The Works of the Rev. Henry Scougal contains his most well-known work, The Life of God in the Soul of Man, along with nine of Scougal’s discourses. Scougal writes about purity before God and devotion to his will, and he calls his readers toward a life of piety and devotion to God. His writings profoundly affected John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield—one of the key leaders of the Great Awakening. In fact, Whitefield later wrote of The Life of God in the Soul of Man, “I never knew what true religion was till God sent me this excellent treatise.” Scougal’s Works were also influential in the spread of Methodist revival during the nineteenth century.
Although The Life of God in the Soul of Man was first written for a private audience, Scougal allowed it to be published in 1677—a year before his death. It quickly became a bestselling work, and was reissued five times between 1677 and 1727. In 1735 it was reprinted, and nine discourses added, along with a sermon by George Garden preached at Scougal’s funeral. This combined edition was re-titled The Works of the Rev. Henry Scougal, and it has remained the standard edition of The Life of God in the Soul of Man for nearly three centuries.
The Works of the Rev. Henry Scougal contains the following writings and discourses:
- The Life of God in the Soul of Man
- Nine Discourses
- The Superior Excellency of the Religious
- The Indispensable Duty of Loving Our Enemies
- The Necessity and Advantage of Early Afflictions
- That There Are But a Small Number Saved
- The Duty and Pleasure of Praise and Thanksgiving
- On the Nativity of Our Savior
- On the Passion of Our Savior
- A Preparation for the Holy Sacrament
- On the Importance and Difficulty of the Ministerial Function
- A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of the Rev. Henry Scougal
Praise for the Print Edition
There are some books whose vision is so deep and clear that truth rings from the pages like the toll of a large bell, perfectly obvious, but rare and precious. They unfold the heart of man and God with such forceful illumination that the truth is not just shown to my mind but created in my heart.
We live at a time when uncertainty as to what constitutes true religion is more widespread, perhaps, than at any time since Christianity was born; we shall do well to recognize that the little old book that cleared White?eld’s mind on this basic matter might have something to say to us too.
—J. I. Packer
I never knew what true religion was till God sent me this excellent treatise.
The clear style, and easy method of our author, the just and amiable representation he gives of religion, in this little treatise have made it deservedly valued and esteemed by all judicious persons, and it has become a happy means of giving right notions of religion to many, making them in love with it, and putting them upon the practice of what they saw was infinitely desirable in itself, and, with some pains and industry, attainable by them.
—Rev. Cockburn, from the preface
Since I had the happiness to become acquainted with this book, I have heartily blessed God for the benefit I have received to my own soul. . . .
—Rev. Wishart, Principle of Edinburgh, from the preface
- Title: The Works of the Rev. H. Scougal, Containing The Life of God in the Soul of Man; With Nine Other Discourses on Important Subjects
- Author: Henry Scougal
- Publisher: Paternoster
- Publication Date: 1822
- Pages: 272
About Henry Scougal
Henry Scougal was an influential figure in the Puritan movement in Scotland. He was born in 1650. His father was Patrick Scougal, the bishop of Aberdeen from 1664 to 1682. As a child, he was an avid student of Scripture. In 1665, he entered the university, after which he became a professor of divinity at King’s College at the age of twenty four, where he studied and taught the biblical languages. During this time, he also wrote The Life of God in the Soul of Man for a friend. Although it was first written for a private audience, Scougal allowed it to be published in 1677. In the centuries since, The Life of God in the Soul of Man has become a classic Puritan text. Henry Scougal died on June 13, 1678 at the age of twenty eight.