« ForrigeFortsett »
the purest times of the church. Arts, being nineteen years of age. Scotland at that period was distract- Scarcely had he ceased to be a pued by religious disputes, chiefly on pil when he became a teacher. He points of ecclesiastical polity: epic gave public lectures during the scopacy and presbytery contended next term with distinguished ability, against each other with unrelenting in the absence of one of the refury. Scougal was an episcopalian. gents, and soon after had the ho
convinced, both from Scrip- nour of being appointed professor ture and the general practice of the of philosophy. Dr. Gairden's acchurch during fifteen centuries, that, count of his conduct, as an instructor in framing a plan of church go- of youth, is highly interesting." He vernment, Hooker and Chilling. was careful so to behave himself in worth were surer guides than Calvin the exercises of that office, as to and Knox; but the fierce spirit of preserve his own conscience pure controversy ill accorded with the and void of offence, and to serve the devotional frame of his gentle and interests of Christianity; training up placid, mind. He was a stranger to the youth in such principles of ihe odium theologicum. He had learning and goodness as might never, to use the language of the make ihem most serviceable to amiable Tillotson, drawn blood in church and state. He was careful controversy. Instead of wading not to drive on little designs, or to through the mud of polemical theo- maintain factions and heats in the logy, he delighted in books of prac- society, but studied always to comtical piely; whose object was to re- pose them. He always preserved novate the heart, to regulate the his authority entire amongst the untemper, and to inculcate a conversa: ruly youth, and would quickly comtion becoming the Gospel of Christ. pose iheir disorders and tumults, and “ His mind,” says Dr. Gairden, de- yet gain their love and esteem. He scribing his religious character when was careful
instruct the youth in a student, “ being always composed the most intelligible and useful to a religious temper, he even then principles of human knowledge; and made it his business, by the frequent it deserves to be remembered, that reading of the most pious and useful he was the first in this corner of the books, and a happy conversation, land (perhaps in the whole nation) sanctified by a constant devotion, who taught the youth that philosoand an unprejudiced mind, to frame phy which has now (1678) the unito himself, amidst the various opi- versal preference by all the knownions and distractions of Christen- ing world. He looked upon it as the dom, right apprehensions of religion, most proper for framing their judgand accordingly to suit his practice: ments, and disposing them to conso that even then, religion was the ceive things aright; for taking them matter of his serious and impartial off frono a dispuling humour, and a choice, and not merely the preju- vanity in hard words and distincdice of custom and education.” He lions, and in thinking they knew viewed religion, not in the light of something when they knew nothing. a cold speculative assent to the doc- He thought it served to enlarge trimes of Christianity, but as a vital their apprehensions of Almighty principle wrought in the heart by God, by considering the vastness of the Holy Spirit, purifying the in- his works, and the admirable wisward man, and operating by love; dom and goodness that appeared in or, to use his own emphatical lao- the order of the world, and the wonguage, as the life of God in the soul derful contrivance even of the most of man.
minute creature; that it disposed After studying at the university them to consider the nature and four years, he commenced Master of worth of their immortal souls, and of what small moment all the sen. praise it was to render philosophy sual pleasures of this lower world and literature the bandmaids of piety were ; and that it inclined them to and virtue*. a more universal love and good-will Scougal sat in the chair of philosotowards all, and to meaner thoughts phy about four years, when he epof themselves and their knowledge. tered into holy orders, and, having He was very careful to train them resigned his professorship, was pre. up in the best and most useful prin- sented by his College, in 1078, to ciples of morality, and to guard them the living of Auchterless, in Aberagainst the debauched principles of deenshire, where he resided only Leviathan*. And as he thus made one year ; during which he dishuman learning serviceable to the charged the various duties of the ends of religion ; so he made it his pastoral care with a zeal and diligreat endeavour to have their minds gence worthy of the days of St. inspired with this. On the Lord's Chrysostom. The episcopal church days, in the evenings, he usually read of Scotland at that time used no lisome pious discourses to them, lay- turgy: the difference between them ing open the folly and heinous- and the presbyterians could not be ness of vice and impiety, and the called material, either in regard to excellency and advantage of re- doctrine or the forms of worship. ligion and goodness, and such other The Confession of Faith, which had considerations as might both in- been drawn up by the first reformers struct their minds and gain upon of Scotland, in 1560, continued to their tempers. And he failed not to be the received standard of doctrine deal with each of them apart in pri- to both parties upwa:ds of fourscore -vale. Those who were of bad incli- years; and although this Confession nations, he studied to reform and was laid aside by the presbyterians amend; and in whom he saw any in the reign of Charles the First, to appearance of goodness, he was make way for the Westminster Concareful to encourage and cherish fession, no clergyman, who had subthem. Thus he hath made appear, scribed the latter, would have scruby his practice, that philosophy and pled subscription to the former. In religion are not enemies to one an- regard to public worship, although other, but that the sober and dis- no form had been appointed by creet use of our reason makes us episcopal authority, we are informmore capable of the truths and graces ed by a presbyter of the episcopal of our religion.”--Happy those col- church in Scotland, in his Eccleleges whose public instructors thus siastical History of that kingdom, enter into the spirit of their impor- that“ many of the episcopal clergy tant office ; who guide their pupils compiled forms to be used by them. through the paths of science to the selves in their particular congregatemple of religious truth. Such, the tion, with some petitions and colwriter of these pages recollects with lects taken out of the English book; generation and gratitude, was the and all of them uniformly concluded character of a Professor, who for their prayers with the Lord's Prayer, many years filled the chair of moral and their singing with the Doxolophilosophy, in the university of Glas- gy, which the zealots of the other gow, with distinguished honour, - side decried as superstitious and forthe late Dr. Reid; whose metaphysi- mal. The two sacraments were adcal acumen was unrivalled, whose ministered by both mostly in the scientific attainments
vast, same manner, without kneeliog at whose taste in Belles Lettres was the one, or signing with the sign of correct and refined, and whose the cross at the other; only in bap.
A book so called, written by the famous * This great and worthy man sat in ScouKlobbes,
gal's chair for several years.
tism, the episcopal clergy required Scougal, during the short time he the Apostle's Creed, and the presby“ remained at Auchterless, was a most terians, in general, the Westminster exemplary pattern of what a pa Confession. And then, with regard to discipline, the establishment had civil cases. It sits in the months of Noverntheir kirk sessions, as the pres- ber, December, January, February, June, byterians have at present; they had and July. Of the several courts suborditheir presbyteries, where some ex
nate to the bisliop's, wherein is exercised ecperienced minister, of the bishop's called the Session : it consists of the chief
clesiastical discipline, the first and lowest is nomination, was moderator ;, and and most grave men of the parishi, who are they had their diocesan synods, in termed Elders and Deacons. In this small which the bishop of the diocese in court, whereof the minister is president, all person, or one by his express ap- fornicators, adulterers, blasphemers, swearers, pointment, presided*." There was profaners of the Lord's Day, &c., are con no marked line of distinction, then, vened, and put to make public confession of between the two parties, as to articles their sins, and profession of their repentance, of faith, ritual, or discipline. The according to the degree or heinousness of
them. grand bone of contentionwas the mode of church government. The grand for the use of the poor, to delate delinquents,
“The deacon's office is to collect the money question in debate was, whether the &c.: and that of the elder, is to be careful supreme and exclusive jurisdiction of the fabric of the church; to assist in the in ecclesiastical affairs,should be vest- censuring of scandalous persons, and to wait on ed in a bishop, or a court of presby- the minister at the celebration of the Lord's ters, each party arguing on the jure supper, &c. This court sitteth once a week. divino right. In those parts of Scot. The next court is called the Presbytery, conland where the bishops and their sisting of twelve or twenty ministers, more clergy were devout and exemplary, or less, that sits once in two or three weeks. there was a pretty general con
The moderator or president thereof is chosen formity to episcopacy; the strong
by the bishop. In this court are discussed hold of presbytery was in the west: appeals from session. Here are convened all
those who refuse to submit to church disciern counties, where the ignorance pline; and all such as apostatize to Popery and the profligacy of the episcopal or Quakeristo, who, if they remain obstinate, clergy were notorious. Had ihe
are persecuted with the censures of the piety and moderation of the income church. Here also all such as enter into holy parable Leighton been more pre orders are exanined, and an account iaken valent upon the Scots bench, and of their learning and other qualifications, in the spirit and temper of Scougal been a course of many trials ; as making homilies, more generally imbibed by the pa- sermonis, and coinmon places, which bold rochial clergy, the episcopal form two or three months, and then they are reof church government would, in all turned to the bishop well qualified, who probability, have continued in Scots upon that proceeds to ordain them.
“A third court, whereof the bishop is preland at the period of the Revolution, sident, is the Provincial Synod. In this although not squared by the model
court are discussed all appeals from presbyof the church of England, either in teries. From hence are issued warrants for rites, ceremonies, or + judicatories. visiting churches. Here also the lives of scan
Skinner's Ecclesiastical History of Scot- dalous ministers are tried, who, if found Jand, vol. ii. p. 468.
guilty of crimes laid to their charge, are either + The following account of the discipline deposed, suspended, or excommunicated. of the Church of Scotland, between the Re- The provincial synod meets twice in the year; storation and the Revolution, is extracted in April and October. The supreme ecclefrom an authentic record, and will, no doubt, siastical court is a national synod made up of be gratifying to your readers :
bishops and deans, and two members from " Every biskop hath under him an official every presbytery, one of whom is of the or commissary, who is judge of the spiritual bishop's udinination; and a commissioner court within his diocese. Unto this court are from every university.
referred matters of testaments, bastardy, The calling of this synod is wholly in the 3 divorce, tithes, perjury, &c. &c.; and many Crown. Nothing is to be proposed but by CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 125.
rish priest ought to be, in all things the devotion of the serious: and, shewing himself a pattern of good when he made one of them, the huworks, in doctrine shewing uncorrupt- mility and adoration of his soul did ness, sincerity, sound speech that could appear in his outward' behaviour; not be condemned, insomuch that they and he thought it ore suitable exwho were of the contrary part had no pression of it, to bow the knee becvil thing to say of him. He conduct. fore that Majesty before whom the ed the devotional services of the angels tremble. In the elebration church with fervent simplicity; his and receiving of the holy commulooks and gestures gave striking in- nion, his soul seemed to be totally dications of a miod strongly impress- swallowed up in the contemplation ed with a sense of the Divine pre- of Jesus Christ, and his devotion sence, and while he prayed with the was the admiration of all who saw spirit he prayed with the understand- him. He had been constant in his ing also; of which the specimens of private prayers to God from his childdevotion that he hath left behind hood. That great secret of devotion him, furnish evident proof. The which he recommends in bis * book prayers which enrich that golden was his constant practice; and he ireatise, his Life of God in the Soul sent up sometimes such aspirations of Man, are well calculated to draw of love, and such ardent sighs and up the mind to high and heavenly things, groaning, and heavings of his spirit, and will bear a comparison with the most admired meditations of that • Dr. Gairden doubtless alludes to the great luminary of the church, St. Au. following passage in Scougal's Life of God in gustine. The morning and evening the Soul of Man : “As there is one sort of services which he composed for the prayer wherein we make use of the voice use of the cathedral church of Aber which is necessary in public; and another, deen, breathe a spirit which animates wherein, though we utter no sound, yet we
conceive the expressions and form the words, every part of the English Liturgy, and furnish an excellent guide for fa- third and more sublime kind of prayer, where
as it were, in our minds; so there is a mily worship, as well as for the devo. in the soul takes a higher flight, and liaving tions of the closet. I cannot witb- collected all its forces by long and serious hold from the reader the following meditation, it darteth itself (if I may so speak) beautiful picture of Scougal as a towards God in sighs and groans, and thoughts man of prayer in the sanctuary, given too big for expression. As when after a deep by the author of his funeral ser- contemplation of the Divine perfections apmon: " His piety and zeal were very pearing in all his works of wonder, it ademinent in the public worship, when dresseth itself unto him in the profoundest he was the mouth of the people ; his adoration of his majesty and glory; or when, devotion was so raised, and the ham. after sad refections on its vileness and misble fervour and seriousness of his spi- the greatest confusion and sorrow, not daging
carriages, it prostrates itself before him with rit so visible, as did highly inflame to lift up its eyes or utter one word in his the King or his Commissioner; nor can any presence; or when, having well considered thing that they do be of force till it be ratifi- the beauty of holiness and the unspeakable ed by the King."--Bibliotheca Topographica felicity of those that are truly good, it pantBritannica, No. 3. pp. 111, 112, 113. eth after God, and sendeth up such vigorous - The grand difference between this mode and ardent desires as no words cau sufficient. of discipline and that which was established ly express. This mental prayer is of all at the Revolution, regards the power and other the most effectual to purify the soul, the proceedings of the General Assembly, and dispose it unto a holy and religious tem'which now meets annually by its own ap- per, and may be termed the great secret of pointment; and from its decision there is no devotion, and one of the most powerful inappeal, not even to the Sovereign, whose struments of the Divine life--and it may be Representative has no voice, and whose pre- the Apostle lrath a peculiar respect unto it, sence is pothing more than a pledge to the when he saith, that the Spirit helpeth our establislied church of the countenance and infirmities, making intercession for us with pruicction of the civil authority.
groanings that cannot be uttered."
as perbaps unclogged his spirit, and we are either content to profess made his soul take its flight so soon outwardly this true religion, in from this earthly tabernacle.” which alone there is salvation, under (To be continued.)
a vain idea that we shall be saved by this profession; or we become
mere religious partizans, spending FAMILY SERMONS. No. XLI. our zeal on matters that are wholly John xv. 3.-" Herein is my Father
unessential, on the points that distin
guish different sects and parties, til glorified, that ye bear much fruit; SO
we have none left for what is the shall ye be my disciples.”
main, substantial end of the religion Amid all the religions professed in the of Jesus Christ, namely, truly to world, those alone who profess Chris. honour, serve, and glorify God, by tianity worship the true God aright, doing what he has commanded us to or are acquainted with the true way do, and thus being his disciples, not of salvation; there being "no name by profession only, but in deed and under heaven given among men, in truth. This our blessed Saviour whereby we must be saved, but the foresaw, and in the text has warned name of Christ.” We must, there- us against : “ Herein is my Father fore, acknowledge it as a great bless glorified, that ye bear much fruit ; so ing to have had our lot cast where shall ye be my disciples.” this religion is generally professed. In the preceding verses our Lord But then we must take care that we instructs us, that all our power of do not satisfy ourselves with the bare doing good comes from him; and to profession, and thus lose all the bene- illustrate this great truth, he comfits of the Gospel as too many have pares himself to a vine, and those done. This religion, when first plants who profess his religion to so many ed, and for three hundred years dur. branches grafted into that vine. ing which all the powers of this world “ As the branch cannot bear fruit of were against it, flourished exceeding- itself, except it abide in the vine, no ly, and brought forth abundant fruit more can ye, except ye abide in me. to the glory of God and the benefit of I am the vine, ye are the branches. man. Those who then professed it He that abideth in me, and I in him, were better men than the rest of the the same bringeth forth much fruit; world. But when Christianity be- for without me ye can do nothing." came the governing religion, men By bearing fruit, therefore, is plainly began to take it up only because it meant the doing such works, and was in fashion; and though many, exercising such tempers as are agree perhaps more than before, embraced able to the profession of Christianity. it from right motives, yet the great Christ himself describes them in abulk of those who professed it had nother place as “good works," probably no other design than that whereby we may“ glorify.our Faof conforming outwardly to the re- ther which is in heaven;" John the ligion of the state. And so it is at Baptist, as "fruits meet for repentthe present day. We have cause to ance; and St. Paul, as the fruits bless God that Christianity is not of righteousness," “ the fruit of the only professed in this kingdom, but Spirit.” These expressions, which established; that in our infancy we all mean the same thing, are exwere admitted, by baptism, into plained by the Apostle as including Christ's church, and that we still pro- love, joy, peace, long-suffering, fess ourselves to be members of it. gentleness, goodness, faith, meekBut to each of us this privilege will ness, temperance," a list to which be a blessing or not, according to the every kind of good work, whether it use we make of it, according as we respects God or man, may be refer. live -up to what we profess to be. red. And, in another place, he gives This, however, few among us.do. us an equally comprehensive view.