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come in, after their brethren have all assembled, and are anxiously looking for them. However this may be, I hope, my son, you will never be so great a man as that.
It will require too much space to move in. Located as you are, you may be frequently called abroad to assist in forming new churches. I hope you will ; and that you will by no means decline, when it is in your power to go. No mere personal inconvenience, short of bad health and the consequent risk of going abroad, should hinder you.
You may also have urgent calls to preach where there are revivals; and where the churches are with, or without pastors. Such calls will be most urgent, where the people are panting for the bread of life, and have none to break it to them. But
brethren will sometimes need help in “the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” and your assistance for a few days may be of inestimable value.
Moreover, in this remarkable age of christian enterprise, you should hold yourself in readiness to attend religious anniversaries, both large and small, when your services are wanted, and there is a prospect of doing good by stirring up the churches to greater efforts. It may be necessary also, that you should devote a good deal of time to the direct management of Missionary, Bible, and other benevolent Societies. Somebody must do it, or they cannot be kept up. Many must enlist in the great and glorious cause of a dying world, and why should you decline your share of the labors ? I have confidence in you, my son, that you
will not. I shall only add, that the cause of education will have strong claims upon you, as an educated man and a minister. I am not disposed to depreciate the services of other educated and professional men, in building up and sustaining the schools and colleges of this country; for many of them have always been found in the first rank. Without the co-operation of legislators and intelligent private laymen, none of our educational institutions would flourish. But I bazard nothing in saying, that in New England, however it may be in other parts of the land, these institutions are more indebted to the efforts and superintendence of the clergy, than to those of any other single class. Nor, in saying this, do I intend to represent them as entitled to any particular credit. They have done no more than it was their duty to do. They are under better advantages, than any other class in the country, to exert a direct personal influence. Arduous as are their ministerial and pastoral labors, they have their time more at command than lawyers or physicians, or those who make and administer the laws of the country. They can visit the schools of the town, and attend the examinations of academies in the vicinity, when the necessary engagements of other professional men render it impossible for them to be equally punctual. And so in regard to the public seminaries. Judges cannot leave the bench, nor counsellors the bar, nor physicians their patients, nor legislators their halls, to examine the classes in a college, nor to attend the anniversaries. Sometimes they can be present, and many of them are as ready to make as great personal sacrifices as could be desired, to promote the cause of education in all its departments. What I mean is, that their professional engagements and other public duties will often interfere ; and this renders it the more necessary that ministers should supply their lack of service.
Though the time will never come, when, under the most perfect organization, ministers of the Gospel can be excused from fostering schools and colleges, the amount of labor and responsibility will depend much upon their location. Pastors and missionaries in the new states and territories will find more to do in laying the foundations, and cherishing the growth of primary schools and higher seminaries, than their brethren elsewhere. I hope, iny dear son, you will carefully survey your own position, and enquire what you can do to promote the cause of popular education in L-s, and more widely as you may have opportunity. Make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the condition of the schools throughout the state. Collect statistics from every quarter, as soon and as fast as you can.
Find out who the men of influence are, and enquire whether their special favor and efforts cannot in some way be secured. Converse on the subject wherever you can gain a hearing. Write letters to influential friends and acquaintances, if you have any such, whom you can hope to enlist in the cause. Secure the co-operation of your brethren. Visit
the schools, not only at home, but in your occasional excursions for relaxation and health, and encourage the teachers. Write paragraphs in the newspapers, to awaken public attention. If need be, unite with
. others in memorializing the city government and the legislature. Who can tell how much you may do, in these and other ways, to extend the blessings of free school education throughout the State. And though you should fail, you will enjoy the satisfaction of having " done what you could."
” The Academies and Colleges of the State will also be entitled to a share of your attention, in common with that of your brethren in the ministry. If you are wanted as a trustee, and can in any way “redeem the time,” accept the office and discharge the duties of it faithfully. If you are not wanted, but are invited to attend the regular examinations, go, if it is in your power. Let the guardians and instructors of the Colleges see you at their commencements. Nothing encourages them more, than to find themselves surrounded on these occasions by ministers of the gospel: and if ministers do not enter heart and hand into the cause of public as well as primary education, who will ?
I am very affectionately, &c.
MY DEAR E.
You have probably been waiting with some anxiety to hear what I have to say upon revivals of religion. This, I confess, is a subject on which you have a right to expect the maturest thoughts, that I have been able to gather from reading, observation, experience and reflection. But I must not conceal from you, that I approach it with the deepest solicitude. There is not, within the whole range of ministerial and pastoral duty, a more important topic, nor one where wrong advice would be more hurtful to the cause of pure and undefiled religion. I dare not advance a step, without fervent prayer to God for that “ wisdom which is from above." O thou Eternal Spirit, wilt thou help my infirmities, wilt thou pour light into my mind and grace into my heart. Direct me what to say to my dear son, I humbly beseech thee, and suffer me not, through mistake or prejudice, to mislead him, where issues of such infinite moment are at stake.
This anxiety does not arise from the slightest doubt, that there are “times of refreshing from the
“ presence of the Lord,” in which the churches are greatly quickened, and sinners are simultaneously awakened, convicted and converted. I have no more doubt that God does thus pour out his Spirit, than I have that he gives showers in summer, or snow in