Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

144 EXCITEMENT TO SEEK [Chap. 9. 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, compassion, and dili- gence in God's work, as you do in the riches and honors of the world. I confess you will, by this means, be singular, but then you will be singular in glory ; for few of the " mighty and noble are called." 5. As for the ministers of the Gospel, it is the very work of their calling to help others to heaven. Be sure 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 in- structing, convincing, persuading, and, consequently, of winning souls; and that is the best sermon that is best in these. When you seek not God, but yourselves, 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 vigor of your persuasions show that you are sensible on how weighty a business you are sent. Preach with seriousness and fervor, as men that be- lieve 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, till(' 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 pub- licly, but from house to house." Inquire how they grow in knowledge and holiness, and on what grounds they build their hopes of salvation, and whether they walk uprightly, and perform their duties of their several relations. See whether they worship God in their families, 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 public teaching. If any too little " savor 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 ignorant, it may be your fault as much as theirs. Be not asleep while the wolf is waking. Deal not slightlywith 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 labor to be skilful and discreet, that the manner may