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XIX. Let no minister be governed by the opinion of his people, and destroy his duty, by unreasonable compliance with their humours, lest, as the bishop of Granata told the governors of Leria and Patti, like silly animals they take burdens upon their backs at the pleasure of the multitude, which they neither can retain with prudence, nor shake off with safety.
XX. Let not the reverence of any man cause you to sin against God; but in the matter of souls, being well advised, be bold and confident; but abate nothing of the honour of God, or the just measures of your duty, to satisfy the importunity of any man whatsoever, and God will bear
XXI. When you teach your people any part of their duty, as in paying their debts, their tithes and offerings, in giving due reverence and religious regards, diminish nothing of admonition in these particulars, and the like, though they object, That you speak for yourselves, and in your own cases. For counsel is not the worse, but the better, if it be profitable both to him that gives, and to him that takes it. Only do it in simplicity, and principally intend the good of their souls.
XXII. In taking accounts of the good lives of yourselves or others, take your measures by the express words of scripture; and next to them estimate them by their proportion and compliance with the public measures, with the laws of the nation, ecclesiastical and civil, and by the rules of fame, of public honesty and good report; and last of all by their observation of the ordinances and exterior parts of religion.
XXIII. Be not satisfied when you have done a good work, unless you have also done it well; and when you have, then be careful that vainglory, partiality, self-conceit, or any other folly or indiscretion, snatch it not out of your hand, and cheat you of the reward
XXIV. Be careful so to order yourself, that you fall not into temptation and folly in the presence of any your charges; and especially that you fall not into 'chidings and intemperate talkings, and sudden and violent expressions : never be a party in clamours and scoldings, lest your calling be useless, and your person contemptible : ever remembering that if you cheaply and lightly be engaged in such low usages with any person, that person is likely to be lost from all possibility of receiving much good from your ministry.
III. The rules and measures of government to be used by
ministers in their respective cures. XXV. Use no violence to any man, to bring him to your opinion; but by the word of your proper ministry, by demonstrations of the Spirit, by rational discourses, by excellent examples, constrain them to come in; and for other things they are to be permitted to their own liberty, to the measures of the laws, and the conduct of their governors.
XXVI. Suffer no quarrel in your parish, and speedily suppress it when it is begun; and though all wise men will abstain from interposing in other men's affairs, and especially in matters of interest, which men love too well; yet it is your duty here to interpose, by persuading them to friendships, reconcilements, moderate prosecutions of their pretences; and by all means you prudently can, to bring them to peace and brotherly kindness.
XXVII. Suffer no houses of debauchery, of drunkenness or lust in your parishes; but implore the assistances of authority for the suppressing of all such meeting-places and nurseries of impiety; and as for places of public entertainment, take care that they observe the rules of Christian piety, and the allowed measures of the laws.
XXVIII. If there be any papists or sectaries in your parishes, neglect not frequently to confer with them in the spirit of meekness, and by the importunity of wise discourses seeking to gain them. But stir up no violences against them; but leave them (if they be incurable) to the wise and merciful disposition of the laws.
XXIX. Receive not the people to doubtful disputations: and let no names of sects or differing religions be kept up amongst you, to the disturbance of the public peace and private charity: and teach not the people to estimate their piety by their distance from any opinion, but by their faith in Christ, their obedience to God and the laws, and their love to all Christian people, even though they be deceived.
XXX. Think no man considerable upon the point or pretence of a tender conscience, unless he live a good life, and in all things endeavour to approve himself void of offence both towards God and man: but if he be an humble person, modest and inquiring, apt to learn and desirous of information; if he seeks for it in all ways reasonable and pious, and is obedient to laws, then take care of him, use him tenderly, persuade him meekly, reprove him gently,
and deal mercifully with him, till God shall reveal also that to him, in which his unavoidable trouble and his temptation lies.
XXXI. Mark them that cause divisions among you, and avoid them; for such persons are by the scripture called scandalsa in the abstract; they are offenders and offences too. But if any man have an opinion, let him have it to himself, till he can be cured of his disease by time, and counsel, and gentle usages. But if he separates from the church, or gathers a congregation, he is proud, and is fallen from the communion of saints, and the unity of the catholic church.
XXXII. He that observes any of his people to be zealous, let him be careful to conduct that zeal into such channels where there is least danger of inconveniency; let him employ it in something that is good; let it be to fight against sin. For zeal is like a cancer in the breast; feed
it with good flesh, or it will devour the heart.
XXXIII. Strive to get the love of the congregation; but let it not degenerate into popularity. Cause them to love you and revere you; to love with religion, not for your compliance; for the good you do them, not for that you please them
Get their love by doing your duty, but not by omitting, or spoiling any part of it: ever remembering the severe words of our blessed Saviour, Wo be to you when all men speak well of you.
XXXIV. Suffer not the common people to prattle about religion and questions; but to speak little, to be swift to hear, and slow to speak; that they learn to do good works for necessary uses, that they work with their hands, that they may have wherewithal to give to them that need; that they study to be quiet, and learn to do their own business.
XXXV. Let every minister take care that he call on his charge, that they order themselves so, that they leave no void spaces of their time, but that every part of it be filled with useful or innocent employment. For where there is a space without business, that space is the proper time for danger and temptation; and no man is more miserable than he that knows not how to spend his time.
XXXVI. Fear no man's person in the doing of your duty wisely, and according to the laws : remembering always,
that a servant of God can no more be hurt by all the powers of wickedness, than by the noise of a fly's wing,
• Σκάνδαλα παρά την διδαχήν. Vide Rom. xvi. 17. οι διχοστατούντες.
or the chirping of a sparrow. Brethren, do well for yourselves; do well for yourselves as long as you have time; you
know not how soon death will come. XXXVII. Entertain no persons into your assemblies from other parishes, unless upon great occasion, or in the destitution of a minister, or by contingency and seldom visits, or with leave; lest the labour of thy brother be discouraged, and thyself be thought to preach Christ out of envy, and not of good-will.
XXXVIII, Never appeal to the judgment of the people in matters of controversy; teach them obedience, not arrogancy; teach them to be humble, not crafty. For without the aid of false guides you will find some of them of themselves apt enough to be troublesome; and a question put into their heads and a power of judging into their hands, is a putting it to their choice whether you shall be troubled by them this week or the next; for much longer you cannot escape. XXXIX. Let no minister of a parish introduce
any ceremony, rites, or gestures, though with some seeming piety and devotion, but what are commanded by the church, and established by law; and let these also be wisely and usefully explicated to the people, that they may understand the reasons of obedience; but let there be no more introduced, lest the people be burdened unnecessarily, and tempted or divided.
IV. Rules and advices concerning preaching. XL. Let every minister be diligent in preaching the word of God, according to the ability that God gives him : ever remembering that to minister God's word unto the people is the one half of his great office and employment.
XLI. Let every minister be careful that what he delivers be indeed the word of God; that his sermon may be answerable to his text; for this is God's word, the other ought to be according to it; that although in itself it be but the word of man, yet by the purpose, truth, and signification of it, it may in a secondary sense be the word of God.
XLII. Do not spend your sermons in general and indefinite things, as in exhortations to the people to get Christ, to be united to Christ, and things of the like unlimited signification ;, but tell them in every duty, what are the measures, what circumstances, what instruments, and what is the particular minute meaning of every general advice. For generals not explicated do but fill the people's heads with empty notions, and their mouths with perpetual unintelligible talk; but their hearts remain empty, and themselves are not edified.
XLIII. Let not the humours and inclinations of the people be the measures of your doctrines, but let your doctrines be the measure of their persuasions. Let them know from you what they ought to do; but if you learn from them what you ought to teach, you will give but a very ill account at the day of judgment of the souls committed to you. He that receives from the people what he shall teach them, is like a nurse that asks of her child what physic she shall give him.
XLIV. Every minister in reproofs of sin and sinners, ought to concern himself in the faults of them that are present, but not of the absent; nor in reproof of the times; for this can serve no end but of faction and sedition, public murmur and private discontent; besides this, it does nothing but amuse the people in the faults of others, teaching them to revile their betters, and neglect the dangers of their own souls.
XLV. As it looks like flattery and design to preach nothing before magistrates but the duty of their people and their own eminency; so it is the beginning of mutiny to preach to the people the duty of their superiors and supreme; it can neither come from a good principle, nor tend to a good end. Every minister ought to preach to his parish, and urge their duty: St. John the Baptist told the soldiers what the soldiers should do, but troubled not their heads with what was the duty of the Scribes and Pharisees.
XLVI. In the reproof of sins be as particular as you please, and spare no man's sin, but meddle with no man's person; neither name any man, nor signify him, neither reproach him, or make him to be suspected; he that doth otherwise makes his sermon to be a libel, and the ministry of repentance an instrument of revenge; and so doing he shall
exasperate the man, but never amend the sinner. XLVII. Let the business of your sermons be to preach holy life, obedience, peace, love among neighbours, hearty love, to live as the old Christians did, and the new should; to do hurt to no man, to do good to every man: for in these things the honour of God consists, and the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
XLVIII. Press those graces most that do most good, and make the least noise; such as giving privately and forgiving publicly; and prescribe the grace of charity by