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man's carnal inclinations, and out- (1.) Faithfulness in a man's geward conveniences. The 'apos- neration-work, is of great use and tles that laboured with their hands, advantage to salvation. Well done have, by that example, set the con- good and faithful servant, from the science of a minister at liberty, to Lord's own mouth, is a great seprovide for the necessities of this curity; and diligence and faithfullife by other employments, when ness in improving the talents we he cannot live of the gospel; yet are intrusted with, through grace, certainly no man that is called of procure that testimony. God to this work, can with a safe (2.) Thou shalt save thyself conscience abandon it wholly. from the guilt of other men's sins Paul, for example, obliged by ne- and ruin, if thou be faithful in the cessity, both preached, and wrought ministry; Ezek. xxxiii. 9. Thou in a handy-craft. As preaching hast delivered (or saved) thy soul, doth not make working unlawful, saith the Lord to the Prophet, in so neither should any other busi- the case of unsuccessful faithfulness of a minister make preaching ness. So Paul, Acts xviii. 6. 1 to cease.
am clean, your blood be upon your (2.) Continue in endeavours af- own heads: and Acts xx. 26, 27. 1 ter greater fitness for thy work. take you to record this day, that I No attainments in fitness and qua- am pure from the blood of all men: lifications for this work, can free a for I have not shunned to declare unto man of the obligation that lies on you all the counsel of God. Every him, to increase and grow therein minister pledgeth his.soul to God, more and more. It is not enough that he shall be a faithful servant; that a man study and be painful and he that is such, may freely ere he enter into the ministry, but take up his stake, whatever his he must labour still to be more fit success on others be. for his great work.
(3.) Faithfulness and painful(3.) Continue in thy vigour, and ness in the ministry of the gospel, painfulness, and diligence. Young promotes a man's own salvation, ministers, that are sound and sin- in so far as the work of Christiancere before God, are usually warm ity is woven in with the right disand diligent in the first years of charge of the office of the ministheir ministry; and many do de- try. Many ministers can say, cline afterwards, and become more that if they had not been miniscold and remiss.' This exhorta- ters, they had in all appearance tion is a check thereunto: Continue lost their souls. The subject of in them.
the minister's work is the same 2. The second thing in the word, with that of a Christian's; and is, the double advantage proposed above all men should he be careful to encourage ministers to this of his heart and intentions, that hard duty.
all be pure and spiritual. No man 1st, Thou shalt save thyself. Thy in any work he is called to, is unown salvation shall be promoted der so strict a necessity of depenand secured thereby.
dance on the influence and assistHow becoming is it for a mi- ance of the Holy Ghost, both for nister to mind his own salvation! gifts and grace. And are not all and to mind it so heartily, as to be these great helps unto our own salanimated from the hopes of it unto vation. the greater diligence in his mi- 2dly, The second advantage is, nistry!
Thou shalt save them that hear thee. But how doth faithfulness in There is little hope of that man's the ministry of the gospel further being useful to save others, that the minister's salvation?
minds not his own salvation; and
therefore the apostle puts them in of the world. And this promise is this order, thyself, and then, them as good to us as it was to them. that hear thee.
(3.) He hath also revealed much This description of the people, of his mind about ministers' duty, them that hear thee, saith, That the in order to this end of saving principal work of a minister is men. This also makes the end preaching; and the principal be- more hopeful. nefit people have by them, is to (4.) We find, that the Lord doth hear the Lord's word from them; qualify and fit them whom 'he though there be a seeing (i. e. of makes successful. He makes men their holy conversation) that is able ministers of the New Testaalso useful, Phil. iv. 9. But the ment, the word of life, 2 Cor. iii. apostle knew no such ministers as 5, 6. And still, according to the were only to be seen in worldly success that the Lord hath a mind pomp and grandeur, and seldom or to bless a man with, gifts, and quanever heard preaching:
lifications, and assistance, are proThou shalt save them. The portionably given. The apostles, great end of both preaching and that had the greatest harvest to hearing, is salvation; and if salva- gather in, were made the strongtion were more designed by preach- est labourers: and, though in a far ers and hearers, it would be more inferior degree, the same method frequently the effect of the action. is observed by the Lord in dealing
Thou shalt save them. Thou with and by ordinary ministers. shalt, by the Lord's blessing on It is true, that always the most that ministry, be successful in con- able and learned ministers are not verting sinners, and in building up most successful; yet, generally, of saints in holiness and faith unto the most skilful labourers are most salvation. Not that ministers are blessed. Neither are the most of themselves able by all their en- learned and able men for parts, deavours to carry on this great most fit and skilful in dealing with end; they are only God’ tools and souls at all times. instruments, 1 Cor. iii. 6, 7. Con- Now, having opened the words, cerning this,
we shall return to the question to (1.) We find, that the Lord be resolved, hath appointed this great ordinance of the gospel-ministry for By what means may ministers best this end, the saving of men, Eph.
win souls iv. 11, 12, 13. It is through their In speaking to which, I shall, word that men believe, John xvii. 1. Show what this text saith 20. And divine appointment of unto this purpose. And then, the means, declares both it to be 2. Give some further account useful, and the end to be hopeful. thereof from other Scriptures.
(2.) He hath also given many And, promises of his presence, blessing, 3. Apply it both to ministers and success, to follow and attend and people. them whom he sends on this great 1. What this text speaks about this errand. Christ's first calling of matter. It looks two ways upon the apostles, had this promise in this question. 1. It gives a direct it, I will make you fishers of men; answer unto it: and points forth which not only declared what that duty. 2. It gives an encouraging employment was he called them promise of the good effect and unto, but it assured them of suc- fruit of the discharge of the duty. cess in it. At his leaving of I shall carry on both together. them, Matth. xviii. 20, he pro- 1. Také heed unto thyself. mised to be with them unto the end Wouldst thou be a saved and sucCh. Adv.--Vol. X.
cessful minister? Take heed unto xxiii. 32. I sent them not, therefore thyself. Such warnings imply al- they shall not profit this people at all, ways a case of difficulty and dan: is a standing rule to this day. ger wherein he is that gets them.
These things, if found, may Take heed unto thyself in these
serve to satisfy a minister's conthings.
science, that Jesus Christ hath 1st, Take heed that thou be a
sent himsound and sincere believer. The importance of sincere godliness in single desire after the great end of
(1.) If the heart be filled with a a minister, is written in the deep the ministry, the glory of God in wounds that the church of Christ the salvation of men. Every work hath received by the hands of un
that God calls a man to, he makes godly ministers. It hath been
the end of it amiable. This desire made a question, Whether an un
sometimes attends men's first congodly man can be a minister? but
version. Paul was called to be a it is none, that such men are in a
saint and an apostle at once, Acts most desperate condition: Matth. vii. 22, 23. Depart from me; not
ix.; and so have many been called
to be saints and ministers together. because you ran unsent, or preach- If it be not so, yet this is found ed error instead of truth, or preach- with him that Christ calls, that ed poorly and meanly, (all great when he is most spiritual and sesins in themselves;) but because
rious, when his heart is most unyou work iniquity; the usual expression of entire ungodliness, and he is nearest to God in com
der the impressions of holiness, What use the Lord may make of
munion with him; then are such the gifts (for great gifts he gives desires after the serving of Jesus to the worst of men) of ungodly Christ in the ministry most powmen, even in the ministry of the erful. And the sincerity of his gospel, is one of his deep paths. desire is also to be examined; and But no man can reasonably ima- when it is found, it adds greatly gine, that a walker in the way to hell can be a' fit and useful guide bears him witness, that it is neither
to a man's peace: when his heart to them that mind to go to hea- riches, nor honour, nor ease, nor ven. If a man would have peace the applause of men, that he seeks in his conscience, and success in his work of the ministry, let him after, but singly Christ's honour
in the saving of men. take good heed to this, that he be a sound Christian. There is a (2.) It helps to clear a man's special difficulty for a minister to call, that there hath been a consciknow his grace. Gifts and
entious, diligence in all the means have deceived many with their of attaining fitness for this great likeness; although the difference work. That love to the end that be great, both in itself, and to an
doth not direct and determine unto enlightened eye.
the use of the appointed means, 2dly, Take heed to thyself, that may justly be suspected as irreguthou be a called and sent minister. lar, and not flowing from the Holy This is of great importance as to
Ghost. Even extraordinary offiHe that can say, “Lord cers seem not to have been above thou hast sent me;" may boldly the use of ordinary means, 2 Tim. add,“ Lord, go with me, and bless iv. 13, old dying Paul sends for his
It is good when a man is books and papers. serious in this inquiry. It is to (3.) A competent fitness for the be feared that many run, and never work of the ministry, is another asked this question; so is it seen proof of a man's call to it. The in their speed and success. Jer. Lord calls no man to a work for
which he doth not qualify. Though fects. A carnal frame, a dead a sincere humble man (as all mi- heart, and a loose walk, makes nisters should be) may and should cold and unprofitable preaching. think little of any measure he hath, And how common is it for minise whether compared with the great- ters to neglect their own vineyard? er measures of others, or consider. When we read the word, we read ed with regard unto the weight it as ministers, to know what we and worth of the work; yet there should teach, rather than what we must be some confidence as to his should learn as Christians. Uncompetency, for clearing a man's less there be great heed taken, it call, 2 Cor. iii. 5, 6. What this will be found, that our ministry, competency is, is not easy at all and labour therein, may eat out times to determine. Singular ne- the life of our Christianity. Not cessities of the church may extend that there is any discord betwixt or intend this matter of compe- them; but rather a friendly hartent fitness. But in general there mony, when each hath its place must be, 1. A competent know- and respect. The honest believer ledge of gospel mysteries. 2. A meditates, that he may excite his competent ability of utterance to grace; and ministers too often methe edifying of others. This is ditate only to increase their gifts. aptness to teach, required of the When we preach, the sincere apostle in 1 Tim. iii. 2.; and Titus hearer drinks in the word; and it i. 9, that a minister be able, by may be we seldom mix faith with sound doctrine, to exhort and to con- it, to grow thereby. O how hard vince gainsayers.
is it to be a minister and a Chris(4.) The savour of a man's mi- tian in some of these acts! We nistry on the hearts and con- are still conversant about the sciences of others, both ministers things of God; it is our study all and people, helps much to clear a
to clear a the week long. This is our great man's call. So that indeed ordi- advantage. But take heed to thynarily a man can never be so well self, lest ordinary meddling with confirmed in the faith of his being divine things bring on an ordinary called to God, until he make some and different impression of them; essay in this work. Deacons and then their fruit to thee, and must first be proved, 1. Tim. iii. thy benefit by them, is almost 10; much more ministers. A sin- gone, and hardly recovered. gle testimony given by ministers 4thly, Take heed unto thyself in and Christ, that the word dispensed refere ce to all the trials and by the man is savoury, and hath temptations thou mayest meet effect on the conscience, is a great with. Be on your guard, watch in confirmation; especially if sound all things, 2 Tim. iv. 5. No men conversion of some follow his la- are shot at more by Satan than bours. That is indeed a seal of ministers, and he triumphs not his ministry, 2 Cor. iii. 3, and 1 more over the foils of any than Cor. ix. 2.
theirs. And Christ is liberal in 3dly, Take heed unto thyself, his warnings of dangers, and in that thou be a lively thriving his promises of help in them. Christian. See that all thy reli- 2. The second word in the text gion run not in the channel of thy to this purpose of directing minisemployment. It is found by expe- ters how to be useful to others, is, rience, that as it fares with a mi- Take heed unto thy doctrine. Art nister in the frame of his heart, thou a minister? Thou must be a and thriving of the work of God preacher. An unpreaching minisin his soul, so doth it fare with his ter is a sort of contradiction. ministry, both in its vigour and ef- Yea, every sort of preaching is not enough; thou must take heed unto own darkness. 2. Humility and thy doctrine what it is.
self-denial. We must not seek Here is a warrant for studying ourselves, nor the applause of what we are to teach, and what men; but God's glory, and men's we have taught people. But the salvation. It is found, that the hogreat matter is to take heed, or liest ministers preach most plainstudy aright. Students common- ly, and the plainest preachers are ly need little direction about ordi- most successful. nary study. But concerning the 3dly, Take heed unto thy docdoctrine, I shall entreat to take trine, that it be grave, and solid, heed unto it in these things, and weighty; sound speech that can
1st, Take heed unto thy doc- not be condemned, Tit. ii. 8. Deep trine, that it be a divine truth: and weighty impressions of the Let a man speak as the oracles of things of God upon a man's own God, 1 Pet. iv. 11. And therefore heart, would greatly advance this. it is needful that ministers be well A minister's spirit is known in acquainted with the Holy Scrip- the gravity or lightness of his doclures. A bad token of the temper trine. of that man that relishes any book
(To be continued.) more than the word of God. The world is full of books written on pretence and design to explain the Scriptures; and men's studies are
RETROSPECTION. full of them. There is also a " Thou shalt always have joy in the evening, if blessing in them, and good use to
thou hast spent the day well."
Thomas À KEMPIS. be made of them; but also a bad use is made of them. Many mi. When drawing toward thy couch of rest, nisters have found, that they have If the bright trace of duty done
With weary head and grateful breast, preached better, and to more pro- Gleam'd on thee from the setting sun, fit to the people, when they got If every winged'hour that fled their sermon by meditation on the Bore prayer and blessing on its head, word, and prayer, than by turning shall Memory shed a blissful ray,
Then o'er the history of the day over many authors. From this Each hope a glorious garment take, neglect of the word also come a And at their bidding, Joy awake. great many doctrines, that are
L. H. S. learned by man, and borrowed from philosophy; which though they may have some truth in them, From the Evangelical Magazine. yet since it is divine truth that a
STANZAS minister should bring forth to the
Occasioned by the laying of the foundapeople, he should not rest on such
tion stone of a new chapel at Hadleigh, low things.
Suffolk. 2dly, Take heed unto thy doc
Great Architect of earth and heaven, trine, that it be plain, and suited to To thee be grateful anthems given, the capacity of the hearers. Learn
For mercy, truth, and grace! ed preaching (as it is called) is a
To swell the incense of thy praise vanity, pleasing principally to such This stone we lay, these walls we raise,
Our humble efforts bless. as neither design nor desire edification. True godly learning con
O Thou, before whose throne on high sists in preaching plainly; and Ten thousand burning seraphs vie therein is small difficulty. Vouchsafe ihy suppliant saints to hear; Two things would help to plain Their gifts accept, their spirits cheer, preaching. 1. Clearness of know- With blessings from above! ledge. The alleged depth of our Although in temples made with hands doctrine often proceeds from our Thou dost not dwell--yet o'er all lands