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leisure so much as to eat.' (Mark vi. 31.) And when. through the pleasure of bringing the Samaritans 2quainted with spiritual truth, he disregarded the neces sities of nature, his disciples, requesting him to partake of the food they had prepared, received from him this memorable answer : "I have meat to eat that ye know not of—my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work,' viz., the glorious work of ea. lightening and saving of sinners. (John iv. 31, 34.)
Thus St. Paul was diligently and daily occupied i fulfilling the duties of his apostolic vocation ; and thes every minister of the gospel is called to labour in his appointed sphere. It remains to be known, whether all. who do not labour, according to their ability, are not condemned by the following general rule: “If not work, neither should he eat.' (2 Thess. iii. 10.) For these words signify, applied to the present case, the they who will not labour as pastors, should by no means be permitted to eat the bread of pastors ; an evangelical precept this, which deserves the strictest attention, a the bread of pastors is, in some sort, sacred bread, sire it is that, which the piety of the public has set apart is the support of those, who have abandoned every world pursuit, that they might dedicate themselves freely and fully to the service of the church.
The Manner in which he divided his time betroeer
Prayer, Preaching, and Thanksgiving.
The minister of the present age is but seldom engage in publishing to his people the truths of the gospel: and still more rarely in supplicating for them the possession of those blessings, wbich the gospel proposes It is chiefly before men, that he lifts up his hands, and affects to pour out a prayer from the fulness of his heart: while the true minister divides his time between the two important and refreshing occupations of preaching and prayer ; by the former, making a public offer of divine grace to his hearers, and by the latter, soliciting for them in secret the experience of that grace. Such was the manner of the blessed Jesus himself, who, after having reproved his disciples for the low degree of their faith, retired either into gardens, or upon mountains, praying that their faith might not fail.' The good pastor, who constantly imitates the example of his Divine Master, is prepared to adopt the following language of St. Paul, in addressing the flock, upon which he is immediately appointed to attend : For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be filled with all the fulness of God.' (Eph. iii. 14, 19.) . And this I
your love may abound more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are, by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.' (Phil. i. 9, 11.) By prayers, like these, the Apostle Paul was accustomed to water, without ceasing, the heavenly seed, which he had so widely scattered through the vineyard of his Lord, manifesting an increasing attachment to those, among whom he had at any time published the tidings of salvation, and breathing out, in all his Epistles to distant churches, the most earnest desire, that God would · ful. fil’in them all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power; that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ might be glorified in them, and they in him.' (2 Thess. i. 11, 12.)
Pastors, who pray thus for their flocks, pray not in vain. Their fervent petitions are heard ; sinners are converted, the faithful are edified, and thanksgiving is
shortly joined to supplication. Thus the same apostle
- I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God, which is given you by Jesus Christ: That is every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge. So that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' (I Cor. i. 4, 7.) * Having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love unto all the saints, I cease not to give thanks for you.' (Eph. i. 15, 16.)
Worldly ministers have no experience of the holy jor, that accompanies these secret sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. But this can by no means be considered as matter of astonishment. Is their attachment to Christ as sincere as that of his faithful ministers ? Are they as solicitous for the salvation of their hearers? Do they teach and preach with equal zeal ? Do they pray with the same ardour and perseverance ?
The Fidelity with which he announced the severe
Threatenings, and consolatory Promises of the
The worldly minister has neither the courage, nor the tenderness of the true pastor. He is fearful of publish. ing those truths, which are calculated to alarm the care. less sinner; and he knows not, in what manner to apply the promises of the gospel, for the relief of those who
If ever he attempts to descant upon the consolatory truths of the gospel, he only labours to explain, what is nearly unintelligible to himself; and all his discourses on subjects of this nature are void of that earnest persuasion, and that unction of love, which cha. racterize the ininisters of Christ. On the other hand, his dread of giving offence will not suffer him to address sinners of every rank, with the holy boldness of the pro. phet Samuel : • If ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you. If ye still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed.' (1 Sam. xii. 15, 25.) The faithful pastor, on the contrary, conscious that the harshest truths of the gospel are as necessary, as they are offensive, courageously insists upon them, in the manner of St. Paul—Thinkest thou, O man, that doest such things, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God ?' Know this, that after thy hardness and impenitent heart thou treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God:' For "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, shall be upon every soul of man that doeth evil.' (Rom. ii. 3, 5, 9.) •If every transgression,' under the first covenant, received a just recompence of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great sal. vation, which at the first begun to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him ?' (Heb. ii. 2, 3.) This ye know, that no unclean person, nor covetous man, hath any inheritance in the king. dom of Christ and of God: Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.' (Eph.
:5, 6.) "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh ; for if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth,' viz., the Prophet Moses ; ‘much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven,' viz., the Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore let us serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.' (Heb. xii. 25, 29.)
But though the true minister courageously announces the most severe declarations of the word to the unbeliev. ing and the impenitent; yet he is never so truly happy, as when he invites the poor in spirit to draw forth the riches of grace from the treasury of God's everlasting love. , \ God hath not,' saith St. Paul, “appointed us to wrath ; but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.' worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sippers.'-(1 Tim. i. 15.) - Ye are not come unto the mount that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest. But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, and having an High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith.'—(Heb. xii. 18, 24; x. 19, 22.) If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth : Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.'—(Rom. v. 10; viii. 32, 34.)
When these exhilarating declarations are found insufficient to revive the heart of the contrite,' the evangeli. cal preacher fails not to multiply them, in the most sym. pathizing and affectionate manner. I say unto you,' continues he, "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: For the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.'—(Matt. xii. 31; 1 Jobni. 7.) • And by him all, who believe, are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.'-(Acts xiii. 39.) • There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus :' (Rom. viii. 1 :) - For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.'-(Rom. v. 20.)
Such are the cordials, which the faithful evangelist administers to those, who are weary and heavy laden : Precious cordials, which the worldly pastor can never effectually apply; which he either employs out of season, or renders useless by such additions of bis own, as are contrary to the Spirit of the gospel.