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ADVICE TO MINISTERS and ELDERS, how to
conduct themselves in their Converfations, and
various Services, according to their GIFTS in
the Church of CHRIST.

By SAMUEL BOWNA S. 1676-175-3

As every Man bath received the Gift, even fo minifter the fame, one
to another, as good Stewards of the manifold grace of God. If
any Man fpeak, let him peak as the Oracles of God: if any Man
minifter, let him do it as of the Ability which God giveth, &c..
1 Pet. iv. 10, 11.

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LONDON:

Printed by LUKE HINDE, at the Bible in George-
Yard, Lombard-Street, 1750.

THE

PREFACE

TO THE

READER

T

H E Intention of the Author, in this Treatife, being chiefly to give Di rections, which may be as Waymarks to fuch who are called into the Work of the Ministry, and to the Elders of the Church, how to Conduct themselves in their Care over them whilst Young in the Miniftry, it is not thought fit to be made fo generally Publick, as fuch Tracts which are intended for a general Benefit, which may in fome degree concern all, and are of that univerfal Nature, that every Member of Society ought to be acquainted with, in order for their Government and Practice but as it is not the Will of the All-wife Dif pofer, who governs bis Houfe (which is his Church) in Wisdom, nor the Order of his Providence, to give the like Gifts to all, but as the Apoftle fpeaks, He gave fome, Apoftles; Ephef ive and fome, Evangelifts; and fome, Paftors. and Teachers; whom he appointed to the

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Work

;

Heb. v. 4.

Work of the Miniftry, for the perfecting of the Saints (or those in whom the Work of Sanctification was begun) and the Edification of the Church.

Now as it was with the Head, Chrift Jefus, fo it is with the Members (that is, his Minif ters) for No Man taketh this Honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron, as faith the Apostle. And therefore Advice, that may be adapted to the States, Trials and Temptations of fuch, who are in any degree preparing, or Jetting in Order for this Work, and how to fun the Dangers and Miftakes, and furmount the Difficulties which fuch may be liable to, who may have made farther Progress in it, may be of great Service to them; tho' to others who are not called to this Work, it may be in many respects as a Book Jealed. Which Advice, is as an Hand of Help held forth, and is of Service many Times to the Honeft but Doubtful Enquirer, who is like the Traveller in an unknown Path, often befet with many Fears of lofing his Way; and as it is a kind Office, and what calls for Respect from all who ftand in need of it, fo it is a Duty we owe, and what God is pleafed to enjoyn his Servants and Minifters to be found in the Practice of, one towards another; and Such was the Cafe of our Worthy Ancient Friend the AUTHOR, who thought it his Duty, as he bath had great Experience of that Work, in a Course of many Years Exer`cife, and much Labour and Travel on that Account,

Account, both in his own Country, and in Foreign Parts, to give fome Account of the Steps that God is pleafed to lead his Children on in, whom he is preparing for this great Work, and to point out where the Enemy of the Work of God, and our Happiness, is lying in wait to mislead, beguile, and betray fuch who are not Watchful; and altho' he hath not ftudied Excellency of Speech, nor the enticeing Words which Man's Wildom teacheth, yet fuch who have had their Eyes opened to difcern the Work of God, as alfo the mysterious Transformations of our grand Adverfary, will have Occafion to fay, that it is in the Demonftration of the Spirit, having the true Marks and Evidence of that Inspiration which giveth a right Understanding in the Things of God, and Myfteries of his Kingdom; for hereby it will appear, bow necessary it is for Men and Women to experience the Sanctification of the Spirit to precede, or go before, that they may

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be

duly qualified to help and advise others; this being the Order our Lord and Mafter obferveth in his Advice to Peter, When thou art Luke xxii, converted, ftrengthen thy Brethren.

Another Mark which demonftrateth from whence it proceeds, is the Care he hath taken to inculcate, in those who are called to the Miniftry, the Neceffity of low Thoughts of themselves, and of a conftant Guard over themselves, left the Enemy prevail to lift them up, because the Lord has appear'd with them, and ftrengthen'd them at Times to discharge themfelves

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