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doctrine of revealed religion, is that of a God, as the only proper object of religious worship, the first cause and last end of all things, and who possesses every infinite possible perfection.

2d. The character of man must be clearly exhibited, in the preaching of the gospel; and that in his fallen, and perishing state. Unless the entirely sinful and odious nature, and deeply rooted depravity of the human heart; and the helpless, hopeless condition of man by the deeds of the law, be made to appear, he will in vain seek to be justified by works. The law must be set home upon his conscience in its spirituality that he feel the force of the declaration, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, written in the book of the law to do them: Except mankind see the plague of their own hearts as an infectious and deadly leprosy, they will never desire to be delivered from its indwelling corruptions, as from a body of sin and death. If they are not brought. through the influence of the gospel, to realize that sin is exceedingly sinful,they will never admire and highly prize divine grace; nor exclaim, God be merciful to me a sinner.

3d. To preach the gospel, it is essential that the person and character of Christ be clearly exhibited in their true scriptural light. His atoning sufferings and death are the only ground of pardon and acceptance with a holy and offended God for any of this guilty and ruined world. And how important, that perishing sinners have clear conceptions and just views of the only foundation of any of their hopes. for deliverance from endless wo. This subject was so important in the view of the apostle Paul, that to the Corinthians, he says, I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. He considered his character, his holy life, and efficacious death as the centre, the substance, and foundation of the gospel. How can a sinner, sensible of his own guilt and wretchedness, trust his

immortal interests in the hands of a Saviour without a full conviction, that the Father was well pleased with his righteousness, and that he could obtain eternal redemption through his blood? As perfect humanity was necessary in the character of the only Mediator between God and man, that he might render a life of sinless obedience to the law, and make an atoning sacrifice for sin; so complete divinity was also essential to render infinite dignity and efficacy to his atoning righteousness by sufferings and death. As, without the shedding of blood, there could be no remission of sin, so without an exhibition of those blessed truths, which relate to the person and character, the life and death of Christ, the gospel cannot be successfully preached.

4th. The necessity of being born again, of repentance, faith, and a godly life, in order to the obtaining of final salvation, must be announced in the preaching of the gospel. The Holy Spirit is the great Agent, by whom rebellious man is made willing in the day of God's power, to submit to him, and to receive the Saviour as he is freely offered in the gospel. And without his renewing and saving influence,none could possibly be saved; for except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Repentance is the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, and without which all must perish. His agency produceth faith, without which it is impossible to please God; and he enableth believers to persevere in well-doing, till the work of grace is perfected in their hearts. The gospel not only teaches what mankind are by nature; but what they must be by grace, to obtain the pardon of their sins, enjoy sweet communion with God, and be prepared for the employments and enjoyments of heaven. And to preach the gospel to any saving effect, these essential duties must be inculcated as necessary to the obtaining of final salvation.

5th. A state of future rewards and punishment is a doctrine necessary to be announced, in preaching the gospel.

The gospel does not only abound with truths, precepts, encouragements, and promises; but also with the most solemn warnings and awful sanctions. Hence the ambassadors of Christ do as much preach the gospel, when they declare in the name of their Lord and Master, that he who believeth not shall be damned, as when they proclaim, he that believeth shall be saved. The great end of the gospel, as it respects man, is to save him from endless perdition; and crown him with immortal glory. Then the future torments of the wicked should be fully and clearly enforced, as the terrours of the Almighty, to deter from sin; and the future bliss of the righteous should be set forth to excite to a life of holiness. And whilst ministers of the gospel, on the one hand, do hold forth the words of eternal life; on the other, they should denounce those of eternal death. They are not only to carry messages of love, of grace, and salvation; but to bear the thunders of God's word in condemnation, that if by any means, they may save some. The great judgement day, and the future and eternal scenes beyond the grave, are abundantly and emphatically described and foretold in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ; and these infinitely important truths must be maintained and announced by the heralds of his cross. Thus I have mentioned some of the important doctrines and duties which are necessary to be unfolded, in the preaching of the gospel.

In the second place, let us notice some of the de sirable effects of a stated and faithfully preached gospel.

1st. A preached gospel is favourable to mental improvement and refinement of manners. Where the blessings of the gospel do most abound, there the arts and sciences are cultivated and carried to their greatest perfection, which tends greatly to enlarge the views of the mind and refine the social affections. Moreover,the exhibition of the varied truths of the gospel, and their

several relations, tend to diffuse light and useful knowledge, and to promote the various duties of social life. The preaching of the gospel is pointed against the vices of mankind, and is a means of preventing innumerable acts of open vice. The grosser acts of immorality do generally much more abound where a people are destitute of the various means of grace, than where these precious blessings are enjoyed. Moreover, every gospel sermon is calculated to promote the cause of virtue; and where the instruction is stated, simple, and forcible, there we may see a people the most virtuous. The improvement and refinement of the understanding, serve to regulate the outward conduct, and render the conversation and manners of a person not only engaging and pleasing, but worthy of imitation. Even in this point of view, parents and children, the aged and young, the present and the rising generation, are deeply concerned, and should feel a lively interest that they enjoy a stated and faithfully preached gospel, and other means of improvement with which it is connected.

2d. A preached gospel serves to keep societies in harmony, and greatly to ameliorate the present condition of man. Where a people are not accustomed to meet on the Sabbath for social and religious worship, coldness of affection, distance of conversation, and disunion of social pursuits, are the general consequence. But, where societies generally assemble on that holy day, and hear divine truths illustrated, and their various moral obligations forcibly inculcated, we may there behold the dearest interests of civil society promoted. The preaching of the gospel is addressed to all the active principles in man, to his hopes and fears; and it teaches him to render custom to whom custom is due; honour, to whom honour is due; hence it has a powerful influence to render subjects obedient. The duties of parents and children, of rulers and ruled, are described in their greatest beauty and harmony, and their mutual benefit made

known. Acts of charity and humanity, of forbearance and forgiveness, are drawn in lively colours, and allure to obedience. But how extensive and varied must be the beneficial tendencies of these duties and relations, which are taught in the gospel without a parallel! How do they prove a bond of union, and the great cement of society! How do they administer succour for the temporal wants of men, relieve the necessities of the distressed, and bear an extensive sway greatly to alleviate the burdens of life, and ameliorate the present condition of man!

3d. The preaching of the gospel is the great means of the conversion and salvation of those that believe. The truths of divine revelation serve to enlighten the understandings of men; and divine grace renders them effectual for the renewal of the heart; but these are the most forcibly illustrated by the preaching of the word. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth; and the great work of gospel ministers is to exhibit its truths in the clearest and most interesting manner, and not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. And, as they are instrumental in converting sinners and saving their souls from death, says the apostle Paul, It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Moreover, in view of their office, ministration, and success, he adds, We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. And it is a matter of fact, that a preached gospel has proved successful to make the learned and unlearned, wise in Christ; to convert the moralist and profane unto God, and to reclaim the drunkard and profligate to a life of righteousness. It has exchanged heathenish darkness for the light of heaven, and turned gross idolators to the worship of the true God. The little child and the gray-headed sinner, the slave and his master, the beggar and the king, have been saved through its influence. They have obtained life and immortality through the light of a preached gospel.

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