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permit, and that he should avail himself of those tender seasons when the world looks empty and desolate, to withdraw their hopes and affections from it; and point them to the cross and the throne of the Lamb,--to that heaven which the holy alone can enter, and where all tears shall be wiped from their eyes.
There is another class of pastoral duties which I must not pass over in silence, though I can only glance at them in the conclusion of this discourse. Never forget, my dear young brethren, that while you have the spiritual oversight of all who belong to your congregations, you are in a peculiar sense the pastors of the churches.
And surely you never can forget, how solemnly you were charged on this head, when you were invested with the sacred office. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over whom the holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble ininded, support the weak, edify the body of Christ.'
While you invite all to come to him as the chief Shepherd and Bishop of souls, state explicitly the conditions of faith and repentance, on which alone he will receive then. Strictly guard the entrance to the visible fold. Admit to the holy communion such only as profess and appear to be regenerated and experimental christians. In exercising gospel discipline, be affectionate, be impartial, be firm, and when you begin, always carry it through. Take up each case by itself and in season.
No where are delays more dangerous. Discipline has been entirely prostrated in many a church, by the timid remissness of the pastor. Scandalous members who might easily have been reclaimed or removed, one by one, bave been
tolerated, till they and their friends and partisans have become the majority, or if not, have become so formidable as to intimidate the church, and trample her order in the dust.
In reference to false or erroneous teachers, who may proffer you their assistance, remember that you watch for souls as they that must give account ;' and however loud or long the cry of illiberality may be, however fierce or wrathful the charge of uncharitableness, never yield for a moment to the clamor. Night and day be at your posts, and if need so require, warn the flock against wolves in sheep's clothing.' The only safe pastures and waters are those which Christ himself hath fenced off from the wilderness; nor even those, any longer than faithful shepherds guard them.
And now my reverend fathers and brethren, 'Who is sufficient for these things ?' and who is that faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh shall find so doing.' Ours is no common charge-no ordinary responsibility—no literary sinecure. It is a charge on which infinitely greater interests are suspended, than the temporal salvation of a kingdom or a world. And 0 how urgent are the claims of our sacred office! While I speak, the arrows of death are flying thick among our beloved people. The graves of soine of them will open tomorrow;
and soon, too, will every pastor now present lie down where there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom. - Whatsoever our hand findeth to do, therefore, let us do it with our might.'
O who of all the dead will rise so reluctantly at the last day, as an ungodly pastor, surrounded by his wailing flock? Who will cry like him to the rocks and mountains ? On whose head will be heaped such fierce
and burning execrations ? And whose soul will quake with such horrible recollections and forebodings ?
How soon, my brethren, will the amazing realities of judgment and eternity break upon our unearthly vision, and fill us either with ecstacy or despair! I cast my thoughts forward but a little, and behold the dead are rising, the elements melting, saints rejoicing, devils trembling. The judge appears upon his great white thronein a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we are before the judgment-seat with our respective flocks. The faithful and the unfaithful shepherds of every age are also there. The trial proceeds, the books are closed, the final sentence is pronounced, and suddenly the scene is changed. The heavens are opened, and the pit yawns, and the eternal song and the eternal wail are begun. 0 may we then rise, with a great multitude saved through our unworthy instrumentality, to shine with them as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever and ever.'
It is a deeply afflictive and mysterious dispensation of Providence, which has so lately bereaved this infant Seminary of its head, and by which I am now brought with inexperienced and trembling steps to its threshhold. If
prayer offered to God without ceasing for Dr. Moore, could have prolonged bis invaluable life ; if professional assiduity could have warded off the fatal stroke; or if agonized affection could have shielded him in her embrace, be had not left this favorite child of his adoption to an early and perilous orphanage. So completely had he identified himself with its interests, that no hostile weapon could reach it without first piercing his heart. He felt all its perplexities and adversities, as if they had been his own: and as some compensation for these, he enjoyed, in a high degree, its brightening prospects—its youthful and buoyant anticipations.
The question has often occurred to a thousand anxious minds, How could such a man, at such a time, be spared ? And who can describe that deep and electrical throb of anguish, which smote the heart of this institution, when he breathed his last, and every student felt that he had lost a father? O what a shuddering was there within these walls, when that pall, which hung portentous for a few days in mid-heaven, was let down by hands unseen
* Delivered at Amherst, Mass. Oct. 15, 1823.