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Hosea Hildreth.

Two discourses to townsmen. .. online

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should render the sacred office a lure to ambition, or to
avarice. The system, so opposite to this, which has long
prevailed in this state, has had its influence, it may be be-
lieved, to preserve the purity of the clerical profession.
Still, that a minister of the gospel, instead of relying on
the justice of a society which has pledged him a support,
should be liable to be cast on the world ; should even find
himself a mere pensioner on private bounty ; cannot be
favorable, either to his dignity, or his usefulness. By the
nature of his office, he is required to declare unwelcome
truths, and to press unwelcome duties; to dispense warn-
ings, admonitions and rebukes, 'without partiality, and
without fear, to all classes of mankind. The best interests
of his hearers therefore, and of society at large, forbid
that he should be subjected to such temptations to unfaith-
fulness, as no ordinary degree of virtue can withstand.
Should he even, by a rare moral heroism, combine an en-
tire independence of mind with an extreme dependence of
circumstances ; still his influence in guiding the judgment
of the community, in forming its taste, and regulating its
manners, would be comparatively small."

I will merely subjoin to these excellent sentiments,
that not only is extreme dependence of circumstances unfa-
vourable to the character and influence of Christian min-
isters; but extreme ignorance also. An enlightened and
religious people will not fail to require knowledge and
sound learning, as well as fervent piety, in those who
sustain the clerical profession.



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Online LibraryHosea HildrethTwo discourses to townsmen. .. → online text (page 3 of 3)