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persons, doctrine, manner of life ; enter with attention and kindness into their situations and concerns. There are some men who put


practice this injunction of the apostle in a manner very different from his meaning; who, under the influence of an insatiable curiosity, or a still worse principle, follow their ministers into every corner, the sanctuary of their own house not excepted; watch every motion, scan every action, ready to make a man an offender for a wordwho affect to shew them kindness, give them a place at their tables, with the same view that Simon the pharisee invited Jesus to his house, to lıạve an object of observation and censure. The whole wisdom of the serpent, added to the harmlessness of the dove, is scarcely sufficient to secure one against the pernicious designs of these cunning men. Unless your knowledge of them who labour among you in the gospel be directed and governed by the law of kindness, it will stop too soon, or be prosecuted too far, or degenerate into inquisitiveness and impertinence. It is your unquestionable and unalienable privilege to enquire into, and to satisfy yourselves concerning your minister's character, and the matter of his preaching, and the conformity of both to the unerring standard--the written word. You have a full claim of access to his person, to an interest in his sympathy, in his prayers--his advice, his assistance, as often as your circumstances require, and your hearts incline you to apply to him for any of these purposes. In return, you must not think it much, if he put in a silent claim upon your humanity, upon your attention to his secular, his domestic concerns. Decency, delicacy, and considerations of a still higher kind, forbid him to express eagerness and anxiety on this article; he has, generally speaking, but one source of subsistence. With the advantage which liberal education would give to the usual run of abilities, toward rising in the world, he has voluntarily resigned the gainful walks of life, he reposes himself on the care of the Master whom he serves, and the generosity of the people to whom he ministers, as the only means of provision for himself and family; your knowledge of him in this respect therefore should be zealous, active, effectualm-should outrun not only his necessities, but, as far as possible, his very wishes. Nor is this more your duty, than it is your interest; for believe me, a mind loaded with poverty, and dis, tracted with care, is incapable of attaining that freedom, that boldness, that fervor, or that intrepidity which are necessary to a profitable discharge of the duties of the ministerial function. But there is another thing, under this head, which I must take the liberty in the most earnest manner to recommend, namely, a heart-felt, an experimental knowledge of the all important truths which are delivered unto you. Without this, all the intelligence you have employed in calling and choosing a minister, all the notional knowledge you may acquire by sitting under his mis nistry, and all the obliging, affectionate, and liberal knowledge you may take of his circumstances, will avail you nothing. I have known men discover both zeal and understanding in the election of gospel ministers, who cheerfully employed their time, their influence, their tongues and pens, nay, their money, in order to obtain able and faithful pastors; but who, after they had carried their point, sat down satisfied with their success, without once thinking of turning it to any good account ; like wanton sportsmen, whose delight consists in running down the game with much danger and fatigue, but who leave the repast it affords to be enjoyed by others. This day is an era of considerable consequence in the lives of some among you--you will long remember, and probably sometimes mention, the active part you have taken in accomplishing this good work, but it will be good to you only as it is followed up all that hath hitherto heen done is mere preparation. Let me thereof

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fore beseech you, by the tender mercies of God, and by the life of your precious souls; by the meltings of friendship, and by the hope of heaven, let me beseech you to know him whom God hath now sent to labour among you, as the messenger peace and salvation, as come to you on a business of more than life and death-a business of eternal moment—to call you out of the vanity of time, to the contemplation, the pursuit, the possession of “ an inheritance incorruptible,

undefiled, and that fadeth not away," Were this place less public, and this assembly less mixed, I would give farther vent to the overflowings of my heart; but I must restrain myself; I must cease from a subject which overpowers me; I must fly from the thought that persons amiable and excellent in so many important respects, will continue deliberately destitute of the chief excellency, the most attractive loveliness, of their nature; that those who mind all things else so well, will neglect only,“ the one thing needful." The apostle's

Second request to christian churches, respecting their conduct to their ministers, is “ to “ esteem them very highly in love for their * works' sake.” Be not alarmed, my friends, at this forcible and expressive language of the apo

stle, as if he meant to make an idol of the christián priesthood ; as if he wanted you' to yield it an implicit esteem and love;l'as'' if he would have you to hold men's persons in admiration : their work and usefulness' must be the rule and measure of your affection to them. There is, perhaps, little occasion to throw in this caution: these are not the 'times, nor is this the land, of deifying priests, and of erecting altars to Paul's, and Apollos's, and Cephas's; it is well with'modern apostles if they can obtain ordinary attention and respect. There is one thing, however, which I cannot but observe here, the difference of Paul's spirit and temper froin those which goyern many who are engaged in the same work with him. Nothing can be a greater contrast than the largeness, the liberality of his mind, and the selfish narrowness of theirs. This is not the only place in his writings, where we find him expressing perfect' satisfaction in that share of fame, of approbation, of esteem, which his fellow.. labourers obtained. Abhorred be the thought of confining the gospel of Christ, or any of its effects or emoluments, to any sect, party, or name, to the muddy walls of any house, consecrated or unconsecrated. God knows, there is work enough for us all, and encouragement enough for us all,

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