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The Character and Commendation of a Faithful
AT THE CHURCH OF THE UNITED PARISHES
OP ST. MARY WOOLNOTH AND ST. MARY WOOLCHURCH HAW,
ON THE DEATH OF THEIR LATE RECTOR,
The Rev. JOHN NEWTON,
December 21, 1807, in the 83d Year of his Age.
THE Author of this Discourse has exdeavoured to meet the request of the Executors and Friends of the Deceased, by publishing all that his notes and recollection will supply. He hopes that his having Memoirs of the late Rev. Mr. Newton now in the press, will account for so little having been said in the Sermon respecting the circumstances of the” life and death of that eminent character. He has often had occasion to remark how spiritless à sermon appears when printed, which, in a more free delivery of it, is felt impressive; but, in both instances, he trusts it will suffice, that, under great bodily pain and infirmity," he hath done what he could.”
'&c. &c. :
· LUKE xii. 42, 43.
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
I SHOULD not have ventured to appear this day in this place, and on this solemn occasion, but at the express desire of your departed Minister: nor can I think of any scripture which more suitably applies to his past character and present state, than the passage before us. May a divine blessing accompany our meditations on it; that we may not only mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, but that our end, also, like his, may be peace?...
Our Lord had said, v. 35, Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and yé yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord when he will return from the wedding: that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching.- Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all ?
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. : As if Jesús had said, “ Though all have a general concern in the words which I have spoken, you, my disciples and ministers, have a special interest in them, and a particular obligation laid upon you by them. You are not only servants, in general: but servants also of a particular description: you are placed as stewards over my household; haying a peculiar and specific charge to execute. And blessed are you, if your Lord, when he cometh, shall find you executing it faithfully and wisely.”
In the words of the text, taken in connection with those which lead to it, we have our Lord's view of the CHARACTER and COMMENDATION of a faithful Minister. He is respresented in the text, both as a steward and a servant: as a SERVANT he is before described as vigilant and prepared ; as a STEWARD, he is faithful and wise. Let us attend to both descriptions in this account of