Pastoral Theology

Pastoral Theology The recognition of four great divisions of the subject of theology (q.v.), viz. Exegetical. Historical, Systematic or Dogmatic, and Practical (q.v.), is now very general among theological writers and teachers. On this plan of division pastoral becomes a subdivision of practical theology. Whereas practical theology embraces whatever relates to the organization and the outward life and influence of the Church, e.g. polity, liturgies, homiletics (q.v.), and missionary agencies, foreign and domestic, pastoral theology limits itself to the personal and official duties of the pastors of churches. Even with this limitation, it covers a very wide field of study and discussion. The pastor, as the acknowledged head of a Church, not only has relations with its individual members touching their whole moral 'and religious life, but also with whatever is done by the Church in its public capacity. Hence, though he does not form the polity of the Church to which he belongs, unless it be a single and independent congregation, yet he is expected to administer that polity, while at the same time he is the chief celebrant or director of its worship, whether with or without prescribed forms. Such duties require him to be educated in the science of theology in all its branches, and skilled in such an application of its teachings as will produce appropriate practical results.

While it is generally conceded that the character and work of pastors. should be modeled after the scriptural idea, yet there are wide variations in the development of that idea, growing out of different systems of Church polity, as well as of divergent doctrinal theories.

I. In the Roman Catholic Church, while the term "priest" has superseded that of "pastor," yet the idea of pastoral obligation is strongly expressed in the term "curate," which is officially given to the priest of a parish, or one to whom is committed the cure of souls. According to high Roman Catholic authority, the following are the duties of curates:

1. Instruction, including

(1) catechization; (2) preaching.

2. The administration of the sacraments, viz. of baptism, of the Eucharist, of penance, which involves confession and absolution, of extreme unction, and of marriage. The sacraments of confirmation and of orders are administered by bishops. The sacraments first named being regarded as essential means of salvation, curates are most solemnly charged with the obligation to administer them through whatever danger of war, pestilence, or peril of life. It is specially enjoined on curates to visit the sick, and to be constantly in a state of grace to administer the sacraments appropriately.

3. Pastoral vigilance. — Vigilance, or watch-care, is one of the most essential parts of pastoral obligation. It is not enough for the curate to preach the Word of God, to administer the sacraments, he must also be attentive to watch over the conduct of his parishioners, considering the welfare of all in general, and of each one in particular, that he may answer to God for their souls.

4. The saying of masses for their parishioners. — This duty is rigorously prescribed for Sundays and feast-days. Votive masses, masses for the dead, and private masses may be said on other days.

Besides these special duties, curates are held to certain other obligations common to all ordained ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic Church, such as celibacy, the wearing of ecclesiastical dress, and the recitation of the divine offices. This latter duty consists, in the daily recitation of the prayers prescribed in the (Latin) Breviary (q.v.) for the several canonical hours, viz. matins before light, primes at sunrise, tierces at 9 A.M., sextes at mid- day, nones at 3 P.M., vespers at sunset, and compline on retiring for the night.

The minuteness of prescription in ecclesiastical law for all these duties leaves little to the discretion of the clerics who are subject to them; and had it been possible for Church law to supply right dispositions of heart corresponding to so many outward ceremonies, the system above described might be pronounced perfect, except in its departures from scriptural truth, as in the pretended veritable sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in the mass, and in the assumption of human power to forgive sins.

II. The Reformation reacted with great force against the whole system of priestly prerogatives which had become incorporated in the Church of Rome, and especially against auricular confession. In the Protestant churches, therefore, not only was the mass rejected but all the so-called sacraments, except baptism and the Lord's Supper. Celibacy was not enjoined on the clergy, nor the ceremonious recitation of long prayers in a dead language. On the other hand, positive demands were made upon all who proposed devoting themselves to the service of the Church that they should have a pure and established religious character, that they should lead holy lives, and give evidence not only of true faith in Christ, but of a divine call to the ministry of the Gospel. Correspondingly to this, they were required to be diligent in the reading and study of the Scriptures, and in all moral and religious duties.

Some churches, as the Lutheran and the Church of England, retained, in their ritual, forms of general confession, not for private utterance in the ear of a priest, but for the public acknowledgment of sin before Almighty God. In the High-Church or Romanistic reaction of recent times, efforts have been made in both those churches to re-establish at least a modified confessional.

In the Church of England, notwithstanding the abolition of the mass, the term priest was retained, and with it various, customs which have ever since been available to Romanizing reactionists. Hence, although the preponderating theory of that Church in reference to the ministry has been strongly Protestant, yet there have often, if not always, been those among its clergy who were not far removed from the spirit and practice of Romanism.

In all Protestant churches connected with state governments the duties and relations of pastors are modified, to a greater or less extent, by the prescriptions of civil law, whereas in voluntary churches laws and regulations are made and modified with exclusive reference to spiritual ends. As the Church of England, for example, appropriated to itself not only the colleges and churches which had previously been built, but also the foundations and benefices by which they were supported, so it received with them an entailment of modes of appointment to ecclesiastical offices quite unknown to voluntary churches. Statutes passed during the reign of Henry VIII, and ostensibly enacted to prevent persons from having pluralities of livings, provided, That all spiritual men now being, or which hereafter shall be, of the king's council, may purchase license or dispensation, and take, receive, and keep three parsonages or benefices, with cure of souls." The same act proceeds to specify a numerous list of dignitaries whose chaplains, to the number specified, may every one in like manner purchase, "retain, and keep two benefices, with cure of souls." The following are specimens of the parties who may each buy and hold two of the benefices in question: "Kings' chaplains not sworn of his council;

chaplains of queen, prince, or princess, or of any of the king's children, brethren, sisters, uncles, or aunts; six chaplains of every archbishop and duke; five of every marquis and earl; four of every viscount and other bishop; three of every chancellor, baron, and knight of the Garter; two of every duchess, marchioness, countess, and baroness, being widows; also all doctors and bachelors of divinity, doctors of law, and bachelors of. the law canon, and every of them which shall be admitted to any of the said degrees by any of the universities of this realm, may purchase license, and take, have, and keep two parsonages or benefices, with. cure of souls." Thus, for the convenience and profit of the' royal court, the aristocracy of the nation, and the scholars of the universities, a large number of benefices for the cure of souls were placed in the market like, secular property, and thus subjected to a traffic that has existed ever since. Not only so, but by long custom, sustained by legal decisions, it has been settled that the owners of estates charged with the payment of the salaries of incumbents in churches have the nomination of persons who are to receive the livings. According to a recent authority, there are now in the Church of England about 11,000 parishes. For these 952 of the pastors are chosen by the crown, 1248 by bishops and archbishops, 787 by deans and chapters, 1851 by other dignitaries, 721 by colleges, and 5996 by private patrons. When a patron presents a minister to a bishop to be settled as the pastor of a Church, the Church has no voice in the transaction, and the bishop is almost as powerless. That the nominee is offensive to the people, either from incompetence or objectionable habits, is not a legal disqualification. Unless the bishop can prove him to be heretical or immoral, he must admit him to be the pastor, or the patron may obtain damages in a temporal court, and the rejected nominee in an ecclesiastical court. It is obvious that under such laws the chances of a true pastoral relation subsisting between pastors and. their flocks are greatly diminished, if not wholly ignored. That the prevalence of this custom of patronage in England, and in other countries where Church and State are united, together with the subjection of the clergy in many spiritual matters to the mandates of civil law, has greatly and unfavorably affected the spirituality of pastoral influence, is beyond question. Nevertheless, some excellent works setting forth the nature and duties of the pastoral office. have been written, and many superior examples of pastoral zeal and success have been furnished, by clergymen of state churches.

In churches formed and governed on the voluntary principle, pastors can only assume spiritual relations to the members of their flock by consent of the latter, and when their duties are unworthily administered the pastoral relation can usually be severed without much delay, and better services secured. Thus the principle enunciated by the apostle Paul that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel is brought to bear in securing a higher grade of pastoral service than as a rule can be expected where pastors live on independent endowments. In free churches, the modes of pastoral appointment differ widely. In some, settlements, theoretically, for life prevail. In others contracts are made to last during mutual satisfaction, while still others have a system of regulated and periodical exchanges. SEE ITINERANCY. These variations of the mode of ministerial appointment, and consequently of the tenure of the pastoral office, are not- without their influence upon minor customs connected with pastoral duty. It can hardly be questioned that the most favorable circumstances for the free and full development of pastoral character after the scriptural model are not only in voluntary churches, but in countries free from any intimate connection between Church and State. Hence it has been claimed, and not without reason, that in the United States of America, where the Christian faith has its freest and fullest development, and where the separation of Church and State is real, the Christian ministry has secured a fairer and more general development than it has ever assumed or can assume amid the repressive influences of the Old-World civilization. Certain it is that in this country whoever would cultivate and exemplify a truly apostolic character has every. advantage for so doing, and open fields of effort are before him. It is equally certain that the standard of pastoral character as demanded by universal public sentiment is higher in this than in any other country.

But in whatever mode the pastoral relation is established or maintained, it carries with it responsibilities of the gravest import, demanding on the part of the pastor a character of the highest excellence, deportment the most exemplary, diligence untiring, quenchless zeal, whole-hearted consecration to his work, discretion equal to any emergency, and the highest skill in resolving doubts, and patient perseverance in settling differences and removing difficulties. In short, he needs to be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, possessing the mind that was also in Christ, and rightly dividing the word of truth to all with whom he may have to do.

III. To set forth these responsibilities and duties in their varied aspects and applications is the task of pastoral theology, and to this task many minds and pens have been devoted from the apostolic age down to the present. In fact, the pastoral epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus form the inspired basis of all that can be wisely written upon the subject, unless it be founded upon other portions of the Scriptures. Nevertheless it is interesting to trace the deviations and correspondences of views that have prevailed in reference to so important a subject at different periods and in different circumstances.

Notwithstanding the very considerable number of hooks which may be enumerpted as belonging. to the literature of this subject, very few of them will be found to treat it systematically or from a strictly theological point of view. By far the greater number are simply preceptive and explanatory, addressed in didactic form to young ministers. Some embrace preaching among the pastoral duties, and give homiletical advices to a greater or less extent. Others leave the subject of pulpit address to the more full discussion of treatises on homiletics. Aside from the books to be named below, much that is valuable relating to this subject may be gleaned from clerical biography, especially from the lives of ministers who have had marked success as pastors. Summary views, often very forcibly expressed, are also to be found in many pamphlets, such as ordination and installation sermons, and' the official charges of bishops to candidates for ordination. Occasionally sermons and charges of this nature are to be found in the published works of their authors. See, for example, the works of archbishop Secker and of Rev. Robert Hall, also the Remains of Richard Cecil.

Incidental references to the subject of this article, and occasional fragments bearing upon it, may be found in patristic and mediaeval literature, representing each successive century from the first to the sixteenth. Some of the fragmentary treatises referred to are embodied in letters, some in sermons, and some in manuals relating to the moral or ceremonial obligations of the clergy of different orders. The only ancient books of any value at the present time are those by Chrysostom on the Priesthood and by Gregory of Nazianzum entitled ἀπολογητικός, especially ch. 57-65. These books, both in title and contents, prove how completely the scriptural idea of the Christian ministry had been perverted as early as the 4th century. Nevertheless a few interesting and excellent things may be gleaned from them. Between the 5th and 15th centuries inclusive the greater portion of what was written on the subject related to the mysteries, the sacraments, the vestments, and the ceremonies of the Church. Another considerable portion of the writings in question was of a melancholy type, indicating the low and declining condition of ministerial character. In the 5th century, Salvianus of Marseilles inveighed against the avarice of priests, and Gildas the Wise wrote against the vices of the clergy. In the 8th century John Damascenus contrasted the good and the bad bishop. The Roman Catholic Church relies mainly on the Offices by Ambrose, the De pastorali cura of pope Leo the Great, and especially on the Cura pastoralis of Gregory the Great. With the opening of the second chiliad (i.e. the 11th century) better and more numerous productions in pastoral theology appeared — Bernard's Libri v de consideratione, his works De moribus et officio episcoporum and De vita et moribus clericorum. But pastoral theology then ran in a narrow groove — that of confession; all pastoral works were guides for the confessors (materials of this class of literature in the German are given by Geffcken, Bilder-Katechismus des 15. Jahrh. vol. i). The reformatory tendencies of the Middle Ages found expression in works which pointed out the pastoral neglect. Thus in the 14th century Alvarus Pelagii produced a work on the Grief of the Church, describing the depraved manners and vices of ecclesiastics. Others subsequently wrote on the Wounds of the Church and the Vices of the Clergy. A more cheerful book was that of Thomas Cantimpratensis of the 15th century, who wrote on the Proprieties of the Bees, describing under that figure the office and endowment of prelates. From and after the period of the Reformation this class of writings appeared much more numerously, and now the literary, more or less systematic, treatment became a distinguishing feature. At the beginning of the 16th century Erasmus published his Enchiridion Militis Christiani, in which he described and satirized the loose habits and vices of the monks and clergy. In 1535 he issued his Ecclesiastes sive Concionator Evangelicus. Luther in 1523 wrote a tract entitled De Instituendis Ministris Ecclesiae. Bucer wrote De animarum curd. Melancthon, besides his Ratio brevissima Concionandi published a small work entitled De Officis Concionatoris. Zwingli also published a tract entitled Pastor, quo docetur quibus notis veri pastores a falsis discerni possint. In fact, most of the Reformers treated the subject of ministerial life and duties to a greater or less extent in some form, most frequently, however, in sermons and comments on the Scriptures, as did Wickliffe and Latimer.

At a later period more formal works began to appear, of which the following are the principal, as published in the English language, arranged in chronological order: Herbert, A Priest to the Temple, or the Country Parson's Character and Rule of Holy Life (1632); Bowles, Pastor Evangelicus (1649); Baxter, Gildas Salvianus, or the Reformed Pastor (1656); Bp. Edward Stillingfleet, Duties and Rights of the Parochial Clergy (1689); Bp. Gilbert Burnet, A Discourse of the Pastoral Care (1692); Edwards, The Preacher and tthe Hearer (1705-9, 3 vols.); Watts, An Exhortation to Ministers (1728); Mason, The Student and Pastor (1755); Fletcher of Madeley, The Portrait of St. Paul (1786); Eades, The Gospel Ministry (1787); Orton, Letters to a Young Clergyman (1791); Smith, Lectures on the Sacred Office (1798); Gerard, Pastoral Care (1799); Erskine, Sermons on the Pastoral Character and Office (1800); Bp. Thomas Coke, Discourses on the Duties of a A Minister of the Gospel (1810); Campbell, Lectures on the Pastoral Character (1811); Brown, Christian Pastor's Manual (Edinb. 1826, 12mo); Edmondson, The Christian Ministry (1828); Jerram, The Christians Minister (1829); Adam Clarke, Letter to a Preacher (1830); Bp. R. Mant, The Clergyman's Obligations (1830); Morrison, The Christian Pastor (1832); Thompson, Pastoralia (1832); J. D. Coleridge, Practical Advice to the Young Parish Priest (1834); Dale, The Young Pastor's Guide (1835); Barrett, Essay on the Pastoral Office (1839); Pike, The Christian Ministry (1839); Simpson, Clergyman's Manual (1842); Henderson, Pastoral Vigilance (1843); Pond, The YoungPastor's Guide (1844); Bridges, The Christian Ministry (1844); Humphrey, Letters to a Son in the Ministry (1845); Leifchild, Counsels to a Young Minister (1846); Sawbridge, Manualfor the Parish Priest (1846); Bp. Meade, Lectures on the Pastoral Office (1849); John Angell James, An Earnest Ministry (1849); Wallace, A Guide to the Christian Ministry (1849); Cannon, Lectures on Pastoral Theology (1853); J. J. Blunt, Obligations and Duties of the Parish Priest (1856); Oxenden, The Pastoral Office (1859); Archbp. Whateley, The Parish Pastor (1860); Wayland, Letters on the Ministry of the Gospel (1863); Burgon, The Pastoral Office (1864); J. H. Blunt, Directorium Pastorale (1865); Hoppin, Office and Work of the Christian Ministry (1869); Kidder, The Christian Pastorate (1871); Tyng, The Office and Duty of a Christian Pastor (1874); Plumer, Hints and Helps in Pastoral Theology (1874).

Protestant French writers on this subject have riot been numerous. Those whose works are best known are Ostervald (1781) and Vinet (1850); but the most important is Matter, Le Ministere ecclesiastique et sa Mission speciale dans ce siecle (Paris. 1852). (D.P.K.)

We append the leading modern German writers on pastoral theology. The stagnation of Protestant life in the 16th and 17th centuries prevented a lively activity in this line of theological thought. One of the most important productions of this period is Valentin Andrea's Das gute Leben eines rechtschaffenen Dieners Gottes (Hamb. 1619), and his Parcenesis ad ecclesice ministros. In Spener's day pastoral theology first came to reassert its sway as in the period of the Reformation. His Desiderienu Bedenken opens the list. It was succeeded by Hartmann's Pastorale evangelicum (1678), which divides the whole material into four rubrics: (1) De pastoris persona; (2) vita; (3) sparta; (4) fortuna; and was brought out in enlarged form by Francke, who in 1723 himself published Idea studiosi theologice et monita pastoralia theologica. Other important contributions of this period are: Quenstedt's Ethicapastoralis; Mayer's Museum ministri ecclesice (1690); Kortholt's Pastor fidelis (1696); Deyling, Institutiones (1734); Fecht, Instructio pastoralis (1717); Mieg's Meletemata sacra de officio pastoris, etc. (Frankf. 1747); Baumgarten-Crusius, Casuistische Past.- Theol. (2d ed. by Hasselberg, 1752); Jakobi, Beitrage (2d ed. 1768). The orthodox and pietistic theologians vied with each other to give prominence to the pastoral office, and however great the chasmsbetween Gottfried Arnold and an orthodox Lutheran pastor, in the Geistliche Gestalt eines evangelischen Lehrers (1723), as the former depicted it, the latter was obliged in so far as it concerned only the pastoral and not the dogmatical and liturgical — to recognize its services to Christian truth. Quite a different atmosphere greets us in the works of the rationalistic period, even when the authors have not exchanged the evangelical fundamental principles for the current and popular neology. Of the latter, Peter Miller's Anleit. zur weisen u. gewissenhaften Verwaltung (1777) is an interesting example. The pastors of this period saw their avocation principally in public enlightenment, as seen in Nikolai's Sebaldus Nothanker (1773); Achatius Nitzsch's Anweisung zur Pastor'alklugheit (1791). But a better and higher view of the office was taken by Spalding, Nutzbarkeit des Predigtamtes (1772); Seiler, Grundsatze zur Bildung kiunftiger Volkslehrer (1783), and especially Ro. senmuller, Anleit. f...angehende Geistliche (1792), and Niemeyer, Handbuch f. christl. Religionslehrer (1790); also Oemler, Repertorium (1796-1800). Still higher ground is taken by Griffe, Die Past. — Theol. in ihrem ganzen Usnjange (1803);

Schwarz, Der christl. Religionslehrer (1800); Kaiser, System der Past. — Theol. (1816); Hiffell, Wesen u. Beruf des evangel. Geistlichen (1822; and often); Haas, Wissensch. Darstellung des geistl. Berufes (1834). Herder was the first to recognize in the minister the priest and prophet, and not simply the useful servant of the public (see his Briefe. ii. das Studium der Theologie). But it took fifty years before Herders ideas were appreciated. The first to so treat the pastor was Harms, Past.-Theol. (1830-31), and he may be denominated the father of the modern German idea of the pastoral office. Excellent and more recent productions are Lohe's Evangel. Geistlich. (1852, etc.); Nitzsch, Praktische Theologie, vol. 3, pt. 1; also under the special title, Die eigenthuimliche. Seelenpfiege des-evangel. Hirtenamtes (Bonn, 1857); Zimmermann, Des Amtes Wiurde u. Bii'de (Zurich, 1859); Palmer, Evangel. Pastoral-Theol. (Stuttg. 1860; 2d ed. 1863). There are besides some periodicals devoted specially to this subject; as Vilmar u. Muller, Pastoraltheol. Blatter, since 1861. To the pastoral- theology literature of Germany belong also some biographical works: the life of Oberlin, Hofacker, Flattich, etc. Burk's Past. — Theol. in Beispielen (1838), and his Spiegel edler Pfarrfrauen (1842), bring together rich biographical matter under the rubrics of pastoral theology. What has been done for certain departments of pastoral theology we have not space to enumerate here. Yet reference might be made to Kiindig, Erfahrungen am Kranken u. Sterbebette. (1856r 2d ed. 1859); Hase, Gesch. der christl. Krankenpflege (1857); also Wyss, Etwas vom Kern u. Stoff der Seelsorge (Basle, 1858); Beck, Das christl. Leben u. geistl. Amt (1859). The Roman Catholic Church possesses in the works of Powandra, Liipschitz, Hinterberger, and especially Sailer's Past.-Theol. (1788, 1820, 1835), and in the more recent productions by Vogl and Amberger, most important works. A critique of pastoraltheology literature from a scientific standpoint has been-furnished by Graf in his Krit. Darstellung, vol. 1 (1841). See also Hagenbach, Encykl. u; Methodol. p. 109-111; Stud. u. Krit. 1838, 1:753.

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