the First Week of Advent
Click here to join the effort!
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Those who are not settled over any particular congregation, but go from place to place for the purpose of preaching to, and instructing the ignorant. A great deal has been said against persons of this description; and, it must by acknowledged, that there would not be so much necessity for them, were every minister of his parish to do his duty. But the sad declension of morals in many places; the awful ignorance that prevails as to God and real religion; the little or no exertion of those who are the guides of the people; "villages made up of a train of idle, profligate, and miserable poor, and where the barbarous rhymes in their church-yards inform us that they are all either gone or going to heaven." these things, with a variety of others, form a sufficient reason for every able and benevolent person to step forward, and to do all that he can to enlighten the minds, lessen the miseries, and promote the welfare of his fellow-creatures. A clergyman of the church of England, of respectable talents, very judiciously observes, that,
"Notwithstanding the prejudices of mankind, and the indiscretions of some individuals, an itinerant teacher is one of the most honourable and useful characters that can be found upon earth; and there needs no other proof than the experience of the church in all ages, that, when this work is done properly and with perseverance, it forms the grand method of spreading wide, and rendering efficacious religious knowledge, for great reformation and revivals of religion have uniformly been thus effected; and it is especially sanctioned by the example of Christ and his apostles, and recommended as the divine method of spreading the Gospel through the nations of the earth; itinerant preaching having almost always preceded and made way for the solid ministry of regular pastors. But it is a work which requires peculiar talents and dispositions, and a peculiar call in God's providence; and is not rashly and hastily to be ventured upon by every novice who has learned to speak about the Gospel, and has more zeal than knowledge, prudence, humility, or experience. An unblemished character, a disinterested spirit, and exemplary deadness to the world, unaffected humility, deep acquaintance with the human heart, and preparation for enduring the cross not only with boldness, but with meekness, patience, and sweetness of temper, are indispensably necessary for such a service.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Itinerant Preachers'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​cbd/​i/itinerant-preachers.html. 1802.