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ing it to the several cafes and circumstances of our hearers as they feverally require. As ftewards of the mysteries of God, we are to be so faithful as to inftruct the people, of whofe falvation we have fworn to be careful, in all things that may conduce to the welfare of their fouls; that they, being acquainted with every `part of their Christian duty, may at length "be perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto all
good works." We are to utter no preconceived, no favorite doctrine of our own; "" but "that which the Lord hath written, that, " and that only are we to speak.'
But to preach with effect; to prevail with the drunkard to be fober, which is the great end of preaching; with the fwearer to blefs "and curfe not;" with the fabbath-breaker to worship the Lord in the great congregation'; “with them that stole, to steal no more," to do this effectually, implies that we are perfonally acquainted with our hearers. For unless we know their feveral difpofitions and characters, it is impoffible we fhould adapt with judgment, and apply with power, our difcourfes to their circumftances; and then, however excellent they may be, if they are not calculated
for the wants of the hearers, they are like the best feed fown at an improper season, or in an unprepared foil. As the physician observes the feveral stages of the diforder of his patient, and varies his medicines, according to its progrefs or decline; fo will the faithful fervant of God administer "milk to babes, and strong "meat to those of riper years," confulting, with watchful care, how he can, with probable fuccefs, and without offenfive perfonality, apply to each of his hearers, the words of Nathan to David," thou art the man."
Entrufted with the care of the Church "of "God, over which the Holy Ghost hath made
us overfeers, we are to give the most earnest "heed, that we be found faithful in all his "houfe, and approve ourselves unto our maf ❝ter which is in heaven," by making it the great and principal end, the continual aim and purpose of our lives, to promote the glory of God, and the falvation of men.
Befides the many, and strict obligations, by which we are engaged to live, and act, as becomes the difciples of Jefus Chrift, by a punc→ tual obfervance of all thofe evangelical rules which are bound upon us, in common with B 3
other Chriftians; there are likewife feveral very momentous duties we are obliged to practife in the daily exercife of our facred function, if we ever hope, or expect, to "make full proof "of our miniftry;" which can be done no otherwife, than by a full and confcientious difcharge of every part of our minifterial vocation. Our employment is compared to that of hufbandmen, and of laborers in the time of harveft, when "the hills and vallies, standing "thick with corn," invite the reapers to "put "in their fickles, because the harvest is ripe." Hence we are to understand, that our indifpenfable duty is, to prepare the foil, to fow the feed, to destroy the tares; "to be instant in
feafon, and out of feafon," to labor with indefatigable diligence, in order to render our flock, a people prepared for the Lord."
Sometimes, in the language of Holy Scripture, we are emphatically tiled watchmen, which plainly indicates, that we are bound to be continually on our guard, and to warn the people entrusted to us, upon the approach of danger, that they may be prepared to receive. their spiritual enemies, and that having “put "on the whole armor of God, they may
"able to ftand in the evil day, and to quench "all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Nay, the Holy Ghoft hath thought fit to admonish us of the unwearied labor and affiduous watchfulness of our calling, by giving us the title of fhepherds; a title derived from our great Lord and Master, who is, in the most eminent degree, "the great Shepherd and
Bishop of our fouls.” Now, by this appellation, we cannot but be convinced, that we are to take special heed to the flock committed to our charge, by carefully feeking for all fuch as are loft, "those who are committing ini
quity with greedinefs;" and bringing back to the fold thofe that are gone aftray, those who have departed from the fimplicity of the faith of the Gospel; "if haply, by feeking the "Lord, they may feel after him and find him." We lament, with heart-felt concern, that, in the discharge of our duty, fo many ftumbling blocks fhould be thrown in the way, to hinder the effect of the Gospel, by the scoffs of the fcorner, the impiety of the profane, the indifference of the lukewarm, and the clamors of the enthufiaft. Some people are as folicitous to advance the empire of Satan, as B 4 though
though he could give them all the kingdoms "of the world, and the glory thereof," for their pains; and, left God fhould derive too much honor from the worship of his creatures, they feem eager to make the well-difpofed, and the wavering, "as much the children of "hell as themselves." And they have too much reason, God knows, to exult in their fuccess. If then, in attempting to counteract this malice of infidelity, to stem this torrent of licentiousness, we seem to "ftretch out our"felves beyond our measure;" if we "re
prove, rebuke, exhort" with all the earnestnefs the importance of the cafe demands; if we set before your eyes the danger to which you are expofed, and conjure you, as ye dread the eternal displeasure of God, to deprecate it; fhould we utter truths harsh to faftidious ears, and offenfive to licentious prejudices," forgive "us this wrong:" we have folemnly fworn that, "whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear," we, for our part, will not fail to "declare unto them the whole counfel of "God. To bring many fons unto glory" is the object of our appointment; and if, by not attending to the work of the ministry, we give