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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 likewise be established, agreeably to structed in every good work; not which they should be examined, that only, which pertains to docwhether they were strict in main- trine and reproof, but also to cortaining that conversation, which rection and instruction in rightbecometh godliness, and whether cousness.
To this end it were they were proper persons for to be wished, that the minds of teaching Christian morality, and youth in colleges and academies, forming the manners of men to should be made acquainted with every kind of virtue; for the man practical theology, and instructed of God ought to be thoroughly in- in various cases of conscience.
DUCT OF ERASMUS.
THE EFFECTS OF TEMPORIZING faults. But if he had written eve
IN MATTERS OF RELIGION, ry thing in the most unexceptionEXEMPLIFIED IN THE CON- able manner, I had no inclination
to die for the sake of truth. Eve.
ry man hath not the courage re(Continued from p. 372.)
quisite to make a martyr ; and I We have in this year, 1521, a am afraid, that if I were put to the remarkable letter of Erasmus, trial, I should imitate St. Peter." addressed to his friend Pace, dean It was proper to give these exof St. Paul's. “ I see, now," traordinary words at length, besays Erasmus, “that the Ger- cause, though he hath elsewhere mans (the German Lutherans) dropped some expressions as are resolved, at all adventures, to mounting nearly to the engage me in the affair of Lu- thing, yet perhaps he hath no ther, whether I will or not. In where so frankly opened his this they have acted foolishly, mind, and so ingenuously owned and have taken the surest meth- his timidity. The apprehension od to alienate me from them and of losing his revenues, the reputatheir party. Wherein could I tion which he still enjoyed in the have assisted Luther, if I had de- Court of Rome, and which he was clared myself for him and shared loth to give up entirely, and possithe danger along with him? On- bly the fear of being excommunily thus far, that instead of one cated and proscribed, and perhaps nian two would have perished. poisoned or assassinated, might I cannot conceive what he means work together upon him, and reby writing with such a spirit: strain him from speaking freely one thing I know too well, that concerning the controversies he hath brought a great odium then agitated. However, to do upon the lovers of literature. It him justice, he still maintained is true that he hath given us the truth, though cautiously and many a wholesome doctrine, and obliquely. Although he fremany a good counsel; and I quently censured Luther, yet he wish he had not defeated the ef- heartily wished that he might fect of them by his intolerable car vinta and extort fron
his enemies some reformation he disliked even truth itself, if both of doctrines and manners; it was seditious. But Luther, but, as he could not imagine that who was of another humour, Luther would succeed, he chose would have replied, such was his to adhere outwardly to the stronge hatred for falsehood and oppreser party. “I follow," says he, sion of conscience, that he "the decisions of the pope and the thought it better to suffer perseemperor', when they are right cution, if it arose, and to break which is acting religiously ; I loose from such a tyranny at all subinit to them when they are adventures, than to stoop down, wrong, which is acting prudent and live and die under it, and ly ; and I think that it is lawful hear a thousand lies vented and for good men to behave them- obtruded under the venerable selves thus, when there is no name of Christian doctrines. hope of obtaining any more.” They who are bold and resolute
“ Le Clerc often censures will approve these maxims of Erasmus for his lukewarmness, Luther, and they who are cautimidity and unfairness, in the tious and dispirited will close in matter of the reformation, and I, with those of Erasmus. It must as a translator, have adopted these be acknowledged, that in this Lucensures, only softening them a ther acted rather more like an little here and there : for I am, in apostle, or a primitive Christian, the main, of the same opinion than Erasmus. If the first with Le Clerc as to this point. Christians had been afraid of As Protestants, we are certainly raising disturbances, they would much obliged to Erasmus; yet have chosen to comply with the we are more obliged to the au- Sanhedrim, and to live at peace thors of the Reformation ; with their countrymen, rather Luther, Melanchthon, Zuingli- than to draw upon themselves us, Oecolampadius, Cranmer, so much hatred. Some of the Bucer, &c.
great, says Erasmus, meaning “ Erasmus shews at large, that the king of Denmark, are of an whatsoever pains he had taken opinion, to which I cannot asto keep upon good terms with sent, that the malady is too inthe divines of Louvain, it had veterate to be cured by gentle been impossible to gain their methods, and that the whole bofriendship ; and that some of dy must be violently shaken, bethem had cruelly deceived him, fore it can recover its health. particularly Joannes Atensis, who If it be true, I had rather others was one of the most able and con- should administer this strong siderable persons amongst them. physic than myself. Very well: Then he makes a transition to but then we ought to respect Luther, and censures his violent and commend, and not to cenproceedings; as if Luther could sure those, who have the couhave brought the Christian world rage and the constancy to do to measures of reformation, in what we dare not practise." spite of the Romish court, without plain dealing and animated (To be continued.) expressions! He declares his hatred of discord to be such, that
ON LIBERALITY IN RELIGION.
multitude ; and to whom, if we With pleasure we extend the cannot yield our confidence, we
knowledge of the following very may not deny our respect. The seasonable and just sentiments, influence of fashion is so subtle which are clothed in a style of and so imperious ; the levity of uncommon energy and elo
social intercourse is so adverse quence.
to reflection; dissent from the circling opinion is, for the most
part, so ungraciously received (From the Christian’s Magazine.*) est, is so convenient a substitute
a fling, whether in jest or earn
for fact ; A WRITER of celebrity has
and a popular episaid, that where “men are with thet, without expense either of out some fundamental and sci- thought or knowledge, is so exentific principles to resort to, peditious a mode of determining they are liable to have their un
controversies, which otherwise derstandings played upon by cant
would be of stiff debate, that the phrases and unmeaning terms, judgment is surprised through of which every party in every
the imagination ; and the mind country possess a vocabulary. is hurried into its decisions withWe appear astonished when we
out firmness to resist, or leisure see the multitude led away by
to pause. He who has access to sounds ; but we should remem
that sort of company, which ber, that if sounds work miracles, wears the reputation of intelliit is always upon ignorance. The gence, and does not recollect to influence of names is in exact
have seen this course of things, proportion to the want of knowl- has made a bad use of his eyes edge.”
or his memory. How roughly As it is the truth of these re
individuals, communities, and evmarks, which gives a point to
en truth itself is often handled their severity, it would be some
by such summary sentences, evconsolation, were they applicable ery writer on logic or ethics acto the multitude only. But the counts it his duty to show. The same foible, though in a less de- design of this paper is not so gree, is discernible in men, who
much to dwell on the general are not to be ranked with the evil of the practice, as, on the
one side, to repel an opprobriThis is a new periodical work,
um, and, on the other, to sift a published in the city of New York, claim, which it has been employquarterly. Its Editor is the Rev. Dr. ed to sanction. MASON of that city, whose distin- From the present state of soguished talents will doubtless com. mand extensive patronage for his ciety, we look back on the intolwork, which, judging from this first
erance of former ages with a No. will rank among the most re- surprise, which does honour to spectable in the United States. humanity : but at the same time,
Paley, Pref. to his Principles of it is to be feared, with a loftiness Moral and Political Philosophy." The of self-complacency, which proabove quotation must not be constru
claims that the retrospect aded into a recommendation of his book. His merits, as a teacher of ministers as much food to our morals, we shall discuss hereafter. vanity, as to our benevolence. No. 9. Vol. II.