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vation of sinners. To do this, then, we must make him the frequent subject of our discourse. Nay, on these topics, there is so much to be said, that, if we would fully unfold them, he must not only be the frequent, but the chief matter of our preaching.

But his glory does not appear only in what he is himself. It appears also in the importance of his character, and the extent of its influence, with respect to every object of religious or moral concern, however remotely connected with him. In treating of such subjects, then, let us be careful to mark the aspect which his character bears to them, and the manner, in which they are affected by those truths which immediately relate to him.

But if we would indeed manifest his glory, let us never forget to take our character of him, from his own descriptions, and to speak of his influence and importance, agreeably to the instructions of his own word. His offices and powers were best known to himself; and to describe them by any other standard than his own, were to exhibit, not his glory, but the imaginary glory of an imaginary being, the creature of our licentious fancies. Nay, it were to darken his glory, and to mar his praises. For every deviation from his own perfect delineation, must be a blemish, and not an improvement : it may expose him to contempt, but can never increase his honour.

On the other hand, to secure the due observance of these means, nothing will contribute more ef. fectually, than an uniform regard to the great end of the Redeemer's glory. If we preach from other motives, such as our own emolument, our own fame, or the desire of propagating our own opinions, we

will preach on those subjects, and advance those doctrines, which we may judge most suitable to our purpose ; without regarding their relation to him, or being scrupulously attentive to their agreement with his instructions. But they, whose great objects is their master's glory, and consequently his success, as the Saviour of men, will necessarily be led to present him most frequently to the attention of their hearers; and to render every other subject, which they may have occasion to handle, a mean of farther illustrating the excellencies of his person, and the importance of his undertaking. Above all, their concern for his honour will make them anxiously careful that they exhibit not his character, in any light which is not warranted by his own declarations. All, that he himself hath taught concerning it, they will endeavour to display: but to hold up aught else, they will esteem not less absurd, and infinitely more presumptuous, than the folly of a dauber, who should pretend that the most sublime and accurate ideas of a magnificent object were to be obtained, not by contemplating itself, but by looking at a wretched picture, in which he had distorted all its proportions, and confounded all its parts. While to omit, under pretence of better instructing mankind, any thing which he has spoken, they will reckon to be like hiding part of a faultless form, in order to render the beauty of the whole more evident. And to add to his doctrine, as if we could improve it, they will consider as an attempt to increase the whiteness of the snow, which our very touch must tarnish;'or to paint the sun, which, were it possible, would only obscure the lustre of his rays.

If they preach in such a manner, and with such a spirit, Christ shall not lose his glory, or they their reward; whatever be the result, with respect to those that hear. Though Israel be not gathered,

yet shall the redeemed be glorious in the eyes of “ the Lord;” and “ their judgment is with him, " their work with their God ;"* " a sweet savour

unto him of Christ,” not only in them that are saved, but in “ them that perish : to the one, the “ savour of death unto death, to the other, the sa"vour of life unto life.”+

To what has been said on these two general heads of discourse, we may, with propriety, subjoin two remarks on preaching; and a few observations addressed to two classes of hearers.

The first of these remarks is, that, from what has been said, it appears that we preach not Christ, and are chargeable with preaching ourselves, if we preach not the truths of God's word; though we preach what in itself is true. The Bible is the preacher's text book; and from it he should never step aside, except for occasional illustration. Even then, he should never leave it long, or venture from it far. It contains all that is necessary to be believ. ed, or practised, or avoided, on this side the grave; and, with the blessing of God, is sufficient “ to “ make us wise unto salvation.”# If, then, we make other truths than those of scripture, the common topics of our preaching, we neglect what it is our chief business to inculcate ; and we betray an unwarrantable partiality for speculations, which however agreeable in our own taste, it is no part of our duty, as ministers, to publish. - Nay, this may be

Isaiah xlix. 3, 4. of 2 Cor. iii. 15, 16. * 2 Tim. iii. 15.

the case, even while apparently our subjects are suggested by the word of God. He, who is fond of historical research, and desirous to display his attainments, in it, might entertain you with many curious and instructive facts, from the records of the nations incidentally mentioned in scripture. The geographer might present you with learned and ingenious disquisitions on the ancient and modern positions and boundaries of the cities and countries spoken of there : and the critic might excite your attention by acute observations, and laborious inquiries; which, however advantageous to men of learning, can hardly be made intelligible, and can never be rendered useful to the greater part of mankind.

In these, and in many other ways, we may amuse and inform you, without departing from truth, yet still leave unnoticed the truths of God's word. Nay, more; we may state and illustrate many of these truths; yet to your loss, and our own condemnation, may omit what scripture hath termed, by way of eminence, the truth. We may delineate, with skill, the nature and authority of the divine laws, the beauty of virtue in general, and the excellence of particular virtues; we may describe the rewards and punishments of a future state; and discourse of the mos ral government begun in the present; yet, all the while, avoid those distinguishing doctrines of the gospel, which search the hearts of sinners, destroy their false refuges, and bring them to repentance; which refresh the weary and heavy laden; and lead mourners in Zion to the proper sources of comfort and sanctification. Such preaching would

prove us more desirous to exhibit what the philosopher may admire, than what the guilty need; more solicitous to obtain the praise of delicate sentiment and refined taste, than to convince and convert the children of wrath. And useful, inestimably useful, as its topics are, when viewed in a proper light, and placed in a just connexion, we may say of it, as Paul affirmed of the law, that it is “ weak through the flesh.”*

The second remark I have to make is, that we are, in some degree, chargeable with preaching ourselves, even when, though we do not fall into the practices now, and formerly condemned, we preach important scriptural doctrine, but do not preach it in a scriptural manner, and support and explain it, by scriptural quotations. The language of the sacred record is as energetic and simply elegant, as its sentiments are sublime and true; and the former adorns the style of a preacher, as much as the latter give force to his assertions. He, therefore, who avoids a scriptural manner, and the use of scriptural evidence, affords too much reason to suspect that he has .but little reverence, either for the language, or for the truths of revelation. Of its language he seems either to be ashamed, or to want taste to discern the beauties; and his agreement with its truths has more the appearance of accident than of intention. They must, indeed, be strangely conceited of their own talents, who imagine that they can treat of divine truth, in a manner more just than its author's; or that they can employ language, and adduce evidence, more appropriate than God's. It is the duty of ministers, as they are instructed

* Rom. viii. 3.

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