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way of their amendment, than of those occasioned by their own obstinacy: attribute to yourselves alone, the little fruit produced by your ministry ; as a tender father, excuse, in his presence the faults of your children, and bring your accusations only against yourselves; bear them continually in your heart, when you approach the throne of grace, that your sorrow and lamentations over their trespasses, may warrant the success of your cares, and promote the efficacy of your instructions; and re· member that you will always labour in vain, if your prayers do not draw down upon your labours that grace, which can alone render you useful. “Pray “ without ceasing. And may the God of peace “sanctify you wholly, Amen, amen!”
ON SOLICITUDE TO SUPPRESS VICE.
I bear them record, that they have a zeal for God,
but not according to knowledge,
I HAVE, on former occasions, attempted to shew the necessity of zeal in the heart of a Minister of the Gospel ; but, as zeal may not always be under the influence of judgment, I shall beg your attention, whilst I now shew how it may be made subservient to the welfare of mankind; warning you, at the same time, against whatever may have a tendency to debase its spirit, and defeat its efficacy.
Now, as zeal is no more than what is, by St. Paul, denominated, charity or love, which animates and enflames us, not only with an ardent desire for the salvation of our brethren, but, with a lively and earnest affection, to be instrumental towards it ; in order to be assured that our zeal is just, in its principle, we have only to examine, whether we can apply it to some of the chief and distinguishing characters, which the apostle includes in charity. For all zeal, which doth ,not resemble charity, which will not be charity itself, active, compassionate, humble, mild, patient, disinterested, will not be zeal, according to knowledge,zeal, which reflects honour on the ministry, and, which the Church expects, and exacts, of its Mi. nisters.
I am aware, that zeal, like the spirit of God, from which it proceeds, assumes different forms, according to the different characters of those, whose hearts are enflamed by it. In one, it is more lively, in another, more gentle, and insinuating; in a third, more terrible and menacing. But this diversity is always seen concentred, in the fixed point of charity. These are but different ways, leading to the same end ; qualities, all bearing the divine character of the principle from which they proceed. Every one has his gift, or talent, which is marked by its distinguishing characteristics. Let us, then, examine some of the principal features, which the Apostle attributes to charity; they are the same which constitute true zeal.
Zeal, originating in charity, is patient; for, charity, as the Apostle expresses it “ suffereth long.” Secret pride grows weary, and is disgusted, when the efficacy of its labours is not in proportion to the solicitude which suggested them; it would make grace subservient to its own glory; the moment it feels disappointment, its zeal, which this secret and foreign fire, alone, enkindled, soon begins to cool, and then becomes extinct; the work of the ministry presents nothing but what is unpleasant and uninteresting ; we consider it, almost