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had brought to such perfection, that the people seem to have given with great liberality, if we may judge by an incident in our Lord's life, recorded in the xiith chapter of Mark, at the 41st verse; “ And Jesus sat over-against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury; and many that were rich cast in much.” And that the moral guilt attached to these gifts was a chief cause of the downfall of the temple and Jerusalem, seems to be implied in these words (Luke xxi. 5); "And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come in which there shall not be left one stone upon another which shall not be thrown down.” But, however this may be, it seems to be a constant progress in corruption to consummate itself in the love of gathering and hoarding money, and in making every thing sacred in religion, venerable in government, and dutiful in the relations of life, to bow unto this, the lowest, basest passion of the human mind. If you will cast up in your memory the instances of God's judgments upon kingdoms-as, for example, the judgment of Cresus by Cyrus, of Darius by Alexander, and of India by the sultans of Gazna-you will ever find that the judgment is brought upon them in the midst of great wealth ; and if you will make the same account of the destruction of temples—as, of the temple of Apollo at Delphi, of Diana at Ephesus-you will find that immense treasures were amassed in them at the time. And so it was with the temple of God at Jerusalem, shortly after those days in which our Lord warned them. The same hath been observed of the Papacy ; that the building of St. Peter's at Rome, together with the luxury of the court of Pope Leo X., was the proximate cause of the Reformation, by driving on at such a rate all manner of exactions and imposts, under religious pretences, as brought the Papal system into shame and contempt, and made the kingdoms weary to bear it. They forgot the sacredness and the spirituality of every Christian ordinance, and sold it openly for money to the highest bidder.

Now, if I err not, the same thing is proceeding in the Protestant church of Great Britain. An object the wildest, and most frantic, and most opposite to God's word, which ever deluded the minds of men—to wit, the conversion of the whole worldhath been started within these last thirty years; and to the attainment of this object it is openly avowed that money is the chief desideratum. Four years ago it was stated and argued, in one of their chief congregations, and published for the information of all, that the Lord had expressly undervalued money as a prerequisite to or condition of the Apostolical missionary unto the heathen. With high scorn, with bitter sarcasm, with cruel

, 'insinuations, all this was rejected : and since that time the pursuit of money, as the chief, and I may say only, means-it

is nearer the truth than to say chief means of attaining this mighty and impracticable object, hath been going on with hotter haste and more fervid diligence until this day. Every means is taken, that human sagacity can devise, to increase the contributions of the people. I cannot tell what in the secret workings of the system may be done, but this I know, that in several places the laws both of God and man have been frustrated, under the sense of duty to these great money-getting societies. I myself—and I am ashamed to tell it-have been the preacher where the common people, and all who could not afford to give silver on entering the church, were not permitted to partake in the worship. It is needless to say, that I was not a party to this: I would sooner have lost my right hand. I knew not of the abomination till I was going to the pulpit, and before the service I entered my solemn protest against it. And the sorrow and the marvel was, that the pious men and ministers engaged in that missionary work could not see, could not be brought to see, the evil of it, but were greatly enraged that I should call it an abomination. This is only one instance, amongst many which I could mention as having occurred within my own experience. I found it common for the managers of these charities, in order to have the congregation chiefly made up of money-givers, to choose a time for the public worship at which the common people were not able to attend. There is a devotion to the mere pecuniary part of all these societics, which cannot fail to corrupt the morality and the religion of all concerned with them. And when I see the great strength of preaching put forth upon such occasions—the dignitaries of the church ascending the pulpit, almost exclusively, for such objects; the popularity of more humble men put in requisition for the same; the influence of high names and noble persons, every thing, in short, by which the matter of giving money can be exaggerated, called into operation, I believe, and I am not afraid to express it because I solemnly believe it, that the very same destruction of all morality and religion is going on in the church at this day, under the pretence of a great and a good cause, which went on in Jerusalem in the days of our Lord, and which went on in the Papacy in the days of Luther. And as the Jewish church soon came to an end ; and the Papal church soon thereafter, in the Council of Trent, sealed itself the Apostasy; so believe I that the church in this land will soon, by the progress of this very same religious avarice, be visited and judged of God.

Now, observe further, that as the temple was forgotten in the gold, and the altar was forgotten in the gist: so the church, which the temple did symbolize ; every ordinance of the church - the sacraments, the creeds; the ordination of bishops, presbyters, and deacons; the discipline, and every venerable thing besidesis held at nought, in comparison with the contributions of money,

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or of time or of talent, to the service of these societies.

It is now seven years since the thing occurred which I will now relate. Upon first coming to this city, I was the bearer of a letter to a very worthy man and good Christian, as I believe, now no more : after he had perused it, he spoke to me with great emphasis and seriousness, “Sir, it is not by preaching, nor by attending to your own flock, that you must prosper in this city: the number, sir, of religious societies, the great good which they do, ought to be the chief care with you; as it is with such an one,' and 'such another one,

naming over some of the most famous ministers in the city. I looked into his face, to see if he was serious, or speaking in satire of the state of things. When I saw that he was serious and solemn, I could only wonder in my own mind, and calmly assure him, that by the grace of God I would walk in the old paths, and feed my flock.

flock. Upon

pon which he admonished me, as became a man of his years, and we parted-never to meet again, for he was soon carried to his long home. If in the same societies in which a subscription of five pounds is announced with thunders of applause, you will announce your attachment to the Church of Scotland or the Church of England, or to an Establishment in general, or to the good old cause of Protestantism, or to the Athanasian Creed, or to the Five Articles of the Synod of Dort, or utter any word of censure upon the Pope of Rome or Socinians or Arminians, or any other class of heretics; or, in short, tell out any of the deep convictions and great interests which you hold dear; you will be received with sneers, haply with hisses; called to order, or to set down. If this be not forgetting the temple for the gold of the temple, I know not what can be considered so: if this is not undervaluing the altar for the gift that is upon the altar, I know not what can be considered so. For my part, I believe in my heart there is in the working of this great religious system a vanity, an ostentation, an avarice, an idolatry of gold and silver, which, if it be not as great, will soon be as great, if not checked and testified against, as I now do, as ever were the abominations of the Pharisaical system in Jewry, or the Mendicant system in Papal Rome. I do testify against it, after the example of my Lord; I say, Woe unto it! I say, There shall not be one stone of it left upon another. And though they should gnash upon me with their teeth, as they did upon my Lord, and take up stones to stone me, I will nevertheless say unto them, that it is a grand error to think they shall convert the world whose iniquity God is shewing out by their rejection of the Gospel ; for which in due time he will come and judge them. And this great stalking error, which is propagated through the church by ten thousand methods, is introducing all sorts of misconceptions, accomınodations, means, and actions, without which it would

not be tolerated. But the object is so grand and brilliant, that men are dazzled, as were the Jews when they looked at the goodly stones and dazzling splendour of the temple. Would they believe in the judgments which are about to come upon the world, and receive the Lord's assurance of being with his ministers, and finding for them meat to eat and raiment to be clothed, wherever they are ; yea, of bringing them an hundredfold for whatever they give up; were this faith propagated in the church, at present dead to it, men would start up and say, • Send me!' like Joseph Wolf, they would say, 'Carry me to the place over the seas, and leave me there.'

And think you there would be wanting in the church rich men, and poor men, and men of all degrees, to say, 'We will carry thee; we will speed thee; we will support thee with our prayers, and with our substance too, if thou need ?' Do I oppose such a thing as this ? God forbid. Wherefore have we invited hither one to be an evangelist in this great city ? and wherefore was he ready to come without fee or reward ? and wherefore do I press it upon my church

' to lend the help of their prayer, and of their substance also, to the good work? Because we honour together faith in God, and we believe that he will prosper every one who denieth himself, and forsaketh all for Christ. It is the system, the base moneylevying system by religious practices, which we gainsay: out of which,

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say it again, an incalculable offence to God and to Christ and to the church is now arising. I know how few can receive this matter; I am sorry for it: all I can do is solemnly to declare my conviction that it is so; yea, and I fear that half the truth hath not been told, because I will not suspect where I am not sure, neither will I go about to seek matter of accusation against any one ; but, as God helpeth me, I will never shrink from expounding the holy Scriptures, and applying them to the condition of the church and the condition of

every

soul. Let no one, therefore, take offence : I am but the voice of what I believe to be the truth ; and woe is unto me if I speak not the truth of God.

V. The next reason for which our Lord denounceth woe upon the Scribes and Pharisees, rulers of the Jewish church, and brandeth them as hypocrites, is contained in the 23d verse: “For ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin” (“and all herbs,” saith St.Luke), “ and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone. Blind guides ! who strain at [or strain out] a gnat, and swallow a camel.” This feature of the declining church hath reference to the obedience of the Divine commandments; and indicates a preference of the outward letter thereof to the inward spirit. The Lord selecteth the most minute and literal of the Divine commandments, which they did observe, and setteth the same in contrast with the most large, universal, and moral precepts, which they did not observe. According to the law of Moses (Lev. xxvii.), “ All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or the fruit of a tree, is the Lord's; it is holy unto the Lord.” In paying this tithe, the scribes and Pharisees went down to the minutest item : but they forgot the great moral demands which God had made, of judgment, mercy, and faith. Our Lord said, “ These ought ye to have done, and not leave the other undone.” Now, as the work of God's Spirit in the heart is constant, and changeth not with times and seasons ; and as the true church of God is likewise unchangeable in its moral and religious principles, being conformed unto the image of God; even so, the opposition of Satan, the work of Satan to destroy and uproot the church, is likewise constant as to its principles ; in its spirit the same in different ages. If therefore, as I believe, the rulers of the church in our

own time have a woe gone forth, or going forth, against them, we may expect to witness some such feature as this growing in the midst of us : not indeed in its circumstances the same, because all the circumstances of the two churches are changed, but in its principle the same. And what, then, is the principle of this fifth great delinquency of the former church? It is the preference of positive outward commandments, to inward, moral, universal commandments : it is the religion of observances, and not the religion of holy, righteous, charitable principles : it is the straining out of the gnat from what we drink, and swallowing of the camel ; sacrifice rather than mercy; will-worship rather than morality. The question is, Does this exist amongst ourselves, and to what extent? I answer, It doth exist, to an enormous extent. Tithes were under the Law appointed to be given, for the maintenance of the temple, and of the Priests and the Levites who served the temple. They were the signs of obedience to the Lord, who was worshipped and served in the temple. The paying of them now no longer existeth as a Divine commandment, but only as an ancient and fundamental constitution of the kingdom : and therefore, though it be enwarped with the very vitals of the state, and more than any thing else be the life of the community, yet is it not a part of the Christian religion, or an ordinance of the Christian church ; and therefore it would be a vain thing to look for the parallel in this department of our affairs. What then of positive commandment and ordinance hath come instead of these, which fell down with the Jewish polity? What are the outward and visible observances obligatory upon every one who holds the Christian name, and upon those who sit in Christ's seat, and are the rulers of his church? It is obligatory upon us, the rulers of the church, and upon the church in general, to hold and maintain sound doctrine, which

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