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Ministers ought in duty more abundautly to preach Christ. "Christ in you, the hope of glory," saith Paul: and be immediately adds, "whom we preach." "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given." What grace? "That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."

Dr. Sibbs is clear, that " the special office of the ministry of the word, is to lay open Christ, to hold up the tapestry, and to unfold the hidden mysteries of Christ." And therefore he exhorts, that we should labour to be always speaking somewhat about Christ, or tending that way. When we speak of the Law, let it drive us to Christ; when of moral duties, let them teach us to walk worthy of Christ Christ, or something tending to Christ, should be our theme and mark to aim at. And I may feelingly say, it is the sweetest subject that ever was preached on. Is it not as an ointment poured forth, whose smell is so fragrant, and whose flavour is so sweet, that therefore all the virgins love him? Is it not comprehensive of all glory, beauty, and excellency, whether of things in heaven, or of things in earth? Is it not a mystery sweet and deep? Such is this high point! this holy, sacred, glorious mystery! Worthy of the pains of all the learned; and if they would bring all their notes together, and add all their studies together, they should find still but a little of this mystery known, in comparison of what remains, and is unknown! Ambrose

The ministry should be beart-searching and arousing all the strong holds of sin should be assailed with the artillery of Scrip ture truth; and if possible, all the thunders of Mount Sinai should be made to roar in the conscience of the careless sinner. He should also be led to Calvary, to see the sufferings and hear the groans of an expiring Saviour! it is not enough merely to state what is truth, but the free offer of all the blessings of salvation must be made to them who hear the Gospel, in the name of Jesus; nay, they must be invited, entreated, and commanded, to seek pardon and eternal life, through the adorable Jesus: and the full sanction of the Gospel must be stated; eternal death must be held out as inevitably connected with and resulting from unbelief. Mark xvi. 16.


Every person that sits under the sound of the Gospel should ask himself these three questions :-Do I know any thing of the excellency of the Gospel? Do I feel the power of it? and do I live according to the rules of it?


The preceding authors have thrown a diversified light upon the nature of a preached Gospel, and the character and qualifications of the men whom the Most High has been pleased to employ in the great and honourable work of publishing it to mankind.

From the vast importance attached to this subject, it would have been most in accordance with the views and passions of man, to expect that God would have selected the rich, the wise, and the learned among the Jews, to promulge his Gospel in the first instance; but no: it was far otherwise; they were chiefly poor fishermen, of low parentage and education, of no learning or eloquence, of no policy or address, of no repute or authority; despised, as Jews, by the rest of mankind, and as the meanest and worst of Jews by the Jews themselves.

What unlikely persons were these to contend with the prejudices of all the world-the superstition of the people-the interest of the priests—the vanity of philosophers-the pride of rulers—the malice of the Jews-the learning of Greece, and the power of Rome! But it pleased God to make use of these bumble individuals, and for this reason—“ that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of man."

The Gospel then is the trumpet, man the instrument to blow the trumpet-the sound the Spirit of God will apply as seemeth good in his sight; which we shall endeavour to illustrate under the next head.

(9th Link.)

We observed at page 221, that the chain of salvation resembles a rainbow reversed, each end being above our natural sight.— The decrees of God, of which we have been endeavouring to form

some general notions, are those links which are above our sight; but now the chain is descending, and coming, as it were, into our own atmosphere, and we shall now find it visible to our senses. For the gospel is a sound. Luke i. 44. Its delightful and cheering accents drop upon the ear. And the gospel gives sight to the blind: "Go, and tell John those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the deaf hear," &c. Matt. xi. 5. The pas"Did not our hearts burn sions will be brought into exercise: within us, while he talked with us by the way?" Luke xxiv. 32. The taste also will be concerned: "How sweet are thy words to my taste!" Ps. exix. 103. There will be a sweet smell, a sacrifice ac'ceptable and well-pleasing to God. Phil. iv. 18.

Religion, then, for such is the name it goes by, is not merely a science, to be known only in theory; but it is a real operation to be performed upon the soul, in which all the senses must be concerned, and all the powers and faculties of the soul brought into action.


The gospel, we said, is the trumpet; man the agent to blow the trumpet: but can he awake the dead? No: he might sound the trumpet a long time over a dead man, before he would bring him to life; and we are "dead.” John xi. 25. “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." John v. 25. “Likewise reckon ye yourselves also to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. vi. 11. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses sins." "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us toge ther with Christ." Eph. ii. 1, 5.

and in

There is a profoundness of lethargy, or deep sleep, which has closed the eyes of the inhabitants of the earth in darkness and insensibility-the rulers and the seers, as well as the humblest and

most ignorant of the land.

To illustrate this more fully, let us just compare the kind of feeling and perception, which we have about an event that may happen on this side of time, with the feeling and perception about an event, -as nearly similar as possible, that will happen on the other side of time, and try how much it is that we are awake as to the former,

and asleep as to the latter. Should we assuredly know, that in a few years we are to be translated into a splendid affluence or sunk into the most abject and deplorable poverty, how keen would be our anticipation, whether of hope or of fear! and why? because we are awake unto these things. We do assuredly know, that in a few years we pass that mysterious portal, which leads to bliss, or pain, or annihilation—and these are certainties which we do not keenly anticipate, and just because we are asleep unto these things. Should we behold a neighbour on the same path of enterprise with ourselves, suddenly arrested by the hand of bankruptcy, and be further told to our conviction, that the same fatality is sure to encounter all who are treading that path, we would retrace, or move aside, or do our uttermost to evade it-because all awake to the disgrace and wretchedness of bankruptcy. We every month behold such a neighbour arrested by the hand of death-nor can we escape the conviction, that sooner or later, he will cast his unfailing weapon at ourselves—and yet no one practical movement follows the conviction, because we are asleep to a sense of the mighty ruin which awaits us from unsparing and universal mortality. Should the house in which you live be entered with violence by the executioners of a tyrant's will, and a brother, or a child, be hurried away to a perpetual dungeon-if made to know that it was because such a doom had been laid upon the whole family, and that sooner or later its infliction was most surely in reserve for every successive member of it-would not you be looking out in constant terror, and live in constant insecurity, and prove how feelingly you were awake to a sense of the sufferings of an earthly imprisonment? But though death break in upon our dwelling, and lay a ruthless grasp on the dearest of its inmates, and leave the assurance behind him, that he will not cease his inroads on this devoted household, till he has swept it utterly away-all we know of the loneliness of the churchyard, and all we read of the unseen horrors of that eternity to which the impenitent and unbeliever are carried by the ministers of the wrath of God, fail to disturb us out of the habit of living here, as if here we were to live for ever—and that, just because while awake to all the reality which lieth on this side of the grave, we are asleep

to the consideration both of the grave itself, and of all the reality that lies beyond it.

Now, the question comes to be, how is this sleep dissipated? Not, we affirm, and all experience will go along with us, not by the power of natural argument-not by the demonstrations of human learning; for these are just as powerless with him who understands them, as with him who makes his want of learning the pretence for putting them away-not by putting the old materials of thought into a new arrangement-not by setting such things as the eye of nature can see, or its ear can hear, or its heart can conceive, into a new light-not by working in the varied processes of combination and abstraction, and reasoning with such simple and elementary ideas as the mind of man can apprehend. The feelings and the suggestions of all our old senses put together, will not make out for us a practical impression of the matters of faith-and there must be a transition as great as that by which a man awakens out of the sleep of nature, and so come to see the realities of Nature which are around him—there must be a something equivalent to the communication of a new sense, ere a reality comes to be seen in those eternal things, where no reality was felt or seen, however much it may have been acknowledged, before.

It is true, that along the course of our ordinary existence, we are awake to the concerns of our ordinary existence. But this is not a wakefulness which goes to disturb the profoundness of our insensibility, as to the concerns of a higher existence. We are in one sense awake, but in another most entirely, and, to all human appear. ance, most hopelessly and irrecoverably asleep. We are just in the same condition with a man who is dreaming, and so moves for the time in a pictured world of his own. He is not steeped in a more death-like indifference to the actual and the peopled world around him, than the man who is busy for the short and fleeting pilgrimage of his days upon earth, among its treacherous delusions, is shut in all his sensibilities, and all his thoughts, against the certainties of an immortal state. And the transition is not greater from the sleeping fancies of the night, to the waking certainties of our daily busi ness, than is the transition from the day-dreams of a passing world,

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