Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

117 Reproof


Blame or reprehension spoken to a person’s face. It is distinguished from a reprimand thus. He who reproves another, points out his fault, and blames him. He who reprimands, affects to punish, and mortifies the offended. In giving reproof, the following rules may be observed: 1. We should not be forward in reproving our elders or superiors, but rather to remonstrate and supplicate for redress. What the ministers of God do in this kind, they do by special commission, as those that must give an account, 1 Tim. 5:1. Heb. 13:17.–2. We must not reprove rashly; there should be proof before reproof.–3. We should not reprove for slight matters for such faults or defects as proceed from natural frailty, from inadvertency, or mistake in matters of small consequence.–4. We should never reprove unseasonably, as to the time, the place, or the circumstances.–5. We should reprove mildly and sweetly, in the calmest manner, in the gentlest terms.–6. We should not affect to be reprehensive: perhaps there is no one considered more troublesome than he who delights in finding fault with others. In receiving reproof it may be observed, 1. That we should not reject it merely because it may come from those who are not exactly on a level with ourselves.–2. We should consider whether the reproof given be not actually deserved; and that, if the reprover knew all, whether the reproof would not be sharper than what it is.–3. Whether, if taken humbly and patiently, it will not be of great advantage to us.–4. That it is nothing but pride to suppose that we are never to be the subjects of reproof, since it is human to err.

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary