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of all divine truth on account of the variety of opinions concerning it, is full as absurd, and infinitely more pernicious. As much as the concerns of our bodies are exceeded by those of our souls, or time by eternity; so much is the most useful human science exceeded in importance by those truths which are sacred and divine.

Finally, Let us all take heed that our attachments to divine truth itself be on account of its being divine. We are ever in extremes; and whilst one in a time of controversy, throws off all regard to religious sentiment in the gross, reckoning the whole a matter of speculation; another becomes excessively affected to his own opinions, whether right or wrong, without bringing them to the great criterion, the word of God. Happy will it be for us all if truth be the sole object of our enquiries; and if our attachment to divine truth itself be not on account of its being what we have once engaged to defend, but what God hath revealed. This only will endure reflection in a dying hour; and be approved when the time of disputing shall have an end with men.





[Selected rom Smith's Lectures on the Nature and End of the Sacred Office.]


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HE who intends to dedicate himself to the sa"cred office, ought early to devote himself to the "strictest piety and virtue, that he may not be viti"ated by any ill habit, which it may not afterwards "be easy for him to lay aside. He ought, above all "things, to possess himself with a high sense of the "christian religion, of its truth and excellency, of "the value of souls, of the dignity of the pastoral care, "of the honour of God, of the sacredness of holy "functions, and of the great trust that is committed "to those who are set apart from the world, and de"dicated to God and to his church. He who looks "this way, must mortify himself to the appetites of "pleasure, and wealth, and honour, and power. He "must consider, that the relation in which he intends "to officiate, calls every one who enters upon it to "the greatest holiness and virtue; to a purity and "innocency of manners, to a meekness and gentle"ness, to a humility and self-denial, to a contempt "of the world, and a heavenly-mindedness, to a pa"tient resignation to the will of God, and a readi


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