Imágenes de páginas

of April, are payable on and after the 11th of April, until the subsequent Midsummer; and those due on the 10th of October are payable on and after the 15th of that month, until the Christmas following; but only on the incumbent's receipt being presented, in the same manner as is prescribed with respect to the receipt of the interest money.

Every incumbent, on his first application for the interest, or dividend money, must produce his license, &c., or a certificate from the diocesan, his secretary, or the registrar of the diocese, as to the date of his collation, institution or license, to the living augmented, and that he continues to be the incumbent thereof, and he must state the day on which the living became vacant, and by what means.

Where monies are due, both for interest, and dividends, a separate receipt for each is indispensable.

Form of Receipt for DIVIDENDS.

(To be written on an appropriate stamp, when the sum requires it.)

Received the- -18-, of Christopher Hodgson, Esq., treasurer to the Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne, &c., the sum of being-year's dividend due the of- on the sum of £three per cent, reduced bank annuities, remaining in the Parliamentary Grants' fund account to the credit of, and appropriated for the augmentation of the- -of——, in the county of and diocese of——.

£. s. d.

[ocr errors]

C. D. Incumbent of

N.B. The entrance to the Treasurer's Office is through an iron gateway, fronting Great Dean's Yard, immediately beyond the Bounty Office.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


"Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds." PROVERBS XXVII. 23.

THE first thing to be done, on taking possession of a parish, is to find out its state, and its wants. This can only be ascertained by actual visitation. A few hours in a week well spent will enable a clergyman to obtain pretty accurate information respecting the condition of his parish, and it will be well to provide a book in which to enter the result of the visitation.

This kind of book is usually termed a "Speculum Gregis." It may be drawn up in a variety of forms. The following have been used in large parishes, and been found very useful. Every parish should be visited by house-row, once a year at least, however large its extent, exclusive of the visitation of the sick, the aged, and the infirm. The Rev. C. Bridges piously and judiciously remarks,* on

The Pastoral Work of the Christian Ministry.

"Let us not think, that all our work is done in the study and in the pulpit. PREACHING is indeed the grand momentum of Divine agency, but it derives much of its power from connexion with the pastoral work; and its too frequent disjunction from it, must be considered as a main cause of ministerial inefficiency. The pastor and preacher combine to form the completeness of the sacred office, as expounded in our ordination service, and implied in Scriptural illustrations. How little can a stated appearance in public answer to the lowest sense of such terms as Shepherd, Watchman, Overseer, Steward!-terms, which import not a mere general superintendance over the flock, charge, or household, but an acquaintance with their individual wants, and a distribution suitable to the occasion: without which, instead of 'taking heed to the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made us overseers,' we can scarcely be said to 'take the oversight of it' at all.

"The PASTORAL WORK is the personal application of the pulpit ministry to the proper individualities of our people-looking upon them severally, as having a distinct and separate claim upon our attention, care, and anxiety; urging each of them, as far as possible, to the concerns of eternity; and commending to their hearts a suitable exhibition and offer of salvation. For this purpose we must acquaint ourselves with their situation, habits, character, state of heart, peculiar wants, and difficulties, that we may give to each of them a portion in due season." The pastor unites in himself the offices of Watchman and Evangelist. He watches for souls,' 'lest a root of bitterness should spring up' to

* Christian Ministry, pp. 455–460. 462, 474. 475. 477.

the trouble and defilement of the church-lest unchristian tempers and practices should mar the Christian profession-lest a lukewarm spirit should paralize Christian exertion, or a spirit of contention hinder Christian love. All need his superintendence. The indolent are slumbering-the self-dependent are falling back- the zealous are under the influence of spiritual pride- the earnest are becoming self-righteousthe regular, formal. Then there is the inquirer asking for direction-the tempted and perplexed, looking for support-the afflicted longing for the cheering consolations of the Gospel-the convinced sinner, from the slight healing of his wound, settling in a delusive peace-the professor, 'having a name that he lives; but he is dead.' These are cases that cannot, in all their minute and diversified forms, be fully treated in the pulpit. It is therefore in his pastoral character, that the Christian minister watches for souls, as one that must give account.' But he 'watches also in all things. There are seasons peculiarly suited for specific instruction, or for the enforcement of particular duties-special opportunities for conviction, or consolation (such as providential visitations in families, or in individuals, attended with awakening or softening impressions) --seasons, that should find the minister 'doing the work of an Evangelist,' in the instant and suitable improvement of them; and which, without the constant oversight of our people, would be neglected and lost.

"In order that plans may be useful, they must be suitable to their intended sphere-not only really, but relatively, good-formed by the character, circumstances, and habits of the people: as they are scattered or congregated, educated or illiterate, or a mixture of both-according to their state of ignorance or knowledge-whether the ground has been previously cultivated, or neglected-whether it has been occupied by dissenters, or left wholly waste-whether the disposition of the people is prepared for the Gospel or opposed to it. These and many other considerations, though they would not alter the system of our ministry, yet would materially influence the moulding of the several parts to a more close and definite adaptation.


"The importance of this system is evident from the nature of the The husbandman does not rest when he has committed his seed to the earth. He watches its growth with daily and most anxious inspection, and devotes himself with incessant labour to its preservation from impending dangers, until he has safely gathered the fruit of his toil. And is not the word the imperishable seed? Are not our people the field of God? Are not we the husbandmen, to sow the seed, and instrumentally to gather the harvest? And are our fields more secure from injury, or in less need of constant and anxious superintendence? Every other illustration of our work illustrates the same point. As PHYSICIANS, how can we prepare the proper medicines, without a knowledge of the individual disease? As STEWARDS, how can we make our distribution, if unacquainted with the respective objects of our attention? As nursing mothers, how ineffective our care and tenderness, if it be not regulated according to the known strength or weakness of our people.

"We cannot but advert to the necessity of a systematic adherence to this part of our ministry. If it be left to the humour or convenience

of the moment, procrastination, indolence, and worldly interruptions, will incessantly hinder its operation. Fixed days and hours (portioned with a due regard to all other ministerial claims) should be devoted to it with the same conscientious determination as to pulpit preparations. Our visits should embrace as large a scope of solid instruction as time and opportunity may allow; and we should enter into the spirit of the system with lively and tender interest. An affectionate attention to the young forms a prominent part of this superintendence, both from their connexion with the present encouragement and future prospects of the ministry, and from the successful avenues which are thus opened to the hearts of parents. To win, therefore, their confidence, by frequent communication and by habits of kindness, will open, with little additional labour, a promise of an abundant harvest. It may sometimes be necessary, in this ministry, to avail ourselves of the most correct sources of information relative to our people; though much discretion is required, to avoid the evils of jealousy and suspicion, and to apply to the best use the materials thus furnished to our hand.

"We may further remark, that this system is also most strongly inculcated from the highest authority. Searching and seeking out the sheep, is marked by the Great Shepherd, as the difference between himself and hirelings; against whom the neglect of this pastoral care formed a main article of indictment. Indeed his own ministry was of this character. With his disciples, it was that of the Good Shepherd, who, 'calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. With the world, it was the constant wakefulness to improve every opportunity, as well of private as of public and general instruction. The ministry of his Apostles was framed after the same pattern. During the three years, that the great Apostle was the resident pastor of a church, he combined pastoral with public instruction. 'He ceased not to warn every one of them night and day with tears;' and the testimony of his conscience on this particular, seems to have been his rejoicing under the overwhelming pressure of ministerial responsibility.

Ignatius Cyprian Gregory At a later

"The documents of the early ages furnish abundant testimony to the pastoral work, as a constituent part of the primitive ministry. is said to have known almost every individual in his flock. frequently gives us his judgment and practice on this subject. wrote a serious treatise on this department of the ministry. period of the church, Ostervald expresses his surprise, that a Christian minister can satisfy his conscience, without a diligent parochial ministration. The questions and exhortations in our own ordination services are evidently formed upon this model. The episcopal instructions of Taylor, Hort, Burnet, Leighton, Secker, and Wilson, (not to mention other names of more recent date) have solemnly charged it upon our consciences. The obligation of our ordination vow-to 'take heed to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made us overseers'— evidently implies (as Baxter observes) that each individual member of our charge must be taken heed of, and watched over by us in our ministry. To which end it is supposed necessary, that (unless where absolute necessity forbiddeth it. through the scarcity of pastors, and greatness of the flock) we should know every person that belongeth to our charge.' 'I confess,' (says Bishop Burnet), that this way of

parochial visitation is an increase of labour; but that will seem no hard matter to such, as have a right sense of their ordination vows, of the value of souls, and of the dignity of their function. If men had the spirit of their calling in them, and a due measure of flame and heat in carrying it on, labour in it would be rather a pleasure than a trouble.'


"The form of pastoral intercourse may admit of considerable variation. While it may often be wise to combine with ministerial instruction a sympathizing interest in their temporal difficulties, at other times our contact with them should be purely upon spiritual principles. Let them be alone with us in the presence of God. The delicacy and weakness of the early impressions need this intimate intercourse. The awakened inquirer is filled, and often at the same time confounded, with the engrossing novelty and importance of the subject. He wants a guide, a confidential counsellor, a tender and experienced friend. He must be taken aside, and made to feel himself the object of exclusive solicitude. Others again in a hesitating suspense need the filial confidence of pastoral communion to have their convictions cherished, re-touched, deepened, and directed more immediately to the Saviour, as the charm that dispels the allurements, and as the power that breaks the chains, that still hold them to the world The serious, humble, and perplexed need the same pastoral confidence to open their grief, and receive the benefit of ghostly counsel and advice.' In our communication, however, with these confidential cases, the mode of continued address may be most advantageously exchanged for affectionate catechetical inquiry. This is usually found most effectual in eliciting the gradual disclosure of individual perplexities, and thus in obtaining the most valuable materials for accommodating our instruction to their need.


"It is also most important, that the communion of a minister with his flock should be equalized-that he should shew himself equally the friend, the father, the minister, of all-'a debtor to the wise and unwise,'-' without preferring one above another, doing nothing by partiality. He should be to his flock-as the soul to the body-as the head to the members-invigorating every part of the body-the lowest as well as the highest; and contributing to the benefit of every member alike. It is invariably found, that the suspicion of favoritism fosters a spirit of pride in its objects, and of envy in the rest, and therefore is most destructive to the unity and prosperity of the flock. As far as this confidential character is preserved, there will be as little occasion to enforce relative rights and obligations, as to fix the precise boundaries of authority and obedience between man and wife, where the spirit of the marriage relation is maintained.

This general view of the principles of the pastoral work will show at once its laboriousness, and its importance. To acquaint ourselves with the various wants of our people; to win their affections; to give a seasonable warning, encouragement, instruction, or consolation; to identify ourselves with their spiritual interests, in the temper of Christian sympathy, and under a sense of ministerial obligation; to do this with the constancy, seriousness, and fervid energy which the matter requires is indeed a work of industry, patience, and self-denial. And yet, how else can we 'make full proof of our ministry,' but by ready obedience to the injunction,- watch thou in all things; do the work of an evangelist?

« AnteriorContinuar »