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Most sincerely and unaffectedly can I say that I have no other view in thus addressing you, than an ardent desire for your spiritual edification.
I desire, then, first, to call your attention to the objects I had in coming to live at Chipperfield; and, secondly, to beseech you to unite with me in prayer, that the renewal of my services may be blessed to our mutual profit, and tend to stir us all up to warmer affections, and increased anxiety for the salvation of our souls.
First. Upon the consecration of our church, in October, 1838, I was appointed your pastor, to take the spiritual charge of the then newly formed District, and I commenced my ministry by exhorting you to make a right use of the blessed means of grace which have been provided for you by the generosity and benevolence of the neighbourhood, whose efforts for your best interests have been so abundantly blessed by the God of all mercy and grace in affording you the privilege and comfort of a house of prayer, and a resident minister. I came to direct your devotions in worshipping God in the public ordinances of his house, in spirit and in truth, and to preach to you the “ unsearchable riches of Christ," the fulness and freeness of his everlasting gospel. No ambitious views, no mercenary motives, no love of gain induced me to become your minister; and, except that this place is contiguous to King's Langley, where I have ever received so much kindness and respect, my sole object in residing here has been, and still is, the hope of being instrumental in promoting your eternal welfare. I came amongst you “ to do the work of an evangelist,” to announce to you the glad tidings of reconciliation with God, to tell
you of his gracious readiness to receive every returning prodigal, and to exhort you to comply with the message of mercy, that you might find peace here, and happiness hereafter (2 Tim. iv., 5; 2 Cor. v., 18, 19,
20; Psalm lxxxvi., 5; 2 Cor. vi., 1.)* Humbly
* After you have read through the whole Address, it may not be an unprofitable task for you to turn to the passages of Scripture which I have quoted in support of what I have said.
die, in impenitency and unbelief, unawakened, unpardoned, un blest (Rom. viii., 13; John viii., 24); that if you look to be saved, you must repent, and believe the gospel, (Luke xiii., 5; Acts xiii., 39,) must be born again of God's Holy Spirit, whose sanctifying influence must produce in you an inward, outward, and radical change of heart and life, causing you to hate all sin, inclining you to deny all ungodliness and sinful lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, and persuading you to set your affections upon things above, always bearing in mind how short our time is for the great work of saving the soul, and how awful the bare idea of forfeiting the glories of a blissful eternity for any or all of the short-lived pleasures and sinful gratifications of the things of time and sense (John iii., 7; Mat. xvii., 3; Col. iii., 5; Rom. xiii., 11 -14.)
Another object of my desire to be spiritually useful to you, has been, Sabbath after Sabbath, and day after day, to help you that are parents to teach your children the fear of the Lord, and to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of his holy laws, (Deut. iv., 7: Eph. vi., 4,) to love the God who made them, the Saviour who redeems them, and the Holy Ghost who sanctifies them ; to instruct them in the saving truths of the gospel, how sinful they are by nature, and how they must be saved by grace ; to teach them, especially, to read the word of God, the book of salvation, with serious prayer and diligent attention ; to shew them how they are to escape the snares of the world, the flesh, and the devil ; how careful they ought to be to watch against their besetting sins, unruly passions, and unholy tempers,pride, vanity,foolish finery of dress,lying, quarrelling, fretfulness, stubborness, selfishness, and disobedience; to impress upon their young minds, particularly, their duty towards God, and towards their neighbour, in that part of our church catechism which so fully and so scripturally expounds these most essential
doctrines ; to teach them habits of order and regularity; and to be diligent and attentive in everything lawful, that so they may serve their Creator in the days of their youth, be useful in their day and generation, " and adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
To visit you, also, especially in seasons of sickness, distress, and affliction, and to administer to your temporal wants as far I could, in which I am most grateful to acknowledge the unlooked for assistance of kind and considerate friends, has been, I trust, an important part of my ministerial duties. To believers it has ever been a delight and satisfaction to me to speak of the blessed promises of scripture, and to present to you the consolations and encouragements therein so graciously offered to all penitent sinners, and to exhort such not to be faint or weary in their minds when in trouble and affliction ; but to dwell on the unspeakable blessings in store for those who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth; ever to remember that, “whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth ;” and to persevere in the path that leads to heaven, whilst “pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” and manfully fighting under the banner of the Great Captain of our salvation, as his faithful soldiers and servants, unto death (2 Peter i., 4; 1 Peter ii., 7; 1 Tim. vi., 12; James i., 12.)
The blessed and animating assurance of our suffering and sympathising Lord and Master, “who was, in all points, tempted like as we are, and who bore our infirmities, and carried our sorrows, "" that he that endureth unto the end shall be saved,” is so comforting, and so encouraging a principle, that it constrains the believer to esteem every affliction to be light, as shared for Christ's sake, and to reckon that all the possible sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the sure glories which shall be revealed in him,