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PSALM XXXviii. 6..
I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
On the Chriftian Characters of Youth.
2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. vii. 1.
Come out from among them, and be ye feparate, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved; let us cleanfe ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and fpirit, perfecting boliness in the fear of God. 371
On the Chriftian Characters of Youth.
2 COR. vi. 17, 18. vii. 1.
Come out from among them, and be ye feparate, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty.
Almighty. Having therefore thefe promises, dearly beloved; let us cleanfe ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and fpirit, perfecting boliness in the fear of God. Page 399
On Hearing of Sermons.
2 TIM. iii. 7.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the Knowledge of the Truth.
A DESCRIPTION equally emphatical and disheartening! But to whom is it applicable? If there were fuch characters in an age painfully emerging from Jewish and Pagan darkhefs; are there fuch in modern days? If such characters are to be found among the moft obfcure and mifguided fects; are there fuch in the bofom of the national church? In ancient and in modern times, among fects and in the eftablishment, of fuch characters there have been and there are multitudes. Is it poffible? Shall man be ever learning, and never able to attain knowledge? Shall man labour, fhall he labour in the purfuit of religious truth, and reap no fruit from his exVOL. II B ertions?
ertions? The event is poffible and frequent. In vain the hufbandman fcatters the feed, if the foil is not duly prepared to receive it. The foil may be well prepared, and the feed may spring up green among the furrows but it is in vain that you expect a plentiful harvest, if you permit the rising plants to be fmothered by weeds. Is it reafonable to imagine that the feed of the Gofpel, the feed from which you look for the bread of life, will flourish and arrive to maturity; if you bestow on its cultivation lefs reflection, lefs folicitude, than are neceífary for the grain which is to fupport your mortal body? The word of God will in vain be preached unto you, if you be not difpofed to embrace it. The word of God will in vain be preached unto you, if after-wards you fuffer it to be overwhelmed by the business or the pleasures of the world.
My purpose is to endeavour to lead you to that frame of mind, with which a Chrif tian ought to confider the discourses which he hears from the pulpit. Let me request - your ferious attention.
For on the atten
tion with which you regard the general truths now to be laid before you depends not
- only the benefit, fuch as it may be, which might be received, under the divine bleffing, belearren
from the prefent difcourfe: but much alfo of the advantage to be derived from the future difcourfes, which the minifters of religion may address to you.
you may furvey with a comprehenfive eye the extent of your duty, it may be ufeful that you should previously turn your thoughts to mine. In the first place, therefore, I shall briefly mention the duties of a Christian Preacher: and fhall then proceed to the duties of a Christian Hearer.
I. Go ye into all the world, faid our Lord to his disciples, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Woe unto me, faid St. Paul, if I preach not the Gospel. I determined to know nothing among you, faid the fame Apoftle on another occafion, but Jefus Chrift, and him crucified (a). A Chriftian preacher is not to fet before the congregation a system of religion in part devised or modified by his own fancy. He is not to confider what fpecies of doctrine will prove most agreeable to the natural imaginations of the heart. He is not to follow the speculative opinions of the wifeft of men; nor to establish moral truth and moral duty on the bafis of human authority. He is to look to the (a) Mark, xvi. 15. 1 Cor. ix. 16. îi. 2.