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enviable accomplishments ; but much, we apprehend, may be done without them. The great point is, to be thought in earnest. Seem not then to be brought to any part of your duty by constraint, to perform it with reluctance, to go through it in haste, or to quit it with symptoms of delight. In reading the services of the church, provided you manifest a consciousness of the meaning and importance of what you are about, and betray no contempt of your duty, or of your congregation, your manner cannot be too plain and simple. Your common method of speaking, if it be not too low, or too rapid, do not alter, or only so much as to be heard distinctly. I mention this, because your elocution is more apt to offend by straining and stiffness, than on the side of ease and familiarity. The same plainness and simplicity which I recommend in the delivery, prefer also in the style and composition of your sermons. Ornaments, or even accuracy of language, cost the writer much trouble, and produce small advantage to the hearer. Let the character of your sermons be truth and information, and a decent particularity. Propose one point in one discourse, and stick to it; a hearer never carries away more than one impression. Disdain not the old fashion of dividing your sermons into heads in the hands of a master, this may be dispensed with ; in yours, a sermon which rejects these helps to perspicuity will turn out a bewildered rhapsody, without aim or effect, order or conclusion. In a word, strive to make your discourses useful, and they who profit by your preaching will soon learn, and long continue, to be pleased with it.

I have now finished the enumeration of those qualities, which are

ired in the clerical character, and which, where

meet, make even youth venerable, and poverty respected; which will secure esteem under every disadvantage of fortune, person, and situation, and notwithstanding great defects of abilities and attainments. But I must not stop here; a good name, fragrant and precious as it is, is by us only valued in subserviency to our duty, in subordination to a higher reward. If we are more tender of our reputation, if we are more studious of esteem, than others, it is from a persuasion, that by first obtaining the

respect of our congregation, and next by availing ourselves of that respect, to promote amongst them peace and virtue, useful knowledge and benevolent dispositions, we are purchasing to ourselves a reversion and inheritance valuable above all price, important beyond every other interest or success. .

Go, then, into the vineyard of the Gospel, and may the grace of God go with you! The religion you preach is true. Dispense its ordinances with seriousness, its doctrines with sincerity-urge its precepts, display its hopes, produce its terrors—“ be sober, be vigilant”-“ have a good report”-confirm the faith of others, testify and adorn your own, by the virtues of your life and the sanctity of your reputation—be peaceable, be courteous; condescending to men of the lowest condition—" apt to teach, willing to communicate ;" so far as the immutable laws of truth and

probity will permit, “ be every thing unto all men, that ye may gain some.”

The world will requite you with its esteem. The awakened sinner, the enlightened saint, the young whom you have trained to virtue, the old whom you have visited with the consolations of Christianity, shall pursue you with prevailing blessings and effectual prayers. You will close your lives and ministry with

consciences void of offence, and full of hope.-To present at the last day even one recovered soul, reflect how grateful an offering it will be to Him, whose commission was to save a world-infinitely, no doubt, but still only in degree, does our office differ from Hishimself the first-born; it was the business of his life, the merit of his death, the counsel of his Father's love, the exercise and consummation of his own, "to bring many brethren unto glory."




[A Sermon preached in the Castle Chapel, Dublin, at the Conse

cration of John Law, D.D. Lord Bishop of Clonfert and Kilmacdnagh, September 21, 1782.]

EPHESIANS Iv. 11, 12.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and

some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

In our reasoning and discourses upon the rules and nature of the Christian dispensation, there is no distinction which ought to be preserved with greater care than that which exists between the institution as it addresses the conscience and regulates the duty of particular Christians, and as it regards the discipline and government of the Christian church.

It was our Saviour's design, and the first object of his ministry, to afford to a lost and ignorant world such discoveries of their Creator's will, of their own interest, and future destination ; such assured principles of faith, and rules of practice; such new motives, terms, and means of obedience; as might enable all, and engage many, to enter upon a course of life, which, by rendering the person who pursued it acceptable to God, would conduct him to happiness, in another stage of his existence.


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It was a second intention of the Founder of Christianity, but subservient to the former, to associate those who consented to take upon them the profession of his faith and service into a separate community, for the purpose of united worship and mutual edification, for the better transmission and manifestation of the faith that was delivered to them, but principally to promote the exercise of that fraternal disposition which their new relation to each other, which the visible parti. cipation of the same name and hope and calling was calculated to excite.

From a view of these distinct parts of the evangelic dispensation, we are led to place a real difference between the religion of particular Christians and the polity of Christ's church. The one is personal and individual—acknowledges no subjection to human authority—is transacted in the heart—is an account between God and our own consciences alone : the other, appertaining to society (like every thing which relates to the joint interest and requires the co-operation of many persons), is visible and external-prescribes rules of common order, for the observation of which we are responsible not only to God, but to the society of which we are members, or, what is the same thing, to those with whom the public authority of the society is deposited.

But the difference which I am principally concerned to establish consists in this, that whilst the precepts of Christian morality and the fundamental articles of the faith are, for the most part, precise and absolute, are of perpetual, universal, and unalterable obligation ; the laws which respect the discipline, instruction, and government of the communit . are delivered

are delivered in terms so general and ind

admit of an application

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