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The testimony, borne by ministers concerning their crucified Lord, must not be confined to the language of the lips, but extended to that of the life. Take heed unto THYSELF, and to thy • doctrine; continue in them; for in so doing ⚫ thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."* Their conduct must display the influence of Christianity, or their preaching will be in vain. Their daily walk, forasmuch as they are the successors of the Apostles, must address itself to others in the language of St. Paul,
Brethren, I beseech you, be followers of me.'t Their deportment must exhibit a pattern of heavenly-mindedness, deadness to the world, and an unreserved surrender of the heart to God. O our Brethren among the laity, we are oppressed with a pungent sense of our imperfections! pardon them yourselves; God to pardon them also, and to walk worthy of our high vocation!
Enough has undoubtedly been advanced to shew the necessity of prayer being made by the people on behalf of the clergy and yet the evidence, which has been brought forward, com
and beseech enable us to
* 1 Tim. iv. 16. The 15th verse very forcibly points out that entire devotedness of character, which becomes a Gospel-minister: ταύτα μελέτα, εν τύτοις ιθι, ένα σε η προκοπη φανερα η εν πασιν. Meditate on these things, give thyself wholly to them, (esto totus in illis) that thy profiting may appear to all.'
+ 1 Cor. iv. 16.
prizes a very small part of that, which might be adduced. A thousand considerations might be suggested from the various branches of the ministerial office. We shall, however, notice but one, as a specimen of the whole.
Come then, reader, with me; and I will introduce you into the chamber of a dying sinner : Behold his deplorable situation. I have been sent for by his affectionate relatives to administer spiritual consolation to his mind; for the reception of which, as you perceive by his answers to my questions, he is wholly unprepared. You clearly discover his unawakened state; and that, though there is but a step between him and death and, according to the scriptures of truth, but another between him and everlasting misery; yet he is unalarmed and insensible of danger. If I deal plainly with him; if I sound in his ears the tremendous declarations of scripture, which are appropriate to cases like his; if I tell him that
the wages of sin is death;' and that without repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ he must perish for ever; every word I speak will be a dagger to the hearts of the weeping friends who surround his bed, and they will brand me for a cruel and unfeeling wretch and (what is still worse) perhaps I may be the means of hastening the awful moment of his departure, which appears to be at hand, by exciting his apprehensions, and shaking his enfeebled animal
frame. Yet on the other hand, if I soothe him with anodynes, when I ought to administer stimulants or emetics; if I tell him of peace, when God says there is none; I lead his soul into unavoidable destruction, deceive those who stand around him, prove unfaithful to my charge, and so endanger my own soul. Tell me, ye men of wisdom, what path I am to pursue in this dilemma. You hesitate not to answer, be faithful, and leave the consequences to God. The advice is certainly good. But as you see the difficulty of acting in conformity to it, O let us enjoy an interest in your prayers, that we may be found faithful to God, our neighbors, and ourselves. You have an admirable form adapted to the purpose in the following words.
• Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift; send down upon our Bishops and other Clergy, and all the congregations committed to their charge, the • healthful Spirit of Thy grace; and that they may * truly please Thee, pour upon them the continual dew of Thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.'*
This prayer was added in Queen Elizabeth's common pray'er-book, out of the sacramentary of St. Gregory, in conformity 'to the practice of the ancient church, which always had prayers 'for the clergy and people.' Wheatly.
The character of Gregory is drawn at large in the third volume of Milner's history of the church; from which it appears that,
The preceding mode of address, adopted in our liturgy, when supplication is offered for the clergy, is very remarkable. We call upon God as Almighty and everlasting, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift.' The wisdom of the authors of the prayer will become apparent by a few considerations. The erection of a church in the world is the effect of Almighty power and marvellous loving-kindness. When the inveterate obstinacy of the Jews, and the ignorance and idolatry of the Gentile world are considered; we shall clearly perceive that the conversion of such persons from darkness to light, is a more evident demonstration of Omnipotence in the agent, than the original creation of the world. Indeed every living stone, which is taken from the quarry of nature, polished, and incorporated with the spiritual temple, proves the Omnipotence of Him, who alone worketh great marvels. And when the means, by which the foundation of the church was ministerially laid, and the superstructure of it has been carried on towards perfection, are taken into the account; our wonder will rise yet to a greater height. The preaching of fishermen, how inadequate to
though he lived in a period when Christianity was at a very low ebb, he was a man deeply taught of God, devoted in heart and life to Him, and a truly Christian Bishop.
the proposed object! That this church has been preserved in existence, notwithstanding the malice of Satan and his legions of infernal spirits; notwithstanding the rage of persecutors, acting under their instigation; the subtilty of heretics; the venality of pretended supporters, who were in reality its worst adversaries; and the divisions that have arisen in the centre of the ecclesiastical body; that, notwithstanding all this, the church has been preserved from annihilation is a proof that the almighty and everlasting God' is both its builder and defender. If we confine our attention to the present day, it is a marvellous thing that so mean instruments, as the best of us are, should be employed in such a momentous work; and that any among us should be made faithful, and our labors crowned with success in the conversion and salvation of our fellow-sinners. Let us then join together in adoring Him, who is al'mighty and everlasting, and from whom cometh ⚫ every good and perfect gift!'
The persons for whom our prayers are expressly offered, are our Bishops and other Clergy, and all congregations committed to their charge.' By Bishops are intended the superior officers of the church, on whom a weight of responsibility lies, too heavy for the shoulders of an Angel.*
* When St. Ambrose was chosen to the Bishopric of Milan, he was astonished, and peremptorily refused; nor was any person ever more desirous to obtain the office of a Bishop, than he was