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inviting them to Christ. If we lead them to the contemplation of an offended God, seated on a throne of justice and judgment, let us not cease, till they have seen that, for the encouragement of every re. turning sinner, there is a “rainbow about the throne.” Let us study to exbibit, in due proportion, “ the goodness and severity of God ;” - the former, so as not to prevent the remembrance that “ God is a consuming fire; " the latter, so as to keep always in view the precious truth, that “ God is love." The just balance of judgment and mercy, invitation and warning, privileges and requirements, under the general duty of teaching and preaching Jesus Christ, is not to be determined by rules, but learned by prayer to Him who gives the word in season.
Before leaving this all-important subject, it is well to give a brief attention to the enquiry, To what extent we are bound to introduce the way of salvation through Christ, into every discourse ? Some would answer, that no sermon is truly evangelical unless it contain a plain exhibition of what a sipner must do to be saved. But were it our duty so to order our ministry, that in every sermon the way of salvation should be introduced,- not by force, but naturally, and by legitimate connexion with the main subject; not merely in a few sentences, too general to be understood by the ignorant, and too common-place to arrest the attention of any, but in a manner adapted to enlighten the mind and affect the heart, then the preacher would be always confined to one neighbourhood of subjects; and numerous subordinate ones, that are “ profitable for* doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness," must be almost excluded, or receive, at best, a very limited, occasional, and unsatisfactory consideration. Such is not the lesson obtained from the Scriptures. Christ is continually exhibited in the Old Testament annals. They contain the history of his Church, as waiting and looking for his appearing. Christ is preached in the whole system of the Mosaic institutions, which were but a shadow of the good things to be found in Him. The tabernacle, with its ark and mercy-seat, its altars and furniture, its offerings and daily service, the priesthood, the pillar of cloud, the manna, the rock, and the cities of refuge, all spake of Christ. - To him give all the prophets witness.” “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” How entirely every page of the New Testament is pervaded with the same, I need not say. But we do not see, in the New Testament or in the Old, such a confinement to the vicinity of the Cross, that no distinct subject is relinquished till it has led to some distinct exhibition of the way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Every thing has a bearing that way, but does not fall directly into that line. Its course is bent, like the orbit of a planet, by the attraction of that centre ; so that, though it may never be turned directly, it is always inclined towards the latter, and rendering continual homage to its supremacy. The inspired writers, with one common centre, occupied a range of great extent and variety; while at every point they could receive light from the cross, and say, “ Behold the Lamb of God !”
I would say, therefore, that as no subject can be considered legitiniate in the pulpit that does not contain an important bearing upon Christ as to some part of his vital connexion with sinners; so no sermon can be justly considered evangelical, that does not faithfully exhibit and enforce such bearing, so as to assign to the Lord Jesus that position, in reference to the whole discourse, which he holds in respect to the whole body of truth and faith, of which he is the vital Head. Some subjects have a much nearer and more direct relation to Christ than others. These, and especially such as contain prominently his death, an evangelical preacher will choose as very decidedly the favourite and most frequent occupants of his pulpit. Others, however, because more distant, are not unimportant, and should not be overlooked. " The body” of divine truth is not one member but many ;” and no preacher may say, even to its feeblest extremity, I bave no need of thee.' That which tests the evangelical character of a subject, is the question-Does it bear witness to Christ? That which tests the evangelical character of a sermon, is the questionWhether the testimony of Jesus, according to the truth as it is in Jesus, be its spirit and tendency? That which measures the evangelical character of one's habitual ministry is the more general questionWhether such testimony, in spirit as well as truth, in " the mind of Christ” as well as according to “ the oracles of God,” is its pervading, omnipresent characteristic.
Thus it is evident, that in a course of faithful preaching, one may have great variety. His ministry may be always shining in the light of Christ : wbile receiving it, sometimes directly from himself, sometimes by reflection from a whole firmament of secondary objects --all declaring his glory, as their “ all and in all.” It may be always leading the sinner to behold the Lamb of God; and yet in aspects and relations as various as the innumerable positions from which his view is taken, and the diversified circumstances in which one can need the consolations of religion. More variety than this can only be obtained by a departure from duty and faithfulness; and should be as little tempting to a minister as it is profitable to his hearers.
I am sensible, my brethren, that in the view we have now taken, while we have far exceeded the time usually allotted to a pulpit discourse, (to excuse which we must plead the unusual nature of this address, with the great importance of its theme,) we have done but little, nevertheless, towards an adequate treatment of the various topics involved under the general subject of the preaching of Christ.
How much does a minister preach, either in aid of, or against the Gospel, by bis whole spirit and life! How important, therefore, in connexion with what has been spoken, is a clear and faithful exhibition of the spirit of love and zeal and holiness with which a preacher should, in his example, accompany gospel doctrine ; and the influence it will give to all the service of his lips !
But I must hasten to the conclusion, by exhorting you to the cul. tivation of that one Christian grace in your ministry by which the apostles' labours were so eminently distinguished; I mean, the grace of faith. They preached, not only as men who believed, and therefore spake, the message committed to them, but as using an argument which, however powerless in itself, was the chosen one of God, by which it is his will to declare his power and grace in the salvation of souls. Thus they felt that, in using this, they had “ the arm of the Lord.” No spiritual death, no conflict " with principalities and powers,” dishearted their zeal. Because their great argument was foolishness to the wise, they were not the less confident in its efficacy, as the wisdom of God. With this, they aimed at, and confidently expected, great results. God gave the increase. According to their faith, and not their strength, was their success. It was their faith, in the diligent use of God's own weapon, that overcame the world. When our ministry shall be more like theirs in the grace of faith, it will approach more nearly to theirs in the blessing of increase.
Let us strive, my brethren, after a great increase of faith in the preaching of Christ crucified. Let us make no division of confidence between this divine ordinance and others of human “ art and man's device.” There be some who seem to hope for but little effect from the plain, faithful preaching of the cross, except in proportion as it is mixed up with certain artificial expedients of arresting attention and exciting emotion. There is an appetite for excitement and vovelty in the mode of awakening and converting sinners, which seems to be rapidly increasing in some quarters of the Church of Christ, as well in an insatiate thirst for more potent stimulants as in the number of its subjects. It is lamentably discarding the simplicity of the Gospel, and substituting a kind of preaching which, with a special pretence of faithfulness, and much redundancy and painful irreverence in the use of divine names, is sadly wanting in divine things and spirit; laying almost exclusive stress upon a few disjointed members of Gospel truth, and producing most deformed examples of Gospel efficacy. There is something too tame and sober in the old paths of inspired preachers for the taste of some in these days. To teach as well as preach—to go the round of Christian truth, instead of being confined to one or two of its more striking parts — has become the “ strange work” of many. To excite the sensibilities by swollen representations, rather than to enlighten the conscience by sober and practical exposition of Scripture; to produce effect by drawing lines of visible separation among the people, by bringing the incipient anxieties of the heart into dangerous and unbecoming publicity, and by the hurrying forward of those whose minds are yet unsettled and unexamined, to an open profession of religion, and perhaps a forward lead in devotional exercises,—has become the mouroful characteristic of much of the ministry that is called evangelical. It may boast many converts ; but time will show that it boasts “ the lame, the halt, and the blind.” It is but another road, though a very short one, to all formality, coldness, and spiritual death. There is such a thing as a zealous formality, a stimulated coldness, an excited corpse. Be such reliances, as I have described, far from you my brethren. Be jealous of any measure that would divide your faith in the efficacy of the simple preaching of Christ crucified, accompanied “ with all prayer and supplication in the spirit.” Seek your power, directly, entirely, in the influences of the Holy Ghost, to awaken, convince, convert, and sanctify the singer. Behold your means in whatever will contribute to the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ, Use such means, with importunate waiting upon God for his blessing ; and your ministry “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever it doeth shall prosper."
While continually labouring under the practical conviction that God only “ giveth the increase,” endeavour so to believe in his promises, as to feel the animating assurance that God will give increase to the diligent application of that which he has chosen for his chief instrument in the conversion of sinners. Have faith in God. Preach, as believing not only the unspeakable importance of the truth you deliver, but also in the power and faithfulness of your Master to make it mighty to the casting down of whatever opposes the Gospel in the hearts of your people. There is power in faith to remove mountains. One of the first steps towards the promotion of your great usefulness, is the prayer of the apostle, “ Lord, increase our faith.” May the Lord, in his great love, wherewith he loveth us, be pleased to pour out upon you a spirit of grace and supplication, that, your faith being strengthened, and your zeal quickened to all diligence and faithfulness, many may be added unto the Lord under your ministry, and “ adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things."
A VOICE TO THE CHURCH,
BY W. N. NASH.
“ Freely ye have received, freely give." Ye children of light,
Haste, haste with your gifts, Redeemed and forgiven!
For the night cometh fast As ye wait for your crowns
When no man can labour, In the kingdom of heaven;
When time shall be past ! For the joys and the glories
Ye have Christ for your portion That never shall fade;
The wealth of his love Whose measureless price
Who pleads for you still, On the Cross hath been paid ! With his father above.
INDIA WITHIN THE GANGES.
The Bishop of Madras has the fol- latter are enabled to come out and lowing notice, in his late Charge, of entirely separate themselves from Christian Villages in Southern India. . their heathen countrymen. As long
‘Among many sources of comfort as they dwell together in the same during my journey through Tinne- village, they are exposed to frequent velly, one of the greatest has been a and most alarming temptations, as sight for which I candidly confess I the unclean thing is almost always was not prepared—the sight of before their eyes. We all know the WHOLE CHRISTIAN VILLAGES. He, force of old associations and first imalone, who has passed some time in pressions; and for the uneducated, a heathen land, engaged in the just-awakened native Christian, the work of the ministry, can understand pagoda or the devil-temple will althe delight which I felt at finding ways be a dangerous neighbour to myself met, welcomed, and sur the church. Wherever, therefore, rounded by crowds of native pro it is practicable, I would most strongfessing Christians, whose counte- ly encourage the founding of native nances spoke a most intelligible villages. I would rather have one welcome ; for it was impossible to village entirely Christian, than conmistake the language of their happy gregations in two villages where faces. They were at peace : the Christian and heathen dwell togepeace of God had been made known ther: and what has been already to them at least, if not fully brought done in this work, assures me, that, home to their hearts; and when I in course of time, much more will observed their look of joyful recog be accomplished; and that where we nition on perceiving their clergyman, have now isolated Christian villages, I almost felt myself at home.
our successors will see marked on 'Having been obliged by circum the map of India A CHRISTIAN DISstances to defer my regular Visita TRICT. It will however, be long betion of the extensive and flourishing fore this blessed state of things is Missionary Districts of Tanjore and brought about; and, in the mean Trichinopoly (merely passing through time, it is for us to continue patient them and our other Missionary Sta- in well-doing, hoping all things for tions in the eastern provinces of my the future, and endeavouring all diocese in a very cursory manner,) things for the present. I had yet to learn that the parochial The contrast between Christian system of the Church might be car- and heathen villages is forcibly drawn ried out as effectually in India as in in the following note:England—that pastoral care, as well ‘The proof that godliness is proas pastoral instruction, was in equally fitable unto all things, having the full activity here - and that the promise of the life that now is, and Christian Indian, like the Christian of that which is to come, was never, Englishman, could be taught, not I think, made more manifest than only publicly, but from house to in the contrast between the heathen house. Of course, I do not mean and Christian villages of Tinnevelly. that the clergyman does or ought In the heathen, all is slovenliness to enter the hut of the Native, as and disorder irregularity and conin England he would enter 'the fusion in the building of their hutscottage of the villager, because he dirt and discomfort everywhere ; could not do it habitually without while in the Christian, you will find destroying his health ; but that he well-arranged and well-ventilated knows all his sheep, and is known of streets, drawn at right angles to each them that he is intimately ac- other-the ground before each hut quainted with their persons, their neatly swept-happy faces and a characters, and their wants; and is village church. therefore always ready and able to In another part of the Charge, his speak to them a good word in season. Lordship thus testifies the improved
It is a very great advantage both position of the Church of England to minister and people, when the in India.