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to see if the heavens were not actually rending, and the incensed God descending to take vengeance on his enemies. That famous sermon of his, which produced such an overwhelming effect at the time of its delivery—“ Sinners in the hands of an angry God”what is there in it but the simple unfolding of Scripture truth on that awful subject, and a direct, solemn, pungent, and intensely energetic application of it to his immediate hearers ? O, for the day when such preaching shall again thunder from our pulpits, causing sinners in Zion to be afraid, and waking a slumbering conscience of a guilty world !
Let me, my brother, commend to you such models. Let your ministry be thoroughly pervaded and imbued with the light and spirit of the Bible. Make the Bible, not only your text-book, but the staple and the inspiration of all your sermons. Honour it, and God will honour your ministry. Baptize your soul with the spirit of it, and God will baptize your teaching with the Holy Ghost.
The Bible is a wonderful book. There is nothing like it in the world. It is full of the great thoughts of God. It is crowded with topics of infinite interest and importance to mankind. All here is Truth, certain, revealed, inspired Truth. Here are all the elements of greatness, of moral influence and power. Your business is with this Book alone. Gods puts this. Book into your hands with the solemn charge to preach it, and, so to preach it, that you shall not be guilty of the blood of souls. It is responsible business, a fearful charge, this ministry which you take upon you to-day. Hundreds of souls, guilty and immortal, will hang on your lips from Sabbath to Sabbath. Your ministry will be one of life or death eternal to not a few. Every Sabbath you are to stand forth and proclaim those great and weighty truths which are herein set forth. And quickly you will stand with the people who this day open their hearts and arms to receive you as their minister at the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ. Resolve, brother, to be a Bible preacher. Take your stand on the high vantage-ground of the Bible, and never come down from it. Thence survey the field of your labor, your work, your account, your reward. Look upon your hearers in the light of its affecting truths. Aim steadily and constantly at the saving of souls ; no inferior end is worth the toils and sacrifices of the ministry. Fill your sermons with the facts, the doctrines, the principles, the examples of this blessed book, clearly set forth, and earnestly and prayerfully enforced,and your mimistry here will be full of glorious results. Admiring crowds may not gather to it—the land may rot ring with the fame of it-but, what is infinitely better, the sigh of the awakened, the cry of the anxious, the tear of the penitent, and the song of the convert shall be your reward.
And this is the kind of ministry, my friends, which you ought to desire and pray for. If it be not so popular with the age and
the multitude as some other, it is the only kind of ministry that is worth the having. You need to be instructed, warned and ad- . monished out of the Scriptures. You need to hear the voice of God your Maker and Sovereign and Redeemer and Judge,sounding out from his Word every Sabbath, clear emphatic, and authorita. tive. You do not want to be amused or entertained, but converted, sanctified, arid saved-taught how to live and to die. Be satisfied with a Bible ministry and with nothing clse. Desire it above riches, above all earthly rewards. Let your minister see that you appreciate a ministry in full sympathy with the Bible, in its aims, spirit, and teachings.
Another of God's instruments of purgation is providential trials. “ Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." These chastisements may come in the shape of persecutions, or bodily sufferings, or mental anguish, or loss of property, or disappointment as to worldly prospects, or sickness and death of dear friends, or the ill-doings of near connections, or in some other way. No matter what is the form or shape of the pruninghook. It is just as the Good Husbandman has seen fit to make it and just the shape that is suited to our particular case. “The Lord knoweth them that are his," and therefore will not prune the wrong branch. It often seems to short sighted mortals, that the Lord sometimes makes mistakes, in using his pruning-hooks. We would hold back his hand, and ask, “Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death ?” The branch seems so stripped of its foliage that we are ready to say, “It cannot survive such severe pruning." But as we look back upon branches, which were thus pruned in old times, we find that they did survive. They not only survived, but were the more flourishing and fruitful in consequence of their having been thus dealt with. This was the case with the ancient patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job and Moses. This was the case with all the pious prophets and kings. “One of them says. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy word." The apostles found it good to suffer affliction. One of them speaks thus, “Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, yet afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who are exercised thereby.” “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." In God's wise arrangement, it is “through much tribulation ” that true Christians enter the kingdom of heaven.-N. Y'. Evangelist,
THE AMERICAN NATIONAL PREACHER.
How many things have I had to write to you in that long year of absence now mercifully closed ! Things relating to my own personal welfare, which you have regarded in thought and in prayer with an interest so kind and so constant; things relating to their prosperity, upon which I have dwelt continually in thought and in prayer; things of God's providence and grace, as illustrated in the new and varied experiences of the year, in the observation of different countries and nations, in the fulfilment of prophecy, and in the daily confirmation of the Scriptures in the land where they were written ; things for thanksgiving, for exhortation, for admonition, for edification in know.edge and in holiness, how many such things have I had to write to you, when other occupations claimed the hour, or when for very weariness the pen refused its office. At such times I have said, “I will not write with paper and ink, but will leave all these lessons and teachings of the year to be uttered by word of mouth ;" for I trusted, always, that through a gracious Providence, 1 would come to you again, and speak face to face. Yet, now that I have come, and do
• Preached in the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, on the occasion of his return from a tour of fourteen months in the East.
speak face to face, I cannot speak at all of the many things I had to write by reason of the fulness of joy in once more meeting with you and speaking to you. All the many things that so crowded the mind and labored for utterance when oceans and continents intervened, and there was no medium of communication but paper and ink, have for the moment vanished into oblivion. In this first ecsetacy of speaking face to face, the liberated tongue demands other and fresher themes than those which have occupied the mind during the wandering exile of a year. As the traveler returning to the bosom of his family, would enjoy awhile the faces of his wife and children, and indulge the feeling that he is at home, before he entertains them with his own adventures and experience so would I, as a pastor, enjoy the social feeling of a re-union with Christian friends, forgetful of the observations and experiences hoarded up even for their benefit during a long and trying absence. Those many things will, doubtless, come up again in their proper time and place; enough that now through the good Providence of God, I have come to you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
This very circumstance suggests the theme of my discourse : viz: Personal and social communion among Christians, necessary to the completeness of their joy.
The social feeling is a vital element of our nature, and fit society is indispensable to the perfection of happiness. Indeed it would seem that this is necessary not only for beings constituted and related as we are, but for every intelligent being. There is society among the angels of heaven ; there is society in the being of God himself.
It may help us to understand the mystery of the Trinity if we regard this philosophical law of being in its application to the Infinite mind. I would not say that the triune existence of Jehovah, as revealed to us in the Scriptures, is the necessary mode of Divine existence, but I do believe that it is the mode in which God has existed from eternity, and not merely a special manifestation of himself for the work of man's redemption. I cannot see how, without some such mode of existence, the divine Being could have been happy, before the creation of angels and men. God is love. But love requires an object commensurate and responsive : something worthy of it, and that can answer to it. This is necessary, in order that he who loves may find his own perfect happiness in that love. We may, indeed, love unworthy and inferior objects, or objects that do not reciprocate our affection; and in the feeling of benevolence towards these we may find happiness as compared with a state of indifference, or with the opposite feeling. But to know the full joy of love we must have an object commensurate with our capacity for loving; something that can worthily claim our whole heart, and that can and does respond to our affection. If, tberefore, God did not exist in distinct persons capable of mutual lovo, then in all the eternity that passed before the creation there was absolutely nothing that God could love. But without love, it is not possible that the happiness of a moral being could be complete. Mere existence does not bring to such being the fulness of joy-mere intelligence or power does not complete his happiness. He demands something more, and that is the exercise and the satisfaction of his moral nature in love. Now, to deny the Trinity in the Godhead, is to deny to God any object of love, any source of happiness in that long, long period when there was no creation to employ his thoughts and to fill his affections; it is to leave the infinite mind whose very life is love, without lovo, and therefore without life, for want of an objeet to call it forth. But the existence of the Supreme Being in three persons, relieves this difficulty. For what infinite joy must there ever have been in the communion of the three persons in the Godhead, one in substance, in thought, and in action, equal in power and glory, reflecting each the other's love, and speaking face to face. Hence the wonderful depth and fulness of the declarations of the Father respecting the Son, " My beloved Son; my well-beloved Son; in whom I am well pleased ; in whom my soul delighteth ;" and hence, also, the longing of the Son to be again with the Father in the glory wbich he had with him before the world was. There is society in the divine Beingthe mysterious, the transcendent fellowship of Father, Son and Holy Ghost-these three in one, perfect in love, speaking face to face, and ever abiding in the fulness of joy.
There is society among the angels of heaven. These were not created mute and solitary. Their worship is a social worship. The Seraphim that surround the throne are not silent emblems of the glory of the Lord; they are living creatures, with intelligence, with affections, with social feelings :—they cry one to another, stimulating each other “to yet loftier praise—they cry one to another, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.'' Their song is a unison, or a chorus ; they are “an innumerable company ;” seldom do they go forth on solitary errands, but in chosen pairs or in glittering hosts do they visit the earth upon errands of judgment or of mercy.
Conceive of the creation of one solitary being to occupy the vast physi. cal universe. He finds himself surrounded with the grandeur and the ever-varying beauty of the material creation. From the minutest atom to the sublimest orb, all is open to his inspection. His faculties are not limited by a dependence upon physical senses, but with a spiritual intuition he discerns the most subtle laws of nature, and traces each fact and movement to its remotest cause. Yet, notwithstanding this quick percep tion of material phenomena, so vast is their number, and so endless their variety, that his mind may find unceasing and untiring employment upon the works of the Creator, and the attributes of God than these display, To him is given the highest range of knowledge, and the highest intellectual pleasure possible to a created, and a finite mind. Moreover, by in