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masters of sound reason and argument. It was by the united force of piety and solid learning, that those worthies were enabled to overthrow that system of corruption which had usurped the name of Christianity, .." which the craft and avarice of the papal hierarchy had imposed upon the credulity of mankind, during the dark ages of ignorance and superstition. Scougal, therefore, considered the cultivation of classical learning, and of science, as necessary preparatives to the study of theology. His own mind was enriched with all the stores of ancient and modern learning, and his example furnished his pupils with a living proof, that high attainments in literature and philosophy are not incompatible with the character of a minister of Christ. He was convinced of the necessity of a liberal education for clergymen, not only to gain the attention of the higher orders of society, and to secure respect from the vulgar, but to preserve the church against the inroads of fanaticism and superstition. He had seen enough, in his own day, of the fatal effects which had resulted from ignorance, both in the presbyterian” church and among the
* The presbyterian ministers of that pe. riod are thus described by Bishop Burnet. “They had a very scanty measure of learning, and a narrow compass in it. They were little men, of a very indifferent size of capacity, and apt to fly out into great excess of passion and indiscretion. They were servile, and too apt to fawn upon and flatter their admirers. They were affected in their deportment, and very apt to censure all who differed from them, and to believe and report whatsoever they heard to their prejudice: and they were superstitious and baughty. In their sermons they were apt to enlarge on the state of the present time, and to preach against the sins of princes and courts;–a topic that naturally luakes men popular; it has an appearance of courage; and the people are glad to hear those sins insisted on in which they perceive they have no share, and to believe that all the judgments of God come down by the means and Procurement of other men's sins."—History of his own Times, Vol. i. p. 157.
episcopal clergy, in the western counties of Scotland: and by the united influence of his excellent father (the bishop) and himself, those effects were very happily counteracted in the university and diocese of Aberdeen. But much as Professor Scougal valued the preparation of the head, he valued much more the preparation of the heart, without which he regarded all other attainments as comparatively insignificant in a Christian divine; as will appear by the following extract from his sermon before the synod of Aberdeen, wherein he thus addresses the students of divinity :-" You see, Sirs, to what an awful and important charge you aspire. Consider, I beseech you, what great pains are necessary to fit and qualify you for it. Ordinary callings are not learned without a long apprenticeship; and will the art of governing souls be learned on a sudden It is not the knowledge of controversy, or the gist of eloquence, much less a strong
voice and bold confidence, that will
qualify you for it. No : your greatest work lies within, in purifying your minds, and learning that wisdom which is necessary for souls. Begin then, I pray you, and preach to your own passions, and try what good you can do to your friends and neighbours. Study that gravity and seriousness, that humility and selfdenial, that purity and mortification, that become those who may one day stand in so near a relation to God, and bear so eminent a charge in his church. Be not too hasty and forward in rushing into public. It is better you be drawn than run. Nanzianzen complains of some in his time, who, with profane hearts and unwashed hands, did rush into the holy function; and before they were fit to receive the sacrament, would take upon them to celebrate it. But if you be truly sensible of what you are to undertake, you would think no time too much to be spent in preparation for it.”—Dr. Gairden, in his sermon at the funeral of Scougal, thus addresses the students in divinity, on the same topic. “And you, my friends, who were his more peculiar care; his children, of whom he travailed in birth till Christ should be formed in you; whom he was so solicitous to have fitted for the service of Jesus, and the care of souls; alas! who can blame your tears, or withhold your grief? My father my father t the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereoft It is not possible for me to express the blessing you had in him. O what an useful guide and director was hel. How dear were you unto him How wise and pious were his instructions and advices! How much were his thoughts taken up about you, making them all serve for his great design of fitting you for the holy function' You know how desirous he was, both to have you good men, and well fitted for the holy ministry. Consider how, above all things, he directed you to the purifying of your hearts, and the exercises of true repentance. Think what gravity, he required in your behaviour, what modesty and humility in your words and conversation, what abstraction from unsuitable business or company. Call to mind the care he had of directing your studies aright; how he diverted you from such learning as was not apt to give you a sense of piety and religion; took you off from an itching curiosity about questions and strifes of words, which minister to vanity and contention; persuaded you to cleanness of heart, truly pious designs, and frequent devotion, as the best dispositions and helps for knowledge; and directed you to such books and studies as might serve to give you a right and deep sense of Christianity, and of the importance and duties of the holy function. Remember how much he bewailed the unseemly haste, and unfit methods and arts, which some used to thrust themselves into the holy ministry; and admired the different conduct of the holy men in old times, who, sensible of its great weight, and apprehensive of their Chlust. Obsehv. No. 128.
own insufficiency, were almost always forced to it by the people and the governors of the church. Consider, I beseech you, of what importance he thought it, both for your own souls and those which might be your charge, that you should use all prudent means to examine yourselves beforehand, of your fitness, both in heart and spirit, for that employment; and the purity of your intentions; designing truly the service of Jesus Christ, and the good of men's souls, and not the sordid ends of vanity, worldly-mindedness, or ambition. O that these things may sink into your hearts, and that you may continue in the things you have learned of him " Professor Scougal's counsels respecting the character, temper, and spirit of a Christian minister, may be summed up under the following heads:–Fervent love to God; ardent and devoted zeal for the honour of his heavenly Master; warm affection for that portion of the household of faith to whom he is appointed to dispense the bread of life, with tender pity and compassion towards perishing sinners; purity of heart; humility; patience; meekness; deadness to the world; and heavenlymindedness. And, certainly, no man was more eminently qualified to give counsels on those topics than Scougal; for, to quote the words of Dr. Gairden, “His piety was eminent and singular, always accompanied with an unaffected humility; his spirit and disposition was ever peaceable; his love to God and the souls of men, made him study the divine art of becoming all things to all men, that he might save some. None was ever more mortified to covetousness or filthy lucre. His charity and alms-giving were exemplary: in all things shewing himself a pattern of good works. In his doctrine he shewed uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, and sound words, that could not be condemned. His discourse was always modest, and his conversation useful. He watched all occasions of doing good to men's souls, 3 R.
and would not let them slip. Never man was more apt to teach, being gentle to all men. Those that opposed themselves to the truth, or were overtaken in a fault, he endeavoured to instruct and restore, in the spirit of meekness, avoiding fool. ish questions and strifes of words. And by walking in all good conscience before God and man, he hath, among other things, given a singular instance of gaining the love and esteem, and of preserving his person and his office from contempt, so that even scarce any man despised his youth.” Thus the pupils of Scougal beheld in their master, as in a glass, the temper and character of a minister of the Gospel. With a view to attain that heavenly-mindedness which ought to characterise the ambassadors of Christ, he earnestly inculcated upon the students to be frequent in self-examination and prayer, and in the study of the holy Scriptures; and he particularly recommended to them the diligent perusal of St. Paul's Epistle to Titus, as the best model for the formation of the clerical character. (To be continued...)
--- FAMILY seaxions. No. XLIV.
Gen. xviii. 19.—“I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him ; and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.”
These words shew the great regard which God paid to Abraham, in determining not to hide from him the judgments he was about to inflict on Sodom and Gomorrah. And the reason of Abraham being thus honoured, is stated to be, the care which he took to train up and instruct his children and household in the knowledge of God, and to fix in their minds right principles:—“l know him, that he will command his children and his household after him: and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” The particular means which Abra
ham employed for this purpose, are not stated; but we may presume that one of them was, establishing the daily worship of God in his family, and communicating religious instruction to those who composed it. There is, indeed, no passage of Scripture which directly enjoins family worship. Nor is this to be wondered at. The Bible does not give us a regular system of laws and observances. It is a book of a . higher order, and considers man in a nobler point of view. It lays down and enforces principles. It presents to us a Father's love to his children, and requires from them the duties and the feelings of children. When once the principle of a child-like fear and love of God is planted in the heart, there will be little occasion to command and threaten: the principle itself will powerfully incline to all obedience. Under the Law, indeed, many positive rules were given; but under the Gospel very few observances were enjoined. But, then, the noblest principles were called into action. The spirit, still more than the mere letter, of the law, was to be observed, and a higher and purer obedience was required. Thus did our Lord describe the mature of his own dispensation in respect to worship : “The hour is coming, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, worship the Father;” that is, not consider divine worship as confined to a particular place or mode; “but the hour cometh, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth ; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Accordingly, our Lord did not lay down any particular rules even for public worship. He did not name the day of the week which should be set apart for the purpose, nor state in what manner it should be conducted. All these lesser points he left to be settled by his disciples, assured that if their souls were influenced by Di
vine love, they would not fail to offer up a worship which would be acceptable to him, because it would be a sincere and spiritual worship: it would be the offering of the heart, in righteousness and true holiness. This remark equally applies to the duty of family worship. It must be remembered, that our worship of any kind extends not in its effects to God. It is of no use to him, adds nothing to his essential glory, and adds but little to the holy tribute of perfect adoration paid to him by all the hosts of heaven. It derives its whole value from its being a freewill offering, the sincere and ardent expression of a heart penetrated with a sense of his kindness, and earnestly desirous of glorifying his name. But though family worship has not been expressly commanded, it is not on this account less a duty, nor is it less criminal to neglect it. For the obligation to perform any action is not founded on its having been particularly and specially commanded, and distinctly explained, but on the unchangeable laws of right and wrong, on the relation between us and God, and on the state of dependence in which we stand towards him. The duty which a son owes to his father, does not depend on the formal manner in which it may be enjoined, nor on the severe penalties by which it mav be enforced : its obligation is o, higher nature; for it is a part of that law of love which is higher than positive institutions. The angels in heaven have probably no written law, which expressly points out this and that duty, and forbids such and such a crime; but they have a law written in their hearts, which disposes them to universal obedience. They feel, that the duty which they owe to God admits not of being defined: it is immeasurable in its extent, and infinite in its duration. They do not limit their obedience by saying, This is not forbidden, That is not commanded; but they strive with all their powers to glorify God, and to
pay him an obedience as puro and perfect as possible. God has honoured us, by putting us under a law equally grand and extensive: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbour as thyself.” “Love is the ulfilling of the whole law:” it comprehends all that has been speciall commanded, and it comprehends infinitely more than words can explain or precepts define. He, therefore, who loves God as he ought to do, will not say, Shew me the precept which requires me to pray two or three times a day; point out where it is written that I must call my family together to worship; tell me the passage which commands me to go to church twice on the Sunday. No; but it is his fervent desire to honour and worship God as much as he can. The possibility of its being done, consistently with other duties, and with the natural infirmity of man, is the only measure of the extent of his obedience. If this principle is admitted, and its extent understood, the only question, as to family prayer, will be, How far will such a worship be agreeable to God and useful to my fellow-creatures: If it is calculated to honour God, and to be useful to man, there is no longer a question about its obligation. On this ground,
then, the duty of family worship.
may safely be made to rest. It honours God; it is useful to man;
while it is so far from being opposed.
to any of the commands of God that it harmonizes with them all. 1. What can better express the sense of the honour due to God, than that a family should daily meet for the purpose of solemnly acknowledging that He is their great Benefactor, their Friend, their Father? We
assemble in public worship weekly,
to solicit mercies in common with all
our fellow-creatures. We pray to
God in private for private mercies,
confessing to him our private sins.
But our relation as a family, dwell
ing in the same house, sharing in the same mercies, united together in the closest bands, deinands a social worship, in which family instruction may be given, family mercies acknowledged, and grace for the discharge of family duties implored. How just and necessary is it, that God, the author of all domestic relations, the giver of all social happiness, should be acknowledged as such ; that his blessing, which alone can unite the discordant wills and unruly tempers of men, so that they may dwell together in peace and happiness, should be sought in common; and that the defects, which every member of the family has to deplore, and of which all perhaps have been witmesses, should in common be lamented, while grace is implored to prevent them for the future! Besides, if God receives no tribute of honour in the family, it will, in many cases, not be given to him at all. From public worship many persons are frequently shut out by sickness or other causes; and even when they attend, it is an act of a general and public kind, which is apt to be performed in a cold and formal manner. And as for private worship, it will be entirely omitted where there is no regard to God. So that, if family worship is neglected, there may be persons living in it, as much strangers to the worship of God as if they were heathens, entirely ignorant of his name and truth. And if God is pleased, as he doubtless is, with the honour paid to him by all ranks of his creatures; if he is pleased to behold a state of order and harmony; holy principles and correct conduct; a just sense of the duties which they owe to him, and an earnest endeavour to fulfil them; how must he look upon those families who never join to praise him; who shew not, by any united act, that they even consider his blessing to be of any importance to them Surely we may expect that his displeasure will be shewn to the families who thus disregard his holy name. 2. But let us consider the utility
of this practice, as it respects the several classes of the family separately, and the whole collectively. First as it respects servants.-These have often had little opportunity of religious improvement. They are also usually in the flower of their age;—a season which, if rightly employed, may have a material influence on the remainder of their lives. And here let the masters and mistresses of families seriously consider, as in the presence of God, whether they are not solemnly bound to give to their servants, dwelling under their roof, all the religious instruction in their power. I would seriously call on every master to consider, whether, as a Christian, he is not responsible for them; whether they be not part of his charge; whether God will not require from him an account of the endeavours he has used to promote religion among those whom Providence has placed under his roof, and under his conuroul. Will it be sufficient to mark a desire of discharging his duty to God and to his neighbour to say, “I engaged my servants to do my work: I did not stipulate to teach them religion f” This may be true; but, remember, your duty does not depend on what you may have stipulated, but on what it is in your power to do. Duty is not, a voluntary undertaking : it is imposed on us by God. We are bound to do all the good in our power; and we are answerable for the neglect of any thing we might do for the glory of God and the benefit of man. To improve the spiritual condition of those who are supported by us, and form part of our family, is a duty as clear and solemn as any to which we can be liable. But it may be said, They can pray and read the Bible in private, and also attend church. But will they do so? Will persons, perhaps not well educated, and at a time of life when they are apt to be thoughtless, do this And may not the judicious and kind advice of a master greatly help to fix their principles and direct their con
duct through life; as the neglect of a