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vice) with all faithful diligence, to banish, and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's word; and to use both public, and private monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the whole within his cure, as need shall require, and occasion be given." He is bound to “be diligent in prayers, and in reading of the Holy Scriptures, and in such studies as shall help to the knowledge of the same." Above all, he is bound" to frame and fashion himself and his family according to the doctrine of Christ;" and to "maintain and set forward as much as in him lieth, quietness, peace, and love, among all Christian people." In one word, a minister of the Gospel is to be a watchman of the Lord: he is set "to watch for the souls for which Christ died," that no harm may happen to them: to watch and pray both for himself and his people, that they go not astray out of the narrow path which alone conducteth into life.
And is not this an anxious and difficult office? Is it not full of labour,-full of responsibility? Indeed, my brethren, it is. And none but those who have in a measure fulfilled it, can adequately conceive the burden of it.
It may seem indeed to a mere careless observer, that a clergyman's duties, especially in the country, are light and easy. It may seem that when Sunday
is past, his time is at his own disposal; that there is little to disturb him, little to engage and divert his thoughts from his own concerns, until the Sabbath comes round again. But it is not really so. No, my brethren, the Sunday duties are but the crown of the six days' labours. Every day, every hour, a good minister of Christ is at work. He is watching how he may best keep the souls committed to his care; watching for an occasion to do them good; watching how he may speak a word in season; watching how he may best warn the unruly, how best comfort the feeble-minded,-how give an example to all: watching too, under a most solemn sense of the reckoning that awaits him : watching as one who must give an account,-not indeed to man-but to a far mightier, far more discriminating, far more heart-searching Beingeven to God the Judge of all.
Truly, then, ours is not that light and easy office, that some would fancy it: rather it is one so grave, so arduous, that unless it had come to us in a lawful way, in the order of God's providence; unless we had received it under His sanction, and were supported in it by His protection, we should, except in very rare instances, have never volunteered to take it upon ourselves. But, then,-and this is that which " gives us consolation and good hope," and helps to turn our labour into one of love,—we
know, and are convinced, that God's blessing accompanies God's ordinance; that Christ's promise is, that He will be with His servants till the end of time. We feel assured that He who has permitted us to take part in the ministry of the Gospel, can, and will prosper us in the same: that he will give us strength, and boldness, and faith, and constancy, an unwavering mind, and every other qualification necessary to the fulfilling that work to which He has called us. We feel assured, es did one far stronger, far better, than any who have come after him in the ministry-as did St. Paul— that though of ourselves we are weak and insufficient, yet that "our sufficiency is of God, who can make us able ministers of the New Testament."
Still with all this, with all the support and assurance held out to us by our Lord, we cannot be confident we still must feel our position to be one of great peril; that we are liable through the infirmity of our flesh to betray the trust committed to us; that it is possible" after we have preached to others" the doctrines of salvation, to be ourselves "cast away." There is risk, I say, nay there is a certainty, that if we suffer ourselves to be beguiled of our duty; to speak smooth things in order to conciliate man, to cry peace to the sinner when there is no peace; we shall draw down the heaviest punishment upon our souls. For what saith the
Holy Scripture, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand."
And now let us pass to the other point in our subject to the duties and responsibilities of a people toward their minister. This is clearly, and shortly stated in the text, " Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves." Yes, my brethren, this is indeed your part and duty; to yield due and ready obedience to the instruction of your minister, to hear the word, which in God's name he declares to you, and follow out the directions of that word in your practice. In no other way will it avail you to come, and sit, and listen to the Gospel, which is here Sunday after Sunday preached unto you. No, you must, as I have repeatedly insisted on, you must be doers, as well as hearers of the word. You must listen, not to have your ears pleased, but to have your hearts affected, and your conduct improved, and then you will not listen in vain.
And further; St. Paul says in the text, "Sub
mit yourselves;" and mark well the admonition, for it is one necessary for you, and is part of your duty as Christian people, to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; and to every ordinance of God and of His Church, for your own sake: because it is through those ordinances-the ordinance of baptism; the ordinance of the Lord's Supper; the ordinance of prayer and preaching, that grace and health, and all things requisite to salvation are to be obtained.
So also is it necessary to submit to the reproof, the rebuke of your minister. I am aware that it is not easy so to do: we none of us like to be told of our faults; still less to be rebuked for them. The idea of submitting-giving in-even though we know it is for our good, is not palatable to us. But then, on the other hand, consider this,-that neither is it an agreeable task for a minister to have to reprove; he would gladly avoid it if he might : but he may not: he dare not: he may not, as he values his own soul, let vice, and folly go unreproved. He dare not, when he sees one of his flock wandering out of the way, omit any endeavour to reclaim him. He cannot, as an indifferent person, pass by and pretend not to see iniquity. No, he is a watchman of the Lord; and the first qualification of a watchman is, that he be awake; and so must every minister of the Gospel be. He must be