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given it." take hold of the shield of faith; yea put on the whole armour of God; "I have it."
Then he began himself to recite those words, " I have fought a good fight," &c. And when one had repeated what follows, and came to those words, which God the righteous Judge will give; he added, "He will do it." And when one said; 'Behold the last moment of deliverance! O God give wings unto thy servant; open thy paradise unto him; let him be received unto the beholding of thy face!' he added, “With the spirits of just men made perfect." 'Let him receive the white stone, and the hidden manna; and let him bear his part in that new song which none understands but he that sings it. To which he said, "Amen!"
In these last moments there came in some of his friends who were witnesses of his happy departure: but the ministers above named, viz. Lydius and Hulsius came too late to hear him speak any thing. Howbeit a short prayer was made for him; after which, when he had abode awhile with his eyes fixed, and his hands lifted up towards heaven; one of the standers by said; 'I am persuaded this man doth already enjoy the vision of God,' whereupon he earnestly endeavoured to utter the word, yea! and almost in the same moment sweetly breathed forth his soul, about half an hour after nine o'clock on Saturday morning, being January 7, 1651, after he had lived seventy-eight years, six months, and five days.
Mr. Leigh calls him a learned and godly French divine, and says of him, that he hath very well expounded Genesis, Exodus, the prophetical Psalms, and Hosea, and wrote learnedly against the papists in his Catholicus Orthodoxus, and against Grotius. Criticus sacer, seu censura Patrum, Isagoge in S. Scripturam, Synopsis doctrinæ de naturâ et gratiâ: with other learned treatises Latin and French. Another great divine used to call him, 'A man beyond all praise, and the most burning and shining Light of the French and Dutch churches.' Doubtless, he now shines, as the stars in the firmament, and shall shine for ever and ever!
RELIGIOUS AND MORAL DISCUSSIONS.
[Concluded from page 511.]
It is now time to observe that out of the pulpit your duty as pastors will consist in exercising discipline, which you are to do faithfully, carefully, tenderly, firmly, and impartially: in visiting
your people from house to house, that you may admonish those who are remiss in christian duty, that you may endeavour to improve providential dispensations, that you may strive to heal discontents and divisions, and especially that you may pay attention to the sick and afflicted. By these private and personal applications, not only may much good be done immediately, but by them you will more fully learn the state and circumstances of your flock, and thus be better prepared to speak suitably in public.
Catechising, also, is a most important duty, which ought by no means to be neglected, especially among children and youth. It is only by indoctrinating them in the great principles of religion by catechetical instruction, that they can ever be prepared to hear, with full advantage, the discourses you deliver in public: and it is not to be doubted that the neglect of this duty is one principal cause of the mournful declension of religion in our land.
As ministers of the church of Christ you are also to remember that the judicatures of that church have a demand upon you; that it is as much your duty to attend upon them as to preach to your people; and that nothing but difficulties really insurmount able should prevent your attendance. No minister in our connexion has been known by me, who was either very useful or very respectable, that did not give his presence at presbytery, synod or assembly, whenever that duty became incumbent. The reason of this seems to be, that a neglect in this particular cannot take place without indicating in him who is chargeable with it a criminal want of zeal for the general interests of the church; and at the same time it necessarily, deprives him of all general influence, confidence, esteem and affection, among his brethren.
III. A very few words on your general character and deportment as ministers of Christ will now conclude what I have to offer to you. Be it, then, most deeply impressed on your memory, that all your preaching and teaching will be utterly lost; nay, will be likely to do more harm than good, if your own life and practice be contrary to the gospel. Example has greater influence than precept, and we never shall persuade others that we believe what we say, when we deliver the great truths of religion, if it be manifest that they have no effect upon ourselves. Be watchful and prayerful, therefore, that you may recommend the doctrines which you teach by such a holy and examplary life as shall demonstrate that you consider them as the most sacred and important realities. In every method, and by every mean in your power, endeavour "so to make your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in
heaven." Be careful to support the consistency of the ministerial character, by avoiding all those levities which dishonour and degrade it, and by shunning with equal caution that moroseness and severity which may engender prejudices against it. Remember that prudence is a prime virtue in a minister of the gospel, and endeavour to exercise it in every concern that relates to yourselves, to your families, and to your flocks. Be meek and humble, be kind and affectionate, be firm and impartial; thus will you be most likely to secure the love and respect of those committed to your charge, and to do them the good you wish: and thus, when you receive censure and injury (which in one degree or another you must expect to receive) you will be supported by the testimony of a good conscience; and be able, as the apostle was, to "take pleasure in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake."
Hear now the conclusion of the whole matter, not in my words, but in words dictated by the Holy Ghost; and directed to each of you most unquestionably.
"Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, that thou observe these things. Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine." My dear young brethren, this is a weighty charge; it would be intolerable, were it not for the supporting consideration which bore up him who first penned the words;-"Through Christ strengthening me I can do all things:" Blessed Jesus! thou knowest the burdens which thy ministers have to bear, and therefore in their very commission thou hast promised them help; almighty help; "Lo I am with you always even to the end of the world." Go to your work, brethren, in the strength of Christ, and you shall find his service, laborious indeed, but yet pleasant and delightful; and when "he who is the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall also appear with him in glory."
People of this congregation:
Sustaining the pastoral relation to you, in common with my young friend who has just been installed as your minister, there are some things which it behoves me to say that may appear to trespass on that reserve which ought generally to govern us when our own interests may be supposed to be concerned. On this account I could have wished that this service had een assigned to another. But as my bretheren have seen meet to de
volve it upon me, I do not feel at liberty to modify it from personal considerations, but shall endeavour to perform it as I should if I had no particular connexion with you.
There are, also, a number of the members of the other congre gations present, who are concerned in the solemn transaction in which we are engaged, and who may consider me as addressing them, in anticipation of the relation which is expected speedily to subsist between them and the pastors of their choice just ordained.
You have heard detailed the duties of those who are to take charge of you in the gospel of Christ, and I am confident that you feel for them most sensibly, in the view of what they are bound by such sacred injunctions to perform. Cherish a degree of this sympathy through the whole of their ministrations among you, and it will engage you to the faithful, cheerful, and diligent discharge of the duties that you owe them. Keep it in mind that these duties are as important to you as their's are to them. There are some who seem to suppose that every fault of a clergyman is great and inexcusable, and yet to think, that it is a matter of indifference, or of choice, whether their people perform their engagements and obligations to their pastors or not. This is an idea equally ungenerous and unjust The parties are mutually bound; their obligations, as I have already stated, are, correlative. I will endeavour briefly to show how your's arise out of those which your pastors owe to you.
1st. If it be their duty to dispense the gospel faithfully, it is your's faithfully to attend on their ministry, and to use your best endeavours to give success to their labours. Be mindful of the apostolic injunction; "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is." With what heart can the ministers of the gospel study, or with what spirit can they preach, if they see the church deserted by a great part of those who ought to be there? Nothing so effectually as this will damp their ardour and unnerve their souls. But it is a consideration still more important, that your own souls are endangered by such neglect. Wilfully or carelessly to be absent from the hearing of the gospel, is a sin of no inferior size. It grieves the Spirit of grace, and provokes him to give up to judicial barrenness and blindness those who thus despise the messages of peace. Realize it, then, that whenever it is the duty of your ministers to preach, it is equally your duty to hear, unless necessity forbid you; and be punctual, steady, and diligent, in an attendance on their labours.
Let me, also, exhort you in the words of Christ to "Take heed what you hear—and how your hear." Be willing and desirous to hear the unadulterated doctrines of the gospel; the doctrines of Christ crucified; to hear them faithfully and frequently urged; and remember too that for the improvement you make of them you must render a solemn and strict account at the judgment seat of that Saviour who published them at the expense of his own preeious blood.
You are likewise to second the endeavours of your pastors to promote the spiritual edification of your families, by instructing them yourselves, and thus endeavouring to prepare them for receiving benefit from ministerial labours. Striking is the remark which one of the ablest divines of this age has made on this subject." Is it not hard (says he) that when many are so ready to find fault with every neglect of ministers, and sometimes to expect more work from one than ten can perform, they should take so little pains in their families, these smaller districts which are committed to their own charge." By family religion, then, endeavour with diligence to help forward, and to give effect to, the instructions of your pastors.
2d. If your ministers have, as they certainly have, a most arduous trust, in the successful discharge of which your souls are concerned, then it is your duty to pray continually that they may be directed and assisted, and that their labours may be crowned with success. How often does St. Paul repeat the exhortation to all the churches to which he wrote: "Brethren pray for us." It is in answer to the prayers of his people that God blesses the labours of his servants. He, therefore, does not deserve the name of a christian, who neglects this duty, or whose apparent performance of it is mere formality. Pray for your ministers, brethren, I had almost said, whenever you pray for yourselves. Pray for them in secret, pray for them in your families; never enter the doors of God's house, without having earnestly prayed for a blessing on the word that you and others are to hear from them there. True is the remark, however trite, that a praying people will make a preaching minister.
3d. If it is a duty of the pastoral office to administer reproof and to exercise discipline, it is the duty of people to submit to this, when suitably performed, with readiness and even with thankfulness. Christ's kingdom is not of this world, and God forbid that' we should ever wish to see the power of the sword committed to