R0595-8 Ministerial Authority Of To-Day

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We doubt whether any change in the training of clergymen will enable them to take that position of authority among men which would have been accorded to them unsought fifty years ago. People have learned in the meantime to prove all things and all men; to look through all fictitious claims; to go below costumes and office and rank, to the human soul underneath. They will not learn the lesson. The man in the pulpit will be to them always, as now, a fellow-sinner with the man in the pew. Presumably the clergyman is struggling to find the right road upward. If he has found it he is accepted as a guide. If he has solved any problem of the day his words will be listened to with respect and gratitude. But it will be because he has solved the problem, not because he stands in the pulpit. Authority has largely left the office, but it has descended with double force upon the man.—Exchange.


— February, 1884 —