This is the minister's business! Angels hover over him in his course, and chant over his labors their ancient song, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men;" redeemed men and women, saved by his instrumentality from the wrath of God, and the turbulence of passion, hail him in the language of the prophet, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace;" while the Savior himself pronounces upon him the beatitude, "Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God." Honored and happy man, minister of reconciliation, friend and promoter of peace, the world knows you not, because it knew not Christ; nor, perhaps, does even the church duly appreciate, or adequately reward, your services; but even now your work is its own reward—peace attends upon your steps, and blessings spring up in your path.
"The substance of the following chapters was delivered by the author in a course of sermons which followed a series of expository lectures on the Epistle to the Ephesians. The consecutive method of preaching, which he principally uses, is attended, he thinks, with this, among many other advantages, that it brings under the review of a minister, many subjects which would otherwise be overlooked; affords an opportunity for the introduction of some topics, which, from their peculiarity, seem to require such a way of access to the pulpit; and also furnishes an apology, for the discussion of others, which the fastidiousness of modern delicacy has almost excluded from the range of pastoral admonition. On entering upon the first branch of relative duties, the author was so much under the influence, perhaps improperly, of this excess of refinement, and felt so much the difficulty of making a public statement of the duties of husbands and wives, that he had determined at one time, to relieve himself from the embarrassment, by merely reading large extracts from Mr. Jay's beautiful sermon on this subject. After he had preached two discourses, and thus discharged, as well as he was able, this rather perplexing task, he received a numerously signed petition from many husbands and their wives, belonging to his congregation, requesting that they might be permitted to read in print, the statement of their mutual obligations, which they had heard delivered with so much fidelity and impartiality from the pulpit. Instead of being limited by this request, the Author has gone beyond it, and sent forth the whole series of relative duties; thus furnishing a manual of advice, in which all the members of the household may find something appropriate to the peculiarity of their circumstances. In the following pages, there will be found numerous and long extracts from an incomparably excellent work, by the Rev. Christopher Anderson, of Edinburgh, entitled "The Domestic Constitution." Of that volume, the Author feels that his own is not worthy, in any instance, to be the harbinger; but should he find that he has introduced any families to an acquaintance with a treatise, so well worthy of their most serious attention, he will be thankful for that measure of benefit, and rejoice that he has not labored in vain"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).
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