« PreviousContinue »
other disorders. These he bore with a patience, and even a cheerfulness, rarely to be met with, in the most eminent for wisdom and piety. Nor would his active mind, and his desire of useful. ness to the end, permit him, even in this situation, to defift from the exercise of his ministry, and his duties to the college, as far as his health and strength would admit. He was frequently led into the pulpit, both at home and abroad, during his blindness; and always acquitted himself with his ufual accuracy, and frequently, with more than his usual folennity and animation. And we all recollect the propriety and dignity with which he presided at the last commencement. He was blest with the use of his reasoning powers to the very last.
At length, however, he funk under the accumulated pressure of his infirmities; and on the 15th day of November, 1794, in the seventy third year of his age, he retired to his eternal rest, full of honour and full of days there to receive the plaudit of his Lord, “ well done thou good and faithful fervant, thou haft been faithful over a few things, be thou ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Ministerial Character and Duty,
2 Cor. iv. 13.
We also believe, and therefore speak.
O understand what ought to be the cha.
racter, and what principles should animate the con duct of a minister of the gospel, cannot be without profit, even to a private Christian. It will teach him whom to prefer, when he is called, in providence, to make a choice. It will teach him to hold such in reputation for their office-fake, and to improve the privilege of a regular gospel-ministry, if he himself is favoured with it. And I think it must incline him to make daily fupplication to the Lord of the harvest, to send forth faithful labourers into his harvest.
But though there were no such general adyantage to be derived from it, my particular charge, and the very aspect of this audience, would easily
justify me in making this, for once, the immediate subject of discourse.
Now if we would know the character of a faithful minister, we cannot better, or more immediately reach our purpose, than by looking into the character, and observing the conduct, and springs of action, of the Apostles of our Lord, who received their commiffions immediately from himself, and were not only the first, but the best and most successful ministers, that ever were employed in the church of Christ.
The Apostle Paul, whose call was so fingular, and whose labours were so distinguished, has, in his Epistles to the several churches, planted or watered by him, given us a great light into the chief aims he had in the exercise of the ministry. In this chapter, and the preceeding part of this · Epistle, he shews the Corinthians, with what visible faithfulness and sincerity he had acted, and what diligence he had used in promoting their eternal happiness.
To fave time, I forbear going through the connection of his discourse, and only observe, that in the words of our text, he shows what kept him faithful, and influenced him to fo much diligence in the work to which he was called, by alluding to an expreffion in the 116th Pfalm. It is written, I have believed, 'theres fore have I spoken. We also believe, and • therefore speak. In this he intimates, that our inward persuasion of the great truths of the