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Advice to MINISTERS and ELDERS, how to
conduct themselves in their Conversations, and
By SAMUEL BOWN A S. 1676-175-
As every Man bath received the Gift, even so minifter the same, one
to another, as good Stewards of the manifold grace of God. If
L O N D ON:
Yård, Lombard-Street, 1750.
Τ Η Ε
H E Intention of the Author, in this
rections, which may be as Way marks to such who are called into the Work of the Ministry, and to the Elders of the Church, how to Conduct themselves in their Care over them whilft Young in the Ministry, it is not thought fit to be made for generally Publick, as such Tracts which are intended for a general Benefit, which
may fome degree concern all, and are of that universal Nature, that every Member of Society ought to be acquainted with, in order for their Government and Practice ; but as it is not the Will of the All-wisë Dif poser, who governs bis House (which is his Church) in Wisdom, nor the Order of his Providence, to give the like Gifts to all, but as the Apostle Speaks, He gave some, Apostles; Epher iva and some, Evangelists; and some, Pastors 16. and Teachers; whom he appointed to the A2
Work of the Ministry, for the perfecting of the Saints for those in whom the Work of Sanctification was begun) and the Edification of the Church.
He's. v. 4.
Now as it was with the Head, Christ Jesus, so it is with the Members (that is, his Ministers) for No Man taketh this Honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron, as faith the Apostle. And therefore Advice, that may be adapted to the States, Trials and Temptations of such, who are in any degree preparing, or setting in order for this work, and how to phun the Dangers and Mistakes, and furmount the Difficulties which luch may be liable to, who may
have made farther Progress in it, may be of great Service to them; tho to others who are not called to this Work, it may be in many respects as a Book sealed. Which Advice, is as an Hand of Help held forth, and is of Service many Times to the Honest but Doubtful Enquirer, who is like the Traveller in an unknown Path, often beset with many Fears of losing his Way; and as it is a kind Office, and what calls for Respect from all who stand in need of it, so it is a Duty we owe, and what God is pleased to enjoyn bis Servants and Ministers to be found in the Practice of, one towards another; and such was the Case of our Worthy Ancient Friend the Author, who thought it his Duty, as he hath had great Experience of that Work, in a Course of many Years Exercisë, and much Labour and Travel on that
Account, both in his own Country, and in Foreign Parts, to give some Account of the Steps that God is pleased to lead his Children on in, whom he is preparing for this great Work, and to point out where the Enemy of the Work of God, and our Happiness, is lying in wait to mislead, beguile, and betray such who are not Watchful; and altho' he hath not studied Excellency of Speech, nor tbe enticeing Words which Man's Wisdom teacheth, yet fuch who have had their Eyes opened to discern the Work of God, as also the mysterious Transformations of our grand Adversary, will have Occasion to say, that it is in the Demonstration of the Spirit, having the true Marks and Evidence of that Inspiration which giveth a right Understanding in the Things of God, and Mysteries of his Kingdom ; for bereby it will appear, how necessary it is for Men and Women to experience the Sanctification of the Spirit to precede, or go before, that they may be duly qualified to help and advise others; this being the Order our Lord and Master observeth in his Advice to Peter, When thou art Luke xxii, converted, strengthen thy Brethren.
Another Mark which demonstrateth from whence it proceeds, is the Care he hath taken to inculcate, in those who are called to the Ministry, the Necessity of low Thoughts of themselves, and of a constant Guard over themselves, left the Enemy prevail to lift them up, because the Lord has appear'd with them, and jirengthend them at Times to discharge them