Christ, The Example Of Ministers
It is not only our great duty, but will be our greatest honor, to imitate Christ, and do the work that he has done, and so act as co-workers with him.The ministers of Christ should be persons of the same spirit that their Lord was of– the same spirit of humility and lowliness of heart; for the servant is not greater than his Lord.They should be of the same spirit of heavenly mindedness, and contempt of the glory, wealth, and pleasures of this world.
They should be of the same spirit of devotion and fervent love to God. They should follow the example of his prayerfulness; of whom we read from time to time of his retiring from the world, away from the noise and applause of the multitudes, into mountains and solitary places, for secret prayer, and holy converse with his Father.
Ministers should be persons of the same quiet, lamb like spirit that Christ was of, the same spirit of submission to God’s will, and patience under afflictions, and meekness towards men; of the same calmness and composure of spirit under reproaches and sufferings from the malignity of evil men; of the same spirit of forgiveness of injuries; of the same spirit of charity, of fervent love and extensive benevolence; the same disposition to pity the miserable, to weep with those that weep, to help men under their calamities of both soul and body, to hear and grant the requests of the needy, and relieve afflicted; the same spirit of condescension to the poor and lowly, tenderness and gentleness toward the weak, and great and effectual love to enemies.
They should also be of the same spirit of zeal, diligence, and self-denial for the glory of God, and advancement for his kingdom, and for the good of mankind; for which things sake Christ went though the greatest labors, and endured the most extreme sufferings.
And in order to our imitating Christ in the work of the ministry, in any tolerable degree, we should not have our hearts weighed down, and time filled up with worldly affections, cares, and pursuits.
The duties of a minister that have been recommended, are absolutely inconsistent with a mind much taken up with worldly profit, glory, amusements, and entertainments.