« AnteriorContinua »
The substance of most of the chapters of this volume, was delivered in a course of sermons addressed to the church of which the Holy Ghost hath made me overseer. The seasons chosen for delivering them were those Sabbath mornings on which the Lord's Supper was administered; and this time was selected, because it may be supposed, that if ever the minds of Professing Christians are more than usually softened to receive the impression of practical truth, it is when the eucharistic emblems of which they are about to partake, stand uncovered before the and as they silently point to the cross, say in the ear of faith, " Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
When I look into the New Testament, and read what a Christian should be, and then look into the church of God, and see what Cristians are, I am painfully affected by observing the dissimilarity; and in my jealousy for the honour of the Christian Profession, have made this effort, perhaps a feeble one, certainly an anxious one, to remove its blemishes, to restore its impaired beauty, and thus raise its reputation.
What my opinion of the prevailing state of religion in the present day is, will appear still more clearly in the following pages, and especially in the chapter devoted to the consider. ation of this subject. That evangelical piety is advancing and spreading over a wider surface, I have not a doubt: but what it is gaining in breadth, it is losing, I am afraid, in depth. Politics, and their sad accompaniments, party strife and animosity; trade carried on as it has been, with such rage of competition, and upon such a basis of credit, and to such an extent of speculation ; together with that worldly spirit to which an age of growing refinement and luxury