Imatges de pÓgina
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the joyful sounds of the sanctuary still vibrate on their ears; but these sounds, heard no more, are fast dying away. No more do they accompany the servant of their Master in the confessions and supplications of the sanctuary, nor unite with him in the praises which ascend from its courts to the God of their salvation. No more do they hear from the lips of the man of God the words of truth -when bowed down by their sins, receive the authoritative declaration of pardon. Alas! no more are their children washed in the regenerating fountain of baptism; no more do they break at the altar the bread of life, nor celebrate there the infinite love which purchased their redemption. Oppressed with spiritual want, they pour forth their tears and their entreaties. I have seen and I have heard them. Brethren, they pour forth their prayers and entreaties to you. You, who hear the Gospel proclaimed, have compassion on those who never hear the joyful sound-you, who are blessed with the services and ordinances of God's church, have compassion on those who are destitute of these sources of mercy and grace-you, who are nourished and protected in the fold of salvation, take compassion upon those who wander as sheep having no shepherd. They entreat you, as men, to establish among them those religious institutions which are necessary to nourish and preserve social order. They entreat you, as Christians, to extend among them that Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. They entreat you, as churchmen, to aid in establishing among them that church which holds forth this Gospel in its most pure, primitive, and affecting form. They do not wish to make your bounty tributary to any selfish views.

I know that, to the best of their ability, they contribute to the support of the Gospel among themoften, indeed, when compared with their means, their contributions are unusually liberal; but their numbers are small, and their means comparatively diminutive. The fund for the support of missionaries is formed almost entirely of the contributions of the congregations of our church. These contributions have not hitherto been adequate to the support of a sufficient number of missionaries. Unless these contributions be increased, the present number of missionaries must be diminished, support withdrawn from many of them who have laboured with much self-denial and zeal in the vineyard of their Master, and the progress of our church in the new settlements arrested. So important did this fund appear to the convention of our church, that they have directed the amount of the contributions in the various congregations to be put on record in their printed journals. It certainly is desirable that the contributions of congregations should be first in amount, that stand first for respectability and wealth; but, brethren, more especially is it desirable, that, in the most important act of Christian benevolence, the diffusing the blessings of the Gospel, you should not be unmindful of the command-"While we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto those that are of the household of faith."

SERMON XX.

HEARING THE WORD.

JEREMIAH Xiii. 15.

Hear ye-for the Lord hath spoken.

THAT almighty Being whose throne is the heavens, and whose footstool is the earth, hath yet promised his especial presence in the assembly of the saints below. He whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, vouchsafes to dwell, by the ministry of his word, his sacraments, and his ordinances, in temples made with hands. The invocations of his ministering servants and people have this day ascended to the throne of him who heareth prayer; and in this temple, we trust, he hath recorded his name, and here he will come and bless the congregation of his worshippers.

For his worship, indeed, this sanctuary is primarily devoted. To excite men to the duty of homage and supplication to their God and Saviour, and to form in them the dispositions that fit them for this duty, are the great objects of the instructions which will be here delivered. Still, preaching, that is, hearing the word of God authoritatively read, or expounded, or enforced, as a mean to this important end, is a divine ordinance, an appropriate exercise of the sanctuary; and therefore, not only for celebrating his holy sacraments, for offering to his glorious Majesty the sacrifices of prayer

and thanksgiving, and for blessing the people in his name, but also for hearing his holy word, is this place consecrated to the Lord. And in regard to what in this place the authorized servants of the Most High may "deliver out of God's holy word, or agreeably to the same," may be applied the admonition of the prophet to Israel-" Hear yefor the Lord hath spoken."

The message relates not to the evanescent concerns of the present life; it is not the message of erring, impotent, and perishing man; "the Lord hath spoken," that Almighty Being by whom are settled the destinies of eternity-" hear ye."

Hear it

I. With humility;

II. With reverence;

III. With earnest attention;

IV. With contrition united with lively gratitude; V. With lively faith;

VI. With a firm resolution to apply it to the purposes of your salvation;

VII. With prayer for the enlightening and quickening influences of God's Holy Spirit.

These are the dispositions with which we should hear the word of God.

We should hear the word of God

I. With humility.

1. For its Author is divine; and,

2. Its truths are incomprehensible.

We should hear the word of God with humility— 1. For its Author is divine.

Human records may be turned over by the bold hand of criticism; genius, aspiring and unlicensed,

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may blot from the page of human composition whatever tends to humble its pride or offend its caprice but when God unfolds the volume of his will, and draws the curtain from his infinite counsels, let the unhallowed presumption be repressed that would measure the secrets of eternity with the line of human reason, and let the pride of genius be prostrated before the glories of the Divine nature. "Shall the thing formed reply against him that formed it?" The God who called us into being, who saves us from sinking into the oblivion from which he raised us, has a supreme right to bind by his laws the creatures whom he made and preserves; and he who is the infinite source of truth, and in whom centre infinite goodness and infinite wisdom, may surely claim the submission of his intelligent creatures. "The Lord hath spoken;" and shall we, whom his power created and his goodness preserves, presume to judge of the fitness of the truths and the laws which he, our Almighty Sovereign, imposes? That reason by which we presume to scan his truths and dispensations, is an emanation from him, the eternal source of light and knowledge, the infinite and eternal mind; and its perfection consists in its submission to the truths and the will of the perfect and glorious Being from whom it derives its origin.

When, then, brethren, the truths of God's word are proclaimed, let us reflect on the glory, the majesty, and the power of its divine Author, on the supreme dominion which he exercises over us, and on his full and sovereign claim to the homage of our reason and the submission of our will. What are we? Sprung from the dust, and destined for corruption-to-day boasting of our strength, to

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