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many things will occur in the prosecution thereof, which are terrible to nature; indeed, so terrible, that all who “confer with flesh and blood,” will be afraid to encounter them. Here, therefore, true courage has its proper place, and is necessary in the highest degree. And this,' faith only can supply. A believer can say,
“I fear no denial; no danger I fear ;
Nor start froin the trial; for Jesus is near." 5. To courage, Patience is nearly allied; the one regarding future, the other present evils. And whoever joins in carrying on a design of this nature, will have great occasion for this. For, notwithstanding all his unblamcableness, he will find himself just in Ishmael's situation, "bis band against every man, and every man's hand against him.” And no wonder : If it be true, that “all who will live godly shall suffer persecution,” how eminently must this be fulfilled in them, who, not content to live godly themselves, compel the ungodly to do so too; or, at least, to refrain from notorious ungodliness? Is not this declaring war against all the world? Setting all the children of the Devil at defiance? And will not Satan himself, “the prince of this world, the ruler of the darkness” thereof, exert all his subtlety, and all his force, in support of his tottering kingdom ? Who can expect the roaring lion will tamely submit to have the prey plucked out of his teeth ? Ye have (therefore] need of patience; that, after ye have done the will of God, ye may receive the promise.”
6. And ye have need of Steadiness, that ye may “ hold fast [this] profession of your faith, without wavering.” This also should be found in all that unite in this Society; which is not a task for a “double-minded man,"--for one that is “unstable in his ways.” He that is as a reed shaken with the wind, is not fit for this warfare; which demands a firm purpose of soul, a constant, determined resolution. One that is wanting in this, may “set his hand to the plough ;” but how soon will he “ look back?” He may, indeed, “ endure for a time; but when persecution, or tribulation,” public or private troubles, arise, because of the work, “immediately he is offended.”
7. Indeed, it is hard for any to persevere in so unpleasing a work, unless Love overpowers both pain and fear. And therefore it is highly expedient, that all engaged therein have“ the Love of God shed abroad in their hearts;” that they should all be able to declare, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” The presence of Him, whom their soul loveth, will then make their labour light. They can then say, not from the wildness of a heated imagination, but with the utmost truth and soberness;
“With thee conversing, I forget
All time, and toil, and care:
While thou, my God, art here." 8. What adds a still greater sweetness, even to labour and pain, is the christian “ Love of our Neighbour.” When they “ love their neighbour," that is, every soul of man, “as them
. selves," as their own souls; when “the love of Christ constraius them to love one another, “eren as He loved us; when, as He“ tasted death for every man,'' so they are ready to lay down their life for their brethren ;” (including in that number every man, every soul for which Christ died ;) what prospect of danger will then be able to fright them from their “labour of love?” What suffering will they not be ready to undergo, to save one soul from everlasting burnings? What continuance of labour, disappointment, pain, will vanquish their fixed resolution ? Will they not be
“ 'Gainst all repulses steel'd, nor ever tir'd
With toilsome day, or ill-succeeding night?" So lore both “bopeth” and “ endureth all things :" So “charity never faileth.”
9. Love is necessary for all the members of such a Society, on another account likewise ; even because “it is not puffed up :" it produces not only courage and patience, but Humility. And 0 how needful is this for all who are so employed ! What can be of more importance, than that they should be little, and mean, and base, and vile, in their own eyes ? For otveririse, should they think themselves any thing, should they impute any thing to themselves, should they admit any thing of a pharisaic spirit, “trusting in themselves that they are righteous, and despising others ;” nothing could more directly tend to overthrow the whole design. For then they would not only have all the world, but also God himself, to contend with; seeing, He “ resisteth the proud, and gireth grace [only] to the humble." Deeply conscious, therefore, should every member of this Society be, of his own foolishness, weakness, helplessness; continually hanging, with his whole soul, upon Hin who alone hath wisdom and strength, with an unspeakable conviction, that “the help which is done upon earth, God doeth it himself,” and that it is He alone who “worketh in us, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure.”
10. Onc point more, whoever engages in this design should have deeply impressed on bis heart; namely, that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Let him therefore, learn of Him who was meck, as well as lowly; and let him abide in Meekness, as well as humility : “ With all lowliness and meekness," let him “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith he is called.” Let him be “gentle toward all men,” good or bad, for his own sake, for their sake, for Christ's sake. Are any “iguorant, and out of the way?” Let him have "compassion” upon them. Do they even, oppose the word and the work of God, yea, set thene' selves in battle-array against it? So much the more hath he need “in meekness to instruct those who thus oppose themselves,” if haply they may “escape out of the spare of the Devil,” and no more be “taken captive at his will."
IV. 1. From the qualifications of those who are proper to engage in such an undertaking as this, I proceed to show, Fourtbly, With what Spirit, and in what Manner, it ought to be pursued. First, with what Spirit. Now this first regards the Motive, which is to be preserved in every step that is taken; for, if at any time “the light which is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness ! But if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” This is, therefore, continually to be remembered, and carried into every word and action. Nothing is to be spoke or done, either great or small, with a view to any temporal advantage; nothing with a view to the favour or esteem, the love or the praise, of men. But the intention, the eye of the mind, is always to be fixed on the glory of God, and good of man.
2. But the spirit with which every thing is to be done, regards the Temper as well as the motive. And this is no other than that which has been described above. For the same courage, patience, stcadiness, which qualify a man for the work, are to be exercised therein. Above all, let him “take the shield of faith :” this will quench a thousand fiery darts. Let him exert all the faith which God has given him, in every trying hour. And let all his doings be done in love: never let this be wrested from him. Neither must mavy waters quench this love, nor the floods of ingratitude drown it. Let, likewise, that lowly mind be in him, which was also in Christ Jesus;
yea, and let him “be clothed with humility,” filling his heart, and adorning his whole behaviour. At the same timc, let him “put on bowels of mercies, gentleness, lougsuffering; avoiding the least appearance of malice, bitterness, anger, or resentment; knowing it is our calling, not to be “ overcome of evil, but to orercome evil with good.” In order to preserve this humble, gentle love, it is needful to do all things with recollection of spirit; watching against all hurry, or dissipation of thought, as well as against pride, wrath, or surliness. But this can be no otherwise preserved than by “continuing instant in prayer,” both before and after he comes into the tiell, and during the whole action; and by doing all in the spirit of sacrifice, cisering all to God, through the Son of his Lore.
3. As to the outward Manner of acting, a general rule is, Let it be expressive of these inward tempers. But to be more particular : Let every man beware, Not to “do evil that good may come.” Therefore, “putting away all lying, let crery man speak the truth to his neighbour.” Use no fraud or guile, cither in order to detect or to punish any man; but “ by simplicity and godly sincerity, commend yourself to men's consciences in the sight of God.” It is probable that, by your adhering to these rules, fewer offenders will be convicted; but so much the wore will the blessing of God accompany the whole undertaking.
4. But let innocence be joined with Prudence, properly so called ;--not that offspring of bell, which the world calls prudence, which is mere craft, cunning, dissimulation; but with that “wisdom from above," which our Lord peculiarly recomniends to all who would promote bis kingdom upon earth: * Be ye therefore wise as serpents,” while ye are “harmless as doves." This wisdom will instruct you how to suit your words, and whole behaviour, to the persons with whom you have to do ; to the time, place, and all other eircumstances. It will teach you to cut off occasion of offence, cren from those who seek occasion, and to do things of the most offensive nature in the least offensive manner that is possible.
5. Your manner of speaking, particularly to offenders, should be at all times deeply serious, (lest it appear like insulting or triumphing over them,) rather inclining to sad; showing that you pity them for what they do, and sympathize with them in what they suffer. Let your air and tone of voice, as well 5 onli, bc di passionate, calm, mild; yea, where
it would not appear like dissimulation, even kiud and friendly. In some cases, where it will probably be received as it is meant, you may profess the good will you bear them; but, at the same time, (that it may not be thought to proceed from fear, or any wrong inclination,) professing your intrepidity, and inflexible resolution to oppose and punish vice to the üttermost.
V. l. It remains only to make some Application of what has been said ; partly to you who are already engaged in this work; partly to all that fear God; and more especially to them that love as well as fear him.
With regard to you who are already engaged in this work, the first advice I would give you is, Calmıly and deeply to consider the nature of your undertaking. Know what you are about ; be thoroughly acquainted with what you have in band; consider the objections which are made to the whole of your undertaking'; and, before you proceed, be satisfied that those objections have no real weight: Then may every man act as he is fully persuaded in his own mind.
2. I advise you, secondly, Be not in haste to increase your number : and, in adding thereto, regard not wealth, rank, or any outward circumstance; only regard the qualifications above described. Inquire diligently, whether the person proposed be of an unblameable carriage, and whether he be a man of faith, courage, patience, steadiness? Whether he be a lover of God and man? If so, he will add to your strength, as well as number : if not, you will lose by him more than you gain ; for you will displease God. And be not afraid to purge out from among you any who do not answer the preceding character. By thus lessening your number, you will increase your strength: you will be “ vessels meet for your Master's use."
3. I would, thirdly, advise you, Narrowly to observe from what motive you at any time act or speak. Beware that your intention be not stained with any regard either to profit or praise.. Whatever you do, “do it to the Lord;” as the servants of Christ. Do not aim at pleasing yourself in any point; but pleasing Him whose you are, and whom you serve. Let your eye be single, from first to last; eye God alone in every word and work.
4. I advise you, in the fourth place, See that you do every thing in a right temper; with lowliness and meekness, with patience and gentleness, worthy the Gospel of Christ. Take tyery step, trusting in God, and in the most tender, loving