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way also you will encourage such to come more readily to you, and comofunicate to you with greater freedom and confidence, their difficulties and discouragements, their comforts and hopes, or the views and exercises of their souls, wbatever they may be. And thus, while you sbare with them the peculiarly refined and exalted satisfactions, which are experienced by those who take sweet counsel together, on the most interesting subjects, the subjects which concern the everlasting welfare of the soul ; you may at the same time acquire such a particular knowledge of the state and circumstances of your flock, as will furnish

you

with mnany useful materials for your public discourses, by which they may be more abundantly enriched, with suitable and seasonable instruction, admonition, encouragement and consolation,

It is also in your intercourse with others that you may advantageously exbibit a good example of the salutary and happy influence of the gospel which you preach. And while you “ give attendance to reading, meditation and study, to doctrine, exhortation,” and every part of your ministry, remember your obligations “ to be an example,” wbich believers may safely follow, “ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity of manners, and holiness of life.” A conduct remarkably inconsistent with, and contradictory to the principles and rules of, the gospel, in a preacher of it, will.scarcely fail to prejudice many against the truth, and confirm and harden them in iniquity, and to render his best preaching in a great measure ineffectual to all : while the proper fruits of the sound doctrine which he teaches, manifested in his own life and conversation, will have a most favourable tendency to recommend his instructions and exhortations, to the attention, approbation, and observance of his hearers. Let the consideration of these things then, be ever present to your mind, and have a determining weight with you, to engage you to exemplify, in the dispositions and virtues, which form and adorn the christian character, the holy gospel which you preach: so that by the forcible influence of instruction and example united, you may be the more successful in your endeavours to enlighten and lead others, in the way of righteousness and salvation.

But remembering, that unless the Lord work with you and by you, all that you can say or do, will be wholly ineffectual to the purpose of saving those who hear you, cease not to seek the assistance and blessing of God, by humble and earnest prayer. By this, in a particular manner, you are to keep up a lively communion between God and your own soul; and by this you are to ask, that you may receive of the great Father of lights, the Author of every good and perfect gift, an increase of light and grace, of knowledge and wisdom, of resolution and strength, for your private studies, your public ministrations, and all your christian and ministerial work, and that co-operation of the Spirit of grace with all your labours, which alone can crown then with desirable success. Watch therefore upto prayer, and be instant in this peculiarly important and profitable devotional exercise ; and thus commend yourself, your work, your people, the whole church of Christ, and your fellow-men throughout the whole world, to the mercy and grace of God, who heareth prayer; and be assured that while he inclines and prepares your heart to pray, he will be found ready to hear, and to do for

you, and those for whom you pray, exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think.

Intimately connected with, and subservient to the design of preaching the word, is the maintenance of that discipline which the great Head of the church has instituted for its benefit ; for the preservation of its purity and order, and the promotion of its peace and prosperity. This then you should endeavour to exercise, with the concurrence of the church, in such a manner as may manifest a becoming attention and solicitude, to distinguish between the precious and the vile, in the admission of persons to sealing ordinances ; and in proceeding according to the rule of the gospel, against such members of the church, as may become guilty of gross and scandalous offences, tending to bring a reproach upon the sacred society with which they are connected.

If this spiritual power with which the church in conjunction with its pastors is invested, were employed with becoming fidelity, impartiality, prudence and tenderness, it might well be expected, through a divine blessing, to be productive of very important and desirable effects, in establishing the reputation, and advancing the interests of the church.

Allow me further to recommend to you the cultiva. tion and expression of that charitable and catholic spirit, which is most consonant to the genius of the gospel, and will have the happiest tendency to render your services, as a minister of the word, more extensively acceptable and useful.

To such a spirit, the authors and advocates of modern systems of infidel philosophy, make high pretensions. But their boasted liberality, is manifestly nothing bette:

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than a spirit of indifference to whatever bears the name of religion, excepting only the religion of the Bible. As this is the only system which can claim a heavenly original, and is sanctioned with the stamp of divine authority, while it is framed in all its principles, to give glory to God, and to humble the pride of fallen man, and to restrain and correct those vicious propensities of our corrupt nature, which the disciples of infidelity and libertinism are determined to cherish, and for the grati. fication of which, they incessantly plead; their charity utterly fails them, in their treatment of this religion, and they find it difficult, if they at all attempt, to disguise the spirit of determined and bitter hostility against it, by which they are actuated. Hence it results, that however indulgent they may be to tbe errors, follies and vices, of all who are strangers to divine revelation, or who reject the religion which the Scriptures teach ; yet, in the impious ridicule, the malicious scorn and reproaches, and the various illiberal abuse, by which they attempt to expose to contempt and hatred, the distinguishing doctrines of the gospel, and the character or principles of its worthiest and best professors and defenders, they evidently discover a perverse, prejudiced, overbearing, revengeful, persecuting temper of mind.

It must indeed be acknowledged, and it is greatly to be lamented, that too inuch of a like unworthy temper, bas been manifested by many of the professors of christianity, in opposition to those, whose opinions and practices, have in some particular points differed from their own.

This, however, when it does not proceed from a heart destitute of a saving experience of the power of the religion which they profess, and wholly

under the dominion of the spirit of the world, must be ascribed to the deficiency of their knowledge of its principles, and the remaining strength of those passions, which belong to the fallen, depraved nature of man, and which are never wholly eradicated from the breasts of christians in the present state of imperfection. Hence we find that as spiritual light and sanctifying grace prevail in the heart, and as christians come to know each other better, and to understand more fully their obli. gations " to dwell together in unity as brethren," and to endeavour“ to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,” they manifest more and more of the genuine christian temper. This, as it is the fruit of the Spirit of God who is Love, and formed on the principles of the gospel, in which God proclaims through his Son Jesus Christ, peace on earth and good will towards men, breaths the most generous charity to mankind in general, and the most tender and ferrent brotherly kindness, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ.It prompts christians ardently to desire that the whole world, if it might be the will of God, should be brought to the knowledge and experience of the grace and love of God in Christ Jesus; and it rejoices particularly in promoting the spiritual improvement, peace and prosperity, and the temporal and eternal welfare and happiness of all who believe in bim. It distinguishes indeed between truth and error, between devotion and superstition, between pure and holy zeal, and wild and mischievous enthusiasm ; and it is disposed to “ contend earnestly for the faith once, delivered to the saints,” and to expose the falacious arts and wicked efforts of those who would destroy the foundation, or mar and deface the symmetry and beauty of

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