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of Pagan Greece and Rome, was a spectacle and pageant. The religion of christendom, in its worst state, has been a solemnity and a ceremony. The grand improvement the second Reformation, which is now demanded, is to carry religion into the midst of life-to apply it to the springs of action, to bring it into the most familiar intimacy with the human heart,—to make religion the guide, the friend, the companion of every thought and purpose of the mind. Now this technical language, this dialect of which I have been speaking, acts very much like the solemnities and pomps, the masses and mysteries of old, to keep religion estranged from the human heart,-from the free contemplation, and easy intercourse of human life. The language in question, is to men generally, a strange language. In all the popular literature and reading of the day, in the classical and standard works of the English language, this peculiar religious phraseology is scarcely to be found. In the ordinary conversation of society it cannot be introduced; at least, it cannot, without a consciousness of being singular and awkward, and without, therefore, increasing the feeling, that religion is in its nature something unnatural, peculiar, and strange. Suppose that any one in his conversation with society at large, uses this language; suppose that he says grace for goodness, and godliness for piety, and an interest in Christ, for the blessings of religion, and obtaining a hope, for entertaining the great expectation of a happy immortality,—will he not be looked upon with surprise or with ridicule? And is it desirable, is it at all needful, that he should draw

upon

himself or his religion, this sort of observation? Is he faithful to the treasure of a good heart, if he does so ? Does he thus let

his light shine ? Does he thus glorify his Father in heaven? -Or, if this phraseology is confined to the pulpit,-if the pulpit has its dialect, and tone and manner,-is it expedient that it should be so distinguished? These peculiar expressions, delivered in a certain manner, may have a certain effect,—they may spread an awe over the assembly,—they may awaken a mechanical feeling; but I ask, is it not one great evil with regard to all the deep and solemn impressions of the sanctuary, that they are 80 transient ? And why are they so transient and insufficient? Because, in part,-because they are so mechanical,- because the instrument of producing these impressions is so artificial, so technical,- because the real springs of feeling and action are not touched. You will say, it is because men are not truly and thoroughly interested in religion. But why are they not interested? Because they are so cold, indifferent, and ungrateful? But this is only saying the same thing,-they are not interested. The true question iswhy are they not really and permanently interested by what they hear ? And in answer to this, let me ask, how do you ever expect men to be interested at all, as listeners to the truths of religion ? Or, to bring the question of technical phraseology to its real merits,—what is the most likely method of producing this result? Is it not by speaking to them in that very language and tone, with which they are daily accustomed to move one another? Is the heart ever to be communed with as it ought to be, through the medium of technical language? Much more, may I say, is it the best medium ! No; so far from this, that all the most

erful eloquence, not of the Bar, and of the Senate only, but of tho Pulpit, too, has always kept entirely

clear of all technical language! It has found its words of power in the common, habitual, daily speech of men ! Could any fact be more completely decisive than this ? When men have been engaged in petty explanations or dull statements, it has been often necessary for them to use a technical, a professional language, but as they have risen to earnestness and power, just in that proportion they have thrown aside this language, as an incumbrance and a shackle to the free action of the soul.

Thus, too, shall religion yet go forth,-emancipated from every restraint of " set speech," and affected tone, and countenance; and it shall commune with man's heart, as nothing ever before communed with it; and it shall be near to him as a friend; and it shall mingle with all his pursuits, and take a part in all his business, and give innocency and gladness to all his pleasures; and it shall speak within him, when he speaks, and act within him when he acts; and it shall be as the voice of eloquence to arouse him, and as the sound of music to inspire him with gentleness; and it shall be his shield against calamity, and his exceeding great reward forever !

А

LETTER

ON

THE PRINCIPLES

OF THE

MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE.

SECOND EDITION.

PRINTED FOR THE

american Unitarian Association.

BOSTON, BOWLES AND DEARBORN, 72 WASHINGTON STREET.

Price 5 Cents.

The Executive Committee of the American Unitarian Association have been induced to publish this as one of their series of tracts, by a conviction that the subject discussed is highly important, and the manner in which it is here treated cannot fail.“ to promote the interests of pure Christianity throughout our country,"

BOSTON,
Isaac R. Butts & Co. Printers.

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