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the kind of snares, these are the kind of so- | It was a society to which kings were to be the phisms, the apostle apparently had in view, nursing-fathers, and queens the nursing-mowhen he speaks of "weights, and the sin that thers. It is a society, whose prosperity should doth so easily beset us."
have no end, which should realize this predicThanks be to God, my dear brethren, that tion: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and though we are right, on the one hand, in say- look upon the oarth beneath: for the heavens ing that some among you,“ have need to be shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth taught again the first principles of the doctrine shall wax old like a garment; but my salvaof Christ; and are become such as have need tion shall be for ever, and my righteousness of milk, and not of strong meat,” Heb. v. 12; shall not be abolished,” Isa. li. 6. It is a sothanks be to God, that you afford ug, on the ciety, whose prosperity made the prophets exother hand, the consolation granted to our claim, “Break forth into joy; sing together apostle, of seeing among you cultivated minds, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord geniuses conversant with the sublime myste- hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed ries of Christianity, and with the severest Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy maxiins of morality. Hence I should deem it arm in the eyes of all nations, and all the ends an injustice to your discernment and know- of the earth shall see the salvation of our God," ledge, if, in the instructions I may give to-day, Isa. lii. 9, 10. To say all in one word, it is a whether for the period of persecution, or for society built upon the rock, and of which Jethe ordinary conduct of life, I should enlarge sus Christ has said, “the gates of hell shall on those truths which properly belong to young not prevail against it,” Matt. xvi. 18. What converts. What? in a church cherished by God is the conformity between these promises and in so dear a manner: what! in a church which the event! or if you please, what likeness is enjo ys a ministry like yours, is it necessary to there between the portrait and the original! afirm, that people are unworthy of the Chris- Does not hell prevail against the church, when tian name, when, during the period of perse- her enemies exile her pastors, scatter her flock, cution, they anticipate, if I may so speak, suppress her worship, and burn her sanctuaevery wish of the persecutors, when they carry ries? Do all nations see the salvation of God, in their bosoms, formularies which abjure their the arm of the Lord made bare, to effectuate religion; when they attend all the services of distinguished events in behalf of this society; superstition; when they enjoy, in consequence when they are given up to the fury of their of their apostacy, not only their own property, tyrants; when Pilate and Herod are confedebut the property of those who have gone rated to destroy them; when they obtain over with Jesus Christ without the camp, bearing them daily new victories? Do the waste places his reproach?” What! in a church like this, of Jerusalem sing, when the ways of Zion would it be requisite to preach, that men are mourn, when her priests sigb,” and when unworthy of the Christian name, who, in the “ her virgins are afflicted?” Does her salvation time of ecclesiastical repose, deliberately live remain for ever, when the church has scareely in habits of fornication and adultery; who, in breathed in one place, before she is agitated the face of heaven and earth, entice their in another; when she has scarcely survived neighbour's wife, who wallow in wickedness, one calamity, before she is overtaken with anowho are ever disposed either to give or to re- ther; when the beast causes all, both small and ceive "the wages of unrighteousness?" Oh! my great, rich and poor, bond and free, to receive very dear brethren, these are not plausible pre- his mark in their hand, or in their forehead? tences; these are not subtle snares; they are Rev. xiii. 16. Are kings nursing-fathers to the the sensible sophisms, the broad snares which church, and queens nursing-mothers, when deceive those only who are resolved to be de- they snatch the children from her breasts; when ceived. There are, however, subtle snares, they populate the deserts with fugitives; and which deceive the most established Christians. cause the dead bodies of her witnesses to lie To these the apostle has immediate reference in the streets of the great city, which is called when he exhorts us to “lay aside every weight, Sodom and Egypt? Rev. xi. 8. and the sin that does so easily beset us." On It is against this first device of Satan, St. this shall turn chiefly the explication we shall Paul would fortify the Hebrews in the words give of the terms. What are those peculiar of my text. Hear his admonitions and instruckinds of temptations? What are the precau- tions; have you forgotten the exhortation tions we must take to resist them? These are which speaketh unto you as unto children; my the two leading subjects of this discourse; to son, despise not thou the chastening of the these subjects I will venture to solicit the con- Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him? tinuation of the attention with which you have For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and designed to favour me.
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye I. Let us begin with the temptations, to endure chastening, God dealeth with you as which we are exposed in the time of ecclesi- with sons; for what son is he, whom the Faastical tribulation.
ther chasteneth not? But if ye be without 1. The devil would sometimes inspire us chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then with sentiments of unbelief respecting the truth are ye bastards and not sons,” Heb. xii. 5—8. of the promises God has given the church. It I have no need to arm you with any other seems a difficult task, to reconcile the magnifi- shield against the sentiments of unbelief, with cence of those promises with the deluge of ca- which some of you are assailed on viewing the lamities which have inundated it in periods of calamities of the church. Ecclesiastical perpersecution. What is this church, according secutions are paternal chastisements, which to the prophets? It is a society, which was to God inflicts upon her members. I would ask be completely irradiated with the glory of God. I our brethren, who complain of the length of
the persecution, and are ever saying, Alas! snare with which he assails the church in triwhat, always in exile, always in the galleys I bulation, he endeavours, I say, to destroy by would ask them, as they seem astonished, and distrust. “I am weak,” says a man who disare bold enough to complain of their dura- courages himself by temptations of this nation, whether they have profited by these af- ture; "I am weak: I shall not have constancy flictions? God, in chastising the church, is de- to sustain the miseries inseparably attendant sirous of correcting the abuse you have made on those who devote themselves to voluntary of prosperity. Have you profited by this chas- exile, by going into places where the truth is tisement Have you learned to make a right professed; nor fortitude to endure the tortures use of prosperity: God, in chastising the church, inflicted on those who avow it in places where is desirous to correct the indifference you have it is persecuted. I am weak; I have not entertained for public worship. Have you pro- courage to lead a languishing life in unfited by this chastisement Have you learned known nations, to beg my bread with my chilto sacrifice your dearest interests to attend his dren, and to hear my poverty sometimes reworship? And if you have made those sacri- proached by those to whom the cause for which fices, have you learned to worship with affec- suffer ought to render it venerable. I am tions correspondent to the sacrifices you have weak: I shall never have constancy to endure made for him? God, in chastising the church, the stink of dungeons, the weight of the oar, is desirous to correct the strong attachment and all the terrific apparatus of martyrdom.” you have conceived for this world. Have you You say, I am weak! say rather I am wickprofited by this chastisement Called to choose ed, and pronounce upon yourselves beforehand between riches and salvation, have you ever the sentence which the gospel has pronounced preferred the salvation of your souls, to exte- against persons of this description. You are rior happiness
weak! But is it not to the weak that are made 2. In the time of tribulation, the devil (provided their intentions are really sincere) strongly prompts us to presumption. Here the promises of those strong consolations, the commands of Jesus Christ are explicit, which enable them to say, “When I am weak, “When they persecute you in one city, flee to then I am strong," 2 Cor. vii. 10. You are another," Matt. x. 23. The decision of wis- weak! But is it not said to the weak, “God dom is extremely positive; "they who love is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempt. the danger, shall perish by it,” Matt. xxiv. 2. ed above that ye are able, but will with the Experience is a convincing test. St. Peter, temptation also make a way to oscape, that ye who presumed to go into the court of Caiaphas, may be able to bear it? 1 Cor. x. 13. You are under a pretence of following Jesus, denied weak! But is it not the weak to whom God him there. Is not this what we have repre- has realized the truth of his magnificent prosented a thousand and a thousand times, to mises? I will not refer you to those marvellous those of our unhappy brethren, whom this ages, when men, women, and children, suspart of our discourse particularly respects? tained the most terrific tortures with a courage We have proved, that we must either leave more than human. I will not adduce here the places in which the truth is persecuted, or the example of those saints, enumerated in the calmly submit to martyrdom. We have made chapter, preceding my text; of saints who were it appear that no man can assure himself of stoned, who were killed with the sword, who constancy to suffer martyrdom, unsupported were tortured, who were fettered, and who by the extraordinary aids of the Holy Spirit. displayed more constancy in suffering, than We have demonstrated that it is presumption their persecutors and hangmen, in the inflic. to promise themselves those aids, while they tion of torments. But go to those myriads of neglect the means offered by Providence to exiles, who have inundated England, Geravoid the danger. They do violence to rea- many, and these provinces, all of whom are son. They resist demonstration. They pre- protestant nations; those myriads of exiles,
on their own strength. They rely “who have gone to Jesus Christ without the wholly on supernatural power. They promise camp, bearing his reproach;” destitute of every themselves a chimerical conquest. Hence those earthly comfort, but delighted to have gotten frequent abnegations. Hence those awful falls. their souls for a prey; were not they by nature Hence those scandalous apostacies. I have weak as your And, with the assistance of therefore done wrong in placing the tempta- grace, may not you become strong as they? tions of presumption among those subtle snares, But those fathers, but those mothers, who have those plausible pretences, which impose on the torn themselves away from their children, and most established Christians. I am mistaken; the separation of whom from creatures so dear, they are the broadest snares, and grossest seemed as tearing away their own flesh, were sophisms of the enemy of our salvation; and they not by nature weak as you? But those he is weak indeed, who suffers himself to be Abrahams, who taking their children by the surprised. What! have you proved your weak- hand, went in some sort, to sacrifice them to ness a hundred and a hundred times, and do hunger and thirst, to cold and rain; and who you still talk of power? What! have you at replied to the piercing complaints of those inthis day scarcely resolution to sacrifice a part nocent victims, “ The Lord will provide, my of your property for religion, and do you pre children; in the mountain of the Lord it shall sume that you can sacritice your life? What! be seen,” Gen. xxii. 14. But those fathers, have you not fortitude to follow Jesus Christ those mothers, were they not naturally weak into peaceful countries, and do you presume as you? And with the help of God, may not to hope that you can follow him to the cross:
you become as strong as they? You are weak! 3. Those, whom Satan cannot destroy by But those slaves who have now been thirty presumption, he endeavours, and it is a third | years on board the galleys; those Rois, those
289 Broussons, those Marolles, and such a multi- | terior service? And though external worship tude of our martyrs, who have sealed the be required, must it always be presented in the evangelical doctrine with their blood, who presence of a multitude? May not private have ascended the scaffold, not only with re- devotion be a substitute for public worship? signation, but with joy, with transports, with And may we not offer to God in the closet, songs of triumph, exclaiming, amid their suf- the devotion which the calamity of the time ferings, “I can do all things through Christ does not allow us to offer in temples consecratwhich strengtheneth me,” Phil. i. 13. " Thanksed to his glory, and perform in our families the be unto God, which always causeth us to offices of piety which tyrants prevent our pertriumph in Christ,” 2 Cor. ii. 14. “Blessed be forming in numerous assemblies? with the Lord, who teacheth my hands to war, and (1.) I answer; what are the private devomy fingers to fight,” Ps. cxliv. 1. Were not tions performed in places in which the truth is those venerable men naturally weak as you? persecuted! Ridiculous devotions; many of And with the help of God, may not you be those who perform them being divided between come strong as they? Are you weak! It is Christ and Belial, between true and idolatrous still added, say rather, I am wicked, and blush adoration. In the morning, before the altar for your impiety.
of false gods; in the evening, before the altar 4. There are yet more plausible insinuations, of the Supreme Jehovah. In the morning, and more subtle snares; and consequently, the denying Jesus Christ in public; in the evening more likely to entangle those who are defec- confessing him in private. In the morning tive in precautions of defence. The enemy of making a parade of error; in the evening, preour salvation sometimes borrows weapons from tending to acknowledge the truth. Devotions conscience, in order to give it mortal wounds. in which they are in continual alarms; in which The advice we give to the persecuted, is that they are obliged to conceal themselves from of Jesus Christ; “If any man will come after their enemies, from many of their friends, and me, let him take up his cross, and follow me, to say in secret, who sees me who hears me? Matt. xvi. 24. “Come out of Babylon, my who suspects me? Devotions in which they people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, are afraid of false brethren, afraid of the walls, and that ye receive not her plagues," Rev. or afraid of themselves! xviii. 4. To this duty, they oppose other (2.) The inward disposition, you say constiduties; and family duties in particular. What tutes the essence of religion. I ask, what sort would become of my father, should I leave of inward disposition is that of the Christians him in his old age? What would become of whom we attack? Show us now, this religion my children should I forsake them in their in- which consists wholly of inward dispositions; fancy? They allege the duties of benevolence. this worship in spirit and in truth. What! this What would become of so many poor people gross ignorance a necessary consequence of who procure bread in my employment? So privation of the ministry, those absurd notions many starving families, who subsist on my of our mysteries, those vague ideas of morality; alms So many people in perplexity, who are is this the inward religion, is this “the worguided by my advice? What would become ship in spirit and in truth?” What! this abof these, if, neglecting their happiness, I should horrence they entertain of the communion of solely seek my own? They allege the duties the persecutor, who they know scarcely posof zeal. What would become of religion in sesses the first principles of the persecuted? Is this place, in which it was once so flourishing, this the inward religion, is this the “ worship if all those who know the truth should obey in spirit and in truth?” What! this kind of the command,“ Corne out of Babylon.” deism, and deism certainly of the worst kind,
Let us, my brethren, unmask this snare of which we see maintained by the persons in the devil. He places these last duties before question! Is this the inward religion, is this your eyes, in order that you may neglect the the "worship in spirit and in truth?” What! first, without which all others are detestable this tranquillity with which they enjoy not in the sight of God our sovereign Judge; who only the riches they have preserved at the exwhenever he places us in a situation in wbich pense of their soul; but the riches of these we cannot practise a virtue without commit- who have sacrificed the whole of their properting a crime, prohibits that virtue. God as- ty for the sake of the gospel? Is this the insumes to himself the government of the world, ward religion, is this the “worship in spirit and he will not lay it on your shoulders; he and in truth?” What! this participation in the still asserts the same language he once ad- pleasures of the age, at a period when they dressed to St. Paul, when that prince under ought to weep: those frantic joys, if I may so the pretence of obedience to a precept, had speak, over the ruins of our temples, after reviolated an express prohibition. “ Hath the nouncing the doctrines there professed? Is this Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and the inward religion, is this the “worship in sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? spirit and in truth?” What! those marriages Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to they contract, in which it is stipulated, in caso hearken than the fat of rams,” 1 Sam. xv. 22. of issue, they shall be baptized by the minis
5. But is it public worship; (and this is a ters of error, and educated in their religions fifth snare, a fifth insinuation; and a fifth class Is this the inward religion, is this the “ of those "sins which so easily beset us;”)—is ship in spirit and in truth?” it public worsbip which constitutes the essence 6. I will add but one illusion more, and that of religion? Does not true devotion wholly is the illusion of security. If we offend, say consist in worshipping in Spirit, and in truth? the persons we attack; if we offend in subMay we not retain religion secretly in our mitting to the pressure of the times, we do it heart, though we apparently suspend the ex-l through weakness, and weakness is an object
of divine clemency. It is not possible, that'a, with the brevity of my time. I shall proceed merciful God, a God who “knows whereof we to give a portrait of the life common to persons are made," a God who has formed us with the who attain the utmost age God has assigned to attachment we have for our property, our rela- man. I shall conduct him from infancy to the tives, and our lives; it is not possible that this close of life, tracing to you, in each period it is God should condemn us to eternal misery, be- presumed he shall pass, the various temptations cause we have not had the fortitude to sacrifice which assail him; and by which it is impossible the whole. A double shield, my brethren, shall he should fall, if he keep in view the apostle's cover you against this temptation, if you have exhortation, “Let us lay aside every weight, prudence to use it; a double reflection shall de- and the sin which doth so easily beset us." Let fend you against this last illusion.
every one who hears this sermon with a view First, the positive declarations of our Scrip- to profit, carefully apply to himself those traits tures. God is merciful, it is true; but he is an which have the nearest resemblance to his state. arbitrator of the terms on which his mercy is Hence I would presume every one of you to be offered: or, as it is written, he extends mercy to the man who shall attain the age of eighty whom he pleases; and God who extends mercy years: these are the temptations he will find in to whom he pleases, declares that he will show his course. no mercy to those who refuse to honour his 1. Scarcely will you be liberated from the truth. He declares, that “he will deny those arms of the nurse, when you fall under the care before his Father, who deny him before men,” of weak and indulgent people; who will, through Matt. x. 33. He declares, that "he who loveth a cruel complaisance, take as much pains to father or mother more than him, is not worthy cherish the corrupt propensities of nature, as of him,” Matt. x. 37. He declares, that “they they ought to take for their subjugation. At who receive the mark of the beast, or worship this early period they will sow in your heart his image, shall be cast alive into the lake of awful seeds, which will produce an increase of fire, burning with brimstone,” Rev. xix. 20. thirty, sixty, or an hundred-fold. They will He declares, that he will class in the great day, make a jest of your faults, they will applaud “the fearful;” that is, those who have not had your vices, and so avail themselves of your tencourage to confess their religion, with the "un- der age, to give a thousand and a thousand believing," with “the abominable,” with "the wounds to your innocence, that all your applimurderers," with “the whoremongers," with cation will scarcely heal, when you shall be “the sorcerers,” with "the idolaters," with capable of application. If you do not avail “the liars.” He declares, that “the fearful yourselves of the first sentiments of piety and shall,” in common with others, be cast into the reason, to resist so far as the weakness of childlake which burneth with fire and brimstone, hood will permit, those dangerous snares, you which is the second death,” Rev. xxi. 8. will find yourselves very far advanced in the
The second reflection, which should be a road of vice before your situation is perceived. shield for repelling this illusion of the devil, 2. Is infancy succeeded by youth? Fresh arises from the nature of the crime itself, ac- snares, new temptations, occur. On the comcounted a mere infirmity. Four characters con- mencement of reflection, you will discover extribute to the atrocity of a crime. 1. When it isting, in your constitution and temperature, is not committed in a moment of surprise, in principles grossly opposed to the law of God. which we are taken unawares. 2. When we Perhaps the evil may have its principal seat in persist in it not only for a few hours, or days, the soul, perhaps in the body. In the temperabut live in it for whole years. 3. When during ture of the soul, you will find principles of enthose years of criminality, we have all the op- vy, principles of vanity, or principles of avarice. portunities we could reasonably ask of emanci- In the tempe ature of the body, you will find pation. 4. When this crime not only captivates principles of anger, principles of impurity, or the solitary offender, but draws a great number principles of indolence. If you are not aware more into the same perdition. These four cha- of this class of temptations, you will readily racters all associate with the crime in question, suffer yourselves to be carried away by your the crime reckoned a weakness, and obstinately propensity, and you will obey it without reclassed among the infirmities of nature. But I morse; you will invest it with privilege to do have not resolution to enlarge upon this subject, with innocence, what the rest of the world canand to prove, that our unhappy brethren are in not do without a crime. You must expect to such imminent danger of destruction. And the find in your temperature principles which will expiration of my time is a subordinate induce- dispense with virtue, and to be captivated by ment to proceed to other subjects.
maxims which too much predominate in the II. Were it possible for the discourses intro- world, and which you will daily hear from the duced into this pulpit to be finished pieces, in mouths of your companions in dissipation. which we were allowed to exhaust the subjects; These maxims are, that youth is the age of were you capable of paying the same attention pleasure; that it is unbecoming a young man to to exercises, which turn on spiritual subjects, be grave, serious, devout, and scrupulous; that you bestow on business or pleasure, I would pre- now we ought to excuse not only games, pleasent you with a new scheme of arguments; I sure, and the theatres, but even debauchery, would reduce, to different classes, the tempta- drunkenness, luxury, and profaneness, that tions which Satan employs to obstruct you in swearing gives a young man an air of chivalry the course. But we should never promise our becoming his age, and debauchery an air of selves the completion of a subject in the scanty gallantry which does him credit in the world. limits to which we are prescribed.
Caution yourselves against this class of temptaI shall take a shorter course, harmonizing the tions: reject the sin which so easily destroys you, extent and importance of the remaining subject | if you should relax in one single instance. Ah!
think, my son, that you may never survive | render him most useful? Is it not to determine those years you devote to the world, think that on the choice of a text, not by the caprice of the small-pox, a fever, a single quarrel, or one the people, which on this point is often weak, act of debauchery, may snatch away your life. and mostly partial, but by the immediate wants
Think, though you should run your full course, of the flock? Is it not to pay the same attention you will never have such flexible organs, so re- to a dying man, born of an obscure family, tentive a memory, 80 ready a conception, as stretched on a couch of grass, and unknown to you have to-day; and consequently, you will the rest of the world, as to him who possesses a never have such a facility for forming habits of distinguished name, who abounds in wealth, holiness. Think how you will one day lament who provides the most splendid coffin and magto have lost so precious an opportunity. Con- nificent funeral? Is it not to “cry aloud, to lift secrate your early life to duty, dispose your up his voice like a trumpet, to show the people heart, at this period, to ensure salvation. "Re- their transgressions, and the house of Jacob member now thy Creator in the days of thy their sins; to know no man after the flesh;" and youth, while the evil days come not, nor the when he ascends this pulpit, to reprove vice years draw nigh, in which thou shalt say, I have with firmness, however exalted may be the situno pleasure in them,” Eccles. xii.d.
ation of the offender? But what is the morality 3. After having considered the period of of a pastor? “Enter not into judgment with youth, we proceed to maturer age. A new thy servants, O Lord; for we cannot answer stage, fresh snares, more temptations. What thee one of a thousand.” Caution yourselves profession can you choose, which the spirit of against this class temptations. The world is the world has not infected with its venom; and neither your legislator, nor your judge; Jesus which has not, so to speak, its peculiar morality? | Christ, and not the world, is the sovereign ar
The peculiar morality of a soldier, whose duty bitrator. It is the morality of Jesus Christ, and is to defend society, to maintain religion, to re- not the maxims of men, which you should fol. press licentiousness, to oppose rapine by force: low. and to deduce, from so many dangers, which 4. Having reviewed human life in infancy, open the way of death, motives to render the youth, and inanhood, 1 proceed to consider it in account which Heaven will require: but it is a old age; in that old age, which seems so distant, profession in which a man thinks himself au- but which is, in fact, within a few years; in that thorized to insult society, to despise religion, to old age, which seems, in some sort, at the disfoment licentiousness, to lend his arm, to sacri- tance of eternity, but which advances with asfice his life, to sell his person for the most am- tonishing rapidity. A new state, fresh snares, bitious designs, the most iniquitous conquests, more temptations occur: infirmities, troubles, and sanguinary enterprises of sovereigns. and cares, arrive with age. The less there re
The peculiar morality of the statesman and mains on earth to defend, the more men are magistrate, whose profession is to preserve the resolved not to let it go. The love of life havoppressed, to veigh with calmness a long detail ing predominated for fifty or sixty years, someof causes and consequences, to avail himself of times unites and attaches itself, so to speak, yet the dignity to which he is elevated to afford ex- more closely to the short period, which they amples of virtue; but it is a profession in which think is still promised. It is so rooted and inhe thinks himself entitled to become inaccessible trenched in the heart, as to be immoveable by to the injured, to weary them out with morti- all our sermons on eternity. They look on all fying reserves, with insupportable delays, and who witness the calamities they suffer, as to dispense with labour and application, aban- | though they were the cause: it seems as though doning himself to dissipation and vice.
they were reproached for having lived so long, The peculiar morality of the lawyer, whose and they make them atone for this imaginary duty is to restrict his ministry to truth and jus- fault, as though they were really guilty. The tice, never to plead for a cause which has not thoughts of death they put away with the the appearance of equity, and to be the advo- greater care, as it approaches nearer, it being cate of those who are inadequate to reward his impossible to avoid the idea, without these efservices: but it is a profession in which a man forts to remove it. They call to their aid thinks himself authorized to maintain both amusements, which would scarcely be excusafalsehood and truth, to support iniquity and ble in the age of infancy: thus they lose the falsehood, and to direct his efforts to the cele- precious remains of life,-granted by the longbrity he may acquire, or the remuneration he suffering of God, -as they have lost the long may receive
course of years, of which nothing now remains . The peculiar morality of the merchant, whose but the recollection. duty is to detest short weights and false mea- Be on your guard, aged men, against this sures, to pay the revenue, and to be satisfied class of temptations, and against these illusions, with a moderate profit: but a profession in which which will easily beset you, unless the whole he thinks himself authorized to indulge those of your strength be collected for precaution and very vices he ought in particular to afoid. defence. Let prayer be joined to vigilance: let
The peculiar morality of the minister. What those hands, trembling and enfeebled with the is the vocation of a minister? Is it not to devote weight of years, be raised to heaven: let that himself entirely to virtue? Is it not to set a voice, scarcely capable of articulating accents, pattern to all the church? Is it not to visit the be addressed to God: entreat him, who succourhospitals, and houses of affliction, and to alle- ed you in the weakness of infancy, in the vigour viate, as far as he can, the pressure of their ca- of youth, in the bustle of riper age, still to suslamities? Is it not to direct his studies, not to tain you, when the hand of time is heavy upon subjects by which he may acquire celebrity for your head. learning and eloquence, but to those which may Hitherto, my dear brethren, I have address