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heap to themselves teachers. 'Tis my resolution, by the grace of Christ, to watch in all things; to contend earnestly for the faith, to hold fast the form of sound and wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godliness, in meekness, as I am able, instructing those that oppose themselves, And for peace and unity, if my heart deceive me not, I shall rather choose to hazard the loss of any thing that is most dear to me, than be any way knowingly accessory to the disturbance of these, in the churches of Christ.
Q. 4. “What is your persuasion of the truth of the reformed religion?
A. “My persuasion is, that the Bishop of Rome is that man of sin, and son of perdition, whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and whom he will destroy with the brightness of his coming. And the separation which our first reformers made, I do heartily rejoice in, and bless God for; for had we still continued to partake with him in his sins, we should in the end have been partakers in his plagues.
Q. 5. “What do you intend to do when
the Lord shall alter your condition, and bring a family under your charge?
A.' “ When the Lord, in his providence, shall bring me into new relations, I hope he will give me grace to fill them up with duty. It is my purpose, to wait upon him and keep his way; to endeavour, in the use of means, that all that are mine may be the Lord's.
Q. 6. “Will you in humility and meekness submit to admonition and discipline ?
A. “I believe it to be a duty incumbent on all that profess the name of Christ, to watch over one another, and that when any one is overtaken in a fault, those that are spiritual are to set him in joint again, with the spirit of meekness. It shall be my endeavour, in the strength of Jesus Christ, to walk without rebuke, and when at any time I step aside (for who is there that lives and sins not?) I shall count the smitings of my brethren kindness, and their wounds faithful.
Q. 7. “What if troubles, persecutions, and discouragements arise, will you hold out to the end, notwithstanding ? .
A. “ Concerning this I am very jealous over my own heart, and there is cause. I have a great want of that zeal and courage for God, which I know is required in a minister of the gospel; nevertheless, I persuade myself that no temptation shall befall me but such as is common to man, and that God who is faithful, will not suffer me to be tempted above that which I am able, but that with the temptation he will make a way also to escape, that I may be able to bear it. I promise faithfulness to the death, but I trust not at all in my promises to God, but in his to me. “When thou goest through the fire and through the water, I will be with thee."
When these questions were propounded and answered, as above stated, Mr. Parsons prayed, and in prayer, he and the rest of the presbytery, viz. Messrs. Porter, Houghton, Malden, and Steel, laid their hands upon him, with words to this purpose: “Whom we do thus, in thy name, set apart to the work and office of the ministry.” Five others, after a similar examination, were ordained at the same time.
The solemn service was closed by an exhortation or charge to the newly ordained ministers, by Mr. Malden, of Newport. One sentence of this charge Mr. Henry, in his diary, says, went to his heart, “ As the nurse puts the meat first into her own mouth and chews it, and then feeds the child with it, so should ministers do by the word; preach it over before hand to their own hearts; it loses none of its virtue thereby, but rather, proba bly, gains; as that milk nourisheth most which comes warm from the warm breast, so that sermon which comes warm from a warm heart.' Lord quicken me to do thy will in this thing!”
The classis now gave to each of the newly ordained ministers a certificate, on parchment, as a testimony unto all that they were regular ministers of the gospel, and authorized to administer the sacraments, as well as to preach the word: to which. writing each of the ordaining ministers subscribed his name. Mr. Henry's appearance and manner, on that day, were so peculiarly solemn and devout, that a deep impression was made on those who were witnesses of the solemn scene.
In his diary he has the following remarks: Methought I saw much of God in the carrying on the work of this day. O, how good is the Lord. He is good, and doth good. The remembrance of it I shall never lose. To him be glory. I made many promises of diligence, faithfulness, &c. but I lay no stress at all on them, but on God's promise to me, that he will be with his ministers always to the end of the world, Amen, Lord, so be it. Make good thy word unto thy sérvant, wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust." And in another place, he says, “I did, this day, receive as much honour and work as ever I shall be able to know what to do with. Lord Jesus, proportion supplies accordingly.” Two scriptures he desired might be written on his heart, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings.” 2 Cor. vi. 4, 5. “My sons, be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.” 2 Chron. xxix. 11.