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the most power

moral precept in the New Testament wri. tings, that we must read his name upon every duty; nay, we cannot efface his name, without debasing, or rather vitiating, the duty itself, and casting away ful inducement to the practice of it. I therefore faid, that to preach Cbrift, is not only to publish what the Scriptures say concerning him, but likewise to handle every 0ther subject of discourse in such a manner, as to keep Christ continually in the eye of our hearers; and they whose schemes of religion do not admit of this, may be assured,

further examination, that their fchemes differ widely from the gospel of Chrift.

3dly, To preach Cbrist Jefus the Lord, is to make the advancement of his kingdom, and the falvation of men, the sole aim of our preaching. We must not seek our own glory, but the glory of him who sent us. If we serve ourselves, we must reward ourfelves as we can. Şuch only can look for the approbation of Christ, who make the honour of his name, and the happiness of mankind, the ultimate end of all their mi

nistrations.

without any

nistrations. They that usurp the sacred office from interested views, or merely to gain a subsistence in a present world, will find in the issue, that they have turned the best and most falutary employment into à very bad trade, and only intitled themselves to more and heavier stripes when the chief Shepherd fhall appear.

« We are ain“ bassadors for Christ,” saith our Apostle, at the 20th verse of the following chapter,

as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be

'ye е ciled to God." This is our proper business, the errand upon which we are sent. The glory of God, and the falvation of men, are the great and good ends of the pastoral office; and he who loseth fight of these, or proposeth any end that is different from them, may acquire the reputation of a learned, an irigenious, or an eloquent orator; but cannot be styled a préacher of Christ. -This will further

appear

from the

recon

Second thing' proposed: "which was to show, That preaching Christ is the proper

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business, business, and the distinguishing characteris tic, of a gospel-minifter.

Can any thing be more reasonable, than that they who profefs to derive their authority from Christ, should make him the principal subject of their sermons, and recommend him to the esteem and love of their hearers ? And, on the other hand, can any thing be more unreasonable, can any thing be more unjust, than to assume the character of his messengers, while they feldom or never mention his name; or speak of him in such a way, as rather tends to breed contempt of him, than to render him precious to the fouls of men ? But what I would chiefly observe is, that preaching Christ Jesus the Lord, is the great means which God hath appointed for the conversion and final salvation of finners : and therefore it is not only highly reasonable, but absolutely necessary; and they are cruel to men, as well as unfaithful to God, who do not make conscience of this important duty.

Lectures upon morality may be of use to restrain men from scandalous fins, but it is the

gofpel alone that can save a sinner. A preacher,

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by discoursing well upon the duties that belong to self-government and righteousness, may correct many outward disorders in the life, and produce such a change in the heart itself, as to convert those into men, who formerly were depraved to such a degree, that they differed very little from the brutes that perish. But after they become men, the greatest change doch still remain: those men must be converted into saints; they must be changed into the divine image; their very nature must be renewed, before they can be meet for the enjoyment of, God : « Except a man be born again, he cannot

enter into the kingdom of heaven;" and it is the gospel alone which the Spirit renders powerful for producing this effect. Morality grows out of faith in Christ, as the branches grow from the stuck. This, and this only, is the principle of that holiness, without which no shall fee God. Whosoever, therefore, would preach morality with any hope of success, must begin here, and lay the foundation of it in that faith which purifieth the heart, and tvorketh by love; otherwise his fermons may supply

fuel

man

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fuel to pride and vain-glory, but shall never be the means of saving one foul. In vain do we attempt to improve the fruit, till the tree be made good. Let finners be first ingrafted into Christ, and then works of righteousness will follow in course; as our blessed Lord hath taught us, John xv. 4, 5. “ Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch “ cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide 66 in the vine; no more can ye, except ye 6 abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the “ branches : he that abideth in me, and I “ in him, the same bringeth forth much

for without me (or separated from me] ye can do nothing.” Accordingly we find, that the preaching Christ, or the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, hath in every age been the means of convincing and converting finners, and of building them

up

in holiness and comfort, through faith unto falvation : and in the same proportion that this hath been neglected, the power of godliness hath declined and languished, till a cold formality hath at length given way to the open profession of infidelity itself. was the observation of a judicious and pious

writer

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