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The Christian Pastor's Manual: A Selection of Tracts on the Duties, Difficulties, and Encouragements of the Christian Ministry (Brown)

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Reformation Heritage Books
Early-June 2022

Godly men from the past present a wealth of material for pastors as well as for those training for the ministry. The character, qualifications, and duties of the preacher are emphasized along with the difficulties and snares associated with the office. The priority of preaching Christ faithfully and experientially is held forth as the focal point of pastoral ministry. The Christian Pastor’s Manual was first published in 1826. Tested by time, it remains a relevant and formative handbook on pastoral ministry.

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Table of Contents:

1.     The Evil and Danger of Neglecting Souls—Dr. Phillip Doddridge
2.     Preaching Christ—Rev. John Jennings
3.     Particular and Experimental Preaching—Rev. John Jennings
4.     Pastoral Cautions—Rev. Abraham Booth
5.     The Qualifications Necessary for Teachers of Christianity—Dr. John Erskine
6.     Ministers of the Gospel Cautioned against Giving Offense—Dr. John Erskine
7.     Difficulties of the Pastoral Office—Dr. John Erskine
8.     Rules for the Preacher’s Conduct—Dr. Isaac Watts
9.     Directions to the Student and the Pastor—Rev. John Mason
10.  The Character and Duty of a Christian Preacher—Rev. David Bostwick
11.  A Letter on the Propriety of a Ministerial Address to the Unconverted—Rev. John Newton
12.  Thoughts on 1 Timothy 4:13—Rev. Thomas Scott
13.  The Snares and Difficulties Attending the Ministry of the Gospel—Rev. John Newton
14.  Remarks on Subjects Connected with the Christian Ministry—Rev. Richard Cecil
15.  Questions Proper for Young Ministers Frequently to Put to Themselves—Dr. Isaac Watts



John Brown (1784–1858) studied for the ministry in Selkirk under the Scottish Secession minister George Lawson. Brown pastored a church in Biggar for sixteen years, then took pastorates in Edinburgh at Rose Street for seven years, and then at James Hall at Broughton Place for twenty-nine years. Recognized as a true scholar and earnest preacher, he was appointed professor of exegetical theology. Brown’s commentaries and expositions are still popular today.



“Hundreds of books offer to show ministers and pastors the high road to success, but few direct them in the hard path of serving the Great Shepherd. In this book, John Brown has gathered choice pastoral wisdom from the evangelical divines of eighteenth-century Brittan on the ‘duties, difficulties, and encouragements of the Christian ministry.’ Writers include Abraham Booth, Philip Doddridge, John Erskine, John Newton, Isaac Watts, and others. John Jennings’s chapters, ‘Preaching Christ’ and ‘Particular and Experimental Preaching,’ are alone worth ten times the price of the book, but the entire book is invaluable. The Christian Pastor’s Manual is the best collection of essays on the ministry that I have ever read. Its chapters are consistently rich; its thoughts are deep, practical, and vigorous. May they be like living seeds planted in the minds of a new generation of ministers and pastors, pressing the roots of truth into their innermost beliefs and affections and producing the fruits of faithfulness in all their lives.” — Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Christian Pastor’s Manual has my decided and high approval. It is my prayer and my hope that this publication may, by the blessing of God, eminently contribute to prepare for the good work those who have in purpose devoted themselves to it, and to stimulate to renewed earnestness of effort, and self-improvement, and supplication, such as are already engaged in its duties.” — Ralph Wardlaw (1779–1853), professor of divinity, Glasgow Theological Academy

“We always think of Brown as a Puritan born out of due time. Everything he has left us is massive gold. He is both rich and clear, profound and perspicuous.” — Charles H. Spurgeon