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ou are doing your work, not by any mistakes of our own to hinder your success · By forgetting that your success with others is
very much connected with your personal character. Herod heard John gladly, and he did many kings; because he knew the preacher to be a just nd holy man. Words uttered from the heart find Teir way to the heart, by a holy sympathy. Char. cter is power:E “A good man seen, though silent, counsel gives."
If you would make deep impressions on others, ou must use all means to have them first formed in your own mind. Avoid, at the same time, u appearances of evil as a covetous or worldly,
vain or assuming, a careless or indevout deportjent. Never suffer jesting with sacred persons or hings. Satan will employ such antidotes as these, o counteract the operation of that which is effective ind gracious in a Minister's character. (I. By placing your dependance on any means,
qualities, or circumstances, however excellent in themselves.
The direct way to render a thing weak, is to lean on it as strong. God is a jealous God; and will utterly abolish idols as means of success. He designs to demonstrate that men and creatures are what he makes them, and that only. This also should be your encouragement: looking, in the diligent and humble use of means, to that Spirit of life and power without whose influence all your endeavors will be to no purpose, you have reason to expect help suited and adequate to all your difficulties. III. By unnecessarily appearing in dangerous or
It is one thing to be humble and condescending; it is another to render yourself common, cheap, and contemptible. The men of the world know when a minister is out of his place when they can
oppress him by numbers or circumstances...when they can make him laugh, while his office frowns. Well will it be for him, if he is only rendered ABSURD in his future public admonitions, by his former compliances; well if, being found like St. Peter on dangerous ground, he is not seduced, virtually at least, to deny his Master.
IV. By suspicious appearances in his family. As the liead of your household you are responsible for its appearances. Its pride, sloth, and disorder will be yours. You are accountable for your wife's conduct, dress, and manners, as well as those of your children, whose education must be peculiarly exemplary. Your family is to be a picture of what you wish other families to be; and, without the most determined resolution, in reliance on God, to finish this picture Cost WHAT IT WILL, your recommending family religion to others will but create a smile. Your unfriendly hearers will recollect enough of Scripture to tell you that you ought. like the primitive Bishop, to be one, ihat ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity: for if a man know nof how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? V. By meddling beyond your sphere in temporals,
Your aim and conversation, like your sacred call, are to be altogether heavenly. As a man of God, you have no concern with politics and parties and schemes of interest, but you are to live above them. There is a sublime spirit in a devoted min. ister, which, as one says of Christianity itself, pays no more regard to these things, than to the battles of rooks, the industry of ants, or the policy of bees.
VI. By venturing off general and acknowledged ground in spirituals.
By giving strong meat, instead of milk, to those who are yet but babes--by giving heed to fables, which minister questions rather than godly edifying; amusing the mind, but not affecting the heart: often disturbing and bewildering, seldom convincing; frequently raising a smile, never drawing a tear.
VII. By maintaining acknowledged truth in your own spirit.
Both food and medicines are injurious, if administered scalding hot. The spirit of a teacher often effects more than his matter. Benevolence is a universal language: and it will apologize for a multitude of defects, in the man who speaks it; while neither talents nor truth will apologize for pride, illiberality, or bitterness. Avoid, therefore, irritating occasions and persons, particularly disputes and disputants, by which a minister often loses his temper and his character.
VIII. By being too sharp-sighted, too quick-eared, or too ready-tongued.
Some evils are irremediable: they are best neither seen nor heard: by SEEING and HEARING things which you cannot remove, you will create implacable adversaries; who, being guilty aggressors, never forgive. Avoid SPEAKING meanly or harshly of any one; not only because this is forbidden to Christians, but because it is to declare war as by a thousand heralds.
IX. By the temptations arising from the female sex.
I need not mention what havoc Satan has made in the church, by this means, from the fall to this day. Your safety, when in danger from this quarter, lies in flight to parley, is to fall. Take the first hiot from conscience, or from friends.
In fine, Watch thou in all things: endure afflictions: do the work of an evangelist: make full proof of thy ministry; and then, whether those around you acknowledge your real character or not now, they shall one day know that there hath been a prophet among them!
A Dying Minister's Farewell. When a Christian minister feels the springs of life giving way:-his faculties decaying-his voice failing-his spirits sinking-though he may not have it in his power to say, as the apostle did to his friends, I know that yo all, among whom I have preached the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more yet he should stand ready to part from his flock, and every sermon should be felt by him as if it were his last.
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men: for I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNSEL OF GOD. And what have I declared that counsel of God to be? - All the curious distinctions of the schools?--All the peculiarities insisted on so strongly by different sects: No such thing! I have followed the great apostle in testifying REPENTANCE toward God and FAITH toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
There has been a slander brought against relig. ion--that we are noT AGREED, as to the truths we should set before men. I say, It is false! We ARE agreed. All,who know any thing of real religion, are agreed, that the SUBSTANGE of the matter is contained in REPENTANCE toward God, and FAITH toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
If a man, like the prodigal, feels that he has left his father's house-turned his back on God-and is become a fool and a madman for so doing and that there is no hope but in his returning again: if such a change of mind is wrought in him by the Holy Spirit, as he wrought in David, when he cried, Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin: if, like Peter, he goes forth weeping bitterly-feeling that he has acted foolishly and wickedly, and that his only hope is in the mercy
of God through the Savior--then the man enters so far into the spirit of religion-REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD.
But does he rest in this? Nay, he knows that if he could offer thousands of rams, and ten thousand rivers of oil, he could make no satisfaction for the sin of his soul. He looks to the atonement to Him, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faiih in his blood.
Repentance toward God must be accompanied by faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. These men are enabled to say, with St. Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. I have no refuge but in him-no other hope no other plea. All my confidence before God is grounded on this that He suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."
If a minister testifies these things—if he speaks plainly and simply these grand essential truths of God's word-though he die before another Sabbath return, HE MAY REST IN PEACE-leaving the issue in God's hand.
The ground of a minister's own solid satisfaction cannot be POPULARITY: for, even to Simon Magus all gave heed, from the least to the greatest,saying, This man is the great power of God! -neither can he ground his satisfaction on the exercise of strong and enlarged TALENTS: for even Balaam was a man of extraordinary endowments-nor can it be on his SUCCESS: for many, saith our Lord, shall come to me, and say, Have we not done many wonderful works in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils? Then wilt I profe88 unto them, I never