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of God;, and that the traditions of the Romifh, as formerly of the Jewish rabbis, have, in many instances, rendered the divine commandment of none effect.. If our industry were equal to theirs, we might well expect fuperior fuccefs from the fuperiority of our cause. Let us not hesitate to take example in what is praife-worthy from those whom in other refpects we difapprove. Our Lord did not fcruple to recommend to his difciples, as a leffon of prudence, the provident care even of an unfaithful steward: “For the chil"dren of this world," fays he," are in "their generation wifer than the children " of light *." The Romanifts claim the high prerogative of working miracles; yet they pursue fuch politic measures as fhow that they lay no ftrefs upon that privilege. There are, on the other hand, enthufiafts, who, though they do not in words arrogate fupernatural power, act as if they poffeffed it, treating with contempt the ordinary and natural means. Both are in extremes. And I fhall only fay of them, that if the latter speak with more honefty, the former act with more judgement.

Still however we are to be understood with this limitation, that the means employed must never be repugnant to the unalterable rule of truth and right, or to the fpirit of that holy

*Luke, xvi. 8.


religion which we defire to propagate. A good end will never fanctify bad means. Men have too often, in the caufe of God, as they pretended, had recourfe to deceit and violence. Thefe unhallowed inftruments, fo contradictory to the precepts, and fo fubverfive of the fpirit of the gospel, they have thought they confecrated, by chriftening them pious frauds, and wholefome feverities. Let us ever remember, that it is impoffible that the God of mercy and truth fhould accept fuch deteftable of ferings "Thou shalt deftroy them that speak "leafing," fays David. "The Lord will abhor "both the bloody and the deceitful man *."


I OBSERVE, thirdly, and I conclude with it, that though in thefe days no miffions can hope for fuccefs comparable to that which attended the miniftry of the apoftles, this confideration ought not to difcourage fuch attempts, or leffen the ardour of Chriftians for the advancement of the gofpel. It was fitting that the ministry of the Son of Ged, and of his felect fervants, by whom the foundations of the church were laid, fhould be fignalized by the most glorious manifeftations of divine prefence and agency. This was to ferve to all future ages as a proof that the commiffion came from God. But let it not be fufpected by any, that God will ever fail to countenance the caufe of his Son, the

* Pfal. v. 6.

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caufe of truth and virtue, and to honour thofe with his approbation who exert themfelves to promote it. For one to say, 'Be


caufe I cannot do good equal to that which with the aid of miracles the first preachers of the gospel did, I will do none at all,' would be talking neither like a Christian, nor like a reasonable perfon. The great and the rich have it in their power to be more extenfively useful to their fellowcreatures than the ignoble and the poor: are the latter therefore exempted from being as ufeful as they can? God requireth of every man according to what he hath, and not according to what he hath not *. Will it be a good apology for the fervant who receives one talent, to say, 'Because I re⚫ceived not, like fome others, five talents,

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I thought it unneceffary to employ myfelf in the improvement of fo fmall a ftock?' The cafe of individuals, and that of whole generations, is in this refpect similar. To do what we can to diffufe the light of the gofpel, and communicate the benefits thereof to others, is what every motive of piety to God and benevolence to men requires of us. And we may fay, with the greatest juftice, that none deferve better of mankind, than thofe whofe labour and wealth are employed in promoting the intereft of their fellow-creatures, the most valuable for time. and for eternity. For this reafon, the dif2 Cor. viii. 12.



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ciples of Jefus will entertain a due veneration for that truly Chriftian and truly Patriotic Society, who have honoured me with their commands to addrefs you on this occafion. Their affiduous attention has long been fixed, and by the bleffing of Heaven has not been fixed in vain, on the most fublime and important of all objects, the extenfion of the kingdom of Meffiah, and the falvation of the fouls of men. I fpeak not thus to convince you of the juft title they have to your esteem. This is a very small matter to those who feek not the praife of men, but that which cometh from God, the omnifcient and unerring Judge. But I speak to awaken the fame zeal in the breafts of you, my hearers, and to excite every one of this affembly, to co-operate to the utmost of his power, in promoting the fame noble ends.

And let us all add fervent prayers to ftrenuous and virtuous endeavours. "Pray," said David *, " for the peace of Jerusalem." Our Jerufalem is the church of Chrift, the antitype of that metropolis, the true city of the great King. Of HER we may justly fay, "They fhall profper that love THEE. Peace "be within THY walls, and prosperity with "in THY palaces! For our brethren and "companions fakes we will fay, Peace be withBecause of the houfe of the "Lord our God, we will feek THY good."

" in THEE.


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* Pfal. cxxii. 6. &c.

S. 2



XII *.

The fufferings of Christ compared with thofe which fall out in life to other men, with a fuitable improvement of the fubject.


LAM. i. 12.

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and fee, if there be any forrow like unto my forrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.


N the melancholy book of which the text makes a part, we behold one of thofe objects by which the human heart is moft power. fully impreffed; a good man mourning over the ruins of his country; and struck every moment, while he wandered along the ftreets of a defolated city, with fomething that recalled to his memory the idea of its former magnificence, breaking into the language of pathetic complaint. It ought to be obferved, that the prophetic character with which we fuppofe the old and venerable mourner to have

* Preached on the Saturday before the celebration of the Lord's fupper.


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