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something that would be profitable, and “shun to declare the whole counsel of God."

5. Thus some, who very properly explain the nature, and enforce the necessity of repentance towards God, are nevertheless very deficient on the subject of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; others, who speak with great clearness on faith, and justification by faith, are wanting as to holiness, either not preaching it at all, or not in that extent in which it is explained and enforced in the oracles of God, or not with an earnestness that bears any proportion to its deep importance. Others again, who fail not to testify, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord, and who describe its nature and point out its excellency admirably well, as far as it is internal, are yet short on the head of outward good works, either not incul- cating them at all, lest they should be deemed legal preachers, (as the phrase is,) or not with a frequency and fervency that is any way proportionable to the amazing stress laid on them by our Lord and his apostles; or perhaps they do not descend sufficiently to particulars, but content themselves with recommending them in the general ; or, it may be, they confine their discourses to certain kinds of good works, to which their hearers have not much objection, and omit to inculcate others, though equally important, and absolutely necessary to be performed. I might enlarge, and produce many more instances of this partial way of preaching. I might particularly name watchfulness, self-denial, taking up the daily cross, redeeming time; employing our money and other talents to the glory of God and for the good of mankind, as subjects often urged in the holy Scriptures, but seldom, very seldom so much as mentioned in some pulpits. But as this would carry me away from my design, I forbear. -6. And observe, 3dly, That as it is a real glory to a place of worship, that the gospel be preached in it purely, without any false mixture, and fully, without any important defect; so also that it be preached clearly; I mean that the method and language be intelligible and plain. . This is a very desirable thing indeed, inasmuch as without it a preacher will not be well understood, and of consequence will be of little use. And though, as to this point, there is and will be a great difference, all that preach the gospel pot having in an equal degree the gift of thinking clearly upon subjects, or of arranging their thoughts in proper order, or of expressing them in easy and intelligible language ; yet none will be very deficient in perspicuity, who accustom themselves to scriptural ideas, and to express these ideas in scriptural words. But where this is

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neglected, and other authors (the mystic, suppose, or any others that depart from the Bible) are more studied and imitated than the prophets and apostles, it is no wonder if the speaker, perhaps affecting mystery and obscurity, become unintelligible even upon the plainest subjects. Happy those preachers who take the apostle Peter's advice on this head, and not desiring to be wise above what is written, endeavour, whenever they speak in public, to speak as the oracles of God! and happy those hearers who sit under such preachers.

7. Once more upon this point ; another thing included in this glory of the divine word, which I mentioned, is that it be spoken with power, I mean, that it reach the hearts of the bearers, and be effectual to their conversion, edification, and comfort. Now in order to this, two things are essentially necessary, 1st. That the preacher experience and practise himself what he inculcates upon others : and, 2dly, that he have the presence of his Master with him, and the heavenly unction of his Spirit accompanying his word. Without the former, a preacher will not feel himself what he delivers, and of consequence will not make others feel; and without the latter, whatever effect is produced will be very transient. But where both these are united, the sacred truths of the gospel, like live coals from the altar, proceeding from a mind burning with divine love, by the blessed agency of the Holy Spirit, will fall flaming upon the souls of the hearers, and that in such abundance, as not only to melt a heart of wax, but even heart of ice, or rend in sunder a heart of marble, so that the waters of genuine repentance will flow forth, and a way be made for the entrance of the Lord of glory into the soul of the humble worshipper.

8. This leads me to mention a second particular, constituting the true glory of a house of God, viz. that good, spiritual good, be done in it. Now, 1st. good is done when the dark minds of men are enlightened, and they are made acquainted with things spiritual and divine; when they are brought to know themselves to be those fallen creatures that the Scriptures describe, ignorant, sinful, guilty, depraved, weak, and wretched; when they are instructed in the way of salvation through faith in a Mediator between God and man ; in the will of God and their duty ; when God himself, in his nature and attributes, in his word and works, is made known to them, that they may no longer blindly worship and serve an unknown God, but being acquainted with him, may pay him the homage and obedience he requires and will accept. Good is done yet more, 2dly, when men are not only enlightened

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to see, but awakened to feel, (as it were) divine truths, so that they come to them (as St. Paul has it) “not in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance ;" when they are not only convinced of sin, but also of righteousness, and “ being justified by faith, find peace with God," and are " in Christ new creatures." Good is done most of all, 3dly, when those that are born of God's Spirit are trained up for his kingdom, and instead of being suffered to halt in, or go back from his ways, are led forward án all holiness and usefulness, both inward and outward, so as to be made cc

meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," and receive a full reward in the kingdom of their Father.

9. Hence will arise a third glory : such a place will be crowded with attentive, intelligent hearers, humble, devout worshippers, exemplary, useful Christians; with hearers that attend to and understand what is spoken, that can distinguish truth from error, and can discern between wholesome food and poison ; with worshippers that “ worship the Father in Spirit and in truth," that "pray in the Holy Ghost," praise God from a sense of his goodness, and being "joined to the Lord in one Spirit, have fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ;" with Christians who have the Spirit as well as the letter of Christianity, the power as well as the form of godliness, who have in them the “mind that was in Christ, and walk as he also walked,” who adorn their profession by an unblameable conduct, and bless their town and neighbourhood by an uninterrupted course of good works, done to the bodies and souls

This, my brethren, is a glory indeed, and such as would shed a lustre upon a building very inferior to this in external workmanship. God grant that this glory may belong to this place! I doubt not but the hearts of hundreds of you say, Amen! And I trust your prayers will be heard : but, to prevent your being discouraged, you must remember, this is a work of time, and that the gospel does not find people pious, but is intended to make them such.

10. At first, and for some time, many that attend here will be the reverse of the characters I have noticed, both ignorant and wicked, both careless and useless. Nay, and there is reason to fear, notwithstanding all that can be done for them, that many will remain such. But, I trust, not all. - Some, at least, and (I would fain hope) not a few, will meet with a spiritual cure in this Bethesda, this house of mercy, this hospital of souls, which God hath inclined and enabled you to erect out of compassion for your sick and dying

of men.

fellow-creatures. And be sure you never despair of any, be they ever so far gone in the wasting and painful disorders of sin, but bring them hither with you, and in earnest prayer and supplication, recommend them to the attention and care of that great and good Physician of souls, who (I trust) will not fail to attend here from time to time, and visit every ward in this spiritual infirmary. May he find thee out, in thy disabled and languishing state, thou poor, disconsolate mourner !

11. This brings me to the fourth real glory of a house of God, and the last I shall now mention, viz. The presence of the Master in his own house, of the Father of the family in his own family: And this is graciously promised in his word of truth, all the promises of which are Yed and Amen. - Where two or three are met together in my name, says Jesus, there am I in the midst of them." “ In every place where I record my name, says God the Father, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” This, my brethren, is the chief glory of a place of worship, that the God of glory be in it to bless his worshippers. But this is a glory that depends, not upon the place, but upon those that worship in it. It is not skill in architecture, manifested in the beauty or commodiousness of the church, chapel, or preaching-house, that can invite or ensure the divine presence, but it is the seriousness, humility, faith, and devotion of those that assemble therein, that will be crowned with that blessing. For though God grants his presence and all his blessings of mere grace and mercy, yet levity and pride, unbelief and formality, not to mention known and wilful sin) in his professing people, will always be a bar and hindrance to the communication of them. And the Lord, by withdrawing himself and keeping at a distance from such worshippers, will show that he is displeased with and resents their conduct. Let us therefore expect and wait for his presence in his own way, and we shall not be disappointed.

12. And now it will not be difficult to say when one place exceeds another in glory. That place where the word of God is preached most purely, with fewest human mixtures ; most fully, nothing being kept back that would be profitable; most clearly, the language being plain and the method natural and distinct; most powerfully, the Spirit of God accompanying what is spoken, and rendering it the power of God unto salvation to those that attend : That place where the most good is done, where the greatest numher of sinners are converted to God, and those that are converted

are built up in holiness : That place where the greatest number of real Christians and spiritual worshippers assemble to hear the word of God, and join together in prayer and praise; and where the Lord most manifests his presence, displays his glory, and pours out his Spirit ;-That place (I say) undoubtedly exceeds other places in glory, even though it should have nothing external, as to beauty or ornament, or even commodiousness belonging to it.

13. My dear brethren, it will fill your hearts with gratitude, to look back and see that your last house was not without its glory in all these respects. There the pure word of God was (I hope) fully and clearly preached, and that with a measure of divine power accompanying and rendering it effectual to the conversion, edification, and comfort of many souls. There many that were ignorant received instruction, many that were guilty received forgiveness, and many that had long lived in all. manner of vice and profaneness, were " created in Jesus Christ unto good works," and have since that time “ adorned the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things.” Some of these (who would have rejoiced to have seen what we see this day) have already finished their course, and are now with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God; and others are here present at this time, and can bear witness to the truth of what I

say. 14. But though in these respects, the former house was glorious, excuse me, if I this day express a hope that this latter house will exceed in glory. If I did not fear it might have the appearance of boasting, and if I did not think it better to let the event speak for itself in this case, I would proceed to give you some reasons of this hope. I would say that the preachers, as a body, for whose use this place is intended, are much advanced in knowledge and experience, and that from hence one may reasonably expect the gospel will be preached by them more purely, fully, and clearly, than it was years ago. I trust also that many of them are grown in grace, and in a conformity to their living head, whence one may hope their word will be attended with more power, and will be made a greater blessing. I might observe, that this house being much larger than the other, affords a larger field to labour in, and makes room for a greater number of sick and disordered souls than could get admittance into the other comparatively small place, that they may receive a cure and recover spiritual health. The consequence of this will be, more true worshippers will assemble here than attended at the former

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