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rich and poor, including every baptized child, and every other child under our care, may be arranged into groups under the direction of collectors.

All these persons—members of our Church and congregations and Sunday schools—may be divided into classes of twenty-five, one of whom shall be the leader and collector.

These classes of twenty-five should be subdivided into groups of five, and one of each group should be collector and leader for that group of five.

In this way the work of the individual leader of twenty-five would be greatly reduced, he having the assistance of five other persons who carry out his plan and cooperate with him.

By this plan, during the three years, we shall be able to reach, quarterly, every member of the Church, and every member of every family directly or indirectly connected with the Church, and by use of argument and persuasion secure from everybody something toward this “Twentieth Century Fund.”

Six persons in every class of twenty-five, thus sharing responsibility, would be developed as workers. And just as in the beginning the financial plan of the class meeting developed into spiritual opportunity, we should, by this plan, gradually develop a practical and spiritual movement to do for the new century what the old-fashioned class meeting did for the fathers in the beginning.

YALE LECTURES ON PREACHING.*

It is doubtless true, as President Tucker, of Dartmouth College, remarks on opening the twenty-fifth course on the Lyman Beecher Foundation, that “each new incumbent of this lectureship can but feel the increasing stringency of the situation." His task has not been made easier for him by the brilliant galaxy of men who have preceded him on that platform. Nevertheless, each new lecturer brings something which none of the others had, namely, his own peculiar, God-invented personality, the tried and adopted convictions of his own unduplicated soul, the annotations of his own separate experience upon all general truths. No bright day-dawn is discredited by its innumerable predecessors, for each new morning beads afresh the common grass with sparkling distillation from its own vivific atmosphere. After all deductions of things held in common there remains to each his own mind and heart and the results they have shaped in the inward forge, where the heart heated and the mind hammered into shape. The richness of a succulent and piquant nature is unanticipated and inalienable. No endless chain of lectures on preaching could whirl Nathaniel J. Burton dry and juiceless, or dessicate the flush vitality of Bishop Simpson or H. W. Beecher. Each holds his own stimulating content, and pours it out in his turn-a vintage never ripened before. Failure befalls the lecturer, as it does the preacher, who deals in hackneyed generalities, however true and important; and success is possible only when he lets us hear the personal note sounding with authority from the throneroom, where truth, credentialed by experience, sits and rules in the palace of his own soul.

* The Making and Unmaking of the Preacher. Lectures on the Lyman Beecher Foundation, Yale University, 1898. By William Jewett Tucker, President of Dartmouth College. 12mo, pp. 244. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, cloth, $1.50.

If the Yale lectures for 1898 are not so affluent and efflorescent as some others they are marked by impressive earnestness, mature wisdom, direct fitness to present conditions, sound sense, and an evidently urgent desire for immediate practical usefulness.

The lecturer holds that if there is anything which should move on from generation to generation in the consistency of unfailing power it is the Christian pulpit. He repeats a remark made by a friend to Justice Holmes, of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, to the effect that, “ After all, the only interesting thing is religion;" he affirms that the mind of this age is ready and anxious to come under the authority of the truth; that

very few men really wish to reason God out of existence or out of his world, or long to disbelieve in immortality, or would wish to abolish the commandments—even though they break them or would prefer to have Christianity proven a myth rather than an historic fact; and he bids us not malign or misunderstand the temper of own age, which is anxious to be convinced, however it may search and question. He notes the growing disposition and desire of men to come again under the sway of great intellectual beliefs, to come under an authority which shall determine and rule them, and holds that this is no retrograde movement, no call to rest, but rather the appeal of the intellect to be allowed to go out once more into the affirma

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tive and to take the open field in behalf of spiritual truth; that there is a popular demand for an increase in the volume of acknowledged truth; that while, measured by the mere formalities of creeds, there has been a shrinkage, in reality there has been no shrinkage, but, rather, an extension, of natural and revealed truth; the thought of God being larger, closer, more pervasive than ever before, Jesus Christ holding a more fundamental and central position than he held at the time when Christianity began to be reexamined, the Bible being no less true and commanding than when it was in bondage to verbalism and absolute inerrancy, and the problems of human destiny being no less serious or awful because studied in the terms of a larger Christianity.

Dr. Tucker's conception of his theme, and the spirit in which he treats it, are indicated in his phrase, “the responsibility and joy of preaching.” He insists that preaching is the one highest, most imperative, and most inspiring duty of the ministry, and that, when distractions multiply and duties apparently conflict, he should hear and obey the mandate of the pulpit's claims, saying, “Enter into thy closet, and shut thy door;" although in larger and exacting parishes the minister must cultivate the power of concentration or of abstraction of thought in the midst of distractions till he makes himself reasonably independent of surroundings, so that he can work on a railway train as resolutely as in his study and can think clearly and calmly or clearly and passionately in the midst of alien and unfavorable surroundings. He commends the example of Dr. Gordon, at the Old South Church, Boston, who resolved at the beginning of his pastorate that for three years he would make no public addresses outside of his church. A definition of preaching which this lecturer likes is that “it is making men think, and feel as they think, and act as they feel.” The minister's first business is to make a man aware of his soul, and the next is to help him save it.

Out of his own experience Dr. Tucker gives this account of how he was brought to decide upon the ministry: “Near the close of my seminary course, when I was in no little doubt about the reality of what I had to preach, and was therefore hesitating between the law and the ministry, I chanced upon the Life and Letters of F. W. Robertson. One letter which caught my attention contained a statement of his personal feeling toward Christ. I had never known till then that a man could feel in just that way about Christ. Here at last was reality. It gave me what I wanted. I began at once on my own account the study of the life of Christ. I began with the temptation. And from that time on I had no question about the ministry. Robertson, with his passionate loyalty to Christ, had awakened the answering passion in my soul.” Quite in line with this is what he says of Paul's supreme message: “I think that it was Paul's apprehension of Christ which has given him such a place of influence in Christianity. More of the motive of Christianity is in his writings than we can find elsewhere. He never gets away, not in the furthest reaches of his logic, from the love of Christ. In this Paul is true to his date in the divine revelation. He comes into the divine thought as it becomes more urgent in the endeavor to save. We mistake if we think that the Bible advances from the sacrificial to the ethical. The advance, if the comparison is to be made at all under the idea of progress, is from the ethical to the sacrificial. That is, the motive of God comes out with a deeper promise and with more irresistible power in the New Testament than in the Old. God comes nearer to man, surrenders more, not of righteousness, but of himself, to reach man; suffers more for man. The Sermon on the Mount holds all the ethics of the commandments; but from the Sermon on the Mount to the passion and death of Jesus, what an advance there is in the motive power of the Gospel!”

Much stress is laid on the importance of the preacher's feeling toward men, his ability to come into sensitive relation to the human soul. He says: “One of the most serious questions a preacher can ask himself is this: What am I doing when I am not preaching? Where are my thoughts, my plans, my imperative desires and longings ? Toward what end am I pushing with the constant energies of my nature? Preaching is not an end, but it is very easy to make it an end. Most preachers do make it a chief end, in that they make it the climax of their energy and thought and spiritual purpose. The strong tides of their spiritual being do not underrun their preaching, flowing out with it into the great life toward which it points." He gives an incident from his own early ministry: “I had prepared a sermon which had been, I doubt not, profitable to me, but which was so utterly ineffective as a sermon that I took the liberty of asking a very discerning friend what was the difficulty with it. His reply was the best criticism I ever received : "You seemed to me to be more concerned about the truth than about men.' Yes, that was the difficulty. I saw it in a moment. I had no right as a preacher to be concerned about the truth. I should have had the truth in command, so that I could have given my whole concern to men.

As it was the sermon lacked authority.” A similar illustration is taken from the experience of another: “Dr. Pentecost was preaching at one time in the presence of Dr. Bonar, enjoying, as a man will, the luxury of proclaiming the Gospel. Dr. Bonar came to him at the close, touched him on the shoulder, and said, • You love to preach, don't you?' 'Yes, I do.' 'Do you love men to whom you preach ?' That was a much deeper question, and it is worth every man's asking when he finds himself more in love with the truth, or with the proclamation of it, than with men to whom, and for whom, the truth has been revealed. . . . It is the habit of some preachers to follow the sermon with the personal letter, others with timely conversation, others with the opportunity of the after meeting. In some cases these personal methods may not be necessary. Preaching may be so quickening as to create of itself an office practice for the minister. Those who have listened to his words may be so awakened and stimulated that they will come to him and ask him for further help in the life of the soul."

The qualities which give force to public address are described as follows: "Directness, the power of straightforward, onmoving speech; speech which brooks no interruption, but which moves with a steadfast determination to its end, not the mere advance of logic, but the advance of the whole man; copiousness, the utterance of the full man, which relieves at once the fear of mental exhaustion, and gives the assurance of power in reserve; nervousness of style, the characteristic of which is that every thought is alive, that every word leaps to its task; and massiveness, the weight of well-organized thought, through which the speaker is able to make the whole of his thought felt through every part."

Furthermore, the language of the pulpit must be the language of certainty, of sympathy, and of hopefulness—the hopefulness of the Gospel; these will give character to its speech. All that preaching is cannot be put into any one statement.

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