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Jour suffering this word of exhortation, anc? complying with it, is quite conclusive.—And fee . '. That God's promising *o render the gofpel, when published, effectual to the salvation of Gentile dinners, affords the highest encouragement to all who are any how intrusted with that sacred message, to deliver, explain, and warmly recommend it.' Though all are not warranted to act in the capacity of public teachers, or, as office-bearers in 4he church of Christ, called to labour in word and doctrine;- -all are permitted, yea, commanded, According to the different spheres in which they move, to recommend Jesus Christ to the faith and •esteem of others. * Parents, in particular, have great encouragement from this doctrine to instruct their children, and masters their servants: encouragement to Aim, not only at informing the judgment, but at reaching and affecting the heart.-—Through diliigence, in this way, numbers have been brought -to the-"kingdom of heaven,--where children praise •God-that ever they were blessed with such parents, and servants that they were blessed with such masters on earth.—Though the fruit of your en- • deavours, who are parents or masters, may not ap-pear to your comfort now, the feed of Godly in-struction which you have sown may grow to a -beautiful harvest, after you art gathered to jour fathers.
If there is no other way in which you can endeavour to bring sinners to the kingdom of God,
-you may recommend Christ and Christianity to others by the holiness of your conversations. Our
-Lord considered this" as a very proper and probable tnean of sal vation, when he said to his disciples, "Let your light so shine before men, that they "may see your good works, and glorify your
. , - , . - "Father
"Father which is in heaven."—As if he had (aid "Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you "are called; because, in as sar as your practice '' shall give the lie to your prosession, you will cast "a stumbling block in the way os sinners, and "marr their accession to the true church, either "on earth, or in heaven." Nor is it in the least improbable, that when the samily of redemption are fully convened, it may appear how frequently the circumspeft behaviour of saints was a mean of conviction, conversion, and edisication to sinners.
Nothing, we arc assured, is more prejudicial to the success of the gospel, amongst even the wild Americans, than the irregular lives of many who bear the Christian name. And the effect, upon sinners, of a Christian's not acting in character, must be the same in Europe as in any other division of the globe. It wounds Christianity under the sifth rib i—strengthens the hands of open enemies; and, where others halt between two opinions, it seldom fails to cast the balance on the side of insidelity.
Though, therefore, you should have no zeal or ambition to be instrumental in the conversion of sinners; yet if )ou would not wish to have even an indirect hand in their sinal perdition, make conscience of ordering your conversation aright. • Ministers of the gospel are more especially encouraged, by the promise in our text, to stir up the gist that is in them, with a view to the conversion and salvation of Gentile sinners.— Though God hath not consined himself to particular means,—in insinite wisdom and sovereignty, he hath seen meet, more generally, most usually, to save men by the foolishness of preaching. Our labours, indeed, may not. always succeed to our
wish; Wish; but they must not, on that account, be laid aside; for no unluccessfulness can justify the neglect of our sacred trust. The harvest is our Master's, and he may reap when, where, and by whom he pleaseth. Men's getting good by the gospel, and our having access to know it, are very different things; the former, we trust, hath often place without the latter; and if the great end be reached, what though our Lord reserve the satissaction to us of feeing it until our arrival at his Father's house? And yet times of refreshing, even upon earth, may be awaiting us, wherein God shall make us glad, according to the days in. which we have seen evil and had grief. Or,
Though, for argument's lake, it were admitted, that some of us laboured altogether in vain, and spent our strength wholly for nought;—if we are faithful in the discharge of our partora! duty, and continue so unto death, we shall not lole our reward. But how ravishing the thought of succeeding in the work of the gospel, as well as getting our own fouls for a prey !—Would the numerous conversion of sinners under our ministry, be in itself an unspeakable reward of all our toils ?— How inconceivable, then, must the g'ory be, #f shining forth in the kingdom of Gud, as the fun, and as the stars for ever and evei!
Since the cause is good, and the success sure; since the work is honourable, and the reward immense; let us exhibit line upon line, precept upon precept, here a lirtle, and there a little. Do our dear brethren in the A.nerican service, with a view to convert the forelorn natives, submit to hardships unknown in our lpheres of action? and shall we grudge to perform a much eaHer task with a view to convert our own brethren and kinsmen! men!—Do the very enemies of Christ compass Tea and land to ensnare precious, but silly souls? and shall any done on our part be left unturned, in order to break the snare wherein sinners are caught, and effect their salvation Y SERMON V.
SYNOD Of JERUSALEM:
Courts of Review in the Christian Church considered *.
Acts Xv. 31.
AS a proper introduction to the business of this Provincial Synod, my reverend anJ dear hearers will, at once, fee the propriety of the subject we have pitched upon; to whatever exceptions the prosecution of it should he found liable.
The words transmit a shor-', bnt comprehensive, iccount'of the dutiful reception with which ajude;n>i nt of the radical SvnoJ at Jerusalem met. from the Christians in Antioch; "They rejoiced for the * consolation."
Th>: context will sall under view afterwards, and therefore, without introduction, we shall, through
* This sermon was preached at the opening of the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, at Irvine, Oct. 13th, 1707.