“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee, peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, peace be within thee, because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good.”—Psalm 122:6-9

John Hazelton was as remote from the spurious catholicity which acknowledges and receives all professed Christians without inquiry into their faith and practice, as he was free from the bitter sectarianism which cannot acknowledge the existence of spiritual good without the pale
of its own communion.

He nevertheless at all times manifested a denominational spirit. He loved his own section of the Church with profound affection, identified himself with it with unconcealed satisfaction, rejoiced in its prosperity, and sought its good in every possible way.

He frequently rendered important service by his valuable Addresses at Recognition Services. The following is a sketch of a singularly weighty one on—

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THE NATURE AND CONSTITUTION OF A GOSPEL CHURCH.

Before the foundation of the world it was the sovereign, gracious, and unchangeable resolve of our covenant God to have a people who should occupy the nearest possible position to Himself. These constitute the Church of Jesus Christ—the whole election of grace—and all the Divine operations in this world relate directly or indirectly to their welfare and glory.

Having loved them, and resolved to fill them with Himself, He originated time, created the world, spoke Adam into being, and commenced His providential government of all things.

The fall occurred, but His gracious determination remained unchanged. He accordingly stepped on to the premises, and gave the first revelation of the purpose of His love. His saving operations commenced. Further indications of His grace were progressively made; promises, types, and predictions were given; and finally, the incarnation of Christ followed, the cross was set up, and the Church was redeemed from the curse and shame.

By His sufferings and triumphs the Lord acquired a right to dispense all grace, and authority to make all arrangements which were necessary to fulfill God’s eternal designs.

These are recorded in the New Testament, from which we assuredly gather, that it is His will that regenerated persons in different localities should unite together for their mutual welfare and His own glory.

It is thus His pleasure that His pilgrims should travel to heaven in companies; that His sheep should be gathered into folds; that His followers should be planted in gardens; that His children live together in the “House of God.”

A Church is therefore a congregation of Christian men and women, voluntarily united on Gospel principles, and in accordance with the will of Christ.

A Church is the creature of God; the creature of His providence, which must gather its members together into one locality; the creature of His grace, by which its members must have been saved and spiritualised; the creature of His truth which must have been endeared to every heart, and which is the great bond of union and fellowship; and the creature of His preserving care, which must not only perpetuate the assembly in a given locality, but uphold each member in practical godliness and a creditable profession of religion.

Such Churches are Strict Communion Baptist Churches. These hold “the faith once delivered to the saints.” No other organization, however great the personal godliness of those who compose it, is scripturally entitled to be called a Church of God.

We stand where the apostles stood. Others have left that ground.

Such a Church is spiritual in its nature, its members being spiritually living and holy persons. Others are out of place. Dead trees disfigure an orchard. A corpse if kept in a dwelling house injures a family; so dead sinners have no right to a position in a Church.

The order of Church fellowship is clearly defined. There must firstly be spiritual life: that life must, secondly, have manifested itself by trust in the Saviour: the living and believing person must, thirdly, be baptised on a profession of faith: and, fourthly, there must be harmony of conviction as to the leading doctrines of the Gospel, and it must be mutually and affectionately agreed between this person and the Church that he be received. None can enter without the voice of the Church, and the Church can force none to join its fellowship, unless they cordially desire to do so.

The form of a Gospel Church is neither national, provincial, nor parochial. Were it so, it would include all the inhabitants of a locality. Its order is congregational. Each assembly is, under Christ, independent of all others; and the right and power to act are vested in the members when duly convened and assembled for that purpose.

Its powers are not legislative but executive. It cannot make laws or alter any of the enactments of the Lord’s statute book. It cannot modify, transpose, ignore, or dispense with anything that comes from Christ, but its business is to carry out His revealed will in every particular.

It is empowered to transact its own business; admit or withdraw from members; appoint its own officers; maintain the doctrines and ordinances of Christ, and publicly worship God, independently of the authority of any man, or company of men in the world.

These ordinances are two—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both have divine authority—and both should be observed in the strictest deference to His revealed will.

Baptism is by immersion. Its subjects are believers. Its objects the setting forth of our union to Christ in His death and resurrection. It is the ritual way into the visible Church.

The Lord’s Supper is a Church ordinance; and partaking of it is a privilege which should be exclusively confined to its members, and to transient communicants who are members of other Strict Communion Churches.

Christ’s authority in revelation both to baptism and the Lord’s Supper is before charity, conscience, infirmity, policy, or one’s inability to see their importance, and they are binding to the end of time.[1]

Churches have two officers—pastors and deacons.

The pastor presides, preaches, supervises, and rules the spiritual flock who have voluntarily and affectionately invited him to do so. His temporal maintenance is provided by his people, not as an act of charity but of justice. He has a right—based on the will of Christ—to the proceeds of his ministry.

Deacons are voluntary and honorary servants of the Church. Their office is defined as “serving tables”—the table of the Lord; the table of the poor; and the table of their pastor, whose welfare they should consider, and specially endeavour that he may be free from pecuniary anxiety and embarrassment.

Deacons are stewards of all pecuniary contributions to the cause of God, which they are to apply with the utmost diligence to the purposes intended.

Though a Church is a spiritual community its affairs should be managed on the honourable and prudent principles which are universally admitted by upright and worthy men. The proceedings of every Church should be business-like.

The design of all this is the welfare of Zion. Church fellowship is the highest form of fellowship on earth, and ensures very holy ends. A well-ordered Church is a divinely constituted benefit society. By it the truth is maintained; the word of life held forth; good effected; and God glorified.

None of his many Charges to churches on such occasions were, that we know, published; one, however, is memorable, the address delivered in Soho Chapel, Oxford street, on Nov. 30th, 1875, at the settlement of our brother, John Box.

Selecting the words:—”Let all things be clone decently and in order ” (1 Cor. 14:40), as his motto-verse, he discoursed on the policy which tends to the peace and welfare of a Gospel Church.

He dwelt on the fact that the original meaning of the word “decent” is becoming; and urged the pursuance of such prayerful, prudent, and pacific conduct as is becoming to a spiritual, evangelical and heaven-bound assembly.

“Order,” he continued, is essential to church prosperity. It “is heaven’s first law.” The order enjoined in the text is not the mechanical observance of human rules, or the repression of individuality among church members; but a prayerful, diligent and holy observance of the commands and principles of the New Testament which emanates from Him who is the “God of order” (See page 112).
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His Charges to his ministerial brethren at their settlements were exceedingly characteristic. The following is a specimen:—

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THE PASTOR ADMONISHED.

“And there they preached the Gospel.”—Acts 14:7

These words refer to Paul and Barnabas, who after preaching Christ at Antioch, where they experienced much persecution, “shook off the dust of their feet, and came to Iconium.” There also considerable bitterness was manifested, and they fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and there they preached the gospel. Paul was a highly educated man, and, doubtless, a philosopher, and therefore, well able to deliver philosophical lectures. That, however was not his vocation: nor was he a political agitator, nor was Barnabas. They did not deliver addresses on such matters; neither did they deliver lectures on heathen mythology or poetry. This Paul could have done; but he was determined to know nothing wherever he went but “Christ and Him crucified.” They therefore preached the glorious gospel of God’s grace in Lystra.

As a preliminary enquiry, let us ask, “WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?”

It implies three or four very solemn facts. It implies, firstly, that man is a sinner; for if there were no sin in existence, and man had not become a sinner, we had never heard of the glorious gospel of God.

It implies, secondly, that the Lord our God is unchangeable. Had it been possible for Him, as the moral Governor of the universe, to repeal His law, or to change it in any respect, this, I think, would have been done, and the death of Christ would have been avoided; we should have had no precious blood to talk about, and no gospel to preach.

It implies, thirdly, that man is an immortal being, and I hope, my brother, that you will hold fast to this solemn and all-important fact. I trust that you will never get it into your head that the soul of man is mortal, and that immortality is consequent upon the mediatorial work and sufferings of Jesus Christ. Man lost everything that was morally good and excellent when he fell; but he did not lose the immortality of his soul. He lost the immortality of his body, for “The body is dead because of sins;” but the natural immortality of the soul man retains, and I cannot conceive why God should have given a gospel to fallen man if his spirit had not been deathless.

In the fourth place, the gospel implies that there are certain important movements of sovereign grace on the throne of God. Putting these four facts together, we find that they connect themselves with each other in a very important manner. Man is a sinner, and therefore needs (though he does not deserve) the gospel. The Lord God is unchangeable, and, therefore, if He will save sinners, He must make such holy arrangements as are unfolded in the good news of salvation. The human race is immortal, and God has resolved to save sinners. This resolution necessitated the acts of His grace and revelation of His will, and that revelation we call the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ.

1. The Gospel is a divine relation of divine persons, things, and operations. First of all, it is a divine revelation of the decrees, and thoughts, and gracious purposes of the great Jehovah. You are not, my brother, to limit your attention to His acts in time, or even to the cross of Jesus Christ. You will have much to say about the cross, and about the sufferings of Jesus Christ. You must, indeed, go to Calvary, and stand there, and have much to do with that solemn spot; but you are to go beyond the cross, you are to go beyond the blood, and beyond the Saviour’s work. You are to go into eternity and contemplate the sovereignty and holy and righteous will of Jehovah, as it is revealed in that gospel you have to preach.

Now God resolved before the world to save His people. You will not preach universal redemption and universal salvation based upon human or Divine chance, if there be such a thing as chance in connection with Divinity. No, you will preach a salvation based on the eternal purposes, decrees, and thoughts, and resolutions of the everlasting Jehovah; and, having gone back into eternity, guided, as you will be, by the gospel, you will take your stand, so to speak, in eternity; and, having contemplated these thoughts and purposes of God, you will proceed to notice how God embodied them all in a systematic manner. He thought, resolved, and decreed, and then arranged all His purposes, thoughts, and decrees; and that Divine system is everywhere called THE COVENANT OF GRACE.

You will further contemplate God in His Trinity of Persons as the covenant God of a covenant people, and you will be very particular in pointing out the respective offices of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You will not confound the Father’s work with that of the Son, nor that of the Son with that of the Spirit, nor that of the Spirit with that of the Father and the Son.

If you do this, however, you may expect to hear it whispered that you are rather doctrinal; but you will not be able to preach the gospel unless you preach the glorious doctrines of grace. You must talk about not only what it is to hunger for and to eat the bread, but you must describe the bread itself, and whence it came, and who made it. State fully that the bread you set forth, came from heaven, and when you have done this, and spread the gospel table with heavenly food, describe the experiences of hungry souls and freely invite them to come and partake. If there be hesitating ones—and there will be many—place the bread before them, and try to preach away their fears, their doubts, and their darkness. Attempt to encourage them as a minister of Jesus Christ, and whilst you are thus preaching the Holy Ghost will bless your act, and come down upon the people, and seal the word of Divine truth upon their hearts.

If you will take my advice, you will not talk much about the first, second and third Persons in the Trinity, although it is true there are three Persons in the great and glorious Godhead. They are equal in power, glory, grace and will—in every respect: and, therefore, you will find it necessary sometimes to place the third first, or the second first. However, you will set forth God in His Trinity of Persons as the covenant God of His Church and people. Point out the eternal love of the Father, the eternal love and merits and salvation of the Son, and the eternal Godhead and graciousness, and power, and glory of the Holy Spirit. Preach the saving operations of a Triune God. Let purpose be first, and the covenant of grace second, and then set forth the three- one God, executing His one great plan, and actualising and realising the purpose of His eternal grace.

To do this you will have to preach God on the cross, and in the law, and on the throne, and in the church, and in Providence. You will even have to preach God in hell, in a certain sense, for His justice, His holiness, and truth are there. You will get behind the cross, and preach love above it, blood upon it, and power beneath it. You will preach redemption coming out of eternal love, and power coming out of redemption.

Love was before blood; and, if you would take a scriptural view of salvation, you must bear this important fact in mind. Redemption is the outcome of dateless love, and the power by which sinners are saved is the outcome of redemption. In due course life follows love and blood, and those that were chosen in Christ, and redeemed by Him, are regenerated by the Spirit of God. This you will preach.

Whatever your theme may be, be careful to exhibit its relation to, and connection with, the mediation of Jesus Christ. Preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified; preach Him in the covenant; preach Him under the law, bearing “our sins in His own body on the tree.” Preach Him as the end of the law—not its terminating, but its fulfilling end—”for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Preach Him in the territories of death, in the confines of the grave, on the salvation side of the sea of wrath, and on the throne of His eternal glory. Preach His incarnation, His complexity, His humiliation, His coronation. Him first, Him last, Him all and in all.

The gospel is thus a Divine revelation of Divine things, God revealing His thoughts in the form of a Divine system—the covenant of grace—which is being accomplished, and when the objects of Divine love and purpose are gathered, there will be a most perfect and complete fulfilment of all the eternal purposes of our God. Preach, therefore, a four-square gospel, in which election, redemption, and regeneration, are co-extensive. Preach salvation by merit, and by might; by love, by blood, by power.

The Father’s love the moving cause; the Saviour’s blood the meritorious cause; and the Spirit’s power the efficient cause, to the praise of the glory of free and sovereign grace.

2. The Gospel may be considered as a divine exposition of heavenly mysteries. I put this thus because it is a rather more comprehensive term than “Divine revelation.” God has explained, simplified, and expounded in His word the mystery of HIMSELF, and of things which are heavenly and eternal. Do you preach abstract Deity? If you should, you will be a higher preacher than I or any of us here. I am free to confess, that I do not preach, and further, that I neither know nor serve abstract Deity. I neither know nor love God out of Christ; nor can I preach Him apart from the mediation of the dear Redeemer. “Our God is a consuming fire.” It is too common to interpolate the words “out of Christ” into this text, and to press it to refer to God, abstractedly considered. This is not, however, its meaning, for God is not “our God” out of Christ at all. We stand in covenant relationship to Him, as we stand in covenant union to His dear Son.

Keep close to, and within the limits of mediation; nor let your thoughts go beyond them. God in Christ is the God of His people; and the God of the gospel is the God you are to preach.

You will never be able to fathom the mystery of the Trinity, and do not attempt it. Absolutely wicked things have been said by people when attempting to illustrate how one is three, and three are one. If you could get round God you might know; but you might as well attempt to get the ocean into a cup as to try and comprehend Him. It is the power of faith, and not of perfect knowledge that is to support you. Your faith goes far beyond your knowledge. If you believe only as much as you know, you will be an uncommonly little believer, because you do not know very much. I believe infinitely more than I know. My faith goes infinitely beyond my limited reason.

State, however, that God is a three-one God; assert the fact; contend for it; but never try to illustrate it, or to show how the Incomprehensible may be comprehended. God has rendered Himself APPREHENSIBLE, but not COMPREHENSIBLE. He has translated His thoughts into our speech, He has translated His great Word into human language. He has simplified this great mystery, a knowledge of which is essential to salvation.

Therefore, if you preach the one great and glorious and incomprehensible Jesus, you will preach a gospel to satisfy the man of mightiest mind, and sufficiently simple and easy to be understood by the babe in grace, who has only half-a-dozen thoughts about spiritual matters. The gospel, then, is a divine revelation of divine things.

3. The gospel is the vehicle of God’s grace.

You will, of course, insist on the necessity of regeneration, and faithfully assure all that ”they must be born again.” I would not, however, advise you to make speculative or philosophical remarks on this mysterious subject. Rather content yourself with stating the solemn fact.

Regeneration, I certainly believe is performed suddenly—but though you believe so, too, you will neither discuss how or when God’s people received spiritual life, but rather deal with the things which evince that the Holy Spirit has quickened their souls. It is by the gospel that a knowledge that he has passed from death unto life is conveyed to the immortal mind of sin-favoured sinner.

I am therefore anxious that you should grasp the importance of the gospel as the great appointed vehicle of God’s grace. All religion that has not a vital connection with it, I regard with the gravest mistrust.

Some have much to say respecting ecstatic emotions, and convictions, and consolations, about which they can give little or no account. God’s word, however, is the vehicle of all knowledge that is saving: and religious impressions that have not a very close connection with gospel truths are not to be trusted. God rides in His word: enters blood-bought hearts by His word: and ever uses it as the means by which He blesses His people. My dear brother, I believe your Master intended this work to be done by His word, or He would not have called you to preach it. When you were convinced of sin you sought Divine guidance, and at length the token came. Now, when the Lord convinces of sin, He applies the word, and the conviction is the result of that application. And when He pardons sin He applies the Word. And when a poor soul is in darkness of mind, and in time obtains comfort, the comfort is the invariable result of an application of the Word.

Sometimes, again, the Christian is dejected in the House of God; as the minister proceeds, the Word is blessed to the dejected one, and he is comforted. If you could preach philosophy, and lecture on heathen mythology, poetry, and historical matters, you might have a certain congregation to listen to you, but I do not hesitate to say that God would never pour His saving grace and truth through such lectures into the hearts of sinful men. No, there is only one vehicle of grace, and this is the gospel which Paul and Barnabas preached, and which you are expected to preach all the days of your life.

This gospel—my brother, do not forget this—is, like its great Author, eternal and unchangeable. We are living in extraordinary times. The mind of man is working with great rapidity. The human intellect is making gigantic strides. Everybody runs now, trade and commerce are in a hurry—and we are told that it is necessary that the gospel should be so preached as to keep abreast of the age. Well, so believe I, and more than this, I believe that the Gospel will always be in advance of the times. The world will never be in advance of the words of Jesus Christ; the times will never be ahead of the gospel, the great outcome of the wisdom of the eternal God. He will never be behind His creatures. Man’s future scientific discoveries may be a thousand times more astonishing than any we are now aware of. A thousand marvellous things may yet be added to the ample page of human knowledge. He who has made steam his servant, and discovered how to flash his thoughts across a continent in an hour, may achieve far more wonderful things yet, but whatever may be the future attainments and condition of mankind, they will always be fallen creatures, and always need a Saviour. The saints will always rejoice in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Sin is unchangeable in its nature, and the grace by which sin is removed and forgiven is unchangeable in its character.

Since, then, sin and grace are faithfully described in the Bible, the Gospel will always be in advance of the world, to whatever pitch of intellectual development it may attain. Never then, my brother, be ashamed of the Gospel of God, nor suffer anyone to lead you astray by suggestions as to its suitability for the times. The everlasting gospel is for all time. If you go before it, you must, if you are God’s true child, stop, turn, retrace your steps and be content to be led by it. There is neither salvation nor safety in going in advance of it. Forget not then, my brother, in this fast age, that the Gospel is unchangeable. So much upon the matter of your preaching.

II. OUR SECOND ENQUIRY WILL BE, HOW ARE YOU TO PREACH THE GOSPEL?

I would admonish you to make it your care to preach it comprehensively, clearly, discriminately, confidently, laboriously, pacifically, and universally.

I.—Preach it comprehensively, in all its branches, doctrinal, experimental, and practical. Preach all those great saving facts on which salvation is based. Preach from all parts of the Bible; preach the types, the prophecies, the psalms, the histories, the epistles, ever, as I said before, seeking to show the relation of your every subject to the God-man Mediator. Preach all the Persons in the Godhead. Preach all the offices sustained by Jesus Christ. Point to all the wells of salvation.

2.—Preach clearly. Endeavour not to mystify anything; and do not indulge in speculation. Do not envelop your subject with dark clouds. Put the lamp of Divine truth on the table, and suffer it to shine with its native glory. I do not say, be little and puerile. Far be it from me to dissuade you from trying to think deeply; rather would I say, Study till your mind has grasped your subject, and then simplify it as much as you can in presenting it to your people.

3.—Endeavour to preach discriminately; and this in relation (1) to Divine facts, and (2) to different classes of hearers.

(1)—Let your preaching be discriminating in relation to Divine facts, and be careful to maintain those all-important distinctions which are set forth in the Word of God. Distinguish between the Persons in the Godhead and their several operations in relation to salvation. Distinguish between law and gospel. Do not attenuate the awful requirements of the law, as if God could allow the rights of His throne to be subverted, or magnify His mercy at the expense of His justice. Do not, on the other hand, preach the gospel in a legal way, so as to obscure its glory and lustre as a system in which grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life.

Be clear as to the offices of Christ. As a Prophet He teaches; as a Priest He atones and intercedes; as a King He rules without a rival over blood-bought hearts. Remember, however, that while His offices (like His natures) may be distinguished, they are never divided. Whom He bought by blood He saves by power. Whom He redeemed He savingly enlightens. Whom He suffered for on the cross He pleads for above.

Distinguish again between justification and sanctification, or, in other words, the Saviour’s completed work FOR US, and the Spirit’s progressive work WITHIN us. Justification is a finished and perfect work. Elect sinners will not be more justified in heaven than they are now. Sanctification is a continuous operation of the Spirit of God in the soul, and will not be consummated till the favoured sinner joins “the spirits of just men made perfect.”

This distinction will afford a clue to many questions that arise in the minds of God’s people. “I am polluted,” says one; “in me,” as I feel by painful experience, “that is in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing.” “Behold, I am vile!” “When I turn my eyes within, all is dark and vain and wild,” and I am filled with unbelief and sin;” “If I pray, or hear, or read, sin is mixed with all I do.” Yet I am told that as a believer I am perfect in Christ Jesus,” “complete in Him,” “justified from all things,” and eternally saved. This and my experience clash, and I cannot reconcile the seeming contradiction. To this, my brother, you must reply, by drawing the distinction which I have named. Show the troubled believer that though “accepted in the Beloved,” and “forgiven all trespasses,” through the finished work of Christ, he is the subject of a work still unfinished, the nature of which you will be careful to describe; and you will not fail to point out the blessed fact that the period is coming when he will be in himself what he is now in his Lord, associated with, and assimilated unto his blessed Saviour.

2. Let your preaching be discriminating in relation to different classes of hearers, and seek to address each with Scriptural propriety. Avoid vulgar and indiscriminating preaching. Describe character accurately and faithfully, and then fearlessly deliver the divine message. Put the natural man and the spiritual man in their proper places; describe the premises they occupy, and their conditions in God’s sight. Never administer spiritual comfort to an unregenerate man. Never say “Peace” where there is no peace—FOR GOD’S SAKE, NEVER DO so.

Again, you will be called upon to address hypocrites; men that have the form of godliness without the power; the garb without the grace of religion. No man can be a hypocrite without knowing it, nor without God’s knowing it. To such you must speak very affectionately, but very plainly, insisting on the necessity of vital godliness, and stating, without hesitation, that—

“A form of words though ne’er so sound,
Can never save the soul;
The Holy Ghost must give the wound,
And make the wounded whole.”

In addressing God’s children, do not forget that you are not to administer indiscriminate consolation even to regenerate persons. “Preach the word,” wrote Paul to Timothy; “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Some of God’s people are in refuges of lies from which you must endeavour to drive them. Others are ignorant of God’s method of salvation, and cling to systems of theology which are dishonouring to the glory of His grace. These you must fearlessly instruct. Others are walking in disobedience to His solemn commands—believers, but unbaptised, belonging to the family of God, yet remaining without the precincts of the visible church. These are to be taught and warned. Thus, my brother, you will seek to suit your messages to every class of hearers you may be called to address.

3. Further, preach the gospel, my brother, confidently. I am pained when ministers simply use such terms as “peradventure,” “possibly,” or, “it may perhaps be so;” and I trust that your sermons will be of another character. Preach what you know. Avoid conjectures, and keep within the range of your own knowledge and experience, and confirm all your assertions by the word of God. It is my prayer that uncertainties may never form part of your addresses. May you be able to say, “These are facts: I know and am persuaded of the matter,” “The bread is good, heavenly, and Divine: I live upon it.” “Christ is precious: I have proved Him so.” “The refuge is safe: I myself, have taken shelter therein.” Preaching of this character will commend itself to the consciences of your spiritually-minded hearers and even if they cannot accept all that you say, they will confess that you are an honest man, and you will be respected.

4. Strive, again, to be a laborious minister of the gospel. Study the Bible closely and carefully; aye, and if you can, critically. Read good books diligently. Master them; make them your own. Eschew the counsel of men who advise you not to do this; and peruse anything and everything that will help you in your gospel work. Meditate prayerfully over what you read, then pray, then preach; then pray again, and God will bless you, I am sure. O that you may come dripping wet out of the presence of your Master into the presence of His people. Oh that you may come like Moses, whose face shone when he descended from the mount. May you come out lighted up from having been in communion with God.

5. Preach the gospel pacifically. Be not only a preacher of peace, but preach the gospel in a calm and placid, and pacific manner. Do not lose your temper; “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” An angry man in the pulpit is a very pitiful sight. Do not make personal and private matters public. Leave the people if you feel that you cannot come before them without introducing such topics. You are to preach the gospel; and these matters are not the gospel.

6.—Lastly. Preach the gospel universally. Wherever the Lord opens a door to preach, your work lies before you—in all places, in all times, and in all situations. As the apostles went to Derbe and Lystra, so wherever the Lord sends you, go. Do not go anywhere, and say you do not know the people, and, therefore cannot preach. Never mind the congregation. Your work is simply to preach the glorious gospel of the blessed God; and may God bless you, for Christ’s sake. Amen!
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[1] This address was delivered, with some few variations, twice—at Carlton and Guildford, in October, 1873. Our sketch is compiled from notes taken on both occasions. The above paragraph (copied from the Earthen Vessel, for November, 1873) is important, as it embodies John Hazelton’s convictions on a point of delicacy and difficulty.
Persons have been received into Baptist Churches without baptism on various grounds; as that it was uncharitable to exclude them; that they were wealthy and influential, and would prove useful to the cause: that they were delicate, diseased, or deformed, and could not with safety be immersed in water; or that having searched the Scriptures they could not see that it was incumbent on them to be baptised. Each of these cases is severally referred to in the words before us, the obvious meaning of which is, that under no circumstances whatever should persons be admitted to Church membership without previously being baptised.



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