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able for you." As Christ himself, and all his faith, ful ministers in every age, have been opposed, and hated, and frequently persecuted, it is your duty to stand by your minister in every trial. You are to afford him all the countenance, assistance, and encoue ragement, in your power; and carefully to ayoid every thing that would weaken his hands, or be a hinder. ance or discouragement in the discharge of his duty, But with particular earnestness I wish to exhort you to pray for your minister. You are not aware with what difficulties he has to contend. These arise part, ly from himself; his unskilfulness, or unfaithfulness i his carelessness, or cowardice. They originate pastly with the people among whom he labours ; their inattention, if not their opposition, to the most im. portant and well-intended exhortations; the unevenness of their tempers, and the irregularity of their con. duct. They are partly occasioned too, by that enemy of all that is good, that wicked one, who frequents all our assemblies, to prevent our improvement. When the sower goes forth to sow, this enemy comes, and catches away that which was sown in the heart; or he scatters tares among it so thickly, that they choke the word, and render it unfruitful; and the ninister, after all his pains, has the unhappiness of finding that he has laboured in vain. Therefore, “ Brethren, pray for me, that utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel ;” that the pleasure of the Lord may prosper in my hands; and that he that soweth, and they that reap, may rejoice together.
With regard to your fellow members, cherish bro. therly love. Look upon them as children of the same
family, as redeemed with the same price, and as heirs of the same eternal inheritance. · Bear with one auother's infirmities. Do not harshly censure, nor hastily expose, the weakness of each other: but us
put on bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; forbearing one another ; and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any : even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye; and, above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”.. Watch over one another with a godly jealousy; and,“ if any be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Be faithful and tender in
reproving others ; be humble and thankful when you are reproved. Be always ready to sympathize with the afflicted; and, as far as you are able, to give them assistance. Take every opportunity for spiritual conversation, and social prayer; and “ follow the things which make for peace, and things whereby one may edify another."
“ Building up yourselves in your most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God; looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Do all you can to preserve the purity of the divine ordinances; and to maintain the honour and privileges of the church, to which you have united yourselves. “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, mark them who'cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them: for they that are such, serve not. our Lord Jesus, but their own belly; and by good words, and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the
simple.” Be cautious that you do not put yourselves in the way of seducers, lest God should leave you to a spirit of delusion.
“ Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” “ Hold fast the profession of your faith without waving; that ye be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ; but that, speaking the truth in love, ye may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
But I especially exhort you, as a duty which you owe to Christ, to the church, and to yourselves, that you your
conduct be as becometh the gospel.” By the grace of God, and your profession this day, you are as lights set upon a hill; and as the
eyes of the world are upon you, the smallest defect will be observed, and exposed. There are men who will endeavour to betray you into sin, and then publish and exaggerate every failing. Come out, therefore, from among them, and be separate: having nothing to do with sin, and as little as possible with sinners. Some of the deepest wounds which religion has ever received, have been given in the houses of its friends : for the crimes of professors, as they imply singular guilt, so they are always particularly injurious to others. “ Whatsoever things (thereiore) are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The difficulty of
these duties will be no excuse for your neglect; for he that sent you into his vineyard, will assist you in his work; and if you be true to him, he will be ever attentive to you. “My grace is sufficient for thee;" is abundant encouragement to the weakest of his labourers.
Let the same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. If you imitate his pattern of holy and active obedience, and depend upon his grace for assistance and acceptance, you will labour with pleasure, and obtain a reward. Remember that it was the eleventh hour before you entered the vineyard. Be diligent, therefore, during the little time longer that your day may continue; and rejoice that very soon you will rest from your Jabours. Then what. soever is right, that will ye receive; and ye, who have been faithful over a few things, shall be made rulers over many things ; and enter into the joy of
A Meditation on
PSALM CIV. 34.
My meditation of him shall be sweet.
I Hope it will, for a sweeter subject of meditation there never can be. My heart is stupid, indeed, that I should so often need to be reminded of a friend to whom I owe my life, my comfort, and my hopes of salvation. If I were in thy thoughts no oftener than thou art in mine, in what a dangerous situation, blessed Jesus, should I be! If thou shouldst think on me with as much coldness and indifference, as I too often meditate on thee, what would become of me! and yet what else is worthy of my notice? O! how I blush to recollect what trifling, what worse than trifling things have occupied my thoughts, while thou hast been neglected! I am certain, that if I would meditate upon the noblest and most sublime subject in the world, I must meditate on Christ. Let philosophers soar in their contemplations, and walk among the stars; what are stars to Christ, the Sun of righteousness, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person? God manifest in the flesh, is a theme which angels rejoice to contemplate.
A more copious subject I never could have chosen. Some things that seem agreeable, are shallow and