The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY'S
VII. PAROCHIAL DUTIES (OF OR PERTAINING TO A PARISH).
1. These pleasant and highly important.
2. Power of the pulpit will depend on these.
3. These will apprise you of their wants.
4. If rightly performed, will secure confidence in your pulpit honesty and give weight to your preaching.
5. Be in serious earnest about their souls in visiting.
6. Avoid all evil speaking in parochial visits.
7. Also, all worldly-mindedness, worldly gossip.
8. All that reveals levity of character.
9. Visit in the P.M., and don't stay too long.
10. Your motive should be to make their acquaintance.
11. To ascertain their number.
12. Health, circumstances, ages, spiritual state.
13. All about them that you need to know.
14. Make inquiries delicately, and give no offense.
15. Learn their spiritual wants, opinions, etc.
16. Survey your field by visitation often as possible.
17. Be specially attentive to the poor and ignorant.
18. Avoid all appearance of courting the rich.
19. Be attentive and sympathetic to the afflicted.
20. Remember that God is searching them providentially.
21. Be guarded in your treatment of females.
22. Encourage frankness and transparency.
23. Keep confidential conversations inviolate.
24. Keep all parochial conversations to yourself.
25. Use them wisely, in giving instruction.
26. Avoid controversy in parochial labors.
27. Secure respect and confidence in such labors.
28. Secure the confidence of parents.
29. Also, that of the youth and children.
30. So far that your advice will be sought, in all important family matters.
31. So that all will regard you as a friend and wise counselor.
32. Indulge no enmities. Be everybody's friend in a benevolent and true sense.
33. Converse with each separately, if possible.
34. Make calls upon them separately, and let this be understood. Enquire for the individuals.
35. Don't interfere with washing and busy days.
36. Also, with business hours or pressing seasons.
37. Be considerate, and not hinder laborers or anyone necessarily employed -- cooks, servants, etc.
38. Don't be a bore, so that they will dread your visits. See that you make them glad to see you.
39. Beware of an intimacy that will create jealousy in a family.
40. Also, out of the family, no favoritism.
41. Never have a quarrel with anyone -- sooner suffer wrong.
42. If any persecute you, be especially kind.
43. Avoid all appearance of resentment.
44. Prove your faithfulness, sincerity, honesty, and earnest regard for their souls, in all ways.
45. Search out the walks of the devil amongst them.
46. Also, the leading of the Holy Spirit.
47. Search for impressions made by preaching.
48. Follow up good impressions diligently.
49. Be faithful to backsliders.
50. Also to the self-deceived. Don't be deceived by them.
51. Break off the dangerous habits of all classes.
52. Be watchful for the beginnings of declension.
53. Warn professors against whatever will grieve the Holy Spirit.
54. Reprove self-indulgent habits.
55. Don't delay to interfere until too late.
56. Inquire what they read -- recommend.
57. Also, whether they neglect their Bible, closet.
58. Or any known duty. (My church in New York.)
59. Inquire into business habits and transactions.
60. Also into companionships.
61. Places of resort.
62. Views and practices regarding the Sabbath.
63. Aim at present results in visiting.
64. Take time, when needed.
65. Pray with them, and get them to pray with you.
66. Labor for their consecration, and stop not short.
67. Insist continually, that nothing short is true religion.
68. Commit them to every duty.
69. See that there is no neglect.
70. Remember, the greatest danger is of neglect.
71. Inquire about the relations and the duties growing out of them.
72. Look after servants and laborers.
73. Get your subjects for preaching in this way.
74. So you will never want a subject, and will never preach at random and in vain.
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