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the candour of my fathers and brethren in believ- . ing, that mere accident of situation, not arrogance of design, has led me this day, thus publicly, to speak of their and my own duty.-And in the

First place, our office, my brethren, is represented, as a labouring in the church of Christ: “ We beseech you to know them who labour

among you.” It is one of the many vulgar errors concerning the duty and office of a minister, that it is a very easy and commodious employment. Comparisons are made between its ostensible labours, and those of other liberal and mechanical professions, greatly in our favour, in point of leisure and indulgence. This conclusion is the effect of the grossest ignorance. Ah! little does the world know the thousand heartaches and mortifications, the mental agonies and convulsions, to which a minister's occupation necessarily exposes him-beyond description more intolerable than the acutest pains which the body can suffer. The iniseries of the wretched in which he cannot but sympathize-the scorn of the proud, which he cannot escape-the intrusions of the impertinent, whom he must not exclude—the caprice of the froward, to which he must submit. “ The spurns which patient merit "s of the unworthy takes”- the bitter conflict betwixt a generous mind, and a contracted fortune the cruel necessity of wearing a smiling face, with an anguished heart. Happy, many a time, to fly to the labours of the seventh day, as a refuge from the woes of the other six-if this be a just representation of the case, and they only can tell who have experienced it, then the labour of a minister, instead of being likened to that of the mechanic at his anvil, or the galley slave at his oar, resembles more nearly the pangs of a woman in travail; with this discouraging difference still against him, that while she is supported with the hope of immediate relief, and an ample recompence, he is racked with suspense, and at last rewarded with disappointment. So various, indeed, and so complicated are a minister's labours, both active and passive, that, but for one consideration, reflection upon them would issue in absolute despair. The work is not our own, but God's-He who hath sent us to teach, and to baptize, hath likewise said, “ Lo, I am “ with you alway, even to the end of the world;" --therefore “ we so run, not as uncertainly, so “ fight we, not as one that beateth the air;"and having " finished our course and kept the « faith”—we can with trembling hope look to ts a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the

righteous Judge, shall give unto all them that “ love his appearing."

Thus animated, my brethren and fathers, let us labour more abundantly. Have we to labour among the ignorant? Our Redeemer is the co& venant of the people, to open the eyes of the “ blind." Among “ the stout-hearted, and such

as are far from righteousness?"-" The word of “ the Lord is as a fire, and like a hammer that “ breaketh the rock in pieces.” Among “ the “ wandering and such as are out of the way?-“ He is faithful who hath promised.” « With great “ mercies will I gather thee;" “ the Lord doth “ build up Jerusalem, he gathereth together the “ outcasts of Israel.” Among the afflicted ? “ the “ comforter, the Holy Ghost," is now given, for Christ is now glorified. Among the mourners in Zion? the tempted of Satan? the prisoners of fear? Know you not, that “ Jesus is anointed to « preach good tidings to the meek, to bind

up “ the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the “ captives, and the opening of the prison to them « that are bound: to proclaim the acceptable year

of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of « our God, to comfort all that mourn ; to ap

point unto them that mourn in Zion, to give « unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for

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" mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit

of heaviness; that they might be called trees of

righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that she might be glorified*.” Is our work great, our strength small, are our difficulties many ? and can we not trust in the gracious word of the great captain of salvation? “ Fear not, for I am “ with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: Į will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; " ,

yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of

my righteousness. Behold, all they that were “ incensed against thee shall be ashamed and “ confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they “ that strive with thee shall perisht,” Our best intended and most painful services may be misunderstood, misrepresented, neglected by men, perhaps be requited with hatred and reproach; “nefr vertheless, let us, my beloved brethren, be “ stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in the

work of the Lord; for so much as we know that R our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord."

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In the second place, our station in the church of Christ, is described as being over our people in the Lord. A pre-eminence both dangerous and painful: : a pre-eminence little calculated to inflame our pride, but very much so to alarm our fears, and * Isa. Ixi. 1, 2, 3.

# Ibid. xli, 10, 11.

to engage our deepest attention, and to put in
motion all our active powers. To be over the
people, is to lead the way in every duty, to stand
in the front rank in every danger, to watch over
them when they go to rest, to warn them of
every approach of the foe, every visit of the chief
captain-to check the forward, to incite the
lingerers, to recal the devious, to encourage the
fearful, to help the weak, to tend the sick, to.
sooth the dying. But this is not all-we are
over them in all these difficult and dangerous
respects, not only in things of a spiritual nature,
but in the Lord-responsible not to them only,
but to the great Judge of all-we-watch for their
“souls, as they that must give account.” What
an awful and affecting situation this! my friends!
-arduous station indeed! to stand betwixt two
parties, whose wills are often so contradictory,
whose views are so different, whose expectations
from us are so opposite, that to obey the one is
to offend the other, that to be approved of the
one is to be condemned of the other to arm the
whole enmity of the human heart against our-
selves on the one hand, or have the blood of
souls required at our hands on the other-to be
hated of men, or rejected of God. When we
think of this, must we not sensibly feel, what
need of wisdom we have, yea what zeal, yea

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