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no help for him? Must he sink in perfect apathy, or become frantic with horror? Must he go down to hell in the full blaze o gospel light? By no means. Let him at once. be put upon compliance with the demand of God. Let the glorious object of our faith be held up to his view,-let the solemn and awful facts which God has revealed, be made known to him,- let the guilt of his present impenitence be exposed,--let the truth in full beamings be poured around him,--and let his conscience be pressed to instant belief and submission.

These are the means through which the Spirit of God operates upon the mind and heart. The gospel is the mighty "power of God unto salvation, unto every one that believeth.” Through its truths, the Spirit strives to bring men off from their rebellion. They make their solemn appeal to the instinctive principles of our nature --our constitutional desire after happiness, and dread of misery. And the Spirit, operating on our susceptibilities through them, is exciting the mind and heart to action, and drawing to the belief and love of the truth. The attention of mind requisite to perceive truth, the fixing and dwelling on it necessary to feel it, the apprehension of the evidence that indeed it is truth, and the actual consenting into it as proposed, -these are all involved in those preliminary mental processes, which the injunctions to believe and repent imply, and which have a natural tendency to issue exactly in the exercises of faith and repent

If then such things be called using the means of grace, we shall not object. But certainly this is not the ordinary, and theological use of the phrase. To open the ere-lids, and direct the eye-ball towards an object, that the

rays which emanate from it may fall upon them, and we behold it, are indeed the indispensible means of sceing;. but who does not sce that they are all comprehended

ance.

1. Rom. i. 16.

in that one complex act or operation which we call vision? So, to give the mind's attention to the truths which God speaks, and fix the thoughis upon them so as to fee! !heir approprilie in fizience, and actually to roosent to, aprrure of, and embrace them, may be called the means of faith and repentance; but who does not see that they are all comprehended in the ordinary meaning of the forms employed to express these complex exercises. These are the means God employs. These are the means requisite in the very nature of things.

And these are essentially the means of christian ad. vancement in the divine life. The outward ordinarces of "the word seraments and prayer,'' are the means through which the truth is brought in close contact with the heart and conscience, and, as the Spirit operates through the truth, become the means of His eiicacious agency. These ordir ances, as used by christians, can be no more effectual to their spiritual improvement than as used by sinners, is t'e mind and heart are not in terested in the contemplation of the objects disclosed by the testimony of God, and there are not the voluntary exercises of faith, repentance, love, hope, fear, &c., regulating the inward experience, and the outward actions. Holiness is not a substratum, but consists in those exercises which a supreoe love for God and desire for His glory induce. The immediate evidence of holiness, therefore, is to be had through our consciousness of such exercises, and it is only as new conscious holy exercises are developed or former holy exercises vividly revived in the recollection, are that the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that ive the children of God." "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.". The witness of the Spirit that of goes no further than our own spirits, and they can oniy testify our christian character as we do actually exi idon. viii. 16

9 John v. 10.

ercise the christian graces and discharge the christian duties. The recollections of former experience, and the conclusions as to our state thence drawn, afford no sensible enjoyment, save as they contribute to induce the repetition or renewal of gracious exercises. To look, therefore, for growth in grace, by a dull monotonous use of outward means, is just as unauthorised, and will prove as fruitless, as in the unconverted sinner's case. Truth is the means of the Spirit’s influence, as well for sanctifying as for regenerating, and the ordinances are but outward, formal, stated, modes of exhibiting that truth. Unless the words of Christ abide in us, and we give our attention and interested thoughis to the great concerns of our soulsoften fix them in contemplation of Christ and his cross, and through the sacraments, and prayer in all its various modes-especially in secret, let our minds and hearts be engaged in close communion with God, actually loving Himn, actually believing what He says, actually repenting of our sins, actually fearing and hoping in Him,—there will, there can be no spiritual improvement, and no satisfactory evidence of our affiliation. Hence the apostle exhorts professing christians to "desire the sincere milk of the word that they may grow thereby, if so be they have tasted that the Lord is gracious,

"Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high-priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."? "They that are Christ's have crucified the affections and lusts. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another." Such are the means of conversion and of growth in grace approved und rendered efficacious of God. Let us beware how we substitute others. In so doing we shall violate alike our com

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1. 1. Pet. j. 2, 3.

3. (al. ». 24-26.

2. Heb. ii. 1,

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mission as ministers of the gospel, -the principles of our nature as rational voluntary agents, -and the whole constitution through which God has ordained that the efficacious influence of His Holy Spirit, shall be exerted for the conversion and sanctification of sinners.

His own example, and his own exhortation, evidently designed and calculated to induce our interested attention, and the entire consecration of ourselves in Him, are a suficient testimony in façor of the pri ripies, and warrant for the mode of procedure, which we advocate. "Those things hast thou done, and I kept silence. Thou thoughtest that

, I was altogether such an one a3 thyself: but I will reprove thee and set them in order before thine eyes.

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver." "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as show; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.” “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." "If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth."

1

2

1. Psalm l. 21, 22, 2. Isai. i. 18. 3. Isai. lv. 2-4. 4. Col. i. 1, 2.

CHAPTER XXX.

MINISTERIAL EFFICIENCY,

Tas subject stated in a further inference from the fact of the Spirit's moral

suasion, viz:5: It is only as the ministry of Christ exhibits the truth, so as to prove the vehicle of the Spirit's influence, that their ministration, become efficient--The ministry, the more immediate means, employed by the Spirit, for the exhibition of His truth--Mat. xxviii. 18-20: Rom. 1. 14, 15: 2 Cor. vi. 1: 1 Cor. lii. 9: iv. 15–Iriquiry whether there is such a mode of exhibiting the truth, as to prove the efficacious instru. ment of the Spirit's influence--The answer turns upon the particular philosophical views, which may be held, as to the character of the Spirit's agency–Not in the nature of man to take a lively interest in mystic op. erations--1. It is essential there should be the exhibition of scHIPTUBAL truth-- This mode of preaching, opposed to various, which lave at dif. ferent times obtained--Danger of preaching and studying systems of the. ology, and the iinpcrtance of every candidate for the ministry, learning for himself from the moutlı of God, what is to be believed and taughtDanger also of preaching the dogmas of sect--2. Those evangelical truths should be seleeted, and most frequently urged, which are appropriate to the general condition of men-- Various truthis to be variously exhibited-But "Cunist ANO u.. CHUCIFI7.0," the grand cardinal theme--3. The exhibitions of truth, should be adapted to the complex nature of man-Not deferring to the taste of unbelieving minds, but being adapted to the intellect, the heart, and the conscience of men-The inefficiency and mischief of 2 dechmatary style of preaching-Also where it is purely intellectuai---The importance of actual frieling in the preacher, appropri. ate to his theire--Tre best method, to preseive te intellect and heart in union, ie to address conscience--1. It is important, that in his exhibition of truth, the minister of Christ should be found co-operating with the Spiris--God's design in the preaching of the gospel, is the reconciliation of sinners to Himself--For ministers to lose sight o? this end, is to cease from co-operation with God-Different pernicious ends sometimes aimed at in preaching the gospel--Animadversions on the spirit of sectarism

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