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ii. By the soundness of their doctrines. iii. By the piety and spirituality of their lives.
iv. By cultivating the amiable graces of the Christian character.
v. By their general zeal, charity, and knowledge.
vi. By the preaching of the word of God.
vii. By the administration of the sacraments, and attention to the rites, services, and discipline of the church.
viii. By a conscientious discharge of incidental duties. And lastly,
ix. By unanimity among themselves.
ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, who hast purchased to thyself an universal church, by the precious blood of thy dear Son, mercifully look upon the same; and so guide and govern the minds of thy servants, the Bishops and Pastors of thy flock, that they may lay hands suddenly on no man, but faithfully and wisely make choice of fit persons to serve in the sacred ministry of thy church. And to those which shall be ordained to any holy function, give thy grace and heavenly benediction, that, both by their life and doctrine, they may set forth thy glory, and set forward the salvation of all men : through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
i. By their proficiency in the studies of their pro
fession. The importance of the clergy being well versed in the studies appropriate to their profession, is too obvious to require proof: indeed it has never been denied, except by a very few
superstitious or ignorant enthusiasts, who have undervalued attainments which, from not possessing, they did not know how to appreciate. It was truly remarked by Bishop Bull, that “the first requisite to the office of a teacher is a very large knowledge; for the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. (Mal. ii. 7.) Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things ? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man which is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.'”
The late Bishop Horsley, in giving a similar opinion, has entered somewhat more fully into the grounds on which it rests, and has alluded to several of the specific studies and attainments which are required for the suitable discharge of the sacred office, “ In all ages,” remarks his
lordship, “ jf the objections of infidels are to be confuted ; if the scruples of believers themselves are to be satisfied ; if Moses and the Prophets are to be brought to bear witness to Jesus of Nazareth; if the calumnies of the blaspheming Jews are to be repelled, and their misinterpretations of their own books confuted ; if we are to be ready,' that is, if we are to be qualified and prepared, 'to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us'-a penetration in abstruse questionsma quickness in philosophical discussion-a critical knowledge of the ancient languages—asamiliar acquaintance with the Jewish history, and with all parts of the sacred writings—a sound judgment, a faithful memory, and a prompt elocution-are talents, without which the work of an evangelist will be but ill performed. When they are not infused by inspiration, they must be acquired by diligence in study and fervency in prayer.”
In this casual enumeration, there are included some things which many persons would consider requisite rather to the high polish than to the every-day usefulness of the clerical character ; while some other qualifications are omitted which are of great and indispensable value both intrinsically and professionally. But the most humble list of clerical studies, if at
all adequate to the duties of the profession, will include attainments which young men even of good education are not in the usual habit of acquiring. Both our school and college education, as already observed, are essentially defective in qualifying students for the sacred ministry. This serious complaint is not a new one: it has long been a theme of lamentation to every pious and enlightened friend of religion and the church. The devout author of the “ Festivals and Fasts,” in his life of Bishop Bull, thus expresses himself on this important subject :-“ And upon this occasion I cannot help wishing, from the hearty affection and good will I bear to the welfare of religion in general, and to the prosperity of the Church of England in particular, that as we have noble foundations for the encouragement of all sorts of learning, and especially for divinity, in our two famous universities, which are the wonder of the world for the number of their colleges, their stately structures, and liberal endowments; so we had also some of these foundations entirely set apart for the forming of such as are candidates for holy orders; where they might be fully instructed in all that knowledge which that holy institution requires, and in all those duties which are peculiarly incumbent upon a parochial priest ;-where lectures might be
daily read, which in a certain course of time should include a perfect scheme of divinity; where all particular cases of conscience might be clearly stated, and such general rules laid down as might be able to assist them in giving satisfaction to all those that repair to them for advice in difficult matters ;-where they might receive right notions of all those spiritual rights which are appropriated to the priesthood, and which are not in the power of the greatest secular person either to convey or abolish; and yet are of such great importance, that some of them are not only necessary to the well-being, but to the very being of the church ;-where they might be taught to perform all the public offices of religion with a becoming gravity and devotion, and with all that advantage of elocution which is aptest to secure attention and beget devout affections in the congregation ;where they might particularly be directed how to receive clerical confessions, how to make their application to persons in times of sickness, and have such a method formed to guide their addresses of that nature, that they might never be at a loss when they are called upon to assist sick and dying persons ;-where they might be instructed in the art of preaching; whereby I mean not only the best method in composing their sermons, but all those decent