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to the promise of their Saviour, they the arduous duties and responsibility received an hundred fold more in this of the ministerial office. For this life, even with persecution; and in the purpose I transcribe the following world to come life everlasting. In sketch of a sermon delivered by him their own language, they were always before a society of clerical friends in rejoicing, and they exhort their Thes- the church of Aston Sandford, on salonian brethren to rejoice evermore. Thursday evening, June 25, 1818, The martyrs who immediately suc as taken down in short-hand by a ceeded the Apostles, and those who friend who was present on the occasuffered at the time of the reforma- sion. tion, bore testimony to the unspeaka “The circumstance of its not having ble joy of faith, and wonderfully been a written composition, and of mingled the breath of praise, with the this being only a short-hand sketch, fames that were devouring them. will account for occasional abrupt. Even at the present time and among bess, and want of literary polish; but ourselves, christians, while under the such defects will be readily forgiven severest sufferings, have found in the by all who know how to value the consolations of the Spirit, that promise scriptural accuracy of its doctrines; fulfilled, “ As thy days, so shall thy the earnest boldness of its appeals; strength be.” But it is not in adver- the appropriateness and fecundity of sity only, that religion shows its pow. its biblical citations and references; er. It also sweetens the blessings of and the rich vein of piety, humility, prosperity, and adds a purer relish to and true Christian eloquence which all the innocent enjoyments of life. runs throughout it. I am very sure But above all she stands by when ev- that I risk nothing of the reputation ery other support fails us, goes with so justly acquired by Mr. Scott's exus through the dark valley of the cellent writings, in exhibiting this speshadow of death, and enables her vo cimen of one of his discourses in his taries triumphantly to say; O death, seventy-first year, spoken without any where is thy sting, O grave where is view to publication, and indeed withthy victory?
out any knowledge ibat the words ut
tered at the moment were to be fixed To the Editor of the Christian Spectator. in the substantial form of a written
F. The following sermon by the late Rev. THOMAS Scott, appeared in
2 Cor. ii. 16. Who is sufficient for the Christian Observer for May,which
these things ? has not, I believe, been yet published My brethren, I feel my text, and I in this country. It would doubtless fear I may have done wrong in atgratify all your readers to have it tempting to address you to-night; but printed in your magazine. The per- I pray God to help me, and I beg of son who communicated it for inser you to pray for me. tion in the former work, stated in his The Apostle speaks, in the verses letter to the Editor, that the opinions, connected with my text, of “a trisf Mr. Scott“ on most theological umph in Christ,” and a savour of subjects are well known to the pub- the knowledge of Christ being made lic through the medium of his various manifest in every place.” “For we writings, and especially his valua are a sweet savour unto Christ (he ble commentary. I have, however, adds) in them that are saved, and in thought that it would not be uninter- them that perish; to the one we are esting to your readers, and especially the savour of life unto life, and to the to the younger members of the sa- other the savour of death unto death." cred profession, to learn the views He then exclaims, in the words imwhich occupied his miod at an ad- mediately before us, “Who is suffivanced period of his life, relative to cient for these things ?" and proceeds
Vol. 3.-No. VIII. 51
“For we are not as many, isters of Christ, and stewards of the which corrupt the word of God, but mysteries of God.-A minister is a as of sincerity, but as of God, speak steward of the unsearchable riches of we in Christ.” Even in the Apos- Christ; a steward, not of some great tles' days, we see that there were ma personage on earth, as we read of the ny false teachers who acted like dis- steward of Joseph's house, and of honest vintners, who debase their Eliezer the steward of Abraban's
, wine with some unwholesome mix- but the steward of Christ himself; a ture. They dilute it, and deprive it steward, not as to some subordinate of its real strength, and then to keep duties in the house, but as to the bighup its appearance and spirit, add est parts of the office of the mystesome poisonous ingredients. The li- ries of God of the peculiar and disquor still looks like wine, and tastes tinguishing doctrines of Christ Jesus. somewhat like it, and the fraud is not We are Watchmen. “ Son of man, easy to be detected; but instead of I have set thee as a watchman, to the being a medicine, it is in fact a de- house of Israel; give them waroing structive poison. Thus false teach- from me.” Who then is sufficient ers act with the Gospel. They for these things ? Men wish us to preach many truths, but they covertly speak smooth things to them, and either leave out some essential part of they complain of our roughness and Christianity, or put in some material zeal; but no one thinks gentleness error of their own. Men not estab- and soothing behaviour the characterlished in the faith do not understand istic excellence of a watchman, who the difference; they know some of is to sound the alarm, to be always the doctrine is good, they take the on his guard, to awaken those who whole of it to be consistent with the are asleep in the midst of danger; Gospel, and they follow it without and who, if he do not do all this, is suspicion to their own ruin.
accountable for all the consequences. “Who, then, is sufficient for these “ If thou give uot warning, the wickthings ?” This is our subject; buted man shall die in his iniquity, but I shall also take some notice of the his blood will I require at the watchbeginning of the following chapter, man's hand.” “ We are not sufficient of ourselves, We are Ambassadors, not from to think any thing as of ourselves, some earthly prince, but from the but our sufficiency is of God." Let great God of heaven. Some object us then consider,
to this word being used of ministers I. “ These things."
in the present day, and would confine II. Who we are that are employed it to the Apostles. Well, let them bout them.
call us envoys, messengers, servants, III. The effect these reflections or any lower name; it is the same should have, not to dismay us, but to thing ; tbe honour arises not from the humble us, and to teach us that “ person who is sent, or the name he sufficiency is of God."
bears, but from the majesty of the IV. I shall conclude with some King of kings who sends him. practical addresses to different classes We are Fellow-workers with God, of hearers.
bis humble instruments and co-operaI. Let us consider these things;" tors in the great work of salvation, that is the preaching of the uncor- whilst the wicked are fellow-workers rupted word of God—the discharge with the devil in promoting the deof the duties of that ministry which struction of souls. is a savour of life unto life, or of death We are also Workmen generally; upto death.
and it is our duty to be approved of To this end consider, (1sı,) What God as such, as workmen that need the Holy Scriptures speak of minis- not to be ashamed, rightly dividing ters; (2d,) What they say to them, the word of truth.
(1st,) We are to be accounted min We are to be wise master-builders:
who lay the true foundation of all quote iwo or three passages more doctrine, Jesus Christ and him cruci- from the Epistles of St. Paul to Timfied; and who build on it gold, silver, othy and Titus.—"Let no man des. precious stones.
pise thy youth ; but be thou an exain. But, (2d,) What does the Scrip- ple to the believers in word, in conture say to these ministers? Thrice versation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, did our Lord say to Peter, Simon, son in purity. Till I come, give attendof Jonas, lovest thou me ? and thrice ance to reading, to exhortation, to enjoined on him, as the greatest proof doctrine. Neglect not the gift that of that love, “Feed my sheep, feed is in thee...... Meditate upon these my lambs.”' The love of Christ is things, give thyself wholly to them, to be our supreme motive in our min- that thy profiting may appear unto istry, so that we may take delight in all. Take heed unto thyself, and unfeeding his flock.
to the doctrines; continue in them, The same Apostle who received for in doing this thou shalt both save this command, speaks thus, chap. v. thyself and them that hear thee.” 1 of his First Epistle, “ The Elders Tim. iv. 12–16. which are among you, I exhort, who Again, 1 Tim. vi. 11. “ But tbou, am also an elder, and a witness of the Oman of God, flee these things, and sufferings of Christ, and also a par- follow after righteousness, godliness, taker of the glory which shall be re- faith, love patience, meekness." vealed: feed the flock of God which . Lastly, Titus, ii. 7. “ In all things is among you, taking the oversight shewing thyself a pattern of good thereof, not by constraint, but willing. works; in doctrine shewing uncorly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready ruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound mind: neither as being lords over speech that cannot be condemned, God's heritage, but being ensamples that he that is of the contrary part to the flock. And when the Chief may be ashamed, having no evil thing Shepherd shall appear, ye shall re to say of yon.” ceive a crown of glory which fadeth My brethren, I would magnify mine not away." This address I have en- office, though I would abase myself. deavoured to make my rule through. The work of the ministry appears to out my ministry. Especially consid- me so great, that nothing else comer the words not for filthy lucre, paratively seems worth doing. Christ but of a ready mind.”—Lucre is al- would not lead ap army, nor divide an ways joined in the New Testament inheritance, nor be made a king, nor with the epithet filthy, and is always sit in the great council of the nation; used of ministers, pointing out one but he would preach the Gospel to principal snare to which they would the poor. be exposed.
This Gospel tends immediately to Again, St. Paul said to the elders promote all that is good and praiseof Ephesus, " Take heed unto your- worthy among men. It not only selves and to all the flock, over the teaches men to save their souls, but it which the Holy Ghost hath made you makes them good subjects, obedient overseers,—that is bishops,—for it is servants, faithful friends, upright agreed, I believe, that the word was tradesmen, just and equal masters. It used at first both of bishops and el- does more to bind men to each other ders—" to feed the flock purchased by the strongest bonds of moral obli. with his own blood-for grievous gation, and thus to preserve good or. wolves would enter in, not sparing der in civil society, than parliaments, the flock; and of their own selves and laws, and magistrates, and pris. would men arise speaking perverse ons. A gentleman of large landed things, to draw away disciples after property lately declared, that on one
of his estates the people were quiet, But I must forbear. I will only and suber, and industrions, and were
never disposed to injure his property; born in sin, children and vessels of whilst on another they were turbulent wrath in ourselves; vessels of mercy and profligate, and idle and injurious. by the alone grace of God. And he publicly confessed that the were enemies and alienated in our difference arose from the one people minds by wicked works; but God baving the instruction of faithiul, pi- bath reconciled us to himself by Jesus ous ministers, and the other not. If Christ, and hath given to us the min. pure Christianity were universally istry of reconciliation, and sent us to known and obeyed, the whole face of say to our fellow-sinners, “ Be ye also human society would be changed. reconciled 10 God.” We are men of
But, “who is sufficient for these like passions with you; not men of things?” for preaching a doctrine so like passions in the sense of being pure, for living a lite so holy, for an men under the influence of sinful afswering the demands which the pas. fections, like the worst of mankind, sages I have quoteil clearly make on but men of the same fallen nature them? Especially when we consid- with you; the same evil propensier further, that all this is to be done ties, the same appetites, the same inby them in a wicked and corrupt dwelling sin, the saine dislike of world. When men in general are en- shane, hardship, reproach, and pain gaged in a great and arduous work, as others; men just like others, exthey commonly are supported by the cept as the grace of God has made honour and praise of men. Fame is them to differ, and as they possess their stimulus and reward. But we qualifications for their peculiar work. bave often to preach the Gospel un But many of us have not been like der hardship, ill-usage, and misrepre. Samuel, John the Baptist, and Timesentation. We have to go through thy, who served God from their earevil report and through good report. liest infancy, and entered on their We have to bear the calumny and un- ministry with all the advantages of kindness of men, for declaring the long habits of piety, and with a prevery truths which our Articles re- vious stock of knowledge, and who quire us to preach, and which we had happily been preserved from sinhave solemnly promised to preach. ful habits and connexions. Many of And in return, we are to arm our us have entered the ministry with corselves with meekness, patience, pru- rupt and worldly motives, and have dence, and fortitude. To persevere afterwards been awakened to a sense in faithfully preaching the Gospel, of our duties. Or, if we have begun requires more courage and boldvess our ministry in some measure aright, than to be a hero, and as much meek- yet we have to look back with shame ness and willingness to endure suffere on our youth wasted in folly and sin; ing as a martyr.
and thus, though we have to adore But I must not dwell longer on that grace of God which first conthese points, I come,
verted and pardoned us, and then conII. To consider who we are who descended io send us out for the conare employed about “these things.” version and salvation of others; yet Whom does God commission to we have to lament opportunity and preach the Gospel ?
time lost beyond recovery, and misNot angels ;-though we might chief done to ourselves and others. have thought that this office would The reason why we have this treasbest have become them, but men. ure of the Gospel in earthen vessels Angels could not have spoken in the is, that the excellency of the power same manner as sinners who had may be of God, and not of man; and tasted the bitterness of sin, and the this excellency often appears most sweetness of mercy. We, my breth- clearly when the frailty and weakness ren, whom God condescends to use, of the instrument are most apparent, are of the same nature as yourselves, perhaps even when the vessel itself is
broken to pieces. “Not many wise, Moses, and all the courage and zeal not many mighty, not many noble of St. Paul; if we possessed besides are called.” There are a few minis. all the talents and learning and powters in every age who are men of con ers of persuasion-and, what is more, siderable talents and learning, and all the holiness and love to the Savsome have natural powers of persua- iour of all the saints in every age; we sion and eloquence; but in general might even yet well exclaim, “Who ministers are men of an ordinary is sufficient for these things ?" stamp, and not remarkable for genius, I come now to shew, learning, or accomplishments. I III. The effect which these condoubt much whether St. Paul had the siderations should have, not to disextraordinary genius which it is the may us, but to humble us, and to fashion to ascribe to him. He was teach us that our sufficiency is of undoubtedly a man of sound under. God. standing, a conclusive reasoner; and What we have been stating should capable of delivering bis message in not lead to despondency or distress, a commanding and most impressive but should quicken us from our sloth manper. The force of bis language and self-dependence, and shew us is also at times surprising. But he where our sufficiency must be, and does not appear to me to have been excite us to diligence and prayer. a mao of brilliant genius and first You cannot derive your sufficiency rate talents. He tells us himself that from universities and schools of learnhe was rude in speech. This plain- ing; nor, on the other hand, from an ness of speech arose, no doubt, in untaught genius which despises them. part from his determining to know It is not the learning, nor the want of nothing but Jesus Christ and him cru- learning, which is dangerous in itself. cified; but I confess I see nothing in It is the pride of learning, and the his natural endowments beyond what pride of talent which form the diswas solid and manly. I find some- qualification-not the learning, but thing like the energy of Demosthe- the pride of it; and accordingly those nes in his writings, but little of the who have superior abilities and atsplendid genius of some other wri- tainments have generally need of ters.
greater trials, sufferings, thorns in the Io this indeed I may be wrong; but fesh, messengers of Satan to buffet it is quite certain that the ministers of them, lest they should be exalted God in general are not men of very above measure. They are thus kept great learning or attainments, as to under by severe discipline. worldly matters. God never indeed Ministers are officers and soldiers sent a man on a message who was of Christ : they lead on the army, naturally incompetent to the delivery and therefore are peculiarly the ob. of it, and all means of study and im- ject of Satan's evmity and opposiprovement are to be diligently used: tion. And God permits this state of but our trust is not in the flesh; we temptation and difficulty, in order to claim no human ability or skill, but humble us and prove us, and also to are content to be poor and lowly. teach us to speak a word in season to
If there are two ministers, the him that is weary. one brilliant and admired,—the other “ Our sufficiency is of God." We of inferior parts, but fervent devo- must become as little children; we tion; the more pious man will on the must“ be fools, that we may be wise;"! whole be decidedly the most useful we must sit down and learn at the and for this plain reason, that the ex feet of Christ, if we would teach othcellency of the power is of God, and A minister must be a learner not of men.
himself as well as a teacher. He Still, if we united all the wisdom who is always spending and never of Solomon, with all the meekness of collecting, will soon be a bankrupt.