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Legal and Clerical Professions.
For these reasons the science of law is no trivial or superficial science, but strikes its roots down into that solemn world of holiness and righteousness with which every man by creation is connected, either for weal or woe, according to the relation which his spirit shall be found to sustain to it in the day of judgment. If therefore the spirit of law and the sense of justice are deep and pervading in society, the truths of religion will be more fully apprehended, and its duties will be more likely to be esteemed paramount than would be the case if a lawless and unjust spirit were abroad. By being reverential towards civil law man in so far becomes reverential towards Divine law; for it is a power ordained of God, and the feeling towards that which is ordained transfers itself to Him who ordains. The doctrines of religion make their way far more easily through a law-revering and lawabiding people, than through a disorganized and disorganizing mass, held together by no right sentiment of any sort, by no just tie, civil or political.
Such being the fact, it is evident that the legal profession, if deeply penetrated and pervaded by the spirit of law and justice, is a most important instrument in the arrangements of Providence, for working out the well-being of the State and the improvement of mankind at large. By means of the study of the principles of justice, and the performance of legal business, law is constantly kept before the public mind, and its spirit is more or less permeating society. The mind of the people is made solemn in the process, and better prepared to receive the truths and principles of the Christian religion, to which great remedial and saving system of truth all other systems should be subservient and preparatory.
3. And this brings us to the third of the three professions whose foundation is laid by collegiate education - the clerical. The worth of this profession cannot be over-estimated if we take into account the importance of the science upon which it rests, the opportunity it has of getting the popular ear, and the perfecting influence which it is capable of exerting upon society.
The science which is the subject matter of the clergyman's investigation and exposition is that of religion. It must necessarily be matter of consciousness because its principles are practical as well as theoretic, and therefore, in order to their thorough apprehension, require entrance as much into the practical heart as into the speculative head. The principles of this science are addressed to the highest faculties of the human soul, and provide for its well being during the infinite portion of its existence. They therefore run deep and reach out wide, and both directly and indirectly affect the whole individual, the whole State, the whole race. Religion either as a power of salvation or con
demnation seizes every rational being with a grasp never to be shaken off, and having made an entrance to his joy or anguish, is never to be expelled. If his whole being is brought into sweet harmony with its laws and truths, he dwells in heaven; if his whole being is alienate from its purity and holiness, it still remains, because it must (since he is rational), and he dwells in hell.
Religion, as its etymology denotes, is the great bond which is to hold the rational creation together and to God. There is no other bond of such strength and extent. All the other ties that bind finite spirits together derive their permanent power from this great vinculum, and if its Author should suffer it to be broken, the primitive material chaos would be but a faint emblem of the disorder and ruin that would reign in the intelligent universe.
Especially would man be the sufferer in such a tremendous catastrophe; for cut loose from all the restraints which natural and more especially revealed religion impose, the unchecked depravity of a fallen race would bring it into awful dissension and collision with itself.
Religious principles are therefore the most important of all. In the divine idea and plan all other knowledge is to derive its vigor and life from them, and they are intended to run through all the individuals and all the institutions of the human race. Through the arts and through the sciences, through the laws and the legislation, through the manners and the customs, through the thoughts and the opinions, through the individual life, the domestic and social life, the political life in fine through all the immense material embraced in the whole being and action of mankind, this pure and mighty power is intended to stream.
But not only is the clerical profession important because of the magnitude of the science upon which it is based, it is also important because of the opportunity given to it for getting the attention of man. By divine appointment every seventh day of human life is given to this profession, that it may have a hearing. Wherever the Christian religion goes, be it into civilized or savage nations, the herald of Christianity has a set time to proclaim its doctrines, which is as regular in its coming as the rising of the sun.
This dedication of a seventh part of human life to the hearing of Christian doctrine is one of those many permanent arrangements of Divine Providence that exert mighty influences without observation. We may say what we will of the power of the press, and the rapidity of communication, and all the other engines of modern times for influencing and improving mankind, there is no instrumentality which for the kind and degree of its influence upon society is to be compared with the stated preaching of the Sabbath day. Think of the nature
Common Education dependent on Scientific.
of the truths preached-the magnitude and solemnity of the consequences connected with their reception or rejection—and then remember that through the length and breadth of this land and of all Protestant lands, in thousands of churches, millions are listening to the preacher that the principles of religion, even when they do not ef fect a saving lodgment in the heart, yet give vigor and clearness to the intellect—that from these churches and congregations a strong and restraining influence is continually going off and diffusing itself through that portion of society which does not place itself within hearing of divine truth, and moreover remember that this does not occur once every year, but once every week, and estimate if possible the amount of influence exerted by the clerical profession upon the permanence and progression of society.
We have thus briefly considered the business and influence of the three professions, and it must be evident to every reflecting mind, as we turn back to their connection with scientific in distinction from practical education, and their origin in the higher literary institutions, that such education is invaluable and such institutions are indispensable. The decay and destruction of the higher literary institutions involves the decay and destruction of scientific knowledge, and of professional life, instruction and influence. It must be apparent even to the most superficial observer, that the removal and want of a physician, a lawyer, and a clergyman in a particular town, would work disastrously upon both its temporal and eternal interests. Cut off from all connection with professional life and influence, disease and the still more dreadful fear of disease would ravage it; not having the fear and reverence of law before their eyes because they have not its expounder and representative in the midst of them, a cruel injustice would rule in the breasts of the physically strongest, as unlimited as the selfishness of the human heart, and with no one to preach the truths and offer the consolations of the Christian religion, the population would become more brutal than the brutes, because the wants of man would be unsupplied. If all this is apparent to a superficial glance, what will he see who glances wide and deep, over and through a whole commonwealth, destitute not only of the system of liberal learning, but of those institutions and classes of men whose business it is to perpetuate, improve and diffuse it?
The result then to which we arrive is, that only by the maintenance and improvement of scientific education can even the common intelligence of the present age be preserved. This has its root and life in that more profound wisdom which is slowly evolved from age to age by the scientific, the liberally educated mind; which is "the result of
all his considerate diligence, all his midnight watchings, and expense of palladian oil." And those institutions whose proper office it is to impart this education, are not an accidental and unnecessary, but an organic part of State institutions, and should no more be torn off alive and bleeding from the body politic than any other members should be. The whole population has an interest in their preservation, because they have an interest in the preservation of courts of justice, of legislative assemblies, of the pulpit and Church of God. The solid well being of a commonwealth depends upon them. Their first founders on this continent were the Puritans, and they were among the earliest of the rock foundations laid by those wise men. The whole sound growth -the whole healthy development of New England has been directly connected with their existence and influence. Our benevolent and learned physicians, our judicious and calm-eyed jurists, our serious and thoughtful clergy have been trained up in them. And finally, they have ever been great defences against the downward tendencies of human nature when left to itself, by cherishing in the public mind that conservative veneration for law and order and intelligence and morality, which is the best of all preparations for the reception of the saving doctrines of the Christian religion.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF JOB.
Translated from the German of Ludwig Hirzel, by Rev. William C. Duncan, M. A., of New Orleans.1
1. Contents of the Book.
GENERAL VIEW.-Jehovah resolves to test the virtue of the pious Job by misfortune and sufferings, and executes his determination.
['L. Hirzel is professor of theology in 'the university at Zurich, Switzerland. His Commentary on the book of Job, the Introduction to which is here given, forms the second part of the "Condensed Exegetical Manual to the Old Testament," which has been in the process of publication for several years, at Leipsic. The Introduction is inserted in our pages as the fruits of the studies of an able and experienced critic, and not because we are prepared to accord with all his views. Indeed we decidedly dissent from some of them. But it is not necessary here to
Outline of the Argument.
This divine purpose, however, is not discerned upon the earth. For, upon the earth, misfortune and sufferings are regarded as the necessary consequence of sin, in conformity with the ancient doctrine of Mosaism, that Jehovah rewards according to works, that happiness is the lot of the pious, unhappiness of the wicked. This maxim is, accordingly, brought to bear against Job; misfortune is, in the estimation of his friends, an infallible proof of guilt, and he over whom it has rolled in such a tide, must, in their firm conviction, have committed, either openly or secretly, the most grievous sins; so would indicate that law of divine justice which rules everywhere in the destiny of man. Job, on the other hand, constantly opposes to this argument his consciousness of innocence, and firmly contests the principle adduced and supported by his friends; he finds fault with God, who has permitted him to suffer undeservedly; he knows not how to account for the bitterness of his fate, except on the repeated experience, that the pious are unhappy, the wicked, on the contrary, happy; and he opposes this experience to the assertion of his friends, in order to convince them of the uncertain foundation of their accusations. But this explanation is so ill adapted to illumine the darkness which hangs over the reason of his sufferings, that it provokes him so much the more to the most violent complaints and the most preposterous decisions respecting the moral government of the world, to the most intemperate attacks upon the divine justice, which become the more bitter and the more violent, the more positively he sees his innocence called in question, and the more constantly the strict justice of God, even in his fate, is asserted by his friends.
To this same God, however, of whom the unhappy man complains, and whose justice he impeaches, he, nevertheless, again has recourse, partly because from Him alone can come the explanation of the enigma by which he suffers; partly because the world will only then be convinced of his innocence, when God himself bears witness to it — so that Job longs for nothing more anxiously, than that God may appear to him, to give him an opportunity of justifying himself before Him respecting his conduct, and to reveal to him the reasons why he permits him to feel His anger, partly, in fine, because Job is not yet completely under the influence of unbelief and doubt, but, in his lucid hours, the ancient faith in God again awakes in his soul. Upon his Intercessor in heaven, the witness of his innocence, he rests again his hope
state the grounds of this dissent, as we hope, on a future occasion, to take up the subject, somewhat at large. To the author's objections to the genuineness of the Elihu-Section, so called, we have appended some things from the replies of Prof. Stickel of Jena.-E.
VOL. VII. No. 25.