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after his sermon, or offer up to God some of the thanksgiwings hereafter appointed, in his prayer before his sermon.
Of the Preaching of the Word.
REACHING of the word, being the power of God unto salvation, and one of the greatest and most excellent
works belonging to the ministry of the gospel, should be 50 performed, that the workman need not be ashamed, but may save himself, and those that hear him.
It is presupposed, (according to the rules for ordination,)
... that the minister of Christ is in some good measure gifted for so weighty a service, by his skill in the originas languages, and in such arts and sciences as are handmaid unto
divinity; by his knowledge in the whole body of theology,
but most of all in the holy scriptures, having his senses and
heart exercised in them above the common sort of believers;
and by the illumination of God's Spirit, and other gifts of * edification, which (together with reading and studying of the
word) he ought still to seek by prayer, and an humble heart, resolving to admit and receive any truth not yet attained,
whenever God shall make it known unto him. All which
he is to make use of, and improve, in his private preparations, before he deliver in publick what he hath provided.
Ordinarily, the subject of his sermon is to be some text of scripture, holding forth some principle or head of religion, or suitable to some special occasion emergent; or he may go on in some chapter, psalm, or book of the holy scripture, as he shall see fit.
Let the introduction to his text be brief and perspicuous,
drawn from the text itself, or context, or some parallel place, or general sentence of scripture. If the text be long, (as in histories or parables it some
times must be,) let him give a brief sum of it; if short, a
paraphrase thereof, if need be: in both, looking diligently to the scope of the text, and pointing at the chief heads and grounds of doctrine which he is to raise from it.
In analysing and dividing his text, he is to regard more.
the order of matter than of words; and neither to burden the memory of the hearers in the beginning with too many
members of division, nor to trouble their minds with obscure
terms of art.
God to be quick and powerful, and a discerner of thethoughts
and intents of the heart; and that, if any unbeliever orig.
heart made manifest, and give glory to God.
to may (when convenient) confirm it by a few firm arguments from the text in hand, and other places of scripture, or from the nature of that common-place in divinity, whereof that truth is a branch. In confutation of false doctrines, he is neither to raiseian old heresy from the grave, nor to mention a blasphemous of opinion unnecessarily : but, if the people be in danger of an error, he is to confute it soundly, and endeavour to satisfy their judgments and consciences against all objections. . In exhorting to duties, he is, as he seeth cause, to teach also the means that help to the performance of them. In dehortation, reprehension, and publick admonition, # (which require special wisdom,) let him, as there shall be is cause, not only discover the nature and greatness of the sin, with the misery attending it, but also shew the danger his learers are in to be overtaken and surprised by it, together: with the remedies and best way to avoid it. '. ... In applying comfort, whether general against all tempta-. o, tions, or particular against some special troubles or terrors, ... he is carefully to answer such objections as a troubled heart. ... and afflicted spirit may suggest to the contrary. . It is also sometimes requisite to give some notes of trial, (which is very profitable, especially when performed by able and experienced ministers, with circumspection and pru-. dence, and the signs clearly grounded on the holy seripture,) whereby the hearers may be able to examine themselves . whether they have attained those graces, and performed those duties, to which he exhorteth, or be guilty of the sin reprehended, and in danger of the judgments threatened, , , 9r are such to whom the consolations propounded do be-, . that accordingly they may be quickened and excited to duty, humbled for their wants and sins, affected with their danger, and strengthened with comfort, as their condi-tion, upon examination, shall require. And, as he needeth' not always to prosecute every doc-. trine which lies in his text, so is he wisely to make choice. of such uses, as, by his residence and conversing with his flock, he findeth most needful and seasonable; and, amongst . these, such as may most draw their souls to Christ, the fountain of light, holiness, and comfort. Z 5. This
This method is not prescribed as necessary for every man, or upon every text; but only recommended, as being found by experience to be very much blessed of God, and very helpful for the people's understandings and memories. - . the servant of Christ, whatever his method be, is to perform his whole ministry: -I. Painfully, not doing the work of the Lord negligently, 2. Plainly, that the meanest may understand; delivering the truth not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect; abstaining also from an unprofitable use of unknown tongues, strange phrases, and cadences of sounds and words; sparingly citing sentences of ecclesiastical or other human writers, ancient or modern, be they never so elegant. 3. Faithfully, looking at the honour of Christ, the coversion, edification, and salvation of the people, not at his own gain or glory; keeping nothing back which may promote those holy ends, giving to every one his own portion, and bearing indifferent respect unto all, without neglecting the meanest, or sparing the greatest, in their sins. 4. Wisely, framing all his doctrines, exhortations, and
especially his reproofs, in such a manner as may be mostlike.
ly to prevail; shewing all due respect to each man's person
Where there are more ministers in a congregation than one, and they of different gifts, each may more especially apply himself to doctrine or exhortation, according to the gift wherein he most excelleth, and as they shall agrees between themselves.
of Prayer after Sermon.
THE sermon being ended, the minister is “ To give