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himself at the sacred table be worthy to commune, he should, before the communion day, speak in private to this person, explain to him the gravity and the responsibility of the action which he undertakes, and then let him act according to his will. Let the palisade be raised before the door of the temple, not around the altar. The pastor must be able to dispense the Lord's Supper with fullness of joy, as if he were communicating to all his sheep all the virtue of the blood of Christ-as if he felt himself strong enough, with these sacred pledges of mercy, to raise all the souls at once to heaven.
"The holy communion is a means of conversion for many; the officials should then, according to the knowledge which they have of the situation of the communicant, address to him the words of the institution, with all the gravity and emphasis which may be necessary, in order to make a proper impression upon him. But I can not approve of placing the utility of the communion-in its being the means of conversion-a doctrine, properly so called, for this precisely is not its end.
XXXII. "The doctrine of the efficacy of prayer and of the internal word is very important; but without great prudence in the manner of teaching and applying it, we run the risk of falling into the deceit of the heart, and of tempting God. The words of St. John, 'They shall all be taught of God' (vi., 45; Heb., viii.), should not be taken in the sense that no one needs the instruction of another. If it were so, why should the apostles have taught? These words indicate the pre-eminence of the New Testament over the Old. In the former, God was obliged to use force with the Israelites; the New is characterized by a spirit of liberty which opens the mind. When a man receives the spirit promised in the New Testament, all becomes easier to his comprehension, and he acquires a facility in spiritual things which others only acquire by long studies. The passage in 1 John, ii., 27, is applicable to false doctrine, with which the Christian need not be made acquainted. To know whether certain souls may be aroused without the intervention of the evangelical ministry, or whether the entire Church can be sustained and perpetuated without it, are two different questions.
XXXIII. "The mystics date from the fourth or fifth century. The
Aristotelian philosophy, and afterward the scholasticism which was derived from it, being cultivated with ardor, sincere persons, in order to escape the disputes of the school, withdrew into themselves. Each mystic had a certain ray of light, but that was all. He understood nothing of the economy of God, nor of his ways in general. These men were wrapped up in themselves, and were no longer any thing to society. They lived in times of obscurity; they were happy themselves, but contributed nothing to the happiness of others. While the scholastics attached value to nothing but speculation and reasonings, they, as well as the Platonists, valued only sentiment, and a blind and silent disposition of the heart. The mystics must, however, confess that what they have of good they could have found nowhere but in the pale of the Church.
XXXIV. "It is suitable for a country pastor to pursue, together with his pastoral labors, some particular studies relating to the ministry, in order not to fall back always upon himself; he should know what is passing elsewhere in the kingdom of God, so as to be, in time of need, encouraged, aroused, humbled, and instructed."
The Thoughts of Bengel on the Exercise of the Ministry, translated by M. Vinet, have appeared in the Life of Bengel, by BURK, under the title of Pastoral Grundsaetze (Part ii., chap. ii., art. 2). M. Vinet has omitted, in his translation, the sections III., IV., XII., XIX., XXIV., XXXVII., XXXVIII., XLI., XLII., and XLIV., of the German work, although he refers to the three last in the Notes of his Pastoral Theology. The references to the retained paragraphs, corresponding to the divisions of Burk, we have thought it our duty to indicate here only because of the omissions. Section XXVII. of the original work corresponds to section XXII. of the translation; section XXX. to section XXV.; section XXXIII. to section XXVIII.; and section XXXVI. to section XXXI. The parts omitted relate chiefly to local usages, or to questions which are now no longer discussed, as they were in the time of Bengel, who was born in 1687, and died in 1752. -Edit.
Page 69, 3d line from the bottom, for "Troizième" read "Treizième.”
Page 123, 15th line from the top, for "now said" read "to say.” Page 131, 11th line, leave out “of man.”
Page 211, seventh line from the bottom, for "rebels" read "provokes."
Page 272, 2d line from the top, remove parentheses from "souls."