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ADVERTISEMENT OF THE EDITORS.
public was not It is composed
THE volume which we give to the prepared for the press by M. Vinet. essentially of notes which served as the basis of a course intended for the students of the Academy of Lausanne. These notes, most frequently written out with much care, often have the character of a simple sketch, which the professor proposed to complete in his lectures. Hence some imperfections of form, which would certainly have disappeared if the author had put his own finishing hand to his work. We have, however, thought it our duty to publish it such as we found it, without permitting ourselves to refashion it, in any of its parts, except that as we had, on certain portions of the course, more than one original manuscript, it often happened that we were obliged to complete some from others. Moreover, when it seemed to us necessary to illustrate or complete the thought of the author, we have inserted amplifications taken from the notebooks of the hearers of M. Vinet. These extracts might have been multiplied, but we have confined ourselves to what was strictly necessary, and all the insertions of this kind have been placed between brackets,* that they might not escape the reader's attention. M. Vinet himself has translated many passages, taken
* These are omitted in the translation.
from ancient or foreign authors, which will be found in the course of the work. Those which were quoted in the original language we have rendered into French.
The Appendix at the end of the volume contains principally passages from authors to which M. Vinet simply refers, but which appear to have been read in his lectures, and which serve to illustrate his thought. Many of these have been fully transcribed by himself in his note-books. They appear, at the same time, too extended to be inserted in the course, and too necessary to be merely referred to. The Thoughts of Bengel, which will be also found in the Appendix, were translated from the German by M. Vinet, and published apart in a small pamphlet in 16mo.
There are here and there allusions to the National Church of the Canton de Vaud. It should be remembered that the greater part of the hearers of M. Vinet were to exercise the evangelical ministry in that church, with which he did not cease to be connected, so far as the worship was concerned, up to the moment when a free church was established in the Canton de Vaud, in consequence of the secession of a great number of pastors.
We hope that the course of Pastoral Theology will be well received, not only by ministers of the Gospel and students of theology, for whom it is more especially designed, but by the religious public in general. The fundamental idea of M. Vinet recommends his book to the serious attention of all the friends of the Gospel. The pastor is not, in his view, an isolated being, far removed from the community of Christians into the desert of a solitary dignity, to which ordinary
believers must not aspire. He conceives of him as less above them than as at their head, and in the advance in the work of charity. Neither are his labors exclusive; on the contrary, all should associate themselves. actively with him, and will do so according to the measare of their fidelity. The pastor is not essentially dif ferent from a Christian-he is the representative Christian-the model of the flock (1 Tim., iv., 12). All Christians will find in this book valuable lessons, which they should treasure up. If they receive it as we dare to hope, we shall soon publish also Homiletics, or, the Theory of Preaching, of which we likewise possess the manuscript.