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May the dear pastor of the flock,
Be faithful, and sincere,
Preach the whole council of the Lord,
And firmly persevere.
O let him see the hand of love,
Sealing the gospel word,
And feel an unction all divine,
Descending from the Lord.
May all the blessings of a God,
In rich abundance fall;
Pastor and people all rejoice,
And Christ be all in all.
404. Watching for Souls.
LET Sion's watchmen all awake,
And take th' alarm they give:
Now let them, from the mouth of God,
Their awful charge receive.
"Tis not a cause of small import
The pastor's care demands;
And what might fill an angel's heart,
And fill'd a Saviour's hands.
They watch for souls, for which the Lord
Did heav'nly bliss forego;-
For souls which must for ever live,
In raptures, or in woe.
All to the great tribunal haste,
Th' account to render there;
And shouldst thou strictly mark our faults, Lord where should we appear?
May they, that Jesus whom they preach,
Their own Redeemer see;
And watch thou daily o'er their souls,
That they may watch for thee.
405. At the Settlement of a Minister. L. M.
SHEPHERD of Israel, thou dost keep,
With constant care thy humble sheep;
By thee inferior pastors rise
To feed our souls, and bless our eyes.
To all thy churches such impart,
Modell'd by thy own gracious heart;
Whose courage, watchfulness, and love,
Men may attest, and God approve.
Fed by their active tender care,
Healthful may all thy sheep appear;
And, by their fair example led,
The way to Zion's pasture tread!
Here hast thou listen'd to our vows,
And scatter'd blessings on thy house;
Thy saints are succour'd, and no more
As sheep without a guide deplore.
Completely heal each former stroke,
And bless the shepherd and the flock;
Confirm the hopes thy mercies raise,
And own this tribute of our praise.
406. Christ's Care of Ministers and Churches. C. M.
WE bless th' eternal source of light,
Who makes the stars to shine ;
And, through this dark beclouded world,
Diffuseth rays divine.
We bless the church's sov'reign King,
Whose golden lamps we are;
Fix'd in the temples of his love
To shine with radiance fair.
Still be our purity preserv'd;
Still fed with oil the flame;
And in deep characters inscrib'd
Our heavenly Master's name!
Then, while between our ranks he walks,
And all our state surveys,
His smiles shall with new lustre deck
The people of his praise.
407. Missionaries addressed and encouraged.
YE Messengers of Christ,
His sov'reign voice obey;
Arise! and follow where he leads,
And peace attend your way.
The master whom you serve Will needful strength bestow; Depending on his promis'd aid, With sacred courage go.
Mountains shall sink to plains,
And hell in vain oppose;
The cause is God's, and must prevail,
In spite of all his foes.
Go, spread a Saviour's fame;
And tell his matchless grace
To the most guilty and deprav'd
Of Adam's num'rous race.
We wish you, in his name,
The most divine success;
Assur'd that he who sends you forth
Will your endeavours bless.
408. The Barren Fig-tree.
THE church a garden is
In which believers stand,
Like ornamental trees
Planted by God's own hand:
His Spirit waters all their roots,
And ev'ry branch abounds with fruits.
But other trees there are,
In this enclosure grow,
Which, though they promise fair,
Have only leaves to show:
No fruits of grace are on them found,
They stand but cumb'rers of the ground.
The under gard'ner grieves,
In vain his strength he spends,
For heaps of useless leaves
Afford him small amends:
He hears the Lord his will make known,
To cut the barren fig-trees down.
How difficult his post,
What pangs his bowels move,
To find his wishes crost,
His labours useless prove!
His last relief is earnest pray'r,
Lord, spare them yet another year.
Spare them, and let me try
"What further means may do;
* I'll fresh manure apply,
My digging I'll renew:
"Who knows but yet they fruit may yield?
"If not 'tis just, they must be fell'd."
If under means of grace
No gracious fruits appear,
It is a dreadful case,
Though God may long forbear:
At length he'll strike the threat'ned blow, And lay the barren fig-tree low.
409. The Church is the Garden of God.
LORD, 'ti a pleasant thing to stand
In garden planted by thy hand;