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diversified must be his attainments and his exertions, while he at one time holds intercourse with the highest in the land, as their equal in intelligence and their adviser in the most important duties of their station ; at another associates with the most learned and illustrious, with the knowledge and talent competent to follow their train of thinking, and maintain his footing in their society; and at a third mingles with the poorest and humblest as a friend and brother, entering into all their feelings, lowering his conversation without effort to the tone of theirs, and sparing them, by the meekness of his deportment, any painful or mortifying sense of his superiority to themselves. I speak not of the public services of the pulpit, immense as I believe to be their importance, and unspeakable the benefits arising from them. But if you have had the happiness of living on the footing on which Christians ought to live with him who undertook the care of your spiritual concerns, think, I entreat you, how much your children have been blessed by the suggestions of his prudence, and the kindness of his approbation ; how much of peace, and serenity, and resignation have been shed around the death-bed of a revered parent, or a beloved partner, through the agency of his admonitions and his prayers ; how often, in the hour of your deepest affliction, his presence and conversation have been the means of soothing your wounded spirits, and raising you to consolation and hope.
Still stronger is the plea I would urge, of the destitution in which the families of clergymen are often left, arising from the very sacrifices which they make, and the services they render in discharge of their duty. They have not the means of maintaining the decencies of their station, of answering the demands which are hourly and irresistibly made on their bounty, and of obtaining for their children the benefits of a liberal education, and, at the same time, in ordinary cases, bequeathing them any thing like an independence. Their habits, their pursuits, their occupations, are incompatible with lucrative employments, and exclude even the possibility of accumulation. In the event of their premature death, an event, alas! but too common not to be anticipated as abundantly probable, their children are for the most part left unprovided for, as well as unprotected. Few scenes can be conceived more affecting than the breaking up of a clergyman's family in such circumstances. They must at once bid farewell to the roof which sheltered their infancy, under which their childish pastimes were enjoyed, and their earliest habits formed. They must part, most likely for ever, from every scene and every
object with which their early pleasures and first remembered thoughts are associated. They must renounce the limited measure of comfort and indulgence to which they have been accustomed, and give up those prospects of cultivation and improvement which they had just begun to prize. They must go forth amongst strangers to pine unknown and unnoticed, or descend to those sordid labours for which their habits and feelings are equally unfitted. To rescue them from such depression, to continue to them the advantages of a liberal education, to animate them with new hope, and open to them the path of enlightened exertion, usefulness, and independence, are the objects of that Society
whose cause I have endeavoured to plead, whose claims on your liberality I trust I have succeeded in establishing, and in whose name I now again entreat your
aid and co-operation in their labour of love.
Were any further notice wanting to excite your liberality, I might remind you of the probability that your bounty will not be thrown away. If we revolve the brightest pages of our national history, we shall find them adorned with the names of those who boasted being the sons of clergymen. If we look around us in the world, we shall find them occupying a distinguished place in every walk of life, and every liberal profession. If we dwell on our own personal experience, we shall find their persons associated with the recollection of the piety, the wisdom, the kindness which we most highly venerated, the friendship we most fondly cherished, the regrets which lie deepest in the secret of our hearts. You may reasonably hope, that such will continue to be the fruits of the same early habits and early education, that those whom you now assist at their outset in life may prove no less distin guished ornaments to their country and benefactors to the human race, and that in contributing to their education you contribute to provide for every profession, and especially for the ministry of the Gospel, individuals as highly qualified, as useful, and as beloved as those whom you now most highly admire, or on whose memory you dwell with the most affectionate remembrance, the most afflicting sense of their removal.
May the Almighty give all these considerations their due weight, and to his name be the praise.
MAN THE APPARENT, GOD THE REAL AGENT, IN THE WORK OF
REV. JOSEPH TAYLOR GOODSIR,
MINISTER OF LARGO.
PHILLIPIANS II. 12, 13. “ Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling ;
for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
There is a truth of appearance which differs from the truth of reality. That which meets the eye, or strikes on the ear, may often convey an impression true for the sense, but not true for the reason. Thus do many apparent contradictions present themselves, not only in those departments of knowledge which bear more immediately on the conduct of life, but also in the regions of speculative and natural enquiry.
The rude and erroneous notions of the heavens, formed from the first imperfect study and superficial observation of them, have been embodied in almost all languages, and still form the creed of the illiterate in almost all nations. Men, of course, at first take for granted the impressions of their senses.
The shepherds, while watching their flocks on the plains by night, behold the countless hosts of heaven pursue their stately march in an almost unvaried course. Star after star, constellation after constellation, they see harmoniously roll from east to west, and successively merge beneath the western wave. They view with admiration, and hail with joy, the sun rising in giant strength from his eastern couch, shining in glorious apparel, and rejoicing like a strong man to run a race. They no more doubt that the stars thus run their appointed courses, that the sun rises at morn and sets at eventide, than they doubt that the curtains of darkness are withdrawn at his approach, and again drop at his departure. If they actually see all this, shall they not believe what they
But the better instructed man, who looks upon
these objects from a right position, knows that belief to be erroneous which is founded on what he sees. He, too, beholds the glorious orb with giant strength travel on his