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FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF JOHN.
The Scripture presents us with an important record in regard to the office of the Christian ministry. It is given of God, says the divinely-instructed Paul, “ for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come, in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” And although these words undoubtedly express that the church, as a whole, is continually building up through the ministry of the word, so that one of the main offices of the preacher, is, through the Spirit's agency, “ to add unto the church daily such as shall be saved ; ” it is also true, that this text implies that the pastors given of God are occupied, not only in promoting the increase and perfection of the body, as of one great whole, but the growth of every part in particular; every individual believer's advancement in grace and knowledge being as much the care of these faithful men, as the first conversion of sinners to their God. Nor can we err in