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NATIONAL PREACHER.

It will be the habitual endeavor of the Editor, in this work, to present such Sermons, on all important subjects of Gospel doctrine and practice, as may tend to honor the great Redeemer and save immortal souls. We have been cheered with constant assurances of its usefulness, and if those who read and appreciate, will make it known to others and encourage its circulation, its infiuence may widen and extend so long as the Gospel is preached.

Jan. 1836,

From the Boston Recorder.

PREACHER TO MANY NATIONS.

The NATIONAL PREACHER, which has been published for nine years in New York, besides being widely circulated in our own country, and to some extent in England, is also read with interest in China, in India, in South America, and in the far distant isles of the Pacific. The following extract of a letter from the Sandwich Islands shows how the work is regarded on the other side of the globe:

" This plan of calling forth the varied talents and united energies of cotemporaneous preachers, and bringing their happiest efforts before millions of our fellow-men, even while the authors, warmed by their own exertions, are still on their knees, imploring a blessing on the truths they have sent forth, appears admirably adapted to promote the strength and harmony of the churches, to facilitate their highest attainments in knowledge and piety, to excite them to that course of benevolent action which the present state of the world demands, and to supply, to some extent, the spiritual wants of multitudes who are not favored, statedly, with the pulpit and pastoral labors of any minister of Christ. The National Preacher deserves the confidence of the world. May this high commissioned messenger of Christ be received with thankfulness and joy by tens of millions of our race. May the Divine Author of all the valuable gifts in the church copiously shed down the graces of his Spirit upon the contributors to this evangelical publication, that their writings may be worthy of the enlightened age in which we live, and such as hundreds of millions may be edified to read, when the pens of the writers are exchanged for harps of gold."

WANTED.

A number of individuals, acquainted with men and manners, and of responsible character, to extend the circulation of this work. To such, very geneous terms would be offered on application to the Editor.

و

THE AMERICAN

NATIONAL PREACHER.

OR

ORIGINAL SERMONS-MONTHLY.

EDITED BY REV. AUSTIN DICKINSON.

i Office at the Bookstore of JOHN S. Taylor, 151 Nassau-street, New-York. !

CONTENTS OF No. 117.-FEBRUARY, 1836.

AN INAUGURAL DISCOURSE, on “ The Importance and Means of an able Ministry;" and a Farewell Discourse, on the

sure Means of Spiritual Prosperity :" by Rev. Baxter DICKINSON, Professor in Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati,

The person receiving this gratis is respectfully requested, after reading, to pass it to his neighbor.

TO THE BENEVOLENT.

Through the liberality of a gentleman in New York, this No. is stereotyped, and copies will at any time be distributed, by mail or otherwise, on application to the Editor, or the Publisher, (151 Nassau-st.) at twenty dollars a thousand, or two dollars a hundred. “When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren.”. “There is that scattereth and yet increaseth.” “ Unto the angel of the church - write."

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Brick Church Chapel, 151 Nassau-street.

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CONTRIBUTORS. UPWARDS of fifty Clergymen, of five Christian denominations, and belong. ing to sixteen different States, most of whom are well known to the public as authors, have allowed the Editor to expect from them Sermons for this work ; among whom are the following:

Rev. Dr. Richards, Professor in the Theological Seminary at Auburn; Rev. Dr. Proudfit, Salem; Rev. Drs. Tucker and Beman, Troy ; Rev. Dr. Sprague, Albany; Rev. Drs. Milnor, Mathews, Spring, Woodbridge, and De Witt, New-York City; Rev. Drs. Alexander and Miller, Professors in Princeton Theological Seminary ; Rev. Professor M'Clelland, Rutgers College, New Jersey Rev. Drs. Green, M’Dowell, and Cuyler, Philadelphia ; Rev. Dr. Bishop, President of Miami University, Ohio; Rev. Dr. Fitch, Professor of Divinity, Yale College ; Rev. Asahel Nettleton, Killingworth, Conn.; Rev. Dr. Wayland, President of Brown University ; Right Rev. Bp. Griswold, Salem, Mass.; Rev. Dr. Griffin, President of Williams College; Rev. Dr. Humphrey, President of Amherst College, Mass.; Rev. Dr. Beecher, President of Lane Seminary, Cincinnati; Rev. Professors Woods, Stuart, Skinner, and Emerson, of Andover Theological Seminary ; Rev. Dr. Fisk, President of the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct.; Rev. Daniel A. Clark, Bennington, Vt. ; Rev. Dr. Bates, President of Middlebury College ; Rev. Dr. Matthews, Hanover Theological Seminary, Indiana ; Rev. Dr. Baxter, Union Theological Seminary, Va.; Rev. Dr. Tyler, Portland, Me. ; Rev. Dr. Lord, President of Dartmouth College; Rev. Dr. Church, Pelham, N. H.; Rev. Dr. Leland, Charleston, S. C.; Rev. Dr. Coffin, Greenville, Tennessee ; Rev. Professor Halsey, Western Theological Seminary ; Rev. Drs. Perkins and Hawes, Hartford, Conn. ; Rev. President Wheeler, Vermont University; Rev. Prof. Howe, Columbia, S. C.; Rev. Dr. Chapin, President of Columbian College, D. C.

IĚ Some of the early ensuing Numbers are expected to be supplied by Rev. Drs. Milnor, Beecher, and Skinner.

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By Rev. BAXTER DICKINSON. Delivered on the occasion of his inauguration as Professor of Sacred Rhetoric and Pastoral

Theology, in Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, Dec. 17, 1835.

THE IMPORTANCE AND MEANS OF AN ABLE MINISTRY.

2 Tim. ii. 15. A workman that needeth not to be ashamed. The public ministry of religion is of divine appointment. It has always been God's leading instrumentality in maintaining the cause of truth, piety, and salvation : and it is to endure “to the end of the world.” In the arrangements of Christ for setting up his kingdom on earth, this institution is very prominent. He selected the men, trained them under his own eye, sent them forth to preach, and gave them instructions for perpetuating the holy order.

No one can doubt that the ministry is a wise appointment. Every great interest needs special supervision; and the greater the interest, the more systematic and thorough, obviously, should be the supervision. And the ministry, as a great guardian influence, is seen at once to be wisely adapted to its momentous objects. It was designed of God to exert great moral power over individuals and communities, for the advancement of the highest interests, both of time and eternity. Hence, good men have always looked, with wakeful concern, to the character and qualifications of the ministry. This solicitude has been natural and right; nor is it less important now than at any former period.

A characteristic, first in importance, beyond question, is decided godliness, For the absence of this, nothing can atone. Scripture demands it. The nature of the office demands it. The Christian teacher should have the fruits of the Spirit in strong, vivid, and prominent exercise. He must be "a man of God; full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost-rooted and grounded in love."

But while this is indispensable, other qualifications are also essential. The Head of the church would have an energetic, as well as honest and devoted ministry. And hence the necessity of looking to its intellectual as well as religious character. It is obvious there are many causes now tending strongly to lower the ministerial character, and thus to abridge its influence and usefulness. These I need not even name. They are, most of them, alas, too familiar. The danger will be obviated, if the church but duly respect herself and the honor of her King, and thus, with proper feeling, insist on the qualifications which God himself requires in her pastors. It cannot, then, be amiss, at such a time, and on such an occasion, to dwell on

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ABLE MINISTRY.

1. That such a ministry was designed of God for men, is clearly manifest from Scripture precept. · The priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth.” “Till I come, give attendance to reading." VOL. X. No. 9.

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" Neglect not the gift that is in thee." “ Meditate upon these things." " Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed."

In accordance with such positive precept, there are also indirect expressions of the divine will. “The same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach." For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." It is said of Apollos, in commendation, that he was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures;" that " he spake boldly in the synagogue, and mightily convinced the Jews."' It is said of Paul, that "his letters were weighty and powerful." And of himself he testifies, “though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge." In view of such Scripture, who can doubt that it is the pleasure of God to have a ninistry of vigorous and wellcultivated mind, as well as heart?--of high intellectual as well as religious character—able to teach-of sound speech, that cannot be condemned-well furnished with all the qualities for strong and resistless bearing upon the public mind.

2. The importance of an able ministry is evident from the express provision God has made for training and supporting it. In the Jewish nation, there were various regulations, designed to secure eminent qualifications in the sacred office. There were nearly fifty theological schools. None were allowed to enter the priesthood till thirty years of age. Large funds were set apart for sustaining men, both in their preparation and in actual service—funds so ample as to take away all temptation to deviate from appropriate study and labor. And none were expected to entangle themselves with the affairs of this life, either before or after entering the sacred office.

The spirit of these arrangements was retained in the Christian dispensation. The twelve had the very best of training and instruction, before they were authorized to preach. Nor were they much from under the supervision of their great Teacher, during his ministry of three years. He forbade their taking either bread or money, or even two coats apiece, on their mission; but instructed them to rely entirely on others for the means of support. He endued them also with the power of miracles. After his crucifixion he bestowed still higher gifts-larger measures of the Spirit, and the power of speaking in different tongues-gifts, all designed and adapted to make able ministers of the New Testament. And who questions, that, thus furnished, they were indeed men of great strength, as well as piety and zeal? With what energy and effect could they assail the powers of sin! How resistless the majesty of truth from their lips!

But the personal example and instructions of Christ are withdrawn. The power of miracles, the gift of tongues, and the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost, are withdrawn. And what does this providence indicate, but that other preparatory means, of corresponding force, are to be substituted ? It will not be pretended, that human nature is less perverse now than it was then. The minister of this day, therefore, needs as much power as did Peter and his associates.

3. Another consideration in point is, that all the most important movements in the church have taken place under the instrumentality of able men. Why were Moses and Aaron selected to rescue Israel from bondage--to instruct them on their journey to Canaan, and to arrange for them a splendid system of religious polity ?—why, but for their peculiar qualifications ?-the one being learned in al the wisdom of his age, and divinely inspired; and the other a man of ready and commanding address. Who have displayed nobler powers than David and many of the prophets? But why were not men of inferior capacity selected to be thus honored of God, if talents are of no account with him?

But not less illustrious have been the chief actors in every great movement of the Christian church. The twelve disciples, though taken from humble life, as we have seen, were not sent out till thoroughly trained, and endued with capacity for wise and powerful action. The apostle Paul was a master-spirit of his age. He had genius: he had the best inental discipline: he had stores

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