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Christ, contemptible. They do not consider the presumption it would be to take upon themselves to administer facraments; that is, to seal covenants betwixt God and men, without any commission from God; to take
upon themselves to be the ministers of reconciliation, to reconcile men unto God, and God to man; to blefs in his name, and to pretend to obtain graces and blessings from God to his people.
To proceed: If then you really value the prayers, the blessing of God's ministers, you will respect their persons and their office. And when you remember that they are God's ministers, you will conclude, that the master is always dishonoured, when his servants are slighted. And, most certainly, he that despises a minister of Christ, would have done so by Christ himself, when he was on earth: He was despised and rejected of men. By such men as those who despise his ministers.
Has the Christian religion any thing in it that is ridiculous? Is the Christian ministry a ridiculous institution? No, sure. Why then do so many take pleasure in hearing them ridiculed? Why, the secret is this: Their lives being corrupt, they cannot but wish in their hearts, that there was no truth in religion; and that the ministers of Christ, who stand bound by their office to put them in mind of that terrible judgment, which, without a true repentance, will one day be pronounced upon them: they use their utmost endeavours, that these ministers of Christ may be despised, difcredited, and set at nought, and that they may sin without rebuke.
Lastly. If the priest, the minister of God, blesseth with a real effeet all those that repair to the church to receive God's blessing, how unhappy are they, who are shut out of the church for their crimes, and consequently are deprived of the blessing of God! And how unhappy are all they who deprive themselves of this blessing, by absenting themselves from the public assemblies of Christians! Little do Christians consider what they lose by doing so.
And now, my brethren, I cannot end this discourse better than by pronouncing that blessing, in the name of Christ, which I made choice of for a text: The Lord bless you,
and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up the light of bis countenance upon you, and give you peace, now and for evermore. Amen.
PREACHED AT AN ORDINATION.
THE RECIPROCAL OBLIGATIONS OF CHRISTIAN
MINISTERS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
MAY that Holy Spirit, who hath given us this gracious warning,
give us all grace to improve it;--that, having the account we must give much in our hearts, we may be prepared to give it with joy. Grant this, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
HEB. xiii. 17.
THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS, AS THEY THAT MUST
GIVE AN ACCOUNT.*
ERE are two forts of hearers greatly
concerned in these words; Christian jaftors, and the people of their flock. The first tave
very great reason to be concerned for the acount they must one day give of the souls of thse that are committed to their care, And the second should consider, how much they ow to the good providence of God, for ap
• Si Deut. xxxiii. 11. Ecclus. vii. 29. Luke v. 5. vi. 39. X. 20. Jan X. 11. xvü. 16. Acts xx. 20. I Cor i, 1. 2 Cor. vi. 3 1 Thefly 13. I Tim. iv. 14, 16. Titus ii. 7.
pointing pointing his own ministers, under the inost strict obligations, to watch for their souls; and what account they also must give, if they have not profited by their pastor's care. And
may that Holy Spirit, who has given us this warning, enable me to speak upon these two particulars, so as to edify both myself and you that hear me; for we are all of us, you fee, concerned in an account we must give to God, that we may have this account very much in our minds.
We shall begin with the account we ourfelves are to give of the souls committed to our care. And what bishop, what priest, what minister of God, can seriously think of this without trembling?
Many are the duties of our sacred calling; many are the temptations we meet with to neglect them. The mischiefs that follow such neglect are many and great; and the punishment, without repentance and amendment, to be dreaded above all things.
These are, indeed, very great discouragements for any man to undertake so great : charge; but then the reward of a faithful discharge of these duties will be so vey great, (as the Holy Spirit assures us) and tie helps fò certain, and the advantages fo may, and the occasions of glorifying God, an of doing good to the souls of men, will be uch, as one, who loves God, would be tankful to be made an instrument in so gbrious