Page images
PDF
EPUB

being specified, to accommodate yourself to the habits and comforts of those whom you visit.

Every one knows that, when he goes to a tavern, the more good things he calls for, and the more fully he puts in requisition all the luxuries, resources, and servants of the house, the more pleasure he gives. But you will never, I trust, feel yourself at liberty to act upon this principle, when you avail yourself of the hospitality of your friends.

When you are an inmate, then, in a friend's family, for a single day, or longer, be careful, as far as possible, to conform, in every minute particular, to the stated order of the family, Allow no part of it to be set aside for your sake. Ascertain the usual hours for taking their several meals, and never detain them a single moment, if you can possibly avoid it. Make a point of being within at an early hour in the evening, so as not to interfere with the usual time for domestick worship, and retiring to rest. Employ the servants as little as possible in waiting upon you, and in going on errands for your accommodation. In short, study to accommodate all your movements to the ordinary habits and convenience of the family to which you are indebted for its hospitality, Christian benevolence demands that you pursue this

It is only "doing to others as you would that they should do unto you"

course.

A re

gard to your own interest, also, demands it of you. For it cannot be doubted that those who find you a very troublesome guest, will be glad of your departure, and not very anxious that you should repeat your visit.

10. Be careful IN RECEIVING, As well. As IN PAYING visits. When you have a house of your own, be hospitable. Your duty as a christian, and as a minister, will demand it. Receive dad treat your friends with unaffected be- nevolence and kindness. Entertain them comfortably, but always plainly. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” But remember that what is called hospitality may be carried too far. When a minister of the gospel, under the notion of complying with this duty, “keeps open house,” and allows his dwelling to be made a tavern, he does injustice to his family, and criminally consumes his own time. For to every guest some time must be devoted, and to Some, much time. I have known some clergymen in populous towns, a large portion of whose time was employed in this manner, to the utter destruction of their studies; and whose households were thereby kept in a course of constant toil and confusion. As to the question how far you ought to go, in this respect, I can lay down no general rule. Christian wisdom must direct you.

ON

GOING

TO

THE

11. When you visit large towns, DO NOT CALCULATE

LODGE AT HOUSE OF THE MINISTER with whom you may happen to be acquainted. Peculiar intimacy may indeed render this strictly proper ; but never do it, without being decisively, and even pressingly invited Your case, it is true, is but one; yet if two or three such cases occur every week, it is easy to see what the consequence must be to those ministers who live in populous places. A little reflection will show how you ought to act.

12. My last counsel on this subject is, that you never enter any house, to pay the shortest visit, WITHOUT LEAVING SOME TESTIMONY. IN FAVOUR OF RELIGION. Even where there is no time, or good opening for direct address, or even inquiry, concerning the spiritual interests of those whom you address; you may still speak a word for your Master, and leave a hint, -if it be but a hint-to his holour, behind you. A single sentence expressive of trust in God, or some other pious sentiment ;-a reference to his all-governing Providence, and the dependence of all creatures on his power ;-a suggestion respecting the uncertainty of all worldly possessions, the stability and infinite value of heavenly treasures, and the blessedness of those who have a well-founded hope in Christ ;-an allusion to the superior import

ance of spiritual health, where disease of body is complained of;-a mild and friendly check of anxiety, where an inordinate share of it is expressed, by directing the thoughts of the anxious to the adorable government of God;— a sentence or two of this kind, uttered, not with formality, but with mild and affectionate simplicity, may be “a word in season,” a means of incalculable benefit to those to whom it is addressed. Many a time has a short sentence, spoken in the fear of God, and from a tender love to souls, though, perhaps, soon forgotten by the speaker, proved an instrument of eternal benefit to some individual or family, where such a result was least expected.

[ocr errors][merged small]

And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works. HEB. X. 24.

HABITS IN THE SEMINARY GENERALLY.

MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,

You are no longer a school-boy, nor even a College student. Having become a man, you will be expected to put away childish things. Having taken your place in a Theological Seminary, as a candidate for the holy Ministry, you thereby give a solemn pledge that every thing weak, irregular and disorderly ; every thing calculated to retard your own progress, or to offend others, shall be carefully avoided. Many, indeed, carry this idea so far as to imagine that, in a Theological institution, there can be no need for regulation or discipline at all. They imagine that all candidates for the sacred office will, of course, have so much gravity, prudence,

« PreviousContinue »