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fuse his support to a wretch, expiring at his side, who was acknowledging his power, and imploring his mercy ; and shalla trifling interruption of health render

you

insensible to the cries of a sinner, who solicits the support of your ministry? And does it appear to you more dangerous to expose, for a moment, your health, than the eternal salvation of a soul, committed to your care, and which is, perhaps, on the brink of perdition? Is it not then, that you should adopt the language of the Apostle—“. When I am weak, then am I strong ?” My feebleness is on the point of becoming a new source of power and courage. A Shepherd, surely, should be always ready to lay down his life for his sheep; and do you not think a slight effort a duty you owe to your flock, which might, at the most, retard a few days the return of your health ? We do not require of you the zeal and the courage of the first Ministers of the Gospel, who considera ed death, to which they were every day exposed, as the greatest gain, and the highest reward they could receive for their labors. It is now, as it was at the commencement, and will continue to the end, that it is not for ourselves that we are Pastors, but for the souls committed to our charge : upon this fundamental truth is the sacred ministry established : to those souls, over whom the Church has made us overseers, we owe, not only our solicitude, our strength, our talents, but our very life ; and although, in or. der to discharge so sacred and honourable an obligation, we should exhaust our strength, ought

we to regret a loss, productive of such advantage to others, and of such glory to ourselves*? Would not the weakness and infirmity which might arise from our labours, and from an attachment to our duty, abound with more consolation, and fill us with greater satisfaction, than a life prolonged to old age, passed in indolence, and consumed in vanity? And should our days be often shortened, ought we not to rejoice at having changed them for days of happiness which will never end t?

* I need not remind the reader, that these are the sentiments, not of a Protestant, but of a Catholic Prelate.

† An unhappy prejudice prevails among the Members of our Church, which is, that if, upon their death-bed, a Clergy.. man prays with them, and administers to them the Holy Sacrament, however wicked may have been their lives, they may die in the hope of salvation. It is, I believe, owing to this unfortunate, I had almost said, this fatal prepossession, that so very many defer to

repent and amend,” and communicate worthily. ; appeasing remorse, and suppressing alarm, with the deceitful persuasion, that, by joining with their Minister in prayer, and receiving, at his hands, the consecrated elements, when they shall not have an opportunity of relapsing into sin, their peace will be made with God. May' it be the earnest and successful endeavour of every Minister of the Gospel to warn bis hearers against so dangerous a delusion!

CHARGE XIII.

THE PERNICIOTS EFFECTS OF AVARICE IN

THE CLERGY.

The love of money is the root of all evil.

CHARGE XIII.

THE PERNICIOUS EFFECTS OF AVARICE IN THE

CLERGY.

IT may at first sight seem improper to expatiate on the revenues of the Church, before an assembly of Clergymen, whose ecclesiastical incomes are little more than adequate to their support. The mediocrity which is your lot, exempts you, in your judgment, from the suspicion of misapplying the patrimony consecrated to the service of the Church ; you mistake ; this mediocrity ought to render every misapplication less common; whereas it often occasions the abuse, and is, in your eyes, a justification of it. The abundance does not produce the fault; it is in the manner of acquiring, and of possessing it when acquired; the danger does not always consist in your revenues being great or small, but in the rapacity and unfeeling manner in which you exact them-in the attachment to, and sordid use you make of them*

*« A due Measure of Disinterestedness is one Requisite for the Success of a Clergyman's Labours. You will therefore avoid all mean Attention to small Matters. You will be very tender in your Demands upon the Poor, and very equitable towards the Rich ; though you will conscientiously preserve all the material rights, with which you are entrusted for your successors. If you find room and reason to improve your income, you

It might be hoped, that no rapacity could well be exercised, in collecting the revenues of the Church : but this, unhappily, not being the case, we are to remember what the Apostle exacts, as the very first principle of the Ministers of the Gospel—that they leave no room to suspect they are “ given to filthy lucre.” Our whole ministry is a ministry of charity, of disinterestedness, of edification : what a character, then, for a Pastor to sell, hardly and rigorously, his services to his children to be a severe and inexorablé extortioner, unconcerned about the ruin or the salvation, of his flock, and solely occupied in the temporal advantages, which he shamefully derives from it! Are the instructions of a Pastor of this character, without fruit? Do they “ return unto him void ?” -He feels no uneasiness. Is his whole life

passed, without having established the principles of Christianity in the heart, and produced the effects of it, in the conduct, of one single hearer ?--His indifference leaves him without apprehension for the event. He does not lament the inutility of his labours: he does not, as he ought, view it with sorrow, and contemplate it with horror ;

will

prove that no wrong motive induces you to it, by going as far as ever you are able in acts of good natured, and especially of pious, liberality. For nothing gives greater or juster offence, than to see a clergy man intent upon hoarding, or luxurious, or splendid, instead of being charitable.”Abp, SECKER.

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