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and the mineral and meteorological worlds serve them both. And the branches of the tree shed their leaves to feed the roots, and the roots collect moisture and nutriment from the soil to feed the branches and the leaves. And the clouds let fall their showers, and the sun sheds down his warmth and light, and the more mysterious powers of nature exert their secret influences, and all things are thus kept right. And the winds keep ever in motion, bearing away the surplus cold of one region to temper the excessive heat of another, and carrying back the surplus heat of the warmer climes, to soften the rigors of the colder ones. And so throughout the universe. There is not an idle orb in the whole heavens, nor is there an idle atom on earth. The sun the moon and the stars are in eternal motion, and are evermore exerting their wondrous influences for the good of the whole universe. And the streams are ever flowing, and the sea is ever toiling. The great things and the small, the seen and the unseen, the conscious and the unconscious, are all at work, helping themselves, and serving each other, and contributing with one consent to the welfare of the great mysterious whole. Nature's laws are so framed that idleness is everywhere punished, and honest industry everywhere rewarded. Everywhere obedience is life, and disobedience death. Salvation by works is the principle of the Divine Government throughout the universe, among all the creatures of God.

My favorite preachers were William Dawson, David Stoner and James Parsons, all eloquent and earnest men, and all decidedly practical. I never missed an opportunity of hearing them if they came within five or six miles of the place where I lived. And many of their sermons which I heard more than forty years ago are still fresh in my memory, and continue to exert a happy influence on my heart.

William Dawson was a local preacher, a farmer. He was a large, broad-chested, big-headed, strong built man,one of the finest specimens of a well-made, thoroughly developed Englishman I ever saw. And he was full of life. There was not a sluggish atom in his whole body, nor a slow-going faculty in his whole soul. He had eyes like fire; and his face was the most expressive I ever looked upon. And his voice was loud as the fall of mighty waters.

And it was wonderfully flexible, and full of music. And he always spoke in natural tones. There was nothing like cant or monotony in his utterance. Yet he would raise his voice to such a pitch at times that you could hear him half a mile away. He was the most perfect actor I ever saw, because he was not an actor at all, but awful, absolute reality. And he was a man of wonderful intelligence and good sense. And he was well read. His mind was full to overflowing of the soundest religious knowledge. And his good sound sense had no perceptible admixture of nonsense. Every sentence answered to your best ideas of the right, the true, the holy, the divine. His grammar, his logic, and his rhetoric were perfect, and all nature seemed to stand by to supply him with apt, and striking, and touching illustrations. And his soul was full of feeling. He seemed to sympathize with every form of humanity, from the helpless babe to tottering age, and to be one with them in all their joys and sorrows, and in all their hopes and fears. And now he would cry with the crying child, and then he would wail with the afflicted mother. All that is great, all that is tender, all that is terrible,-all nature, with all that is human, and much that was divine, seemed incarnated in him. He was the most wonderful embodiment of all that goes to make a great, a mighty, a complete man, and a good, an able, and an all-powerful preacher, it ever was my privilege to see. As a matter of course, his prayers, his sermons, and his public speeches were irresistible. Sinners trembled, and fell on their knees praying and howling. Saints shouted, and lost themselves in transports. His congregations were always crowded, and the dense, mixed masses of men and women, good and evil, old and young, all were moved by him like the sea by a strong wind. All understood him: all felt him; and all were awed and bowed as by the power of God. His sermons were always practical. Whether he spake to the saint or the sinner, he went directly to the conscience. And all that he said you saw. Sin stared you full in the face and looked unspeakably sinful; it rose and stood before you a monster group of all imaginable horrors and abominations. The sinner shook, he shrank, he writhed at the sight, in mortal agony. God, as Dawson pictured Him, was



terrible in majesty and infinite in glory. Jesus was the perfection of tenderness, of love, and power, and almighty to save. Thousands were converted under him. His influence pervaded the whole country, and was everywhere a check on evil, and a power for good. The effect of his ministry on me, on my imagination, my mind and my heart, was living and powerful to the last degree, and I remember his sermons, and feel his power, to the present day, and he will dwell in my memory, to be loved and honored, as long as I live.

David Stoner was a travelling preacher. He lived in the same village as William Dawson, and was a member of his class. He was a disciple of Dawson in every respect, but in no respect a servile imitator. He was a man and not a slave. And he had much of Dawson's sense, and much of Dawson's power, though little or nothing of Dawson's natural dramatic manner. He was a fountain pouring forth a perpetual stream of truth and holy influence. The two were one in love, and light, and power, but in manner they differed as much as any two powerful preachers I ever knew. Both live in my soul, and speak with my voice, and write with my pen. Both had an influence in determining both the method of my preaching and the manner of my life in my early days.

James Parsons was a Congregationalist. His character, and the character of his preaching, may be learned from his published sermons. But, strange to say, the sermons published by himself, are not near so good, nor do they convey half so good an idea of his power, as those reported by shorthand writers and published by others. He was more, and better, and mightier in the pulpit, before a large and living congregation, than in his closet alone. My remembrance of these three great and godly men, and powerful Christian ministers, is a rich and eternal treasure. I can never come near them, but I may follow them, as I did in the days of my youth," Afar off."

Whether the strong practical tendency of my mind did not carry me too far sometimes, and make my preaching somewhat one-sided, I cannot say. I may not be considered qualified to judge. I have, however, an opinion on the subject. My impression is, that my method of preaching

was thoroughly scriptural and evangelical. And it was, I believe, the kind of preaching which the Church and the world particularly needed. It was, too, the kind of preaching to which I believe I was specially called, and for which I was specially fitted. It was the only kind in which I felt myself perfectly at home. And the effects were good. Sinners were converted. Unbelievers were convinced. And believers were improved and comforted. They were led to read and study the Scriptures more, and to read and study them with greater pleasure, and to greater profit. They became more enamoured of Christianity, more zealous for its spread, and more able in its defence.

And the societies among which I labored always prospered, and those among which I labored most prospered most abundantly. My labors proved especially useful to the young. My classes were crowded with thoughtful, earnest, inquiring youths. And those who fell under my influence became, as a rule, intelligent, devoted, and useful characters. Not a few of them continue laborious and exemplary Christians, and able and successful ministers, to the present day. I meet with good and useful people almost everywhere, many of whom are in the ministry, who acknowledge me as their spiritual father, and consider themselves indebted to my former ministry, and to my early writings, both for their standing and usefulness in the Church, and for their success and happiness in life.

One would suppose that a method of preaching which was followed by such happy results, should have been encouraged. And so it was by the great mass of the people. They heard me gladly. They came in crowds wherever I was announced to preach, and filled the largest chapels to their utmost capacity. They drank in my words with eagerness, and made no secret of the place I occupied in their affection and esteem. But many of my brethren in the ministry regarded me with great disquietude. They thought my preaching grievously defective. "It failed,"

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they said, "to give due prominence to the distinctive features of the gospel economy." "It is good," they would say, as far as it goes; but it does not go far enough. It is too vague, too general. His sermons are beautiful and good in their way, but they are not the Gospel. They are



true; but they are not the whole truth. There is not enough of Christ in them. We find fault with them, not for what they contain, but for what they do not contain. True, they make mention of the great facts and doctrines of Christianity, but they do not make enough of them: they do not dwell on them as their constant theme." They made many such complaints. They charged me with winning from my hearers, for a partial and defective view of the Gospel, the love and reverence which were due only to a very different view. They called me a legalist, a work-monger, and other offensive names. They charged me too with spoiling the people, with giving them a distaste for ordinary kinds of preaching, and making it hard for other preachers to follow me. The complaints they whispered in the ears of their friends soon found their way to mine. I endeavored to justify myself by appeals to Scripture, to Wesley, and to other authorities. It would have been better perhaps if I had kept silent and gone quietly on with my work. But some of my friends thought otherwise. They wished to be furnished with answers to my traducers, and so constrained me to speak. My defence only led to renewed and more violent attacks. My opponents could not think well of my style of preaching, without thinking ill of their own. They could not acknowledge my method to be evangelical, without confessing their own to be grievously defective, and to have expected them to do that would have been the extreme of folly. They could do no other therefore than regard me as a dangerous man, and do what they could to bring my preaching and sentiments into suspicion, and prepare the way for my exclusion from the ministry. This was the second cause of the unhappy feeling which took possession of my mind.

A few quotations from a Journal written about this time may be of use and interest here.

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