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for you. The word rendered obey, signifies properly
a believing upon persuasion, and respects our be-
lief of the truths proposed by them, and a com-
pliance with our duty that way; and on the o- '.
ther hand this submission has la respect to the
power they have over their people for edification
and not for destruction, that is, that authority
they have for admonishing, reproving, rebuking,
and censuring offenders; and by a submission to
them in the dispensation of these ordinances of
Christ, reproof and censure I mean, they are to
evidence to all the uprightness and christian sin-
cerity of their designs.

5. They are to evidence their designs to be ju. stifiable by a careful diligence in applying to their minister upon all occasions; when they are under 'difficulties, when they are in the dark as to duty, when they have to do with corruptions which they cannot get mastered, when under the Lord's hand, and so of all other exigencies of the like nature. For as the priest's lips Mould preserve or keep knowlege, so the people should ask the law at bis mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts, Mal. ii. 7. And these who are sick, are bid fend for the elders or minister of the church to pray over them. Jam. v. 14. These who have the advantage of a gospel minister, are indispenfably obliged to acquaint him with the state of their souls, when there is any thing peculiar'in it, and when they are reduced to any strait or extremity; and that, 1. Because God has laid it upon them as a duty in that forecited Mal. ii. 7. The people should ask the law at his mouth. 2. Be. cause otherwise he will be at a loss in his bringing messages to you, if he mistake your case, or be unacquainted with it; how can he direct you if

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ording to the of the need with

he understand not your state and condition?, The
Lord gives no immediate revelation now, we have
no warrant to expect any such thing; and there-
fore, the way wherein ministers ordinarily come
to understand their people's condition, is by them-
felves, who upon this ground are called to have
recourse to their ministers, 3. They should ac-
quaint their ministers with their circumstances,
becaufe they are the people's mouth to God; and
if they be not acquainted with the circumstances
and condition of the flock, how shall they, ae
cording to their duty, hold up the case of their
people to God, as they are indispensibly obliged
to do, and that both in public, and secret, and
private:
* 6. Once more, and we have done, a people
may, and should prove their intentions honest,
by a diligent application to their own proper work
and business, with respect to his furtherance in
these great designs. Every member of the con.
gregation should be helpful to him, in contribut.
ing their utmost assistance to him in his work. A
minister may spend his strength in vain, if elders
in their place, masters of families in theirs, and
every particular person in his station, do not
join by prayer and otherwise, in assisting their
ministers. Then do men appear sincere in their
designs, for the glory of God, and their own
falvarion, when every one puts to his hand to the
work, and endeavours the removal of what may
retard and obstruct its progress and success; and
likewise ftudies by all means to strengthen the mi-
nister's hands, that he may not be discouraged,
diverted, or taken off from his work. In řine,
then do a people appear single in their aims,
when their words, their hearts, their hands, go

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one way, and all they do is levelled at the ends mentioned, the glory of God, in the conversion, édification, and falvation of souls. I proceed now

Thirdly. To enquire into the reasons of the doctrine, why a faithful gospel minister coming amongst a people, will be careful to understand their design or intent in calling him. And,

1. This will be the desire of a gospel minister, because a mistake in this matter will be of very dangerous consequence to the people. That people may be influenced by wrong and sinistrous ends and motives in this matter, is beyond all peradventure. They may design the gratification of their itching ears by the preacher's gifts, as the prophet Ezekiel's hearers did; they may seek the gospel ordinances for a charm as it were, that they may sit down and rest upon them, as many people do, like these with whom the prophet Jeremiah had to do, who said, The temple of the Lard, the temple of the Lord are these. Or they may design the strengthening of factions and parties; or to get occasion to mock, as many do now in our days. These and the like sinistrous designs may a people go upon; and there can be nothing more prejudicial to a people than to be under the influence of such intentions; since, past all per, adventure, God will not fit with such an affront as is done him by this means, when that ordinance of the ministry, which he designed for the good of fouls, and his glory, is prostitute and made subservient to quite different, nay, opposite designs: and surely à faithful gospel minister, who will have a tender regard to the salvation of his people, cannot choose but be solicitous to understand that they are not in so dangerous a mistake. 2. The knowlege of this will be of great use to

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clear his call. It is a great evidence that God defigns good to a people when they call a minister upon such designs; and it cannot but go a great length towards his satisfaction as to God's calling him to work among them, in order to the compassing the great designs of his ministry. When Peter got the account before spoken of from Cornelius, he is further confirmed as to the hand of God in his coming to him, in compliance with his desire.

3. If upon enquiry they be found to be such as we have mentioned, it will be a great comfort to him, in grappling with the difficulties he may meet with in the discharge of his duty. It will give a great deal of satisfaction to him to know that these, for whose fakes he runs those hazards, and grapples with these difficulties, have the same aims, and are joining in the same design with him. In fine, the right management of his whole work depends very much upon this knowlege of his people's intentions; and therefore, it is no wonder hé be inquisitive into them, since by his acquaintance with these he may be capacitate to further both his own and their salvations, ... We might for improvement of this point, difcourse to you at length of the necessity of a gospel minister's enquiring into his own designs, in undertaking the charge of a people. The arguments made use of to discover the reasonableness of enquiring afier the people's design, conclude no less strongly with respect to the minister's. We might likewise discourse to you of the way how he is to manifest the integrity and sincerity of his aims; but time will not allowus to enter upon these things, and you heard the minister's duty fo fully and largely discoursed of within these few days, viz. at the

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de ordination, that we judge it needless to enter upfter on that subject, and therefore, all the improveeatment we design of what has been said shall be dising patched in a short address to you of this congreomigation. un You have called me to labour among you in the 50% work of the gospel; upon your call I have come; EO! I ask therefore, to what intent sent you for me? Fitz - What did ye design in this matter? Was it to hear

what God has to say to you, that God's worship may be ordered according to his own appointment, that you may be brought to acquaintance with Christ, or that you be established in his

ways. Were thefe and the like, the designs you I had in view ? Were these the motives influenced

you? If you narrowly look into your own hearts,
and make an impartial enquiry, you may readily
come to understand what your aims have been ;
and for your help I would only in God's name
pose your consciences with a question or two that
may be of use. 1. Dare you without heart-con-
demning, as in the light of God, fay, that in ..
calling a minister, you had respect to the com-
mand of God? Was it duty that moved you, or
did custom and your own ease influence you? 2.
Dare you hold up your faces and say, that it was
a taste of God's goodness in ordinances, that made
you desire them, that you might grow thereby?
3. Did this desire lead you much to the throne of
grace to pray for a minister, that God might fend
you one according to his own heart, that might
feed you with knowlege and understanding? 4.
When you saw any prospect of the return of your
prayers, as to a gospel ministry,' were you careful
to plead that the blessing might come along.
What say you to these things? Give God, give

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