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people examples of exemplary conduct, and of evangelical righteousness : let them learn, from your disinterestedness, how much they ought to detach themselves from the goods of this life. Remember, that “godliness is great gain”—that å religious Pastor, who possesses the love and confidence of his people, possesses every thing, and wants nothing ;* and that his rights are incon: trovertibly ascertained, seeing they are founded on the affection and respect of his parishioners. By invariably appearing, yourselves, always to value and reverence, whatever has any relation to Religion and Salvation, you will induce your flock to cultivate faith, and practise Religion : know then, no greater gain than that of the souls who are entrusted to you; and let their salvation be a recompense, of all others, the most honourable, the most consolatory, and the most desirable of your labours. Be tender-hearted, and charitable towards them : suffer with them that suffer, and weep with them that weep : be the common father of your people; ever ready to succour them, in the day of necessity : charity makes no exceptions and remember, that whatever you have, and whatever you are-you are all for them. Do not be discouraged by an apprehension, that the solicitude you feel, and the discourses you deliver, to your hearers, are in vain; God does not always recompense the Pastor, by the instant and visible reformation of the flock; make a choice selection of the holy seed, sow it with care, water it with diligence : He, “who gives the “ increase,” will know how to make it fruitful, in his own good time. Lastly, let not the faults and misconceptions of the people committed to our care, justify our warmth of temper, and deprive us of that mildness and gentleness, in our carriage towards them, which are so becoming the sacred ministry ; let our engaging behaviour, uniformly shewed towards them, be an indication of the affections of our heart : zeal which exasperates, and which excites to revolt, those whom it censures, is the zeal of man, it is not the zeal of God: we must gain their hearts, if we would render them attentive to our instructions; severe manners, rather indicate our dispositions, than tend to correct theirs. Not humour, rudeness, passion-No! it was charity, as described by the Apostle, which established truth upon earth ; our Lord sent not lions, but lambs, to preach it: their mildness, and their sufferings, promoted the work of the Gospel; and by these means must their successors continue to spread it among men: by following this advice, concludes the apostle--" You will not only save “yourselves, but those that hear you."
* The reader will recollect, that these Discourses were addressed to a body of men, who were forbidden the domestic comforts, so wisely permitted to the Protestant Clergy.
ON MILDNESS AND GENTLENESS.
I SHALL request your attention, whilst I this day expatiate on a subject interesting to every Clergyman—the mildness of temper, which, if he be solicitous for the success of his ministry, he will invariably shew to the people committed to his charge, in his intercourse with them.
From the time we are Fathers and Pastors of the flock, mildness, tenderness, affection, should, without question, constitute the reigning principle of our character. It is, notwithstanding, but too true, that we often substitute a wayward humour, a false zeal, a spirit of dominion, for that engaging affection which should entirely influence our heart, and direct our conduct, as the only way, whereby we can become useful in our calling. My design is, as I have already intimated, to reeommend mildness of temper, and gentleness of carriage, in your behaviour and intercourse with your parishioners.
Humour often predominates. If, when we were ordained to the sacred ministry, a change had been
produced in our mind, as well as in our situation; if our sentiments derived the same elevation as our character; if the Holy Spirit, when we received imposition of hands, suggested our principles, regulated our morals, and repressed our inclinations, it would be useless to recommend to you a virtue, which would be inherent in us: but, unhappily, we carry into this holy state, all the defects of our birth and education; the sacred character which constitutes the Pastor, makes no change in that which has formed the man ; and a Clergyman, born with an ungracious, overbearing, haughty spirit, when appointed to a parish, far from finding in himself, the new quality of a Father and a Pastor, to operate as a restraint on his inclinations, and to become a powerful motive to mildness and gentleness, finds only new 'occasions of pride, caprice, and passion. Hence, so many complaints of the violence, and haughtiness of the Clergy. Actuated by such principles, what good can a Preacher of the Gospel expect to do in his parish, when the manners of its inhabitants, are, it is probable, uncultivated and almost barbarous ? He will be disgusted with the brutality of his parishioners; and they, in their turn, will despise him, for the severe and haughty spirit, which they perceive in him : his ministry will be a perpetual scene of trouble and vexation ; his temper will even profane the sanctity of the word ; his discourses will be considered as public invectives against his hearers ; and the Gospel, which breathes only peace and reconciliation, will be, in his mouth,