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defence which we make. Multitudes of persons within the christian world are to be found who are not observers of the sabbath; and we have some in all our societies. How many more there would be among us, should we neglect prayer, we cannot tell, nor would it be expedient for us to make the trial. To God it belongs to incline persons to the house of his worship, External worship does not answer the divine law. But he who is outwardly wrong, cannot be inwardly right. There may be a deadly malady preying invisibly, on the sick; but so long as the symptoms of it are not discovered, there is encouragement for the physician and for the friends. Since it is to be expected that the great adversary at all times when he can will have his subaltern agents, it will be our duty to pray, that they may not succeed in drawing others into their pernicious ways. Ahithophel's counsel was overthrown; and we should labor to have the counsel of all wicked men terminate in the samne manner.

If prayer is of use on the several accounts already mentioned we should likewise pray to God, to prepare the hearts of men, of every description, and every where, to receive the gospel.

An enemy covered all over with brass repels the weapons of the assailant. So it is in the spiritual warfare. The soldiers of Christ find the foe lurking, and laughing, within the thick defence of iniquity; and however valiant and faithful, they may be, they can touch no vulnerable part without divine assistance.

After the most serious labors of the pulpit how often do we have occasion before we leave the house to sigh, and complain, inwardly of our people, that the show of their countenance witnesses against them. As Swift observed, that his female friends, sitting at the card table, and discoursing of his death, would say, The Dean is dead, pray what is trumps? so we all find serious things, and trifles mingled together; the death of Christ thrust out of the mind by the gewgaws of the world. When our preaching is received, not as the word of man but as the word or the living God, we have reason to rejoice, because our labor will not be in vain.

Though censure may be less agreeable than commendation, yet if we are sincerely anxious for the good of souls, it will pain us to hear ourselves commended, and God not glorified. He must be a hireling indeed who can be contented with a people, barely because they are contented, or even pleased with him.

Thirdly. Those who act in defence of the gospel have something to attend to beside argument and prayer; something, without which, argument and prayer, will be of no avail. The life which we lead will be more regarded than the reasoning which we use; than the prayers which we nitter. Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no strange thing, if his ministers also, be transformed as the ministers of righteousness. The prayer of the righteous man availeth much. The argument of the righteous man, in the cause of righteousness is weighty.

If our hearers are at a loss to know whether we believe as we preach, they appeal to our lives. Enoch, walking with God, convinces, and pursuades, by his very walk. As it will not do to say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; so neither will it do to say, Thou hast works, and I have faith. The principle, and the life, must go together. Honesty, and humanity, must be engraved upon the palms of our hands; sobriety, and contentment, must be frontlets between our eyes. General duties will be looked for from us; and duties which are more particular.

We shall bring reproach upon the cause of Christ, instead of defending the gospel, unless we unite as a band of brothers, in the great work we have undertaken. Differences among christians are so many stumbling blocks in the way of men, and differences among ministers are worse than among private christians. If one minister drops a word disrespectfully, and sneeringiy, of another, it is eagerly seized and tends to detriment.

Levi, with great propriety, tells Priestly, that christians should be agreed among themselves, before they attempt to proselyte the Jews. The disciples did not like him who cast out devils, even in the name of Christ, because he followed not them. But surely, the reply of our Lord was calculated to silence them, and should be sufficient for us

ture, we devoted our time to the management of our neighbor's business.

Those who enjoy religion themselves, want, that all should enjoy it; and feel the most anxious for those with whom they are the most intimately connected.

Many professing christians attend to religious reading in their families, and to prayer, not steadily, but as their worldly concerns will allow. It is to be presumed, that ministers are not found in this class. The physician calls the man sick, whose pulse is now quick; now slow; and now insensible.

Whatever truth this discourse contains will be acceptable to the lovers of truth; and whatever errors it embraces will be detected, and discarded.

We are set for the defence of the gospel. If we know the things which belong to this defence, happy are we if we do them! I think my friends in the ministry, I may recommend to you the things which have been suggested, though my house be not so with God.

left it in charge, that his disciples, throughout all generations should wash one another's feet.

But while we consider ourselves as fallible men, and act no assuming part towards the Church we should be resolute to withstand any brother to the face, if he is evidently to be blamed, and it is our province to deal with him. The church is viewed by many like the Mason's Lodge; a combination to cover wickedness. If discipline is wholly neglected; or offences are so palliated, and settled, that the offence will show itself in full size, while the repentance is invisible even to those who would be glad to discover it, the charge of hypocrisy may well be brought forward, and supported.

The conduct of all mankind should be fair, and open to inspection; and especially, is this looked for from professors of religion; and above all from ministers of the gospel. We can never satisfy such as require perfection in christians. The present state of man is imperfect. But we are bound to show to the world that christians, instead of vindicating their conduct, when it is manifestly wrong, are willing, and desirous, to confess their faults, and to ask forgiveness.

Ministers have many, and strong, temptations, to undue lenity, in the oversight of their brethren; but they should have more, and stronger, inducements, to act up to the rules of their office. Whenever we can please men,

and please God, at the same time, we should do it.

But some times this is impracticable; and when this is the case there can be no hesitation concerning what is duty.

If we would defend the gospel to the best effect we must demean ourselves in our families according to its dictates. Family order is so important, that Paul sets down the want of it, as a disqualification for the ministry. Our own walls present the most opportune sphere for christian labor. Every man has special advantages with his own household, on account of the peculiar influence of this his station. If we beseech our people from the desk, to be reconciled to God, and say nothing upon the subject, within the narrower circle of our work, and to those whose connexion with us invites to uncommon assiduity; we shall act as unwisely as we should, if neglecting our own concerns of a secular na:

ture, we devoted our time to the management of our neighbor's business.

Those who enjoy religion themselves, want, that all should enjoy it; and feel the most anxious for those with whom they are the most intimately connected.

Many professing christians attend to religious reading in their families, and to prayer, not steadily, but as their worldly concerns will allow. It is to be presumed, that ministers are not found in this class. The physician calls the man sick, whose pulse is now quick; now slow; and now insensible.

Whatever truth this discourse contains will be acceptable to the lovers of truth; and whatever errors it embraces will be detected, and discarded.

We are set for the defence of the gospel. If we know the things which belong to this defence, happy are we if we do them! I think my friends in the ministry, I may recommend to you the things which have been suggested, though my house be not so with God.

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