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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

4, members.

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members of division, nor to trouble their minds with obscure

terms of art.
In raising doctrines from the text, his care ought to be,
First, That the matter be the truth of God. Secondly, That
it be a truth contained in or grounded on that text, that
the hearers may discern how God teacheth it from thence,
Thirdly, That he chiefly insist upon those doctrines which
are principally intended, and make most for the edification
of the hearers.
The doctrine is to be expressed in plain terms; or, if any
thing in it need explication, it is to be opened, and the com.
sequence also from the text cleared. The parallel places of
scripture, confirming the doctrine, are rather to be plaim and
pertiment, than many, and (if need be) somewhat insisted
upon, and applied to the purpose in hand.
The arguments or reasons are to be solid, and, as much
as may be, convincing. The illustrations, of what kindso.
ever, ought to be full of light, and such as may convey the
truth into the hearer's heart with spiritual delight.
If any doubt obvious from scripture, reason, or prejudice
of the hearers, seem to arise, it is very requisite to remost
it, by reconciling the seeming differences, answering the
reasons, and discovering and taking away the causes of pre-
judice and mistake. Qtherwise it is not fit to detain the
hearers with propounding or answering vain or wicked ca-
vils, which, as they are endless, so the propounding and all-
swering of them doth more hinder than promote edification,
He is not to rest in general doctrine, although never 50
much cleared and confirmed, but to bring it home to special
use, by application to his hearers: which albeit it prove a
work of great difficulty to himself, requiring much prudence,
zeal, and meditation, and to the natural and corrupt man
will be very unpleasant : yet he is to endeavour to perform
it in such a manner, that his auditors may feel the word of

God to be quick and powerful, and a discerner of thethoughts

and intents of the heart; and that, if any unbeliever orig.
norant person be present, he may have the secrets of his

heart made manifest, and give glory to God.
In the use of instruction or information in the knowledge
of some truth, which is a consequence from his doctrine, he
- - may

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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

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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
and place, and not mixing his own passion or bitterness.
5. Gravely, as becometh the word of God; shunning all
such gesture, voice, and expressions, as may occasion the
corruptions of men to despise him and his ministry.
6. With loving affection,that thepeople may see allcoming
from his godly zeal, and hearty desire to do them good. And,
7. As taught of God, and persuaded in his own heart,
that all that he teacheth is the truth of Christ; and walking
before his flock, as an example to them in it; earnestly, both
in private and publick, recommending his labours to the
blessing of God, and watchfully looking to himself, and the
flock whereof the Lord hath made him overseer: So shall
the doctrine of truth be preserved uncorrupt, many souls
converted and built up, and himself receive manifold com-
forts of his labours even in this life, and afterward the
crown of glory laid up for him in the world to o h
*- Where

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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
“ thanks for the great love of God, in sending his Son.
“Jesus Christ unto us; for the communication of his Holy
“Spirit; for the light and liberty of the glorious gospel,
“ and the rich and heavenly blessings revealed therein; as,
“namely, election, vocation, adoption, justification, sanctio
“fication, and hope of glory; for the admirable goodness
“of God in freeing the land from antichristian darkness.
“and tyranny, and for all other national deliverances; for
“the reformation of religion; for the covenant; and for
“many temporal blessings. -
“To pray for the continuance of the gospel, and all or-. .
“dinances thereof, in their purity, power, and liberty: to
“turn the chief and most useful heads of the sermon into.
“some few petitions; and to pray that it may abide in the
Pbring forth fruit. -
“To pray for preparation for death and judgment, and
“a watching for the coming of our Lord Jesús Christ: to
“entreat of God, the forgiveness of the iniquities of our
“holy things, and the acceptation of our spiritual sacrifice,
“through the merit and mediation of our great High Priest
“ and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.” -
And because the prayer which Christ taught his disciples
is not only a pattern of prayer, but itself a most compre-
hensive prayer, we recommend it also to be used in the
prayers of the church. -
And whereas, at the administration of the sacraments, the
holding publick fasts and days of thanksgiving, and other
special occasions, which may afford matter of special petitions
and thanksgivings, it is requisite to express somewhat in our .
publick prayers, (as at this time it is our duty to pray for a
blessing upon the Assembly ofPrime, the armies by sea and

land,

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