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I hope, awfulas it is, has been pleasant. They that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, will rejoice in the thought of his appearing. You were glad to be told, that this same Jesus, of whom you have heard so much, and to whom you are so much indebted, who redeemed you to God by his blood, and sanctified, and taught, and comforted you by his Spirit ; this same Jesus, whose "goings" you have so often - seen in the sanctuary,” and whose presence you have so frequently enjoyed at his table; this same Jesus, with whom the disciples were so intimate for. merly, and who now dwells in your hearts by faith, you are glad to hear, that he will surely come again, in a visible and glorious manner. You are, perhaps, already pleasing yourselves with the thought of what a happy time it will be to you, and to thousands besides, when you shall hear the shout of angels proclaiming, “ He is coming, he is coming.”_Perhaps you are so delighted and elevated with the prospect of it, that if he which testifieth- these things, were now to say, “ Behold, I come quickly,” your eager souls would immediately reply,
“ Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus."
A CHARGE DELIVERED AT AN ORDINATION.
MY DEAR BROTHER,
Next to your appearing before the judgment-seat of Christ, to give an account of your stewardship, ; there is nothing more solemn than your appearing here this day to take this office upon you; an office which it requires great grace to discharge with fidelity and success. To preside in the church as the substitute of Christ; to be (if I may so express it) household steward to the great Lord of all; to have tlie ordinary supplies of the family pass through your hands; to be intrusted with the oversight of the children and servants, that you may see them conform to the rules of the house, and give them their meat in due season; this is, indeed, an important and honourable office. They who have well considered its duties and its diffieulties, tremble to undertakeit; though it is too hastily usurped by some, who seem to think their own forwardness a sufficient recommendation to the highest posts in the kingdom of Christ. I should never have dared to recommend you, Sir, to our Divine Master, for this high employ, if I had not been well persuaded of your ability to discharge it with satisfaction to your employer, and advantage to those committed to you
I mean not merely your furniture of human learning, though a steward of the mysteries of God should not be without it; but I trust that you have, what is infinitely better, a heart sineerely devoted to God. On both these accounts I look upon you as “a scribe well instructed to the kingdom of heaven;" and congratulate this Society on being directed to an able minister of the New Testament, and to a pastor after God's own heart, who will feed them with knowledge and understanding. Under this conviction, I was the more ready to concur with my brethren in the pleasing solemnities of this day : though, when this part of the work was assigned to me, if I had consulted my own inclination only, I should have replied to your request, “ I pray thee have me excused." But I durst not so distrust my blessed Master, who never sends out his servants to war, or to work, at their own charges. He kindly whispered, “ My. grace is sufficient for thee;" and then how could I object? This, Sir, brought me hither, and emboldened me to undertake, what is called, the charge.
At first, I could think of nothing but setting before you a part of the excellent advice which the Apostle gi: es to those two younger ministers, Timothy and Titus: and certainly nothing can be more pertinent and forcible, than the rules suggested to them, for the regulation of your temper and conduct. You may there learn, what you should be in the church, and what you should be in the world; your method of preaching, and your manner of living. If I were to begin quotations, I should not know where to stop. But, though Paul was, indeed, the prince of preachers, and was himself such an excellent pat
tern of the Pastor that he describes, yet a greater than Paul is here; I mean Paul's master and
yours, the Lord Jesus Christ; the great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, who has not only laid down the plainest rules, but marked the path of duty with his own unerring footsteps.
I cannot give you a shorter, and I do not know that I can give you a better, charge than this; « Look unto Jesus."
In the closet, in the family, in the pulpit, in the world, still look to Jesus ! If you were setting out on a journey of great consequence, and had never travelled that road before, you would be thankful to any one that would direct you what turnings to take, and what to avoid; especially, if he were to give you a particular map of the country. I say you would be very thankful for such air assistance: but how delighted would you be, if the Lord of that country should himself offer to conduct you in the nearest and best road; and if he should keep you company all the way, help you in every difficult and dangerous place, bear all your expenses, and entertain you at his own house at the end of your journey! Witḥ such a guide, such a companion, such a friend, you would not care how far you travelled, nor regard the roughness and dirtiness of the way. You have anticipated me in the application. Christ will be all this, and infinitely more and better than I can express,
than you can conceive; and in this view, I know not'any passage of scripture more proper to ground a charge upon, than this in John xii. 26: “ If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am,
there shall also my servant be: If any man serve me, him will
Father honour.” There is the guide that you are to follow, there is the Master that you are to serve, there is the Pastor that you are to imitate. Keep Christ in your view, and you cannot do amiss. No one else, can you, in all cases, follow with safety, I could enumerate many excellent ministers, whose praise is in the churches, and who were burning and shining lights in their day. I could mention some venerable persons, who are, at this very time, labouring in word and doctrine, with indefatigable industry and great reputation : but I know not one without imperfections. I would wish you to resemble them in many things, and indeed in most things; but they all were men of like passions with ourselves. They had this treasure in earthen vessels ; and there is some defect in all of them, which you must endeavour to avoid. But when I point you to the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, I can advise and exhort you to follow him without any exception. Whatever you have seen in him, do; unless it be when he occasionally soars above humanity, an dfor a moment blazes out upon the world in all the glories of the Godhead. But I say, in his common conduct and conversation, whatever things you have seen in him, do, and the God of peace shall be with you.
I know not, therefore, how I can better improve our time, and answer your intention in putting me on this work, than by mentioning some of the principal traits in Christ's temper and character, in which you should resemble him,