Emerson's View on a Minister's Duty in The Divinity School Address

Essay by angel8314University, Master's May 2004

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In The Divinity School Address, Emerson speaks one what he believes is the right way to serve God and the people of his church. He talks of how a Minister should speak of God's glory and help to expand the faith of the parishioners. He denounces those who use fear in instilling people with God's word and says that a Minister that opens his own life to his people will have great effect on them.

Emerson says that ministers should speak of God's glory as being wonderful and gentle. He says that Christ was a great man only because he had a remarkable relationship with God. "The stationariness of religion; the assumption that the age of inspiration is past, that the Bible is closed; the fear of degrading the character of Jesus by representing him as a man; indicate with sufficient clearness the falsehood of our theology" (1157).

He states that man can be just as great if they too have a good relationship with God. He believes that this sentiment should be conveyed to God's people by Ministers.

Emerson denounces those Ministers that use the fear of God to strike parishioners' hearts into obedience and faith. He says that a Minister should speak from his soul and not from his mind. That which comes from his own soul will be more powerful on the hearts of his people. "By trusting your own soul, you shall gain a greater confidence in other men" (1158).

Emerson instructs the new class of Ministers to help men and women expand and grow their faith and love for God. He says that a good preacher is one that puts a person's mind at ease by opening up to them and allowing them to know his own...