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adversaries, yet as to us, we know our time is short, and
" the night of death will soon come when no man can
Avork," We live in a dying world, and dwell in regions
of mortality, and have lately had frequent and aAvful
notices of the uncertain tenure of human life.

The last year in particular, with respect to ministers
may very properly be called the dying year, in which
the God of heaven has smitten his Church in these parts.



CHAEACTER AND DUTY OF A PREACHER, 23

mth repeated strokes of sore bereavement in a close and
awful succession ! Scarce had we time to dry our weep-
ing eyes for the loss of one of eminent character and
usefulness,* but the streams of grief were called to flow
down afresh for the loss of another,f whose zeal for God
and the conversion of souls, was scarce to be paralleled.
And yet for all this, the anger of Jehovah was not turned
away, but his hand was soon lifted up again, and with a
dreadful aitn, and resistless stroke, has bi-ought down to
the dust, perhaps the greatest pillar in this part of Zion's
buildings.^ Oh ! how does the whole fabric shake and
totter ! And what a gloomy aspect do these providences
wear ? as if God, by calling home his ambassadors, was
about to quit the affiair of negotiating peace with man-
kind any more.

Shall not 'we, then, who survive, double and redouble
our diligence, knowing our time is short, and in propor-
tion to the decrease of laborers, the work increases upon
our hands. O sirs ! are heaven and hell glorious and
dreadful realities ? are shiners despising the one and
sleeping over the mouth of the other, and are we sent
from God to awaken them, and show them their danger ?
sent to offer them a Saviour and invite them to fly from
the wrath to come to his atoning blood, why then, oh !
why do not these important reahties swallow up our
whole attention ? Why do not we make more haste in
plucking sinners as brands from everlasting burning?
Why do not we pray more fervently, and preach more
zealously, and lay out our whole life, and soul, and
strength in this great work ? What ! is the interest and
happiness of deathless immortal souls worth no more
pains ? Can we do no more for the honor and interest
of our glorious Master than this comes to ? Shall the
men of this world be more painful and industrious in
seeking themselves, than we in seeking the gloiy of Christ,
and the salvation of souls ? God forbid ! We are on

* The Rev. Mr. Aaron Buit, President of the College.

f The Eev. Mr. James Davenport, Minister at Hopewell, both of
Xcw-Jersey.

X The Rev. Jonathan Edwards, President of the College of New-
Jersey.



24 CHAKACTEE AND DUTY OF A PKEACHEK

matters of life and death. We pray, and preach, and labor
for eternity. Sure it becomes us then to do it with all our
mio-ht. Shall we not be solemn and serious, when so near
that state and place where all are serious '? Beheve it,
sirs, there is no trifling m the eternal world ; there are
none hi jest, either in heaven or hell. God forbid, then,
that we should jest and trifle with immortal^ souls, that
are just at the door and upon the borders of an eternal
state !



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Online LibraryDavid BostwickThe character and duty of a Christian preacher → online text (page 3 of 3)