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and to guide men into the way of bly necessary in those who sustain peace, of holiness, and bappiness. that office. If he is to teach, he

2. Christ further illustrates the must bimself be previously instructnature and design of this office, by ed; and if it is his business to disan allusion to that of an householder. pense to others, he must bave a A reference to the manners of the treasure from which he can comtimes when Christ was upon the earth, municate. “The priest's lips should will show the propriety and beauty keep knowledge, and they should of the similitude. The Israelites seek the law at his mouth; for be were a plain and frugal people, who is the messenger of the Lord of derived their subsistence chiefly hosts." Mal, ii. 7. Let us attend, from the produce of the field; and i. To the nature of this qualif. their wealth principally consisted in cation, “instructed unto the king. their houshold treasure, their stock dom of heaven." of provision and apparel. To a This comprehends a distinct people thus circumstanced, it was knowledge of the gospel dispensarequisite that the head of the family tion. « The kingdom of heaven” is should keep in store all snch things a phrase, which signifies the gospel as were required to feed or clothe economy, as opposed to the Jewish those under his care; and, as his dispensation. The one was a sysstock would be constantly diminish- tem of promises and prophecies, ing by consumption, he would find the other is a record of events in it necessary to be making conti- the life, death, resurrection, and nual additions to it. Thus, he had ascension of the Saviour ; which things "new and old” laid up in accomplished the prophecies, and his store, or treasury, from which fulfilled the promises made to the he brought forth for the supply of fathers—the one of types and sha. the exigences of the respective mem. dows, the other of the antitype and bers of his family.

substance: the one the ministration To this Jewish householder, thus of condemnation and death, the farnished and prepared for all oc- other of righteousness and life. The casions, our Lord compares the law came by Moses, but grace and Christian scribe. The church of truth by Jesus Christ. To be iaChrist is the house or family of structed unto the kingdom of heaven, God, and the business of the Chris. is to understand its doctrines, its tian minister is to feed them, and laws and ordinances, its promises, supply them with the means of sup- and the final prospects opened to all port and defence. If it be an office who are interested in its blessings. of great importance in the head of Every scribe who is instructed in a family to provide for the wants of this glorious scheme of grace and its different members, surely it is mercy, is an “able minister of the incomparably more so to supply the New Testament, not of tlie letter, souls of men with the bread of life; but of the Spirit." and to give to every man a portion It implies a knowledge of the in due season. It is true, it is no connexion which subsists between part of our business to form the the different branches of Divine necessary treasures; but what skill, truth, and of their dependence on diligence, and fidelity, are required each other. Divine truih is not reto dispense them aright. Such is vealed in the scriptures in a systhe nature of the Christian minister's tematic form, yet there is a relation work; and this leads us to consider, between one part and another, and

II. The qualification indispensa. a mutual dependence in the whole.

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The doctrines of Christianity are to them; that his profiting might
connected with the facts of the appear unto all. The knowledge
death, resurrection, and ascension of general literature is highly desir-
of the Saviour. This observation able in the minister of the gospel,
applies with equal force to the whole but this is an attainment of very
system of Christian daties, as to the inferior moment, when compared
doctrines of the gospel. The first with our intimate acquaintance withi
act of acceptable obedience, and the oracles of God; and should
that which prepares for, and stamps never be pursued, but in subordina.
every other with value, is to believe tion to this indispensable qualifica-
on the Son of God; for, “ without tion. The sacred volume must be
faith, it is impossible to please the man of our counsel, and its
God;" but where Christ is cordially truths incorporated with our babits
received and submitted to with the of thought.' In the study of the
obedience of faith, the mind is pre. holy scriptures it is proper to avail
pared for the exercise of every ourselves of every human help with-
Christian grace; and for the cheer. in our power, as those who wish
ful performance of every Christian to acquire the knowledge of any
duty.

science, would read the works of
But, it is not a general or super. those who had written the most
ficial knowledge of Divine truth, ably upon it. But we should learn
that will form ihe scribe instructed truth, as much as possible, immedi-
in the kingdom of heaven; it is ately from the word of God; that
necessary that he who is a teacher our faith may not stand in the
of others, should possess an intimate wisdom of man, but in the power
acquaintance with the Christian sys. of God. This will impart a holy
tem; that his views be enlarged, savour to our ministrations, and in.
and that his mind be well stored spire us with that confidence, which
with the treasures of Divine know. is the result of personal inquiry and
ledge. There are some who attempt conviction. And, hence it is highly
to teach others, who need them- desirable, that ministers should be
selves to be taught the first princi- able to read the scriptures in the
ples of the oracles of God; their original languages in which they
views are limited and confused, and were written; as this will enable
they cannot impart to others what them to see more of their beauty,
they themselves do not possess. It and enter more fully into their con-
is necessary then, that ihe word of tents. In order to perceive the
Clirist dwell in us richly, that we beauties of the scriptures, the lan-
may be able to warn every man, and guage, the history, antiquities, cus-
teach every man in all wisdom. toms, and laws, of the nation to

ii. The means by which this whom the oracles of God were first
qualification is to be attained, are, given, must be understood. A man

1. The study of the word of thus prepared, does not depend on
God. The apostles were trained the tidelity of a translation, but
up for their work under the ministry reads for himself the very words of
of Christ; the scriptures are de- prophets, apostles, and of Christ
signed to supply the place of his himself; he does not merely admire
Personal instructions. 2 Tim. ii. 16, a foreign fruit which retains much
17. Hence Paul exhorts Timothy of its favour, but goes into the land
to give atlendance to rending, and of promise, and gathers with his
to meditate on those things he had own hand from the tree of life.
taught him, to gire himself wholly 2. To the study of the scriptures,

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it is necessary we add observation strengtheus and invigorates ike
and experience. Not only is it im- faculties, it brings us near to the
portant that the minister of the fountain of light, and connects with
gospel should study the book of it, the promise of Divine teaching;
God, but, also, the book of man; to guide into all truth. When the
ibat he may understand the moral heart is led forib in holy admiration
nature and constitution of those to of the character and perfections of
whom he is to preach, and how to God, and in supreme desire of his
apply many parts of the scriptures. favour; when the soul is clothed
By a careful observation of the with humility, and filled with holy
principles and dispositions of men, tenderness; when the breast is warm.
as they are developed in their tem- ed with love to Christ, and ex-
per and conduct, he will see the panded with benevolence to meu,
testimony of God to the character then we possess a frame of beart
and condition of man fully confirmed congenial with Divine truth, and
and exemplified; and by an attentive we shall know the things which are
regard to the operations of his own freely given to us of God; even the
mind, and the feelings of his own mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
heart, he will see the perfect adapta. We hasten to consider,
tion of the provisions of the gospel III. The value of this qualifica-
lo meet the wants and miseries of tion in the performance of the duties
sinners. Nothing qualifies a minis- of the Christian ministry. Thus
ter for his work more, than an inti- furnished, be will be able to bring
mate acquaintance with religion by out of his treasures things " new
experience; in its operations and and old.”
effects on his own niind : for the The well instructed scribe will
heart of the wise teacheth his mouth. be able to adapt his ministra-
Then he will be able to say will tions to the wants of his hearers
the apostle John, That which we to warn the careless of his danger
have seen with our eyes, looked upon, to combat the objections of those
ond handled with our hands, that who oppose the truth--to unde-
declare we unto you.

ceive ibe deluded-lo guide the
3. With reading and observation, inquirer—to comfort the mourner
it is vecessary to connect fervent to establish the wavering, and to
and habitual prayer. A devotional supply the Christian with that spi-
spirit is of the first importance in ritual aliment, which, under the Di-
every stage of the life and labours vine blessing, may nourish his faith
of the Christian minister, but never and hope, and lead him from strength
more so, than when engaged in a to strength in the way to Zion. This
course of preparatory studies. It is a highly important and responsi-
is true that the most devout frame ble part of the ministerial office;
of heart will not be adequate to for, if the wicked be not warved, he
form the scribe, well instructed in will perish, and his blood will be
the kingdom of heaven, without the required at our hands; if the mourn-
diligent employment of the proper ing penitent be not shewn the all-
means of acquiring Divine know. sufficient ground of hope revealed
ledge. But, its influence is, in the in the gospel, he will yield to des-
higliest degree, favourable to the pair; is the tempted believer be not
attainment of religious knowledge. fortified by the motives and pro-
It frees the mind from slavery to mises of the scripture, he will relin-
those passions and prejudices which quish the contest, and resign bim-
obstruct the light of truth, it self to the power of sin and Satan;

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and if the wavering be not confirm- a spirit of curious speculation, hy ed by the exhibition of the evidence which their preaching becomes a of the truth, he will be led away by nere display of their own skill, rathe error of the wicked. But, if a ther than the means of diffusing the minister does not possess a fund of savour of the knowledge of Christ. Christian knowledge, and wiselom As the most common blessings of to apply it, how can lie adapt bis Providence are, by far, the most vainstructions to the ever-varying and luable, so the plainest truths of pressing necessities of the church of Christianity are the inost important, God! But, if be be informed, he and universally interesting to the will be capable of suiting his ad- souls of men. The gospel is the dresses to the diversified circum- daily bread of the Christian, that on stances of saints and sinners, right- which he lives, in every circunly dividing the word of truth, and stance in which be is placed, aud giving to every man a portion of the minister who knows and relishes meat in due senison.

it himself, will be anxious to disHe will, also, be qualified to im- pense il to others. part instruction with a pleasing and But while, in our public ministrauseful variety. The phrase, things tions, we uniformly regard the leadnew and old, may refer to the Old ing principles of the gospel, they and New Testaments, and the scribe will admit of the most pleasing vawell instructed, will be able to illus- riety in their statement and illustra. trate the one by the light of the tion. The doctrine of Christ cruci. other, and thus shew the harmony fied displays the manifold wisdom of both. But the leading idea is of God, and the riches of the Savi. that of variety in our ministrations. our are unsearchable. These mysConsidering the constitution of the teries of redemption, into which ihe kuman mind, and the diversity of angels desire to look, will afford taste, nothing is more desirable in ample matter for the research of the a public instructor, in order to his strongest powers. If our minds are acceptance and usefulness, than this well stored, we shall be able 10 qualification. This will enable boim maintain, in perfect consistency to bring forth old and common with a constant exhibition of the truths, and by his illustrations place first principles of the gospel, a vathem in a new light. For want of a riety as pleasing as that of the sea. more ample store of Christian sons of the year,

which never knowledge, many ministers are per weary; or that of the rising and petually insisting on a few leading setting sun, which is perpetually topics, and nearly in the same gilding and diversifying the clouds words; hence the hearers become which hang around and adorn his weary and disgusted. It is true, path. Such a minister will come the first principles of the gospel forth, displaying a vigour of mind, onght to find a place in almost every a comprehension, and depth, and sermon; and, whatever he the text, variety in his knowledge, which the doctrine of the cross should be will make even the common-place clearly exhibited. There is, in the topics of Christianity appear as ministry of some men, a vain at- new. Thus, a scribe instructed into tempt at originality, which leads off the kingdom of heaven, will be like the attention of their hearers from an householder, bringing out of his the common salvation ; thus they treasures things new and old. In lose sight of the most important conclusion, we observe, trulhs of the gospel, and indulge in The utility of Academical lasti

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tutions, to assist in the acquisition To persons, then, of suitable chaof this essential qualification for the racter, and good natural talents, Christian ministry. The warmest this institution supplies incalculaadvocates for these seminaries of ble advautages. It furnishes them learning, do not pretend that they with the means of acquiring knowcan impart the primary qualification ledge, which they would never posfor a Christian teacher, real piety: sess without it; and by setting them this must be communicated by an at liberty from the ordinary busiagency, which God alone can exert. ness of life, they have leisure to imTo educate young men, on the sup- prove their talents, and acquire that position that they may become the information which is requisite to fit subjects of Divine grace, appears to them for their future destivation. them highly presumptuous. They They are trained 10 habits of close require credible evidence of a and right thinking, to arrange their change of heart, as an essential thoughts with skill and perspicuity, pre-requisite for admission. But and to speak with propriety and while piety is indispensable to the force on the things of God. Nor Christian minister, this alone will are the advantages of these institunot fit him for his work. His busi- tions confined merely to the few ness is to teach, and, therefore, he years spent under the roof of an acamust have learned.

In religion demy; but they lay a foundation of alone, it is thought by some, tbat a knowledge, on which a superstrucman may at once become a teacher, ture may afterwards be raised, and without preparation, or, at least, by the adoption of a plan of study, with no suitable preparation. Here they acquire the power of adding to two opposite classes meet, the mere- their store in future life. ly learned churchimen, and the ene I shall conclude this discourse, mies of learning among Dissenters. already extended to 100 great a The former suppose their know- length, by addressing a few words ledge of language and the sciences, to you, my eșteemed young friends, may be immediately succeeded by who enjoy the advantages of this their preacbing the gospel, while evangelical seminary. I trust you they are ignorant of almost every will look well, not only to the realthing which it is the design of their ity, but to the improvement of your office to teach. The latter plead personal religion; that, while you that the apostles were not learned are employed in acquiring the varimen; but it should be remembered ous branches of useful learning, your they had Christ for their preceptor, piety may not be suffered to decay, and they were not allowed to enter You have need to be on your guard on their ministry fully, till the de- against every thing which might bescent of the Holy Spirit. Tarry ye, come the means of impairing your said Christ, at Jerusalem till ye are spirituality; to which nothing is endued with power from on high, more unfriendly than levity. Let Iris trifling to talk of gifts being your cheerfuldess be chastened by sufficient to qualify_supernatural an habitual sense of the fear of gifts are not intended. Superior na- God, and of the importance of etertural talents, and superior piety, are pal things. Keep your passions in as highly valued by the advocates subjection, and maintain purity of of learning as by others; and if abi- heart. “Flee youthful lusts, and follity be a good ibing, then learning, low after righteousness, faith, and which is acquired ability, is equally charity, with all that call on the desirable.

name of the Lord." Those who bear

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