« PreviousContinue »
SEVERAL IMPORTANT SUBJECTS.
1 CORINTHIANS, iv. 2.
It is required in Stewards that a man be found
ERVICE implies fidelity; and the cir
cumfpection and diligence required are proportionate to the importance of the delegated commiffion. Of a steward to whose care and management is entrusted the property of his mafter, or who is deputed to attend to a particular business, extreme fidelity and minute attention are indifpenfable qualities; for, if the property be not carefully fecured, or the business be not well conducted, a confiderable
fhare of blame will confequently fall on him who was appointed to improve the one, or to fuperintend the other.
Between the character of a steward, as also fome others mentioned in Scripture, and the minifters of the Gofpel, there is a ftriking analogy. They are the overfeers of the Church, they are fhepherds of the flock of Christ, and it is their duty not only to preserve the flock "from the thief who cometh," with the diabolical defign" to steal, to kill, and to destroy;" not merely to preferve them from harm, but alfoto feed them in a good pasture, and to
bring them into a good fold; to seek that " which was loft; to bring again that which 66 was driven away; to bind up that which "was broken, and to ftrengthen that which was "fick."
It may be of fome ufe to ftate the nature and office of a Chriftian minifter; for we may then easily perceive whether the effects are produced which may be expected from a divine appointment; and if they are not, wel furely fhall be led, both the pastor and the flock, each to "judge ourselves that we be "not judged of the Lord.
I. The commiffion, which our Divine
Master gave to his disciples, when he sent them abroad to propagate Chriftianity, was expreffed in these terms: "Go ye into all the world, "and preach the Gospel to every creature.” And of us, the fucceffors of the first preachers, the fame duty, under certain restrictions, is required: we are " to dispense the word of life; "and, as ambaffadors of the author of Chrifti
anity, to befeech men, in his place and
ftead, to be reconciled to God:" we are to deliver to the people committed to our charge the principles of the Faith" as they were "once delivered to the faints;" and as they now ftand recorded in holy Scripture. the fervants of Chrift, we are "to rebuke "vice; and if we know a man to be over"taken in a fault, we are to endevor to restore
him in the fpirit of meeknefs"—either by our private, or public ministration-" that we may "not fuffer fin upon our brother. Our heart's "defire and prayer to God," for our people in particular, and the whole world in general, " is "to be, that they may be faved. We are not " to have men's perfons in admiration, but we "are to teach and preach, and that without ceafing, the Gospel of Jefus Chrift," apply