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which has been hidden for ages from the greatest part of mankind, and which displays all the perfections of the Deity in the most amiable light. If I shruld tell you that precious and perishing souls were about to be committed to your care and instruction, I should remind you of a serious and pertinent truth. But this subject holds up to your view a greater and more solemn truth; that the glorious gospel is committed to your trust; in which not only you and your people, but God, and Christ, and all moral beings, will be for ever deeply interested. This trust, solemn and important as it is, we have too much reason to fear, has often been betrayed by those to whom it has been committed. And are you in no danger of betraying it? May you not conceal or corrupt those truths which you ought to explain and inculcate? And, instead of employing all your learning and ingenuity in unfolding the great scheme of redemption, may you not exert all your abilities to make men ignorant of the glorious gospel of the blessed God? But if you understand the gospel you will be able, and if you love the gospel you will be disposed, to keep the faith, amidst all the errors and delusions which may prevail through the land. You will not only teach the pure doctrines of the gospel, but contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. You will not forget that you are set for the defence of the gospel; and must be responsible to him whom you profess to serve, for the corruptions of Christianity which you either propagate, or do not endeavor, to the utmost of your power, to expose and restrain. If you preach the same gospel which Paul preached, and in the same manner, you may expect to find some will become your enemies, because you tell them the truth. But if you are faithful, you will find a sufficient shield and support in ihe gospel itself, which, in its final operation, will secure the interests of the universe, and your own interests among the rest. Seek first the kingdom of God, and you have the promise of Christ, that all things necessary shall be added.

Go on your way rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God, which shall be fully displayed by that gospel you preach. You have nothing to fear but unfaithfulness, which alone can rob you of your future and eternal reward. Only take heed to yourself, and to your doctrines, and you shall both save yourself and them that hear you, and be each other's joy and crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus.

This Church and Congregation are about to receive a minister, from whom they have reason to expect a faithful discharge of his duty. And if he does plainly and faithfully unfold the great scheme of salvation, they will derive great good, or great evil, from his ministry. The gospel will make impressions on their minds, which never can be erased, and which will prove a savor of life unto life, or a savor of death unto death. Those who sit under the best preaching, are of all persons in the most hazardous situation. While the kingdom of God is brought nigh unto them from Sabbath to Sabbath, they must either enter in, or reject the counsel of God against themselves. But nothing can aggravate their guilt so fast, or raise it to so high a degree, as rejecting the counsel of God; because this is opposing the whole scheme of redemption, and all the designs and works of God, as well as all the good of the universe. How can those escape who neglect so great salvation ? To oppose the gospel, is to rush on certain and awful destruction. says the divine truth itself: “Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

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SERMON

X.

DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL THE FOOD OF CHRISTIANS.

ORDINATION OF REV. EDWARD WHIPPLE, TO THE PASTORAL CARE OF THE

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN CHARLTON, JAN. 25, 1804.

I HAVB fed you with milk and not with meat ; for hitherto ye were not able to

boar it, neither yet now are ye able, - 1 Cor. iii. 2.

The apostle Paul, in passing through Greece, came to Corinth, where he found a Jewish synagogue, and in which he preached for several Sabbaths, endeavoring to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But after they openly and violently opposed the gospel, he turned to the Gentiles, and preached among them a year and six months. During this time, he was so successful in his work as to gather a large and flourishing

But after he left this happy society of christians, they fell into great animosities and contentions about the preachers and the doctrines of the gospel. To heal these difficulties, and reunite them in affection and sentiment, appears to be his principal design in this epistle. He addresses them on the subject of peace and harmony, with peculiar tenderness and pathos. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak. the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgmeni.” And to convince them of the peculiar propriety of his giving them this exhortation, he afterwards observes, that he had endeavored to prevent all religious controversies among them by preaching no other than the most plain and profitable doctrines of the gospel.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” Truth VOL. I.

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is the same to the mind, that food is to the body. Food nourishes and strengthens the body, and truth nourishes and strengthens the mind. There is a propriety, therefore, in the apostle's making use of milk and meat, which are different species of food, as metaphors to represent different sorts of truth, which he preached at different times, to those who were under different circumstances. By his feeding the Corinthians with milk instead of meat, we are to understand that he taught them such doctrines as were best adapted to their peculiar character and condition, instead of others which he might have taught them, but which they were then unable to receive and improve to their spiritual benefit. This is the plain and obvious sense of the text; which naturally leads us, on the present occasion, to inquire,

I. What doctrines the apostle did preach to the Corinthians.

II. Why he calls the doctrines, which he preached to the Corinthians, milk.

III. Why he preached these, rather than any other doctrines, to that people.

I. Let us inquire what doctrines the apostle did preach to the Corinthians.

In teaching any art or science, it is necessary to begin with its most essential and fundamental principles. The same mode of instruction seems proper, in preaching the gospel to those who never heard it. And since this was the case with the Corinthians, we may justly suppose that the apostle would adapt his preaching to their peculiar state, and, in the first place, teach them the nature and design of the gospel, which would neces. sarily lead him to unfold the great and leading doctrines of Christianity. This supposition we find confirmed by his own declarations. “ And I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” And in another place he says, “ According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation." These passages afford a strong presumptive evidence, that the apostle taught the most essential and fundamental doctrines of the gospel to the Corinthians. But we shall find more ample evidence of this, if we now examine the contents of his two epistles to that people.

The moral depravity of human nature lies at the foundation of the gospel. If all men were not involved in moral corruption and guilt, they would not need that salvation which the gospel reveals and offers. “ The whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." The apostle could not preach the gospel intelligibly to the Corinthians, without teaching them the doctrine of moral depravity. Accordingly we find him bringing this doctrine into view, in order to illustrate the redeeming love of Christ. These are his words: “ The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.” He means, dead in trespasses and sins, which is complete moral depravity. And in the chapter preceding the text, he describes the entire depravity of the heart, by its leading influence upon the understanding. « The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." These are plain instances of the apostle's teaching the Corinthians the total depravity of human nature.

This sentiment is intimately connected with that of the renovation of the heart by the special influence of the Divine Spirit. For if natural men are entirely destitute of holiness and wholly under the dominion of sin, then their hearts must be renewed before they can become heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Our Saviour says,

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The reason he assigns is, " That which is born of the flesh is flesh." The necessity of regeneration arises entirely from the total corruption of the human heart. The apostle, therefore, having taught the Corinthians the doctrine of total depravity, equally taught them the doctrine of regeneration by the special operation of the Deity. “God,” says he, “who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." He exhibits the same sentiment in another form. “ Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God.” By this expression he meant to teach the Corinthians that they could not be prepared for heaven, unless they were formed into the divine image, by the special operation of the Divine Spirit.

The immediate effect of regeneration is pure, disinterested love. “ That which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.” The Spirit in his special operation upon the heart, conforms it to the moral image of God. God is love. Regeneration consists in shedding abroad the love of God in the heart, which was before entirely destitute of true benevolence. This holy love, which is the fruit of the Spirit, is the essence of all true religion. So the apostle taught the Corinthians, in the most plain and pointed language.“ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not

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