Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

sion of genuine scriptural principles, promises to disseminate. Christianity through the world, with a purity and copiousness such as have hitherto been unknown to the Church. Their apostolic. influence is yet needed among us, to restrain the excesses of a zeal not, perhaps, always sufficiently enlightened ; to set before their younger

brethren lessons such as it would not be possible for them to receive with too much earnestness; and to instruct every class by their example and their precepts, that the spirit with which God endues his servants is a ' spirit of power,' indeed, but of love' also, and of a sound mind.'”

The writer then proceeds to particularize the Church of Geneva as peculiarly happy in being enabled to number in the lists of her leading, members, not a few of those justly venerated men who, after having explored the fields of science, come and place the treasures which their labours have collected there at the foot of

the Cross of Christ. At the head of these ve

nerable teachers he names JAMES Louis Pés

CHIER-a name no less dear to the churches of

France than to that of the Genevese republic; having pronounced a just eulogy upon the extent and profundity of erudition by which he is distinguished and of which a remarkable proof is given the reviewer adds that in the character of M. Peschier the humility of the Chistian is yet still more conspicuous than the learning of the professor.

On account of a painful weakness of sight, with which he has been afflicted for many years past, M. Peschier has been obliged to confine himself to extemporaneous preaching; to this circumstance it is owing that the Editor has to regret his being unable to enrich the present selection with any discourse of the

professor's composition.

To those acquainted with Geneva, the reputation of CELLERIER is equally well known. Five generations have been edified by the pious and affectionate lessons of this excellent divine ;

and in the minds of the oldest as well as the youngest of his fellow citizens, whatever suggests the idea of goodness, greatness of mind, sound piety, and Christian benevolence, is associated with his name. Unassuming, disinterested, and without the least particle of worldly ambition, the Rev. J. I. S. Cellerier devoted thirty years of his life to the care of a country parish, only occasionally preaching at Geneva; and when at length he was prevailed upon to retire upon a small pension, and to transfer his labours to his son, he still chose to remain among the flock over whom he had presided. The son proved himself not unworthy of such a father. He was some time after called to the chair of the professor of Hebrew, at Geneva, on which occasion he was succeeded by M. GAUSSEN, who has ever since continued to tread in the path marked out for him by his revered predecessor and friend.

The Editor, whose design in this volume is to introduce to the acquaintance of the English reader as many of the celebrated members of the Genevese church as its narrow limits will admit, cannot adopt a better mode of conveying some idea of the successors of M. Cellerier, than by quoting a few passages from the fare: well sermon addressed to his village congregation in 1816, by that excellent man himself. “ You regret,” he says, alluding to his son, “the loss of the young, minister who was my : immediate successor amongst you. He was born amongst you; his earnest wish was to live and die with you, and to repay your affection, by proving that he felt, the most tender concern'. for)

your spiritual and eternal welfare. His hope of being useful has, however, been directed into another channel ; and it is with heartfelt sorrow that he sees himself under the necessity of leaving you after so short a period, and of submitting to those superior orders which, under divine Providence, call him to

supply the wants of the Church in another

manner.

“ That Providence, ever merciful, gives you

in his room another self, the friend of his

heart, a man mighty in the Scriptures; one who, like his Master, will speak to you with authority; one who has the inestimable gift of awakening, of inspiring, of elevating the soul; whose heart already yearns after you; who, worthy to be the organ of God's word, will preach it to you in the same sublime purity in which he received it. He comes amongst you

in the happy season of his youth-to you he makes an offering of the first fruits of those eminent talents which are treasured up in his mind-he places wholly at your disposal a rich deposit of high and unadulterated feelings, fed and supported by faith. To him, with unbounded confidence, which he will not fail to justify, we resign the awful charge of your souls, hitherto

entrusted to us.

b

« ZurückWeiter »