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AN A P*P E N D I X, 





Written by the Reverend and Fiou* 


, Abridged and reduced to a new Method 

» p. 






1 808 


By tire CoM^iLEii of this Abridgneiit^* 

MR. Baxter's pra£Ucal writings have gene* 
rally been efteemed, by pious readers, in 
proportion as they have been known ; and it is a 
favourable omen that they have of late rifen confi* 
derably in price. His Gildas Salvianus^ or Re* 
FORMED Pastor, is a work peculiarly intereft- 
ing to chriftian minifters. of all denominations, and 
confequently to the people of their charge. 

The occafion on which it was compofed, was 
as follows: the aflbciated minillers in Worcefler- 
fhire and the adjacent parts, agreed to aflemble at 
Worcefter, December 4, 1655, to keep a day of 
fafting and prayer, particularly with a view to an 
engagement into which they had entered, to ei^ert 

* This Fre&ce is nOw confiderably fliortened. 

A 2 themfelyes 

iv P R E F A C £• 

tlicmfelves more than they had done, in their mi- 
hiflefial duty, and particularly in that of perfonal 
inftruftion. On this occafion they requefted Mr. 
Baxter to preach to them. He accordingly drew 
up the fubftance of this difcourfe on the paftoral 
office. But being prevented, by the increafe of a 
painful diforder, from meeting his brethren, they 
united in defiring him to publifli what he had pre- 
pared, which he did with confiderable enlarge- 

He himfelf, as he^ tells us, towards the clofe, 
'* apprehended this to be one of the greateft and 
bell works, that he ever put his hand to," and 
he had the pleafure to find it eminently ufeful. 
In the account given of his publications, in his 
Life, lie fays, ** I have great caufe to be thankful 
to God, for the fuccefs of that book, as hoping 
many thoufand fouls are the better for it, in that 
it prevailed upon many minifters to fet upon 
that work, which I there exhorted them to. 
Even from beyond the feas, I have had letters 
of requeft, to direft them how they might con- 
duft that work, according as that book had con- 
vinced them, it was their duty." 

Dr. Bates, in his fuheral fermon for Mr. 
Baxter y after a high encomium on his other works, 
pronounces the Reformed Paftor <* An accomplifli- 




ed model of an evangelical minifter ;" and he 
adds, from his intimate acquaintance with the 
author, ** The idea of a faithful minifter deline- 
ated in that book^ was a copy taken from the 
life ; from his own zealous example." 

Many other teftlmonies to the excellence and 
ufefulnefs of this piece, from competent judges, 
might eafily be produced ; but that of Dr. ZJ^rf- 
dridge will ferve inftead of a thoufand, as few mi- 
nifters ever afted more coftformably than himfelf 
to the rules here Uid down *. In the cbara£ter 
given of authors in his Leftures on the Minifterial 
Office, the Doftor has the following paflage con- 
cerning The Reformed Paftor. '* It is a moft ex- 
traordinary performance, and fliould. be read by 
every young minifter before he takes a people 
'* under his ftated care ; and I think the praftical 
part of it fhowld be reviewed every two or three 
years : for nothing has a greater tendency to 
.*' awaken a minifter to that zeal in his work, for 
** want of which many good men are but fhadows 
"of what, by the bleffing of God, they might be, 
" if the maxims and meafures laid down in that 
^' incomparable treatife were ftrenuoufly pur- 

** fuedt-" 

• See OrtonU Life of Doddridge. 

f The above paflage is omitted in Dr. WiUiaviui^i editioa of 
T^t^ Doddridgt*s Le&ures, from whence it may be prefumcd 

A 3 thr^* 






But valuable as this work is, it partakes of tlie 
faults common to mod of the writings of the age^ 
and of Mr. Baxter's in particular: prolixity , want 
of juii method, frequent repetitions, long digref- 
{ions, &c. which render his compofitions far lefs 
agreeable to modern readers than they ptherwife 
would have been. Of thefe he himfelf was very 
fenHble, and on a review of his works he lament ai 
them as the eiFed of the great hade in which he 
ufually wrote, in confequence of his many other 
engagements, and the disorders to which he was 
fubje£i;, by reafon of which he viewed himfelf a& 
ftanding continually on the borders of the grave. 
Confidering all which, it is wonderful he wrote fo 
much and fowell as he did. On account of ^the 
^bove circumftances, Mr. Baxter's works admit of 
bd^g abridged to great advantage, as feveral of 
them have been by Mr. Fawcett, one of his 
fucceflfors, who imbibed much x)f his fpirit, and 
clofely followed his fteps. The Reformed Paji^r 
as much needed abridgment as any of the author's 
writings. This I at firft undertook for private ufe 
only ; but feveral judicious friends, to whom I had 
lent the copy, ftrongly recommended the publica- 
tion of it. 

tlttt he had not a complete copy of them. Indeed the author 
oever prepared or intended them for publication, and the MS. 
eoptei greatly vary. 


preface; vii 

It vfill t>c proper here, to give the reader fome 
account of the manner in which this work has been 
executed. What was foreiglii or redundant, is 
omitted ; fentences that were too long, are Ihort- 
ened or divided ; the conftruftion of fuch as were 
obfcure, is made plainer by tranrpofition ; and ob- 
folete or uncouth words and phrafes, are changed. 
But the greateft liberties have been taken with rf ^ 
gard to the method, which is almoft wholly new, 
for the fake of leifening the number of fubdivi- 
(ions, and bringing into one point of view all the 
author's thoughts on the fame fubjeds, which 
were fometimes fcattered in three or four different' 
parts of the treatife ; fo that many paflages, and 
whole heads of difcourfe, are tranfpoied with free- 
dom. But the reader may be aflured, that great 
care has been taken to preferve the author's ideas^ 
and that no additions have been made, except in 
the Titles of the Chapters, but where the con« 
nexion required the infertion ^f a few words, 
which are diftinguifhed by [crotchets.] In (hort, 
thb is as really Mr. Baxter's work, as that pub« 
lifhed by himfelf. 

The Appekdix is principally an abftraft of the 
aothor's Counfel to Toung Men^ taken from the 4th 
Vol. of his Works, p. 16, &c. ~ It is introduced 
here, not merely as having fome connexion with 
the fubje A of this Treatife ; but, becaufe the au. 

A 4 tfaor 


thor had given fotne valuable hints to Students and 
Tutors^ in the Reformed Pajior^ which could not 
properly be brought into this abridgment, but in a 
fupplementary form. They are both here inter- 
woven together. 

Some parts of this work are greatly difpropor- 
ttoned to others, and feveral matters of great im- 
portance are but juft mentioned, e, g. Part II. 
Chap. I. But the reader (hould recolle£t, that 
the author did not propofe this (to ufe his own 
words) " as a directory for the whole minifterial 
** work," his chief objefl: being to recommend a 
more HxxOt attention to the duties of private infpec* 
tion^ and perfonal inftrudion. 

It is probable, that many readers will think, 
that fome things here retained, on thefe heads^ are 
either unneceflary, or impradicable in moft places, 
in the prefent day. But what thefe are, the edi- 
tor apprehends it is the Reader's bufinefs, and not 
his^ to determine. That may be needlefs, or im- 
poflible in fome places and circumftances, which 
in others may be eafy and ufeful. If, to particu- 
lar perfons, any thing here retained ihould appear 
impradicable, or even imprudent, it is hoped that 
they «will not . on this account throw afide the 
book r nor, becaufe they cannot do every thing 
here enjoined, determine to do nothing. The au- 

P R E F* A C E. ix 

tbor'sdireAions may be applied to fome good pur-r. 
pofe, though not juft in the particular way he 
propofcs. Much more might certainly be done 
than generally is done, in regard to that perfonal 
inftrudtion which he fo ftrongly recommends, and 
fo diligently praAifed ; efpecially by the pious 
Eftabliihed Clergy, who have generally more of 
that influence over their people which Mr. Baxter 
had, than Diflenting Minifters commonly poi^efs. 
However, diiFerent fituations and circumftances 
muft be allowed to make a confiderable differ- 
ence; of which minifters are left to judge for thcm- 
felves, and to a£t accordingly. 

S. P. 

Jan. J 3, 1766. 




THE §(xvmr fdition of tlii» Work, having Kaon 
fnany year$ out of piuit, mi diificuli to bo 
procured, I have been fre^^otly urged to publiih 
a new one. This I at length determined upon 
doii^i and had revifed the copy for that purpofe ; 
but was induced to defift, by the publication of 
another abridgment of the fame work, by the late 
Mr, Rutherford, a v^ry worthy minifler in Mr. 
fFffiey's connexion, whofe laft declining days were 
employed in preparing it for the prefs ; not know- 
ing, it (hould feem, that any other iimilar work 
had ever been undertaken. It was expe£ted that 
this of his, would have fuperfeded the republica- 
tion of mine. But though it is doubtlefs a valua- 
ble performance, the fize is fo little reduced, and 
the pious editor has added fo many other pieces to 
it, that, with the memoirs of his own life, it is in' 
Saft made larger than Mr. Baxter's original work. 
On this account, feveral minifters were of opinion, 



that there was ftill fufficient reafon for reprinting 
my abridgment. I have, therefore, after delay- 
ing feveral months for the other to circulate, com- 
mitted it to the prefs, without any material altera* 
tion. I have, however, carefully revifed the 
book, and made fuch corre<^ions, as it might be 
fuppofed, a work printed at fo early a period of 
life, might require. A very few ihort paiTages 
have been inferted from Mr. Rutherford's edition; 
as alfo a few brief Notes ; but very little is omit- 
ted, though I have in fome places further com- 
prefled the language. On the whole, I flattered 
myfelf, that thofe of my brethren, who efpoufed 
the Woric as iirft publifiied, will think it improved 
in this edition, and will concur with the editor^ in 
wi(hlng its fuccefs. 

Hackney^ ^ 
March 27, i8o8. 





PERHAPS the freedom with which the follow- 
ing treatife is written may be thought by fome 
to need an apology. It may be faid ** That I ought 
not to have fpoken fo plainly and (harply ; efpecially 
againft the sins ofminifters, inadifcpiirfepublifh- 
cd to to the world : at leaft that it fhould have been 
done in another language, and not in the ears of the 
▼ulgar, when fo many are endeavouring to bring 
the minift y into contempt, and our jpeople are too 
prone to hearken to their fuggeftions." I anfwer, 
Jt has not been infinuated that all miniders are 
guilty of the feveral faults that have been Cenfured : 
and thofe who are not guilty are exprefsly excepted. 
There are many humble men who are willing to 
know their fins that they may forfake them, uii 
iheif duty that they may perform it. As to others^ 



where the fin is open in the fight of all the world, 
it is in vain to hide it ; the attempt will but aggra* 
vate our guilt and ihcreafe our fhame. If the 
minifters of England had finned only in I^tin, I 
would have made ffaift to admonifli them in Latin, 
or elfe have faid nothing to them ; but if they will 
fin in Englijb, they muft hear of it in EngUJh, If 
we will not find out our fin, it will furely find 
out us. Unpar^opfd guilt wfU never let us reft, 
though we are at ever fo much care and coft to 
hide it. ' He that covereth his fins fliall not prof- 
' per; but whofo confefleth and forfaketh them 
' fliall find mercy.' If we be too tender of our- 
fclv^s and }oth to confefs, Go4 will b^ loft temi^r 
of u«, and will indite our cQnfef&on^ for ua. He 
win either force our confciences to confefs, or his 
judgments will procl^um our iniquities to the worlds. 
Indeed the tongues of many are alreaidy at work 
to proclaim Qur fin. Becaufe we will not fpeak 
the truth, they will fpeak more than the truth* 
The world knows that we are finners : as noi)^ 
CM fupppfe us perfeS, fo our particular (ins ar^ 
tQQ apparent to the world. And is it not fit th^ 
they ibould fee that we are penitent finners ? Penif. 
tent confelfion and fpeedy reforiqation are the 
means to filence our adverfaries, as well a$ tg re^i- 
pair our credit with wife and godly inen. 

If any who have fet their hands tp tlu^ facrec} 


THE author'^ P&KFACE. XV 

work> give themfelves up to fclf-feekiog, negli* 
gence, pride, and other fins, it is neceflary to ad-> 
monifli them. If we could fee them reform with'* 
out reproof, we would gladly forbear to publi(h 
their faults. But if reproof itfelf is ineiFe£luaI, 
it ia time to ibarpen the remedy. To bear with 
the vices q( miiufters, is to haftefi the ruin of the 
church; for nothing contributes more to the un« 
doing of the people than the depravity of theif 
Guides ; nor can we more effedually promote s 
fefopmation» than by endeavouring to reform tho 
Leaders of the church. For my part, I have 
lierein done as I would be dooe by. I do not 
idame my brethren, as fome others do, to make 
them contemptible and odious; but to heal thofq 
evils that wouU make them fo. It is npt to inf* 
dulge my own inclination, for I difpleafe myiell 
as much as I do fome of them; and would ra«« 
Aer have the eafe and peace of filence if it might 
coafift with duty. It is merely the neceiQty of 
aaeq's fouls, and the profperity of the churchy 
which forces me to this arrc^nce and immoder* 
ty, if it may be called fuch. When the honou;r 
«f God and the everlafting bappinefs of fo many 
iperfons are concerned, who that has a tongue can 
be filent ? If thpufands of you were ia a leaking 
jQiip, and thofe who fliould pump out the water 
add ftop the leaks were fporting, or quarrelling, 
fir ileepingy or only favouring themfelves in their 



labour^ to the hazard of you all, would you not 
call them to their work ? If you ufed fharpnefs 
with the flothfuly would you think that man in his 
fenfes who took it ill ? who accufed you of pride, 
felf-conceit, or want of good manners for talking 
fo faucily to your fellow workmen ? If they 
charged you with diminifhing their reputation, 
would you not fay, " The work muft be done, 
or we are all dead men! The fhip is ready to 
fink ; and do you talk of reputation i Had you 
rather hazard yourfelves and us than hear of 
your floth ?" — This, brethren, is the cafe with 
us. The work of the Lord muft needs be done. 
Souls muft not pefifti whilft you mind your world* 
ly buflnefs, take your eafe, or quarrel with your 
brethren ; nor muft we be lilent, for fear of feem- 
ing uncivil, while men are haftened by you to 
perdition. If you had chofen fome other calling, 
and only had finned by yourfelves, and perilhed 
alone, it had not been fo neceflary tt moleft you ; 
but if you will enter into an office which is for 
the neceflary prefervation of us all, fo that by 
letting you sUone in your fins we tnuft give up 
the church to apparent hazard, do not blame us 
if we talk to you more freely than you would 
have us to do. There is no bearing with your 
remiflhefs. How much foever it may difpleafe 
you, take it how you will, you muft be told of 
h ; and if that will not do, you muft be told of 


THE author's preface. XVll 

It more clofely ftill. — If you have fo much greater 
bnfinefs that you cannot ordinarily have time to 
do the minifterial w^ork, you (hould not under- 
take the office ; for minifters are men * feparated 
* to the Gofpel of Chrift, and muft give them- 
' felves wholly to thefe things/ 


I dare not -let this work come into^our hands, 
without a word of caution and advice, left you 
fhould mifunderftand, or mifapply it. 

Do not entertain any unworthy thoughts of 
your paftorsy becaufe we here confefs our own 
fins, and aggravate them in order to our humi- 
liation and reformation. You know that we are 
men and not angels, whom God has put into the 
office of your fpiritual guides ; and you know 
that we are imperfeft men. Let Papifts and 
others pretend to finlefs perfeftion, we dare not 
do it, but confefs that we are finhers. And we 
fliould heartily rejoice to find the figns even of 
imperfeft fincerity in them that make fo confident 
a pretence as this ; nay, if in fome of them, we 
could find common honefty, and a freedom from 
the crying abominations of the ungodly ; fuch as 
cruelty, lying, dandering, &c. Yet fome of thefe 

peo- ■ 



people, becaufe we confcfs that we have finned 
in negledling the work of the Lord, pretend to 
prove** us deceivers from our own confeiEon « 
whereas God faith, ^ If we confefs our fins, he 
' is faithful and juft to forgive us our fins;' but 
that ' he that faith be hath no fin deceiveth bim^ 
' felf, and the truth is not in him. — For our 
parts, we believe that ' in many things we offend 
* all.' We profefs to know but in * part ; to 
' have our treafure in earthen veflels ;' and to 
be infufficient for thefe things [about which we 
arc employed:] fee therefore that you love and 
imitate the holinefs of your paftors [as far as you 
difcern it] but take not occafioa of difefteeming 
or reproaching them for their infirmities. 

Beware of thofe (particularly the Papifts) whofp 
defign is to unfettle ypu in matters of religion, 
and, in ord^r to it, to bring you firft to fufpe£t> 
and then to contemn and rejcft your teachers. — 
Let me warn y^u, as you love your fouls, that 
you ke^p clofe to fcripture and a faithful Mi- 
niftry. And let me tell you, that notwithftand- 
ing all thoff fins of ours which are here con- 
fcfled, the known world hath not a more able, 
faithful, godly miniflry than Britain hath at this 
day.. If at the Synod of Dort the Ckricus An- 
glicanus was called the Stupor mundi* (before all 

* The EngUIh clergy were called the wonder of the world. 



thofe ignorant and fcandalous iQen were caft out) 
what may we call it nnu ? 

Brethren, let me deal freely with you* Thff 
ungrateful contempt of a faithful Minidry, i«i th^ 
ihame of thoufands in this land ; and if a tho- 
rough repentance prevent it noty they (ball hetter 
know in Hell, whether fuch minifters were their 
friends or foes ; and what they would have don^ 
for them if their counfel had been heard. [We 
are told concerning the Jews thatj when * they 

* mocked the meifengers of God, and defpifed 

* his words, and abufed his prophets, the wrath 
^ of the Lord rofe ag^infl his people, till there 

* was no remedy ♦.'—Shall minifters ftudy, and 
prdachy and pray fpr you, and fhall they be de- 
fpifed ? — When they Jiave the God of heaven 
and their own confcience to witnefs that they 
defire * not your's but you v* that they are * wilU 

* ing to fpend and be fpent' for your fakes ; that 
all the wealth in the world would not be regarded 
by them in comparifon with your falvation ; apd 
that all their labours and fufferings are for your 
welfare ; if yet they ihall be requited with your 
contempt and fcorn, or difcouraged by your 
unteachablenefs — fee who will prove the lofers in 
the end. When God himfelf fball juftify and 

* 2 Chroo, xxxvi. 16. 



commend them with a * Well done good andf 
' faithful fervant/ let thofe that reproached, 
defpifed, and condemmed them, defend their faces 
from fhame, and their, confciences from the accu- 
fations of horrid ingratitude, if they can ! 

Let me advife you to obey your faithful teach- 
ers, and improve their help for your falvation 
while you have it. Take heed that you refufe 
not to learn when they are willing to teach. 
Particularly fee to it that you refufe not to fiib- 
mit to them in this duty of private inJiruEfiGny 
which is more efpecially recommended in this 
treatife. Gi^ to them when they defire you, and 
be thankful to them for their help ; and at other 
times, when you need their advice, go to them 
and a(k if of your own accord. Their office is, to 
be your guides in the way to life. If you feek not 
their direftion, it feems that you either defpife 
falvation itfelf, or elfe are fo proud as to think 
yourfelves fiifficient to be your own direSors.— 
Shall God,* in mercy, fend you leaders to guide 
you in the way to glory, and will you ftoutly 
fend them back, or refufe their aflidance, and 
fay, -" We have no need of their direftion ?"— Is 
it for their own eafe or profit that they trouble you, 
or is it not for your everlafting gain ? Remember 
what Chrift hath faid to his meffengers, — * He that 
' defpif3th you, defpifeth^^me.' If your obftinate 

' refufal 


THE author's preface. XXl 

refufal of their inftruftion caufe theiji to bear 
witnefs againft you in Judgment, look you to it 
and anfwer it as you can. F9r my own part, I 
would not be then in your cafe for all the world. 
If you read this Book, remember that the 
duty which you find to belong to minifters, doth 
alfo fhew what belongs to yourfelves ; for it cannot 
be our duty to teach and admonifli, if it be not 
yours to hear and learn. 






Introduction. Page« 


Of the Duty of ChriJTtan Mlnlften with re- 

gardtO THEMSSIVES ..---..........., q 

? A R T 11. 

Of the Duty of fiated Mintfiert with refpea 
to their PsoFiE -'........ jg 

C H A P. I. 

Of a Mintfter's fiated Public fFork: Preach- 
'ȣ.! Prayers and adminijlering the Sacra- 


Of perjonal InfpeSfion and private Injirudiion . 39 


Of feveral particular Cafes and Characters y to 
be regarded both in Preaching and> private 


C H A P. IV. 

Of Catechifing: with particular DireStions in 
refermctta it .-.*-. ---....-.-.-.... Page 75 


Arguments for perfonal InftruHiony particularly 
by catechifing in the Manner recommended *. . . 87 

C H A p. VI. 
Of Church Difcipline 108 


Of the Motives to Pajioral Fidelity in ge- 
neral .•.........^. *......-..... ..••-. 126 


Of the OhjeSfions to this Courfe of Minifierial 
Duty y particularly perfonal InJiruSf ion 136 


Mifcellaneous DireSiions refpeBling the whole 
Minifierial Work «. 1 j6 


TAr Conclufon ; being a particular Application 
of the u/^0/^.. .................. ........ 204 


Containing Hints of Advice to Students for 
the Miniflry^ and to TvTOKS of Academies,^ 217 


— ——iW—— —————— » 



ACTS XX. 28, 

Take heed therefore te ymrf elves, and tg <iU ihe flocif 
■over which the Holy Ghoji. hoA tnade you werfeerss- 
to feed tht church of Gsd, which he hath purchafed 
with his own blood. 

Reverend and dearly-beloved Brethreni, 

IF the people of our charge muft teach, admo- 
niih and * exhort one. another daily;* no doubt 
teachers themfelves may do it, as brethren in ofSce, 
as well as in faith, witholit any fupereminence in 
power or degree. We have the fame fins to mor* 
tify, and the fame graces to be quickened and cor- 
roborated, as they have. We have greater works 
than they have to do, greater difficulties to over- 
come, and no lefs neceffity is laid upon us. We 
have therefore need to be warned and awakened, if 
not inftrufted, as well as they. So that, I confefs, 
I think we (hould meet together more frequently, 
if we had nothing to do but this. And we fliould 

B deal 


deal as plainly and clofely with one another, as the 
moft ferious among us do with our Flocks ; left, if 
they only have the fharp admonitions and reproofs, 
they only fliould be found and lively in the faith. 
This was Paul's judgment, I need no other 
proof of it, than this i^oufing, heart-melting ex- 
hortation to the Ephefian elders, A fhort fer- 

mon, but not foon learned. Had the bifhops and 
teachers of the church but thoroughly learned it, 
(though to the negleft of many a volume which 
has taken up their time and helped them to greater 
applaufe in the world) how happy had it been for 
the church and for themfelves ! 

I fhall now touch upon no part of it but my 
Text. The perfons here addrefled under the 
charaders of overjeers or bijhopsy were officers ap- 
pointed to teach and guide thie Ephefian church in 
the way to falvation j and are the fame that in the 
17th verfe are called Elders. So that all who 
ftatedly officiate in the fame work and capacity, as 
the Paftors of a particular church, may confider 
themfelves as included. — The exhortation here ad- 
dreifed to fuch, confifts of two parts. 

The First is— That they fliould take heed to 

The Second — ^That they fliould take heed to 
all the FLOCK i to feed the <:hurch of God. 


Part I Of a Mmijier's ptrjonal Duty. % 

The Motives to which are — ^their own en- 
gagement and relation as overfeers — the au- . 
thority of him who called them to the office ; 
the Holy Ghoft — the dignity of the objed ; 
the church of God — the tender regard of 
Chrift to ity and the price he paid for it ; he 
purchafed it with his own blood« 


Of the Duty of Chrljlidn Mlnijlers with regard t$ 


'TPHE apoftle in the firft place exhorts the paf- 
^ tors or overfeers of the churches of Chrift to 
* take heed to themf elves* The word in general 
denotes, applying the mind to any thing with ftri£l 
and clofe attention. Here it flgnifies, diligently to 
watch over ourfelves ; our own coiiduft and be- 
haviour, our heart and life : all our tempers, words, 
and a£tions. I fhall briefly ihew you wherein this 
muft be done, and give fome reafons for this part 
of the work. But for the fake of brevity, I (hall 
adjoin the application to the explication. And I 
befeech you, brethren, let your hearts- attend, as 
well as your underftandings. 

B2 I. Above 

4 The Neceftty of Part I. 

I. Above all, fee to it that a working of faving 
grace be thoroughly wrought on your own fouls. 

Take heed to yourfelves left you be ftrangers to 
the eflfedlual working of that gofpel which you 
preach ; and left, while you proclaim to the world 
the neceftity of a Saviour, your own hearts ftiould 
negleft him, and you ftiould mifs of an intereft in 
him and his faving benefits. Be that firft, your- 
felves, which you perfuade your hearers to be ; 
believe that, which you d^ily perfuade them "to 
believe ; and heartily entertain that Chrift and 
Spirit, which you offer to them. 

You have a heaven to win or lofe yourfelves, 
and fouls that muft be happy or miferable for ever ; 
it therefore concerns you to begin at home, and 
take heed to yourfelve^. It is poftible (though an 
j unufual thing) that preaching' well may fucceed to 
I the falvation of others without the holinefs of your 
own hearts and lives ; but it is impoffible it ftiould 
lave your own fouls. Though it he promifed to 

* them that turn many to righteoufnefs' that they 
^ fliall ftiine as ftars,' it is on fuppofttion that they 
be firft turned to it themfclves. Believe it. Sirs, 

* God is no refpeder of 'perfons.' A holy calling 
. will not fave an unholy man. God never did fave 

any man for being a preacher, nor becaufe he was 
an able preacher ; but becaufe he was a juftified, 
fandified man^ and confequently faithful in his 


Part I. a truly religious Charailer.' 5 

mafter^s work. , Nor can it be reafohably expefted 
that he fhoiild fave any for ofFering falvation to 
others, w^ile they refufe it themfelves ; or for 
telling others thofe truths which they themfelves 
ncgleft and abufe. If you ftand at the door of the . 
kingdom of grace to light others in, but will not 
go in yourfelves, you fliall knock at the gates of . 
glory in \'ain. Many a preacher is now in hell, I 


who called upon his hearers a hundred times to : 
life their utmoft care and diligence to avoid that I 
place of torment* Preachers of the gofpel muft 
be judged by the gofpel : — muft be fentenced on 
the fame terms, and dealt with as feverely as other 
men. ' Many at that day fhall fay, Lord, have 

* we not prophefied in thy name ?* Who fhall be 
anfwered, * I never knew you : depart from me 

* ye workers of iniquity.* And what cafe can be 
more wretched than that man's, who made it his 
very trade and calling to proclaim falvation, and 
help others to attain it, and yet after all is excluded 
from it himfelf ? ^ 

It is a dreadful thing to be an unfanflified pro- 
feflTor ; but much more to be an unfanclified 
Preacher. Do not you, who know this to be your 
charafter, tremble when you open the Bible, left 
you ftiould read there the fentence of your own 
condemnation ? When you pen your fermons, you 
are drawing up indidments againft yourfelves.^ 
When yoii are arguing againft fin,, you are aggra^ 

B a vatiog 

6 The unhappy Condition Part L 

vating your own. When you proclaim to your 
hearers, the riches of Chrift and his grace, you 
publifh your own iniquity in rejefting th«m, and 
your own unhappinefs in being deftitute of them. 
What can you devife to fay to your hearers, but 
for the moft part, it will be againft your own fouls? 
If you mention hell, you mention your own in- 
heritance. If you defcribe the joys of heaven, 
you defcribe your own mifery in having no right to 
them. O wretched life ! that a man fliould ftu^y 
and preach againft himfelf, and fpend his days in 
a courfe of felf-condemning ! A gracelefs unex- 
perienced preacher is one of the moft unhappy 
creatures upon earth. 

Yet he is ordinarily, the moft infenfible of his 
unhappinefs. He has fo many counters, that feem 
like the gold of faving grace, and fo many fplendid 
ftones that refemble the chriftian's jewels, that he 
is feldom troubled with the thoughts of his po- 
verty ; but thinks * he is rich and wants nothing, 
' while he is wretched and miferable, poor and 
^ blind and naked.' He is acquaintod with the 
holy fcriptures ; he is exercifed in holy duties ; he 
lives not in open difgraceful fins ; he ferves at 
God's altar ; he reproves other men's faults, and 
preaches up holinefs of heart and life ; and there- 
fore can hardly ' fufpeft himfelf to be unholy. 
How awful the delufion of fuch ! how aggravated 
their mifery !— to pcrifti with the bread of life in 


Part L of unconverted Minijiers. 7 

their hands, while they offer it to others !— How 
deplorable! that thofe ordinances of God, fliould 
be the occafion of their delufion, which are the 
appointed means of conviction and falvation! — 
that while they hold the looking-glafs of the gof- 
pel to others, and fhew them the true face of their 
fouls, they fliould turn the back part of it towards 
themfelves, where they can fee nothing ! 

Verily it is the common danger and calamity of 
the church, to have unregenerate and unexperi- 
enced paftors ! Many men become preachers, before 
they are chriftians \ are fandtified by dedication to 
the altar as God's prieds, before they are fan£tified 
by hearty dedication to Chrift as his difciples. Thus 
they worfhip an unknown God ; preach an unknown 
Saviour; an unknown Spirit; an unknown ftate 
of holinefs, and communion with God ; and a 
future glory that is to them unknown, and to be 
unknown to them for ever. 

And can it be expe£led that fuch perfons fliould 
prove any great bleflings to the church ? How 
can it be imagined ttiat he is likely to be as fuc- 
cefsful as others, who dealeth not heartily and 
faithfully in his work ? Who never foundly believeth 
what he faith, nor is ever truly ferious, when he 
feemeth mod diligent ? And can you think that any 
unfan£tified man can be hearty and ferious in the 
minifterial work ? It cannot be. A kind of feriouf- 
nefs indeed he may have ; fuch as proceeds from a 

B 4 common 

% Vncomjerted Mmtjfen Part !• 

common opinion that the word is true: he may be 
aftuated by a natural fervour, or by felfifli ends : 
but the ferioufnefs and fidelity of a found believer, 
who ultimately intends God's honour and men's 
falvation, he cannot have. 

O Sirs ! all your preaching and perfuading of 
others will be but dreaming, and trifling hypocrify^ 
till the work be thoroughly done upon yourfelves. 
How can you conftantly apply yourfelves to a 
work from which your carnal hearts are avcrfe ? 
How can you, with ferious fervour, call upon poo'r 
finners to repent and come to God, who never did 
either yourfelves ? How can you follow them with 
' importunate folicitations to forfake fin, and betake 
themfelves to a holy life, who never fe?t the evil 
of the one, or the worth of the other ? And let 
me tell you, thefe things ;<te' never well known 
till they are felt ; and that he who feels them 
not himfelf, is not likely to fpeak feelingly df 
them to others, or to help others ta feel them. 

He that does not fo (Irongly believe the word of 
God and the life ta come,, as to take off his own 
heart "from the "vanities of this world, and briiYg 
him, with refolution and diligence, to feck his own 
falvation, cannot be expedled to be faithful in 
feeking the falvation. of other men. He that dares 
to damn himfelf, will dare to let others alone in the 
"way to damnation. He that, with Judas, will 
fell his mailer for fUver, will not fcruple to make 

Part I. mf fiiefy fi Se fuccefsfuf. ^ 

inerchandize of the flock. We may well expeft 
that he will have no pity on others^ who is thus 
wofully cruel to himfelf ; and furely he is not to 
be trufted with other men's foukyWhois unfaithful 
to his own. It is a very unlikely thfng that he 
will fight againft Satan with all his might, or do 
'any great harm to his kingdom, who- is himfelf » 
fervant of Satan and a fubjeil of that kingdom j 
or that he will be true to Chrift, wha is in cove- 
nant Ydth. his enemy. What prince will choofe 
the friends and voluntary fervant s of his enemy to 
lead his armies in war againft him? Yet alas I 
many preachers of the gofpel are enemies to the 
work of the -gofpel which ^hey preach. O how 
many fuch traitors have been in the charch of 
Chrift in all ages, who have done more againft him 
under his colours, than they could have done itv 
the open field! Though many of thefe men feem 
excellent preachers, and cry down fin as loudly asr 
others, yet it is a!l but an affeded fervency, and 
commonly but a mere ineifedtual bawling^ A trai-r 
terous commander, who fhooteth nothing againft 
the enemy but powder, may caufe his guns to* 
make ad great a reptkt as theirs that are loaded 
with bullets ; but he doth not hurt the enemy by 
rt. So one of thefe men may fpeak as loud and- 
with as much fee ming fervency as others ; but he will 
feldom do any great execution againft fin and Satan^ 

B^ No 

lo Wtchd Mtniften admontjhed** Part L 

No man can fight well but where he hates, or is 
very angry \ much lefs againft thofe whom he 
lovesy and loves above all. So that you fee, an 
unfan&ified man, who loves the enemy, is very 
unfit to be a leader in Chrift's avmy \ and he is 
very unlikely to engage others to renounce the 
world and the flefli,^ who ckaveth to them himfelf 
as his chief good. 

If fuch a wretched man would take my counfel, 
he fhould make a (land, and call his heart and life 
to an account. He fhould fall a preaching awhile 
to himfelf, before he preach to others any more. 
He fhould confider, whether * he that names the 
' name of Chrift' fhould not * depart from all ini.- 

* quity?' Whether, ^ if he regards iniquity in his 

* heart, God will hear his prayers?' And ,whe* 
ther a wicked preacher * fhall fland in the judgr 

* ment, or a finner in the afTembly of the jufl ?' 
When fuch thoughts as thefe have entered into his 
foul, and kindly wrought upon his confcience, I 
would advife. him next, to go to the congregation, 
and there preach over Origen's fermon on PJalm 
1. 16, 17. * But to the wicked^ God faith. What 

* haft thou to do, to declare my flatutes, or that 

* thou fhould'ft take my covenant into thy mouth ? 

* Seeing thou hateft inftrufiion, and haft caft my 

* words behind thee.' When he has read this 

text, I would have him fit down (as Origen 


Part I. ^altfications requlfitefor a Mtnifter, t i* 

did*) and expound and apply it by his tears ; then 
make a free confeflion of his guilt before the af- 
fembly, and deflre their prayers to God for par- 
doning and renewing grace ; that hereafter, he may 
preach a Chrifl whom he knows, may feel what 
he fpeaks, and may commend the riches of the 
gofpel by experience. 

II. Take heed to yourfelves, that you be not 
deftitute of the neceflary qualifications for your 

And oh ! what qualifications are requifite for a 
man that hath fuch a charge as ours ! He niuft not 
be a babe in knowledge that will teach men all 
thofe things which are necefTaryto falvation. How 
many difBculties in divinity are there to be opened ; 
yea, about the very fundamentals of religion! 
How many obfcure texts to be expounded ! How 
many duties to be done, wherein ourfelves and 
others may mifcarry, if in the matter, the end, the 
manner, and circumflances of them, they be not 
well informed ! How many fins, and fubtle temp- 
tations muft we direct our people to avoid ! J^ow 
many weighty, and yet intricate, cafes of confcience 
have we frequently to refolve ! How many ftrong 


* This refers to his being compelled to offer mcenfe to an 
Idol, for which he was excommunicated by tbe Church* See 
CiarA*s Lives oftht Fathers, £d. 

B 6 holds 

1 a ^alijicatiom fequijke fof a MtnijUf^ Part f ^ 

holds have we to beat down ! What fubtle, dilU 
gent, and obftinate refjftance muft we expeft fro^^ 
thofe we have to deal with ! We cannot make' 
a breach ifi their groundlefs hopes and carnal 
peace, but they have twenty fhifts and feeming 
reafons to make it up again ; and as many enemies, 
wnder the appearance of friends, that arc ready to? 
help them. We difpute not with them upon equal- 
terms ; but we have children to reafon with, who 
canfiot underftand us. We have wilful, unreafon^ 
'able/ diftraSed men to deal with ; who when they 
are filenced, are not at *11 the more convinced ; but 
when they Can give you no reafon, will give yoti^ 
their refolution. We have multitudes of raging 
paffions and contradifting enemies to difpute againft 
at once ; fo that whenever wfr go about the con'-^ 
verfion bf a finner, it is as if we were to difpute in- 
a noify crowd. 

Dear brethren ! what mert fhould we be in flcill^ 
refolution, and unwearied diligence, who have fa 
much to do, [and fo much to hinder us in doing, 
it !] Did Paul cry out, ' Who is fufHcient fotf 
* thfefe things V And fhall'Wf be catelefs or lazy,* 
as if we were fufficient ? * What manner of per-- 
« fohs ought we to be' not only * in all holy con- 
^ verfation and godlinefs,' but in all knowledge,r 
refolution, and diligence ! 

To preach a fermon, I think, is not the hardeft 
, part of our work. And yet what ikill is neccifary 


Pan r. Mad Confefuenct dfu Dejictency. fj 

to make plain the ttuth ; to convince the hearers f 
to let irrcfiftible light into their confciences, and 
tcep it there ; to drive the truth mto their minds^ 
and anfwer every objedioa that oppofes it ; and at 
the fame time,- to do all thir with regarJ to the 
language and manner^ fo as bcft becomes our work ;, 
as is moft fuitable to the capacities of our hearers ^ 
and fo a» to honour that great God, wbofe melFage 
we deliver, by our delivery of it ! 

It is a lamentable cafe, that, in a meflage frorty 
the God of heaven, of cverlafting confequence to 
the fouls of men, we fliould behave ourfelves fo,. 
as that the whole bufinefs fhould mifcarry in ouy 
hands : that God fhould be di/honoured j his- 
work difgraced ; and finners rather hardened than- 
converted, through our weafcnefs or negledl. How 
tftetx have carnal hearers gone jeering home, at the^ 
palpable and diflionourable failings of th^e preacher f 
How many fleep under us, becaufe our hearts and 
tongues are fleepy, and we bring not with us fkill 

and zeal enough to awaken them ! Brethren, do- 

you not fhrink and tremble under a fenfe of thfe 
greatncfs of your work ? Will a common meafure 
of ability and prudence ferve for fueh a tafk as - 
yours ? — Neccflity may indeed caufe the church to 
tolerate the weak ', but woe to us if we tolerate 
and indulge our own weaknefs* 

Do not reafon and confcience tell you, that if 
you dare venture on fo high a work as this, yoii 
flrould fpare no pains to be fit for the performance 


14 NeceJJtty of Diligence. Part I. 

of it ? It is not now and then an idle tafte of (ludies. 
that will ferve to make an able divine. I know 
that lazinefs has learned to argue, from the infufE- 
ciency of all our ftudies, that the Spirit muft 
wholly and alone qualify us for, and aflift us in 
our work. But can we reafonably think that God, 
having commanded us to ufe the means, would 
warrant us to negled them ? Will he caufe us to 
thrive in a courfe of idlenefs ? Or bring us to 
knowledge by dreams ? Or take us up to heaven 
and fhew us his counfels, while we are unconcerned 
about the matter f Strange ! that men ihould dare, 
by their finful lazinefs, thus to quench the fpirit ! 
God has required us that we ' be not flothful in 
* bufinefs, but fervent in fpirit, ferving the Lord/ 
Therefore, brethren, lofe no time : ftudy, pray, 
difcourfe, and praftife ; that by thefe means your 
abilities may be increafed. 

Befides the compofition of fermons, how many 
other things ihould a miniiler underfland ! What 
a great defe£l would it be to be ignorant of them ; 
and how much fhall we mifs fuch knowledge in 
our work ! In order to gain a competent meafure 
of knowledge, a variety of books mull be read, 
[and. well digefted.] Experience will teach you, 
that men are not to be made learned or wife, with^ 
out hard (ludy and unwearied diligence. Shall 
we then be indolent ? "Will neither the natural 
defirc of knowings nor the fpiritual defire of know- 

Part I . NiceJJity of Diligence. t g 

ing God and things divine, nor the confcioufner$ 
of our ignorance arid weaknefs, nor a fenfe of the 
importance of our minifterial work, keep us clofe 
to our ftudies, and make us diligent in feeking 
after truth ? 

We fhould the rather take heed to our qualifi« 
cations, becaufe fuch works as ours put men more 
upon the ufe and trial of their graces, than thofe 
of other perfons. Weak gifts and graces may car- 
ry a man through an even and laudable courfe of 
life, who is not exercifed with any great trials. 
Small ftrength may ferve for eafier works, and 
lighter burdens: but if you will venture on the 
great undertakings of the Miniftry ; if you will 
engage againfl ' principalities and powers, and fpi* 

* ritual wickednefles', in order to refcue captive 
finners from the dominion of Satan, and lead on 
the troops of Chrift in the face of all their ene- 
mies, common abilities will not be fullicient. The 
tempter will make his firft and fharped onfet on 
YOU. He bears you the greateft malice, who are 
engaged to do him the greateft mtfchief. He has 
found, by experience, that to * fmtte the (hep- 

* herd,* is the moft effeftual means to * fcatter 

* the flock.' You therefore fhall have his nioft 
fubtile infinuations, inceflant foltcitations, and vio- 
lent affaults. So that you muft expeft to come off 
with greater fhame and deeper wounds, than if you 
had lived a common life^ if you think to go 


1 6 Ueccfftfy tif DiVigenu. Part T^ 

through fuch things as thefe >Vith a carelefs fowl. 
We have fcen many perfons that lived a private life, 
in good reputation for parts and piety, who, when 
they have takerv upon them either the magiftracy, 
or military employment^ where the work was fu- 
pcriot to their abilities, have met with feandal and 
Hifgrace. ^ So alfo have we feen fome private chrif^ 
tians of good efteem, who having thought todf 
highly of their abilities, and thruft themfelves into- 
the miniftcrial office, have proved weak and empty 

■ men, and have become fome of the greateft burdens 
to the church. ' They might, perhaps, have done 
God more fervice, had they continued in the highet 
rank of private men, than they did among the 
loweft of the miniftry. If then you will venture 
into the midft of dangers, and bear the burden of 
the day, • take heed to yourfelves.* 

This care and diligence is now the more re- 
\ quifite for minifters, becaufe the neceffity of the 
I cfhurch forces fo many from our places of educa- 
\ tion fo very young, that they are obliged to teach 

■ and learn together. It were very defirable that 
the church fliould wait longer for their prepara- 
tion, if it were poffible ; but I would by no means 
difcourage fuch young perfons as are drawn out by 
mere neceffity; if they are but competently quali'- 
fied, and quickened with earneft dcfires of menV 
falvation, to clofe ftudy, and great diligence in thei» 
work.^— — And this is ncceflary \ for if the people 


Part I. Proper Ends to be kept tn plew. tj 

take them to be ignorant, they will defpife their 
teaching, and think themfelves as wife as they. 
The loweft degree tolerable in a minifter, is to be 
- f^P^^ vulgus fideltum^ It will produce fome degree 
of reverence, when your people know that you 
are wifer than themfelves. 

If you are confcious that you are none of the 
mofl able minifters, and defpair of being reverenced 
for your talents, you Ijave the more need to ftudy 
and labour for their increafe. That which you 
want in natural ability, you'muft make up in other 
qualifications ; and then you may be as fuccefsfui 
as other pcrfons. 

III. Take heed to yaurfelves, that your endj 
in undertaking and difcharging the minifterial ofSce 
are good and honmirable. 

The ultimate end of our paftoral overfight, is 
that which is the ultimate end of our whole lives t 
viz. to pleafe and glorify God. With this is con- 
nefted the honour of Chrift, the welfare of the 
church, and the falvation of our people : their 
fandlification and hdy obedience ; their unrty, or- 
der, beauty, ftrength, prefervation, and increafe. 

The whole minifterial work muft be managed 
purely for God, and the good of fouls, without 
any private ends of our own. Thi* is our fince- 
rity in it. None but the upright make God their 
end;^> or do all or any thing heartily, for his honour.. 


i8 Proper Ends to be kept in View. Part I, 

As for other perfons, they choofe the miniftry 
rather thai> any other calling, either becaufe their 
parents devoted them to it ; or becaufe it is a 
pleafant thing to know ; and this is a life wherein 
they have the moft opportunity to furnifti their 
intellefts with all kinds of fcience ; or becaufe it 
is riot fo fatiguing to the body, (loving to favour 
the flefli) or becaufe it is accompanied with fome 
degree of reverence from men ; and they efteeqi j^ 
an honourable thing to be leaders and teachers ;~ 
to have others depend on them, and * receive the 
* law at their mouth ;' or becaufe it affords them a 
comfortable maintenance. For fuch ends as thefe 
do many undertake the miniftry ; and were it not 
for fome or other of thefe, they would foon give 
it over. 

Now can it be expeded that God (hould greatly 
folefs the fervices of fuch (men ; (ince it is not for 
him that they preach, but for themfelves ; their 
own eafe or advantage ? No wonder if he leave 
them to themfelves for the fuccefs. A wrong end 
fpoils all our work with regard to ourfelves, how 
good foever it may in itfelf be. They that under- 
take this as a common work, to make a trade of it, 
in order to their. fubfiftence in the world, will find 
that they have c^oferi a bad trade, though it be a^ 
good employment. Self-denial is of abfolute ne« 
ceflity in every chriftian ; but of double neceflity 
in a Minifter, as be hath a double fan£tijtication or 


^ Part I . Neceffity of a good Example. s g 

dedication to God ; and without felf-denial he can- 
not faithfully do God any fervice. Hard ftudies, 
much knowledge, and excellent preaching, if the 
end be not right, are but more glorious, hypocriti- 
cal finning. 

IV. Take heed to yourfelves, left you fall into 
thofe fins you preach againft, and left, by your ex- 
ample, you contradift your doftrine. 

Will you make it your bufinefs to magnify God, 
and when you have done, difhonour him as much 
as others ? Will you proclaim Chrift's governing 
power, and yet rebel againft it ? Will you preach 

his laws, and then wilfully break them ? If fin 

be evil, why do you commit it ? If it be not, why 
do you diifuade men from it ? If God's threaten- 
ings are true, why do you not fear them ? If they 
are falfe, why do you needlefsly trouble men with 
them ? * Thou that teacheft another, teacheft thou 

* not thyfelf ? Thou that makeft thy boaft of 

* the law, through breaking the law, difhonoureft 
' thou God?' It is a palpable error in thofe 
miniftcrs, who make fuch a difproportion between 
their preaching and their living, that they will 
ftudy hard to preach accurately, and ftudy little or 
not at ail to live accurately. They Jlre loth to 
mifplace a word in their fermons,' but they make 
nothing of mifplacing their afFe£lions, words, or 
anions in the courfe of their lives. They are fo 
nice in their compofitions, that they feem to look 


so The Danger aj falling into Sin, Part L 

upon it as a virtue in them to preach fcldom, that 
their language may be >the more polite ; and all 
the rhetorical writers they can meet with are prefled 
to ferve them for the adorning their ftyle ; but 
when it comes to matter of pradlice, how little do 
they regard what they faid ? What a difference is 
there between their pulpit-fpeechcs and their fami- 
liar difcourfe ! They that are moft impatient of 
barbarifms and folecifms in a fermon, can too eafily 

tolerate them in their converfation. Surely^ 

brethren, we have great caufe to take heed what 
we doy as well as what wc/ay. A praftical doc- 
trine muft be praftically preached. We muft 
ftudy as hard how to live well, as how to preach 
well. If the faving of fouls be your end, you will 
certainly attend to it out of the pulpit, as well as; 
in it ; you will live for it, and contribute all your 
endeavours to attain it. If you intend the end of 
the miniftry only in the pulpit, it feems you take 
yourfelves for minifters no longer than you are 
there : and if fo, I think you are unworthy to he 
cfteemed fuch at all. — You have very great need 
of the ftrifteft care over your conduct ; for 

1 . You have the fame depraved nature and finful 
inclinations as others. There arc, in the beft of 
us, the remnants of pride, unbelief, felf-feeking, 
hypocrify, and other fins. How fmall a matter 
may caft us down, by enticing us to folly, enkind- 
ling Qur paffions, perverting our Judgments, 


Parti. Sins of MlniJIers highly aggravated. 21 

abating our refolution, and cooling our zeal ! 
Without great care, our treacherous hearts may 
fome time or another deceive us ; and thofe fins 
that feem to lie dead, may revive. 

2. RemembeV too, that as you have the fame 
evil difpofitions as other perfons, you are expofed 
to temptations peculiar to yourfelves ; particu- 
larly (as- has been already obferved) from the great 
enemy of fouls ; who obtains a very great conquefl, 
if he can make a minifter unfaithful, and tempt 
him into fin. Do oot gratify your grand adver- 
fary, nor give him an occafion to infult and 

3. Many eyes are upon you, and therefore 
many will obferve your falls. The eclipfes of the 
fun by day-time, are feldom without many wit- 
nefles* If other men may fin without great ob- 
fervation, you cannot. While you are * as lights 
^ fet upon an hill, you cannot be hid.* The light 
of your doftrine will expofe your evil doings. 
Live therefore as thofe who remember that the 
world looks on you with the quick fighted eye of 
malice, ready to find the fmalleft fault ; to aggra- 
vate and divulge it ; yea, to make faults where 
there are none. 

4. Take/ heed to your conduS, becaufe your 
fms are attended with more heinous aggravations . 
than thofe of other men. It was a faying of king 
Alphonfus, " that a great man cannot commit a 

" fmall 


Sins of Mintfters highly aggravated. Part I. 

" fmall fin." We may with more propriety fay, 
that a learned m^n, and a teacher of others, cannot : 
or at leaft, that that fin is great when committed 
by him, which would be efteemed fmaller in 
another perfon. — Your fins are committed againft 
greater knowledge than the fins of moft others can 
be. They difcover greater hypocrify, and carry in 
them greater treachery. You are laid under more 
folemn obligations to abftain from them than 
other men, and you enjoy fuperior advantages for 
fo doing. 

5. Take heed of falling into fin, becaufe the 
honour of your Lord and Mafter is concerned. 
As you may do him more fervice, fo you may do 
him more diflervice than others. The nearer men 
(land to God, the greater diflionour does he receive 
from their mifcarriages. A heavy judgment was 
threatened and executed on Eli and his houfe, be- 
caufe they * kicked at his facrifice and offering ;* 
and we are told, * the fin of the young men was 

* great before the Lord,' becaufe on account of 
their prophane behaviour, * men abhorred the 

* offering of the Lord.' The aggravation of their 
fin was, that it ^ caufed the enemies of the Lord 

, * to blafpheme ;' which circumftance provoked 
God toxical more fliarply with David^ with refpeft 
to his crime, than otherwife he would have done. 
Never give finners occafion to fay, " there goes a 
** covetous, or a drunken prieft :" or to refleft, 


Part I. Their Succefs hindered thereby, 23 

when they fee you, that ** notwithftandrng all 
** your talk, you are as bad as they." * Offences 
* will come : but woe to the man by whom they 

. * come.' You- * bear the ark of the Lord ;' you 
are intrufted with his honour ; and dare you 
let it fall ? Take heed, in the name of God, of 
every word you fpeak, and of every ftep you take. 
God will indeed wipe off all the difhonour that " 
may be cafl upon him ; but you will not fo eafily 
remove the fhame and forrow from yourfelves. 
Once more 

6. Take heed to your condu£l, becaufe the 
fuccefs of all your labours does very much depend 
upon it. If you unfay by your lives, what you 
fay with your lips, you will prove the greatefl hin- 
derers of your own work. It greatly prevents our 
fuccefs, that other men are all the week contra- 
dlfting to the people in private, what we have 
been fpeaking to 'them from the word of God, in 
public ; but it will prevent it much more, if we 
contradi<5k it ourfelves ; if our actions give our 
words the lie. This is the way to make men 
think that the word of God is but an idle tale. 
Surely he that means as he fpeaks, will do as he 
fpeaks. One improper word, one unbecoming ac- 
tion, may blaft the fruit of many a fermon. 

Say, brethren, in the fear of God, do you regard 
the fuccefs of your labours, and wifh to fee it upon 
the fouls of your hearers^ or do you not ? If you 


S4 5r-&^ Succefs ofMlniJiers. P^t 1. 

do not, why do you ftudy and preach, and call 
yourfelves* the minifters of Chrift ? If you do> 
furely you cannot eafily be induced to fpoil your 
own work. You do not much regard the fuccefs 
of it, if you are willing to fell it at fo cheap a 
rate, as for the indulgence of any fin. Long 
enough may you lift up your voices againft fin, be- 
fore men will believe there is any fuch harm in it, 
or fuch danger attentiing it as you talk of, if they 
fee you commit it yourfelves. While men have 
eyes as well as ears, they will think th^y fee your 
meaning as well as hear it; and they are much 
more ready to believe what they fee than what they 
hear. All that a preacher docs is a kind of preach- 
ing« When you live a covetous or carelefs life ; 
when you drink or game, or wafte your time, &c. 
hy your pradlice you preach thefe fins to your 
people. They will give you leave to fpeak againft 
thefe things in the pulpit as much as you will, if 
you will but let them alone afterwards, and talk 
and live as they do ; for they take the pulpit to 
be but as a ilage ; a place where preachers mud 
fliew themfelves and play their parts ; where you 
; have liberty for an hour to fay v^hat you pleafe. 
They will not much regard it, if you do Dot flie^, 
by your condudt amongft them, that you meant as 
you faid. 

Confider further, fince the fuccefs of your la- 
bours depends on the grace and bleffing of God, 


Part I. requires Life and Vigour in Religion. 25 

whether you will not by your fins, provoke him 
to forfake you, and blaft your endeavours ; at lead 
with regard to yourfelves, though he may in fomc 
meafure blefs them to his people. Once more, 

V* Take heed to yourfelves, that your graces 
be maintained in Ufe and in action. 

For this end, preach to yourselves the fer- 
mons you ftudy, before you preach them to others. 
If you were to do this for your own fakes, it would 
lie no ioft labour. But I principally recommend It 
on die public accouilt, and for the fake of the 
church. When yotir minds are in a holy frame, 
your people are likely to partake of it. Your 
prayers and praifes and dodrine will be fweet and 
heavenly to them. They are likely to feel it when 
you have been mych with God. That which is 
on your hearts moft, will be moft in their ears. I 
confefs, I mud fpeak it by lamentable experience,i 
that I publifh to my flock the diftempcrs of my 
foul. When I let my heart grow cold, my preach- 
ing is cold ; and when it is confufed, my preaching 
is confufed alfo. And I have often obferved, in \ 
the beft of my hearers, that when I have grown 
cold in preaching, they have grown cold accord- 
ingly. The next prayers I have heard from them, 
have been too much like my fermons. You cannot 
decline and negleS your duties, but others will be 

C lofers 


s6 Immediate Preparation for the Pulpit, Part L 

lofers by it as well as yourfelves. If we let our 

love decreafe, and if we abate our holy care and 

watchfulnefs, it will foon appear in our doctrine. 

If the matter fhew it not, the manner will ; and 

our hearers are likely to fare the worfe for it. 

Whereas^ if we could abound in faith and love 

and zealy how wpuldthey overflow to the refreshing 

of our congregations ! and how would this appear 

by increafing the fame graces in our people! 

Watch therefore, brethren, over your own hearts. 

Keep out lufls, and worldly inclinations ; and keep 

ipp the life, of faith and love. Be much at home^ 

and be much with God. If it be not your daily 

ferioos bufinefs to ftudy your own hearts^ to fubdue 

corruptions, and to walk: with God, all will go 

amifs with you, and you will Aarve your audience. 

Or if you have an afFeSed fervency^ you cannot 

exped any great blefling to attend it.— Above 

ally be much in fecret prayer and meditation. There 

you muft fetch the heavenly fire, that muft kindle 

your facrifices. 

But befides this general courfe of watchfulnefs 
for oufffelves and others, methinks a minifler fhould 
take fome. fpecial pains with his own heart, juft be- 
fore he goes to the congregation. If it be cold 
THEN, how is he likely to warm the hearts of his 
hearers ? Go then to God, efpecially, for life. 
Read fome rouiing awakening book ^ or meditate 


Part I, Immediate Preparatim for the Pulpit. «y 

on the vaft importance of the fubje6l on which you 
are to fpeak; and on the great neceflity of your 
peoples fouls ; that thus you may go in * the zeal 
' of the Lord, into bis houfe*/ 

* With a yiew to the objeCI above recommended by Mr* 
Baxter, Dr. Doddridge frequemly read a pafTage from this work 
of his, on the Lord's day morning previous to his going out to 
preach ; and fome other minifien have experieiiced the utilitf 
^ doing the Cune« 

The End of the First Part; 


[ 88 ] 


Of the Duty of Jiated Minifters with 
refpeSt to their People. 

HAyiNG (hewed you, as it was firft neccflary, 
what we muft be, and what we znuft do for 
our own fouls, I proceed to the 

SECOND branch of the exhortation : ' Take 
• heed unto all the flock over which the Holy 
' Ghoft hath made you overfeers, to feed the church 
« of God/ 

Here it is neceifarily fuppofed, That every flock 
fiiould have their own paftor, and every paftor his 
own flock. It is the will of God, that chriftians 
ihould ' know their teachers that labour among 
' them, and are over them in the Lord.' Paulzni, 
Barnabas ' ordained elders in every church.' 
Though a minifter be an officer in the univerfal 
church, yet he is in an efpecial manner the over- 
seer of that particular church which is committed 
to his care. When we are -ordained minifters, 


Part II. The Exhortation explained, "ft^ 


without a fpecial charge, we are licenced and com- 
manded to do our beft for ail, where we are called 
to exercife ^ but when we have undertaken a par- 
ticular charge, we have reftrained the exercife of 
our gifts and guidance efpedally to that : fo that 
we fliould allow others no more of our time and 
help than our own flock can fpare. From this 
relation of paftor and flock, arife thofe duties which 
we mutually owe each other. 

It is further implied^ that our flocks fhbuld be 
no larger than we are capable of overfeeing, or 
taking the care of. The nature of the paftoral 
work is fuch as requires it to be done by the paftof 

By the flock or church is tneant that particular 
fociety of chriflians of which a bifliop or elder has 
the charge ; aiibciated for perfonal communion in 
God's public worfliip, and for other mutual affift* 
ance in the way to falvation. The word TQt{Mfm 
properly fignifies a little flock. 

What is meant when we are exhorted 7roiii«vei¥ 
rvjV 6}iHKyi(ricaf feems to be, not only to fied the 
church, a$ it is tranfiated ; nor merely to rule it, 
as fome underftand it ; but to perform every branch 
of the paftoral overfight. In a word, it xspaftorem 
agere ; to do the work of a Paftor or Shepherd to 
the flock : The feveral branches of which fliall 
now be confidered^ 

C 3 CHAP- 

80 7%i grand Deftgn Part II. 


Of a Minifter'sjiated public Work : Preaching; Prayer; 
and adminijtering the Sacraments, 


NE of the moft important and moft excellent 
parts of our work is 

I. The public preachikg of the Word* 
[Here we fhall fuggeft a few thoughts on the <le« 
iign of preaching-— the manner of it — the pronun- 
ciation— i»and the compofition of fermons.] 

1. Of the Design of Preaching. 

The grand defign of preaching is» to fhew men 
their trueft happinefs^ and to dired them how to 
attain it. -«- It is the great work of chriftian minifters 
to acquaint men with God, and that glory which 
all his chofen people fhall enjoy in his prefence ; to 
ihew them the certainty and excellence of the pro- 
mifed felicity in the life to come, compared with 
the vanities of the prefent world, that fo we may 
turn the ftream of their thoughts and afFe£tions ; 
bring them to a due contempt of this world, and 
put them upon feeking that durable treafure. This 
is the work about which we are to treat with men, 
day after day ; for could we once bring them to 
propofe a right end, ^nd fet their hearts unfeign- 


Chap, 1, of preaching the Go/pel, 31 

edly on God and heaven, the greatcft part of our 
bufinefs would be done. 

Having fhewn thenni the right end, our next 
work is to acquaint them with the right means of 
attaining it. We muft firft teach them the evil and 
danger of fin ; then we muft open to them the 
great myfteries' of redemption ; — the perfon, na- 
tures, incarnation, life, fufFerings, death, refurrec- 
tion, afcenfion, interceflion, and dominion of the 
bleffcd Son of God. As alfo, the conditions imi. 
pofed on us ; the duties he has commanded u« ; 
the everlafting torments he has threatened to the 
finally impenitent ; the rich treafury of his blef- 
(ings and grace ; the tenour of his promifes, and 
all the privileges of the faints. We muft recom* 
mend to them a life of holinefs and communion 
■with God. We muft excite them to, and dired 
them in, the performance of all the fpiritual dutie^ 
which the gofpel requires. At the fame time wc 
muft difcover to them the deceitfulnefs of their 
own hearts ; the many difficulties and dangers they 
will meet with ; cfpecially we muft fliew them the 
depth of Satan's temptations, and affift them againft 
all thefe. We muft reveal and recommend to them 
the great and gracious defigns of God, in his works 
of creation, providence, redemption, juftification, 
adoption, fandification, and glorification. In a 
word, we muft teach them as much as we can, of 
the whole works and word of God. And what 

C 4 two 

ga Great Skill and Fervency Part 1 1 ► 

two volumes are here for a minifter to preach upon! 
How great, how excellent, how wonderful ! AH 
chriflians are the difciples or fcholars of Chrift : 
the church is his fchool : we are his ufhers ; the 
Bible is his grammar : this it is we mud be daily 
teaching them. The Papifls would teach them 
without book, left they fhould learn hereftes from 
the word of truth; but our bufmefs is not to teach 
them without book, but to help them to underftand 
this book of God. 

2. Of the Manner of Preaching. 

Preaching is a work which requires greater (kill^ 
and efpecially greater life and zeal, than any of us 
commonly bring to it. It is no trifling matter to 
ftand up in the face of a congregation, and deliver 
a meflage of falvation or damnation, as from the 
living God, in the name of the Redeemer. It is no 
eafy thing to fpeak fo plainly that the moft ignorant 
fnay underftand us ; fo ferioufly that the .deadeft 
heart may feel, and fo convincingly that contradid^ 
ing cavillers may be filenced. — Certainly, if our 
hearts were fet upon the work of the Lord as they 
ought to be, it would be done more vigoroufly than 
by the moft of us it is. Alas I how few minifters 
preach with all their might, or fpeak about everlaft- 
ing joys and torments in fuch a manner as may 
make men believe that they are in earneft ! It would 
make a man's heart ache to fee a number of dead 


Ckap. I. effifaiinl t9 gQod PreacSing. Si 

and (kewfy Tinners fit uitder a minifter, without: 
having a word that is likely to quicken or awakeA 
them. The blow often falls fo light, that hard- 
hearted perfons cannot feel. Few minifters will fo 
much as exert their voice and ftir themfelves up to 
an earncft delivery. Or if they fpeak loud and \ 
earneftly, oftentimes they do not anfwer it with | 
earneftnefs of matter ; and then the voice does but / 
little good. The people will efteem it but mere 
bawling if the matter does not correfpond; On the 
other hand^ it would grieve one to hear what ex- ^ 
cell^nt fobje^s fome miniflers treat upon, who yet 
let them die in their hands for want of a clofe / 
and lively application ; what fit nnatter they have 
for convindSig finners^ and yet bow Uttle they make 
rf it. 

O firs? how plain, how clofe, how feribus 
ftould we be in delivering a meifage of fuch im-^ 
portance as ours, when the everlafting life or 
death of men are concerned in it ! Methinks we 
are no where fo much wanting, as in ferioufnefs ;, 
yet nothing is more unfuitable to our bufinefs^ 
than to be (light and duU. What! fpeak. coldly 
for God, and fof the falvation of raci> f Can* wp, 
believe that our people muft be converted or con- 
denmed, and yet can we fpeafc to them ict a: drowfy 
tone ? In the name of God,, brethren^ awaken; 
your hearts before you come into the pulpit ;. that 
when you are there you may be fit to waien tH© 

C 4 hearts 

34 Terventy in Preaching recommended^ Part II. 

hearts of finners. Remember^ that they muft be 
Awakenedy or damned : but furely a fleepy preacher 
is not likely to awaken them» Though you grve 
the holy things of God the higheft praifes in 
^ords, if you do it coldly, you will unfay by your 
manner all that you have faid. It is a kind of 
contempt of great things, efpecially fo great as thefe, 
to fpeak of them without great affedion and fer- 
vency, * Whatfoever our hand findcth to do, 
(certainly then in fuch a work as preaching for 
men's falvation) we ihould ' do it with all our 
* might.' Though I do not recommend a con^- 
ftant loudnefs in your delivery, (for that will make 
your fervency contemptible) yet fee to it, that you 
have a conftant ferioufnefs ; and when the matter 
requires it (as it ihould do in the application, a<t 
lead) then. * lift up your voice and fpare not* your 
fpirits. Speak to your hearers as to men that 
muft be awakened either here or in hell. Look 
upon your congregation with ferioufnefs and com*.^ 
paffion ; and think in what a (late of joy or tor>.> 
ment they muft be for ev^r ; and that furely will 
make you earneft, and melt your hearts for them. 
Whatever you do, let the people fee that you are 
in good earneft. You cannot foften men's hearts 
by jefting with them, or telling them a fmooth 
tale, or patching up a gawdy oration. They will 
not caft away their deareft pleafures, at the drowfv- 
xequeft of one who feems not to mean as he 


Chap. I. Fervency in Preaching recommended. 35 

fpeaks, or to care much whether his requcft be 
granted or not. 

Let us then roufe up ourfelves to the work of 
the Lord* Let us fpeak to our people as for tlieir 
lives, and * fave them as by violence^ pulling them 
' out of the fire.* Satan will not be charmed oat 
of his pofleffions ; we mud lay fiege to the fouU 
of iinners, which are his chief garrifon ; muft play 
the battery of God's ordnance againft it, afid play 
it clofe, till a breach is made ; not fuiFering them 
to make it up again. As we have reafonable 
creatures to deal with, we muft (ee to it that our 
fermons be all convincing ; and that we make the 
light of fcripture and reafon fhine fo bright in the 
faces of the ungodly, that unlefs they wilfully fhut 
their eyes, it may even force them to fee. A fcr- 
mon full of mere words, while it wants the light 
of evidence, and the zeal of life, is but an image, 
or a welUdrefled carcafe. In preaching, there is 
intended a communion of fouls between us and 
our pec^le ; or a communication of fomewhat from 
ours to theirs. We muft endeavour to communi- 
cate the fulleft^ light of evidence, from our under- 
ftandings to theirs \ and to warm their hearts, by 
enkindling in them holy aifedions fronx our own. 
The great things which we are to commend to our 
hearers, have reafon enough on their fide, and lie 
plain before them in the word of God. We (hould 
therefore be fo furnifhed with a proper ftore of 

C 6 evidence,, 

g6 Of Pronunciation and Comfojiifan. P^rt !!» 

evidence, as to come as with a torrent upon their 
underdandings, and bear down all before us. With 
our dilemmas and expoftulations, we ihould endea- 
vour to bring them to a nonplus, that th^y may be 
forced to yield to the power of truth ; to fe^ that 
it is great iind will prevail. 

3. Of the PRaNUNCIATlON. 

A great matter with mod of our hearers, lies in 
the pronunciation and toiiie of the voice. The 
beft matter will not move them uiJefs it be 
novingly delivered^ When a man has a reading or 
declaiming tone, and fpeaks like a fchool-boy fay- 
ing a leiTon, or pronouncing an oration, few are 
inuch afieded witb any thing that he fays. The 
want of a familiar tone and exprei&on, is as great 
a defed in the delivery of moft of us, as any thing 
whatever : in this refpe£l therefore we ihould be 
careful to amend. Let us guard againft all affe£la-^ 
tion, and fpeak as familiarly to our people as i£ 
iHt were fpeaking to any of them perfonally. 

4* Of the Composition of Sermons. 

In the ftudy of our fermons we are apt. to be toa 
negligent ; gathering only a few naked heads, and 
not confidering of the moft forcible expreifions ta 
fct them home to men's hearts. We muft ftudy 
how to convince and get within men, and how to 
bring each truth to the quick ; not leaving all this 


Chap. J. Of public Profer, 3j 

to our extempore promptitude^ unlefs it b« |i| cafe^ 
of neceffity*. 

Next to preachingi aBOthcr very importa|;it pafj 
of our public work i«, . , 

II. To guide our people, and be their mout^ 
to God in the prayers and ^praises of. the 
church ; as alfo to blefs them in the nanie of the 

This facerdotal part of our office is not the kaft ; 
nor ought it to be thru ft into a corner, as it too 
frequently is. A very coniiderable part of God's 
public fervice, was wont in all ages of the churchy 
till of late, to confift in praifes and euchariftical a6ts 
of communion. The Lord's day was kept as a 
day of thankfgiving, in the hymns, and common 
rejoicings of the faithful ; in fpecial commemora- 
tion of the work of redemption, and the happy 
condition of the gofpel church. Though I am as 
apprehenfive of the neceffity of preaching as moft 
perfons, yet I think it ought not to prevent our 
folemn prayers to, and praifes of God, from em- 
ploying more of the Lord's day than they generally 

* Mr. Baxter was ufed in general to write his fermons at / 

length, as moft of our old divines did. In fome place ki his I 

writings, he acknowledges and laments it, when, he negle£led \ 

this, as the efFe6l of indolence, and. as produ£Uve of unhappf | 

confeqaences. Some excelkoit dire^ons fof the compofitioa } 
of fcnnons may be feea in DiMridgc's Prtodiing Lt&ures, 


38 Ofpuhltc Prayer y Baptifm, &c. Part II. 

do. Ourwodhip fliould be as evangelical as our 
dodrine. [Now as it is our bufinefs to lead the 
devotions of our people on fuch folemn occafions, 
iirc ought to take heed that we do it with fiich pro- 
priety and fervour as will be conducive to their real 
edification.] * 

Another part of our paftoral work is 


III. The adminiftration of the facred myfteries^ 
or the feals of God's covenant, baptism> and 
the LoRD*s SUPPER. 

Some minifters totally negleft thefe ordinances ; 
others adminifter them in ^ very carelefs manner j 
and a third fort lay a very undue ftrefs on trifling 
circumftances relating to them, and make them a 
matter of much contention, even in that ordinance,, 
in which union and communion, are fo much pro- 
fefled, [We not only ought carefully to avoid afl 

* It is much to be wifbed that Mr. Baxter had enlarged a 
little on the fubjcft of public prayer ; which, though a 
part of divine worlhip of peculiar importance, is often worfc 
performed than any other. Sec fome too* juii complaints on 
this head in the Evang, Mag, for June 1807. Mr. Baxter 
greatly excelled in prayer; of which one evidence^ appears in 
his Reformed Liturgy, and in the forms which he drew up for 
families. Thefe are introduced in A CoUeBion of Family Pray* 
trSy and they are fome of the beft in the volume, from which 
young miniliers might derive much affiQance« 


Chap. II. Ofperfonallnfpe£fion. j^ 

thefe faults^ but take peculiar pains rn the admini- 
ftration of thefe ordinances, for the edification of 
the church*.] 


Ofperfonal InfpeSfion and private InliruBlon. 

WE are commanded to * take heed to all 
* the flock ;' that is, doubtlefs, to every in- 
dividual member of it. To which end, it is 
necelTarily fuppofed that we fhould know every 
perfon that belongs to our charge ; for how can wfc 
take heed to them if we do not know them ? We 
muft labour to be acquainted, as fully as we can, 
not only with the perfons, but with the ftate of all 
our people, — their inclinations, and converfations ; 
what are the fms they are mod in danger of ; what 
duties they negleft, both with refpeft to the matter 
and the manner ; and to what temptations they are 
peculiarly liable. If we know not the tempera- 
ment or difeafe, we are likely to prove unfuccefsful 

* See on this head Dvidfidge\ Lefiures— Af<2/on's Student 
9Dd FjaftQx— and OrtqrC^ Lieitters to DiiTenting Mioiftexs*. 


40 Of private lnfp<Si9n. Part 11^ 

Being thus acquainted with all the flock, we 
muft do the work of a paftor towards every indivi- 
dual. And one would imagine, that all reafonable 
men would be fo well fatisfied in, regard to this, 
that nothing need be faid to recommend it. Does 
not a careful (hepherd look after every individual 
iheepy and a good phyfician attend every particular 
patient ? Why then fhould not the ffaepherds and 
the phyficians of the church take heed to every 
individual member of their charge ? Chrift himfelf^ 
the great and * good (hepherd,' who has the whole 
dock to look after, takes care of every individual ; 
like him whom he defcribes in his parable, who 
< left the ninety-nine fiieep in the wildernefs, ta 
« feek after one that was loft.' Paul * taught 

* th« people publicly, and from houfe to houfe/ 
He * warned every man, and taught every man, 

* that he might prefent every man perfeS in 

* Chrift Jefus.' We are to * watch for fouls, as 

* thofe that muft give an account' how we have 
done it. Heb. xiii. 17. 

To thefe and a variety of other fcriptures, which 
might be quoted to our prefent purpofe, I might 
add many palTages from the ancient councils, frotn 
whence it appears that fuch a perfonal infpe£iion. 
was the praftice of the moft ancient, times. I 
fliall only mention one from Ignatius^ " Let 
V afTemblies be often gathered j feek after (or 

^* inquire 

Chap. 1 1. The Ignorant to he InJlruQed. 41 

** inquire of) all by name; defpife not feryant- 
** men or maids," Ignat, ad Polyc. 

To mention a few particulars : 

1. We fhould ufe all the means we can to 
in(lru£t the ignorant in the matters of their fal- 

We (hould ufe our own mod plain, familiar 
words in difcourfing with them, and fhould give or 
lend them fuch books as are fit for them. We 
fhould perfuade them to learn catechifms ; and 
dire^ fuch as cannot read, to get help of their 
neighbours, whom we fhould exhort to give them 
their affiflance ; efpecially fuch as have the beft 
opportunities for it, 

£• We fhould be ready to give advice to fuch as 
come to us with cafes of confcience ; efpecially 
that great cafe which the Jews put to Peter, and 
the jailer to Pajul and Silas, * What mufl we dp 
* to be faved ?* 

A minifter is not only to be emplayed in public 
preaching to his people, but fhould be a known 
counfellor for their fouls, as the lawyer is for. their 
eflates, and the phyfician for their bodies, No^ 
that a ipinifler (any more than a phyfician, or 
lawyer) ihould be troubled with every triflif^ matr 
ter about which others can advife them as well. 
But every man that is in doubts and difficulties 
about matters of importance, fhould bring his cafe 


4^ Cajei of Confcience to be refoJved, Part II, 

to his minifter for refolution. Thus Nicodemus 
came to Chrift, as it was ufual with the people to 
go to * the prieft, whofe lips were to preferve 

* knowledge, and at whofe mouth they were to 

* afk the law, becaufe he was the mefienger of the 

* Lord of Hofts.' Mai. ii. y,-^ Since the people 

are grown too much unacquainted with the office 
of the miniftry, and their own duty herein, it be- 
longs to us to acquaint them with it, and to prefe 
them publickly to come to us for advice in cafes of 
great concernment to their fouls. What abun- 
dance of good might we do, could we but bring 
them to this. But how few are thete who heartily 
prefs their people to it ! A fad eafe, that men's 
fouls fhould be injured and hazarded, by the total 
negleA of fo great a duty ; and that minifters 
Ibould fcarcely ever tell them of it and awaken 
them to it ! Were they but duly fenfible of the 
need and importance of it, you would have them 
more frequently knocking at your doors, to open 
their cafes, to make their complaints, and to alk 
your advice. I befeech you then, put them more 
upon this ; and perform your duty carefully Vhen 
they feek your help. 

To this end it is very neceffary, that we (hould 
be acquainted with praflical cafes, and efpecially 
with the nature of true grace, fo that we may 
affift them in trying their dates, and refolve the 
main queftion, which concejiis their everlafting 


Chap / 1 1 . Regard to Families recommended. 43 

life or death. One word of feafonable, prudent 
advice, given by a minifter to perfons in neceflity, 
has fometimes done that good which many fermons 
have failed of doing. 

3. We fhould have an efpecial eye upon fa* 
MI LIES, to fee that they be well ordered, and 
that the duties of each relation be well per- 

The life of religion, and the welfare and glory 
of church and ftate, depend much upon family 
government and duty. If we fuffer the. negled 
of this, we undo all. What are we likely to do 
towards the reforming a congregation, if all the 
work be caft upon us alone, and mailers of fami- 
lies negleft that neceffary duty of theirs, by which 
they are obliged to help us ? If any good be begun 
by the miniftry in any foul, a carelefs, prayerlefs, 
worldly family is likely to ftifle^ or very muck 
hinder it. Whereas if you could but get the jculers 
of families to do their part ; to take up the work 
where you left it, what abundance of good might 
be done by it ! Do all that you can therefore to 
promote this bufinefs, if ever you defire the true 
reformation and welfare of your parifhes. 

To this end, get information how every family 
is condudled, and how God is worfliipped in it, 
that you may know how to proceed. Go now and 
then among them, vhen they are mod at leifure, 
and aik the mafter of the family whether he prays 


44 Rigard to Families recommended. Part II. 

with them and reads the fcripture* Labour to con- 
vince fuch as negled this, of their iin. Pray 
with them before you go, to give them an ex- 
ample how you would have them pray, and get 
them to promife that they will be more confcien- 
tious therein for the future, — If you find any 
finable to pray in tolerable expreffions, through 
ignorance or difufe, perfuade th^m to ftudy their 
wants, and get their hearts affe£led with them. 
Advife them frequently to vifit thofe neighbours 
who ufe to pray, that they may learn ; and in the 
mean time recommend it to them to ufe a Form of 
prayer, rather than omit the duty. It is neceflary 
to mod illiterate people who have not been brought 
up where prayer has been ufed, to begin with a 
Form ; becaufe otherwife they would be able to do 
nothing. From a fenfe of their inability, they wilt 
wholly negleft the duty, though they defire to per- 
Form it. Many perfons can utter fome honeft 
requefts in fecret, who will not be able to fpeak 
tolerable fenfe before others ; and I will not be 
one of them who had rather the duty were wholly 
negle£ted, or prophaned and made contemptible^ 
than encourage them to ufe a Form, either recited 
by memory, or read.— Tell them however, that it 
is their fin and fhame to be fo unacquainted with 
their own necefiities, as not to know how to fpeak 
to God in prayer, when every beggar can find 
words to aik an alms ; and that this Form is only 


Chap. II. Peculiar Regard due to Families^ 45 

to be ufed, till they can do without it ; which they 
ought to endeavour after, that their expreflions 
may be varied according to their neceflities and 
obfervations. * ' 

See that befides the Bible, they have 'fome pro- 
fitable moving books in every family. If they 
have none, perfuade them to buy fome of a low 
price. If they are not able, either give thefn. 
or procure for them fuch as are likely to be of the 
greateft ufe to them. Engage them to read in the' 
evening, when they have leifure, but efpecially on 
the Lord's day ; and by all means perfuade them 
to teach their children to read. Particularly, dired 
them how to fpend the Sabbath ; how to difpatch 
their worldly bufinefs, fo as to prevent ertcuiri- 
brances and diflraAions ; and when they have at- 
tended public worihip, how to fpend their time in 
their families. The life of religion, among poor ' 
people efpecially, depends mnch upon this, be- 7^ 
caufe they have very little time befides this to fpare. 
If they lofe this, they lofe all, and will remain 

ignorant and brutifli. Perfuade the mafter of 

the family, every Lord's day evening, to caufe all 
his family to repeat fome catechifm to him, and 
give him an account of what they have learned 
that day in public— If you find any who cannot 
fpend the time profitably at home, advife them to 
take their families to fome godly neighbour that 



46 Ofvifitlng the Sick. Part 1 1 . 

If any in the fainilj are known to be uhruly, 
give the mafler a fpecial charge concerning them, 
and make him underftand what a fm it is to connive 
at, and tolerate them««— If you can thus get heads 
of families to perfonn their duty, they will fave 
you much pains with the reft, and greatly promote 
the fuccefs of your labours. You cannot expe£l a 
general reformation, till you procure family re- 
fermation. Some little obfcure religion there may 
be, in here and there one ; but while it flicks with 
(ingle perfons, and is not promoted by thefe focie- 
tieSf it does not profper, nor promife much for 
future increafe. 

4« Another part of our minifierial overfight lies 
in VISITING the sick^ and helping them to pre- 
pare for a fruitful life, or a happy death. 

Though this be the bufinefs of all our lives and 
theirs, yet a time of ficknels requires extraordi- 
nary care both in them and us. When time is 
almoft gone, and they muft be now or never recon- 
ciled to God and poflefled of his grace, oh ! how 
does it concern them to redeem their few remain- 
ing hours, to * lay hold on eternal life!' And when 
we fee that we fliall have but a few more days or 
hours with them, in which to fpeak to them in 
reference to their eternal ftate, what man that is 
not an Infidel, or to the lafl degree flupid, would 
not be with them^ and do all that he can in that 


Chapy II. Attendance on the Ski and Dying. 47 

fliort fpace for their falvation ! Will it not awaken 
us to compailion, to look upon a languifhing man, 
and think that within a few days his foul will be 
in heaven or in hell ? — So great is the change made 
by death, that it fhould awaken us to the greateft 
fenfibility to fee a man fo near it ; and it fhould 
excite in us .the deeped pangs of companion, to do 
the office of inferior angels for the foul, before it 
departs from the flefh, that it may be ready for 
the convoy of fuperior angels, to tranfmit it to the 
prepared glory. When a man is almoft at his 
journey's end, and the next ftep puts him into 
heaven or hell, it is time for us to help him, if we 
can, while there is hope. 

As the prefent n§ceifity of fick perfons fhould 
induce us to take that opportunity, for their good, 
fo fhould the advantage which ficknefs and the 
forefight of death afFordeth for it. There are few 
of the floutefl hearts but will hear us on their 
death-beds, though they fcorned us before. They 
will then be as tame as lambs, wha before ^ere as 
untradable as mad-men. I find not one in ten of 
the mofl obflinate fcornful wretches in the parifh, 
but whenthey come to die, will humble themfelves, 
confefs their faults, feem penitent, and promife, if 
they fhould recover, to reform their lives. With 
what refolution will the worft of them feem to 
caft away their fins, exclaim againfl their follies, 
aiid the vanities of the world, when they fee that 


48 Attendant M Ae Sick and Dying. Part IL 

death is in earned with them i I confefs it is very 
common for perfons at fuch a feafon to be frightened 
into ineiFedual purpofes, but not fo commcm to 
be converted to fixed refolutions. Yet there are 
fome exceptions. That there are fafiWf fhould 
make both them and us the more diligent in the 
time of health ; and that there are at^f (hould 
beftir us at laft, in the ufe of the laft remedies. 

It will not be ufelefs to our/ehes to read fuch 
leAures of mortality. Surely it will much try 
the faith and ferioufnefs of miniders or others, to 
be about dying men. They will have much op» 
portunity to difcern whether they themfelves are 
in earned about the affairs of the world to come. 
* It is better to go to the houfe of mourning, than 
^ to }he houfe of feafling ;' for it tends to make 
the* heart better when we fee the end of all the 
living, and what it is that the world will do for 
thoTe who fell their falvation for it. ^- It will excite 
us the better to confider the ufe of faith and holi- 
nefs, which cannot prevent us from dying, any 
more than others, but which may enable us to die 
better than they. — ^To render your vifits to the fick 
the more ufeful, take the following dire£lions. 

Stay not till their (Irength and underftandings be 
gone, and the time fo ihort that you fcarcely know 
what to do, but go to them as foon as you hear 
they are fick, whether they fend for y6u or not.—* 
When the time is fo ihort, that there is no oppor* 


Chap . II. Dire5iions for vifiting thi Ski* 49 

tunity to attempt the change of their hearts in that 
diflind and gradual way which is ufual with others^ 
we muft be fure to dwell upon thofe truths which 
are of the greatefl importance, and which are the 
mod likely to efFeft the great work of their con- 
verfion. — Shew them the certainty and glory of 
the life to come ; the way in which it was pur- 
chafed ; the great fin and folly of neglefting it in 
time of health ; yet the poffibility that remains of 
obtaining it, if they do but clofe with it heartily as 
their happinefs, and with the Lord Jefus. Chrift, 
as the way thereto ; abhorring themfelves for their 
former evil, and unfeignedly refigning up them- 
felves to be juftified, fandlified, ruled, and faved 
by him. Shew them the fufEciehcy and neceffity 
of the redemption by Jefus Chrift, and the fulnefs 
of the Spirit^ which they may and muft be par- 
takers of ; the nature and neceffity of faith, re- 
pentance, and refolutions for new obediehqe, 
according as there (hall be opportunity. Labour, 
.upon conviiSion and deliberation, to engage them 
by folemn promife to Chrift, that if their lives are 
fjpared, they will yield him fuch obedience *• 

* In Mr. Baxter's wofks (Vol. I. p, 511, &c.) there 13 
** A form of exhortation to the godly and the ungodly in their 
** ficknefs," centaining excellent direflions on this head. — 
Since this was written, the piece referred to has been printed, 
in a fmall volume, entitled, InftruSwn and Confolaiion to the 
Agedf the SicAf and tAc Dying* Burditt. Pr. s«, 

D U 

50 Sinners to be reproved, ^ Part I L 

If they recover, go to them purpofely to remind 
them of their promifes, that they may reduce them 
to praftice. If, at any time afterward, you fee 
ihem remifs, go to them again, to put them in 
mind of what they formerly faid. This is often 
bi great ufe to fuch as recover ; it has been the 
means of converting many a foul. It is neceflary 
I therefore, that you vifit them whofe ficknefs is 
not mortal, as well as them that are dying. You 
will hereby have fome advantage to bring them 
to repentance and newnefs of life, as you will 
afterwards have this to plead againd their fins* 
When the emperor Sigifmund afked the biftiop of 
-Colen *' What was the way to be fared r" he 
anfwered him, ** That he muft be what he pro- 
^* mifed to-be, when he was laft troubled with the 
** ftone or the gout." 

5. It is the duty of minifters to reprove and 
•dbnonifh fuch as have been guilty of notorious and 
Icandalous fins. 

Before we bring fuch matters to the congrega- 
tion, (of which hereafter) it is ordinarily fit for the 
minifler to try what he himfelf can do more pri- 
vately, to bow the fmner to repentance. A great 
deal of (kill is here required, and a difference muft 
be made according to the various tempers of the 
offenders. But with the moft, it will be neceffary 
to fall on with the greateft plainnefs and power ; 
to iliake their carelefs hearts, and fliew them the 


Chap. II. and i^^d Men encmragei. 51 

evil of fin ; its fad efFedis ; the unkindnefs, un- 
rekfonablenefs, unprofitablencfs, and other aggra- 
vations that attend k ; what it is they have done 
^gainft God, and themfelves. 

6. We ought to give due ;encouragement tO 
thofe humble, upright, obedient chriftians, jwbo 
profit by our .teaching, and ar& ornaments to tbeit 

We (hould, in the eyes of all the flock, put fome 
difference between them and others, by our more 
ffpecial familiarity, and other teftimonies of our 
approbation of, and rejoicing over them, that fo 
we may both encourage them, and excite others to 
imitate them. God's graces are amiable and ho- 
nourable in all, even in the pooreft of the flock. 
The fmalleft degrees muft be cherifhed and encou-^ 
raged ; but the higheft, more openly honoured, 
and propofed to imitation. They who flight the 
mofl: gracious becaufe they are of the laity, while 
they claim to themfelves the honour of the clergy, 
as they fhew themfelves proud and carnal, take the 
ready way to debafe themfelves, and to bring their 
office into contempt. If there be no honour due 
to the real fandlity of a chriftian, much lefs to the 
relative fanftity of a pailor ; nor can he reafonably 
cxpeft it fhould be given him. 

Da ^ CHAP. 

S9 ' Unconverted Sinners Part I !• 



f)/ Jeveral particular cafes and characters ^ to he r/- 
garded both in preaching and private dijcourje. 

*T7r TE are next to confider our minifterial work 
' ^ ^ (both in publicand in private) in'reference 
to the feveral qualities of the objeft. 

I. The firft part of it lies in bringing unfound 
profeffors to fincerity, that they who before were 
chriftians in name only, may be fuch indeed. 

Though we be not abfolutely certain that this 
€r that man in particular is unfound and unfan6li- 
fied, yet as long as we have a certainty that many 
fuch attend upon our miniftrations ; and fince we 
have a great probability that this is the charafter 
t)f fome that we can name, we have ground enough 
to go upon, in treating with them for their con- 

Alas ! the mifery of the unconverted is fo great, 
that it calls loudeft for our compaffion. They 

* are in the gall of bitternefs, and the bond of 

* iniquity/ They have no part or fellowftiip in 
the pardon of \fin, or the hope of glory. We have 
therefore a vyrork of great neceffity to do for them ; 
even to * open their eyes, to turn them from dark- 

* nefs unto light \ from the power of Satan unto 

« God, 

Chap. III. ObjeSfsofthegreateJi'CompaJJion. 53 


' God, that they may receive the forgivenefs df 

* fins, and an inheritance among the fanSified- by 
^ faith in Chrift ;' — to foften and opea their hearts,, 
to the entertainment of the truth, * if peradven- 

* ture God will give them repentance, to the ac- 

* knowledging of it, that they may efcape out of 

* the fnare of Satan, who are led captive by him at 
' his wiir.' 

It is fo fad a cafe to fee men in a ftate of dam- 
nation, that methinks we fliould not be able to let 
them alone, either in public or in private, whatever 
other work we have to do. I confefs I am forced 
frequently to negle£l: thjit which would tend to the 
further increafe of the godly, and what may be 
called * ftronger meat,' bccaufe of the lamentable 
ncceflity of the unconverted. — Who can talk of 
cdntroverfies, or nice uhneceflary points,, or even 
truths of a lower degree of neceflity, however ex- 
cellent, to gratify certain hearers of higher fan- 
cies, (who look for rarities, and expeft to have 
their ears pleafed) while he fees a number of igno» 
rant, carnal, miferable finners, before him, who 
muft be changed or damned ? Methinks I even fee 
them entering upon their final woe ! Methinks I 
hear them crying out for the fpeedieft help ! — If 
they have not hearts to feek or aik for help them- 
felvcs, their mi/ery fpeaks the louder. As Paul's 
(pirit was ftirred within him, when he faw the 
Athenians fo addided to idolatry, methinks it 

D 3 Ihould 

^4 ' Toung and weal Chrtjiians Part II, 

ihould cafl: us into one of his paroxyfms, to fee 
fuch numbers of men in the greateft danger of 
being everlaflingly undone. If by faith we did 
indeed look upon them as within a ftep of hell, it 
would more efFeftually untie our tongues, than 
Croefus's danger did the tongue of his fon. He 
. that will let a finner go down to hell for want of 
! fpeaking to him, has infinitely lefs efteem for fouls 
than the Redeemer of them had ; and lefs for his 
neighbour, than rational charity will allow him to 
have for the greateft enemy. Oh ! therefore, 
brethren, whomfoever you neglefi, negleft not 
the moft mifcrable. Whatever you pafs over, 
forget not poor fouls, who are under the condem* 
nation and curfe of the law, and who may every 
hour expeft the infernal execution, if a fpeedy 
change do not prevent it. Oh ! call after the 
impenitent with the greateft importunity, and dili- 
gently purfue this great work of converting fouls, 
i whatever elfc you leave undone ! 

II. The next part of our minifterial work, id 
for the building up thofe who are already converted. 
And here our work is various, according to the 
various conditions of fuch, 

i. Many of our flock are young and weak ; 
though of long ftanding, yet of fmall proficiency or 


Chap. III. need to he improved. 55 

Indeed this is the mod common condition of the 
godly: mod of them ftop at very low degrees of 
grace ; and it is no eafy thing to get them higher. 
To bring them to higher and ftrifier opinionSy is 
eafy enough ; but to increafe their knowledge and 
gifts, is not eafy \ and to increafe their graces is 
the hardeft of all. 

A ftate of weaknefs in grace is of very bad con- 
fequencc. It abates confolation and delight in 
God, and makes perfons lefs ferviceable to God 
and man. Th«y diihonour the gofpel, they do 
but little good to any about them, or to themfelves. 
And as they live to but little profit, they are un- 
willing, and too unfit, to die. How diligent then 
ihould minifters be to cherifh and increafe th« 
graces of God's people ! The ftrength of chriflian* 
is the honour of the church. When men are ki* 
flamed with the love of God ; live by a lively ope* 
rative faith ; fet light by the profits and honours of 
the world; love one another with a pure heart 
fervently ; can bear, and heartily forgive a wrong 5 
fuffqr joyfully for the caufe of Chrift \ walk in* 
offenfively in the world ; ftudy to do good,, wilirng 
to be the fervants of all for this end ;. becoming all 
things to all men that they may win tbem ; yet 
abftaining from the appearance of evil j and fca- 
foning all their anions with a fwcet mixture of 
prudence, humility, zeal, and heavenly fpirituality 5 
O what an. bonour arc they to thcic pjcofeflion ! 

D 4 what 

56 Regard due to dijlempered Part II. 

what ornaments to the church ! how excellently 
ferviceable to God and man ! The world would 
fooner believe that the gofpel is indeed a wbrk of 
truth and power, if they could fee more of thefc 
efFefts of it upon the hearts and lives of men. 
They are better able to read the nature of a man's 
religion in his life than in the Bible. Thofe that 

* obey not the word, may be won by the conver- 

* fation' of fuch as thefe. It is therefore a necef- 
fary part of our work, to labour after the polifhing 
and * perfefting of the faints,' that they may be 
ftrong in the Lord, and fitted for their matter's 

2. Another fort of converts, who need our 
affiftance, are fuch as labour under fome particular 
diftemper, or fuch as are often overcome by fome 
particular luft, which keeps their graces under, 
and makes them temptations or troubles to others, 
and burdens to themfelves. 

Alas ! there are too niany fuch perfons as th^feJ 
Some are efpecially addi£led to pride ; fome to 
worldlinefs ; fome to this or that fenfual defire ; 
and- many to fudden anger or violent paflions.-*— 
Now it is our duty to give our affiftance to all 
thefe. We fhould labour, by difTuafions ,and clear 
difcoveries of the odioufnefs of their fin, and by 
fuitable direSions about the way of remedy, to 
help them to a fuller conqueft of their corruptions. 
We are the leaders of Chrifl's army agaihft th^ 


Chap .III. and declintng Chrljitans. 57 . 

powers of darknefs, and we muft refill all the 
works of darknefs, wherever we find them, though 
it be in the children of light. We muft be no 
more tender of the fins of the godly, than of the. 
ungodly ; nor ought we any more to befriend or 
fayour them. In proportion as we love their per- 
fons above others, fhould we exprefs it, byop- 

pofing their fins. We muft expert to meet. 

with feme tender perfons among them (efpecially. 
when iniquity ha& got to any head, and many have 
indulged it) who will be as pettiih, and as impatient 
of reproof, as fame worfe menr; nay they will 
intereft piety itfelf with their faults, and fay that 
a minifter who preaches againft them, preaches, 
agaihft the godly. But the fervants of Chrift muft. 
do their duty, notwithftanding men's peevifhnefs, 
and muft not fo far * hate their brother,' as to for- 
bear the plain rebuking of him, and * fufFer fin to^ 

* lie upon his foul.' 

3. A third fort of perfons who require our re- 
gard, are declining chriftians,.who have either 
fallen into fome fcandalous fin, or have abated: 
their zeal and diligence, and difcover that they have 

* loft their former love.* 

As the cafe of backfliders is very fad, our dili-- 
gence muft be great for. their recovery. It is fad' 
to themfelves, to have loft fo much of their life 
a&d peace and ufefulnefs \ and to have become fo 
ferviceabic to Satan and his caufe. It is fad to us, 

D5 . to> 

^8 Regard due to declining Part 1 1 . 

to fee that all our labour is come to this ;— that 
when we have taken fo much pains with men, and 
have entertained fuch hopes concerning them, all 
fhould be fo far fruftrated. It is faddefl of all to 
think that God (hould be fo abufed by thofe whom 
he hath fo loved, and for whom he has done fo 
much ; that the enemy (hould have obtained fuch 
an advantage over their graces ; and that Christ 
ihould l?e fo * wounded in the houfe of his friends ;* 
—that the name of God Ihould be evil fpokcn of 
through them, and that thofe who fear him (hould 
be reproached for their fakes. — Beddes, the con- 
dition of fuch perfons is deplorable, as a partial 
backfliding has a tendency towards a total apoftacy, 
and would end in it, if fpecial grace were not to 
prevent. The worfe the condition of fuch chriftians 
is, the more lies upon us for their effeSual reco- 
very. We (hould * reftore thofe that are over- 
• taken with a fault, i^ the fpirit of meeknefs ;* 
and yet fee to it, that the fore be thoroughly 
fearched and healed, what pain foever it coft. We 
Jhould efpecially look to the honour of the gofpel, 
and fee that fuch perfons rife by fuch free and full 
confc(rions, and by fuch expreffions of true re- 
pentance, that fome reparation may be made to 
the church and their holy profefTion, for the wound 
of dilhonour they had given both, by their fin* 
Much (kill is required to the reftoring of fucb 

4, Our 

CHap. rrr. andtmpudChrlJltant. sg 

4. Our affiftance is alfo neceffary for fuch 
•f our people as have fallen under fome great 


Every mihiftep therefore y. Ihould Have. much in*, 
fight into Satan's wiles. We, of all perfons, fliould 
*- not be ignorant of his devices.' We fhould be* 
acquainted with the great variety of them ; with' 
the cunning craft of his inftruments> * who lie ia 
* wait to deceive/ and with all the methods ufcd' 
by the grand deceiver. — Some o£ oup people lie- 
under temptations to ersor ; efpecially the youngs 
the unfettle^ the felf-conceited,. and fuch as zm. 
moft converfant with feducers. Young> raw, un- 
grounded chiiftians, are commonly of their mindl 
who have mod intereft in their eiteem^. and moft 
opportunity of familiar converfation to draw them^ 
kito their way. And as they are tinder, erroneous: 
perfons want not the fparks o£ zeal to fet them, on A zeal for error and opinions of 'our own i^- 
natural ; it is eafily kindled and kept alive ; thougii 
it is far otherwife with a fpiritual zeal for God- 
How much prudence and induftry then is neceffary 
for a paftor,. to preferve the flock firom being cos» 
rupted with noxious conceits ; and efpeciaUy fuch. 
as lie under peculiar temptations^ to them*. 

Others are under temptations to worldly-mind^ 
ednefs ; others to intemperance ; others ta luiL 
Some to one fin^ and fome to another. A faithful! 
paftor therefore^, fliould have his eye upon alt bids 

JO 6 fl^^ - 

6o Dlfconfolate and lively Chriftians. Part 11. 

flock ; fhould labour to be acquainted with their 
natural difpofitions \ with their bufinefs in the 
world \ with the company they live in, or are moft 
converfant with ; that fo he may know where 
their temptations lie, and endeavour fpeedily, pru- 
dently, and diligently to help them, both by his 
public preaching and private difcourfe. 

5. Another branch of our minifterial work, is 
to COMFORT the difconfolate ; and to fettle the 
peace of our people's fouls, on fure and lading 
grounds. To which end, the quality of their 
complaints, and the courfe of their lives had need 
-to be known ; for all perfons muft not have ^ 
the fame confolations, who have the fame com- 
plaints *. 

6* Strong and lively Chriftians alfo have need 
of our affiftance ; partly to prevent their tempta- 
tions and declenfiens, or to preferve the grace they 
have ; partly to help them to a further progrefs 
and increafe ; and partly to direiSl them in the im-» 
provement of their graces for the fervke of Chrift 
and the affiftance of their brethren : as alfo to 
encourage them (efpecially the aged, the tempted, 
and the afflifted) to perfeverve, that they * may 
* receive their crown** 

* The author's reafon for his brevity on this head, was, that 
he had particularly treated of it in his other works, (fee Vol. I. 
p. 281, 477, and his DinBions for fpiritual Qnnfort^ Vol. 11. 
p. 846). He refers alfo to other authors^ particularly to B(d^ 
UflCs Injiru&i(ms for right Comforting^ 

III. Thof 

Ch. III. Doubtful Characters how- treated* 6t 

III.' Thofe whofe chara£l:ers are doubtful 
are alfo to be regarded both in our public and pri« 
vate difcourfes. 

There are fome of pur flock who, by a profefled 
lyillingnefs to learn and obey, make it probable that 
they may have true repentance and faith, who yet, 
by their ignorance or lukewarmnefs, or by fomc 
uneven walking, will occaiion us fears as great as 
our hopes, or greater, with regard to their prefent 
fafety. We may fee occafion to doubt the word, 
though we have not ground to charge them with 
being unconverted and impenitent perfons. I think 
that half who come to me are of this fort, among 
whom I almoft dare pronounce ten to one to bp 
unregenerate. It may put fome younger minifters 
to a difficuly to know what they fhould do with 
this fort of people, where they have no fufficient 
grourwi to pronounce them godly or ungodly, what- 
ever their fears or hopes may be. 

A would advife you to be very cautious how 
you pafs too hafty or abfolute cenfures on any 
that you have to do 'with ; becaufe it is not aa 
eafy matter to difcern that a man is certainly 
gracelefs, who profeffes to be a chriftian. Befides, 
we may difcharge our duty with regalrd to fuch. 
,perfons, >vithout an abfolute conclufion concerning 
their real charaders. With regard to fuch let the 
following faints fufSce, 


62 Douhtful CharaSfers and Part Tlr 

Keep them clofe to the ufe of public and private 
means. ■ ■ Be often with the lukewarm and 
carelefs, to admoniih and awaken them ; for this 
purpofe take the opportunity of ficknefs, which 

will bow their hearts and open their ears. iSec 

that they fpend the Lord's day, and order their 
families, aright. — Draw them off from the temp- 
tations to, and occafions of fin.— Chirge them 
to come to you for help when their minds are 
diftreifed, to open to you their temptations and 
dangers before they are fwallowed up by them.— 
In your preaching, and your difcourfe with them,^ 
ftrike at the great radical fins ; felf-feeking, car- 
nality, fenfuality, pride, worldly-mindednefs, infi- 
delity, &c. — Prefs them to read the fcriptures, antf 
other good books ; and diredl them to fuch as ara 
moft likely to awaken them. — Engage their godly 
neighbours to have an eye over them« — Keep up 
difcipline in the church to awe them.— But efpe*- 
cially maintain the life of grace in your own fouls,, 
that it may fo appear to them in all your fermons,. 
that every one who comes cold to the aifembly, 
may have his mind properly affeded before he. 

[There is another fort of men,, whom you will' 
probably meet with, in regard to whom it may not 
be improper here to add a few hints of advice,, 

IV. Opi.- 

Cli . 1 1 1 . litigious Perfont how to be treated. 63 

IV, Opinionated perfons ; who being tainted 
with pride and felf-conceit, are more ready to 
teach, than to be taught ; — who rather than receive 
inftruftion from you, will quarrel with you, as 
ignorant and erroneous. 

The prefervation of the unity and peace of your 
congregations, very much depends on your right 
dealing with fuch perfons as thefe. To cure them 
of their conceits, and to prevent others being in- 
fcfted with them, take thefe directions. 

1. If any fuch perfon fliould fall in your way in 
any of your private conferences with your people, 
and by his impertinence fliould drive to divert you 
from better difcourfe, tell him that the meeting 
was appointed for another ufe, and that you think 
it improper to pervert it from that. However let 
him know, that you do not fay this to avoid any 
trial of the truth, but that you will, at any other 
time, give him fatisfaftion, or receive inftru£tion 
from him. 

2. When you meet him with fuch an intent, 
alk him fuch queftions as appear to be of great 
importance, but take care to throw fome difficulty 
in his way, and be fure tb put him moftly upon- 
defining or diftinguifliing. If he difcover his 
ignorance in the cafe propofed, endeavour to hum- 
ble him under a fenfe of his pride and prefumption, 
in going about with a teaching, contentious beha^ 



64 • Self-conceited captious People f Part I L 

viour, while he is fo ignorant in things of fuch 
great moment. At the fame time, fee to it that 
you be able to give him information with regard to 
thofe points, wherein you find him ignorant. 

3. Take care to difcern the fpirit of the man. 
If he be a fettled perverfe fchifmatic, quite 
tranfported with pride, humble him as much* as 
you can before other perlons. But if you find him 
godly, and there is hope of his reftoration, only do 
this in a private manner.. Do not let fall any 
bitter words that would tend to his difparagement. 
We mull always be as tender of the reputation of 
good men, as our fidelity to them and the truth 
will permit. We muft * reftore fuch with the 
* fpirit of meeknefs.* There is little hope of doing 
them any good, if you once exafperate them, and 
difaffeS them towards you. 

4, If you come to debate any controverfy with 
fuch perfons, tell them that feeing they think them- 
felves able to teach you, it is your defire to learn. 
When they have fpoken their minds in their didta- 
torial manner, let them know, that they have faid 
nothing new to you ; that you had confidered of it 
all before, and that if you had feen divine evidence 
for it, you had received it long ago : that you are 
truly willing to receive all truth, but that you. 
have far better evidence for the dodrines you have 
embraced than they have for the contrary. If 
they defire to hear what your evidence is, tell them, 


Chap. III. how to be dealt with, 65 

that if they will hear as learners yVfith impartiality 
and humility, freely entertaining the truth, you 
will communicate your evidence to them in the 

beft manner you can. When you have brought 

any one to this, (hew him your reafons againft the 
grofleft imperfedions of his own difcourfe, and 
then give him a few of the cleared texts of fcrip- 
ture in fupport of your fentiments. When you 
have done, lend him fome Book that bed defends 
the truth in queftion ; deiire him to perufe it care- 
fully, and to bring you a fober folid anfwer to it 
if, after the perufal, he judge it to be unfound. 
And if you can, fallen fome one of the moft 
ftriking evidences on him before you leave him. 
If he refufe to read the book, endeavour to con- 
vince him of his unfaithfulnefs to th^ truth and to 
his own foul. 

But above all, before you part, fum up the 
truths wherein you are both agreed. A(k fuch 2| 
perfon whether he fuppofe that you may obtain 
falvatibn if you live according to your own faith ? 
And if he will allow that you may, whether they 
who are h far agreed (hould not live in love and 
peace, as children of the fame God, and heirs of 
the fame kingdom ? Whether, notwithftanding 
your fmaller difference, you are not bound to hold 
communion in public worfhip and church relation, 
and to walk together in the fear of God ? And 


66 How to deal with Fart II. 

-whether it be not fchifm to feparate for the fake 
of fo fmall a difagreement, 

5. In order to preferve the church from fucb 
an infedion it is defirable, that the minifter be fo 
far fuperior to the people, as to be able to teach 
them, and keep thtm in* awe, and manifefl their 

weakheffes to themfelves and others. The truth 

IS (a truth which cannot be hid) it is much owing 
to the weaknefs of minifters, that our poor people 
run into fo many faSiom. When a proud feducer 
has a nimble tongue, and a miniiler is fo dull 09 
ignorant as to be confounded by him in company, 
it brings him into contempt, and overthrows th^ 
VFeak, who judge his to be the bed caufe, that 
talks in the mod confident, plaufible, and tri-^ 
umphant manner. 

6. Endeavour frequently and thoroughly to po£^ 
fefs your people's minds with the nature, neceffity, 
and daily ufe of the great unqueftionable principles 
of religion, and of the great fin and danger of a 
perverfe aeal about the lower points ; efpecially 
before the greater are well underftood. Convince 
them of the obligations we are all under, to main- 
tain the unity and peace of the church* 

If any fmall, but hurtful, controverfy fhould. 
arife, in order to divert them from it, do you raife a 
greater yourfclf ; which you have better advantage 
to manage, and which is not likely to make a di* 
vifion. Let qontentious perfons know that there 


Ch. III. and ^each to captious Hearers. 67 

are greater difficulties than theirs, firft to be re- 
folved. Go and converfe with the perfons whom 
you perceive to be aiFe£led with any noxious con* 
eeits, as foon as pbffible. When a fire is kindling, 
refift it in the beginning, and make not light of the 
fmalleft fpark. 

7. Preach to fuch au<Btors as thefe, fome higher 
points of dodrine, [about which they need in- 
formation.] Feed them not always * with milk,* 
but fometimes with • ftrong meat ;' for it exceed- 
ingly puffs them up with pride, when they hear 
nothing from minifters, but what they already 
know, and can fay themfelves. This it is that 
makes them think themfelves as wife as you, and 
as fit to be teachers, and it is this that hath fet fo 
many of them on preaching : for they believe 
that you know no more than you preach. — How- 
ever, do not negleft the great fimdamentals of reli* 
gion, nor wrong other perfons for their^ fakes. 

8. Be fure to preach as little as poffible againft 
fuch perfons as thefe. Never in a dircft manner 
oppofe their feft by name, or any reproachful titles ; 
for fuch people are ordinarily very tender, proud, 
paffionate, and rafli ; fo that they will but hate you, 
and fly from you as an enemy, and fay that you 
rail at them. Without mentioning tbem, lay the 
grounds clearly and foundly, which muft fubvert 
their errors. If you are obliged at any time to 
deal with them dh-eftly, handle the controverfy 


68 How to condu^f private Meetings, Part .11. 

thoroughly, peaceably, and convincingly. Be not 
however, long upon it ; do not fay all that can be 
faid ; but choofe that vrhich they can have the 
lead pretence to quarrel v»rith, and omit what 
would require more trouble to defend, 

9. Keep up private meetings, and draw thefe 
perfons in among you : manage them prudently^ 
and by this means you may keep them from fuch 
meetings among themfelves as will promote divi- 
iions. Profeffors very commonly will have private 
meetings ; which, if well conducted, are of great 
ufe to their edification ; but if not, will be of bad 

In the management of them for the prefen^ 
purpofe, obferve the following rules. Be fure that 
you gjve a condant attendance. Let hot the 
exercifes of the meeting be fuch as encourage 
private men's oflentation of their gifts, but fuch 
as tend to the edification of the people. . Do not 
let private men preach or expound fcripture ; nor 
let every one fpeak to queftions of his own pro* 
pofihg. Repeat [the fubflance of] the fermons 
you have preached ; call upon God in prayer, and 
fing his graife. Yet let there be fome opportunitjc 
for the people to fpeak. When you have done 
repeating, give them liberty to propofe any difB-» 
culties they want to have refolved, refpeftin^ the 
fubjeft in hand, or any other. If you perceive 
any of them bent upon the exercife of their abilities 



Chap. Ill, and ufe the People's Gifts. 6y 

for oftentatioiiy be not too fevere upon them, but 
mildly let them know, that it is for their good, 
and the edification of the church, that you oppofe 
it. However, 

it>. Make ufe of your people's gifts to the ut- 
-terilaoft, as your helpers, in their proper places, 
in an ordinary way, and under your guidance. 
This may prevent them from ufing them in a dif- 
orderly way, in oppofition to you. It has been a 
great ciufe of fchifm, that minifters have con- 
temptuoufly refufed to make ufe of private men's 
talents for their afliftance, and thruft them too far 
from holy things. The good work is likely to go 
on but poorly, if none but minifters are employed 
in it. By a prudent improvement of the gifts of 
ithemore able Chriftians (none of which God gave 
to be buried) we may receive much help from them. 
For inftance : 

Urge them to be diligent in teaching, cate- 
chizing, and praying with their own families. 
Recommend it to them to ftep out now and then, 
to their ignorant neighbours, to catechize and in- 
ftrudt them, in meeknefs and patience. Defire 
them to go often to impenitent and fcandalous fin- 
ners, and to endeavour, with all poflible (kill and 
earneitnefs, yet alfo with love and patience, to 
reform them, to convert, and fave their fouls. 
Acquaint them with their duty of watching over 
each other in brotherly-love ; of admonilliing 


yo How to preferve Peace Part II. 

and exhorting one another dafly. If any of 
them walk diforderly, to reprove them, and \t 
they prevail not^ ' to tell the officers of the 
church/ that they may be further dealt with, as 
Chrift has appointed. — At your private meetings 
employ them in prayer. In fome cafes, fend them 
to vifit particular perfons in your ftead, when you 
are prevented from going. Let fome of them be 
chofen to reprefent, and be agents for the church, 
in affairs of importance relating to it. Let fuch 
as are fit, be made fubfervient officers, I mean 
Deaconsy that they may afford you help in a regular 
way ; and then they will difcern themfelves obliged 
by their relation, to maintain the unity of the 
church, and the authority of the miniftry. But 
be fure that they be men competently qualified for 
the office. 

I am perfuaded, if miniflers had thus ufed the 
abilities of their ableft members, they might have 
prevented much of the divifion, diflraftion, and 
apoftacy, that have befallen us ; for they would 
then have found work enough upon their hands, 
for higher parts than theirs, without invading the 
miniftry ; and would have feen cauCe to bewail the 
inequality of their abilities to the work which 
belonged to them. Experience would have ccmi* 
vinced and humbled them- more than our words 
will do. 

11. Still 

C hap • III. and prevent Divtjions. 7 i 

11. Still keep up chriftian love and familiarity 
even with thofe that have begun to warp and make 
divifions : lofe not your intereft in them while you 
have any thoughts of attempting their recovery. 

If they withdraw into feparate meetings, follow 
them, and enter into a mild debate as to the law- 
ful'nefs of it. Tell them that you have a mind to 
hear what they have to fay, and to be among them 
for their good, if they will give you leave, for 
fear they ihould nm to further evil. You will 
thereby prevent much reviling, and the venting of 
further errors, and by a moderate gentle oppofition 
of them, may in time, convince them of their 
folly : and by this means, if any feduters come 
from abroad to confirm them, you will be ready to 
oppofe them, and fo you will at leaft do much to 
prevent the increafe of their party. 

Miniders themfelves have occadoned many of 
the divifions in England, by contemning thofe that 
have withdrawn into feparate meetings ; by talking 
againft them, and by reproving them in the pulpit, 
while they have been entire ftrangers to them, or 
have fhunned their company ; and in the mean 
time have given feducers an opportunity to be 
familiar with them, and to do what they pleafed 
with them without contradi6lion — Oh that mi- 
nifters had been lefs guilty of the errors and fchifms 
that they talk againft ! But it is eafier to chide 
fedlaries in the pulpit, and fubfcribe a teftimony 


7 a Exctl Opponents in what is good^ Part 1 1 . 

againft them, than to play the ikilful phyfician for 
their cure, or to do the tenth part of our duty to 
prevent or heal their diforders. I am not finding 
fault with prudent reprehenfions of them in pub- 
lic ; but I think too many of us have caufe to fear, 
left we do but publickly proclaim our own fhame, 
by our negligence or weaknefs ; and left, in con- 
demning and teftifying againft them, we teftify 
againft and condemn ourfelves. 

12. In order to preferve.your church from di- 
vifions, and to keep your people from running after 
irregular, libertine preachers, be fure that you 
never let thefe authors of fchifm out-do you in any 
thing that is good. 

As truth fliould be more effeSual for fanftifica- 
tion than error, if you give them this advantage, 
you give them. the day, and all your difputations , 
will do but little good. Weak people judge all 
by the outward appearance and by the efFefts, not 
being able to judge of the doftrine itfelf. They 
think he has the beft caufe, whopi they take to be 
the beft man. I extend this rule both to dodlrine 
and to life. e. g. If a* libertine preach Free-grace^ 
do you preach it up more effeftually than he : be 
much upon it, and make it more glorious, on right 
grounds, than he can do on his wrong. If on the 
like pretence he magnify the grace of Lovcy do 
not contradia him in the affirmative, only in the 
negative and deftrudivc part : but go beyond him, 


Chap. III. "Excel Opponents in what is good. 73 

ind preach up the Love of God, with its motives 
and eiFeds, more fully and efFedually than he can 
do, on the corrupt grounds on which he proceeds ; 
or elfe you will make all the filly people believe, 
that the difference between you and him is^ that 
he is for Free-grace, and for the Love of God, and 
that you are againft both. So if an enthufiaft 
talks of the Holy Ghoft, as the light and witnefsf 
and law within us, do you fall upon that fubje£t 
too, and do that well which he does ill. Preach 
up the office of the Holy Spirit ; his indwelling 
and operations ; the light and teflimony and lavr 
within us, better than he does. — You muft dwell 
upon thefe things in your preaching, as well as he ; 
for the people will take no notice of a fliort con- 
cefGon. I might mention many more instances to 
this purpofe, but thefe will be fufficient to fhew 
what I mean : the fum of which is, that preaching 
TRUTH is the moft fuccefsful way of confuting 
error. Further, 

We fliould be careful that feducers do not ex*' 
eel us in the Praftice of religious duties, any mbi:e 
than in defending any facred truths. — Do any of 
them exprefs a hatred of Tin, and a deilre of 
church-reformation ? We fliould much more. Do 
they, when they meet together, fpend their time iq 
religious difcourfe, inftead of vain jangling ? Let 
us do fo much more. Are they unwearied in pro* 
pagating their opinions? Let us be much more 
diligent in propagating the truth. Will they con- 

E defcend 

74 Meeknefs and Patience recommtnded. Part 1 1 . 

defcend to the meaineft, and creep into houfes 
to lead captive the fillleft of the flock ? Let us 
iloop as low, and ht as diligent to do them 
good. Are they loving to theif party, and con- 
temners of the world ? Let us be lovers of all: 
efpecially of all the faints. Let us < do good to 
' all, efpecially to thofe of the houfehold of faith.' 
Let us love an enemy as well as they can do a 
friend. Let us be more juft than they \ more 
merciful than they ; more humble, meek, and pa* 
tient than they ; * for this is the will of God, that 

• by well-doing, we put tofilence the ignorance of 

* foolifh men.*— There is no virtue wherein your 
example will do more to abate men's prejudices, 
than humility, meeknefs, andfelf-denial. Forgive 
injuries, and * be not overcome of evil, but over- 

* come evil with good.' Imitate our blefTed Lord, 

• who when he was reviled, reviled not again/ 
Take not up carnal weapons againft your enemies, 
but overcome them with kindnefs, patience, and 
gentlenefs. If you believe that Christ was more 
imitable than Casfar or Alexander, and that it is 
inore glorious to be a chriftian than a conqueror, 
or to be a man than a bead, contend with charity 
and not with violence. If we thus excel thefe 
men in a holy, harmlefs, righteous, merciful, fruit- 
ful, and heavenly life, as well as in foundnefs of 
do&rihe, * by our fruits we fhall be known ;' and 
the weaker fort of people will fee the truth, in this 
refledion of it, who cannot fee it in itfelf. Then 


Chap, IV. Of Cateehlftng. 75 

our * light will fo {hine before men, that they may 
be led to glorify our father who is in heaven ;' and 
^ven * they that obey not the word, may, without 
* the word, be won by the converfation' of their 
teachers. — Oh how happy had England been; 
how happy had all the churches 4)een, if the mi- 
nifters of the goTpel had taken thefe courfes I this 
would have done more againft error and fchifm, 
than all our exclaiming^ againft them hath done^ or 
thaa all the force of the magiftrate can do. 


<y Catechising*: w/VA peculiar Dire^hns in 

reference to //• 

T70R the better management of this work, the 
•^ following dire£lions may be of fervice : — they 
are of two kinds, viz. for bringing your people to 
comply with your defign, — ^and for executing it in 
the moft acceptable and yfeful manner, 

* By Catechifing, the author meant, not only hearing perfons 
repeat, and expounding to them, a Form qftuords^ containing 
the principles of religion; but propoOng to them fanilias 
^uefiions, inorderto judge of their knowledge and difpoGtioni, 
fo at. to be the more capable of giving them fuitable infiruc* 
iiont and admonitions. And this method he recommends noi 
only with refpc£l to childien, but thofe who are come to years 
of maturity, 

£e I. In 

^ 8 How to prepare the People Part 1 1 • 

I. In order to bring your people to comply 
with this method of inilru&ion, it will be a matter 
of vaft importance to behave yourfelves, through 
the main courfe of your miniftry, in fuch a manner 
as may convince them of your ability, and your 
un&igned love to them. When people are iatisfied 
that a qualified for hi^work, and intends 
no private ends of his own, but merely their good, 
they will more readily ftoop to his advice, and be 
perfuaded by him. 

Suppofing this general preparation, the next 
thing to be done is, to convince your people of the 
benefit and neceffity of this method of in{lru£tion, 
for the good of their fouls,— —In order to this, it 
may be proper to preach fome plain and ferious 
fermons, to fhew the benefit and neceffity of an 
acquaintance with divine truths in general, parti- 
cularly the great principles of religion ; and that 
perfons advanced in life have equal need to be 
inflnided in them with others, and in fome 
refpefls greater. — Make them underfland that this 
is not an arbitrary bufmefs of your devifing or 
impofing, but that neceffity is laid upon you to 
look to every member of your flock, according to 
your ability, and that if you negled to do it, they 
may ' perifh in their iniquities, and their blood be 
* required at your hands.* 


Chap. IV. for the fFcri of Catechtjing. 77 

When this is done, furnifh every family that 
needs it with a catechifra, or fee that they furnifh 
themfelves.. Take a catalogue of the names of all 
thofe whom you intend thus to. inftruft, that you 
may know whom to expeft, and who fail to give 
their attendance. — Deal very gently vvith them, 
and take off all difcouragements as efFeftually as 
you can.. Do not infift upon every perfon's com- 
mitting the catechifm to memory ; but, where they 
labour under peculiar difficulties, only exhort them 
to read it often, and get the fubflance of it into 
their minds and hearts. — If any perfons will not 
fubmit to be thus inflrufted by you, go and expof* 
tulate with them ; know what* their reafons are ; 
apd convince them of the fiofulnefs and danger of 
contemning the rhelp that is offered them. — Souls 
are fo precious,,, that ,we fliould not lofe one for 
want of labour ; but fhould follow them whiU 
there is any hope, and not give them up as defper 

rate tilt there be no remedy*. 

II. Havlne 

• ** Ignorant (buls (rays"Mr. Gurnal) feel no fuch fmart as 
to put them upon inquiring for a phyfician. If the miniAer 
day till they fend for him to inflru6l them, he may fooner hear 
the bell go for them than any meffcnger come for him. You 
mu(l feek them out, and not cxpefk that they will come tp you. 
Thefe are a fort of people that are more afraid of their remedy 
than their difeafe, and ftudy more to hide their ignorance than 
to have it cured. It fhould make us pity them the more becaufe 
ibey caa pity themfelvei fo' little.-^— It is an unhappinefs to 

£ 3 fomt 

^8 Particular Dtreaionf Part I L 

II. Having brought your people to comply with 
this iind of inftruftion, the next thing to be. corv- 
lidered is, how you fhould deal the moft cfFcdIuairy 
with them in the work. 

And I muft fay that I think it 1$ a much eafiet 
matter to compofe and preach a good fermon, than 
to deal rightly with an ignorant man for his inftruc- 
tion in the principles of religion. This work will 
try the abilities and tampers of minifters ; it will 
fliew the difference between one man and another, 
more than pulpit-preaching can do. Good bifhop 
Usher obferves, *^ As the laying of the foundation 
** (killfully, is a matter of the greatefl importance 
" in the whole building, fo it is the very mafter- 
•' piece of the wifeft builder. Thus the apoftle 
" Paul conceived of it when he faid. According 
•* t9 the grace of God given to mcy as a luife mafler 
** builder^ I laid the foundation. The negled of 
** this, is the fruftrating the whole work of the mi- 
•* niftry."— The direftions which I think fhould 
be obferved in the managuig this work are the 

Tome of us, wlio have to do with a nultitttdei that we cannot 

attend on them, as their needs reqiure but let us look to it, 

that though we cannot do what we fliould^ we be not uranting 
in what we may.*'— dtrWi Ckriftan Armour , p. 835. quoted 
by the author at the end of his preface* The whole paffiige is 
worth reading. 

t. When 

Chap^ IV, for Catechijing^ jj 

i. When your people, one family or more, 
come to you, (which perhaps it will be bell for 
them to do *) begin your work with a fhort pre- 
face to remove all difcouragements, and to prepare 
them for your inftru£lions, e.g. ** It may perhaps 
appear to fome of you (my friends) an uncommon 
and troublefome budnefs^ which I now put you 
upon : >ut I hope you will not think it needlefs* 
Had I thought fo, I fhould have faved you and 
myfelf this labour. But God has told me in his 
word,, how great a thing it is to haye the charge of 
Fouls, and that the blood of them that perifh will 
be required at the hands of fuch minifters as negle6t 
them \ fo that my confcience will not fuifer me to 
be fo guilty of fuch a negledl, as I have been. 
The Lord only know$ how long you and I may be 
together ; it therefore concerns me to do what I 
can for your falvation, and my own, before I leave 
you and the world. I hope you will be glad of 
help in fo needful a work, and not think much 


* Mr. Baxter, in his preface, tells us what was hit 
method: V At the delivery of the catechifms (fays he) I take 
a catalogue of all the perfons of underftanding in the pari(h ; 
the clerk goes a week beforehand to every family to tell them 
ivhen to come, t, g. One family at eight o^clock, the next at 
nine, the next at ten, &c." — It will generally be allowed that in 
the prefent day, there are few places in which this method 
would be practicable. And mod will judge ift.far preferable^ 
la every view, for a minifter to go from houft to houfc, £o. 

F 4 of 

8o Particular Dire^hns Part 11. 

of it that I put you to this trouble, when even the 

trifles of the world cannot be gotten without much 

2. In general, take each perfon alone, and 
difcourfe with him out of the hearing of the reft ; 
for fome do not like to be queftioned before others, 
and cannot anfwer you with freedom. However, 
let none be prefent but thofe of the fame family, 
or thofe with whom they are familiar. I find by 
experience that, in general, people will bear plain 
and clofe dealing about their fin, their mifery, and 
their duty, when you have them alone, better than 
when others are prefent. 

3. As for thofe that commit a catechifm to 
memory, it may be proper at the beginning o( 
thefe exercifes, to take an accoimt of what they 
lave learned, and to hear them repeat the anfwerg 
to each queftion. 

4. When you form queftions of your own to 
propofe to them, be careful of the following things. 
— Let them be fuch as they may perceive to be of 
great importance, and of the neareft concernment 
to themfelves : e, g, ** What do you think be- 
comes of men when they die ? Do you believe 
that you have finned ? What doth fin deferve P — 
What remedy hath God provided for faving finful 
and miferable fouls ? Hath any one fuffered for fin 
in our ftead ? Who are they that God will pardon ? 
What change muft be made on all that will be 

faved ? 

Chap. IV. for Cafechjfing, Ki 

faved ? And how is it made ? Where is our chief 
happinefs^ and what muft our hearts be moft fet 

upon ?" Take heed of afking them any nice, 

doubtful, or difficult queftions. — Be very cautious 
how you put them upon definitions or defcriptions : 
fo contrive to bring the predicate into your quef- 
tions, that they may perceive what you mean. 
e. g. " What is God ? Is he flefli and blood as 
wc are, or is he a fpirit ?'* — Look not after words 
but things ; and often leave them to a bare yes, or 
no ; for there are many elderly and even godly 
people who cannot fpeak their minds in any 
tolerable exprcflions. — If you find them at a lofs, 
and unable to anfwer you,, do not drive them on 
too hard, or too long, left they {hould imagine 
that you only intend to puzzle and difgrace them. 
When you perceive them troubled that they cannot 
anfwer, take off their burden by anfwering the 
queftion yourfelf ; and then do it thoroughly and 
plainly, that they may underftand it before you 
leave them. 

5. When you have done what you think necef- 
fary in trying their knowledge, proceed to inftrudl 
them further. This rauft be done according to 
their feveral charaQers. If the perfon be a pro- 
feflbr, fall upon fomething which you apprehend 
he moft needs : either explain fome doftrine,. or 
lay the foundation of fome duty which you have 
eafon to think he neglefts, &c. If the perfpn be 

E 5 grofsly 

82 Particular Dire^ions Part II. 

grofsly ignorant^ give him a plain familiar fum- 
iriary of the chriftian religion ; for though he may 
have it in the catechifm^ a more familiar way of 
difcourdng upon it, may help him better to under-* 
(land it. If you pferceive he does not underftand 
you, go over it again ; then aik him whether he 
does or not \ and endeavour to leave it fixed in his 

6. , If you fufpe£l any to be ungodly, whether 
they be grofsly ignorant or not, make a prudent 
inquiry into their ftates. The leaft offenfive way 
of doing it will be, to take your occafion from fome 
article in the catechifm which they have repeated : 
#. g. ** Though I have no defire needlefsly to pry 
into the fecrets of any, yet becaufe it is the office 
of a minifler to give advice to his people in the 
matters of falvation, and becaufe it is fo dangerous 
a thing to be miftaken, where life or death eternal 
are depending, I would entreat you to deal faith- 
fully, and tell me whether you ever found this 
great change upon your hearts ; whether you live 
in this or that fin ; or, whether you perform this 
or that duty, &c."— — If any fuch perfon- tells you 
he hopes he is converted, fhew him, in the plaineft 
manner, what true converfion is ; then renew and 
enforce the inquiry. Afk him fuch queflions as 
thefe: ** Can you truly fay, that all the known 
fins of your paft life are the grief of your heart ? 
I'hat you have felt ypurfelf undone by them } 


Cliap. IVV for Cdtichljihgi Sj; 

That you Have gladly entertained the hews of a 
Saviour, and have caft your foul upon Chrift alone 
for falvation? — Can you fay from. your heart that 
you hate the fihs which ycki formerly loved, and: 
that you now love that holy life for, which once you* 
had no relifli?— -Do you live in. the. practice o£ 
any known fin, or in the negledk of any known 
duty ? — Is the main couci^ and; the- bent of your 
whole life to pleafe God,, and enjoy him forever?" 
*— Mention particularly fome of thofe duties which, 
you moft fufpeft him to? omit,, and aflc him whe- 
ther he performs them; efpecially prayer^ in the 
family, and in.fecret;, as alfo how he fpends the: 
Lord's day ?• 

7. If yoti difcern an apparent probability that: 
the perfon is in an unconverted ftate, your next 
bufinefs is to labour, with all your fkill and power,, 
lo bring his heart to a fenfe of his condition. Ad— 
drefs him in fome fuch manner as this.— ^* Truly 
friend, the Lord knows I have no mind to^mak^ 
your cafe worfe than it is, nor to occafion you any 
unneceffary fear or trouble ; but I fuppofe you 
would take me for an enemy, and not a faithful 
friend, if I fhould flatter you, and not tell you 
the truth. I much fear that you are yet a ftrangcr 
to the liew and divine life. If you were a chriftiaa 
indeed, you would not have lived in fuch a fin, 
&c- &c. Alas ! What have you been doing \ How 
have youfpent yqur time, that you are- fo ignorant, 
and fo unprepared for death if you fhould now be 

£ 6 oalled. 

84 Particular DireSfions Part II. 

called to it? If you had died^ in an unconverted 
ftate, what had become of you, and where had 
you now been?" — ^Herc be very earned; if you 
get not the heart you get nothing. That which 
does not afFeft is foon forgotten. 

Let this be followed with a pra£lical exhortatiofi 
concerning the nature and neceftity of clofing with 
Chrift, and the ufe of every proper means, for the 
time to comcy to avoid former fms. Speak to them 
to this effeft. — " I am heartily forry to find you 
in fo fad a cafe, but fhould be more fo to leave you 
in it. Let me therefore entreat you, for the Lord's 
fake and for your own fake, to regard what I fhall 
fay to you. It is a great mercy that you was not 
cut oiF in your natural ftate ; that you have yet 
life and time ; efpecially that there is a fufEcient 
remedy provided for you in the blood of Chrift, 
There is yet a poflibility of your being converted 
and faved. Let me then entreat you, not to reft in 
your prefent condition, fmce, if you do, you muft 
perifli for ever. Think ferioufly of the vanity of 
the world ; the awful nature of eternity ; and the 
importance of religion. Without any delay, ac- 
cept of the falvation offered in the gofpel, and clofe 
with the Lord Jefus Chrift who offers it to you. 
Jlefolve immediately againft your former fms, and 
be diligent in the ufe of all God's appointed means, 
till the great change of regeneration be wrought. 
Becaufe you cannot effect this chiinge yourfelf, 


Chap. IV. for Catechiling. 85 

betake yourfelf daily to God in prayer, and beg of 
him to efFedl it, as well as pardon your fins. Avoid 
carefully all temptations to fin and occafions of it. 
Forfake your evil companions, and join the com- 
pany of them that fear God. Efpecially fpendthe 
Lord's day in holy exercifes, both in public and 
in private. Lofe not any time, but efpecially, lofc 
not that mod precious time which God has given 
you to be inftrufted by him, and prepared for your 
latter end." — Be fure, if you can, to get a promife 
from fuch perfons that they will attend to your 
advice. Afk it folemnly ; reminding them of the 
prefence of God \vho hears their promifes, and 
will require the performance. 

8. Through the whole of thefe exercifes, fee 
that your manner, as well as matter, be fuited to 
the end. Make a difference according to the dif- 
ference of the perfons you have to deal with. 
With the dull and obftinate, you muft be earneft 
and fevere: with the tender and timorous, you 
muft mildly infi ft upon direftion and encourage- 
ment. With the young, you muft reprefent the 
fhame and evil of fenfual pleafures, and the ne- 
ceflity of mortification. With the aged, you muft 
difgrace the prefent world ; you muft reprefent 
the nearnefs of their change \ and the aggravations 
of their fins, if they live and die impenitent* 
With your inferiors, you may be very free ; with 
your fuperiors and elders, you muft fpeak with 


86 Particular Dtre^ftont Part IV. 

moye reverence. To the rich, the nature and ne- 
ceility of felf- denial mufl be opened : to the poor^ 
#e muft (hew the great riches of glory propofed to 
them in the gofpel. 

The evil and danger of thofe fins muft.he thfilled- 
on, to which each one's age, or fex,. or tempera- 
ture of body, or employment, in the world> does 
moft incline them. Be as condefcending, familiar, 
and plain as poflible with thofe of the weakeft ca-* 
pacities. Give them the fcripture proofs of alL 
that you fay, to convince them that it is not you 
only, but God, by you, who fpeaks to them. Be. 
ferious in all, but efpecially in your applications, . 
I fcarcely fear any thing more than left fome care-. 
lefs minifters will hurry over this work fuperfici-- 
ally, and deftroy this, as they do all. other. duties,, 
by turning it into a mere formality ; prepofing a 
few cold queftions, and giving a few. cold words of 
advice, without any life and feeling in themfelves, 
or any likelihood of producing any feeling in the 
hearers. But furely he that values fouls, and 
knows what opportunity is before him, will aA. 

To this end, it will be of confiderable import- 
ance that both before, and in the work, we take 
great pains with our own hearts; efpecially to 
ftrengthen our belief of the truth of the gofpel^ 
and the invifible glory and mifery which are to 
come. This work will greatly try the ftrength of 


Chap. V. fir Catechifihg^ ' 87 

our faith. A fuperficial chriftian will- feel his zeaL« 
quite fail him (efpecially when the duty is grown 
common) for want of a belief in the things he ift 
treating of, to keep it alive. In the pulpit, from 
the prefs, and in public afts, where there is room, 
for oftentation, the hypocritical minifter will give 
you his beft : but an afFefted fervency and hypo- 
critical ftage-aftion will not hold out long in fuch 
duties as thefe : the)r are other kind of men that 
muft effedlually perform them. — We (hould en- 
deavour to prepare ourfelves for this bufinefs par- 
ticularly by private Prayer. And, if the time will, 
permit, it will be beft to begin and end thefe exer- 
cifes I am recommending with a fliort prayer with, 
our people.— Laftly; if God has given you ability^ 
extend your charity to the poorer fort before they 
part from you, for their relief, and for the time 
that is thus taken from their labours ; efpecially 
for the encouragement of thofe that make the beft 


Arguments for perfonaJ Iriftrulftony particularly by 

familiar Catechijing. 

IT miift, indeed, be acknowledged that the me- 
thod of inftruftion which has been propofed is 
attended with many difficulties and difcourage- 
1 ments. 

88 Difficulty of perfonal hftruSf ion. Part IK 

m^nts. Many arife both from our people, and 
from ourfelves. — There is in us much dulnefa 
and lazinefs ; fo that it will not be eafy to bring us 
to be faithful in fo hard a work. We have alfo a 
bafe man-pleafing difpofition, which will fufFer us 
to let men go quietly to hell, left we fhould lofe 
their refpeS. We are more ready to venture oa 
the difpleafure of God, and their everlafting mifcry„ 
than draw upon us their ill- will ; and are fo carnal 
that we dare not be faithful for fear of lofing our 
income, or bringing ourfelves into difficulties.. 
Many of us have a foolifh bafhfulnefs, whi^h 
makes us backward to begin this great work. We 
are fo modeft, truly, that we blufh to fpeak for 
Chrift, or contradid the devil, or attempt to fave 
a foul ; while w« are lefs afhamed of far mere 
ihameful works. We are commonly too unfit for 
this bufinefs by reafon of our unfkilfulnefs : we 
know not, as we ought, how to deal with an igr 
norant worldling for his falvation : how to get 
within him and win upon him; nor how to fuit 
our addrefles to men's feveral conditions and tem- 
pers. But the greateft impediment of all is, that 
we ourfelves are too weak in the faith, and feel 
too little of the power of religion upon our fouls. 
Our belief of divine truths and invifible things is fo 
feeble, that it will hardly excite in us fo.kind, re- 
folute^ and conflant a zeal as is neceilary for this 


Ch. V. OhJiacUs from the People, 89 

Befides thefe difEcuIties from ourfelves, we have 
too many to encounter from our people. Many of 
them will fcorn to come to us to be taught, ima- 
gining they are too good to be catechifed, or too 
old to learn. Many are fo dull that they will 
keep away, as afliamed of their ignorance ; or, if 
they come, you will find it a hard matter taget 
them to underftand you ; and yet more difficult to 
work upon their hearts, fo as to produce a faving 
change ; which is our principal end, and without 
which our labour is almoft loft. — Oh what a rock 
is a carnal heart ! How ftrongly will it refift the 
moft powerful perfuafions, and with what uncon- 
cern will finners hear of everlafting life and death ! 
And. even when you have made fome defirable im- 
preflions upon them, if you have not a fpecial care 
over them, their hearts will foon return to their 
former hardnefs, and their old companions and 
temptations, wilt work off all again. Thefe are 
doubtlefs great difcouragements ; but in a neceffary 
work, they fhould excite us to the greateft dili- 
gence. Confider the benefits to be expeded from 
It, — and the obligations we are under to perform it. 

I. Let us confider the benefits which may rea- 
fonably be expefted from this method of private 

1. It is attended with the moft excellent advan^ 
tage for informing the judgment, and changing the 


9© Benefits ofperfonal InJlrvUlon Part II. 

will of the ignorant and ungodly. It will tend 
greatly to inform the underftanding, to have the 
fum of chriftianity in the memory. The bare 
words will be but of little advantage, yet when 
the words are plain Englifh, he who has them by 
rote, is much more likely to know the truths con* 
tained in them than another. Such forms of found 
words (though fome deride all catechifms as un- 
profitable) may be of admirable ufe ; efpecially as 
we fliall have an opportunity, by perfonal con* 
verfe with thofe who have committed them to me- 
mory, to try how far they underftand them ; to- 
explain to them what they do not underftand ; and> 
to infift on thofe particulars which we apprehend 
each perfon has moft need to hear.. 

In fome refpeds private inftruftibn has the pre^^ 
ference to preaching^ What other argument need. 

• i( 

Private, fVeqaent^ Q>iiritQa] conference (fiiith Dr. EHm^ 
tumd J.httmt^n fellow-chriftiant, but efpecially between the 
Prefbyter and thofe of his charge, particularly in the difcuflion 
of every man's fpecial (ins, infirmities, and inclinations, may 
prove very ufeful and advantageous (in order to fpiritual direc*^ 
tions, reproof and comfort) to the making the man of God 
pejffed. And to tell the truth, if the pride and felf-conceit of 
€bme, the carele^riefs of others, the balhfulnefs of a third 
fort, the naufeating and inftant fatiety of any good in a fourth, 
if the follies of men and the artifices of Satan, had not put this 
pra£lice quite out of fafliion. among us, there is no doubt but. 
IBore good might be done by miniflers this way9 than is now 


Chap. V. e&mpareiwith thofe of Preaching. , 9 1 

We than our own experience ? I feldom deal with 
men on this grtat bufinefs, in private fcrious con- 
ference, but they go away with fome feeming 
convidlions, and promifes of new obedience ; and 
fometimes with a deep remorfe, and affefting 
fenfe of their condition. Yea, I have found (and 
1 doubt not but you have experienced the fame) 
that an ignorant fot, who for a long time had been 
sin unprofitable hearer, has got more knowledge 
and remorfe of confcience, in half an hour's clofe 
converfation, than he did by ten years public 
preaching. I know ihat is the moft excellent 
means, becaufe we therein fpeak to many at once ; 
but this private way of preaching is ufually far 
more effeilual, for many reafons. e.g^ We 
have the beft opportunity to imprint religious 
truths upon the heart, when we can fpeak to each 
one's particular neceffity, and can fay to the fin- 
her, * Thou art the man ;' when we can mention 
his particular cafe, and addrefs him in regard to it 
with familiar importunity. If any thing in the 

done by any other means, even than by that of public preach- 
ing, which is now almoft folely depended upon : it being, z%. 
Qaintitian (aith, (comparing public and private inftrudion of 
youth) a more likely way to fill narrow mouthM bottles (and 
fuch' are the moft of us} to take them fingle in the hand, and 
pour water into them, than to fet them altogether, and throw 
ever fo much water upon them.** Dtk Hammond on thi p9iocr 
cftht kiy%^ Ch. iv. \ 104. 


9 3 Benefits ofperfonal Inflru^f^n Part IL 

world IS likely to do our people gpqd, ijt is this* 
They will underftand a familiar fpeech, who bear 
^ a fermon as if it were nonfenfe, Befidesi, .they 
have far greater advantage for the application- of \t 
to themfelves. By this means, you .will hear their 
objcSions, and know where Satan has the moft 
advantage over them, or what is it that.refiiis the 
truth ; and fo may be the more able effe<5ually 
to convince them* We can here anfwer their 
pleas, drive them to* a Hand, and urge them to dif- 
cover their refolutions for the future. — rAgain i in 
private, we may fpeak in a much plainer manneij 
than we can in public. The plaineft preacher can 
hardly fpeak plain enough in the pulpit, to m^kq 
the illiterate underftand him.. I have oftejn been 
furprifed tq find how grofsly ignorant many arq 
who have been my hearers fcvcral years ;, who are 
as unable to. anfwer fome of the plaineft queftions. 
as if they had never heard the gofpel in .their. lives. 
In public we cannot ufe fuch homely exprefEons^ 
nor fa many repetitions as their dulnefs requires ; 
but in private we may. In public our fpeeches are 
long : we quite over-run their underftandings and 
their memories ; fo that they are confounded and 
unable to follow us. One thing drives out another, 
fo that they know not what we . have been faying : 
but in private we may take our work gradatiniy and 
take our hearers with us as we go. By fhelf an- 
fwers to our queftions we may fee how' far they go 
with us, and what we have next to do. In pub- 


Cft.- V» comp^rtd with thofe of Preaching. 93 

lie j 'by our fpeaking ahfUy we lofe their atten- 
tfon ; but when they are interlocutors we can ea- 
fily caufe them to attend. I conclude therefore, 
that pubiic preaching will not be fuiEcient, nor 
cfFedlual for the converfion df fd many, as this me- 
thod. Long may you ftudy and preach to little 
purpose, if you negkft private inftruAion. 

2, This work, if well managed, will be the 
means of the moft orderly building up thofe that 
are converted, and eftablifhing them in the faith. 

It hazards the whole work, or at lead very 
much hinders it, when we do it not in a proper 
order. How can you build if you do not lay a 
good foundation ? It is owing to the negleft of 
this, that there are fo many deluded novices in re- 
ligion, and that fo many are. labouring in vain ; 

* .ftiU learning, without coming to the knowledge 

* of the truth;' like thofe that would read before 
they have learned-the letters. This makes fo ma- 
ny fall away, or to be * fliaken by every wind of 
^ doQrine.' Thefe fundamentals are what muft 
lead men to further truths ; thefe they muft build 
upon ; thefe muft aftuate all their graces, and - 
animate all their duties ; thefe muft fortify them 
againft particular temptations. He that knows 
thefe well, knows as much as is neceffary to make 
him happy. He that knows thefe beft, is the moft 
underftanding chriftian. He that knows not thefe, 
knows nothing. The moft godly people, there- 

94 The particular Advantage Part II*. 

fore, in your congregation will find it worth their 
while to be thus inftru£led. If you would edify 
and well eftablifli them, be diligent in this work. 

3. Private inftruSion will tend to make our 
preaching better underftood and regarded* 

When you have acquainted perfons with the 
principles, they will more eafily perceive what you 
are aiming at ; it will prepare their minds and open 
the way to their hearts ; whereas without this you 
may lofe the moft of your labour ; and the mora 
pains you take in accurate preparations, the lefir 
good you will do. 

4. Ety this means you will become familiar with 
your people ; which is no inconfiderable advantage% 

The want of this is a great impediment to the 
fuccefs of our labours. By diftance and ftrange- 
nefs, abundance of midakes between miiiifiers and 
people are occaiioned. Befides, familiarity tends 
to beget thofe afFedions which may opei^ their ears 
to further teaching. When we are familiar with 
them they will be encouraged to ufe freedom in 
opening their doubts to us, for our refolution. But 
when a minifter knows not his people, or is as firange 
to them as if he did not, it muft be a great hinder* 
ance to his doing them any good.— By this fami« 
liarity we fhall be better acquainted with each per- 
fon's temper and fpiritual ftate, and fo fhall know 
'better how to watch over them, how to preach 
to, and difcourfe with them ; how to lament form- 

Ch. V. 4)fperfonal In/iruSiion. 95 

or Tejoioc over them ; and how to pray to God 

on their behalf. We fliall hereby be the better 

enabled to help them againft temptations, and pre- 
vent their falling into any hurtful errors ; of which 
they are in great danger while their paftors are (Iran- 
gers to them, and feducers are very familiar with 
them.— >Once more ; this familiarity with our peo- 
ple will better fatisfy us in the adminiftration of the 
Lord's fupper ; as we fball hereby better know who 
are fit, and who are unfit for it. Whereas many 
will quefiion a miniiler j who examines his people in 
order to this ordinance, by what authority he does 
it, and will not fubmit tp fuch an examination, the 
fame work will be done in fuch a <:ourfe as this, in 
an unexceptionable manner. 

5. This method will better inform the people 
concerning the nature of the miniflerial office, or 
awaken them to a better attention to it. 

It is common for men to think that our work is 
nothing more than to preach well, to baptize, ad- 
minifter the Lord's fupper, and vifit the fick ; they 
are therefore unwilling to fubmit to more ; and 
through a common negle£t, minifters are become 
fuch flrangers to their own calling, that they think 
of doing nothing more. They have hundreds of 
people to whom they never fpoke a word perfon- 
ally for their falvation. Nay, the omiffion of per- 
fonal inftruftion is grown fo frequent, even among 
pious and able men, that the difgrace of it is aba^ 


^6 The particular Advantaged Part 11, 

ted, and a man may be guilty of it without any 
diflionour or obfervation. — Shew the world then, 
by your praflice, what the nature of our office is ; 
and I hope that you will fee the time, when ne- 
gleft of perfonal overfight will be taken for as fcan- 
dalous an omiffion, as preaching but one part of the 
day would now be cfteemed. — In overthrowing the 
errors of Popery many have run into the contrary 
extreme ; left they fhould feem to favour auricular 
confeffion, they have neglefted all perfonal in- 
ftruftion, I am part doubt that the popilh auricu* 
lar confeffion is a finful novelty ; but I muft fay 
(though fome will think it ftrange) that our negledl 
of perfonal inftruftion is much worfe. Let us, by 
our praftice, (hew carelefs minifters, as well as 
our people, the importance and neceffity of this 

Further ; as this courfe will acquaint the people 
with our duty towards them, it will alfo inform 
them of theirs towards us ; and then they will be 
more likely to difcharge it better. This I men* 
tion not for our own fakes only, but becaufe their 
falvation is much concerned in it. If they do not 
know what our office is, viz. that it is one great 
branch of it to admoniih and inftruft them with 
regard to their particular cafes, it is no wonder if 
they negleft to apply to us for our help, to their 
own prejudice. The matter is now come to this 
pafs, that if we exhort them to come for inftruc- 
1 tiQn, 

Chap . V . ^ ptrf9nal tnfiruSIion 97 

tion, or b^gin to difcourre with them about their 
fouls, they queftion our authority, and look upori 
us as proud, pragmatital perfons, who would bear 
rule over their confcienecs. They in general dtf- 
cover no more wifdom nor gratitude, than if they 
were to quarrel with a perfon for quenching the 
fire when- thtir houfes were burning ; or if, wheii 
one offfefed to fave them from drowning, they 
(hould aflc him by what authority he did it. — ^And 
what is it that has brought ouf people to thi^ 
ignorance of their duty, but our ne^eft of cfurs ? 
Where it is the cuftom (as among the Papifts) 
they arc willing to confefis all their fins to the 
prieft ; but among us they diWain to be queftioned 
or inftru6led, becaufe it is not the cuilom. — l^^t 
us then by our diligence in this work endeavour 
to make it become a common thing ; and thus we 
Ihall facilitate the minifterial fervice to the hext 
generation. If we can but eftablift this cuftom, 
our fucceflbrs in the miniftry will reap the fruit of 
our labours^ as their work will be eafier to them ; 
and thus we may be fhe means of faving many 
fouls in ages to come, as well as in the prefent*. 

* " Perfaapf you vrhb'find a people rude and ignorant (like 
ftones in the quarry, or trees unhewn) may not bring the work 
to fuch perfe£lion in your days as you deiire. Yet, as David 
did for Solornn, you may, by your pains in teaching and in- 
ftfuftiftg, prepare materials for another who fhall rear the 
Temple. GurmUf ttbifapra. 

F 6. Ano- 

98 The particular Advantages Part II. 

6, Another confideratle benefit of private in- 
ftru£lion (efpecially by catechifms) is, that it will 
keep our people from much of that vanity, which 
now pofleffes their minds and takes up their time. 

, When workmen are employed in their (hops, 
almoft all their taik is vanity ; and children are apt 
to learn foolifh fongs and idle (lories, and thus fill 
their minds with filth and rubbifh, which occafions 
them to lofe much time, and to be guilty of many 
idle thoughts and words. Now when they have a 
catechifm to learn, and know that they muft give 
an account of it, niuch of their time and thoughts 
will be better employed. It will particularly find 
them, and heads of families, profitable employment 
for the Lord's- Day. 

7. As the method of inftruftion I am recom-- 
mending is, by fuppoCtion, very extenfive, we 
have reafon to expedl the moft extenfive benefits 
from it. 

It has a more e^ellent defign^ and therefore we 
may hope it will fiave more important efFeSs, than 
our accidental conferences with here and there a 
particular perfon, In fuch occafional difcourfes, I 
obferve minifters fatisfy themfelves to have fpoken 
fome few good words, but feldom fet themfelves, 
n fo plain and fo clofe a manner, to convince men 
of their fin and mifery, and their need of mercy, 
as in this purpofely appointed work, we fliall have 
an opportunity of doing* 


Chap. V. $f perfonal InJiruSfion. '99 

In fhort, fo weighty and excellent isihis duty, 
that the chief part of church-reformation is behind 
without it, and confifts in it. We are apt to look 
upon a reformation as what is to be wrought im* 
mediately by God, without confidering, that it is 
to be efFeSed by our means. But this we have no 
warrant to do : in order to it, we muft ufe our un- 
wearied endeavours, and particularly muft be dili- 
gent in catechifing and perfonal inftruftion; for 
this is likely to do more towards efFed'ing fuch a 
reformation as we have long prayed and hoped for, 
than every other means without it. Brethren, all- 
that our forefathers have been doing for the good 
of the church, and for a true reformation, for fo 
many years, was but to prepare the way for yoii 
to come in and do the work. They have opened 
you the door, and at a great expence of labours* 
and fufFerings, have removed many of your impe- 
diments. And will you now ftand ftill or loiter ? 
God forbid ! Have they fpent fo much time in 
fencing the vineyard, in weeding and pruning it, 
to make it ready for your hands, and will you now 
fail, who are fent to gather in the vintage ? In the 
name of God, take heed that you do not fruftrate 
then Idbours, their prayers, and their hopes ! 

8. The diligent profecution of this work will 
do fome good to minifters themfelves. 

It will be the beft cure for their idlenefs and lofs 
of time, in unneceflary difcourfes, journies, or other 

F ^ recreations ; 

^00 Of .a Mmifter't Ohligathn Part II. 

recreations : and at the fame time, wi^'cut offt^aC 
fcandal which attends th^m.r— -Befides, it will tend 
to fubdue our own corruptions, to increafe our own 
graces, and confequently to procure much peace to 
our own confciences. and much comfort when our 
time and actions come to be reviewed. This con* 
ftant employment of our minds and tongues a^nft 
fin, and in the caufe of Chrift and holinefs, will, 
do much more towards habituating us to overcome 
our carnal inclinations, than all the auflerities of 
Monks and Hermits, who addi^i themfelves to un* 
profitable folitude, and ' hide their mailer's talents/ 
-—Not to mention what an excellent means this 
will be, to take us, as well as our people, from 
vain controverfies, and difcourfes upon lefler mat* 
ters of religion, and thus to cure thofe unhappy 
contentions which too often prevail among our- 
felves. — Having thus confidered the advantages of 
perfonal inftruaion, I (hall now 

II. Point out the obligations minifters are un* 
der to the pradice of it. 

1. The neceflity of this duty may be argued 
from the regard you owe to the glory of God in 
the fuller fucccfs of the gofpel. 

God is mod honoured and pleafed when mo(l 
fouls are faved ; for he hath fworn that. ^ he hath 
< no pleafure in the death of a finuer, but had ra- 

' ther 

ChaJ). V. fo perfonal [nJfruSfion. loi 

* ther that he return and live.' How gladly then 
fhould you take this courfe which will mod effec- 
tually promote this end !— O brethren ! if we could 
generally fet this' work on foot in all the parilhes of 
England, and profecute it ikilfully and zealoufly, 
what a glory would it put upon the face of the 
nation, and what honour would redound to God 
thereby ! If our common ignorance were thus ba- 
niflied, and our vanity and idlenefs turned into the 
ftudy of the way of life, and every family employed 
in learning catechifms, and fpeaking of the word 
and works of God, what pleafure would God take 
in our cities and countries! He would dwell in 
bur habitations and make them his Relight. If we 
increafe the number or ftrength or the faints, we 
tltereby increafe the honour of the King of faints : 
Chrift will be honoured in the fruits of his blood« 
fhed. And the Spirit of grace will alfo be glorified 
jii the fruit of his operations. And do not thefe 
ends require us to ufe the means with diligence } 

si, I may urge this duty, from the general obli- 
gation we are all under to do good ; and from the 
regards we owe to the welfare of our people. 

Every chriftian is obliged to do all the good he 
can for the falvation of others \ but every minifter 
is doubly obliged, becaufe he is *feparated to the 

* gofpel* of Chrift, and is to * give hiinfelf up 

* wholly to that work.' It is needlefs Xb make 
any further queftion about our obligation, when 

F3 vip 

lot Of a Minijier's Obligation Part II. 

we know in general that we are obliged to do all 
that is neceffary for the converfion and falvation of 
our people, and that this work (as has been al- 
ready fhewn) is needful to thefe ends. Of thefe 
furely we cannot doubt : let us not then any longer 
negleft fo reafonable and neceflary a duty. If the 
faving of fouls,— of your neighbours' fouls, — of 
many fouls, from everlafting mifery be worth your 
labour, up and be doing ! If you would be the fa- 
thers of m^ny new-born unto God, if you would 
fee the travail of your fouls with comfort, and be 
able to fay at laft, ".Here am I and the children 
** that thou haft given me," be diligent in this 
bleffed work. If it would rejoice you to prefent 
your converts * blamelefs and fpotlefs to Ghrift,' 
and to fee them among the faints in glory, praifing 
the Lamb before his throne, be glad of this fingular 
opportunity that is offered you. * What is your 

* hope and joy and crown of rejoicing?' Are not 
your faved people * in the prefence of Chrift Jefus 

* at his coming ? Yea doubtlefs they are your glory 
*„ and your joy.' If you are the minifters of Chrift 
indeed, you will long for ' the perfeding of his 

* body, and the gathering in of his eleft.' Your 
hearts will be fet upon it, and you will ^ travail as 

* in birth for thegi till Chrift be formed in them ;* 
and will take all favourable opportunities, as the 

funTfliine days in a rainy harveft, in which it is. 


"unreafonable and inexcufable to be idle. Nay, if 

Chap. V. to perfonal' InJlruSfkrr. 103 

you have but a fpark of chriftian compaffion in you, 
it will appear worth your utmoft labour to * favc 

* fouls from death and to cover a multitude of 

* fins/ 

O remember when you are talking with the 
unconverted, that there is an opportunity in your 
hands to fave a foul ! to rejoice the angels in hea- 
ven! to rejoice Chrift himfelf! and to increaf« 
the family of God ! There is not a finner whofc 
cafe you (hould not fo far compaffionate as to be 
willing to relieve him at a much dearer rate than 

[by the labour here recommended.] Can you 

fee finners as the wounded man by the way, and 
unmercifully pafs by ? Can you hear them cry to 
you as the man of Macedonia to Paul in his vifion, 
^* Come and help us," and yet refufe your help ? 
Are you intrufted with an hofpital, where one 
languifhes, and another groans,^ crying out, " Oh 
'* help me! pity me for the Lord's fake!" and 
where a third is raging mad, and "would deftroy 
himfelf and you, and yet will you ftill fit idler — 
If it be faid of him that relieveth not men's bodies^ 
how much more juftly of him that will not relieve 
their fouls y * Whofo feeth his brother have need, 

* and fhutteth up his bowels of compaffion from 
< him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?* 
You are not fuch hard-hearted men — fuch mon- 
Iters, but you will pity the naked,, the imprifoned^ 
or thofe that are tormented with grievous pain or 

F 4 ficknefs ;. 

^^4 ^f ^ Minlfter's ObUgdhon l^art l\\ 

ficknefs : and will you not pity a hard-hearted 
finner, who muft be excluded the prefence of tht 
Lord, (if a thorough y fpeedy repentance prevent it 
not] and lie under his remedilefs wrath ?— •What 
(hall I call the heart of that man who will not pity 
fuch a one ? The heart of an Infidel ! a heart oi 
ilone ! a very rock or adamant ! Surely if he be* 
lieved the mifery of the impenitent, it would b^ 
impoflible for him hot to pity them. Can yon 
tell men^ in the pulpit, that they fhall certainly be 
damned except they repent, and yet have ito fyity on 
them when you have fo proclaimed their danger ? 
And if you do pity them, will you not do thus mUck 
for their (alvation ? 

What if you heard finners cry aft^r you in the 
ftreets-— '' O fir ! have pity on me, and afcnrd me 
your advice ! I am afraid of the everlafting wraA 
of God ! I know I muft (hortly leave this world, 
and I fear left I (hould be miferable in the next !"— 
What if they came to your ftudy door and cried-^ 
<' Oh pity us ! O help us, left we (hould be t<^* 
mented in the flames of hell"— -and would not leave 
you till you had told them how to efcape the wtath 
of God ; could you find in your hearts to drive 
them away without advice? I am confident you 
could not. Wh} fuch perfons, alas ! who do not 
thus cry for help, are the moft miferable* The 
hardened finner, who cares leaft for your advice, 
needs it moft. He that has not fo much life as to 


Chap. V. to perjonal InftruGtUn. 105*^ 

feel that he is dead> nor (bmuch light as to .fee his 
danger, nor fo much fenfe as to pity himfelf, this 
is the man that Is mod' to be pitied. O how can 
you walk and talk and be merry with fuch^ people, . 
wh6n you know their cafe? Methinks when you: 
look them in the face, and think of. their future 
mlfery, you fhould break forth into tears> as- the. 
Prophet did when he looked upon Mazael, and. 
then fall on with, the mod importunate exhorta- 
tions! 'When you come to vifit them in their laft. 
ficknefs,. will it not wound your hearts to fee them 
ready to depart into mifery, without your having, 
ever dealt ferioufly with them for their recovery ? 
©then, for. the Lord's fate, and for. the fake of 
fiich poor fouls, have pity on them ! Beftir your-, 
feives, and fpare no pains that may conduce to theirv 

^ Our obligation to this kind of inftruftion ap-- 
pears,t>oth from fcripture examples and precepts. 

We have Ghrift's own example, . who ufed this 
iriterlbeufory preaching both to his difciples and to • 
the Jews.; , and we have the examples of the A'po- 
(lies who did the like.. Indeed this was their ordi- 
nary way of preaching : and when they, made a; 
fpeech of any length, the people and they dif-. 
courfed : it out in the conclufion. TJius Peter, 
preached to the Jews ; (Afis ii.) and to Cornelius \ 
and his friencis ; (A£ls x.J Thus Philip preached to. 
the Eunuch 5 (Adsix.) and thus Paul preached to* 

F.5. thiJ. 

106 Of a Adimjler's Obligation Bart II, 

the Jailer.; (ASs xvi.) Thus, as he tells us, he 

* preached privately to thofe of reputation, left he 
*. fliould have run and laboured in vain*'. That- 
c^rneft charge of his to Timothy, no doubt, includes 
it : * I charge thee therefore before God and 

* the Lord Jefus Chrift, &c. preach the w^ord, be 
' inftant in feafon, and out of feafon; reprove^ 

* rebuke, exhort, with all long-fuffering and doc- 

* trinet.' [Some other paffages t<i> the fame pur* 
pofe were before quoted : vid. p. 40.] But I muft 
further tell you. 

4. This minifterial fidelity is neceffary to youl 
own welfare, as well as your people's. 

You can no more be faved without that fidelity 
which belongs to you as miniftersj than your peo* 
pie can without that which belongs to them as 
chriftians. If you care not for others, at leaft care 
for yourfelves. Oh ! what a dreadful thing is it to 
anfwer for the negleft of fuch a charge as ours ! 
What fin more heinous than the betraying of 
fouls ! That threatening (fo often referred to) is 
enough furely to make us tremble ; * If thou warn 
' not the wicked, &c. their blood will I require at 
^ thy hands.' I am afraid, nay, I am paft doubt, 
that the day is near, when unfaithful minifters will 
yfifh they had never knovyrn their charge ; but that 
they had been employed in the meaneft occupa* 
tions, inftead of being paftors of Chrift's; flock ; 

* Gal. ii; 8. t a Tim. iv. 1, 9. 


Obap* V. to perfonal InflruSfim. «>7 

when befides all the reft of their fins, they (hall 
have the blood of fo many fouls to anfwer for^ 
Oh brethren ! our death, as well as our people's, is 
near at hand ; and certainly death is as terrible to an 
unfaithful paftor as to any. When we fee that we 
muft diej and there is no remedy ; that no wit, 
ncH: learning, nor popular applaufe, can avert the 
ftroke or delay the time ; but that, whether will- 
ing or unwilling, our fouls muft be gone into that 
world we never faw, where our perfons and worldly 
circumftances will not be refpefted — Oh L then for 
a clear confcience, that can fay, ^^ I have not livod 
to myfelf, but to Chrift ; I fpared not my paia^ f , 
I hid not my talent ; I concealed not men's mifery, 
aor* the way of their recovery ;; * I have, fought a 

* good fight, I have finiflied my courfe, I htve kept 

* the faith ; and henceforth there is laid up for uie 

* a crown of righteoufnefs !" Let us then bedtli- 
gent in doing good to others and to ourfelves> that 
we may end our days with this glorious triumph: 
Let us take time while we may have it ; and/ work 

* while it is day, for the night cometh whejrein no 
< man can work.' If you would prepare for a 
comfortable death, and a glorious reward^ ** gird; 

* up the loins of your minds, and quit yourfelves. 
*• like men.' If you would be * bleffed with thofe 

* that die in the Lord,* labour now, that. you may 

* rieft from your labours' then ; and do fuch.wprk^- 
9fi you would wiih to * follow you.' 

* F 6 €HAP:. 

io8 CfCiunb Difciflm. Part 

CHAP. VI. ' 

Of Church DifclpUn^. 

THE next part of our over-fight is the u(e of 
CHUKCH DisciPLi^B. Thifr confiftft (afteir 
private reproofs, which were confidered above) of 
the following particulars ^^^ ^ 

I. Publicly reproving oflfenders.-*-To condaft 
shi^rinthe moil ufeful mamitr thefe things muft be 


1* The accufations of none (not even the beflf 
in the cliurcb) ihould be taken without proof. A 

* N. B. The ambor, in treadng^ tikis fubjed» goes on the 
fuppofition that difeipline is to be extended to all thai are 
in what he calls a chttFch-fiate, i. €. not only thofe who are 
admitted to the Lord's table, but thofe who have acknow- 
ledged their relations to the paQor as his charge, by giving 
him their names; after having regularly *' pafled from an in- 
fent to an adult flate, by confirmation ;*' the nature and the 
grounds of which rite he has confidered at large, ia a treadfe 
called ** Confirmation and Refiauration.'* See his works, VoK 
IV. p. 854.) However, in this Abridgment, what was pecu^ 
Var to the author's ideas of a church is generally omitted^ 
and this chapter is, for the moft part, accommodated to any 
mode of government which chriftiaa chorchet h^ve com- 
monly adopted* 


CHap, VI . fGfputlic Reproof: 1*9 

minifter (hoald never make himfelf a part]^, before 
he has fufficient evidence of the cafe. It is better 
to let man^ vicious perfons g^ unptitiifhed and 
without cenfure, when we want full evidence 
againft thetUi than to cenfure one unjuflly : whteh 
we may eafily do if we go upon bold prefumptions 
alone : and that will bring upon a paftor the fcan- 
dal of partiality and unrighteous dealing, ^(^hich 
will make all his reproofs and cenfures become 

2. Let there be therefore a private meeting of 
chofen perfons (the officers, and fome delegates of 
the church on their behalf) to have the hearing of 
all fuch cafes, before they are made public. They 
may meet ^ together once a month, at fome certain 
place, that (among other ends) they may be ready 
to receive what charge fhall be brought againft any 
member of the church ; that it may be confidered 
whether it be juft, and- that' the offender may be 
dealt with there firft. If the fault be not of s 
public heinous nature, and the party fhall there 
proi^fs repentance, that may fuffice. But if it be 
otherwifey and the perfon remain impenitent, he 
iiuifl < be reproved before alt/ 

3. Great caution and prudence muft be exer« 
cifed in- fach proceisdings; left we do more harm 
than good; But 'let it be' fuch chk'iftian prudence 
as orders duties aright, and* directs thbm to^heif 
proper ends, and not lueh carnal' prudence as fhall 

cne*— -"*- 

€tO QfpuBlie Reprfof. ' Part IT; 

enervate or exclude them. It may therefore be 
proper for young miniilers to confult with others^ 
for the more cautious proceeding iii fuch work. 

4* In the performance of it, we (hould always 
deal humbly, even when we deal moft ftiarply ;: 
that we may make it appear it is not from any 
lordly difpofition, nor an aft of revenge, but a ne^ 
ceflary duty^ which we cannot in cohfcience avoids 
It will therefore be proper publicly to difclaim all 
animofities, and (hew the people the commands of 
God obliging us to what we do. 

II. . With public reproof muft be joined an ex- 
hortation of the perfon to repentance, and to a pub« 
lie profeffion of it for the fatisfaftion of the church* 

As the church is bound to avoid communion with 
fcandalous ioipenitent finners, fo when they have 
had evidence of their fm, they muft alfo fee fome 
evidence of their repentance.;, for we cannot know 
them to be penitent without evidence. And what 
evidence is. the church capable of, but their profef- 
fion of repentance .firft, and their aftual reforma- 
tion afterwards ? Both which muft be expected and 
demanded of them. Both in our public reproofs 
and exhortations we fhould be very cautious of giv- 
ing offence : in order to avoid which we fhould 
proceed in fome fuch manner as this ; 

^^ Friends and brethren. Sin is fo evil and dan^^ 


Chap, VI. A Fspn fir public Reproof. m 

gerous a thing, that God has commanded us ta 

* exhort one another daily, left any be hardened 

* through the deceitfulnefs of iX\ and not ^ hate 

* our brother in our heart, but in any wife rebuke 

* our neighbour and not fufFer iin upon him.' Our 
Lord exhorts us, " if our brother offend us, to tell 
^ him of his fault ; and if he will not hear us, ta 
' take two or three' perfons with us to reprove 
him ; ^ and if he will not hear them, to tell the. 

* church ; and if he will not hear the church, to 

* efteem him as a heathen or publican.' Thofa 

* that fin,' we are commanded to * rebuke before 

* all, that others alfo may fear,' and * if they re- 
^ pent not, to avoid them, and not fo much as eat 

* with them.** Accordingly, having heard of the 
fcandalous pra£lice of M. N. of this churchy and 
having received fufEcient proof that he hath com- 
mitted the odious fin of ***. We have ferioufly 
dealt with him in private' to bring hitn to repent* 
ance: but to the grief of our hearts perceive that 
he ftill remains impenitent, (or lives in the fame 
fin.)* We therefore judge it our neccflary duty to 
ufe this further remedy which Chrift hath com- 
manded us to try. And I do earneftly befeech him 
for the fake of his own foul, and require it of him, 
as a meffenger of Jefus Chrift, as he will anfwer 
the contrary at the bar of God, to remain no longer 

♦ Lev. xix. 17. Matt, xviii. 15 — 17; 1 Tim. v. 80. • • 
aThcK iiit.6, 12, i|. 1 Cor* v. u, 13. . . > 


1 1 sr Prayer to Be JoihetfUirtB piiSlii Reproof. Part IF. 

(lout and impenitent, but urifeignWly to confefc 
and lament his fin before God and this congrega-- 
tion. This defire I here publffli, not out of any 
ill will to his perfon, (as the Lord kiiow's) hut ini 
obedience to Chrift, a!ncl in lo've to his foul ; wifh- 
ing that, if poflible, he may be faved from his fin,, 
from the power of Satan, and the everlaftihg wrath 
of God ; and that he may be fp^eedily recbnciled to 
him, and his church." To this'purpofe Ihoiild. 
our public admonition proceed : and in fonie cafes,, 
where the finner efteems his fin to be fmall, it; 
will be neceflary to fet it in its proper light, and ! 
cfpecially to quote fome texts of fcripture which, 
aggravate and threaten it. 

III. To our reproofs and^ exhortations fliouief. 
be added the Prayers of the church. 

We fliould pray both for thofe that have been 
reproved; and thofe that have been rejefted, that 
they niay repSilt and bfe reftored. We are ^om-. 
mkilded * to pray always, and in all things ; for all. 
* men, arid iii all places;' fo great a bufinefs as 
this, therefore, ought not to be done without ' it. . 
We Ihould earne/lly joih together in prayer to God 
that he would open the fihner's eyes ; that he would 
fbften his heart, and' faVe hini froni' impfejiitency 
and eternal death* Th^ we. have not his requeft 
crconfent; is no reafon ag^inft it ; fdr't&at is bis 


Chap. VI • Method ofnceversng the Pinitent. i 1 3 

very difeafe, and the malignity of it. If the per- 
fon refufes to be prefent to receive our admo- 
nitioHy it will be proper to deiire the prayers of the 
congregation for him. And let us be very earneft 
in our prayers, that the congregation may be ex- 
cited to join v^ith us. Who knows but God may 
bear fuch' prayers, and that they may be more 
effedual than our exhortations ? However, the 
people will thereby perceive that we did not make 
light of fin, and that we do not preach to them in 
mere cuftom or form.— —When the finner is thus 
admooiihed and prayed for, if it pkafe the LoM 
to open hi^ eyes and give him repentance, our next 
duty is, 

I V» To proceed for fak foil recovery : wheri 
d^efe thinp muft be ohferved. 

We muft not difcourage him by too much feve* 
rity, nor yet by too much haftd and lenity palliate 
the offence, and fmk the ideas of difcipline. We 
muft urge him to be ferious in his humiliation^ 
till he be truly fenfibie of his fin ; for it is not 
a vain formality that we are to exped, bdt the re- 
covering and faving of the foul. We fhould en- 
deavour to bring him to beg the communion and 
prayers of the church ; and to promife that he will 
moft carefully avoid the fin into which he has fallen,, 
for the time to come. After this wq muft tell him 


114 Method of recovering the Ptniient. Part IL 

of the riches of Gbd's love, and the fufficiency bf 
Chrift's blood, for the pardon of his fin ; and ac- 
quaint him that we are authorized, as the meffen- 
gers of the Lord, to affure him that, if his repent- 
ance be fincere, he is pardoned. — ^We fliould then 
charge him to perfevere, and perform his promifes ; 
to avoid temptations, and continue begging mercy 
and ftrengthening grace,— Hereupon we fliould ex- 
hort the church, that they imitate Chrift in forgiv- 
ing, and that they retain the perfon in (or receive 
him again into) communion ; that they never re- 
proach him, with his fin, but forgive and forget as 
Chrift does. We have ho warrant to rip up old 
matters, or to make that public again which has 
ceafed to be fo.-— After this we ihould give God 
thanks for the offender's recovery fo far, and pray 
for his confirmation and future prefervation.-^— Thi 
next part of difcipline ia 

: V. RejeSing from the churches communion 
thofe who, after fufBcient trial, remain impenitent. 

Exclufion from church communion, is of cfivers^ 
kinds and degrees, - of which I fliall not here treat- 
That which is moft commonly to be pra^lifed 
among us, is only to forbid an offender communion 
vrith us, or tp infii£t a temporary exclufion, called 
fiifpenfiori, till it fliall pleafe the Lord to give him 



Chap, VI . 0/ Excommumcatiax^ rij 

repentance [or till he fhall difcover very evident 
marks of impenitence.] We have^ indeed, no ex- 
prefs dire£tions in fcripture how long we ihould 
ft ay to try whether the finner be fo impenitent as 
to be neceffarily and entirely excluded ; we muft. 
therefore follow the general diredions, with fuch 
diverfity as the cafe and charafter of the perfon, and* 
former proceeding fliall require ; this being left .to 
the difcretion of the church, who muft always con- 
tinue to pray for, and exercife patience towards^ 
the offender, till he manifeft himfelf obftinate in his 
fid. Where a perfon has openly finned but once^ 
or twice, a profeflion of repicntance .may fuffice ;, 
but if he be accuftomed to fin, and has pftea broken 
his promifes of amendment, then we muft require, 
an a£li|al reformation. He that will refufe either 
to reforni,.or tp make a profeflion of repentancp^ 
muft be confidered as living in the fin ; for a hein- 
ous .fin, but. once, commifted, is morally continued 
in till it be f epented of ; and a mere forbearing o£ 
the aft is not fuf6ci,ent. — [If the church, after 
having waited a proper time, cannot difcern in the 
perfon any figns,of genuine repentance,] they muft 
then proceed* to excommunication. The minifter 
muft pronounce him unworthy of communion, and 
authoritatively charge the people in the name of the 
Lord,, to avoid communion with fuch . a perfon ; 
and muft deny him thofe ordinances and privileges 
which do not belong to him. . And as far a$ this 

^ aft 

1 1 6 Qmnh^Dtfrtfltne vindicated. Part 1 1 . 

aft of the paftor is not contrary to the word of 
God, the people arc in duty bound to fall in with 

it. However, it will be proper to pray for the 

repentance and reftoration even of the excommuni- 
cate ; and, if God Ihould give them repentance, 
they are gladly to be received into the communion 
of the church again. — So much for the nature of 
church-difcipline : and fure I am, if well under- 
ftood, much of the paflforal work and authority 
confifts in it. 

There are many, I know, who woula fct opert 
the doors of the church, would pluck up the hedgeii 
and lay the vineyard common to the Wildernefs. 
Nay; (which is very amazing) fome who are 
efteemed godly divines, reproach, as a feft, thofe 
faithful paftors who will not give the facrament tct 
all the parift, and who maintaia difcipline in their 
churches, uiider the name oi Sacramentariabs and 
Difciplinarians ; as. the impure ufed' to reproach, 
the godly by the name of Puritans. But was not 
Chrift himfelf the leader of thefe DifcipHhalrians ? 
He inftituted dffcipKne, and commanded the parti- 
cular afts of it, [as hath already been proved, from 
Matt, xviii. See p. iii.^ Chrift made his mini-- 
fters the rulers of his church, and put the keys of 
the kingdom into their hands'; and he requires the 
people to ^ fubmit to them, and obey them in the 
< Lord.* Hib. xiii. 17.. 

Agtceible to theft fcriptutes, was the priiiaice ot 


Clup. VI. Oiurch-Difcipline vindiiaiid. (17 

the aoci<;nt church for many years after Chrift ; in 
which difcipline was exercifed much more vigo- 
toudy than among any of us, even in the heat of 
l^eathen perfecuiions, as well as under cbriltian 
magidrates, till felhlbnefs and foroiality caufed 
them to be remifs in this and oth^r duties together ; 
as may be feen in the ancient canons and Ofprlan't 
e^iQXts. Difcipline was not then taken to be a 
ufele& thing*; nor would it>appear fuch now, if it 
were, Ihewed in iu llrength and beauty, by a vigo- 
rous pra&ice. 1 know that when the church 

b^an to be tainted with vain inventions, the word. 
D'tfc'ipUne changed its iignification for various cf 
their own rules of life, and auflere impofitions ; 
but it is fcir the ancient and truly chriftian difcipline 
alone thai I am contending. Tliere is no room to 
dotibt whether this be our duty, nor whether we 
are unfaithful as to the performance of it. It is 
certainly no lefs our.4uty becaufe our brethren of 
late have made fo little confcience of it. ■ And 
what are the hinderances that now keep theinini- 
ftera of England front the difchargc of it P 

1. Some obje£t, " That we Ihall he guilty of 

* Difcipline cB cuDoi fpn, reiinaculuin fideS, 
bluuri), "fbmei k cuiri men turn bonz iadolis, mi 
laij &cit in Chri&o muitrc fcmpcr, ic jugitor Dt 
promifla calefiia et divini przmia pcivenjre : Hi 
falubrs eft, et idverlari ac ncgligcrc lethale. Cypj 
p. t£j. See CabmCt Infiil. Lib, IV, cap, IB. S ' 

i 1 8 Afifwer to ObjeSfions iPart 1 1 . 

'< defaming meriy by thus publiQiing their crimes." 
I anfwcr in the words of Bernard , " Cum car- 
<< puntur vitia, et inde fcandalum oritur^ ipfi fibi 
<* fcandali caufa efl:^ qui fecit quod argui debet ; 
*< non ille qui arguit. Non ergo timeas contra 
>^ charitatem efle, fi unius fcandalum multorum 
*' recompenfaveris pace. Melius eft enim ut pe- 
" reat unus quam uniras." Bernard /up. Cantic. 
Many of us who would be afliamed to omit preach- 
ing or praying, half fo much, have not confidered 
what we do in wilfully nieglefting this duty. . We 
draw down the guilt of men's crimes upon our own 
heads> when we do not ufe God's means for the 
cure of them*. 

«. Others will fay " There is little likelihood 
that public perfonal reprehenfion (hould do any 
good to offenders, becaufe they will be but enraged 
by the fhame." I anfwer in the words of Philo a 
Jew, " We muft endeavour as far as we are able' 
" to fave thofe from their fms who will certainly - 
<< periih by them ; imitating good phyficians, who 
** when they cannot fave a fick man, do yet wil- 
** lingly try all means for cure, left they feem to 
" want fuccefs through their own negligencet." 
I further anfwer, It ill becomes the ignorant crea- 

• Qui non corrigit refecanda committit, Grec. 

Si quid' me fcis fecifle incite aut iraprobc, fi id non accufas, 
tH ipfe objurgandus es. Ft aut. 

t Philo dc (acrif. Abel et Cain. 


Chap. yi. agmnjl Church ^DtJcipUne. fij* 

ture to implead the ordinainces of God as ufclefs, 
God can render his own ordinances fuccefsful, or 
elfe he would never have appointed them. Befides, 
church-difcipline feems to be well calculated for 
ufefulnefs. It tends to the fhaming of fin, and the 
humbling of the finner ; to manifefl the holihefs of 
Chrift, of his doSrine, and his church before all 
the world.--* What method fhould be taken with 
offenders if /lot this? Mu ft they be given up as* 
hopelefs? That were cruel: and other means arc ^ 
fuppofed to have been ufed without fuccefs. ■- 
The church of Chrift has found this method to be 
fuccefsful, even in times of perfecution, when, if 
ever, carnal reafon would have told them to forbear ^ 
it, for fear of driving away their converts.— But 
befides all that has been faid, let it be remembered,' 
that the principal ufe of this public difcipline, is 
not for the offender himfelf, but for the church. 
It tends greatly to deter others from the like crimes,' 
and fo to keep our churches and worfliippure*. 

3. Some will fay, " That this method will but 
rcftrain men as hypocrites and not convert them." • 
I anfwer. Who knows how God may blefs his or- * 
dinances? It is true repentance to which offenders ' 
are exhorted, and which they profefs : whether 
they truly profefs it or not, who can tell but God \ 

* Vitia tranrmittit ad poderos, qui prsfentibus culpis ignof* 
cit, — ^Bonis nocet qui malis parcit. Si M £ c a. 


ato Attfwer h ObjeSfhm Part 1 1. 

However if it only reftrains perfons, that is a bene« 
fit not to be contemned. It is of fome importance 
t)iat fin be difgraced ; and fb far the chufch acquit 
thenifelves. But the grand objeAion againft difci- 
pline, a$ far as I can learn, is 

4, The difficulty of the work, and Utit- trouble 
or fuffering you ase likely to bring upon your(elve» 
by lU ** We cannot, fay you, publicly reprehend 
one Tinner, but he will highly refent it, and bear U9 
midice fior it. We can. prevail with very few to 
make a public profeflion of repentance ; and if 
we excommunicate them, that will enrage them the^ 
more. If we were to -deal with all the obftinate 
finners in the pariih, in the msmner you advife, it 
would be dangerous living among them: or we 
fhould be fo hated, that our labours would become 
quite unprofitable to them. Duty therefore ceafes 
to be duty, becaufe the hurt that would follow 
would be greater than the good." — Bjut are not 
thefe reafons as valid againft profeffing and defend- 
ing Chriftianity in fome times and places, as now 
;^ainft dilcipline? Chrift has told us * that he 
* came not to fend peace ?' and that < the world wilL 
Vhate us.' — Many of his fervants have met wkh 
more difficulty in doing their duty thaawe can ex- 
peA ; which yet did not^ prevent their faithful dif- 
charge of it. If We did our duty faithfully as mini* 
fiers, we fbould now. find much the fame lot among 
profefied chriftians, as our predeceflbrs did among 


C hap .VI. againjt Church- DlfcipUne, 1 2 1 

infidels. — But if you cannot fuffer for Chrift, why 
did you * put your hands to his plough?' Sfou 
ought * firft to have fat down and counted the 
^ coft.' This makes the miniflerial work fo un- 
faithfully done, becaufe it is fo carnally under- 
taken. Many enter upon it as a life of eafe and 
honour from men, and therefore they refolve to 
attain their ends, whether right or wrong. — As for 
your making yourfelves incapable of dping men any 
good, if you thus publicly admonifh th^em; I an« 
fwer, that reafon is as valid againft plain preaching, 
or private reproof, pr- {ainy other duty for which 
wicked men will hate us. God will blefs his own 
ordinances to do good, or elfe he would not }iave 
appointed them. By this means good may pofEbly 
be done to the offender, and even to tl^e excommu- 
nicate. I am fure it is God's means ; and the laS 
means we can «fe ; it were therefore perverfe to 
negle£l it. However, other pcrfons^ both within 
fnd without the church, may receive good by it, 
though the offender himfelf receive none : and God 
will certainly have the honour when his church is 
ihus mahifeftly diftinguiflied from the world. But 
let me tell you, there is not fuch * a lion in the 
* way,' as you may imagine ; nor is difcipline fo 
ufelefs a thing. I blefs God, upon the fmall, and 
too late, trial I have made of it myfelf, I can fay 
hy experience it is not vain ; nor are the hazards 

G of 

12« Difcipline may be exercifed Part II# 

of k fuch as may excufe our negleft. — To the laft 
obj^^lion many have added, 

^. '^ That it is a vain thing to attempt the ufe 
of difcipline in the church, unlefs it were efta- 
blifhed by fecular power, and all the people were 
forced, under a penalty, to fubmit to it ; wheteas 
every man has liberty to defpife our cenfures, and 
to abfent himfelf when he ihould appear before the 
church." — Here let me aft. How did the church of 
Chrift fubfift before the days of Confiantine^ without 
the help of the civil magiftrate ? And how was dif* 
cipline exercifed for three hundred years together, 
"when the prince did not fo much as give protedion 
€)r toleration to chriil&ns, but even perfecuted then» 
to death ? Yet then was the church in its beft ftate, 
and its difcipline the mod pure and powerful. Are 
the keys of Chrift's church fo unfit and ufelefs, 
that they will not open and fhut without the ma- 
giftrate's help! If they have contrafted any ruft, 
we may thank ourfelves, who have let them lie IB 
long without ufe. But let me add, that the inter* 
pofition of the civil magiftrate with our difcipline, 
would do more hurt than good : it would but cor* 
rupt it by the mixture, and make it become a mere 
human thing. Your government is all to work 
upon the Confcience ; and the fword cannot reach 
that. It is not a defirable thing to have repent- 
ance fo obfcured by mere forced confciffions, that 



Cbap. VI. without the Maglftrate's Aid. 1183 

you cannot know when perfons mean as they 
fpeak. I confefsy if the civil power had forced 
men to thofe public confeflions of fin and profef- 
iions of repentance, to which I have perfuaded 
them by the light of God's wofid, it would have left 
me, and I believe the church too, v^ry much dif- 
fatisfied with them ; imagining they cmly complied 
becaufe they were compelled.'^^I am the lefs forry 
that the magiftrate doth not interpofe, on account 
of that blind zeal which To much prevails amongft 
us. Perfons of every party lay fuch a ftrefs upon 
many opinions of their own, as if life^th de* 
pended upon them ; making fuch a great outciy 
againft whatever are called earors by their own 
fed, without knowing what they are» that if the 
fword were in fuch envious, angry hands, there 
would be little quiet to the church. This may 
poflibly make the magtftrate think fit to let u$ 
fight it out with our naked fifts, and not to put 
fwords into our hands ti^f we know better how to 
ufe them. As long as he does not prevent ou^ 
exercifing that kind of difcipline which has now 
beei) recommended, I feiar not but, by the blefling 
of God, a prudent, refolute, unanimous minidry 
will, in general, be able to bring perfons to fubmit 
to it, fo as to anfwer very important purpofes. 

I fhall conclude this fubje£t with earneAiy re- 
quefting my brethren in the miniftry fpeedily and 
laithfuUy to put ;ln execution all the unqueftipnable 

G a part 

4»4 T^^ ^t^ Confequences Part II. 

part of the difcipline for which I have been con- 

1. Confider how finful the negle6l of it ]%, and 
'how dangerous with refpeft to yourfelves. It is 
indeed % fad cafe that good men, under fo much 
liberty, fliould fatisfy themfelves fo long in the 
negled of fo great a duty. It is, I own, a trouble* 
fome and painful work, and calls for fome felf' de- 
nial, as it will expofe us to the difpleafure of the 
wicked. But dare we prefer our carnal eafe, or the 
love of wicked men, before our duty to Chrift our 
mafter ? Can fuch flothful fervants look for a good 
reward ? 

2. The negleft of difcipline has a ftrong ten- 
dency to the . deluding of fouls ; by making men 
think that they are chriftians when they are not, 
becaufe they are not feparated from fuch as are ; 
and by making fcandalous (inners think their (in 
tolerable becaufe it is fo tolerated by the paftors of 
the church. We hereby corrupt Chriftianity itfelf 
in the eyes of the world, and do our part to make 
them believe, that to be a chriftian is only to be of 
fuch or fuch an opinion, and that the chriftian re- 
ligion requires holinefs no more than the falfe relU 
gions of the world. 

3. By the negleft of difcipline you encourage 
feparation. If you will not by this means didin- 
guiih between * the precious and the vile,' the peo- 
ple will do it by withdrawing from you ; which 


Chap. VI. rf neglecting DifcipHne. x 25 

many honeft chriftians will think they are neceffi- 
tated to do. Nor can you wonder, if you keep a 
number of fcanialous Tinners in your cliurches, 
that fome timorous fouls fliould run out of them, 
as out of an edifice whicli they apprehend ready to 
fall. I have known many who have feparated 
merely on this account. 

4. By this neglect we do much to bring the 
wrath of God upon ourfelves and our congrega- 
tion, and fo to blaft the fruit of our labours. If 
* the angel of the church of Thyatiray* was re- 
proved for fuffering feducers in it, and thofe who 
joined with them were fo feyerely threatened, 
furcly we deferve reproof on the fame ground, for 
fuffering open, fcandalous, impenitent (inners 
among us, and have reafon to fear the execution, of 
this threatening upon our churches. 

But againft all that I have faid in behalf of dif*- 
cipline you will plead, *' Our people are not ready 

for it : they will not yet bear it." But is. not the 


meaning of this, that you will not bear the trou-. 
ble and hatred which it will occafion ? I befeech 
you, in order that you may make, a comfortable, 
account to tne chief fhepherd, and, that* you may 
not be found unfaithful in the houfe of. God, that 
you do «iot ihrink from duty becaufe of the trouble 
that may attend it. Remember for your encourage- 
ment, that the moft coftly duties are ufually the 
moil comfortable; and you may be fure that Chrtil 
will bear the coil. 


26 Motives to Paftoral Fidelity. Part II. 


Of the Motives to Paftoral Fidelity in general. 

HAVING pointed our and recommended the 
feveral pars of the minifterial officTe, we pro- 
ceed to confider the Motives to a diligent per- 
formance of them. The Lord grant that they may 
work upon us all according to their truth and im- 
portance ! 

I. The nature of our Office obliges us to take 
heed to all the flock : we are ftyled overseers. 

And for what elfe are wc ovcrfeers* ? *To be a 
bifhop or paftor is not to be fet up^ as an idol for 
the people to bow to ; or to be (what the apoftle 
calls the Creti^ns^ * evil beads, flow bellies ;' to 
live to our flefhly delight and eafe ; but it is to be 
the guide of fmners to falvation. It is a fad thing 
that men fhould undertake a calling of which they 
know not the nature. Do thofe perfbns know and 
confider what they have undertaken, who live in 
eafe and pleafure ? who have time to take their fu- 
perfiuous recreations, and fpend it in loitering, or 
in vain difcourfes, when fo much work lies upon 
their hands ? Brethren, do you confider where you 

* Epifcopus eft somen qaod plus ofcris quam^honoris figai* 

ficat. Polyd. Viig. p. 840. 

* ftandy 

Chap. VII. The Nature of our Office requires it. 127 

ftand, and' what you have taken upon you ? Yo» 
have, under Chrift, undertaken a band of his fol- 
dters "* againft principalities and powers, and fpiri- 
* tual wickednefles in high places.' You muft lead 
theiti on in the fliarpeft conflifts ; you muft ac- 
quaint them with the enemy's ftratagems and af- 
faults 5 you muft watch yourfclves, and keep them 
watching. If you mifcarry, they and you niay pe- 
rifli. You have a fubtile enemy ; and therefore 
you muft be wife : you have a vigilant enemy, 
therefore you muft be vigilant : you have a mali- 
cious, violent, anc] unwearied enemy \ and there- 
fore you muft be refolute, courageous, and unwea- 
ried. You are in a crowd of enemies, encompaflfed 
with them on every fide ; fo that if you do not tak« 
particular heed to every one of them, you will 
quickly fall. 

Oh ! wha^ a world of Work have yoo to do ! 
Had you but one ignorant perfon to teach, though 
wilting to learn, what an arduous ta(k would it be ! 
How much more if that perfon were as unwilling 
as ignorant ! But to have fuch multitudes of thefe 
as moft of us have, will find us work indeed \ 
How much wickednefs have we fometimcs to con- 
tend againft in one - foul ! and what a number oi 
fiich wicked perfons have we to deal with ! What 
deep rooting have their fins taken, and under 
what difadvantage muft truth come to them ! What' 
ftrangers are they to the heavenly meflage we 
bring* them ! They frequently know not what you 

G 4 fay» 

128 J^iligence enforced from the Nature Part II. 

fay, though you fpeak to them in the plained lan- 
guage. And when you think you have done them 
fome good, you leave your feed among the * fov^ls 

* of the air.' Wicked men are at hand to contradict, 
all that you have faid ; who will cavil at and flan- 
der you that they may difgrace your meflage, and 
that they may deride and fcorn them away from 
Chrift : thus they quickly extinguifli the good be- 
ginnings which you hoped you had feen. They 
ufe indeed weaker reafons than yours \ but fuch as 
come with more advantage, being taken from things 
which they fee and feel, and which are befriended 
by the flefli. Befides, they are more familiarly 
and importunately urged. You fpeak but once to 
a finncr for ten or twenty times that the meffengers 
of Satan do. Moreover, how eafily do the ^ cares 
"* and bufineffes of the world choke and devour the 

* feed,' which you had fown, and how eafily will a 
frozen carnal heart, though it had no external ene- 
mies, extinguiOi thofe fparks which you have been 
long in kindling ! Yea, for want of fuel and fur- 
ther help, they will go out of themfelves. Among 
wbat abundance of diftempers, lufts, and pailions 
do you caft your words, where they are likely to 
meet with but a poor entertainment ! And when 
you think your work doth happily fucceed, feeing 
men under trouble, confefling their fins, promifing 
reformation, and living as new creatures and zea- 
lous converts, they will often prove unfound j to 
have beeii but fuperficially changed ; to have taken 


Chap. VII i and Privileges •/ our Office. i£g> 

up net\r opinions, and new company, without a new 
heart. O how many perfons, ^fter fome confider* 
able change has taken place, are deceived by the 
profits, the honours, or the pleafures of the world, 
and ^ again entangled in their former lufts V Nay, 
how foon do even the graces of the faints- them- 
£elves languiih, if you negle£l them ; and how 
eafily are they drawn into fhameful ways, to the 
difhonour of the. gofpel, as well as their own lofs 
and forrow ! O brethren, what a field of labour is 
before us ! there is not a perfon you can fee, but 
may find you work ! — Elxert yourXelves then with 
all your might. In order to quicken you the more^ 
let me beg you to attend, to. the following, confi- 

1,. Confider the pifice of an overfeer was yourr 
own voluntary undertaking. No man is forced to 
be an overfeer of the church : does not common 
honeily then require yop tp be true to. your truft ? 

«• Confider. the- honmif: conneded with your, 
office, as an encouragement tp labour. A great 
honour indeed it is, to be. the ^ ambafladors of God,' 
and the inftruments of men's converfiop and falva- 
tion; to * fave fouls from death and cover.a.mul-. 
^ titude of fin*/ For minifter^ to ftrive for prcr. 
cedency, and>fill thfi world wi(h wide contentions, 
about the dignity and fuperiority of their office,, 
fhews that they forget the nature and work of .that 
office th^y. ftrive about. The honour is but tbq. 

G 5 appendix. 


1 gd Diligence urged from the Privilegas Part II, 

appendix to the work. If minifters would faith- 
fully and humbly lay out themfelves for Chrift and 
his church, without thinking of titles and reputa- 
tion, they would have honour whether they would 
or not ; whereas by gaping after it they lofe it. 

3. Coniider that you have many privileges be- 
longing to your office, which fhould engage you to 
diligence in it. It is no fmall thing that you are 
maintain^ by other men's labours. This is for 
your work, that you may not be taken oiF from it, 
but that you may * give yourfelvcs wholly to thefe 
* things,' and not be forced to negle6l men's 
fouls, while you are providing for your own bodies* 
Either do the work, or take not the maintenance. 
, Befides, it ought to be confidered as a great privi- 
lege to be bred up to learning, while many others 
are brought up at the, plough and cart ; to be fur- 
niflied with fo much delightful knowledge, when 
the world lies in ignorance ; and to converfe with 
learned men about fublime and glorious things, 
while many others are converfant with none but 
the moft vulgar and illiterate. Efpecially think 
what an excellent privilege is it, to live in ftudying 
and preaching Chrift ! to be continually fearching 
into his myfteries, or feeding on them ! to be daily 
employed in contemplating the blefled nature, 
works, and ways of God ! Others are glad of the 
leifure of the Lord's day, and now and then an 
hour befides, when they can lay hold of it ; but we 


Chap. VII. t>fthe Paftoral Office. 1 3 1 

may keep a continnal Sabbath. We may almoft 
do nothing elfe but ftudy and talk of God ana 
glory; engage in a6ls of prayer and praife, and 
drink in facred and faving truths. Our employ- 
ment is all fublime and fpiritual. Whether we 
are alone, or in company, our bufinefs is for ano- 
ther world. O that our hearts were but more 
difpofed for this work ! what a blefTed joyful life 
ihould we then live ! How fweet would the ftudy 
be to us ! how pleafant the pulpit ! and what de- 
light would our conferences yield ! What excellent 
helps do our libraries afford ; where we have fuc^ 
- a variety of wife filent companions, whenever wei 
pleafe ! Surely all thefe, and more fuch privileges 
attending the miniftry, befpeak our unwearied dili-^ 
gence in the work. Once more, 

4. Confider the intereft which all the faithful 
fervants of Chrift have in their mafter's regards. 
You are related to Chrift as weH as to the flock^ 
and he is related to you. If therefore you are 
faithful in your work, you ar« not only advanced,, 
but fecured by the relation. You are * the ftew- 
* ardsof his myfteries,' and the rulers of his houfe-^ 
hold : and he that intrufted you with his work will 
maintain you in it. But then * it is required of ai^ 
' fteward that a man be found faithful.' Be true 
to him, and never doUbt of his being true to you.. 
Do you feed his flock ? He will fooner feed you as 
he did Elijah^ than forfake you. In the midft o£ 

C 6. enemi^Sj, 

J3i The Holy Spirit appoints Paftors Part 1 1 . 

enemies, he will * give you a tongue and wifdom 
• which none (hall refill. ' ii you willingly put 
your hand to his plough, he will wither the hand 
that is {(retched out againft you. His faithful mi- 
niniders have always had large experience of his 
care. He who knows that he ferves a God who 
will never fufFer any man lo be a lofer by him, 
needs not fear what hazards he r^tns in his caufe : 
and he who knows that he is feeking a prize which, 
if obtained^ will infinitely exceed his cod, may 
boldly engage his whole eftate on it, and fell all he 
has %o purchafe fo rich a pearl. The next 

II. Motive to fidelity, is taken from the Per- 
ibn by whom minifters are invcfted with their of- 
fice :— * the flock over which the Holy Ghost 
* hath made you overfeers.' 

This divine agent is faid to make biihops or paf- 
tors, not merely becaufe he has determined in his 
word that there fliall be fuch an office — what the 
work and power fliall be — and what fort of perfons 
ihall receive it ; but alfo becaufe he qualifies men 
for the office j diredls thofe that ordain them, to 
difcem their qualifications \ and dire£ts them and 
the people themfelves, in fixing them over a 
particular charge. Thefe were done in the firft 
ages of chriftianity, in an extraordinary manner by 
infpiration^ fiut:> when men are rightly called, 


Chap, VII. over the Church of God. 133 

they are now as well as then^ made overfeers of 
the church by the Holy Ghoft, /• e, by the ordi- 
nary influences of the lime Spirit. What an obli- 
gation then is laid upon us by our call ! If our com- 
miffion be from heaven, it is not to be difobeyed. 
When Paul was called by the voice of Chrift to 
preach the gofpel, he ' was not difobient to tlie 
* heavenly vifion.' When the apoftles were called 
by our Lord, from their fecular employments^ they 
immediately left their friends and houfes, and trade, 
and ally and followed him. Though our call be 
not fo immediate or extraordinary, it is from the 
fame Spirit, and therefore ought to be as readily 
obeyed. It is not a fafe courfe to imitate Jonah^ 
in turning our backs upon the commands of God. 
If we negled our work, he has a fpur to quicken- 
us. If we run from it, he has meflengers enow to 
overtake us, to bring us back and make us do it ; 
and certainly it is better to do it at firft than at laft* 
Another motive is 

III. What is derived from the dignity of the 
Objsd, viz. * the Church of God.' 

It is that church for which the world is upheld ; 
which is fandiiied by the Holy Ghoft; which is 
united to Chrift ; and which is his myftical body. 
That church with which angels are prefent ; and on 
which they attend as ^ miniftering fpirits ;' whofe 


134 ^^ Price paid f9r the Church. Part II. 

▼ery ' tittle ones have their angels beholding the 

* face of God in heaven.* O virhat a charge is it 
that we have undertaken ! And (hall we be unfaith- 
ful to it ? Have we the ftewanffliip of God's owa 
family, and ihall we negle£l it ? Have we the con- 
dud of thofe faints who are to live for ever with 
God in glory, and (hall we omit our duty to them ? 
God forbid f Are the fouls of men thought meet 
by God to fee his face, and live for ever in his pre- 
fesice ? and are they not worthy of your utmoll 
coft and labour ? Do not think fo meanly of the 
church of God^ as if it deferved not your higheft 
regards. Were you the keepers of fwine or fheep, 
you would fcarcely let them go, and fay they were 
not worth looking after ; efpecially if they were 
your own : dare youthen negleA the feuLs of vii'tn^ 
even the church of God \ — Remember Chrift 

* walks among them : the prailes of the moft h^h 
' God are in the midft of them. They are a chofenr 

* generation ; a fan£tified, peculiar people ; a royal 

* priefthood, an holy nation ; to fhew forth the 

* praifes of him that called them/ What an ho- 
nour is it to be one of them, though but a * door- 
' keeper in the houfe of the LordT Surely then to 
be the Prieft of thefc priefts, and the Ruler of thefe 
kii^Sy is fuch an honour, fuch a noble employ- 
ment, ais multiplies your obligations to diligence 
and fidelity. 

IV. The 

Chap. VI I. A Motive for Fidelity to if. 135 

IV, The laft motive to take heed to the flocks 
and feed the- church of God, is, the Pkic£ that 
"^as paid for it. 

It is fpoken of as ' purchafed by his owir 
BLOOD:' /. e. by the blood of Christ, whoii^ 
Jtere exprefsly called God. God the Son &i 
purchafe the church with his own blood. What 
an argument is here to quicken the negligent, and 
to condemn tbofe that will not be quickened! 
What! (hall we defpife the blood of Chrift? Shall 
we think it was ihed for fuch as are not worthy our 
care i The guilt of negligent paftors is certainly- 
great, (ince, as much as in them lies, they make 
the blood of Chrift to be ihed in vain. They 
would lofe him thofe fouls, whom he has fo dearly 
bought. Whenever we feel ourfelves grow dull 
and carelefs, let us imagine we heard the blefled 
Saviour arguing with us to this cffeGt: ** Did I 
die for thofe fouls, and wilt not thou look after 
them ? Were they worth my blood, and are they 
not worth my care ? Did I come down from hea- 
Ten to earth ^ to feek and to fave them that were 
* loft,' and wilt thou not go to the next dooi or 
ftreet or village to feek them ? How fmall is thy 
labour or condefceniim in companfon with mine 1 
I debafed myfelf to this ; but it is thy honour to be 
fb employed. Have I done and fuffered fo much 
for the falvation of men, and was I willing to mak» 


136 OhjeS^ions againji perfonal Infpe£fim Part IK 

thee a co-worker with me, and wilt thou refufe 
the little that lies upon thy hands V 

Every time we look upon our congregations, let 
us remember that they are purchafed by the blood 
of Chrift, and regard them accordingly. Let us 
often think in what confufion a negligent mini&eit 
will be at the laft day,, to have the blood of-tbe fon. 
of God pleaded againfi him-; and to hear Chrift 
(ay *^ Thou didft make light of the purchafe of my. 
blood ; and canfl thou now hope to be. faved by It 
thyfelf?"~0 brethren! fince Chrift will bring 
his blood to plead [at God's righteous bar] let it 
now effe&ually plead with us to do our duty, left. 
^L fliould then plead againft us to our. damnation ! 


Of the Obj ECTIONS to this courje of minijieridl Duty^ 
particularly perfonal InfiruSiidn. 

TT is a hard cafe that fo good a raafter as ours, 
•*• in fo good a workj fhould have fervants fo bad 
as to plead againft their duty when they fhould 
praftife it ; efpecially that good men fhould be fo 
backward to k as to need many words to excite 
them to the diligent performance of it. Yet. alas ! 
this is too common 'a cafe. I have no great fear 
of oppofition from confcience^ or unbiafled reafon^ 



Chap. VIII. Jiattd and tmfwered* 137 

but only from univillingnef^, and from reafon bi- 
ased by the flefh. To what has been faid about 
perfonal inftruftion fome will objeft, 

!• " That their congregations are fo large that 
it is impoflible for them to know all their hearers ; 
much more to take heed to every individual. 

But let me aik fucb perfons — Was it neceffary 
for you to take upon you fuch a charge ? If not, 
how durft you undertake what you knew your- 
felves unable to perform ? If it was in a manner. 
neceiTary, might you not have procured fome aflift- 
ance h Have you not, or could not you get a tnain- 
tenance fufficient for yourfelves and another to 
help you ? What though it would not fupport 
you in affluence^ is it not more reafonable that you 
ihould pinch your flefl) and families, than negle£t 
the fouls of fo many of your flock ? With me it is 
unqueftionable, that it is your duty, if you can, to 
live upon part of your falary, and allow the reft to 
a competent afliftant. Do not many families in 
your parifli live on Iqfs than you would then have ! 
Have not many able miriifters been glad of lefs, 
with liberty to preach the gofpel \ Can your parish- 
ioners endure damnation better than you can po- 
verty ? What do you call yourfelves minifters of 
the gofpel, and yet efteem the fouls of men fo little, 
as that you had rattier they ihpuld eternally perifh, 


138 No frhate Studies will excufe Part !!• 

than that you and your families fliould live in a 
low condition ? If you have but * food and rai* 

* ment/ you ought 'therewith to be content/ 
Would you have more than is fufEcient to enable 
you for the work of God ? * A man's life confift- 
' eth not in the abundance of things which he pof* 

* feffes.' If your clothing be warm, and your, 
food whol'efome, you may be as well fupported to 
do God's work, as if you enjoyed the greateft af- 
fluence. He that has thefe, has but a poor excufe 
ibr hazarding men's fools, that he may enjoy more 
of this world's good. Remember how firongiy: 
our bleiTed mafter recommends felf-denial to all his 
fbrvantff. They that will not exercife it, are fa 
far from being his minifters, that they axse not hisr 
true difciples.-^If your circumftances are fuch that 
proper afiiftance cannot be procu^red, then your 
fliould undertake your charge with liniitation. But 
do not omit the work of perfonal overfight entire- 
ly, becaufe you cannot do it with alh take thir 
courfe with as many as you are able, and put your 
godly neighbours, efpeciially parents and mailers o£ 
families, upon doing the more. 

11. Some may objeA that "The courfe recom*^ 
mended will require too much time^ dnd will not 
allow fo much as is neceflTary for minifters (young 
men efpecially) to follow their ftodks, and im-* 
prove their own abilities," 

I anfwer ; 

Ghap. Vin. negk^ing Men's Souls, 135 

I anfwer; the perfons whom I am perfuading 
to this work, arc fuppofed to underftand the fub- 
fiance of the chriftian religion, and to be able to 
teach others: and the addition of lefs neceflary 
things, is not to be prefierred to the communication 
of what are fundamentally neceflary, I highly va- 
lue common knowledge, and would not encourage 
any to fet light by It ; but I value the faving of 
fouls more. That which is immediately neceflary 
ought to be done whatever elfe is left undone. It 
is a very defirable thing for a phyfictan to be well 
ftudied in his art ; but if he would be inquiring' 
even into the moft ufeful fubjeds when he (bould 
be looking to his patients ; and fhouM teH them 
that he has not time to give them advice, becaufe 
he muft follow his own ftudies, I fbculd efteetn 
that man a prepofterous ftudent, who thus prefer^ 
red the means to the very end itfelf. Indeed f 
fliould think fuch a phyiician to be but a ctvtl kind 
of a murderer. — Men's fouls may be fared whhoof 
your knowing [many of thofe things which have 
been the fubjed of fcholaftic debates^] Get well 
to Heaven, and help your people thitlier, and you 
ihall know all thefe things in-^i moment, and a 
thoufand more, of which now, by all yoor ftudies^ 
you cannot gain a certain knowledge^ 

Confider further, if by the diluent frz&Uc tft 
mimfterial duties, you are prevented ac«)iiiring an 
extenfive knowledge, you will hereby \mft*rft$ 


1 4© Diving Knowledge moji ufeful: Part II. 

more in that which is moft excellent. If you know- 
not fo many things as others, you will know the 
moft important matters better than they. And a 
little of this kind of knowledge, is worth all the 
other knowledge in the world. When I am loot- 
ing heaven-ward, gazing towards the inacceffible 
light, and afpiring after the knowledge of God, and 
find my foul fo dark and diftant, and confider how 
little I know of God, and how much he is out of 
nay reach, I find this the moft killing and grievous 
ignorance. Methinks I could willingly exchange all 
the other knowledge I have, for one glimpfe more 
of God and the life to come. Now by frequent 
ferious conyerfation about everlafting things, by di- 
ligently inftrudling and catechifing your people, 
you will gain more of this kind of knowledge, than 
can be gained by any other means ; and thus you 
will really grow wifer than thofe that fpend their 
time in any other way whatever. As Theology is 
a pra£tical fcience, the knowledge of it thrives beft 
in a pradical courfe. Laying out here, is a means 
of gathering in ; an hearty endeavour to commu- 
nicate and do gooil is one of the greateft helps to our 
own proficiency. ' So that by this means you are 
likely to become more. able paftors of the church, 
than private ftudics alone can make you. Partico- 
larly it will be an excellent means to help you in 
preaching; for. when you are well acquainted with 
your people's cafes, you will know what to preach 


Ch» VI n. human y may be attained atfo. t^i 

upon. An hour's converfation will furnifh yon 
with as much matter as an hour's ftudy. As he win 
be the beft phyfician and lawyer, fo he alfo will be 
the beft divine, who adds praftice and experience 
proportionable to his ftudies; whereas that man 
will prove a ufelefs drone, who rcfufes God's fer- 
vfce all his life, under a pretence of preparing for 
it ; and lets men's fouls pafs on to perdition, while 
he pretends to be ftudyinghow to recover them, or 
getting more ability to help and favethem. 
V However let me add> that though I efteem reli- 
gious knowledge the chief, I would have you to 
acquire other knowledge too. The other fcienccs 
may be very ufeful, and indeed fubfervient to this: 
and you may have competent tim^ for both. Lofe 
none upon vain recreations and amufements ; trifle 
not away a minute ; confume none in needlefs fkep ; 
do what ydu do with all your might; and then 
fee what time you may command. If you fet apart 
two days in a week for the work of perfonal in* 
ftru6iion, you may find time enough for your com- 
mon ftudies out of all the reft. Duties are to be 
taken together: none are to be negleded that can 
be performed, but the greateft fliould always be 
preferred. But if there wen; fuch a cafe of necef- 
fity, that we could not read or ftudy for ourfelves^ 
and inftrudt the ignorant too, I would throw by 
all the libraries in the world rather than be guilty 


44« Ifhai Ricnations necejfary; Part II. 

of the perdition of one foul : at leaft I know that 
this would be my duty. 

III. It will be objeded by many, '' This courfe 
will deftroy our health, by continually fpending i 

our fpirits, without allowing time for necei&ry re* 4 



I anfwer, we may do our^luty, and have time 
for neceflkry recreations too. An hour or half an 
hour's walk before meat, is as much recreation as 
is neceifary for the weaker fort of ftudents. I have 
reafon to know fomething of this by long experi- 
ence. Though I have a body which has languifhed . 
under great weakneifes many years, and which re-r 
quires me to take as much exercife as alm<^ any 

. perfon in the world, yet I have found .the above 
proportion fufficient. It is undoubtedly our duty 
to ufe as much exercife as is neceifary for the pre«P 
fervation of our health ; fo far our work requires 
it : otherwife, for one day's work we fhould lofe 
the opportunity of many ; and this may be done 
very confiftently widi all the duties I have been re- 

y As for thofe men that limit not their recreations 
to ftated hours ; who muft have them, not to fit 
them for their work, but to pleafe their voluptuous 
humpur, fuch fenfualifts have need to fiudy the na» 


Ch. VIII. and what muft he avoided. 143 

ture of chriftianity better ; to learn the danger of 
' living after the flefh/ and to get more mortifica* 
tion and felf-denial before they preach to others. If 
you muft have your pleafures> you fhould not have 
put yourfelves into a calling which requires you jto 
make God and his fervice your pLeafurc, and which 
reftrains you fo much from carnal gratifications. 
fio you not know that the chriftian warfare con* 
lifteth* in the combat betweeii the flefh and the 
fpirit ? That the very difierence between a chriftian 
and a wicked man is, that the one * lives after the 
^ fpirit, mortifying the deeds of the body/ and the 
other < lives, after the fleih V and that to over- 
come the fiefh is the principal part of that victory, 
on which the crown of life depends? If notwith- 
standing this you muft have your pleafures, then for 
Ihame give over preaching of the gofpel and the 
profeffion of chriftianity, and profefs yourfelves to 
be what you are; for as you * fow to the flefli, fo 
*■ of the- fleih fhall you receive the wages of cor* 

* niption.' Does fucb an one as Paul fay, * I 
^ keep under my body and bring it into fubje£lion 

* left, that by any means, when I have preached 

* toothers, I myfelf fhould be caft away?' And 
have not fuch flnners as we are need to do the fame ? 
And have not we much more cadfe to fear being 
i^aft away? — Some recreation is undoubtedly law- 
ful, namely fuch as tends to iit us for o\ir work, 
fiut for a man to be fo far in love with his ples^« 


144 Proper Recreations for Students, Part II. 

furcs as, for the fake of them to waile his prccioii« 
time, and negleft the work of God for men's fal- 
vation, (efpecialiy to plead for this as necciTary) is 
a degree of wickednefs inconfiftent with the fidelity 
of a common chriftiaii ; much more with that of a 
chriftian Minifter. Such wretches as arc * lovers 
* of pleafure more than lovers of God, ' are more 
fit to be cad out of chriftian communion, than to 
be the chief in the church : ^ from fuch' we are 
commanded * to turn away.' 

Recreations for a ftudent, mud be efpecialiy for 
the exercife of his Body, fmce he has continually 
before him « variety of delights to the Mind : and 
they muft be ufed, as whetting is by the Mower, 
only as far as is neceffary to his work. 
: Let it be further confidered ; The bufmefs I am 
recommending is not of fuch a nature as is likely 
much to impair our health. It is true, it muft be 
ferious ; but it will not fo much fpend our fpirits, 
as excite and revive them. Men can talk all the 
day long about other matters, without any preju* 
dice to their health: why then may not we talk 
with. men about their falvation without any great 
detriment to ours ? I only mean on the fuppofitton 
that we have a tolerable meafure of health and 
ftrcngth.-^But, fuppofing the worft; let me afk. 
What have we our time and firength for but to 
lay them out for God? What is a candle made 
for but to be burnt? Burnt and wafted we muft 

be ; 

Chap. V' III. Our Duty of the mod Importance, i^j 

be ; and is it not more reafonable that it fliould be 
in lighting men to heaven, and in working for 
God, than in living to the flefli ? How little dif- 
ference is there between the pleafure of a long life 
and a fliort one, when both are at an end ! What 
comfort will it be to you at death, that you length* 
ened your life by fhortening your work ? Our life 
is to be eftimated according to the end and bud* 
nefs of it; not according to the mere duration* 
He that works much, lives much. What Seneca 
faid of a drone, may be applied to an indolent mi* 
nifter, Ibi jacety non ibi vhtt; et dtu fuit, non dm 
vtxit. Will - it not comfort us more at death to 
review a fhort time faithfully fpent, than a long 
life unfaithfully ? 

As for viflts and civilities, if they can anfwer 
greater ends than our minifterial employments, you 
may break the fabbath, or forbear preaching for 
them. But if not, how dare you make them a 
pretence for neglefting any other duty ? Mud God 
wait on your friends ? What though they arc Gen- 
tlemen or Lords, muft they be fcrvcd before Him ? 
Or is their difpleafure or cenfure more to be 
feared than his ? It will be but a poor excufc at 
the laft day for neglefting men's falvation, ** that 
fuch a gentleman, or fuch a friend would have takc/t 
it ill had you not waked on them/' * U yon yut 

< feek to pleafe men, you arc no \(Jt\v/r th<j («r- 

< vants of Chrift.' He that darci to waOc Im* tUm 

H i» 

146 ^^^ needlefs wafte of Time Part II. 

in compliments, little confiders what he has to do 
with it. Oh that I could but improve my time 
according to my convi£iion of its importance I 
He that hath looked death in the face as often as I 
have done, will know how to value it, I profefs 
I am aftoniflied at thofe minifters that can find 
time tQ hunt, or {hoot, or bowl, or ufe other re- 
creations two or three hours, yea days together !— 
that can fit an hour at once in vain difcourfe, and 
fpend whole days in complimental vifits, or jour- 
neys to the fame purpofe ! Good Lord ! what do 
fuch men think on, when fo many fouls about 
them cry for their help, and when the fmalleft 
pariih has work enough to employ all their dili- 
gence, night and day ! If you have no fenfe of the 
worth of fouls ; of the value of that blopd which 
was filed for them, of the glory fet before them^ 
and of the mifery to which they are expofed, then 
you are no Chriftians ; and therefore very unfit to 
be Minifters. If you have^ how dare you, like 
idle gofiips, chat and trifle away your time, when 
fo many and fuch great works call for it ? 

O precious time! how fwiftly does it pafs awayl 
how foon will it be gone ! What are the forty years 
of my life that are paft ? Were every day as long as 
a month, methinks it were too fliort for the work 
of a day. Have we not loft time enough in the 
days of our vanity that we have any now to lofe ? 
Never do I come to a dying man, v^ho is not ut- 

Chap. VI IL to be carefully avoided, 147 

terly ftupid, but he better fees the worth of time 
than others generally do. O then, if they could 
call time back again, how loud would they call ! 
What would they give for it ! Can we then afford 
to trifle it away ? Is it poffible that a man of any 
true compaflion and honefty, or any concern about 
his minifterial duty, or any fenfe of the ftridlners 
of his account, fhould have time to fpare for idle- 
nefs and vanity ? May a phyfician in the time of 
the plague take any more relaxation than is necef. 
fary for his life and health, when fo many are ex- 
pefting his help in a cafe of life or death ? If his 
pleafure be not worth men's lives, certainly yours 
is not worth men's fouls. 

Do not reply, " This is a hard faying, who 
can bear it ? God does not require minifters to make 
drudges of themfelves." Surely thofe men are 
not likely to honour God, and promote his fer- 
vice, who have fuch bafe thoughts of it ; nor can 
they delight in holinefs who account it a flavifh 
work. Our Lord fays, * He that denieth not him- 
^* felf, and taketh not up his crofs to follow him, 
• cannot be his difciple.' But thefe men count it 
a flavery to labour hard in his vineyard, at a time 
when they have all accommodations and encourage* 
ments. If they had feen the diligence of Chrift in 
doing good, when he negledled his meat to talk 
with one woman, and when he was fo zealous in 
preaching as to * have no time to eat bread,' they 

H 2 would 

1^8 Self "denial in doing Good Part II. 

would have been of the fame mind with his carnal 
friends who went to lay hold of him, and faid * he 

* is befides himfelf.* If they had feen him all day 
in preaching and healing, and * all night in prayer 

* to God,' they would have told him that he made 
a flave of himfelf, and that God did not require fo 
much ado. I cannot but advife fuch men to fearch 
their own hearts, and inquire whether they un- 
feignedly believe that word they preach. If you 
do Sirs, how can you think any labour too much 
for fuch weighty ends? If you do not, fay fo, and 
get you out of the vineyard : go with the prodigal 
to keep fwine, and do not undertake the feeding of 
Chrift's flock. 

Do you not know that it is your own benefit you 
grudge at i The more you do, the more you re- 
ceive : the more you lay out, the more you have 
coming in. The exercife of grace ncreafes it. 
And is it a flavery to be more with God, and to 
receive more from him, than other men ? It is the 
chief folace of a gracious foul to be doing good, and 
receiving good by doing it. Hereby alfo we are 
preparing for fuller receivings hereafter. We put 
out our talents to ufury, and by improving them, 
(hall make five become ten. They who efteem 
the fervice of God as flavery, juftify the profane 
who look upon all diligent godlinefs in that light, 
and hereby aggravate their fin : and while they thus 
debafe the work of the Lord, they do but debafc 


Chap. VIII. our Duty and our Prrutkge. 149 

themfelves, and prepare for a greater abafement at 


IV. Perhaps fome may fuggeft " that if we 
make fuch fevere laws for minifters, the church 
will foon be left without them, as few parents 
will choofe fuch a burden for their children, and 
many will be difcouraged from undertaking it*'* 

I anfwer ; the carnal and felf feeking may be 
difcouraged, but not thofe that third after the win- 
ning of fouls, who are devoted to the fervice of 
God and have * taken up the crofs to follow the 
* Lamb.' Chrift would not forbear telling the 
world of the abfolute neceflity of felf-denial fot 
fear of difcouraging nien from his fervice, but on 
the contrary declares that he will have none but fuch 
as will fubmit to it, and that thofe who will not come 
on thefe terms may go their way, and fee whether 
he wants their fervice more than they want his pro- 
teSion and favour. — Thefe laws which you call 
fevere, are not ours, but what Chxift has made and 
impofed. If I ftiould conceal or mif- interpret them, 
thatwould not relax them, nor excufe you. He who 
made them knew why he did it, and will expeft 
the performance of them. And he will take care 
for a fupply of paftors. He has the fulnefs of 
the fpirit, and therefore can give men hearts to 
do the duty he has impofed. He that has under- 

H 3 taken 

tgo Oppojitton muft not difiourage Part II. 

taken the work of our redemption, will not lofe all 
his labour for want of inftruments to carry on his 
work. He will provide his people with * pallors 

* after his own heart, who (hall feed them with 

* knowledge ;' who will * feek not theirs, but 

* them ; and willingly fpend and be fpent for their 

* fake.* What do you think that Chrift can have 
no fervants, if fuch as you with Demas ' for- 

* fake him and turn to the prefent world?' If you 
diflike his fervice you may feek a better where you 
can find it, and boafl of your gain in the conclu- 
fion ; but do not threaten him with the lofs. Look 
to yourfelves as well as you can, and tell me at 
the hour of Death, or at the Judgment-day, who 
had the better bargain ; whether Chrift had more 
need of you, or you of him. It will not fervc 
your turn to run out of the vineyard, on pretence 
that you cannot do the work ; he can follow you 
tod overtake you, as he did Jonah, with fuch a 
ftorm as fliall lay you * in the belly of hell.' To- 
tally to caft oiF duty becaufe you cannot endure to 
be faithful in the performance of it, will prove 
but a poor excufe at lad. 

V. But the ftrongeft objeftion of all feems to 
be ** that few people will fubmit to be fo freely 
dealt with by theur mimfters, but will make a (bom 
at our motion/' 

Chap. VII r. Chrijl's faithful Mtnifters.. t^t 

It cannot be denied^ that too many people are 
obftinate in their wickednefs \ that * fimple ones 

* love fimplicity, that fcorners delight in fcorning, 

* and that fools hate knowledge.' But I wifli it 
were not too much owing to minifters, that a great 
part of our people are fo obdinate and contemptu- 
ous. If we did but (hine and burn before them as we 
ought; were our fermons and our lives more con- 
vincing; did we fet ourfelves to do all the good 
we could do ; were we more humble and meek^ 
more loving and charitable ; and did we let them 
fee that we do but little efteem any worldly things 
in comparifon with their falvation, much more 
might be done than is done ; the mouths of many 
would be ftopped, and the wicked would be more 
tra&able and calm..— However, the worfe they 
are, the more are they to be pitied, and the 
more diligent fliould we be for their recovery. 
Their wilfulness will not excufe us from our duty.. 
If we do not offer them our help, how do we know 
who will refufe it ? Offering it is our part ; accept- 
ihg is theirs. If we offer it not, we leave them ex- 
cufable, becaufe then they do not refufe it ; but 
we leave ourfelves without excufe. If they refufe 
oar help when it is offered, we have done our part 
and delivered our own fouls. But if fome refufe 
it, others will accept it; and the fuccefs, with re- 
gard to them, may be fuch as to reward all our 
Ubour,, though it were much more. . AH are not< 

^ H.4^ wrought 

Ig2 Perfonal InJlruSltoH Part II. 

wrought upon by public preaching ; but we muft 
not therefore give it over as unprofitable. In a 
word, there is nothing from God or from right 
reafon to make us backward to any part of our 
work; though from the world, the flefli,and the devil, 
we (hall have much, and perhaps more than we 
yet expefl. But if, againft all temptations and dif- 
ficulties, we have recourfe to God, and look on 
his great gbligations on one fide, and the hopeful 
efFefts and rewards on the other, we fliall find but 
little caufe to draw back or faint *. 

* The author, in his preface to the sd Edition, has a re- 
markable paffage concerning his own experience on this head. 
** I find (fays he) that we never took the righteft courfe to 
demoliih the kingdom of darknefs till now. I wonder at my* 
felf that I was kept from fo clear and excellent a duty fo long. 
But the cafe was with me, as I fuppofe it is with others : I wat 
convinced of my duty, but my appreheniions of it were too 
fmall, and the difficulties of it too great. Thus was I detained 
in delays, which I befeech the Lord of mercy to forgive. 
Whereas upon trial, I find the difficulties to be nothing to what 
I imagined ; and I experience the benefits and comforts of the 
work to be fuch, that I would not wilh to have neglected it, for 
all the riches in the world. We fpend Monday and Tuefday 
(from the morning almoft to night) in the work; taking about 
fifteen or fixteen families in a week, that we may go through 
the parifh (in which there are above eight hundred) in a year. 
And I cannot fay that one family hath yet refufed to come to 
me ; or that many perfons have fliifted it offi And with re- 
gard to moftof them that come, I find more outward figns of 
fuccefs than from all my preaching to them*" 

VI. But 

Chap. VIII. as neceffkry now as ever: 1^3. 

VI. But to all that I have faid,. many will an- 
fwer, ^^ You build too niuch on PauVs teaching 
from houfe to houfe, and other paffages of the 
fame kind. Thofe times, when the churches were, 
firft planting, required more diligence than ours: 
fhew us fome paffage of fcripture which requires 
from us all that you have prefcribed ; and efpc- 
daily which obliges us to fet apart two days in the: 
week for it." I reply 

1. I do not make it a minifter's duty abfoluteiy 
to go up and down from houfe to houfe to each, 
perfon in the parifli, or of his charge ; nay, I would 
not fo much as advife you to this without neceflity :, 
but firft call the people to come to you at your own- 
houfe, or at the Veftry, or wherever you pleafe,, 
fo that you will but give them that perfonal inftruc- 
tion, on a proper inquiry into their ftates, which 
their circumftances require. And then go to thofo 
that will not come to you, if they will confent ta 
it, and if you are able. For my own part, I can- 
not go from houfe to houfe without the apparent 
hazard of my life. And I think it more for the 
people's benefit to accuftom them to attend their 
paftor, (and it is much more for his) than for him. 
to hunt up and, down after them, fcarcely knowing 
where or when. But men's obftinacy. may make 
that neceflary which is inconvenient. 

2. It is not on thefe texts in queftion,. or any 

H. 5 other>, 

J54 Private Inftru^ion Part II. 

otheri that I wholly ground this duty: though 
fuppofing there were no more than the general 
command of ' taking heed to all the flock,' 
Airely this were fufficient to convince you that 
you (hould take as particular care of every indi- 
vidual as you can. Muft I turn to my Bible to 
fliew a Preacher where it is written th^t a man's 
foul is of more worth than a world ? Or that 
both we and all we have are God's? Or that it 
is inhuman cruelty to let fouls go to hell for fear 
we and our families (hould live fomewhat the har» 
der? In a word, the queftion is, Whether you arc 
not bound to do the beft you can to fave the fouls 
of all your people ? Do this and I defire no more. 
But do you think in your confcience that you do 
the beft you can, if you negle£l to exhort, inftru^, 
and catechife them ? 

3. To fay the prefent times require lefs diligence 
than the days of the apoftles, favours of a man 
locl^t up in a ftudy and unacquainted with the world. 
Good Lord ! Are there fuch multitudes round about 
us who are ignorant of the firft principles of re- 
ligion ? Are there fo many thousands drowned in 
prefumption, fecurity, and fenfuality ? So many 
drunkards, worldlings, haters and fcofFers of a 
holy life ? So many dull, ignorant, fcandalous pro- 
feflbrs ? So many troublers, feducers, and dividers 
of the church ? And yet is the happinefs of our 
times fo great that wc may excufe ourfelves from 


Chap. Villi ahJuays neceffarj. 155 

pexfonal inftruSion as unneceflary ? Look more 
without, and I warrant you that you will not fee 
caufe to fpare your pains for want of work? What 
confcientlous miniiter finds not work enougti to do^ 
from one end of the year tothe^ochery though he has \ 
not an hundred fouls to take care of \ It is true 
there are more profeflbrs of chriftianity :in our day 
than in the apoftle's : but are the ungodly the lefs , 
miierable far that pjofeffion, or the more fo ? 

4» As to the objeftion that relates to the pjopor*- - 
tion of time to be allotted for.this work, I anfwer. 
What if God only bidsAis to *pray without ceafing,! 
will you approve of thofe who negleft prayer, 
becaufe they are not commanded to pray morning 
and night, orinthe family ? Set times are as need- 
ful • for the conftant performance of this duty, as 
for your private or family duties, your leAures or 
your ftudies. Whenjou have fliewed me a writ- 
ten precept for.thefe, or for preaching twice on the 
Lord's-day, then I will fhew you more than one 
for the things in queftion* However, I prefume 
not toimpofe an unneceflary taflc on. any, but leave, 
it to your prudence to difcern and determine thcj 
feafons and other circumftances of .your duty, . 

H 6* C H AiP. 

156 fUjot Subjeefs to be moft injjfled on. Part 1 1 . 


MifceUaneous Dire£ftons refpeSfing the whoU mini^ 

ftertal Work *. 

HAVING fpoken of the matter of our 
work, we are next to fpeak of the man- 
ner ; not of each part diftinftly, but of the whole 
in general. Here take the following diredions. 

I. Through the whole courfe of your miniftry 
infill moft upon the greatcft, moft certain, and 
moft neceffary things. 

I f we can but teach Chrift to our peopk, we 
teach them all. Get them well to heaven, and 
they will have knowledge enough. The plained, 
and moft commonly acknowledged truths, are what 
men live moft upon ; thefe are the great inftruments 
in deftroying fin, and in raifing the heart to God. 
We fliould always have our people's neceflities in 
our eye. To remember that * One thing is need- 
* ful,' will take us off from needlefs orxiaments, and 
unprofitable controverfies. Many other things are 

♦ N. B. " The fins of miniftcrs," which the author had 
pointed out in a diflind feries of particulars, are introduced in 
this; as many of the thoughts in both necefiarily coincided, 


Chap. IX. Necejfaries preferahle to Nsvelttes. 15.7 

defirable to be known, but thefe mufl be known, or 
elfc our people are undone for ever. Neceflity 
fhould be the great difpofer of a minifter's (ludies 
and labours. If we were fufficient for every thing,, 
we might undertake every thing, and take in order 
the whole Encyclopedia. But life is fliort and we 
are dull. Eternal things are neceifary, and the 
fouls which depend on our teaching are precious. 

I confcfs that neceflity has been the condudlor of 
my ftudies, and my life. It choofes what books I 
fliall read, and when, and how long. It choofes 
my text and makes my fermon, both for matter 
and manner, as far as I can keep out my own cor- 
ruptions* Though I know that the conftant ex- 
pectation of death has been a great caufe of this with 
regard to myfelf, yet I fee no reafon why the moft 
healthful man fhould not make fure of the necefla- 
ries firll ; confidering the ihortnefs and uncertainty 
of all men's lives. Who can, either in ftudy, 
preaching, or life, be employed about foreign mat- 
ters, when he knows that this or that muft be 
done ? As the foldier fays, Non diu di/putandum^ 
fed celeriter et fortiter dimicandum ubi urget necfffitaSy 
fo much more may we, as our buiinefs is more 
important. Doubtlefs this is the beft way to redeem 
time, to fpend it only on neceflfary things : and I 
think it is the way to be moft profitable to others ; 
though not always to be moft pleating and applaud- 
ed \ becaufe through men's frailty, that is too true 


158 Necejfaries Jbmild be mJUnJifted on. Part TI* 

which Seneca complins of, Nova potius miramuK 
quam magna. 

A preacher, muft be often upon the fame things, 
becaufe the matters of neceflity, are few. This we 
fh'ould not avoid,, tafatisfy fuch as look for novel* 
ties, though we ihould clothe the fame neceflaries 
with a grateful variety,, in the manner of our deli-. 
vering them. Neceflaries are common and obvi« 
ous; for fuperfluities we may wafte our time and 
labour, and often to no purpofe. The great vo- 
lumes and tedious controverfies that fo much trou-- 
ble us and wafte our time, are ufually made up 
more of opinion than neceflary truths*. —You 
would choofe thofe authors to read for yourfelves, 
which tell you what you know not, and treat of 
the moft neceflary things in the cleared manner,^ 
though it be in the moft barbarous language, rather 
than thofe which moft learnedly, and in the moft 
elegant language, tell you that which is falfe and 
vain, et magna conatu nihil dicere t P And furely you 

.* Neceflxtas brevibiu clauditur terminis; Opinio nuUis. 

Marsil. Ficinus. 

f Sunt qui fcire volant eo £kie tantum ut fciant, et tar* 
pis curiofitas efi ; et font qui fcire volunt ut fcientiam foam 
vcndant; et turpis qaeflus eft: funt qui fcire volunt ut 
fciantur ip(i, et turpis vanitas eft:** fed funt qui fcire volant 
ut sdificentur; et prudentia eft : et funt quoque qui fciie 
volunt ut icdificent; et Cuaritas eft. 

Berkard, Serm. in Cant. 26. 


Chap. IX. Plain Language recommended. 159 

fhould aft on the fame principle in teaching other 
men, as in fiudying for yourfelf. They are com- 
monly empty, ignorant men, deftitute of the mat- 
ter and fubftance of true learning, who are over, 
curious about words and ornaments ; who afFe£t to 
be efteemed what they are not, having no other 
way to procure that cfteem ; whereas the oldeft, 
moft experienced, and mod learned men, abound 
in fubftantial verities, ufually delivered in the 
plaineft drefs. 

II. All our teaching fhould be as plain and 
intelligible as we can make it. 

This beft fuits a teacher's ends. He that would 
be underflood, muft make it his bujinefs to be un- 
derftood, by fpeaking to the capacities of his hear- 
ers. Truth loves the light, and is moft beautiful 
when moft naked. He is an enemy that hides the 
truth ; and he is a hypocrite who does this under a 
pretence of revealing it. Highly ornamented fer- 
mons are like painted glafs in windows, which 
keeps out the light, and are too often the marks of 
hypocrify. If you would not teach men, what do 
you in the pulpit ? If you would, why do you not 
fpeak fo as to be underftood? For a man purpofe- 
ly to cloud his matter in ftrange words, and hide 
his mind from the people whom he pretends to in- 
ftru€l, is the way to make fools admire his pro- 

1 6o Different Cafes require different Treatment, Payt 11^ 

found learning, but wife men, his folly, pride, and 
hypocrify. — Some perfons purpofely conceal their 
fentiments, through a pretence of neceflity, be- 
caufe of men's prejudices, and the unpreparednefs. 
of common underftandings to receive the truth. 
But truth overcomes prejudice by mere light of 
evidence. There is no better way to make a good 
caufe prevail, than to make it as plain and as tho- 
roughly underftood as we can; this will properly 
difpofe an unprepared mind. He that is not able 
to deliver his matter plainly to others (I mean as 
plainly as the nature of it will bear, and fuppofing 
them to have capacities for underftanding it) fhews. 
that he has not well digefted it himfelf. 

III. We fliould always fuit our inftruftions,. 
and our behaviour,^ to the capacities and circum- 
ftances of thofe with whpm we haye to do. 

Our work muft be carried on prudently, orderly, 
and by degrees. Milk muft go before ftrong meat. 
The foundation muft be laid before we can build 
upon it. Children muft not be dealt with as men 
at age,. A perfon. muft be brought into a ftate of 
grace before we can expeft from him the works of 
grace. The fte wards of God's houfehold muft 
* give to each their portion iq due feafon.' We 
muft not go beyond the capacities of our people, 
nor teach them the perfedion, who hav.e not learnt 


.Chap. IX. Humility recommended, 161 

the principles. — There muft be a prudent mix- 
ture of feverity and mildnefs, both in our preach- 
ing and difcipline : each muft be predominant ac- 
cording to the quality of the perfon, or the matter 
we have in hand. If there be no feverity, our re- 
proofs will be defpifed ; if it be all feverity, we 
ihall be efteemed ufurpers of dominion. 

IV. Every part of our work muft be managed 
with great HUMILITY. 

Pride is one of the moft heinous, and yet one 
of our moft palpable fins. It difcovers itfelf in 
many by their drefs : it choofes their cloth and their 
falhion, and drefles their hair and their habit ac- 
cording to the tafte. And I wifh this were all, or 
the worft : but alas how frequently does it go with 
us to our ftudies ! How often does it choofe our 
fubjeS, and how much oftener our words and 
ornaments ! Sometimes it puts in toys and trifles 
under a pretence of laudable embelliihments, and 
often pollutes inftead of polifhing. It makes us 
fpeak to our people what they do not underftand, 
[^merely to difplay our learning.] It takes off the 
edge of a difcourfe under a pretence of filing off the 
roughnefs and fuperfluity. If we have a plain and 
cutting paflage, it throws it away as too ruftical or 
ungrateful. Now though our matter be of God,^ if 
our dreifing and manner and end be from Satan (a$ 


i6ft How Pride in Miniflers Part 1 1. 

is the cafe when pride has the ordering of it) we 
have no great reafon to expe£k fuccefs. Yet thus 
does pride make many a man's fermon. And when 
they have compofed the difcourfe, it goes with them 
into the pulpit ; it forms their tone, it animates their 
delivery, it takes them off from what would be 
difpleafing, and direds them in the purfuit of vairv 
applaufe. In (hort, inftead of feeking God's glory, 
and denying themfelves, it makes them, both in 
ftudying and preaching, to feek themfelves and deny 
God. When they fliould alk, ** What fliall I fay, 
and how Ihall I fay it, to pleafe God beft, and do^ 
moft good," pride makes them aft, " What fhall 
I fay, and how (hall I deliver it, to be thought a 
learned, able preacher, and to be applauded by all 
that hear me ?" When the fermon is done, pride 
goes home with them, and makes them more eager 
to know whether they were applauded, than whether 
they did any good to the fouls of men. Were it 
not for ihame, they could willingly aft people how 
they liked them, to extort their commendations^ 
If they perceive that they are highly thought of, 
they rejoice as having attained their end : if not, 
they are difpleafed, as having loft the prize. 

But this is not all : fome minifters are fo fet tipon 
a popular air, and having the higheft place in the 
efteem of men, that they envy the abilities and 
names of their brethren who are preferred to them ; . 
as if all were taken fronx their praife, that is given 


Chap. IX. commonly dlfcovers itjelf. \(>^ 

to another's, and as if God had beftowed his gifts 
upon them as the mere ornaments of their perfons, 
that they might walk as men of reputation in the 
world ; and as if all the gifts of other minifters 
were to be trodden down and vilified, if they fhould 
ftand in the way of their honour. Strange ! that 
one workman fhould malign another, becaufe he 
helps him to do his mafter's work ! Yet how com- 
mon is this heinous crime among men of ability 
and eminence in the church! They will fecretly 
blot the reputation of fuch as oppofe their own, 
and will at lead raife fufpicions, where they can- 
n<yt fatten accufations. Nay, fome go fo far as to 
be unwilling that any minifters abler than themfelves 
Ihould come into their pulpits, left they fhould be 
applauded above themfelves. It is a furprifing thing 
that any man who has the leaft fear of God, fhould 
fo envy his gifts in others, as that he had rather his 
carnal hearers fhould remain unconverted, than that 
they fhould be converted by another perfon who 
may be preferred to himfelf. Yet this fin does fo 
prevail, that it is difficillt to get two minifters to 
live together in love and quietnefs, unanimoufly to 
carry on the work of God: unlefs one of them be 
greatly inferior to the other, and content to be 
fo efteemed, and to be governed by him, they are 
contending for precedency, envying each other's in- 
tereft, and behaving with ftrangenefs and jealoufy 
towards one another, to the fhame of their profef- 
fion, and the injury of their congregations. Nay, 


164 Haw Pride dif covert itf elf : Part 11- 

fo great is the pride of fomc ininifters, that whe» 
they might have an equal affiftant, to further the 
work of God, they had rather take all the burden 
upon themfelves, though more than they can bear, 
than that any ihould (hare with them in their ho- 
nour, or left they (hould diminifti their own inter- 
eft in the people. 

It is owing to pride that many minifters make 
fo little proficiency : they are too proud to learn* 
It is through pride alfo that men fo magnify their 
own opinions, and are as cenforious of any that 
differ from them in leffer things, as if their fenti- 
ments were the rules of the churches faith. While 
we cry down papal infallibility,, too many of us 
would be Popes ourfelves, and would have every 
thing determined by our judgments, as if we were 
infallible. And fo high are our fpirits, that when 
any reprove or contradift us, (though not without 
fufficient reafon) we are commonly impatient both 
of the matter and the manner. We love the man 
that will fay as we fay, and promote our reputation^ 
though in other refpefts he be lefs worthy out 
^fteem : but he is ungrateful to us, who differs from 
us, and contradicts us, and plainly tell us of our 
faults ; efpecially in relation to our public per- 
formances. Many, through their pride, imagine 
that all thofe perfons defpife them who do not ad- 
mire all they fay, and fuhmit to their judgments in 
the moft palpable miftakes. Thus have they dif- 
honoured themfelves by, idoli^dng their honour, aod 


Chap. IX. The Sinfulnefi and Danger of It, 165 

publicly proclaimed their own ftiame. From pride 
proceed all the envy, contention, arid unpeaceable- 
nefs of minifters, which are the hinderances to all 
reformation : all would lead, but few will follow 
or concur. Yea, hence proceed fchifms and apo- 
ftacies, as did former perfecutions, arrogant ufur- 
pations, and impofitions. In (hort, it is pride at 
the root that nourifhes all our other fins, and this 
virtually contains them all. 

Give me leave, brethren, to expoftulate with you 
and my own heart with regard to this fin, that we 
may fee the evil of it and be reformed. Pride is 
the fin of devils ; the fir/l born of hell ; it is that 
wherein the devil's image does principally confift. 
It is an intolerable evil in a man that is fo much 
engaged againft him as we are. Pride ill becomes 
thofe that are to lead men in fuch an humble way 
to heaven. We had need to take care, left when 
we have brought others thither, the gate fhould 
prove too ftraight for'ourfelves. God, who thruft 
out a proud angel, will not there entertain a proud 
preacher as fuch. The very defign of the gof- 
pel tends to felf-abafement. The work of grace 
is begun and carried on in humiliation. Humility 
is not the mere ornament of a chriftian, but it is an 
effential part of the new creature. All that will be^ 
Chrift's difciples muft come to him and learn of him : 
their leflbn is, to be * meek and lowly in heart.* 
How many admirable precepts and examples has 


i66 Pride unbecoming Minijitr 5 » Part 11. 

our Lord and mafter given us to this end ! Can we 
cnce conceive of him as wafhing and wiping his 
fervants feet, and yet be haughty and domineering ! 
Sh^Il he converfe with the meaneft, and fhall we 
avoid them as contemptible, and think none but 
the rich and honourable fit for our fociety ! Many 
of us are oftener found in the houfes^ of gentlemen, 
than in the poor cottages of fuch as mod need our 
help ; as if we had taken the charge only of the fouls 
of the rich. Methinks we fliould remember our title 
as Ministers, [which fiffixfiQf* fervants.'] We 
ihould not fpeak proudly or difrefpe£tfully to any, 
but (hould carry ourfelves meekly and courteoufly 
to all, remembering that we are obliged to be 
* the fervants of all.' We ihould not be ftrange 
to the pooreft and meaneft of the flock, but 
Ihould * condefcend to men of low eftate,' as our 
equals in Ghrift. Familiarity improved to holy 
ends is necefTary, and may do abundance of good ; 
and furely a kind winning carriage is a very cheap 
way of doing it. We fliould fo teach others, as 
to be ready to learn of any ; thus we may both 
teach and learn at once * : not proudly venting 

* We may fay of miniftcrs in general what Augujline faid 
of the aged of them ; »* Etfi magis dccet docere quam dif- 
qere, magis tamen decet difcere quam ignotare.** 

" Ab omnibus libcntcr difcc quod tu nefcis: quia humi- 
litas commune tibi facere potefi, quod natura cuique proprium 
fecit, fapienter omnibus eris, fi ab omnibus difcere volueris : 
qui abr omnibus accipiunt, omaibu( ditiores funt.*^ Hugo. 


Chap. IX. 7T}e Folly of Pride expojed, 167 

pur own conceits, and difdaining all that any way 
•contradidl them/ as if we, having attained the 
height of knowledge, were defiined to the chair, 
and all other men were to~ fit at our feet. 

Alas, brethren ! what is it that we have to be (b 
proud of? Of our bodies? They are made of 
the fame materials as the meaneft of our fellow- 
creatures. Is it of our graces ? The more we are 
proud of them, the le(^ have we to be proud of, 
fince much of the nature of grace is in humility. 
Is it of our learning and abilities ? Surely, if we 
have any knowledge at all, we mud know much 
Teafon to ,be humble. If we know more than 
t>thers, we muft know more reafon to be humble 
than they do. But how little is it that the moft 
learned know, in comparifon with what they are 
ignorant of ! And to know how ignorant we are, 
and how far things are beyond our reach, one would 
imagine, could be no great caufe of pride. 

It is our very bufinefs to preach humility ; it is 
therefore very unfit that we fhould be proud* Muft 
we ftudy and preach humility, and muft we not pof- 
fefs and praSice it ? A proud preacher of humility, 
is at leaft a felf*condemning man. And I befeech 
you to confider, whether it will fave us to fpeak 
well of the grace we do not poflefs ; whether fin- 
cerity can confift with allowed pride, and whether 
we can be faved without humility, any more than 
without temperance or chaftity. 


i68 Minljlers much expcfed to Pride » Part II> 

Confider further, brethren, I befeech you, what 
baits there are in the miniflerial office, to entice to 
vanity, and what temptations to pride lie in our 
way, that you may be more upon your guard 
againil it. What a fnare may it prove, to have 
the fame of godly men, and of learned zealous 
preachers! How pleafing is it to have the people 
crowd to hear us, and to be able to command their 
judgments and afFedions ! Efpecially to be renown- 
ed through the land for the highefl fpiritual excel- 
lencies ! To have the people plead for us as their 
felicity, and call us the pillars of the church of 
God, and their fathers, ^ the chariots and horfe- 

* men of Ifrael!' Alas! brethren, a little grace 
will ferve to make you join with the forwardeft 
of thofe men that have thefe inducements ; nay 
pride may do it without any fpecial grace *. O 
therefore be jealous of yourfelves, and in all your 
ftudies be fure to ftudy humility. * He that ex- 

* alieth himfelf (hall be brought low : whereas 

* A Jcfuit, who had been employed twenty years in the 
milfions of Canada, owned privately to his friend, that, while 
he did not believe in the being of a God, he had faced death 
twenty times for the fake of the religion which he preached to 
the favages with great fuccefs. His friend, hereupon, repre- 
lented to him the inconfiftency of hiz zeal : <* Ah I" replied 
the miffionary, << you have no idea of the pleafure which is felt 
V in commanding the attention of twenty thoufand people, 
'* and in perfuading* them to what we believe not ourfelves*" 
D* A L E M B s T 's Account of the Jefuits* £d. 

' he 

Chap. IX. Strioufnefsmd Reverence nemrnunded. 169 

^ he that hmnbleth himfelf fliall be exalted/ I 
commoidy obferve, that almoft all men^ both good 
and bad, loathe the proud, and love the humble ; 
fo far does pride defeat' its own ends* We have 
caufe to be the more jealous of ourfelves, becaufe 
pride is a vice which is moft deeply rooted in us, 
and with as much diftcuity as any extirpated from 
the fouL 

V. In every part of our work, we fliould be 
ferious, afFedionate, zealouf , ajid reverent. 

The iipportance of our matter condemns colct* 
nefi^ and fleepy dulnefs. Our fpirits (hould be well 
awakened, that we may be fit to awaken others. 
If our words be not iharp and piercing, they will 
hardly be felt by ftony hearts. To fpeak (lightly: 
and coldly about heavenly things, is as bad as to 
fay nothing of them. 

AH our work tnuft be managed reverently^ 
as becomes them that believe the prefence of 
<jrod ; not treating holy things as if they were 
common. The more of God appears in our du- 
ties; the more authority will they have with men. 
Reverence is that affe£tion of the foul which pro- 
ceeds from deep apprehenfions of God, and de- 
iTQtes that the mind is much converfant with him* 
To manifeft irreverence about the things of God, 
is fo far to manifeft hypocrify, and that the heart 

I agrees 

170 AH our Worhjhould be done reverenfly^ Eart II. 

agrees not with the tongue. I know not how it is 
with other perfons ; but the moft reverent preacher, 
who fpeaks as if he faw the face of God, does 
more afFed niy heart, though with common words, 
than an irreverent man with the moft accurate pre- 
parationSy though he bawl it out with ever fo much 
feeming earneftnefs. If reverence be not equal to 
fervency, it has but little eiFe£t. Of all prfaching 
in the world I hate that moft which tends to make 
the hearers laugh, or to afFed their minds with 
fuch levity as stage-plays dc^ inftead of affect- 
ing them with an holy reverence of the name of 
0od *. We (hould fuppofe, when we draw near 
him in holy things, that we faw the throne of God, 
and the millions of glorious angels attending him, 
that we may be awed with his majefty, left we 
profane his fervice and take his name in vain. 

VI. All our work fliould be done spiritual- 
ly ; as by menpoflefled of the Holy Ghoft, and 
aduated by him. 

* Docente in ecdefia te, non clamor populi, fed gemitos 
fufcitetur : Lacrymae auditorum laudes tus funt. Je rom» 

" It will fpoil all our admonitions to fpeak of things immo* 
** ral in a ludicrous jefling way. They judge very ill that 
'* think the progrefs of fin is to he flopped by a laugh or 
** a jeft. This is certainly a yfiing which is not c9nveni«M 
£ph, ▼• i|« WaiGHT on tht Decdtfubufs o/Sin^ p. sog. 




Chap« IX. and in nffiriiual Manner. ' 171 

We fliottld be men that ^ favour the things of- 

* the fpirit/ There is in fome loien's preachii^ a 
fpiritual ftrain which fpiritual hearers can difcem 
and reliib*; whereas in others, this facred tinfture' 
is fo wanting, that even when they fpeak of fplri- ' 
tual things, the manner is fuch as if they were 
common matters. Our evidence and ornaments 
ou^t to be fpiritual: rather borrowed from the / 
fcriptures {with a cautious fubfervient ufe of human 
wxitings) than from the authority of AriftotU^ 
or any other men. * The wifdom of the world' 
muft not be magnified againft ^ the wiCdom of God.' 
Philofophy muft b<B taught to fioop and ferve, while 
faith bears the principal fway. The great fcholars 
in Arijiotk's fchool, muft take heed of glorying 
too much in their mafter^ and defpifmg thofe 
who are beneath them, left they themfelves prove 
lower in the fchool of Chrift, and ^ leaft in the 

* kingdom of God,* while they would appear great 
in the eyes of men. As wife a man as any of 
them ' would glory in nothing but in the crofs of 

* Chrift, and determined to know nothing but him 

* crucified*.' The moft learned men fhould think 
of this. Let all writers have their due efteem, but 
compare none of them with the word of God. We 

* Deus primo collegit indoStos: pofi modum philofophos, 
ct non per oratores docuit pifcatortfs, fed per pifcatoresi Tube- 
gitoratores. Gr£G. M. Moral. L. 33, 

I 2 will 

17ft In M we mufl iiftever Part II. 

^11 not rdFufe their fervice, but we tnuft abhor 
them as competitorv. God is the bed teacher of 
\6s own nature and will. It is the fign of a dif- 
tempered heart, when a perfon lofes the relifh for 
fcripture excellency. There is in a fpiritual heart 
a connaturality to the word of God, becaiife this 
was the means of his regeneration. The word is 
that feal which made all the holy imprefliohs diat 
are in the hearts of true believers, and ftainpt the 
image of God upon them ; they muft therefore love 
that word as long as they live. 

VII. The whole of our miniftry muft bexarried 
on in a tender lo v e to our people. . 

We muft let them fed that nothing pleafes us 
but what profits them ; that what does them good, 
does us good, and that nothing troubles us more 
than their hurt. ** Bifliops (as Jferom fays) are 
" not lords, but fathers ;" and therefore muft be 
afFefted towards their people as their children : yea 
the tendereft love of the mother ihould not fur- 
pafs theirs. We muft even * travail in birth for 
' them till Chrift be formed in them.' We Aould 
convince them that we care for no outward thing, 
not money, nor liberty, nor credit^ nor life itfelf, 
in coraparifon with their falvation. When your 
people fee that you vnfeignedly love them, tkey 


,€3l3p. IX. an lijgftqpt^ Lfive h mr People. ij^ 

vtrill hear an^. thing, i^d bear wn^ thing*^. We 
ourfelves fluwdcl put up wkfa a blow guren us in 
love, fooner than with a hard -word given us in 
dinger and malice. Moft men juc^e of advice, as 
thej judge of ihf afieftion of him who gives it. 
O therefore fee to it that you feel a. tender love to 
your people in your breads, and let them feel it in 
youf fpeecfaes, and fee it in your conduft. Let 
them fee that you * fpend and are fpent for their 
^ fakes \ that all you do is not for any ettds of 
your own, but for them. To this end, works of 
I charity will be neceiEuy, as far as your circum- 
{tSemcm allow* [Of which more hereafief .] 
' Be fure that yoor love be not carnal^ flawing 
from pride^ and that you do not appear as one thit 
is a fuitof for himfelf, rather than for Ckrift ; wbo 
doves becaofe he is beloved, or pretendb it thort be 
inay be. Take heed' diat you. d» not connive at 
men's fins under a pretence of love ; for that were 
to contradid the very nature and ends of h t« 
Fciendlhtp muA* be cemented by piety. A wicked 
.man can bq no true friend* If you befriend the 
fins of the wicked, you ihew that you are fucfa 
yourfelves. By favo4tring their fin you difcover 
your enmity ta God ; and then bow can you love 
your brother. If you be their beft friends, telp 

^ Btligc et die quodomque voles. Ave. 
f Amici vitta fi ferai, facis tua. Ssnsca. 

I 3 them 

tli^m againft their worft enemtesi.^ ' Pretend not to 
love them if you favour their fins, and do not feek 
their falvation. .vDo not think all fliarpneft iacpn*- 
iSftent with love. Parents will corred .their chi^ 
dren, and God himfelf, will ^ cbaften every fon 
* that he lavcth ♦. 

VIII.. Tak^ care that your worhily and fieflily 
intereftsy do not too much prevail againft the inte^ 
reft'Of Chrift and the good of fouls. 

Never be guilty of temporizing for the fake, of 
gain. It is one of the greatell. reproaches upon the 
ininiftry^ that fo tnany pf us do fo mucKfuit them^ 
.fdivestothe party that' is m oft likely to fiiitrtfaeir 
ehdsy and promote their woddly advantage. This 
.dften occa&ons our enemies to fay, that reputstion 
* and. preferment are our religion and our reward. 
Ncverl et a regard to your worldly intereft prevent 
your diCcharge of any part of your duty,, even 
though the moft di&greeable to^ your people, ancT 
though it ihould hinder them from paying their 
dues. I find, alas ! that money is too ftrong an^ ar- 
gument for fome minifters to anfwer, who can 
proclaim * the love of it to be the root of aH -evil^* 
and can make long orations on. th^dangerof cove^- 

* Melius eft cum fevcriate dtligere, quam cum leiikatfr 
decipere. Aug. 


Chap, IX, Works of Charity recommended. 1^5 

oufnefs. If it were fo heinous a fin in Simon Ma^ 
gus to offer to buy the gifts of God with. money, 
what i^uil it be to s-ell his gifts, his caufe, and 
the fouls 6f men for money ! and what reafon have 
iJuch to fear, lell * their money perifli with them!' 
Be fure that your concern about your temporal 
intercft, does not prevent your Works of Charity. 
Bare Words will hardly convince men that you 
have any love to them. Works of charity do mod 
powerfully remove men's prejudices, and open their 
ears to the words of piety. If they fee that you 
are addi&ed to do goody they will more ^afily be^ 
lieve that you are good, and that it is good to 
.which you would peifuade them. Go to tjiie poor 
to fee what they want, and at once (hew- your com- 
panion to foul and body. Buy them catechifms 
and other fmall books that aie likely to do them 
good. Stretch your purfe to the utmoft of your 
power, and do all the good you can.. I would 
put no one upon extremes: it isdoubtlefs every 
man's duty to * provide for thofe of his own houfe.* 
But minifters fliould educate their children a& other 
peifons in low circumftances do, . that they may be 
able to get their own livings in fome honeft trade 
or employment, without other great provifion. 
Yo(j are bound to educate them fo as they may be 
capable of doing the mod fervice for God; but 
not to leave them rich. You ihouki not forbear 
neceflary works of charity, merely to make a larger 

I 4 provifiop 

176 Stlf'dtnM mciffiuj. Part II. 

provifion for them • A truly charitable felf-denying 
heart, that hath devoted itfelf and all it hath to 
God> would be the beft judge of due proportions ; 
would fee which way of expence is likely to do 
God the greateft fervice^ and would cheerfully take 

I would not have men lie under temptations to 
incontinency • ;— but if minifters muft marry, they 
fliould marry fuch as can maintain themfelves and 
their children, and fo devote as much as they can 
' of the churches means, to the churches fervioe. 
But in this cafe, flefli and blood make even good 
men fo partial, that they fometimes look upon du* 
ties, and duties of great importance, to be extremes. 
The flefli will tell us that we muft have a compe* 
tency : toA many pious men's competency is but 
little below the rich man's rates. If they be not 
clothed with the beft, and fare not ' fumptuoufly 

* every day,* they have not a competency. Bre- 
thren, thiidc not of being rich. < Seek not great 

* things for yourfelves,' or your pofterity. A man 
that preaches an immortal crown of glory, muft 
tiot feek much alfter tranfitory vanity. He that 
teaches others the contempt of riches, muft himfelf 
contemn them, and fliew it by his life. He that 

* Tlie aatbor here has • paflagie in lavoar of celibacy, which 
was ilbon^ jaMcniMc, and therefore it in tbia editioa 


Chap. IX. The Inip&rtance of Liberality. tjj 

recommends felf-^lenial and moitificatiofi, muft 
pra£tife thefe bunfelf in the eyes of the worid, if 
he would have his dodrine profper. Att chrifti- 
ans, with all they have, are confecrated to their 

* mailer's ufe:' but Miniftets, as they are doubly 
devoted to God, are doubly obliged to * honour 

* him with their fubftance.' That man who has 
any thing in the world fo dear to him that he can- 
not fpare it for Chrifl:, if he calls for it, is no true 
chriilian. What if you impoverifh yourfelves to . 
do others good, will it be lofs or gain ? If you be- 
lieve that God is your fafeft purfe-bearer, and that 
to expend in his fervice is the greateft ufury, Ibew 
your people that you do believe it. Do not take it 
as an undoing to * .make to you friends of the 
^ Mammon of unrighteoufnefs, and to lay up for. 

* yourfelves treafures in heaven,' though you leave 
vonrfelves but little on earth. 

O what abundance of good might mimfters do, . 
if they would but live iaa contempt of the. world ; , 
the riches, and glories of it, and expend all they 
have for their matter's ufe ! . This would unlock 
more hearts for the reception of their do6lrine than 
all their oratory will do. Without this, fingularity 
in religion will feem but hypocrify, and perhaps is.: 
nothing more. Though we need not. do as the 
Papifts, who betake themfelves to monaderies, and . 
caft away all their property, yet we muft have no-* 
thing but what we have for. God. Thctworicl 

1-5 perhaps 

178 Necejfttj of Patience y Part II. 

perhaps will expe£l more from us than we have ; 
but if we cannot anfwer the expectations of the un- 
reafonable, let us do what we can to anfwer the 
expe&ations of God, and to fatisfy confctence and 
good men. Thofe that have a large income muft 
increafe their charity in proportion. If you are 
not able to do many a£ts of charity, ihew that you 
are willing, if you had ability, by doing that fort 
of good you can. 

IX. Let me recommend to you the cultivation 
and exercife of Pat i en C£ as a neceifary concomi- 
tant of your work. 

We muft bear with many abufes and injuries 
from thofe for whom we are doing good. When 
we have ftudied for them and prayed for them ; 
when we have exhorted and befought them with 
all condefcenfion ; when we have given them all 
we are able ; have fpent ourfelves for them, and 
tendered them as if ttiey had been our children, we 
muft expeft that many will requite us with fcorn, 
hatred, and contempt ; that they will caft our kind- 
nefs in our faces with difdain, and take us for their 
' enemies becaufe we tell them the truth ;' and that 

* the more we love themj the lefs fhall we be be- 

* loved.' All this muft be patiently endured, and 
ftill we muft unweariedly hold out in doing them 
good \ ^ in meeknefs inftruding thofe that oppofe 

* themfelvcs, 

Chap.. IX. and of a peaceabk Temper^ 179 

' themfelves, if peradventure God will give them 
*. repentance.' Though they fcornfuUy rejeft.our 
.teaching, and bid us look to ourfelves, ftill we 
muft perfevere. We have to deal with di{lra£led 
men, who will fly in the face of their phyfician; 
but we muft not therefore negle£t the cure. He 
is v€ry unfit to be a phyfician who will be driven 
away from a frantic patient by foul words. It 
is not to be expeded that fools ihould make u» as 
gr^eful returns for our care over them as wife men. 
But, alas! how fadly do moft minifters come off 
in this part of their trial ! WJien Tinners reproach 
and ilander them for their love, what heart-rifings 
will there be ! How will the remnants of the old 
Adam (pride and pailion) ftruggle agginft the 
meekncfs and patience of the new man !. 

X. Ill all our work we ihould be as P£:AC£t- 
ABLE as we can: we ihould ftudiouily promote 
union and communion among ourfelves, and the 
unity and peace of the churches commixed to oux- 

We muft be feniible how neceflary this is to the 
profperity of the whole church ; the ilrcngxbening 
of the common caufe ; the good of the. particular 
members of our flock, and the further enlargement 
f the kingdom of Chrift. Minifters therefore ihould 
feel very fenfibly when the church is wounded, ?aui 

I 6 ^ ihould 

^8o ASvvj^ if a peaeetAU Temper. Part II. 

flioold be fo far from being leaders in divifions, that 
they Ihould confiderit as an important part of their 
work to prevent and heal them. They fliould not 
only hearken to motions for unity, but fhould ftudy 
day and night to find out means to clofe breaches; 
and ihould alfo.propofe and profecute them. In* 
ftead jof quarreliii^ with our brethren, we fliouM 
combine againft the common enemy. 

Moil miniilers will fpeak for unity and peace ; 
but how feldom do we fee them addided to promote 
it! Too commonly they are jealous of it, and are 
even the inilruments of diviiion. The Papiils have 
fo long abufed the name of Catholic Churchy that 
in oppoiition to them, many either put it out of 
their creed, or only retai^i the name, while they 
underiland not, or coniider not the nature of the 
thing, and behave not as members of that body. Of 
the multitude that fay they are of the catholic 
church, it is rare to meet with men of a catholic 
fpirit. They do not duly regard the whak church, 
but look -upon their own party as if that were the 
whole. Moil of them will pray hard for the proi^ 
perity of their fed, and rejoice and give thanks 
when it goes well with them, thinking that the hap- 
pinefs of the reil confiils only in turning to them^ 
but if any other party fufFer, they little regard it ; 
as if it were no lofs to the church at all. Nay, be«- 
caufe they are not of their mind, they wiih for, 
and are glad to hear of their fall^ imagining that is 


Chap. IX« Tm JeUkm fmni ammg Minifters . 181 

the way to the diuiches rifing. If they differ not 
among thenfeWes, they are but little troubled at 
differing from others, though it be from almoft all 
the chiiftian world. The peace of their party they 
take for the peace of the church ; no wonder there- 
fore if they are concerned to carry it no further. 

Few grow zealous of peace, till they grow old, 
or have much experience of men's fpirits and prin- 
ciples, when they fee better the true ftate of the 
church and the feveral differences in it ; and then 
they begin to write their Irentcums^ to leave behind 
them when they are dead, as witnefles againft a 
wilful, felf-conceited, ui^eaceable world. Many 
of thefe are extant at this day *. It often brings a 
man under a fufpicion either of favouring fome 
herefy, and of needing an indulgence to his own 
errors ; or of having abated his zeal for the truth, 
if he does but attempt a pacificatory work : as if 
there Were no zeal hecefiary for the great funda- 
mental truths, and for the unity and peace of the 
church, but only for parties, and for fome parti- 
cular dodrines. 

We have as fad divifions among us in Eng- 
land, as moft nations have known : but is tbo 

* See efpecially Ha1i.'s excellent treatife called " The 
Peace-maker," and his "Pax Terns," which deferve to be 
tranfcribed upon all our hearts.— To thefe the Editor bega 
leave to add, Bmnffft Irenicam } written by the author of Tkt 
Chrifian OraUny* 


iSa Of unhappy Divtftons among Mlnifters Part 1 1. 

difference between the feveral denominations of 
Proteftants fo great that we might not come to an 
agreement ? Were we but heartily willing, I know 
we might. I have converlied with fome moderate 
men of all parties, and I perceive by their concef- 
fions, that a union were an eafy work. If we could 
not in every point agree, we might eaflly leifen our 
-differences, and hold communion upon our agree- 
ment in the main; determining on the fafefl: way 
for managing our few and fmall differences,, without 
the danger or trouble of the church. Ta the fhami^ 
of all our faces be it fpoken that this is not done. 
Let each party flatter themfelyes asthey pleafe, 
this will be recorded to the (hame of. the minifteis 
of England as long as. the gofpel abides in the 

We confefs the worth of peace; we. read and 
preach on thofe texts, that Conunand u^ to ^ fol^ 
^ low peace with all men,' &c. .and yet we, fit ftill 
and negle£b it as if it was not worth looking after.; 
and too many will cenfure and reproach any that 
endeavour it, as if holinefs and peace were fo fal- 
len out that there were no rec(H)ciling them ^ when 
yet we have found by long experience that concord 
is a fure friend to piety, and that piety always tends 
to concord. We have feen to our forrow, that 
where the fervants of God flioutd have lived toge- 
ther as of one heart and voice, promoting each 
other's faith and holinefs; and rejoicing together in 


Chap. I X. The Evils ofDiJcord. 18 J 

the hope of fiiture glory, they have, on the con- 
trary, lived in iQutual jealoufies, drowned holy love^ 
in bitter contentions, and ftudied to difgrace and 
undermine one another, and to increafe their own 
parties^ by right or by wrong, 

Thi& fin of difcord among minifters is accom- 
canied with many heinous aggravations. We have 
feen how errors and herefies breed by it, as dif- 
cord is bred and fed by them. Nor have ^e 
ourfelves only fcorched in this flame, but we have 
alfo drawn our people into it, fo that they are fal- 
len into feveral parties, and have turned much of 
their ancieht piety into vain opinions, difputes, and 
animofities.. And (which is worft of all) the com- 
mon ignoraht people take notice of it, and not only 
deride us, but become hardened againft religion^ 
If we go aoout to perfuade them to be religious, 
they fee fo inany parties, that they know not which 
to join with, and think that it is as well to belong 
to none at all as to join any, fince they know not 
which is the right. Many poor carnal wretches 
think themfelves in the better cafe, while they hold 
to their old formalities, and we hold to nothing. 
Did we but agree among ourfelves in the main, 
nnd do as much of God's work as we could in con- 
current imanimity, our words would have fome au- 
thority with them, and we fhould be in a greater 
capacity to do t;hem good. But if our tongues and 
hearts be divided, no wonder if our work prove 


184 The Evil ef a^ Party Spirtt. Part II. 

more like a Babel than the Temple of God. It 
is not ftrange that the people (hould defpife tis, if 
we defpife one another. Some minifters, by their 
bitter opprobrious fpeechcs of others, have more 
eifedlually done the devil's fervice, under the name 
of ORTHODOxv and zeal for the truth, 
than the malignant fcomers of godlinefs could pof- 
fibly have done. The matter is come to this pafs, 
that there are few men of note, of any party, but 
who are fo publicly reproached by the other par- 
ties, that the ignorant and wicked rabble, who 
fhould be converted by them, have learnt to be 
orthodox, and to vilify and fcorn them. 

Miftake me not: I do not flight orthodoxy, 
or jeer at the name, but only expofe the pretences 
of devilifh zeal in pious, or feemingly pious men. 
I know that many of thefe reverend calumniators 
think that they laudably difcover that foundnefs in 
the faith, and that zeal for the truth, which others 
want ; but I will refolve the cafe in the words of 
the Holy Ghoft : * Who is a wife man, and en- 

* dowed with knowledge among you? Let him 

* (hew out of a good converfation his works with 
< meeknefs and wifdom. But if you have bitter 

* envying or ftrife in your hearts, glory not, and 

* lie not againft the truth ; this wifdom defcendeth 

* not from above, but is earthly, fenfual, and de- 

* vilifli ; for where envying and ftrife is, there is 
? confttfion and every evil work. The wifdoin 

* that 

Chap. IXi. The common Caufn ofDhnJions. 185 

* that is from above is firft puffe, and then peace* 
^ able, gentle, and eafy to be entreated, full of 
^ mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and 
' without hyprocxify ; and the fruit of righteouf«> 

* nefs is fown in peace for them that make peace.' 
yames iii. 13 — 18. I befeech you read thefe words 
again and again, and ftudy them well. 

The mod common caufe of our divifions aivd 
impeaceablenefs is, men's high efteem of their own 
opiaions. This works various ways: i. g. by fet- 
tii^ them upon feeking after novelties. Some ar« 
as bufy in their inquiries after new dodrines as if 
the fcriptures were not perfed, and are for mak* 
ing new articles of £Mth, and finding out new wayi 
to heaven. The body of Popery came in at dus 
door. — Pride occafions divifions lik«wife, by put«> 
ting a higher rate upon f(Mne truths than the church 
of Chrift had ever done ; by makiiig that to be of 
abfolute certainty, and of neceiEty to falvation^ 
which bad not before been received, or but as a 
doubtful point, and of a lower nature, which fom^ 
were for, and fome were againft, without any 
great mutual cenfure. But divifions are mcMre 
efpecially occafioned, when the pride of men'a 
hearts makes them fo over-value their own concep- 
tions, and to be fo confident that they and their 
own fed are in the right, as to exped all others 
to be of their mind, and fo cenforious as to coti* 
demn ail that differ frooi their party* Hereupon 

x86 Dhifton: among MinifterT. Part IP. 

arife fuch breaches in afFedion and communion as 
there are. And it ufually happens that this confi- 
dence docs but betray men's ignorance, and fliew 
that many make up in paflion what they want in 
reafon; zealoufly condemning what they little un- 
derhand. It is far eafier to fay that another man 
is erroneous and rail at him as a deceiver, than to 
give a juft account of our own belief. And I have 
obferved it is the trick of fome that can fcarcely 
give a reafon for any controverted* part of their 
creed (nor it may be of the fundamentals) to re- 
proach thofe that differ from th«m as unfound^ in 
order to get the name of orthodox divines. 

Many take up their opinions ortly in compliance 
with their feveraf parties ; looking more who be- 
Beves them, than what they beReve, or on what 
grounds ; and too many take up even the truth it- 
felf in a fa<^on ; and therefore they muft fpeak 
againft thofe that they hear fpeak againft their par- 
ty-. How many hot difputes have I heard, which 
the difputants have been forced to manifeft they 
underftood nothing about! Nay, they will often 
drive alt to damnatory conclufK>n&, when they da 
not underfland one another's meaning, and are un- 
srt>le, if you call upon them for it, to give a defi- 
Akion of [the terms they themfelvesufe.] Thus 
ciawe fMTOceed, in a contentious xeal, to cenfure 
our brethren, and divide the church • 

I entreat of you brethren, be very tender^ of 4he 


Chap. IX. ♦ Means ta prevent tim, i^ 

unity and peace, not only of your own parties, 
but of the v*rhole church. To this end, keep clofe 
to the ancient fimplicity of the chriftian faith, the 
'foundation and centre of catholic unity. Do not 
Tealily introduce any novelties in the church either 
in faith or practice. Some have already introduced 
fuch phrafes, at leaft, even about the great poinfs 
of faith, that there inay be reafon to reduce them 
;tcr tbe primitive patterns. 

• A great ftir is made in the world about the Teft 
'of.aLtrue chriRian church, with which we may 
hold coomninion. And indeed the true cenife df 
our continued unhappy divifions, is the want, of 
^difcerning the centre of our unity, and the terms 
•«n* whidi we may: unite; which, is a gceat pit}S, 
Ifjsce this w^s ohce fo eafy a matter, till the ai»- 
xient Teft was thougbt infuificient. The faith of 
^he Papifts is too large for all men to agree upon, 
'or iodeed for themfelves, if it were not enforced 
with ai^omcntJs drawn from the fire and the halter. 
And maoy Proteftants do too much imitate them in 
<the. tedious .length of their fubfcribed Confeffion^, 
atKi new impofitions. We may talk of peace 9^ 
ilong as we live^ but we ihall tiever obtain it tilKwe 
eSitvxo to the apoftoUcal fiaapUoity^ We muft s|l^ 
hsx the arrogance of thetn ih^t fr^^ engine^ 
Btp y^x^dk and .t«arthh.churd» of G<iti9 nocteir pre- 
tence of obviating errors and maintaining the tculh* 
. Wc rauft let no man's-, writipgsj or the judgment 


1 88 Mfam U pr^vtnt Difcordy Part IK 

of any party, be made the Teft of truth. If we 
thnifl into it all the canons of former councik 
about matters of order, difcipline, and ceiemomes^ 
or gather up all the opinions of the Fathers for the 
three or four firil ages, none of thefe will ever 
ferve to found a catholic union upon. The Scrip« 
lure-fufficiency muft be maintained, and nothing 
beyond it impofed on any. If PapiAs, or others^ 
call upon us for the ilandard of our reUgioa, we 
muft fhew them the Bib&£ tadier than. any Con* 
feffioDs of churches, or writings of mem More 
lines would meet in this centre than aie likely 
to meet in any other. 

' I know it is faid '^ That a man may fiibfcrihe 
the S€rq)ture i^id the anpient creeds, imd yet mati^ 
tain Herefies:'' To which I ajifwer, fo be may 
«ny other teft which you yourfelVes ftiall contrive; 
and while you make a.fnare to catch Heretkrs, it^ 
flead of a left for the churches commumon, you 
will mils your end : the Heretic, by the ftippert- 
nefs of bis CMifcience, will get thsougb, and the 
tender chriftian may poffibly be en&ared. Two 
things are neceflary to obviate Herefies, vis. tin 
Law, and the good execution of k, God iiath 
made the former, which; both for fpn£s and phrtfe, 
is fufficlent : let us 4}Ut do our pavt vfk tile dilm ^c- 
^ution of ji, knd we Aall do all ' tha;i beion§s 
to us. 

This I would recdminend to all my brethren, as 


^hap. IX. undprom9te Peace in the Church. 18^ 

necef&ry to the churches peace ; that you learn to 
diftinguifh between certainties and uncertainties ; 
between neceffaries and unneceflaries ; between ca- 
tholic truths and private opinions ; and lay the 
Arefs upon the former inftead of the latter. Unite 
in ncceflary truths, and tolerate tolerable failings* 
Bear with one another in things that may be borne 
with, and do not make larger Creeds or more ne- 
ceffaries than God has done. In order to this, 
learn to fee the true ftatc of controverfies, and re- 
duce them to the point where the difference lies, 
inftead of making them greater than they are. 

Lay not too great ftrcfs upon thofe controverted 
opinions, which have good men, and efpecially 
which have whole churches, on both fides ; much 
lefs on fuch controverfies as are ultimately refolved 
into philofophical uncertainties ; as fome unprofit- 
able difputes about Free-will; the manner of the 
Spirit's operation on the mind ; the divine decrees, 
&c. &c. But efpecially lay not any ftrefs upon 
controverfies which are of no importance ; which, 
if they were anatomized, would appear to be 
merely verbal : of which fort (I fpeak confident^ 
upon certain knowledge) are many that now make 
a great ncife in the world, and rend the church ; 
though the eager contenders do not difcern, and 
will not believe it. 

He that fliall live in that happy day when God 
will heai hrs broken churches, will fee all that I 


1^ Extremes to be avoided. Part II. 

am pleading for reduced to praSice. Moderation 
will take place of dividing zeal ; the Scripture-fuf- 
iiciency will be maintained ; and all human Con- 
feilions and comments will be valued only as fub- 
fervient helps. Till that time comes, we cannot 
expedl healing truth will be entertained, fmce there 
are not healing fpirits in the leaders .of the church ; 
but when the work is to be done^ the work-men 
will be fitted for it ; and blelTed will be the agents 
in fo glorious a caufe ! 

But becaufe the love of unity and truth, of peace 
and purity, fhould go together, we muft avoid 
the two extremes, both in dodrine and difcipline. 
One extreme in Dodlrine is making new addi- 
tions : [this we have already confidered.] The 
other is, hindering the progrefs of knowledge : this 
we commonly run into by avoiding the former. It 
muft be confidered, therefore, how far we may im* 
prove, and not be culpable innovators*. And (i.) 
our knowledge muft increafe extenfively. We muft 
endeavour to know more truth, though we muft not 
feign more. Much of fcripture will remain un« 
known to us when we have A)ne our beft. Though 
we ftiall find out no more Articles of faith which 
muft be^ explicitly believed by all that will be 
faved, yet we may' find out the fenfe of more, 
texts, and fome do£brinal truths not contrary to 
the former, but fuch as befriend them and are con- 
nected with them« And we may find out more 



Chap. IX. Growth in Knowledge fends to Peace. %gi 

the order of truths, and how they ftand in refpeft 
to one another ; and fo we may fee more of the 
true method of theology than we did, which will 
give us a great light into the thing itfelf, (2,) Our 
knowledge muft alfo grow JuhjeHioely and inten^ 
lively. And this is the principal growth to be 
Ibught after. We (hould endeavour to know the 
fame great and neceffary truths with a founder and 
clearer underftanding ; by getting more and ftronger 
evidences of them, and a clearer and deeper appre- 
henfion of the fame evidence : for one that is (trong 
in knowledge fees the fame truth as in the day- 
light, which the weak fee as in the twilight. 'To 
all this mud be added, the fuUeir Improvement of 
the truth received, to its proper objeS. 

With refpea to Church-communion alfo, we 
_ fliould carefully avoid extremes, and endeavour to 
preferve purity as well as peace. As on the one hand 
we fhould difcourage the unnecefiajy feparations of 
pTjoud mep, (either becaufe the churches do not fall 
in with their opinion, or becaute they are not fa 
neformed in difciplineas they would have them, or 
(b ftri£t as they ihould be) fo on the other hand 
we ihould guard againft the negleft or relaxation 
of difcipline, to the corrupting of the church, the 
encouragement of wickednefs, and the cpnfounding 
of the kingdom of Chrifl: with that of Satan. 

XL In order to promote unity and concord in 


«9* OfAfficlatiom^Minifters. Part II. 

the churches, and to further each other in the work 
of the Lordi let me befeech you to maintain Meet* 
tngs for c^mrrtunion among yourfelres* 

Do iiot grow ftrange to one another, but incor- 
porate and hold all chrtftian correfpondence. Dif- 
tance breeds ftrangenefs, and foments dividing ftames , 
and jealOufies, which communion will prevent or 
cure. It is the chief plot of our enemies to divide 
lis in order to wieaken vs: let us not confpire with 
them. Cherifh not heart-burnings, nor continue 
tmcharitable didances. If dividing has weakened 
you, uniting muft recover your authority and 
ftrength. Get together then and confult for peace. 
If you h^ve any diflike to any of your brethren, or 
to their coriduft, manifeft it by a free debate with 
them. ^If you will but keep together, you may 
>come to a better underftanding of each other, or 
at leaft correft yourfelves. The fcripture com-* 
mands all chridians to be * of one mind, and to pre- 
' ferve the unity of the fpirit in the bond of peace,* 
and obliges minifters to * be one even as^ Chrift and 
* the Father are one.* You cannot be ignorant 
that the unity of minifters is their honour, as well 
as their duty, and that much of their ftrength with 
the people lies in it; nor, that conftant communion 
and correfpondence is necefTary in order to it. 
Minifterial comraunicm is as much a duty as chrif- 
tian communion* 


Ctiap. IX. Affhciathnsufeful toMinifters* 193 

Indeed minifters have need of one anothef, and 
muft improve the gifts of God in one another. If 
you are humble men, you will think that you have 
need of the advice and affiftance of your brethren. 
The felf-fufficicnt are the mod deficient : the proud 
are commonly empty men. There are many 
young, raw minifters who ^fpecially need the help 
that fuch communion may afford them, and the 
advice of more grave experienced men, for carry- 
ing on. the work of their miniftry. And many 
others are fo humble and fenCble of their deficien- 
cies, that they would be loth to be deprived of it. 
That may fometimes be fpoken by a man of inferior 
parts which came not into the minds of wifer men. 
Few minifters are fo weak but they may fome- 
times improve thofe that are wifer than themfelves. 
And thofe that are endowed with greater parts, 
TviJl have an opportunky to do greater good with 
them [in fuch aflbciations] than they could other- 
wife do. If you are above advice or any help to 
yourfelves [that will not excufe your abfence, forj 
your brethren have the more need of you by how 
much the lefs you have of them. 
.^ But remember thefc aflemblie's are not merely 
for your own benefit and mutual edification, but 
the church and the common good require them. 
You owe duty to your neighbour churches, as well 
as minifters ; and by carrying on le£l;ures, or con* 
ferences, you will have an opportunity of confult* 

K in^ 

194 Difference trir Sentiment Part II. 

ing for the common good, and of |>romoting your 
common work. Do not (hew yourfelves contemn- 
ers or negle^lers of fuch a neceflary bufinefs. 

Let none draw back that accord in the fubflan- 
tials of faith and godlineft. Yea though fome 
fhould think themfelves neceflitated to feparate in 
public worftiip from the reft, methinks if they be 
chriftians indeed^ they fhould be willing to hold as 
much communion with each other as they can, and 
to confult how to manage their differences to the 
lead difadvantage to the chriflian caufe, and the 
common truths which they all profefs to own and 
prefer. Though they cannot change their minds 
about thofe opinions which hinder their union, it 
might reafonably be expelled of every party among 
Ufi which profefs themfelves chriftians, that they 
fhould value the Whole before a Part, and there- 
fore not fo perverfely feek to promote their own 
parties as to hinder the common good of the church. 
And methinks a little humility fhould make men 
afhamed of that common conceit of unquiet fpirits. 
That the welfare of the churches depends upon 
their opinions. If they are indeed a living part of 
the body, the hurt of the whole will be fo much 
their own, that they cannot defire it for the fake 
of any party or opinion whatever. If. that evil 
fpirit * whofe name is Legion' has fuch ^ower over 
the hearts of any that they will quarrel at the pa- 
cificatory endeavours of others^ who. liunger after 


Chap, tX. JbouU n9t prevent Communiirt. 195 

the healing of the church, and rather hinder them 
than help them on, I muft fay, how diligently fo- 
ever they may preach, and how pious foever they 
may feem to be. If this way tends to their everlaft* 
ing peace, and if they be not preparing forrow for 
themfelves, I am a ftranger to the way of peace. 

It is pad doubt that differing brethren may well 
join in recommending to the ignorant people the 
truths that they are agreed in. Archbifliop UJber 
made a motion for this in Ireland even to the Pa<- 
pifts themfelves. " But (fiiys he) through the jea- 
loufies which diflradions in matters of religion 
have bred amohgft us, the motion had fmall 
eiFeft, and fo between us both, the poor people 
are ftill kept in miferable ignorance, knowing 
the grounds neither of the one religion nor the 
other*." This is very much the cafe among us 
in England. It is rare to find any, though differ- 
ing only in the point of Infant-baptifm, that will 
calmly, and without fraudulent defigns of fecretly 
promoting their own opinions by it, entertain and 
profecute fuch a motion for the common good ; as 
if they had rather chriilianity ihould be thruft out 
of the world, or kept under, [than that their own 
notions fliould not be propagated.] Well, let any 
perfon or party pretend what they will of zeal and 

* Sennon before King J»mcs at Wanflcad, on the unity of 
the church. , 

K % holinefsy 

jg6 OhjeElUni agalnjl AJfociatlom Part IT, 

holincis, I will ever take the Dlvldatur for an 
ill fign. The 'true mother abhors the divifion of 
thexhrld; and the true chriftian prefers the com- 
mon intereft of chriftianity to that of a faftion or 
opinion, and would not have the whole building 
endangered rather than that one peg ihould be driven 
in otherwife than -as he would have it.— -Do not 
thervnegleft thefe brotheidy meetings for the ends 
that have been mentioned, nor yet attend them 
unprofitably, but improve them to your mutual edi- 
fication, and for the efre6lual carrying on the good 
9i the churches. 

Do not ^flc why you cannot -do your duty to God 
and your people atliome, without traveUing many 
miles to a meeting of minifters; nor plead that 
you have bufinefs of your own to do, when you 
Ihould be doing the work of God; nor imder a 
pretence of loving to live privately, prefer your own 
eafe to God's fervice. — Some of thofe indeed that 
cxcufe themfelves are carelefs and fcandalous men: 
we ihould have no defire of their company, nor ad- 
mit it, fbut upon their repentance -and ^reformation, 
— Some are. empty men, and are afraid their weak- 
nefs Ihould be known: but they cannot conceal it 
by their folitude, whereas they might do much to 
heal it by communion with their brethren. — As 
for thofe that are averfe to affociating with us be-- 
caufe ove are not of their party, let it .be cenfidered 
that by fuch communication they might give or 


Chap. IX. ofMinifters anfwered,^ 197 

l^eeeive better information \ or at 'lead carry on fo 
much of God's work in Unity as we are agreed in. 
Let us refolve,. by the. grace of God, to adhere to 
more catholic principles and pradlices, and to have 
communion with all godly chriftians that will have 
communion with us. But fome objeft to attend- 
ing thefe aiTociationSy 

1. Becaufe, they fay, '* A few men commonly 
do all, and the reft do but follow them." — lan- 
fwer ; There is no one in our affociations that pre- 
tends to any authority over his brethren; cither 
civil coercive power, or ecclefiaftical diredlivc 
power. If any have fo much power as you fpeak 
of/ it feems to be but the power of Truth in them, 
and fuch as light hath againft darknefs. And per- 
haps thofe that you call the leaders of the reft, find 
themfelves to need the help of thqfe whom you fay 
they lead, more than, you do theirs. But if you 
do indeed think that thefe leading minifters miflead 
the reft, there is the more need of the prefence of 
fuch as you who dlfcern it, and who may do much 
to undeceive them, 

ii. I hear many fay, ** Under pretence of aflb-^ 
ciating, you will but fall into a multitude of frac* 
tions. Not two counties can agree upon the fame 
term« ; and why ihould we join with any of them 
till there be a greater likelihood of union among 
themfelves?" — An uhreafonabie and felf-condemn- 
ing objedion. Are they more divided who aifoci- 

K 3 ate. 

ipS Ohje£fioni to Affhciations an/we red. Part II. 

ate, than you who are fingle and go every man his 
own way ? But wherein does this diverfity confift, 
which you complain of?. I fee none [that fliould 
prevent communion.] The truth is, this objeftion 
is commonly made by men that place the unity of 
the church in what God never placed it in. We 
muft not be united becaufe we fubfcribe not the 
fame form of words, and agree not in every cir- 
cumftance or expreffion ; nor (hall we ever be 
united while unity is placed in fuch indifferent 
things. There are no greater dividers of the church 
in the world than thofe that over-do it in pretend- 
ing to unityy and lay the unity ot" the church upon 
that which will not bear it. There is no poflibi- 
lity of bringing all to be of every formalift's opi- 
nion, and to ufe every gefture or form of words 
that he (hall impofe. ' Unneceflary impofitions will 
occafion contention ; whereas, where all are left to 
their liberty, I never hear of contention or offence. 
In the prefent cafe we do not intend, by our a(fo- 
elating, to tie one another to new forms and cere<- 
monies, por to make new terms of union for the 
churches: all parties may join with us without de* 
ferting their principles*. 

If any affociations fubfcribe to fuch things a$ 

♦ What was added here relating to the agreement fubfcribed 
by the miniftejf* in thc^ Worcefteifhire Aflbciation, is now 
omitted, as being too local, and hardly confident with the au- 
thor's plan of union. 


Chap. IX. How to render AJfociations trfefuk 199 

you cannot in confcience agree to, propofe the rea- 
fons of your dilTent, and beg leave to except thofe 
articles with which you are diflatisfied, without 
unneceffarily withdrawing from your brethren's 
communion; of which, if they be peaceable men, 
they will readily admit. But if they would force 
you to fiibfcribe againft your judgment, or elfe hold 
no communion with you, then they exclude you, 
and you do not exclude yourfelves. But I hope 
no aiTociations among us will be guilty of fiich a 

XII. [Let all endeavour to make thefe aflbcia- 
tions as ufefiil as poflible to each other, and fub- 
fervient to the intereft of religion in general.] 

Quarrel not, my friends, upon points of prece- 
dency, or reputation, or any intereft of your own. 
No man will have fettled peace in his mind, or be 
peaceable in his place, that proudly envies the pre- 
cedency of others, and fecretly grudges at theni 
that feem to cloud his parts and name. One or 
other will ever be an eye-fore to fuch men. There 
is too much of the Devil's image in this fin, for a 
humble fcrvant of Chrift to entertain. — Be not too 
fenfible of injuries, nor malce too great a matter oF 
every offenfive word or deed. At leaft do not let 
it interrupt your concord in God's work: that were 
to wrongs Chrift and his chucch becaufe another has 

K 4 wronged 

^aoo IVeJb&ulddo Good wherever we cam* l^art 1 1. 

wronged you. If you be of this impatient humour 
you will never be quiet : for we are all faulty, and 
canndi live together without wronging one another. 
Proud, over tender men are often hurt by their 
own conceits; like a man that has a fore, who 
thinks that it fmarts the more when he imagines 
fome body hits it. They will often think that a 
man jeers them or means them ill, when it never 
came into his thoughts. — Till this self be taken 
down, we (hall every man have a private intereft 
of his own, which will lead us all into feparate 
ways, and fpoil the peace and welfare of the church. 
While every man is for himfelf and his own repu- 
tation, and ^ all mind their own things,' no won* 
-dcr if they * mind not the things of Chrift.* 
[Concur together ^s brethren to promote the com*- 
mon caufe, and be ready to do good when ever 
you have an opportunity for it.] If we are fieartily 
devoted to the work of the Lord, let us com- 
paflionate the congregations about us that are un- 
provided for, and endeavour to help them to able 
minifters, [confulting with each other for this 
purpofe.3 In the mean time, we ihould ftep out 
jiow and then to their affiftance, when the bufinefs 
of our own particular charge will give us leave. 
A ledure ih the joiore ignorant places, purpofely 
for the work of converfion, carried on by the moil 
lively, afFedion^te preachers, might be very ufe- 
ful where conftant means are wanting. [In thefe 



Chap, IX. KtepupDefireofSuceefs. fioa 

aflbciations, plans might be advantageoufly formed 
for fuch a purpofe.] 

XI I L In your whole minifterial work keep 
up conftant dedres and expectations of success. 

If your hearts be not fet on the end of your la- 
bours^ if you do not long to fee the converfion and 
edification of your hearers, and (ludy.and preach 
in hope, you are not likely to fee much fuccefs. 
It is a fign of a falfe felf-fecking heart, when a 
perfon is contented to be ftill doing, without fee- 
ing any fruit of his labour. I have obferved th^t 
God feldom bleifes any man's work fo much as 
his - whofe heart is fet upon the fuccefs of it. 
Let it be the property of a Judas to have more 
jegard to tbt hag than to the bufmefs. Leave it 
to fuch worldings as he to be fatisfied, if they have 
their falary, and the applaufe of the people ; but 
iet all that preach for Chrift and the falvation of 
men,bedifratisfied till they have the thing they preach 
for. He never had the right ends of a.preachfer in 
view, who is indifferent whether, he obtain them 
or not; who is not grieved when he miiTes them., 
and rejoiced when he. can-fee the defired iifue. 
When A man only ftudies what to fay, and how to 
fpend the hour with commendation,, without look- 
ing any more after it, .but to know what the peo- 
ple think of his abilities, and holds on thus from 

K 5 year 

aott " Moft Comfofiivhenfuccifsful. Part II. 

year to year, I muft needs think that he preaches 
for himfelf ; that he drives on a private tmde of his 
own ; and that when he preaches ChriA, he preaches 
not for Chrift, how excellently foever he may fcem 
tp do it. 

I know that a faithful minifter may have com* 
fort when he wants fuccefs. • Though Ifrael be 
' not gathered, our reward is with the Lord,* 
Our acceptance is not according to our fruit, but 
according to our labour. But then be who longs 
not for the fuccefs of his labours, can have none 
of this comfort, becaufe he is not a faithful la* 
bourer. This is only for them whofe hearts arp 
fet upon the end, and are grieved if they mif&-4t. 
This is not the full comfort that we muft deiire, 
but only what may quiet us if, notwithftandiffg 
ourutmoft care, we fail af the reft. What if God 
will accept tbe phyfician though the patient die } 
He muft ftill work in compafllon, and do his ut«- 
moft to fave his life. We labour not for our own 
reward, but for other men's falvation. — I confef$» 
for my part, that I wonder at fome ancient reverend 
men, who have lived thirty, or forty, or fifty years 
with an unprofitable people, where they have been 
fcarcely able to difcern any fruit of their labours^ 
that they can with fo much patience continue there. 
I fhoiild not be eafily fatisfied to fpend my days in 
fuch a manner, but fbould fufpe£t that it was th& 
will of God I ihould go fome where elfe, that ano* 


Chap, tX. In aUwemuft depend upmChriJi. s^ 

ther perfon might come there, better fuited to them, 
and more ufeful among them. Once more, 

XIV. Our whole work muft be carried on 

• * 

under a dejep fenfe of our own infufiiciency, and 
in a pious, believing dependance upon Christ. 

We muft go to Him for light, and life, and 
ftrength, who fends us on our work. When we 
feel our faith weak, and our hearts grown dull, 
and unfuitable to fo great a work as that we have 
to do, we muft have recourfe to the Lord, atid 
pray that we mzy not go to perfuade others to 
believe, with an unbelieving heart of our own ; or 
.to plead with finners about everlafting life and 
death, while we have but a faint belief and feel- 
ing of thefe things ourfelves ; but that, as he has 
fcnt us forth to his work, he would furnifh us 
with a fpirit fuitable to it. Prayer muft carry on 
our work as well as preaching. He preaches not 
heartily to his people, who doth not often pray 
for them. If we prevail not with God to give 
them faith and repentance, we are unlikely to. 
prevail with them to believe and repent. Paul 
gives us his example in this refpe£l, who tells us 
that he{)rayed for .his hearers * night and day ex* 
< ceedingly.' Since our own hearts and thofe of 
our people are fq far out of order as they be, if 

K 6 we 

ft04 Nuijfity rfHumiliatm Part I L 

wc prevail not with God to help and mend them, 
we are likely to make but unfuccefsful work. 


Thi Conclujion of the Work; being a particular Ap- 
plication of the whole. 

REVEREND and dear brethren; let us now 
humble our fouls before the Lord for our 
pail negligence, and implore his afliftance for the 
time to come. Indeed w;e cannot expe£l the lat- 
ter without the former. If God will help us in 
our future duty, he will certainly firft humble us for 
our paft fin. He that has not fo much fenfe of his 
faults as unfeignedly to lament them, will hardly 
have fuflicient to make him reform them.-^Shall 
we deny, or excufe, or extenpate our fins while 
T^e call our people to fuch free confeffions ? It is 
too common with us to expe£t that from them 
which we do little or nothing of ourfelves. Too 
many labour for other men's fouls while they feem 
to forget that they have any of their own to re- 
^ard. They a£t as if their part lay only in calling 
for repentance, and the hearer's in repenting: theirs 
in crying down Hn, and the people's in forfaking 
* it t 

_ k 

Cbap. X. firpaftSimandfiegUSi. sa^ 

it : theirs in preaching jiuty, and the hearer's in per- 
forming it. If we did but ftudy half fo much to 
aiFe6l and mend our own hearts, as we do to afFe6t 
and mend thofe of our people, it would not be 
with many of us as it is. It is much too little that 
we do for their humiliation, but I fear it is much 
lefs that we do for our own. It is a fad thing that 
fo many of us have preached our hearers aflecp ; 
but it is worfe ftill if we have (ludied and preaclied 
ourfelves afleep ; and have talked fo long againft 
hardnefs of heart, till our hearts are grown hard 
under the noife of our own reproofs! — Is it not 
better to give God glory by a full and humble con- 
feflion, than in tendemefs of our own glory to ieek 
for fig-leaves to cover our nakednefs? and to put 
God upon building that glory which we have de- 
nied him, on the ruins of our own which we have 
preferred to his ? 

It is certainly our duty to call to remembrance 
our manifold fins, efpecially thofe that are mofl 
obvious, and fet them in order before God and 
our own faces, that he may 'caft them behind •his 
'back:' to deal plainly and faithfully with our*- 
felves, in a free confeilion, that he who is ' faith- 
' ful and juft may forgive us our fins ; and to judge 
' ourfelves that we may not be judged of the Lord :' 
fortheyonly, whether paftors or people, who 'con- 
* fefs and forfake their fins ih^l find mercy; he 
' that hardeneth his neck ihall fall into mifchief/ 


M)6 ConJiJtrattaitt U $xcite Riftnlance Part II. 

Sins i^cnly committed arc more dilhonourable to 
uswhcn we hide (hem than -when we confefs 
them. It is the Sin, and not the confefHon of it 
that is our dilhonour. We have committed them 
before the fun, fo that they cannot be hid: at^ 
tempts to cloak them increafe the guilt and Hiame. 
Truly humble miniilers, will rather be difpofad 
to lament their guilt in the face of their congre- 
gations! It will not be amifs to look back, and 
imitate the fervants of God in ancient times, in 
their confefllons. We find in fcripture that tlie 
Guides of the church did confefs their own fins as 
well as thofe of the people. See the example of 
Ezra; he confefled the fins of the prieds, ' calling 
' himfelf down before the houfe of God.' So did 
thfe Levitcs. So did Daniel. And God exprefsly 
required * the Priefts, the Miniflers of the Lord to 
' weep' as well as others •. 

I think if we confidcr well the duties that have 
been explained and recommended, and at the fame 
tiine, the manner in which we have performed 
them, we cannot doubt whether we have caufe 
for humiliation. He that reads this one exhorta- 
tion of Paul from whence the text is taken, and 
compares his life with it, is Ihipid and hardened in' 
JoBii if he be not laid in the dult before God^ 

ra ix. 6, j, lo> Neb, ix. ga-^Sf. Dan. Ik. etx 
. Jfl— 17. 


Chap. X , and to pticken us im mir future fFork. feo/ 

bewailing his great omiffions ; and forced to fly to 
the blood of Chrift, and his pardoning grace. O ! 
What caufe have we all to bleed before the Lord^ 
that we have been minifters fo many years, and 
yet have done fo little, efpecially by private con* 
ferenoe, for the faving of men's fouls! Had we 
done our duty, who knows how many fouls might 
have been brought to Chrift, and how much hap-* 
pier we might have been in our parilhes ? And 
why did we not do it ? Many impediments were 
doubtlefs in our way ; but if the greateft had not 
been in ourfelves,-— in our darkhefs and dulnefs, 
our indifpofition to duty, and our divifions, much 
more might have been done for God than has yet 
been done. We have Hnned, and have no juft 
excufe for our fin. The fin is great becaufe our 
duties were great. We fhould therefore be afraid 
of excufing ourfelves too much. The Lord- of 
mercy forgive us, and all his minifters, and lay not 
any of our minifterial negligence to our charge ! 
Oh that he would cover all our unfaithfulnefs, and 
by ' the blood of the everlafting covenant' wafli 
away our guilt of the blood of fouls ! that ' when 
< the chief (bepherd (hall appear, we may ftand 
^ before him in peace,' and may not be condemned 
for fcattering of his flock. 

And now,, brethren, what have we to do for the 
time to come, bujt to deny our lazy contradiAing 
flelb, and roufe up ourfelves tp the great bufinefii 


to8 ConJiJerations to exciii Part II. 

in which we are employed ? ' The harveft is great, 
' the labourers are too few' — the loiterers and 
contentious hinderers are many — ^The fouls of men 
arc prccious-r-The mifery of finners is great— The 
future torment to which they are near is greater- — 
The joy to which we ought to help them is incon- 
ceiveable — ^Thc beauty and glory of tlie church is 
defirable — ^Our diiEculties and dangers are many 
and great — ^The comfort that attends a faithful 
ftewardihip is greater — But that which attends a 
full fuccefs is inexpref&ble — And the honour con- 
ferred upon us who are called to be co-workers 
with God/ and to fubferve the blood- flied of Chrift 
for the falvation of men, is illuftrious beyond com* 
parifon — * The fields now feem white fqr harveft ;' 
for the preparations that have been made for us are 
great — The feafon for working is now more warm 
and calm than moft ages have been — We .have 
carelefsly loitered in our work too long — The pre- 
fent time is pofting away. : while we are trifling, 
men are dying, and pafllng in hafte to the eternal 
world! — ^And is there nothing in all this to awaken 
us to our duty, and to engage us to fpeedy and un- 
wearied diligence ? Is it poffible for a man to be 
too careful and laborious under all thefe motives 
and engagements ? 

Were but our fouls clearly and deeply impreflej 
with the very important truths we preach, efpe- 
ciaily thofe that relate to a future worlds O what 

a change 

Chap. X . to greaUr Zeal and Diligence. 209 

a change would it make in our fermons, and in our 
private difcourfe ! If we did but know what it is 
for the foul to pafs out of the flefli, to go before a 
righteous God, and enter on a (late of unchange* 
able joy or torment^ and with what amazing thoughts 
dying men apprehend thefe things, how differently 
would fuch matters be difcourfed of ! Oh the gra* 
vity, the ferioufnefs, the inceflant diligence thefe 
things require ! I know not what others think of 
them ; but for my own part, I am afhamed of my 
Aupidity, and wonder at myfelf that I deal no 
more with my own and other men's fouls, as be* 
comes one that looks for the great day of the 
Lord ; — that I can leave room for almoft any 
other thoughts or words, and that fuch afloniffi- 
ing matters do not wholly take me up ! I feldon^ 
come out of the pulpit, but my confcience fmites 
me that I have been no more ferious and fervent. 
It accufes me not fo much for want of elegance 
or human ornaments, nor for letting fall an un- 
handfome word ; but it alks me — V How couldeft 
thou fpeak of everlafting life and death with fuch 
a heart ? How couldeft thou preach about heaven 
and hell in fo carelefs and ile^py a manoer ? Doft 
thou believe what thou fayeft? Art thou in earneft 
or in jeft ? How cahft thou tell people that fin is fo 
evil a thing, and that its confequences are fo dread* 
ful, without being more afFe£ted with it ? Shouldfl 
thou not weep over finners, even till thy tears in« 


» 10 Confiderations to excite Part II, 

terrupt thy words ? Shouldft thou not * cry aloud, 
* and fliew them their tranfgreffions,' and fhouldft 
thou not entreat them to repent and believe, wkh 
the utmoft importunity ?*' — Such is the peal that 
confcience rings in my ears, and yet my drowfy foul 
will not be awakened. What a dreadful thing is 
a fenfelefs, hardened heart ! Lord fave us from 
the plague of infidelity, and hardnefs of heart ! or 
how fhall we be fit inftruments of faving others 
from it ? and do thou that on our fouls, which thou 
wouldft have us do on the fouls of others ! 

I am even confounded to think what diflFerencc 
there is between my apprehenfions of the life to 
come in a time of ficknefs and at other feafons. 
O brethren, if you had convcrfcd with death as 
often as I have done, and a^ often received the 
fentence in yourfelves, you wouW have an un- 
quiet confcience, if not a reformed life with re- 
gard to minifterial diligence. You wouM have 
fomething within you that would often aflc you' 
fuch queftions as thefe: ** Is this all thycompaf- 
fion for loft finners? Wilt thou do no more *to 
« feek and fave them ?' Is there not fuch and fuch 
an one'-N-are there not many round about thee, 
who are yet the vifiblc fons of death? What haft 
i thou faid to them, or done for their recovery ? 

I Shall thoufands die and go to hell before thou wilt 

i fpeak one ferious word to prevent it? Will they 

not there curfe thee for ev^r that thou <Hdft j^o more 


C hap. X . to greater TLeal and Diligence. fill 

in time to fave them?" Such cries of confcience 
are daily in my ears, though the Lord knows I have 
too little obeyed them. I confefs that I feldom hear 
the bell toll for one that is dead, but confcience 
afks me, "What hadft thou done for the faving of 
that foul before it left the body ? There is one more 
gone into eternity ; what didft thou do to prepare 
him for it V — When you are laying a corpfe in the 
grave, how can you help refledling with yourfelves 
to this purpofe: ** Here lies the body, but where 
is the foul ? What did I do for it before it depart- 
ed ?-^ It was part of my charge ; what account cam 
I give of it ?" 

O firs! is it a fmall matter to anfwer fuch quef- 
tions as thefe ? It may feem fo now ; but th« 
hour is coming when it will appear otherwife. * If 
< our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our 

* hearts,' and will condemn us more. Wc ma^ 
plead the caufe with confcience, and either bribe it, 
or endure its fentencej but God is not fo eafily 
dealt with, nor his fenteftce fo eafily bornel 

* Wherefore we receiving (and preaching) a king- 

* dona which cannot be moved, let us have grace 

* whereby we may ferve God acceptably with re- 

* verence and godly fear ; for our God is a con- 

* fuming fire.' 

Let me befeech you, brethren, on the behalf of 

. Chrift, for the fake of the church, of the immortal 

f(;^l$ of men, and for your own fouls fake, that 


tifl 7'he Guilt of unfaithful Minjjler 5. VdXt IT. 

you prefently and efFeftually fct about the work 
which I have been principally recommending^ 
Hearken to God and the calls of duty, if you would 
have peace of confcience. I know that carnal wit 
never wants words, nor a (hew of reafon, to gain- 
fay that truth and duty which it abhors. It is eaiier 
to cavil againft duty than to perforno it. But con- 
fider how the matter will appear on a death-bed, 
and what account you will give to God at the gr^al 
day. Confcience will not own thofe reafons in a 
dying hour, which now it feems to admit. There 
is not that comfort to be had for a departing foul in 
the view of negleftcd duty, as of a life wholly de- 
voted to the fervice of God ; and I am confident 
my arguments will appear (trongeft at laftj what- 
ever they may do now. 

O think how dreadful and aggravated our final 
condemnation will be, if we live and die wilful ne- 
gleders of the great work we have undertaken ! 
Our parents that deftined us to the miniftry — our 
tutors that educated us for it — our learning and 
miniderial gifts—- our voluntarily undertaking the 
care of fouls — all the care of God for his church 
— all that Chrift has done and fuiFered for it — ^all 
the precepts, promifes, and threatenings of the holy 
fcriptures — all the examples of prophets, apoftles, 
and preachers there recorded — and all the books in 
our ftudies that tell us of our duty, or any way affift 
us in it, will rife in judgment againft us ! — ^All 


X^ap . X . The Author* s Apology for his Plainnefs. 213 

Ac fcrraons that we have preached, to convince 
men of the danger of fin, of the torments of hell, 
and the joys of heaven ; to quicken them in their 
duty, or to reprove their negleft— all the maintc- 
jiance we take for our fervice — all the honour we 
receive from the people— and the minifterial privi- 
leges we enjoy — all the witnefs we have borne againft 
the negledls of minlfters — ^all the judgments and 
mercies of God with which we have been acquaint* 
^— ^all the fervent prayers of God's people that 
have heen 'offered on our account — and finally, all 
our vows, prpmifes, and refolutlqns for diligence 
iii OUT work, will at the laft great day aggravate our 
condemnatien, if we are found unfaithful in our 
mafter's fervice. 

Truly, brethren, if I did not apprehend the 
matter to be of exceeding great moment to your- 
felves, to your people, and to the honour of God, 
I "Would not have troubled you -with fo many words 
about it, nor have prefumed to fpeak fo fharply as 
I have done* But in an affair -ef life and death, 
men are apt te forget their reverence, courtefy, and 
compliments, commonly called good manners, for 
my part, I apprehend this to be one of the greateft 
and beft works that I ever put my hand to in tny 
whole life. * I verily believe you will agree whh 
me herein ; and if you do, you will not think me 
too prolix, or too plain and fevere. As for my^ 
Jelf^ fpare not ; -tread me as dirt in the ftree^ts ; 

a 14 The whole fumtned up in Part II; 

let me be as Tile in your eyes as you pleafe, fo that 
you will but hearken to God and reafon, and do 
your duty for the falvation of men. What am I 
but a fervant of Chrift ? and what is my life worth, 
but to do him fervice ? Whofe favour can recom- 
pence for the ruins of the church ? And who can 
be filent while fouls are undone ? Not I for my 
part, while God is my mailer, his word my rule, his 
work my bufmefs; and the fuccefs of it, for the 
(aving of fouls, my end. I know myfelf unworthy 
to be your monitor ; but a monitor you muft have ; 
and it is better to hear of our fm and our duty from 
any body, than not at all. Receive the admoni- 
tion, and you will fee no caufe, in the monitor^s 
umvorthinefs, to repent of it. But remember, if 
you rejedl it, the unworthieft mefffcnger may bear 
that witnefs againft you which will ihame and 
condemn you. 

To conclude * : Let us fet before us the exhorta- 
tion^ and the example given us in our text and con- 
text, and learn our duty from thence. This one 
paiTage of Scripture better deferves a whole year's 
lludy, than mod things about which ftudents are apt 
to fpend their time. O brethren, write it on your 
fludy doors, or fet it as your copy in capital letters 
.continually before your eyes* Could we but learn 

* This lafl excellent paflage is tranCpofed from the midQ of 
tlfie original work, at it fecmed bed adapted to form the beft 
poiHble concluGoo, 


Ch. X . PauVs Addrefs h the Epheftan Elders. jt 15 

two or three lines of it, what preachers (houW we 
be ! Here we are taught — Our general bufinefs ; 
SEtiviNO THE Lord — Our fpecial workj tak- 

FLOCK — The fubftance of our doSrine ; repent- 
ance TOWARDS God, and faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ — The places and manner 
of our teaching ; publicly, and from house 
TO house— The objeft and internal manner; 


avith all humility of mind, and with 
TEARS — £The faithfulnefs and integrity that are 
requifite ; I have kept back nothing 

that was profitable unto you : I AM 

pure from the blood of all men, for 


WHOLE COUNSEL OF God] — The innocence and 
felf-denial ^o be ufed ; I have •Ooveted no 
man's SILVER OR GOLd— The patience and re fo- 
lution to be exercifed ; none of these things 


unto myself, so that i might finish my 
course with joy, and the ministry 
whichIhave received of theLordJesus^ 
•—And once more. The motives to engage us to 
all this; The Holy Ghost, has made us 
OVERSEERS; the church We feed is the church 
of God, which he hath purchased wit9 
HIS own blood. 


«i6 SuTtimary efthe ijohale. 

Write this upon your hearts, and it will ^o 
yourfelves and the church more gdod than twenty 
years fludy of thofe lower things which often 
employ your thoughts-; which, though they get 
you greater applaufe in the world, yet, if feparated 
from thefe, will make you ^ but founding brafs, 
* and tinkling cymbals/ 

The End of the Refqjimed Pastor. 


i «'7 ] 



Hints of Advice to Students * for 
the Miniftry, and to Tutors of 

^^F what great importance the chara£l:er of the 
^-^ clergy is to the church and the falvation of 
men, thoufands have found to their joy and happi- 
nefs; and 1 fear, thoufands more to their forrow 
and deftruftion. Of what confequence, then, the. 
difpofition of Candidates for the miniftry is, 
needs not many words to (hew. . It is of unfpeak- 
able importance, whether they prove good or bad. 
God, wh« has inftituted the facred office, and 
who, by his Spirit, qualifies men for it, ufually 
'works according to their qualifications. As in the 
natural world he operates according to the fitnefs of 
natural fecond caufes, fo in the moral world, ac-r 

* Much more on the fame fubjed, may be foand in other 
cf our Autlipr's writings; See particularly Vol. I. p. B54 & 
f i4, et feq. where may be feen a long catalogue of books. 

L cording 

ti8 Cbmparifan bifwtin faithful 

Wording to the fuitablenefs of moral caufes. Holi- 
nefs, though in many refpefls it Be a fupernatural 
work, is ufually wrought by holy means. Able 
and faithful tninifters therefore are wry great blef- 
iings. They are the * lights of th^ world, and 
* the fait of the earth.' Never was the gofpel 
well propagated or continued in any country but 
by their means. God ufes them as his inftruments 
for convincing, converting, edifying, comforting, 
aind living of fouls. Herein they are co-workers 
with Chrift the great Saviour of fouls, and widi the 
Holy Spirit, who regenerates and fan£lifies them. 
How many thou&nds of happy fpirits in heaven 
will for ever rejoice in the cfFeSs of their labours, 
and Uefs God for them ! In a word, churches, 
ilates, and kingdoms are chiefly bleiTed and pre- 
ferved by the faithful part of the miniftry. They 
a«e the means of fubduing ^ fm which is the de- 
^ ilruSion of a people,' and promoting * righteouf- 
^ nefs which exalteth a nation.' 

On the other hand, unfaithful and wicked minif- 
ters are the worft and mod hurtful men. Though 
they may be farniflied with the fame notions aind 
'words as godly teachers are, (though this is not 
ufually the cafej yet they will be greatly wanting 
in that ferious delivery, which is ordinarily necef- 
£iry to make the hearers ferious chriiUans. That 
feldom reaches the heart of the heaier, wiiich 
ttomes not from the heart of die fpescker. Con- 


App. ^nd wicked Mifiift^n. ai^ 

ftant experience tells us haw diflPerent is the fiiccefs 
of reading or faying a pulpit leflbn, in a dull, or 
merely affefted manner^ and that of the judicious, 
ferious explication and application of well ckofen 
matter, which the experienced preacher well un« 
derftands, and which he utters from the feeling of 
his foul. Neither the love of a benefice, nor of 
applaufe,. will make a man preach in that manner 
which the lore of God, the lively belief of heaven 
•and hell, and the defire of faving fouls, w31 do* 
If a Rage-hypocrite ihould learn the art of preach- 
ing with an affeded fervency and feeming zeal, 
yet art and paint will not reach the power and 
beauty of nature; nor will it hold out fo long. 
AiFeflation ufually betrays itfelf ; and when it is 
difcerned, the hypocrite is lothed. ^ut if he 
(hould carry on his ftage-afFe6tation with plaufi- 
ble art, the reft of his minifterial work will not 
be difcharged in a manner anfwerable to it. Since 
it is from men that he expcds his reward, ia 
their fight only he appears in his borrowed glory ^ 
in his private converfation and condud, he makes 
a different figure. He will not fet himfelf to in- 
ftrud the ignorant, to lave men from their fins, 
and raife their minds to heaven, by praying with 
them, by holy difcourfe, and heavenly deport- 
ment: he will not be at much coft or labour to 
do any kind of real good. 

But alas! by far the greateft part of unexperi- 

L 2 enced 

ifio Mtfchiefs done by ungodly Mlnlfters. 

cnced preachers have not fo much as the hypocrite *» 
Teeming zeal and appearance of religion to cloke 
their fins, and profit their people. The mif-beha- 
viour of fuch, is- likely to make them exceedingly 
hurtful. By their ignorance, ambition, covetouf- 
nefs, and other fins, they render themfelves con- 
temptible in the eyes of many, and by that means 
render the church and all religion fo too. A fcan- 
dalous clergy will be a fcorned clergy ; and a fcorn- 
cd clergy will prepare for the fcorning and deftruc- 
tion of true religion. Alas ! what wretched work 
have hypocritical, unexperienced, proud, worldly, 
voluptuous, ignorant minifters been making in mod 
chriftian nations, thefe fourteen hundred years ! 
Wo! wo! wo! to the church that hath fuch paf- 
t.ors! that hath wolves inftead of {hepherds ! Wo 
to the land that hath fuch ! Wo to the princes and 
ftatcs that follow fuch counfqllors! Wo to the 
fouls that are fubverted by them ! From a corrupt 
clergy have fprung the greateft calamities of the 
church in all places to this day. 

And let it be remembered, the fins of fuch men 
will not prove lefs mifchievous to themfelves than 
to others. Their guilt is aggravated by their per- 
fidious violation of their baptifmal and ordination 
vows, as well as by their nearnefs to God in their 
office ; and they are condemned out of their own 
mouths. Such perfons are with greater difficulty 
brdught to repentance than otjiers; becaufe by wit 


Ap?. Difficulty of their Converjton. 221 

and ftiidy they have bended that doftrine to defend 
their fin, which fliould be ufed to bring them to 
repentance ; or becaufe pride will not fufFer fuch 
perfons as they are, employed in fo holy an office, 
and poflelTed of fuch titles, learning, and reputa- 
tion, to fuppofe themfelves in an unholy ftate ; and • 
whoever accufes them of fin or reproves them for 
it will be reprefented as an enemy to the church. 
Their ulcers are as a noli me tangercy and fret as a 
gangreeh unremedied. Their profanation of holy 
things makes them worfe, and more impenitent 
than other men ; partly as they have more notori- 
oufly forfeited the grace of God which fhould work 
repentance in them, and have caufed him in right- 
eous judgment to forfake them ; and partly as they 
have hardened their own hearts, by long abufe of 
that truth which fliould have fanftified them. For 
when perfons have Ipng * imprifoned the truth in 
* unrighteoufnefs,' and long played, as hypocrites, 
with what they profefled to believe, cuftom will fo 
harden them, that their knowledge will have little 
power on their hearts. 

And now do I need fay any more to fhew young 
men defigned for the miniftry, of what importance it 
is that they be well qualified for it ? God can, and 
fometimes does, turn wolves into faithful fhcpherds, 
and convert thofe, who while they were unconvert- 
ed themfelves, undertook to convert others ; but this 
i not ordinarily to be expedled. Firft notions lie 

L 3 ^ deepeft. 

»ft The Minlfterial Office 

deepeft> and maikt way for others that are connedcd 
with them. Falfe opinions^ as well as true, are. 
ufually linked together, and the chain is not eafily 
call off or broken. Thofe that have received 
errors have alfo received their defenfatives. Thefe 
are like the fliell-fifli, which carry their houfe about 
with them. They that have received them, have ftu- 
died what to fay for them, but not what can be faid 
againft them. But fuppofing that you have ever fo 
true notions in your heads, if they come not with 
power upon your hearts^ and do not make you 
new, fpirttual, and holy men, they will not qualify 
you to propagate faith and holinefs. Now it is that 
jrou mufi get thofe eminent qualifications of know- 
If dge and holinefs, which you are afterwards to uie \, 
tat bow can you ufe what you have not ? Though 
fome prudent hearers will encourage fuch young: 
men as they think are hopeful, yet moft will judge^ 
of perfotis and things as they find them. The igno-* 
Bant, dry, and lifeleis orations of unexperienced 
preachers^ will not be efteemed by fuch as know, 
what judgment and ferioufnefs that facred work 
requires* Few will praife, or feed on unfavoury 
food, merely to flatter and praife the cook. Then 
when you find yourfelves flighted, your refentment 
will rife agaipft thofe that flight you becaufe they 
are not contented with your unholy trifling, but all 
jour cnmky will turn againft yourfelvesj and,, like 


App. Jhouldhi undfrfaiin mth Cautionm 22^ 

that of Satan againft the members of Chrifi> will 
be but felf-tormentiDg. 

Let me then f^rioufly caution all perfons againft 
being too hafty in refolving for the facred miniftry. 
I would not difcourage pious^ prudent deflres and 
purpofesy but I mujft fay, that many parents, in 
this refpe^Sl, prove greatly injurious to the church. 
I do not mean only worldly men, who look upon 
the miniftry merely as a trade to live by, and fend^, 
their fons to the univerfity in order to their worldly 
maintenance and preferment ; but even honeft godly 
parents, who ignorantly think it a good work to 
defign their children for the miniftry, and call it 
** devoting them tp God,*' without duly ^onfider- 
ing whether they are likely to be fit for it or nqt^ 
When the children of fuch perfons have been 
fome years at the univerfity, they think a living it 
their due. Ordained they muil bq ; wha); elfe hav^ 
they ftudied £or ? It is now too late to change their 
purpgfe, when they have beea. at fo many years 
coft and labour to prepare for the miniftry. The]^ 
arc too old, or too proudj, or too idle, to go tg 
aiiy ma^ual^ labourj^ and have not time or opppri- 
tunity to prepare for any other learned profeflioOi. 
So that there is no way left but, for a benefice, to 
become church-moyntebanks, or fpiritual quacks, 
:^id undertake thcipaftoral charge pf fouls; though 
they fcarcely know what fouls are, for what they 
were madci. 01 whither they are going ; at leaft, 

L 4 how 

flS4 Salifications aljolutely neceffary 

how they muft be condu<5led and prepared for t!ieir 
cndlcfs ftate. And bad as they are, they can find 
perfons bad enough to recommend and otdain them. 
'How deplorable is the cafe of the poor people's 
fouls over whom they are to prefide ! 

In order to prevent any from intending the work 
of the miniftry who are not qualified, I will briefly 
mention the neceflary qualifications for It. The 
work is fo high, and mifcarrying in it is of fuch 
dreadful confequehce, that no one (hould be rc- 
folvedly devoted to the miniftry who hath not the 
fpllowing endowments. 

* 1. A good natural capacity. It (hould be fome- 
what above the ordinary degree. Grace fuppofes 
nature ; and by fanflifying it, turns it the right 
way ; but does not ufe to make wife teachers of 
natural drones, or weak-headed lads who have not 
fenfe enough to learn. 

2. A competent readinefs of fpeech. One who 
cannot readily fpeak his mind in common things, 
is not likely to have that fluent delivery which is 
neceflary to a preacher. 

3. He muft be hopeful for godlinefs. He muft 
be captivated by no grofs fin. He muft not only 
have a love to learning, but religion ; to the word 
of God, and good company ; to prayer, and good 
books. He muft (hew that he has a ferious con- 
cern about his foul, and the life to come ; that 
his confcience is under fome eflfedtual convidions 


App. !n Students for the Minlflry* 1125 

of the evil of fiiiy and the excellence and necellity of 
a godly life. The youth that hath not thefe quali- 
ficationsy ihould not be devoted to the miniilry. 
To devote an incapable, ungodly perfon to fuch an 
holy work, is worfe than of old to have offered to 
God the unclean for facrifice. To do It under pre-. 
tence of hoping that he may have grace' hereafter, 
is a prefumptuous profanation, and worfe than to 
deflgn a c.oward to be a foldier, or a wicked, unfuit- 
able perfon for a partner in life, In hope that they 
may become fit afterwards. 

If therefore your parents have been fo unwife 
as to dedicate that to God which was unfit for 
his acceptance, it concerns you quickly to look 
better to yourfelves, and not to run into the con- 
fuming fire. You ought to be confcious of your own 
-condition. If you know that you want either 
natural capacity, or readinefs of fpeech, or ferious 
piety and hcart-devotcdnefs to God, do not meddle 
with that calling which requires all thefe. 

Perhaps you will fay, '*What Ihall we do with 
ourfelves ? We have gone fo far, th^t we are fit 
for nothing elfe." I anfwer \ You are lefs fit for 
the miniflry than for any thing. That which re- 
quires the highed qualifications, will mofl fhahie 
and condemn you if you want them. If you are 
not fit for Phyfic or Law, feek for fomething elfe» 
You had better become Servants, or turn to the 
bafeil employments, than to run into the fad cafe 

L 5 ^ ©f 

S26 UngtiJly Students unfit fit MiHiJIefs. 

of Hcphni and Phineas; or of Nadab and Ahihuy to 
the utter undoing of yourfelveS, and to the lofs 
and danger of many others. — But remember, if 
your unfitnefs be your Ungodlin^s^ whether you 
are minifters or not, you will be for ever mifera-* 
ble, unlefs your hearts and lives be changed. 
When that is done, I would not difcourage you ; 
but (believe me) it is far better to be a cobler or 
a chimney-fweepor, or to beg your bread, than to 
be an ungodly minlfter, though with the greateft 
pfefermentls, riches, and applaufe. 

Perhaps parents will fay, "If we devote none 
to the miniftry till godlinefs appears in them, few 
wUl be fo devoted^ (lace children feldom difcover 
much favour of religion ; and. fome turn out bad, 
who when young> promifed exceeding well." I 
anfwer ; Children cannot be expe£ted to (hew thstt 
underftanding in religion which men may ; but if 
they difcover not a love to it, a confcientious regand 
to God's authority, and the life to come, and a dif^ 
like of ungodlinefs and fin, you have no reafon to 
prefume tbey will "be fit for the miniftry. You can 
judge but upon probabilities ; if they prove bad af«- 
ter an hopeful profeflion, it will not be chargeable 
upon you. But we all know that a hopeful youth 
is a great preparation to an honeft age. 

Let me now drop a few hints of advice to fuch 
young men, as have ground to hope they are quali* 
/Led for the facred oiEce. 

I. Be 

J. :^c careful [^s f^ a$ 4q?ciKJ«^ upon ypur- 
klwQ$ *] in the choice of your Tf'utors. 

Choofe not a teacher who prefers human wifdoni 
to divine, or who is of a worldly, ambitious mind ; 
who is faftious 2|nd uncharitable, or violent for 
any party ; but one that bears a good report among 
the fober and impartial, as a perfon of a chriftiari 
catholic charity ; who loves good men ; who is 
willing to do good to*all, and is defirous of main- 
taining unity and jpeace ; one that will make it his 
budnefs to explain the Scripture, to teach you the 
will of Qpd, and how you may pleafe him and 
be faved. 

n« Abhor (loth and idlenefs. 

When you are at common fchools, you|* matter 
drives you on by fear ; but when you are inaUnivcr^ 
fity, and^re at riper age, you are trufled more with 
yourfelves ; fo that if you will not be carried on 
^ith conftant pleafure and the love of knowledge, 
the flefh will prefer its eafe, and you will proceed 
fo (lowly as tp arrive at no high degree of learning. 
Then when you have gone through your ftudies, an^ 
are called out to the ufe of your knowledge, your 
emptinefs and ignorance will foon appear. It is 
not your canonical habit, norfeven, nor feventeep 


* This advice more partknlarly belongs to Fisrents and 
«thei«i idM> biiTC Hm c^re pf you|fa. 

L 6 years 


22$ Students mufl abhor Smjuali4y 

years fpent in the Univerfity, nor the title of Maf- 
ter of Arts, or Doftor in Divinity, or Bi(hop, 
which will pafs with men of fenfe for knowledge, 
diligence, humility, patience, and charity; nor 
that (without thefe) will do the work to which you 
are devoted. Believe it, the high and neceflary ac- 
complifhments of a true divine, are not eafily of 
fpeedily attained. 


III. Fear and fly from fenfviality and fleihiy 

While your bodies are not fatigued with labours, 
nor your thoughts taken up with wants and cares ; 
while you are entirely at ^afe, and your ftudies are 
arbitrary, flefhly appetites have time and opportu« 
nity to folicit your fancies^ to incline you to inter- 
rupt your bufinefs and think about matters of (tti-^ 
fual delight ; eithei: with what to pleafe the p^latd 
in eating or drinking, or needle fs aod hurtful re- 
creations, or to read romances, play-books, and 
other corrupting vanities. Let me add, idfe fcho« 
lars are far more ftrongly haunted, than poor la- 
bou/'y^, and afflifted perfons are, with tempta- 
tions to felf-poUution and other filthy lufts. And 
if thefe fhould prevail, alas I you are undone ! 
They will offend God, difpel his grace, wound 
and fcare your confciehCes, defiroy alt fpiritual af- 
fc^ions and delights^ and turn down your hearts 


A p p* and all tvil Company^ %tg 

from heaven and holinefs to filth and folly^ 
Beafls will not be fit for the pleafures or the work 
of. faints. Away therefore from idlenefs. Pam« 
per not the flelji with fuhicfs or delights. Ab- 
hor all timd-wafting ncedlefs recreations. Away 
cfpecially from the baits of flefhly Itifts. Be no mord 
indifferent or unrefolved herein^ than you would be 
about drinking poifbn, or wilfully going among 
thieves and murderers. Prefume not on your own 
ftrength : he is fafeft that is furtheft from danger* 
Gunpowder mufl not {land near the fire. 

■ IV. Make a prudent choice of your companions X 
cfpecially your bofom-friends. 

Love and familiarity will give them great advan« 
tage over you. If they are wife, they will teach yotl 
wifdom. If they are holy and fpiritual, they will 
be drawing you towards God, and fettling your 
averflon from fin and love to holinefs. But if they 
are worldly and ambitious, they will be filling your 
heads with ambitious and worldly projedls. If they 
are ungodly hypocrites) having only the name of 
chridians, they will be oppofing or deriding ferious 
godlinefs ; and will plead for the formalities of 
religion as better than fpiritual devotion. If they be 
Jiardened fmners, they will try to make you fucb, 
by revilings or plaufible cavils againft the things 
and perfons that are contrary to their carnal incli- 

t30 CgiHjtiom agedn^ A^tfihitipnf 

options and intejcefts ; and by emdeavquring to pofn 
fefs your minds with falfe opinions of God's people, 
111 company is ^ dangerous fnare \ but wife and 
religious companions are great ^leilings. Though 
the merciful providence of God does ufually choofe 
them for us^ it is only fo as that we muft be faith- 
ful choofeis for OMrfelves. 

V. Watch with gre^t fes^r againft ambition an4 
worldly ends. 

The roots of thefe mortal fin? are bred in us, 
and lie very deep. They often live, and even re^n, 
where they are little fufpe^ed ; but wo to him that 
is conquered by them» * Ye cannot ferve God and 

* Mammon. Thf love of the world is enmity 

* ^Igaidft God.' How many, having efcaped thf 
temptations of floth and fenfuality, have been over- 
come by this ! Alas ! lipw does thi^s dream c^rry 
down the moft pregnant wit^, into the gulf of per- 
dition ! Yea fonftc, whp feemed very humble and 
mortified, while they h^d o^ great temptation, 
when wealth and honour .h^v.e b^nfet before tjhczn, 
have loft their virtue bef9i)e t^y y^^xfi, aw^^. 
Worldly iaterefl has fo biafled thf ir ^nderftaivjlaj:^, 
that they have taken truth for erf pr, and ^i^ror for 
.truth; duty for fin, and finfJorAvty, l,f yw be 
the fenrants.of the fleih and iUlo yfm^i WQ b^ ^ 

App, and Self^Confidence. ag^l 

you when your mafters turn you off, and you 
receive your wages ! 

VI. Another earneil warning which I muft give 
you, and all young men, is to guard againft an 
unhumbled underdanding, raihly confident of it9 
own apprehenfions. 

This is the offspring of ignorance and pride, 
and is one of the moil common and pernicious 
maladies of mankind. Among a multitude of 
perfons that difBsr from each other, how few are 
not obftinately confident that they are in the right ( 
even youths of twenty years of age. Oh dread 
this vice, and fufpedl your own underftandings* 
Be humble ; take time ; try and hear before you 
judge. Labour for knowledge ; but take not upon 
you to be fure where you are not ^ doubt and try 
till you are. Thoroughly ftudy the nature and 
evidences of the chriAian faith and do6trine. Do 
not haften too foon or too confidently over thefc 
hard controverfies, as if your judgment of them at 
maturity would certainly have no change ; but 
ftill fuppofe that greater light, by loi^r fludy, 
may caufe you to alter your opinions about fuch 
matters of difficulty. 

VII. W^ith regard to your fludies, let me ex- 
hort you to begin with pradical divinity, 


S3^ PrhBical Dhtnity Jhould he 

Firft fettle your fouls in a fafe condition for life 
and death, and take God and heaven for your 
hope and all. If you do not fo, you are not chrif- 
tians indeed. But if you be here fixed by the grace 
of God, you w^l know what to choofe and what 
to do. It will teach you to refer all worldly things 
to fpiritual and heavenly ends, and to ' count all 

* things but lofs for Chrift,' and for that ^ one thing 

* needful, which fhall never be taken from you/ 
This will fave you from the greateft evils, and give 
your minds continual peace ; even that * pe^ce of 

* God which paffes all underflanding.' Deal not 
fo fooliflily as to wafte many years in inferior arts 
and fciences, before you have iludied bow to pleafe 
God and be faved. 

I unfeignedly thank God, that by ficknefs and 
his grace, he taught me early how to die; and 
by that means, how to live : that he inclined 
me to ftudy the holy fcriptures, and many prac-* 
tical, fpiritual, Englijh books, till I had fome« 
What fettled the refolution and peace -of my own 
foul, before I had gone far in human learning, I 
then found more leifure and capacity to take in 
fubfervient knowledge in its proper time and place; 
Indeed I had loft mod of my Audies of philofophy 
and controverfial divinity, if I had fallen on them 
too young ; or elfe (hould have formed very crude 
notions about thofe things^ which require a riper 


App. ihefirji and principal Study. 233 

, Read fuch books as contain the eifential prin- 
•ciples of religion, and treat of them in the moft 
^lain, afFeftionate, and praflical manner ; tending 
to deep impreflionsj renovation of the foul, and 
fpiritual experience ; without which you will want 
the eflential qualifications for your future work. 
The art of theology, without the power, confift- 
ing of holy life, light, and love, is the very con- 
ftitution of the hypocrite. 

Oh that all our Undents for the chriftian miniftry 
would think of thefe things ? What a poor bufi- 
nefs is it to fpend their time in knowing a little 
of the Works of God, and fomc of thofe names that 
the divided tongues of the nations have impofed on 
them, and not know the Lord himfelf, nor exalt 
him in their hearts, nor be acquainted with that 
one renewing work which would make them happy. 
They do but * walk in a vain Oiew>' and fpend 
their lives like dreaming men, while they fo bufy 
their wits and tongues about an abundance of names 
and notions, and are Grangers to God and the life 
of faints. This they will acknowledge, if' ever 
God awakens them by faving grace. They make 
themfelves a world of bufinefs about nothing, while 
they are wilful ftrangers to the primitive, indepen* 
dent, neceflary Being, who is ' all in all.' No* 
thing can be rightly known, if God be not known, 
nor is any iludy managed to any great purppfe 
while Ged is not ftudied. We know little of the 
creature, till we know it as it refpedls its Creator. 


•34 ^^ Knowledge of God fundamental. 

Single letters and fyllablcs uncompofed arc non- 
fenfe. Such broken fyllables arc all creatures: 
as feparated from God they fignify nothing. He 
that overlooks the * Alpha and Omega,' and fees 
not him in all, fees nothing at all. It is one thing 
to know the creatures as ArifiotUy and another to 
know them as a chriftian. 

To fee God in his works, and to love and con- 
verfe with him, was the employment of man in 
his ftate of innocence ; and this is fo far from 
ceafing to be our duty now, th^t it was the work, 
of Chrifl to bring us back to it. The moft holy 
man are the moft excellent ftudcnts of God'«^ 
works ; nay none but the holy can rightly know or. 
fiudy tb^em. * His wcH-ks are great, and fought out 
* a£aU fudi pcrfons^ who have pleafure therein:* 
not for themfelves, but for him that made tbenu 
To fee and admire, to reverence and adore, to love 
and del^ht in God as appealing to us in his worksj, 
and purpofely to perufe them for thofe ends, this is 
the tmc and only phtlofophy : this is the right (anc<^ 
tification of your fludies. Theol(^y * (when y(»^ 
are fufficiently acquainted with wovds and thing^^ 
to underfland the principles of it) muft lay th^ 
foundation of all your ftudies, and muft le^ tb^ 
way in thcni all. — Once more, 

* That is, praOkal divinity. Controverfial is ftudicd 
5vith moll advantage after other fciences, logic, madiefaadcs, 
&c. £o. 

VIII, Let 

A pp. AJtrious Addrefs fy Tutors. 8.35 

VIII. Let me advife you not to beg^n the ex- 
crcife of your miniftry too boldly, in large or judi- 
cious auditories* 


Overmuch confidence indicates pride, ignorance 
of your imperfedions, of the greatnefs of your work> 
and the dreadful majefty of God* Settle at firft,. 
if you can, a competent time, in the houfe of 
fome ancient experienced paftor, who has a fmall 
chapel in th^ country and wants affiftance. There 
you. may learn a& well as teach ; and learil, by his 
pra&ice, what you muft pra&ife» By preaching, 
W few years to a fmall, ignorant people, where you: 
need not fear critical judgments, you will acquijra 
boUnefs of fpeech, and freedom of utterance, with- 
out diat feryile ftudy of words, and commUting; 
your notes to memory, which will be tirefome,/ 
time- wafting, and Ufelefs, Thus you will be better 
prepared for more public places, if you Oiould b^ 
called to them, than you are, ever likely to be by 
continuing among fcholars in the univerfity, or by? 
ferving as chaplains in great men's houfes* 

After tbefe dire£ii$ns Jo Students for the minijlryf. 
It may not be amijs to add a few brief hinU 


And I do in zeal for the good of the church, and 
their own fuccefs in their moft ncceffary labours, 


ft36 A ferious Addrefs to 

propofe it to the confideration of all pious Tutors, 
•whether they ihould npt, as early and as diligently 
read to their pupils, or caufe them to read, the 
principal parts of praSical divinity, as any of the 
fciences ? And- whether thefe fhould 'not go to- 
gether from the very firft? It is well that they 
hear fermons; but that is not enough. If they 
have need of private help in Philofophy, befides 
public le£lures, much more in Theology. I muft 
prefume to tell you (pardon the cenfure from one 
fo unfit for it, confidering the neceffity of the cafe) 
that it is a grand error, and of dangerous confe- 
quence, in our chriftian Academics, that young 
men ftudy the Creature before the Redeemer, and 
fet themfelves to Metaphyfics and Mathc'matics 
before Theology ; fince no one who has not the 
vitals of Theology is capable of going beyond a 
fool in Philofophy ; and all that fuch perfons do, 
is but * doting about queflions, and oppofition of 
• fcience, falfely fo called*.' If Tutors would 
make it their principal bufinefs to acquaint their 
pupils' with the dodlrine of life, and labour to fet 
it home upon their hearts; and fo conduft the reft 
of their inftrudlions, that it may appear they are 
intended only as fubfervient to this, it might be the 
means of great happinefs to the fouls of men, the 
church of Chrift, and the common weal. But 

♦ 1 Tim, vi, 20, ei. 


App. Tutors of Academies. 237 

vrhen languages and philofophy ingrofs almod all 
their time and thought, and inflead of reading phi- 
lofophy like divines, they read divinity like philo- 
fopherSy this it is that blafts fo many in the bud, 
and pefters.the church with unfanSified teachers. 
Hence it is that we have fo many worldlings to 
preach the invifible felicity, and fo many carnal 
men to declare the myfteries of the fpirit: I with 
I might not add, — and fo many Infidels to preach 
Chrift, or fo many Atheifts to preach the living 

Let tutors then begin and end with the things of 
God; reading God to their pupils in every thing. 
Let them fpeak daily to their hearts, about thofe 
things which muft be wrought in their hearts, or 
they are undone. You are preparing them for the 
fpeclal fervice of God ; and muft they not firft 
have the faving knowledge of him whom they afe 
to ferve? Oh! think with yourfclves what a dread- 
ful thing it will be to their own fouls, and what a 
mifchief to the church of God, if they come out 
from you with carnal hearts, to fo fpiritual and fo 
great a work! If you fliould fend but one half of 
them forth on a bufinefs for which they are unfit, 
what grievous work will they make in the church 
and in the world t Whereas if you are the means 
of their true convcrfion*, not only ^hey themfelves, 


* The author confidercd himfelf as addrelCng tutors of col^ 

«S8 AdJrefs to Tutors. 

but many fouls to whom they (hall preach, will 
haTe-ocxafion to blefsyoui and to blefs God for 
your zeal and diligence; yea perhaps for one fea- 
fonable word* When once their hearts are fuita- 
bly aiFe^ed with the dodrine which they ftudy and 
preachy they will both ftudy and preach it more 
heartily, than could otherwifebe e)cpeAed. Their 
own experience will direct thena to the fitteft fub- 
jefts ; will furnHh them with the beft matter ; and 
will quicken them to fet it home. And let me 
obferve, that the beft of our hearers will feel and 
favour fuch experimental preachers ; who ufually 
Icfs regard others, whatever may be their other 

4fgei^ where be knew many unconverted yoaths were admitted 
as fiudent<| which, it is hoped, in private academies is not 
. ihe caTe. 


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