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larged, and great will be thy Comfort and Peace. But fuppofe again, that thou meetest with no Oppofition of this Kind, but the Meeting, and every Member in it, are pleas'd, and chearfully recommend thee as a Minifter in Unity with them; then it is needful to confider, that thou haft in fome good degree the Credit and Honour of that Meeting repofed in thee, of which thou ought'ft for both thy own Sake and theirs, to be very circumpect and careful, knowing that if thou should't bring any Dif grace or Shame upon thyfelf, either in thy Miniftry or Converfation, the Meeting that have certified on thy Behalf, will likewise fuffer with thee, and come under Blame for recommending thee as a Minifter, finding that thou answereft not the Character given concerning thee; and under this State thy Return, will bring both Sorrow and Shame to thy Friends at home: For the avoiding whereof, the next Chapter containeth fome needful Cautions and Counfel. I conclude this with Paul's Advice to Timothy, 12 Tim. iv. charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jefus Chrift. Preach the Word, be inftant in Seafon, out of Seafon; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-fuffering and Doctrine. For the Time will come, when they ·will not endure found Doctrine. But watch thou in all Things, endure Afflictions, do the Work of an Evangelift, make full Proof of thy Ministry. This excellent Advice, with that in the Clofe of the fecond Chapter, is 2 Tim. ii. worthy of our Notice and Confideration. CHAP.

E 4

1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

24, 25, 26,



Cautions against Pride and Exaltedness, Meddling in Matters, fpreading Reports, &c. and a general Recommendation of Humility and Meeknefs in all Things.


Now fuppofe thee ready to take thy Journey, in Unity with thy Brethren, made manifeft by the Credentials given thee for that Purpose.

Thus leaving thy Brethren in the sweet Fellowship of the Gofpel, having their Prayers for thy Prefervation and Succefs; yet not without great Fear and Weeping, thou fetteft out, doubting how it may answer; but thou mayft perhaps be well fatisfied for a few Meetings at thy first fetting out in this great Humility of Mind; but thou must then keep fo humble and inward with the Lord. in Spirit, as to wait daily for the Renewings of both Wisdom and Power from him; and thus will thy Mind be fupplied, every Meeting, with new Life and Matter fuiting the States of the People thou art amongst; and this will be to thy Comfort and Peace, and to their Edification.

But if after these fresh Supplies that thou daily art favoured with, thou should'st grow unmindful

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unmindful what thou really art, and begin to think thyself in a better Capacity for the Work than formerly, and the Efteem and Favour fhewn thee by thy Friends, begins to fwell thy Mind above that humble and depending Frame; thou wilt find after fuch a State of Mind prevails upon thee, that Leanness and Barrenness of Soul will enfue; and if thou doft not bethink thyfelf feasonably to return, but endeavour'st in thy own Strength and Will to fave thy Credit as a Minifter, thou wilt lofe Ground fafter than it was gained. Thus some, after they have begun well, and gone on fo for fome Time, having gained fome Experience, and a Form of found Words, but for want of keeping humble and inward in Spirit with the Lord, they have infenfibly gone from the Foundation and Spring of living Ministry, and depended on Memory, former Experience, and Openings, and not on the Inspiration of the Spirit, which is the Root of all true Ministry, and what proceeds from it is always new and acceptable. I fay, fuch have fallen into Repetitions of the fame Things, without a Newness of Virtue attending them therein, and fo have become formal Minifters in the Oldness of the Letter; and this Sort of Preaching may take with fome, especially those that are unfenfible of the Virtue of the Spirit to reveal unto them the Things of the Spirit of God. But notwithftanding thou mayft have Favour and Credit with fuch as a Preacher, and may be by thofe



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refpected for a little Time, garded as fuch; yet the longer that thou goeft on in this Way, the more thou wilt covet Honour and Pre-eminence, yea, thou wilt in Time be apt to feek the Praise of Men more than of God, and out of Humour, being difpleafed if thou haft it not. But alas, this is poor Work; for by the Living in Religion thou wilt foon be discovered, and found out to be but an empty, dry, and unfruitful Formalift; and they that are Alive unto God, will fee thee plainly to be fuch; for the Lord's People, who have a fpiritual Difcerning, can't be long impofed upon, but they will find out, and difcover the true Voice from the falfe, loving the firft, and thee for the Sake thereof; but rejecting the last, and the Authors thereof, be they whoever they may: Therefore all thy Contrivance, Fore-caft, and Skill, ufed to the utmost Advantage in thy own Time, Will, and Strength, will prove but as a broken Cistern that can hold no Water, that will ever afford Refreshment to the People of God, but will load and grieve them. To avoid all which, it will be fafe to keep in an humble Dependence, endeavouring to keep near the Lord, having him always before our Eyes, that we may receive daily Ability from him, and fpeak as we feel our Minds noved by his divine Spirit; and whether it be little or much that we have to fay, be thankful that we are favoured with his Prefence and Life in our Ministry, not so much regarding

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regarding what others may fay or judge concerning us, as the Peace and Satisfaction that we inwardly enjoy by the Word of Life, that Life which is the Light of Men. Thou mayft find thyself as this Day drawn forth and greatly enlarged in thy Ministry, but to Morrow thou mayst be shut up, barren and poor, having but very little to fay, and that but brokenly, as with a ftammering Tongue, which may seem very uneafy to thee fo to appear; and under fuch a Condition thou mayst be tempted to go beyond thy Commiflion. This ought always to be watch'd againft, for it is our fafeft and best Way, at all Times, to appear just as we feel Power and Strength in our Gifts, endeavouring to keep our Minds in Patience, be it how it will, knowing that the Wind blows John iii, where, when, as ftrong, and weak, as it lifteth, and we can neither add or diminish ought from it; but if in the Time of Weaknefs we endeavour to hide ourselves by multiplying Words, we fhall difcover ftill more Weakness, and in this State Silence will be much more fafe than Preaching; therefore if thou haft but little to fay, fay but little; and if thou haft nothing to fay, be filent; for altho' thou mayft be judged as out of thy Place in Travelling, having nothing to Preach, yet if any count this as a Fault to be ashamed of, it is to be confidered, that this reputed Shame (for in reality it is thy Credit) will fall more driectly upon thyfelf, in thy undertaking to Preach without



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