Henry Scougal is my favorite Christian writer. Scougal was a Scottish Puritan who became a professor at the Unversity of Aberdeen at 19, a pastor at 23, professor of Divinity in the King’s college at 24, and died at 27.
At one webpage we read that Scougal “was led to the study of theology, in the hopes of finding in it a balm for disappointed affections; and this is in so far countenanced by the tenor of several passages of his writings.” This is exemplified in many passages such as this one, found in his most famous work “The Life of God in the Soul of Man”:
That which imbitters love, and makes it ordinarily a very troublesome and hurtful passion, is the placing it on those who have not worth enough to deserve it, or affection and gratitude to requite it, or whose absence may deprive us of the pleasure of their converse, or their miseries occasion our trouble.
These sorts of passages did not exist merely to vent discouraging thoughts about love, but as a spring-board for Scougal to clarify that the one perfect object for our love is God:
The true way to improve and ennoble our souls is, by fixing our love on the divine perfections, that we may have them always before us, and derive an impression of them on ourselves; and, “beholding with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, we may be changed into the same image, from glory to glory.”
Scougal has a profound gift for taking Biblical teaching and drawing out clear principles by which we can gain a better understanding of God, Scripture, and ourselves.
Due to my admiration for his writing, I’ll include an excerpt every now and then with the heading: “A Minute for Henry”. I hope you’ll enjoy it!