Изображения страниц

into reinembrance ; it unfolds and sentiments in the fairest colours, displays the hidden treasures of as well as to set them in the strongknowledge with which reading, est light. observation, and study, had before “ V. Mere lecture, reading, and furnished the mind.

conversation, however, without "5. In free and friendly conver-thinking, are not suficient to make sation our intellectual powers are a man of knowledge and wisdom. more animated, and our spirits uct Itis our own thought and reflection, with a superior vigour in the quest study and meditation, must attend and pursuit of unknown truths. all the other methods of improveThere is a sharpness and sagacityment, and perfect them. It carries of truth that attends conversation these advantages with it ; beyond what we find whilst we are “1. Though observation and inshut up reading and musing in our struction, reading and conversaretirements.

tion, may furnish us with many “ 6. In generous conversation ideas of men and things, yet it is amongst ingenious and learned our own meditation, and the lamen, we have a great advantage bour of our own thoughts, that of proposing our private opinions, inust form our judgment of things. and of bringing our own sentiments Our own thoughts should join or to the test, and learning in a more disjoin these ideas in a proposition compendious and a safer way for ourselves ; it is our own mind what the world will judge of them, that must judge for ourselves how mankind will receive them, concerning the agreement or diswhat objections may be raised a- agreement of ideas, and form gainst them, what defects there propositions of truth out of are in our scheme, and how to cor- them. rect our own mistakes; which ad “ 2. It is meditation and study vantages are not so easy to be ob- that transfers and conveys the notained by our own private medita- tions and sentiments of others to tions.

ourselves, so as to make them pro“ 7. It is also another con- perly our own. It is our own judgsiderable advantage of conversa- ment upon them, as well as our tion, that it furnishes the student memory of them, that makes them with the knowledge of men and become our own property. the affairs of life, as reading fur “ 3. By study and meditation we nishes him with book-learning. A improve the hints that we have acman who dwells all his days among quired by observation, conversabooks may have amassed together tion, and reading; we take more a vast heap of notions; but he may time in thinking, and by the labe a mere scholar, which is a con- bour of the mind we penetrate temptible sort of character in the deeper into themes of knowledge, world. But by polite conversation and carry our thoughts sometimes the scholar now becomes a citizen much farther on many subjects or a gentleman, a neighbour and a than we ever meet with either in friend; he learns how to dress his the books of the dead or disVOL. II.


courses of the living. It is our controversial talents; casuistic, or own reasoning that draws out one those who resolve cases of contruth from another, and forms a science; experimental, those who whole scheme of science from a address themselves to the feelings, few hints which we borrowed else- cases, and circumstances of their where.

hearers; and, lastly, practical, “ These five methods of improve those who insist upon the performment should be pursued jointly, ance of all those duties which the and go hand in hand, where our word of God enjoins. An able circumstances are so happy as to minister will have something of find opportunity and conveniency all these united in him, though he to enjoy them all: though I must may not excel in all ; and it begive my opinion, that two of them, comes every one who is a candireading and meditation, shouldem- date for the ministry to get a clear ploy much more of our time than idea of each, that he may not be public lectures, or conversation and deficient in the discharge of that discourse. As for observation, we work which is the most important may be always acquiring know that can be sustained by morta! ledge that way, whether we are beings. Many volumes have been alone or in company. But it will written on this subject, but we be for our farther improvement if must be content in this place to we can go over all these five me offer only a few remarks relative thods of obtaining knowledge more to it. In the first place, then, it distinctly, and more at large, and must be observed, that ministers see what special advances in useful of the Gospel ought to be sound as science we may draw from them to their principles. They must be all."-Watts on the Mind, chap- men whose hearts are renovated ter 2.

by Divine grace, and whose sentiMINIMS, a religious order in ments are derived from the sacred the church of Rome, founded by oracles of Divine truth. A miSt. Francis de Paula, towards the nister without principles will never end of the fifteenth century. Their do any good; and he who profeshabit is a coarse black woollen ses to believe in a system, should stuff, with a woollen girdle of the see to it that it accords with the same colours, tied in five knots. word of God. His mind should They are not permitted to quit clearly perceive the beauty, hartheir habit and girdle night normony, and utility of the doctrines, day. Formerly they went bare- while his heart should be deeply footed, but are now allowed the impressed with a sense of their use of shoes.

value and importance.-2. They MINISTER, a name applied should be mild and afable as to their to those who are pastors of a con- dispositions and deportment.-A gregation, or preachers of God's haughty imperious spirit is a disword. They are also called di- grace to the ministerial character, vines, and may be distinguished and generally brings contempt. into polemic, or those who possess They should learn to bear injuries

with patience, and be ready to do useless books, studying useless good to every one; be courteous subjects. Every day should have to all, without cringing to any ; be its work, and every subject its affable without levity and humble due attention. Some advise without pusillanimity; conciliating chapter in the Hebrew Bible, and the affections without violating another in the Greek Testament the truth; connecting a suavity of to be read every day. A wellmanners with a dignity of cha-chosen system of divinity should racter; obliging without flatter- be accurately studied. The best ing; and throwing off all reserve definitions should be obtained, without running into the opposite and a constant regard paid to all extreme of volubility and trifling. those studies which savour of re. -3. They should be superior as ligion, and have some tendency to to their knowledge and talents. public work.-5. Ministers should Though many have been useful be extensive as to their benevowithout what is called learning, lence and candour. A contracted yet none have been so without bigoted spirit ill becomes them some portion of knowledge and who preach a Gospel which wisdom. Nor has God Almighty breathes the purest benevolence. ever sanctified ignorance, or con- to mankind. This spirit has done secrated it to his service; since it more harm among all parties than is the effect of the fall, and the many imagine; and is, in my consequence of our departure from opinion, one of the most powerful the Fountain of intelligence. Mi-engines the devil makes use of to nisters, therefore,especially,should oppose the best interests of manendeavour to break these shackles, kind; and it is really shocking to get their minds enlarged, and stor- observe how sects and parties have ed with all useful knowledge. The all, in their turns, anathematized Bible should be well studied, and each other. Now, while ministhat, if possible, in the original lan-ters ought to contend earnestly for guage. The scheme of salvation the faith once delivered to the by Jesus Christ should be well un- saints, they must remember that derstood, with all the various to- men always will think different pics connected with it. Nor will from each other; that prejudice some knowledge of history, natu- of education has great influence; ral philosophy as well as moral, that difference of opinion as to logic, mathematics, and rhetoric, non-essential things is not of such he useless. A clear judgment, importance as to be a ground also, with a retentive memory, in- of dislike. Let the ministers of ventive faculty, and a facility of Christ, then, pity the weak, forgive communication, should be obtain the ignorant, bear with the sincere ed.-4. They should be diligent though mistaken zealot, and love as to their studies. Their time all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. especially should be improved, 1-6. Ministers should be zealous and not lost by too much sleep, and faithful in their public work. formal visits, indolence, reading. The sick must be visited; children

must be catechised; the ordi-, dinance appointed for the purpose nances administered; and the word of instructing men in the principles preached. These things must be and knowledge of the Gospel, taken up not as a matter of duty Eph. iv, 3, 11. Rom. x, 15. Heb. only, but of pleasure, and exe- | v, 4. That the Gospel ministry cuted with faithfulness; and, as is of Divine origin, and intendthey are of the utmost imported to be kept up in the church, ance, ministers should attend to will evidently appear, if we conthem with all that sincerity, ear- sider the promises that in the last niestness, and zeal, which that im- and best times of the New Testaportance demands. An idle, fri- ment dispensation there would be gid, indifferent minister, is a pestan instituted and regular ministry 10 society, a disgrace to his pro- in her, Eph. iv, 8, 11. Tit. i, fession, an injury to the church, 5. Pet. i, 3. Tim. i; also from and offensive to God himself.—7. the names of office peculiar to Lastly, ministers should be uniform some members in the church, as to their conduct. No bright- and not common tu all, Eph. ness of talent, no superiority of iv, 8, 11 ; from the duties which intellect, no extent of knowledge, are represented as reciprocally will ever be a substitute for this. binding on ministers and people, They should not only possess a Hebrews xiii, 7, 17. 1st. Peter wise mind, but a luminous con-|| v, 2, 3, 4; from the promises duct. This will procure dignity to of assistance which were given themselves, give energy to what to the first ministers of the new they say, and prove a blessing to dispensation, Mait. xxviii, 20; the circle of connexions in which and from the importance of a they move. In fine, they should Gospel ministry, which is reprcbe men of prudence and prayer, sented in the scripture as a very light and love, zeal and know- great blessing to them who enjoy ledge, courage and humility, hu- it, and the removal of it as one of manity and religion. Sce Decla- the greatest calamities which can MATION, ELOQUENCE, PREACH-befal any people, Rev. ii and ini. ING, and SERMONs, in this work;See books under last article. Dr. Smith's Lect. on the Sacred MINISTERIAL CALL, a Ofice; Gerard's Pastoral Care; term used to denote that right or Chrysostom on Priesthood; Bax- | authority which a person receives ter's Reformed Pastor ; Burnet's to preach the Gospel. This call Pastoral Care : IVatts's Humble is considered as twofold, divine Attempt; Dr. Edwards's Preach- and ecclesiastical. The following er; Mason's Student and Pastor;\things seem essential to a divine Gibbon's Christian Minister; Ua- call: 1. A holy, blameless life.ther's Student and Preacher; Os- 2. An ardent and constant inclitervald's Lectures on the Sacred nation and zeal to do good.-3. Ministry; Robinson's Claude ; Abilities suited to the work; such Doddridge's Lectures on Preach- as knowledge, aptness to teach, ing and the Ministerial Office. courage, &c.-4. An opportunity

MINISTRY GOSPEL, an or-'afforded in Providence to be use

ful. In ecclesiastical call consists | tors in ordinary cases to adult in the election which is made of Christians, and to none else, Acts any person to be a pastor. Buti, 15, 26. Acts vi, 1, 6. Acts xir, here the Episcopalian and the Dis. 23. Christ requires his people to senter differ; the former believing try the spirits, which supposeth that the choice and call of a mi- their ability to do so, and their pownister rest with the superior cler- er to choose such only as they find sy, or those who have the gift of most proper to edify their souls, un ecclesiastical benefice; the lat- and to refuse others, 1st John iv, ter supposes that it should rest on 1. The introduction of ministers the suffrage of the people to whom into their office by patronage of ne is to minister. The Churchman whatever forın hath its origin reasons thus: “ Though the peo- from popery, tends to establish a ple may be competent judges of tyranny over men's conscience, the abilities of their tradesmen, which and whom Christ hath made they cannot be allowed to have free, and to fill pulpits with wickan equal discernment in inatters ed and indolent clergymen. Whoof science and erudition. Daily ever will attentively examine the experience may convince us how history of the primitive times, injudiciously preferment would be will find that all ecclesiastical distributed by popular elections. officers for the first three hundred The modesty of genius would stand years were elected by the peolittle chance of being distinguished ple.” We must refer the reader by an ignorant multitude. The for more on this subject to the most illiterate, the most impudent, articles Church, · EPISCOPACY, those who could most dexterous- and INDEPENDENTS. ly play the hypocrite, who could MIRACLE, in its original best adapt their preaching to the sense, is a word of the same import fanaticism of the vulgar, would with wonder; but, in its usual and be the only successful candidates more appropriate signification, it for public favour. Thus modera- denotes “ an effect contrary to the tion and literature would soon be established constitution and course banished, and a scene of cor- of things, or a sensible deviation ruption, confusion, and madness, from the known laws of nature.' would prevail." But specious as

" That the visible world,” says these arguments seem, they have Dr. Gleig,“ is governed by stated but little force on the mind of the general rules, or that there is Congregationalist, who thus rea- an order of causes and effects sons: “ The church being a yolun- established in every part of the tary society, none imposed upon system of nature which falls under her members by men can be re-our observation, is a fact which lated to them as their pastor with cannot be controverted. If the out their own consent. None can Supreme being, as some have supa so well judge what gifts are best posed, be the only real agent in suited to their spiritual edification the universe, we have the evidence as Christians themselves. The of experience, that, in the partiscripture allows the election of pas- cular system to which we belong

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »