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with a conviction of the same comfortable truths, that I have never yet quite failed in faith, even under circumstances of the greatest danger; but at all times been enabled, either to triumph when tempted, or to hope, believe, and rise again when fallen. Yet whilst I thus confess the extent of that gratitude which I owe to the great Creator of all things for the blessings and benefits that are past, far be it from me, and from every one who professes to submit his understanding to the doctrines of the Gospel, to forget the frailty of our common nature. We cannot look into ourselves, without trembling at the consciousness of infirmity. We cannot contemplate the shifting scenes of the world, without an awful perception of the snares which are there so thickly sown to draw the souls of men into perdition; and we cannot search the Scriptures, without remembering and musing upon the baseless confidence of Peter. Feeling therefore what I am, and fearing what I may be, I would turn my thoughts and my words up to the throne of grace, and, in the meek humility of an earnest prayer, beseech the Almighty Guardian of Spirits to preserve us all in the untainted profession of those principles in which we have been trained, to guide us by the light of the Gospel in the dangers and difficulties of life, and finally to grant that, after having reached, as others, the respective terms of our appointed pilgrimage, we

may be enabled to taste the unspeakable mercy of Christian consolations when we come to die.

: I am a believer in God and in Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. I am more-I am a Minister of that Lord whom I adore, and a steward of those mysteries in which alone there is a hope for the salvation of a sinner's soul; and under this character I have become the subject of additional labours and increasing difficulties.

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The common obligations of morality bind it as an indispensable duty upon the conscience ofevery man, to endeavour to glorify God and benefit his fellow-creatures by spreading, as far as it is in his power, the knowledge and the practice of true religion and holiness. To him, therefore, whọ regards the Gospel as the word of truth and the way of life, there must ever appear a necessity, whether he be in or out of the church, for so ordering the steps of his progress through the world, as to inspire the confidence of his own faith into the breasts of those who are his companions on the road. But to those who to these ordinary ties of nature and of feeling have added the peculiar obligations which result from solemn and deliberate choice; to those who, under the influence of a godly disposition, poured into their souls by the Spirit of the Almighty, have freely undertaken the

office of becoming ministers as well as subjects of the kingdom of their Lord, and teachers as well as disciples ofhis righteousness;—the double chain which binds them to the service of subduing the rebellious, and maintaining the allegiance of the wavering Christian, is much too firmly riveted to be broken with any hope of impunity.-The priests of the temple have sought out the dangerous preeminence for themselves, and they must neither yield to the temptations, nor shrink from the difficulties, which its honour brings.—To preach the Gospel is a burthen which they have bound upon their own shoulders, to bear it for life is a task which they have assumed, and woe be unto them if they preach not the Gospel, both daily and duly; and in all their ways, and words, and works.

In describing this awful responsibility of the sacred office, I am but delineating a picture of the duties and the dangers which attach to my own situation. . I too have entered into the temple of the Lord as a minister as well as a disciple, and receiving into my hands the awful, yet affectionate, charge of feeding the flock of Christ as a good shepherd, have consecrated my life to the service of my Redeemer at the altar, and given up 'my years, my strength, and my understanding to the holy vocation of becoming a spiritual guide to the weak, and a moral and religious guardian of the wandering. I have entered into the field of God's spiritual harvest as a labourer, and labour I henceforth must to the end of my days, and at the peril of

my soul. The vows I uttered were holy, and cannot be broken ; are past, and beyond the power of recal. The faith in which I have been nurtured, therefore, I must teach it till I die ; else should I here on earth be counted a burthen to society, become a mark for the finger of unbelieving scorn to point at, and grow into a stone of stumbling, and à rock of offence for them that are ready to perish out of the way. Such are the melancholy consequences which flow from the idleness or evil of a servant of God, in this world and to others; whilst for himself he is working out at the same time, in the world to come, an eternal union with that wretched company of apostate angels who . are described to us, by Him whose word is truth, as trembling whilst they believe, and weeping with the wailings of despair at the consciousness oftheir own everlasting exclusion from the presence of God in glory.

If the general remarks in which I have hitherto ventured to indulge be true, it is evident that there is no choice left to the Ministers of God in the primary and principal exercise of their intellectual powers. The cause of the Christian Religion must be the business, as it is the interest of

every Christian teacher; and never can he be recommended, consistently with the hopes of heaven and of salvation, to waste or to weaken his natural abilities by devoting them to pursuits unconnected with godliness. Yet, as the ministry was ordained for the benefit of the whole body of the church of Christ, and as there is an abundant variety in the circumstances and wants of the mass of mankind, there may certainly be allowed to each individual a corresponding degree of discretion in selecting those particular religious objects towards which he may be pleased or called to give his faculties a more immediate and positive direction. Both the Christian ministry and the Christian world are composed of members having diversities of gifts, and requiring therefore a difference in the administration of those gifts. By the constitution of his mind, by his place in society, by the nature of his previous studies, by the sphere of his present operation, in a word, by the innumerable leadings and dispensations of Providence, every one may be enabled to judge with sufficient clearness and certainty for himself, of the opportunities with which he has been blessed for the edification of the Church; and when once the manner in which his talents may be most usefully exerted has been found, it is his duty to obey the call with cheerfulness and diligence. The labours of a minister may doubtless be equally pleasing to God and

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