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married a wife, and I cannot come; another, I have bought a yoke of oxen, and

go to prove them; another hasted after his merchandise to the city: and so they heard him not, till fire came down from heaven and made them feel Him whom they would not hear. But in our time, to these are added pride of intellect. 'I am above all that nonsense,' one saith; and another, “It is unphilosophical;' and a third, “It is a piece of state policy;' and a fourth, 'Such a one teacheth otherwise : we have nothing of it in our schools; and our masters would surely speak of it if they thought there was any thing in it which profiteth. It profitethus nothing.'--Ah! brethren, it is not your

Humes and Voltaires and Paines, who make a people incapable of receiving the word: these men are creatures of the hour; cast up by the current, like sandy islands of the sea, or floating substances, which the eddy of the current whirleth into a certain consistency and driveth at its will : but it is ignorance and sensuality, and intellect employed upon merely outward things, which makes men fall away by whole hosts from the belief of Divine truth. Our people are become altogether outward and unspiritual : be they learned, it is in outward knowledge ; be they political, it is for the greatest visible advantage; be they of the unlearned classes, they are degraded with hard labour, relieved with sensual indulgence, and regaled with malicious speeches and schemes against their superiors. They are alike ignorant that they have a spirit immortal, to rule the sense, presently oppressed by the sense, and by Christ to be redeemed from the


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Talk to them of their spirit, they will ask you to prove its existence; as if a man should ask you to prove that he hath eyes, which if he have not yet discovered, you need not much trouble yourself with the proof: so these men, having no belief in the spirit, or the conscience, or the responsible will, but saying, I am as. God made me, and caring not to know what God hath done or said to redeem them, do shew that they cannot understand the word of God, which speaketh to the spirit, and will not hold any converse with the sense alone, save to rebuke it for its base presumption to set itself up to rule, nor with the understanding which judgeth by the sense, save to rebuke its preposterous pride in exalting itself above its place of servant to the spirit. And thus it cometh to pass, that multitudes cannot receive the seed of the word of God, because they understand it not, having oppressed the faculty which alone is competent to understand it; upon whom it falleth like seed upon the arid and frequented high-way, to be trampled under foot or snatched away; and well may it be said of such,

Eyes have they, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not; neither do they understand.”

That this is the present character of our lettered classes, I have not ceased from declaring since it pleased God to call me to this ministry: and that they will use their influence, through their vile traffic in newspapers and magazines, and by schools of various sorts, to impress the same character upon the common people also, I have from the beginning perceived, and I am glad that at length my brethren in the ministry are begin


ning to perceive it likewise. Now, where lies the cure? I believe the cure would have lain in

preventing it; and that when it is once established, there is no cure but in destruction: society must go to wreck for ever, or else one generation must be well-nigh cut off. A nation never recovers gradually out of an unspiritual state, when it bath suffered itself to fall away from one that is spiritual. The disease bursts out in a running sore of revolution, and it is long, long before it heals. But why is there no cure ? For this reason, that when a people fear not God they will no longer regard the laws and ordinances of man. Religion is not a thing of the creed merely, though its foundation be there: the family rests upon it; the marriage knot is tied by it, and all the social obligations; the political bond is joined by it: every relation of superiors with inferiors bath its safeguard in religion, which is the reverence of invisible obligation. Make man disbelieve the invisible in the highest sphere of the Divine will, and he will soon disregard it in the lower spheres of the family, the household, and the state. Even already it is come to be disregarded with us among servants, who often see in their masters more to hate than to love: even now it is disregarded in the state, which is more talked against than commended by the people. And what family ties are there amongst our operative classes, I know, who have seen them in their best and worst conditions; and am bold to declare, that in general parents make gain of their children, and children seek to be rid of their parents. Would to God this were the painting of my imagination! I cannot say, with St. Paul,


And no


that I could wish myself accursed from Christ so that it were not so; but I can say, I would give this life ten times over that it were but a dream of my

But I have seen it all, and see it growing daily worse; and I know it must be so in such a state of outwardness as we are come into. But what is the cure?' I say, the only cure is Jehovah's right hand and outstretched arm, which will come in time. ' But what is the part of the minister of the Gospel in such a crisis ?' To tell that the wrath is gathering. “And no more?' To tell the people to flee from it, and lay open lay open the way

of escape by repentance and turning unto the Lord. more?' Yea, no more. May not you argue it with the people ?' Aye, argue it; but this is the only argument they will bear: for they see nothing but their interest and pleasure, and they hear nothing but their profit and loss; therefore the Lord is about to plead with them by blows and bereavements. "May we not condescend to argue it in the court of the intellect merely?' I think not. May we not dress out an argument of the political advantage ?' I think not. What then?' Give forth the truth in a thundering peal of wrath: * Repent, or ye shall all likewise perish : Repent and believe, or ye shall all likewise perish.

So the question standeth with the idolaters of the sensible and visible of the profitable and expedient, who in these times compose the great body of the people both learned and unlearned both high and low; to whom Satan appeareth as the prince of the knowledge and power of the visible world; wherewith he doth so take and captivate their senses, and occupy all the faculties of their mind (if mind it may be called) as to make them blind and deaf, and of little or no understanding to hear, discern, or apprehend the eternal truth, which is only spiritually discerned. This is his infidel form, dressed out in all the glory of natural science, and all the ornaments of the fine and mechanical arts; as he now sheweth himself in this land, yea, in this age, leading an immense multitude away from the faith of the Gospel, and scattering diverse temptations into the church; which are taking effect and producing the affectation of science, and scientific language, and scientific methods of education, to which this age is so very prone. And connected with it you shall always find either refined or vulgar sensuality; the ambition of bodily or household ornaments and indulgences; the thirst for money to gratify the same; the ambition of outward distinctions and visible glories for vanity and ostentation, with a great quantity of furniture and apparatus of life unknown and undesired in a simple and spiritual age, which if you would behold look around you: whereby Satan not only hath led astray the whole faculty of the scientific men of Europe, with some one or two exceptions, but the great body of the under-graduates and day-labourers in this fraternity-that is, the artists and the artizans, the mechanicians and the mechanics--of whom by far the greater multitude you shall find very speedily, if they be not already, plucked away from the ordinance of preaching, and despising the word of God, which, amongst its other blessings, hath made us such a wise and skilful people. Wherein, behold, the black ingratitude of the child to the mother; for the spiritual, is that which hath given to this

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