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The faithful pastor is one of the greatest, if not the greatest educational force in the community. But what is it to be faithful in this matter? This is an attempt to answer that question in respect to the one work of preaching. In order to be educational in the high sense of the word, preaching must be thorough, systematic, instructive, and saving.

(1) First,—as to thoroughness. I refer to the intellectual process by which a man thinks through his subject to the end. Once a week, at least, the minister should lead his people to the fountains of knowledge and persuade them to drink deep and full. If he cannot sound all the depths of philosophy and science, he can at least trace his separate theme to some fundamental conception, some accepted spiritual reality, which will give his hearers the sense of solidity and strength, and send them into the unstable world with a firm grip upon some great truth. For a congregation once a week to be brought face to face with the mysteries and problems of life, and to have their minds led to some underlying principle of existence, is a process of great educational value, -considered purely on its intellectual side. But when in this process the preacher unfailingly links thought to revelation, and leads the mind to rest in God and the divine realities as the ultimate solution of all that vexes and perplexes us, it is an educational factor too great to allow comparison. It is, par excellence, the educational influence in any community. The preacher must, then, be thorough.

(2) He must also relate each truth he presents to other truths; and hence the preacher should be systematic. There must be progress and system, if there is to be education. In this contention, however, we run counter to the theory of many, and possibly to the tendency of the age. The spirit of the age does not take to systematic thinking as kindly as it does to the setting forth of detached truths. The great theological works of past generations are laid on the shelf, not merely because they are old, but also because they are systematic. Many hold that to be systematic is to be dull; and hence arises the essay style of sermon, the touch-and-go method on the one side, and the special doctrinal appeal or the fad sermon on the other. Both methods are fatal to the best educational effect.

(3) Kindred to the above is the demand for instructive preaching. By this I mean informing preaching — preaching, which, by direction and

indirection, by application and illustration, seeks to impart knowledge as such. It has been said of the theory of evolution, that, without regard to the essential truth or falseness of the theory, it has amply justified itself on the ground of the immense body of new facts in the natural world it has served to bring to light. Similarly, the pulpit should justify itself as an imparter of information. This is a more important function than might at first be supposed. There are those who remind us that the preacher no longer is the best educated man in the community; that books, newspapers, magazines, and lectures have taken the place of pulpit instruction; and hence the minister has lost an important title to pre-eminence. It is not asserted, however, that people to-day are particularly learned in religious things; that they read theology or church history, or even study the Bible with new zeal because of the increase of general intelligence and the opening of new avenues for information. On the contrary, we are assured that people have no time for these things. It would seem, then, that the minister still has a function as an informer in religious matters. The reading of the lesson from the pulpit Bible once a week; the exposition of the more important parts of Scripture in courses of sermons (which may well be the basis of every minister's preaching); the recital of Scripture incidents; the quoting of passages, or allusions to well-known truths of revelation, these all have special value for the information they convey. There are many men, and women too, who never hear the Bible read except at church, who never know the power of religious truth except as it is taught from the sacred desk. Nor need the information be restricted to the Bible. A wise use, on the part of the preacher, of church history, in the course of the years will acquaint the congregation with the leading scenes and facts in the record of God's spirit in the world since the days of the apostles. The claims of Christ to universality, and the success of world-wide missions, would not be met by doubt and unbelief in our churches if the ministers in their sermons should draw liberally from that homiletical mine of wealth, missionary history, and literature.

(4) Finally, preaching, to be truly educational, must be saving. When a certain professor applied for a position in another institution, the question was asked by a shrewd trustee, "Does he teach his subjects, or his pupils?" The same inquiry might well be made as to a minister's method in preaching. Is his interest primarily in the truth, or in the people who hear it?

The evangelist may come in for an important work, to arouse feeling and induce decision; but this will be of little value, and may even be a

positive injury, unless the wider work of instruction has prepared the way. Unless in the act of conversion the whole man is brought into right relations to God, the experience is of questionable value. A professor in one of our leading theological seminaries, upon my asking as to what extent the students succeeded in adjusting themselves to the newer historical attitude toward the Bible, replied that they had no trouble with those students who had grown into the religious life by a ripening experience. These, he found, held religion as a basic principle, covering all parts of their nature, intellect, feeling, and will. But those students whose religious experience was bounded by the emotions which gave it birth at some instant in time, found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to change their intellectual conceptions. This observation is instructive, and suggests the value of a wider range for investigation among our theological institutions.

In the same direction points an investigation the writer has recently made as to the foreign missionaries who have gone out under the American Board. Among the questions we ask of appointees are these: When and where were you hopefully converted? Was it in a revival of religion? Between 1885 and 1895, 103 missionaries stated they were converted in revivals, while 210 more than double the number - stated that their Christian life began unconsciously. In the next decade1895 to 1905-67 confessed a revival origin of their religious life, while 187 said otherwise. For the past twenty years, out of 567 appointments, 170 were converted in revivals, and 397 not in revivals. We have come almost to expect that candidates to-day will say, "I do not know when I became a Christian." The contrast of these figures with those for the first twenty years of the Board is instructive. Up to 1836, of the 97 missionaries whose life-memoranda we have, 59 were converted in a revival, and 38 not in a revival. These figures, limited as they are, plainly indicate that the nurture idea of the Christian life is gaining ground steadily in our midst.




I believe my theme itself states the real work of the pastor as a teacher. The soul and its experiences are central, and the pastor's finest work, as a teacher, is to provide for his people a fitting and adequate intellectual expression of this experience.

Changes in thought have come in the classrooms of our seminaries

and in the thought of our preachers. But the intellectual result has not yet been adequately given to the people in the churches. Clement of Alexandria sets forth with clearness and explicitness the two different stages of truth which must be kept distinct - one for the priest, the other for the people. Clement's not too honest advice has obtained too much following down to our own day.

The real work of the preacher is to impart his own spiritual experience to his people by expressing it for them. It will not do for him to arouse a spiritual experience in them and then leave them to speak it in the unknown tongue of an inadequate formula. The new wine calls for new bottles. Through the continuation of the Holy Spirit in the Christian experience, Christ has been pouring out new wine upon us. But we have left our people with the old wine-skins, and the skins, have burst; intellectual confusion has resulted because of our failure to provide new bottles for the new wine.

Does this mean that it is the function of the preacher to become an iconoclast? To some extent, perhaps. Generally, however, the new wine will of itself burst the old bottles. Our chief task is to provide the new. Here is the point at which our younger men have wrought confusion. They have broken the old bottles before they had provided the new ones.

Again it is not always the form of expression that needs to be changed, but a reinterpretation that is needed. The religious experience goes on, but deepening from age to age, and its main forms remain the same. But every deepening in experience calls for a new interpretation of the form. Thus, the preacher comes not to destroy law and prophets, but to fulfill them. Such forms of expression as Salvation, Conversion, Regeneration, Election, Inspiration, call today, not for their burial, but for a reinterpretation.

This is the method with essential forms. When, however, persistence of form is incompatible with the truer intellectual expression, the delicate but peremptory duty of the preacher is to modify, or generally to expand, and sometimes to repudiate, the form. This conservative, yet to some extent iconoclastic, method was Jesus's way with regard to Jewish law.

For all this adjustment the people are dependent on the preacher. The day of his note of authority must not be allowed to pass. They must always, in large measure, have their thinking done for them, or perhaps it is better to say, have their thoughts and experiences expressed for them.

The day of such "religious authority" is not gone. "Science

stands for truth." So does the Holy Spirit, acting on and through the reason. And it is true, ever has been true, and ever will be true, worlds without end, that the effort of the human reason to know God and the moral universe, to apprehend the moral magnitude and contemplate the spiritual force of Jesus Christ, is the supreme endeavor of the human mind. And this is "theology." Religion without it is like an infant crying in the night, and with no language but an incoherent cry.

A great body of our people need to be relieved of timorous tremblings by being shown clearly on what true faith depends and where the spiritual life finds its sustenance; that the power of the Fourth Gospel does not depend on the name or the date of its writer; that the power of Christ in their lives to-day does not depend on miracles performed 2000 years ago; and that the naturalness of the spiritual order does not take away the sweet comfort and the uplifting atmosphere of the holy hour of prayer. That is to say, they need to see that faith rests on the spiritual experience of which it is the expression and that the reality of the experience does not depend on any given attempt at an expression of it in intellectual forms. The superlative need is to bring out in bold relief the essential articles of faith which are determined by the experience.

I am expressing to-day the feelings of the great body of the younger men who are coming out of our seminaries. They are often placed in trying situations. They find themselves speaking in an unknown tongue. In the name of the Master I beg the older men to give them, not cold and disdainful disparagement, but kindly caution and tender advice. Some of them have lost their spiritual self-consciousness because they have been taught and made to believe that their newer thinking unfits them for evangelization and deeply spiritual leadership. Those who would be adequate to the situation are hampered by their inefficient and self-sufficient brethren, who have a nondescript avalanche of undigested truth and have by it wrought confusion in some near-by parish.

I am dismayed by some of our ordaining and installing councils. In the very age when clear thinking and deep study are thus demanded, we are growing careless of these very things. Men are passed through because of their amiable spirit and their good intent It is becoming fashionable to report the absence of any theological paper or discussion at such councils. We ought to demand a strong, comprehensive scheme of doctrine, an ability to clothe the religious experience in worthy intellectual garments.

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