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This is what we need for peace, for real progress, for present comfort, for future joy.
It is communion with God, it is receiving his love, it is accepting his forgiveness, and living, day by day, as his beloved children.
THE MINISTER WE WANT.
MY DEAR SISTER, — I have just had a long conversation with our old friend E. ; who seems, and evidently is, very much interested in the future welfare of the Liberal Church. He is not anxious about particular opinions, but rather for the perfectly free discussion of every theological question; caring only for the highest welfare of our race in America, and the prevalence of those opinions which shall directly lead to charity, love of God, disinterestedness, and the fullest development of all the faculties of the mind, and the formation of the noblest character.
He regards the preaching of the gospel as the highest work that man has to do; but he thinks that it can be perfectly well done only by those who have been called to the work, and who are prepared for it from childhood. He has a very high idea of the importance of this preparation ; and yet he holds opinions upon this subject, which, I confess, seem to me to be inconsistent. He thinks, for example, that a noisy, spirited, restless, mischievous boy will be more likely to make an excellent minister than a quiet, well-behaved, faultless child ; that a mad-cap, who is always leader on the play-ground and on the river, or in
a tramp through the woods, will be much more likely, when he is on bis knees by his mother, with his head in her lap, to form noble resolutions, and to abide by them, .than the cold-blooded, good boy, who prefers his books to the foot-ball, the oar, or the nut-basket. He thinks that “Robinson Crusoe,” the “ Arabian Nights,” “ Fairy Tales,” and Walter Scott, are better reading, for a boy meant for something, than any quantity of history, moral tales, and romances. Yet he professes, at the same time, to think that history is the all-important study ; and that, if it had not been for the sermons of Old England and of New, the inhabitants of these countries would have been infinitely worse than they are in all respects.
He is a resolute advocate — I am not sure he is quite
the old heathenism of Homer, Hesiod, and Æschylus, as not only harmless, when the books are read under a Christian teacher, but wholesome; and he would, if he could, bave every boy, intended for the Church, as good a Greek scholar as President Felton or President Woolsey or Prof. Crosby or Grote or Dr. Arnold. Indeed, he does not hesitate to attribute much of the eminent practical ability of all these scholars to the thorough discipline of their Greek studies.
Yet he thinks that one other thing is far more important than all these together; that the boy with such a destiny should be brought up under the delicate, patient, . prayerful, loving (that is his word) — loving nurture of a devoted, earnest, Christian mother, and of an energetic, manly, Christian father. If possible, he should have both these guides : but the most important, immeasurably, is the mother; for, in most cases, he says, that, by the time a boy comes under the direct influence of his father, his
character has already received its stamp. He is to be what his mother's character and devotion decree. •
Much as he values the most thorough intellectual education, — a Greek education, — he holds with Arnold, that, next to a boy's being a Christian, it is most essential that he should be a gentleman. Think of that! He confessed to me, that the coarseness and ill manners of some young men whom he met, who were said to be educating for the ministry, were hardly less shocking to him than some forms of immorality would have been
Upon this point he insists more than upon any other. The business of a minister, he says, is not merely to teach theological and religious truths and the great principles of morality, but to recommend them, by his influence and his character, to be gracious, gentle, and courteous, and thus to form an atmosphere of refinement which shall be purifying, elevating, and ennobling.
The parish wants some one to look to as a model in good manners as well as in scholarship and character. The very persons who ought to be attracted by the minister would be repelled when they saw him sitting with his hat on, hawking and spitting, talking in the slang of the tavern, with one leg on the arm of a chair or upon the table. Now, true delicacy, and refinement of manners, cannot be assumed at a particular age: they come only from associating, through the forming period of life, with people of cultivation and refinement, with ladies and gentlemen.
I could not help thinking, all the time my old friend was speaking, — and I wish I could remember a fourth part of what he said, — of your dear Arthur. What a glorious minister he would make! He talks, I know, only of being a soldier; and how can a brave fellow like him help it, when he hears that the Constitution, which he has been taught to regard as the best that was ever made, is in danger? That fiery, martial spirit of his, my old friend would say, is the very spirit with which to contend against the spirits of the powers of darkness. But this terrific war, I trust, will soon be at an end. God cannot look on, and see à dominion established whose corner-stone is perpetual slavery. And, when peace comes back, oh! may it last as long as Arthur lives, though he should surpass the age of his grandfather!
But the war against spiritual enemies, against ignorance and indifference, sin and irreligion, will last till the millennium.
Why should you not prepare him for this service? You will say he is too full of mad pranks; but there is never any thing mean or vicious in his pranks. How proud of him I felt when he knocked down that big boy, Jemmy M'D., for striking poor Kitty C., and overturning her apples, and then that he made him pick up all the apples ! And, when you began to give him a lecture for having done it, his defence seemed to me to be perfect : “I could not help it, dear mother! How could I stand still, and see a great coward strike a poor little girl like that?”
And what could be better than his apology for climbing to the topmost branch of the sweet apple-tree in his grandfather's orchard, and gather the uppermost apple? He wanted to find how the sunshine, which had been getting into that apple all summer long, would make it taste!
But I must not go rattling on in this way any longer. Do, though, take what I have said into serious consideration ; and believe me always yours,
EXTRACTS FROM A JOURNAL KEPT BY A TEACHER OF
CONTRABANDS AT PORT ROYAL.
[The following extracts have been made, at my request, from the pri
vate journals of Frank E. Barnard of Dorchester, who recently died at Port Royal. The simple, childlike piety and the generous spirit of this young man must commend them to our readers. — Ed.]
Jan. 28, 1862.-.... Hear about “contrabands,” and decide I am ready to go to Port Royal as missionary, if God wills.
Jan. 29. — Immediately after morning duties, and review of the article on contrabands in November “Atlantic," I started for Jamaica Plain, to Rev. J. F. Clarke's, to offer my services as missionary in case any opening offered. ....
Feb. 10. — That I may go to Port Royal is still my hope. My prayer, though, is simply, “ Thy will be done.” I am not anxious either way. Here or there, I will be “ glad in the Lord.” God has a place for me; and, because this is so, I shall find it.
Feb. 20.-. ... Suddenly summoned to appear before Mr. George B. Emerson concerning Port-Royal Mission. To-morrow will settle the question; till when, I live in hope. I am determined to rest in God.
Feb. 22. — Busy all the A. M. visiting the different members of the “ Educational Commission,” and believe I am approved to go next Wednesday from New York. Am exceedingly happy about it. I will go in God's strength alone, even as Jesus did.
Feb. 24. — At a meeting in Boston, we, the different teachers, listened to Mr. Pierce's statement with great earnestness. I have already learned to love one or two of the young men.
May God's blessing rest upon us all! That we are to