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A CONTEMPLATIVE life has more the APPEAR- | heart find their way to the heart, by a holy symANCE of a life of piety than any other : but it is pathy. Character is power :the divine plan to bring faith into ACTIVITY and “A good man seen, though silent, counsel gives."!
We chose that sort of walk, which we like best: if we love quiet, we are for seden
If you would make deep impressions on others, tary piety; but the design of God is to root us you must use all means to have them first formed out of every thing, and bring us into more useful on your own mind. Avoid, at the same time, all stations.
appearances of evil—as a covetous or worldly, a vain or assuming, careless or indevout deportment.
Never suffer jesting with sacred persons or things. A WRETCHED prisoner, chained to the floor for Satan will employ such antidotes as these, to a length of time, would deem it a high privilege to counteract the operation of that which is effective be allowed to walk across the room. Another, and gracious in a minister's character. confined to lie on his back till it had become sore, II. By placing your dependence on any means, would think it a great favor if he might be per- qualities, or circumstances, however excellent in mitted to turn on his side for a few minutes. In ihemselves. a course of habitual pain, I am thankful for five The direct way to render a thing weak, is to minutes' freedom from suffering: how forgetful lean on it as strong. God is a jealous God; and have I been of fifty years of tolerable ease! How will utterly abolish idols as a means of success. unmindful are we of what we call common mer. He designs to demonstrate that men and creacies!
tures are what he makes them, and that only.
This also should be your encouragement :-lookIn order to read the Bible with profit, we must that Spirit of life and power without whose influ
ing, in the diligent and humble use of means, to begin by denying ourselves every step of the way: Wence all your endeavors will be to no purpose, you for, every step of the way, it will be found to op have reason to expect help suited and adequate pose our corrupt nature.
to all your difficulties.
III. By unnecessarily appearing in dangerous CHRISTIANS resemble travellers in a stage- or improper situations. coach. We are full of our plans and schemes,
It is one thing to be humble and condescendbut the coach is moving rapidly forward : it passes ing ; it is another to render yourself common, one mile-stone, and then another; and no regard cheap and contemptible. The men of the world is paid to the plots and plans of the passengers.
know when a minister is out of his place-when they can oppress him by numbers or circum.
stances—when they can make him laugh, while A CHRISTIAN has advanced but a little way in his office frowns. Well will it be for him, if he is religion when he has overcome the love of the only rendered ABSURD in his future public admoworld : for he has still more powerful and impor- nitions, by his former compliances; well if, being tunate enemies: self-evil tempers-pride-un- found like St. Peter on dangerous ground, he is due affections—a stubborn will—it is by the sub- not seduced, virtually at least, to deny his Master. duing of these adversaries, that we must chiefly IV. By suspicious appearances in his family. judge of our growth in grace.
As the head of your household you are respon. sible for its appearances. Its pride, sloth, and
disorder will be yours. You are accountable for A FRIEND called on me when I was ill, to settle your wife's conduct, dress, and manners, as well some business. My head was too much confused as those of your children, whose education must by my indisposition to understand fully what he be peculiarly exemplary. Your family is to be a said; but I had such unlimited confidence in him, picture of what you wish other families to be: that I did whatever he bid me, in the fullest as- land, without the most determined resolution, in surance that it was right. How simply I can reliance on God, to finish this picture cost WHAT trust in man, and how little in God! How un- IT will, your recommending family religion to reasonable is a pure act of faith in one like our others will but create a smile. Your unfriendly selves, if we cannot repose the same faith in hearers will recollect enough of Scripture to tell God.
you that you ought, like the primitive bishop, to be one that ruleth well his own house, having his
children in subjection with all gravity : for if a Some negative rules, given to a Young Minister man know not how to rule his own house, how shall going into a situation of peculiar difficulty.
he take care of the church of God?
V. By meddling beyond your sphere in tempoAs I know you have received much good ad
rals. vice, I would suggest to you a few hints of a negative kind : with a view of admonishing you to call
, are to be altogether heavenly. As a man of
Your aim and conversation, like your sacred be careful, while you are doing your work, not by God, you have no concern with politics and parany mistakes of your own to hinder your success-ties and schemes of interest, but you are to live
I. By forgetting that your success with others is above them. There is a sublime spirit in a devery much connected with your personal character. voted minister, which, as one says of Christianity Herod heard John gladly, and he did many itself
, pays no more regard to these things, than to things; because he knew the preacher to be a the battles of rooks, the industry of ants, or the just and holy man. Words uttered from thc policy of bees.
VI. By venturing off general and acknowledged | PENTANCE toward God and FAITH toward our Lord ground in spirituals.
Jesus Christ. By giving strong meat instead of milk, to those There has been a slander brought against reliwho are yet but babes-by giving heed to fables, gion—that we are NOT AGREED, as to the truths which minister questions rather than godly edify- wc set before men. I say, it is false !
We are ing; amusing the mind, but not affecting the agreed. All, who know any thing of real religion, heart: often disturbing and bewildering, seldom are agreed, that the SUBSTANCE of the matter is convincing ; frequently raising a smile, never contained in REPENTANCE toward God, and FAITH drawing a tear.
toward our Lord Jesus Christ. VII. By maintaining acknowledged truth in If a man, like the prodigal, feels that he has left your own spirit.
his father's house-turned his back on God-and Both food and medicines are injurious, if ad- is become a fool and a madman for so doing—and ministered scalding hot. The spirit of a teacher that there is no hope but in his returning again : often effects more than his matter. Benevolence if such a change of mind is wrought in him by the is a universal language: and it will apologize for Holy Spirit, as he wrought in David, when he cried, a multitude of defects, in the man who speaks it; Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse while neither talents nor truth will apologize for me from my sin : if, like Peter, he goes forth weeppride, illiberality, or bitterness. Avoid, therefore ing bitterly-feeling that he has acted foolishly irritating occasions and persons, particularly dis. and wickedly, and that his only hope is in the merputes and disputants, by which a minister often cy of God through the Saviour—then the man enloses his temper and his character.
ters so far into the spirit of religion-REPENTANCE VIII. By being too sharp-sighted, too quick- TOWARD God. eared, or too ready-tongued.
But does he rest in this ? Nay, he knows that Some evils are irremediable : they are best if he could offer thousands of rams, and ten thouneither seen nor heard : by SEEING and HEARING sands of rivers of oil, he could make no satisfaction things which you cannot remove, you will create for the sin of his soul. He looks to the atoneimplacable adversaries ; who, being guilty ag- ment !-to Him, whom God hath set forth to be a gressors, never forgive. Avoid SPEAKING meanly propitiation through faith in his blood. or harshly of any one : not only because this is Repentance toward God must be accompanied by forbidden to Christians, but because it is to declare faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. war as by a thousand heralds.
He came unto his own, and his own received him IX. By the temptations arising from the femalc not. But as many as received him, to them gave he
power to become the sons of God, even to them that I need not mention what havoc Satan has made believe on his name : which were born not of blood, in the church, by this means, from the fall to this nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but day. Your safety when in danger from this quar- of God. These men are enabled to say with St. ter, lies in flight—to parley is to fall. Take the Paul, “ I count all things but loss for the excellency first hint from conscience, or from friends. of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. I have
In fine, Watch thou in all things; endure afflic- no refuge but in him-no other hope—no other tions : do the work of an evangelist : make full proof plea. All my confidence before God is grounded of thy ministry: and then, whether those around on this—that He suffered, the just for the unjust, you acknowledge your real character or not now, that he might bring us to God.”. they shall one day know that there hath been a pro If a minister testifies these things—if he speaks pliet among them!
plainly and simply these grand essential truths of God's word—though he die before another Sabbath return, HE MAY REST IN PEACE-leaving the issue in God's hand.
The ground of a minister's own solid satisfacFRAGMENT.
tion cannot be POPULARITY: for even to Simon
Magus all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, A Dying Minister's Farewell. saying, This man is the great power of God !
neither can he ground his satisfaction on the exerWhen a Christian minister feels the springs of cise of strong and enlarged TALENTS: for even life giving way his faculties decaying—his voice Balaam was a man of extraordinary endowments failing—his spirit sinking—though he may not --nor can it be on his SUCCESS :-for many, saith have it in his power to say, as the apostle did to our Lord, shall come to me, and say, Have we not his friends, I know that ye all, among whom I have done many wonderful works in thy name, and in preached the kingdom of God, shall see my face no thy name cast out devils ? Then will I profess more—yet he should stand ready to part with his unto them, I never knew you! As though he had flock, and every sermon should be felt by him as said, “I deny not the works, but ye are evil men!" if it were his last.
But a minister's satisfaction must be grounded Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I on the faithful discharge of his office in THE DEam pure from the blood of all men: for I have not LIVERY OF HIS MESSAGE. A Prince sends a speshunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNSEL OFcial messenger to his rebellious subjects, with God. And what have I declared that counsel of offers of pardon : in examining his conduct
, he will God to be ?-All the curious distinctions of the not inquire whether they received and approved schools ?-All the peculiarities insisted on so him or not: the question will be Did you destrongly by different sects ?—No such thing! I liver my message ? did you deliver it as one that have followed the great apostle in testifying RE- I believed it yourself? as one IN EARNEST ?" If a
man should come and tell you, with a cheerful you pronounce truly! The way of heaven is a nar. countenance and careless air, that your house was row way! But what says the judge— Wide is the on fire, and that you and your children would be gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, burnt in the flames if you did not make haste to and many there be which go in thereat ; because escape, you would not believe him. You would strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which say, “He does not believe it himself, or he would leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. not be so unfeeling as to speak of it in such 1 Oh how distressing is it to observe many, to manner."
whom we cannot but fear, the gospel which they If a minister delivers his message, then no scorn, hear preached from Sunday to Sunday, is but the no reproach that may be cast upon him, can take savor of death! If God has made a difference in away his rest—he has done his duty. When the any of us, let us not forget to whom we are in. king sent out his servants to invite men to his debted. feast, they excused themselves on various pre Brethren! you are my witnesses. I take you tences: but the servant might say, “No matter! to record, that you have had the whole counsel of --I have declared the message-I may rest in God declared unto you-that all curious and metahaving done my part, though no success seems to physical inquiries, all critical and conjectural points attend my pressing invitations."
have been carefully avoided for your sake. I have I would lodge, therefore, my appeal in your con- attempted to clear my ministry of all disputable sciences- I take you to record-I appeal to con- subjects, in order to set before you the plain fact science: for there is a conscience in man; and, of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in serious moments, it will speak out. It wrung of salvation through him. from Joseph's brethren that confession, We are But consider! You also must give an account ! verily guilty concerning our brother! It forced I must give an account, whether I plainly and Balaam himself to cry out, Let me die the death simply declared the truth, as one who felt its im. of the righteous! and let my last end be like his! portance, and was in earnest. You must give an It tormented the traitor Judas into that self-accu- account, whether you have gone away from this sation, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the place, as if you had heard nothing to the purpose, innocent blood !
and immediately dissipated your thoughts with When a young person has been talked to by his some trifling subject—some mere secular concern: parents—when they have represented to him the --or-whether what you heard brought you to misery and ruin of a wicked course, and of bad your knees before God, beseeching him to seal and habits--he might affect to brave it out at the time; impress his truth upon your hearts. but he has gone afterward weeping through the Oh consider the satisfaction you will find, in streets-because CONSCIENCE WOULD SPEAK. really embracing all the counsel of God. Consider
But when the Spirit of God softens a man's how soon the time will come, in which it must be heart—when he is made to feel what an evil and your only SATISFACTION, that you have embraced bitter thing it is to sin against God—then a faithful it! Let it be your prayer, as you go hence “O minister's appeal to that man is like that of St. God, give me grace to repent with that repentance Paul to the Thessalonians : Ye are witnesses, and which is unto life! Make me serious! Teach me God also, how holily, and justly, and unblameably what I must do to be saved! Help me to believe we behaved ourselves among you that beliere. As the record which thou hast given of thy Son. you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and Give me faith to receive the atonement—to set to charged every one of you (as a father his chil- my seal that there is none oth name under hearen dren) that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath giren among men whereby we must be saved, but called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this the name of Jesus Christ.”. cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, Come to your Saviour, with HUMILITY as a sin. when
y received the word of God which ye heard of ner : come with GRATITUDE and love. us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, (as it are not come unto the mount that might be touchis in truth) the word of God which effectually work- ed, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, eth also in you that believe. 1 Thess. ii. 10–13. and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a
It is most affecting to see to what miscrable trumpet, and the voice of words :" when, “so ter. shifts men will have recourse, in order to evade rible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly the truth.
fear and quake. But ye are come unto mount Sion; " It is IRRATIONAL,” says one, “to insist so and unto the city of the living God—the heavenly much on certain peculiarities of doctrine !"_But Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of whose reason shall be the judge ?- For the preach- angels; and to the general assembly and church ing of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: of the first born, which are written in heaven; but It is written I will destroy the wisdom of the and to God, the Judge of all: and to the spirits of wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding just men made perfect ; and to Jesus the Mediator of the prudent.
of the new covenant; and to the blood of sprink" It is UNNECESSARY,” says another-But has ling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. God commanded and do we pronounce his com- See, then, that ye refuse not him that speaketh! mands unnecessary ?
--but-receiving a kingdom which cannot be "It is DISREPUTABLE”—Did Christ regard re- moved, let us hold fast grace, whereby we may putation ?-Nay, he made himself of no reputatiom. serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly
“It is a NARROW way”-Ah! there, indeed, / fear.” Heb. xii. 18-28.
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