Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I would fain have gone farther : The hand of the dili. gent makes rich. Much study, much prayer, temp. * tations also, and distinct outgates from temptations i (are useful helps. I was fond enough of books, but I must say in the course of my ministry, what the Lord let me fee of my ill heart, and what was neceffary against it, was more steadable to me than all my books. One said, that was to believe, and therefor to speak. He replyed, the Lord help me to honour him; I desire no more but to honour him here and here. after. O that I had the tongues of men and angels to praise him! I hope, I hope in a little to get will to answer daty, and skill and ability to answer will. O to be helped lo, and to fear always. One said, blest is he that feareth always, and even under manifestations and discoveries of God; 'He that stands let him take heed least he fall.' He said, sobriety, fobriety, would fall in a little if he withdraw; but do not stumble, firs, tho'I thould be shaken, the foundations stand sure. • When advised to lie quiet a little, he said, whereon should a man bestow his last breath, but in commending the Lord Jesus Christ, God clothed in our na. i ture, dying for our sins ?' It pleased the Lord to bruise him, &c. One said, the Lord hath said, 'I will have mercy and not facrifice ;' and pressed him to be tender of his body. He answered, o but my heart is full ! And then desiring a minister to pray, he said, pray that God may have pity on a weak thing that's not able to bear much in the conflict,

After prayer, when the ministers we retiring, he said, well, my brethren, mind me. I delire to be thankful for what I have. I do not desire to want you long. • Thereafter to a ministers wife he said, I recom. mend to you the fear of the Lord; I know you have a hulband to direct you; I know you're the feed of the righteous ; but neither of these will avail. Make :

the fireasts that gaveavy trials arom the coupe Have

[ocr errors]

it your business to grow in practical acquaintance. with him, and encourage yourself in the Lord : I ferir the time is coming that it shall be said, 'Blest are the breasts that gave no suck, and the womb that, never bare.' I fear heavy trials are haltning on. .

To two ministers who came from the country to visit him he said, brethren, I'll only say this, we have need to take care with the great apostle, left when we preach Christ to others, we be castaways ;' if it be so, we have need to fear; happy is the man that fears always. Be diligent in preaching the gospel. I perfume in this cafe I'm in, to suggest this advice, that it may not only be your care to be diligent in composing sermons, but above all scan your own hearts, and make use of what discoveries you get there, to enable you to dive into consciences, to awaken hypocrites, and to separate the precious from the vile; and to do it with that accuracy and caution as not to make sad the hearts of thoje God has made glad. That's the great point in religion, and in the management of your ministry, that you may obtain the testimony of the great shepherd when he shall appear. Now 'tis like I may not be far from the conclusion of my work. As to the work of the ministry, it was my deliberate choice ; were my days lengthned out much more, and days as troublesome as they are like to be, I would rather be a contemned mini. ster of God than the greatest prince on earth. I preach. ed the gospel of Christ with pleasure, and I loved it; for my own souls falvation was upon it; and since I lay down, I have not changed thoughts about it. I commend it to you all, to make it your business to double your diligence ; there may be hard conflicts. You have a prospect of difficulties between you and the grave; we are all good untried : But we have need to have on the whole armour of God to watch and be Sober. One of them said, I would gladly hear the profes..

O 3

for s

for's mind of the oath. He answered, as to the mat- . ter of the oath, Let every one be fully perswaded in on bis own mind. As these who are clear, should guard against every thing that may endanger the peace of this church: So likewise others who are not clear, cannot get over difficulties, and cannot in conscience and duty comply; they are bound in conscience not only to abstain from separating, but laboriously to convince their people that it strikes at the root of church.communion. If ministers go on in separating courses, the result of it will be, people will be taken up with the public and forget private religion. Whoever they are that do so, they will have an accession to this. We shall have people running about seeking to have their ears gratified, that love not the power of godliness: We'll get a public religion in the room of real godliness. I love their persons that differ from me, and I value what I see of God in them ; but I'm to call no man master but Christ.'

With respect to the difference that is like to ensue among ministers, with the greatest earnestness I say, my dear brethren in the Lord Jesus, if difference fall in, difference is a hot thing, there must be condescen: dence, forbearance, and tenderness; we must not fly at the ball. Whatever apprehensions I have of the consequence of some ministers not acting con. scientiously, and running preaching in such a strain as may do hurt, yet I would fpeak tenderly, and act tenderly toward them; and let there be much of the forbearance and meekness that's in Jesus ; follow peace, peace is worth much; wounding our church among her enemies is fad. I would not have a hand in wounding the church of Scotland for a world; Wounding her at this day is a stabbing her under the fifth rib. Thir things are weighting to me dow upon the view of eternity: For let my right hund for get her cunning, if I prefer not Jerusalem to my chief foy. For my brethren, for her peace and constitution

!

I'll

I'll pray., nay ruin andy that has chat

ness and

ruin and"unais day that is

Klap. VI. 1 . TidlyUUITUII Lice.

215 I'll pray. The great evil this day that is like to be our bane, nay ruin and undoing, is, that there's a coldness and indifferency that has crept on, an untenderness in the course of our walk, that gives a great advantage to our enemies, we do not maintain the testimony of God in a humble tender way, in such a day as this, when many are running from God. It seems to be a principle now with many, how far they may go and not be ruined, that's to go to the brink of destruction; but the christian rule is to stand at a distance, Now the Lord help you. Pray that I may be helped to honour God in life and death; there's much reason to bless him. O to bear it out and stand the trial thankfully : O what ground of thankfulness have I!

To his successor in the parish he was transported from, he said, I have this to say, as to my congregation, that people were my choice ; with much peace and pleasure I preached as I could, tho'not as I should, the gospel of Jesus Christ; though in all things I own myself to have finned exceedingly before the Lord, yet I have peace that I ain'd with concern at leading them to the Lord Jesus ; and another foundation can no man lay: I hope you'll build on that same foundation, as you will, in that way fave your own soul, fo 'tis the way to save them that hear you. From experience I can say, that the pursuing this sincerly, is the way to falvation. Signify to them, that, if it please the Lord to take me away, I die rejoicing in the faith and profession of what I oft preached to them under a low state of body ; and without this I could have no relief. I would have my folk understand, that that gospel which I recommend to them, if it is not receiv'd, it'll be a witness against them. His successor faid, I'm perfuaded you have seals to your ministry in that parish. He answered, we are like our master, set for the fall and rising again of many. Though we can reach no more, if we are

faithful, they mall know that a prophet has been among them.

To one that came in to him, he said, learn to die. 'Tis rare to die as á christian, the most part think there is no more to do, but to lay down their heads and die : This is even as one would cover his face and leap over a rock into the sea,

To a gentlewoman he said, I may cry, Shame on me, and woes me, that began not fooner, and run not faster; for the Lord's way is as silver tried. We should never, in matters of eternal moment, chuse a way that we'll rue of again. I will not detain you, you'll have your uncle, he'll be a good friend to you ; follow his advice, and such persons as he, follow their example. In a word, follow the example of Jesus Christ, and be conversant with the word : be careful not only in reading the word, you may soon tire of that; but cry for the spirit of the Lord, to quicken it, and then ye'll be with it as the child that cannot live without the breasts. Be diligent in attending the ore dinances. The Lord bless you. As for me, for any thing I see I am dying : But I die, I bless his name, in the way that I have hitherto chosen deliberately, and I have no ground to complain. Commend me to all friends. Carry this commission alongs; what I Say to one, I say to all, seek the Lord. And all I have to seek, is, that I may stand to it.

To a private christian he said, seek the Lord, and be real in religion, content not yourself with the form of it ; a mere profession will not do the turn ; this will be but the shell without the kernel; but they that are sincere, shall inherit the crown. Let not the fcorn and contempt that's cast on religion, cause you give up with it. 'Tis not in vain to seek the Lord, you have found it. The scriptures of truth are a confemned book by men ; but they are able to make you wise unto salvation ; beware of casting out with them, and throwing them by as an useless book; but

con

« AnteriorContinuar »