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have this day been set apart. See Isaiah vi. from the 1st to the 9th verse. Whilst God resisteth the proud, he giveth grace to the humble. Take heed to your life and doctrine.
Cultivate boly dispositions in your work: you are called to minister to the Lord in his sanctuary, and to approach him as the mouth of his people, and as an ambassador of Christ to them. In an especial manner all those who bear the vessels of the sanctuary ought to be holy. Be admonished and cautioned by the conduct and fate of Nadab and Abibu. Called to the sacred office of the priesthood, they were honoured above their brethren; but by offering strange fire before the Lord, they profaned his name, and his worship, and their daring and guilty conduct received its merited punishment : God appeared as a consuming fire, and gave an awful testimony that he will be sanctified by all who draw near to him; and in the midst of the people will he be glorified.
Be faithful to your Lord and Master, and to the souls of men. Seek to be a scribe well instructed in the mysteries of the kingdom. A workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. With the apostle, determine to know nothing among men but Christ Jesus, and him crucified. Do not confine your ministrations to first principles; but whilst you direct your hearers to Christ on the cross, the foundation of the sinner's hope for pardon and acceptance,-Christ rising from the dead, the Lord our righteousness,-Christ in the court above, the
church's advocatė, - Christ on his mediatorial throne, the church's lawgiver and protector, and Christ formed in the heart the hope of glory; forget not to dwell on the importance of practical godliness and growth in grace.
The believer's privileges and the believer's holy obedience are connected by God. Be careful to exhibit this connexion; a licentious and a self-righteous spirit are equally opposed to the life of God in the soul of the believer. Building up believers in their most boly faith, forms only a part of your mission, as à servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. The voice of wisdom is addressed to the simple, and to him who wanteth understanding. Your message, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, is faithful and worthy of all acceptation.
All that labour and are heavy laden you must invite to come to Christ, who will give them rest. Every one that thirsteth and hath no money, invite to buy wine and milk without money and without price :tell them that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Say to the people, “ The Spirit and the bride (or church) say come, and let him that heareth say come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Forget not, never forget to remind the people of their great privileges, and the aggravation of that guilt contracted by neglecting or despising them.
In every sermon let Christ be exhibited as the only Saviour ; the Holy Spirit as the only agent to convince of sin, and to quicken and sanctify the sinner. Warn them, that the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all men; teaching us that denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works, these things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.
Placed as a watchman on the walls of Zion, ever be found at your post, see Ezek. xxxiii. from 1st to 17th verse; think of it as you sit in the house, and as you walk by the way, as you preach the gospel, and as you visit the people from house to house. Be thou faithful unto death. In your preaching study great simplicity and clearness, that you may be easily understood.
The people whom you are called to address, are generally ignorant of the first principles of our holy religion. They are idolaters who know not God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; they require line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. Let your manner to them, be conciliatory; speak to them as immortal beings, and with the affection of a brother. Convince them by the whole of your conduct to them, that you are their friends, and that the gospel, you have the privilege of preaching to them, is the message of God, is firmly believed by yourself, and that you consider it to be of the greatest importance. Think seriously of the very great responsibility of your office, speak to the people as if the salvation of your soul will be endangered by unfaithfulness. ...Let your sermons be filled with divine truth--from the treasury of God's word, take to yourself that armour which will insure your success : as a steward, give to each his portion of the bread of life. By this means the message you deliver will not be so much the word of man, as the word of God. It is best calculated to awaken and humble sinners, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth, and to edify the church of God. Your constant employment will be to make known to your fellow-men your daily fresh discoveries of the truth as it is in Jesus. Whilst the unsearchable riches of Christ are poured out before you, seek to enrich many for eternity. Daily seek therefore to glorify your heavenly Father, and extend the kingdom of Christ Jesus among men. Keep yourself unspotted from the world.
In labours be abundant, especially let the Lord's day be chiefly occupied by public services. It is the day which the Lord hath chosen for himself, a day on which he has opened the windows of heaven, and poured out his spiritual blessings on his church; he delights to appear in his sanctuary in all the glories
of his character as gracious sovereign. Seek and expect his rich blessings, and be filled with holy zeal.
In addition to your public preaching, forget not to preach from house to house ; convert all your visiting into the service of your Redeemer. Mere visits of private friendship often prove a snare to a minister, and often prove a barrier to his usefulness. Let your visits be short, and the time profitably spent. Warn them of danger; give counsel when your opinion is asked, or when it may appear necessary; reprove in private when circumstances require it, that the wanderer may be reclaimed, and his bad dispositions checked before they carry him to excesses.--Admonish!
Give encouragement to the enquirers, the weak and doubting, and impart consolation to the mourners. Do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. Now Isaac, we commend you unto God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all those that are sanctified. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, “ It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The Lord give thee knowledge and wisdom, and every grace necessary for the faithful discharge of your personal, family, and ministerial duties. Amen.