecclesiastical ing; give an address at the communion in Dr. censure-almost amounting to persecution—no Wylie's church in the afternoon; and preach for man in any Church has broader sympathies with him in the evening_visiting some schools in the universal Christendom. His work in the Chris- interval. On Monday I was to address the tian Commission, when, with a well-organized united weekly meeting of the ministers of Philaband of helpers, he carried material succour and delphia ; on Tuesday give a lecture on Palestine ; spiritual consolation to the wounded and dying and on Wednesday deliver a missionary address on the battle-fields of the South, and to the in Dr. Boardman's church. The programme was maimed and sick in the hospitals, has won for formidable ; and when filled up with sundry him a place and a memorial in the first rank of speeches in the schools and colleges I visited, Christian heroes. And this is only a part of his , afforded ample employment for a four days' sowork—a part which the fame of a mighty war journ. Work, however—unremitting, enthusithrew out into bolder relief, and made visible to astic work—is the genius of Americans, and the all the world. The best energies of his life, source of success both in Church and State, and George Stuart has devoted to the cause of I did not shrink, while enjoying their generous humanity. In every region of the States where hospitality, from taking my full share. a great enterprise is to be initiated on behalf of When going to Calvary Church on Sunday missions, Sunday schools, the coloured races, the morning, Mr. Stuart led me, in passing, into his Indian tribes, or other schemes of philanthropy, own, which happened to be on our way. It was communion Sabbath, and a large body of the most refined taste. There is an appropriateness people had already assembled in the lecture-hall. and a beauty in design and equipment which He asked me to address them; and I never saw tend to encourage attendance on the house of a congregation, to all outward appearance, more God. Pews, passages, and pulpit are furnished deeply impressed with a sense of their duty and with the elegance, and sometimes the luxury, of solemn responsibility in the prospect of sitting a modern drawing-room. Persons of the most down at the Lord's table.
delicate constitution can therefore attend church, Calvary Church is a fair type of the ecclesi- and enjoy the ministrations of the Word, without astical buildings which are now springing up encountering the torture of hard, ill-constructed with such wondrous rapidity in the various cities seats, or the risk of cold and rheumatism. When of the United States; and it struck me as far in will our ecclesiastical architects, instead of resting advance of the generality of churches in this content with servile imitation, imbibe the true country-I mean, of course, in its adaptation to spirit of their great predecessors, and create a the requirements of Protestant worship. It is style in all respects suitable to the wants of not a miniature cathedral, built as if on purpose to modern times, and to the simple forms of evanshow how closely a modern architect can imitate gelical Protestantism? Let us have clear light, a medieval structure, and how entirely he can for- and good ventilation, and comfortable pews, and get, in doing so, the wants of a Christian congre- perfect acoustic arrangements,—all combined with gation. It is a building so planned that the refined taste, and such an amount of chaste ornapreacher can address with ease the whole audi- mentation as may accord with the social status ence, and the audience can hear distinctly what of the worshippers. he says to them. It seems to me that there I was impressed, too, with the completeness of can be no piety in a massive Gothic pillar when the ecclesiastical establishments in America. it hides the face of Christ's minister; and Each church has attached to it a suite of buildings there can be no righteousness in a Gothic roof adapted for carrying on most efficiently the when it prevents a congregation from hearing the various departments of congregational work. The gospel message. I may be wrong; but I think Sunday schools are fitted up with due regard it is quite possible for a church to be made to the wants and duties of both teachers and beautiful, without at the same time being made scholars. The semicircular class-benches of polished useless. Architectural skill, in my opinion, is pine or oak, each having its dozen of little armshown, not so much in the elegant proportions chairs, are models of neatness and comfort. The and grand contour of an edifice, as in its perfect children seem to enjoy them amazingly. They suitableness to the purposes for which it was feel at home in those tidy seats and spacious and designed. The Christian people of America are elegant rooms, where they have warmth in winter, adopting this view. They are throwing aside, as and perfect ventilation in summer. The conseunworthy the enlightenment of this nineteenth quence is, that the schools are crowded by the century, that architectural sacerdotalism, if I may children of all classes, rich and poor alike. Then so call it, which has made so many recently there are waiting-rooms and committee-rooms for erected churches in Britain—and among them the teachers, the ladies, and the office-bearers of not a few belonging to Presbyterians—almost the congregation, and for the minister's Bibleuseless for the purposes of rational worship. classes-not, however, the cold, bare, cheerless They know, and they have come to act upon the barracks, with wooden benches and uncarpeted knowledge, that the service of God in the sanc- floors, with which we are so familiar here ; but tuary is a service of the intellect and heart, and rooms furnished to correspond with the social not of mere ritual and form. They feel that God position and home habits of those who are exis a spirit, and they therefore build their churches pected to frequent them. The people of America, in such a way that they can worship him in whatever their status may be, are thus left withspirit and in truth. Yet, while such is the case, out the excuses which one hears so frequently there is nothing to offend the eye or shock the in this country, if they absent themselves from the house of God, or fail to discharge the duties of the clergymen of Philadelphia and the surrequired of them in the several departments of rounding country were there, with others from church work.
different parts of the United States, who were In the afternoon, I was taken by young Mr. on a visit to the city, and availed themselves of Stuart to a Sunday school which is reckoned one this opportunity of seeing their brethren. The of the sights of Philadelphia It meets in a meeting is held every Monday at eleven o'clock, large unfinished building in one of the poorer and continues an hour and a half. It is presided districts of the city. Some fifteen hundred chil-over, I believe, by the ministers in rotation. dren were present when I entered, and nearly After devotional exercises, there is a free conhalf as many spectators crowded into the “Stran- ference on the state of religion generally. Each gers' Gallery." People—strangers, I mean—seem one has an opportunity of relating whatever may to go to it as they go to the theatre or the opera have taken place of interest in his own district, —for amusement. They may join, it is true, in and whatever difficulties and hindrances he
may the opening hymn, and hear a few sentences have encountered. Counsel is asked, advice is of the opening prayer; but their chief object, given, plans are formed, co-operative missionary evidently, is to gaze down on the mass of chil enterprise is organized, and united prayer is ofdren away in the area below. I examined as fered to Him with whom alone is success.
Minclosely as circumstances permitted the working isters are themselves more closely linked toof the school, and the impression left on my gether; they become familiar with the character mind was, that while the excitement of numbers and extent of each other's labours, trials, and and parade may possibly attract a few scholars successes : the young learn wisdom and prudence and teachers whom it might be difficult to reach from the old; and the old are in turn stimulated otherwise, yet the whole is not satisfactory. Ito new efforts by the fresh zeal and energy of the believe a series of smaller schools, judiciously young. Such meetings carry one back in imalocated, and carefully managed, would do far gination to those days when the apostles and dismore good among the masses. I could not but ciples assembled in an upper room in Jerusalem think, as I sat for a time in the Strangers' Gal- or Antioch, and when, untrammelled by cold lery, and afterwards on the platform below, forms and laws of debate, they consulted as studying as well as I could the vast assemblage, earnest men regarding whatever might best prothat the admission of strangers is a great mis- mote the common cause ; and they sought by take. They can do no good there; and they prayer the presence of that dear Master who had might be far better employed elsewhere. There so recently promised, "Lo, I am with you alway, might also, I thought, be more teaching in the even unto the end of the world.” The meetings school itself, and less time taken up with forms have proved, as I learned, eminently useful in and introductory exercises. Still, with all its fostering brotherly love and leading to brotherly drawbacks, it is a noble institution, and a grand help. They are centres of vital power which is example of Christian work. The school, I under-felt over the whole city. Might not the example stood, was organized and is sustained mainly by set by the ministers of Philadelphia be imitated the labours of one man. All honour, then, to that with advantage in the cities of our own land ? young Christian merchant, who is devoting so Meetings so conducted, free from the formality much of his great talents and administrative skill of church courts, could not fail to give a higher to the training of children for the kingdom of his tone to ministerial intercourse, and bring down a Master.
more abundant blessing upon ministerial labour.
The Board of Publication is one of the great WEEKLY MEETING OF MINISTERS.
schemes of the Presbyterian Church in the States. The ministers' meeting on Monday was to It was founded to select, publish, and dissemime of the deepest interest. It assembled in the nate a sound religious literature in a cheap and new and splendid building of the Presbyterian attractive form. It has done a great work; but it Board of Publication. Some seventy or eighty 1 is questionable, now that facilities for the publica