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entire falsehood. It is very injurious to propagate such things; and persons who do so are often unconscious how materially they may impair the effects of ministerial labours. The scriptural rule is, Ageinst an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 1 Tim. v, 19. It is never expedient to give way to tittle tattle, even about a minister's real imprudences and defects. Preachers are men of like passions with others, and must not be expected to be angels. What if in despising the vessel you should lose all the treasure which it contains ! 2 Cor. iv, 17. Form reasonable expectations respecting them. Do not think too much of them on the one hand; nor, on the other, expect too much time and attention from them. Ministers have a great work ; their studies call justly for much time. Do not then be disappointed if they do not visit yon; and do not you waste their time and take up the valuable moments which belong to their studies by needless visits, nor by prolonging necessary intercourse. Some will pretend to come for advice, when it is manifest that they have made up their minds before they go. Is there not in many of these things a want of sympathy with them in their arduous work? yet let it be gratefully acknowledged by every minister, that there are those who are his daily joy and crown.
3. TO OBEY THEM. Whatever they require, from God's word, comes with additional force and obligation, from its having been brought before us by his appointed minister. He that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God. The express directions of Scripture on this point are very plain. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they mur; do
it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you. Heb. xiii, 17. There is a laxity of sentiment on this point which was unknown to the primitive church, and it evidences a wrong state of feeling, and is seriously prejudicial to the soul. Do not even good men sometimes speak and act as if the Scriptures had not enjoined such duties as we have recited, and as if they were wholly independent? True it is, ministers must not be obeyed against, or beyond the written word ; and true it is that we must judge for ourselves as to the principles of divine truth from that word, as the only ultimate reference: and we may differ from them in various particulars, and yet, differing with reluctance and prayer, still hear aright: but do not many think little or nothing of the obligation of obedience, where the minister's instruction is supported by and founded on the word of God, and all his aim to make them conformable to that word? We shall have occasion to dwell farther on this subject in another part of this work.
4. TO PROVIDE FOR THEM, is another duty of hearers towards their ministers. The Apostle Paul, who could the more easily speak on this point to those churches among whom he used none of these things, writes very decidedly on this point, and that at considerable length. 1 Cor. ix, 7-25. He declares, So hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel; and expressly tells the Thessalonians, Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teacheth in all good things. Now, not to speak of the frauds and keeping back of just dues in tithes, by which many ministers are yearly robbed of that which is their right according to the laws of the land, it is evident, if these scriptural precepts were duly regarded, we should not have many ministers in the greatest difficulties for a maintenance, and others so scantily provided for, that, bad they not private property, or other means besides the produce of their ministry, they and their families would actually want bread. In such a case as a late distinguished author, labouring as he did in such a city as London, and so scantily provided for as he was by those among whom he laboured, there manifestly was not the communicating in all good things of which the Apostle speaks, to the extent there ought to have been. *
5. TO PRAY FOR THEM, is a still more important duty, and greatly pressed upon hearers by the sacred writers. How urgent the most successful of all ministers, St. Paul, is on this point - Brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course and he glorified, even as it is with you. 2 Thess. iii, 1. And again, Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.
Rom. xv, 30. And again, praying always, ... and for me, that utierance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospiel. Ephes. vi, 18-20. There is hardly
There is hardly an Epistle without a request of this kind; (2 Cor. i, 11; Col. iv, 3; 1 Thess. v, 25.) a request that, coming from an
* Many curates in humble circumstances, and others, from want of information, are often without really valuable books. The Author has known some excellent individuals in the higher classes, who have been eminently useful by gifts of works calcılated to give their minister the best help-such as Richmond's Fathers of the English Church, Scott's Bible, Milner's Church History, Simeon's Skeleton's, or, Horæ Homileticæ; or lesser works, as Biddulph's Essays on the Liturgy, Scott's Life, Wilberforce's Practical View, Baxter's Reformed Pastor, &c. &c. Such gifts have been abundantly repaid in the increased lisofulness of their pastor.
inspired Apostle, in a letter to be the directory of the church in future ages, comes with all the sanctions of a divine precept to Christians in every age. Here then
is a point of vast magnitude, both with regard to the · usefulness of ministers, and the edification and comfort of their hearers. How often have you prayed for your minister? Does this come in every day's prayer? Can - you expect to derive profit from his ministry without
this spirit of prayer? Ministers are but God's instruments. It is not their genius, talent, or learning that is to convert your soul; nor their deficiencies in these that are to hinder your conversion; it is not their wisdom and piety that will save you; they are only the channels of good; the Spring Head is above. O, by faith and prayer for your minister, open the fountains of that unfathomable and exhaustless fulness, that
may ever flow, replenishing your ministers, and descendjing in rich abundance to your own soul. The union
of prayer in families and in social meetings is here specially important. Is the minister pious ? what a help to his labours !
Is he otherwise ? what a means of making him all that it is desirable he should be !
We have now to consider those DUTIES which are more especially OWING ESTABLISHED CHURCH TO THEIR REGULARLY. APPOINTED PASTOR.
In considering these, it may be first expedient to shew THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ESTABLISHMENT.
Surely it is right and scriptural for the government of a country to establish and maintain the Christian Religion in that form in which they conscientiously receive it. It appears nothing more than using the talent of influence and power which God has entrusted to them for the glory of his name. It is both a wise
among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Pet. ii, 1, 2. Woe unto them .... wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Jude, 11--13.
Such is the scriptural account of the situation and duties of ministers. O that it niay be written on every minister's heart, and infuence his whole life ! How contrary is all this to a worldly, trifling, gay, and easy life ;* to a mere taste for elegance and literature ; and still more to a covetous, preferment-seeking, or flattering spirit! to a proud, self-exalting, lordly carriage over the flock of Christ!
The Holy Spirit can make all that minister in holy things faithful teachers. O that his grace may largely descend upon them! Bingham has noticed that “ The primitive teachers acknowledged their dependance on the Holy Spirit." Chrysostom says in one place, “ that he expected the grace of the Spirit to sound in his miud ;" in another, “I do not think that I spake those words of myself, but God who foresaw what would happen, put those words into my mind :" speaking of the preaching of Flavian he
“ It was not human thought that poured forth his discourse, but
* The Episcopal Church in America has strongly expressed its sentiments on this subject. At the Eighth Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Ohio, held June 30, 1825, after stating that “ the practice of mixing in the fashionable amusements of the world is inconsistent with the principles of Christianity, and has a direct tendency to check the progress of vital religion,” it was resolved, sense of the Convention, that it be earnestly recommended to the Members of the Church, to abstain from frequenting Balls, and other places of vain amusements, and that they likewise use their influence with their families and dependents, to induce them to abandon such practices.”