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2. The doctrine we teach must be that of Jesus Christ and him crucified. The


and work of Christ have ever been the corner stone of the Christian fabric; take away his divinity and atone. ment, all will go to ruins. This is the doctrine taught by the apostles, and which God, in all ages has delighted to honour. It would be found, I believe, on inquiry. that in those times wherein this doctrine has been most cordially embraced the church bas been most prosperous, and that almost every declension bas been accompanied by a neglect of it. This was the doctrine by which the Reformation was effected; and to what is the Reformation come in those communities where it is rejected ? This was the leading theme of the Puritans and Nonconformists; and what are their descendants become who have renounced it ? Many of them rank with Infidels, and many who retain the form of Christianity deny the pow. er thereof.

If it be alleged that the Church of Rome retains this doctrine amidst its great apostasy, and some Protestant churches do the same, which, notwithstanding, have exceedingly degenerated ; I answer, it is one thing for a community to retain doctrines in its decrees and articles, and another to preach them with faith and love in their ordinary labours. Divine truth requires to be writ. ten, not merely with ink and paper, but by the Spirit of God, upon the fleshly tables of the beart. If the Church of Rome had retained the doctrine of Christ's divinity to any purpose, its members would have worshipped him, and not have turned aside to the adoration of saints and relicks; and if bis atoning blood and only mediation between God and man had been properly regarded, we had never heard of mediators, pardons, and penances of another kind.

Christ crucified is the central point, in which all the lines of evangelical truth meet and are united. There is not a doctrine in the scriptures but what bears an important relation to it. Would we understand the glory of the divine character and goveroment? It is seen in perfection in the face of Jesus Christ. Would we learn the evil of sin, and our perishing condition as sinners ? Each is manifested in his sufferings. All the blessings of grace and glory are given us in him, and for his sake. Practical religion



well say,

finds its most powerful motives in his dying love. That doctrine of which Cbrist is not the sum and substance, is not the gospel ; and that morality which has no relation to him, and which is not enforced on evangelical principles, is not Christian, but Heatben.

I do not mean to be the apologist for that fastidious disposition apparent in some hearers, who require that every sermon shall have Christ for its immediate theme, and denominate every thing else legal preaching. His sacred name ought not to be unnaturally forced into our discourses, nor the holy scriptures turned into allegory for the sake of introducing it: but, in order to preach Christ, there is no need of this. If all scripture doctrines and duties bear a relation to hiin, we have only to keep that relation in view, and to urge practical religion upon those principles. If I leave out Christ in a sermon, and allege that the subject did not admit of his being introduced, I fear it will only prove that my thoughts have not been cast in an evangelical mould. I might as

there is a village which bas no road to the metropolis, as that there is a scripture doctrine or duty which has no relation to the person and work of Christ. Neither can I justly allege that such a way of preaching would cramp the powers of my soul, and confine me to four or five points in divinity: we may give the utmost scope to our minds, and yet, like the Apostle, determine to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. There is breadth and length and depth and height sufficient in his love to occupy our powers, even though they were ten thousand times larger than they are.

In all our labours, brethren, in the church or in the world, in our native country or among the Heathens, be this our principal theme. In this case, and not otherwise, the Lord will delight in us, will bring us into the land, and give it us for a possession.

3. The motive of our undertakings must be pure. God cannot possibly take pleasure in the labours of the sordid or the vain. Indeed, I do not perceive how, in the greater part of our labours, we can suspect ourselves, or be suspected, of acting from a regard to our worldly advantage. In attempting to carry the gospel among the heathen me certainly can have no such motive ; as

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every part of the work requires the sacrifice of interest, and that without the most distant prospect of its being restored. And even in carrying what we believe to be evangelical doctrine into the villages of our native country, it is commonly at the expense of both ease and interest.' In those labours, however, that are within the vicinity of our respective congregations, in which succes! may contribute to our temporal advantage, it becomes us to watch over our own hearts. If such a motive should lie concealed among the springs of action, it may procure a blast upon our undertakings. The Lord will have no delight in such preaching ; and without him we can do nothing. Or if avarice have no place in us, yet, should we be stimulated by the desire of applause, it will be equally offensive to a holy God. The idea of being a Missionary, abroad or at home, may feed the vanity of some minds ; and, indeed, there is no man that is proof against such temptations. We have all reason to watch and pray. There is a woe bangs over the idol shepherd ; the sword will be upon his

upon his right eye! I have no suspicion of any one, but merely wish every one to suspect himself. If we secretly wish to appear great among our brethren, to magnify ourselves or our party, or to figure away in the religious world, as persons of extraordinary zeal, all is naked to the eyes of him with whom we have to do, and, depend upon it, he will have no delight in us. But if our eye be single, our whole body shall be full of light. Those that honour God shall be honoured of him ; and however he may prove them for a time, they shall find, in the end, that their labour has not been in vain in the Lord.

4. We must go forth in all our labours as little children, sensible of our own insuffictency, and depending only upon God. The first city which Israel besieged, on their passage over Jordan, was won without striking a single blow, but merely walking round it, and sounding their trumpets, according to the command of the Lord. This was doubtless meant to teach them a lesson, at the outset of the war, not to lean upon their strength, or numbers, or valour; but upon the arm of Jehovah. This lesson was ordinarily repeated throughout their generations, whenever led to battle by godly men : instead of filling them with ideas of their own sofa


faciency, (which is the universal practice of worldly men who have had the command of armies,) they taught them to distrust themselves, and to rely upon their God. This is the spirit by which true religion is distinguished ; and in this spirit we must go forth to subdue the bearts of sinners, or the Lord will have no delight in us, but leave us to fight our battles alone. Thus that eminent man of God, from whose pulpit I now address you, represents the four captains, and their ten thousands, after besieging Mansoul without effect, as presenting their petition to Shaddai, for assistance. The more self-annihilatioa we possess, the more likely we are to be useful to the souls of men. God has respect unto the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off.

5. We must persevere in the work of the Lord to the end. When Israel came out of Egypt, I suppose they all intended to go forward, and to possess the land: but when difficulties arose, the great body of them fainted, and were for going back. When an undertaking is new and plausible, many come forward to engage in it: but a time comes when the first flush of spirits subsides, when great and seemingly insurmountable difficulties, present themselves, and when success appears to be much farther off than at the beginning : this is the time for the trial of faith. A few such seasons will commonly thin the ranks of Christian professors; but blessed are they that endure temptation. Those who followed the Lord fully were brought into the land. It is possible that our motives may be pure at the outset, and yet, through the

, strength of temptation, we may be turned aside. The Lord speaks well of the church of Ephesus, as having, for a time, borne and had patience, and for his name's sake had laboured and no? fainted : yet it follows, Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love. This is an example for us to shun. Another follows, namely, the church at Thyatira, for our imitation : I know thy works , and thy charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works, AND THE LAST TO BE MORE THAN THE FIRST.

6. We must exercise a lively faith in the power and promise of God. I reserve this remark to the last, because it contains the spirit of the passage, and is a matter of the highest importance. It






was owing to unbelief that the body of the people drew back, and to faith that Joshua and Caleb were for pressing forward. Nor is there any thing of greater importance to the Christian ministry, especially to those engaged in extraordinary labours. He that endeavours to extend the limits of Christ's kingdom, resembles a navigator who engages in a voyage of discovery: he is exposed to ills and dangers which cannot be foreseen, nor provided against. Carrying a doctrine to which all his hearers bave a natural and deep-rooted aversion, the difficulties he has to encounter are as islands of ice near the poles, or as rocks in unknown seas ; but faith in the power and promise of God is sufficient for all his wants.

Confidence is agreeable to a generous character, while suspicion thrusts a sword into his heart. The former is honourable to him, affording him opportunity, of carrying his kind intentions into execution : the latter dishonours him, and lays him under a sort of incapacity of doing good to the party. A generous character will feel impelled by a principle of honour to keep pace with the expectations of those who confide in his goodness and veracity. Nor is this confined to the concerns of men.

There is something greatly resembling it in the dealings of God with us. The Lord has magnified his word more than all his name ; and as faith corresponds with the word, he has bestowed greater honour upon this grace

than upon any other. Hence we find snch language as the following: how great is thy goodness which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men.Believe in the Lord your God, 80 shall ye be established; believe his prophets, su shall ye prosper.--The Lord taketh pleasure in them that hope in his mercy. Under the New Testament still more is said of this important principle. In almost all the miracles of our Saviour, he made a point of answering to the faith of the parties, or of those that brought them; and where this was wanting, he is. represented as under a kind of incapacity to help them. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. According to your faith be it unto you.--Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. He could there do no mighty works because of their unbeRef. Nor was this principle honoured merely in miraculous cases,


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