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to be known; studied in their several parts, experimentally felt in the heart, and rightly to be divided, in order to become approved and successful workmen in the Gospel of Christ. For, it is deeply to be lamented, that, there are too many, who, for the want of knowledge and experience, are in the habit, first to mingle these great subjects; then of course, they unavoidably mangle them and obscure their excellence; and by this means no wonder that they prove themselves professed workmen that need to be ashamed.-From these general subjects of the word of truth we will make a short transition to the selection of particular passages, or texts, from which ministers are in the habit of instructing their hearers. These, certainly, ought rightly to be divided, and the true sense and meaning of the Divine Spirit therein correctly understood, or it cannot be expected that light and edification can be derived from a discourse. Some have a hackneyed way of treating all texts in the same method; whereas, they should be divided according to their own nature and design, as much as a workman would measure his materials, as to length, breadth, and thickness. When a person habituates himself to devout study of the Scriptures, he will more or less perceive, that every paragraph, or text, contains a first principle, or primary subject, to which all the other parts are subservient; and will be the more readily divided, and his sermon appear to himself and others, somewhat like a building fitly framed together, possessing solidity, propriety and usefulness. Time, however now admonishes us,

III. To cast our eye again upon our text, that we may perceive in what manner Paul exhorted Timothy to perform this important work. It is that he might approve himself unto God --and, not to be ashamed. All must confess, that these are two of the most important acquisitions—the one diffusing the most sublime satisfaction in the soul; the other creating unshaken confidence and boldness in the performance of his labours, notwithstanding the violence of opposition. It is an important consideration for a man to know, that his person, soul, sentiments, experience, and tenor of life, are approved of God; for, if this be not the case, in vain may he expect his approbation either upon his studies or his active ministry. We may herefore most cordially salute every one, who, like Apelles, is

approved in Christ.-Rom. xvi. 10. This is what Paul so earnestly wished for Timothy; and what he and the other Apostles so happily enjoyed, and cultivated in their own breasts. As we were allowed of God, says he, to be put in trust with the Gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts. This too will be the most earnest desire of every gracious servant of the Lord Jesus, whether the church or the world approve or disapprove; nothing will satisfy his soul, but the approbation of his God and Saviour. His habitual disposition, the exercise of his faith, the expressions of his love and zeal, the manner in which he is engaged in searching after the truth as it is in Jesus, the sentiments which he receives; find him at home or abroad, he setteth the Lord before him, and conscientiously labours to approve himself unto God. Besides, while such a minister will submit the subject of every discourse he makes in his study, to the approbation of his all-seeing Lord and Master, he will likewise be fervent in prayer, that their delivery in public may be so approved and blessed, that sinners and saints may receive the testimony of God in his truth, so as to be brought to the cross of our Lord Jesus. Happy the minister thus employed, and thus approved unto God !-Paul wished Timothy to be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. That is, not to be ashamed of himself; of the word of God's truth; nor as a workman, as to the manner in which the word of truth must be divided; of course, not to be put to shame by others. This admonition must certainly have been designed to stimulate Timothy to industry, circumspection, and faithfulness, in rightly dividing the word of truth; for as great shame must be attached to a professed workman, who has, by conceit or negligence, varied his operations from the original plan enjoined upon him by his master: so, no greater shame will a preacher bring upon himself than that which results from either incorrectly, or erroneously, dividing the word of truth. This, however, is possible. Indolence and neglect of constant reading the word of Christ in the exercise of faith, so as to have it dwell richly in the heart; hastily taking a text, which he does not well understand; or, one which is too old for his knowledge and experience; these will certainly produce a failure to instruct the hearers, and will only

ensure their dislike to the preacher. Looking to the dogmas or human systems, and of party, instead of exercising implicit faith in the word of truth, may lead a man to give a wrong interpretation of a text. Entering into controversial subjects, in which for the want of study, he cannot find his way out : any or all of these will lead a man into the dark, and ensure him nothing but the merit of shame. When I look at Paul's advice to Timothy, to shun profane and vain babblings; and likewise old wives' fables ; I think the use of them by that young minister would have put him to shame, as much as many of our modern preachers, who, in almost every paragraph of their sermons introduce an anecdote, or a story to amuse the unthinking part of their audience.—We must not forget, that Paul and Timothy lived in an age of violent persecution against the Gospel, and its faithful ministers; and that it was Paul's earnest desire that Timothy should prove such a skilful, faithful workman, by rightly dividing, and preaching the word of truth, as not to be put to shame by the adversaries. Paul declared that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. In this heroic spirit he thus addressed Timothy. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner : but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God.-i. 8. True it is, that the Lord Christ has never left his church without faithful witnesses! In every successive age and generation, he has raised up workmen to carry on the building of his sacred Temple; and, this evening, the Society here assembled, cannot but devoutly wish and pray, that the pious young men under their care, may indeed prove Gospel workmen, that need not to be ashamed. This leads me,

IV. To the last thing observable in the text, and which is, the means that Paul enjoined upon Timothy, in order to accomplish the end. It is STUDY. Study is essential to a workman of every description. It is the employment of the mental faculties, on any given subject, or thing, for the purposes of investigating their nature, and qualities, with the best methods of procedure in order to accomplish a design, whether for pleasure or advantage. For, in all operations, mechanical or

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scientific, man is solely directed by the powers of his mind, which exhibit a wonderful machine, formed by the hand of the Almighty, to produce the various actions and duties of human life for the benefit of the whole. To an attentive person, it will easily be perceived, that the mind of every man possesses a texture, talent, choice, or predilection for one branch of study, in preference to another; and which forms an additional expression both of the wisdom and beneficence of the Creator to the numerous classes of mankind. The texture and qualities of the mind, must, unquestionably, correspond in some good degree with the nature of the subject; or, the labour of study will be in vain. The kind of study demanded of Timothy was spiritual; of course, it required a spiritual mind. A man with mere rational powers, may for instance, take Euclid's Elements in his hand, and with ease he may solve all the geometrical problems which the book contains ; because, to them, he has no innate, previous opposition existing in his mind. But, in studying divine truth, the case is altogether different; for our ways are so unequal, our thoughts are so degenerated, and contradictory to God's thoughts, and also the power of unbelief is so strong, that instead of submitting to the instruction of the word of truth, we find its doctrines and precepts condemn the pride and haughtiness of our fallen humanity. Illumination, and influence from above, are therefore absolutely necessary to produce a spiritual mind, in order to study the spiritual word of God; so true is it, that Jesus said, It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.- John vi. 63. The letter of the Scriptures, is as a window, which can be of no use without light; and, should an inhabitant of the dwelling be blind, to him the light and the window would be equally useless. This is easily applied to the thousands, who read the Bible, yet see not the way of salvation, the glory of Christ, and are far from being transformed into his image. The Saviour therefore first opens the eyes of our understanding, that we may understand the Scriptures, and then fulfils his own promise, by sending us the light of his Spirit, at once to shine upon the mind through the medium of his word, and thus to guide us into all truth. David happily expresses this sentiment, In thy light we shall see light.-Psm. xxxvi. 9. I have been the more particular upon this point, because of its importance. It is God's way of producing light and energy in our mental faculties, and thus restoring lapsed reason to spiritual activity; and which is so necessary to every Christian, more so to the ministers of the Gospel, and of the highest consequence to students of the word of truth. For, how can they divide the word of truth if they do not spiritually understand it? and how can they perform it correctly, unless the Spirit of truth shall give them a spiritual discernment? The possession of this continued illumination will form the spring, the life, the holy energy to all their studies; and, their profiting like that of Timothy, will appear unto all men. This study of divine truth, being their primary object and design, it will preserve their minds in the most charming spirituality, and whatever other branches of classical learning they may be required to pursue, the whole will be made subservient to their rightly dividing the word of truth, to glorify the God of truth, and by renouncing the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, they will commend themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. In addition to this general direction to Timothy to study, and rightly divide the word of truth, Paul, in both these Epistles, gives him important admonitions, admirably calculated to aid his general studies, and to promote his piety and usefulness: I will recite a few of them. Give attendance to reading. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them. Take heed unto thyself, and to the doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Thou therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Flee also youthful lusts; but follow after righteousness, faith, charity, and peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Let no man despise thy youth. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee under

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