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to read the Common Prayer-book. ter, temper, and spirit of a minister It appears, from Knox's First Book of the Gospel,--and the manner in of Discipline, that great care was which a clergyman ought to pertaken, in the infancy of the church, form the public and private duties to select for the office of readers men of his office. His prelections on of approved piety ; but in pro- those important topics unfortunatecess of time they degenerated, and ly have not come down to us*: sunk into contempt, and the peo- but he has given the substance of ple were thereby strengthened in them in a sermont which he preachtheir prejudices against set forms of ed before the Synod of Aberdeen ; prayer.
some extracts from which, together On the re-establishment of Epis- with a few gleanings on the same copacy, at the Restoration, the order topics from the sermon at his funeof Readers was revived; but there ral, by Dr. Gairden, will, I have no was no uniformity in the mode of doubt, be gratifying to many of performing their office. In some your readers. The Professor illusparts of the kingdom they read trates the nature and dignity of the forms of devotion compiled by their Christian priesthood, from a view of ministers; and in other parts they the relation in which ministers stand only read portions of Scripture, with to their heavenly Master, and to the the Lord's Prayer and the Doxology. flocks over which the Holy Ghost hath In the northern dioceses the readers made them overseers, in the following generally rehearsed the Apostles' passage:-“All men are created for Creed and the Decalogue; and the the honour of God, and are infiniteclergy in those parts were more con- ly obliged to serve him; yet because formable to the ceremonies which the greater part of mankind have had been transplanted from the their souls fettered in the distracting Church of England, than their cares of this life, and almost buried brethren of the southern and western in their bodies, it hath pleased the dioceses. At this period the readers, Divine Wisdom to call forth a select generally speaking, were despised number of men, who, being deliverby the people; and great irreverence ed from those entanglements, and prevailed during the performance of having their minds more highly their tasks, both within and without purified, and more peculiarly fitted doors. Scougal deeply lamented this for the offices of religion, may attend state of things. We have seen how continually on that very thing; and he laboured in his parish to remedy while the labourer is at his plough, the evils which had prevailed in the craftsman at his forge, and the regard to public worship ; and when seated in the chair of theology, he
It appears, from the preface to ediearnestly inculcated upon the can
tion of Scougal's Serinons printed at Edindidates for holy orders, the obliga. untuished Treatise of the Pastoral Care, but
burgh in 1747, that he left behind him an tion which lies upon a clergymao to we are not told whether it was then extant. see that all things connected with + The title of the above-mentioned sermon the service of Almighty God be donc is “The Importance and Difficulty of the Midecently and in order.
nisterial Function," from 2 Cor. ii. 16. Who Lectures on the pastoral care is suffcient for these thing;? Bishop Burnet, formed a considerable and interest- if I am not mistaken, was indebted to this ing part of Professor Scougal's course
excellent sermon for some valuable hints in of instruction from the theological writing his treatise on the Pastoral Care. chair. They included the following
The Bishop and the Professor were of the heads: the nature and dignity of the
same school, and were animated by the same clerical function,—the importance
spirit; although, with great veneration for the
niemory of the Bisliop, it is a tribute due to and difficulty of the pastoral office,
The Professor to say, that his mind appears the necessary qualifications of can. to have been more " drawn up to high and didates for holy orders,--the charac- heavenly things."
merchant in his shop, the minister the price of his blood, or think it a ought to be employed in the exer... small matter to have the charge of cise of devotion, for advancing the those for whom it was shed? It is interest of piety and the honour of the church of God we must oversee, his Maker.' The priesthood under and feed that church for which the the Law was a very sacred and vene- world is upheld, which is sanctified rable thing, and no profane hand by the Holy Ghost, and on which might intermeddle with the meanest the angels themselves do attend. offices that belonged to it. But What a weighty charge is this we certainly, as the Gospel ministry is have undertaken, and who is suffi60 much more excellent and sublime, cient for these things ?" being entrusted with the administra- 'To these solemn and affecting contion of those holy mysteries which siderations, the Professor subjoins were but shadowed in the former, the following awful reflection on the how pure and holy ought those lips dreadful consequences of miscarriage to be, by which God speaketh unto in the discharge of this high and his people, and by which ministers holy calling. speak unto him ; and those hands, " It reflects dishonour on the Saviwhich are employed in the laver our, hazards the souls of our people, of regeneration, and to handle the and doth certainly ruin our own. I bread of life.” “ Consider next the say it reflects dishonour on our blessweight and importance of the mi- ed Saviour, as the faults of servants nisterial function, in relation to the do commonly prejudice the reputapeople committed to our charge. tion of their masters, and the fail. We have to do with rational and ings of ambassadors are imputed to immortal souls; those noble and di- their princes. We stand in a nearer vine substances, which proceeded relation to God, and are supposed to from God, and are capable of being be best acquainted with his will, united to him eternally, but withal and to carry the deepest impression in bazard of being eiernally sepa- of his nature on our minds. And rated from him. We may say with ignorant people will entertain the reason of our work that which the meaner thoughts of the holiness of painter did vainly boastof; laboramus God, when they miss it in those who æternitati. The impresses we make, are called his servants. Certainly shall last for ever. My beloved, the it is no small reproach which the most serious of our thoughts come faults or miscarriages of ministers very far short of the inestimable worth do bring upon the ways of godliness, of the depositum, ibat treasure which and the holy religion we profess. is committed to our care. He who It is no small affront that is bereby created and redeemed the souls of put on the blessed Author of it ; men, doth best understand their greater, without question, than all value ; and we see what value he ihe malice and spite of bis open putteth upon them by the pains he enemies is able to practise ; for hereis pleased to take about them. Their by he is crucified afresh, and put salvation was contrived before the unto open shame. And O, bow great mountains were brought forth, be is the hazard our poor people run by fore the foundation of the earth was our negligence or failings, even as laid : the design was formed from all much as the worth of iheir souls eternity, and glorious are the me. amounteth to! If the watchmen be thods by which it is accomplished. not faithful, and give not timely Eternal salvation, as Gregory Nan- warning, the sword will readily zianzen saith, was the aim of the come, and the people be taken away law and the prophets, and of the in their sins. "Causa sunt ruina po. manifestation of God in the flesh. puli sacerdotes mali. But if the For this purpose, the Saviour suffer- negligence and miscarriage of a mi. ed and died; and shall we undervalue nister doih hazard the soulsof others,
it doth certainly ruin his own; which The Professor illustrates the im. made St. Chrysostom say, Equidem er portance of the pastoral office by ecclesiæ ministris non arbitror multos view of the great ends of the minisservare ; words so terrible, that I terial function; which are no less tremble to put them into English; than to awaken a world lying in and yet, if a man should speak fire, wickedness from its spiritual lethar. blood, and smoke; if flames could gy; to call sinners to repentance, by come out of his mouth, instead of displaying the terrors of the wrath to words; if he had a voice like thunder, come ; to exhibit Christ crucified as and an eyelikelightning, he could not the only foundation of acceptance to sufficiently represent the dreadful ac- the truly penitent; to produce in the count that an unfaithful pastor shall soul that divine life which is hid with make*. What horror and confusion Christ in God; and to guide and shall it cast them into at the last animate believers in their heavenly day, to bear the blood of the Son of course. He then proceeds to conGod plead against them, to hear our sider the difficulties of the pastoral great Master say,“It was the purchase office, as resulting from the corrupof
my blood which ye did neglect : ' tion of our fallen nature *, the maI died for these souls of whom yechinations of our spiritual adversatook so little paius : think uot, there- ries, the allurements and cares of the fore, to be saved by that blood which world, the perverse tempers and ye have despised, or to escape the unreasonable humours which are too iorments whereunto many others prevalent among professing Chris.. are plunged through your faults!" tians, and from the arduous nature
of the clerical functions both public *«The indolent enjoyment of preserments and private. The following passage (1 quote the words of a very reverend and
is selected from his observations on animated writer)“to the neglect of doctrine, reproof, instruction in righteousness,' is de the difficulty of preaching. “ Preachstroying the work of God for meat,' and car. ing t is an exercise that many are ries the guilt of a breach of faith and trust upon the very face of it. Woe to the argument. One portentous observation, how. idle shepherds, that feed themselves : should
ever, which Grotius makes upon the case of not the shepherds feed the flocks?' Alas! Eli's sons, I beg leave to recite in his own we watch over human souls, as they that words. In talibus autem criminibus Deus must give account ;-a thought that could deprecationes non semper audit.' ” - Dean make even Chrysostom tremble, who had Nicholl's Sermon at the Visitation of the relinquished all the advantages of wealth Archdeacon of Leicester. and nobility, lo devole entirely his sublime
*“ Let me appeal,” says Prosessor Scoutalents to the Gospel; whose lite was labour, gal, on this source of difficulty in the Chrisand whose labour was divine. Let our light, tiau ministry, "to the conscience and expe. if it cannot cast so strong a glory, at least so rience of every one, what difficulty they find shine, that our profiting in the word of God in dealing with their own souls, in regulating
may appear unto all men :' then indeed, their own passions, and in mortifying their when the motives and arguments of the Go.
own corrupt affections; yet here we have the spel shall evidently have sunk deep into our advantage of a nearer application : we can own bosoms,and,rising thence in the majestyof carry home our reasons with more force apon supreme dominion, dilate their influence over
ourselves than others. Dur thoughts and the whole of our exterior conduct, men meditations must be more clear and lively will fall down and worship God, and report than our words and expressions are. If it that he is in you of a truth.'”— Aster a just be liard, then, to persuade ourselves to be reprebension of an imitation of the manners
good, it is sure much Larder to persuade of the world in a clergyman, which follows others to be so." the above passage, the same writer subjoins, + There are many excellent reflections in a tone worthy of his office and character,
upon preaching, as well as directions for the " What shall be thougiit of an initation of righe performance of this important branch its vices? Why, it is a tremendous thought! of ministerial duty, in the ninth chapter of the very mention of it may nake the ears
· Bishop Burnei's Pastoral Care ; and also in lingle! and let the mention of it suffice for Prufessor Hill's Theological Institutes,
ambitious of, and none more than on their lips, and they have one those that are least qualified for it; foot (as we use to say) already in and it is probable the desire of this the grave !" — After enumerating liberty is no small temptation to the various difficulties of the misome of our giddy people to go over nisterial function, and subjoining to that sect and party where all many excellent reflections, the ranks, and both sexes, are allowed Professor closes this part of his the satisfaction to hear themselves subject by the following apostrotalk in public. But it is not so easy phe: “ My reverend brethren, and a matter to perform this task aright; right reverend fathers, we have to stand in the presence of God, and been endeavouring to lay before you to speak to bis people in his name, the importance and difficulty of with that plain ness and simplicity, your employment; and ye know that seriousness and gravity, that them much better than we can tell zeal and concern, which the business you. But these things ought not to requires; to accommodate ourselves discourage you, or make you faint to the capacity of the common peo- under the weight; but rather to aniple, without disgusting our more mate and excite your care. As Alexknowing hearers by the insipid flat- ander said once, of an eminent haness of our discourse; to excite and zard he had encountered, that now awaken drowsy souls, without terri- he had met with a danger worthy his fying and disturbing more tender courage ; so may I say of your work, consciences; to bear home the con- that it is a business worthy your zeal, victions of sin, without the appear- and the love and affection which you ance of some personal reflection :-inowe unto your blessed Master. And, a word, to approve ourselves unto indeed, ye can give no greater testiGod as voorkmen that need not be mony of it, than by a faithful and ashamed, rightly dividing the word of conscientious discharge of the duties truth.”—The following passage oc- of your calling. If your work is curs in his considerations on the dif- great, your reward is infinitely ficulties attending the private duties greater; and you have Omnipotence of the pastoral office. "Certainly engaged in your assistance. Up, and the greatest and most difficult work be doing, and the Lord shall be with of a minister, is in applying himself you. Only let us be careful to particularly to the several persons maintain such a deep and constant under his charge, to acquaint him- sense of the engagements we lie unself with their behaviour and the der, as may awaken us unto the temper of their souls, to redress what greatest diligence and watchfulness is amiss, and prevent their future both over ourselves and others.” miscarriages. Without this private As to the qualifications requisite work, his other endeavours will do in candidates for holy orders, Pro. liule good; and considering the fessor Scougal laid great stress upon great variety that is among the hu- literary accomplishments. The first mours and dispositions of men (equal champions of the Protestant Reformaalmost to that of their faces), this tion were no less distinguished by must needs be an infinite labour. their learning than their piety. It What a martyrdom is it for some would be difficult
, perhaps, to promodest and bashful tempers, when duce, in any period of ihe church they find themselves obliged to use since the apostolic age, men more freedom and severity in reproving eminent in holiness, and more zealthe faults of those who in quality or ously devoted to the work of the age are above themselves ! And O! Christian ministry. And they were, what a hard matter it is to deal with withal, men of superior learning, well people that are ready to leave the versed in the original languages of world, and step in upon eternity- the sacred oracles, thoroughly conwhen their souls do, as it were, hang versant in ecclesiastical history, and masters of sound reason and argu- episcopal clergy, in the western ment. It was by the united force counties of Scotland : and by the of piety and solid learning, that united influence of his excellent those worthies were enabled to over- father (the bishop) and himself, those throw that system of corruption effects were very happily counterwbich had usurped the name of acted in the university and diocese Christianity, and which the craft of Aberdeen. But much as Profesand avarice of the papal hierarchy sor Scougal valued the preparation had imposed upon the credulity of of the head, he valued much more mankind, during the dark ages of the preparation of the heart, without ignorance and superstition. Scou. which he regarded all other attaingal, therefore, considered the culti- ments as comparatively insignificant vation of classical learning, and of in a Christian divide; as will appear science, as necessary preparatives to by the following extract from his the study of theology. His own sermon before the synod of Abermind was enriched with all the stores deen, wherein he thus addresses the of ancient and modern learning, and students of divinity :-" You see, his example furnished his pupils Sirs, to what an awful and important with a living proof, that high attain charge you aspire. Consider, I ments in literature and philosophy beseech you, what great pains are are not incompatible with the cha- necessary to fit and qualify you for racter of a minister of Christ. He it. Ordinary callings are not learnwas convinced of the necessity of a ed without a long apprenticeship; liberal education for clergymen, not and will the art of governing souls be only to gain the attention of the learned on a sudden? It is not the higher orders of society, and to se- knowledge of controversy, or the cure respect from the vulgar, but to gift of eloquence, much less a strong preserve the church against the in- 'voice and bold confidence, that will roads of fanaticism and superstition. qualify you for it. No: your greatHe had seen enough, in his own day, est work lies within, in purifying of the fatal effects which had result your minds, and learning that wiged from ignorance, both in the pres- dom which is necessary for souls. byterian* church and among the Begin then, I pray you, and preach
to your own passions, and try what The presbyterian ministers of that pe- good you can do to your friends and riod are thus described by Bishop Burnet. neighbours. Study that gravity and " They had a very scanty measure of learn- seriousness, that humility and selfing, and a narrow compass in it. They were denial, that purity and mortification, little men, of a very indifferent size of ca
that become those who may one pacity, and apt to fly out into great excess of day stand in so near a relation to passion and indiscretion. They were servile, God, and bear so eminent a charge and too apt to tawn upon and faller their admirers. They were affected in their de- in his church. Be not too hasty portment, and very apt 10 censure all who and forward in rushing into public. differed from them, and to believe and re- It is better you be drawn than run. port whatsoever they heard to their preju- Nanzianzen complains of some in dice: and they were superstitious and his time, who, with profane hearts baughty. In their sermons they were apt and unwashed hands, did rush into to enlarge on the state of the preseut line, the holy function; and before they and to preach against the sins of princes and were fit to receive the sacrament, courts ;-a topic that naturally cuakes men po- would take upon them to celebrate pular; it has an appearance of courage ; and it. But if you be truly sensible of the people are glad to hear thiose sins in
what sisted on in which they perceive they have
you are to undertake, you ino share, and to believe that all the judg. would think no time too much to be ments of God come down by the means and spent in preparation for it." -Df. procurement of other men's sins. "--History Cairden, in bis sermon at the funéof his own Times, Vol. i.
ral of Scougal, thus addresses the