William Cunningham on the providential preparation of divinity students for preaching the word of God

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Now it may be expected that you have taken a closer and fuller view of the office of the Christian ministry to which you have professedly devoted yourselves, and of the purposes it was designed to serve, and that you feel that it is with God you have to do in this matter, that it is with him you are to Hold communion, and to him you are to have respect in all your studies and preparations connected with entering upon his more immediate service.

You have ere this time, I trust, been led to some serious reflection upon the end for which you were created, and the objects to which your powers and faculties ought to be devoted. You have been already giving some measure of serious and humble attention to the study of the word of God, and have been enabled to discern and apprehend the views unfolded there of your relation to God as his creatures, his subjects, and the transgressors of his law, and of the scheme of mercy which God devised and executed by sending his Son into the world to suffer and die for us. Through the knowledge and belief of these truths, you have been led, I trust, to flee for refuge to the hope set before you, to embrace Christ as all your salvation and all your desire.

Under the influence of these views, and under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, you have not only received Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, for your own personal salvation, but you have resolved to devote your lives to the service of God in the gospel of his Son, to the great object of making God and Christ and salvation known to your fellow-men. Animated by this desire, and determined by God’s grace to carry this resolution into effect, you have come to this place in order that you may acquire the necessary knowledge, and make other necessary preparations for entering upon this important work. ...

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