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the christian system. But where it perceives the fundamental articles of the christian faith embraced, and maintained in a correspondent conduct (and this it will discern in the professors of the gospel, of various denominations) it will shew a kind forbearance towards such, in matters wherein a difference of opinions may be maintained consistently with a good conscience, and an upright practice ; it will seek communion with them in every way in which it can be conveniently, comfortably and profitably enjoyed; and it will be ready and forward, not only to receive from them, but to render to them every office of christian love and friendship. This is a spirit eminently recommended and enforced by the gospel of Christ, and worthy of those who bear the name of that most benevolent and generous friend and Saviour of men; and it should shine with a superiour lustre in his ministers, who are particularly called, after his example, " to shew compassion to the ignorant, and to them that are out of the way," to bear with, and condescend to the infirmities of the weak, and the prejudices of misinformed and contracted miods, and to love all that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and in love, to embrace and serve all who are of the household of faith, by whatever name they may be known and distinguished in the world.

In this view of your work, and of the manner in which it is to be performed, it will no doubt appear to you to be in many respects, no less arduous and difficult, than it is honorable and important.

When you consider how solemn and weighty is the charge of immortal souls with which you are intrusted, " and the necessity which is laid upon you to preach the gospel” plainly, fully, and faithfully ; and yet how difficult a task it will often be found to adapt your discourses to the various cases of your hearers, in such a manner as may best serve to warn the wicked, to awaken the secure, to shake the false hope of the hy. pocrites, to reclaim and restore the backsliding christian, to establish weak believers, to point out the way of escape to the tempted, and to pour the oil of joy into the broken and disconsolate hearts of the mourners in Zion: when you consider also the various opposition and obstacles which may be expected in the execution of your office, from the great adversary of the church, whose kingdom of darkness is disturbed and endangered by every well-designed and directed effort, to rescue from his power “those who are taken in his snares," and from the perverseness and obstinacy of fallen men, who naturally love darkness rather than light, and are disposed to relinquish the treasures and the joys of heaven, rather than abandon the pursuits, the gains, and the pleasures of sin; and yet how inadequate are your wisdom, courage, and abilities, for successfully meeting and encountering the difficulties with which you have to contend: when you seriously consider in these points of view, the nature of your sacred office ; the special qualifications which it demands, and the peculiar trials connected with it; it may well be expected that you will feel yourself constrained to say with the Apostle“ who is sufficient for these things?

The consideration of these things is indeed well adapted to promote that humble and dependent frame of spirit, which is one of the most ornamental and valuable qualifications, in the highest officers, as well as in the lowest subjects of the kingdom of Christ. But if you are undertaking the work before you on properly pure and disinterested principles, with an upright aim, and sincere desire to advance the interests and glory of your blessed Lord in the promotion of the salvation of the souls of your fellow-men, for which he laboured, suffered and died, and with a becoming concern to shew yourself in all respects, an approved workman that need not be ashamed, a good and faithful servant that may appear with confidence and joy when you shall be called to give up an account of your stewardship to your Lord and Master, in the day of final judgment; you are then so far from having reason to be discouraged, that you have every consideration which you could well desire, to animate your resolutions, and to engage you to persevering constancy in your labours. You have the special promise of your gracious Lord, from whom you have received your commission, " that he will be ever with you,” to guide and assist you, make his grace sufficient for you, and his strength perfect in your weakness," so as to enable you acceptably to perform all the services to which he calls you, and sustain all the trials which he appoints to you. You will have the favouring contenance and helping prayers of all who love Zion and seek her good. You will have the pleasing enlivening testimony of a good conscience, that you are engaged and labouring in the cause of heaven, for the advancement of the greatest and best, even the spiritual and immortal interests of mankind. You will probably have the high satisfaction of perceiving the gospel which you preach, though it may not profit all your hearers, in consequence of the inattention and unbelief of some, yet made the pow. er of God to the salvation of a precious number of them, through their faith in its doctrines and in the Saviour

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whom it reveals and offers; with respect to whom you may greatly " rejoice in the reflection that you have not laboured with them in vain," and in the prospect, the cheering, transporting prospect of meeting them as “your joy and the crown of your rejoicing in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming.' And having through grace approved yourself a faithful pasa tor in the charge of the flock committed to your care, " when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you will receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Wherefore, my beloved brother, think of these things; " and he thou stedfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work and service of the Lord,” to which you are called as a christian and as a minister of the gospel, « forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord," but is in its nature designed and adapted to be eminently useful to others, and comfortable to yourself, and if faithfully performed, shall be recompensed, through the riches of divine grace, with distinguished honors and joys, inconceivably great and ever growing, in the heavenly and everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

To yon, the people of this congregation I now turn my address in the hope that a few observations relative to your situation and your duty, will be heard with attention and candor, and with some good effect, on this sol. emn and tender occasion, in which you are so deeply interested.

How desirable and pleasing, my dear brethren, are your present circumstances and prospects, compared with what they were at a period not long past?

From a state of long continued and almost hopeless desolation, this house of your holy solemnities has been

rebuilt and prepared for your comfortable accommodation, in attending upon the public worship of God. From a very low and destitute condition, in which you were few in number, and “scattered as sheep.without a shepherd,” you have risen and grown into a respectable organized religious society, with an encouraging prospect of receiving farther additions to your community, and to your means for maintaining and perpetuating the blessings of the gospel ministry among you. After persevering for several years, in your laudable endeavours, notwithstanding some discouraging disappointments, to secure to yourselves these inestimable blessings, you are now at length happily united in the choice of a pastor, who has been this day solemnly ordained to the ministry of the gospel, with a view to his exercising it among you, and whose highest ambition and joy, we trust, will be to spend and be spent in the service of his Lord, for the salvation of your souls. In these respects surely you have been highly favoured < through the good hand of your God upon you."

" The providence of God which effected this happy change in your situation, has been in some respects as remarkably striking, as it has been to you peculiarly gracious and merciful. • The Lord hath indeed done great things for you, whereof you are glad," and on account of which all the friends of Zion, who have been acquainted with your affairs, and who lately sympathiz-. ed with you in your destitute circumstances, now rejoice with you, and cheerfully unite their greatful acknowledgements with yours to the God of your mercies, who has most kindly restored to you the enjoyment of those precious gospel privileges of which you were so long deprived. “ Not unto yourselves, not

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