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poses to which these acquire. of a man far inferior in talents ments were applied, after his to himself. Let no faithful min. call, to the apostolical ministry, ister decline a fair and regular abundantly appear from his his. opportunity of preaching the tory and his writings.
gospel. Certainly it is not duty But however useful in its obstrusively to interfere with the proper place human learning may province of another. Discretion be, it can do nothing for reliev, and conscience must decide in ing the troubles of the soul. Of particular circumstances, as to this fact Dr.. Owen had, in his the propriety of the call. But own experience, the most con- when a just occasion offers, let vinciog, though painful proof. it not be declined. On circum. Profound erudition, elaborate stances apparently insignificant reasonings, the ornaments of and casual, important consestyle, the charms of eloquence, quences often depend. The recan neither remove guilt from the lation of events to one another, conscience, nor fill the heart though unperceived by us,
is with peace and joy. But the perceived and determined by testimony of Jesus, delivered in God. His counsel shall stand, all its simplicity, even by the nor can his gracious purposes feeblest instrument, is mighty be frustrated by men. But if through the power of God to the
of God.to the minister, through love of pulling down of strong holds, any other improper motive, neg. and healing the broken hearted.
lect an opportunity of useful. Had relief, been obtained in ness which he might have improv. consequence of hearing Dr. Cal. ed, precious souls shall be con. amy, or any other of the re- vinced, converted, comforted, or nowned preachers of the day, confirmed, but no share of in. there might perhaps have been strumentality in accomplishing some danger of appreciating too these blessed effects shall be his. highly the power of the instru. Let no faithful minister be un. ment. But the preacher is so duly discouraged because he per. obscure, that he cannot be found ceives not the immediate visible out. . 66The treasure is in earthen fruits of his ministerial labors. vessels, that the excellency and It is certainly desirable in a high power may be of God.” degree to observe the effects of a
Let no faithful minister of the divine power accompanying the gospel be despised or discour. ministrations of the gospel, but aged, however obscure his sta- the minister who studies to ap: tion in the church, or however prove himself to God, has good inferior in gifts to many of his reason to hope, that he shall not brethren. The great Lord gives run nor labor in vain. It is talents to his servants according probable, that some, perhaps ma. to his own good pleasure, and
ny, are growing up in knowl. assigns to each of them his prop- edge, and faith, and holiness, and er place. The services of all comfort, and meetness for eternal are necessary; and the most un.. life; and that like the honored likely instruments may be re- servant of Christ, who preached markably blessed. An Owen in Aldermanbury church, may be profited by the labors occasion to which these reflections
that stock of divine grace, which and unworthiness, are, generally is necessary to your finishing the speaking, the very persons, who spiritual fabric. Let me therefore have the best qualifications for, as exhort you to remember the aw- well as the most need of this comful doom which the Bible de- forting sacrament, and may exnounces upon those, who put pect the most sensible relief and their hands to the plough and benefit from it. Let such fearlook back, who seem to begin ful souls, therefore, impartially in the spirit, but end in the flesh, inquire, whether amid all their who draw back from hopeful humble complaints, they have beginnings into a cold and per- not a real and steady desire to haps contemptuous neglect of honor their Master, and to be christianity; remember the terri. conformed to his example and ble language of the King of Zion will; whether sin be not their to the Laodicean professors for greatest burden, and duty their being lukewarm, or indifferent greatest delight; whether an inin their spiritual concerns. In terest in the holy salvation of the short, consider that your unfeel. gospel be not the object of their ing and indolent spirit, which supreme concern and pursuit ? prevents your obeying Christ in If so, let them resolve to dismiss all his instructions, is itself a their old excuses and delays, and very criminal and dangerous to complete the payment of their state of mind, that it affords no Christian vows. Let me then excuse for neglecting any divine urge those, who have thus far command; that it unfits you to vowed to God, to take this great perform any duty acceptably, subject into their immediate and and especially to meet an aproach- mature consideration, and to dising death and judgment with miss their old excuses and delays confidence and peace.
And can and complete the performance of you rest in such a condition ? their vows of Christian engageCan you quiet your consciences ments. with such an excuse ? O lay these Permit me in the next place to considerations to heart; awake descend a step lower, and to call
your stupor; give to God upon all baptized persons to rethe fervent affections of your cognize and fulfil their baptismal souls, and then be honest. vt obligations. By this initiating
If the latter, if your neglectrite, you were visibly marked of the Lord's Supper proceeds and set apart for God, and from serious scruples of con- entered into his family. As science, I shall only say, those the infants of God's professwho are scrupulously afraid of ing people under former dispen. coming to the table of Christ, 'sations, were always admitted lest they should incur guilt and into his covenant and church danger by unworthy receiving, with their parents, and as circum. ought at least, to be equally a
cision was then a bond upon both fraid of bringing guilt and dan- to keep the whole law; so un. ger upon their souls, by sinfully der the Christian dispensation the neglecting it; for those who have promise is still to us and our the most humbling and tender children ; and baptism is equal. sense of their own unfitness ly a bond upon both to observe