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who upon that very Account, went back, and walked no more with him) shou'd be an Example to us, (the Minifters of the Gospel) to follow his Steps, and boldly rebuke Vice, whatever Offence may be taken at us for fo doing.

The Example that the great Bishop, and Shepherd of our Souls, has left us, will, beyond the Poffibility of an Anfwer, prove this. He laid down his Life for them, and nothing less than the Drops of his most precious Blood, cou'd redeem and purchase them: And fhall not we deftroy what he has done, and Crucify him afresh, if we cry Peace, Peace, when there is no Peace, and thereby expofe our moft Sacred Office to the utmost Contempt. The Prophet Ezekiel fays, Son of Man, Chap. 3. I have made thee a Watch-man unto the 17, 18. Houfe of Ifrael: Therefore hear the Word at my Mouth, and give them warning from me. When I Say unto the wicked, thou shalt furely die; and thou giveth him. not Warning, nor Speaketh to warn the wicked

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wicked from his wicked Ways, to fave his Life; the fame wicked Man fhall die in his Iniquity; but his Blood will I require at thine Hand.

Tremendous Words! Sufficient almoft to discourage all from waiting at the Altar, were not there higher Profpects than this World, and was we not comforted in the next Verfe, that upon the Performance of our Duty in all the Parts and Inftances of it, the Blood of those who perifh, fhall not be requiv. 19. red at our Hands. If thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his Wickednefs, nor from his wicked Way, he shall die in his Iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy Scul.

1 Cor. 9.

22.

This Prophecy fets forth the flagitious Crime of thofe Priests, who are fo complaifant, as to be made all Things to all Men; who footh up their People in their Sins, and who, rather than difturb the World with unneceffary Difputes, and unpopular Doctrines, will give up in much Moderation, the principal Truths of the Gospel; and to

avoid

26.

avoid giving Offence, will bring upon the Church, their Order, and themfelves the greatest Scandal. Her Priests have violated dmy Law, and profan'd my Holy Things: They have put no difference between the Holy, and the Prophane, the Clean, and the Unclean, and have hid their Eyes from my Sabbaths; and what was the Confequence of this? -why, that God was prophaned among them. Ezek. 22. But then how happy are thefe, who have maintain'd the Dignity of Ambaffadors of Chrift; who have promoted the Honour of their Mafter; who have renounced the hidden things of Diflo- 2 Cor. 4. nefty; who have not handled the Word of God deceitfully; but by the Manifeftation of the Truth, bave commended themfelves to every Man's Confcience in the Sight of God, and not by a falfe, and mistaken Refpect, fuffered them to die in their Sins, but rather chofen to difeblige by Sincerity, than permitted them to perifh in Security.

The

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1, 2, 5.

The Charge St. Paul gave Timothy,

Tim. 4. is very Solemn, I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jefus Christ, who fhall judge the Quick, and the Dead, at his appearing, and his Kingdom; preach the Word, be inftant in Seafon, out of Seafon, reprove, rebuke, exhort, make full Proof of thy Ministry.

These are the Commands and Orders given him by the Apostle, and in him all the Bishops and Paftors that were to fucceed in the Church.

'Tis plain, that fuch as are Dedicated to the Service of the Church, ought to carry on the Intereft of it; to be faithful in encouraging, and admonishing, and cenfuring, as there is proper occafion for it, and not be terrify'd by the Threats of Men, from doing their Duty. God is the only Object of our Fear in fuch Cafes, and 'twill be no good Plea at the Day of Judgment, to fay, the Fear of Punishment made me violate my Confcience, the Fear of lofing my Life, or Preferment, forced me to renounce my

Religion,

Religion, to be afham'd of my Saviour, and deny him before Men.

The giving way to these Fears, will expofe us to various Temptations, and we fhall be in danger of being feduced from our Duty; for the Fear of Mian bringeth a Snare.

But when the pleafing of God, and the Senfe of our Duty, are the Springs of our Actions, we fhall certainly have, (tho' we may be Difcountenanced in this World, and out of its Graces,) our Reward from the Hands of God, a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away.

Prov. 29.

25.

For if we fuffer with him, we hall, Tim. 2. alfo Reign with him: And we fhall be 11. glorified together.

Fourthly, The Perfidioufnefs and Inconftancy of thofe Difciples who forfook their Lord; and the Integrity and Wisdom of the Twelve, in continuing with him, ought to make us guard against the Temptations that caused the one, and with a Holy Defire to imi

tate

Rom. 8.

17.

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