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world, to do with party politics, or with making laws for the regulation of trade, or the inspection of lumber? O the heaven-wide difference between wooing a soul, and voting for a new bank, or turnpike! It may well be doubted, whether it is possible to feel the same respect for a minister of the gospel in the State House, as in the pulpit; and it seems to me, that whenever one of our brethren is offered a seat in the next General Court, or Congress, he cannot give a more appropriate answer than that of Nehemiab to Sanballat,-1 am doing a g. at work, so that I cannot come down ; why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you ?' Surely one sword is enough for any man to wield, and in our holy warfare, that ought never to be any other than the sword of the Spirit.
3. How aggravated is the guilt, how extreme is the folly and madness of those, who are either openly or secretly hostile to the kingdom of Christ! What would they do if they could ? They would take away his sceptre, and his crown, and obliterate his kingdom from the map of the world. They would annul the fundamental laws of his statute book at a stroke. They would demolish his temples, and drive out his ministers—recall every ambassador-suppress every copy of his divine proclamation-turn back his victorious chariot from Asia and Africa, and the isles of the west-rivet anew the chains of pagan darkness and superstition, which he hath already struck off; hush the rapturous song of salvation wherever it begins to be heard, and utterly nullify the high decree, that Christ shall have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. All this, and more, were it possible, would the Rabshakehs and Geshems of the age do, to over
throw Messiah's kingdom ; to annihilate the church ; and having stricken the Sun of Righteousness out of the heavens, to bring back the reign of chaos and old night.' The crimson guilt of such impious plotting and daring, who can portray?
But who are the enemies of Christ and his cause, that they should hope to accomplish their enterprise ? Can the new school of infidels do that, which was infinitely above the power of their far mightier predecessors of a former age? What untried weapon can they form against the church, which will prosper? What new battering engine car they bring to bear upon the towers of Zion? They can scoff as loudly and as grossly as Paine, and with as keen a malignity as Voltaire. They can set their mouths against the heavens, and gnash their teeth and gnaw their tongues with pain.' Gog and Magog may come up from the four quarters of the earth, and compass the holy city about, and cry, · Rase it, rase it, even to the foundations thereof;' but * He that sitteth in the heavens, shall laugh; the Lord shall bave them in derision :' and when he cometh out to scatter them, then shall they be as chaff before the wind, and as a rolling thing before the wbirlwind.' How pitiable would be the folly of a wayward child, who in anger at the sun for shining in his face, should assail it with a pebble! How extreme the madness of the man, who should guide his skiff to the headlong verge of Niagara, and attempt to moor it across the cataract, and turn back the rushing waters, and hush their mighty voice! But neither would the folly of the one, nor the madness of the other, bear any proportion to that of the men, wbo scornfully reject the Saviour, and set themselves to oppose the advancement of his kingdom.
4. Fathers and brethren of this Convention-heralds
of salvation-preachers of the everlasting Gospelambassadors for Christ! How full of instruction, of reproof, of encouragement, is the subject before us ! How does it 'magnify our office, and enhance our responsibility, and rebuke our supineness ! To us, within the sphere of our influence, are confided the sacred interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, at an eventful stage of its progress. The Captain of our salvation is himself in the field, and the sacred banner still advan
While the track of other conquerors is marked with desolation and blood, and the tears and cries of widows and orphans are poured out like water over the wide and melancholy waste, our King, in his beneficent march, pours life and joy upon the desolate wilderness before him, and leaves the land as the garden of Eden behind him;' and it is our high privilege to march under his standard and to witness his triumphs. O what a privilege! Let us be thankful for it. Let us show all good fidelity' to the end of our lives. Let us cherish a holy and irrepressible zeal in the service of our Prince. Let us love and honor him more and more. Let us henceforth be more entirely devoted to the interests of his kingdom. Let us pray without ceasing for its advancement in this and every other land. And 0, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven, sitting upon his great white throne,' to judge the world in righteousness,' and we shall stand with our beloved people at his bar, may we all be found among the called and chosen and faithful.' And when that momentous trial is ended, and the vast assembly breaks up, and the holy angels take their upward flight, and the lost quake under their final doom, may we hear the approving voice of our ascending King,
Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord.' Amen and amen.
THE CHRISTIAN PASTOR. *
And he gave some....
... pastors and teachers-Eph, iv. 11.
Next to the divine art of preaching, which was the impressive theme of discourse at our last annual meeting, the pastoral duties and relations of a minister, claim, if I mistake not, the highest regard of this Association. I shall therefore offer no apology, my fathers and brethren, for taking the word pastor in its more limited and popular sense, and calling your attention to the qualifications, duties, and high responsibilities, which plainly belong to this sacred office. And though it would become me better to sit at the feet of age and experience, than to offer my own sentiments, 'I shall, in discharging the duty which you have assigned me, speak freely, as I know you will hear me patiently and candidly.
I. Of pastoral qualifications.--Without promising a complete enumeration under this head, and much less a finished portrait of a good pastor, I shall submit the following hasty sketch.
First. He is a inan of deep and unfeigned piety. However men of evangelical views and principles may differ on some other points, they can bave but one opinion here. Piety is the life and the soul of pastoral fidelity. Without it every thing must be forced
* Preached in Boston before the Pastoral Association of Massa-". chusetts, May 31, 1826.
and heavy, if not positively irksome. For how can a pastor form any just estimate of the worth of the souls committed to his charge, if he has never learned the value of his own ? How can he realize the weight of his responsibility, till he sees it in the light of eternity; and how can he see it in this light, if his own eyes have never been opened? If the love of Christ does not constrain him, what can bear him on through evil as well as good report, in the discharge of duty ? What shall sustain him under the trials and discouragements of the ministry? What shall rouse him to action, when neither honor, nor pleasure, nor profit invites ; but when all worldly motives conspire to discourage and impede him? If piety has found no lodgment in his bosom, if the love of souls is not there, what shall counteract the sluggishness of his own fallen nature, and induce him to follow his very enemies with prayers aud entreaties, to the mouth of the pit into which they are plunging ?
Every pastor must be with his flock in times of trouble and danger. He must see them when flesh and heart are failing ; when earth is receding, and the awful portals of eternity are opening. He must accompany them to the entrance of the dark valley, and, as it were, dip his own feet in Jordan, as they cling to him, till torn away they sink in its cold flood. And how, if he has never
tasted that the Lord is gracious,' shall he talk to them of those 'joys with which no stranger intermeddleth ?' How shall he recommend to them a Saviour whom he has never loved, and point out the way to heaven which he has never learned ? How poorly, how miserably qualified must an unconverted pastor be, to visit the widows and the fatherless in their affliction; to comfort mourners in Zion ;' to bind up the wounds of his flock, or indeed to discharge any other ministerial duty ! .