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as is “proper

as the Father-it is in this blessed relation that the Church, by faith, regards Him, and declares Him unto men; and it is with baptized men, as His children, that the pastors of Christ's flock have to deal. Their duty is to administer, according to the necessity of each, such spiritual provision as the Church possesses.

Tenderness and wisdom are requisite qualifications for this office-the infirmity of the weak is to be borne with, and the zeal of the strong to be often restrained; things new and old are to be brought forth, and such “meat to the season to be administered. For this

purpose “the stewardship of God's mysteries" is committed to the pastors of Christ's flock, that whilst none may lack the knowledge of them when they are needed, they may not be indiscriminately dispensed to those who have no capacity to receive them; for “the flock of Christ,” the “family of God," the “household of God," all are terms which suppose various degrees of strength and weaknessdifferences of constitution, age, and temperament; and the wisdom and faithfulness of the servants of the Lord are said to be in the being found, “when his Lord comes, feeding the household aright.” The Church, like all things else, has her times and seasons appointed of the Lord-her periods of strength and weakness, of health and sickness, to which

every one of her members in their place contribute, and of which they each reciprocally partake; and whilst the truths and doctrines of holy Scripture are fitted for all times, yet some of them are mysteries whose full meaning it remains for some emergency of the

Church to bring to light, and others of them require, in their unfolding and application, modifications and explanations according to the condition in which she may be found; and to observe her periods, and to be truly cognizant of her condition, that the right food may be given at the right season, is the especial duty of the steward of the mysteries of God.

It only remains to remark, on this part of the subject, that the authority of the pastor's office is not of man, but of God; however He may, through the ministry of others, have ordained that such authority should be committed. He who gave His life for the sheep, purchased to Himself the whole Church, and gave to it ministries, whereof one was that of the pastor, as any may read in Ephesians iv. The body mystical of Christ, the Church, stands upon earth in the fellowship of that life, which He now has who is seated at the right hand of the Father. In her and by her the Holy Ghost bears continual witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and to His coming again; and in order thereto, not only dispenses His gifts to whom He will, but endows every ministry with the gift most proper for its exercise. It is not by the personal holiness or ability of any one standing in any ministry that it is made effectual for that to which it was appointed, but by the gift and grace of the Holy Ghost attaching to the ministry itself, available, both to him who stands therein, and to him who is ministered unto, by faith alone ; so that though holy and faithful men are to be desired in all God's ministries, and bad and faithless men to be mourned over as a calamity, yet the virtue is truly in the office and not in the man ; and to abide in the congregation of God's house under a pastor who may not be all that we can wish, in faith of his office, as a defence in itself against the enemy, is plainly the duty of all, upon the fulfilling of which a blessing will most assuredly follow.

Whilst, however, all will consent to that which is said of the pastor's office at least, so far as regards its solemn duties and great responsibilities—many will not so readily recognize the duties devolving upon themselves with reference to their pastors; for that such a duty exists, however, is most clear, from the very nature of their relation one to another.

The Church, as it has been remarked, is one body, composed of many memberships, wherein every Christian man has a place, for which place he has his “ proper gift of God.” Ministry, without some to be ministered unto, is an absurdity; and a voice, where there is no ear to hear, is useless. If, therefore, in the fellowship of the body, there be some whose duty it is to speak, there are others whose duty it is to hear. The willing hearer makes a cheerful speaker; and this is true in the Church as elsewhere. If the ear be dull to hear, the heart of the preacher will be shut up, so that cold and profitless words only will be spoken. It is faith that is the capacity for receiving what God would give. It is with the heart and spirit of man that the pastor deals, and it is faith in his office that opens the heart and spirit to his ministry; where this is exercised, blessings must follow, and God is pledged, so to speak with reverence, to provide such words and teaching as our necessity requires.

The great evil of this generation is want of faith

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in God's ordinances, and the application of logical reasoning to such matters as can only be, properly, subjects of faith. So men come to judge of sacraments as though these were not mysteries, and of priesthood and ministries as though their functions were purely intellectual, and not spiritual; but the spiritual, in man, is entirely above the intellectual, and the same laws which apply to the one, do not always apply to the other. The pastor's office cannot, therefore, be judged of as we would judge of any secular office--the reasonings that would apply in the latter would not apply to the former. The bond which unites him to his people is purely a spiritual one; his authority is not of man, but of God, and his true qualifications are those which he receives by the gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed in ordination. The things which he has to speak of are the things of God, which no man knoweth but the Spirit of God:” and as he has 6 received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that he might know the things that have been freely given of God;" so he is to speak them, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual :” hence, whilst he is responsible, on the one hand, for the right use of God's gifts to him, and the faithful performance of his duty; so his people, on the other, are responsible for the right understanding of the bond that binds them to each other, and for the faith and obedience that shall both call out and strengthen in him the grace of spiritual wisdom which is proper to his

office. From this is manifest the excessive evil of wandering from church to church--running after preachers called “ popular”—requiring, in the exposition and enforcing of Christian doctrine and duty, the additional stimulus of intellectual novelties and far-fetched theories to render them palatable; whilst, at the same time, it becomes very questionable how far any man, who has received a pastor's ordination and office, and has a flock to watch, is justified in breaking or weakening that bond, whenever, or for whatever cause, the morbid spiritual appetites, of what is called “the religious world,” require to he so stimulated. No doubt “popular preachers” have a place and a work in Christ's Church. No doubt, also, there is always a class of Christian men who unhappily can only be reached by them; but it would be well that such preachers should be used distinctively from the pastor's office, and that their influence should be exerted, specially in instructing their hearers in their duty towards their own pastors, and restoring them to their care.

This habit of wandering is productive of many evil consequences. It produces disorder in the Church it produces disorder in the spirits and minds of those who yield to it; and disorder in the Church is, as we all know, the fruitful parent of confusion, and that miserable family of strifes, divisions, and envyings, whose work is to break up states, and render all the social relations of life sources of suffering. One special part of the shepherd's office was to defend his flock from the assaults of robbers and of wild beasts; and the manners of the times and the coun

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