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bassador of Christ ? An envoy from the King of heaven? And do I know and feel what is implied in “watching over the souls of men, as he that must give account ?"

Do I understand so much of profane history as tends to confirm and illustrate the sacred ? Am I acquainted with the ancient customs of the Jews and other nations mentioned in Scripture? Have I a competent knowledge of chronology, that at least which refers to the sacred writings? And am I so far (if no farther) skilled in geography, as to know the situation, and give some account of all the considerable places mentioned therein ?

5. Am I a tolerable master of the sciences ? Have I gone through the very gate of them, logic ? If not, I am not likely to go much farther, when I stumble at the threshold. Do I understand it, so as to be ever the better for it? To have it always ready for use ? So as to apply every rule of it, when occasion is, almost as 'naturally as I turn my hand? Do I understand at all? Are not even the moods and figures above my comprehension? Do not I poorly endeavour to cover my ignorance, by affecting to laugh at their barbarous names ? Can I even reduce an indirect mood to a direct ? An hypothetic to a categorical syllogism ? Rather have not my stupid indolence and laziness, made me very ready to believe what the little wits and pretty gentlemen affirm, “That logic is good for nothing ?" It is good for this at least, (wherever it is understood,) to make people talk less ; by showing them both what is, and what is not to the point; and how extremely hard it is to prove any thing. Do I understand metaphysics ? If not the depths of the schoolmen, the subtleties of Scotus or Aquinas, yet the first rudiments, the general principles of that useful science? Have I conquered so much of it, as to clear my apprehension and range my ideas under proper heads? So much as enables me to read with ease and pleasure, as well as proît, Dr. Henry More's Works, Malebranche's Search after Truth, and Dr. Clark's Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God? Do I understand natural philosophy? If I have not gone deep therein, have I digested the general grounds of it? Have I mastered Gravesande, Keil, Sir Isaac Newton's Principia, with his Theory of Light and Colours ? In order thereto, have I laid in some stock of mathematical knowledge ? Am I master of the mathematical A B C, of Euclid's Elements ? If I have not gone thus far, if I am such a novice still, what have I been about ever since I came from school?

6. Am I acquainted with the Fathers ? At least with those venerable men, who lived in the earliest ages of the church? Have I read over and over the golden remains of Clemens Romanus, of Ignatius and Polycarp? And have I given one reading at least to the works of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Cyprian?

7. Have 1 any knowledge of the world? Have I studied men, (as well as books,) and observed their tempers, maxims, and manners? Have I learned, to “ beware of men ? To add the wisdom of the serpent to the innocence of the dove? Has God given me by nature, or have I acquired, any measure of the discernment of spirits? Or of its near ally, prudence, enabling me on all occasions to consider all circumstances, and to suit and vary my behaviour according to the various combinations of them? Do I labour never to be rude or ill-mannered ? Not to be remarkably wanting in good-breeding? Do I endeavour to copy after those who are emi. nent for address, and easiness of behaviour ? Am I (though never light or trifling, either in word or action, yet) affable and courteous to all men? And do I omit no mean which is in my power, and consistent with my character, of “pleasing all men” with whom I converse, “ for their good to edification ?"

If I am wanting even in these lowest endowments, shall I not frequently regret the want! How often shall I move heavily, and be far less useful than I might have been ? How much more shall I suffer in my usefulness, if I have wasted the opportunities I once had of acquainting myself with the great lights of antiquity, the Antenicene Fathers? Or if I have droned away those precious hours, wherein I might have made myself master of the sciences? How poorly must I many times dray on, for want of the helps which I have vilely cast away? But is not my case still worse, if I have loitered away the time wherein I should have perfected myself in Greek and Hebrew? I might before this have been critically acquainted with the treasuries of sacred knowledge. But they are now hid from my eyes; they are closely locked up, and I have no key to open them. Flowever, have I used all possible diligence to supply that grievous defect, (so far as it can be supplied now,) by the most accurate knowledge of the English Scriptures ? Do'I meditate therein day and night? Do I think (and consequently speak) thereof, “ when I sit in the house, and when I walk by the way ; 'when I lie down, and when I rise up? By this means have 1 at length attained a thorough knowledge as of the sacred text, so of its literal and spi. ritual meaning? Otherwise how can I attempt to instruct others therein ? Without this, I am a blind guide indeed! I am absolutely incapable of teaching my flock, what I have never learned myself: no more fit to lead souls to God, than I am to govern the world.

(2.) And yet there is a higher consideration than that of gifts; higher than any or all these joined together; a consideration in view of which all external and all intellectual endowments vanish into nothing. Am I such as I ought to be, with regard to the grace of God? The Lord God enable me to judge aright of this !

And, 1. What was my Intention in taking upon me this office and ministry: What was it, in taking charge of this parish, either as minister or curate? Was it always, and is it now, wholly and solely, to glorify God, and save souls? Has my eye been singly fixed on this, from the beginning hitherto ? Had I never, have I not now, any mixture in my intention; any alloy of baser metal ? Had I, or have I no thought of worldly gain? Filthy lucre, as the Apostle terms it. Had I at first, have I now, no secular view? No eye to honour or preferment? To a plentiful income? Or at least, a competency? A warm and comfortable livelihood ?

VOL. 8.-H

Alas, my brother! “ If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness !" Was a comfortable livelihood then your motive for entering into the ministry? And do you avow this in the face of the sun, and without one blush upon your cheek? I cannot compare you with Simon Magus: you are many degrees beneath him. He offered to give money for the gift of God, the power of conferring the Holy Ghost. Hereby however he showed, that he set a higher value on the gift than on the money which he would have parted with for it. But you do not: you set a far higher value on the money than on the gift ; insomuch that you do not desire, you will not accept of the gift, unless the money accompany it! The bishop said, when you were ordained, “Receive thou the Holy Ghost.” But that was the least of your care. Let who will receive this, so you receive the money, the revenue of a good benefice. While you minister the word and sacraments before God, he gives the Holy Ghost to those who duly receive them: so that through your hands likewise the Holy Ghost is in this sense given now. But you have little concern whether he be or not: so little, that you will minister no longer, he shall be given no more either through your lips or hands, if you have no more money for your labour. O simon, Simon! what a saint wert thou, compared to many of the most honourable men now in Christendom?

Let not any either ignorantly or wilfully mistake me. I would not “muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.” I know the spiritual labourer too, " is worthy of his reward ;" and that if we sow unto our flock spiritual things, it is meet that we reap of their carnal things. I do not, therefore, blame, no, not in any degree, a minister's taking a yearly salary; but I blame his seeking it. The thing blameable is, the having it in his view, as the motive, or any part of the motive, for entering into this sacred office.

Hic nigra succus loliginis, hæc est

JÆrugo meri. If preferment, or honour, or profit was in his eye, his eye was not single. And our Lord knew no medium between a single and an evil eye. The eye therefore which is not single is evil. It is a plain, adjudged case. He then that has any other design in undertaking or executing the office of a minister, than purely this, to glorify God and save souls, his eye is not single. Of consequence, it is evil ; and therefore his whole body must be full of darkness.

The light which is in him is very darkness : darkness covers his whole soul : he has no solid peace : he has no blessing from God : And there is no fruit of his labours.

It is no wonder, that they who see no harm in this, see no harm in adding one living to another, and, if they can, another to that ; yet still wiping their mouth, and saying, they have done no evil. In the very first step, their eye was not single : therefore their mind was filled with darkness. So they stumble on still in the same mire, till their feet, “ stumble on the dark mountains."

* It is pleaded indeed, That a “small living will not maintain a large family.” Maintain ! How? It will not “clothe” them “in purple and fine linen:" nor enable them to “fare sumptuously every day.” But will not the living you have now, afford you and yours the plain necessaries, yea, and conveniences of life? Will it not maintain you in the frugal, Christian simplicity, which becomes a minister of Christ? It will not maintain you in pomp and grandeur, in elegant luxury, in fashionable sensuality. So much the better. If your eyes were open, whatever your income was, you would flee from these as from hell-fire.

It has been pleaded, secondly, “ By having a larger income, I am able to do more good.” But dare you aver, in the presence of God, that it was singly with this view, only for this end, that you sought a larger income! If not, you are still condemned before God: your eye was not single. Do not therefore quibble and evade. This was not your motive of acting. It was not the desire of doing more good, whether to the souls or bodies of men, it was not the love of God; (you know it was not your own conscience is a thousand witnesses ;) but it was, “the love of money,” and “the desire of other things,” which animated you in this pursuit. If then the Word of God is true, you are in darkness still : it fills and covers your soul.

I might add, a larger income does not necessarily imply a capacity of doing more spiritual good. And this is the highest kind of good. It is good to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked: but it is a far nobler good, to “save souls from death,” to pluck poor “ brands out of the burning." And it is that to which you are peculiarly called, and to which you have solemnly promised to “ bend all your studies and endeavours.” But you are by no means sure, that by adding a second living to your first, you shall be more capable of doing good in this kind, than you would have been, had you laid out all your time, and all your strength, on your first flock.

“However, I shall be able to do more temporal good." You are not sure even of this. “If riches increase, they are increased that eat them.” Perhaps your expenses may rise proportionably with your income.

But if not, if you have a greater ability, shall you have a greater willingness to do good? You have no reason in the world to believe this. There are a thousand instances of the contrary. How many have less will, when they have more power? Now they have inore money, they love it more. When they had little, they did their “diligence gladly to give of that little :" but since they have had much, they are so far from giving plenteously, that they can hardly afford to give at all.

“ But by my having another living, I maintain a valuable man, who might otherwise want the necessaries of life.” I answer, 1. Was this your whole and sole motive, in seeking that other living ? If not, this plea will not clear you from the charge : your eye was not single. 2. If it was, you may put it beyond dispute. You may prove at once the purity of your intention. Make that valuable man rector of one of your parishes, and you are clear before God and man. But what can be pleaded for those who have two or more flocks, and take care of none of them? Who just look at them now and then for a few days, and then remove to a convenient distance, and say, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take thine ease ; eat, drink, and be merry ?”

Some years ago, I was asking a plain man, “Ought not he who feeds the flock, to eat of the milk of the flock ?" He answered, “ Friend, I have no objection to that. But what is that to him who does not feed the flock ? He stands on the far side of the hedge, and feeds himself

. It is another who feeds the flock. And ought he to have the milk of the flock? What canst thou say for him ? Truly, nothing at all. And he will have nothing to say for himself, when the great Shepherd shall pronounce that just sentence: “bind the inprofitable servant hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness."

I have dwelt the longer on this head, because a right intention is the first point of all, and the most necessary of all; inasmuch as the want of this cannot be supplied by any thing else whotsoever. It is the setting out wrong; a fault never to be amended, unless you return to the place whence you came, and set out right. It is impossible therefore to lay too great a stress upon a single eye, a pure intention ; without which, all our sacrifice, our prayers, sermons, and sacraments, are an abomination to the Lord.

I cannot dismiss this important article, without touching upon one thing more. How many are directly concerned therein, I leave to the Searcher of Hearts.

You have been settled in a living or a curacy for some time. You are now going to exchange it for another. Why do you do this! For what reason do you prefer this before your former living or curacy? “Why, I had but fifty pounds a year where I was before, and now I shall have a hundred.” And is this your real motive oi acting? The true reason why you make this exchange? “It is: and is it not a sufficient reason ?" Yes, for a Heathen; but not for one who calls himself a Christian.

Perhaps a more gross infatuation than this was never yet known upon earth. There goes one, who is commissioned to be an ambassador of Christ, a shepherd of never-dying souls, a watchman over the Israel of God, a steward to the mysteries which angels desire to look into. Where is he going ? “ To London, to Bristol, to Northampton.” Why does he go thither? “ To get more money.” A tolerable reason for driving a herd of bullocks to one market rather than the other; though if a drover does this, without any farther view, he acts as a Heathen, not a Christian. But what a reason for leaving the immortal souls, over whom the Holy Ghost had made you overseer! And yet this is the motive which not only influences in secret, but is acknowledged openly and without a blush! Nay, it is excused, justified, defended, and that not by a few, here and there, who are apparently void both of piety and shame ; but by numbers of seemingly religious men, from one end of England to the other !

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