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teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, not merely a code of pure and unexfor the work of the ministry, for the ceptionable morals, but a system of edifying of the body of Christ, till we evangelical doctrines; not simply the all come, in the unity of the faith and outlines of the social, but the principles of the knowledge of the Son of God, of the Christian life. It comprehends onto a perfect man, unto the measure the unity and character of the Divine of the stature of the fulness of Christ. essence, and the Trinity of Persons in
And to inspire this ministry with a the Godhead: the apostacy of human deep sense of their responsibility to, nature, by the transgression of our first God, they were solemnly assured, that parents, and the redemption of mankind to them was committed the word of by the death of Christ : justification in reconciliation that they were ambas- the sight of God, by faith alone in the sadors, appointed in Christ's stead to merits of his Son, and the gift of the beseech men to be reconciled to God- Holy Ghost to renew us in righteousand that on the character of their mi- ness and true holiness: the necessity nistrations, the final destiny of their of seeking the Divine blessings in the hearers would intimately depend. I use of the prescribed means, and the charge thee, therefore," said the great certainty of their proving effectual, if apostle to his son Timothy, before we use them as we ought: the existGod, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who ence of a retributive state in a future shall judge the quick and the dead at world, in which we shall be rewarded his appearing and his kingdom, preach according to the deeds done in the the word; be instant ip season, out of body; and the participation of our enseason; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with tire nature in this 'irrevocable award. all long-suffering and doctrine."
This is the important word that is The word here employed by the enjoined upon the Christian ministry to apostle, to express the matter of our preach; and they should preach it thopreaching, like many other terms in roughly-affectionately-carnestly the Holy Scriptures, is susceptible of plainly—and with a deep sense of their various interpretations. It sometimes responsibility to God. signifies a particular message from the i. They should preach it thoroughMost High, denouncing his special ly—should exhibit, in their due projudgments, or exhibiting his extraordi- portions and prominence, the great vanary promises--as“ earth, earth, riety of its provisions-should disclose earth, hear
precepts and its promises; its terror At other times it denotes the second and its glory; its reproofs and its experson in the adorable Trinity-as "in hortations; and that, precisely as they the beginning was the word, and the are disclosed in the Holy Scriptures. woord was with God, and the word was Had it been devised merely in the God.” And not unfrequently, it means, counsels of human wisdom; or sanethe entire system of the Divine econo tioned only by the authority of created my, as displayed in the New Testa- beings, there might be some pretext ment, in rescuing fallen man from the for a partial disclosure of its matter; degradation of the apostacy. It has but as it was devised by him who cana this meaning in the text.
not err, it would be criminally preOn the Christian ministry is imposed sumptuous in any creature, to exercise the important duty of proclaiming to merely his own option, in the exhithe world the word of life. “Go ye, bition or suppression of its doctrines; therefore," said the Great Head of ihé or even to give to some points a pro Church, "and preach my Gospel to minence disproportionate to their inte every creature; teaching them to ob- portance. Having been planned in the serve all things which I have com counsel of unerring wisdom, it must be, manded you, and, lo, I anı with you al- precisely what it was intended to be; ways, even to the end of the world."
and, consequently, the smallest disa The Gospel here committed to their ruption of its component parts, would care includes not only the principles of be an implication of the Divine omninatural, but also of revealed religion; science,
2. The Holy Scriptures, including a life; the same wicked man shall die in mysterious and complicated system of his iniquity--but his blood will I reDivine operation, the perfection of quire at thy hands. And he declares, which, consisting in its several parts, that he will accomplish his wrath, alike being reciprocally dependent on one upon the wall, and upon them that have tanoher, it is impossible to disclose the daubed it with untempered mortar : symmetry and beauty of this system, but that he will say unto them, the wall is by exhibiting, in their just proportions, no more, neither then that daubed it, its various elements. The plan of sal- to wit, the prophets of Israel, who provation revealed to us in the Holy Scrip- phecy concerning Jerusalem, and which tures, comprehending the connexion see visions of peace concerning her, , of events occurring in the remotest pe and there is no peace saith God. riods of time the bearing of contin II. But although it is incumbent on gent circumstances on the final desting us to exhibit the entire Gospel of Jesus of man--the relative importance of Christ; to disclose its peculiarities wïth different duties and the influence of a prominence correspondent to their the Divine agency on the condition of importance; to rescue its Divinity from our fallen species, it is impossible-- the scorn of infidels ; its matter from morally and physically impossible to the misinterpretations of the ignorant, communicate a just knowledge of this and its purity from the uncandid glosses plan, by partial and insulated exhibi• of the licentious; to make it speak its tions of the Holy Scriptures. They are thunders to the immoral, its menaces to a whole, and it is only by representing the lukewarm, its promises to the penithem as they really are, that we can tent, and its precepts to every one-yet hope to elicit their saving power. we should do it affectionately. 3. When the apostles were
1. The pulpit is, of all places, the missioned to go forth and reform a most unsuitable for the exhibition of an guilty world, they were commanded to unfeeling and relentless spirit. It is preach the Gospel. They were not there the Gospel, in all its tenderness, left to the guidance of their own taste; unpolluted by the acerbities of human in the selection of the topics of discus- nature, ought to be proclaimed. Even sion; but were required, in the most amid the thunders and menaces of the solenin and peremptory manner, to , angry and violated law, the soft and preach the truth as it was in Christ subduing pronrises of mercy should be and lest, in any instance, they should announced. Here should we elevate stray from the path of duty, in the per- the standard of the cross; and, by aw formance of this new and unpractised exhibition of the unbounded and amazwork, he sent them his Holy Spirit to ing love of Christ, beseech his guilty guide them into all, truth. Settle it, subjects to be reconciled to God. And, therefore, said he, in your hearts, not to although these topics may not inspire meditate before what ye shall answer; that awful and magisterial tone of de for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, clamation, which was once characteris: which all
your adversaries shall not be tic of the sacred ministry, they will fure able to gainsay nor resist.
pish arguments incomparably more 4. And in connexion with the com- subduing to the obdurate heart, and mands of God to preach thoroughly the productive of Christian duty, than Gospel of his grace, are the most in- simple denunciation ever did. I am pressive and tremendous menaces, in not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, the event of disobedience. Son of saith the apostle Paul, for it is the man, says he, I have made three a
power of God unto salvation; to the watchman unto the house of Israel: Jew first, and also to the Gentile. therefore, hear the word at my mouth, 2. The adoption and pursuit of this and give them warning from me. course, are recommended by the exWhen I say unto the wicked, thou shalt ample of God himself. Come, now, surely die, and thou givest him not said he to his rebellious people, and let warning, nor speakest to warn the us reason together; though your sins wicked of his wicked way, to save his be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow; though they be red like crimson, the prophet, “O that my head' were they shall be as wool. To the back- waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, sliding Jews, he said, How shall I give that I might weep day and night for the thee up Ephraim? How shall I de- slain of the daughter of my people!" liver thee Israel? How shall I make " ye pastors," said the immortal Fee thee as Admah? How shall I set thee nelon, “far from you be banished the as Zeboim ? My heart is turned within contracted heart. Enlarge; enlarge me, my repentings are kindled. Even your bowels of affection. Ye kuion for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, incor- nothing, if ye are only acquainted with rigibly wicked as they were, Christ the voice of authority, reproof, correcmanifested pity and concern. On ap- tion, and with pointing out the letter of proaching this devoted city, he lifted the law. Be fathers; this is not suffiup his eyes and wept, saying, O Jeru- cient; be mothers; travail in birth salem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the again till Jesus Christ be formed in the prophets, and stonest them that were heart of your parishioners." sent unto thee, bow often would I have III. But this affectionate tenderness gathered thy children together, even as for our fellow-creatures ought not to be a hen gathereth her chickens under her of that description which paralizes our wings, and ye would not. The whole solicitude for their salvation ; but of tenor of the divine procedure is mani- that which perpetually and intensely festly marked with tenderness and love. excites it. Aware of the temptations Notwithstanding our race have been a to which they are exposed in the preperverse and rebellious people; have, sent life, and the overwhelming calamiin every period, left undone those things ties to which they may be obnoxious in which they ought to have done, and that which is to come, we should with done those things which they ought not an earnestness, bounded only by our to have done, God, instead of crushing ability, exhort and beseech them to them beneath his angry and Almighty make their escape. hand, has borne long with their guilty Such, indeed, is the stupidity of man, conduct; has, by the strivings of his in relation to his future interest, that a reHoly Spirit, and the operations of his quisition on all our powers to arouse him gracious Providence, noved upon their is indispensable. Overwhelmed as he hearts, and excited in them desires to is by the sleep of death, nothing but the flee the wrath to come.
most powerful addresses to his callous 3. And of the propriety of imitating conscience, aided by the Holy Ghost, in our public ministrations, this sub can awaken him. It is not the cold and lime tenderness of our Heavenly Fa. proseing disquisition; the intellectual ther, we are perpetually reminded by and heartless array of learning; nor our own infirmities. Instead of arro casuistic and critical discriminations, gating to ourselves a perfection to which that will subdue his obdurate heart, none around us can aspire, and of hurl- awaken his lethargic conscience, and ing upon our fellow-creatures the ana- bring him humble, broken hearted, andthemas of the violated law, without penitent before the cross--but only that feeling that we are alike obnoxious to lively, ardent, and feeling exhibition of its curses, we should recollect that we the truth as it is in Christ. To arouse are men of like passions; that in our a guilty and a slumbering world; to most holy things we are sinners in the awaken the lethargic conscience long eye of justice; and, like the veriest steeped in the most fatal opiates; to transgressor, depend alone upon the reclaim the feet of the erratic prodigal, Divine mercy for pardon and salvation and convince, and soften, and conIn the recollection that we had allotted vert the inveterate sinner, require not to us by our Heavenly Father, the same merely the disclosure of the truth, but origin, the same infirmities, and the the disclosure of it with a melting pasame sufferings, and that to these, we thos, and an overwhelming earnesthave appended nearly the same sins, ness. we ought, instead of indulging in unre 2. And, surely, when we contemlenting denunciation, to exclaim, with plate the perils to which the unregene
rate are exposed, we discover sufficient pendence that neither dreads the frowns reason for a requisition on all the ar of tyrants, nor courts the smiles of dour we possess. They are in the sycophants, they should preach the inidst of a wicked and ungodly world; word precisely as they find it in the exposed to the toils and snares of a Holy Scriptures. Instead of indulging malignant foe; liable to the pains and the pride of intellect, by penetrating torments of sin in the present life, the mazes of metaphysical abstraction; and the anguish of eternal death in that or gratifying a sickly fancy in culling which is to come; are not only totter- the flowers of a factitious eloquence, we ing upon the verge of human existence, should be content with the exhibition but trembling upon a giddy precipice, of the truth, simply in its own majesty. at the base of which yawns a deep and To minds duly penetrated by the awfuldreary gulph, with merely a hold upon ness of the Christian verity, the pride the present life, as fragile as mortality and artifice, discoverable in the labours itselt. Under these circumstances they of meretricious ornament, are perfectly ought, surely, to be the objects of our disgusting. It is not in the harmonious liveliest concern. Our's should be the involution of the period; the beauty feeling of the prophet, when he said and appropriatness of the metaphor; “ Mine eye runneth down with rivers nor the sprightly and pleasing turn of of water for the destruction of the the sentiment, that will promote the daughter of my people. Mine eye spiritual and eternal welfare of sinners; trickleth down, and ceaseth not, with- but only that faithful plainness which out any intermission. Mine eye affect- despoils them of their fallacious pleas, eth mine heart, because of all the daugh- discloses to their view the hideous chaters of my city.”
racter of their heart, leads them trem. 3. Nor have we instances merely of bling and guilty before the throne of holy prophets and apostles, weeping God, and shows them that salvation over our fallen and degraded race, and is obtained alone in virtue of the merits making every exertion in their power of his Son. It was this sort of plainto save them from present and eternal ness, to which the Christian orator alruin; but incomparably greater in- luded, when he said, My speech and stances of earnestness, for the accom. my preaching was not with enticeing plishment of the same object, are exhi- words of man's wisdom, but with debited in the dispensations of Divine monstration of the spirit and of power. Providence and Grace. By every effort V. Nor should we, for a single moment, in the range of Almighty power, con- forget our responsibility to God. To sistent with the freedom of human him we are accountable, not only for creatures, God has endeavoured to our individual conduct, but especially rescue them from the calamities of eter- for our public and official ministrations. nal death. The bitter passion and dying in the book of his rememberance is reagony of his Son; the unwearied and corded, with unerring accuracy, the gracious influence of his Holy Spirit; character of our sacerdotal efforts, to be the salutary and diversified operations exhibited in the day of final judgment of his Providence; and his fervent and to our eternal glory or perdition. At repeated admonitions, are decisive that solemn and eventful period, we proofs of the earnestness with which he shall hear pronounced the irrevocable desires the salvation of our fallen and sentence, « Well done, thou good and guilty race. And the imitation of his faithful servant, thou hast been faithful exanıple, in this respect, is imperatively over a few things, I will make thee enjoined upon the Christian ministry. ruler over many things, enter thou into On them it is incumbent, with all the the joy of thy Lord;" or, “ Take, earnestness of which they are suscepti- therefore, the talent froin him, and give ble, to beseech their fellow creatures, in it to him that hath ten talents; and cast Christ's stead, to Be reconciled to God. ye the unprofitable servant into outer
IV. And, to render their ministrations darkness : there shall be weeping and effectual, they should be performed gnashing of teeth." with entire plainness. With an inde As the Christian ministry is not VOL. VI.
an ordinance of human invention ; bat disappointments, incident to the disa an institution of the Great Head of the charge of our duties, the Divine Pre. Church, it is to him we are especially sence will be with us. God will bind responsible. It was Jesus Christ who up our broken hearts, wipe, with the
Father hath sent me, even hand of pity, our flooded eyes, and say so send I you; go ye, therefore, and to our dejected souls, Fear not, be preach my Gospel to every creature, strong, I will come and save you. In baprizing them in the name of the Fa- the achievement of present usefulness, ther, and of the Son, and of the Holy and the prospect of future felicity, we Ghost; and lo, I am with you always, shall be cheered with purer and sweeter even to the end of the world.
joy than all the honours and riches Such being the nature and institution this world can afford. To know that of the Christian ministry, it is incum- our ministrations are sanctified to the bent on them to preach the word with edification of our fellow creatures; that a deep sense of their responsibility to we are made the instruments of proGod. A conviction, that every senti- moting their present and eternal inment; word; and action, comprehended terest, will inspire us with joy unspeakin their ministrations, will be exhibited able and full of glory. in the day of trial; should thoroughly Unpleasant and painful as it often is pervade their hearts. The last agonies to exhibit with fidelity the Gospel of of expiring nature, the pains and tor. Jesus Christ; to reprove, rebuke, exments of the second death, the unutter- hort, with all long-suffering and doc. able felicity and glory of the redeemed, trine; and, iet opposition to the wishes and all the solemn realities of the judg- of the people, which require us to proment day, should be deeply impressed phesy to them smooth things, to cry upon their imagination, while they are aloud and spare not, to lift up our announcing to their fellow creatures the voice like a trumpety and to show the Gospel of the grace of God. To their people their transgression, and the conscience, the affecting truth should be house of Jacob their
sins; the recollecever presents that their ministrations tion of having done so, will, in oor dywill prove to their hearers the savour ing moments, afford us the sweetest of life unto life; or of death unto death. consolation. When the ruthless hand
Such, my brethren, is the manner in of death prèsses hard upon us, and our which the Christian ministry should pastoral connexions are fast dissolve “preach the word;" and, in thus ing for ever, an ability to say, with the preaching it, under the Divine bless- apostle Paul," I have not shunned to ings, their labours will not be in vain. declare the whole counsel of God," will Sinners will be awakened from their not fail to animate us with the strongest guilty slumbers, and, repairing to the hope. A rememberance of our faithstandard of the cross, will experience fulness in this respect will illumine our the saving efficacy of redeeming grace. bosom with the brightest ray, even The wastes of our holy Zion will be amid the dark and oppressive clouds built up, her deserted temples thronged which hover on the tomb. Next to a with adoring multitudes, and the loneli- conviction of a personal interest in the est scenes of her desolation converted atonement of Jesus Christ, will the reinto beauty and prosperity. Instead of collections of our fidelity in the disthe elegiac strains the ways of Zion charge of our ministerial duty, animate do mourn, because none cometh to her us in the lingering and painful agonies solemn feasts: all her gates are deso- of dissolving nature. Such rememberlate: her priests sigh, her virgins are ances will smooth our descent to the afflicted, and she is in bitterness--the lonely grave, and open to our delighted wilderness and solitary places will re eyes prospects of imiportality and unspond to her songs of joy, and the whole fading glory; will enable us to seize the earth will be filled with her glory. crown of righteousness, which will
Nor shall we, as individuals, be left shine with increasing splendour, when disconsolate in the performance of this the brightest laurels of the warrior shall work. Amid the trials, afflictions, and have faded into forgetfulness.