صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• therein God would establish peace and truth, the purity of all his or

dinances, and the power of godliness; prevent and remove heresy, fchifm, profagenels, fuperftition, fecurity and unfruitfulneis under the

means of grace; heal all our rents and divisions, and preserve us from « breach of our Solemn Covenant.

To pray for all in authority, efpecially for the king's majesty, that « God would make him rich in blessings, both in his person and go• vernment; establish his throne in religion and righteoufnels, lave . him from evil coupiel, and make him a bleffed and glorious iostru* ment, for the conservation and propagation of the gospel, for the en

couragement and protection of them that do well, the terror of them • that do evil, and the great good of the whole church, and of all his

kingdoms ; for the conversion of the queen, the religious education • of the prince, and the rest of the royal feed; for the comforting the • afflicted queen of Bohemia, fister to our sovereigo, and for the resti• tation and establishment of the illuftrious prince Charles, elector Pa

Jatine of the Rhine, to all bis dominions and dignities; for a bleffing

upon the high court of Parliament (when sitting in any of these king. doms respectively) che nobility, the fubordioate judges and magis• trates, the gentry, and all the commonality; for all pallors and teach• ers, that God would fill them with his Spirit, make them exampla• sily holy, fober, joft, peaceable, and gracious in their lives, found, « faithful, and powerful in their miniltry; and follow all their labours • with abundance of success of blefling: and give unto all his people • pastors according to his own heart: for the universities, and all schools • and religious feminaries of church and common-wealth, that they • may flourish more and more in learning and piety; for the particu* lar city or congregation, that God would pour out a blessing upon • the ministry of the word, facraments and discipline, upon the civil

government, and all the several families and persons therein ; for mercy to the afflicted under any ioward or outward distress; for sea

fonable weather and fruitful feafons, as the time may require; for • averting the judgments that we either feel or fear, or are liable unto, • as famine, pestilence, the fword, and such like.

. And with confidence of his mercy to his whole church, and the acceptance of our persons, through the merits and mediation of our • high priest, the Lord Jesus, to profess that it is the desire of our louls

to have fellowship with God, in the reverend and consciopable use • of his holy ordinances; and, to that purpose, to pray earnestly for

his grace and effectual assistance to the fanctification of his holy fab• bath, the Lord's day, in all duties thereof, public and private, both to

ourselves, and to all other congregations of his people, according to the riches and excellency of the gospel, this day celebrated and enjoyed.

And because we have been unprofitable hearers in times past, and dow capgot of ourselves receive as we should, the deep things of God,

[ocr errors]

« the mysteries of Jesus Christ, which require a spiritual discerning ; to

pray, that the Lord, who teacheth to profit, would graciousy please to pour out the Spirit of grace, together with the outward means

thereof, causing us to attain such a measure of the excellency of the + knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, and, in him, of the things which

belong to our peace, that we may account all things but as dross in i comparison of him : and, that we, tasting the first-fruits of the glory • that is to be revealed, may long for a more full and perfect commu. • nion with him, that where he is, we may be also, and enjoy the ful• dess of those joys and pleasures, which are at his right-hand for < evermore.

• More particularly, that God would in a special manacr furnith his

servant (now called to dispense the bread of life unto his houshold) • with wisdom, fidelity, Zeal, and utterance, that he may divide the • word of God aright, to every one his portion, in evidence and de! monstration of the Spirit and power ; and that the Lord would cir. (cumcile the ears and hearts of the hearers, to hear, love, and receive « with merckness the ingrafted word, which is able to save their souls

, • make them as good ground to receive in the good feed of the word, « and strengthen them against the temptations of Satan, the cares of the « world, the hardness of their own hearts, and whatsoever else maj • hinder their profitable and saving hearing; that fo Chrift may be fo • formed in them, and live in them, that all their thoughts may be • brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and their hearts • cftablished in every good word and work for ever.'

We judge this to be a convenient order, in the ordinary public prayer ; yet so, as the minister may defer (as ia prudence he shall think meet) some part of these petitions till after his fermon, or offer up to God some of the thanksgivings hereafter appointed, in his prayer be fore his fermon.

of the Preaching of the Word. pReaching of the word, being the power of God unto salvation, and

one of the greatest and most excellent works belonging to the ministry of the gospel, should be so performed, that the workman need not be ashamed, but may save bimself, and those that hear him.

It is prelupposed (according to the rules for ordination) that the minister of Chrilt is in some good mealure gifted for fo weighty a lervice

, by his skill in the original languages, and in such arts and scieoces as are hand-maius unto divinity; by his knowledge in the whole body of theology, but most of all in the holy fcriptures, having his seaf's and heart exercised in them above the common sort of believers; and by the illumination of God's Spirii, and other gifts of edification, which (together with reading and studying of the word) he ought Nill to fcek by prayer, and an humble heart, resolving to admit and receive any

[ocr errors]

truth not yet attained, whenever God shall make it known unto him. All which he is to make use of, and improve, in his private preparatioos, before he deliver in public what he hath provided.

Ordioarily, the subject of his sermon is to be some text of fcripture, holding forth fome principle or head of religion, or fuitable to some special occasion emergent; or he may go on in some chapter, pfalm, or book of the holy scripture, as he shall see fit. · Let the introduction to his text be brief and conspicuous, drawn from the text itself, or context, or some parallel place, or general fentence of scripture.

If the text be long (as in histories and parables it sometimes must be) let him give a brief fum of it; if short, a paraphrase thereof, if need be: -in both, looking diligently to the scope of the text, and pointing at the chief heads and grounds of the doctrine which he is to raise from it.

In analysing and dividing his text, he is to regard more the order of matter than of words, and neither to burdeo the memory of the hearers in the beginning with too many members of division, nor to trouble their minds with oblcure terms of art.

la raising doctrines from the text, his care ought to be, First, That the matter be the truth of God. Secondly, That it be a truth contained in, or grounded on that text, that the hearers may discern how God teachech it from thence. Thirdly, That he chiefly insist upon those doctrines which are principally intended, and make most for the edification of the hearers.

The doctrine is to be expressed in plain terms; or, if any thing in it seed explication, it is to be opened, and the consequence also from the text declared. The parallel places of fcripture confirming the doctrine, are rather to be plain and pertinent, than many, and (if need be) fome. what insisted upon, and applied to the purpose in hand.

The arguments or reasons are to be fólid, and as much as may be convincing. The illustrations, of what kind foever, ought to be full of light, and such as may convey the truth into the hearers heart with spiritual delight.

If any boubt, obvious from scriptore, reason, or prejudice of the hear. ers, seem to arise, it is very requisite to remove it, by reconciling the seeming differences, answering the reasons, and discovering and taking away the causes of prejudice and mistake. Otherwise, it is not fit to detain the hearers with propounding or answering vain or wicked cavils, which, as they are endless, fo the propounding and answering of them doth more hinder, than promote edification.

He is not to rest in general doctrine, although never fo much cleared and confirmed, but to bring it home to special use, by application to his hearers: which albeit it prove a work of great difficulty to himfelf, requiring much prudence, zeal and meditation, and to the oataral and corrupt man will be very unpleasant; yet he is to endeavour to perform it in such a manner, that his auditors may feel the word of God

to

to be quick and powertul, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and that, if any unbeliever or ignorant perion be prefeot, he may have the secrets of his heart made manifeft, and give glory to God.

In the use of instruction or information in the knowledge of fome truth, which is a conlequence from his doctrine, he may (when convenient) confirm it by a tew firm arguments from the text inhand, and other places of scripture, or from the nature of that common place in divinity, whereof that truth is a branch.

In confutation of false doctrines, he is neither to raise an old herely from the grave, aor to mention a blaiphemous opinion unnecessarily. But, ifthe people be in danger of an error, he is to confute it foundly, and endeavour to fatisfy their judgments and conscieoces against all objections.

lo exhorting to duties, he is, as he seeth cause, to teach allo che means that help to the performance of them.

In exhortation, reprehension, and public admonition (which require special wisdom) let him, as there shall be caule, not only dilcover the nature and greatness of the fin, with the misery attending it, but also shew the danger his hearers are in to he overtaken aod surprised by it, together with the remedies and belt way to avoid it.

In applying comfort, whether general against all temptations, or particular agaios lome special troubles or terrors, he is carefully to anfwer such objections as a troubled heart and afflicted fpirit may suggest to the contrary.

It is also sometimes requisite to give some notes of trial (which is very profitable, especially when performed by able and expericaced mi. nifters, with circumfpection and prudence, and the rigos clearly grounded on the holy scripture) whereby the hearers may be able to examine themselves, whether they have attained those graces, and performed those duties to which he exhorteth, or be guilty of the fin reprehended, and in danger of the judgments threatened, or are fuch to whom the contolations propounded do belong; that accordingly they may be quickened and excited to duty, humbled for their wants and fins, affected with their danger, and strengthened with comfort, as their condition upon examination shall require.

And, as he needeth not always to prosecute every doctrine which lies in his text, fo is he wisely to make choice of such uses, as by his reGidence and conversing with his flock, he findeth most needful and seafonable, and, amongst there, such as may most draw their fouls to Chrift, the Fountain of light, holiness and comfort.

This method is not prescribed as necessary for every man, or upon every text; but only recommended, as being found by experience to be very much blessed, of God, and very helptul for the people's under Standings and memories.

Bar

But the servant of Christ, whatever his method be, is to perform his whole ministry,

1. Painfully, not doing the work of the Lord negligently.

2. Plainly, That the meanest may understand; delivering the truth, not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power, left the crols of Christ should be made of none effect ; abstaining also from an upprofitable use of unknown tongues, strange phrases, and cadences of sounds and words ; fparingly citing fentences of ecclesiastical or other buman writers, antient or modern, be they never so elegaot.

3. Faithfully, looking at the honour of Chrift, the conversion, edification and salvation of the people, not at his own gain or glory; keeping nothing back which may promote these holy ends, giving to every one his own portion, and bearing indifferent respect unto all, without neglecting the meaneft, or sparing the greatest in their fins.

4. Wisely, framing all his doctrines, exhortations, and especially his reproofs, in such a manner as may be most likely to prevail; ihewing all due respect to each man's person and place, and not mixing his own passion or bitterness.

5. Gravely, as becometh the word of God; Munning all such gef ture, voice and expressions, as may occasion the corruptions of men to despise him and his ministry.

6. With loving affection, that the people may see all coming from his godly zeal, and hearty desire to do them good. And,

7. As taught of God, and persuaded in his own heart, that all, that he teacheth is the truth of Christ; and walking before his flock, as an example to them in it; earnestly, both in private and public, recommending his labours to the blessing of God, and watchfully looking to himself, and the flock whereof the Lord hath made him overseer; so shall the doctrine of truth be preserved uncorrupt, many fouls converted and built up, himself receive manifold comforts of his labours even in this life, and afterward the crown of glory laid up for him in the world to come.

Where there are more ministers in a congregation than one, and they of different gifts, each may more especially apply himself to doctrine or exhortation, according to the gift wherein he most excelleth, and as they shall agree between themselves.

Of Prayer after Sermon.

IE fermon being ended, the minister is 'To give thanks for the

great love of God, in sending his Son Jesus Christ unto us; for • the communication of his holy Spirit: for the light agd liberty of ' the glorious gospel, and the rich and heavenly blessings revealed therein; as Damely, election, yocation, adoption, justification, fanc

• tification,

« السابقةمتابعة »