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death, or of the despairing death possibly deny them. Yet far of the ungodly, and the reading the more common and ordinary of pious books, are used by God, way of the Spirit's working is as means of conviction, serious less perceptible. The wind blowinquiry, and holiness. But the eth where it listetk; and ye hear public ministration of the word, the sound thereof, but cannot tell as it is the great instrument of whence it cometh, and whither it God's own appointment, must goeth. Our blessed Saviour has be viewed as that, by which he said, 80 is the kingdom of heaven, usually, though not invariably, 28 if a man should cast seed into operates. That knowledge in the ground, and should sleet, and deed of the blessed gospel of rise night and day, and the seed Christ, which we obtain by read. should spring and grow up, he ing, by private and public in- knoweth not how ; first the blade, struction, is, in a certain degree, then the ear, after that the full instrumental in every conver
corn in the ear. To the opinion sion, and in promoting the piety of Dr. Watts on the subject of of every good man ; for it is un- regeneration and divine influder the impression of evangelical ences we do most cordially actruths, that our minds are excite cede.“ In the primitive days ed, alarmed, renewed, and led on of Christianity,” saith be," and to holy obedience.
in the age of miracles, the Holy The strength of religious im Ghost attended the preachers of pressions, and the outward evi- the gospel, with his extraordinadence of the change, produced ry gifts of healing, of tongues, of by them, are not less various, prophecy, as well as with the than the means, by which these graces of conviction, sanctificaimpressions are made. Some tion, and comfort ; and the sudpersons are exceedingly distress- denness, and the glory of the ed, and violently agitated un- change that was wrought on sinder the fearful apprehensions of ners, carried with it an illustrious divine wrath ; and there have and uncontested proof of the been some very extraordinary presence and power of God, and and sudden changes in the his Spirit. Nor has some faint tempers, pursuits, and lives of resemblance of such glorious men. There have been instances grace been altogether wanting in of men, whose lives had been later ages. There have been some wholly given up to dissipation most remarkable instances of and sinful pleasure, suddenly ar great sinners, converted at once rested in their dangerous career, by the gospel of Christ, and the and exhibiting, ever after, the demonstration of the Spirit. fruits of holiness in a well order “ But in his more usual and ed life. For, although there are ordinary communications of many marvellous accounts of grace, he works so gently upon this nature, which, upon close ex our nature, and in so sweet and amination, come to nothing; yet connatural a manner, as not to there are others, supported on distinguish his agency, in a sensuch clear and weighty evidence, sible manner, from the motions that it is difficult to see, how any of our own souls ; for he never candid and reasonable man can disturbs our rational powers, nor
puts any violence on our natural course might have been derived faculties ;. yet, when we are from the remark in the Panochanged, when are re- plist, it is the more necessary Dewed, when sin is mortified ; that the subject should be placed the Scripture tells us, the Spirit in a lucid point of view, lest othof God has done it. When our ers should follow the example, souls are prepared for heaven, and an ambiguous mode of and our corrupt nature sanctified, preaching be introduced. and suited to the things, that are
CANDIDUS. prepared in heaven for us, we are assured by the word of God, The following are the Extracts from that the Holy Spirit has been the
Original Letters, sent us by Beta; great operator, and has wrought
written by an aged Clergyman to a this change in us.”
young Student in Divinity.
.contain instruction too valuable to be (To be concluded next month.)
lost, and we doubt not will be par: ticularly acceptable and useful to that class of our readers, who are training
up for the gospel ministry, QUERY.
EDITORS. To the Editors of the Panoplist.
MY DEAR SIR, In the 16th No. of the Pano- Your solicitude for my health, plist, p. 178, among the rules for is among other arguments to preaching, it is said, “ Discover awaken me to live to greater pur. no more of your plan than needs pose. Go on then, and add your must.” You will greatly oblige prayers for this too. A gracious one of your constant readers, by Providence has restored me in a defining the particular object of measure, so that I return to my that direction. If by “plan” be poor labours; and have attended meant, system of doctrines, it is in the week past the ordination conceived to be important that of Mr. at - It was consoling they be candidly disclosed. But to find that all ordinations are if by that term be meant, the not so embarrassed, as that was at particular points proposed to be -. But ifthe disagreeables attendelucidated in a discourse, it is ing that, or if any thing else, shall conceived the preacher must awaken us to examine over again needs state them explicitly, if he our preparations for this sacred would hope to gain the attention work, it may be no disadvantage of his hearers.
in the end, though for the time An explanation is the more it may fill us with anxiety. earnestly solicited by your in- O that I could contribute any quirer, as he lately heard a thing to your assistance, on the preacher observe, at the com: subject you mention. The quesmencement of his discourse, that tion of “ internal call” (which, I he should discover no more of suppose, ought to intend being his plan than was necessary. authorised to offer to preach the Your inquirer has ever been una- gospel) seems to be reduced by ble to ascertain what was his our Lord to a narrow compass, plan. Presuming that the idea where natural and literary enof concealing the plan of dis- dowments, and a desire to this I am, &c.
IN WHAT MANNER SHOULD CAN
work, are not wanting. “Lovest Variations will here and there thou me?" then « feed my be found-yes often—but they sheep," and " my lambs."
will be as clearly mourned and Love, we are sensible, is more condemned on reflection; aod than a conviction of what we owe with earnest supplications, and to such a Master; and more new resolutions, for getting the than any common solicitude better of the indwelling evil. about it. There is an attach- God be gracious to you, my ment of the soul to Him and his friend ; resolve all your doubts, interests, which will carry us and prepare you to be eminently spontaneously to his work, and useful. render it pleasant, with all the
(To be continued.) 'self-denials which it requires.
If we seem to have that attachment, it is not improper to examine, whether it be a new senti. At the Synod of Dort, holden in 1618, ment, or affection, plainly dis- the members from Zealand came ta tinguishable from all that we
the following result on this question ; realized in those times when we know that we were not Chris. DIDATES BE PREPARED FOR tians indeed : and whether it be THE SACRED MINISTRY? clearly attended with a propor
(Translated for the Panoplist.) tionable mourning over those times, proportionable abhorrence In order that churches may of moral evil, and love to holi- never be destitute of suitable pas, ness in all its forms : for such tors, the illustrious states are to seems to be the nature of true be requested, that in every prov, affection to Him, in whom all ince, where such custom does not moral excellence is concentred. already prevail, there be a cer
It is of capital importance to tain number of young men, to be examine with great care, wheth- educated for that sacred employ. er the existing affection grounds ment, at public expense. Those itself on the identical character also, who are more wealthy, are of the divine Saviour, which the to be advised to maintain at gospel delineates; and embraces, schools those of their children, without reserye, 'every part of whom they shall find suitable for it.
such employ, and take care that It is of consequence likewise they be there instructed ; that to examine the power of this af; there be public seminaries, from fection ; and whether it does in which persons may be taken to fact conform the reigning tem- discharge the duty of pastors as per, intentions, habits, conversa: often, as shall be necessary. tion, to the spirit and views of For this purpose
there should our great Master. There will be selected from common schools be no perfection here ; but gen: such young men, as are descend: uine love to Christ will form a ed from reputable parents, that reigning character, and give, on no disgrace accrue to the ministhe whole, a new and distinguish: try on account of their dishonour. ing complexion to one's spiritable descent; that they be such, and life.
as have strength of body as well
1806.] Qualification of Candidates for the Ministry. -421
as of mind, adequate to the per- peculiarly under the inspection formance of so great and arduous of pastors. a duty; that they be those, who, To obtain a thorough knowl. in common schools, have given edge of philosophy and the lan, such evidence of genius and guages, but particularly of theololearning, as affords just reason gy, requires, not one or two to hope that, when they shall years, but the entire space of five have arrived at maturity, they or six. But as those, who dare will be useful ministers in the to seek promotion to the office church: in fine, that, they be of pastors, before they have spent those, in whom may be seen scarcely two years in an academy, strong indications of piety, probi- display great rashness ; so those, ty, and modesty.
who spend almost their whole Having been thus selected, time in academies, and are too or brought up in this pursuit by late in commencing the sacred their parents ; as soon as they service, are not to be coinmended, shall have finished their educa- Wherefore, to obviate each of tion in common schools, they these evils, it would be adviseaare to be sent to academies, in ble to prescribe a certain time, which it would be useful, nay, within which they should be even necessary, that there should obliged to finish a course of be distinct colleges, appropriate study, and at the close of which to the youth of the various prov: the church might enjoy their lainces, where they may studious- bours. That churches, patrons, ly employ their time under the and parents may be acquainted care of governors and overseers, with their proficiency, it is proby whose advice their studies per, that they render to them an may be directed, and who may account of their studies each year, prescribe to them a particular Having finished this course of method in their studies, that they study in some academy, it would wander not in uncertainty, and, be useful for them to visit foreign from a desire of learning some- academies and churches, and to thing of every thing, learn noth- remain in the more celebrated ing thorouqhly ; and finally, places, until they should have who may take the care of their examined and thoroughly learn. lives and morals. For too much ed, whatever might there be indulgence in academies has, to worthy of their attention, that many, proved the cause of their thus they might return to their destruction.
friends, furnished with ensam. It is required of those, who ples foreign as well as domestic. are hereafter to preside over On their return home, they churches, that they both join are to exhibit to the church and themselves to some church, and people, among whom they are make profession of the religion, about to reside, recommendawhich they are hereafter to teach tions from pastors of churches, to others; that they studiously and governors, or professors of improve opportunities of hearing academies, or from the leading sermons, be partakers with the men of the faculty, waiting a church of the Lord's supper, be regular call to the pastoral office, subject to church discipline, and And as no one, after these tes
timonies shall have been exhibit- and in fine, what kind of prayers ed, ought to be admitted without would be suitable for the various a previous examination, prepar- occasions, which occur in the disatory to the exercise of public charge of pastoral visits. For, speaking ; so likewise it is ne- although they ought to come cessary, that other exercise be
from schools, accustomed to added, whereby they may be ren- speak before churches; yet to dered more fit for the faithful dis- reduce their knowledge to praccharge of this sacred office. tice, is what is necessary for
Nor would it be unprofitable, them to learn from pastors. that candidates for the ministry As those, who are called to should sometimes read the sacred the ministry, are sometime to Scriptures publicly in churches. be placed over the government of In this manner they would be the church, and the government come known to the church, and of churches is not accurately walk more immediately under learned in schools ; it would be their inspection. Let the whole profitable, if those, in the more church have evidence of their celebrated cities, were permitted, morals, piety and probity. Fi- under certain limited conditions nally, let them conduct them- however, to be present at presselves with such prudience, as to byteries, and also at the meetings do nothing, which may be incon- of deacons, some months previ. sistent with the calling for ous to their call to the pastoral which they are preparing; and office, that they might thereby thus let those, who are hereafter learn, in what manner church to preside over all, be known and
government ought to be estabapproved by all. By thus read- lisbed; what method ought to ing in public they likewise be- be used in asking questions and come accustomed to the pres, collecting votes; in what manence of an assembly, and obtain ner church discipline should be a certain freedom of speech. maintained, and what, in various Their voice likewise and elocu- cases, would be proper to be tion will be thereby so formed, done. Also what provision ought that they will come better pre- to be made for the poor, and eve pared for speaking publicly, ry thing of a similar nature, which we think ought also to be which is better learned from exallowed them after a more accu- perience than precept. In all rate examination, provided the these things they will find great consent of the society be previ- advantage, whenever they shall ously obtained.
be called to the pastoral office. In the next place it will be Lastly, although in examinaproper, that they be frequently tions, previous to their advancewith pastors ; that they confer
ment, regard has hitherto been with them on various cases of had only to their doctrine, that is, conscience; that they accom- whether they
were orthodox, pany them, when they visit the which we confess to be of the sick, and console the aflicted; first importance ; yet it ought that they learn from them, how to be considered, whether it such are to be treated; how the would not be expedient, that a afflicted are to be comforted; practical examination should like