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the gospel be preached in their sim- is in a great measure built on mistake. plest form, enforced by their native

- They go away with a wrong notion, authority, and applied in their most

that think that those preachers cannot direct and powerful bearing upon their understandings, that do not do it,

affect their hearers, by enlightening the conscience and the heart.

by such a distinct and learned handAnd what though a minister of ling of the doctrinal points of religion, Christ at such a time be not satis- as depends on human discipline or the fied with a formal announcement of strength of natural reason, and tends a part of divine truth twice upon to enlarge their hearer's learning and the Sabbath ; what though he be speculative knowledge of divinity. The anxious to avail himself of the nat

manner of preaching without this, may ural sympathies and social feelings divine and eternal things in a right

be such as shall tend very much to set of his people to gain their attention view, and to give the hearers such apto the truth, and procure its access prehensions of them as are answerable to their minds.; what though he to the real nature of things. Not only have reference to all the principles the words that are spoken, but the of our nature, and to the particular manner of speaking, is one thing that habits, prejudices and feelings of has a great tendency to this. I think individuals, in arranging the times

exceeding affectionate way of and circumstances of his applica- religion, has in itself no tendency to

preaching about the great things of tions to them ; does he not, in this, beget false apprehensions of them; but fall in with the general scheme of on the contrary a much greater tenthe moral government of God, in dency to beget true apprehensions of the adaptation of motives to the them, than a moderate, dull, indifferent constitution of the human mind ? way of speaking of them. An appearDoes he not comply with the in

ance of affection and earnestness, if it junction, “ Be

be very great, yet if it be agreeable to wise as

ye vants," and the apostolic exam

the nature of the subject, and there be ple, of “ becoming all things to all

no appearance of its being feigned, has

so much the greater tendency to beget men, if by any means he may save true ideas of the subject spoken of: some ?

and that for this reason, that it does in But I have already detained the fact more truly represent it—than a reader too long from the intended more cold and indifferent manner. And reference to the sentiments of Ed- I do not think that ministers are to be wards. In his day it was a subject of blamed for raising the affections of complaint,

their hearers too high, if that which “that ministers addres

they are affected with be only that sed themselves rather to the affec

which is worthy of affection, and their tions of their hearers than to their affections are not raised beyond a prounderstandings, and endeavoured portion to its importance.” rather to raise their passions by an earnest and affectionate manner, 3. President Edwards felt the than by clear reasoning to inform importance of urging upon sinners their judgment." To which he generally, and particularly upon replies :

awakened sinners their obligation

of immediate repentance. Some “I am far from thinking that it is ministers, he remarks, were blamed not very profitable for ministers in their for speaking terror to those who preaching, to endeavour clearly and

were already under great terror, indistinctly to explain the doctrines of stead of comforting them. In what religion and unravel the difficulties that attend them, and to confirm them with

manner they incurred this censure strength of reason and argumentation;

we are not left in doubt. The reand it is very probable that this has ply which follows, presents them to been of late, too much neglected, by us, urging their anxious hearers to many; yet I believe that the objection submit themselves with no delay to God according to the gospel-al- while they are in it. Comfort is to be lowing them no excuse, no com

ofiered to them in Christ, on conditios promise, no resting-place, in their of their flying from their present misrejection of the only saviour-but erable state, to him; but comfort is

not to be administered to them in their persuading them by every motive of fear and of hope, of duty and of title to while out of Christ. No com

present state, as any thing they have a safety, immediately to yield them- fort is to be administered to them from selves, in penitent submission, to any thing in them, any of their qualifiGod, with faith in his Son.

cations, prayers or performances, past, present, or future; but ministers should,

in such cases, strive to their utmost, to “Why," he forcibly remarks, “should take all such comfort from them, though we be afraid to let persons, that are in it greatly increase their terror. A per. an infinitely niiserable condition, know son that sees hiniself ready to sink into the truth, or bring them into light, for hell, is ready to strive some way or fear it should territy them. It is light other to lay God under obligation to that must convert them if ever they are bim; but he is to be beat off from eve. converted. The more we bring sin- rything of that nature, though it ners into light, while they are misera- greatly increases his terror to see himble and the light is terrible to them, self wholly destitute, on every side, of the more likely it is, that by and by, any refuge, or any thing of his own to the light will be joyful to them. The lay hold of; as a man that sees himself case and comfort, that natural men en- in danger of drowning is in terror, and joy, have their foundation in darkness; endeavours to catch hold of every twig therefore as that darkness vanishes, within his reach, and he that pulls the and light comes in, their peace vanishi- twigs away increases his terror; yet if es and they are terrified. But that is they are insuflicient to save him, and no good argument why we should en- prevent his looking to that which will deavour to hold them in darkness, save him, to pull them away, is necesthat we may uphold their comfort. sary to save his life. If sinners are in The truth is, that as long as men re- distress from any error, that is to be ject Christ, however they may be awa- removed. If they are in terror from kened, and however conscientious and an apprehension that they have comlaborious they may be in religion, they mitted the unpardonable sin, or that have the wrath of God abiding on them, those things have happened to them, they are his eneniies and the children that are certain signs of reprobation, of the devil; and it is uncertain wheth- or any other delusion, such terrors cr they shall ever obtain mercy. God have no tendency to do them good. is under no obligation to show them They arise from temptation and not mercy, nor will he be, if they fast and from conviction. But that terror which pray never so much; and they are then arises from conviction or a sight of especially provoking Ciod under these truth, is to be increased; for those terrors, that they stand it out against that are most awakened, have great Christ, and will not accept an offered remaining stupidity; they have a sense Saviour, though they see so much of but little of that which is; and it is necd of him. And seeing this is the from remaining blindness that they see truth, they should be told so, that they no more; and that blindness is a dismay be sensible what their case indeed ease which we ought to endeavour to is.--Indeed something else beside ter

I am not afraid to tell sinror is to be preached to them. The ners that are most sensible of their gospel is to be preached to them. Sin. misery, that their case is as miserable ners at the same time that they are told as they think it to be, and a thousand how nuiserable their case is, should be times more so; for this is the truth : carnestly invited to come and accept and it seems to me, such truth is never of a Saviour, and to yield their hearts more seasonable than at such a time, to him, with all the winning, encoura- when Christ is beginning to open the ging arguments that the gospel affords. eyes of the conscience. Ministers But this is to induce them to escape ought to act as co-workers with him from the misery of their condition, not -to take that opportunity when the to abate their uneasiness and distress light has begun to shine, to reinove all


obstacles and use all proper means, of God than all the externals of his that it may come in more freely, and worship. Of this our Saviour was the work be done thoroughly then. particularly careful that men should be And experience abundantly shows that well aware of it. Matt. ix. 13. But to take this course, is not of hurtful go ye and learn what that meaneth, I tendency, but very much to the contra- will have mercy and not sacrifice. Exry. I have seen in very many

instan- ternal acts of worship are only shewces, the happy effects of it, and often ing our religion by words; but he that times a very speedy happy issue, and shews religion, in the other sort of dunever knew any ill consequences, in ties, shews it in dec ds.

And though case of real conviction, and when dis- deeds may be hypocritical as well as tress has been oniy from thence.” words: yet in themselves they are

more important, for they are more proIt is pleasing to mark the entire fitable to ourselves and our neighbour. harmony of judgment and practice They also put more honour upon God, between the most honoured instru

because there is greater self-denial in

them. The external acts of worship ments of divine grace in a former

are the cheapest part of religion and age and the present, in this vitally least contrary to our lusts. The diffiimportant concern ; and it is equally culty of thorough, external religion wonderful and lamentable that any does not lie in them. Let wicked men of the ministers of Christ should enjoy their covetousness and their venture to disregard not only their pride, their malice, envy and revenge, united testimony, but the corres

and their sensuality and voluptuousponding testimony of Christ and his ness, in their behaviour amongst men, apostles, by giving directions to the and they will be willing to compound

the matter with God, and submit to anxious of their charge, different what forms of worship you please, and from those which are, in this man

as many as you lease; as is manifest ner, commended to them, or by in the Jews of old, in the days of the neutralizing these, by explanations prophets, and the Pharisees in Christ's and additions for which they have time, and the Papists and Mahometans no divine warrant, and this in ac- at this day.---At a time when there is commodation to those sinful prin

an appearance of the approach of any ciples and delusive confidences glorious ievival of God's church, God

does especially call his professing peowhich it is the object of the Holy ple to the practice of moral duties. Spirit to destroy, and which must

Isai. Ivi. I, Thus saith the Lord; keep be destroyed in order to the sub- ye judgment and do justice; for my mission of the sinner to God. salvation is near to come and my right

4. President Edwards insisted eousness to be revealed. So when upon the importance of inculcating John preached that the kingdom of

heaven was at hand, and cried to the practical and social duties in revivals of religion. So ably has this people, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, been illustrated, in late numbers of asked him, what they should do ? he

make his paths strail, and the people the Christian Spectator, that I

answers, He that hath tico coats let himu should have omitted it here, ex- impart to him that hath none, and he cept for the sake of adducing the that hath meat, let him do likewise. authority of Edwards.

When the publicans said, What shall

we do? he answers, Eract no more “It is incumbent upon God's people than thatwhich is appointell you ;--and at this day," he remarks, “to take to the soldiers asking, IFhat shall we heed, that while they abound in exter- do ? he replies, Do violence to no man, nal duties of devotion, there be a pro- neither accuse any falsely; and be conportionable care to abound in moral tent with your wages

. God's people at duties, such as acts of righteousness, such a time as this, ought especially to truih, meekness, forgiveness and love abound in deeds of charity. We gentowards our neighbour; which are oferally in these days seem to fall far bemuch grcater importance in the sight low the true spirit and practice of Christianity, with regard to this duty, poor and unwilling to impart libeand seem to have but little notion of it, rally for their relief, they refuse so far as I can understand the New their aid to public charities or they Testament. Ať a time when God is so liberal of spiritual things, we ought wonder that the religious powers

give leanly and grudgingly. No not to be sparing of our temporal things. If God's people in this land, were once

and enjoyments of such persons are brought to abound in deeds of love, as transient. They may ascribe the much as in praying, hearing, singing, cause to their unfavourable circumand religious meetings, it would be a stances, and such imperfection as most blessed omen. Nothing would is common to the sincere ; but the have a greater tendency to bring down evil lies deeper. They have never the God of love from heaven to earth.

made choice of the true religion as So amiable would be the sight, in the ayes of the loving and exalted Redeem- the business of their lives. The er, that it would soon, as it were, fetch

love of gain, the love of ease, the him down from his throne in heaven, love of esteem, or in some other to set up his tabernacle with men on form the love of the world, is their earth, and dwell with them. I do not ruling principle. They have not remember ever to have read of any re- understood the nature of that sermarkable outpouring of the Spirit, but vice in which they have professed what was attended with an abounding to engage. They have not ponderin this duty. So we know it was with that great effusion of the Spirit that ed as they ought to have done on began at Jerusalem. And it is foretold the self-denial which it involves. that God's people shall abound in this And to prevent so terrible a deluduty in the time of the great outpouring sion it is most solemnly incumbent of the Spirit that shalì be in the latter upon the teachers of religion to exdays. "The vile person shall no more plain and urge those principles of be called liberal, nor the churl said to ihe gospel according to which “he be bountiful. But the liberal deviseth shall have judgment without mercy liberal things, and by liberal things who hath showed no mercy"-" he shall he stand."

shall not be forgiven of God who

does not heartily forgive his fellowTo these convincing remarks I men”--and if any man love the would only add that the circum- world the love of the Father is not stances of awakened sinners, not in him. In seasons of revival, less than those of professed Christ. when the minds of men are open to jans demand, in a season of revival, impression ; when the character of the inculcation of this class of du. their religion is formed, and their ties. It is to be feared that in this hopes for eternity are conceived, it country, and among the friends of is especially important that the inrevivals, the number is not small of dispensible fruits, as well as the persons who are satisfied with a distinctive feelings of repentance cheap religion. Like the ancient be explained and enforced. Jews they are regular in their devo- 5. President Edwards did not tions, they seek the Lord daily ; hesitate, when the cause of truth they take pleasure in appearing at evidently demanded it, to expose bis house and learning his truths; the errors and irregularities of good they have gratifying views, discov- men in the conduct of revivals. He eries, and feelings, and claim to be was not indeed insensible to the a religious class of people ; but like delicacy of his office, nor to the those Jews they are uncharitable tenderness and caution which it and unkind, they are wrathful and demands. He has left his decided revengeful, they are greedy of gain protest against the habit of careand unjust in their measures of ob- lessly and unfeelingly discanting on taining it, they are unfeeling to the the indiscretions of men attendant


on an acknowleged work of God- no longer, to drive them into exa protest applicable, probably, in travagances”--and while he, disevery revival to some, who would claims “ the authority to admonish” be numbered among its friends, but he entreats his brethren, “ by the who too little consider either the love of Christ, calmly to weigh what spirit by which they are actuated, may be said to them by one of their or the influence which they exert. hearty and fervent friends, (although

an inferior worm) in giving his hum“Instead of coming to the help of ble opinion concerning the errors the Lord," he says, “ we shall actually that had been committed.” In fight against him, if we are abundant speaking of those errors, he rein insisting on, and setting forth the marks: blemishes of the work, so as to manifest that we rather choose and are

"Many have been deceived by drawmore forward to take notice of what is amiss, than what is good and glori- ing false conclusions from true premious in the work. Whatever errors

Many true and eminent saints

have been led into mistakes and snares, many zealous persons have run into, yet if the work, the substance of it, by arguing too much from their having be the work of God, then it is a joyful prayed in faith. When the premises day indeed; it is so in heaven, and

are true that they have indeed been ought to be so among God's people on

greatly assisted in prayer for a particearth. The imprudencies and errors

ular mercy, and have had the true spirit of poor fallible worms do not prevent from these premises than is a just con

of prayer, they have concluded more great rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over so many poor sin

sequence from them. That they have ners that have repented; and it will be

thus prayed is a sure sign that their

prayer is accepted and heard, and that an argument of something very ill in

God will give a gracious answer, acus, if they prevent our rejoicing. Who cording to his own wisdom and that loves in a day of great joy and glad- the particular thing that was asked, ness to be much insisting on those things that are uncomfortable? Would

shall be given, or that which is equiv

alent. But that God will answer thein it not be very improper on a king's coronation day, to be much in taking no

in that individual thing, if that thing be tice of the blemishes in the royal fam

not promised in his word, or they do ily? We have an account how, at the

not certainly know that it is that which restoration of the church of Isra 31, after will be most for the good of his church, the Babylonish captivity, and at the

and the advancement of Christ's kingtime of the feast of tabernacles, many

dom and glory, nor whether it will be wept at the faults found amongst the

best for them, is more than can be justly

concluded from it. If God remarkably people, but were reproved on that ac

meets with one of his children while count. Nehemiah, Ezra,. and the Levites, said unto all the people, this day great importance, for himself or some

he is praying for a particular mercy of is holy unto the Lord your God-mourn

other person, or any society of men, not, nor weep-for the joy of the Lord

and does by the influence of his Spirit is your strength.

greatly humble him and empty him of

himself in prayer, and manifest himself Still he speaks of the error of

remarkably in his excellency, sovethose who had been so prejudiced reignty, and all-sufficient power and by the clamour concerning irregu- grace in Jesus Christ, and does in a relarity as to impute whatever was markable manner enable the person to said about them to feelings of hos- come to him for that mercy, poor in tility-remarks that “if we look spirit, and with humble resignation to back into the history of the church

God, and with a great degree of faith of God we may observe that it has ciency of Christ's mediation, that per

in the divine sufficiency, and the suffibeen a common device of the devil,

son has indeed a great deal the more in order to overset a revival of reli

reason to hope that God will grant that gion, when he can keep men secure mercy, than otherwise he would have,

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