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2 Tim. iii. 7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the
Knowledge of the Truth. A DESCRIPTION equally emphatical and
disheartening! But to whom is it applicable ? If there were such characters in an age painfully emerging from Jewish and Pagan darkness; are there such in modern days? If such characters are to be found among the most obscure and misguided fects; are there such in the bosom of the national church? In ancient and in modern times, among fects and in the establishment, of such characters there have been and there are multitudes. Is it possible? Shall man be ever learning, and never able to attain knowledge ? Shall man labour, shall he labour in the pursuit of religious truth, and reap no fruit from his exVOL. IL
ertions. The event is possible and frequent In vain the husbandyan scatters the feed, if the soil is not duly prepared to receive it. The soil may be well prepared and the feed may fpring up green among the furioms; but it is in yain that you expect Asplentiful harvest, if you permit the riling blants to be smothered by weeds, Is it regt fonable to imagines that the feed of the Gospel the seed from which you look for the bread of life, will flourish and arrive to maturity ; if you bestow on its cultivation Jefs refe&ion, less solicitude, than are ngciiofary for the grain which is to support your matakbody. The word of God will in opain., be preached unto you, if you be not. disposed to embrace it, z. The word of God wilbin vain bę preached unto you, if aftera Awards you suffer is to be overwhelmed by The þusinesş.er the pleasures of the world. bsa Myıpurpole is to endeavour to lead you afe that frame of mind, with which 4 Chrifstian ought to consider the difçourses which che hears from the pulpit, . Let me request syout serious attention. For on the atten- tion with which you regard then general e truths now to be laid before you depends not s only the benefit, such as it may be which
might be received, under the divine blessing, Salbaton
from the present dildoutfe? but "much allo of the advantage to be derived from the fu ture discourses, which the minifters of religion may address to your fool OT ji or That you may survey with a comprehendig five eye the extent of your duty, it may be useful that you should previoufly turn your thoughts to mine. In the first place, therefore, I thall briefly mention the duties of a Christian Preacher and shall then proceed to the duties of a Christian Hearer. 510 out hoitaviti si imbed any ti i VIIT1671 * 1. Go ge into all the world, Taid our Lord to his disciples, and preach the Golpot to every creature. Wee unto me, Táid St. Paul, if I preach not the Gospel. I determined to knowo nothing among you, said the fame Apolte on another occasion, but Fesus Chrift, Yand bim crucified (a). A Christian preacher is not to fet before the congregation à fystem of religion in part deviled or modified by his own fancy. He is not to consider what fpecies of doctrine will prove most agreeable to the natural imaginations of the -heart. He is not to follow the speculative opinions of the wifeft of men; nor to estab
gith moral truth and moral duty on the basis sof human authority. He is to look to the
300 o C Mark; xvi. i$. 1 Cor. ix. 16. . 2.. Ta non
vealed Word of God. There is his comis mission to preach: there is the religion which he is to preach. He is to preach the Gospel. He is to preach Jesus Christ, and kim crucified. He is to unfold the great plan of salvation for fallen man through faith in the atoning blood of a Redeemer. He is to teach the indispensable necefsity of the renewal of the heårt unto holiness through the fanctification of the Spirit of grace. The corner stone on which he is to build is Jesus Christ. On that corner stone he is to build, not bay and subble, but found and precious materials, materials which will endure the trial even of fire; pure and genuine Christianity, the unchangeable do&trines and commandments of the Son of God."
"Again ; the Christian Preacher is to preach the whole of the Gospel. He is to magnify the justice no less confpicuoufly than the mercy of Jehovah. ' He is to proclaim the eternal vengeance reserved for the impenitent no less loudly than the glories prepared for the justified fervants of Christ. He is not to dwell chiefly upon doctrines to the neglect of pradice; nor on practice to the disparagement of doctrines. He is to preach true doctrine as the ground-work of holy practice: and to inculcate holy
practice as the fruit of true doctrine. He is to labour to be the instrument of enlightening the understanding, and also of purifying the heart. While he teaches that man is justified by faith alone, not by the deeds of the law; he is to convince his hearers that their hope will be vain, unless they add to their faith virtue. How shall the architect raise the palace, unless an immovable foundation shall firft have been established? But how shall the pile be completed, if year after year his mind be wholly absorbed in illustrating and difplaying the foundation? With his plummet and his square continually in his hand, he unremittingly proves every part of his work whether it rests on the foundation. To the foundation every apartment, even every ornament, of the structure has an ultimate and a discernible reference. But he fails not to bestow distinct and due regard on the form, the proportion, and the purpose, of every apartment; on the nat ture and the position of every ornament. How shall the preacher, like a wise malterbuilder, edify his hearers into a spiritual house, a living and holy temple in the Lord(); unless he founds it on the appointed rock, (6): Pet. ii. 5. 1 Cor. iii, 16, 17. Ephef. ii. 21.
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