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“ Read without gall or prejudice. Let not truth “ fare the worse for the plainness. Catch not at sylla“bles and phrases. Study to seek the Church's peace. “ Keep faith and a good conscience."
Preface to Bp. Sanderson's Sermons.
THE GROUND OF MUTUAL REGARD BETWEEN
MINISTERS AND PEOPLE.
1 CORINTHIANS v. 14, 15. The love of Christ constraineth us ; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
If we were forced to fix on any single point as being of the first and greatest consequence above all others towards the good effect of Christian preaching, so far as concerns the human instruments of doing good, we should perhaps agree with very general consent that it is this; namely, that the ministers of Christ should be believed to be in earnest, and to have their heart in what they say. And this may be of even more than ordinary consequence, whenever minister and people meet—as is so frequently the case—as perfect strangers in all other ways.
I purpose therefore, with desire of the Divine blessing, to set before you certain reasons-good reasons, as they seem to me—why we, the ministers of Jesus Christ, at any rate may be believed and trusted, when we express concern for hearers utterly unknown to us, and-even though we be but preachers of a day-exhort to faith and holiness with just as much declared anxiety on your behalf, as that which you familiarly hear professed by any well-known regular instructor, of whose sincerity there has been proof afforded by experience. That there must frequently be changes among Christian ministers, is what the state of human life alone might serve abundantly to prove to us; yet when such changes actually come, they will give risein all who really consider, and who care for the concerns of the soul-to many anxious and affecting thoughts.
To throw the thought on which I now would speak into a practical shape, let us suppose a Christian hearer, in our own communion, to question with himself as follows.
“ These changes of my spiritual pastors, " to which I find myself so often subject,
are nothing wonderful. One goeth, and another cometh ; one soweth, and another