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you may abound in fervent zeal-you the desire of every saint? Or else may possess personal and mental qua- what mean you by your hungering lifications and endowments ; but, with and thirsting after righteousness—your out vital godliness, these acquisitions mournirg over inbred corruptionare only like the drop of the bucket, your exclaiming, “as the hart panteth or the mere dust of the balance. This after the water-brooks, so panteth my is equally true of every minister of the soul after thee, O God?” Is it not Gospel. He may be a good classic, your ceaseless prayer to "live soberly, a good preacher, and yet not a good righteously, and godly”—to have a con
Vital piety must be the ground science void of offence-to watch work of ministerial excellence and pas- and pray lest you enter into temptatoral success.
tion—to avoid the very appearance Now, observe for a moment how of evil, and to cleave to that which strenuously the word of God enforces is good. this state of heart and character-What But though Barnabas was a good are its exhortations? “ I beseech you, man,” we are very far from the suptherefore, brethren, by the mercies of position that he was immaculate.
We God, that ye present your bodies a have no idea that he was entirely free living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto from those remains of a corrupt nature God, which is your reasonable service." which we carry with us whilst passing “ Put on, therefore, as the elect of through the wilderness. Unmixed puGod, holy and beloved, bowels of mer- rity, entire perfection is an attain. cies, kindness, humbleness of mind, ment only to be enjoyed in the heavenly meekness, long suffering.” “ Let the world. It is unknown to us on this same mind be in you which was also in side the grave; “for we that are in Christ Jesus." “ Put off the old man this tabernacle do groan, being burwhich is corrupt according to the de- thened.” But though not immacuceitful lusts, and be renewed in the lately good, in the strictest sense of the spirit of your minds, and put on the word, he was comparatively good when new man which after God is created his present condition was contrasted in righteousness and true holiness.” with his former, while in a state of With all these admonitions before unregeneracy; or when his character them, how fervently do the inspired was brought into comparison with the writers pray, that their beloved people men of the world. His mind had a might exemplify and feel the force of holy bias, his understanding was under these truths. Take one or two in- the influence of the Spirit of Christ stances as a specimen, “The very God Jesus; he felt a holy tendency, enof peace sanctify you wholly; and I joyed a holy fervour, cherished holy pray GOD your
whole soul, and body, aspirations, indulged holy thoughts, and spirit, may be preserved blameless words, and actions. My brethren, until the coming of the Lord Jesus may we follow him as he also followed Christ.” “ Now the God of peace Christ ! that brought again from the dead our Secondly, Barnabas was “full of the Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd Holy Ghost.” This was the secret of the sheep, through the blood of the
cause of all his piety and goodness; everlasting covenant, make you per- for “no man can receive any thing exect in every good work to do his cept it be given him from above." Here will." And so prays the Saviour, was the hidden spring of every spiritual
Sanctify them through thy truth : feeling which drew him forth from thy word is truth.” And is not this the creature to the Creator—from sight
to faith—from sin to holiness—from the fruitful field shall be accounted
-To have him in the heart like God in bas not partially, but redundantlythe midst of his temple; or like the that he was not only supplied, but enbeautiful and glowing sun in the midst riched-that he was not only fed, but of the firmament as the source of light filled with the Spirit. And what is and life. To feel his agency in in this but an indication of eminent piety, structing, guiding, comforting, assist- of fervent, glowing, enlarged devotion? ing in prayer, restraining, admonish-Oh, to be like him—to have that uncing, sanctifying, sealing, supporting, tion from the Holy One by which we preserving, strengthening, according may know the things that belong to to our day and our need. And this is our peace, and be made wise unto sal. what the Lord promises to every saint. vation ! Oh, to feel by the aid of that “ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon good Spirit that there is a power
and you, and ye shall be clean: from all sweetness attending vital godlinessyour filthiness, and from all your idols, to enjoy more and more under his diwill I cleanse you. A new heart will rection the life of religion in the soul I give you, and a new spirit will I to be spiritually minded which is put within you." Jesus Christ in life to walk with God, and to live timated the same divine donation when more than we ever have done, on the he said, “I will pray the Father, and confines of the eternal world! And he shall give you another Comforter, why, my dear friends, why should not that he may abide with you for ever.” this be the standard of your piety? Is And Jehovah again adds, “I will put the Spirit of the Lord straightened ? my spirit within you, and cause you Do we not need to be filled with the to walk in my statutes, and ye shall Holy Ghost? Is he unwilling to bekeep my judgments, and do them.” stow this fulness upon us ? No-but And does not religious prosperity en- we are too worldly—too disposed to tirely depend on the work of the Holy settle down upon our privileges-too Ghost? What are ordinances, how. | inclined to rest in the form and shaever divinely appointed—however re- dow, in the mere externals of religion gularly attended upon-however pe- —too inclined to follow the Lord at a culiarly adapted and valuable, unless
distance. the Lord the Spirit is pleased to bless But Thirdly, One feature more in the and apply them? What are our Bibles character of Barnabas should be no—what are our sabbaths—what are our ticed-he was full of faith,
“ For he prayers—what are our ministers-with-was a good man, and full of the Holy out the aid and unction of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” The word of One? Is not ministerial success alto- God insists very much upon Faith. gether ascribable to the Spirit of God? | The want of it is the reason why the For it is “not by might nor by pow. Gospel does not more extensively er;" and when the Spirit is poured out profit us—why we have not from on high, every barren wilderness generally embraced Christ in his of. will become as a fruitful field, and fices and characters, as our wisdom
righteousness, as our sanctification, It is truly cheering to witness the triand redemption. Now this faith is umphant march of divine truth in the the gift of God. It is to be sought first ages of the Gospel. We here beby prayer, and it comes to us by hear- hold the Almighty power of God over ing. It has very much to do with the the passions and prejudices of men, cross of the Redeemer, and with the and perceive the facility with which dispensations of our heavenly Father's he can abase the pride, confound the providence. This “fulness of faith” | devices, and defeat the designs of his must have been a very material assist- enemies. When he has a work to ance to Barnabas and his Christian perform, every obstacle will be removfriends in the ministry, in that age in ed out of the way, and every agent rewhich they lived. Remember the quisite for its completion will be found. state of the world at that period. Re- Thus it was in the instance before collect the trials they were called to us. Previous to our Lord's crucifixion endure, the opposition by which they resurrection and ascension from the were assailed-nor forget the greatness grave, the Gospel was but limited in of the work which devolved upon them. its success; but after the mystery of They travelled far--they preached often redemption was fully developed, and -they spake from house to house the price of our pardon was paid, and much of their time was engaged in the perfections of the Deity appeared, holding correspondence with different in all their lovely harmony, at the churches, with pastors and with pri- Mount of Calvary, in the peaceful vate Christians at a distance--and oblation of the great Redeemer, and thus their time and attention must the mission of the Holy Spirit was have been wholly absorbed with the granted for the diffusion of evangelical care of the church. But, oh, what a truth, such a mighty impulse was blessed thing it is to perceive, that given to the efforts of Christian minis. they were so well fitted for their work ters, as rendered them fully equal to by the qualifications of having good- the achievements which they were to ness of principle and character, be gain through the extent of their being so enriched with the Spirit and nevolent range. And when we view abounding in faith.
the heralds which it pleased God to And this, let me assure you, is actu- employ, and recollect the opposition ally indispensable. Though you are not by which they were every where atApostles—though you are not public tended, and the talents which were ministers of religion, yet you have to conferred upon them for their work, pass through an enemy's country- we are constrained to say, “This was your minds will often be seriously ex- the Lord's doing, it is marvellous ercised-you will have trials in your | in our eyes.” To see, therefore, by families and in the world, and, there- the ministrations of Barnabas, many fore, you need the aid of the Holy turning unto the LORD, delights us Ghost-you need to be enriched by when we notice the influence of relifaith. Oh, then, to be like him, to gion upon the people, upon the preach. catch his spirit, to imbibe his disposicers, and upon the place; it must have tion, to follow his example!
given quite a new impulse to those But we now direct your attention, who laboured in word and doctrine. in the next place, to his ministerial suc- Nor should you forget the intimate cess. “He was a good man, and full of connection which there is between the Holy Ghost and of Faith : and personal piety and ministerial usefulness. much people was added unto the LORD.” Nothing short of vital godliness in the preacher of Christianity will avail. , casion to speak of a deceased ChrisA person may enter the sacred office, tian friend, to be able to refer you to either at home or abroad, from the his life and conduct as the best comhope of secular emolument, or from ment upon his principles, as the best the love of popular fame, or under the exposition of the true state of his influence of patronage, or from any heart, in the sight of God and man. other inferior and unworthy motive, But as our excellent friend was a pubwhose heart, alas, is not right in lic character, and was so well known, the sight of God; but such induce- and so highly respected in this neighments as these will ill accord with bourhood, it may not be unsuitable the holy, self-denying, energetic and just to glance at him, whilst we bid persevering character of a good mi- him farewell until the morning of the nister of Jesus Christ. With no bet- resurrection. Let us contemplate his ter feelings than these, that person character both as a Christian and as a will never be “a workman, that needeth Pastor of the church of Christ. not to be ashamed, rightly dividing 1st. As a Christian, you will have no the word of truth.” With no better hesitation in saying with me, he was motives than these he will never be “a truly exemplary. He seems to have good steward of the manifold grace of imbibed very much of the meekness and God." Can that individual, how- gentleness of his Divine Master, and, ever popular as a public speaker, be as these graces were formed and grew anxious to win souls to the Saviour, upon the vital stock of personal piety, who neglects and undervalues his own? they became not merely moral virtues, Can he say, “ Be ye followers of me, but were Christian fruits, which deas I also am of Christ, and mark them rived all their nourishment, savour, which walk so as ye have us for an beauty, and strength, from union to ensample,” who is a lover of pleasure Jesus Christ. No person in the neighmore than of God, and who is a stran- bourhood in which he resided was ger to the great fundamental doctrine more deservedly beloved. This was of sanctification by the cross of Jesus very publicly avowed by the sympaChrist? Barnabas, however, was a thising and weeping multitudes who man of a very different character and followed him to the silent tomb, and spirit, and so were his excellent col- who seemed to feel the loss of a father, leagues; they were men taught of and will long revere his pious memory. God; and it is on this ground alone With his heart thus right with GOD that we account for their extended he was prepared to sustain those trials
both in the family, in the church, and Having thus glanced, as we propos. in the world, through which he was ed, at the PERSONAL CHARACTER AND called to pass. Affiction is the comMINISTERIAL SUCCESS OF BARNABAS, mon lot of believers, and of that bitter allow me, in the
cup ministers are called to drink as well SECOND place, to draw your at- as yourselves; and, my brethren, this tention to THE RESEMBLANCE TO THIS is very wisely ordered. It tends maPIOUS MODEL, WHICH WAS BORNE terially to keep us humble; for there is BY THAT VENERABLE MINISTER OF that in our office, without these visitaCHRIST, WHO IS NOW NO MORE. You tions, which is calculated to inflate the are aware, my friends, that we are not native pride of the heart. But it is partial to funeral eulogies of a perso- with us as it was with the Apostle Paul, nal nature. We would, at all times, who acknowledged, “ Lest I should be very much prefer, when we have oc- exalted above measure there was given
to me a thorn in the flesh.” Ah, | And during this period of his ministrawhen we meet with these visitations tions, forty-six years (oh, what a season of our Heavenly Father's providence, in which to be found preaching the Gowe become more experimental in our spel!) during that period, I say, how public discourses, more sympathetic many must he have been made instru. with the mourner, with the meek and mental in turning from darkness to the afflicted, and can speak to them of light, and from the power of Satan what we have tasted and handled of unto God! And we do not derive this the good word of God. We can tell conclusion merely from what he had them of the utility of prayer and of re- the happiness to witness, as we firmly straining grace, and as companions in believe that every minister who preaches tribulation we can sit down together at the truth in its native simplicity, plainthe Saviour's feet, bearing one another's ness, and force, is more extensively burdens, and so fulfilling the law of successful than he has any knowledge Christ.
of, on this side of the grave. I have no But our departed friend though hesitation, therefore, in believing, that tried as a saint, knew where to apply much of that good seed which our dear for succour and support. He knew the venerable friend scattered, will bear value of the throne of grace, the pre- fruit unto holiness, the end thereof ciousness of the promises of the Gospel, being eternal life, perhaps for years and what it was to confide entirely in hence, after he has been numbered Jehovah's faithfulness and power. Nor with the dead. Nor will the savour of did he tarnish that character which he his public discourses be forgotten by sustained so honorably to a good old those much attached friends and fol. age. Now this is of high importance lowers who were accustomed statedly to those of us who are public persons, to sit under his ministry;—they found that labour in word and doctrine. Your them refreshing, edifying, and strength. ministers are but men like yourselves ; ening, as in all other places where the we are not beyond the reach of temp- truth is revealed. There persons went tation—we are not beyond the fiery frequently, no doubt, up to Zion's hal. darts of Satan ; others have fallen, and lowed gates with their spirits depressed, it is only by the grace of God that we with their minds cast down by reason are what we are, and that grace, con- of the way; but then, here, by the ferred on our dear venerable friend, was agency of his dearly beloved servant, exceeding and abundant—thus he was Christ was pleased to meet with them enabled to shine as a bright star until and impart to them joy and peace he set amidst the clouds of death. in the Holy Ghost.
Or if we turn our attention to our de- Norwas his attention confined to his own parted friend as a minister, we find him flock, he looked upon the church at large equally beloved. When he came to this with a benevolent gaze. For the Jews neighbourhood, forty-six years ago, and the Heathen he was devoutly anxithere were few ministers of the Gospel, ous, the publication and diffusion of both in the church and among our dis- religious tracts occupied an appropriate senting communities. Basil Wood, I share of his kind attention; and the understand, was the first minister in rising generation, especially those conthis neighbourhood that instituted a nected with his own fold, shared Sabbath-evening lecture; and notwith in his warm paternal zeal. The chilstanding the opposition with which he dren will miss him; they will often had to contend, it has been much think, and speak of him. May they imblessed both to saints and sinners. prove by his fatherly instructions and