صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

of God, when true and genuine, is ness in preaching the essential always associated with a deep con- doctrines of the gospel. Here I cern for the salvation of men. “If would remark, that some allowa man love not his brother whom ance should be made for those he hath seen, how can he love honest-hearted pious ministers, God whom he hath not seen.” who are as yet unenlightened reOur proper business is to glorify specting some of the vital princiGod by seeking the salvation of ples of the gospel. President Edmen. It is truly melancholy, when wards remarks, that an imperfect a minister goes into a strange ministry may have some good place to display 6 the fulness of things in it, on account of which the blessing of the Gospel," to God may see fit to crown it with find that numbers, even of pro- his blessing. Indeed we can hardfessed christians, are listening to ly suppose that any ministry is him, and waiting every word, with wholly without imperfection.-keen-eyed criticism, to ascertain But what I refer to, is a disposiwhether he believes or rejects tion to keep out of sight, certain the peculiarities of their own fa- truths because they are deemed vorite schemes. What hope is unprofitable. Can we expect a there that such men will hear to blessing on a ministry which aims the salvation of their souls, or to be wiser than God ? The same will be impelled by what they objection lies against keeping back hear to the more vigorous dis- important truth, because it will charge of every duty ? do not give offence. That minister, who such bearers abound in some of is so far governed by the fear of our congregations ? And are not man, as to be more afraid of the the hearts of some pious and faith- loss of salary than of the souls of ful ministers sunk in discourage- his people, will in all probability ment, and broken, to witness the loose both. Nor is it sufficient to blasting effects of this spirit on all exhibit all important truth, just their labors and efforts? What is for the sake of saving the conmost to be deplored is, men are science from distress, but in so found on all sides of all questions, cloaked, and concealed, and muf. which respect subjects not of vi- fed a manner that scarcely any tal importance, who do not attach body shall understand it, or feel such an undue importance to their its edge. There is, undoubtedly, pbilosophical views and tenets, as such a thing as imprudence in to suspect, and almost fear a Re- preaching truth, and there is a vival in which those opinions are pride of' faithfulness, which makes not fully embraced.

what should be a humble preach3. This leads me to remark, er a theological Goliah, which that another cause of hinderance cannot be too conscientiously in io a Revival, is a want of faithful- voided. President Edırards ob.

[ocr errors]

jects to the sentiment, that it is the proper objects of moral obli. right and best to stir up as much gation. On this view of the subenmity as possible by preaching. ject, regeneration must imply the I know, said he, there is a very communication of new natural great and deep and amazing enmi- power to the understanding, and ty in the carnal heart against new natural faculties to the soul. God, and his word--so deep and Man's dependance and impotence strong that it would be dangerous may be so viewed as to lead him to to have it all awakened. But still feel and say he has nothing to dounless the vital truths of the gos. the only course left for him is to pel are so faithfully,and plainly and lie perfectly still in his grave till forcibly inculcated from the pul- a voice from heaven commands pit, that people are obliged to see his moral resurrection. If he is them, and feel that they are de- to be saved, he shall be, and if he monstrated, little hope can be en- is to be lost, he shall be. If he is tertained that they will be subdu- ever saved, it will be without an ed by the gospel.--What I con- anxious thought on his part-and tend for is a plain exhibition of if go to hell he must, he will not vital truth. It is easy for a man be tormented before-hand with to deceive himself, by saying truth one pang of fear. I might adduce must be preached, and include in many more examples of the banethe word truth such speculations ful influence of injudicious repre. as are beyond the essential prin- sentations of christian doctrineciples of religion. Edwards was but must forbear. It is


much a model on this subject.

in consequence of such represen4. Another cause of hinderance tations, that such multitudes at the to Revivals is an injudicious exhi- present day are sunk into a total bition of the doctrines of the gos. stupidity.

The chills of the sec. pel. There is no doctrine so plain ond death are already upon them. es not to be capable of distortion. I would that this single declaraSomething may, without any bad tion of the great Dr. Hopkins intention, be added to, or subtract. might be felt by every soul in this ed from, what the bible has taught land- Sinners are under no inawhich will entirely change the bility, which does not consist in complexion, and nature, and influ. opposition of heart to the will of ence of the doctrine. Total de. God.” This subject, an injudicpravity may be represented, as it ious exhibition of doctrines, is is in a famous “ Contrast,” to worthy the particular attention of - mean the defilement of the un. pious laymen. Not but that there derstanding, conscience, and all the are private members of some of natural powers of the soul." This our churches who are as well inmust imply that total depravity structed as most clergymen-and makes men natural fools, and not are as capable of explaining and

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

defending any important doctrine. length of this communication adBut all pious laymen are not thus monishes me to stop. A hard and enlightened. They are not to driving manner of address is an conclude from this, that they are evil which has its weight, and may incapable of usefulness. There deserve a moment's consideration. is a spbere in which they may act The perfect model of all good with great efficiency and success. and faithful preaching, wept over This, however, is not, ordinarily, the wickedest city that ever stood in propounding deep and difficult on earth; and the most successful points of doctripe, and endeavour- apostle, said of some to whom he ing to solve and remove objec- wrote, even weeping--they are tions. They may do much to con- the enemies of the cross of Christ. vince their families and friends of There was no sin in Moses' saythe reality and importance of re- ing, “hear now ye rebels,” exligion, and when their attention is cept what lay in the temper and so far awakened that they become manner with which he said it. Are inquirers and objectors, can bring not too many good men of the them under the personal instruc- present day more like Moses in tions of a minister.

this respect, than they should be ? 5. Spiritual pride among christ- An impenitent sinner may be ians is another cause of hinderance braced against instruction and, to Revivals. This evil, most hate. warning by a look, or a tone of ful and disgusting in itself, has a voice, or a hard sentence, as well direct influence to prevent the as any thing else ;, and when this. out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.- is done, further efforts are comGod

птау see so much of this in monly without any avail. It is the heart of a minister, as to ren- worthy of serious inquiry, whethder it certain in his own mind, er there are unaffected tears that if he were to grant the least enough mingled with the prayers success to his ministry, he would and sermons of ministers, the ex-. be listed up with pride, and fall hortations, intreaties and warninto the condemnation of the dev- ings of christians ? il. He may see so much of this I shall now ask the privilege to, in a church, as to render it cer- make a short address to my feltain, that if he were to hear and low christians. answer their prayers, they would Dear Brethren--Are any or all take the glory to themselves, and the causes above mentioned, which become boastful, dogmatical, and hinder a Revival of religion exdespisers of others. This is a isting and producing an influence great and powerful engine of sa- among you. Pause and review, tan, with which be destroys a. I intreat you, these causes, and multitude of souls.

answer the question now proposed, Finally, for the unlooked for as in the presence of God. Is

there any contention among you ? comforted ? Has every one an ex. If so, ile you not straitened in hortation, stirring up the brethyour own bowels? Do you not ren to love and good works ? Are know what is thc reason you have your affections lively, and animatnot a Revival of religion ? And ed, and such as they should be ? what possible use or enjoyment is Is it possible, that the reason you there in the heart-burnings, and are not blessed with a Revival is hard feelings which prevail among to be found in you 1 ? you? When you think of a con- Brethren, are you suffering your tention as the guilty cause of de- minister to preach plainly and stroying one soul, do you not feel fully the great truths of the gosthat the whole world is not worth pel 6 without fear ?" Are you asone serious quarrel? And is there suring him, that whatever connothing you can do to promote tempt he may incur by this course, peace? Is there no point of inter- or whatever he may suffer in any est, or right, or will, you can re- other way, you will be his friends linquish for this object ? are you and supporters ? When he preachafraid of the triumphing of the es the truth, are you putting it wicked, if you should do this ? out of the the power of the world Oh, would it not be better to bear to say to him some of your church all the taunts, and scoffs, and ridi- do not believe as you preach !-cule, and contempt, which wick. And when he declares the judged men can heap upon you, than ments of heaven against the vices be the means of prolonging for a of the world, are you forbidding single day a contention which you the world to say, some of the might settle? Can you not for. church are as guilty as we are ? give ?* Have you complied with If you cannot answer these questhe command of him who said, tions in the affirmative, have you when ye stand praying, forgive if not reason to be startled at the ye have aught against any. question, whether the cause of

Further, is there a spirit of there being no Revival in the speculation among you ? Are you place where you reside, is not not convinced that when this spir- found in you? Have your

souls it prevails, the pride of the heart been melted with tenderness tois gratified by the keenness of the wards men, whose awful characintellect? How is it when ye ter is, that they are enemies of come together ? Has every one God--and whose end is destruca psalm, a hymn with which his tion, unless they repent? Have soul has been enlightened and you spoken the truth to them in

* If some of the contributors to the love ? and left them, if not with Christian Magazine would give a thor- a conviction that their hearts are ough and scriptural view of the duty of totally opposed to God, yet at forgiving injuries, it would gratify

least, that yours are full of benev.





olence and kindness and compas- employs a large portion of the dission ? Brethren look well to it. course upon the subject, that is Is the reason why there is no Re- suggested in the words of our text. vivals in the place of your resi. In this part of his discourse be ofdence to be found in you ?

fers a number of familiar and

powA Friend to Revitals, erful considerations, against an

anxious concern for temporal bles.

sings. In view of these considerSERMON_No. X. ations, he urges upon his hearers,

and in a special manner, upon his

true friends, the words of our text. Em

He says " Therefore, take no

6. MATTHEW VI. 31.—Therefore, thought, saying, what shall we eat, take no thought, saying, What shall

or what shall we drink? or where, we eat, or what shall we drink? witbal shall we be clothed ?" From or wherewithal shall we be clothed ? the meaning of the original and

These words are found in that from the very nature of the subject discourse of the Savior, which is we are prevented from supposing, commonly called his sermon on that the Savior intended that no the mount. This is the longest manner of thought or concern, was of his public discourses, as they to be taken respecting the things are recorded by the evangelists. he here mentioned. He meant to It embraces a variety of impor- forbid those, whom he addressed, tant subjects, which apply to the to be anxious and troubled about character and conduct of men in temporal blessings. The reasons, all ages and nations. Yet he ap- by which, in the context, he enpears to have had, throughout this forced the words of our text, ap. discourse, a special regard to the pear to be, in some degree, peculinstruction and comfort of his true iar to real christians. Hence friends. For he begins the dis- are lead, in the present discourse course by a description of their to consider this general observapeculiar character and blessed- tion-Christians ought not to be

Then he proceeds to illus- anxious respecting temporal blestrate and enforce their peculiar sings. duties. He next explains the To illustrate this observation, great doctrines and duties of re- it is proposed, ligion, as they are contained in 1. To show why christians are the divine law. And then he liable to be anxious about temporal shows with what spirit and in blessings; and, what manner, his friends should II. To show why they should perform their devotions. But af- not be anxious about such blester he had given the instructions, sings. It is proposed, which have been mentioned, he 1. To show why christians are



« السابقةمتابعة »