« PrécédentContinuer »
Discourses distributed into various Kinds, as
addressed to the Understanding, the Imagination, the Passions, and the Will 222
Of the Composition of Lectures
Of explanatory Sermons—The Choice of a
Subject and of Texts
Of explanatory Sermons--the Introduction
Exposition of the Text--Partition of the
Of explanatory Sermons how the Branches
should be arranged and treated of the Style-technical Language to be avoided and that of Scripture preferred—Abuse of Scripture Style-of the Conclusion .... 287
Of controversial Discourses--Candour and
Of commendatory Discourses, or those address
ed to the Imagination
Of pathetic Discourses, or those addressed to the Passions. Of persuasive Discourses or such as are intended to operate on the Will
OF THE SCIENCE OF THEOLOGY, AND ITS SEVERAL
THAT we may discover what is necessary for the acquisition of any science, we ought to consider attentively the end, for which it is made the object of our pursuit. If the ultimate end be knowledge, or that entertainment which the mind derives from the perception of truth, the properest plan of teaching must be very different from that which ought to be adopted, when the end is practice. And as this last admits a subdivision (for there may
be practical ends of very different sorts) the method best adapted to one sort may not be the best adapted to another.
I explain myself by an example, which comes directly to the point in hand. The christian theology may be studied, first, like any other branch of liberal education, in order to gratify a laudable curiosity; or secondly, to qualify us for acting the part of christians by practising the duties of the
christian life; or lastly, to qualify us for discharging the office of christian pastors.
It is manifest, that if, for answering properly the first of these purposes a good deal more is requisite, than would suffice for attaining the second, yet much less is necessary for the accomplishment of both these ends, than for answering the third. With regard to the first, which terminates in the acquisition of knowledge; theology is now very rarely, if ever, in this country, studied, like other sciences, purely for its own sake, as a part of genteel education, which (abstracting from its utility) is both ornamental and entertaining. Why it is not, though we may trace the causes, no good reason that I know of can be assigned. And with regard to the second view of teaching, namely to promote the practice of the duties of the christian life, every minister of a parish is thus far a professor of divinity, and every parishioner is, or onght to be, thus far a student.
It is, I may say, solely for the third purpose, the most comprehensive of all, to fit us for the discharge of the duties of the pastoral office, that theological schools with us have been erected. I say this end is the most comprehensive of all. The least of what is required in the christian pastor, is that he may be qualified for discharging the several duties of the christian life; for in these he ought to be an ensample to the flock. Further, whatever, in respect of knowledge, supplies the materials necessary for edifying, comforting, and protecting from all spiritual danger the people that may be committted to his charge, or is of use for defending the cause of his master, must evidently