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all the personal detail, into which he was obliged to enter, when writing in an uncommon variety of circumstances, to his friends, his brethren, and his spiritual children. It is on such occasions that a man is most likely to discover what he really is; and it is on such occasions that the moral painter may take an author in the most interesting positions, in order to delineate, with accuracy, his sentiments, his circumstances, and his conduct.
Let it not be said, that in proposing this apostle as a model to Christians, we do but cast discouragements in the way of those who are at an immense distance behind him, with respect both to grace and diligence. The masterly skill that Raphael and Rubens have discovered in their pieces, serves not to discourage modern painters, who rather labour to form themselves by such grand models. Poets and, orators are not disheartened by those chef d'œuvres of poetry and eloquence, which Homer and Virgil, Demosthenes and Cicero, have transmitted to posterity: why then should we be discouraged by considering the eminent virtues and unwearied labours of this great apostle? The greater the excellence of the pattern proposed, the less likely is the laboured copy to be incomplete.
It is granted, that all the faithful are not called to be ministers, and that all ministers are not appointed, like St. Paul, to establish new churches: but it is maintained that all Christians, in their different states, are to be filled with the piety of that apostle. If the most inconsiderable trader among us is not allowed to say, "I deal only in trifling articles, and therefore should be indulged with a false balance;" if such a trader is required to be as just in his shop, as a judge on his tribunal; and if the lowest volunteer in an army is called to show as much valour in his humble post, as a general officer in his more exalted station; the same kind of reasoning may be applied to the Christian church: so that her youngest communicant is not permitted to say, "my youth, or the weakness of my sex, excuses me from exercising the charity, the humility, the diligence, and the zeal, which the Scriptures prescribe.".
It should be laid down as an incontrovertible truth, that the same zeal which was manifested by St. Paul, for the glory of GOD, and the same charity that he displayed, as an apostle, in the very extensive scene of his labours, a minister is called to
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exercise, as a pastor, in his parish, and a private person, as
If, in the course of this work, some truths are proposed,
Among other excellent ends proposed in publishing the following sheets, it is hoped that they may bring back bigoted divines to evangelical moderation, and either reconcile, or bring near to one another, the orthodox professor, the imperfect Christian, and the sincere deist.