II. Let Us Say Something with Respect to the Character of the Spiritual Watchman.
Natural endowments embellished with a good education are qualifications obviously requisite for an evangelical minister; that it is needless that we insist upon them at the same time and that the interest of religion has and still continues greatly to suffer for the want them is equally notorious.
Nearly ages of Christianity, men were miraculously qualified and calls into the work of gospel ministry; but we are far from believing that this is the present mode by which ordinary ministers are introduced.
1. It is necessary that those who hands are blessed Lord, buy those repeated interrogations to Simon whether he loved him, has set before us the importance of this qualification in a spiritual shepherd. The sad consequences of admitting those into the army who are in heart enemies of the Commonwealth have often taught men to be careful in this particular.
The trust reposed in the watchmen’s such as renders him capable of great detriment to the community. He that undertakes in this work from secular motives will meet with disappointment. What a gross absurdity as this for a man to command religion to others while he is a stranger to himself!
“The pious preacher will commend the savior from the personal fund of his own experience.” Being smitten with the love of Christ himself with zeal and fervor will he speak of the divine glory! Love to Christ will tend to make a minister faithful and successful. The importance of this point urges me to be copious on the subject were it not too biomes to require a long discussion.
2. Wisdom and prudence are important qualifications in minsters: hence that injunction the great preacher. Matthew x. 16. Be you therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves. He is a man of spiritual understanding whose soul is irradiated with the beams of the Son or Righteousness — has received an unction form the holy one — is taught by the Word and Spirit, walks in the light of God’s countenance He has seen the deceit of his own heart — knows the intrigues of the enemy, — sees the many snares to which the souls of men are exposed, — and not being ignorant of the devices of Satan, he will endeavor to carry to spiritual campaign with that care and prudence that he shall not get advantage. He knows that he has a subtle enemy to oppose and human nature, replete with enmity against the gospel; and will endeavor in every effort to conduct with that wisdom and circumspection as shall appear most likely to prove successful.
3. Patience is another qualification very necessary in a spiritual watchman. His breast being inspired with love to the cause, he will stand the storms of temptations; will not be disheartened by all the fatigues, and sufferings to which his work exposes him; but will endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4. Courage and constitute a part of the character of a gospel minister. A sentinel who is worthy of that station we’ll not fear the formidable appearance of the enemy nor tremble at their menaces. None of these things remove him, Neither will he count his life dear to him to defend a cause so very important. He has the spirit of the intrepid Nehemiah, “Should such a man as I flee?” He stands fast in the face; quits himself like a man, and is strong.
5. Nor let us we forget to mention vigilance or close attention to the businesses signed him, as an essential qualification in a minister of Christ. A man does not answer the idea of a watchmen unless his mind is engaged in the business. The Word, which we have rendered watch, in the text, signifies, in the original, too awake, and abstain from sleeping. Indeed all the purposes of the watch set upon the wall are frustrated if he sleeps on guard; there by himself and the whole army are liable to falling easy prey to the cruel depredations of the enemy. The spiritual watchmen is not to sleep, But to watch the first motion of the enemy and give the alarm: last souls Parish through his drowsiness and inattention.