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in those scales, by which thou shalt thyself be tried. Make thy reference in all things to that tribunal, from which there shall be no appeal. Judge all things by the word of God: for by that word shalt thou and all things be judged.
. SERMON XVIII.
An Exposition of the first part of the Lesson
appointed for the Burial Service.
I COR. xv. 20.
Now is Christ risen from the Dead, and be
come the first Fruits of them that sept.
ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of
God: and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righter oufness: that the man of God
be perfect, thoroughly furnished into all good works (a). Such is the divine authority, such is the comprehensive nature, such are the manifold and supremely important uses, of the Bible. Hence it becomes the duty and the wisdom of the ministers of the gospel, in their en
(a) 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. C.cz
deavours to train up the flocks committed to their charge in the knowledge and obcdience of the faith of Christ, from time to time to vary the methods, in which they deduce instruction from the word of God: to vary them however within such limits only as the Scriptures themselves completely authorise; and to vary them, if in some mcafure for the purpose of exciting a more lively attention among their hearers, yet principally for the fake of successively impressing on their congregations the different helps and encouragements to holiness, and the different dissuasives from sin, which the facred' writings fupply. Thus at one time the preacher will dwell chiefly, though by no means without a decided reference to practice, on doctrines. At another time, regarding the truth and import of the doctrines as established, he will enter into a fuller detail concerning the conduct, which a firm belief in them is designed and adapted to produce. Sometimes he will unfold the nature and evince the efficacy of faith. Sometimes he will enlarge on holy tempers and good works, those fruits of the Spirit by which genuine faith is manifested and adorned. Sometimes he will build his admonitions on the preceptive parts of the Old or of the New Testament. Sometimes
he will derive them from the memorable histories which those records contain of righteous men protected, delivered, and rewarded by that God whom they served and glorified; or of rebellious despisers of the divine law condemned to shame, anguish, and destruction. Sometimes he will fix his thoughts on a single verse; and will explain with minuteness of investigation, and enforce with copiousness of reasoning the religioustruth which it involves. Sometimes he will select a passage of greater length; point out the bearing and connexion of the arguments employed by the inspired prophet, evangelist, or apostle; and apply them, so far as they may be lawfully applied, to the edification, the support, and the comfort of Christians of the present day:
The last of these various methods of obtaining instruction from the word of God is that which I propose now to pursue. In the present and in a subsequent discourse, (for the subject is too extensive to be com. pressed with advantage into the compass of a single sermon), it will be my object to direct your minds to that portion of St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians, which opens with the verse selected for the text and extends to the conclusion of the chapter, It is a portion of Scripture in the highest degree
interesting on account of the momentous truths which it discloses. And it is rendered peculiarly impressive by the folemn and affecting nature of the occasions on which it is publicly employed. It is a portion of Scripture which we have frequently heard pronounced over the lifeless bodies of our friends. It is one which others within no distant period shall hear pronounced over our
The Church to which we belong has wisely and piously endeavoured to render the interment of the dead a source of edification to the living. When pride is humbled and the heart softened by affli&ion; when the coffin slowly borne to the house of God, pausing there awhile on its way towards the grave, or placed within its narrow mansion and receiving the last looks of surviving forrow, proclaims with a voice which cannot be misunderstood, the speedy and inevitable end of all earthly pofseisions and enjoyments : the mourner is taught to look to Christ the Redeemer, the Resurrection and the Life, in whom whosoever believeth, though he were dead, yet shall be lise. He is taught that, if the Lord has taken away; He has taken only what He gave. He is taught that, though man walketh in a vain shadow ; yet his hope is truly in the Lord. He is taught that, if