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grow in grace, and in the knowledge of that powerfal Saviour, whom he earnestly proclaims to others. No is it probable that such a one will labour altogether in vain. Gradually instructed in the things, which concern the kingdom of God, he will become like the father of a family, bringing forth out of his treasures things new and old : And whether he speaks of the old man, the earthly nature, which he has put off with such extreme pain, or the new man, the heavenly nature, which he has put on with equal joy, (Ephes. iv. 22, 24,) he will speak with a conviction so powerful, and a per. suasion so constraining, that the careless must necessarily be alarmed, and the faithful encouraged.
His entire Devotion to Jesus Christ.
The true Christian, called to become a disciple of ihe blessed Jesus, rather than refuse the offered privilege, renounces his all. If this token of devotion to Christ is discernible in the character of every true Christian, it is still more conspicuous in the character of every true minister.
Such a person inwardly called by the grace of God to a state of discipleship with Christ, and outwardly consecrated to such a state by the įmposition of hands, gives himself unreservedly up to the service of his condescending Master. He withstands no longer that permanent command of our ex. alted Lord, to which his first disciples shewed so cheerful a submission, · Follow me.' Nor is he discouraged, while Christ continues, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.' (Matt. xvi. 24.) No man having put his band to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.' (Luke ix. (2.) He that loveth father or mother, son or daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me.' He that findeth his life shall lose it: And he
'that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.' (Matt. x, 37-39.) If there be found any pastor, who cannot adopt the solemn appeal of the first ministers of Christ,
Lo, we have left all, and followed Thee,' (Luke xviii. 28,) that man is in no situation to copy the example of his forerunners in the Christian church, and is altogether unworthy the character he bears ; since without this de. tachment from the world, and this devotion to the Son of God, he flatters himself in vain, that he is either a true minister, or a real member of Jesus Christ.
Observe the declaration of one whose attachment to his divine Master deserves to be had in everlasting remembrance : « Those things which were gain to me, I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, having the righteousness which is of God. by faith.' (Phil. iii. 7, 8, 9.) • For none of us,'true Christians or true ministers, • liveth to himself, or dieth to himself; but whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord.' (Rom. xiv. 7, 8.)
Professing to be either a minister, or a believer, of the gospel, without this entire devotion to Jesus Christ, is to live in a state of the most dangerous hypocrisy : It is neither more nor less, than saying, Lord ! Lord! without having a firm resolution to do, what our gracious Master has commanded.
His Strength and his Arms.
The ministers of the present age are furnished in a manner suitable to their design. As they are more desirous to please than to convert their hearers, so they
seducing imagination. They are continually seeking after the beauty of metaphors, the brilliancy of ant. theses, the delicacy of description, the just arrangement of words, the aptness of gesture, the modulations of voice, and every other studied ornament of artificial eloquence. While the true minister, effectually coevinced of the excellence of the gospel, relies alone, for the effect of his public ministry, upon the force of truth. and the assistance of his divine Master.
Observe the manner in which St. Paul expresses hircself upon this subject : “ We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak. (2 Cor. iv. 13.) And I, brethren, came not with excel. lency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power : That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.' (1 Cor. ii. 1-5.) · For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strong holds : Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. x. 4, 5.)
The true minister, following the example of St. Paul, after having experienced the power of these victorious arms, exhorts every soldier of Christ to provide himself with the same spiritual weapons. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand. For we wrestle not merely against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiri. tual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
having on the breast-plate of righteousness, and your - feet shod with the preparatiou of the Gospel of peace :
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall
be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. E' And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the
Spirit, which is the Word of God.' And that you may di perform heroical service with these arms, pray always
with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.' (Eph. vi. 10–18.)
So long as the faithful minister, or servant, of Christ wears and wields these scriptural arms, he will be truly invincible. But no man can gird himself with these invisible weapons, except he be born of the Spirit;' nor can any Christian soldier employ them to good purpose, unless he be first endued with all that divine power, which flows from the love of God and man : He must feel, at least, some sparks of that fire of charity, which warmed the bosom of St. Paul, when he cried out_Whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God : Or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
For the love of Christ and of souls constraineth us.' (2 Cor. v. 13, 14.)
" From the time that the eyes of St. Paul were opened to a perception of the gospel,” says Mons. Romilly, pastor of a church in Geneva, “we find him no longer the same person. He is another man, he is a new creature who thinks no more but on gospel truths, who hears nothing, who breathes nothing but the gospel ; who speaks on no other subject, who attends to no other thing but the voice of the gospel ; who desires all the world to attend with him to the same voice, and wishes to communicate his transports to all mankind. From this happy period, neither the prejudices of flesh and blood, neither respect to man, nor the fear of death, nor any other consideration is able to withstand him in his
He moves on with serenity in a path sown thick with reproaches and pain. What has he to fear? He despises the maxims of the world, nay the world itself; its hatred as well as its favour, its joys as well
is no longer an object with him, nor is his economy re. gulated by it. He is superior to every thing ; he is im. mortal. Though the universe arms itself against him, though hell opens its abysses, though affliction assaults him on every side, he stands immovable in every storm, looking with contempt upon death, conscious that he can never die. Superior to all his enemies, he resists their united attempts with the arms of the Gospel, opposi to time and hell, eternity and heaven.”
His Power to bind, to loose, and to bless, in the
name of the Lord.
THE armour of God, described in the preceding article, is common to all Christians ; but the true minis. ter is girded with weapons of a peculiar temper. As a Christian, his sword is the word of God in general; but, as a minister, it is especially those parts of the gospel, by which he is invested with authority to preach the word of God, and to perform the functions of an ambassador of Jesus Christ. "Go,' said our blessed Master to his first disciples, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth my doctrine shall be saved : But he that believeth not shall be damned.' (Mark xvi. 15, 16.) “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' (Matt. xxviii. 18.) Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me.' (John xiii. 20.) · Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and