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St. Chryfoftome ; who, as great a lover and recommender of the solitary state as he was, declares it to be no proper school for those, who are to be leaders of Chrift's Rock, and the guides of souls *; and thinks such persons best qualified for the pastoral charge, who to innocence of life have joined so much worldly experience and prudence, as may enable them in the course of their ministry, to address themselves to men in a way suited to their several exigences and tempers, to their yarious ranks, conditions, and characters to y
" Ouden outos achreston cis Ekklesias prostasian, os aute “ e argia kai e amcletesia, en eteroi men akefin tina thaumaf. • tep einai nomizouin.---O gar enethiftteis tofautes apolavein “ apragmofunes, kai en efuchia diagein polle, kan megales < " phuseos upo tcs anal sias thorubeitai kai carattetai, kai
tes oikeias dunameos perikoptei meros ou mekron to agumn" afton. Otan de omou kai bradeias e dianoias, kai ton toj. " outon logon, kai agonon apeiros, ton lithinor ouden dioisei, “ tauten dexiamenos ten oikonomian Dia touto ton exi ekeines " erchomen n tes palaistras eis tous agonas toutous oligo dia. 6. phainontai oi de pleious elcgchontai, kai katapiptoust, kai “ pragmata upomenoufin aede kai chalepa..-Otan ilthofin eis « tous agonas, on me memeletekah ten pciran, aporountai, “ iliggiolin, eis amechanian enpiptoufi, "GC. Peri lerosuo p.48.
t ." ou gar monon katharon, tes telikautes axiiomenon « diakonias, alla kai lian suneton, kai pollon empeiron einai 5 dci, kai panta men eidenai ta biotika ton en meso Itrepho. a menon ouch etton ---Epeide gar andrafin auton omilein ao " nagke kai gunaikas echouli, kai paidas irephousi, kai theo "' rapontas kektemenois, kai plouton peribeblemenois polun, o kai demolia prattousi, kai en dunasteiais ousi, poikilon as• ton einai dei. Poikilon de lego, ouch upoulon, oude ko• “ laka, kai upokriten, alla polles men cleptherias kai parrefas " anamelton, eidota de kai sugkatienai chrefimos, otan e ton “ pragma:on upothesis touto apaite kai chreston einai omou “ kai aufteron. -- Panta de tauta ta diaphora eis en telos ora, • tou Thcou ten doxian, tes Ekklesias ten oikodonen " Ibid. p. 47.
need not say, what advantages, in this respect, belong to a married clergy, particularly to those of the Church of England.
Nay further, the maried state of parochial para tors hath given them the opportunity of setting a more exact and universal pattern of holy living to the people commited to their charge, and of teaching them how to carry th:mselves in their several relations of husbands and wives, parents and children, by domestic patterns, as well as by public instructions. By this means, they have, without question, adorned the golpel, glorified God, and benefited men, much more than they could have done in the devoutest and strictest celibacy. And their usefulness in this respect to others, hath not been without some advantage to themselves; it hath raised the credit of the order, and promoted the reverence that is justly due to it.
Let me add one instance more, wherein the marriage of the clergy hath redounded to their honour; inasmuch as it affords a remarkable argument of God's particular providence towards them and their families. For, considering the chargeable methods of their education, their nu. merous issue and small income; considering the expences incumbent upon them, in point of hofpitality, and charity, and the proportion (the at least equal proportion) they bear in the public burthens and taxes; it is next to a miracle, that no more of their children Nould want, and that so many of them should be in such prosperous circumstances, as we have good reason to think there are, even from this day's folemn appearance,
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s Happy art thou, O lfrael, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the fword of ihy excellency; and thine enemies shall be found lyars unto thee. No weapon that is formed against thee, shall prosper; and every tongue, that shall rise against thee in judgment, Thou thalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, faith the Lord,” Deut. xxxiii. 29.
However, still one inconvenience their is, with which the marriage of the clergy is too visibly attended, the poverty of some of them; an inconvenience which is, as you have heard, ballanced and outweighed by many signal advantages; and which we are lo far from dissembling, that we incer this day, to do every one of us fomewhat (as God hath enabled, and shall, incline us) towards removing it. This is the only fpecious objection which our Remish adversaries urge against the doctrine and practice of this church, in the point of celibacy; the only matter of just reproach, wherein they visibly triumph, Since other arguments have, by our excellent writers, been wreste out of the enemies bands, pity it is, that they Mhould remain in poffeffionof this, that we should not be able to justify our reformation in every respect, and to niake this church, like the true fjouse of Chrift,,“ a glorious church, having sieither spor, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing," that may blemith her lustre, deform her beauty, and expole her to any degree of that ungodly fcorn, with which proud and irreligious minds are ever ready to pursue her. We are not indeed, of ourselves, suchcicnt for this work: However, more may be done by us towards it, than at first we are apt to imagine; if we set about it in good earnest, and employ our united strength upon it; if we encourage it by our examples, and persuafions, and by placing the motives to this particular sort of beneficence, in a proper light before those, who wish well to religion, have much to bestow in charity, and hearts ever open and ready to bestow it.
It is said of our blessed Saviour (whose advent we now celebrate) that “he came eating and drinking,” and that he “ went about doing good.” I join these two parts of his character, because he himself often exerted them together, and made use of the one, as affording him fit opportunities to abound in the other. He disdained not to appear at great tables and festival entertainments, that he might more illustriously manifest his divine charity to the fouls and bodies of men. Let us, this day, imitate his example in both these refpects ; and whilst we are are cnjoying the good things of life, let us remember those that waqt even the necessaries and first conveniences of it: And remember them, as we ourselves should have desired to be remembred, had it been our sad lot to subsist on other mens charity. They are not common objects, for which I plead ; nor are you under the ordinary ties of humanity and charity to relieve them. Their fathers and yours were fellow-servants to the same heavenly masters, while they lived; nor is that relation diffolved by : their death, but ought stiil to operate among their surviving children. And bleed be he of the Lord wnoever among you hath not left (and shall
not leare) # his kindnels to the living, and to the dead; Ruth ü. 20. but for the sake of the dead Thall continueto do good to the living!
May God awaken the minds of all those of this body, whom his providence has bleffed with abundance, to consider the obligations they are under, of ministring to the neceffities of their poor brethren! May he open their ears to the cries of the orphan and widow, who are members of the fame common family, though mean ones, and have a right to be fuported out of the incomes of it, as the poor Jews had to gather the gleaning of the rich mens harvest!
There are indeed many excellent institutions of charity lately set up, and which deserve all manncr of encouragement ; particularly those which relate to the careful and pious education of poor children. An admiral design ! which hath met with a deserved success! and may it still go on profpering to prosper! But give me leave to say, that, while so many orphans and widows of clergy-men are destitute even of food and raiment, the eyes of the fons of the clergy should chiefly be turned on these objects, and the greateft share of their charity should flow in this channel. 'Tis determined by the great preacher of charity, St Paul, that domestic instances of bencficence should take place of those that are foreign. “ As we have opportunity (fays he) lec w us do good unto all inen ; especially unto them, that are of the houshold of faith,” Gal, vi. 10. And again, in those emphatical words, “If “ any provide not for his own, and especially for " those of his own house" (the words are iste