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ciples, thé simplicity of its doctrines, and the primitive purity of its worship and discipline, before all the churches in the world : and what his judgment was of our church, he visibly expressed by his constant attendance upon the public offices of our religion upon the Lord's day ; from which he never absented, but when he was either detained by sickness or some very urgent unavoidable occasion, and in which he always demeaned himself with all the profound reverence and devotion that outwardly expresses a mind inspired with a pious sense of its duty, and of the awful presence of the great Majesty of heaven.
Thus he lived: and as for his death, though it was accompanied with all the circumstances that could render a man fond of life, and make him loath to depart; though he had a plentiful estate, a loving and beloved wife, dutiful and hopeful children, and these all of them disposed of, and happily settled in the world to his own heart's content; to leave all which at once seems a very hard chapter to a mind not well resolved; yet all these together had no such effect upon him. Indeed, not long before his death, though then in perfect health, he seemed to have a boding of his approaching fate: for having to his heart's desire disposed of his only son in marriage, (who was the last of his children undisposed,) he hath been often heard to say, " that now, he thanked “ God, his business in this world was finished, and “ that it was high time for him to think of his de
parture into another.” And when, soon after, he was seized with his last sickness, he bore it with an invincible courage and constancy: and though the last part of it was extremely painful to him, he underwent it without complaint or murmuring ; with a mind that seemed entirely resigned to the sovereign Disposer of all events. And when he perceived the approaches of death, and found that he was going off the stage of mortals, he never shewed the least sign of regret or reluctancy, but took a solemn leave of his friends; and, which was much harder, of his dearest relatives, who stood lamenting and weeping about him; and this with a mind very serious indeed, but in all appearance very calm and composed. And finally, he gave up the ghost like a brave man and a good Christian ; with a firm and undaunted mind, and as one that had placed his main hope on the other side of the grave, and did expect to exchange an uneasy mortal life for an immortal one of pleasure. And therefore, though I make no doubt, after all, but that, as a man, he had his faults, (and he that hath none let him cast the first stone,) yet I am sure he had his virtues, and those very eminent ones too: and therefore it will highly become us who survive in charity to cast a veil over the one, and in piety imitate and transcribe the other : that so with him, and all our other Christian brethren departed this life in God's true faith and fear, we may have our final consummation in bliss and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. To whom, with the Father and eternal Spirit, three Persons and one God, be ascribed all honour, and glory, and power, and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.
AT FULHAM, ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1689. AT THE CONSECRATION OF THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHERS IN GOD, EDWARD LORD BISHOP OF WORCESTER, SIMON LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER, AND GILBERT LORD BISHOP OF BRISTOL.
JEREMIAH ii. 15. And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, who
shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. IT is at least highly probable, that of those ancient prophecies which concern the extent, and purity, and glory of our Saviour's kingdom, there are several which as yet have never been accomplished; but that before the consummation of all things, there is yet a time to come, wherein our Saviour will once more miraculously display the victorious banner of the cross, and go forth conquering and to conquer, till he hath consummated his victories in a glorious triumph over all the powers of the earth; wherein he will come with his fan in his hand, and throughly purge
the floor of his church from all that chaff of superstition and idolatry, schism and heresy, irreligion and immorality, with which it is yet, and hath for many ages, been spread, and almost covered; in the room of which, the truly ancient faith, the sincere piety, the unaffected virtue, the open, generous, and unbounded charity, which Christianity teaches and prescribes, will be the universal livery and cognizance of the Christian world. And, as an introduction to this glorious state of things, it is foretold, that God will raise up in his church a great many pastors and teachers, eminent for learning and wisdom, piety and virtue, who by the efficacy of their doctrine, the sanctity of their lives, the prudence of their conduct, and the unwearied activity of their zeal for God and the good of souls, will greatly contribute to this glorious work of the conversion of the heathen and the reformation of the Christian world : for this God promises in the text; And I will give you pastors after my own heart, &c. And that this promise refers to this future glorious state of the church is evident: for it is made to the Jews upon their restoration from their last and great dispersion; as you may see from ver. 12. to the text: which restoration of theirs the scripture represents as the opening and introduction of this glorious face of things.
Before we proceed to the main argument of the text, it will be necessary to inquire who are here meant by pastors ? Pastors properly signify feeders of flocks and herds of beasts; and more particularly, shepherds, or feeders of flocks of sheep; and these the scripture usually expresses by the Hebrew rogim, which generally signifies pastors of beasts: but metaphorically, it signifies rulers and teachers of men; who in scripture are most commonly expressed by the Hebrew parnasin, which is the word in the text. For thus in scripture, not only God himself, the ruler and teacher of the world; not only Jesus Christ, the great King and Prophet under God the Father ; but kings also, who are God's vicegerents, are frequently styled pastors and shepherds : in which last sense sundry expositors will have the words understood in the text; I will give them kings and princes according to my own heart. But besides kings, this title in the scripture is frequently given to spiritual rulers and teachers : thus Isaiah lvi. 10. 11. the blind and ignorant watchmen, by which all expositors understand the ecclesiastic governors and teachers, are called dumb dogs, and shepherds that cannot understand. So also, Jer. 1. 6. My people have been lost sheep, their shepherds have caused them to go astray, i. e. their prophets and teachers have misguided them: and so in sundry other places. And in the New Testament the very office of bishops and teachers is frequently described by feeding the flock of Christ; and the apostle, enumerating the several orders of ministers which Christ had instituted in his church, mentions among them pastors and teachers ; Eph. iv. 11. which title of pastors seems to have been derived from the Jewish synagogue, in which there were three parnasin, or pastors, whose office it was to rule and teach, to administer justice to the people, and to instruct them in the law; and accordingly, by pastors, all Christian antiquity understands bishops and spiritual guides and teachers; whom all ecclesiastical writings frequently dignified with this style of pastors : and in this latter sense, viz. of ecclesiastical rulers and teachers, I conceive the word pastors is more peculiarly meant in the text; where it is said, that these pastors should feed them with knowledge and understanding ; that is, according to the most natural signification of the words, shall instruct you in the true knowledge of God and of religion, according to