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attain to, is the Duty of every Child of God. I therefore tell you my own Experience, to persuade you, that if you did but know what a joyful Thing it is, you would follow it Night and Day through the greatest Discouragements.
$ 13. Up then, every Man that hath a Tongue, and is a Servant of Christ, and do something of your Master's Work. Why nath he given you a Tongue, but to speak in his Service? And how can you serve him more eminently, than in faving Souls?' He that will pronounce you blessed at the latt Day, and invite you to the Kingdom prepared for you, because you fid him, and cloathed hiin, and visited him, in his poor Members, will surely pronounce you blessed for so great a Work as bringing Souls to his Kingdom. He that faith, the Poor you have always with you, hath left the Ungodly always with you, that you might fill have Matter to exercise your Charity upon. If you have the Hearts of Christians, or of Men, let them yearn towards your ignorant, ungodly Neighbours. Say, as the Lepers of Samaria, It'e dá ngt well; this Day is a Day of good Tidings, and we hold our Peace. Haih God had so much Mercy on you, and will you have no Mercy on your poor Neighboursi But as this Duty belongs to all Christians, so especially to some, according as God hath called then to it, or qualified them for it. To them therefore I will more particularly address the Exhortation.
$ 14. God especially expects this Duty at your Hands, to whom he hath given more Learning and knowledge, and endued witb better Utterance, than your Neighbours. The Strong are made to help the Weak; and those that see niuft direct the Blind. God looketh for this faithful Improvement of your Parts and Gifts, which, if you neglet, it were better you had never received them; for they will but aggravate your Condemna
tion, and be as useless to your own Salvation, as they were to others.
§ 15. All those that are particularly acquainted with fome ungodly Men, and that have peculiar Interest in them, God looks for this Duty at your Hands. Chrift himself did eat and drink with Publicans and Sinners; but it was only to be their Physician, and not their Companion. Who knows but God gave you Interest in them to this End, that you might be the Means of their Recovery? They that will not regard the Words of a Stranger, may regard a Brother, or Sister, or Husband, or Wife, or near Friend: Besides that the Bond of Friendship engageth you to more Kindness and Compassion than ordinary:
$ 16. Physicians, that are much about dying Men, fhould in a special Manner make Conscience of this Duty. It is their peculiar Advantage, that they are at Hand; that they are with Men in Sickness and Dangers, when the Ear is more open, and the Heart less stubborn than in Time of Health; and that Men look upon their physician as a Person in whose Hand is their Life; or at leaft, who may do much to save them; and therefore they will the more regard his Advice. You that are of this honourable Profission, don't think this a Work beside your Calling, as if it belonged to none but Minifters; except you think it beside your Calling to be compassionate, or to be Christians. O help therefore to fit
Patients for Heaven! And wheyou
see they are for Life or Death, teach them both how to live and die, and give them fome Phyfick for their Souls, as you do for their Bodies. Blessed be God, that very many of the chief Physicians of this Age have, by iheir eminent Piety, vindicated their Profeflion from the coinmon Imputation of Atheism and Prophaneness.
you not all
$ 17. Men of Wealth and Authority, and that have many Dependants, have excellent Advantages for this Duty. O what a World of Good might Lords and Gentlemen do, if they had but Hearts to improve their Influence over others! Have
your Honour and Riches from God? Doth not Christ say, unto whomsoever much is given, of him fall be much required? If you speak to your Dependants for God and their Souls, you may be regarded, when even a Minister shall be despised. As you value the Honour of God, your own Comfort, and the Salvation of Souls, improve your Influence over Tenants and Neighbours; visit their Houses; see whether they worship God in their Families; and take all Opportunities to press them to their Duty. Despise them not. Remember God is no Respecter of Persons. Let Men see that you excel others in Piety, Compaffion, and Diligence in God's Work, as you do in the Riches and Honours of the World. "I confess you will by this Means be fingular, but then you will be singular in Glory; for few of the Mighty and Noble are called.
$ 18. As for the Ministers of the Gospel, it is the very Work of their Calling, to help sthers to Heaven.
-Be fure to make it the main End of your Studies and Preaching. He is the able, skilful Minister, that is best skilled in the Art of instructing, convincing, persuading, and consequently of winning Souls; and that is the best Sermon that is best in these. When you seek not God, but your felves, God will make you the most contemptible of Men. It is true of your Reputation, what Christ says of your Life, He that loveth it, shall lose it. Let the Vigour of your Persuasions thew, that you are sensible on how weighıy a Business you are sent. Preach with that Seriousness and Fervour, as Men that believe their
own Doctrine, and that know their Hearers must be prevailed with, or be damned. - Think not that all your Work is in your Studies and Pulpit. . You are Shepherds, and must know every, Sheep, and what is their Disease, and mark their Strayings, and help to cure them and fetch them home. Learn of Paul, not only to teach your People publickly, but from House to House. Enquire how they grow in Knowledge and Holiness, and on what Grounds they build their Hopes of Salvation, and whether they walk uprightly, and perform the Dutics of their several Relations. See whether they worship God in their Fr. milies, and teach them how to do it. Be familiar with them, that you may maintain your Interest in them, and improve it all for God. Know of them how they profit by publick Teaching. If any too little savour the Things of the Spirit, let them be pitied, but not neglected. If any walk disorderly, recover them with Diligence and Patience. If they be igno
Be not asleep while the Wolf is waking.----Deal 1230 Slightly with any. Some will not tell their People plainly of their Sins, because they are great Men; and some, because they are godly; as if none but the Poor and the Wicked should be dealt plainly with.
-Yet labour to be skilful and discreet, that the Manner may answer to the Excellency of the Matter. Every reasonable Soul hath both Judgment and Affection; and every rational, spiritual Sermon, must have both. Study and pray, and pray and study, till you are become Workmen that need not be afhamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth; that your People may not be ashamed, nor weary in hearing you.---Let your Conversation be teaching, as well as your Doctrine. Be as forward in a holy and heavenly Life, as you are in pressing others to it. Let your Discourse be edifying
and spiritual. Suffer any Thing, 'rather than the Gospel and Men's Souls should suffer. Let Men see that you use not the Ministry only for a Trade to live by; but that your Hearts are set upon the Welfare of Souls. Whatsoever Meekness, Humility, Condescention, or Self-denial you teach them from the Gospel, teach it them also by your undissembled Example. -Study and strive after Unity and Peace. If ever you would promote the Kingdom of Christ, and your People's Salvation, do it in a way of Peace and Love. It is as hard a Thing to maintain in your People a found Understanding, a tender Conscience, a lively, gracious, heavenly Frame of Spirit, and an upright Life, amidit Contention, as to keep your Candle lighted in the greatest Storms. Blessed is that Servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
$.19. All you whom God hath intrusted with the Care of Children or Servants, I would also persuade to this great Work of helping others to the heavenly Reft.
Consider, what plain and prilling Commands of God require this at your Hands. These Words thou shalt teach diligently unto thy Children, and salt talk of them when thou sitteft in thine House, and when thou walkesi by the IVay, and when thou lieft de wn, and when thou riseft up (i). Train up a Child in the Way he should g9; and when he is old,' he will not depart from it (k). Bring up your Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord (1). Joshua resolved, that he and his House would serve the Lordim). And God himself says of Abraham, I know hiin, that he will command his Chile dren, and his Houfhold after him, and they fall keep the Way of the Lord (n).—Confider, it is a Duty vou owe your Children in Point of Justice. From you they
(i) Deut, vi. 6, 7.
(k' Prov. xxiv. 6.
(1) Ephes, vi, 41