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jects of grief and lamentation, place, always, bea fore your eyes, the Ministers who first preached the Gospel of Christ; those ancient and venerable examples, to whose zeal, diligence, and virtue, we dare not hope to attain. Never consider your ministry, at any period of it, as a situation of honorable repose: think not of appropriating any time to yourself, if you can by a different application of it, preserve only one soul from perdition : content not yourselves with going through your public and ordinary duties, after which, we are ready to persude ourselves, that we are discharged from every other : so long as you shall see among your flock, abuses to correct, sinners to reclaim, or weak Christians to support, consider not your obligations fulfilled : let zeal and charity inspire you with a solicitude, which the letter of the Canons of the Church doth not seem to impose, but which the spirit of them rigorously exacts : measure your pastoral exertions, not by stipulated rules, or by the decay of your constitution, but by the wants of your parishioners. Let not age itself, let not the long, and active, discharge of your ministerial avocations, in which you may have grown old, suggest to you a legitimate reason for ceasing from the combat, and of, at length, enjoying the repose, to which, after so many years of labour, in reclaiming men from vice, and encouraging them in virtue, you may seem to be entitled : rather let your youth be renewed, like the eagle; zeal may supply powers which nature may, in appearance, refuse; these precious remains of decay, are honora
ble to the ministry: be the Eleazar of the new cov. enant ; and let not old age become a motive to any indulgences, which may not be strictly consistent, at the close of a life, dedicated to the discharge of the pastoral obligations. Continue to abound in the work of the Lord.
The nearer you approach to the close of your ministerial labours, the more ought your zeal to be invigorated. How lamentable will it be, if, at that period, you are wanting in courage and reso. lution; and if, by a premature repose, you forfeit the reward of an entire life of exemplary diligence, passed in the blessed employment of rescuing souls from Satan, and of presenting them acceptable un. to God!
ON THE EXCELLENCE OF THE MINISTRY.
Thou that makest thy boast of God, and knowest
his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; and art confident, that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge, and of the truth in the law. Thou, therefore, which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?”
YOU expect from me, no doubt, my Brethren, some word of instruction and consolation : I'will, however, satisfy myself with beseeching you to meditate frequently on the following awful passage of the Apostle. To the faithful Pastors, it will administer comfort; to the careless and negligent, it will be a source of confusion.
“ Thou that maketh thy boast of God, and “knowest his will, and approvest the things that " are more excellent, being instructed out of the “ law; and art confident, that thou thyself art a 6 guide of the blind, a light of them which are in « darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher 66 of babes, which hast the form of knowledge, and 66 of the truth in the law. Thou, therefore, which “ teachest another, teachest thou not thyself ?”
“ Thou that makest thy boast of God.”-We, then, whose highest honour it is to be the Ministers of God; we, who owe to Religion the distinction which society has conferred upon us, let us not weaken, by our morals, the reverence due to our holy office ; let us not accustom the world to separate our private conduct from our professional character. Let us honour, in our persons, the priesthood, if we desire that it should reflect honour upon us : 'we are, it is true, to be “ clothed” with respect—but piety, alone, can render us res. pectable ; and so long as men shall not perceive it to be the predominating principle in our behaviour, their contempt will encrease, in proportion to the reverence which they conceived to be attached to our profession : and what ought to attract their regard and esteem, will serve only to heighten our shame, and aggravate our reproach. The world neither does, nor can, know any thing more con. temptible, than an unprincipled Pastor.
6 And knowest his will, and approvest the things " that are more excellent, being instructed out “6 of the law."-We, who have, from our infancy, been nurtured by the sacred truths of the Gospel
-we, who have, from our earliest years, been blessed with a religious education-how shall we answer to God, if our morals have not been corres. pondent to our information ; if, with more know. ledge than the people we are to direct, we are, per. haps, less religious, less charitable, less disinterest. ed, less temperate than themselves ? A single truth, proposed to an ingenuous man, often opens his eyes, informs his understanding, and affects his heart; and shall we, who declare these truths, con. tinue in our lethargy, and our want of sensibility ? Our blindness seems to encrease, in the midst of encreasing light that surrounds us ; and whilst we are bearing the torch, which shews the path, we wander from it ourselves, and perish in the very act of saving others.