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what boldness, yea what meekness and patience, yea what undaunted resolution, yea what elevation above the world, yea what converse with heaven? Who that considers the worth of a soul, the vast import of heaven and hell—the majesty of a holy and righteous God, would venture to be a minister? Who that loves mankind, is ambitious of shining among the sons of light, wishes the prosperity of the Redeemer's kingdom, believes and trusts in the grace of the God of Mercy, would not aspire after a station, whose difficulty is more than compensated by the aid that is promised, whose danger is lost in the glory which is to follow? In the
Third and ļast place, A minister's duty is de, scribed, as consisting in admonishing the people -“we beseech you to know them which admo«
.”—This is a word of gentle import, and seems designed to regulate both the matter and manner of our addresses to the people.They are to be reminded from time to time of the great truths of the gospel, whose intrinsic importance and intimate relation to us are such, that the gentlest hint is sufficient to engage a thinking mind in the serious consideration of them—the servant of the Lord must not strive, must not assume airs of authority, must not magnify himself. The art of persuasion is his safest, surest weapon. The advice which is obtruded upon us in a magisterial tone, we find ourselves generally disposed to repel, which administered with mildness and condescension, we would have listened to and followed. It is often necessary to reprove-and of all the parts of a friend's and of a minister's duty this is surely the most delicate, and the most difficult. There is a sort of men who value themselves on their bluntness in reproving--they are some of them very honest, but they generally discover too much of an inclination to gratify their own humour, to obtain the goodwill, of the amendment, of the party reproved, A reproof which is concļuded with such words as these ; « You may do as you will, I Fc have done my duty, I have delivered my own ç soul,” seldom does any good; the matter is wholly marred by the manner, The person I would wish to reform must not be galled, must not be exposed, must not be allowed to suspect that I have any other object in view but his good-by observing an opposite conduct, the reprover, without gaining any thing, will probably lose not only his friend, but what is infinitely worse, his friend's return to virtue, Admonitions from the pulpit should never be so particular as to point out an individual-private admonitions should be so private, that as in giving alms, our left hand should not know what our right hand doth.
May all of us-pastors and people, be" taught Śs of God, from the least to the greatest, made Ş wise to salvation,” and, “ when the chief Shep“ herd shall appear, may we receive together a k! crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Amen and Amen.
Tirus ii. 15.
Let no man despise thee.
ON THE MINISTERIAL CHARACTER.
AT THE ADMISSION OF A MINISTER.
THE office of a minister of the gospel is, in itself, worthy of all respect and honour; and that it is not always treated with sentiments of this kind, must surely be owing to the conduct and character of those who exercise it. To preserve or recover the importance and dignity which become the pastoral office, and to rescue it from that slight and insult which are too frequently poured upon it, is unquestionably an object well worth the attention of every honest clergyman; is a duty we owe to our great Lord and Master, to ourselves, to our flocks, and to the church of which we are members. The best and most effectual means for accomplishing this valuable end, is frequently, seriously, practically to consider the nature and design of our office; that we are
set up for the sake of other men, not for our own; that it is our business to be useful to our fellow creatures, not to pursue our own private interest, at least to seek the latter only through the former.-With this in our view, and a practice conformed to it, we shall assuredly stand sufficiently guarded both from ridicule and contempt.
The apostle, at the 12th and following verses, points out to his pupil and son in the faith of Jesus, the native tendency of the gospel, as “ teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly
lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly “ in this present world;" and this, enforced by the powerful motives of a future judgment, the example and the atonement of Jesus Christ. “ These things,” says he, at the 16th verse, “ speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authori“ ty.” To which he adds, with an emphatical solemnity, “ Let no man despise thee;" that is, give no man just ground of doing so—an injunction which is written for our sakes likewise, that we also may be “ strong in the grace that is in « Christ Jesus ;" that we also should be “ blame. « less as the stewards of God.”
In discoursing from these words, I propose, through the divine assistance, in the