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ment of home industry. As he is to be the executor of his own estate, he will see to it that his capital makes the community in which he lives more wise and happy, more thriving and prosperous.
IN CONCLUSION. 1. Perhaps it may be asked, shall we then disinherit our children ? By no means. But be it our aim to leave them an inheritance better than silver and gold. There are treasures of heart and intellect which the moth cannot corrupt nor the thief steal. Be it ours to give them a character more priceless than jewels—a character that shall command any object worthy of human effort. If we desire for them riches, it were a more intelligent way of realizing our wishes to give them characters which will enable them to make their own fortunes than to bequeath them large estates. Does not the history of such bequests prove their folly ? Has not disaster accompanied them from Solomon's day, down? Does not every community furnish its examples of men, who have made shipwreck of fortune and and character mainly because of their inheritance ? What miracle shall God work to save our children from like ruin, if we repeat their folly ? Why should they not be left to the pressure of those necessities which are common to the race, and have the privilege, which we have enjoyed, of making their own estates ? Are not their capacities as good as ours, and is it not the same kind Providence over them, which has smiled upon us? Why attempt then to forestal Providence, and do a work for our children which God designs they should do for themselves ?
2. The subject is an interpreter of God's providence sometimes shown to good men. It scems a strange thing with our worldly views of property, that good men should be stripped of their earthly possessions, just at the time when they seemed to be most needed for the education of their children. Is not this ordered, because the struggles of poverty are what their children most need, to give them habits of self-reliance, and to make them most useful in the world ? God is more merciful to their children than they would have had courage to be. He has taken away earthly pleasures, that they might have an inheritance in character, infinitely more valuable to them. selves and to the world
3. The subject lays bare the great difficulty in the way of prosecuting the benevolent enterprizes of the church. The Christians of this age are not so much making money for Jesus Christ, as for their children. And instead of using their property as a talent for the good of their own generation, they are handing it over to be improved or abused by that which is to succeed them. Does not God hold every man responsible for the use of his own talents ? Men seem greatly to fear that God's providence will die with themselves, and no one care for their children. Their highest anxiety for them after their own departure appears to be, “what shall they eat, what shall they drink, and wherewithal shall they be clothed ?" Were it not better to leave these questions touching children, for children to solve ; not doubting that he who has supplied our wants by the ministration of our own hands will, in like manner, supply theirs.
Very able treatises have been written showing the need of systematic contribution of our charities, and hinting that this is the great
want of the churches. We apprehend that the difficulty lies deeper, and that so long as Christians are making money for posterity, they will have comparatively little to give to Christ, whether they give by system or impulse. The great prize tract of the age should be one that shall thoroughly make manifest the folly of this usage, and cause the accumulations of Christians to flow in other channels. The corner-stone in the temple of avarice, being thus torn from its base, the superstructure will inevitably fall, and the thousands and the millions that are now hoarded for the future ruin of the children of the church, will then go to bless a dying world—and the children will go with them. In consecrating property to God, our children will receive a new consecration, and the church and the world will be blessed.
Fellow-disciple, have you made this consecration ? For what ends are you accumulating property? Is it for family aggrandizement, or for the glory of Christ's kingdom? Take heed how you make the former your object in life, lest to you shall apply, with peculiar force, the language of Christ, “He that findeth his life, shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.”
SELF-DENIAL. Self-denial is not, as many seem practically to regard it, an obsolete virtue ; important in its day, but the day for it is gone by. It is the great error of the times, tu abate from the wholesome strictness of the Gospel. The tendency is to an easy style of religion ; to smooth and widen the road to heaven—to consign over all the conflicts and endurances of piety, to men of a former period of a rude and bloody day. This tendency cannot be too decisively checked, so seductive and fatal its working ; so utterly false the grounds of it. Within, are hearts of treachery and sin ; without, a world where God is not acknowledged, full of hostile agents and ensnaring temptations, prowled all over by the great enemy, the arch-deceiver, the devourer of souls by millions-almost by whole generations : in such a region, with such hearts, let the Christian expect the conflict, and be ready when it comes, and never shun the cross, but admit the necessity, and enter heaven by the true door-the authentic way.
The disciple will find it necessary to resort often to very prompt action, in the use of the potent phrase-Get behind me, Satan. That quaint and racy old divine, Thomas Fuller, tells us, that, “finding a bad thought in his heart, he disputed in himself the cause thereof, whether it proceeded from the devil or his own corruption-examining it by those signs, divines in this case recommended-such as, whether the thought was at full age, at the first instant-or infant-like grew greater by degrees. But he soon concluded that this inquiry had more of curiosity than religion ; resolving that afterward he would not derive the pedigree, but make the mitimus of such malefactors." We defraud ourselves by not acting in these great matters decisively, as well as rigorously. We put in jeopardy the soul, by ever putting off the vigilance and the discipline, and the crucifying of the flesh to which our Lord is summoning us. We save the soul, by denying ourselves, and taking up our cross, and following the Divine Master. -Rev. George Shepard, D.D.
" He taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes.”—Matt. vii. 29.
FATHERS AND BRETHREN :--To men like ourselves, engaged in the awful work of religious instruction-publishing and enforcing the lessons of Christianity-it cannot be uninteresting to consider the character of the Great Master by whom they were first expounded. He was himself a teacher, and the guide and model of all Christian teachers.
In a presence so venerable for learning, wisdom, and piety, it is with unaffected diffidence that I approach a subject of so much difficulty and importance. I do not, however, aspire to teach this reverend body. My humble ambition will be content to utter a few obvious thoughts; but though of easy discovery, it is not the less necessary that we give to them frequent and earnest consideration.
As we are the ministers of one who was himself a public in-. structor, we are bound to consider, what he taught, and buie he taught. “For they (says Jeremy Taylor) who be doctors and teachers of others, must in their accesses and degrees of discipline, learn of him, who is over us in the mysteries of reli
• Preached before the Synod of New York, Oct. 18th, 1852, in the Scotch Presby" terian Church (Dr. McElroy's).
The sacred office involves relations the most solemn. It is to mankind the vehicle of communications which affect, in the most decisive manner, interests as vast as the soul, and as imperishable as its immortality. In an office of so much responsibility, the need of divine guidance is most urgent. This guidance we have in Him, who gives us a "good example," both in the matter and manner of Gospel instruction.
In the particular consideration of the subject proposed, the Ministry of our Lord, let us examine
I. His doctrine; and
I. His DOCTRINE.
In every system of instruction, philosophical and religious, there are certain elementary principles, on which, as a basis, are founded all its statements, and from which flow all its conclusions. These doctrines are a law to the whole system, determining both its form and its exposition. What are these interior principles, it becomes necessary first to understand, in order to an intelligent and just apprehension of the scheme of which they are the logical elements.
What, then, let us inquire, were the doctrinal elements of our Saviour's Ministry ? Now, the doctrines of our Lord, without having any formal and connected statement, will nevertheless be found to be perfectly clear and distinct, and of a nature well calculated to impart a majesty and authority to his teachings above that of the Scribes.
The doctrinal principles of the Great Teacher are few, simple, grave, and deeply ethical; and from these he never departs. Whatever the circumstances of his work, whatever his immediate design, his principles are ever the same. Whether arguing with the doctors, discussing propositions with the Pharisees, or discoursing to the common people, his teaching revolves in the same system of truths, in the illustration and enforcement of the same great principles. Jesus never wandered amid visions; he was never betrayed into the regions of the imagination; he had no taste for unsatisfying speculations, but is content with the statement of a few simple and important propositions.
In presenting a few of the great principles by which our Saviour's ministry was characterised, we will consider them,
1. Under his doctrine of God.
The doctrines of our Saviour were not philosophical in the sense of being deductions from nature, from the laws of man or of society, but they are theological in that they not only treat of God, but are derived immediately from God.
It cannot fail to strike the discerning mind, that in our Saviour's ministry, the prominent idea exhibited the great idea
the ever-present idea-is God. The Supreme God-spiritual, holy, and almighty-is the grand subject of its disclosures. In this respect his ministry was singular and extraordinary. Among his own people, the Scribes repeated the traditions of the Elders, and the speculations of the Rabbins. In the schools of Gentile learning, philosophy was the subject. But Jesus took neither Jewish masters nor Greek sages for his guide. He did not teach philosophy, but theology. God, the Great Father and Supreme Governor of all, is the fundamental element of his teaching. All his doctrines are but the beaming radii of a system of which God is the grand and radiant centre. From this source flows all that light, which clothes his statements and conclusions with irresistible power and conviction.
He nowhere attempts to prove his doctrine of God; he takes it for granted-assumes that it is a self-evident proposition, written on the hearts of men. From this doctrine he deduces the natural obligation to obey and love God, with all the heart and all the strength. And basing this law on the convictions of the human conscience, nothing can be more dignified, authorative, and convincing, than his enforcement of its great duty. The simple yet sublime explications of Jesus concerning this subject, have a conclusiveness to which the profound demonstration of Clark, and the grand and eloquent illustrations of Charnock, add nothing.
The Supremacy of God is not an empty term to meet a logical requisition in a doctrinal scheme, and while perhaps stated in form, stripped in reality, by presumptuous limitations, of its true glory. Jesus exhibits the Eternal Father as the rightful Governor and actual disposer of the world : comprehending in his counsel all events, the fall of the little sparrow, and the numbering the hairs of our heads, as well as the fall of empires and the destiny of angels; and as the Supreme and just Governor, ordering his elections according to his own pleasure, whether in respect to the temporal or eternal interests of men. It was on this subject Jesus said, “Lord of Heaven and Earth, thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” And when men would presume to question the wisdom and justice of his sovereign appointments, he tells them by an impressive parable,“ [s it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own ? Is thine eye evil, because I am good ? So the first shall be last, and the last first, for many are called but few chosen.”
God the Supreme, in the august depths of his own eternal wisdom and goodness, fixes every event, and settles the destiny of every creature. To this great fact the Saviour appeals—at one time as a rebuke to pride and presumption, and at another, as an encouragement to patience, confidence, and resignation. How impressive and beautiful that illustration of Providence which is