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may we, with him, count not our lives dear unto ourselves, that we may fulfil the ministry which has been committed to us, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And well may we exhort each other in his language,-Seeing we have received this ministry, to faint not, but to be instant in season and out of season. Heathen writers inform us of a soldier, who, when sent out by his general with tidings of a victory, would not stop to extract a thorn, which bad deeply pierced his foot, until he had delivered his message to the Senate. And shall we, then, when sent by Jehovah with such a message, a message the faithful delivery of which involves his glory and the eternal happiness of our fellow creatures—shall we linger, shall we suffer any personal inconveniences, any difficulties, any real or fancied dangers, to interrupt or retard us in the execution of our work? Shall we, with the true water of life, the true elixir of immortality, in our possession, suffer our own private concerns to diverı us from presenting it to the dying, and forcing it into the lips of the dead? Shall we, with Aaron's censer in our hands, hesitate whether to rush between the living and the dead, when the anger of the Lord is kindled, when the plague has already begun its ravages, and thousands are falling at our right hand, and ten thousand at our left? Shall we wait till to-morrow to present the bread of life to the famished wretch, who before to-morrow arrives, may expire for want of it? Surely if we can do this, if we can be so regardless of our obligations to God and of our duty to man, the least punishment which we can expect is, to be debarred from that salvation which we neglected to afford to others, and to be made answerable for the blood of all the souls, who, in consequence of this neglect, perished in their sins. Let us, then, my fathers and brethren, never forget that the king's business requireth haste, and that who, or whatever stands still, we must not. Let the sun pause in his course, though half the world should be wrapped in frost and darkness by his delay ; let rivers stagnate in their channels, though an expecting nation should perish with thirst upon its flood-forsaken banks; let longlooked for showers stop in mid air, though earth, with a thousand famished lips, invoke their descent; but let those who are sent with the life-giving iidings of pardon, peace and salvation, to an expiring world, never pause, never look or wish for rest, till their Master's welcome voice shall call them from their field of labor to everlasting repose ; to that world where those who, as burning or shining lights, have turned many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars, and as the brightness of the firmament forever and ever.
"A few words to the assembly and I have done. Is it true, my hearers, that the gospel which you have often heard is the glorious glad tidings of the blessed God? Then in every one, by whom it is truly believed, it will infallibly excite holy joy, admiration and praise ; for every report which is thus believed must produce effects corresponding to its nature and import. If you hear and believe mournful tidings, they will occasion grief. If you hear and believe joyful tidings, they will no less certainly occasion joy. If you hear and believe an account of any glorious enterprise, or splendid act of liberality, it will call forth admiration and applause. If then you really believe the glorious glad tidings of God, you must and will rejoice, you will adınıre and bless the Author. Has the gospel, then, produced these effects upon you?
Do you know what it is to be filled with joy and peace in believing? Can you, do you unite with the inhabitants of heaven, in ascribing to Christ all that heaven can give? In a word, do you feel that the gospel is glorious, glad tidings of great joy? And is it the language of your hearts—Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift? If not, it is most certain that you never believed the gospel ; for the apostle assures us that it does work effectually in all that believe ; and we have already seen that it has, in all ages, filled the hearts of believers with joy, and their lips with praise. And if you believe not the gospel, how awful is your responsibility, your criminality and your danger! In your view the Sun of righteousness has no beams. You see nothing lovely in that Saviour, whom all good beings, on earth and in heaven, love with the most ardent affection. Surely, then, you are wrong, or they are. Either they must be deceived, or you must be blind. In your breasts the most delightful tidings that ever vibrated on mortal ears, excite no joy. To you the glorious gospel of the blessed God, that gospel which is the wisdom of God unto salvation, that gospel whence flows all the happiness that ever will be tasted by men on earth or in heaven, and which will through eternity excite the admiration and the praises of angels, appears little better than foolishness. In vain, as it respects yourselves, have prophets prophesied ; in vain have apostles preached ; in vain have martyrs sealed the truth with their blood ; in vain have angels descended from heaven with messages of love; in vain has the Son of God expired in agony on the accursed tree ; in vain has the Holy Spirit been sent to strive with sinners; in vain has a revelation of all these wonders been given. You still refuse to believe, and by your unbelief practically charge the God of truth with falsehood ; for, says the apostle, he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he hath not believed the record which God gave of his Son. Unhappy men! to you the awful words of the apostle apply in all their force : If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. On you the dreadful sentence falls, He that believeth not shall be condemned. Your character and doom are described in the declaration, He who believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.
"Woe to the wretch who never felt
The inward pangs of pious grief,
The stubborn sin of unbelief.
Under the wrath of God he lies;
And with a double vengeance dies.'
And will you die under the weight of this double vengeance? Will you go to the regions of deepair from a world which has been moistened by a Saviour's atoning blood ? from a world which has resounded with the glad tidings of pardon, peace and salvation? O, do not, I beseech you, in God's name, and for Christ's sake, do not be infatuated ; do not madly reject the glad tidings. Once more I proclaim them in your ears. Once more I declare unto you that it is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the
world to save sinners. Men, brethren and fathers, hearken ! for unto you, to each one of you, is the word of this salvation sent.
This extract furnishes a good exhibition of the kind of pulpit address in which Dr. P. excelled. It was in his efforts to do good to men's souls, to arouse the sluggish, to stimulate the indolent, to persuade the doubting and procrastinating, that his soul kindled, as if touched with a live coal from the heavenly altar. At such times, his whole heart was poured forth in the most ardent espostile lation. His earnestness knew no bounds. His zeal pressed his plea, so that there was no chance for refusal; and a person slighting his message could not possibly feel at ease in his declinature. His appeals to the irreligious, especially, were often very powerful and deeply affecting. "We present one from his Sermon entitled, “An Assembly convoked against Sinners.” Text, Neh. v, 7. “And I set a great assembly against them.” His object is to show the irreligious how great an assembly of witnesses may be brought to testify against them, and to oppose them in their sinful courses : as, 1. All good men now in the world. 2. The spirits of the just made perfect. 3. The writers of the Old and New Testament. 4. The holy angels. From this point he proceeds as follows:
5. “ The Lord Jesus Christ, my irreligious hearers, is arrayed against you, and what can creatures add to the weight of his opposition? He is the leader of that numerous host, the Captain of salvation, the Lord of angels and men, the appointed Judge, who will pronounce an immutable sentence on both. He holds the keys of death and of hell. He possesses all power in heaven and on earth, and were all creatures on our side, it could avail us nothing while he is against us. And, my impenitent hearers, he is against you ; he sets his face against the course which you are pursuing ; every doctrine which he promulgated, every precept which he enjoined, every threatening which he uttered, every action of his life, is against you. Even his death bears testimony to the sinfulness of your characters, to the guilt and danger of your situation ; for how sinful, guilty and dangerous must be the state of those, whose sin rendered his death necessary. Every part of that religion which he revealed, cries, How can they escape who neglect so great salvation ? And you, my impenitent hearers, are neglecting it. The neglecters of this salvation are the very persons whom we address, and against whom we are collecting this great assembly. And all of this description, the Lord Jesus Christ meets full in their path, and says, Pursue this path no further, on peril of your souls.' He meets all the impenitent, and says, “Except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish.” He meets the unbelieving, and says, He that believeth not shall be damned. He meets all the unholy,
• Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' He meets all the unregenerate, and exclaims, · Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye be born again, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.' And if any of these characters shall continue till death in their present course, they will find him against them at the judgment day, prepared and disposed to execute upon them the sentence pronounced in his word.
"Finally, my irreligious hearers, God the Father is against you. Yes, sinner, the infinite God, the ever-living, almighty, and every where present God, the high, and holy, and just, and unchangeable God, is against you. He who sitteth on the circle of the earth, and counts all its inhabitants as nothing and vanity, he who holds all creatures and all worlds as in the hollow of his hand, he in whom you live, and move, and have your being, even he has revealed himself in direct opposition to the course you are pursuing. Coming forth from the unapproachable light in which he dwells, arrayed in all the majesty, and terrors, and glory of self-existent divinity, he discloses himself to view, seated on the throne of the universe, with his immutable law issuing from his lips, and going forth to demand obedience from his creatures on pain of death. Casting a glance of severe and awful displeasure on the course which you are pursuing, with his own right hand he waves you back, and with his own authoritative voice of power bids you turn, and no longer advance in opposition to your Sovereign. Let the potsherds, he exclaims, strive with the potsherds of the earth ; but woe to him who striveth with his Maker. My hearers, while you neglect religion, you are striving with your Maker; and all the laws of his kingdom, all ihe perfections of his nature, all the dispensations of his providence, all the contents of his word, are against you.
" And now survey once more, and collectively, the vast assembly which is arrayed against you ; an assembly composed of all the good on earth, of all ihe spirits of the just in heaven, of all the holy angels, with God's eternal Son, and the ever-living Jehovah at their head ! Before such an assembly what are you, and whom will you array against it? You may indeed assemble all the wicked on earth. You may call for the departed spirits of all wicked men, who have gone to their own place; and you may add the spirits of disobedience, the apostate angels, to swell the throng; but these are all whom you can assemble. No holy angels, no good man, in heaven or earth, will join your unhallowed host, or countenance you in disobeying or neglecting the Sovereign whom they love.
“ Surely then, those of you who acknowledge the truth of the Scriptures, will no more boast or rely upon the number which swells your ranks. Indeed, methinks a view of those who are with you, can scarcely be more pleasing than a view of those who are against you. To see all evil beings on your side, is little less appalling than to see all good beings or the opposite side. And remember that what you have now heard described you will one day see. You will see all the different classes and beings who have been mentioned, assembled at the judgmeat-day. On one side, you will see all wicked men and wicked spirits ; on the other, all good men, all holy angels, the Lord
Jesus Christ, and the everlasting Father. And if you continue what you now are, you will see all the former arrayed on your side, and all the latter against you. And then, if not now, you will feel that there is a great assembly against you ; and that to have such an assembly against you is indeed an evil above all things to be deprecated.
“ I need not, my irreligious hearers, repeat remarks which I have often made respecting the pain which it gives me to address you in this manner. Nor need I again remind you that my only object is to promote your happiness. The use which I wish to make of the subject is to persuade you to leave the host to which you now belong, and to join the assembly which is arrayed against it. There is not an individual in the assembly referred to, who is not prepared to receive and welcome you with cordial affection. All the good on earth would gladly embrace you as brethren ; holy beings in heaven would rejoice over you, as they do over every sinner that repenteth. The Lord Jesus Christ is ready to receive you, and God the Father to forgive you, and adopt you as his children. All, all combine with one voice to cry, Come with us, and we will do you good. Do you reply, we would join you, were there not so many hypocrites in your number? My hearers, we are not inviting you to join us. We are inviting you to join the armies of the Lamb, the camp of God, to join an assembly composed of none but the truly good. Surely, in such an assembly there are no hypocrites. All hypocrites belong to the host which we wish you to leave. They will, as inspiration assures us, have their portion with unbelievers ; for unbelievers they in reality are. If you wish to be separate from them, here and hereafter, you must join those who worship God in spirit and in truth. Choose, then, my hearers, choose your associates, and while choosing them remember that you are choosing them for eternity. Remember that all the goodness in the universe is on one side, and all the evil, on the other. There is not a good man among those you are invited to leave. There is not an evil being among those you are invited to join.
• The subject is well calculated to encourage and animate those of you who are truly religious. You see to how numerous and how glorious an assembly you belong. When you look around upon the state of the world, you perhaps sometimes feel, like the prophet, as if you were almost alone. But if your eyes are opened to see the great assembly which has been described, you will see that there are more with you than against you, more with you than with your adversaries. You are come unto Mount Zion, the city of the living God, and to an innumerable company of angels, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And 0, what an honor and privilege is it to compose one of such an assembly as this. What an honor and privilege would it be, were the assembly much smaller than it is! And if it be an honor and privilege now, what will it be at the great day in which all shall be assembled before the judgment-seat of Christ! What happiness to hear him acknowledge you as his, to hear him say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. You were not ashamed to acknowledge me in the midst of an ungodly world, and now I will not be ashamed of you. You have been faithful over a few things, I will
ruler over many things; enter ye into the joy of your Lord.