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Miniftry amongst us, could never fix the Odium upon us juftly, of being Mercenary, that is, fuch who ever look'd for Gifts, or fought after Rewards; a Leprofy affecting all the Hireling Teachers in the World, of what kind foever.

Dear Brethren, let us maintain in our Conduct that noble Way we have ever walked in, that as we have freely received Our Ministry from God by his Spirit, freely to give to the People; for a free Ministry will ftand, and be continued in the Church to latest Pofterity; but the Hirelings will be rejected more and more, and come to nought by Degrees.

Next, where thou comeft, enquire if there are any Sick, either in Body, or Mind amongst them, and wait to know thy Place' and Freedom in thy Gift to visit such ; but in all fuch Vifits, let thy Words be few and weighty, for if thou fhould't give Way thyfelf to much Difcourfe, or indulge it in those thou vifiteft, it may hurt thy Service to them, and render it void; therefore regard the Weight of thy Gift to open thy Understanding, that whether thou mayft be opened in fome fhort Exhortations, or by Way of Prayer, what thou haft, may be from thy Gift, not then doubting, but thou mayft be inftrumental of good to them, thou fo vifiteft: But fome apprehend, that when they are with the Sick, in either Body or

Mind,

Mind, that they must be preaching, praying, or difcourfing, perhaps beyond due Bounds, which fometimes have proved rather a Burden and Grief to the Afflicted than a Comfort.

And if thou observest in any a Slackness, or an undue Liberty taken, not so agreeable to their Profeffion, unto whom thou find'ft thy Mind engaged to fpeak by Way of Advice or Caution, let it be done in the Spirit of Meeknefs and Love, that if poffible, thou mayft reach the Witness in their Minds, that what thou fay'st is right. Thus having difcharged thy Duty as a Minifter, both in a publick and private Capacity, (that is) I mean in the Affemblies and private Families where thy Lot has fallen, thou wilt return with great Joy and Confolation, finding the Words of the Royal Prophet fulfilled, He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious. Seed, fhall doubtless come again with Rejoicing, bringing his Sheaves with him.

Pfal. cxxvi.

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CHA P. VII.

Advice to Minifters in the State of young Men, wherein Self-conceit of themselves, and too low Eftimation of others, may be apt to raise the Mind above the low and humble State, wherein its Safety only is.

I

Shall now confider our young Minifter

as grown to a confiderable Degree of Knowledge and Experience in the Work, and in Part to the State of a young Man that is ftrong, in whom the Word dwells more plentifully; and thy Reputation as a Minister growing with thy Gift, thou mayst now be look'd upon in thy own Meeting as a Member of fome weight, to whom thy Brethren pay a confiderable Regard; in which State new Trials and Temptations may arise, and thou mayft be in as much Danger (in fundry Parti culars) if not more, to mifs thy Way, than when lefs look'd upon, both by thyself and others. Now thy Friends may apply to thee for Advice and Counsel under their Difficulties, and if thou should'ft happen to miftake, and advise wrong, thou wilt be blamed, and the Hurt fuftained by following thy Counsel will be laid upon thee as an Excufe to themselves; Thus, If Juch an one had not advised me to it, I fhou'd not have done it and this may bring fome Uneafinefs upon

thee,

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thee, very hard to bear without Refentment, and endeavouring to vindicate thy Advice given as fuitable at that Time, laying the Blame (if any) on the Mifmanagement of the Perfon advised: Sometimes a fmall Spark of Contention thus kindled, hath rifen to a Flame: To avoid which, be very cautious in giving Advice in difficult Cafes, without very good Grounds for what thou sayst, and advife the Parties to confult those of greater Experience and Judgment, to excufe thy meddling therein; fo wilt thou be free from Blame on all Hands; but yet I wou'd not have thee peremptorily to refufe hearing the Complaints of Perfons under Trouble, that may really want Advice and Help; but when thou haft heard, confider if their Trouble dotharife from any Mifunderstanding on any Account, and whether fome Way can't be found out for their Relief, by Mediation and Perfwafion of Perfons not concerned in the Matters under Difpute. Thus mayst thou be inftrumental in making Peace, without dipping into the Matter, which is the chief Caufe of Complaint, and this will add to thy Credit as a ufeful Member in the Body.

Next, thou mayft now appear with more. Affurance and Boldness in thy Ministry, which Boldness, if not duly temper'd with Modefty, Humility, Wifdom and Meeknefs, may render thee unpleasant to the Ears of them that hear thee, and more especially,

if

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if thy Doctrine should favour more of the Man than it did in Time paft, when thou appeared in the Innocency and Infancy of the Ministry: And this Conduct may raife up fundry of the Meeting to watch over thee, with a View to have fomething to lay hold of to thy Prejudice, yet intending (at least pretending) thy good, to inftruct thee better, and humble thee; and then if thou doft miftake or misplace any Scripture, or drop any Thing that may not feem fafe to be ftood by in thy Preaching, it may be handed about (if thou art high and uneafy at Reproof) from one to another privately, until it comes to thy Knowledge, and thou mayft then find it hard to live under it (more especially) if thou art of a vindictive and high Spirit, not able to bear Contradiction and Reproof, as becomes a Minifter of Chrift; it will therefore be prudent to confider thy natural Temper and Difpofition of Mind, endeavouring to keep thyfelf under Subjection to the mortifying Power of the Crofs, that thy Doctrine may be adorned with Meekness, and also seasoned with Gofpel Salt: In this State judicious Friends will love, and vindicate thy Service; but if thou giveft Way to thy own Spirit, and in the Heat thereof attempteft to minifter, and vindicate thyfelf over the Heads of thy offended, Friends, this will render thy Doctrine unpleasant to the Ear, and bring thee under more Difgrace; and finding thyself under a Slight, and in fome degree of Contempt with

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