Sidor som bilder

dead ? No man can estimate the awfully important charge of being an overseer over the house of God. Beware of being conformed to this world. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Give no beed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying, which is in faith. Refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. O my dear brother, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falsely so called, which some professing, have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

Had I considered this day's service merely as one of the complicated forms of our Church, by which you get hold of your stipend,--the great desideratum, as some would represent our desires as ministers ; but which is, I apprehend, already secured to you by the civil instrument you already hold, and without your holding of which I could not have proceeded,,had I considered it in this light, I would not have made use of many words; but considering, that what I am doing is to be reviewed when the heavens and the earth are fled, I must yet conclude this address with some quotations from prophetic and apostolic authority, (Ezek. xxxiii. 1-9, 30-33.) I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things—endure afflictions—do the work of an evangelist—make full proof of thy ministry. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee; but, like unto a man that is an householder, bring forth out of thy treasures things new and old, (Matt. xiii. 52.) Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed ; but in all things approving thyself as the minister of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by know

ledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them : for in doing this thou sbalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.




HAVING addressed, at such length, your Pastor, I must not close the work of this day, until I have shortly hinted, to those of you who are to be his flock, some things necessary for the regulation of your conduct. As he has been solemnly charged to take heed how he is to lead your devotions,—how he is to deliver to you the message of God, standing between the liv

. ing and the dead, that the moral plague may be staid,-how he is to visit you from house to house,-how he is to attend to the young and the old, the healthy and the sick, the living and the dying-how he is to go out and come in before you,-how he is to act at home and abroad, to the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant,-in a word, how he is, if you perish, to lay your blood upon your own heads, and, if you are saved, to rejoice in you as his crown of glory. So you are also to take heed how you hear the word preached, how you lay it up in your memories and hearts, -how you water it incessantly with your prayers,—and how you are to exhibit its fruits and effects in your lives and conversations. Ye ought, therefore, to give the most earnest heed to the things which ye hear, lest at any time ye should let them slip.

Your minister is set for the fall and rising again of many of you, and, perhaps, for a sign that shall be spoken against. When he comes home to your consciences by the sword of the Spirit, and says to each of you, when lying under guilt, formality, and hypocrisy, Thou art the man,-you are not to try to

* As St John's was an entirely new erection, avowedly for the Doctor, his stated hearers could not be addressed, but there were some of them present though they comprehended much of the wealth, and most of the learning of Glasgow.

palliate or extenuate your guilt, far less to find fault with him for his fidelity. When he draws the bow at a venture, and smites you between the joints of the harness of security, and presumption, and infidelity, you are not to attempt to heal the wound slightly, crying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. When he has spent his strength in preaching, and has endeavoured, by putting the subject in every possible point of view, that you may have a clear and distinct apprehension of it, and has applied it to your consciences with all his amplitude, all his eloquence, and all his earnestness, you are not to leave it all in the church, and go home to eat, and drink, and be merry,--thinking the object is attained when he has spoken, and you have heard. When be endeavours to delineate every variety of character, and the Holy Ghost brings home the word to you, you are not to look round, and think you know and see some person to whom all that is said applies, when you are the very person to whom it is spoken. Do not think you have done all that he requires, when you hear him with seeming pleasure, and even praise him ; but do not what he says. When, at any time, he fails to please, and delight, and transport you, do not think he is dull or tedious, and that you are not to blame, when it is owing, perhaps, to want of due preparation on your part, that your preacher has not, as he generally does, given you satisfaction. "Let him not have reason to cry, 'Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? Do not come into the house of God as His people come, and sit before your teacher as God's people, and hear the words of your minister, but not obey them; and, with your mouth, shew much love, while your heart goeth after your covetousness. Do not let him be unto you as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument, and hear his words, while you do them not. Because you have an able and faithful minister of the New Testament, who shews you your character and state in the glass of the Divine Word, you are not to think you are in a more hopeful state than others, who, you may think, have not the same advantages, since it will not matter what you heard, and even with some degree of pleasure, if you have not yielded to it the obedience of the heart. Do not think, that because you love to be under the ministry of an awakening preacher, your state is safe ; for until you be born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God; and, being created again in Christ Jesus, you must, of necessity, walk in newness of life. Do not think you can profit by the Word preached, unless you mix faith with the hearing; for if you only judge of what you hear,-taking what you relish, and rejecting what is not agreeable to your taste, you will be merely a forgetful hearer, but not a doer of the word. Do not think, that although you esteem your minister highly in love for his work's sake, he is to be to you in place of God. Remember always, that he is only the instrument; and that though Paul plant, and Apollos water, it is God alone who can give the increase. Do not be so much attached to your own minister, that you can hear none else ; and that you will absent yourselves when he does not preach; else, it may be feared, you love the servant more than the Master. Do not think and say, you are better than others, and, therefore, seemingly say to them, Stand by, for we are holier than you. Do not give your tongues the ungodly license to speak contemptuously, or even indifferently, of other ministers of the word, though they may not, in your opinion, have all the gifts, or even graces of yours, Remember Him who hath said, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm; and be sure, that you have not profited much by the ministry of your pastor, if it has only had the effect to make you speak evil of others. Recollect, that many, all their lives, have heard the Gospel purely preached, and even had some pleasure in the hearing of it, who have, nevertheless, had only a form of godliness, being totally destitute of its power. Let your speech and conduct testify, that you know the joyful sound. Cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Render to all their dues, (Rom. xiii. 7, 8.) Speak evil of no man. Owe no man anything, but love. Honour all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honour the king. Read frequently the practical part of the epistles of Paul, and see that you follow them in the strength of Christ. Endeavour to get clear apprehensions of the law, and of the Gospel ; and take your religion only from the Sacred Word. Fulfil all the personal, social, and relative duties, that you and your minister may walk together in the way of holiness; and you may be to him a crown of joy and rejoicing in the day of the Lord. Examine yourselves, at least, once a-week, whether you be really possessed of faith, and repentance, and love; and whether Christ is, indeed, made of God, unto you, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and complete redemption. When you are converted, strengthen your brethren.

Do all the good you can in your station, by every means in your power. Bring to light everything that is really evil, when you are certain that its disclosure will promote the glory of God and the general good of inankind. Let your minister have joy of you all, living and dying. Strengthen his hands, and encourage his heart. Let none

speak evil of him, or any minister of the word, in your presence. Should he ever fall into the strife of tongues, and be unrelentingly persecuted by all his brethren; and should they be able to gain to their side all their flocks; and should the evil report spread fleet as the wind, -do you, nevertheless, stand by him ; and should the report be true, remember what the late Sheriff Spiers said to the Site-Committee, that they considered their ministers but to be men. Be all of one mind; and live in love one wi:h another. As there are certain ties that connect families which ought never to be broken, so there are bands which ought to bind toyether every member of a Christian congregation. My dear hearers, it is utterly impossible for me to tell you everything that you would need to keep in mind while this new-formed connection continues. Searcli the Scriptures, they will inform you. Ask the Spirit of God, and He will, when needed, bring them to your remembrance. Allow me to conclude this address, like the former, in apostolic language. Give all diligence to add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge, temperance, and to temperance, patience, and to patience, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, charity; for if these things be in you, and abound, they shall inake you, that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the work of the Lord. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Now, the God of peace, that brought again froin the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.


The Ministers of the Presbytery of Glasgow who were, or ought to have been at the induction of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers into the newly-erected church and parish of St. John's, Glasgow, are here inserted :-W. Taylor, sen., D.D., Inner High Church ; J. Lockhart, D.D., College Church; Alexander Ranken, D.D., New West Church ; William Muir, LL.D., St. George's; Gavin Gibb, D.D., St. Andrew's; W.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »