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University of California, 


Received October, 1894. 
Accessions iVo.JT^^f y?.- Class No. 







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TVTir'-i;i7 vrkDv ? TO WIT : 


BE IT REMEMBERED* That on the twenty-fourth day of A pril, in the fifty- 
first year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 
[L. S.] 1827, ELI MEEKER, of the said District, hath deposited in this Office the 
title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as A uthor, in the words 
following, to wit : 
«♦ Sermons, on Philosophical, Evangelical, and Practical subjects. Designed for the 
use of various Denominations of Christians. By the Kev. Eli Meeker." 

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled " An act for 
the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, 
• to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned -," 
and also, to the act entitled " An act supplementary to an act entitled ' An act for the 
encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the 
authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' and ex- 
tending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching histori- 
cal and other print?.'* . R. R. LANSING, C^erfc 

of the^JVorthern District of JVeio-YorJc. 


The following work is designed particularly for 
the use of individuals and families, whose volumes 
are few and whose reading is not extensive. And 
for the purpose of rendering it the more useful, a 
considerable portion of six interesting subjects is 
taken from the writings of men so eminent, that pub- 
lick utility is offered as an apology for thus presuming. 

A few other particulars have been selected from 
other authors. It is hoped the selection of subjects 
and their illustration, will interest many who are not 
professedly pious, as well as edify the most devout 
( hristian. As a large number in this vicinity have 
become subscribers for the present volume with the 
exoectatio 1 of its containing considerable variety, 
exertions have been made not to have them disap- 
pointed. The present and future well-being of man, 
is the object for which these sermons appear in print. 
The author humbly hopes, his labours in preparing 
this work for publication, will in some degree prove 
useful for the promoting of its designed end ; there* 
fore, it is presented to the publick. 

^J^ »!»• 



The original and present state of the world contrasted, 
tjenesis i. 31. And God saio every thing that he had madey and behold it 
wcLs very good. ...,--. ^ 


Identity of the human race. 
Acts xvii. 26. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell 
on all the face of the earth. ...... 20 


Man urged to act worthy of his dignified nature. 
1 Kings ii. 2. Show thyself a man. ... - - 33 


Envy one of the basest passions of the human breast. 
Esther V. 13. Vet all this availtth me nothings so long as 1 see Mordecai 
the Jew^ sitting at the king's gate. .... ^ 43 


Reflections on the devotion of the higher order of intelligences, 
isaiah vi. 2. fVith twain he covered his face., and with twain he covered 
hisfhet^and with twain he did fly. . . . . - 59 


Little things blight the fairest prospects of man. 
Solomon's Song ii. 15. Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the 
vines, for our vines have tender grapes. .... 70 


Man admonished of his duty by inferiour creatures. 
Proverbs vi. 6. Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be 
wise. ........ 81 


Human activity, a means of obtaining blessings from God. 

Mark iii. 5, Stretch forth thine hand. .... 94 


The value and use of money, 

Ecclesiastes x. 19. Money answereth all things. . . . 107 



The service of God and Mammon impossible. 
Matthew vi. 24. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. . . ,118 

Desirable effects of a preached gospel. 
Mark xvi. 15- Oo i/c into all the world., and preach the gospel to everj/ 
creature. . * , . . . , . , igf) 


Joseph's affection, seasonably manifested, worthy of imitation. 
Clenesis xv. 4. / am Joseph^ your brother. . . , . \42 


A vain curiosity reproved. 

^ohn xxi. 22. What is that to thee ? follow tfuru me. . ^ , 168 

Zion's trials and prospects. 
Psalm xlviii. 12. Walk about Zion^ and go round about her; tell the towers 
thereof. •••••.,, 165 


Origin of the Christian name, and success of Christianity. 
Acts xi. 26. The disciples were called Christians first at Anlioch. . 176 


Man fearfully and wonderfully made. 

JPsalm cxxxix. 14. / am fearfully and wonderfully made. . . 188 

True religion all important. 
Isaiah xxviii. 20. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself 
on it^ and the covering narrower than that he can. wrap himself in it. . 219 


Neglect of present duty the ruin of man. 

J Kings XX. 40. And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. 231 


The path of human happiness. 

Psabn iv. 6. 'There be many that say. Who will show us any good ? . 24Q 


Little things make up the character of a man. 
Luke xvi. 10. He that is faithful in that which is leasts is faithful also in 
much : and he that is unjicst in the least, is unjust also in mueh. , 251 


On Justification. 
Romans iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption 
that ts in Christ Jesus, . * . »^ . 



Death and the intermediate state, 
kcclesiastes xii. 1. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it VMS ; and 
the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it. ... , 299 


The resurrection of the human body, and wonderfully glorious change. 
1 Corinthians xv. 53. This corruptible must put on incorruption ; and this 
mortal must put on immortality. ..... 329 


Ministers of the gospel, encouraged to hold forth variety as a prominent 
trait in their publick discourses. 
Matthew xiii. 52. Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of 
heav&n^ is like unto a man that is a householder^ which bringeth forth out 
of his treasure things new and old. ■ . . . . . 350 

Explication of the term Nature. ..... 397 

Explication of the term Law. . ' . . . . .399 




Genesis i. 31. 

And God saw every things that he had made^ and^ hehold^ 
it loas very good, 

jL HESE words present us with the view which the 
Lord had, when his works of creation were com- 
pleted. And they are represented to be glorious and 
excellent; worthy of a Being supremely wise and 
good. Mankind readily discern and acknowledge 
that some of the divine works bear evident marks 
of divine goodness; and they are ready to conjecture, 
that some are not stamped with wisdom nor benevo- 
lence. But the Creator himself has declared them 
all not only to be good, but to be very good. All 
the works which God created, in six days, have, in 
the view of infinite wisdom and goodness, been con- 
sidered as superlatively excellent; and as such they 
are announced to man, who should view them in 
the same light. Doubtless, one reason, why man- 
kind are no more astonished and affected with the 
displays of the wondrous goodness of God in his 
works of creation, "s, that they have such limited 
or scanty views of the divine works, consequently 
they are unable to discern to a very great extent 
the supremely benevolent design. The more any 
one becomes acquainted with cause and effect, and 
the more he is enabled to search into the nature of 
things, so far as man is capable, by contemplating 
the works of nature; the more is he led to see and 
admire infinite wisdom and goodness. 



Another reason, why many do not see, that every 
thing which the Lord has made, is very good, is, 
that they confine their views to the world and its 
inhabitants as in a state of condemnation and not 
in their original state. They do not consider how 
very different the appearance and reality of things 
were, before the flood, and especially before the 
entrance of sin ii^to the world. The earth and every 
thing that pertains to it, are materially changed and 
under the curse of God in consequence of the sin 
of our first parents and of the sins of the world. By 
contrasting the present and the original stale of 
God's works of creation, our views may be enlarged 
concerning the divine goodness. Let me repeat the 
words of the text: " And God saw every thing that 
he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Thus 
the great Creator viewed his works, on the sixth 
day, when the heavens and the earth were finished, 
and all the host of them. They not only as a stu- 
pendous system exhibited the wisdom and goodness 
of God, but every part both in the natural and moral 
creation was admirably designed to manifest the 
being and perfections of Jehovah. Infinite wisdom 
and benevolence devised the wondrous scheme; and 
almighty power gave existence. As the Lord is by 
nature invisible, so the manifold works of creation 
are the book of nature, in which finite intelligencies 
may read, and form consistent and exalted views of 
his true character. In the illustration of the present 
subject, but few things can be noticed. The object 
will be to show, that the original state of the world 
both in a natural and moral point of view, was far 
more excellent and desirable than the present. Scrip- 
ture, reason, and probability are to be the aids to 
establish the point. Man and his varied situations 
and relations will constitute the chief part of this 
discourse, though not exclusive of the material 
world and the animal creation. 

1st. The goodness of God will appear very con- 


spicuous, if we consider the soul of Adam, the father 
of the human race, in its original state, as he was 
created on the sixth day. As the soul of man is 
the most excellent part of any of the works of this 
lower world, so we should naturally conclude, that 
it would he the nearest resemblance of ^its Author. 
And with such a conclusion the following, scriptural 
account is in entire accordance. So God created 
man in his own image ; in the image of God created 
he him. The Lord is a Spirit, or an intelligent 
Being, whose understanding is infinite. The soul or 
intelligence of man is finite, a mere image of the 
omnipresent, invisible Jehovah. And as the Lord is 
infinitely holy, and most righteous in all his ways, so 
we are taught, that God, made man upright. Thus 
all mankind bear the natural image of their Maker, 
as they are intelligent beings; and our first parents 
were created after his moral image in a state of 
perfect holiness. How happy then must have been 
such a state ; how much resembling that of the holy 
and blessed angels. The soul of Adam was doubt- 
less more capacious than that of any of his offspring; 
and his means of improvement arid advancement 
must have been far superiour to those of any of his 
fallen race. This is evident from the consideration, 
that sin introduces natural evils, mental as well as . 
bodily. Whether our first parents had a language, 
suited to their original state, implanted in their very 
natures, and innate ; or whether the Lord thus fur- 
nished them in a supernatural manner, we cannot 
tell. However, that they had such a language and 
correspondent knowledge, reason would teach as 
w^ell as scripture. The description, of Adam's giv- 
ing names to all the animals of the earth, will throw 
much light on this subject. Out of the ground the 
Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every 
fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam, to see 
what he would call them : and whatsoever Adam 
called every living creature, that was the name 

i'2 SERMON I. 

tiiereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to 
the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. 
The idea which . some entertain, that Adam though 
very happy, had but little knowledge, is entirely 
groundless, and every way inconsistent. It is 
founded perhaps on the expression of Satan, '• Ye 
shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." But what 
must be the proper import of such a temptation ? 
Truly this. Eat of the forbidden fruit, and your 
extensive knowledge and enlarged views will be su- 
pernaturally augmented; and ye, who are but little 
lower than the angels, will at once be equal to them. 
The serpent, from dread experience, knew, that the 
suggestion of the highest possible attainments of 
knowledge, would be the most likely to excite am- 
bition in the heart of one of a capacious mind, and 
of clear and sublime views. Aspiring to be gods, 
angels fell; aspiring to be angels, man rebelled. 
But the race of Adam have souls inferiour to him, in 
consequence of the diseases both of the mind and 
of the body. How extensive the capacity, how great 
the knowledge, how holy and happy must have been 
our first parents, whilst in that blessed situation, the 
garden of Eden ! When we consider the soul of 
Adam in a state of innocence, a living, holy image of 
its Creator, the divine goodness shines conspicu- 
ously ; for the Lord himself saw, that it was made 
very good. 

2nd. If we compare the human body in its original 
state and present condition, the divine wisdom and 
goodness will be very manifest. No doubt Adam 
had the most regular, bodily form, and the most 
beautiful and interesting countenance of any mere 
man, that ever lived. Then, not only the human 
soul, but the human body, was in a state of per- 
fection. Then, was man the immediate offspring 
of God, and he breathed air so pure, that his 
body was not subject to sickness and mortality. 
By reason of sin every manner of disease and 


death itselt' have entered the world. Hence, 
the beauty, vigour, and activity of the human body 
are greatly degenerated. Irregular forms and fea- 
tures, constitutional diseases and the prevalent dis- 
tempers of mortals, finally all bodily infirmities, are 
the effect of human apostacy. This, and more than 
this, is implied in the expression, dust thou art, and 
unto dust shalt thou return. Human bodies are be- 
come corrupt by irregular, sensual desires, by sinful 
passions and vitiated appetite. Al^ the affections 
and passions of man in his original state were for 
good ; and his reason and appetite were in perfect 
unison. But how sadly reversed the present state ! 
Constitutional sins originate chiefly from the irregu- 
larities of the human body; hence the minds of 
many are excited by what is denominated the right 
eye sin from some of the defects or irregularities of 
the animal frame. Many have their minds greatly 
beclouded and deprest nearly all their days, on the 
account of some local complaint, or perhaps a va- 
riety of bodily maladies. But the healthful and 
vigorous body of 4dam, and the perfect state of the 
various senses, would be almost constant inlets of 
entertainment, and sources of joy. Had he not 
apostatized from God, his body would never have 
fallen a prey to death, but would probably have been 
translated, or instantly changed into a spiritual body, 
like the bodies of Enoch and Elijah, and like the 
change that shall be produced in those, that shall be 
on the earth, at the time of the sounding of the last 
trump. Originally the human frame was a most 
beautiful temple, containing a perfect, human soul. 
But now it is a decaying tabernacle, inhabited by a 
degenerate, apostate spirit. Not only was the soul 
of man made after the image of God; but a most 
perfect human body was formed to be its suitable 
companion and partner. This is fairly infered from 
the expression, behold, it was very good. Then we 
may see, that far more excellent and desirable was 


the original than the present state of the corporeal 
system, and how conspicuous the goodness of God ! 

3rd. The world itself in its original state was pro- 
nounced superlatively good, and as such should be 
viewed by man. The earth in its pristine state was 
a globe beautifully formed, and well calculated for 
the support of animals, and for the convenience of 
man. In its present state it is greatly altered, and 
wonderfully changed from what it once was. Its 
surface is far njore irregular and rugged, than it was 
whea pronounced very good. Inundations and earth- 
quakes have made havock with certain parts of the 
world. The flood especially has desolated the 
whole surface, and produced many dreary mountains 
and awful gulfs. We read of high hills and moun- 
tains, before this catastrophe; but they would not 
compare with the present. They would not be too 
fstately to render a most agreeable variety either to 
charm the eye, or to be most productive. In con- 
sequence of sin not only the moral but the natural 
world is greatly degenerated ; for the earth itself is 
cursed for man's sake. We may well bless the Lord, 
that we have the earth, his foot stool, even in its 
present state for our abode ; but, yet, how must it 
once have been far more excellent and most desirable. 

4th. The condition of man and all things around 
him were originally very good; but in his present 
state they are greatly reversed. Adam had a garden, 
whose soil was most fertile; and all the requisite 
labour would only serve to render him healthy, 
active, and cheerful. Delightful his situation ! for out 
of the ground made the Lord God to grow every 
tree, that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. 
Though we frequently behold the face of nature 
clothed with verdant beauty ; yet its scenery was 
once far more beautiful and delightsome. But how 
are labour and vexation, sorrow and grief, now 
visible throughout the world, which lieth in wicked- 
ness. Awfully true the denunciation, Cursed is the 


ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it^ 
all the days of thy life : Thorns also and thistles 
shall it bring forth to thee ; and thou shalt eat the 
herb of the field : In the sweat of thy face shalt 
thou eat bread, till thou return unto the groundo 
Then the unpleasant excesses of climate, and the 
infected atmosphere are a judgement from heaven 
for man's transgression. For the same reason the 
beasts become savage towards one another and 
towards man. How submissive were they and inof- 
fensive before the fall! Now, many of them are ready 
to destroy man, the lord of this lower world; and 
they fear him not only for his intelligent countenance 
but also for his wicked looks. The beasts of the 
field and even the elements are now hostile and set 
in array against him. When considering the mani- 
fold miseries of this life, does any one imagine, that 
the divine goodness is greatly eclipsed ? This sub- 
ject will teach him to contemplate the world and all 
things therein, on the sixth day, when the Lord 
pronounced them all very good. Then will he be- 
hold the beauties and wonders of paradise; and the 
same state would have continued to this day with 
glorious improvement, had not sin entered this worlds 
The evils and direful calamities of this life must not 
be a reproach to the divine goodness but to man. 
His revolt from his supreme Lord has immersed him 
in all the miseries of this life and exposed him to 
the woes of the life to come. But notwithstanding 
the sins of the world, through the divine grace, mercy 
and forbearance of God, how manifold is the divine 
goodness, what a continued series of varied favours 
does heaven confer even on the evil and unthankful. 
Yet how much brighter was the original state of 
things, when all were perfection, were superlatively 
excellent in the view of God. 


1st. If this subject has reflected some light on the 
works of creation concerning the goodness of God, 

ii> SERMON (. 

then it may be proper to make a liew observationb 
concerning the necessity and excellence of divine 
revelation, which will be a farther manifestation of the 
divine goodness. When we consider, that the great, 
first cause has not only given existence to matter, but 
also to mind, we may conclude, that a revelation from 
God to man is possible. Surely he, who created 
intelligent beings, can reveal himself to them, or ex- 
cite ideas in their minds by his immediate ageficy 
without the intervention of means or second causes. 
The same power, which created the human mind by 
an immediate, positive agency, can furnish the mind 
with clear and distinct ideas by the same agency, 
which is implied in the term, revelation. And truly 
a revelation from God to man is very desirable. Our 
first parents, in a state of innocency, might reason 
from the works of creation and providence, that their 
Creator is great, powerful, intelligent, and benevolent; 
and that they ought to love a being so glorious and 
munificent. But, without a revelation from God, it 
does not appear, that they would know, how they 
should worship him, that they might express their love 
in the most suitable manner: Neither could they know, 
whether their Creator designed them for immortalit}'. 
And, if they should believe this, they could not tell, 
w^hether this world would be their eternal home, or 
whether they should enter another state of existence. 
When they felt hunger, they might draw some rational 
conclusions, that it w ould be lawful for them to par- 
take of the fruits of the earth for their support ; but 
could they safely infer, that they might take the beasts 
of the field for food ? How could they determine with 
certainty, that the animals of the earth, although in 
different grades below them, were not rational, ac- 
countable, and immortal creatures ? Even in the 
primitive state of uprightness a revelation w^as de- 
sirable and needful : but far more so, since mankind 
are in a fallen, blinded, and ruined condition ; for it 
makes known the only possible way of salvation. 
Would we be sensible of the great importance of a 


divine revelation, we should not only turn our thoughts 
to those who enjoy it, and all the advantages arising 
from it; but we should contemplate the deplorable 
situation of those, who are destitute of its enlight- 
ening influence. That many of the nations or tribes 
of the earth, are, at present, in a benighted, forlorn 
condition, no person of information can deny, and 
the same might be said concerning all past ages. 
When we consider the strange worsliip of Heathen 
nations, and their base and scandalous sacrifices, for 
the making of an atonement for sin, that they may 
pacify their offended deities, we have existing evi- 
dence of the necessity of a divine revelation to point 
out to lost man the way of salvation. Without such 
a divine gift, fallen, guilty man could not certainly 
tell, whether a holy and righteous God could forgive 
sinners ; or, if he could, whether he would grant 
pardon, and on what terms. They could have no 
certainty merely by repenting; and they could not 
possibly tell what atonement would be necessary. 
This required wisdom far beyond that of men or of 
angels. Moreover the contents of the sacred wri- 
tings serve to evince their divine original. The 
things revealed are perfectly credible and consistent, 
and form an extensive and harmonious scheme. The 
doctrines and duties revealed are not repugnant to 
the law of nature, but consonant to reason and con- 
science. Finite, short sighted man may imagine, 
that the sacred volume contains many unnecessary 
things, that are not worthy to be included in a reve*. 
lation from God. But, although some make objections 
to the sacred writings, because they do not exactly* 
accord to their notions; nevertheless they do the 
same concerning the works of creation and provi- 
dence. And as they do not see the wisdom of many 
of the works of nature, hence an argument may be 
derived in favour of the authenticity of the sacred 
writings ; because they were given to man gradually 
arid analagous in a manner to the other works of God. 



Also from the fulfilment of prophecies may be derived 
a convincing argument to show, that revelation is truly 
divine. Finite beings can only conjecture, they 
cannot certainly foretell what things or events will 
come to pass. To have a perfect view of futurity, or 
to foreknow the events, which are to take place, is 
the prerogative of Deity. Hence the completion of 
the prophecies carries convincing evidence, that the 
writers were divinely inspired. Many important 
events, and to human view improbable, have been 
foretold and fulfiied, even in the minutest circum- 
stances. Moreover many important miracles have 
been wrought as a confirmation of the reality of reve- 
lation being divine. Miracles were effected on 
publick occasions, and they appealed immediately 
to the senses of men, as this was the highest kind of 
evidence, which could be given or demanded. They 
were wrought for very important purposes, and they 
tended to show, that the messages which the inspired 
penman delivered, were revealed to them from 
heaven, and should be received as coming with the 
declaration and authority of Jehovah. 

2nd. This subject may lead us to see the odious 
nature and destructive tendency of sin. How has it 
changed both the moral and natural world, and what 
dreadful devastations has it made. What a sad 
alteration has it produced in the condition of man, and 
in the very animals as well as in the earth itself Every 
groan, or painful sensation, and all the woes of the 
earth, announce sin to be exceedingly sinful. They 
are not mere calamities sent upon feeble and innocent 
mortals, but the judgements of heaven, upon an 
ungodly world, who seek any thing rather than to 
know^ love^ and serve the only living and true God. 

3rd. How are gratitude and praise due to God. 
What a mercy, that man, ruined by sin, may be 
delivered from its dominion here, and from its curse 
hereafter. What a privilege, that the soul may be 
rsiiewed by grace, enjoy the communion of its maker. 


and, at last, be for ever blessed with the fuhiess of his 
love. Is any one afflicted with the various calamities of 
life ? How should hope beam in his soul, that he may 
be delivered from temporal and eternal evils. How 
should he seek to be an inhabitant of the new heavens 
and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, and 
where all things are in perfection the most consum- 
mate and glorious. Amen, 



Acts, xvii. 26. 

And hath made of one blood all natmis of 7nen for to 
diocll on all the face of the earth. 

X HE word of God is indeed a treasure of goodly 
pearls. In its vast resources may be found the 
richest jewels, and the most costly diamonds. To 
the cultivator of the earth it presents a field of im- 
mense value; and to the merchant, the choicest 
goods, and the most durable riches. To the wise 
are exhibited rich stores of hidden wisdom ; and the 
simple are invited to receive instruction, and lay hold 
on understanding. Beauty and sublimity adorn its 
sacred pages, and invite the scholar to come, improve 
his taste, and attain the highest refinement of his 
mind. In the divine word the hungry soul may obtain 
the choicest food; the weary find rest; and the 
thirsty, drink of the waters of salvation from the 
river of life. The poor may be made rich ; the 
"beggar wear a crown ; and frail mortals be clothed 
with glorious immortality. The sacred writings 
abound with the most able instructions, that we may 
w^isely order our conduct in time ; but their chief 
value must be estimated from those important truths, 
which relate to eternity. All the doctrines and 
duties, taught in the Bible, are harmonious. They 
are all closely connected with each other; and 
necessary to form a complete system, that man may 
be instructed in all those things which may exalt the 
dignity of his nature. And no general truth can be 
taken awaV, without breaking the great chain of 


revelation. In the words of the text, with those in 
connexion, we are taught the identity of the human 
race. God that made the world, and all things 
therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, 
dwelleth not in temples, made with hands ; neither is 
worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed 
any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and 
all things: And hath made of one blood all nations 
of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. These 
words teach us, that all mankind, throughout all the 
world, are of the same origin : Or, in other words, 
That God created Adam and Eve, and that from 
them the whole human race have descended. But 
mankind exist under such differentvarieties of stature, 
of complexion, and of features, that we might be led 
to conclude, they are not all of the same descent, 
had we not the word of God for our guide. In es- 
tablishing the identity of the human race, I shall in 
the first place, contrast some of the peculiarities of 
the human body with the bodies of the animals of 
the eafrth. And the vast difference between them will 
be an argument in favour of human identity, 

1st. The figure of the human body is essentially 
different from all animal bodies. Throughout, it is 
a more completely organized and finished piece of 
divine mechanism. Man, as it respects his animal 
frame, evidently holds the first rank in relation to 
the species of animals. He is distinguished from 
them also in a very striking manner by the erectness 
of His form. See the beasts naturally bending 
towards the earth, as if created for the purpose of 
grovelHng in the dust, and solely its kindred. But 
see man from the erectness of his posture by nature, 
looking towards the heavens, as if of higher birth, 
and destined at last to soar on high. ^^ an infinite 
number of muscles and articulations in the structure 
of the human frame, man is capable of a far greater 
variety of easy movements, and useful purposes, 
than any of the animal tribes, particularly in the 


nicer operations of the arts, without which thej 
could neither have been invented nor practised. 
The human body in its various members, and in the 
symmetry of the whole, exhibits remarkably pleasing 
and elegant proportions. Its adaptation to perform 
delicate and useful operations, plainly evinces the 
intention of the Creator to favour the cultivation of 
all the arts, necessary for the purposes of life, for 
convenience and ornament. The varied clothing of 
the animals of the earth are in direct contrast to 
that of man. All animals are clothed by the gift of 
nature ; but the garments of man are the work of 
art. And this is one mark by which they may easily 
be distinguished. Thus we may be led to see by 
contrast, that the figure and condition of the human 
body are strikingly different from all animal bodies. 
2d. The human countenance is essentially different 
from that of any of the animals. Some animals have 
a visage far more engaging than others. But how 
insignificant the appearance, compared with the 
beautiful and interesting countenance of a 'human 
being. Some animals by their looks discover doci- 
lity; some, cunning; and others, sagacity. But 
intenigence,with far superiour paintings,is delineated 
on the fine and delicate lines of the human counte- 
nance. The variety of ideas and emotions continually 
arising in the mind, communicates to the countenance 
a habit of quick and various ffexibiiity, which renders 
it capable of expressing suddenly upon the features, 
every thought. Says Doctor Smith, expression*, in a 
low degree, belongs even to the animals. This we 
know; for we see them brighten with joy, and gambol 
with pleasure : they languish in sickness, and writhe 
in pain. Their eyes sometimes sparkle with love, or 
flash with rage : and even the tear of distress may 
be seen to roll down their cheeks. But the expression 
of the human countenance is incomparably more 
various than that of any animal. Such is the myste- 
rious union and sympathy between the human soul 


and body, that in the deHcate and flexible human 
countenance, there is hardly the sHghtest movement 
or emotion of the mind, which has not its external 
character or symbol. Thus even the looks and 
features, though a silent, are an impressive language. 
Time will not allow me, to treat of the diversity 
and beautiful intermixture of colour, and its varied 
changes in a human countenance, which, by contrast, 
we discern to be evidently and strikingly different 
from that of any of the animals. 

3rd. The human voice is a criterion, by which man 
may be readily distinguished from any of the animals 
of the earth. Speech is the prerogative of man, and 
of which no animal can be taught to participate. 
Animals can make those varied sounds, which are 
necessary to call their young, or to give them warn- 
ing of their danger. But the power of communi- 
cating thoughts by words belongs to man alone. No 
animal has ever had the faculty of speech ; but all 
the tribes of mankind have enjoyed this gift. Lan- 
guage, as to the characters and structure, is different 
in diflferent nations ; but the great end is the same 
in all, to express the tho'jghts of the mind by words. 
The voice of man, in singmg the praises of his Maker, 
is far superiour to the musical sounds of any animal 
both for melody and sentiment. The birds of the 
air warble their pleasant notes; but they have not 
the power of articulate harmony. Vocal musick is 
impressively instructing, and highly pleasing. Let 
us call to mind some person, that is dumb, or deprived 
the gift of speech, and then we may have some just 
views of the vast superiority, and striking difference, 
which exist between the power of the human voice, 
and those mere sounds of nature, of which animals 
are capable. The gift of speech, with that of musick, 
is one of the greatest blessings both for entertain- 
ment and benefit, ever confered on man, as it 
respects his animal frame. And although animals 
can make sounds, necessary to their situation -, yet 


the human voice is a criterion, by which man may 
be readily distinguished from any of the animals of 
the earth. I shall proceed in the second place, 
dixectly to estabUsh the identity of the human race. 
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for 
to dwell on all the face of the earth. This expres- 
sion teaches us, that all human beings upon the globe 
have the same kind of animal hfe. But the present 
discourse is designed, from natural and moral causes, 
to reconcile those varieties of figure, of features, 
and complexion, which exist among the human 
species. Some of the principal varieties in the 
aspect of mankind will be noticed. And 1 would 
observe in the first place, that the Esquimaux, the 
Laplanders, the Samoiedes, and the northern tribes 
of the Tartars, have their head and breast uncom- 
monly large, the neck uncommonly short, the eyes, 
hands, and feet uncommonly small. The cause is 
doubtless owing chiefly to the climate ; as they live 
in the northern parts of the globe, in which regions 
intense and almost perpetual cold reigns. The 
natural effect of a climate so cold, is to resti'ain the 
growth and expansion of the limbs most remote from 
the centre of warmth and circulating heat in the body. 
The natural consequence is, the size of the hands 
and feet are greatly diminished ; whilst the head and 
breast, which receive the most forcible impulse of 
the blood, will be proportionably enlarged. And as 
the head and breast are so greatly expanded, the 
neck is apparently shortened. Moreover the inhabit- 
ants of those cold regions are habitually raising 
their shoulders to protect their necks from the 
uncomfortable effects of intense frost and cold ; and 
their heads seem to rest on their breast, or sunk down 
even below their shoulders. This appearance is 
what gave rise to the fable of tribes, who had no 
necks. But should any of us be removed to those 
regions of the north, we should readily contract their 
habits, and by the intensity of the cold, should begin 

to be assimilated to them, and in a few generations 
should partake of all their peculiarities. For illus- 
tration, suppose a tree, in a warm climate, to have a 
long and slender body, and very extended limbs. 
Let a young shoot of the same be transplanted to a 
cold climate, and re-produced for a few centuries ; 
the body of the tree would become much shorter and 
thicker, and its branches not so extensively spread. 
In consequence of the unremitted constriction of 
cold, a particular habit of body, or disposition of 
features becomes incorporated into the system, and 
gives a form to the person, and lineaments to the 
features more or less strongly marked, as far as the 
cause is found to operate. On this same principle 
we may account for the dark and brown complexion, 
and the coarseness and roughness of the countenances 
of the inhabitants of the frozen regions. Their 
rough and harsh features are the natural result of 
the corrugations and distortions occasioned by the 
climate. In our own climate when a person is exposed 
to the severities of a bleak, north wind in a severe, 
cold morning, for only one hour, how is his visage 
changed by a momentary roughness and brownness. 
Coarse living, unpolished society, and severity of 
climate are reasons sufficient to account for all the 
peculiarities and irregularities of complexion, fea- 
tures, and stature, which characterize the inhabitants 
of the regions of the north. 

2d. I shall now take a view of some of the fairest 
complexions of any people upon the globe. But such 
inhabitants must be found where climate is congenial 
by its temperature, and where the cultivation of the 
arts and sciences is carried to its greatest perfection. 
Some of the Europeans and the Americans in th6 
United States are intended. Their residence is in 
the northern, temperate zone, where climate is 
favourable to a fair and ruddy complexion; and 
where learning and polished society are calculated to 
produce lively and interesting features in the counte* 



nance. The inhabitants, have by no means, uniformity^ 
in all respects; as their circumstances and opportu^ 
nities are greatly varied in the same country. Some 
local situations, states of society, and modes of living 
are more favourable than others for the exertion of 
the mental powers, for refinement of manners, and 
for forming constitutional habits and complexion. 
And where a people have long cultivated the arts and 
sciences, and refined manners with success, a general 
aptitude becomes hereditary among their descend- 
ants. Thus this influence and these effects will in 
some degree be communicated from posterity to 
posterity. Birth and education not only peculiarize 
different nations, but different societies and families. 
The distinguished privileges, salubrious climate, and 
manner of living, give the superiority of some nations 
over others for stature, features, and complexion. 

3d. The Jews will be next taken into consideration. 
The idea, which some entertain of their existing 
with the contrast of colours white and black, is in- 
correct. It is not proper to divide them into the two 
classes of white Jews and black Jews. They are 
dispersed through every country in the world ; and 
they have four differences of complexion : the fair, 
swarthy, olive, and black. In whatever region they 
are found, they are marked with the common com- 
plexion of the natives. The Jews who live in Britain 
and Germany, and who are the descendants of past 
generations, have an intermixture of a fair and ruddy 
complexion, nearly resembling that of ihe English 
and Germans. Those of Spain and Portugal are 
swarthy, but little varied from the complexion of the 
Spaniards and Portuguese. In Syria, they, like the 
Syrians, are nearly of an olive colour. But in India 
they are said to be black. However, they have not 
the African black, although their complexion is pe- 
culiarly dark. But to what shall we ascribe these 
very different shades of complexion, if not to the 
varieties of climate, manner of living, and other con- 


eomitant circumstances. They are known to be 
descendants of one family, and to have but very few 
intermarriages with other nations. The manner, in 
which the Jews are found to exist in different coun- 
tries and cHmates, may serve to show, that there may 
be great differences of feature and complexion 
amongst mankind even from natural and moral 
causes Hence a strong argument for human identity, 
that all are the descendants of our first parents. 

4th. The blacks of Africa and their descendants 
in other natiorjs, will demand our attention. Their 
sullen and dejected looks^ and their coarsely wrin- 
kled visage present a picture of the effects of a 
fervid sun upon the head and body. The silly and 
idiotick countenance, which is frequently observed 
in the wretched natives of Africa, evinces the effect 
of the pain, and the faintness, occasioned by the 
intense rays of a vertical sun, beating upon them. 
Do they appear inferiour to some, compared with 
our own highly favoured nation ; and scarcely worthy 
to be ranked among human beings ? But what might 
not these degraded creatures be, in a few centuries, 
were they to- possess our situations of climate, so- 
ciety, and mental improvement ? In considering this 
class of mankind, let us consider them as inhabitants 
of the torrid zone, and brought up in poverty of diet, 
degrading ignorance, and filthiness in the manner 
of living, which tend greatly to debase the corporeal 
system, and debilitate the mind. A peculiarity of 
the Africans, which deserves to be noticed, is, their 
hair resembling wool. But universal experience de- 
monstrates, that climate has a powerful effect upon the 
hair, fur, or wool of all animals, to render it coarse 
or fine, spare or thick, according to the temperature 
of the region, in which they are found. Why should 
not similar results be experienced by the human 
race, when exposed in like manner, as are the Afri- 
cans. Neither is this a dire calamity of chance; but 
the care of a benevolent providence appears to be 


exercised towards the natives of this fervid zone. 
Doctor Smith says, The covering of their head is a 
substance that is, properly, neither wool nor hair, but 
somewhat between tfiem which is more comfortable 
to the head than either, it serves to protect the 
brain from the intense ardour of the sun, and does 
not, like hair, imbibe the perspirable moisture from 
the skin, which would render it, in that hot region, 
extremely unpleasant to the feeling, and unsafe to 
the health. The colour and curl of the hair depend 
in a great degree, upon a certain excrescence of that 
secretion in the skin, from which it derives its nutri- 
ment. Also, the evaporation of. a volatile gas, i-en- 
dering the surface quickly dry, and disposed to con- 
tract, while the centre continues distended, neces- 
sarily produces an involution or curling of the hair. It 
may be inquired, How comes the hair of the Afri- 
cans to be so universally black? I answer, other 
tribes or nations of the torrid zone have black hair 
almost universally. 

Another peculiarity, v^hich should be mentioned, 
is the complexion of the Africans being so black, so 
very widely different from that of the inhabitants of 
this country. It should be kept in mind, that the 
colour of the inhabitants of the torrid zone, is gen- 
erally black ; modified, however, by various circum- 
?!tances, such as the elevation of mountains, the 
vicinity of seas, and being open to wholesome or to 
gcorching winds. As we advance towards the equa- 
tor, we discern successively the various grades of 
dark complexion, from the swarthy to the blackest 
hue of the human skin. The features are most 
coarse and harsh in rigorous climates, and in a state 
of savage or barbarous manners, as among the natives 
of Africa. That climate possesses a powerful influ- 
ence on the complexion of nations, we may infer 
from the effect of the solar rays upon the human 
skjn in our own mild and temperate latitude. Take, 
for example, a pair of twins in childhood, of fair and 

SERMON 11. 2d 

ruddy complexion. Suppose them to have so near a 
resemblance to each other as scarcely to be distin- 
guished, even by the mother. The one is continued in 
school, and when out of the house, sheltered from the 
various inclemencies of the weather. But the other, 
spends his childhood in the labours of the field, 
exposed to the excesses of heat and cold. The one, 
in his youth, has the opportunities of Academies and 
a College for his improvement and refinement. The 
other, passes the days of his youth in the occupation 
of a sailor, and in the most barbarous ignorance. 
At the age of twenty, what a contrast of features and 
complexion ! Whilst the one has an interesting coun- 
tenance and delicate fairness, the other is deeply 
tinctured with a rough and Earthy complexion. But 
let the climax be continued. Instead of the partial 
exposure, to which the latter is subjected, by the 
short duration of our summer heats, suppose these 
were continued through the whole year with the 
same intensity. Add to this, that his situation be in 
the ardour of the torrid 3one, to endure the rigours of 
the burning sands, and scorching, infectious winds. 
Moreover, let him be continued a few centuries, by 
progeny, in the interiour of Africa. What would be 
his sad appearance, what his dismal complexion ! By 
this comparison we may be led to conceive, that the 
blackness of the African hue is not greater than 
might be expected trom the force and continuance 
of natural and moral causee. But, besides the dis- 
colouration produced by the direct rays of the sun, 
naturalists inforai us, that the effect of a torrid cli- 
mate is very powerful on the action of the liver, the 
great laboratory of bile in the humaq system. And 
as it is increased in quantity, it is said to heighten the 
black hue of the skin. These observations serve to 
show that the peculiarities of the African race are 
consistent with human identity, or that they are of 
the same blood of the other nations of the earth, the 
descendants from the same first parents. It may be 

30 SEKMON il. 

replied, these arguments would be deemed sufficient, 
if it were not a matter of fact, that our own climate 
does not alter the complexion of the Africans, for 
they continue* to remain black. But our northern, 
temperate climate does materially change the fea- 
tures and complexion of those, of the third and fourth 
generation. Though they hold their blackness, they 
have not that deep, gloomy, and sullen hue, which is 
a characteristick of those, who have lately come from 
Africa. Then if climate and manner ot livir\g do 
effect a change, though but slowly, instead of an ob- 
jection against this subject, it is an undeniable argu- 
ment in its favour. But how long would be necessary 
to re-produce an entire change ? The reversion of 
any constitutional habit, features, or complexion of 
the body, would demand a much longer space of 
time in order fully to counteract them, than the 
acquiring that habit would. If the Africans have 
been one thousand years in reaching their present 
state, probably fifty thousand years would be neces- 
sary to effect a complete reversion. 


1st. This is an instructive and important subject, 
worthy the attention and serious consideration of all 
to whom it is addressed. Does it appear new or 
novel to some ? The subject is as old as the Bible, 
and as ancient as the creation of the first human 
pair. It is as interesting as the present prospects 
and future destinies of human and accountable 
beings to the bar of God. It is deeply interwoven 
and essentially connected with the whole of divine 
revelation. How important is it to have an indispu- 
table line of distinction made between the highest 
grades of the animal creation, and the lowest class 
of human beings. The whole volume of divine 
truth is addressed to man, and whether high or low, 
rich or poor, bond or free, black or white ; all their 
peculiarities of situation have a bearing on the great 


judgement-day. Are any disgusted with the view of the 
debased and humble state and lot of some of the 
human race ? Rather let humility possess their souls ; 
and let them give due praise to the Author of every 
good and perfect gift, for their elevated rank, and 
exalted privileges. It is truly an interesting and most 
solemn reflection, that so many millions of human 
beings as have peopled the globe, and as now dwell 
on all the face of the earth, should have their gene- 
alogy from that once holy and happy pair, whose 
abode was paradise. How vast, astonishing, and 
manifold are the works of God, and how worthy the 
study and admiration of man, who is made after his 

2d. If the identity of the human race is established, 
then all mankind are brethren. They have all the 
same original parents ; are all one family, made of 
the same fellow clay. They all partake of the same 
human flesh and blood; have common wants and 
common interests. They have all the same human 
principles implanted in them by nature; and are each 
one accountable to the same Judge for the improve- 
ment of his talents, and for all his moral conduct. 
Do we sometimes behold a fellow mortal of inferiour, 
bodily and mental accomplishments ? perhaps a black 
slave ? We may well exercise the feelings of com- 
passion and sympathy, for such an one is our brother. 
Blood as precious as ours, runs through his veins. 
He must die : and after death, be an inhabitant of 
heaven or hell, as well as we. Yes, my hearers, as 
we have souls to be saved or lost, so have all our 
fellow mortals, however varied their complexion or 
condition, and in whatever part of the habitable globe 
they live. Then 

3d. How desirable that they enjoy privileges in 
common with us. How friendly, that we should 
reach forth a helping hand, to raise those, who are 
sunk into the lowest depths of human degradation. 
Can we highly prize our privileges, and not feel 

32 SERMON li. 

anxious tliat the destitute enjoy the same blessings ? 
How would the face of the moral world be brightened, 
if all nations and tribes enjoyed the social, civil, and 
religious privileges, which heaven has confered upon 
us. Th^ face of nature would seem to be changed, 
whilst pagans and heathens would be exalted in point 
of privilege. 

4th. My friends^ this subject calls loudly upon us 
for the exercise of gratitude and thankfulness, it is 
God, who has made us to differ from those classes of 
human beings, who are brought into the world under 
circumstances far less favourable. His sovereign and 
gracious providence has placed us amidst a nation 
highly enlightened; whilst some of our kindred, 
grope in civil ignorance, and dismal, moral darkness. 
We may well exclaim in the view both of climate and 
every endearing privilege : Our lines have fallen to 
us in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heritage. 
Contrast our situation with some of the tribes and 
nations of the earth; and then feel the force of the 
expression, Exalted to heaven in point of privilege. 
With weight, then, we are addressed, and this Subject 
demands of us a song of nobler praise. What civil 
and religious liberty do we enjoy; whilst others of 
the same blood, groan under the chains of civil and 
religious bondage. Then let hymns of praise and 
songs of joy abound. Let God be glorified and ex- 
alted in our hearts, to whom alone are praise and 
glory due. Conscience points all the tribes of mortals 
to a God ; but the gospel points out the way to heaven 
with far brighter rays. In time, may our theme be 
gratitude and thankfulness ; and in eternity, may our 
nobler strains be glory to God in the highest for the 
unspeakable blessings we now enjoy. Jimen, 

BEliMON in. 

Man urged to act worthy of his dignifIed nature^ 

1 Kings, ii. 2. 
Show thyself a tnan. 

A HESE words are the charge of a dying father, to 
a surviving son. They were addressed by king David, 
to his son Solomon, who was to succeed him on the 
throne, and be king over Israel. Solomon was, at 
this time, about twenty years of age ; an early period 
for him to enter upon so weighty a charge, as the 
government of God's people. But, as he was endued 
with extraordinary wisdom, David exhorted him to 
show all Israel, though he was but a child in years, 
he was:a man in capacity and attention to business, 
and qualified for the elevated station, to which God 
would shortly raise him. Now the days of David 
drew nigh, that he should die ; and he charged Solo- 
mon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth : be 
thou strong, therefore, and show thyself a man : And 
keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in 
his w ays, to keep his statutes and his commandments. 
This is an address truly worthy, from an aged king 
to a young prince ; and worthy the consideration of 
all human beings. 

The doctrine to be drawn from the words of the 
text, is this : The conduct of man should be such as 
becometh rational and accountable beings. To illus- 
trate the subject, 1 propose first, to point out some of 
the characteristicks of a human being. Second, show 
how human beings should conduct, would they shoW 
themselves men, or act as becometh rational and 
accountable beings. Therefore I proceed in the first 


31 SERMON Ilf. 

place to point oat some of the characteristicks of 
a human being. And I would observe, that the 
terms man and human being are synonymous expres- 
sions, and designate the highest order of being upon 
the earth. An inquiry is sometimes made, whether 
man is an animal or spirit. But a direct, affirmative 
answer, to either of the interrogatives, would not be 
correct. No single term will answer the definition, 
as the two natures, which are essentially different, 
must be uriited to form a correct idea of a human 
being. The impropriety of calling man an animal, 
will appear, when we consider that the soul of man 
is far the most excellent and noble nature. The im- 
propriety of calling him a spirit, may appear, when 
we consider that the idea of a human being, neces- 
sarily includes an animal frame. 

Therefore 1st. Man, or a human being, is com- 
pounded of soul and body, oF intellectual and animal 
nature. Kis soul, as it respects its nature, or its 
natural faculties, is akin to angels. It is made lower 
than they, both as it respects its station in the uni- 
verse, being placed on the earth, the footstool of the 
Deity ; and as it respects its capacities not being so 
enlarged as those of the angels. Angels are spirits, 
so is the soul of man a spirit, though possessing powers 
and station inferiour to theirs. As it respects the 
body of man, it is a complete animal frame, and is kin 
to the animals of the earth. Its very nature is matter, 
as it is formed of the dust of the earth, is subject to 
pain, disease, and death. In this respect the body 
of man has no pre-eminence over the beasts of the 
earth. Its superiority over them, arises from its 
being of a more delicate, beautiful, and noble frame; 
from its erect posture, its admirable figure, its coun- 
tenance, most expressive; but especially from its 
being a subject of resurrection, and of transformation 
into a spiritual body. Hence, the peculiar propriety 
of calling man the uniting link in the great scale of 
feeing, between the animal world, and the world of 


spirits. Not merely ]>ecause he partakes of the 
natures of both ; but, also, because whilst his supe- 
riour nature is inferiour to the powers above, his 
inferiour nature is superiour to the other animal 
natures upon the earth. As the body of man consists 
of various members and senses, capable of performing 
the actions and offices, suited to its corporeal nature; 
so the soul consists of several faculties, which sustain 
and discharge a variety of offices, suited to its intel- 
lectual nature. Divines make some variation in 
tiie enumeration of the several faculties of the human 
mind. Some class them in the following order: per- 
ception, reason, judgement, and will. Others into the 
following : perception, memory, reason, and con- 
science. An inquiry and dispute have long existed, 
respecting the part of the animal frame, in which the 
soul is seated. Some maintain, that it has its seat or 
place in the brain, as that is peculiarly the seat of 
sensation. Others think, that it is seated in the heart, 
as that is peculiarly the seat of allection and will. 
Perhaps, it is impossible to ascertain or point out the 
local situation of the soul in the body. But, its seat 
of influence, even the peculiar seat of the influence 
of its several faculties may be known even by a child. 
Perception, memory, and reason have their seat of 
operation and influence in the head or brain in a par- 
ticular manner ; as is evident, from tlie various ope- 
rations they perform, afliccting, particularly, that part 
of the bodily frame. Conscience has its seat of in- 
fluence in the breast ; as is evident, from the pleasure 
or pain that is experienced, from the discharging of 
its office, in approving or condemning. The heart 
is the seat of alFection, whether of love or hatred ; 
and of the will, whether of good or evil. Having 
made some observations concerning man as a being 
compounded of soul and body, of an intellectua,l and 
animal nature, I would proceed to bring to view, 

2nd. Some of the various and interesting views, 
in which the human soul may be considered. And 

3tj SERMON II!. 

to man, especially, the subject is a pleasing and in* 
teresting theme. That the human soul is a thinking, 
intelligent substance we may readily discern, by 
turning our thoughts to the immediate transactions of 
the mind, or towards those varied, external opera- 
tions of man, which are evidently the effect of intel- 
ligence. Reflections and conclusions, plans and 
schemes, stamped with intelligence, and carried into 
effect, bespeak a designing, inteUigent agent. But 
the human soul is not only endued with intelligence, 
it is gifted with power also. It is the mind, which, 
at its pleasure, causes the muscles to be braced to 
raise the arm, or to move it in any direction. And 
how strikingly is the power of the hum^n soul dis- 
played, in a time of imminent danger ! How sud- 
denly are the body and its members in a posture of 
defence ! How quickly and powerfully exerted ! 

An inquiry is sometimes mnde, Whether the minds 
of mankind are not entirely similar, except that some 
are more capacious than others. But another inquiry, 
with greater propriety, might be made, Are not 
human souls as varied in their native qualities and 
natural dispositions or geniuses, as human bodies 
are ?, Whilst we grant that any peculiar, constitu- 
tional, animal frame has its particular influence over 
the mind, to be consistent, we must grant that any 
peculiar, constitutional frame of mind has its corres- 
ponding influence over the body. We behold some 
minds more moderate and careful than others ; some, 
more hasty and rash; some, more social and engaging ; 
and some, more discerning and profound. And we can 
discern these varied, native dispositions of the human 
mind, in all the varied, constitutional peculiarities of 
the human body. No one can show, that Deity could 
not bring into being as great varieties of mind as of 
matter. Reason and observation unite to convince 
us, that the minds of men are greatly different and 
varied from one another, both as it respects their na- 
tive quality and inherent disposition, The human 

SERMOI^f HI. 37 

tooul is capable of great activity and enjoyment ; and 
it is also subject to fatigue and pain. 4t one time, it 
ascends to the stars in contemplation, and to the 
heavens in enjoyment; at another, it descends to the 
lowest depths of stupour and distress. In the present 
state, it is like the body and all sublunary things, con- 
tinually varying or changing. An inquiry is naturally 
suggested, Why is the human soul said to be immor- 
tal ? One reason is, when the body becomes lifeless 
and inactive, entombed in the silent grave, the soul 
looses not its sensibility and activity. Brought into 
existence not to die, but to survive beyond the end 
of time^ and to flourish in immortal bloom. 

With this view we may conclude, when all the in- 
firmities of disease and tottering old age enfeeble 
the body, the soul does not decline, or fail in point of 
its natural capacity. It is only beclouded for a 
season, from displaying that vigour and lustre, which 
it would do, were its decaying frame changed into a 
healthful and active body. Hence we may discern 
the vast superiority of the one over the other. 

3d. It is a characteristick of a human being to 
be lord of this lower world. By divine appoint- 
ment, not only the vegetable kingdom, but the animal 
world is subservient to man. The birds of the air, 
the beasts of the fieldv and the fish of the sea, are 
under his controul both for his support and con- 
venience. The Lord said to man, The fear of you, 
and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of 
the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into 
your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing 
that liveth, shall be meat for you ; even as the green 
herb have I given you all things. According to this 
divine grant, that reason or intelligence with which 
man is endued, not only renders him far superiour to 
the animals of the earth, but it brings them all under 
his subjection. Although some of the animals are 
far superiour to man in corporeal strength; yet they 
learn obedience to him, and are at his disposal. See 


the horse, that nohle animal, daily serving man for 
his profit and comfort. The generous ox, after per- 
forming the labours of the field, yields his owner his 
flesh as a rich repast. The harmless sheep is 
taken for food and clothing. These examples are 
sufficient to illustrate and show, that man is lord of 
all below. 

4th. Man is a being, capacitated for great and 
noble actions. His capacity both bodily and mental 
have enabled him to rear astonishing and lasting- 
monuments of his power and skill. The labours 
of thousands of individuals are handed down in his- 
tory as wonders to the world. But lofty pyramids, 
vast bridges, extensive w alls and canals, display but 
a small portion of the genius and ability of man. Wc 
must survey every part of the habitable globe, from 
the beginning to the end of time, would we discovei* 
how vast and astonishing are the effects of his wis- 
dom and power. Shall we say, this power has 
founded the most magnificent cities, erected the most 
superb edifices, leveled mountains with plains, and 
turned the course of rivers ? Yea more than this. 
For wheresoever any traces of the art and pow er of 
human beings can be discerned there may we also 
discern the effects of the intelligence and power of 
the mind, which render the body its instrument, which 
bring to its aid all mechanical powers, and which 
effect all the wonders of art aiid labour, that any 
human being has ever beheld. The natural, hterary, 
and moral world can furnish innumerable instances 
of the greatness and nobleness of human conduct, 
which does honour to human nature. Both sacred 
and profane history hand down from posterity to pos- 
terity, examples of human beings truly magnanimous, 
worthy of admiration and imitation. Without bring- 
ing to view any particular names we may readily dis- 
cern, that man is a being capacitated lor great and 
noble actions. 

5th. A human being has capacity for endless prq* 


r/ression in knowledge, holiness, and happiness. A 
being to exist for ever, and to behold more and more 
of the works of God. The pre-eminence of the 
human soul over the spirit of the animal creation, is 
great, both from the consideration of its native, su- 
periour excellence and its immortality. Whilst the 
one goes downward or perishes with the body, the 
other goes upward, for ever expandmg in eternity. 
Arguments from reason and analogy may be drawn, 
to show that the future existence of human beings 
will be far more enlarged and dignified than the 
present. All the transformations of vegetables and 
animals in the present state, sferve to confirm this 
idea. And as the human body is to be transformed 
into a spiritual, glorified body ; so will the human 
soul be advanced vvith it, its faculties enlarged, dig- 
nified, and suited to its exalted state, flence man is 
capacitated for endless progression in knowledge, 
moral excellence, and felicity, which is the perfec- 
tion and highest dignity of his nature. It is the pre- 
rogative and perfection of Deity, to be infinite in 
knowledge, benevolence, and blessedness. And it is 
the perfection and highest glory of created intelli- 
gences to be capable of endless improvements, and 
to resemble more and more the Author of their 
being. Having pointed out some of the character- 
isticks of a human being, the way is prepared to 
show in the second place. How human beings should 
conduct, would they show themselves men, or act as 
becometh rational and accountable beings. 

And I would observe the first thing they have to 
do, is to cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Tfiere 
are none, who have not gone astray, for the word of 
God asserts. The whole world lieth in wickedness. 
And how does it become man to refrain from every 
ignoble and debasing act, which degrades his nature, 
and to cultivate all manly and noble virtues, which 
are consonant to his important station. Let him 
that has stolen, steal no more. Let those^ who im- 


prudently iiave wounded the feelings oi* a friend, or 
injured their neighbour or themselves by theit evil 
ways, be watchful for the future. Whether mankind 
have transgressed in a greater or less degree, the 
voice of wisdom calls to immediate reformation. 
Aged sinners and bold transgressors may well for- 
bear; and surely, since youth are rational and 
accountable beings, they should readily turn from 
that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good. 

2d. Would mankind show themselves men, they 
should be honest in their dealings with one another. 
It is a common proverb, that honesty is the best 
policy. This may be a good reason for uprightness 
in the common transactions of life ; but a still better 
one can be ^iven. It is morally fit and suitable, that 
we should regard the welfare of others as our own. 
Whatever reasons we can allege in behalf of our 
own welfare as it respects the comforts of this life, 
the same can be alleged in behalf of the welfare of 
others. They have wants in general with our own 
selves ; and have as delicate sensibility of pain and in- 
jury when wronged or defrauded. And unjust dealing 
often brings natural evil, as well as moral guilt. Peace 
of conscience, individual happiness, and the publick 
good, demand all men, not only to look to their own 
welfare, but also to that of others. In all the com- 
mon contracts and pursuits of mankind towards each 
other, would they consult mutual benefit, hoW many 
evils would be banished from the world. Peace, 
prosperity, and moral fitness call for uprightness 
between man and man in theij daily intercourse. 
And since they are rational and accountable beings^ 
they should ever be mindful of the golden rule, As 
ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even 
so unto them ; for this is the law and the prophets. 

3d. Temperance becometh rational and accounta- 
ble beings. It is not my design in this place to bring 
to view the loathsome spectacle of persons in the 
most degrading state of intoxication. Neither to 


ilraw a picture of wretchedness in consequence of 
fortune squandered, and families reduced to extreme 
poverty. It is sufficient, to hint upon the liuman wo 
with which earth is filled in ten thousand ways, in 
consequence of profuse, excessive intemperance. It 
may he observed, that the Lord designs that man 
should eat, and drink, and enjoy the good of his labours 
But to abuse the divine bounty, by daily excessive 
eating or drinking, is not only sin against God, but 
destructive to happiness and ruinous to the souL In- 
temperance, though not carried to the greatest excess, 
is a barrier to the most refined feelings of literary and 
social life, and a shield to prevent divine truth from 
having its proper force on the mind. The truly tem- 
perate, have superiour advantages of present com- 
fort and usefulness. Duty, present enjoyment, peace 
of conscience, and prospects of futurity, call upon 
man as a rational and accountable being, to live tem- 

4th. Those, who would show themselves men, will 
be careful to avoid evil speaking. Speech is one 
of the great means of communicating ideas from man 
to man ; and various are the arguments, and powerful 
the motives, which might be offered to dissuade from 
slander. It should be avoided ; for it is a great per- 
version and abuse of the tongue. This little, but 
important member, was designed for social and inte- 
resting conversation, to promote the dearest interests 
of society, and to proclaim the praises of the Author 
of nature. But how lamentable the perversion, 
when it is drawn forth to slander, instead of giving 
counsel to the ignorant and wandering, of encour-. 
aging the timid, of consoling the afflicted, and pro- 
moting the peace and happiness of individuals and 
community. Shall it be said. That Words are a cheap 
gift } And shall not they be granted, when they can 
promote human felicity in ten thousand ways ? Or 
shall evil speaking be indulged, and shoot forth in-, 
etruments of cruelty, like fire-brands, arrows, and 



death ? Man should refrain from the practice, as it 
manifests a low and base spirit, and is the dialect of 
the region below. When any one is active, in exag- 
gerating the faults or failings of others, and of 
spreading them abroad, a low mind is characterized. 
A man of noble mind and generous sentiments, 
would rather commend, than defame his neighbour. 
His liberal soul would shrink, at the thought of the 
painful and degrading task. Moreover, those who 
are addicted to evil speaking, are generally paid by 
retaliation. They who are censorious and bitter 
towards others, have the same measure meted out to 
them again, and frequently pressed down and run- 
ning over. If the person injured, should not retali- 
ate, yet others see the failings, and will publish the 
faults, of those who render their tongues instruments 
of injury to their fellow men. Then from motives of 
policy, a prudent man would guard his tongue against 
slander, lest he be repaid in the same base coin. 
Evil speakers destroy their own peace and comfort. 
They frequently reproach in the heat of passion. But, 
in time of cool reflection, how are they frequently 
pained with keen, self mortification. When they 
behold the person, whose interest they should have 
viewed with tenderness, but whose character they 
have sought to injure, how will shame and conscious 
guilt fill their breast, bite like a serpent, and sting 
hke an adder. Thus inward peace is destroyed, 
which is of more value than rubies. They who are 
ready to seize every opportunity to speak evil of 
others, will find no time for their troubled souls to 
rest. They may discover so many faults or faihngs 
amongst mankind, that before they have thoroughly 
circulated one slanderous report, they will be hurried 
with another. Every man should ever be careful to 
guard his tongue, from the consideration that the 
pernicious effects of evil speaking on individuals and 
community, can never be remedied. They, who pub- 
li(?kly injure others by slander, put it beyond their 


power to prevent the injury from spreading, even if 
thej should truly repent of their evil conduct. Like 
the main-spriilg of a watch, or like the principal 
wheel in some complicated machinery, which moves 
various other wheels, so one tongue frequently 
excites to motion ten thousand other tongues. And 
what is the ability of a slanderer, even though pen- 
itent, to prevent the evils which he has done, from 
spreading wide, like a raging pestilence? How 
pleasing, how benignant, how extensive are the goodly 
effects of speech, when properly directed. But how- 
sad, how melancholy, how pernicious its devasta- 
tions, when perverted. 

5th. Would men conduct as becometh rational 
and accountable beings, they will not take the name 
of the Lord in vain. Profanity is a sin highly pro- 
voking to God, and offensive to every serious or re- 
fined mind. No person, who continues in a course 
of profane swearing, has any ground to expect for- 
giveness of his transgression. Hear the injunction ; 
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God 
in vain ; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that 
taketh his name in vain. It w ould be painful to hear 
the name of a worthy friend used on every trifling 
occasion, in a foolish and disgusting manner. But 
how guilty, how hardened must he be, who with the 
greatest levity will trifle with the sacred names of 
the supreme Being ? Rather let horrour seize the 
soul, and confusion cover the face of a human being, 
than that the lips should belch forth cursing and 
blasphemy. Perhaps we may expect to hear the 
drunkard and abandoned profligates bid defiance to 
heaven, and profane the name of God ; but shall 
persons of refined manners, shall parents, shall magis- 
trates be guilty of profane swearing? Then shall 
the land mourn', and the prospects of the rising gene- 
ration be darkened. How foolish and wicked, how 
unbecoming and degrading to a rational accountable 
being, is the taking of the name of the Lord in vain. 


6th. They, who would show themselves men, will 
be forbearing towards one another. Who is there, 
who does not need the forbearance of his fellow 
men ? Or who is there, who has never transgressed, 
or never injured any of his fellow mortals ? Unless 
one can be presented, who is perfectly free from 
censure in all his ways, the duty is universally bind- 
ing. But how does the world abound with offences 
from faults and failings; and how suitable the exhor- 
tation. Be ye kind, forbearing one another in love. 
Without mutual forbearance, the sweets of social 
life would be greatly embittered and society dis- 
solved. How compassionate, forbearing, and long- 
suffering is the Lord towards a sinful world! Well, 
then, may frail, mortal man, both from interest and 
duty, be forbearing towards his fellow mortal. 

7th. Human beings should not consider it beneath 
their dignity to reverence and worship their Cre- 
ator. Shall beings, bound to the judgement^ar of 
God, cast off fear and restrain prayer before him! 
Shall holy angels fall prostrate and worship day and 
night continually in his presence ? And shall man 
exclaim. What is the Almiglity, that we should serve 
him ; and what profit should we have, if we pray 
unto him? Be astonished, O heavens! And tremble. 
Dearth! Not only revelatioh, but the light of nature^ 
yeason, and conscience, call upon all human beings 
to show themselves men rational and accountable, 
and to reverence and worship their Creator and 
final judge. 

8th. Would mankind conduct as become th rational 
and accountable beings, they will not be ashamed 
to embrace and profess the gospel of the Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ. Since all have sinned, and 
come short of the glory of God, therefore by the 
deeds of the law shall no flesh be .justified in hrs 
sight. But, because salvation cannot flow to man- 
kind as to holy beings who never fell, shall they not 
reioice in the way of salvation by grace, and in the 

dERMON 111. 4/) 


title of redeemed sinners! Rebels may well be 
ashamed of their crimes, which degrade their na- 
tures; but how unbecoming for criminals to spurn at 
the idea of repentance and pardon. The doctrines 
and duties of the gospel are most reasonable; and 
how honourable must they be to make children of 
wrath, heirs of heaven. The crown is fallen from 
the head of man by reason of sin. But it is only 
through the gospel, that he can be crowned with 
glory, honour, immortality, and eternal life. The 
glorious gospel of Je^us Christ is worthy of rich and 
poor, bond and free, noble and ignoble. But shall 
we despise that, which is worthy of all acceptation ? 
Ashamed of Jesus! yes, I may, when I have no sins 
to wash away. Man's highest interest for time and 
eternity, the honour and glory of God, forbid that 
human beings should be ashamed to embrace and 
profess the gospel of the Lord and Saviour Jesus 


1st. From this subject we may infer that a most 
pleasing and sublime idea is necessarily included in 
the contemplation of a human being. What a pre- 
eminence has man over all the creatures of the earth! 
How elevated his station, and how abundant his 
means of improvement and enjoyment. And how 
solemn the thought that a human being is born to 
die, and born for immortality ! That whilst the ani- 
mal frame is mouldering to dust with its kindred 
earth, the soul is with Idndred spirits in a world 
unknown. And what vast sc-*mes will yet be pre- 
sented to every one of the human race. Though 
the eye may never be satisfied with seeing, nor the 
ear with hearing in the present state, yet every soul 
will be satisfied with the vast scenes of the confla- 
gration of the world, the general resurrection, and 
the final judgement day. Must every human being 
be a companion of holy angels or of the spirits of 


darkness for ever? Such a reflection should fill ouj' 
minds with solemnity. The scenery of this life is 
truly wondrous and majestick; but boundless scenes 
await us. Hence the very idea of a human being, is 
a thought of inconceivably vast importance. 

2d. We may see how unwise and foolish all must 
act, who will not show themselves men, by conduct- 
ing as becometh rational and accountable beings. 
A contrary course is attended with vanity and vexa- 
tion of spirit. Departures from the path of rectitude 
and rationality are attended with disappointment, 
pain, and remorse. Human beings, who have reason, 
conscience, and the word of God, for their direction 
in the path of duty and life, must have a painful task, 
to bid them defiance and act irrationally. Surely it 
is a folly for any to continue in sin, merely because 
they have transgressed. And if any feel the weight 
of aggravated guilt, why should they continue to in- 
crease their hardness, and still add to their treasure 
of wrath ? Should any of us at last sink down to wo, 
it will not be merely because we have sinned, but 
because we still persist in iniquity. In view of past 
errours and follies, then let us learn circumspection 
and wisdom for the future. They who refuse to 
conduct as becometh rational and accountable beings, 
cannot meet the approbation of their judge; but 
must reap the fruit of their own doings. 

3d. We may see from this subject, that the re- 
sponsibility of human beings must be great. As 
their station in the great scale of being is elevated, 
so they have opportunity of doing much good, by 
wisely improving the talents entrusted to their 
charge. They who have knowledge, wealth, influ- 
ence, or any other talents, should improve them as 
wise and faithful stewards of their Lord and Master, 
In what station so ever we are placed, we are not 
to act merely with a view to our own ease and inte- 
rest, but for the good of community. Opportunities 
of education and religious instruction, natural and 


acquired abilities, the calls of Providence and con- 
science ; all social, civil, and religious means and pri- 
vileges, v^ill be brought to view^ at the great day of re- 
tribution. And who does not feel that his responsibility 
is great ? Even though some have far more extensive 
opportunities and privileges than others, who can 
say that only one talent is committed to his charge ? 
But whether we spend our probationary state in the 
ways of wisdom or folly, our responsibility will at 
last appear to be great. 

4th. We may see what encouraging and goodly 
prospects to all those who are walking as becometh 
rational and accountable beings. So far as any thus 
walk, so far they pursue the path of true happiness. 
They are pursuing their present peace and comfort, 
and future even everlasting blessedness. They have 
no reason to be weary in well doing, for shortly they 
will hear their Saviour's glorious plaudit. Well done 
good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of 
your Lord. What a glorious recompense of reward! 
We can put no bounds to the knowledge and felicity 
of such, but infinity itself For eye hath not seen, 
nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart 
of man to conceive of the joys which God hath pre- 
pared for those that love him. They will not only be 
for ever free from pain, and complete in bliss ; but 
they will be for ever making nearer approaches to the 
fountain and source of moral excellence and bless- 
edness. After millions of ages shall have rolled 
away, their knowledge 'and joys will rise higher and 
higher. Motives and prospects of infinite weight to 
induce mankind to conduct as becometh rational and 
accountable beings. Amen, 




Esther, v* 13. 

Yet all this availeth me nothings so long as I see Mordecaij 
the Jew^ sitting at the king^s gate. 

X HESE words are the confession of Haman ; and 
they are recorded as a reproof and warning to all 
mankind. The history concerning him and Mordecai 
is a lesson, fraught with instruction, to show how 
sudden aind how great may be the changes either of 
human exaltation, or human abasement. Haman, on 
the one hand, through envy, experienced a most 
degrading fall; and Mordecai, in consequence of 
his uprightness, was raised to very distinguished 
honours. Haman told his friends of the glory of his 
riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the 
things wherein the king had promoted him, and how 
he had advanced him above the princes and servants 
of the king. He said moreover ; yea, Esther, the 
queen, did let no man come iij with the king unto the 
banquet that she had prepared, but myself; and 
to-morrow, I am invited unto her also with the king. 
Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mor- 
decai the Jew, sitting at the king's gate. What then! 
The envious man resolves not only on the destruction 
of Mordecai, but also on the entire extinction of the 
Jews, his kindred. 

My object, in this discourse, will be to show, that 
envy is one of the basest passions of the human 
breast, and dreadful in its*effects. But what is envy ? 


Envy is that atFection of the human heart, which 
grudges to others that respect or prosperity, which is 
supposed to attend them. Or envy may be said to 
be a sensation of uneasiness and disquiet, arising 
Irom a selfish heart, in view of the advantages of 
others, and accompanied with malignity towards 
them. Rachel envied her sister Leah, because of 
her fruitfuiness. Joseph's brethren envied him, be- 
cause his father loved him. Saul envied David, 
because he considered him as a competitor for the 
crown. Haman envied Mordecai any honour, 
because he hated him. And the Jews envied Paul 
and Barnabas, because they preached the gospel. 
But the nature and effects of envy will be more 
clearly pointed out, by showing from various consid- 
erations, that mankind should not harbour this monster 
in their breast. 

1st. They should guard against envious feelings 
towards one another ; because they are unreasona- 
ble. As it respects moral motives and actions, it is 
the province of reason to point out the advantages 
or disadvantages of any course of moral conduct. 
But what are the benefits arising from eavy^ either to 
individuals or community ? Surely neither envy nor 
its Operations were any real gain to Haman or his 
friends. The same melancholy truth may be said 
concerning every individual, who has been guided 
by envious feelings. The brethren of Joseph, Saul^ 
and Haman, had sad experience to convince them;> 
that envious feelings and envious treatment of others, 
were most unreasonable. And at the present day, 
they who cherish a spirit of envy towards others, 
whether towards those whom they hate, or towards 
their enemies, will, to their cost, reap the reward of 
unreasonable doings. To envious men the advanta- 
ges of others, prove their disadvantage. Why was 
not Haman contented ? and why did he not richly 
enjoy the favours confered on him ? One reason he 
kssigns in the words of the text: All this availetb 



me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai, the Jew, 
sitting at the king's gate. 

2d. We should not be rmvious towards others ; 
because, this spirit reigns only in low, selfish minds. 
A person of a gen»^rous and noble disposition, will 
rejoice at tlie prosperity and felicity of others ; but 
an isfnoble and envious soul is grieved and chagrined 
in view of their success and happiness. Whilst a 
liberal maj exercises sympathy with his fellow men 
in time of their distress, an envious and base man is 
delighted with their calamities. Envy is not conliiied 
to persons of low circumstances in life ; but boasts 
of the rich and great as her votaries. The prosperity 
and elevation of Haman did i.ot secure him from 
exercising envious feeliiigs of the most degrading 
nature, and that in the view of the peace of one 
whom he scorned to notice. But the more elevated 
his station, the more selfish and contracted must be 
his mind, to be tilled with envy towards one whom he 
considered as his inferiour. Those who possess the 
spirit of Haman, have a most selfish spirit. Persons 
of benevolent feelirigs would be glad in view of \%hat 
made him sorry. The enlarged soul is pleased with 
the prosperity of superiours, inferiours, or equals. 
But how contracted must be the mind to be grieved 
and sad in view^ of those things that ought to yield it 

3d. We should guard against envy ; for it is not 
merely against our fellow men, but it is against the 
providence of God. The Lord has not only the keys 
of life and of death in his hand ; but he giveth the 
kingdom to whomsoever he will. It was divine pro- 
viidence, that rendered Josf^ph so beloved by his 
father, and raised him to be governour over all Egypt. 
Therefore his brethren, in envying him, murmured 
against God. It was an invisible hand that raised 
David to the throne, and that caused favour to be 
shown to Mordecai. And Saul and Haman had 
hearts irreconciled to the Supreme disposer of events. 


\V hen any ieel envy rising in their breasts in view of 
the natural talents, rank, or affluence of others, let 
them reflect, that the Lord exalteth, and he casteth 
down. It is the providence of God, that distributeth 
iavours to the righteous and to the wicked. Then 
whether competitors, superiours, inferiours, or ene- 
mies be envied, let the inquiry be made, who hath 
crowned their labours or enterprises with success? To 
be envious towards others in view of their advantages 
or advance neat, is to be unwilling that the Lord should 
reign, and dispose of the works of his hands as seem- 
eth good in his sight. Then why should we ever be 
envious towards our fellow men ; or be uneasy, and 
fret against the providence of God. 

4th. We should guard against an envious spirit ; 
because an envious man is detested by all. Mankind 
abhor the one w^ho cherishes a passion so base in his 
breast. Envy is so evidently repugnant to all reli- 
gious or social enjoyments, that an envious man is 
avoided, disesteemed, and detested. But how is the 
spirit of envy to be discovered ? By the conversation 
and conduct of a man. How easily is the spirit of 
Haman to be discerned? Would any be esteemed, 
let them show their good will towards their fellow 
men; for an envious man is to be shunned, and will 
be abhorred by his fellow men. 

5th. The spirit of envy should not be harboured 
in our breasts ; for it is the very temper of ihe region 
below. In the abodes of wo, where all restraints are 
removed, this deadly monster rages to an awful de- 
gree. But in the land of hope let all the social 
virtues be cultivated ; and let not man endeavour to 
resemble as near as possible the fiends of darkness, 
by yielding his heart an abode for envy. The region 
of wo is filled with envious spirits ; for it has not a 
solitary inhabitant but what is under its dominion. 
Then let not mankind yield themselves its servants ; 
and cultivate the temper of the region below. 

6th. The first risings of envy should be resisted ; 


for it dries up all the comforts of the envious man. 
How did the brethren of Joseph mar their own en- 
joyments by their envy towards him ? This spirit 
excited such hatred in their breasts, that they could 
not speak peaceably with him. Envy laid waste the 
comforts of Saul, although he was clothed with 
royalty. And hear Haman, though in the midst of 
prosperity and grandeur, exclaim, Yet all this availeth 
me nothing, so long as \ see Mordecai, the Jew, sitting 
at the king's gate. The neglect of an individual 
more than counterbalanced all liis affluence, and put 
an end to his enjoyment. ThoTigh a nation trembled 
before him, and did him reverence; yet because this 
Jew refused to bow unto him, envy filled his soul 
with impatience and malice. What a trifling inci- 
dent this, so completely to destroy a man's peace. 
And how in ten thousand ways are envious men liable 
to be discomposed from the most frivolous circum- 
stances. How small a matter can spoil all the satis- 
faction of the envious, even if they have reached 
the summit of human greatness, immense riches, 
glory, and honour, gave not Haman so much pleasure 
as he felt pain from one man's disrespect. How soon 
ai*e all the comforts of an envious man blasted. 

7th. We should guard against envy; because it 
leads mankind to all manner of external crimes. 
What but envy enkindled the breasts of Joseph's 
brethren with the design of taking away his life ! 
Anyhow easily did this spirit persuade them to sell 
their brother to be a slave in Egypt. How did envy 
inflame Saul to seek the life of David, his benefac- 
tor, and to whom more than once he was indebted 
for the preservation of his own life. Haman not 
content with seeking he life of Mordecai, determined 
on the destruction oi the whole Jewish nation. Says 
Solomon in his Proverbs, Wrath is cruel, and anger 
outrageous ; but who is able to stand before envy ? 
It makes mert turn into every debasing, unnatural 
shape to injure others. The wisest and most upright 

SERMON ly. J:i 

persons cannot escape the effects of envy, In the 
Ecclesiastes, Solomon says, 1 considered all travail, 
and every right work, that Ibr this a man is envied of 
his neighbour. 4n envious man would gladly wound 
the feelings of others ; would injure their repu- 
tation, and prostrate with the dust all their goodly 
prospects. No excellence of character, no amiable 
qualities, are a shield to ward off envious weapons, 
and secure from harm; for envy will lead mankind to 
all manner of external acts of wickedness. 

8th. Mankind should not harbour the monster, 
envy, in their breasts ; for it draws down retaliation 
and vengeance on its own head. Let us attend to the 
confession of the brethren of Joseph. And they said 
one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our 
brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, 
when he besought us, and we would not hear : there- 
fore is this distress come upon us. And lleuben an- 
swered them, saying, spake not 1 unto you, saying, 
Do not sin against the child : and ye would not hear ? 
therefore, behold also, his blood is required. When 
their souls were overwhelmed with distress, how 
readily do they impute their sufferings to be in con- 
sequence of their unnatural and envious deed to- 
wards their brother. Divine vengeance pursued 
Cain for slaying his brother x\bel, in a very signal 
manner. It was for envy, that he slew him. But 
God set a mark upon Cain ; and he was a vagabond 
upon the earth. And for his envious and murderous 
act, hear him exclaim in agony of soul. My punish- 
ment is greater than 1 can bear. In these instances 
the divine hand is particularly to be noticed as an 
avenger of envy. But, in others, the hand of man 
more evidently renders vengeance; and frequently 
the very designs which envious people form in order 
to promote tjieir own honour, and to injure others, 
draw down shame and ruin on their own heads. This 
was strikingly exemplified in the affair of Haman and 
Mordecai. Haman thought in his heart. To whom 


would the king delight to do honour more than to m} - 
self? And Haman answered the king, For the man 
whom the king dehghteth to honour, let the royal ap- 
parel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the 
horse that the king ridelh upon, and the crown royal, 
which is set upon his head; And let this apparel and 
horse bedeliv ered to the hand ot'one of the lung's most 
noble princes, that they may array the man withal 
whom the king dehghteth to honour, and bring him 
on horseback through the street of the city, and pro- 
claim before him. Thus shall it be done to the man 
whom the king delightedi to honour. Then the 
king said to Haman, iMake haste, and take the ap- 
parel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so 
to Mordecai, the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate : 
let nothing fail, of all that thou hast spoken. Then 
took Haman the apparel and the horse and arrayed 
Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through 
the street of the city, and proclaimed bel'ore him. 
Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king 
dehghteth to honour. How great must have been 
the mortification of Haman to have all that honour, 
which he had pictured for himself, confered upon 
Mordecai whom he envied and detested. How must 
he have felt himself degraded to be his lackey and 
herald, and to proclaim before him through the street, 
that the king was delighted thus to honour him. And 
now let us turn our thoughts to the gallows of seven- 
ty-five feet in height, which Haman had caused to be 
reared for Mordecai, and contemplate his sad disap- 
pointment. Harbonah said before the king, Behold 
also, the gallows filty cubits high, which Haman had 
made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the 
king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the 
king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged 
Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mor- 
decai. Then let not the monster envy have a resi- 
dence in our hearts ; lest it draw down vengeance on 
our own heads. 


9th. We should guard against an envious spirit, for 
envy prevents the blessings of heaven, and torments 
the soul where it dwells, like death. The spirit of 
grace and an envious spirit, cannot possibly reside 
in the same heart Envy more effectually secludes 
any gracious affections of the soul, than locks and 
bars can secure a castle. Light and darkiiess have 
not a greater contrast than the iiature of the spirit of 
eAvy^ and of that spirit which alone prepares for 
heaven. Envy, Hke a vulture preying upon the vitals, 
is sickness and death to the soul. Says Job, Wrath 
kiileth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one. 
By this expression we are taught, that the inw ard tor- 
ments of envy are death to the soul, as the taking 
away of animal life is the death of the body. Solomon 
says, A sound heart is the life of the tlesh, but envy the 
rottenness of the bones. This expression shows, that 
the mental wounds of envy are deep and destructive. 
Thus it prevents the blessings of heaven, and tor- 
ments the soul where it dwells, like death. 

10th, We should not harbour the direful monster, 
envy, in our breasts, lest it should for ever reign in us 
to a dreadful degree in hell. Surely an envious man 
must be iii the road to death. And by cherishing an 
envious spirit, he is fast preparing as a brand ibr the 
burning. Whilst some men are evidently preparing 
for heaven, so an envious man is emphatically pre- 
paring for hell. Envy is one of the most liery ingre- 
dients of torment in the region of despair; for it is ex- 
ercised in the view of the most consummate felicity of 
all the inhabitants of heaven. All who cherish it are 
preparing to be for ever filled with it, against the bles- 
sed God, and all his saints and holy angels. 


1st, Is envy so evil in its nature, and dreadful in 
its effects, as we have heard ? Then the proverb is 
true. Let envy alone, and it w^ill punish itself. It is 
f^o disquieting, restless, and tormenting in its very na- 


ture, that it needs no opposition to render the en- 
vious person wretched. It is self tormenting ; and in 
its very existence it is inseparably connected with 
iinhappiness. The envious man is not only punished 
in consequence of his evil doings, but he punishes 
himself. Envy, not only as it respects the future, but 
also for the present, biteth like a serpent, and stingeth 
like an adder. All the arguments of this discourse, 
which have been offered to show, that envy is one of 
the basest passions of the human breast, and dread- 
ful in its effects, serve to prove the truth of the asser- 
tion. Let envy alone, and it will punish itself 

2nd. In the view of this subject we may see, how 
reasonable and glorious are the doctrines and re- 
quirements of the gospel. They are all according to 
moral fitness ; calculated to promote the peace and 
joy of individuals, and the highest good of commu- 
nity. How safe and excellent the precept, Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thy self And how be- 
nevolent the injunction, Look not every man on his 
own things, but also on the things of others. As far 
as the requirements of the gospel have their due in- 
fluence on the minds of fmen, so far they enjoy a 
heaven below. As a selfish, envious spirit experien- 
ces in some degree the pains of souls in wo ; so a 
benevolent mind has some fore-tastes of the joys of 
heaven. How reasonable and glorious, then, the doc- 
trines and duties of the gospel. 

3d. We may be led to see from this subject, how 
necessary for the true happiness of fallen man, that 
he be born again'; that sinful passions be not only re- 
strained, but subdued by grace. Mankind may do 
much for their own comfort, by checking and re- 
straining unruly passions ; but their reason is unable 
effectually to subdue them. Instead of cherishing 
anger, hatred, envy, malice, and revenge, they may 
cultivate all the amiable, social virtues. But these 
will not answer as a substitute for gracious affections. 
It is the spirit of God alone, which can erradicate the 


feeeds of wickedness from the heart, and implant those 
craces which are essentially different in their nature, 
(Crrace can subdue the passions, can give new vigour 
to our social feelings, and implant that love which is^ 
the fulfilling of the law. 

4th. We may be led to see from this subject, that 
great must be the pains of hell, even from the direful 
ingredients of a wicked heart. When all the evil 
passions of the human breast are no more confined 
by restraints, but burst forth in all their ungoverna- 
ble rage as in the region of despair, how wretched 
must they render the sufferer. How will they prove 
a gnawing worm, an unquenchable fire, to the souU 
How painful and distressing are the stings of envy\ 
malice, and revenge in the present state, even though 
but for a moment, and held back by restraints. But 
how intolerable must it be to endure the unrestrained 
rage and torment of ail the sinful passions of a wicked 
heart, in that place where hope never cometh. Even 
in this life, the malignant exercises of only one of 
the human passions against an individual, is sufficient: 
to destroy the comfort of any man, and render hi^ 
moments wretched. Yet this is only a small portion 
of torment, a mere spark of those unquenchable 
flames which are enkindled from all the direful af- 
fections and passions of the finally impenitent agaiiist 
all holy beings. Thus we may see, that great must 
be the future torments of the wicked, even from the 
direful ingredients of their own heart. 

5th. By contrast we may be led to see, that great 
must be the joys of the righteous in the future worlds 
even from a benevolent heart. Benevolent, friendly 
exercises of heart, in the present state, fill the soul 
with peace and joy. But these are faint prelibations 
of that future peace, which passeth understandings 
and of those joys, which flow at the right hand of 
God. The highest joys of mortals on earth, when 
compared to those above, are as the dim taper of ^ 
candle to the brightness of noon. Does a benevo^ 


58 SERMON ir» 

lent heart rejoice in the prosperity and felicity of Its 
fellow mortals in this pilgrimage state ? Then how 
will a sight of those joys of the blessed in glory, en- 
kindle that heart into raptures of joy and transports 
of bliss ! All the gracious and benevolent exercises 
of the soul iii its tabernacle of clay, are only in the 
bud, and frequeiitly nipt by chilhng frost. But in a 
glorified spirit in a spiritual body, how will they 
llourish and bloom in endless day 1 Souls in glory are 
not oiAy encircled in the arms of everlasting love, 
but they have within them a well of water, spring- 
ing up unto eternal life, to produce constant joys, 
and render fully complete their bliss. Amen, 



Isaiah, vi. 2. 

With twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered 
his feet, and with twain he didjly, 

jl HESE words are a description- of the devotion 
of a seraphim before the throne of God. The prophet 
Isaiah, in a vision, beheld the glory of God and the 
adoring seraphirns, which surround his throne He 
says, In the year that king TJzziah died, I saw also 
the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, 
and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the 
seraphims : each one had six wings ; with twain he 
covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, 
and with twain he did fly. This august, syinbohcal 
vision of the glory of the Lord, is described as being 
made at the temple. The several interposing veils 
were removed out of the way ; and the way into the 
holiest was made manifiest. The Lord appeared to 
the prophet, sitting on a throne, as in human form. It 
is the unanimous sense of the church, that all the 
divine appearances in the old Testament, were made 
by the Son of God, by whom all the affairs of the 
church were ordered from the beginning. The 
throne high and lifted up, seems to have been the 
place of the mercy-seat, over which the Lord used 
to appear, and where he reigned as the God of Israel 
and of the whole earth. And as an exteriour sym- 
bol of his majesty, his train, or the skirts of his robes, 
filled the whole temple. Above or against this throne, 
stood the seraphim, the burning one ; or one of the 


SE!lMO^*^ Vc 

most glorious of the angelick orders, glowing with 
the holy flame of divine love. They stood, as being 
employed in celebrating his praises and prepared to 
execute his mandates. Each of them had six wings ; 
with twain he covered his face. This is an emblem 
of his inabihty steadfastly to behold, or fully to com- 
prehend all the glory of the Lord, and of his pro- 
found reverence and adoring awe. With twain he 
covered his feet. This denotes his humihty, as con- 
scious that he and his services were unworthy the 
notice of the Lord. And with twain he did fly. This 
is designed to represent his prompt celerity and alac- 
rity, in executing the will of Gcd. The inquiry now 
is, what benefit can result to us from this representa- 
tion of the devotion of one of the most exalted 
spirits above. This subject is calculated to teach 
us three very important duties. 

The first, That we ought to be filled w ith exalted 
and adoring views of the character of God. With 
twain he covered his face. 

The second, That we should be filled with deep 
humility in view^ of our best performances. W ith twaiw 
he covered his feet. 

The third, That we should be inspired with alac- 
rity "in the service of God. W^ith twain he did fly. 

1 proceed to show in the first place, that we should 
be filled with exalted and adoring views of the cha- 
racter of God. The seraphim, in view of the glorious 
effulgence of the Deity, is represented as covering 
his face with two of his wings. But is it becoming 
the highest orders of angels to veil their faces, and to 
w orship the great I Am, with the most profound rev- 
erence ? Well then may man take his place in the 
dust ; tremble and adore; and, with the most pro- 
found awe, contemplate the glory and perfections of 
God. These were the views, and this the conduct 
of the prophet Isaiah, in his august vision of the 
cherubim and of the throne of the divine Majesty. 
The Apostle Paul, in his extatick vision, heard things 


which it is not lawful for a man to utter. How then 
must his soul have been overpowered with exalted 
and adoring views of the character of God ? St. 
.John, the revelator, on the isle of Patmos, had an 
overwhelming sight of the manifestations of the 
brightness of the glory of his God and Saviour 
Jesus Christ. Later saints, eminent for their lives of 
piety, have experienced similar views in some of their 
near approaches to him. The Lord is by nature in- 
visible; and as it respects his uncreated glory, he 
dwelleth in light ineffable. In heaven are manifested 
the brightest and most perfect displays of the glory 
of the being and perfections of God. And glorified 
saints and angels, cherubims and seraphims, prostrate 
themselves before the throne with the highest reve- 
rence and adoration. And how, are the supreme 
wisdom and power, the greatness and goodness of 
God, wonderfully displayed to the view of man in the 
works of creation, providence, and redemption. The 
immensity of the divine works is a theme calculated 
to fill a contemplative mind with profound astonish- 
ment and awe. Let those, who desire clearer and 
more enlarged views of the glorious displays of the 
Supreme Being, behold as in a glass the brighter 
glories of revelation. How wondrous are thy w orks, 
O Lord! in wisdom hast thou made tliem all. The 
lieavens declare thy glory ; and the h-rmament show^- 
cth forth thy handy work. Says the prophet. With 
twain he covered his face. Well then may we bo 
filled with exalted and adoring view s of the charac- 
ter of God. 

Second. This subject is calculated to teach us, that 
mankind should be tilled with deep humility in view^ of 
their best performances. W ith twain he covered his 
feet. All external symbols are inadequate fully to 
repFtsent the majesty and excellence of the Lord. 
Yet they may suit our present state, in which we sec 
through a glass darkly. All the glorified spirits above, 
cease not day nor night, to render unto God the glory 


which is due to his name. They most perfectly MM 
the law of love, and their obedience is that of sin- 
less perfection. But when thej compare themselves, 
and their services with the infinitely amiable and 
glorious character of God, they behold their com- 
parative nothingness and unworthiness. How then 
must vile man appear in his sight ? Says Job, Behold, 
he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he 
charged with folly. How much less in them that 
dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the 
dust ? Man, as a rebel against God, in an unrenewed 
state, is considered in a moral point of view, as 
wholly an unclean thing. And his righteousness is 
accounted as filthy rags. But let us contemplate the 
character of mankind as renewed by grace. Let 
lis take a view of some, who have been considered as 
the faithful servants of God. The sublime vision of 
the divine Majesty, and the exalted worship of the 
seraphim, overwhelmed the prophet Isaiah with a 
sense of his unworthiness and vileness. Then said 
I, Wo is me ! for I am undone ; because I am a man 
of unclean lips ; and I dwell in the midst of a people 
of unclean lips ; for mine eyes have seen the King, 
the Lord of hosts. If glorified spirits above, think 
nothing of their services, what would become of him, 
who had presumed to speak to Jehovah, with mortal 
and polluted lips ? The prophet, haviug compared 
himself to the seraphims, was never before filled with 
such humility. Hear Job's confession to the Lord : 
Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer thee ? I will 
lay mine hand upon my mouth. The zealous apostle 
Paul, exclaims, O wretched man that i am, who shall 
deliver me from the body of this death ! The most 
holy lives of the greatest saints on earth, that have 
ever lived, are tarnished with deficiency and sin. 
They cannot compare with the spotless lives of se- 
raphs. To witness their holy strains and fervent obe- 
dience, would he more than mortals could endure. 
There is not a man upon earth, who would not be 


ashamed of his most admired performances, and sink 
into self-abhorrence, if he had a clear view of the 
divine glory, and of the worship of heaven. Then 
may we be filled with deep humility in view of our 
best performances. 

I proceed in the third place, to show, from several 
considerations, why mankind should be inspired with 
alacrity in the service of God. 

1st They should be inspired with alacrity, be- 
cause it is a great work. To work for the great King 
of the universe, is far the greatest undertaking, in 
which human beings can be engaged. The magni- 
tude of the employment rises high, when we consider, 
that they, who devote themselves to the service of 
God, are engaged in the service of a Being, whose 
perfections are infinitely adorable and amiable. And, 
although mankind cannot be profitable to God, by 
their alacrity in his service, as one man may be pro- 
fitable to another, yet they can do much for the ho- 
nour of his name, and the promotion of his declarative 
glory. They who are engaged in the service of God, 
are not only working for him, but they are co-work- 
fers with him. They are both engaged in carrying on 
and promoting the same great and glorious work. 
Says the apostle Paul, We are labourers together 
with God. To be engaged in any important human 
labour or enterprise, demands attention and diligence. 
But what is the work of man for time, when com- 
pared with the work of God and for eternity ? How 
then should mankind, not only engage perseveringly 
in the service of God ; but they should be inspired 
with alacrity, because it is a great work. 

2d. The consideration of the vast number of holy 
beings, engaged in the service of God, should serve 
to inspire mankind with alacrity in his service. The 
employments of all the principalities and powers 
above, are of the same nature as those of saints on 
earth. They are the creatures of God, are under 
the same law and obligations, and are seeking the 



same glorious end. The only difference, is circurn- 
stantial. They never sinned as man : their place in 
the universe is different ; and their capacities are far 
more enlarged. In the Psalms, v^^e find this expres- 
sion : Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in 
strength, that do his commandments, hearkening to 
his word. But the commands and word of God are 
essentially the same to all his intelligent creatures 
throughout the universe. If the innumerable worlds 
which are spread abroad throughout the immensity 
of God's works, are inhabited by intelligent beings; 
they are all under the same universal law of supreme 
love to God, find benevolence towards their fellow 
beings. Whether the capacities of some be more 
enlarged than any of the angelick orders ; and some 
inferiour to those of mankind, their duties and ser- 
vice are essentially the same. They may be com- 
missioned as heralds to other worlds, with messages 
from the Supreme King; but still the moral law of 
God is the rule of their obedience. Concerning the 
angels, the apostle Paul interrogates. Are they not 
all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them, 
who shall be heirs of salvation? This expression 
may serve to show the unanimity of law, government, 
and service throughout the moral kingdom of God. 
Obedience is the same, whether in concerns of appa- 
rently vast magnitude, or of small moment ; whether 
in exalted or humble station. In the vision, of which 
the words of the text are a part, we behold the sera- 
phim engaged in the same kind of worship, as that 
which becometh us. He revered, worshipped, and 
adored the great Jehovah in view of the displays of 
his glorious and adorable perfections. He was filled 
with humility, in contrasting his worship with the 
awful brightness and glory of God. And since a 
vast number of invisible, holy beings, of other 
worlds are engaged in the same work, let this consid- 
eration serve to inspire mankind with alacrity in the 
service of God. 


:id. The conduct both of holy and sinning angels 
shoidd serve as a motive to mankind, to engage with 
alacrity in the divine service. With twain he did fly. 
The ever watchful and vigilant seraphims are con- 
stantly ready to fly at the command of God. They 
execute the mandates of heaven with winged zeal 
and burning love. Whether they go with messages 
to an individual, to excite to faithfulness ; or to a 
world, to make known the laws of God, they dehght 
and hasten to do his will. Their kind errands to the 
earth, should excite its inhabitants with vigilance to 
prepare to be their companions in heaven. Shall 
holy angels be so earnest for the salvation of men ? 
and shall they be slothful in working out their own 
salvation ? Again : Hear the caution which the apos- 
tle Peter gives in view of the malevolent conduct of 
those wicked spirits, the fallen angels. Be sober, be 
vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, goeth 
about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 
The malicious fiends of darkness, are constantly 
going about, seeking the utter ruin of man. .Then 
both from the friendly, active conduct of holy angels, 
and the hostile pursuits of sinning angels, let us be 
inspired with alacrity in the service of God. 

4th. We may be excited to vigilance in the service 
of God, for it is a short time that is allotted us to 
work, as a preparation to receive our reward. The 
probationary state of man is diminished to a mere 
point, compared with his being rewarded for eternity. 
How short is the extent of mortal life, to lay up an 
eternal recompense of reward ; an everlasting trea- 
sure in heaven ? And would the inhabitants of earth, 
at last shine forth gloriously in the kingdom of God; 
let their lives be eminent for their vigilance in his 
service. How short is time for bankrupts to inherit 
a heavenly prize; to obtain an immortal crown! 
Surely it is the part of wisdom for all now to engage 
with vigilance in the heavenly race, and boldly main- 
tain a good warfare. The work of conviction, re'- 

9 ^ 


pentance, and a godly life, is a great work, which not 
only requires all our time, but our most vigilant 
exertions. None have time to spare ; for the moment 
they have finished the work allotted them, and ready 
for their departure, they are called home. Methinks 
I see yon ardent spirits in glory, looking down upon 
us with astonishment, that the shortness of time itself 
does not inspire us with vigilance in the service of 
God^ for those joys which are on high. 

5th. To serve God with alacrity, is a means best 
calculated to promote our own happiness through the 
journey of life. Trials and diificuities must be en- 
countered by all mankind, in their pilgrimage state, 
whether their journey be in the service of God, or in 
the service of satan. The future prospects of the 
former, are glorious : those of the latter, dreadful. 
Then m Inch is preferable } The pathway of life, or 
the road that leads to death ? The greater the alac- 
rity in the strait and narrow way, the greater the joy: 
but the greater the exertions in the broad road, the 
greater the sorrow. The way of the one is in the 
light : but that of the other, in darkness. Our apos- 
tacy from God, is our wo: but our return unto jiim, 
the balm of life. To yield to the temptations of the 
adversary, is to increase our difliculties : but to resist 
them, is to renew our strength. To serve self, is to 
be a slave : but he that serveth Christ, is free. Then 
can we have any hesitancy to choose this day, whom 
we will serve } The way of transgressors is hard, 
and forbids us to walk therein. Then may we serve 
God wdth alacrity, as the means best calculated to pro- 
mote our own happiness through the journey of life., 

6th. To serve God with alacrity, we may do much 
good, and be a blessing to the world. Alacrity in the 
common pursuits of life, is commendable ; but how 
much more so then, is it becoming in the service of 
God. To benefit mankind in their temporal con- 
cerns, is laudable ; but to promote their spiritual 
interests, is glorious. The blessed Saviour went 


about doing good, healing the sick, restoring sight to 
the bhnd, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. 
How was he the benefactor of mankind by his acts 
of humanity and charity! But the great end of his 
mission was to heal the maladies of souls, and to save 
mankind from remediless wo. His life is an example 
of perfection; and how conspicuous is it for his 
alacrity in doing his Father's will. Whilst he did 
not neglect the temporal interests of men, his zeal 
was exercised for their eternal welfare. And who 
can tell how great a blessing to the world, a faithful, 
zealous christian may be, by spending his days with 
alacrity in the service of God ? Let ministers of the 
gospel be inspired with alacrity in the discharge of 
their duties; and their examples may have a goodly 
influence over the minds and lives of others. 

To what were the successes of Caesar owing in 
his wars ? To his alacrity. Then let us imitate his 
conduct in our christian warfare. As his watchful 
and ready movements gave him superiour advantages 
over the enemies, so may our watchfulness and devo- 
tedness enable us to triumph over our spiritual 
enemies. Washington was distinguished for his wis- 
dom in counsel And we can see in several instances, 
that the American revolution turned on the alacrity 
with which his plans were executed. So may we be 
successful by a zeal for God, according to knowledge. 
The apostle Paul was a bold, intrepid, and zealous 
preacher of the gospel. How extensive are the 
blessed effects of his unwearied labours. He counted 
not his life dear, in comparison with serving God with 
alacrity. His own age, the present and future, were 
to reap the glorious fruits of his vigilant exertions. 
Little did the apostle foresee what glory to God, and 
good to man, w^ould be the result of his faithfulness. 
Though now in glory, he must wait till the end of 
time to behold the wide-spread, glorious consequen- 
ces of his toils. Let us take courage then, my breth- 
ren, not to be slothful, but faithful in spirit, serving 

h58 sermon v. 

the Lord. We know not the good we may do. Lei 
us press forward ; for to be inspired with alacrity in 
the service of God, we may do much good for man- 
kind, and be a blessing to the world. 


1st. From this subject we may see the propriety, 
of always acting under the influence of proper views 
of God. Superiour beings are thus influenced, and 
in all our conduct the eye of God is upon us. Our 
various situations in life call for praise, thanksgiving, 
and submission. Whether in prosperity or adversity 
the hand of God is to be acknowledged, for he giveth 
the kingdom to whomsoever he will. On the sabbath 
or in the pursuits of our worldly concerns, we should 
consider that we are accountable for all our conduct. 
Let us remember, how the seraphim employed his six 
wings. With twain he covered his face; and with twain 
he covered his feet; and with twain he did fly. Then 
from the consideration of his adoring views of God ; 
from his humility in the view of his own performances; 
and his alacrity in the divine service, how should we 
be careful, always to act under the influence of 
proper views of God. 

2d. From this subject we may see how foolish is 
the sin of pride. What has man, which he has not 
ireceived ? and of which he has reason to boast ? Has 
any One great attainments,personal accomplishments, 
wealth, learning, or honour ? And should these fill 
his heart with vanity, with inordinate self-esteem, and 
excite to insolent treatment of others ? How do the 
highest orders of angels with all their dignity and 
excellence, exercise a spirit of meekness ! As soon 
as pride entered the heart of Satan, he fell. Pharaoh, 
Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, and Herod were exalted 
above measure, with pride ; and how did its towering 
height have a fall. The Saviour, the Lord of angels, 
was not a pattern of pride, but of humility. What 
a barrier is pride to our communion with God, and 

SERMON V. (>9 

our felicity ? Pride is the contrast of humility, as 
meanness is to dignity. It is not only a sin, but it is 
foolish and vain. 

3d. From this subject we may see, that to work 
for God, is very honourable. They who are engaged 
in his service, are joining hands with angels. And 
how frequently do those exalted, invisible spirits, 
come down to earth, as messengers and servants to 
those who shall be heirs of salvation. Does not their 
still whispering voice, frequently inspire believers 
with alacrity in the service of God ? Do believers 
earnestly pray for the prosperity of Zion ? How are 
hovering, attending angels solicitously waiting and 
watching for her interests ? What a glorious work ! 
w^hat union of exertion wdth the powers above ! 
Then the service of God is not only reasonable, but 
it is veryhpnourable to be engaged in his work. Amen. 




Solomon's Song, ii. 15. 

Take us thefoxes^ the Utile foxes^ that spoil the vines : for 
our vines have tender grapes. 

JxtGHLY figurative is the book, from which these 
words are taken. It coptains peculiar beauties, and 
invites the delicate and refined mind to a close search 
for their discovery and excellence. Christ and the 
church are the general subject of discourse; and 
the prospects and glory of both may be considered 
as one. Whatever is for the honour or dishonour of 
the church, has a direct bearing on the person, char- 
acter, and offices of Christ. And although believers 
are primarily intended in the wonderful theme of Sol- 
omon's Song, yet the instruction should be improved 
by all mankind. The words of the text will admit 
of a varied and highly interesting explanation. The 
fox is an animal, noted for his cunning, craft, and mis- 
chievous tricks. Foxes used to injure the vines by 
trampling on them, and they destroyed the grapes of 
the vintage. And little foxes would spoil the vines, 
which were loaded with clusters of tender grapes. 
Hence not only the old and cunning fox, but little 
foxes must be taken and secured, lest they destroy 
the labours of man. Take us the foxes, the little 
foxes, that spoil the vines : for our vines have ten- 
der grapes. This figurative expression teaches this 
simple truth. That little sins, little failings, and little 
things do sometimes blight the fairest prospects of 
human happiness, and destroy the fondest hopes and 
dearest privileges of man. The subject will apply 


to rational, social, civil, and religious duties and pros- 

1st. The mind may be considered as a vine, capa- 
ble of bringing forth tender grapes; but if little foxes 
are suffered to make it their den, and to run at large, 
they will spoil the vine, and destroy the tender and 
precious fruit. If, instead of cherishing and culti- 
vating virtuous principles and social affections, we 
suffer evil passions to predominate but in a small 
degree, how is inward peace destroyed. Then in 
vain may we look for fruit ripe and delicious, whilst 
nettles and thorns overspread the ground. Our 
minds, by proper culture, will yield the fruits of 
peace, encouragement, and animation ; but if they 
are neglected, there will spring up the sad crops of 
uneasiness, discouragement, and dejection. It is for 
the want of a little reflection and consideration, that 
a fretful and restless disposition takes the place of a 
peaceable and quiet mind. If we guard the vine, 
shooting buds, pleasant flowers and fruit, which is 
sweet to the taste, will be produced in rich abun- 
dance. The pains or labour which we bestow in 
taking the little foxes, and preventing their perni- 
cious tricks, will be amply repaid by a rich and glo- 
rious harvest. Then let anger and jealousy, hatred 
and envy, malice and revenge, be checked in their 
first risings ; before they are fanned into a flame, in- 
tolerable to the soul. The happiness of every per- 
son depends very much on the proper government of 
himself, and the forming of such habits of reflection as 
tend to alleviate the common distresses of life. Some 
dispositions are naturally more generous, humane, 
and contented than others ; but those, which are 
most unfavourable, by seasonable attention and 
proper management, may be rendered very agreea- 
ble. It is important to consider our acquaintances 
in a favourable point of view, and to reflect much on 
the varied blessings daily confered upon us. And 
whilst w^e would guard against grossly sinful and 


pernicious thoughts, let our meditations be such as 
our own consciences and our God will approve. May 
we keep our hearts with all diligqnce, that our minds 
may be fruitful vines, bringing forth the choicest 
grapes in the peaceable fruit of righteousness. ♦ 

2d. Society may be considered as a wide spread- 
ing vine, whose rich clusters are liable to be de- 
stroyed by little foxes, unless they be taken and 
secured. So varied are the natural dispositions and 
pursuits of mankind, that mutual forbearance is es- 
sential to the peace and prosperity of community. 
Offences do not only arise from flagrant acts of in- 
justice; but trivial faults or failings do sometimes 
occasion serious difficulties. Sometimes a trifling 
misunderstanding is the means of wide spread and 
lasting evils. Little things do now and then cause 
divisions amongst young people, and draw forth 
foolish and hard sayings. Small faults or failings are 
suffered to interrupt their union, to break their peace, 
and mar all their enjoyments. Perhaps some one has 
made a michievous observation, and others for want 
of wisdom give it aggravated colourings, and let it 
rancour their breasts. Even imaginary evils do 
break the repose of some, and fill their hearts with 
disquietude. But it is truly pitiable, that youth should 
suffer such little foxes to blight their fairest prospects 
of present enjoyment, and beset their ways with Un- 
necessary perplexities. A little discretion and 
reflection might prevent the mischiefs ; and a little 
sympathy and benevolence would soothe the minds, 
and heal those differences, which may exist in the 
social circles of the young. 

But shall trivial misdemeanours interrupt the har- 
mony and make of no avail the social privileges of 
persons of age and experience } Shall the sHghtest 
provocations separate friends, cause bitter animosi- 
ties, and sharp contentions to arise } Shall the 
spreading vine of society, its varied branches, and 
T)umerous clusters, be suffered to be overrun and'^'^*- 



stroyed by little foxes ? Rather let them be taken, 
when young, and their mischiefs prevented. Let not 
the middle aged suffer mere trifles to wound their 
own souls, and to give poignant anguish to others for 
^fcie want of a little wisdom and faithfulness. Did a 
worm at the root of Jonah's gourd wither and blight 
its fairest prospects ? How affecting and melancholy^ 
if in like manner little foxes run at large, and con- 
sume the tender grapes, and spoil the various branches 
of the vine of society. Caution, in words and ac- 
tions, is necessary; but especially heed should be 
taken in relating unpleasant reports, would we be- 
hold the vine green and flourishing. A charitable 
spirit and words fitly spoken, administer sap and life 
to its withered and decaying branches. How 
varied and endearing the goodly prospects of 
social circles and civil life. Then may our actions 
say, Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the 
vines ; for our vines have tender grapes, which must 
flourish, and come to maturity. 

3d. Parents may be considered as a vine ; and 
their offspring, its branches. Hence their mutual 
prospects may be represented by clusters of tender 
and choice grapes. But the ties of parental and 
filial affection are so interwoven into their very na- 
tures, we should hardly imagine, that small failings 
could he the means of very serious and lasting evils. 
Yet thousands of parents have seeh their children 
brought to disgrace and ruin, and have accused 
themselves as being the authors, by their little indul- 
gencies in those things and ways which their con- 
sciences could not call right. Some, who have not 
been taught obedience at an early age, have, in their 
youth, proved the shame and painful mortification of 
their parents by their disobedience and unblushing 
impudence. On the other hand, some parents, instead 
of governing their children, do only provoke them to 
wrath. Instead of making an unruly temper yield, 
they do tut excite the most violent anger, and in- 



crease a malignant stubbornness. Would they only 
use a little faithfulness and firmness, their offspring 
would be trained up in the way they should go. Are 
children the delight of their parents ? Oh, that they 
would love them enough to seek their present ancB^ 
future well-being* They should not suffer the little 
foxes to spoil the vine, nor its branches, nor the clus- 
ters of tender and choice grapes. 

Ah. The relation of husband and wife, may be 
considered as a vine, abounding with tender grapes, 
whose fair prospects the little foxes should *not be 
suffered to blight. What natural tie is so endearing, 
what union and felicity on earth are so important, and 
so desirable to be promoted. And how unreasonable 
and lamentable, that little things should be the means 
of putting these asunder ? If conjugal affection and 
charity will not exercise forbearance, what in this 
world will.^ Notwithstanding mere trilles, the slight- 
est neglects do sometimes cause coldness^ reproaches, 
and violent contentions. There are some whose 
hearts are knit together in love, and yet they are 
frequently at variance ; simply because they will not 
learn to bear each other's burdens. If due allowance 
would only be made for those imperfections which 
are common to human nature, the most of the diffi- 
culties of conjugal life would be prevented. In 
general, the reason why some families are far more 
agreeable and happy than others, is not that they 
have so much better natural dispositions ; but be- 
cause the united head have so much better faculty of 
taking the little foxes, or the talent of bearing with 
little things. But if the little foxes be not taken, . 
disputes, private and publick, may ensue, a continued 
storm arise, and at last even separation take place, 
though not at first in the least expected. 

5th. It is probable, that the church in general, and 
believers in particular, were more immediately de- 
signed to be represented by the words of the text* 
Th^ church may be considered as the vine ; and the 


tender grapes may refer to young believers, as Christ 
himself applies to them the epithet, little ones. Hence 
says the royal preacher. Take us the foxes, the little 
foxes, that spoil the vines ; for our vines have tender 
grapes. This is evidently a caution against every 
thing, however plausible, which tends to hinder the 
prosperity of the church, and the fruitfulness of be- 
lievers. That this vine should flourish, and abound 
w^ith tender clusters more precious than the grapes 
of Eshcol, the Saviour observed to his followers, 
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much 
fruit. Not only is open, gross immorality in the pro- 
fessors of religion a burden to the vine, but also any 
pursuit, indulgence, or way,which is inconsistent with 
vital piety and practical godliness. Whatever may 
be considered as a waste of our precious time, or 
whatever engrosses too much of our attention, and 
tends to the neglect of the means of grace, are of 
such a nature. Though a certain pursuit be not di- 
rectly criminal in itself, yet by excessive indulgence 
it has a tendency to spoil the vine, and mar its tender 
grapes, like the unsuspected subtlety of the fox. 
The first risings of sinful thoughts and desires in be- 
lievers, and the beginning of trifling pursuits, are like 
the little foxes, which, if not taken seasonably, will 
spoil the vines. Vain or trifling visits, which waste 
much time, incur great expense, and put the mind 
out of a proper frame for devotion, are peculiarly 
injurious in this respect. Those employments or 
recreations, that intrude on the hours that should be 
employed in serious meditation, self-examination, 
searching the scriptures, and secret prayer, are not 
only vanity, but chilling frosts to the soul, and mil- 
dews, whose acrimony corrodes the most flourishing 
vines. Even lawful and needful pursuits and recre- 
ations, when attended with excess or inexpediency, 
choke the word and it becometh unfruitful. They 
who have experienced the blessed change of con^ 
version, ought to obey the call of Christ to arise and 



follow him, and to leave the world and sin behind, 
that they may enjoy much of his love. Thus the 
fruits of holiness would appear, and the vine be 
revived. JBelievers should desire to bring forth 
plenteously the fruits of righteousness. And those 
christians who have been careful observers, perceive 
that the little, despised fqxes do much harm to the 
branches of the living vine. Plausible errours, tri- 
vial omissions, comphances, and indulgencies, may 
be more general hindrances to christian progression 
and usefulness, than the most distressing temptations. 
Satan or his emissaries, may do more harm as subtle, 
unsuspected deceivers, than as furious persecutors. 
Therefore a watch should be maintained against the 
very beginning and appearance of evil ; and the little 
foxes should be destroyed, before they become capa- 
ble of important and extensive mischief Whether 
young believers,, or the dearest privileges and rich 
blessings of the gospel, be intended by the term, 
tender grapes, the example of old professors should 
not only be free from severe censure and an astonish- 
ment to them, but it should be sych as to emulate 
them to good works. And let young professors re- 
alize that many eyes are watching them for iittle sins ; 
and even their imperfections, short-comings, deficien- 
cies, and mis-steps, fpr want of experience, are consi- 
dered in them by sorae,as mountains. The followers of 
Christ must not only be moral, or shun immorality, but 
they should manifest the spirit, and endeavour to ex~ 
hibit the life of Christ, that they may be a light to the 
world. They should watch with all diligence, 
against whatever may injure the vine ; and should 
cherish the tender grapes, that they come to maturity 
and perfection. For this end, the blessing of heaven 
xnust be implored with importunity, for those revi- 
ving and fruitful showers, which will water the vine, 
cause it to be green and fair, its branches to spread,, 
and its leaves to be a pleasant shade for abundance 
of rich clusters of the choicest grapes. 

3ERM0N VI. /7 


1st, If little sins, little failings, and little things do 
sometimes blight the fairest prospect of human hap- 
piness, and destroy the fondest hopes of man, and 
his dearest privileges, then we may see that great 
effects may result from small or minute causes : or 
that momentous consequences proceed from little 
or trivial beginnings. This truth may be illustrated 
in both a natural and moral point of view. In both 
the natural and moral world we frequently behold 
great and important events, connected and depend- 
ent on those, that are very minute. Hence we hear 
the exclamation. Behold, how great a matter a little 
fire kindleth. A spark of fire is a little thing ; it is 
extinguished by a drop of water ; or, if not enkindled 
by fuel, dies of itself Yet we know, that a spark of 
fire often becomes the instrument of extensive utility 
or mischief A spark of fire is communicated to a 
magazine of powder. In a moment, massy walls of 
wood and stone, the pride of war, and the labour of 
years, yield to the dreajdful explosion, and scattered 
in ten thousand fragments, spread terrour and de- 
struction around. A spark of fire is concealed in a 
closet, or on the roof of a building. Shortly a family 
start from their slumbers, and see their dwelling 
with all its contents in a blaze. The flames kindle 
upon the adjacent buildings; the. neighbourhood is 
involved in the spreading ruin; and, perhaps, a city 
is laid in ashes. Sparks of fire from the flint or match 
occasion blood and carnage, and spread the field of 
battle with the dead. Vast is the extent of the 
kingdom of providence ; and the connection of mi- 
nute with great events, is a subject not merely of 
curiosity, but one with which our duty and happi- 
ness are deeply concerned. A very limited acquaint- 
ance with the connexion of causes and effects, must 
convince us, that, in the natural and moral govern- 
ment of God, great things do often depend on small. 
A moment is scarcely noticed, but centuries are made 


up of moments. The mountain, that rears its statel} 
head to the clouds, is composed of grains of sand. 
The river, that rolls its majestick tide to the ocean, 
consists of drops. On its waters, navies float ; but 
followed to its source, it becomes a rivulet, and even 
a spring, bubbling Irom a rock of some mountain. 
Thus the greatest events, which the world has ever 
M^itnessed, have resulted from a combination of 
concurrent causes, each of which might seem 
unimportant in itself The tongue is a little 
member ; yet, on the one hand, it is the spring of 
social life, the great cement of society ; and, on the 
other hand, it is a world of iniquity, and setteth on 
fire the course of nature. That little member speaks 
a word. What then. ^ Alienation of friends, cold- 
ness, then jealousy and enmity ensue. And if they 
are persons of eminence, other tongues will cause 
some trivial misunderstanding to rise into consequen- 
ces of incalculable importance. The same con- 
nexion, betwixt small things and great, runs through 
all the concerns of our worjd. The incorrectness 
of an instructor may cause many to have an incor- 
rect and deficient education. The ignorance of an 
apothecary or physician may send sickness and death 
into a family, and spread it through a town. And 
how often has a pestilential disease from one man, 
spread its infcctipn to thousands of others. Our first 
parents sinned ; and how have sin and death polluted 
and swept off their descendants from the earth in 
consequence of their transgression. A spark of envy 
in the bosom of Joseph's brethren, grew into settled 
enmity, and lead them to aim at the destruction of 
his life. Here commenced a series of events, which 
became so vast and so extended, as to give complex- 
ion to the affairs of two nations through all subse- 
quent periods. Who can read the history of Joseph, 
and not have his mind deeply impressed with a sense 
of the connexion of great events with minute causes. 
What important events resulted irom the decree of 


t^haraoh to destroy every Hebrew male child. To 
avoid the execution of this decree, a Hebrew mother 
resolved to commit her babe to the mercy of provi- 
dence, with no other protection from the elements 
and monsters of the Nile, than an ark of bulrushes. 
A stranger passed that way, the very moment the 
child wept. That stranger was a woman whose 
heart could feel for a poor, forsaken infant : a prin- 
cess, the only person in Egypt, who might safely in- 
dulge this tenderness. She saved the child and 
adopted him as her son. How compassionate, how 
amiable, and noble her conduct. But little did that 
princess know what she was doing. Little did she 
think, that that weeping infant thus singularly res- 
cued from death, was to be the minister of divine 
vengeance to her haughty father and his kingdom. 
Little did she imagine, that the Red Sea would divide 
at his presence, that he was to write five books of the 
sacred scriptures, Containing the only authentick 
account of the creation ; and be a deliverer, legisla- 
tor, and guide to the church of God. It will appear 
as clear as noon-day, that great effects result from 
minute causes, if we take a view of the giant, Goliah^ 
and the shepherd, David. How did the champion 
defy the armies of Israel, and strike terrour and dis- 
may into the hearts of the men of war, and the chiet 
captains. At length the stripling shepherd, with 
faith in the Lord of hosts, using no weapons but a 
sling and a stone, laid prostrate before the two armies 
the mighty giant. Thus a common stone, useless 
and unnoticed perhaps for ages in the bottom of a 
brook, slew the champion, routed the army of the 
Philistines, and decided a mighty battle, on which 
the great interests of a nation were suspended. The 
beautiful and majestick temple of Jerusalem was 
built by the labour and wealth of a nation. Yet a 
single fire-brand, thrown by a common soldier of the 
Roman army, consumed this magnificent edifice, 
which had been the glory of the Jews, and the won- 
rler of the world. How have a few licentious men 


in Europe, corrupt in their political and religious 
principles, by their conduct and writings, diffused a 
spirit of anarchy and licentiousness amongst thou- 
sands. In several places the fire which they enkin- 
dled, has burst forth into a tremendous conflagration. 
Like Etna's boiling furnaces, it has poured forth 
rivers of flame to mar all that was fair, and to con- 
sume ail that was flourishing. On the other hand, 
who can estimate the vast benefit, resulting to man- 
kind from the lives and writings of men, eminently 
wise, active, and faithful. The happy consequences 
will descend to posterity, and to the end of the world. 
Of the thousands, which might be noticed, let only 
one be named, and one part of his labours. Doctor 
Thomas Scott, in his life, wrote an exposition of the 
holy scriptures. How have thousands of divines, 
and tens of thousands of the lovers of truth, already 
been profited by his writings. And probably millions, 
yet unborn, will rise up and call him blessed. He 
needs no monument erected over his grave and 
mouldering dust. His memory will be wide spread^ 
and perpetuated by individuals and nations for ever, 
and his monument reach the heavens. Connected 
ias we are with our fellow-men, our conduct though 
apparently small or indifferent, is of vast importance. 
Hence w^ should be ever ready and encouraged to 
assist every laudable undertaking. Well may youth 
pursue useful studies with alacrity, that they may be- 
come eminently useful members of society. That 
knowledge which they acquire may be diffused to 
thousands of others. Well may in&tructers of youth 
be encouraged and rejoice, when they look forward, 
and consider the extensive and happy consequences, 
which will be the result of their labours, and of the 
useful knowledge, which they shall have communi- 
cated. Well may ministers of the gospel be zealously 
engaged to bring forth from the sacred volume, things 
t)oth new and old, and patiently wait the result of 
their unwearied exertions, till they shall be revealed, 
in the last great flay, ^men. 



Proverbs, vi. 6. 
Go to the anti thou sluggard ; consider her ivays^ and be 


JrlANKIND \tere not made for inactivity and sloth; 
but for activity and diligence. Still we find they 
need many excite'meats to action and industry, in 
order to prevent a state of indolence^ and a course of 
prodigality. Both from observation and the word of 
God, we are taught that much of the precious time 
which is entrusted to moirtals, runs to waste. Solo- 
mon, the wisest of men, beheld this, and his heart 
was deeply affected with the melancholy truth. He 
saw that many not only neglected a prudent manage- 
ment of their temporal concerns, but that they were 
also unwilling to seize the most favourable opportu- 
nity for attending to those which are eternal. He 
beheld the sons of men negligent and averse to spi- 
ritual duties, and eternal concerns. And as those 
things which have a particular reference to eternity, 
are of vastly greater importance, than those which 
may be said to end with time, he saw that folly and 
madness were in the heart of every one, who was not 
laying up a treasure for another and better state of 
existence. The words of the text, in a figurative 
manner, show the vast importance of having some- 
thing laid up in store for the souL when it forsakes its 
tenement of clay, to dwell in a world invisible, and 
to mortals unknown. And as the wis^ man saw that 
time is the only day of grace, the only space for re- 
pentance and state of preparation for eternity, he 


82 serMon vii. 

was grieved to the heart to behold his fellow moftaisi 
loitering in sluggishness, and squandering away this 
precious, this invaluable season. They would not 
listen, they would not consider, they would not take 
heed to their ways, by redeeming their time, notwith- 
standing he gave salutary counsel and good instruc- 
tion. But Solomon seemed to hope, that, although 
many would not listen to his friendly admonitions, 
they would be led to consider their ways and be 
wise, if he should turn their attention to the preach- 
ing of the beasts of the fields or to creatures which 
have not intelHgence, as man He directs them to go 
to the ant, an insect industrious and wise, to consider 
her ways and learn a lesson of wisdom. This little 
insect, by her worthy example, would teach them 
that they ought to be greatly engaged, in preparing 
for their future well-being. To illustrate this sub- 
1^^ jecf, f shall in the 
Wf* First place, Show what men need for a future day. 

Secondly, Show how they may lay up a store to 
supply their future wants. 

Thirdly, Offer some reasons to show, that they 
ought now to be greatly engaged, in preparing for 
their future well-being. 

First. I am to showwhat men need for a future day. 

1st. I would observe, they need a store of spiritual 
food^ upon which the soul may feed after death. Ani- 
mal nature must be refreshed with animal or material 
food. But the soul is a spirit ; and when it leaves its 
animal frame, or earthly tabernacle, to dwell in a 
world of spirits, it cannot be satisfied with that food, 
which is designed for the body. The very nature 
and condition of an unbodied spirit, prevent it from 
being made happy by sensual enjoyments. An intel- 
ligent mind must centre in God as the fountain and 
source of all good, in order to the perfection and 
blessedness of its existence. A departure from him 
fills the soul with an aching void, and nothing but a 
return can make up the deficiency, or restore true 


and lasting enjoyment. We have reason to conclude, 
that the Lord could not make a disobedient and un- 
bodied spirit happy, unless he should perform a con- 
stant series of miracles in order to produce the effect. 
In the invisible state, there are none of the objects of 
time and sense to engage the attention, and gratify 
the mind. From what source then can it find delight, 
unless in the immediate enjoyment of that Being, 
from whom cometh every good and perfect gift? 
Were a finite spirit permitted to wander through the 
utmost bounds of the invisible state, it must be mi- 
serable indeed, unless it have the approbation and 
smiles of God. To be happy in the invisible and 
future state, mankind must have the bread of life, 
upon which their souls may feed ; and that drink, 
wliich is eternal life. The provisions of this life 
will not avail in the life to come. In this view is the 
command of the Saviour, Lay up for yourselves 
treasures in heaven. Hence we may see, that man- 
kind need a store of spiritual food to be laid up, upon 
which their souls may feed after death. 

2d. They need an atoning Savioilr, and an advo- 
cate with the Father at the court of heaven. The 
treasure which they have been laying up, is for a 
place very different from that of heaven. They have 
been treasuring up for themselves wrath against the 
day of wrath. Many have been very active in pre- 
paring their souls for an awful inheritance. As a 
miser, who hoards up gold in treasure ; or as the 
clouds treasure up rain to be poured forth upon the 
earth, so have they been laying up in store a treasure 
of iniquity against the revelation of the righteous 
judgement of God. And to such, without the pre- 
senting of the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
a holy and just God is a consuming fire. How will 
guilty creatures appear in the immediate presence of 
their righteous and final Judge, unless they have an 
advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the right- 
eous ? When the sinner's crimes shall appear, ven- 

■B4 SERMON vn. 

geance will call for his blood, except the great 
Saviour present his own blood as the ground of par- 
don and acceptance. Unless his sins be cast into 
the depths of the sea as it were, in consequence of 
"ilhe Saviour's sufferings and death, ihcy will appear 
in judgement for his condemnation. Nor can rebels 
of Adam's race appear without consternation in the 
invisible state of retribution, except the great and 
glorious Mediator between God and man, make in- 
tercession for them in the solemn presence of their 
offended Sovereign. They will not be able to stand 
before the Son of man, unless Immanuel plead their 
cause, and acknowledge them before his holy angels 
and an assembled universe as his redeemed ones Irom 
among men. Hence, then, mankind for a future day, 
need an atoning Saviour ; and an advocate with the 
Father at the great court of heaven. 

Having made some observations to show what 
men need ibr a future day, 1 proceed to notice in the 
second place, how they 7nay lay up a store to .supply their 
future wants. And will not a! I be anxious to know how 
they may make such rich provision, and attain this 
great and desirable end? Will not every one be 
ready to comply with almost any condition ? or unre- 
mittingly pursue the hardest labours, and encounter 
the greatest difficulties, even through the whole of 
their lives .^ The gain would be unspeakably great 
to any who would thus engage ? But the pearl of 
great price, a store of never fading ti"easures, may 
be obtained, even by rebels against the King of the 
Uiiiverse, by doing the most reasonable things in the 
world. The terms are the lowest, the most favoura- 
ble and suitable, that can possibly be made. And I 
would observe the first thiiig to be done, by those 
who would make preparation for a future day. is to 
repent of their^sins. l^heir immediate duty is to look 
into their wicked and rebellious hearts, and exercise 
repentance, to loathe and abhor themselves for their 
transgressions. It is morally fit and suitable for all 

S1CRM0N vir. 55 

%vho have^departed from God, by walking in the paths 
of disobedience, to exercise true, evaDgelical repen- 
tance on the account of the mahgnity of their ac- 
tions, and thus begin to walk in newness of life. And 
surely the great and infinitely blessed Jehovah could 
not possibly receive his guilty creatures into his 
favour, to treat them as his friends, on any other ground, 
consistently with the honour of his name, and the 
glory of his kingdom H the Lord should raise a 
heart of enmity, a spirit of rebellion against him to a 
mansion of glory, while in impenitence, he would 
virtually declare to the universe, that his require- 
ments had been unreasonable and cruel, and that the 
sinner must be justified to the reproach of his Maker. 
Nor could a sinner find soul-satisfying enjoyment, 
even in the abodes of the blessed, if his heart of im- 
penitence should follow him there. How reasona- 
ble and suitable then, for those who would hy up a 
store to supply their future wants, immediately to 
exercise that repentance wldch the gospel requires, 
and which is uato life eternal. 

2d. Saving i^iith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the 
reasonable duty of every one, and what entitles to 
salvation. Since Christ has died, the just for the un- 
just, to make a sacrifice for sin, how reasonable for 
all to love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and em- 
brace him as their God and Saviour. And it is un- 
reasonable for any to demand of the Father, that he 
would pardon and save them, while they contir-ue to 
reject his vSon, by refusing to exercise that iailh, which 
worketh by love, and purifieth the he.irt. God the 
Father would tarnish his own glory, if he should save 
one gospel siimer, who reiast:s to have the Saviour 
reign over him ; for, by so doing, he would announce 
to the universe, that the race of Adam might as well 
have been saved without the death of I is Son. It is 
necessary for the honour of the divine law, and for 
the righteousness and consistency of the divine con- 
duct, that gospel sinners believe on the Lord Jesus 

86 SERMON vir. 

Christ, or be damned. Infinite was the condescen- 
sion of Jehovah, in devising the great and glorious 
scheme of man's redemption through Jesus Christ, 
and the great term of salvation, even faith in his 
name, is the low^est or most reasonable, that can pos- 
sibly be made. Mankind must cheerfully comply 
with this, or else they must pray God to let them go 
on in the devices of their depraved hearts, and in 
the sight of their own eyes, without seeing any form 
or comeliness in the Saviour, that they should desire 

3d. Perseverance in well doing, will secure a hea- 
venly and never failing treasure. Through grace, in 
consequence of the atonement which Christ has made, 
mankind may receive an everlasting reward for all 
those works, which imply true obedience. Then 
why stand ye here all the day idle ? To those of the 
sixth, ninth, or eleventh hour, says the divine Re- 
deemer, Go, work in my vineyard. To him, that 
endure th to the end, eternal life is the reward, for 
they received every man a penny. The obedience 
of the heart, and perseverance in well doing, will 
gain an immortal prize. Thus we may see how man- 
kind may lay up a treasure of durable riches, and 
have something substantial in store to supply their 
future wants. 

I now proceed in the third place, to offer some rea^ 
son to show, that they ought now to be greatly engaged^ 
in preparing for their future well-being, 

1st. God, their heavenly Father, commands them 
immediately to engage in the work. When the Lord 
speaks, his intelligent creatures are bound to hear 
and obey. An earthly parent considers his child to 
be under obligations to yield obedience to his wise 
and reasonable requirements ; but how much greater 
the obligations of men to yield entire and cheerful 
obedience to the righteous commands of the great, 
the infinite Parent. Shall any think to excuse them- 
selves from their moral obhgations of obedience 

SERMON vir. 


fcven of immediate compliance, by pleading, that 
they have Hved in disobedience for many years, and 
have no disposition to obey ? Would a disobedient 
child be excused, for not returning to his father's 
house, and rendering filial obedience to his parent's 
commands, if he should observe, that he had volun- 
tarily strayed from his Father's house, and openly 
trampled upon his authority ? Or, shall mankind be 
free from guilt and blame, if they plead the secret 
enmity of their hearts against G od, and their averse- 
ness to all his reasonable requirements to be so great, 
that they cannot love and serve him? How many 
times, and in how light a manner, are such heaven- 
daring excuses made by a God-provoking world ! 
Perhaps some one is ready to say, I am greatly af- 
fected and alarmed at the awful wickedness and 
stubbornness of my heart, lest it finally sink me in 
perdition ; hence my plea is made with great serious- 
ness. Yes ! and let me ask, What would you think 
of a child, who, in a very serious and solemn man- 
ner, even in the sincerity of his heart, should declare 
to his Father, that he hated him with perfect and 
fixed hatred ; and that he could not be persuaded to 
love and obey him, even by the most solicitous and 
endearing entreaties and persuasions ? When you 
seriously and candidly decide this point, then judge 
how vain and wicked are all those excuses, which 
are made by mankind, for not turning to the Lord, 
and cheerfully engaging in his service with all the 
powers of their souls, since he commands them im- 
mediately to engage in the all important work of pre- 
paring for their future well-being. 

2d. The patience and forbearance of God, is 
another reason why they should not delay to engage 
in the work. It is an affecting consideration, that 
they who defer laying up a treasure for a future day, 
despise the riches of God's goodness, and forbear- 
ance, and long suffering. The Lord grants sinners 
space for repentance, and lengthens out their for« 


felted lives, that they may turn unto him and livCi 
But they who abuse his supporting and governing 
agency, by continuing their impenitence,iand hardness 
of heart, do weary his patience, and provoke his 
awful vengeance. 4nd are there not some, who have 
long abused the long-suffering of God, and who have 
often tempted him to show his wrath, and make his 
power known ? The miser, after many years of covet-^ 
ous success ; and the clouds, just before a storm, do 
greatly increase in their treasure. So they, who 
have long abused the glorious compassion, and mar- 
vellous long-suffering of God, are making hasty 
strides in the road to ruin ; and their treasure is fast 
increasing and rapidly redoubling to be repaid in 
sorrow. But is there nothing neither in the charac- 
ter nor conduct of the ever blessed God, which will 
lead men to take heed to their ways, and to lay up in 
store a goodly and never fading treasure ? If his 
justice will not excite them, must it be that they will 
not be moved neither by his grace, nor his mercy, nor 
his forbearance and patience towards them ? Have 
redeeming grace and dying love no attractions in the 
view of the sons of men ? M ust the pleas and in- 
tercessions of yon glorious and exalted Saviour, be 
set at nought and spurned ? Shall it be that they, as 
barren fig-trees, will bring forth no fruit unto God .^^ 
Mankind not only act unwisely, by refusing to en- 
gage in the great and all important work of laying 
up in store a treasure upon which their souls may 
feed after death, but they do very wickedly, by 
abusing the divine patience and forbearance. 

3d. Mankind ought to be immediately and greatly 
engaged in this work ; for it is that, in which they are 
most highly interested. They, who engage in this 
work, have eternal life begun in the soul; and a 
few years perseverance at most, will put them in full 
possession of a glorious and an eternal inheritance. 
Short, indeed, the term for laying up a treasure ; but 
crreat and glorious the reward. How do men labour 

SERMON Vli. 8d 

and fatigue themselves, and seize every favourable 
opportunity to lay up a treasure upon earth, which 
must shortly fail them ! But wisdom crieth aloud, 
she uttereth her voice in the streets ; .and, in view of 
a heavenly treasure, she says to every one, Whatso- 
ever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy mights 
The compassionate Redeemer, who well knew what is 
the true interest and wisdom of men, says. Labour not 
for the meat which perisheth, but for that which shall 
endure unto eternal life. They, who shall so run as 
to obtain, will be put in possession of an unspeakable 
prize ; but they who loiter by the way and refuse to 
work, will meet with a loss which will be matter of 
unspeakable regret and endless lamentation. Then 
let men be immediately and greatly engaged, in work- 
ing out their own salvation with fear and trembling, 
for it is a business of their highest concern. 

4th. Men ought immediately to engage in laying 
up a heavenly treasure, for they have but one short 
space in which to perform this work. This present 
state, is the only day of grace ; the only seed-time 
for mortals to prepare for a great and glorious har- 
vest. And doubtless, with many the day is far spent^ 
and the night is at hand. Doubtless, with many 
to-morrow will be for ever too late, to lay in store a 
good treasure, by sowing to the spirit, that they may 
reap everlasting life. And how melancholy, how de- 
plorable indeed the state of those who in vain la- 
ment. The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and 
we are not saved. Biit will men still turn a deaf eat" 
to all the calls of God ? When the thunders of Sinai 
roar around them, will they not be moved ? Are they 
so stupid and sluggish as not to be aroused notwith- 
standing all that the Lord has said and done ? Solo- 
mon exhorts those who will not hear the voice of God, 
nor of his servants, calHng upon them to go to the ant, 
one of the little and prudent creatures which God has 
made, to observe her ways; and, by awaking from their 
stupidity, to learn a lesson of wisdom. Go to the ant, 



thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise : 
Which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth 
her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in 
the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard ! 
when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep ? Yet a little 
sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to 
sleep. So shall thy poverty come, as one that tra- 
vel leth, and thy want as an armed man. Of how much 
greater consequence is the soul-important work, in 
which men are called to engage, than that of the 
ants, whose only concern is to provide for the win- 
ter ! And doubtless the time of many will be much 
shorter to lay up a treasure for heaven, than that of 
the ants to prepare for their future day. But shall it 
be, that the ants, guided by instinct, lay in a store in 
due season, find give all dihgence to have a supply 
for their future wants, while men, who have intelli- 
gent powers, loiter and slumber, when eternal con- 
cerns press upon them ? Let men observe the propri- 
ety and wisdom of the insects of the earth, and be 
admonished from their ways to learn a lesson of 
heavenly wisdom, lest in the book of divine provi- 
dence, at the last great day, they appear in judge- 
ment against them. 


1st. JIre 71WI admonished not only by the word of God j 
hut by the ants, to be laying up a treasure in heaven? Then it 
cannot be owing to the want of knowledge, that they 
neglect this w^ork. In the word of God, the pathway 
of life is clearly pointed out; and all nature urges 
men not to delay the work of preparing for the future. 
The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and in- 
sects of the earth, reprove men of their unmindful- 
ness and ingratitude towards their Creator and most 
bountiful Benefactor. How active are the various 
tribes of irrational creatures, in showing forth the 
praises of their Maker ! Their language to the sons 
oi' men is, O come join with us : in an intelligentj and 

SERMON \lh 91 

more nobie way, declare his praise. Bat hear, O 
heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath 
spoken : I have nourished and brought up children, 
but they have rebelled against me. My hearers, 
look to your domestick animals. Are they as un- 
mindful of you, as you are of your God ? Do they 
treat you with the neglect with which you treat your 
heavenly Parent ? But remember this truth. To him 
that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is 

2d. Then the only reason ivhy men neglect the duties of 
religion^ and concerns of their souls^ must be their extreme 
and criminal aversion to them. Surely the motives are 
sufficiently great to excite the most sluggish into ac- 
tivity and diligence, unless they have unfeeHng, obdu- 
rate hearts. If any plead their blindness, they 
virtually plead guilty ; for the voluntary opposition 
of the heart to the light and duties of the gospel, 
induces men to stop their ears, shut their eyes, and 
blind their minds. I3ut who for this is to be blamed ? 
Sinners, in gospel lands, see and confess that the 
great concerns of religion and their souls, are of 
unspeakably greater importance than any or all of 
the pursuits and enjoyments of this present world. 
But if they confess these things, what makes them 
sleep in awful security, when the torments of hell 
should alarm, and the joys of heaven allure the most 
stupid sinner. This kind of blindness discovers great 
wickedness ; for it discovers a willingness to treat the 
ever blessed God with continued contempt, and to 
be the murderers of their own souls, when they are 
convinced they ought to take heed. The ants assist 
each other in laying up a store for the future ; but 
how unwilling are men to do any thing for their own 
salvation or that of others. They mutually agree to 
lay up treasures upon earth; yet how do they fold their 
hands together and say. Yet a little sleep, a little 
slumber; when the thought of encouraging each 
other to walk in the straight and narrow way, comes to 

^2 SEft]Vl6x\ VII. 

their view. Then mankind are not only to be pitied 
but blamed, for their moral stupidity and blindness. 

3d. From this subject we see, that as natural sloth 
tends to poverty^ so spiritual sloth proves ruinous to the 
soul If impenitent sinners were truly awake, and 
not in a state of despair, they would be much excited 
to do something in order to escape the wrath to come. 
Perhaps some are ready to wonder why tbe Lord 
does not give them a new heart, and pardon their 
sins ; because he appears in behalf of others, and 
shows mercy. But were they not criminally stupid 
and blind, they would wor-der why a holy and just 
God has so long spared their forfeited lives, and not 
^ut them off in their sins as cumberers of his ground. 
How many thousands have acted the part of the 
sluggard, sleeping in their sins, till they have opened 
their eyes in torment. And is it not now as danger- 
ous to say. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little 
folding of the hands to sleep .'^ Says Solomon to every 
one of this description. Go to the ant, thou sluggard, 
consider her ways, and be wise. 

4th. Let all take the alarm, and awake to righteous- 
ness, lest the wrath of God come upon them to the 
utmost. Let saints arise and trim their lamps. They 
should ever be greatly engaged in laying up a trea- 
sure in heaven, that they may reap a rich harvest, a 
great and glorious reward. Their redemption is now 
nearer, than when they first believed ; hence, they 
should give all dihgence to make their calling and 
election sure. The present, especially calls for ex- 
traordinary exertions and zeal in the cause of the 
Redeemer. The Lord Jesus is doing great and won- 
derful things for Zion. In a very special manner is 
he blessing the exertions of his people, and enlarging 
the borders of his glorious kingdom. And is this a 
time for his people to sleep } Let them awake, be up 
and doing, and not tarry to make excuses, but pre- 
pare to meet the bridegroom. Let impenitent sin- 
ners awake, and speedily flee to the mountain of 


baibty. Have they not folded their hands together 
long enough, crying, Yet a httle sleep, a Httle slum- 
ber. It is now almost impossible to av^ ake some, and 
will they yet sleep ? Are they determined not to 
awake, till the light of eternity opens their eyes ? 
Yonder, methinks I see the Saviour with very solemn 
but cheerful looks. What heart-felt expression flows 
from his lips ? Rise, sinner : he calleth thee. Come, 
O come to Jesus. The Spirit and the Bride say, 
come. Let him that heareth, say come. And who- 
soever will, let him take of the water of life freely. 
* If any will yet sleep, it must be to their own cost. 
But awake, thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, 
and Christ shall give thee life. Awake to righteous- 
ness ; lay up for yourself a treasure in heaven, that 
your soul may live, and for ever feast and rejoice with 
that innumerable company at the great marriage 
supper of the Lamb, j^men. 



Mark iii. 5. 
Stretch forth thine hand. 

All the ways of God are perfect and right, 
whether man be reconciled to them or not. He is 
the Lord and Sovereign of the universe, and all his 
intelligent creatures are bound to render implicit 
obedience to all his commands ; for no one of them 
is unreasonable. All the general laws and positive 
precepts of the supreme Ruler are such as are 
worthy a Being supremely wise and good. Notwith- 
standing there is a controversy between the supreme, 
moral Governour, and his rebelhous subjects on the 
earth, his foot-stool. Their language is, His ways are 
hard and grievous ; not suited to the state and condi- 
tion of weak and erring mortals. But says the Lord, 
Come now and let us reason together. Are not my 
ways equal ? and are not your ways unequal ? In 
infinite compassion he condescends to reason with 
men, even the rebellious, who find fault with his ways, 
and call him a hard master. The words of the text 
with those in connexion, are an interesting narrative, 
and serve to show the depravity of the human heart, 
and the benevolence of God towards man. Jesus 
entered into the synagogue ; and there was a man 
there, which had a withered hand. And the Phari- 
sees watched him, whether he would heal him on the 
Sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he 
saith unto the man, which had the withered hand, 
stand forth. And he said unto them, is it lawful to 

SERMON Vlil. 95 

do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil ? to save 
life, or to kill ? But they held their peace. And 
when he looked round about on them with anger, 
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he 
saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he 
stretched it out : and his hand was restored whole as 
the other. By this miraculous restoration at the 
exertion of the man we are taught, that human activity 
is a means of obtaining blessings from God. The 
subject will be illustrated with considerable variety. 
1st. The conduct of mankind in natural Ufe^ may serve 
to illustrate and evince the necessity of human activity^ in 
order to obtain what are detiojninated natural blessings. 
The comforts and conveniences of life are not ob- 
tained by idleness and sloth; but by industry and 
activity. The earth would not yield her increase in 
such rich profusion, were it not cultivated by the 
hand of man. There must be ploughing and sowing, 
harvesting and ingathering, that the wants of her 
numerous inhabitants may be supplied. Not only 
activity, but times and seasons are to be observed^ 
for committing seeds to the earth, and for gathering 
her precious fruits. Hence the husbandman at a 
suitable time casts forth seed, and then patiently 
waits for the early and latter rain, and in due season 
reaps a rich harvest, as a reward of his labours. 
The earth is a vast and inexhaustible store-house, 
from which, by proper means and exertions, the whole 
human family may derive the necessities and com^ 
forts of life. But without human activity only a small 
portion of the globe could subsist. Even in paradise 
Adam was to till the ground ; and since the fall, 
human labour is necessarily increased. After the 
flood the promise was made. While the earth re- 
maineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat^ 
and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not 
cease. But this does by no means imply, that should 
mankind fold their hands together as the sluggard 
and call for a little more sleep, that the earth would 

96 SERMON viir. 

spontaneously abound with all her productions, and 
lavish on man her choicest goods. It is designed as an 
encouragement for human exertion. And, in similar 
circumstances, where a people are the most in- 
dustrious and economical, there the good things of 
this life are enjoyed in the greatest profusion. All 
nature teems with life and activity ; and to the sloth- 
ful, her voice of admonition is, Go to the ant, thou 
sluggard ; consider her ways, and be wise. As it is 
true, that without the blessing of God, in giving 
fruitful showers and the genial influence of the sun, 
the labours of man would be vain, so is it equally 
true, that in the constitution of natural things, we 
may be led to see the necessity of human activity, in 
order to obtain what are denominated natural bless-^ 

2d. Individual j)rosperity in earthly good things^ is con- 
nected ivith human activity. It is true that wealth or 
riches are distributed by the hand of Providence, 
w hether mankind are born to affluence, or whether 
they acquire wealth by the means of their labours; 
It is also a matter of fact, that the industrious do not 
always become wealthy, nor that riches are always to 
men of understanding. But, still we often see this 
truth verified. That idleness will clothe a man with 
rags; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. 
Property is generally acquired by the use of means; 
either by bodily or mental exertions, and frequently 
by both. Some by persevering labour and an enter- 
prising spirit, not only obtain a competence, but ac- 
cumulate great riches. The person in want is con- 
vinced, that human activity is the proper means to 
relieve his necessities. Such may trust in Providence; 
but this is only by looking to God for a blessing on 
their labours or honest exertions. And we may fre- 
quently see from the conduct of such, that necessity 
is the mother of invention. The worthy poor man 
does not give himself up to idleness ; but he gives 
diligence, by some honest calling, to obtain food and 

SERMON viii. 97 

raiment, and the varied comforts of life. Whether 
any one be more or less successful in the lawful pur- 
suits of secular concerns, he must depend on the 
blessing of God to crown his endeavours with suc- 
cess. Still this dependance is not a discouragement 
to exertion ; but a ground or reason to excite to 
action. Not only the word of God, but also the con- 
duct of maaklnd serves to show, that human activity 
is a means for individuals to obtain earthly good 

3d. la time of sickness or of sorris natural calamity^ 
human activity and means ^ are necessary in order to obtain 
a blessing from God, Although it is true, that it is ap- 
pointed unto man once to die, arid that his days are* 
numbered with the Almighty as the days of an hire- 
ling, that he cannot pass ; yet it is equally triie, that 
where life is prolonged, means are included. In times 
of sickiiess of an alarming nature, how quickly is the 
physician called, and how carefully his prescriptions 
observed. In some cases without his assistance, life 
would not be endangered ; but, in ten thousand in- 
stances, without his speedy aid, death would inevita- 
bly ensue ; whereas, through his instrumentallity, the 
years of many are miultiplied. Still it is the blessing 
of God, which alone can give efficacy to medical aid, 
to raise from the borders of the grave, and restore 
to health. How are the most skilful exertions baf- 
fled, unless he give efficacy. But, notwithstanding 
the keys of life and of death, are in the hands of God; 
yet how readily do mankind make use of human 
exertions and means, in order to preserve life and 
promote health. And whether ;the Lord grant 
blessings by a natural or miraculous cause, he has 
instituted means to be used, and demands human 
activity. Sometimes, however, men despise the 
directions from heaven, and would prescribe the 
means to be used for their own selves, as if they 
Were wiser than their Maker. The story of Naaman^ 
captain of the Assyrian host, and who wag a leper, 


98 SERMON viir. 

may be happily brought to view in this place. By a 
little Hebrew maid, he hears of a prophet in Israel. 
With a letter from the king of Assyria, he departs ; 
taking ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces 
of gold, and ten changes of raiment, as a price or 
present for his healing. So Naaman came with his 
horses and his chariot, and stood at the door of the 
house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto 
him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times ; 
and thy flesh shall come again unto thee, and thou 
shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went 
away; and said, Behold, I thought he will surely 
come out to me, and stand and call on the name of 
the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place 
and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, 
rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of 
Israel? may I not wash in them and be clean .^^ So 
he turned, and went away in a rage. And his ser- 
vants came near, and spake unto him and said. My 
father, if the prophet had bid thee da some great 
thing, wouldest thou not have done it ? how much 
rather then, when he saith unto thee. Wash and be 
clean. Then went he down, and dipped himself 
seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the 
man of God : and his flesh came again like unto the 
flesh of a little child, and he was clean. We may 
notice, that Naaman despised simple means, and de- 
sired to have pompous ones substituted. And that 
the ^dvice of his servants was the means, which 
induced him to follow the directions of the prophet, 
without which his leprosy must have remained upon 
him. The Saviour's anointing the eyes of the blind 
man with clay, and his restoring sight, are worthy of ^ 
consideration. Why was clay used, and not proper* 
eye-salve ? Because the power and blessing of God 
might not appear so conspicuous. Hence he would 
use means which would not appear to have any 
inherent virtue or efficacy, that the efficiency might 
appear manifest from God alone. Now let us attend 


to the words of the text* To the man whose hand 
was withered, says the Saviour, Stretch forth thine 
hand. And he stretched it out, and his hand was re- 
stored whole as the other. The question now arises, 
Why was the man commanded to stretch forth his 
hand, when he laboured under a natural inability. 1 
answer, because means or human exertion was to be 
made to appear, to be inseparably connected with 
the end, or the restoration of the hand. The moment 
the man made an effort to raise his hand, which !;e 
was unable of himself to do, power was communi- 
cated from the Saviour to restore its vital energies, 
that it might be raised. Divine agency immediately 
accompanied human ; and unless the man had made 
an attempt to comply with the command, we have 
not the smallest evidence, that his hand would have 
been restored. Though means are to be used, the 
power and excellence must appear to be from God. 
Thus we may see, that in time of sickness or some 
natural calamity human activity and means are neces- 
sary in order to obtain a blessing irom him. 

4th. Ft is through the blessing of God and hy hmnan 
activifi/^ that our natural talents are improved. In the 
first period of our existence, we are human beings 
only in miniature. The works of nature and the 
privileges of society, are the great inlets of knowl- 
edge ; but these are so varied and extensive, that we 
may make constant improvements in learning those 
things, which are becoming dependant and accounta- 
ble beings. When we behold the wonders of crea- 
tion, if wp duly exercise our minds, we may contem- 
plate the being and perfections of God ; for the in- 
visible things of him may be clearly seen, from the 
things that are made, even his eternal power and 
Godhead. And from the blessings of educatin and 
society we may obtain clear and enlarged views of 
the various doctrines and duties of the gospel. Some 
have far more extensive opportunities ot instruction 
than others ; yet, still, in all cases much depends on 


human activity. The light of creation, Providence, 
and revelation, must not be shut out of the mind, 
but improved, would we form consistent and exalted 
views of the character of God and of his wondrous 
WorkJf^. It is not only through human activity, that 
the mind is expanded in all its faculties ; but human 
exertions are necessary, that it make use of proper 
means, and be engaged in suitable employments. 
Our dispositions and manners depend much on our 
own forming. It is true, that our gifts and privileges 
are blessings from God ; but our improvement of them, 
are inseparably connected with human activity. 

5th. It is through the blessing of God^ that the minds 
of any are deephj impressed with a sense of divine truth ; 
still the agency or activity of man is not excluded. It is 
the work of grace, that any of the human race are 
awakened and convicted ; for mankind, in a moral 
point of view, are asleep, and do not wish to be dis- 
turbed from their slumbers. The Holy Spiril is the 
great agent to awaken and convince men that they 
are sinners, and make them feel their guilt ; but their 
activity is necessary in order to cherish the strivings 
of the Spirit. The light and force of divine truth, 
wijl now and then break in and shine into the minds 
of men, which, by their exertions, they may either 
^kin^le or quench. To have the mind habitually im- 
pressed and open to conviction, requires serious 
meditation and prayer. Some have their minds oc- 
cupied with light and trifling thoughts, much of their 
time ; because they are pleased with vain things, and 
exei^t themselves to bar the avenues of the soTul against 
the arrows of conviction. On the other hand, thoise 
who have generally solemnity of mind, strive to banish 
sinful and vain thoughts as an enemy to seriousness. 
Sornie resort to the pleasures and amusements of life, 
that they may lose their serious^ impressions. Others 
seelt serious company and religious conversation ; 
deeply solicitous, lest they resist the strivings of the 
Spirit. From experience, and from the warnings and 

SERMOr^ VIII. 101 

cautions to men not to quench the Holy Spirit, we 
may see that human activity is a means of obtaining 
the^ blessing of having the mind deeply impressed 
with a sense of divine truth. 

6th. The work of conversion is truly the work of God ; 
yet hummi activity is a means of obtaining this blessing. 
To be converted, is to be created anew in Christ 
Jesus unto good works. It is to be transformed from 
the kingdom of Satan, and to be brought into the 
kingdom of God's dear Son. To be brought out of 
darkness into God's marvellous light. But it is said 
to be the work of God, to take away the old and stony 
heart, and to give a new heart or a heart of flesh : 
that is, a heart of supreme love to God, repentance 
for sin, faith in the Son of God, and all other christian 
graces. Yet mankind are commanded to make them 
a new heart, and to exercise holy or gracious afTec- 
tions. Hence, we may be led to see in the work of 
-conversion, that although the Lord is the efficient 
cause, yet man is active in the work. Divine and 
human agency are inseparably connected ; and both 
essential, that the sinner may be born again. In this 
^reat and all-important, essential work, the time and 
degree of conviction are greatly varied. Some, for 
a considerable time, are distressed in their souls; and 
burdened, as it were, with the pains of hell. Others, 
with sharp and pungent convictions, are quickly de- 
livered from the bondage of sin and death. Some 
are more peculiarly excited by terrour and guilt ; 
others are most deeply impressed and affected in view 
of the grace, mercy, and forbearance of God. But 
the effect is the same; from children of darkness to 
become children of light. Perhaps some are ready 
to say with Nicodemus, How can these things be. 
Receive light from the words of the text. Stretch 
forth thine hand. The man, sensible of his natural 
inability, was stript of all hope or confidence in 
himself; therefore his only encouragement and trust, 
were in the compassion and power of the Saviour. 


Thus he was enabled, and did stretch forth his hand. 
Then let ' those who despair of help in themselves, 
on the account of their moral inability, their guilt, 
pollution, and wretchedness, submit themselves to 
God, relying solely on his grace and mercy through 
his Son, for pardon and salvation. This is the straight 
and narrow way, that children of wrath and heirs of 
hell may become the cliildren of God and heirs of 
heaven. It is through the grace of God alone, by 
the use of means and human activity, that any can 
escape the wrath to come, and lay hold on eternal 
life. Would any desire to have the deadly leprosy 
of sin healed by some pompous, external reformation 
or performance ? They must be disappointed ; for 
the great physician of souls, alone can heal them. 
Let them not, like Naaman, despise the means and 
way which God has appointed, and glory in the de- 
vice of human wisdom. None can possibly merit 
heaven : and would they gladly purchase it with 
silver or gold, as Simon Magus would the gift of 
miracles, they and their money must perish together. 
As heavy laden, humble, penitent, of a broken and 
contrite heart, their language must be, God be mer- 
ciful to me, a sinner. It was truly the work of God 
that the apostle Paul was converted ; and yet how 
active was he in the work. The light from heaven 
brought him to the earth ; and, with deep humility, 
he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord what wilt 
thou have me to do ? And now. Behold, he prayeth. 
Here we have exhibited a most pungent, sudden 
42onviction, and an instance of wonderful conversion. 
The trembling jailor, under keen conviction, cries out. 
Sirs, what must I do to be saved ? And with ready 
and active obedience, he believed on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and was converted. Then let those who 
are dead in trespasses and sins, arise and call upon 
God, if peradventure the thoughts of their heart be 
forgiven them. Repentance is the gift of God; yet it 
is the sinner who repents and awakes to newness of 

SERMON Vili* 103 

iiie. In this view we hear the command, Awake thou 
that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ 
shall give thee hght. Mankind naturally are wilhngly 
bound with the bonds and adamantine chains of sin 
and death ; and it is the agency of the divine Spirit, 
whic.h makes them willing to be released, and active 
in being delivered from the powers of darkness. 
They are the willing slaves of sin; but divine grace 
enables them to become the wiUing servants of 
Christ. From christian experience, and from the 
examples recorded in the sacred oracles, we may be 
led to see, that human activity is connected as a 
means of obtaining the inestimable blessing of con- 
version, which is acknowledged to be the work of 

7 th. Human activity is a means of obtaining the bless- 
ing of sanctification from God, In conversion that good 
work is begun, which is to be perfected unto the day 
of Jesus Christ. The soul that is renewed by the 
Spirit of God, is to grow in grace and christian 
knowledge. And the one who is active and faithful^ 
will have his path like that of the just, which groweth 
brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. The 
christian warfare cannot be successfully uiaintained 
without persevering, human exertions ; although 
thanks belongeth to God, who giveth. the victory. 
The scriptural direction on this subject is, Work out 
your own salvation with fear and trembling ; for it is 
God, who worketh in you to will and to do, of his 
own good pleasure. Although believers are depemd- 
ant on the grace of God, that they be more and more 
conformed to the image of his Son, still their activity 
and exertions are not to be diminished. They must 
lead watchful, prayerful, and godly lives; and glorify 
God in their bodies and spirits, which are his. The 
scriptures abound with exhortations, warnings, and 
encouragements towards believers, that they be not 
slothful ; but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. 
Whilst they are not to trust in themselves, but in God^ 

1(M SERMON Vlif. 

who quickeneth them : still the manner in which th^y 
must trust in him, is only by pressing forward toward 
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God, in 
Christ Jesus. Hence human activity is a means of 
obtaining the blessing of sanctification from God. 


1st. If human activity is a means of obtaining 
blessings from God, then we may see, that they who 
neglect the means of grace ^ neglect their own salvation. 
We have seen from this subject, that both in the 
natural and moral world, the Lord has established 
means in order to obtain blessings ; and they who 
neglect them, forsake their own mercies. The means 
of the gospel are external and internal. The exter- 
nal, are the Sabbath, the preaching or reading of the 
word, and other opportunities of instruction. The 
internal, are serious meditation, reflection, secret 
prayer, and a determination to shun evil and cleave 
to that which is good. And whilst we behold some 
highly prizing the means of grace, we may see them 
lightly esteemed by others. So whilst the same 
means are proving a savour of life unto life to some, to 
others they are a savour of death unto death. Gospel 
means serve either to render the mind serious, and re- 
new the heart ; or they serve to harden those who re- 
sist them. They must prove means of conviction, con* 
version, sanctification, and salvation; or of an 
aggravated condemnation. They will not remain 
void ; but will be a means of preparing for heaven, 
or of sinking the soul deeper in^ hell. It is a solemn 
truth, that to neglect the means of grace, is to neg- 
lect our own salvation. 

2d, If human activity is a means of obtaining 
blessings from God, by contrast we may see, that 
there must be activity to draw down his curse. Some 
people imagine sin to be a mere calamity sent upon 
them, which they abhor, and from which they are 
groaning; to be delivered. But would they open 


their eyes, they would see that they roll sin as a sweet 
tnorsel under their tongues, and' that they are not 
anxious to be freed from it ; but only from the ways 
of sin, which is the second death. They who drink 
down iniquity as the ox drinketh water, love all the 
sins in which they indulge ; although they may dread 
their future punishment. Do any imagine that necessi- 
ty or fate has fast bound them with the slavish chains 
of sin ? Mistaken souls ! Their own activity, their 
repeatedly hardening their hearts against the truth, 
their fixed habits of sinning, are the. barriers and 
mountains in the way of their salvation. They are 
the active agents in forming their shackles of sin; 
and slaves to Satan, not by fatality, but by being 
willingly led as his captives. Let not any be deceived, 
and imagine they hate sin, merely because they have 
a slavish fear of punishment. They who hate it, 
seek to be delivered from its internal dominion, as 
from a loathsome and deadly leprosy of soul. They 
fold not their hands together in idle wishes, but awake 
to righteousness. To be dead in sin is not a mere 
calamity, but it is to be active in the ways of unright- 
eousness, and to love the paths of disobedience. 

3d. From this subject we may see, that a person 
may be brought near the khigdom of God^ and still fail of 
salvation. Aithough conversion is an instantaneous 
work, wrought by the Spirit of God, yet there are 
previous stages of awakening and conviction. And 
a person may be brought near that stedfast degree of 
seriousness and anxiety for his soul, in which the 
Lord generally shows mercy, and yet go back. He 
may by degrees turn back from the very gate of 
heaven, and at last have his conscience seared as with 
a hot iron. An affecting and alarming truth, which 
should sink with deep weight into the minds of the 
thoughtful. How heart-rending must it be to any in 
wo, to look back into this world, and see that they 
were just entering into the kingdom of God, and yet 
failed of salvation. 


i06 sfeRMON viir. 

4th. The subject naturally suggests the inquiry^ 

Why stand ye here all the day idle ? Whether at the 

sixth, ninth, or eleventh hour, the Saviour calls to 

work in his vineyard. Then let youth, middle ag ed, 

and aged, feel interested in this subject, and work 

while it is called to-day ; for the night shortly cometh 

in which no man can work. There is work enough 

yet to do, and the reward is as great and glorious as 

is worthy a God to bestow. Heaven, earth, and hell, 

call loudly upon all to be active in doing the will of 

their heavenly Father. Time and eternity present 

motives of infinite magnitude. The salvation of the 

soul demands. That whatsoever thy hand findeth to 

do, do it with thy might. Shall a mortal creature in 

view of his immortal interests, remain idle ? Rather 

by activity let us bear much fruit towards God, that 

so a glorious entrance shall be administered into the 

kingdom of his Son in eternal life. Amen. 



Ecclesiastes x. 19. 
Money ansioereth all things. 

X O esteem every thing according to its real worth, 
is the part of true wisdom. But, for this it is neces- 
sary to have correct views of things earthly and tem- 
poral ] and of those that are heavenly and eternal. 
As mankind are in a slate of apostacy from God, they 
are prone to idolize the good things of this life, and 
to make temporary pleasures their chief joy. On 
the other hand, some of a religious and melancholy 
turn of mind, have turned away from the sweets of 
social life, have sought solitary retreat, shut them- 
selves up in cellsy and lived a secluded and monas- 
tick life. But, still it is true, the Lord has given to 
man the world to be used, though not to be abused. 
Earthly enjoyments should not be viewed with indif- 
ference, for they demand gratitude and thankfuhiess. 
It is only by comparison, or by contrasting them with 
the glorious and eternal blessings of the gospel, that 
they are to be considered as vanity, and to sink into 
nothings All the blessings of this life are worthy of 
some atjtention ; and says Solomon, Money answereth 
all thmgs. 

The experience of every one, as well as other 
passages of scripture, evince that the word all^ is 
not used in this place in its universal and unlimited 
import. Money will not answer all things, in every 
respect that might be mentioned ; but still, in a cer- 
tain sense, it is true, that it does or would answer all 
things. It answers for all the purposes for which it 


is designed. There is a value attached to it, which 
renders it useful ; and for which it is desirable to be 
obtained. No doubt the true import of the words of 
the text is this, Money will answer all things as it 
respects the purposes of commerce. In order to 
illustrate this idea, I shall undertake to show the 
value and use of money, by noticing some desirable 
purposes which it answers. 

1st. For money the necessities of life may he obtained. 
It will buy food and raiment for the sustenance of life. 
Although mankind are directed to seek first the king- 
dom of God and his righteousness, still it is essential 
to human existence, that the body be fed and clothed. 
That bread of life which cometh down from heaven, 
is infinitely more valuable for the soul than earthly 
bread is for the body ; but this truth does not in the 
least invalidate the fact, that without provision for 
eating and drinking, death would be the inevitablq 
consequence. And no case perhaps can be men- 
tioned, where food and raiment could not be obtained 
from any one for money, unless in a time of siege or 
necessity, when individuals would only have a bare 
pittance merely sufiicient to prevent final starvation. 
As it is important, that life should be prolonged ; so 
is it equally necessary, that the means of life be 
procured. But money is the most convenient, advan^ 
tageous, and effectual for this. V arious other things 
might be mentioned as the necessities of life, and 
they might be obtained by various means of com- 
merce ', yet certainly money will have the pre-emi- 
nence as the best circulating medium. • 

2d. Money is valuable ; for with it not only the necessi^ 
ties^ but the varied comforts and conveniences of life may 
he procured. The privileges and enjoyments of this 
world are many and greatly diversified. And though 
they be not essential to mere existence or subsists 
ence ; still they are desirable, and worthy of some 
degree of attention. It is not only commendable to 
seek for food, but for that which is wholesome and 


.igreeable; and to procure that raiment, which is 
decent. To eat and drink of the bounties of Provi 
deuce, those things that are palatable, is no sin ; for 
thej are the gifts of God to be used with delight, 
and to be receiA ed as mercies and favours, bestowed 
by an invisible hand. To be clothed in a manner 
suitable to the age and society in which we live, is 
becoming ; and they who are prosperous, certainly 
may dress genteely without being censured. A small, 
tight hut might shelter from the inclemencies of the 
weather ; but money gives an ability to erect a build- 
ing more for taste, elegance, convenience, and enjoy- 
ment. Many m.en are able to perform journeys on 
foot ; and others are obliged to prosecute them 
with an inferiour beast, and an inconvenient carriage. 
But who would not wish to travel, whether for busi- 
ness or pleasure, with excellent equipage, that he 
may journey with ease and appear with respecta- 
bility? Money furnishes the most ready and desirable 
means of conveyance, whether by water or land; givers 
a person the power of visiting cities and countries, 
museums and monuments, and other intere^sting 
works both of nature and art. It was money Avhich 
enabled Solomon to make great works, to build 
houses, to plant vineyards, to make gardens and 
orchards, to plant trees in them of all kinds of fruits, 
and to have many other of the conveniences and 
deh2;hts of life. It is true, the poor have no right to 
complain, or to murmur against the Providence of 
God; but to be grateful for the favours they enjoy, and 
thus be content with their situation. For them to be 
uneasy, dissatisfied, and restless, is a shi. Notwith- 
standing the wealthy have superiour advantages; 
and, as they are bound to be more thankful, this 
shows that their situation is more ehgible. And 
although none may envy those whose circumstances 
in life are far more agreeable and honourable than 
theirs, still they are encouraged to use all prudent 
and lawful means, that they may possess and enjoy 


the varied earthly comforts, even in abundance. The 
conveniences, privileges, and enjoyments in our 
present state are innumerable ; hence we may see, 
how valuable and useful is money ; for it brings them 
all within our reach, and exalts our station in life. 

3d. Money enables those who have it, to buy and 
sell to advantage, and to increase their property by 
improving times and opportunities. The trite ex- 
pression, that money begets money, has much truth 
in it; and it might be iljustrated and proved in vari- 
ous ways. The interest which the principal com- 
mands, to those who have considerable sums of 
money, yields them a comfortable support. Almost 
every thing in the commercial or bartering world, 
may be obtained for it at a lower rate than can be done 
for other commodities. A man may be a speculator, 
and yet be an honest man ; or be free from the charge 
of grinding the face of the poor. Re niay purchase 
the property of his neighbour at a fair pi ice, when it 
is low, and do him a kindness. If it afterwards rise 
in value, he may dispose ol it at an i dvanced price, 
without injurihg any one. although his money has 
given^im an important advantage. liew often, and 
how many men feel themselves straightened in their 
circumstances, and unable to prosecute their busi- 
ness advantageously for the want of the valuable, 
convenient, circulatitJg medium. Juw desirable then 
to hiive soi:]ie in possession, or at coiymand. 

1th. Money gives jui ability to prosecute studies, 
in order to acquire a liberal education. To a person 
having a taste for ittiprovement. it -wouk! be very 
gratiij'ing to have the ability to purch^ise a variety of 
interesting books in order to 1 ave an extensive hbra- 
ry. To be able to obtain a good education, or to be 
well versed in the several branches of useful litera- 
ture, is an object of importance to every one. But 
many, in many parts of our highly favoured land, are 
denied this for the want of money. How must the 
heart of every parent who is interested in the pros- 

SEiKiVtON IX. i 1 I 

pect, respectability, and welfare of his children, glow 
with a laudable desire to see them well instructed in 
the necessary and polite arts and sciences. But 
money can send youth to a good school, an excellent 
academy, or to a celebrated college, if expedients 
To be well educated and informed, is not a mere or- 
namental accomplishment ; but it is to have the mind 
enlarged, and to be prepared for more extensive use- 
fulness. It is education that improves superiour tal- 
ents; that brightens, polishes, and enlarges moderate 
ones. How useful then is money to furnish all aids, 
means, and opportunities of improvement ! 

5th. Money is som^tim^^s the neaiis of lengthen- 
ing: out the lives of mankind. Not that all the orold 
and silver in the world can purchase a release one 
hour from death, or that they can procure the gift of 
miraculous healings. The contrary of this, is taught 
in the answer of Peter, to Simon the sorcerer, when 
he said. Thy money perish with thee, because thou 
hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased 
with money. Not only do some sinful courses cause 
some of the wicked not to live out half their days; 
but poverty and the want of means, do shorten the 
lives of some. Let two examples be mentioned. 
Thousands who have been verging to a fatal disease, 
have had the ability to journey, to experience a 
favourable climate, and to bring to their aid every 
possible remedy ; and these have been the means of 
restoring their health, and adding years to their days. 
But thousands of others in the same circumstances 
of declining health, have been unable to enjoy simi- 
lar means and advantages ; and they s^oon are 
brought to a sick and dying bed. Again, thousands 
have been attacked with some threatening, fatal, local 
complaint ; but their abihty procured speedy and 
most skilful medical aid, and their lives have been 
prolonged. Thousands of others alike afflicted, have 
been unable to obtain the most eminent and skilful 
physicians, and have fallen a ready prey to their ra • 

112 Sermon li. 

ging disease. How valuable and useful,then,is money! 
And the scriptures do not teach that money, but that 
the love of money is the root of all evil. A covetous 
desire of getting^ and an avaricious disposition of 
hoarding up earthly treasures, are the sole ground of 
any inconvenience or injury. Moreover, we are 
taught, They that will be rich, fall into temptation 
and a snare, and into many and hurtful lusts, which 
drown men in destruction and perdition. But this 
expression teaches the wrong pursuit and abuse of 
the manifold blessings of life. An anxiety merely to 
be rich, manifests a sordid disposition, and discovers 
a wicked heart. To be influenced by such a spirit 
or motive, in accumulating property, is base and 
criminal. Certainly every one would wish, to be in 
comfortable circumstances ; and to be rich, is no sin. 
Riches may be abused or they may be sought unlaw- 
fully. But as money answers all things, as it respects 
the purposes of commerce and the conveniences of 
life, so in some instances it is the means or occasion 
of lengthening out life. 

6th. Moneij enables mankind to assist the poor^ and 
relieve the distressed. And certainly this is not a trifling 
consideration to a person of a generous and humane 
disposition. The mind that is possessed of only the 
common feelings of humanity, must experience agree- 
able sensations in relieving the distresses of man- 
kind; and tobe unable to do this for the want of money, 
would be painful to the same mind. Is it desirable 
and gratifying, now and then to give aid to our needy 
fellow mortals ? How pleasing, and what abundant 
joy, then, would arise to a liberal soul, to have the 
power to be able always to give some assistance or 
relief to a fellow suflferer, even as often as the expe- 
diency of giving might be known. The scriptures 
declare. It is more blessed to give than to receive. 
Then not to be able to give to proper objects of 
charity, must be considered as an affliction, and 
should be numbered as one of the calamities of 



human life. How much a man can promote human 
happiness, who is both ^ble and wilHng to be charit- 
able, according to the dictates of wisdom and con- 
science. 4nd how have the breasts of many been 
pained, because their circumstances were such that 
they had not money to assist the poor, nor relieve the 

7 th. Money is necessary for the support of society^ mid 
for effecting important enterprises. Civil institutions, 
that are of itiuch importance, are attended with con- 
siderable expense. As the framing and supporting 
of wise and wholesome laws, deeply interest any 
community, so money may be said to be a spring to 
its exertion and prosperity. The branches of social 
society are various, and no one of them can flourish 
without the means of support from persons of pro- 
perty. The stated preaching of the gospel is one of 
the greatest blessings with which any people was 
ever yet favoured. But, for a divine to be skilful or 
eminent in his profession, he should not be perplexed 
with secular concerns. Then, if a people would 
support a minister of the gospel comfortably, they 
will be under the necessity of contributing liberally 
according to their ability. Any great undertaking of 
publick utility, demands large sums of money. How 
important are good roads, bridges, and canals ! How 
useful and valuable, then^ the means by which they 
are made ! How have the most useful inventions and 
machines had their origin from money ! How impor- 
tant is an able attorney in a weighty and critical 
cause ! But his best fee is money. How valuable 
then, how desirable ! 

8th. It is by money .^ thai the gospel and its attendant 
blessings are sent from Christian lands^ to 'hnsr thw are 
Heathen or Pagan. Is our own land highly favoured 
of heaven, as it respects the means and glorious 
privileges of the gospel ? To our forefathers, and 
even to other nations We are indebted for these ; as 
they flow to us in consequence of their exertions and 



expenditures. Are those nations, who are yet gro^ 
ping in moral darkness, to enjoy the enhghtening and 
benign influence of the gospel? The money of chris- 
tian societies, is to be the medium of eflecting such 
unspeakable blessings. And must not a heart of 
charity or humanity grieve, to have little or no part 
in this, for the want of ability ? How desirable to 
serious and reflecting minds, to have a dollar to spare 
frequently, to send a Bible and Testament to some 
destitute poor family ! When we hear of^ the labours 
and successes of domestick or foreign missionaries, 
do not our hearts burn to give a helping hand by our 
alms, as well as by our prayers? if w^e are unable to 
comprehend the extensive and blessed eflfects of such 
exertions, we may see that money is calculated to 
answer very desirable purposes. How does it answer 
not only all the purposes of commerce, but what 
charitable and benevolent ends are promoted by this 


1st. If money is so valuable, and answers so many 
important purposes as we have heard, then this sub- 
ject must come with a reproof to the idle and prodigal 
like a two-edged sword. Is any one denied the privi- 
leges and enjoyments, which have been mentioned, 
ad is he unable to bear asuitable part in the support of 
the various branches of society for the want of mo- 
ney? But why? Have idleness, or prodigality rendered 
him unable ? Then how should mortiflcation, shame, 
and conscience be aw^ake in his breast. His inability 
is for his disgrace before men, and his guilt before 
Cod. The acquisition of earthly good things de- 
mands seasonable attention, and forbids that time bo 
s(juandered in sloth or rioting. If any one is in a 
state of poverty, to whose conduct, industry, econ- 
omy, and frugality bear favourable testimony, such 
an one is a worthy person, and deserves not only pity, 
but consolation and assistance from his fellow men. 


They, who by their criminal conduct, render them- 
selves unable to bear their part in the various duties 
of social, civil, or religious life, do at the same time, 
render themselves the nuisances of the world, and 
the burden of mankind. The idle and prodigal do 
not only deprive themselves of the various comforts 
mentioned, but they heap up manifold calamities and 
sorrows upon others. 

2d. If money will answer so many desirable pur- 
poses as wc have seen; then we may conclude, that 
true religion is incomparably excellent^ mid the one thing 
needful. This is what will answer and effect that 
which money was never designed to do. This is 
calculated to give true submission and contentment 
in a state of affliction and poverty ; and thus render 
the poor man happy, and in a certain sense, rich. This 
gives peace to a troubled conscience, is a balm for 
a broken and contrite heart, and enables the soul to 
sing the triumphant song of victory, in the solemn hour 
of death. This is indeed wisdom aad excellence, which 
avails in time, and flourishes in eternity. Says Solo- 
mon, Mappy is the man that iiiideth wisdom, and the 
man that goiteth understanding. For the merchan- 
dise of it is better than the merchandise of silver ; 
and the gain thereof, than fine gold. She is more 
precious than rubies; and all the thii^gs thou canst 
desire, are not to be compared unto her- Length of 
days is in her right hand; and in her left hand, riches 
and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness ; 
and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to 
'them that lay hold upon her ; and happy is every one 
that retaineth her. How excellent and essential 
then, this heavei^ly treasure, these durable riches, 
which will avail when time shall be no longer; and 
crown the soul with glorious immortality. 

3d. If money is calculated to answer all the pur- 
poses of commerce, and many other valuable purpo- 
ses in life, then it is proper to be ajiicted^ and grieve for 
the loss of property. Sometimes by fire, or at sea, or by 


the knavery of a neighbour, a man is at once stript 
of a fortune, and deprived of all his earthly substance. 
But such losses are real calamities, and are reasons 
why we should be afflicted in some measure. If we 
are not to be insensible to the advantages of pro- 
perty, surely we are not to be insensible, that it is a 
disadvantage, and a natural evil when we are sud- 
denly deprived of an earthly treasure. Then we 
may clearly see, in the 

4th. Place, that to be destitute of a heavenly treasure^ 
demands^ that for this we should be much more griev- 
iously afflicted. If property has some value, the pearl 
of great price is iniinitely more valuable. But it may 
be lost. How solemn and striking the inquiry of the 
Saviour ! What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain 
the whole world and lose his own soul.'^ or what 
shall a man give in exchange for his soul } It is an- 
swered in the Psalms, That the redemption of the 
soul ceaseth for ever. Surely, then, there is abundant 
reason for impenitent sinners, for all who have not 
believed to the saving of their souls ; and by evan- 
gelical repentance made their peace with God, to be 
afflicted and mourn in the anguish of their spirit. 

.Oth. Then let us hear the conclusion of the whole 
matter : Fear God and keep his commandments ; for this 
is the whole duty of man. But to do this we must 
neglect neither temporal nor eternal concerns. We 
must let the things of time have their proper place ; 
and those of eternity, their due weight. A man who 
has proper views, and who is under the proper influ- 
ence of a christian spirit, will have a suitable regard 
for earthly concerns and enjoyments, and will not be 
slothful in business; while he is fervent in spirit, 
serving the Lord, What an unspeakable privilege 
that we may pursue and enjoy all the endearments of 
life ; and, at the same time, have our aflfections on 
things above, and be laying up a glorious treasure 
for eternity. How happy must that man be, whose 
conduct is consistent in the things of this world and 


in those of religion. May industry and economy, 
liberality and charity, and a heart devoted to the 
service of God, be our happy lot in time. May we 
be the servants of Christ, hy seeking to obey all the 
commands of his Father, and at last hear the blessed 
plaudit, of Well done, good and faithful servants, 
enter ye into the joy of your Lord. Jlmen, 



Matthew vi. 24. 
Ye cannot serve God and Mammon, 

JL HIS is the declaration of him, who spake as never 
man spake. It contains an important truth, which 
should be clearly unders tood ; for errour in our 
faith is most intimately connected with erroneous 
practice. As mankind by nature have hearts of 
enmity against God, so they are opposed to his true 
character, his providential government, and righteous 
requirements. Notwithstanding, the fancied good- 
ness of men, even in an unrenewed state, cause many 
to be slow of heart to believe that the Lord has a 
controversy with them. And though they read, yet 
how little do they realize, That the friendship of the 
world is enmity with God; that whosoever, therefore, 
will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God. 
Great exertions are necessary to convince them of 
their true apostate character and condition ; for they 
plead they are not sensible of the odious nature and 
criminality of the moral exercises of their hearts. 
Perhaps they confess, they have not done much in 
their lives to please God ; still, they hope to be pitied 
for their imperfections, since they have never been 
guilty of any very great, outbreaking sins. And 
though with hearts supremely attached to the world, 
they think to render service acceptable to God. But, 
in opposition to such views, the Saviour declares, No 
man can serve two masters ; for either he will hate 
the one, and love the other ; or else he will hold to 

SEIiMOxVX. 119 

the one, and despise the other ; Ye cannot serve God 
and Mammon. 

Mammon is a Syriack word for riches, and is sig- 
nificant of any earthly treasure or interest. Hence, we 
are taught in the words of the text, the impossibihty 
of being the servants of both God and the world. 
And the term, worlds is to be understood in its most 
extensive import; and to include any earthly good, 
possession, honour, pleasure, or enjoyment whatever. 

That we may have a clear view of this subject, a 
few observations will be made to point out the cha- 
racter of a truc? and faithful servant. Every one must 
be sensible, that there is an essential dilTerence in its 
very nature between any service that is mercenary, 
and that which is lOyal. 

Then a true and faithful servant is one, who devotes 
his whole time to the service of his master, and who 
exerts all his skill and ability to promote his master's 
interest, from a spirit of cheerfulness or voluntary 
obedience. The time of a servant is not his own; 
but his master's, to whom he belongs, and whose 
property he is. And a faithful servant will not spend 
this time in idleness, or vain amusements, nor forsake 
the service of his master, to attend the concerns of 
others. A servant, who is not devoted to his mastery 
interest, but absents his business, is called unfaithful. 
On the contrary, the one who is faithful, is ever 
ready, at the call of his master, to engage in his 
employment; for he considers his time and service 
as the proper claim of the one to whom he belongs* 
Moreover, a faithful servant will exert all his 
talents, and improve every seasonable opportunity, 
to promote his master's interest. A servant might be 
daily employed about the requirements of his master, 
and yet not execute them according to his knowledge 
and capacity. But such an one would be like a 
mere mercenary hireling; for a true and faithful ser- 
vant will prosecute the concerns of his master with 
his utmost skill and ability. • 

120 SERMON X. 

Moreover, a loyal servant is one who is pleased 
with his master, and cordially engages in his service. 
A master could put no confidence in his servant, if 
he wer^ not attached to him from upright affections 
of heart. He coiild not safely trust him with his 
affairs, except his eye were upon him, if he did not 
render cheerful obediencfe. Doubtless all will grant 
how essential it is, that a servant be pleased with his 
master, and heartily engage in his service, in order 
to have the character of a true and faithful servant. 

Now let Us notice some of the Claims of God and 
Mammon, and from their contrast we may see the 
impossibility of serving both. 

The Lord demands us to spend all our timfe, and 
employ all oar talents in his service, from a heart of 
supreme love to his character, and with a spirit of 
filial obedience; Time is the only state of proba- 
tion for mortals to prepare for eternity ; hence the 
command. Fear God and keep his commandments^ 
for this is the whole duty of man. Then the great 
end of our being, is to serve the Lord in all our ways ; 
and thus lay up durable riches, and secure a glori- 
ous and everlasting inheritance. 

But more particularly the Lord enjoins it upon us 
to regard him in all the common concerns of life* 
Whether therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever 
ye do, do all to the glory of God. All our worldly 
concerns must be subservient to his will, and the in- 
terest of his moral kingdom. If we have property, 
or learning, or extensive influence in society, they 
must be devoted to his service. Even when we 
labour for the necessities, comforts, and convenien- 
ces of life, we must not esteem these as our trea- 
sure ; but set our affections on things above, and be 
laying up for ourselves a treasure in heaven. 

But Mammon says. Regard worldly concerns with 
special care^ and be satisfied with a portion beneath 
the sun. Idolize riches, if you have them ; and if not, 
let your whole soul pantfor them, or for some earthly 

SERMON X. 121 

good, as the one thing needful. If you pursue worldly 
pleasures and advantages with such negligence, as to 
let your thoughts be wandering to the heavens as 
your chief joy, you have no great regard for me, 
therefore I cannot call you my servant. 

The Lord enjoins it upon us to be honest in all our 
dealings with mankind, and not defraud or injure our 
neighbour. His commands are. Love your neigh- 
bour as yourself Look not evef-y man on his own 
things ; but every man also on the things of others. 
And as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye 
even so unto them ; for this is the law and the pro- 
phets. Mammon says. Others defraud, and take every 
advantage they can; and you must do so too, or you 
cannot live. If others cheat and strive to over-reach, 
you must do the same, or you will never get along in 
the world, so as to make any respectable appearance 
in the eyes of mankind. If it will promote your 
worldly interest best to be honest and just in your 
dealings with some men, I would have you be upright 
with them ; but still you must always consider it to 
be sufficient for you to look well to your own con-^ 
x^erns, and have a sole regard for yourself 

God enjoins it upon us as a duty and privilege, to 
be charitable and liberal of the good thmgs he has 
given us ; to assist the poor, relieve' the distressed, 
and support the important interest of his cause. 
With cheering words of encouragement he says, The 
liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, 
shall be watered, also himself 

The language of Mammon is. If you are always 
giving, you will always be poor; so you must keep 
what you have got, and get what you can. When 
you behold objects of charity and distress, shut up 
all bowels of compassion, for fear your gift will not 
be wisely bestowed. And do not promote religious 
concerns, till you feel yourself in safety in all your 
worldly circumstances. 

God commands us, To remember the Sab1;>ath*day 


122 SERMON X. 

to keep it holy. The whole day must be spent in 
the varied private, social, and publick duties of 
religion. Both man and beast, on that day, are to 
rest from their labours, even in the time of earing 
and harvest. The duty of assembling together for 
publick devotion, and for the honour of God's holy 
name, and our grov^th in knowledge and grace, is 
clearly pointed out. On his holy day, we are not to 
think our own thoughts : that is, not let our minds be 
filled with perplexing cares about temporary affairs ; 
but so to improve it, that it prove a day of prepara- 
tion for a glorious and eternal Sabbath of rest. 

Mammon, on the other hand, says, You must not 
-attend publick worship on. the Sabbath, unless your 
secular concerns be all regulated. Otherwise, you 
must stay at home, and see to things, or else your 
business will hurry you, before the close of the next 
week. If the cause of God does require your at- 
tendance in his house ; yet one half of the day wdll 
be sufficient for you, who have so many calls to which 
you must attend, and who are already pretty well 
informed. You may find some sermon, which will 
be more instructive than the one your minister will 
preach ; besides you can read in the evening by your 
lire-side. Moreover, in harvest time, especially, you 
must work on the Lord's day ; for, if you should let 
one fair day slip, you may sustain considerable loss. 
x\nd you may trade on that day for the sake of gain, 
if you are only careful to keep your bargain secret. 
Books may then be posted, to save time; and accounts 
settled, if your neighbour be willing. Or, if you are 
so far from your residence with your horse, carriage, 
or team, that you cannot attend publick worship in 
your own vicinity on that day, you may as well pro- 
secute your journey. Mammon says, It will be ex- 
pensive, if you have to pay for the keeping of your- 
self and horses ; so you had better travel on, and 
make haste home. And whenever you do attend 
divine service in the house of God, would you have 

SERMON X. 123 

your soul delighted ? let it be by having your 
thoughts dwell on what you have done and gained, 
during the last week; and by laying plans, how to 
prosecute your business, through the next. 

God demands family worship ; and threatens with 
a curse, those families that call not upon his name. 
The evening and morning sacrifice of thanksgiving, 
prayer, and praise must be ofFered to him from th^ 
family altar, and be considered a reasonable service. 

Mammon says. Confine this duty to the Sabbath, 
and even then esteem it no desirable privilege ; but 
accviU it it as a weariness and burden of the soul. To 
lose hrlf an hour every morning and evening in 
religious duti'^^^s, especially when there is a multi*^ 
plicity of business on hand, would be a serious and 
unnecessary evil. 

The Lord commands us to serve him with all our 
hearts. His language is, My son, give me thine heart. 
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy 
heart, and him only shalt thou serve. He complained 
of some who honoured him with their lips, because 
their hearts were far from him. He does not consider 
any service as true obedience, unless it proceed 
from a heart of supreme love to his character, and 
delight in his service. Therefore, he does not call 
any his true servants, who do not yield entire and 
cordial obedience. 

Mammon says, Give me the heart, or you are 
none of my servants. Give me the chief place in 
your thoughts and affections, or else you will be 
counted the servant of another master. God holds 
forth the rich treasures of his holy word, for the 
meditation and delight of our souls. He exhibits 
himself as the fountain and source of blessedness, to 
be the object of our pursuit and highest joy. He 
proffers the glorious and inconceivable rewards of the 
righteous, as an excitement to faithfulness in his ser- 
vice. He calls upon the sons of men to look at the 
tilings which are unseen and eternal, and prepare 

124 SERMON iv 

for maftsiofts of immortal glory. Mammon holds 
forth herself in various forms, with all her worldly 
charms to allure mankind to serve her most faithfully. 
Worldly riches, honours, and prospects are presented 
to engage the highest attention and affections of men. 
She would have them prefer worldly and temporal 
enjoyments, to those which are heavenly and eternal. 
Thus by contrast, as it respects the nature and 
requirements of God and Mammon, we may see the 
impossibility of serving both. Then he, who loves, 
and holds to the world as his master, Avill, whether 
he have little or much in the affections of his 
heart, be an enemy and despiser of God. But 
he who loves and cleaves to the service of God, will 
renounce the friendship, and despise the frown of the 
world. Thus the Saviour has declared. No man 
can serve two masters; for either he will hate the 
one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the 
one, and despise the other : Ye cannot serve God 
and Mammon. 


1st. We may sec whj the scriptures call Mammon^ 
the Mammon of unrighteousness. It is because mankind 
use unlawful means to obtain it; as oppression, theft, 
violence, and other vicious ways. In such instances 
they despise the authority of God to obtain Mam- 
mon ; disregard his law, and the peace and prospc 
rity of their fellow men. The civil law may have 
some restraint upon them ; but we are sensible, that 
this is ineffectual to restrain many from openly vicious 
courses. Riches, or the acquiring of earthly good 
things, are not, in themselves, considered sinful ; for 
by a proper management and arrangement of our 
worldly concerns, in subordination to religion, we 
may render them as a part of God's service. But 
worldly men make their religion subservient to the 
interest of Mammon; and whatever gratifies or 
delights mankind the most, will be pursued with 

SERMON X. - 12o 

eagerness. Then, if men have an inordmate desire 
for self gratification from the pleasures which Mam- 
mon affords, they will he led into all manner of 
unrighteousness, that they may indulge ungoverned 
appetites, and gratify sinful inclinations and passions. 
Thus the inordinate desire of gratifying their ava- 
rice, their amhition, and other sinful lusts, hurries 
them on to Sabbath breaking, cheating, lying, robbing, 
and even to the crime of murder. Hence we see, 
when the thoughts and affections of men, are violent 
and criminal lor the pleasures of Mammon, they 
excite to overt acts of iniquity, and all manner of 

2d. We may see, the most of the excuses that are 
made for neglecting religious duties, and doing what 
the Lord forbids, amount to a confession that it is 
7nore importatit to serve Mammon than to serve God. 
The reason why people work in the field, or shop, or 
journey on the Sabbath is. Mammon holds them fast 
with her claims. They know the Lord forbids such 
things ; but they cannot obey him, w hen they have 
such a strong and cordial regard for another master. 
Some persons make it convenient to attend publick 
worship occasionally, but not statedly; and they can 
scarcely find leisure to attend church meetings, or 
rehgious conferences and prayer meetings ; because 
Mammon hurries them with a multiplicity of her en- 
gagements. They cannot find time for reading the 
holy scriptures daily, for evening and morning devo- 
tion, for giving thanks for their daily food, or for the 
duties of the closet ; for the god of this w orld trou- 
bles them frequently with very urgent and imperious 
calls. The most of the excuses that are made for 
neglectino; the all-important duties of religion, are, 
my w^orldly concerns hurry me ; my engagements 
bind me : and they are of so much importance that 
I am necessitated to neglect these duties. In these 
rid other instances, confessions are virtuallv made. 

12t> SERMON X. 

that it is deemed more suitable and important to 
serve Mammon, than it is to serve God. 

3d. Let us examine ourselves, and determine 
whether God or whether Mammon, have the chief 
place in our thoughts, affections, and pursuits; and 
then we shall decide whose servants we are. If it 
be our great inquiry and hearts desire, to know and 
do the will of God, to serve him with our whole 
hearts, we are his servants, and shall reap the glo- 
rious rewards of the righteous. But, if we be anxious 
to know how we can gratify ourselves, by pursuing 
the pleasures of Mammon as our chief joy, we are 
her servants, and are preparing to reap the rewards 
of unrighteousness. Let us inquire. What we do 
more than others ? Do we exceed them in morality 
and liberality? Still, who has our hearts? If we 
have not a supreme regard for the honour and glory 
of God in our works, we are as sounding brass, or a 
tinkling cymbal; and shall appear as unfaithful 
stewards, in that we chose a portion, which has the 
inscription, vatiity of vanities. The Lord is jealous 
for the honour of his great name, and he calls the 
covetous man an idolater. And although men do not 
worship idols and images in the form and shape of 
those of the heathens, yet they are as really guilty 
of idolatry, by idolizing Mammon, or setting the 
world uppermost in their hearts. If we place our 
affections supremely on God, on heavenly and divine 
things, we t^vke them from the world ; but if we exer- 
cise our noblest affections in favour of Mammon, we 
deny them to God. Some persons say. We will 
devote a little of our time in the service of God, w^e 
will keep the Sabbath so far as to spend our time in 
a serious manner. But their hearts are given to 
Mammon, and buried in the cares of the world ; 
therefore they caiinot be the servants of God. Others 
are called to labour, and eat bread in the sweat of 
their brow ; but the Lord has their hearts, therefore 

SERMOiS X. 127 

they cannot be the servants of Mammon. The Lord 
looks upon all services, which do not proceed from a 
heart devoted to him, as hypocrisy, or solemn mock- 
ery. They who consider it sufficient to serve him 
on the Sabbath, and a little on other days, should 
seriously inquire and examine, who has the most 
hearty aifections of their souls. They should not be 
deceived ; for God is not mocked. He knows and 
calls all his enemies, whatever their pretensions or 
performances, if they have not his love shed abroad 
m their hearts. Suffer one more remark. When 
men cannot part with earthly things for the cause of 
God, but choose rather to part with their interest in 
spiritual than in temporal blessings, they certainly 
cleave to them more than to God, and him they com- 
paratively despise. Let us remember, that mankind 
are servants to whatever they make their chief con- 
cern or pursuit. Know ye not, that to whom ye 
yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are, 
to whom ye obey ? Then whatever engages the 
thoughts and affections of men supremely, is tht^ir 
God. If the Lord possess their hearts, he is their 
God : but, if the world have their hearts, Mammon is 
their god. 

4th. Let all be exhorted to comply with the direc- 
tion of the Saviour, and make to themselves friends 
of the Mammon of unrighteousness. Whatever earthly 
good things we possess, let us realize that these are 
entrusted to us as stewards, and that we must render 
an account to God for our stewardship. We may be 
so covetous of earthly gifts as to exclude our souls 
from spiritual and eternal blessings. We may be so 
glued to the enjoyments of this life, that instead of 
their causing our souls to ascend with gratitude and 
thankfulness to heaven, they will drag them down to 
hell. There have been instances of persons in time 
of fire, war, shipwreck, and other perilous situations, 
who, foolish and presumptuous to save their goods, 
have lost their lives. So may we be so heavily laden 

128 SERlviON X. 

with the earth, that our souls Vvill be unable to as-* 
cerid to heaven, and lay hold on eternal life. How 
kind the exhortation, then, To spend a suitable por- 
tion of Mammon in deeds of piety and charity, that 
many being benefited by these gifts, may pray for 
blessings on us as their benefactors. With what 
satisfaction may the faithful steward expect the hour 
of dissolution, and the coming of his Lord, and anti- 
cipatethe joy of being then welcomed by such friends 
to the regions of perfect felicity. But, if men idohze 
their riches, and spend all upon themselves, they may 
expect to be turned out of their stewardship, and 
cast into outer darkness, where shall be weeping, and 
wailing, and gnashing of teeth. If we do not have 
mercy on the poor, in vain may we hope for mercy 
from God : For, if any man have this world's goods, 
and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his 
bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the 
love of God in him '^ The* cries of the oppressed and 
neglected poor, will testify against unfaithful stew- 
ards, to their condemnation ; but the prayers of 
widows and orphans for their pious benefactors, will 
testify for them, that they were wise and faithful 
stewards. And, when they leave this world, such as 
have died before them and gone to glory, may be con- 
sidered as standing ready to welcome them to their 
everlasting habitations. Earthly riches may be ex- 
changed for heavenly ; and temporal goods, for those 
which are eternal. The poor, the needy, and dis- 
tressed, give us an opportunity of acquiring incon- 
ceivable gain. And who would not part with perish- 
able objects, for those which are imperishable ? Who 
would not give or lend things of trifling value, for 
a moment, and then receive those of inestiinable 
value ? How benignant and blessed the exhortation 
of the Saviour, Make to yourselves friends of the 
Mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they 
may receive you into everlasting habitations, ^'^men. 



Mark xvi. 15. 

Go ye info all the worlds and preach the gospel to every 


X HESE words are the commission of the divine 
Redeemer to his eleven apostles. After that he was 
risen from the dead, he appeared unto the eleven as 
they sat at meat. But shortly he was to ascend up 
into heaven, to sit at the right hand of the throne of 
God, no more to be personally present wiih his dis- 
ciples on earth. And although this charge was 
given to the immediate attendants, and personal 
followers of the blessed Saviour ; yet, it is equally 
applicable, and addressed to all who should hence- 
forth sustain the character of his publick ministers. 
The same original phrase, which is translated every 
creature, is also rendered the whole human race. 
The latter is doubtless the most rational and correct 
translation. Hence, the commission of the apostles 
of Christ, extends to every creature throughout the 
world ; so that wherever a human being is found, 
they are authorized and commanded to preach to 
him the gospel. They and their successors, are to 
go forth with unwearied exertions to the ends of the 
earth, as heralds of the gospel, till every nation, kin- 
dred, and tongue under the whole heaven, should 
enjoy its rich blessing. This is in exact accordance 
with the declaration of the angel of the Lord to the 
shepherds, who were keeping watch over their flock 
by night. And the angel said unto them, Fear not .' 
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy^ 

130 SERMON Xt. 

which shall be to all people. Before the advent of 
the Saviour, the glorious privileges of divine revela- 
tion, were chiefly confined to the Jews. And whilst 
he continued in the flesh, few of the Gentiles, com- 
paratively, had the gospel preached to them ; but, 
before the end of time, from the rising to the setting 
of the sun, both Jew and Gentile must enjoy its 
divine and meridian light. The gospel is good news ; 
for, to a guilty and ruined world, it opens a door of 
hope, and publishes the way of salvation. Hence, 
to preach the gospel, is to announce the counsels of 
heaven, revealed to man ; that he may be saved from 
sin and death, and made an heir of eternal life. But 
to accomplish this great and glorious end, its essen- 
tial doctrines and duties must be clearly unfolded^ 
that God may be exalted and glorified, whilst sinners 
are saved. 

These remarks may lead us to see, tliat the first 
iaiportant doctrine, in preaching the gospel, is to 
njifold the character of God. His being and perfec- 
tions should clearly be held forth to the view of man- 
kind, that they may form consistent and exalted views 
*A' his absolutely perfect, his infinitely glorious, and 
amiable character. His eternity and infinity, his 
self-existence and independence, his omnipotence 
and omniscience, must be maintained ; whilst he is 
proclaimed the supreme, moral Governour of all 
linite, intelligent beings, their great law-giver and 
final Judge. His infinitely holy nature, must be 
declared as that moral perfection of his character, 
which renders him worthy of the supreme love of 
all created intelligences, and which is well pleased 
wtih righteousness ; but, wliich hateth all the workers 
of iniquity with i>erfect hatred. Grace and mercy 
uuist be proved to be perfections, belonging to the 
moral character of God, or in vain would be the 
attempt to show, that he could possibly be recon- 
ciled to any of his moral subjects, who had once 
rebelled against him. The first and fundamenta,! 

SERMON XI. 13 i 

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

2d. The character of mm must be clearly exhibited^ in 
the preaching of the gospel; and that in his fallen^ and per- 
ishing 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, lie will 
in vain seek to be justified by works. The law must 
be set home upon his conscience ii\ 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 sinfuhthey will never admire and highly 
prize divine grace; nor exclaim, God be merciful to 
me a sinner. 

Jd. 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 accep- 
tance 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, 1 determined not to know 
any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him 
crucified. He considered his character, his holy lil'e, 
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 ren- 
der 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 righteousliess by sufterings and death. 
As, without the shedding of blood, there could be 
no remission o£sin, so without an exhibition of those 
blessed truths, which relate to the person and cha- 
racter, the life and death of Christ, the gospel cannot 
be successfully preached. 

4th. The necessity of being horn again^ of repentance^ 
faith^and a godly life^ in order to the obtaining of final 
salvation, nwsi be announced in the preaching of the gospcL 
The Holy Spirit is the great y\gent, by whom rebel- 
lious 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 renew- 
ing and saving iniIuence,none could possibly be saved; 
for except a man be born again, he cannot enter mto 
the kin2;dom of God. Repentance is the gift of God, 
the Holy Spirit, and without which all must perish. 
Hm agency produceth faith, without which it is impos- 
sible to please God ; and he enableth believers to 
persevere in well-doing, till the work of grace is per- 
fected in their hearts. Tlie 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 
preacli the gospel to any saving effect, these essential 
duties must be inculcated as necessary to the obtain- 
ing of final salvation. 

5th. ^ 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, pre- 
cepts, 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 glo- 
rious gospel of Jesus Christ; awd 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 

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

1st. A preached gospel is favourable to mental improve^ 
7nent and I'cfincnfient of manners. Where the blessings 
of the gospel do most abound, there the arts and 
sciences are cuUivated 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 

134 SERMON Xi. 

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 pre- 
venting 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 calcu- 
lated to promote the cause of virtue; and where 
the instruction is stated, simple, and forcible, there we 
maysee a people the most virtuous. The improvement 
and refinement of the understanding, serve to regu- 
late the outward conduct, and render the conversa- 
tion and manners of a person not only engaging and 
pleasing, but worthy of imitation. Even in this point 
of view, parents and (*hildren, the aged and young, 
the present and the rising generation, are deeply con- 
cerned, and should feel a lively interest thrt they en- 
joy a stated and faithfully preached gospel, and other 
means of improvement with which it is connected. 

2d. ji preached gospel serves to heep societies in har- 
mony^ 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 
pf affection, distance of conversation, and disunion 
of social pursuits, are the general consequence. 
But, w here 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 duC; 
hence it has a powerful inlluence to render subjects 
obedient. The duties of parents and children, of 
rulers and ruled, are described in their greatest 
beauty and harmony, and their mrtual benefit made 


known. Acts of charity and humanity, of forbear- 
ance 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 admin- 
ister succour for the temporal wants of men, relieve 
the necessities of the distressed, and bear an exten- 
sive 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 thoae that believe. The truths 
of divine revelation serve to enlighten the under- 
standings 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 salva- 
tion, to every one that believeth ; and the great work 
of gospel ministers is to exhibit its truths in the clear- 
est and most interesting manner, and not shun io 
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 tfie king, have been saved 
through its influence. They have obtained liie and 
immortality through the light of a preached gospel. 


4th. The highest joys of holy beings are promoted in 
consequence of the blessed effects of the preaching of the 
word. As the gospel ministry is the great medium 
of opening the eyes of mankind, and of turning them 
from darkness to light ; and from the power of satan 
unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, 
and an inheritance among them which are sanctified, 
so there is joy in heaven among the angels of God, 
over one sinner that repenteth. But, if the conver- 
sion of one soul gives additional joy to the glorified 
spirits above, how will the salvation of the myriads 
of human beings increase their burning love, and 
raise still higher their heavenly anthems of praise, 
and render louder their glorious songs of joy ! When 
all the redeemed, the ransomed of the Lord, shall 
be brought home to glory, then, with the most intense 
glows of divine love, and raptures of heavenly bliss, 
will be given glory to God in the highest, with thanks- 
givings of eternal hallelujahs. Yes, and unparal- 
leled will be the joys of the redeemed ; and they 
will even outvie the angels in praise : 

Never did angels taste above, 
Redeeming; grace and dying love. 

As the glorious scheme of redemption through Jesus 
Christ unfolds peculiar displays of the perfections 
and glory of God, so it will be the beauty of perfec- 
tion, and the darling theme of heaven. But, such 
peculiar glories, through the grace and mercy of 
God, must be ascribed to the glorious successes and 
blessed effects of his preached gospel. 

We may readily see in the third place, why it is de- 
sirable that the gospel should be preached to every creature^ 
or to the ivhole human race. The same arguments 
which may be adduced to show the goodly effects 
and vast importance of a preached gospel among 
ourselves, are reasons which may be assigned with 
equal force, to prove its utility and necessity as it 
respects others. Is the gospel the greatest blessing 
of heaven to those who enjoy all its inestimable 


privileges ? What a pathetick, and forcible plea, 
then, that the destitute in our own country, enjoy its 
enlightening and saving influence. It has been 
handed down to us from the apostles, by missionaries, 
and these gospel heralds are going forth into all the 
world, and flying as the messengers of heaven to 
every nation upon earth. Give a helping hand then, 
my brethren, and help some feeble church and scat- 
tered people support a gospel minister. Through 
increasing attention and property, they will shortly 
erect a house for God : Yea, and even another con- 
gregation spring up near them. How desirable that 
Pagan superstition, the midnight Egyptian darkness 
of heathenism, and their abominable idolatries, give 
place to the light and power of the gospel ! What a 
blessed view for angels to see wretched pagans and 
heathens, from the east and the west, through • a 
preached gospel, become lively stones in the heavenly 
temple, now erecting on mount Zion, in the new 
Jerusalem above. O ! that those miserable beings 
enjoyed those civil laws which are framed under the 
benign and salutary influence of the gospel. Then a 
man w^ould be permitted to have but one wife ; 
and horribly deluded parents w^ould not put to death 
their children as the only means of ending their 
misery. Listen to an anecdote : An aged mother 
was standing in a school of heathen children, weep- 
ing. She was asked by the catechuman, why she was 
grieved and distressed. O ! if you had come here 
ten years ago, my son had lived, and been one of 
this school; I should not have put him to death. 
Ah ! my friends, you have Christ and him crucified, 
preached unto you ; and unto them that believe, he 
is precious. But how shall they believe in him of 
whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear 
without a preacher ? and how shall they preach, ex- 
cept they be sent ? Bless the Lord, O ye his saints, 
that he is sending forth labourers into the barren and 
forlorn parts of his vineyard. Yes, and the varied 


l3o , bERMON XI. 

means and glorious effects for extending the Ke- 
deemcre reign, are but as yet the first beams of 
the morning sun, compared with the full blaze of 
r]00ii-day. May we, by our prayers and substance, 
be awake to the calls and perishing necessities of 
the destitute at home and abroad. iVn Owyhecan 
youlh, having in this country experienced the joys of 
believing, was lamenting the death of his aged mo- 
ther. Being asked if she died happy; No, no, said 
he, it cannot be; they have no Bibles, no preachingv 
no heaven, in Owyhee. 


1st. We may see, that a faithful gospel minister is a 
^j:reat blessing to a people^ and should he accounted as such. 
Some of the heralds of the cross are mofe worthy ot 
esteem ilian others, according to their talents, their 
wisdom, and faithfulness. Those of great abi- 
lities, natural and acquired, and whose piety and 
zeal in the cause of Christ are eminent, should be 
considered among the number of the most worthy. 
But those who have less splendid attainments, and 
whose christian walk is worthy of imitation, should 
be received as precious gifts of heaven. The pros- 
pects of gospel ministers depend very much upon 
the reception which they receive among any people ; 
f^r their prayers, friendly remarks, and pecuniary 
aid, are the main-spnng of their usefulness. And 
such supports, by a mutual reciprocity, serve to ren- 
der their labours a blessing to individuals and fami- 
lies, to parents and children, to schools and societies. 
Moreover^ the establishment of churches and a stated 
ministration of the word, not only serve to promote 
the spiritual interest of mankind, but from observa- 
tion and general facts, their natural tendency and 
consequence are, to promote their temporal interests, 
to increase the value of property, and greatly to 
multiply the means of subsistence. Yes, what is 
contributed for the support of gospel privileges, is 

Sermon XI. 1:19 

doubly repaid by a natural and gracious return oi 
earthly blessings. But the highest object of a gos- 
pel minister, is to prove a savour of life unto life to 
the souls of their hearers, and to be the happy in- 
struments of promoting their immortal interests. 

2d. We may see, that the gospel is leorthy of all aa- 
ceptatioriy of the cordial reception of every creature^ or 
human being to whom it is addressed. The tree of life 
grows out of the gospel, and its leaves are for the 
healing of the nations. It bears twelve manner of 
fruit, and yields her fruit every month; and thou- 
sands of thousand, and ten times thousand, are no\T 
participating of its delicious and heavenly repast; 
and it proffers a rich feast to all the world, thougli 
thousands rather starve than come. The river of 
life flows from the gospel, and all who drink of it, 
quench their parching, dying thirst. It has healing 
streams which are flowing to the remotest corners of 
the earth, that all who w ash may be healed of their 
diseases; yea, and the polluting, incurable leprosy 
may be cleansed and healed. Eat then, O friends ! 
drink, yea, drink abundantly ; and Avash at the head 
fountain of the waters of salvation. The Spirit and 
the bride, say come. And let him that is athirst, come. 
And whosoever will, let him take the water of lite 
freely. Yes, and beckoning angels at heaven's gates 
are looking down to see if we will come. Blessed 
gospel ! how worthy of acceptation, which pours joy 
and consolation into the soul, yields the peace and 
balm of our mortal life ; renders triumphant and 
victorious in the trying hour of death ; and crowns 
with glorious immortality beyond the grave. 

3d. This subject teaches us not to esteem it a burden 
to be charitable and to send the gospel to others, but t.o 
claim it as our unspeakable privilege : 

Let sweet charity attend our door, 
And smiling mercy bless the poor. 

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth ; and 

140 SERMON xr. 

there is that withholdeth more than is meet ; but it 
tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made 
fat ; and he that watereth, shall be watered also him- 
self. Let us take a few examples. Suppose an aged 
father and mother were bowed down with all the 
infirmities of old age, tattered with rags, ajBlicted 
with rheumatick complaints, and under p, shelter 
which cojjld not secure from the inclemencies of the 
weather. Suppose they should receive some comfort- 
able clothing and other aids in their necessities. How 
would their souls daily bless the kind hand of cha- 
rity ! Surely you would say, It is more blessed to 
give than to receive. Picture to yourselves a family 
of half famished children surroundirg their mother, 
preparing them victuals from provisions received 
from some unknown hand. Listen to the simplicity of 
their inquiries, who was that charity that stopt at 
our door? Hear their expressions of gratitude and 
thankfulness. With blushing cheeks and a glowing 
heart, you would see the propriety of this exhorta- 
tion, Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand 
doeth. My dear hearers, we hve in such plenty, 
that we know not what it is to want; consequently 
we are iiisensible of the blessings of our charity. 
We know not how much good we do, when we give, 
Methinks 1 hear one say, 1 have no part in this matter; 
for I never gave for charitable purposes. Open your 
heart then, reach forth your hands, and reap the re- 
ward of the liberal. One evening a missionary, to 
some heathens soliciting a Bible, promised to give 
them one next morning. At the break of day, he saw 
they were laying on the ground, and had endured the 
dampness and chills of an inclement night. Being 
asked the reason, their reply was, they feared if they 
returned home, they should miss of a Bible. Charity 
once presented a Bible to a woman lately made rich 
in faith, but miserably poor in the good things of this 
life. She most thankiully received it, pressed it to 
her bosom, and exclaimed, Had I ten thousand dol- 

SERMON Xi. 141 

lars, and could I not obtain a Bible without them, I 
would give them all for one. To some the Lord has 
given ability and opportunity in many ways, to do 
much for the advancement of his cause; and to others, 
but little, O may both be enabled at last joy tally 
to render an account of their stewardship. Have 
our hearts been chilled with cold infidelity, and the 
substance which the Lord has lent us to promote his 
glory, been withheld in time past ? May we then now 
redeem our time, arise and trim our lamps. And 
may wo bear in mind, that the gift of a poor widow's 
two mites is a sacrifice at which we shall be glad to 
look, in the great judgement day, when the divine 
Redeemer shall demand the credentials of our alms- 
giving, as evidence of our sincerity as his friends. 
Amen and JJmen. 



Genesis, xlv. 4. 
/ am Joseph^ your brother. 

X HE history with which these w ords are connected^ 
is very curious and interesting : and the instruction 
which it affords, is manifold and important. Human 
depravity with some of its basest designs and most 
unnatural transactions, is delineated ; and the noble- 
ness of human uprightness is also recorded. Whilst 
wo behold the varied intentions and schemes of men, 
we are presented with a wonderful exhibition of the 
marvelous providence of God, who worketh all 
things after the counsel of his own will. Let some 
of the facts with which this subject is connected be 
noticed ; and serve as an introduction to this dis- 
course, for the practical purposes of our social and 
religious life. The term Joseph^ is expressive of 
increase or addition. And when God remembered 
Rachel, that she bare a son, she called his name 
Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another 
son. That son was Benjamin, or son of the right 
hand. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his 
children, because he was the son of his old age. 
Joseph and Benjamin were both loved with peculiar 
affection by their father ; for they were the sons of 
his beloved wife, Rachel. It appears that Joseph 
was a person of remarkable natural talents, of singu- 
lar beauty, and piety ; and probably these endeared 
him yet more to his father, who made him a coat of 
many colours. For this and his dreams, his brethren 


liated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 
This is the relation of the first dream of Joseph to 
his brethren : Behold, we were binding sheaves in 
the field and lo, my sheaf arose and also stood up- 
right; and behold, your sheaves stood round about and 
made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said 
unto him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us ? or shalt 
thou indeed have dominion over us ? and they hated 
him yet the more for his dreams and for his words. 
And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it 
his brethren : behold the sun and the moon, and the 
eleven stars, made obeisance to me. And his father 
rebuked him, and said. Shall I and thy mother, and 
thy brethren, indeed come to bow down ourselves to 
thee, to the earth ? And his brethren envied him, but 
his father observed the saying. From the event, it 
appears that their interrogations were the right inter- 
pretation of the dreams, of which they had some 
apprehension, especially the father. Shortly his 
brethren devise to slay him. Reuben, in order to 
save his life, advises to cast him into a pit ; but Ju- 
dah persuaded them to sell him to the Ishmaelites ; 
and they sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an offi- 
cer of Pharaoh. The coat of many colours is dipt 
in the blood of a kid, and presented to the aged 
father a sad spectacle. But the Lord was with 
Joseph, and he v/as a prosperous man ; and the Lord 
made all that he did, to prosper in his hand. He 
escaped the snare of a treacherous mistress, that he 
sinned not against his master nor his God, though his 
innocence was the occasion of his being cast into 
prison. Now they call upon Joseph to interpret the 
dream of the chief butler. In his dream there ap- 
peared three branches on a vine, which budded, 
shot forth blossoms, and brought forth clusters of 
ripe grapes. Says Joseph, The three branches are 
three days, and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup 
into his hand after the former manner. The chief 
baker's dream, was three white baskets on his bead^ 


with all manner of bake meats for Pharaoh ; but the 
birds did eat them. The interpretation was, that 
after three days, he should be hung on a tree. At 
the end of two full years, Pharaoh had two dreams, 
or his two-fold dream. The first was the seven well 
favoured kine, and fat fleshed ; and the seven ill-fa- 
voured and lean fleshed kine, which eat up the for- 
mer. The second, was the seven ears of corn on 
one stalk, rank and good, which were devoured by 
the seven thin ears, blasted with the east wind. When 
none of the magiciar\s and wise men of Kgypt could 
interpret this dream for the king, Joseph answered, 
What God is about to do, he showeth unto Pharaoh. 
Behold, there come seven years of great plenty, 
throughout all the land of Egypt; and there shall 
arise after them, seven years of famine, which shall 
consume the land. Now let us r^otice Joseph's ex- 
altation. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have 
net thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh 
took off* his ring from his hand, and put it upon Jo- 
seph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine 
linen, and put a gold chain about his neck : and he 
made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. 
But mark ! The famine was sore in all lands, after 
the expiration of the seven years of plenty. Joseph's 
brethren must go from the land of Canaan, down to 
Egypt, to buy corn of him, that they may live and 
not die. Joseph knew them, but they knew him not. 
He was only seventeen years of age, when sold into 
Egypt ; and now he is about thirty-eight ; an absence 
of twenty-one years. The scene now changes, and 
Joseph's dreams begin to be fulfiled. He uses vari- 
ous methods to prove them, to bring them to a 
proper sense of their own guilt, and to discover how 
they were affected toward ms brother Benjamin. He 
accosts them as spies ; and so orders that they ap- 
pear to have treated him most ungratefully. They 
are brought into that situation, that they cannot make 
it appear but that they have stolen ; for the silver 

cap is ibund with them. But Joseph evidently per- 
ceived, that confusion and terrour were likely to' 
predominate, and to fill them with apprehension, tha| 
he would now avenge the injustice and cruelty of 
which they appear to have been guilty. When Ju- 
dah made his pathetick address and affecting plea 
for the release of Benjamin, Joseph could not refrain 
himself before all them that stood by him ; and he 
cried. Cause every man to go out irom me : and there 
stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself 
known unto his brethren. And lie wept aloud ; and 
the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. 
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph : doth 
my father yet live.'^ And his brethren could not an- 
swer him ; for they were troubled at his presence. 
And Joseph said unto his brethren. Come near to me, 
I pray you : and they came near ; and he said, I am 
Joseph your brother, whom ye sold. The mention 
of Joseph's name \Vould probably have led his breth- 
ren to a recollection of his features and voice ; but 
to remind them of their selling him, would more 
effectually remove all doubts of his being their 
brother; and this was necessary to introduce the 
kind attempt he intended to make, to obviate their 
fears, and to inspire confidence and comfort. How 
seasonable, how encouraging and excellent, this 
simple expression — I am Joseph, your brother ! It 
flowed from a principle of natural affection, from a 
feeling and generous breast, and from a noble soul, 
influenced by tlie principle of true religion. By 
other persons, or by other means without such an 
expression of the tongue, this same truth could easily* 
have been made known. If these words were fitly 
spoken, let them be applied to the practical purposes 
of life and religion, whilst we notice other relations, 
times, and circumstances, when similar ones would 
be seasonable. ^^ 

ist. As it respects the vanaus rehtwHs^ of humak 


146 SERMON Xll. 

beings^ on encouraging conversation and other expressions^ 
of the tongue^ are very desirable and highly important. 

It is a common proverb, that actions speak louder 
than words. Tho true import of this expression is^ 
that unless our conduct correspond with our expres- 
sions, there is inconsistency and deceit. But let our 
daily deportment be such as becometh human beings, 
and then suitable expressions of the tongue are the 
spring of life. As the term, Joseph, imports increase, 
or addition, so they will increase human happiness, 
and do honour to human beings. Let the conjugal 
relation be first noticed. /\ man who provides well 
for his own household and is kind to his wife, may 
be called a good husband. But, if in addition to 
these, there daily flow from his tongue an affectionate, 
i istructive, and animating conversation, still more 
highly favoured must be the companion of his bosom. 
How inu(*h may the trials, cares, and pains of a 
woman be lessened, her sorrows soothed, and heart 
cheered, by timely and affectionate expressions. 
Whilst some are pleased with the simple and frank 
acknowledgement of a husband's attachment, others 
are gratified with occasional insinuations, from which 
the same may be inferred. How many and how 
varied are the opportunities in the journey of the 
conjugal life, when a pleasing deportment, kind 
speech, or consoling word, would greatly increase or 
promote a woman^s happiness. Then let them not 
be withheld ; but in due season administered to divide 
the sorrows, and double the joys of her life. Let 
the deportment and conversation of a husband, be 
such towards his wife in this respect, that he emulate 
her to repay abundantly the same kindness, by seek- 
ing to imitate his excellent example. And surely a 
fiithfiil and affectionate woman will not be slack to 
recompense her corresponding obhgations. Says 
Solomon, concerning such an one. She openeth her 
mouth with wisdom, and in her tongiie is the law of 


kindness. With the same view he adds, Whoso findeth 
u wife, findeth a good thing and obtaineth favour of 
the Lord. And truly a virtuous woman of modest 
deportment, of chaste and animating conversation, 
is of much value, and cannot but be prized very 
highly by every sensible and worthy man. And how 
most desirable, suitable, and important, is a mutual, 
reciprocal, and interestingconversationin the coiijugal 
state ! The parental relation is an important one in this 
respect; for much do the comfort, disposition and 
manners of children depend on the words or addresses 
of their parents. They are entitled to much 
encouragement for well doing, and to the most end ear- 
ing expressions of parental affection. And the ten- 
dency is cheerfulness of mind, mental improvement, 
and religious i^npressions. In a family circle of 
brothers and sisters, how suitable and applicable the 
expression — 1 am Joseph, your brother. That is, We 
have the same parent for our father, and I am the 
same kind and friendly person towards you as when 
formerly in our father's family. Change ai'd reverse 
in our circumstances, have not aflfected me as your 
enemy. It is proper and suitable, that they who are 
friends, should manifest themselves as such ..not op]y 
by deeds, but also by words. Some persons have the . 
happy talent by delicate insinuatior-s of such a 
nature, of gaining the good will of others, and of 
continuing friendship. Do we esteem such ? and 
shall we not seek to imitate their pleasing and worthy 
example ? How affectionate ! what honour has 
Joseph done himself; what kindness arul generosity 
towards his brethren, in the few words of the text ! 
Then may w^e in the varied relations end circum- 
stances of life, bear these words and this example in 
mind ; and may our speech be well ordered, and a 
talent so important be wisely improved. 

2d. We should be careful to observe suitable times and 
opportunities in order to remind those of their eviU who 

'SiH gERMON Xli. 

have injured us, or have had evil intentions to do us ad 

How seasonable, friendly, and faithful the conduct 
f>i Joseph, when he says, I am Joseph, your brother, 
whom ye sold into Egypt. This expression is well 
calculated to bring their sin to remembrance, and it 
was proper they should be thus reproved and hum- 
bled. A brother ! yet base, treacherous brethren, you 
sold me, and that into a foreign land. Yotir conduct 
was most unnatural and abominable in the sight both 
of God and man. Manilbld are the oflences and 
injuries of this present state. In certain seasons 
ai)d circumstances to remind others of their faults, 
would only increase the diificulty. But still, reproof 
is necessary when wisdom and faithfulness evince 
the duty. There is a time suitable to rebuke and 
reprove, as well as to encourage and command. 
Joseph is now ruler and governour over Egypt, and 
in the height of prosperity. But no thanks to his 
brethren, that he is not there a slave, daily groaning 
under oppressive bondage. He is now a lord, and 
most highly esteemed of a nation ; but they were 
base enough for ever to have depriv ed him of liberty 
and honour. Similar conduct has been manifested 
amongst mankind in ten thousand instances and Ways. 
How many have used all their subtlety and power in 
order to injure the person, character, and property 
of others, against whom they have been opposed, on 
the account of some unreasonable prejudice ? And, 
if they have not eflfected their overthrow, or been the 
instrument of some wide spread and lasting injury, 
it is not for the want of shameful intentions, nor base 
exertions. Perhaps they afterwards see a person 
whose ruin they have sought, very prosperous and 
much esteemed, if their passions or prejudices 
shall have subsided, and they have some just sense 
of their criminality, they doubtless will have views 
^nd feelings somewhat similar to those of Joseph's 

iJERMON Xii. 140 

i3rethren. Bat time, place, and circumstances should 
be observed, would any remind them of their evil 
conduct, and make them ashamed and penitent for 
what they have done. If any would reprove others, 
or tell them of their faults in faithfulness, and for 
their good, they should seek to do it with a spirit and 
with wisdom, as Joseph did. Says Solomon, Faithful 
are the wounds of a friend ; but the kisses of an 
enemy are deceitful. It is very important, that words 
of reproof be fitly spoken to answer some wise and 
salutary purpose. With decision, faithfulness, and 
meekness may we learn to inform our fellow mortals 
of the errour of their ways. 

3d. The history of Joseph will show, that it is 
proper for mankind to speak of their prosperity^ when they 
would bring to view the goodness of God^ or console their 
Jdloiv mortals. When, through the smiles of Provi- 
dence, any have attained the varied blessings of life, 
it is proper, at certain times, for them to mention to 
their friends, liow the Lord has prospered them. It 
is neither for the benefit, nor is it the duty of man to 
be always speaking of his misfortunes. Prosperity 
has a claim to a portion of his words, as well as 
adversity. To be frequently mourning or repining 
at the allotments of Providence as is the manner of 
some, is certainly sinful. And a person may speak 
of his enjoyments and success, in the language of 
boasting instead of gratitude and thankfulness. To 
show the vanity and impiety of such conversation, 
let us notice the expressions, and from these, view 
the spirit of the knig of Babylon, who is called 
Nebuchadnezzar. As he was walking in the palace 
of the kingdom of Babylon, The king spake and 
said. Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for 
the house of the kingdom by the might of my power 
and for the honour of my majesty? From such an 
air, views, and language every sensible and pious man 
cannot but wish to be delivered. The spirit and 
manner of Joseph will appear a most beautiful con- 



trast. Whilst he mentions his prosperity and honour, 
meekness and gratitude are apparent. The goodness 
of God and the consolation of his afflicted father, 
are most conspicuous in the words of his speech. To 
his troubled brethren he says, God sent me before 
you, to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to 
save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it 
was not you, that sent me hither, but God : and he 
hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and Lord of all 
his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of 
Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say 
unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made 
me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, and 
tarry not. How do humility, humanity, and a sense 
of entire dependance on God for all the blessings of 
life, shine forth in this address! Joseph was indeed 
highly exalted, but his heart was not lifted up with 
pride in the height of his prosperity. Let his exam- 
ple then be proposed for imitation. When abound- 
ing in the good things of life, let the manner and 
history of Joseph have their proper influence. 

4th. The history of Joseph and his brethren^ is calcu- 
lated to give us some proper views of the important duty 
of forgivenesG, Joseph was of a forgiving spirit, and 
when he had sufficiently tried and proved them, he 
was ready for a reconciliation. He had recourse to 
various expedients in order to bring them to a sense 
of their wickedness, to humble them,and excite repen- 
tance for their sin, before that he expressed forgive- 
ness. He possessed a forgiving temper, during the 
whole course of trial, but, before he would exclaim, 
I am Joseph your brother, he must have evidence of 
their compunction and abasement. When he saw 
that they were sufficiently humbled, and about to be 
overwhelmed with grief on the account of their 
aggravated sin, he addresses them with words of con- 
solation. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry 
with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God did 
send me before you to preserve life. The conduct of 

SERMON Xll. 151 

Joseph towards his brethren, in this respect, is god- 
like, and an excellent pattern for our imitation. The 
Lord is a gracious and merciful God, abundant in 
co:opassion ; but he never has, and never will par- 
don any who have rebelled against him, before 
they are brought to true, evangelical repentance. In 
like manner is the duty of forgiveness inculcated 
upon mankind abundantly in the holy scriptures. If 
others have trespassed against us, and they confess^ 
their faults, or exhibit evidence of genuine repen- 
tance, they are to be forgiven. Even against our 
enemies we are not to cherish a spirit of enmity and 
revenge, but a friendly and forgiving spirit. Some 
injuries do, indeed, demand reparation; but where 
true penitence is, there is also always a disposition, 
to make restitution. Even the sacred volume does 
not demand the expression of forgiveness, till there 
is confession of fault, or a manifestation of sorrow 
for the wrong. When we are required to forgive our 
enemies, the true import is, that we should exercise 
a forgiving and not revengeful disposition; that if 
they exhibit repentance, we should put forth the act 
of forgiveness. As we would hope to obtain the par- 
don of our sins from God, when we confess and for- 
sake them, so we should be ready to do towards our 
enemies ; and more than this, certainly is not required. 
The Lord is pleased to see penitent, returning prodi- 
gals, and such only does he forgive. So we should 
heartily desire to have our enemies, even those who 
have greatly injured us, become at peace, be recon- 
ciled ; and when they manifest a spirit of penitence^ 
we should manitest the spirit of the gospel, a spirit of 

5 th. This subject is calculated to give us clear and strik- 
ing views of the perfect righteousness and adorable mercy 
of God. Whatever excellent or amiable natural 
talents any possess, they must be born again or they 
cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. However 
engaging or pleasing the manners of any may be in 

15'^ 3ERM0N Xir. 

the view of men, without that repentance which i^ 
unto hfe, they must perish. On the other hand, if 
sin shall have polluted the soul like that of Manasseh, 
or Mary Magdalene, and it he created anew in Christ 
Jesus unto good works, it wUl triumph with seraphs 
in eternal life. Neither the number nor magnitude of 
our sins will exclude us from immortal bliss, if we 
have repentance toward God, arid faith in the Lord 
Jesus Christ Through the adoring grace and mercy 
of God, by godly sorrow and repentance unto salva- 
tion, some of the greatest sinners and vilest wretches 
that have ever lived, have been received to man- 
sions above, to sing for ever the glorious songs of 
redeeming love. Unless the heart be renewed by 
grace, there can be no qualifications to prepare for 
heaven. But to every penitent, believing soul, the 
language of its Maker is, I am thy reconciled God, 
thine everlasting inheritance, and eternal, glorious 
recompense of reward. Amen. 



John, xxi. 22. 
What is that to thee ? follow thou me. 

1 HE directions of the word of God are as varied 
as the circumstances of man require. They are 
suited to his fallen state ; and calculated to lead him 
in the pathway of life. The blessed Saviour was 
ever ready to give salutary counsel ; and his instruc- 
tions discover superiour excellence, because they 
were so wisely and timely given. He who spake as 
never man spake, on every occasion was faithful, and 
would direct the attention and pursuit of man to his 
dearest interest for time and for eternity. No favour- 
able opportunity was unimproved, nor seasonable 
instruction withheld. His words were ever fitly 
spoken, whether of compassion or severity ; of en- 
couragement or rebuke. 4fter having put the ques- 
tion to Peter three different times, Lovest thou me, 
he adds. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou 
wast young, thou girdest thyself and walkest whither 
thou wouldst ; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt 
stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee 
and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake 
he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. 
And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, 
Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the 
disciple whom Jesus loved following, which also 
leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which 
is he that betrayeth thee ? Peter seeing him, saith to 
Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do.'^ Jesus saith 
unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what i« 


Ia4 ^i«^ SERMON XIII. 

that to thee ? follow thou me. Peter had earnestly 
professed his readiness to die with Christ ; yet when 
put to the trial, he shamefully failed him. But our 
Lord next assured him that he would at length be 
called on, and enabled to perform that engagement. 
In his youth he had been used to gird himself, and to 
walk at liberty as he pleased. But in his old age, 
he would be required to stretch out his hands, that 
others might bind him and carry him to endure those 
sufferings at which nature would be reluctant. This 
signified the death by which he would glorify God, 
as a martyr for the truth. Jesus next called upon 
him to signify his readiness to adhere to his cause, 
even unto death, by rising up and following him ; 
with which Peter complied without hesitation. But 
turning about, he saw John also, without any com- 
mand, showing the same willingness to suffer death 
for the sake, and after the example of his beloved 
Lord. This led Peter to inquire. What he was to 
do ; Was he also to be a martyr ? To this our Lord 
replied, That if it were his will he should abide on 
earth till his coming, that was no concern of Peter's, 
Vv^ho ought not to indulge a vain curiosity, but to 
ibllow him. This would be a token and evidence 
of his readiness to adhere to his instructions, to obey 
his commandments, to copy his example, and to suffer 
for his sake. 

This illustration of the inquiry of Peter, and the 
answer of the Saviour, may lead us to see, that man- 
kind are apt to inquire into those things in which they are 
not immediately concerned^ rather than into those in which 
they are most deeply interested. Some particular sub- 
jects of inquiry of this kind, will be noticed and 

1st. As it respects the common affairs of life, some 
discover a fondness and inquisitiveness to become 
acquainted Avith the concerns of others, to which 
they are neither called by duty nor interest. Man- 
kind may with propriety inquire into the situation of 

SERMON Xlif. Li>I) 

their neighbours, as it respects either their prosperity 
or adversity. But they should be careful to possess 
a right spirit and intention, when such inquiries arc 
made. Would they learn the well'are of others to 
rejoice with them, and not for envy, they do well. 
Would they inquire into their distresses and misfor- 
tunes, in order to sympathize with them and alford 
relief, instead of rejoicing in their calamities, their 
conduct would be truly becoming and commendable. 
Objects of distress and charity are to be sought out, 
that the balm of consolation may be administered to 
their minds, and the liand of plenty reached forth to 
supply their wants. Inquiries of such a nature are 
truly laudable, and have the approbation and bless- 
ing of heaven. In the varied pursuits and transac- 
tions of life, would any wish to know the concerns 
or state of others in order to benefit them, the direc- 
tion of the Saviour, Look not every man on his own 
things, but every man also on the things of others, 
secures from censure, and commends. But when 
any would pry into the affairs and concerns of others, 
and would indulge a vain curiosity to become more 
acquainted with their circumstances than their own, 
the words of the text should be applied : What is that 
to thee ? follow thou me. Rather let such, more 
carefully mind their own business, and meddle less 
by their inquisitiveness into the prospects of others. 
Happy would it indeed be, if none merited a more 
severe rebuke. Some discover a restlessness to pry 
into the secrets, and learn the disappointments of 
others, in order to spread them abroad and do an 
injury. Hence, not only a propensity for curiosity, 
but a malignant disposition is manifest. Some are 
ever ready to hear of the failings of others, not to 
weep for their sins in secret, but to make them pub- 
lick. This is frequently done by persons who them- 
selves can derive no benefit, nor bq serviceable to 
community. And we are even taught in the sacred 
oracles, that some are forward to pull out a mote from 

iOi) SERMON xiir. 

their brother's eye, when they have a beam in their 
own eye. But such persons do well to bear in mind 
the reply, Physician, heal thyself. Charity should 
begin at home, as it respects secular concerns, in or- 
dering the common affairs of life. Let individuals 
thoroughly understand and regulate their varied tem- 
poral pursuits, and the concerns of community will 
be well. Let them discharge the various duties 
which they owe to themselves and others, rather 
than to be over anxious to know the particulars or 
peculiarities of their fellow men. Let each one feel 
interested to attend to his own calling as it respects 
the pursuits of common life, and this will serve to 
check a fondness and inquisitiveness to become ac*^ 
quainted minutely with the concerns of others, to 
which we can neither be called from duty nor from 

2d. Some persons discover a vain curiosity in dis- 
coursing on the entrance of sin into the world. Such 
an inquiry may be properly made ; as it is a subject 
of vast importance, and in which we are interested. 
But divine revelation must be taken for our hght, and 
circumscribe our inquiries. Now the sacred oracles 
inform us, that through the temptation of the serpent, 
our first parents violated the positive command of 
God, fell from their holy state, into a state of sin and 
condemnation; and that in consequence of their 
transgression, all their posterity become sinners. 
And without the Bible for our guide, when and how 
sin entered the world, we could not certainly know. 
But the curious minded, press the inquiry farther. 
Did the Lord bring about the fall of man himself.^ 
Or did he only give permission.'^ Or why, that is, 
what are the reasons that sin was permitted to enter, 
if he could have prevented it by his power .^ What 
is that to thee, vain man ? If neither reason nor re- 
velation can answer our inquiries, shall we seek to be 
wise above what is written ? The'things which are 
revealed on this subject belong to us, and should 


bound our inquiries ; for secret things belong to God. 
Because the Lord has not revealed all the reasons, 
or given all the information which he might have 
done concerning the entrance of sin into the world, 
must his infinite wisdom be arraigned before the 
tribunal of human wisdom? As it is a solemn and 
alarming fact, that we are sinners against a holy and 
just God, rather let us seek to be delivered from the 
dominion and wages of sin. The inquisitive and 
vain search, for the manner of the entrance of sin, 
little concerns us; but how we shall be delivered 
from its pollution as a deadly leprosy of the soul, is 
an inquiry of the utmost importance. 

Take an example for illustration. Suppose a man 
to be roused from his midnight slumbers by the noise 
of a thief, plundering his house. He hears him pillag- 
ing his coffers of his only treasure, which, if carried 
ofi^ must render him bankrupt, and reduce his family 
to poverty. But he searches his house with the 
utmost dihgence from top to bottom, to find the place 
of the thief's entrance, instead of securing him; 
and meanwhile he makes his escape. Alas ! poor 
man ! for his folly he is ruined. Had he acted with 
wisdom, he would first have secured his treasure. 
Then may we not indulge a vain curiosity respecting 
the entrance of sin into the world ; or be anxious to 
know those reasons, which are hid in the divine 
mind ; for we are apt to inquire into those things, in 
which we are not immediately concerned, rather 
than into those, in which we are most deeply inter- 

3d. Some persons entertain singular ideas, and 
make curious inquiries concerning Melchisedek. 
They have a right to be informed concerning him ; 
but they should be content, when they have all the 
instruction which can be given. The sacred histo- 
rians give no account of his parentage or pedigree, 
as in the case of the priests appointed by the law, 
and who were all required to prove their descojnt 


from Aaron. Hence he is represented to be With- 
out father, without mother, without descent, having 
neither beginning of days, nor end of hfe ; but made 
like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest contin- 
ually. Melchisedek is introduced into the sacred 
history, as a priest of the most high God, without 
father, mother, or genealogy, that he might the more 
exactly typify that high priest, who, as the Son of 
man, had no earthly father ; and as the Son of God, 
was without mother, and who "was appointed to the 
priesthood, without deducing his pedigree from 
Aaron. Nothing is said of Melchisedek respecting 
the beginning of his life, or the end of his days and 
priesthood, that he might be a type of the Son of 
God, whose existence is from eternity to eternity, and 
who hdd no predecessor or successor in his merito- 
rious and perpetual priesthood. In all these respects, 
the silence of the scriptures doubtless is intentional ; 
and refers from the type to the great Antitype, who 
once offered himself a sacrifice for sin, and ever 
liveth to make intercession for the saints. JNow if 
any person has not all the information their curiosity 
would demand concerning Melchisedek, they may 
reflect for their comfort, that they are not very deeply 
interested in the subject. Their serious and devout 
inquiry should be to form clear and exalted views of 
the person and offices of Christ, and to follow him. 
His character and priesthood are abundantly and 
clearly made known. He is the foundation of the 
gospel, and of all our hopes of future bliss. He is 
the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the 
world. To believe in him, is life ; but, to deny him, 
is death. In his divinity and humanity, his life and 
death, we are immediately concerned. His holy life 
should be kept in our minds as the perfect pattern of 
imitation. How conspicuous are his zeal and perse- 
verance in doing his Father's willj and with what 
lustre do his patience and meekness shine. Let it 
be our inquiry then to form exalted and adoring views 

sjfiRMoN xiir. 159 

ot his divine character, and to follow him in his imitablc 
examples of perfect obedience. They that exalt 
him, will be exalted ; but they who refuse to have 
him reign over them, will be confounded. Whilst 
all the angels of God worship him, may it ever be 
our chief study, to know, to love, and serve him. 

4th. Some persons are fond of proposing queries 
concerning the state and condition of the Heathen 
world, who appear to have but little concern or anx- 
iety for themselves as sinners, and exposed to de- 
struction. But this is certain, that they, who do not 
feel deeply interested for their own salvation, cannot 
have much concern or regard for the salvation of 
others. Hence cavils arise. Why the Lord did not, 
even by miracles, have the gospel preached to all 
nations ? or why are so many of the human race left 
in Heathenish darkness? But they, who thus cavil, 
do not daily address the throne of divine grace in 
their behalf; and perhaps they have never contribu- 
ted one cent to assist, in sending the gospel to them. 
Now what profit can there be in such queries.'^ If 
any feel interested for the welfare of Fleathenish 
nations, let their prayers and alms ascend up as a 
memorial before God, that the Sun of righteousness 
may arise and shine into those dark and benighted 
corners of the earth. Whatever conjectures any 
may form concerning their condition and prospects, 
they can be of no avail, unless they influence to exer- 
tion to send them the gospel means of salvation. 
The first and immediate concern of those in gospel 
lands should be to embrace and profess the gospel ; 
for then they may feel deeply interested that others 
also enjoy its inestimable blessings. And this thought 
should deeply affect the minds of those who cavil, 
that if those who enjoy the meridian of gospel 
light, are not saved through its influence, it will be 
more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, and the 
nations of the Heathen, in the day of judgement, than 
f^ir them. How inconsistent is the conduct of those 


who do not wisely improve, but abuse their own 
exalted religious privileges, that they be often pro- 
posing queries about the state of those who are not 
thus highly axalted. They who are destitute of the 
light of the gospel, do need the pity of those who 
live in gospel lands; yea, they are in perishing need 
of gospel hght and means. But let us be merciful 
to our own selves ; let our own hearts be imbued 
and influenced by the benevolent spirit of the gospel ; 
and then our cavils will be turned into the most 
solemn inquiries, how we shall reach forth to them 
the word of God, and be the happy agents of sending 
the bread of life. Whilst we weep for ourselves and 
those around us, let our queries be turned into fer- 
vent prayers ; and our idle wishes, into acts of charity, 
for the destitute and wretched Pagans. Then may 
we hope, that they will participate in like glorious 
privileges and blessings with us. Yea, we may see 
some, who, in the last great day, will rise up as saved 
through our exertions, and call us blessed. 

5th. Some persons are apt to inquire concerning 
the future condition of infants, whether they are all 
to be saved or not. But this is a subject, in which 
they are not immediately and deeply interested ; for 
all they can do, is to commend them to the grace of 
God, and implore his blessing. They may propose 
many queries, and indulge in trifling speculations; 
but to what profit ? If the lives of infants be spared, 
they, who have the care of them, may bring them up 
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, at a very 
early age. For this duty and privilege they should 
feel a deep and lively interest. We may converse 
and receive instruction concerning the state and 
condition of infants, if we take the scriptures for 
our guide. But skeptical disputes and angry con- 
tentions concerning them, are injurious and to be 
avoided. The inquiry may be. Are infants born in a 
state of perfect holiness ? I answer, no. For David 
says, concerning himself, Behold, I was shapen in 

skRMON xiii. itei 

iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. And 
from inspiration we are taught, That all are estranged 
from their birth. The scriptures no where teach us, 
that mankind by nature are holy, but sinful. But are 
all who die in infancy, through the grace of God and 
the atonement, to be saved ? Whether the word of 
God is sufficiently full and decided on this point as 
to furnish a positive answer, I cannot tell. But sup- 
pose it is not ? What is that to thee? They very 
fully teach parents their personal duties, and those 
which they owe their tender offspring, which is all 
that immediately and deeply concerns them. But 
how foolish and inconsistent to hear parents engage 
in warm disputes and bitter contentions respecting 
the condition of infants, who, instead of teaching 
their children of understanding, the ways of godli- 
ness, by their examples, are leading them in the vrays 
of ungodliness and perdition. Such are more con- 
cerned for queries and disputes, than for the dearest 
interests of their children. Their inquiries are into 
those things in which they are not immediately con- 
cerned, rather than into those in which ihef and their 
offspring are most deeply interested. 

6th. The inquiry is frequently made, whether the 
greater part of the human race will be saved or lost ? A 
certain one asked the Saviour, Are there few that be v 
saved ? And he said. Strive to enter in at the strait 
gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, 
and shall not be able. The man does not appear to 
have had any ill design, although he proposed a 
curious question. Our Lord, therefore, did not give 
him a direct answer ; but took occasion to inculcate 
this important exhortation, that mankind should not 
be solicitous to know how many will be saved, but 
to secure their own salvation. In the thousand years 
of the millennium, doubtless the chief part will t)e 
saved. But in that period, a far greater number will 
people the globe, than all who shall have existed 
before. The consequence must be, that a far greaf of 


162 bERMOi\ Xlli. 

number of human beings will finally be saved than 

7th. Another inquiry is often made, in what part of 
theunivcrse are heaven and hell? Some conjecture, that 
one of the planets or fixed stars is the place of the 
blessed ; others, that it is far beyond the starry 
heavens, and that this earth will be the final abode 
of the wicked. But to every query of such a nature, 
the proper answer is, What is that to thee ? The 
Lord has not revealed this, and we are not immedi- 
ately concerned to know, where is the place of final 
destiny either for the righteous or wicked. The 
doctrine of future rewards and punishments is fully 
made known, and we are deeply interested in these 
solemn truths. Then our serious inquiry should be, 
to know how we may avoid the second death, and 
inherit eternal life. It is of the utmost importance 
for us, to be delivered from the bondage of sin and 
death, and to obtain that holiness, without which no 
man shall see the Lord. To follow Christ is both 
our duty and our immortal interest. There is such 
a place as heaven, and also a hell. To be an inhab- 
itant of the former, will be infinite gain ; but of the 
tatter, infinite loss. Where these places are, avaiieth 
not ; but to know what manner of spirit we possess, 
is to foresee our eternal doom. In the word of God 
we may behold, as in a glass, our own character as 
saints or sinners ; and discover our future glorious 
recompense, or dread inheritance. He that hath 
ears to hear^ let liim hear, from the several views 
which we have taken of this subject, What is that to 
thee? follow thou me. 


ist. From this subject we may conclude, discourses 
of a novel nature are calcidated to please some^ although 
they may not feel deeply interested. A spirit for novelty 
is in some degree common to all men ; and to some, 
peculiarly so. Such, like the Athenians, would spend 


their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to 
hear some new thing. And should such be gratified, 
their imaginations would be entertained, but their 
understandings would not be edified with the most 
solemn and important truths. To grow in knowledge, 
seems to be natural to the mind of man. But he 
should be careful not to indulge a vain curiosity for 
mere novelty ; but to add to his stock of knowledge, 
by treasuring up new ideas from the many varied and 
interesting truths, which relate to present usefulness, 
and future felicity. The field is so vast from the 
works, the word, and providence of God, that we 
may ever be improving in the knowledge of those 
things, which are suited to the dignity of rational and 
immortal beings. New and interesting scenes and 
events will ever be before i>s, and we shall never be 
circumscribed for the want of proper objects to 
excite our wonder and admiration. Then may a taste 
for novelty be in subordination, and the queries af a 
lively imagiiiation in subjection to the nobler powers 
of reason and understanding, that our inquiries and 
improvements may be suited to the dignity of our 
nature and high responsibility. 

2d. Then may we search the scriptures, and grow 
in the knowledge of those things, which the Lord has 
abundantly and clearly revealed. Whilst in the pur- 
suit of any other knowledge to the neglect of this, 
we are only catching at shadows, but loose the sub- 
stance We are not made mterely to amuse ourselves, 
but to grow wise for eternity. Every doctrine or 
truth, contained in the sacred pages, and which is pe- 
culiar to revelation, is new. None of the human race 
could ever have discovered them, had they not been 
blessed with a divine revelation. The particular 
account of creation and the fall of man, the work of 
redemption and way of salvation through Jesus 
Christ, are peculiarities of revelation. Hidden 
beauties,. iew and rising wonders, are concea^ed from 
the view of many of the curious between the lids 

164 StJRMoN xni. 

of the Bible, because they do not make the word of- 
liie the man of their counsel. How various and in- 
teresting are the subjects of divine revelation of 
things both new and old, of those which are past, 
and which are yet to come. The account of the 
conduct, condition, and designs of those invisible 
spirits, the holy and sinning angels, should most seri- 
ously affect us ; for like them, and even with them, we 
are deeply interested. O the wonders, the beauties, 
and glories of the person, character, and offices of the 
Redeemer, the only Mediator between God and man ! 
How sublime, and amazingly momentous the de- 
scription of the general resurrection and great judge- 
ment day. In the word of God we have an interest 
vast as eternity ; and to have a saving knowledge of 
its sacred truths, is to be an heir of Immortal fijlort. 


zion's trials and prospects. 

Psalm xlviii. 12. 

Walk about Zion^ and go round about her ; tell the towers 


jL O hear of glorious Achievements and important 
events, interests the mind of a human being. Many 
of the concerns pertaining to the human race, are in 
themselves of vast magnitude; and others become 
momentously interesting by their connexion with 
other beings, and their bearing on another world. 
Ancient and modern history is worthy the study and 
attention of man ; both as it respects the rise and 
fall of nations, and individuals. The account of 
worthy heroes and interesting kingdoms, is calculated 
to please and elevate the human mind. Let us take 
a glance of two persons of rank, and notice some of 
the changes which they experienced. 

In the year 1774, in which the Marquis de La Fay- 
ette was married, his estates are said to have been so 
great that his annual income amounted to ten thou- 
sand one hundred dollars. In the year 1776, he 
espoused the cause of America; as his mind, naturally 
elevated, was ever devoted to the cause of liberty. 
Though France little expected that the American 
colonies could maintain their declaration of Indepen- 
dence, he was wiUing to purchase and fit out a vessel 
at his own expense. He soon landed at Charleston, 
South-Carolina, where he presented General Moultrie 
with clothing, arms, and accoutrements for one hun- 
dred of his men, who were miserably clad. Being 
appointed by Congress to the rank and commission 


of Major-General in the army of the United States, he 
was permitted to take the command of two thousand 
young men, who being regularly disciplined, became 
the flower of the American army. They were equip- 
ped throughout at his own expense ; and ibr his 
bravery, military skill, and successes, he had the 
confidence of his men, of Washington, and Congress. 
Being highly honoured, and having returned home 
in the time of the French revolution, he was ap- 
pointed Commander-in-Chief of the national guards, 
and commander of all the militia in France. But 
shortly he is accused, and a price set on his head. 
He escapes from the army, and after many most de- 
grading reproaches and insults, at last is dehvered up 
to the Austrian government, and corjfined in one of 
the cells of the prison at Olmutz. The sufferings of 
La Fayette in this dreary abode, brought him to the 
borders of the grave. His confinement was ^ve 
years; that of his wife and daughters, twenty-two 
months. If all the circumstances attending his im- 
prisonment should be taken into consideration, a 
parallel case of injustice and cruelty could scarcely 
be found in the annals of history. Now let us turn 
our thoughts to his arrival and reception at New- 
York, in the year 1824 : Let us only contemplate his 
tour through the United States, and hint at the hon- 
ours which he received from this nation ; then enough 
will be told of him. 

Again : In the year 1774, Louis XVI, ascends the 
throne of France. But, in a few years, the condition 
of the nation is so alarming, that the royal family 
are obliged to escape from Paris. They are taken 
and brought back, and suffer the most inhuman 
treatment. The king and royal family are imprison- 
ed, accused, condemned, and executed. In the time 
of their arrest and confinement, they experienced the 
most cruel abuse. Their horrid execution is too 
affecting and shocking at this time to be related. 
What contrasts in the condition of Louis XVI. king 


of France ! Thus a cursory view of two personages 
has been taken, to show that not only the history of 
nations, but that of individuals, is often important and 

Still there is a history vastly more important, and 
infinitely more interesting. This is the history of 
the church, or a description of the trials and pros- 
perity of Zion. Her king is the Lord of hosts ; her 
dominion is an everlasting dominion; and all her 
subjects shall finally wear crowns of glory for ever 
and ever. Her chief tower is heaven ; and all the 
angels of God are her guards. She is styled the 
perfection of beauty ; for in her militant state, her 
subjects are the peculiar chosen people of her King; 
and in her triumphant state, they are the citizens of 
the new Jerusalem above. Well, then, may the 
Psalmist exclaim, Walk about Zion, and go round 
about her; tell the towers thereof 

in the early ages of the world, there were preach- 
ers of righteousness, among whom Noah was distin- 
guished. But religious instructers were chiefly 
Patriarchal, till the time of Moses. Then the Le- 
vi tes were the priests for the Jewish nation. Whilst 
Jerusalem was in splendour, the people were called 
upon to go round the city in solemn procession; and, 
while they joyfully praised and blessed the Lord, to 
mark all the towers, walls, and palaces, observing 
that not one of them had been in the least injured by 
her formidable invaders. This would tend the more 
deeply to impress their minds, and prepare them 
faithfully and diligently to preserve the memory of 
these interesting events, for the benefit of future 

But says Solomon, The name of the Lord is a 
strong tower ; the righteous runneth into it and is safe. 
Before the advent of the Saviour, the Lord had not 
only a seed to serve him, but there were eminent patri- 
archs and prophets, who were Zion's watchmen ; and 
pyen the angels were her messengers and warriours. 


Their tents were pitched in the midst of her ; and 
frequently they fought her battles, and led her on 
victorious. But this subject will be chiefly confined 
to events which have transpired in the church, since 
the days of Christ and his apostles. 

The darkest season was chosen for the appearance 
of the Son of God, the light and life of the world. 
The New Testament makes known the out pourings 
of the Holy Spirit, the persecutions and success of 
the church, during the first century. In the reign of 
Trajan, Ignatius was an important pillar in the 
church. Much did he encourage and strengthen 
christians, who were persecuted in diverse places. 
Polycarp was a bold champion for the defence of 
truth in his life; and his martyrdom was a bulwark for 
the support and propagation of Christianity. In his 
days, the holy martyrs sustained the most dreadful 
tortures for their faith in Christ; evincing indeed, 
that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy 
to be compared with the glory, that shall be revealed 
in them. The name of Cyprian is distinguished in 
church history. He was a faithful servant of his 
Lord and master ; and an ornament to the church. 
In Asia, one Maximus was brought before Optimus 
the proconsul, who inquired after his condition. I 
was born free, says he, but 1 am the servant of JesUs 
Christ. Are you a christian ? Though a sinner, yet 
I am a christian. After persuasions and tortures, he 
was ordered to be stoned to death. Whilst the per- 
secution was raging with unremitting fury, Cyprian 
thus addresses the faithful: Heavenly things now 
succeed earthly ; great things, small ; and eternal, 
those that are fading. After a variety of exercises 
and toils amongst friends and open enemies, by 
having his head severed from his body by a sword, 
rested at length in Jesus the magnanimous and be- 
nevolent spirit of Cyprian of Carthage. 

In the fourth century in the persecution under Dio- 
clesian, edicts were published, by which men of the 

SERMON XIV. 16ij( 

Christian religion, of whatever rank or degree, were 
deprii^ed of all honour and dignity, and exposed to 
torture. Churches were ordered to be levelled with 
the ground ; and the sacred books to be consumed 
by fire. Persons of dignity were to be disgraced and 
the common people to be made slaves, if they per- 
sisted in Christianity. A most systematick and 
laboured effort was made to extinguish the gospel of 
Christ. Theodosia, a Tyrian virgin of eighteen 
years of age, was put to death for owning and coun- 
tenancing some Christian prisoners. Another, named 
Ennathas, was dragged by violence to the judge^ 
whipped, and burnt to death. For eight years, both 
in the east and west, the keenest malice was exerted 
in this terrible and bloody persecution. 

Respecting Constantine, he was an Emperour full 
of zeal for the propagation of the only divine reli- 
gion. By his edicts he restores every thing to the 
church, of which it had been deprived ; indemnifies 
those who had suffered; honours pastors; and recom- 
mends to governours of provinces, to promote the 
gospel. Notwithstanding, he was opposed by men 
of power and influence, who w^ere corrupt in doc- 
trine and immoral in their lives. In this and suc- 
ceeding ages, ecclesiastical councils and synods were 
assembled in order to determine what is sound doc- 
trine, in opposition to heresy. 

In the reign of Thrasamond, two hundred and 
twenty bishops were sent into exile. From this 
circumstance w^e may see, that the persecution must 
have been extensive. 

The ninth century is considered aS belonging to 
what is called the dark ages. For several centuries, 
the proper -description is a land of drought and of 
the shadow of death. Here and there, indeed a 
glimmering ray of the Sun of Righteousness appears; 
but it is in vain to look for any steady lustre of evan- 
gelical truth and hohness. The tenth century is 
Considered as remarkable abdve all others for the 



scarcity of writers, and men of learning and eminent 
piety. Opposition began to be made by a few, to 
the corruptions and abominations in the church of 
Rome. Church history is perhaps the least interest- 
ing at this period. 

The thirteenth century may be considered as the 
dawning of the reformation. Claudius, of Turin, may 
be accounted as the first real, protestant character; 
and may be considered as a blessing to the church 
and to mankind. The name of Wicldiff is dear to 
every enlightened zealous christian : as he so vehe- 
mently opposed the whole doctrine of Popish indul- 
gencies. At this period the Lollards endured dis- 
tressing sufferings. The story concerning John 
Brown, is worthy of notice. He was brought to 
Ashford and confined in the stocks, towards evening. 
One of his female domesticks happened to become 
acquainted with his situation, and instantly carried 
home to her mistress the afflicting news. His mourn- 
ful wife came and sat near him all the night, and 
heard him relate the melancholy facts of all that had 
happened to him. His treatment had been barba- 
rous in the extreme. His feet had been placed upon 
hot burning coals, and kept there till they were 
burnt to the bones. Notwithstanding, Brown would 
not deny the faith ; but patiently endured the pain, 
fighting manfully the good fight. To his wife he then 
said. They have burnt my feet till I cannot set them 
on the ground ; they have done so to make me deny 
my Lord ; but, I thank God they w ill never be able 
to make me do that. If 1 should deny him here, he 
would deny me hereafter. TJierefore, I pray thee, 
continue as thou hast begun, and bring up thy chil- 
dren in the fear of God. Thy husband is to be con- 
sumed at the stake to-morrow. Whenexpiring,he lifted 
up his hands, and uttered the most fervent prayers ; 
particularly the words of the Psalmist, Into thy hands, 
I commend my spirit; for thou hast redeemed me, 
O Lord, thou God of truth. How must the mind of 

ijERMON XIV. 171 

that disconsolate woman have been encouraged and 
consoled by such a departure ! In the beginning of 
the sixteenth century, the Lord raised up for his 
people a son of thunder, who dared oppose Papal 
indulgences, and preach the truth as it is in Jesus. 
This was Luther, the celebrated reformer; whose soul 
was constantly panting for something very different 
from secular glory. He was of a penetrating mind, 
naturally eloquent ; and became the wonder of his 
age. He bid the anathema of Popes, and the de- 
crees of councils, defiance, when opposed to the 
doctrines and spirit of the gospel. What a luminary 
in the church, this protestant hero ! But the glory 
of Zion will appear the more conspicuous, and her 
triumph the most complete, if we take a summary 
view of her persecutions. These are generally con- 
sidered ten, by the heathen. The first was under 
the emperour Nero, thirty-one years after our Lord's 
ascension. Christians were apprehended, and their 
tortures and death were aggravated by cruel derision 
and sport. In the year 95, under Domitian, forty 
thousand were supposed to have suff*ered martyrdom. 
Under Trajan, in the year 100, a persecution was 
carried on for several years with great violence. 
The fourth, was under Antonius, when Christians were 
banished from their houses, plundered, imprisoned, 
and stoned. The fifth, began in the year 127, under 
Severus, when great cruelties were committed The 
sixth, began with the reign of Maximinus, in the year 
235. The seventh, under the emperour Decius, in 
the year 250, was more dreadful than any of the 
former. The Christians were driven from their habi- 
tations, stripped of their estates, tormented with 
racks, and destroyed by every kind of ignominious 
death. In the eighth, under Valerian, 257, both men 
and women suffered death, some by scourging, some 
by the sword, and others by fire. The ninth, was 
under AureHan, in 274. The tenth began in the 
year 303, in the reign of Dioclesian. In this dread- 

17*2 SERMON Xlt. 

ful pefsectition, which lasted ten years, houses filled 
tvith Christians Were set on fire, and many were tied 
with ropes, and thrown into the sea. It is related, 
that seventeen thousand were slain in one month's 
time. In Holland, fifty thousand are said to have 
suffered death by the hand of the executioner. But 
no coimtry, perhaps, has produced more martyrs for 
the truth than France. More than thirty thousand 
protestants were destroyed in one massacre. Eng- 
land, Scotland, Ireland, and Spain were also subject 
to the most dreadful persecutions. But blessed in 
the eyes of the Lord, is the death of his saints. 
Yes, and blessed is Zion in the midst of her trials 
and sufferings. The very means which ber enemies 
used for her overthrow, were overruled for the en- 
largement of her borders. 

Various and glorious are the considerations which 
raight be presented respecting Zion, that her friends 
may take courage and rejoice. 

1st. Her King is the Lord of glory, who possesses 
all possible perfection. He views her as the apple 
of his eye ; and he is able, and will make all things 
work together for her good. He will make the wrath 
of man to praise him, and the remainder of wrath 
will he restrain. He will suffer no evil tobefal Zion, 
that one of her subjects shall finally be overcome ; 
or that all shall not eventually triumph gloriously. 
He will deliver her from all her enemies, external and 
internal ; and exalt her far above their heads. Her 
people shall be his people, and he will be their God, 
He hath wisdom and goodness infinite ; and his arm 
is omnipotent. Who can compare with him .^ Have 
some of the kings and princes of the earth, been 
worthy of loyal subjects? Still, all glory is due to 
Zion's King; whose sceptre is a sceptre of righteous.- 
ne&s, and his kingdom and dominion eternal. 

2do Let us take a view of Zion ^ respecting her prospe- 
rity and prospects in this world. In the sixteenth cen- 
taury was the glorious reformation in the church; and 


ihe light and power of the gospel overcame perse- 
cution, and the combined forces of wicked men and 
devils. Themachinations of secular priests, of Popes 
and Emperours, to quench and prevent the light and 
spread of the gospel, were defeated and rendered ab- 
ortive. The extensive and glorious revivals in the last 
and present century, are but a few feeble rays for ush- 
ering in the millennial day. The whole world must ere 
long be the kingdom of Christ ; and when every part 
shall be peopled and prosperous, what a vast multitude 
of subjects! The kingdoms of this world are to become 
the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ. As mani- 
fold as shall be the nations, kindreds, and tongues 
under the whole heaven, so vast will be the inherit- 
ance of Zion, But what great and glorious con- 
quests yet to be achieved ! How will she go on con- 
quering and to conquer, and render her captives loyal 
subjects. Her victories will not only be glorious 
achievments ; but the earth itself will be blessed, 
when peopled throughout by the righteous. Could 
we walk about Zion, and go round about her, so as 
to tell the towers thereof, what blessed wonders 
should we tell. 

3d. The weapons, with which Zion subdues her 
enemies, are essentially different from those which 
are formed against her. They are not instruments 
of death, but of life and peace. Says the Apostle 
Paul to his brethren. The weapons of our warfare 
are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling 
down of strong holds ; Casting down imaginations, 
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the 
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every 
thought to the obedience of Christ. This is a war- 
fare and conquest for the honour and immortality both 
of the conquerour and conquered. How different in 
its nature and effects from the contests and conquests 
of her enemies ! The same Apostle in his epistle to 
the Ephesians says, We wrestle not against flesh and 

it4 aERMON XiV. 

blood; but against principalities, against powers, 
against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against 
spiritual wickedness in high places. But this is the 
proper way, to promote individual and general good. 
And for the enemies of Zion to be conquered, and 
to throw down their weapons of rebellion, is the only 
possible way to be blessed. Their submission is a 
victory more glorious than ever was obtained by all 
the legions of earth. As he that is a servant of Christ 
is free, and is brought into the glorious liberty of the 
sons of God ; so the subjects of Zion and all her 
captives, have their names enrolled in the Lamb's 
book of hfe. 

4th. Many and greatly varied are the excellent 
things, which may be said concerning Zion. Abra- 
ham and Moses, Jeremiah and David, John and Paul, 
Edwards and Whitfield, and thousands of other 
heaven-born souls, and sons of God, were worthies, 
who will compare with, and outshine all the ki(igs 
and nobles of this world. Such were glorious minds, 
shining brightly in their heavenly armour. The 
graces of ChHstian meekness and humihty, and of 
prayer in faith, ascend and tower up to the heavens, 
and draw down blessings on churches and the world, 
to strengthen, beautify, and eidarge the borders of 
Zion. The holy angels of God, when need re- 
quires, sally out of their spacious, lofty tower, for 
her defence and protection, and for the dismay and 
destruction of her enemies. They are guards, who 
keep a constant watch by day arid by night; and 
never did one of them desert to the enemy, or fall 
asleep on his post. They fore-warn the people of 
Zion of danger; rescue them from threateniiig ruin ; 
and when any become martyrs for the faith, they 
give their souls a glorious escort to Abraham's bosom. 
Think of Lot, Moses, and Lazarus. The prayers of the 
saints, through the grace of God, will not only avail 
much, and be as shields to ward off the weapons of 


the enemy ; but legions of heavenly warriours are her 
champions. What is yet accomplished, is bat the 
beginning of what is yet to be done. 

5th. We may see, that Zion is safe in the midst of 
dangers. No martyr for the truth was ever safer, than 
when in the midst of flames Daniel was safe in the 
lion's den; so were Shadrack, Me shack, and Abedne- 
go, when cast into the fiery furnace. Equally secure, 
a id in the hands of the same God, were all those 
who coUiited not their lives dear, though suffering 
unto death. The powers of earth and of hell, with 
all their cunning and malice, cannot pluck a soldier 
of the cross out of the Father's hand. None will 
be lost but the sons of perdition, the enemies of Zion. 
Whether a church be small, or a believer vexed by 
the devil ; all is well, for thy God, O Zion, reigneth ; 
and all his people shall reign with him, and be kings 
and priests uato him for ever. But happy is that 
people, whose God is the Lord ; for he has them en- 
graven o 1 the palms of his hands. . All the redeemed, 
the ransomed of the Lord, shall be brought home to 
glory with songs of joy, and shouts of victory; and 
shall walk the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, 
the mount Zion above. Yet a little while, and all 
their trials will be turned to glorious rewards; and 
for self denial they will have crowns of rejoicing. 
By obedience and sufferings they are most effectually 
prepared for their eternal, blessed inheritance. 
Saints, thy God Jehovah, hath you secure in the 
hollow of his hand, in time; and will have you encir- 
cled in the bosom of his love in eternity, to whom be 
2;lory for ever more. Aw^n, 



Acts xi. 26. 

The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 

JLr ISCIPLE is a word nearly synonimous in its im- 
port with the term, scholar. Or, a disciple is one 
who attends the lectures, and professes the tenets of 
another. A disciple of Christ, is one who believes 
his doctrines, imbibes his Spirit, and follows his ex- 
ample. The disciples, or followers of Christ, were 
first denominated Christians at Antioch,in Syria, in 
the forty-second year of the Christian era. This was 
once considered the thiM city in the world ; famous 
for its beauty, greatness, and population. It Was 
built by Antiochus and Seleucius Nicanor, partly on 
a hill, and partly on a plain. It has the river Orontes 
in its neighbourhood, with a celebrated grove, called 
Daphne ; whence, to distinguish it from other cities 
of the same name, it has been called 4ntiochia, near 
Daphne. The enemies of the disciples of Christ 
had used the epithets, Nazarene and Galilean, by 
way of reproach ; and hence some are ready to 
conclude, they invented the term Christian, as an 
opprobrious name. But, to me this seems improba- 
ble, as they were unwilling to allow that Jesus was 
the Christ, or the Messiah. The original seems to 
imply, that the name of Christians was given to the 
disciples by a divine monition. Doubtless it was 
afterwards used as a term of reproach by their per- 
secutors, though it was honourable in its meaning 
and original. In the apostolical age, this epithet 


aptly- denoted the reliance of the saints on that 
anoiiited Prince and Saviour, who was generally 
rejected with disdain by Jews and Gentiles, it also 
implied, that they also were partakers of an unction 
or anointing by the Holy Spirit. In the present age 
it is so promiscuously applied to a vast multitude, 
that it scarcely implies either honour or reproach^ 
They who seriously profess to belie^^e in Christ and 
obey him, are generally distinguished by other names, 
whether they are spoken of with respect or in deri- 
sion. The terms brethren, believers, saints, and 
faithful, are most commonly used in the New Testa- 
ment. The sai its are so called, on the account of 
their being renewed and sanctified by the Holy 
Ghost. They are called brethren, because all who 
are born again, are one family in Christ, the sons of 
God in a spiritual sense. They are called believers, 
because they assent to the truths of divine revelation, 
and have received Christ as their God and only 
Saviour. They are called faithful, because they are 
servants of Christ from the heart, and not in mere 
externals. In the Christian world, mankind are de- 
nominated Christians in a twofold and essentially 
different sense. They are so called, whethei* they 
are so only nominally, or really so. That is, There 
are those who are Christians in name only, and there 
are Christians indeed. The name Christian, per- 
haps, is the most suitable title, or epithet, for all who 
are the disciples or followers of Christ. But, as 
particular passages of the sacred scriptures, have, 
from the ambiguity of language, and the different 
views of mankind, been variously interpreted by dif- 
ferent com nentaries, these diversities have given 
birth to a multiplicity of different sects. He ice the 
different sects, or denominations, of professed Chris- 
tians, have been distinguished by different sappella* 
tions ; and these names generally have been derived 
from the name of the person who was the author, or 
who vs^as at the head of the new sect or denomination' 



But Jerusalem is justly styled the mother churth^ 
Repentance and remission of sins were to be 
preached, beginning at Jerusalem. However, the 
gospel was soon promulged in Judea and Galilee, 
Samaria, Ethiopia, and CaDsarea. Churches were 
soon planted at Antioch and Galatia, Philippi and 
Thessalonica, Berea and Athens, Corinth, Rome, 
and Colosse. The seven churches of Asia, also were 
founded wiihin the first century, and the gospel 
preached in several other places. For several cen- 
turies, the Latin and Greek churches comprised the 
greater part of Christendom. On the account of 
their antiquity, their variableness, and scanty history, 
we have no very satisfactory information concerning 
any one. The church of Rome, is considered as the 
most ancient of all the established churches ; but the 
first account of this church is very imperfect. It has 
not sucli trophies of scriptural fame as some of the 
other apostolical churches; although at an early 
period it was by no means insignificant, either for the 
number or piety of her converts. I shall proceed to 
take notice of some of the religious sects, which 
have sprung up, or denominations of Christians, 
which*have been established, since the days of apos- 
tolical and primitive Christianity. 

1st. The Arians first made their appearance in 
the year of our Lord, 315. Theyxlerive their name, 
and have their peculiar tenets from one Arius, a pres- 
byter of the church of Alexandria. He insisted, 
that the Son of God was totally and essentially dis- 
tinct from the Father ; the first and noblest of those 
beings whom God had created ; the instrument, by 
whose subordinate operation, he formed the uni- 
verse ; and therefore, inferiour to the Father both in 
nature and dignity. He also held, that the Holy 
Ghost was not God; but created by the power of the 
Son. The Arians owned that the Son was the Word; 
but they denied that Word to have been eternal. 
They held, that Christ hand nothing of man in him. 


but tbe llesh, (o which the Word was joined, and 
w4iich was the same as the soul in our bodies. These 
aiitl some other tenets which they professed, were 
considered as heretical by the churches in this age. 
In the year 320, by a council at Alexandria, under 
Alexander, bishop of that city, Arius was accused 
of impiety, and expelled from the communion of 
the church. In the year 325, the sarrio things 
were brought and transacted agaij-st hiui. by three 
hundred and eighty fathers in the gc nerHl couucilof 
JNice, assembled by Constantine. r is peculiar sen- 
timents, however, continued to spread. 

2d. The Greek, or eastern church, wilh all the 
branches which have sprung from it, is s as great 
extent of territory, perhaps, as the Latin or west«^rn 
church. Greece, ^ gJP^ Abyssinia, ISubia, 1 ybia, 
and Palestine, are chictlv u;ider the jurisdiction of 
her patriarchs. The luissiat s adhere to the doc- 
trines and ceremonies of the Grc* ! ■ Inirch. though 
they are now independent of the i . t' of Con- 

staatiaople. Several other places, disiiicis, and 
islands are connected and belong to the eastern or 
Greek jurisdiction. Therefore it is with inipropriety, 
that the church of Rome is called by her memhtrs 
the Cathohck or Universal church- About the mid- 
dle of the ninth century, in consequence of religious 
dissentions and controversies between the Latin 
church a.fd the Gre?k, tlie latter may be said to have 
separated from the ibrmer. They disown the su- 
premacy, authority, and pretensions of the Pope. They 
grant no indulgeircies, nor do they lay any claim to 
the character of infallibility, like the church of Rome. 
Th^y deny that there is any such place as purgatory; 
nolvvithstaiidi^.g they pray for the dead, that God 
would have mercy on tliem at the general judgement. 
Like the Komans, they believe the doctrine of con- 
substcintiation, or the union of the body of Christ 
with the bread of the sacrament. Since the Geeks 
became subject to the Turkish yoke, they have sunk 

180 c:.ERMdN \\. 

into the most deplorable ignorance, in consequence 
of the slavery and thraldom under which they groan. 
Their religion is now greatly corrupted. The tenets 
of the Latin and Greek churches, are in some re- 
spects similar; but in others, widely different. The 
latter deny that the church of Rome is the true, 
catholick church. 

3d. About the year 1 380,appeared the Wickliffites, 
the followers of the famous John Wickliffe, called 
the first reformer, who was born in Yorkshire. He 
attacked the jurisdiction of theFope and the Bishops. 
For this he was twice summoned to attend a 
council at Lambeth, to give an account of his doc- 
trines; but being countenanced by the duke of Lan 
caster, was both times dismissed without condemna- 
tion. He therefore continued to spread his new 
principles as usual, and drew after him a great num- 
ber of disciples. The archbishop of Canterbury 
called another council, which condemned twenty- 
four propositions of Wickliffe and his disciples,about 
which time he died. He was doubtless a very extra- 
ordinary man, considering the times in which he livedo 
He discovered the absurdities and impositions of the 
church of Rome, and had the honesty and resolution 
to promulgate his opinions; which, a little more sup- 
port, would probably have enabled him to establish. 
They were, however, considered the foundation of 
the subsequent reformation. 

4th. The Hussites were a party of reformers, the 
followers of John lluss, who adopted the sentiments 
of Wicklifle and tine Waldenses; and in the year 1407, 
began openly to oppose and preach against divers 
errours in doctrine, as well as corruptions in point of 
discipline, then reigning in the church. This eminent 
man, whose piety was equally sincere and fervent, 
ibough his zeal was perhaps too violent, and his 
prudence not always circumspect, was summoned to 
appear before the council of Constance. He was 
^^eclared a heretick, and condemned to be burnt 

bERMON XV. 1 81 

alive, because he refused to plead guilty against the 
dictates of his own conscience. When he came to 
the place of execution, he fell on his knees, sang por- 
tions of psalms, looked steadfastly towards heaven, 
and repeated these words : Into thy hands, O Lord, 
do I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O 
most good and faithful God. When the chain was 
put about him at the stake, he said, with a smiling 
countenance, My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with 
a harder chain than this, for my sake, and why should 
I be ashamed of this old rusty one ? Being desired to 
abjure. No, says Huss, I never preached any doctrine 
of an evil tendency ; and what I taught w ith my lips, 
I seal with my blood. In the midst of flames, he de- 
parted m the triumphs of faith. 

5th. In the year 1467, in Bohemia a sect of Chris- 
tian reformers sprang up, who were denominated the 
Bohemian brethren. They treated the Pope and 
Cardinals, as Antichrist : and the church of Rome as 
the w^hore spoken of in Revelation. They rejected 
the sacraments of the Romish church, and chose 
laymen for their ministers. They held the scriptures 
to be the only rule of faith, and rejected the popish 
ceremonies in the celebration of mass. They held 
in abhorrence the worship of saints and images, 
celibacy, and prayers for the dead. In the year 15.35, 
there was a union concluded between them and the 
Lutherans; and, afterwards they were united to the 
Z;)inglians, whose opinions after that, they continued 
to follow. 

6th. The Lutherans are those who embrace the 
opinions of one of the most eminent reformers, Mar- 
tin Luther. About the year 1512, this bold, intrepid 
Boanerges, ventured openly to oppose the abomina- 
tions both in doctrine and practice, which had crept 
into the church of Rome. He dared protest against 
the unrighteous decrees of the Popes and his adhe- 
rents. Hence the name Protestant, was first given 
in Germany, to those who adhered to the doctrine of 


Luther. The same has also been given to those ol' 
the sentiments of Calvin. It has now become a 
common name, or denomination for all those of the 
reformed churches. Though the church of Rome 
was once a light to the world, Luther eventually was 
led to consider her as spiritual Babvlon, and m.other 
of harlots; and the Pope, as Antichrist. He rejected 
the doctrine of popish supremacy and infalhbility . of 
indulgences, and mar<y other popish tenets. He re- 
duced the number of sacraments to two, viz. baptism 
and the cucharist : but he did not reject the doctrine 
of consubstantiation; that is, that the body and blood 
of Christ, in a mysterious manner, are materially 
present in the sacrament of the Lord's supper. In 
this article cofisists the main dilference between the 
Lutheran and English churches. 

7th. About this time the Anabaptists appeared ; 
who maintain, that baptism ought nlwi ys to be per- 
formed by immersion. The Anabaptists ol Germany 
depended much upon certain ideas which they enter- 
tained concerning a perfect church establishment, 
pure in its members, and free from the irstifutioj s of 
human policy. The most prudert part of them 
considered it possible, by human industry and vigi- 
lance, to puriiy the church -, and se* ii.g the attempts 
of Luther to be succ^^ssful. they Iioped thrt the 
period had arrived, in which the church was to be 
restored to tliis purity. Others, not sfrtisfied with 
Luther's plan of reibrmation, undertook a visionary 
enterprise, to fouiul a i^ev/ church entirely spiritual 
and divine. This sect was sooi» joii rd by great 
numbers, whose characters and capacities were very 
different. At one time, they undertook to pro} ai^'te 
their notions by pretended visions and mir^ cles at 
another, by force of arms ; sayhig that (.'hrist himself 
was now o take the reigns of all government into his 
hands. The Baptists in England and Holland, are to 
be considered in a different light from the An bap- 
tists of Germany. They profess an aversion to all 

SERMON XV. 18:i 

principles of rebellion and insurrection, and to en- 
thusiastick plirensy and fanaticism. In the year 1521, 
Munzer was the principal leader of this sect. 

8th. The Calvinists are those who embrace the 
doctrines and sentiments of John Calvin, one of the 
celebrated reformers of the Christian church, from 
Romish superstition and doctrinal errours. This 
name seems to have been given at first to those who 
embraced not merely the doctrines, but the church 
government and discipUne established at Geneva, 
and to distinguish them from the Lutherans. But 
since the meeting of the synod of Dort, the name 
has been chiefly applied to those who embrace his 
leading views of the gospel, to distinguish them from 
the Armenians. Calvin considered every church as 
a separate and independent body, invested with the 
power of legislation for itself He acknowl^ged a 
real, though spiritual presence of Christ in the eucha- 
rist ; and he confined the privilege of communion to 
pious and regenerate believers. The priiicipal doc- 
trines of disagreement between the Armenians and 
Calvinists are what are called the ^ve points, viz. the 
doctrines of predestination, particular redemption, 
total depravity, effectual calling, and the certain 
perseverance of the saints. Armenius had been 
educated in the opinions of Calvin; but thinking 
these doctrines as taught by him, too severe, he dis- 
sented from him. The genius, learning, eloquence, 
and piety of Calvin, rendered him respectable even 
in the eyes of his enemies. 

9th. The church of England is the church estab- 
lished by law, in that kingdom. When and by whom 
Christianity was first introduced into Britain, cannot, 
perhaps, be exactly ascertained Popery, however, 
was established here by Austin, the Monk; and its 
errours were every where prevalent, until Wickliffb 
was raised up by divine providence to refute tiiem. 
The church of England remained in subjection to 
the Pope, until the time of Henry VIII. who was a 


bigoted papist; but, falling out with the Pope about 
his marriage, he took the government of ecclesiasti- 
cal affairs into his own hand ; and having reformed 
many abuses, entitled himself supreme head of the 
church. The thirty-nine articles of this church are 
Calvinistical ; and were passed in a convocation, and 
confirmed by royal authority, in the year of our Lord 
1562. Its government is Episcopal, and the king is 
the supreme head. 

10th. The Baxterians are a sect of Christians, so 
called from the learned and pious Richard Baxter, 
who was born in the year 1615. His design was to 
reconcile Calvin and Arminius, by forming a midway 
scheme between their religious systems. Baxter, it 
is said, wrote one hundred and twenty books, and 
had sixty written against him. He told a friend, that 
six brojhers were converted by the reading his of (all 
to the unconverted; and twenty thousand copies 
of these were said to have been sold in one year. 

11th. The Socinians are a sect so called from 
Faustus Socinus, who died inPoland,in the year 1 604. 
They maintain that Jesus Christ was a mere man, 
who had no existence before he was conceived by 
the Virgin Mary ; that the Holy Ghost is no distinct 
person ; but that the Father only is truly and prop- 
erly G od. They own that the name of God is given, 
in the holy scriptures, to Jesus Christ; but contend, 
that it is only a deputed title; which, however, invests 
him with great authority over all created beings. 
They deny the doctrines of atonement and imputed 
righteousness, and say, that Christ only preached the 
truth to mankind ; set before them in himself an ex- 
ample of heroick virtue, and sealed his doctrines 
with his blood. Some of them likewise assert the 
sleep of the soul; which, they say, becomes insensi- 
ble at death, and is raised again with the body at 
the resurrection. Doctor Price, believed in the pre- 
existence of Christ ; and likewise, that he was more 
than a human being. About the year 1550, there 

SERMOiN XV. 18a 

Were many Socimans in Poland. Both they and the 
Unitarians have various notions concerning Christ. 
Some of them consider him as a mere man, a prophet : 
others beUeve in the pre-existence of his soul, as the 
iirst and most excellent created intelligent ; and some 
allow that he is a divine person, but not the inde- 
pendent and eternal God. Several of their religious 
tenets are very different from the principles of the 

12th. About the year 1650, the sect called Qua- 
kers, took its rise in England ; and they soon spread 
into other countries in Europe, and into the English 
settlements in North Ameri<^a. Their name was 
given them by their enemies, and though an epithet 
of reproach, it seems to be instamped upon them 
indelibly. George Fox, is supposed to be their iirst 
founder ; but Penn and Barclay, gave to their princi- 
ples a more regular form. At first they were called 
Seekers ; but, afterwards, they assumed the appella- 
tion of Friends. They do not practise water baptism, 
nor observe the Lord's supper in the symbols of bread 
and wine. Their women become pubhck instructers 
in religion. In other respects many of them ap- 
proach near the Socinians in their tenets ; but some, 
acknowledge the doctrine of the Trinity, and the ex- 
istence of holy and wicked angel^. 

13th. The Methodists are that denomination of 
Christians, which was founded in the year 1729, by 
one Mr. Morgan, and Mr. John Wesley. They were so 
called from the regularity of their lives. After Mr. 
Whitfield returned from America, in 1741, he de- 
clared his full assent to the doctrines of Calvin. Mr. 
Wesley, on the contrary, professed the Armenian 
sentiments. The difference in the tenets of these 
two great men, eventually caused a separation. 

14th. The Presbyterians are so called, because 
they hold that there is no order established in the 
church by Christ and his Apostles, superiour to tjiat 
of presbyters. The term dissenters, is applied to 




those who separate from the established church; an 
the Presbyterians, Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, 
Independents, and others. The several denoinina- 
tions noticed, raay serve to show, in a cursory man- 
ner, how the various sects of professing Christians 
took their origin. And as we are taught in the words 
of the text. The disciples were called Christians first 
in Antioch, so other places h^»ve been named, and the 
reasons given, of different names being applied to 
I i fferent d enomi nat ions. 


3st. We may see some advantages to be derived 
from the names of the different religious denomina- 
tions. They are a means of additional light re- 
specling church history. They are a medium of at 
once giving a correct vien' of the general principles 
of a person. They may serve to show, how far one 
sect can fellowship another. Whether they will be 
necessary in the meridian of the millennium day, 
when the watchmen shall see eye to eye, may be 
a query. In a future state they dbuhtless will not exist. 

2d. A serious call is this subject, for nominal Chris- 
tians to become real Christians. A mere name can 
avail only in time ; but the thing, or reality, is of im* 
port i!\ce for eternity. At the great day of final 
decision, when some w ill see that they have oidy had 
a name to live; others, with inexpressible joy and 
for the honour of Christ, will see that they were 
Christians indeed. 

3d. An exhortation, then, for all to receive Christ 
as their God and Saviour. They would gladly wel- 
come some earthly friend. They perhaps would be 
at considerable expense, and with pomp would re- 
joice to wiit on some great personage. But will they 
not receive the friend of sinners, the Lord from 
heaven.^ He proffers himself to them without money 
and Without price. He requires not external splen- 
dour, but a willing mind and the reception of th^r 

.SERMON XV. lo/ 

heart. To receive him, is life eternal begun in the 
soul ; but, to reject him, is death eternal. 

4th. How vastly different the future state of hu- 
man beings from tlie present. How much ahke the 
lot of the righteous and the wicked in this world ! But 
what a perfect contrast in the world to come ! Here, 
there is but little distinction between saint and sin- 
ner; but, hereafter, the distiriction will be as great 
as heaven and hell. Wherever we are, then, let each 
one make the inquiry, Am I a Christian ? Jlmm. 



' Fsalm cxxxix. 14. 
/ am fecrfuUi/ and wonderfully made. 


RE pious Psalmist assigns the sentiment contained 
in these words, as a reason why he should praise 
Cod. And surely the contemplation of the human 
irame is well calculated to excite the wonder and 
admiration of man. He should be excited w ith rapture 
at the thought of an inquiry into a work so curious 
and astonishing. What a variety of parts are formed, 
and of uses designed within the compass of a human 
body ! How exactly is every part adapted to its pur- 
pose, and one part adjusted to another ! And though 
all the parts of this complex fabrick, are produced 
and nourished from the same earth, yet how various 
their texture and consistence ! How firm and solid 
the bones ; how soft and pliant the flesh ! how tough 
and flexible the muscles ; how fine and feeling the 
nerves ! how quick and lively the organs of sensa- 
tion ; and how promptly the limbs obey the dictates 
of the will! 

Wonderful is the structure of the vessels which re- 
ceive and distribute the nutriment, convey the blood, 
and carry on the respiration; and no less wonderful 
is the action of those vessels, in performing their re- 
spective functions. Mysterious is the power of that 
animal motion, on which life depends. That of the 
stomach, heart, and lungs, is involuntary. We can 
give no ather account of it, than that which the apos- 
tle Paul gives: In God we live, and move, and have 
our beinc-:. The motion of our limbs is indeed vol- 


iintary ; but this is equally mysterious. How is it, 
that a mere act of will contracts or extends the 
muscles of our bodies ? How it is, that our volition 
should impart motion to the various members of 
our bodily frame, no philosopher or anatomist can 

Moreover, the mind is as wonderful as the body. 
This cannot be an object of sense ; although it is an 
object of immediate consciousness. We perceive 
that there is something within us, superiour to that 
gross matter, of which the body consists. We can 
think, reason, and reflect; can review and contem- 
plate our own thoughts ; can call to remembrance 
things past ; can look forward and make conjectures 
on things to come. In our meditations we can, in a 
moment, pass to distant regions and to distant worlds, 
and thence return at our pleasure. 

The mind is in some inexplicable manner, so uni- 
ted to the body, that it receives all its information by 
means of the bodily organs. Besides, a disorder of 
body aflfects and deranges the powers of the mind ; 
and afflictions and sorrows of mind, debilitate and 
waste the body. Hence we know, that there is an 
intimate union between these constituent parts of 
man. This union is necessary to the present state; 
but its nature, in what it consists, how it is preserved, 
how the soul can act in the body, and how it will re- 
ceive and communicate ideas in a separate, invisible 
state, we cannot, at present, understand. That the 
soul can act in a state of separation, may be possi- 
ble ; for we find, that even now the greater part of 
its exercises, are, in a certain sense, independent of 
the bodily senses. It* is indeed dependent on these 
for the first reception of its ideas ; but when it has 
received them, it can review and compare them, and 
make deductions from them, without aid from the 

What a mystery are we to ourselves ! We cannot 
explain the powers we possess ; nor the motions and 


actions we daily perform. Well may it be said, We 
are wonderfully made ! When we look abroad and 
behold the manifold works of God, are they marvel- 
lous in our eyes? And docs the great scheme of di- 
vine revelation, or do the doctrines of the gospel 
appear incomprehensible ? Let us only contemplate 
our own frame, and we become a wonder, and incom- 
prehensible to ourselves. 

But how are we to understand the Psalmist when 
he says. We are fearfully made. 

To this inquiry let us now give our attention. 

1st. The expression imports the dignity of man in 
comparison with other creatures of this lower world. 
Man is so made, that the sight of him impresses a 
terrour on the beasts of the earth. Moses informs 
us. That God made man in his own image, and gave 
him dominion over every beast of the earth. When 
Noah came forth from the ark, God blessed him and 
his sons ; and said. Be fruitful and multiply, and re- 
plenish the earth. And the fear of you, and the dread 
of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth, and 
upon all that moveth on the earth. Into your hand 
they are delivered. To the same purpose are the 
words of the Psalmist : God made man a little lower 
than the angels, and crowned him with glory and 
honour, and gave him dominion over the works of his 
hands, and put all things under his feet. These ex- 
pressions proclaim the dignity of man, and his supe- 
riour station, compared with the animal creation.* 
Many of the animals are superiour to man in strength 
and activity, and armed with weapons of destruction 
superiour to any which man naturally possesses for 
his defence ; yet the most ferocious of them will re- 
treat before him. If they ever assault him, it is in 
some peculiar circumstance ; as when they are 
jealous for their young, provoked with wounds, or 
enraged by hunger. There is something in the human 
attitude and aspect, which strikes them with terrour 
and restrains their ferocity. Yea, many of the beasts 


readily submit to man's dominion, and suffer him to 
employ their ^uperiour strength in his service. And 
St. James asserts, That every kind of beasts is tamed 
and hath been tamed of mankind. 

Moreover, were it not for this dread of man, which 
is impressed on the beasts of the earth, we should be 
obhged always to stand armed for our defence 
against them. Hence the wilderness would become 
their exclusive habitation ; our life would be a state 
of anxiety and terrour; and we could neither oc- 
cupy the fields, nor walk the roads, nor sleep in our 
houses with safety. Thus we may see that man is 
fearfully made ; as the dignity of his person awes the 
animals of the earth to submission, or else strikes 
them with dread, and excites them to shun his 

3d. We are fearfully made, as the Creator has im- 
pressed upon us evident marks of our immortality 
and accouatableness. The distinguishing faculties 
of our minds demonstrate, that we were created for 
greater and nobler purposes than any of the animals 
around us. It does not appear consistent with the 
Divine wisdom and goodness, and with the economy 
every where observable in the works of God, that he 
should make such beings solely for a sphere so low 
as the present world, and for a duration so short as 
the present life. If our existence is to cease v/ith 
the death of the body, why has the inspiration of 
the Almighty given us understanding.'^ If we are de- 
signed only to eat, drink, and sleep, provide a suc- 
cessor, and then return to eternal oblivion, of what 
use is forethought and reflection, moral discernment, 
and a sense of obligation ? 

In the present state we find ourselves capable of 
progress and improvement; but we never rise to the 
perfection to which, in a longer space, we might at- 
tain. And many of our mortal race are removed, 
before they have opportunity for any improvement at 

192 bERMON XVI. 

all. Must there not, then, be another slate, hi which 
wc may reach the perfection of which our nature is 
capable, but which is unattainable here ? Instinct 
in beasts is perfect at first. The young are nearly as 
sagacious as the old, in finding or constructing their 
habitations, in seeking and distinguishing their 
proper food, in the retreating from dangers, in taking 
their prey, in evading or resisting an enemy, and in 
every thing which belongs to their sphere of action. 
In man, reason is developed gradually, is improved 
by experience, and assisted by example and instruc- 
ion ; and, under proper culture, makes observable 
)rogress. But before it can reach its end, its pro- 
gress is arrested by death. Must we not, then, con» 
;lude, that there is another state, in which the soul 
nay still press forward, and reach that degree of 
knowledge and virtue, for which the present life is 
kr too short ? 

There is in all men a desire of immortality ; and 
:his desire will doubtless be gratified. This world is 
»vell adapted to our condition, in regard to our bodily 
frame; for every passion and incHnation, which belong 
to our animal nature, and is not a corruption or perver- 
sion of the same, can find an object for gratification. 
And shall we suppose, that the desire of immortality 
has no object ? This would be to suppose that the 
works of God are inconsistent and unharmonious. 
That the desire of immortality is v,^rought in us by 
the Creator, is evident from its universahty. If it 
were the effect of education, it. would not possess all 
men, in all ages and countries; but would be confined 
to particular persons or places. This argument the 
apostle Paul considers, as conclusive. For the 
earnest expectation of the creature, waiteth for the 
manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature 
was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by rea- 
son of him Vi^ho hath subjected the same in hope. 
Now' he who hath wrought us to this self same thing. 


is God. This is evident, for in respect to this desire 
of immortality, the whole creation, or the whole hu- 
man race, groaneth and travelleth together. 

Moreover we carry with us evidence, not only of 
immortality, but also of accountableness. There is 
in every man a moral principle, which, being in any 
degree enlightened, feels its obligation to avoid the 
evil and embrace the good. Whenever the differ- 
ence between moral good and evil is stated, it is dis- 
cerned and allowed by the mind. With very little 
instruction, man is enabled to see the essential differ- 
ence between the nature of virtue and vice. Besides, 
the paths of wickedness are accompanied with re- 
morse ; but the work of righteousness, is peace. 

Certainly, then, we are accountable beings ; and, 
in a future state, shall receive according to our moral 
characters. And how solemn the thought that we 
are under the eye of a holy God, are on probation 
for his favour, are responsible for all our moral ac- 
tions ; that we must exist for ever in another state, 
and that our condition there will be according to the 
course which we shall have pursued here ! Does 
our very make teach us these momentous truths ? 
Surely we may say. We are fearfully made. 

2nd. We are fearfully made; as our frame demon- 
strates the power, wisdom, and presence of God. 
Such a wonderful composition as man, must be the 
eflfect of Divine intelligence ; must be the work of 
an infinite, independent, all wise Creator. David 
exclaims. Marvellous are thy works, O God! and that 
my soul knoweth full well. Thine eyes did see my 
substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book were 
all my members written, which in continuance were 
fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. My 
substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in 
secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part o^ 
the earth. 

As the frame of our bodies proves God's agency, 
so the powers of our mind demonstrate his perfect 



knowledge. He who formed the eye, shall not he 
see? He that planted the ear, shall not he hear? 
He that teaeheth man knowledge, shall not he know ? 
Yes, he knoweth the thoughts of men. 

We, then, carry about with us clear evidence, that 
there is a God, who is present with us, around us, 
and within us ; that he observes all our actions, dis- 
cerns all our intentions, watches all our motions, and 
will bring into judgement all our works. What a 
solemn, what a fearful thought ! Shall we not rever- 
ence the presence of such a Being ? Shall we not 
tremble at the view^ of our own frame, which brings 
him present to our minds ? Well may we adopt the 
language of the Psalmist, O Lord, thou hast searched 
me, and known me. Thou knowest my down setting 
and uprising; thou understandest my thought afar 
off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down. 
Thou art acquainted with all my ways. There is 
not a word in my tongue, but thou knowest it alto- 
gether. Thou hast beset me before and behind, and 
laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too 
wonderful for me. Wliither shall I go from thy 
presence, or flee from thy Spirit ? Thou possessest 
my reins. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

What stupidity must it be, to live without the be- 
lief, and act without the fear of God, when we have 
within ourselves a continual demonstration of his ex- 
istence, power, wisdom, and Providence ! The Lord 
demands. Will ye not tremble at my presence ? He 
is not far from every one of us ; and shall not his ex- 
cellence make us afraid ? Wherever we go, we are 
Jiving witnesses that God is present; and whatever we 
do, our own frames bear incontestible evidence, that 
his power giveth efficiency. Our voluntary actions and 
involuntary motions, our souls and bodies, proclaim 
the power, wisdom, and presence of the supreme 
Being; and, at the same time, do most strikingly 
eviace that we are fearfully made. 

1th. We are fearfully made, as it respects our 

SERMON XVi. 19.^ 

Irailty. Such is the tenderness of our iVame, that in 
this tumultuous and dangerous world, in which we lire, 
weare always exposed to casualties and wounds, todis- 
eases and death. It may therefore, with much pro- 
priety be said, We are fearfully made. 

The Psalmist prays, O make me to know my end, 
and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may 
know how frail I am. Surely every man, at his best 
estate, is altogether vanity. The sacred volume, to 
express the vanity and frailty of human life, compares 
it to a shadow, a flower, dust and wind. And, indeed, 
so precarious is the life of man, that it depends on 
the breath. God breathed in him the breath of life, 
and he became a living soul. So when his breath 
goeth forth, his thoughts perish, and he returneth to 
his dust. How fragile, then, is the springof life.'^ It 
is the breath in our nostrils; a puff of air ; even a 
vapour, which soon vanishes. It is wind, which 
passes by, and comes not again. 

The lungs, which are the instruments of respira- 
tion, are a tender and delicate substance. And how 
small is the passage which conveys the air to the in- 
ternal parts, and remits it for a fresh supply ! More- 
over, this operation must be constant ; for a short sus- 
pension would occasion death. And how many ex- 
ternal accidents, and internal disorders may occur to 
obstruct the conveyance of air, or destroy the motion 
of the lungs ! If we consider only this fragile, but 
essential part of the human frame, life must appear 
truly precarious. But every part of the system, as 
well as this, is liable to casualty and disease. In 
this curious and complicated machine are innumer- 
able threads, vessels, and springs, on which motion 
and activity depend. And a very slight injury or 
rupture in any of them, may under certain circum- 
stances, become fatal. To casualties we are alwavs 
exposed in our labours and journeys, our diversions 
and employments. The causes of disease may every 
where attend us ; for even the air which we breathe, 
and the food we eat, are frec[uentlj charged with 

i9b bER3I0N XVi. 

death. Who then can at any time say, That he is 
sure of another hour ? Must not all be constrained 
to acknowledge, that the springs of life are most 
brittle ? We are often in a situation so critical, 
whetherwe discern it or not, that there is but a step, a 
breath, a span, between us and death. 

Had we a clear discernment of the dangers which 
attend us wherever we go, and of the frailty of the 
tabernacle in which we dwell, we should live in per- 
petual fear. It is happy for us, that many of our 
dangers are concealed ; otherwise, it is probable we 
should often be deterred from the necessary occu- 
pations of life. But we see enough to convince us, 
that we are fearfully made.* 

But how are we to understand the Psalmist, when 
he says We are wonderfully made? 

To this part of the subject, let us now give our at- 
tention. In the first place, let the bones in our mor- 
tal frame be considered. And it may be observed, 
that the bones may be regarded as the prop work, or 
basis, on which the human body is constructed. They 
bear the same relation to the animal system, as the 
frame. to a building. They give shape and firmness 
to the body ; support its various parts ; and prevent 
it from the sinking by its own weight. They serve as 
levers, upon which the muscles act ; and defend the 
brain, the heart, the lungs, and other vital parts from 
external injury. 

Of the bones some are hollow, and filled with mar- 
row; others are solid throughout; some are very small; 
others very large; some are round, and others are flat; 
Some are yjlane,and others convex or concave: And all 
these severalforms are requisite for the situations they 
occupy,and the respective functions they have to per- 
form. The spine, or backbone, consists of twenty-four 
Vertebrae or small bones, connected together by cartila- 
ges, articulations, and ligaments ; of which seven be- 
long to the neck, twelve to the back, and fj\e to the 

. * This part of the discourse, is chiefly selected from the writings of Joseph 
Lathrop.D. D. 

SERMON Xtl. J97 

loins. In the centre of each vertebrae there is a Jiole 
for the lodgment and continuance of the spinal mar- 
row, which extends from the brain to the lower part 
of the body. From these vertebrae the arched bones, 
called ribs, proceed; and seven of them join the 
breast-bone on one side, where they terminate in car- 
tilages, and form the cavity of the thorax or breast. 
The five lower ribs, with a number of muscles, form 
the cavity of the abdomen. The spine is one of the 
most admirable, mechanical contrivances in the hu- 
man frame. Had it consisted of only three or four 
bones, or had the holes in each bone not exactly cor- 
responded, and fitted into each other, the spinal mar- 
row would have been bruised, and life endangered 
at every bending of the body. 

The skull is composed of ten bones ; and about 
fifty-one are reckoned to belong to the face, the or- 
bits of the eyes, and the jaws, in which the teeth 
are fixed. There are seldom more than sixteen 
teeth in each jaw, or thirty-two in all. The number 
of bones in a human body is generally estimated at 
about two hundred and forty-five ; of which there 
are reckoned in the skull, head, and face, sixty-one ; 
in the trunk, or bodily part, sixty-four ; in the arms 
and hands, sixty; and in the legs and feet, sixty. 
The bones are provided with ligaments, or hinges, 
which bind and fasten them together, and prevent 
them from being displaced by continually varied 
motions : And, that the ligaments may work smoothly 
into one another, the joints are separated by car- 
tilages or gristles, and provided with a gland for the 
secretion of oil or mucous, which is constantly exu- 
ding into the joints : Hence, every requisite is provi- 
ded by our benevolent Creator, to prevent pain, and 
to promote facility of motion. In considering the 
joints, says Dr. Paley, there is nothing, perhaps, 
which ought to move our gratitude more than the 
reflection, how well they wear. A limb shall swing 
upon its hinge, or play in its socket, many hundred 


times in an hour, for sixty years together, without dimi- 
nution of agility, which is a long time for any thing to 
last, for any thing so much worked as the joints are. 
These few remarks may serve to show, that the bones 
should be considered as divine specimens of the 
wonderful structure of our bodily frame. 

2d. The muscular system is a demonstrative proof, 
that we are wonderfully made. A muscle is a 
bundle of fleshy, and often tendinous fibres. The 
fleshy fibres compose the body of the muscle ; and 
the tendinous fibres, the extremities. Some muscles 
are long and round ; some plain and circular; some 
have spiral, and some have straight fibres ; some 
are double, having a tendon running through the 
body from head to tail ; some have two or more ten- 
dinous branches running through with various rows 
and orders of fibres. All these and several other 
varieties, are essentially requisite for the respectii^e 
oflices they have to perform in the animal system. 
The muscles constitute the fleshy parts of the human 
body, and give it that varied and beautiful form we 
observe over its surface. But their principle design, 
is to serve as the organs of motion. They are inserted 
by strong, tendinous extremities into the diflerent 
bones, of which the human skeleton is composed ; 
and, by their contraction and distention, give rise to 
all the movements of the body. The muscles, there- 
fore, may be considered as so many cords attached 
to the bones ; and the Author of nature has fixed 
them according to the most perfect principles of 
mechanism, so as to produce the fittest motions in 
the parts, for the movement of which they are in- 

One of the most wonderful properties of the 
muscles, is the extraordinary force they exert ; 
although they are composed of such slender threads 
or fibres. The folio witig facts, in relation to this 
point, are demonstrated by the celebrated Borelli, 
in his work concerning animal motion. If a man. 

' SERMON XVI. 199 

with his arm hanging directly downwards, lift a 
weight of twenty pounds, with the third or last joint 
of his thumb, the muscle which bends the thumb, and 
bears that weight, exerts a force of about three thou- 
sand pounds. When any one, standing upon his feet, 
springs upwards to the height of two feet, if the 
weight of such a man be one hundred and fifty 
pounds, the muscles employed in that action, will 
exert a force of two thousand greater ; that is to say, 
a force of about three hundred thousand pounds. 
The heart at each pulse, or contraction, by which it 
protrudes the blood out of the arteries into the veins, 
exerts a force of above a hundred thousand pounds. 
Who can contemplate this amazing strength of the 
muscular system, without admiration of the power 
and wisdom of the Creator, who has thus endued a 
bundle of threads, each of them smaller than a hair, 
with such a degree of mechanical force ? There 
have been about four hundred and forty-six muscles 
in the human body, which have been dissected and 
distinctly described ; every one of which is essen- 
tial to the performance of some one motion or other, 
which contributes to our ease and enjoyment; and, 
in most instances, a great number of them is required 
to perform their different functions at the same time. 
It has been calculated, that about a hundred muscles 
are employed every time we breathe. Breathing 
with ease, says Dr. Paley, is a blessing of every mo- 
ment; yet, of all others, it is that which we possess 
with the least consciousness. A man in an asthma, 
is the only person who knows how to estimate this 

Muscles, with their tendons, are the instruments by 
which animal motion is performed. And a muscle 
acts only by contraction ; Its force is exerted in no 
other way. When the exertion ceases, the muscle 
is relaxed by returning to its former state, but with- 
out energy. The consideration of the muscular sys^ 


tern does strikingly evince, That we are wonderfully 

3d. If we notice the heart and blood-vessels, we 
shall discern the propriety of the exclamation, I am 
wonderfully made ! 

The heart is a hollow, muscular organ, of a conical 
shape, and consists^of four distinct cavities. The 
two largest are called ventricles ; and the two small- 
est, auricles. The ventricles send out the blood to 
the arteries ; the auricles receive it from the veins. 
The heart is enclosed in the pericardium, a mem- 
branous bag, which contains a quantity of water, or 
lymph. This water lubricates the heart, and facili- 
tates all its motions. The heart is the general reser- 
voir of the blood. When the heart contracts, the 
blood is propelled from the right ventricle, into the 
lungs, through the pulmonary arteries; which, hke all 
the other arteries, are furnished with valves, that 
play easily forward, but permit not the blood to re- 
turn toward the heart. The blood, after circulating 
through the lungs, and having been there revived by 
coming into contact with the air, and imbibing a 
portion of its oxygen, returns into the left auricle of 
the heart, by the pulmonary vein. At the same in- 
stant, the left ventricle drives the blood into the 
aorta, a large artery, which sends off branches to 
supply the head and arms. Another large branch 
of the aorta, descends along the inside of the back 
bone, and detaches numerous ramifications to 
nourish the bowels and inferiour extremities. After 
serving the most remote extremities of the body, the 
arteries are converted into veins ; which, in their re- 
turn to the heart, gradually unite into larger branches, 
till the whole terminate in one great trunk, called the 
vena cava^ which discharges itself into the (right 
auricle of the heart, and completes the circulation. 
As soon as the blood is received by the heart from 
the veins of the body, and before it is sent out again 

SflRMON XVI. 201 

into its arteries, it is carried, by the force of the con- 
traction of the heart, and by means of the separate, 
puhnonary artery to the lungs, and made to enter 
their manifold vessels ; from which, after being in- 
vigorated by coming in contact with the air, it is 
brought back by the large, pulmonary vein once more 
to the heart, to be from thence distributed anew into 
the system. This assigns to the heart a double 
office. The pulmonary circulation is a system withia 
a system ; and one action of the heart is the origin 
of both. Each ventricle of the heart is reckoned to 
contain about one ounce, or two table spoonsfull of 
blood. The heart contracts four thousand times 
every hour ; and consequently, there passes through 
it, two hundred and fifty pounds of blood in one hour. 
And if the mass of blood in a human body be reck- 
oned at an average of twenty-five pounds, it will 
follow, that the whole mass of blood passes through 
tlie heart, and consequently through the thousands 
of ramifications of the veins and arteries, fourteen 
times every hour ; or, about once every four minutes. 
We may acquire a rude idea of the force with which 
the blood is impelled from the heart, by considering 
the velocity with which water issues from a syringe 
or from the pipe of a fire engine. Could we behold 
these rapid motions incessantly going on within us, 
it would overpower our minds with astonishment, 
and even with terrour. The arteries into which the 
blood is forced, branch in every direction through, 
the body, like the roots and branches of a tree ; run- 
ning through the substance of the bones, and every 
part of the animal frame, till they are lost in such 
tine tubes as to be wholly invisible. In the parts 
where the arteries are lost to the sight, the veins take 
their rise ; and, in their commencement, are also im- 
perceptible. Thus we see, that the arteries and 
veins are two systems of blood vessels ; and that the 
heart is the engine which works their machinery, alUpL 
causes the circulation of the blood. One grand 



purpose to be answered, is the distributing of nour- 
ishment fiom our daily food to every part ; even to 
every extremity of the body. And as an arterial 
rupture or wound would be more dangerous than 
that of a vein, the arteries lie the deepest, and are 
formed with much tougher and stronger coats than 
the veins. Hence, the system of the heart and 
blood vessels proclaim, that we are wonderfully 

4th. The same will also appear, if we consider 
respiration, or the act of breathing. The organs of 
respiration are the lungs. They are divided into 
live lobes ; three of which lie on the right, and tvvo 
on the left side of the thorax. The substance of 
the lungs is chielly composed of infinite ramifications 
of the trachea, or wii.d pipe ; which, after gradually 
becoming more and more minute, terminate in little 
cells, or vesicles, which have a free communication 
with one another. At each inspiration, these pipes 
and cells are filled with air, which is again discharged 
by expiration. In this manner, a circulation of air, 
which is necessary to the existence of men and other 
animals, is constantly kept up as long as life remains. 
The air-cells of the lungs open into the wmd pipe, 
by which they communicate with the external at- 
mosphere. The whole internal structure of the 
lungs is lined by a transparent membrane, estimated 
at only the thousandth part of an inch in thickness ; 
but whose surface, from its various convolutions, 
measures sixteen square feet, which is equal to the 
external surface of the body. On this thin and ex- 
tensive membrane, innumerable veins and arteries 
are distributed, some of them finer than hairs; and 
through these vessels all the blood of the system is 
successively propelled, by a most curious and admi- 
rable mechanism. It has been computed, that the 
lungs, on an average, contain about two hundred and 
eighty cubick inches, or about five English quarts of 
air. At each inspiration,about forty cubick inches of air 


are received into the lungs, and the same quantity 
discharged at each expiration. On the supposition 
that twenty respirations take place in a minute, it 
will follow, that in one minute, we inhale eight 
hundred cubick inches; in an hour, forty-eight thou- 
sand ; and in a day, one million one hundred and 
fifty-two thousand cubick inches ; a quantity which 
would fill seventy-seven wine hogsheads, and would 
weigh forty pounds. By means of this function, a 
vast body of air is daily brought into contact with 
the mass of blood, and communicates to it its vivify- 
ing influence; and, therefore, it is of the utmost 
importance to health, that the air, of which we 
breathe so considerable a quantity, should be pure 
and uncontaminated with noxious effluvia. In our 
present state, it is essential to life that we exist in 
the element of air. And how mysterious the forma- 
tion of the lungs to be receiving constant and fresh 
supplies, for the purpose of respiration, and the con- 
tinuance of animal life ! Although the act of breath- 
ing is a constant succession of inhaling and exhaling 
the surrounding air, still we are generally almost 
insensible of this vital impulse. But, whenever we 
give our minds to the consideration of the curious 
and marvellous machinery which produces respira- 
tion, we contemplate a system that proclaims. We 
are wonderfully made ! 

5th. The process by which our daily food is di- 
gested, is truly wonderful. Digestion is performed 
by the stomach, which is a membranous and muscular, 
bag, furnished with two orifices. By the one, it has 
a communication with the throat; and by the other, 
with the bowels. The food, after being moistened 
by the saliva, is received into the stomach, where it 
is still farther diluted by the gastrick juice, which 
has the power of dissolving every kind of animal 
and vegetable substance. Part of it is afterwards 
absorbed by the lymphatick and lacteal vessels, and 
carried into the circulating system, and converted 

2G1 ^isRivroN' XYt. 

into blood, for supplying that nourishment which the 
perpetual waste of our bodies demands. 

Our food undergoes two great preparations before 
5t becomes nutritive to our bodies. The first is by 
mastication and moisture in the mouth : the second, 
by the process of digestion in the stomach. The 
last is a surprising dissolution ; for it converts the 
aliment into pulp, which, though lately consisting of 
perhaps ten different viands, is reduced to nearly an 
uniform substance, and to a state fitted for yielding 
its essence^ which is called chyle, but which more 
nearly resembles milk than any other liquor with 
which it can be compared. For the straining off of 
this fluid from the digested aliment in the course of 
its long progress through the body, myriads of ca- 
pillary tubes, or pipes as small as hairs, open their 
<*)rifices into the cavity of every part of the intestines. 
These tubes v^hich are so fine and slender as not to 
he visible, unless when distended with chyle, soon 
unite into larger branches, which convey it into a 
^common reservoir, or receptacle, containing about 
two table spoonsfull. From this, a duct or main pipe, 
discharges it into a large vein, which soon convey? 
the chyle, now flowing along with the blood, to the 
heart. The action of the intestines pushes forward 
the grosser part of the aliment, at the same time that 
the more subtle parts, which we call chyle, are, by 
a series of gentle compressions, squeezed into the 
Harrow orifices of the lacteal veins. And animal 
digestion carries about it the niarks of being a power 
and process completely distinct from every other ; 
at least from every chymical process, with which we 
are acquainted. When we consider the process of 
digestion, its several connections, relations, and 
J^urposes, we may well acknowledge with admiration, 
We are wonderfully made. 

6th. if a few appropriate remarks be made in 
>^egard to perspiration, our wonder will be justly 
^cited. Perspiration is tjie evacuation of the juices 


of the body through the pores of the skin. It has 
been calculated, that there are above three hundred 
thousand miUions of pores in the glands of the skin, 
which covers the body of a middle sized man. 
Through these pores, more than one half of what we 
eat and drink passes off by insensible perspiration. 
If we consume eight pounds of food in a day, five 
pounds of it are insensibly discharged by perspira- 
tion. During a night of seven hours' sleep, we per- 
spire about forty ounces, or two pounds and a half. 
At an average, we may estimate the discharge from 
the surface of the body, by sensible and insensible 
perspiration, at from half an ounce to four ounces an 
hour. This is a most wonderful part of the animal 
economy, and is absolutely necessary to our health, 
and even to our very existence. When partially 
obstructed, colds, rheumatisms, fevers, and other in- 
flammatory disorders, are produced; and were it 
completely obstructed, the vital functions would be 
clogged and impeded in their movements, and death 
would inevitably ensue. Perspiration is effected in 
consequence of the action and heat throughout the 
human system ; and it is increased by external heat 
and bodily exercise. It may be impeded by various 
means, external and internal. Thus the nutritive 
portion of our food, which does not become incorpo- 
rated into our bodies, is evacuated through the pores 
of the skin. How mysterious the mechanism of 
perspiration ! How wonderfully are we made ! 

7th. If we consider sensation, or perception, by 
means of the senses, we shall be furnished with 
another argument to convince us that we are won- 
derfully made. The nerves are generally considered 
as the instruments of sensation. They are soft 
white cords, which proceed from the brain and spinal 
marrow. They come forth originally, by pairs. 
Ten pair proceed from the medulary substance of 
the brain, which are distributed to all parts of the 
head and neck. Thirty pair proceed from the spi- 


nal marrow, through the vertebrae, to all the other 
parts of the body, there being forty in all. These 
nerves, the ramifications of which are infinitely vari- 
ous and minute, are distributed upon the heart, lungs, 
blood vessels, bowels, and muscles, till they terminate 
on the skin, or external covering of the body. Im- 
pressions of external objects are received by the 
brain from the adjacent organs of sense, and the 
brain exercises its commands over the muscles and 
limbs, by means of the nerves. 

I shall now conclude these descriptions, with the 
following summary of the parts of the body. The 
bones, by their joints and sohdity, form the founda- 
tion of this fine machine: The ligaments are strings, 
which unite the parts together. The muscles are 
fleshy substances, which act as elastick springs to 
put them in motion. The nerves, which are dispersed 
over the whole body, connect all the parts together. 
The arteries and veins, like rivulets, convey life 
and health throughout. The heart, placed in the 
centre, is the focus, where the blood collects ; or the 
acting power, by means of which it circulates and is 
preserved. The lungs, by means of another power, 
draw in the external air, and expel hurtful vapours. 
The stomach and intestines are the magazines, where 
every thing that is required for the daily supply, is 
prepared. The brain,the seat of perception, memory, 
and reason, is formed in a manner suitable to the 
dignity of its inhabitants. The senses, which are the 
soul's ministers, warn it of all that is necessary either 
for its pleasure or use. But the union of soul and 
body so as to constitute but one being, is the wonder 
of wonders in regard to our existence. That natures 
so essentially different as matter and mind, should 
have the most intimate, mutual sympathies and influ- 
ence over each other, is truly astonishing. The 
admirable mechanism of the various senses, should 
excite our wonder ; and their dignified offices of 
administration to the soul, are marvellous indeed ! 


When we contemplate the mysterious union of 
our souls and bodies; their oneness in regard to 
being ; that they are to be a long time separate in 
different worlds, and at last re-united ; we cannot 
hesitate to adopt the language of the devout Psalm- 
ist, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The vari- 
ous descriptions to which we have been attending, 
are but a few, and those very imperfect delineations 
of the divine wonders, exhibited in the existence of 
a human being. But these short sketches do naturally 
call forth the exclamation, Adorable Creator! with 
what skill hast thou formed us ! 


This subject suggests a variety of moral and re- 
ligious reflections. 

1st. As the economy of the human frame, when 
seriously contemplated, has a tendency to excite ad- 
miration and astonishment, so it ought to impress us 
with a sense of our continual dependence on a: 
Supreme Power. What an immense multiplicity of 
machinery must be in action to enable us to breathe, 
to feel, and to walk ! Hundreds of bones of diversified 
forms, connected together by various modes of ar- 
ticulation ; hundreds of muscles to produce motion, 
each of them acting in at least ten different capaci- 
ties ; hundreds of tendons and ligaments to connect 
the bones and muscles ; hundreds of arteries to con- 
vey the blood to the remotest part of the system ; 
hundreds of veins to bring it back to its reservoir, 
the heart; thousands of glands, secreting humours 
of various kinds from the blood; thousands of 
lacteal and lymphatick tubes, absorbing and con- 
veying nutriment to the circulating fluid ; millions of 
pores through which the perspiration is continually 
issuing ; an infinity of ramifications of nerves, diffusing 
sensation throughout all the parts of this exquisite 
machine ; and the heart at every pulsation exerting a 
force, of a hundred thousand pounds, in order to 


preserve all this complicated machinery in constant 
operation ! The whole of this vast system of me- 
chanism must be in action, before we can walk 
across our apartments ! We admire the operation 
of a steam engine, and the force it exerts. But 
though it is constructed of the hardest materials 
which the mines can supply, in a few months some 
of its essential parts are worn and deranged, even 
though its action be frequently discontinued. But 
the animal machine, though constructed, for the most 
part, of the softest and most flabby substances, can 
go on without intermission in all its diversified move- 
ments, by night and by day, for the space of eighty 
or a hundred years; the heart giving ninety-six thou- 
sand strokes every twenty-four hours, and the whole 
mass of blood, rushing through a thousand pipes of 
all sizes, every four minutes ! And, is it man that 
governs these nice and complicated movements? 
Did he set the heart in motion, or endue it with the 
muscular force it exerts ? And when it has ceased to 
beat, can he command it again to resume its func- 
tions ? No ; for man knows neither the secret springs 
of the machinery within him, nor the half of the 
purposes for which they serve, or of the movements 
they perform. And can any thing more strikingly 
demonstrate our dependence every moment on a 
superiour Agent ? Were a single pin of the machin- 
ery within us, and over which we have no controul, 
either broken or deranged, a thousand movements 
might instantly be interrupted, and our bodies left to 
crumble into dust. 

2d. This subject is not only peculiarly adapted to 
excite our admiration in view of the manifold Avisdom 
of God, but also strikingly to display his wonderful 
goodness. How many things in our frame must go 
right, for us to be an hour at ease ! How many more 
still, that we may be vigorous and active ! Yet vigour 
and activity are in a vast plurality of instances, pre- 
served in human bodies, notwithstanding they depend 

SERMON XYl. 20^ 

upon so great a number of instruments of motion ; 
and notwithstanding the defect or disorder of a very 
minute instrument may be attended with grievous 
inconvenience, if not with extreme pain. Let me 
notice the instance of a certain man, who in general 
was in good health, and yet in a sad state. Owing to 
the want of the use of the two little muscles thaf 
serve to lift up the eyelids, he had almost lost the 
use of his sight, being constrained, as long as this de- 
fect lasted, to shove up his eyelids every moment 
with his own hands. And how little do those who 
enjoy the perfect use of their organs, know the com- 
prehensiveness of the blessing ! They may perceive 
the desirable result, but how^ insensible are they of 
the multitude of occurrences and rectitudes by which 
it is effected ! 

For a moment let us consider how manifold is the 
exhibition of Divine goodness in some of the proper- 
ties of the tongue. It has been said, as a fact in 
general, that when nature attempts to work two or 
more purposes by one instrument, she does both or 
all imperfectly. But is this true of the tongue, re- 
garded as an instrument of speech, of taste, or of 
glutition. So much otherwise, that most persons, 
perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thou- 
sand, by the instrumentality of this one organ, speak, 
taste, and swallow very well. Indeed the constant 
warmth and moisture of the tongue, the thinness of the 
skin, and the papillae upon its surface, qualify this 
organ for its office of tasting, as much as its inextri- 
cable multiplicity of fibres do for the rapid move- 
ments, which are necessary to speech. 

We may also see from one or two remarks, how- 
happy it is for us, that our vital motions are involun- 
tary. What a labour, if we had the care of keeping 
our stomachs at work, and our hearts beating ! Sup- 
pose these things did not depend upon our effort, 
but upon our bidding, or attention, they would leave 
us no leisure for any thing eke. We should ba.Ve to 


210 SERMON XV r. 

be continually upon the watch, and live in constant 
tear : Nor would such a constitution allow us to sleep. 
How benignant, then, our adorable Creator, to watch 
and order all the springs and motions essential to life ! 

Moreover, the proportions and beauty of the 
human frame do show forth the Divine goodness. 
Only consider what the. parts and materials are, of 
which the fairest body is composed, and no further 
observation will be necessary to show how well 
these things are wrapped up, so as to form a mass 
which shall be capable of symmetry in its proportion, 
and of beauty in its aspect. How are the bones 
covered, the bowels concealed, the roughness of 
the muscles smoothed and softened ! And how over 
the whole is spread an integument, which converts 
the disgusting materials of a dissecting room into an 
object of attraction to the sight; or, at least, pre- 
sents that appearance, which imparts ease and satis- 
faction to the mind ! Were it possible that we could 
view the mechanism of our bodies, the sight would 
terrify and overwhelm us. Would we dare make a 
single movement, or take a step, if we saw our blood 
circulating, the tendons pulling, the lungs blowing, 
the humours fdtrating, and all the incomprehensible 
^assemblage of fibres, tubes, pumps, valves, currents, 
pivots, which sustain an existence so precarious, and 
a being so presumptuous ? The agreeable symmetry 
of parts, and the beautiful external texture of the 
human frame, exhibit indubitable evidence of bene- 
volent design, and of great attention and accuracy 
in prosecuting that design: And their author and 
designer is the God of love. 

The several senses might be considered as so 
many distinct arguments to prove the benevolence 
of the Divine Being towards us. They are not only 
instruments for the continuance and necessities of 
life, and of knowledge to the soul ; but also of a con- 
stant train of manifold enjoyments, both bodily and 
mental. At the mere mention of the terms hearing, 

SERMON xvr. 211 

seeing, tasting, feeling, and smelling, fhe recollection 
of their thousands of pleasures is necessarily called 
to mind. Our souls and bodies are both so consti- 
tuted in their various faculties as to be heralds, for 
proclaiming the praises, not only of the wisdom, but 
also of the marvellous goodness of God. 

3d. The study of the human frame has a powerful 
tendency to excite emotions of gratitude. Man is 
naturally a thoughtless and ungrateful creature. 
These dispositions are partly owing to ignorance of 
the wonders of the human frame, and of the admira- 
ble economy of the visible world ; and this ignorance 
is owing to the want of those specifick instructions, 
which ought to be communicated by parents and 
teachers in connection with religion. For there is 
no rational being who is acquainted with the struc- 
ture of his animal system, and reflects upon it with 
the least degree of attention, but must feel a senti- 
ment of admiration and gratitude. The science 
which unfolds to us the economy of our bodies, shows 
us on what an infinity of springs, and motions, and 
adaptations our life and comfort depend. And when 
we consider that all these movements are performed 
without the least care or laborious effort on our part, 
if we be not entirely brutish and insensible of our 
dependence on asuperiour power, we must be filled 
with emotions of gratitude towards him, whose hands 
have made and fashioned us, and who giveth us life 
and breath, and all things. Some of the motions to 
which I have adverted, depend upon our will ; and 
with what celerity do they obey his commands ! 
Before we can rise from our chair and walk across 
the room, a hundred muscles must be set in motion : 
every one of these must be relaxed or constricted 
just to a certain degree, and no more; and all must 
act harmoniously at the same instant of time; and, 
at the command of the soul, ail these movements are 
instantaneously performed. When I wish to lift my 
hand to my head, every part of the body requisite 

2 is SERM6?r XVl. 

to produce the effect, is put in motion : The nerves 
are braced, the muscles stretched or relaxed, the 
hones play in their sockets, and the whole animal 
machine concurs in the action, as if every nerve and 
muscle had heard a sovereign and resistless call. If 
r wish the next moment to extend my hand to my 
foot, all these muscles are thrown into a different 
state, and a new set are brought along with them 
into action : And thus we may vary, every moment, 
the movements of the muscular system, and the me- 
chanical actions it produces, by a simple change in 
our volition. Were we not daily accustomed to such 
varied and voluntary movements, or could we con- 
emplate them in any other machine, we should be 
lost in wonder and astonishment. 

Besides these voluntary motions, there are a 
thousand important functions, w hich have no depen- 
dance upon our will. Whether we think of it or not. 
whether we be sleeping or waking, sitting or walking, 
the heart is incessantly exerting its muscular power 
at the centre of the system, and sending off streams of 
blood through hundreds of pipes; the lungs are con- 
tinually expanding and contracting their thousand 
vesicles, and imbibing the vital principle of the air ; 
the stomach is grinding the food ; the lacteals and 
lymphaticks are extracting nourishment for the blood; 
the liver and kidneys drawing off their secretions; 
and the perspiration issuing from millions of pores. 
These and many other important functions, with 
which we are unacquainted, and over which we have 
no controul, ought to be regarded as the immediate 
agency of the Deity within us, and should incite our 
incessant admiration and praise. In every breath 
we draw and emit, there is an important reason, for 
our hearts to flow^ with gratitude to God. That part 
^f the air inhaled into the lungs which is vital, 
Serves to purify and inspirit the blood. The re- 
ttiaining part, which is evolved, is rendered fetid and 
entirely Unfit to h^ breathed again. In consequence 

SERMON XV r. 213 

of the warmth attracted from our system, it becomes 
lighter than common air; therefore, it rises above our 
heads before the next inspiration. Were it not for 
this circumstance, it w^ould accumulate on the surface 
of the earth, and particularly in our apartments, to 
such a degree as to produce diseases, pestilence, and 
death, in rapid succession. But, being a little lighter 
than the surrounding air, it flies upwards, and we 
never breathe it again, till it enter into new and sal- 
utary combinations. How does every thing pertain- 
ing to our frame, or relating to our existence, ad- 
monish us that our souls should be continually as- 
cending to God with the most lively emotions of 

Permit me now to notice a peculiarity in the con- 
stitution of our animal frame which we are apt to 
overlook, and for which we are never sufficiently 
grateful ; and that is, the power it possesses of self 
restoration. A wound heals up of itself; a broken 
bone is made firm again by a callus ; and a dead 
part is separated and thrown off If all the wounds 
we have ever received, were still open and bleeding 
a fresh, to what a miserable condition should we be 
reduced ! But by a system of internal powers 
beyond all human comprehension as to the mode of 
their operation, such dismal effects are effectually 
prevented. In short, when we consider that health 
depends upon such a numerous assemblage of moving 
organs, and that a single spring out of action, might 
derange the whole machine, and put a stop to all its 
complicated movements, can we refrain from joining 
with the Psalmist, in his pious exclamation, and 
grateful resolution. How precious are thy wonderful 
contrivances concerning me, O God ! how great is 
the sum of them ! I will praise thee ; for I am fear- 
fully and wonderfully made. Marvellous are thy 
works, and that my soul knoweth right well. 

4th. This discourse should be improved as an ex- 
citement for us to become more particularly and ex- 


tensively informed in regard to the manifold subjects 
of divine revelation. In proportion to the extent and 
propriety of our investigations into the numerous and 
important truths which God has revealed, so shall 
we be qualified to render to his name, that glory 
which is due. Consequently, then, if we do not 
make suitable exertior.s, and improve all the means 
granted us for the enlarging of our conceptions in re- 
lation to the divine works, we are guilty of robbing 
God of his declarative glory. Some, who profess 
Christianity, seem to be content with the mere con- 
sciousness, that they have a soul and body ; and 
imagine it does not concern them to inquire particu- 
larly about them, so as to understand the human 
system, and the offices of the faculties of the soul. 
Butsuch a sentiment is indeed unbecoming a heathen. 
Professed infidels ought to be ashamed to behold pro- 
fessing Christians, satisfied with scanty and vague 
views of so many important subjects, presented to 
them in the divine word. Such conduct too much 
resembles that of the most brutish and stupid sinner, 
who would consider the highest attainments of re- 
ligion to consist in the mere belief of a God, a heaven, 
and a hell. 

To overlook the amazing scene of Divine intelli- 
gence, as exhibited in the human system, or to con- 
sider it as beneath our notice, marks a weak and un- 
discriminating mind, if it be not a characteristick of 
impiety. The man, who disregards the visible dis- 
plays of infinite Wisdom, or who neglects to investi- 
gate them when opportunity offers, acts as if he con- 
sidered himself already possessed of a sufficient 
portion of intelligence, and stood in no need of such 
sensible assistances to direct his conceptions of the 
Creator. Pride and false conceptions of the nature 
and design of true religion, frequently lie at the foun- 
dation of all that indifference and neglect, with which 
the visible works of God are treated, by those who 
make pretensions to a high degree of spiritual at- 


tainments. The truly pious man, will trace with 
wonder and delight, the footsteps of his Father and his 
God, wherever they appear in the variegated scene 
of creation around him, and will be filled with sor- 
row and contrition of heart, that amidst his excur- 
sions and solitary walks, he has so often disregarded 
the works of the Lord, and the operation of his 

These remarks are made, for the purpose of em- 
ulating professed Christians to expand their concep- 
tions, and enable them to take large and comprehen- 
sive views of the perfections and the providence of 
the Almighty. It is much to be regretted that so 
many members of the Christian Church, are absolute 
strangers to such studies and contemplations ; while 
the time and attention that might have been devoted 
to such exercises, have, in many cases, been usurped 
by the most grovelling affections, by foolish pursuits, 
and slanderous conversation. But shall the most 
trifling occurrences be deemed worthy of attention, 
and occupy much of our precious time, and shall 
the mighty acts of the Lord, and the visible wonders 
of his power and wisdom, be thrown completely into 
the shade? To survey with an eye of intelligence, 
the wide extended theatre of the Divine Operations; 
to mark the agency of the eternal Mind in every 
object we behold, and in every movement within us 
and around us, are some of the noblest attainments 
of the rational soul; and, in conjunction with every 
other Christian study and acquirement, tend to make 
the man of God perfect, and thoroughly furnished 
unto every good work. By such studies we are, in 
some measure, assimilated to the principalities above, 
whose powers of intellect are ever employed in such 
investigations; and are gradually preparing for 
bearing a part in their immortal hymn. Great and 
marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just 
^nd true are thy ways, thou King of Saints. Thou 
art worthy to receive glory, and honour, and power. 


for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure 
they are and were created.* 

5th. This subject suggests the importance of daily 
preparation for death, and should awaken our atten- 
tion to the vast concerns of immortality. Our bodies 
must return to the common mass of their original 
clay; and our souls enter the invisible world. And 
the voice of wisdom calls to us, to prepare for the 
change which is before us, and which may be very 
near : Beings, accountable to God as we are, de- 
signed for immortality, shortly to be removed, and 
insecure of another day, should be making constant 
preparations for our departure and entrance upon 
another state of existence. 

And in the view of human frailty, nothing can 
appear more reasonable than daily prayer. How 
does it become us to abound in ejaculations to 
the Framer and Preserver of our bodies, and the 
Father of our spirits ? Would a man who believed 
this day to be his last, neglect to call upon God ? 
Would he go forth into the business and company of 
the world without directing a thought, or addressing 
a petition to him ? And indeed no man knows on 
any day, but that it may be his last. Every one, 
then, on each morning, ought to commend himself to 
God's protection, through the day, to walk in his 
fear; and at evening should not dare retire to rest, 
till he confess his sins, acknowledge the manifold 
benefits of the day, and invoke the Divine blessing 
through the night. Every thmg around us, and all 
the circumstances of our being, call upon us to pray 
without ceasing. We have the sentence of death in 
ourselves. Our frame declares its own frailty, and 
predicts its own dissolution. From our own selves 
we are taught the most interesting lessons, and derive 
the most impressive exhortations. We are fearfully 

* This part of the discourse is chiefly selected from the Christian PhitoV 

SfiRMON XVI. 217 

if we hearken not to the solemn language of our 
own frail bodies, to the precepts of weakness and pain, 
of sickness and decay, what admonitions would com- 
mand our attention, and impress our minds ? How 
unaccountable is the stupidity of mortals ! They 
complain of infirmities, and groan under pains ; but 
do not realize that they must die, must pass to 
another world, and there be rewarded according to 
the deeds done in the body. And how easy for that 
Power which made our wonderful frame, to cause 
its dissolution. The air and food essential to life, 
may become the means of death. When in our full 
strength, we are receiving the richest nourishment 
and stimulous to promote vigour and activity, these 
may only serve to feed and render fatal some fever, 
and render our bodies richer food for worms. Innu- 
merable unseen dangers surround us ; and our whole 
frame is liable to the attack and arrest of death. 
Notwithstanding all our circumspection to prevent 
diseases, and our most vigilant exertions to promote 
health, we die ; unless the Lord continually watch 
and defend all the springs of life. The king of ter« 
rours has thousands of avenues to enter our clayey 
tabernacle, and myriads at his command continually 
armed with the weapons of death. Moreover, 
nothing but Omnipotence can secure us one moment 
from his fatal arrest, or prevent any one of his legions 
from discharging some of his deadly instruments 
which they hold continually levelled at our hearts. 
We are constantly as dependent on God for the con- 
tinuance of life, as we were for our first breath. Then 
may our great concern be to prepare for death, and 
for a glorious immortality. 

6th. If we are wonderfully made in regard to ouf 
present frame, we may infer, that the bodies of the 
righteous in the resurrection will be incomparably 
glorious. When they shall be raised, they will be 
so much changed in their constitution, as to wear, m 
various respects, an entirely new character. Therjir 


2l8 , SERMON XVI. 

will be incorruptible immortal bodies, when this 
corruptible shall have put on incorruption ; and this 
mortal, immortality. As they will serve God day and 
night in his temple, so they will be raised in power, 
and endued with faculties suited to the never ceasing 
employments and enjoyments of the heavenly world. 
Moreover, at the resurrection they will be arrayed 
in glory and beauty. The Saviour will change their 
vile bodies, and fashion them like unto his glorious 
body. When the Archangel shall sound his trump, 
in the twinkling of an eye the earth will heave ; 
tombs disclose ; and myriads of spiritually arrayed 
forms, bright as the sun, arise and ascend to heaven. 
Are believers often affected in view of their frail, 
perishable bodies ? What consolation ! How sublime, 
how delightful the doctrine of the resurrection ! The 
future glory of these animal frames, when changed 
into spiritual bodies, will exceed the utmost concep- 
tions of human imagination. They will be exalted, 
adorned, and enraptured as suitable mansions for 
glorified spirits. Though our mortal frames are a 
subject of interesting contemplation, yet how infe- 
riour, compared to their future incorruptible, immor- 
tal, and spiritual attributes. The constitution, ar- 
rangement, and qualities of glorified bodies, will 
doubtless be truly delightsome, astonishing, and in- 
conceivably glorious. Amep, 



Isaiah xx. 20. 

For the bed is shorter than that a man cati stretch himself 
on it^ and the covering narrower than that he can wrap 
himself in it, 

ifXANKIND are subjects of the highest prosperity 
and affluence, and of the lowest depths of adversity 
and poverty. Uniformity is by no means the com- 
mon lot of the human race; but diversity and contrast 
are peculiarities as it respects the condition of man. 
There are not only the high and low, rich and poor, 
bond and free ; but innumerably varied and diversi- 
fied are their situations and circumstances. Through 
the journey of life, some make use of a beautiful and 
elegant cane ; whilst others are assisted by an old 
and crooked staff. Some are cheered with the en- 
joyment of a comfortable degree of health all their 
days; and others are scarcely ever exempt from 
disease. Some live in great style as it respects their 
houses, furniture, and equipage; but others have 
their residence in an uncomfortable hut, and scarcely 
obtain the necessities of' life. Dives fared sumptu- 
ously every day, while Lazarus enjoyed but few of 
the good things of this present world. But whether 
mankind in their pilgrimage state, travel a road com- 
paratively smooth and pleasant, or rough and un- 
pleasant, they soon are entombed in the silent grave; 
their bodies intermingled with the common dust, and 
their souls in a world of spirits. Hence, the manner 
of our journeying through this vale of tears, is of little 
importance, compared with our future destiny ; ou;r 

220 SERiVlOIv XViL 

eternal home. The words of the text are a prover- 
bial saying ; and their most literal meaning or import 
is expressive of a state of difficulty, of uneasiness 
and distress. When a bed is too short, a person 
cannot lay at his ease ; but is perplexed in the hours 
of rest. When the covering is too narrow, he is 
exposed to the severities of a cold night. The moral- 
or lesson of instruction to the Jews, was to teach them 
that their confederacy with the Egyptians, could not 
defend them against the Assyrians and Chaldeans; 
nor could their numbers and fortifications defend 
them against the Romans, when God should forsake 
them and become their enemy. Neither could their 
temple, altar, sacrifices, nor Pharisaical righteousness 
recommend them to his favour, as long as they re- 
jected Christ. For the bed is shorter than that a 
man can stretch himself on it, and the covering nar- 
rower than that he can wrap liimself in it. These 
•words, with those in connexion, in a figurative 
manner convey this solemn and alarming truth: that 
there are certain kinds of religion which are essential- 
ly defective, and which will fail those who embrace 
them in the great day of trial and final decision. 
Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in 
Zion for a foundation, a Stone, a tried Stone, a pre- 
cious corner Stone, a sure foundation : he that be- 
lieveth shall not make liaste. Judgement also will 
I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet : 
and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and 
the Waters shall overflow the hiding place. And 
your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and 
your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the 
overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall 
be trodden down by it. From the time, that it goeth 
forth,' it shall take you : for morning by morning shall 
it pafes over, by day and by night: and it shall be a 
vexation only to understand the report. For the bed 
is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, 
aifid the covering narrower than that he can wrap 


himself in it. In the illustration of this subject it is 
my design to bring to view some of those kinds of 
religion, that are founded not on a sure, but false foun- 
dation; and to show that they are essentially deficient, 
and ruinous to the soul. Amongst the different varie- 
ties and sects of religion in the world, there are strictly 
but two kinds, the true and false. The one will support 
a man in the solemn and trying hour of death, and lead 
to joys on high ; but the other then forsakes the soul, 
when it is destroyed suddenly, and that without 
remedy. But to descend to particulars ; I would 
observe in the first place, that infidelity is a religion 
which is essentially defective, and which will fail 
those who embrace it in the great day of trial and 
final decision. By infidelity, is meant deism ; or a re- 
jection of the Saviour, as the only Mediator between 
God and man, and as the only possible way of salva- 
tion. Persons of this description, glory in the light 
of nature as being sufficient to lead to a true belief 
and to exalted views of the being and perfections of 
God, and to teach all those ways which are necessary 
to glorify him. But through the depravity of the 
human heart, and the consequent blindness of the 
mind, where mankind have been left to nature's light, 
they have formed strange ideas concerning a God. 
and their worship has been a scene of folly and 
madness, of most degrading infatuation. Some have 
been content with a god of clay; others, of wood. 
Some have had a silver god ; and others have had 
one formed of gold. Creatures have been worshipped 
as the Creator, and natural objects have been 
adored as Deity. But how essentially defective such 
views and service .'^ How abominable in the sight of 
a holy God, and how degrading to man, considered 
as a rational and immortal being ? Surely nature's 
light is become darkness in consequence of our 
apostacy. It leads none of the human race to know, 
to love, and serve the true God ; but all pursue their 
own vain imaginations, and their foolish heart is most 
"Strangely darkened. 


But let the deist have the light of divine revelation; 
let him have the Bible in his hand, and form consistent 
and exalted views of the character and designs 
of God. Is he not novi^ built on a rock, and not on 
a sandy foundation ? No ; for when he knows there 
is a God, he glorifies him not as God And as to the 
sins of his heart and life, reason is insufficient to lead 
him to true repentance; and the influence of the 
Holy Spirit he resists, and denies its necessity. To 
godly sorrow, and that repentance which is unto sal- 
vation, he is an entire stranger ; and that he is a 
transgressor, not only the word of God, but his own 
conscience bears witness. And when stung with 
guilt, and alarmed at his condition, he denies the 
Lord Jesus; and there is none other name under 
heaven, given amongst men whereby we can be 
saved. When the law condemns, of the gospel he 
is ashamed. To what then can his hope be com- 
pared, except to that of the hypocrite's, which per- 
isheth ? Shall we say, he hopes for pardon on the 
account of repentance ? But infidelity is opposed 
to a penitent life, and makes its boast and glory in a 
self-justifying spirit. Notwithstanding sin has entered 
the world, and death by sin ; and death has passed 
upon all men, for that all have sinned. But the ad- 
vocates for deism may reply. We have made a cove- 
nant|with death, and with hell are we at agreement. 
Alas! how has the hour of death blasted the expeC' 
tations of thousands ; and too late convinced them, 
that their hopes and confidence were a most delusive, 
and wretched dream. Reason is too short ; in its 
greatest extent, it is far too narrow to point out to a 
world lying in wickedness, the road to heaven and 
way of salvation. Those who reject divine revela- 
tion as the only sure way of eternal life, do frequently 
have their minds distressed, and they have no effi- 
cient comforter. In vain do they attempt to make 
their beds smooth and easy ; for they frequently 
lie down on their pillows w^ith anguish in their souls. 
All the covering which they can frame to hide their 


guilt, is no better than fig-leaves ; for tlie eye of om- 
niscience searches them through and through. And 
says the Saviour, Ye will not come to me, that ye 
might have life. He adds, Whosoever, therefore, 
shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this 
adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall 
the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the 
glory of his Father, with the holy angels. And who- 
soever shall deny me before men, him will 1 also 
deny, before my Father which is in heaven. If the 
eyes of unbelievers were not shut against the word 
of God, how would such alarming declarations of 
the Redeemer make them shudder, and cause their 
hearts to quake for fear ! Now they hear the voice of 
mercy, and yet refuse that salvation which was the 
purchase of a Saviour's death. But when they hear the 
voice of the Archangel, will not their religion appear 
essentially defective, and fail them as a false refuge 
in the great day of trial and final decision.'^ 

2d. Morality, considered as the essence and foun* 
dation of religion, is essentially defective, and will 
not be able to stand the test before the judgement 
seat of Christ. The moralist, perhaps, would divide 
his religion into external and internal. External 
morality relates to the outward conduct of man 
towards man, and to the reffaining from open impiety 
tow ards God. Thus we see some who are civil, cour.J 
teous, and upright in their daily deportment, and 
whose tongues are not ready to revile others; nei- 
ther are they the instruments of profanity. They not 
only are free from injustice, intemperance, and irre- 
ligion, but they are amiable and engaging in their 
manners. Instead of wrangling, reproaches, and 
contentions, they lead peaceable and quiet lives. 
Perhaps they are hospitable and charitable, conde- 
scending and forbearing, and even ornaments to 
society. Moreover, they may turn their attention to 
what is internal; may guard against violent anger; 
against a spirit of hatred* envy, and jealousy ; and 


may cultivate those dispositions which are generous,, 
humane, and magnanimous. And O, that such 
virtues were more general, and that they might 
ahound in all. They would appear the most interest- 
ing and their beauty shine in the most lively colours, 
if we should only contrast the deformities of immo- 
rahty and ungodhness. But is not such a religion 
complete ? Is it essentially defective, and insufficient 
to crown mortals with a glorious immortality ? Hear 
the declaration of eternal truth : Except a man be 
born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God. Now the one who takes morality as a sub- 
stitute for the renovating influences of the Holy 
Spirit ; and who trusts in it as the foundation of his 
hopes and salvation, is a stranger to the renewing 
grace and pardoning mercy of God ; and like Nico- 
demus, wonders How can these things be. If a 
person see not the plague, the awful depravity of his 
own heart, and feel himself in a state of alienation 
and apostacy from God, he will seek to be justified 
by works and not by grace. But compared with the 
divine law, how is the religion of any man too short, 
too narrow, and essentially defective. How must 
uneasiness and distress seize the soul, when it con- 
siders the solemn denunciation. Cursed is every one 
that continueth not in all things written in the book 
of the law to do them. The moralist walks in his 
own light, and not according to the light ^i the 
gospel. He may have a lively imagination, but still 
he rejects Christ as the way, the truth, and the life. 
Hear the saying of the prophet, Isaiah : Behold, all 
ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about 
with sparks ; walk in the light of your fire, and in 
the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have 
of my hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow. Then 
how will morality fail its votaries in the great day of 
trial and final decision. Perhaps the inquiry will be 
made, Has not the Saviour abundantly inculcated all 
the duties of morality ; and have not the prophets 

and apostle^ interwoven it in all their writings? 
They certainly have, and every minister of the gos- 
pel ought to follow their example. And surely it is 
commendable for any people to be moral ; but they 
should take heed and beware, that they do not neg- 
lect the other important and essential duties of 
Christianity. The deist or moralist may say. He has 
a full belief of the existence of a supreme Being. To 
such an one the reply of St. James is applicable : 
Thou believest there is one God ; thou doest well : 
the devils also belreve and tremble. Yes, they do 
more ; they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of 
God, and the only possible medium of salvation for 
lost man. Moraliiy is essential in order to a Chris- 
tian w alk ; but a person may be very moral and not 
be a follower of Christ, and not obtain salvation. 
What will it avail to honour and serve men, if we do 
not honour and serve our God and Saviour, Jesug 
Christ? We should not only be moral, but godly; 
and our chief study should be to know and do the 
will of our Father, which is in heaven. Unless w^e 
become reconciled to him, and be his servants 
through tlie light of the gospel and the renewing of 
the Holy Ghost, our death-bed will be anguish to our 
souls; our entrance into the invisible world, terrour 
and dismay ; and eternity will only serve to render 
our existence most wretched. 

3d. Knowledge, or any natural attainments are 
entirely insufficient as a ground or means of obtain- 
ing the favour of God, and as a religion to secure 
the salvation of the soul. The acquisition of useful 
knowledge is both the privilege and duty of man. 
And so far as any have opportunities of acquiring 
worthy attainments, they cannot neglect them with- 
out contracting guilt. Activity and improvement 
should appear manifest in the lives of those who are 
come to the years of understanding ; and should be 
a witness for them, to testify that they have improved 
^heir natural talents. Extensively varied are the 



situations, pursuits, and prospects of mankind ; bat 
whatever be their talents or privileges, they are ta 
improve them; or they will fall under the reproof and 
condemnation of the idle and slothful servant. And 
^ve behold some whose minds are refined, their man- 
ners polished, and, from their excellent attainments, 
their station is elevated. They have extensive infor- 
mation In those things which respect the present life, 
and which renders them agreeable and interesting 
companions, and useful members in society. More- 
over, the minds of some are well stored with a 
knowledge of the Scriptures ; and their reasonings 
concerning the important doctrines and duties of 
revelation are forcible and conclusive. Such knowl- 
edge and attainments are truly desirable, and demand 
suitable and seasonable attention. Still one thing 
may be lacking, which will render all essentially 
defective in the last decisive day. 

A saving knowledge of the true God may be want- 
ing, whom to know aright is life eternal. Such ac-- 
quirements are far too short, compared with the one 
thing needful ; and a covenng infinitely too narrow 
for the soul, when contrasted with the spotless robe 
of Christ's righteousness. They all dwindle into 
nothing and appear mere vanity, in comparison with 
the love of God shed abroad in the heart. The 
apostle Paul comes directly to the point, when ha 
says. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of 
angels, and have not charity, I am become as sound- 
ing brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have 
the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries 
and all knowledge; and though 1 have all faith, so 
that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, 
I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods 
to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be 
burned and have not chanty, it profiteth me nothing. 
Then whatever we know, or whatever we do, if we 
have not been translated from the kingdom of sin 
and satan, an^ brought t© love God supremely, and 


walk in newness of life, we are no better than whiten- 
ed sepulchres which are filled with all manner of 
impurity. Mankind may know much, and do much, 
and for which they are worthy of respect and esteem 
among their fellow men, and yet be wholly destitute 
of that holiness without which no man shall see the 
Lord, or be able to stand in the day of final decision. 
4th. The manifestation of much zeal in the things 
of religion, for a time, will not be sufficient to give 
peace in a dying hour, and to secure the everlasting 
rewards of the righteous. We sometimes behold, 
persons who are all engagedness in the things of re- 
ligion, and whose whole souls apparently are devoted 
to the cause of Christ. Their conversation and 
walk appear marked with zeal for the defence of 
truth ; and like David, they may pray seven times a 
day. In the view of their devotedness and eminently 
pious lives, even old professors, who are persevering 
Christians, are ashamed of themselves and their defi- 
cient performances. But, suppose such persons 
draw back, and forsake all their religious ways ; and 
perhaps lead a life of evident insensibility ? What 
shall we conclude concerning persons of such a 
character? The Saviour has said concerning such. 
No man having put his hand to the plough and look- 
ing back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven. However 
serious minded any person may be ; and however 
animated may be his conduct in the things of religion, 
if he persevere not in the ways of well-doing, he is 
essentially defective. His piety is far too short, and 
greatly straitened. Concerning every one that 
turneth back from attention to religious duties, the 
Lord declares. My soul shall have no pleasure in him. 
Moreover, the scriptures do make mention of some, 
who draw back unto perdition. From the parable 
concerning the way-side and stony ground hearers of 
the word, we are taught. That some give attention tq 
the things of religion for a while, whose hearts are 
never renewed by grace. And it is possible for such 



to go great lengths both in their feelings and m iim 
external duties of religion, and jet not be the chil- 
dren of God. Persons deceiving, or being them- 
selves deceived, may engage in all the active forms 
of religion, as well as those who are the true disciples 
of Christ. Where a good work is begun in the heart, 
such an one's religion is not for a week, month, or 
year, but for life; yea, and for eternity. Hence we 
are taught, He that persevereth unto the end, the 
same shall be sayed. To forsake evil ways, is well ; 
and to attend to external duties, is well. But the 
question, \V hether we have passed from death unto 
life.'^ is an infinitely important one. Unless this be 
the ease, we are unprepared for a dying hour and to 
enjoy the company of the blessed for eternity. De- 
lusion, false religion, or a heated imagination is tem- 
porary : and the end is uneasiness and distress. But 
true religion is peaceable, permanent, and purifying: 
and its reward, is glory, honour, immortality, and eter- 
nal life. May not our religion be like the morning 
cloud ami early dew, which soon pass away. May 
it be like that of the just, which groweth brighter 
and brighter unto the perfect day ; and which will 
be perfected until the day of Jesus Christ. 


1st. In the light of this subject we may see how 
VTaiin are all our attainpients and enjoyments, if we em- 
brace a false religion. What will it avail to be sur» 
rounded with friends and relatives, to be raised to 
eminence on the account of abilities and qualifica- 
tions, and to be crowned with prosperity and afflu>- 
enee all our days, if we live without God and a well 
grounded hope in the world ; and after death, be 
wretched for ever? If any one should gain the whole 
world and lose his soul, would he be a gainer, or rather 
would he not be an infinite loser .^ Health and 
wealth, pleasure and honour, refinement and gran- 
deur, are mere vanity and snares to our souls, if fo^ 

SERMON xvir, 229 

the enjoyment of them, we be deceived respecting 
our immortal interests. Whatever may be our at- 
tainments or enjoyments, we are, according to the 
true import of the text, poor and wretched, and blind, 
and naked, if we obtain not the pearl of great price. 
Whatever we possess, if our hearts be not renewed 
by grace, and our sins pardoned through the blood of 
Christ, of all men we shall be Mie most miserable. 
But mankind may be poor, be deprived of many of 
the comforts of life ; and yet come short of durable 
riches, of a heavenly and eternal inheritance. Pov- 
erty or afflictions are of no avail as a substitute for 
genuine religion, nor can they give a title to heaven. 
Whether we possess or enjoy little or much of the 
good things of this life, unless Christ be formed in us 
the hope of gio ry, our portion must be with the 
nations that forget God. 

2d. By contrast we may see, that goodly are the 
prospects of those who are rich in faith, though poor, 
destitute, and afflicted in this present state. In the 
world to which they are going, sin, nor sorrow, nor 
sighing ever enter; but joy and triumph will there 
for ever reign. What a consolation to the afflicted 
and distressed, who can entertain the cheering hope 
that death will for ever end their sorrows, and be the 
gate of their entrance into that happy place, where 
are joys unspeakable and full of glory ! Do they 
now weep on the account of sin and the calamities 
of life? Shortly they will rejoice, and join in the 
everlasting praises and anthems of the blessed. What 
a privilege, what an unspeakable blessing ! that those 
who have a scanty portion here, a mere subsistence 
mingled with a few comforts, may have the Lord for 
their reconciled God, and heaven for their eternal 
home. Yes, and they who abound in every thin^ 
that is dear under the sun, if they set their affections 
on things above, will at last walk the golden streets 
of the New-Jerusalem, l^ they use this world as not 
abusing it, the world above will be their everlastina; 


portion. But suppose it is literally true concerning 
any one, that the bed is shorter than that a man can 
stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower, than 
that he can wrap himself in it. How happy for that 
man if the moral or figurative import of the words, 
be not applicable to him. 

3d. We may conclude, that the gospel is suited to 
every disposition or circumstance in life ; and calcu- 
lated to render all who embrace it happy. Are any 
of peculiarly tender feelings and dehcate sensibility, 
and are they timid and distrustful of themselves? The 
influence of the gospel would serve to estabhsh their 
minds with Christian fortitude ; and render their faith 
firm, and their hopes in the Lord strong. But, are any 
pained with insensibility of affection, and with an un- 
feeling and sceptical mind ? The grace and mercy of 
God are peculiarly calculated to fill their souls with 
contrition; and to awaken them to all that is endear- 
ing or interesting. Through the light of the gospel, 
the moralist may have all the moral virtues carried 
to their highest perfection, whilst he is made wise 
unto salvation. The profane and profligate will 
become moral and godly, and bless the Father of all 
mercies for all their comforts, if they will only 
hearken to the voice of wisdom. The intemperate 
will become sober minded, and lead godly lives, if 
they resist not the light and power of the gospel. The 
wandering may be led into the right way ; and the 
blind receive their sight, from the anointing with that 
eye salve, which the gospel offers freely. Then let 
us not be deceived in concerns of the utmost impor- 
tance, by fearing to come to the light, lest our deeds 
be reproved. Infinitely better to have our sins set in 
order continually before our eyes, whilst in time; that 
we, through the rich grace and mercy of God, may 
be delivered from them for eternity, ^^men. 



1 Kings XX. 40. 
As thy servant was busy here and there^ he was gone. 

V ARfOUS and deeply interesting are the instruc- 
tions of the sacred oracles. The revelation which 
God has given, is both glorious and worthy its author; 
and suited to the state and condition of mankind. 
On the one hand, the divine character is exhibited 
in all its glory and beauty ; on the other, that of man 
in all its pollution and deformity. The great desigii 
of divine revelation is the glory of God, and the sal- 
vation of man. But, in order to this, we may see 
the propriety of those facts being recorded of the 
conduct of both good and bad men ; of the faithful 
and unfaithful, and all their varied circumstances, to 
be a terrour to evil doers, and for the praise of them 
that do well. Hence, a passage of scripture seem- 
ingly indifferent in itself, by its connexion becomes 
momentously interesting. 

The words of the text are the account of a man's 
negligence, which cost his life. The connexion, is 
solemn and instructive. And a certain man of the 
sons of the prophets, said unto his neighbour in the 
word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the 
man refused to smite him. Then said he unto him, 
Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, 
Behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion 
shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed 
from him, a lion found him and slew him. Then he 
found another miin. and said. Smite me, I pray thee J 
And the man smote him, so that in smitinghe wounded 


him. So the prophet departed, and waited for the 
king hj the way, and disguised himself with ashes 
. upon- his face. And as the king passed by, he cried 
unto the king ; and he said. Thy servant went out into 
the midst of the battle, and behold, a man turned 
aside and brought a man unto me and said, Keep 
this man : if by any means he be missing, then shall 
thy life be for his hfe, or else thou shalt pay a talent 
of silver. And as thy servant was busy here and 
there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said 
unto him. So shall thy judgement be, thyself hast de- 
cided it. And he hasted and took the ashes away 
from his face ; and the king of Israel discerned him, 
that he was of the prophets. And he said unto him, 
Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of 
thy hand aman whoml appointed to utter destruction, 
therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people 
for his people. 

By this account we are taught, that to be busy 
about remote concerns, to the neglect of immediate 
duty, proves the destruction of man. The subject 
may be illustrated with great variety for our present 
and future w ell-being. 

1st. As it respects the various evils of civil life, 
the true reason to be assigned, is, that mankind are 
so much busied in concerns remote from their present 
duty. Society is burdened by manifold evils, be- 
cause so many are busy here and there ; and for the 
greater part of their time, and the chief part of 
their conduct, no satisfactory account can be given. 
Mankind are generally busied about something ; and 
if it be not for good, it must be for ill. Those pur- 
suits which cannot be for the benefit of individuals 
and community, must be for their injury. And to 
turn aside but one step from what is consistent with 
known duty, is to enter a course which may end in 
lasting disgrace and infamy. When the mind is not 
employed with subjects which relate to immediate 
duty, a person is peculiarly exposed to temptation. 


fo be busy here and there, by spending much of 
our time in loitering or frivolous pursuits, is to be in 
danger of some destructive vice; of intemperance, 
profanity, theft, or lasciviousness: and to an unfeel- 
ing mind and abandoned life. Would all be occu- 
pied in some of the varied duties of life, how quickly 
would, bitter animosities, and painful and lasting 
contentions have an end. Why are our prisons filled 
with malefactors? Because many are busy here and 
there, contemplating schemes to which duty does 
not call, and inventing projects which are not their 
true interest. Forgery and robbery so often take 
place on the account of some who would be busy, 
but not in some honest calling* Why are locks ne- 
cessary? For fear that some would be busy here 
and there, from motives foreign from present duty. 
The same reasoning will account for the conduct of 
duelists. Would the person on the gallows assign 
the true reason and first cause how he came to as- 
cend the scaffold to be a spectacle for the world, he 
would tell us he first embarked in some trivial pur- 
suits, aside from the path of duty; and, persisting 
in this course by a climax of vices, he is suspended 
between the heavens and earth. Murder, at first, 
was far from his intentions; his soul even shuddered 
at the thought of a profligate life, and of abandoned 
and desperate attempts. How^ varied the vices and 
evils of this present world ! But ta be busy about 
remote concerns to the neglect of immediate duty, 
proves the destruction of man in his present state, 
as it respects the various evils of social and civil 

2d. Negligence and trivial pursuits, instead of 
industry and economy, cause many to live in the 
want of the canveniences of life. Earthly good 
things must not be accounted our chief portion, as 
thej are only the temporal blessings of heaven. Still 
no person of reflection can be insensible how desir 
table and necessary they are in this life, both for 



usefulness and comfort. Although they are only 
temporal gifts, yet they are essential for our sub- 
sistence and for the support of society. Hence, 
then, we are not only to desire them ; but to labour, 
and by all prudent means, endeavour to procure 
them. In time of health property is desirable, that 
we may have a competence ; bear our part in the 
support of religious institutions, and contribute to 
the support of the poor and needy, and to the ne- 
cessities of the sick and distressed. And how cul- 
pable must that person be, who by idleness or pro- 
digality, has rendered himself unable to discharge 
such olFices of humanity. Sin lieth at the door of 
him who will be busy here and there, in pursuits re- 
mote and inconsistent with his worldly interest If 
the time and means for accumulating earthly goods 
be mispent, how can we comply with the kind ex- 
hortation. Make to yourselves friends of the mam- 
mon of unrighteousness } Without the means of re- 
lieving the necessities of the afflicted, how can we 
succour them? To endure a distressing and lin- 
gering sickness, or to bear the infirmities peculiar to 
old age, and at the same time to be destitute of the 
comforts and aids requisite to such a state, through 
former indolence or extravagance, must fill the mind 
with keen reflection and painful reproaches. Youth 
is the season peculiarly favourable to a preparation 
and beginning, to accumulate the varied blessings 
of life. But parents, who are the instruments of 
bringing their children into the world, are bound to 
make suitable provision for their several wants. 
Hence says the apostle Paul, The children ought 
not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the 
children. Instead of this, however, we behold some 
profusely squander wealth, and waste their for- 
tunes; and others, who are too indifferent to exert 
themselves for their children's welfare. They are 
busy here and there; but their daily employments 
are wholly incompatible with the peace and pros- 


peritj of their families. How should a parent's 
heart be pained at the thought of having his children 
dependant on others for support, when his own mis- 
conduct is the chief cause of such dependance. 
Then may industry and economy witness our con- 
duct; that negligence, indolence, and trivial pursuits 
may not cause us to live in the want of the comforts 
and conveniences of life, and prove the ruin of our 
interests as it respects the temporal blessings of 

3d. Mental improvement forbids, that we be busy 
about remote concerns, to the neglect of immediate 
duty. It depends upon our own exertions, whether 
our minds be employed in treasuring up trivial and 
vain ideas, or those which are interesting and useful. 
Some are busy here and there in the pursuit of 
knowledge, which cannot benefit themselves nor 
others, instead of that which is worthy to be remem- 
bered and communicated. But how important that 
the several faculties of the mind, be exerted on 
subjects suited to the dignity of its rational nature, that 
sensual and sinful thoughts be not intruding. Youth 
is the season peculiarly favourable to mental improve- 
ment; for then, with the growth of the animal frame, 
the mind is capable of the greatest expansion. If 
this precious season be unimproved, the intellectual 
nature must sustain a loss which no future exertions 
can possibly retrieve. Then may diligence, and 
a seasonable attention to study and reflection, refine 
the mind and enlarge the understanding. Let virtu- 
ous principles and habits be instilled into the minds of 
children, lest they indulge in those that are vicious. 
The mind that is uncultivated, like a field, is liable 
to be overgrown with thorns and briers ; which, when 
deeply rooted and wide spread, can scarcely be erad- 
icated. May our adorning be that of the inner man, 
that the mental powers be invigorated and bright- 
ened, and not stupified and darkened. 

4th. Mankind should not be busy about remote 



<^oncerns, to the neglect of present duty, lest the} 
insensibly fall into a state of skepticism and infidel- 
ity. Errour is calculated to bewilder the mind, and 
gradually to efface the impressions of truth. For 
this reason, young persons should avoid the reading 
df books of infidelity as they would the poison of 
asps; and they should turn away from skeptical con- 
versation as from an adder, that would bite them. 
The allurements of falsehood under the appearance 
of truth, whether from satan or his agents, will, in the 
end, bite like a serpent and sting like an adder. But 
we are apt to be deceived and embrace delusions, 
when in quest of that knowledge which edifieth not, 
but puiTeth up. Would we conscientiously anAipray- 
erfully seek for truth as for hidden treasures, we 
should be alarmed at the appearance of falsehood 
and delusion, and contend for the faith once delivered 
to the saints. To be busy here and there, by reading 
books, or hearing conversation, which is unprofiteble 
and inconsistent with immediate duty, is one step 
towards fatal delusion. The conversation of that 
company which would treat with levity the gospel of 
Christ, breathes a poison deadly to the soul. Then 
may we beware and take heed to our ways, that we 
be not busy about remote concerns, to the neglect 
of immediate duty, lest infidelity and skepticism 
prove our ruin. 

5th. Mankind should not be busy about remote 
concerns, to the neglect of immediate duty; but in 
early hfe should make religion their main business, 
or they will experience a great loss through the %vhole 
of their existence. Youth is emphatically the golden 
period of life; and the season peculiarly favourable 
lor obtaining an interest in the rich blessings of the 
gospel. Then the mind is most susceptible of seri- 
ous and lasting impressions; and they who seek re- 
ligion early, are encouraged by promises peculiar to 
themselves. Habits of resisting the truth and neg- 
lecting the various means of grace are liotthen formed 


as in riper years. Those peculiar discouragements 
and difficulties, which are common to a more ad-^ 
vanced life, do not set themselves in array to dissuade 
from the work. But, alas ! how venturesome, if not 
fatal, to pass this period of existence, and not attend 
to the one thing needful ! The greater part of those 
who pass the morning of their lives in impenitence, 
give no evidence, when their sun sets, that they are 
reconciled to God through the death of his Son. 
Sad reflection ! to be on the decline of life, before 
the work of eternity is hegun! And of the few who 
are constrained in middle age to walk in newness of 
life, how are their hearts pained when they reflect, 
that in their youth they were busy here and there ; 
but were not then immediately and solicitously en- 
gaged to secure the salvation of their souls. They 
grieve and lament, tliat the bloom of life was spent in 
the ways of folly and service of Satan ; and not in 
the ways of wisdom, and service of God. And their 
evidence that they are the subjects of renewing 
and saving grace, is not generally so firm and bright 
as that of those, who by a pious and godly life, 
remember their Creator in the days of their youth. 
Moreover, a life of early piety and devotedness in the 
cause of Christ, will reap a more glorious recom- 
pense of reward in eternity, than will the mere 
remains of life spent in his service. This must be 
true, if the reward be according to the works. A life 
of engagednesb for the advancement of the Redeem- 
er's kingdom, particularly that of youth and health, is 
more for the honour and glory of God, than it is to 
serve him only in the decline of hfe. Then let not 
youth spend their golden moments in remote con- 
cerns in the ways of vanity ; but in the fear of the 
Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. Thus may 
they reap peculiar blessings both in time and in eter- 
nity. But if they refuse, they forsake their own 
mercies ; they turn away from their dearest interest, 
if they neglect immediate duty, for the sake of any 

23ii SERMON XVIii. 

foreign pursuit, they are treasuring up sorrow, and 
throwing barriers in the way of their own salvation. 
Let them not be busy about remote concerns, to the 
neglect of their immortal interest ; but in early life 
make religion their main business, or they will ex- 
perience a great loss through the whole of their ex- 

6th. If believers are busy about remote concerns to 
the neglect of present duty, they mar their own peace, 
and pierce themselves with many sorrows. As an en- 
couragement for them to abound in every Christian 
duty, thejoys of religion are in proportion to their faith- 
fulness. They who daily keep the great end of their 
calling and profession in view, by their walking with 
God, anticipate some of the joys of heaven upon 
earth. But as a chastisement for unfaithfulness, they 
that wander feel the rod. They who are busy here 
and there, in some pursuit remote from duty, do not 
experience the smile, but the frown of heaven. Like 
rebellious Israel of old, some who profess the gospel 
of Christ, seem bent ongoing astray and backsliding. 
But such not only blight their fair prospects, but 
render their path a dreary wilderness, instead of 
that of the just, that shineth more and more unto the 
perfect day. Instead of their candle shining with 
the blaze as of noon day, it scarcely appears as the 
dim light of a taper. When believers are watchful 
and faithful, their souls enjoy a feast of fat things. 
But when they depart from the law of life, they 
wander over barren mountains or sandy deserts, 
where are no cooling shades nor living springs. How 
chilled the affections, how formal the conversation 
and sad the experience of believers, who leave their 
first love, and neglect their immediate duty. 

7th. If believers are busied about remote concerns 
to the neglect of present duty, they are in danger of 
falling into grievous sins. The renewal of the heart 
by grace, is no security against sin ; without resisting 
temptation, and watching unto prayer. Although 


saints are kept by the power of God, through faith, 
unto salvation ; yet they must watch and pray, and 
attend to their immediate duty, lest they step into 
some forbidden path, and greatly dishonour his name. 
Noah, the preacher of righteousness, busied about 
remote concerns, falls into shameful intoxication. 
Moses, the meekest of men, the moment he neglects 
present duty, speaks unadvisedly and wickedly with 
his lips. Aaron, the priest, straying step by step, is 
persuaded to make a golden calf. The prophet 
Jonah, turning aside from duty, attempts to flee from 
the presence of his Maker ; and after a merciful de- 
liverance, he replies with presumption. David, the 
man after God's ow^n heart, forgetting his honour and 
duty, commits adultery and then is guilty of murder. 
Peter, the ready follower of Christ, by turning aside 
a little, unexpectedly, with an oath denies his Lord 
and master. What stains in these characters ! What 
dishonour to the cause of religion! And would be- 
lievers at the present day, not w ound their own souls 
and the cause which they have espoused, by some 
heinous transgression, let them be careful not to 
neglect their immediate duty. 

8th. To be busy about remote concerns, to the 
neglect of present duty, proves the final destruction 
of many of the human race. Mankind have immor- 
tal souls committed to their care, which they are for- 
bidden to neglect upon the pain of death. They, 
who are busy here and there, till they loose their 
souls, will experience an irreparable loss. As the 
man was unable to pay the talent of silver as a 
ransom for his life, so they will ever be unable to pay 
the uttermost farthing, or to redeem their souls from 
the curse of the law. Although heaven is at an in- 
iinite remove in consequence of sin ; yet, through 
the atonement of Christ, and the means of grace, it 
is possible to be obtained. Notwithstanding, it may 
be lost ; and some, instead of eternal life, reap eternal 
death. Not only open vice, but the neglect of im- 


mediate duty, the neglect of the great sanation, 
proves the final ruin of many. Let us again call to 
mind the words of the text. And as thy servant was 
busy here and there, he was gone. It does not 
appear, that he was busy in sinful or unlawful 
pursuits. But he neglected safely to guard and keep 
the one delivered into his custody ; and for the safe 
keeping and delivery of whom, he was responsible, 
even at the expense of his own life. Whilst he was 
engaged in other pursuits of less solemn importance ; 
the prisoner made his escape. Just so many lose 
their souls by seeking mere trifles^ instead of striving 
to enter in at the strait gate. Instead of engaging 
with seriousness in immediate duty, which is of infi- 
nite moment ; they would be busy here and there in 
remote concerns, till they think it a convenient 
season. The gospel is committed to them; and 
they are charged to keep it unto the day of Jesus 
Christ. But when the Holy Spirit urges to immedi- 
ate duty, whether of repentance, prayer, or perse- 
verance, how do some resort to remote concerns? 
perhaps to a social circle, a pleasing anecdote, or 
some novel. Instead of making the word of God 
their guide, they follow the fancies of a lively imagi- 
nation. In times of general awakenings, whilst some 
engage with all diligence, through divine grace, to 
work out their own salvation with fear and trem- 
bling ; others, with unremitting perseverance, work 
out their own destruction. They suffer some pur- 
suit, remote from the great end of their being, to 
engage their attention, till death comes upon them 
unawares, and they are destroyed suddenly, and that 
without remedy. Thus their souls are gone ; gone 
to the region of darkness and the perdition of the 
ungodly. Would they in time have laid their dearest 
interest to heart, they would not, with consternation 
in eternity, lament their criminal neglect. How so- 
lemn the fact! how alarming the truth! that the being 
busy about remote concerns, to the neglect of present 


duty, proves the final destruction of many of the 
human race. 


1st This subject naturally suggests the inquiry to 
each one of us ; Where am 1, what am I doing, and 
whither am 1 going .'^ Am I at my proper place or 
station in the pursuit of secular concerns, and attend- 
ance on religious duties? Am I engaged in those 
pursuits which become a rational, accountable, and 
immortal being ? Ami travelling in the straight and 
narrow way of immediate duty which leadeth to hfe, 
or in the broad road of remote concerns, which leads 
to death. 

2d. We may see how important it is to shun the 
very appearance of evil. To resist the first risings 
of temptation, is easy; but to parley with the tempter, 
till by his wiles he place his fascinating baits, and ex- 
hibit sin in all its deceitful and alluring charms, is 
dangerous and yielding to his power. Thus the soul 
is led his wilhng captive. As birds exposed to the 
fescinations of a serpent, if they first take the alarm, 
they make their escape. But, if they listen to his 
deadly wiles and fatal enchantments, instead of flying 
away, they first make excentrick flights, next come 
near and hover around him, then lose the power of 
flight; and with a few feeble flutters, fall a victim to 
their devouring enemy. So is it delusive and deadly 
to the soul to give heed to the suggestions of satan, 
and not resist his deadly cunning and delusive 
schemes, when first perceived. At first, resistance 
is not diflicult; but if we hearken to the great deceiver 
as to some kind angel, we fall a prey to his delusions 
and power. 

3d. We may behold the astonishing goodness and 
compassion of God, in giving a divine revelation to 
man. The sacred volume not only makes known 
that the door of heaven is opened for lost man ; but 
with the most friendly cautions and warnings, it 


242 SERMON xviir. 

reveals the hidden dangers which beset the heavenly 
road. In tender mercy, counsels of wisdom and sal- 
utary admonitions are given, that the wandering may 
return, and their souls find rest. No suitable instruc- 
tion is withheld ; and all that is encouraging and en- 
dearing, invites us to walk in the way of salvation. 
4th. This subject presents every possible encou- 
ragement to attend to the concerns of immediate duty. 
This is the proper way to secure the comforts of this 
life, and to promote our present peace and highest 
enjoyment upon earth. Present duty is immediately 
and inseparably connected with the dearest interest 
of our fellow-men, and by reciprocation to double our 
own joys. And as to those joys which are on high, 
the faithful discharge of our duty towards God and 
man, will reap endless and increasing felicity. The 
evils of life, and those of futurity forbid us to be 
busy about remote concerns. But cheering pros- 
pects for time, and unspeakable bles&ings for eter- 
nity, are the reward of well doing ; and call, invite, 
and allure, that our employments and enjoyments, be 
in attending to the concerns of immediate duty and 
preparing: for immortal glory. • Jimen. 



Psalm iv. 6. 
There be many that say^ Who ivill show us any good ? 

X HE desire of happiness is connatural to the minds 
of intelligent beings. All men wish to be happy, 
notwithstanding so many pursue courses which are 
inconsistent with the attainment of this desirable 
end. Whether mankind be holy or sinful ; whether 
they walk in the straight and narrow way that 
ieadeth to life, or in the broad road that leads to 
death, they are inquiring after happiness. This is an 
object truly worthy of their pursuit, and there is but 
one higher or more noble motive which can inspire 
the human breast. Moral fitness, or the seeking to 
know and do the will of God so as to promote the 
greatest good of his moral kingdom, is the most glo- 
rious principle, by which man can be excited to 
action. Such a sentiment and excitement are the 
dignity of human nature ; and a royal diadem to 
crown the head of man. But all are not thus nobly 
influenced. The Psalmist says. There be many that 
say. Who will show us any good ? Perhaps the true 
import of this expression is. Many inquire after hap- 
piness, without knowing what it is, or seeking where 
it may be found. They may desire any enjoyments 
of a worldly and sensual nature, and be willing to 
pursue any means or courses in order to self gratidca- 
tion. Such would delight in any object or pursuit, 
that would afford sinful pleasures. The inq uiry may 
be. What earthly or created good, when rightly pur- 
sued, will promote human happiness. Some, when 


they make the inquiry, Who will show us any good? 
would convey this idea, That none but God can 
.Satisfy and fill the desires of an immortal mind. 

In theprosecution of this subject,m} object will be to 
point out the path of human happiness. In the world 
above,al!arecompletely happy; butinthepresentstate, 
happiness is variously distributed, and in general ac- 
cording to the propriety and uprightness of conduct. 
Hence the present and future prospects of human 
beings depend much upon fhemselves, or upon a wise 
and faithful improvement of means and talents. But 
suffer me first to present the reader with some obser- 
vations from Sterne, on the same subject. 

The great 'pursuit of man is happiness, which is 
the first and strongest desire of his nature. In every 
stage of his life he searches for it, as for hid treasure. 
He courts it under a thousand different shapes ; and 
though perpetually disappointed, still persists, runs, 
and inquires for it atresh ; asks every passenger, 
who comes in his way. Who will show him any good.^ 
who will assist him in the attainment of it, or direct 
him to the discovery of this great end of all his 
wishes ? 

He is told by one, to search for it amongst the 
more gay and youthful pleasures of life^; in scenes of 
mirth and sprightliness, where happiness ever 
presides, and is ever to be known by the joy and 
laughter which he will see, at once, painted in her 

A second, with a graver aspect, points to the 
costly dwellings which pride and extravagance have 
erected; tells the inquirer that the object of which 
he is in search, resides there; that happiness lives 
only in company with the great, in the midst of 
much pomp and outward state; that he will easily 
find her out by the fineness, richness, and costliness 
of her dress; and by the great luxury, the expense 
of equipage and furnitui^, with which she is alwavf- 


The miser blesses God ; wonders how any one 
would mislead and wilfully put him irpon so wrong 
a path; is convinced that happiness and extrava- 
gance never dwelt under the same roof; that if 
he would not be disappointed in his search, he must 
look into the plani and thrifty dwelling of the pru- 
dent man, who knows and understands the worth of 
money, and cautiously lays it up against an evil day. 
He is persuaded that it is not the prostitution of 
wealth upon the passions, or the parting with it at 
all, that constitutes happiness; but that it is the 
keeping of it together, and the having and holding of 
it fast to him and his heirs for ever, which are the 
chief attributes that form this great idol of human 
worship, to which so much incense is oiiered up every 

The epicure, though he easily rectifies so gross a 
mistake, yet at the same time, he plunges him, if 
possible, into a greater; for, hearing the object of 
his pursuit to be happiness, and knowing of no other 
enjoyment tlian what is seated immediately in the 
senses ; he sends the inquirer there, tells him it is in 
vain to search for it elsewhere, than where nature 
herself has placed it, even in the indulgence and 
gratification of the appetites, which are given us 
for that end. And in a word, if he will not take his 
opinion in the matter, he may trust the word of a 
much wiser man; who has assured us, that there is 
nothing better in this world than that a man should 
eat and dririk and rejoice in his works, and make 
Iiis soul enjoy good in his labour for that is his 

But, to rescue him from this sensual experiment, 
ambition takes him by the hand, leads him forth 
into the world, shows him all the kingdoms of the 
earth, and the glory of them; points out the many 
ways of advancing his fortune, and raising himself 
to honour; lays before his eyes all the charms and 
bewitching temptations of power; and then asks, if 



there can be any happiness in this life like that cff 
being caressed, courted, flattered, and followed? 

To close all, the philosopher meets him bustling 
in the full career of this pursuit; stops him, tells 
him if he is in search of happiness, he is far gone 
out of his way. The fullest assurance is given that 
this goddess has long been banished from noise and 
tumults, where no rest could be found for her; has 
fled into solitude, far from all commerce of the 
world. In a word, if he would find her, he must 
leave this busy and intriguing theatre, and go back 
to that peaceful scene of retirement and books from 
which he at first set out. Alas! how often does man 
run the round of this circle? Try all experiments, 
and generally sit down weary and dissatisfied with 
them all at last ; in utter despair of ever accomplish- 
ing what he wants, nor knowing to ^\hat to trust 
after so many disappointments, or where to lay the 
fault; whether in the incapacity of his own nature, 
or the insufficiency of the enjoyments themselves. 

In this uncertain and perplexed state, without 
knowledge which way to turn, or where to betake 
ourselves for refuge; so often abused and deceived 
by the many who pretend thus to do good, Lord, 
says the Psalmist, lift up the light of thy counte- 
nance upon us. That is, send us some rays of thy 
grace and heavenly wisdom, in this benighted search 
after happiness, to direct our goings in the sure 
path. O! let us not wander for ever without a guide 
in this dark region, in endless pursuit of our mista- 
ken good; but enlighten our eyes that we sleep not 
in death. Open to them the comforts of thine holy 
word and religion; lift up the light of thy counte- 
nance upon us, and make us know the joy and satis- 
faction of living in the true faith and fear of Thee, 
which alone can carry us to this haven of rest where 
true joys are to be found; and which will at length 
not only answer all our expectations, but satisfy the 
most unbounded of our wishes for ever and. ever. 


Having selected these interesting remarks, let us 
now attend directly to the inquiry and examination 
of the present subject; which will lead us in the 
right way in our pursuit after happiness, as we are 
instructed from the oracles of divine truth. 

1st. The restraining and governing of unruly pas- 
sions, is a necessary step for those that would be 
happy. The active principles of human nature, if 
they be in subordination and properly exercised, 
become springs to exertion and sources of enjoy- 
ment; but, if they be unrestrained and rage with 
violent impulse, they will render a man wretched. 
To have the government of one's self, is to lead a 
peaceable and quiet life, and enjoy a serene day; 
but the man who does not restrain himself from 
sinful passions, is like the troubled sea, whose wa- 
ters cast up mire and dirt. Says Solomon in his 
Proverbs, he that hath no rule over his ow^n spirit, 
is like a city that is broken down and without walls. 
Such an one is liable to be overcome by every enemy; 
for he is exposed to constant assaults and has his 
mind continually ruffled. How does every malicious 
man disturb his own peace, and become a wretched 
prey to every designing intruder. Whilst others are 
fanned by a pleasant gale, and cheered by the gentle 
zephyrs, he is tossed by the surges of a boisterous 
ocean. A person who gives loose reins, to a spirit 
of jealousy, is disturbed at every thing he sees or 
hears ; and the sweets of life are embittered to his 
taste, and converted into the most baneful poison. 
The envious man, how is he prepared to be wretched; 
though the means of happiness abound within his 
reach. He pines in secret, blights his own fair 
prospects, and becomes his own tormenter. The 
passionate man, every idle word throws into a phrensy, 
and agitates his passions like the tumult of an as- 
saulted city. Regardless of reputation, character, 
or friendship, he scatters around him fire-brands, 
arrows, and death. Unrestrained passions, and violent 

248 SERMON XiX. 

inclinations, acquire strength, and soon hurry their 
wretched victim, with an almost irresistible force, to 
the quicksands and whirlpools of death. On the 
other hand, what greatness of soul for a man to have 
the rule over his own spirit! The victory over one's 
self is a conquest immensely more important and 
glorious than that of conquering armies and subdu- 
ing kingdoms. Some persons are doubtless more 
exposed to temptation from the passions, than others; 
but to such, especially, does the exhortation apply 
%vith force, To keep the heart with all diligence, and 
set a double guard over the tongue, that they may be 
the issues of life. Let liuman beings so command 
themselves and regulate the active principles of th^ir 
nature, to the end for which they were implanted ; 
which is, to promote individual and general hap- 

2d. They who would promote human happiness, 
must not yield to the excessive indulgence of appe- 
tite. A man may be a glutton as well as a drunkard. 
Probably as many indulge in excessive eating in their 
daily food, as do in the excessive drinking of spiritu- 
ous liquors ; and perhaps the consequences are as 
extensively sad and ruinous. By frequent excesses 
in eating, no doubt thousands and thousands have 
been thrown into a violent fever and brought to an 
untimely grave. From the same cause, perhaps, a 
still greater nimiber have fallen into other diseases 
Avhich have preyed upon their vitals ; and by a grad- 
ual, yet fatal pace, have greatly shortened their days. 
Every gluttonous person gradually enervates his 
body ; greatly beclouds and enfeebles all the powers 
of his mind ; brings on himself a heav} stupor and 
strange stupidity. Gluttony blunts all the tender 
and interesting feelings of a human being, and bars 
all the noble avenues of a refined sensibility. In 
addition to the varied and lasting diseases both of 
body and mind, which it entails upon its miserable 
subjects, it draws them into the sad habits of inac- 

sEKMOiX XIX. 249 

tivity and idleness, which are the parents, the nurse- 
ries, and fore-runners of the most pernicious vices 
and the most degrading crimes. If a person eat to 
excess but seldom, or even but once, he destroys his 
own comfort, sins against God, and wounds both, 
soul and body. How does excessive eating render a 
person unfit for rational reflection ! what an enemy 
to cheerfulness and mental improvement ! and what 
.a flood-gate to every kind of vain imaginations I 
How important, then, for those who would regard 
their own comfort and promote their health, to be 
constantly temperate in the participation of their 
daily food. In opposition to the indulgence of grati- 
fying an irregular and vitiated appetite, the word of 
God teaches. That the righteous eateth to the satis- 
fying of his soul. He becomes not a slave to appe- 
tite, nor does he satiate and increase sensual cravings; 
but he exercises reason and judgement concerning 
the portion or quantity of food, which at any time, 
may be suitable. Says Solomon in his Proverbs, 
Put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to 
appetite. This striking caution will serve to evince, 
that the effects of excessive eating must be most per- 
nicious indeed. But temperance in this respect, is 
the mother, the nurse, and friend of a constant train 
of virtuous and rich blessings. How very important 
then, for the promotion of human happiness, that we 
be temperate in eating, and not yield to the exces^ 
sive indulgence of appetite. 

3d. The refraining from vicious courses, is neces- 
sary to the promotion of human happiness. All those 
faults and offences, which are opposite to a course of 
virtue, may be denominated vice. There are some, who 
shun openly gross and notorious vices ; but they 
practise others, though directly opposed to their own 
peace. To be guilty of lying, or of telling an un- 
truth, in what some would deem trifling concerns, is a 
sin against God and man; and Cannot but plant thorns 
in a rational and conscious breast. To cheat or oVer-^ 



reach a fellow mortal, may afford a momentary 
pleasure, in view of the dishonest gain ; but how 
often will conscience sting, and render an unhappy 
one more wretched. To backbite, or speak evil of 
another, may gratify some sinful disposition ; but the 
mere sight or reflection of the person reviled, will 
afterwards cause the reviler to be pained with shame 
and conscious guilt. Profanity, scenes of riot, dissi- 
pation, and debauchery, are sins which must now and 
then pierce the breasts of the guilty, as if a dagger 
were entering their heart. Let us beware then of 
every vice. But whatsoever things are true, what- 
soever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are 
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there 
be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on 
these things. 

4th. The forming of early and regular habits, is 
very important for the promotion of human happi- 
ness. By the term habit, is to be understood the 
power or ability of doing any thing easily and natu- 
rally, in consequence of the frequent repetition of 
the same action. Man is said to be made up of a 
bundle of habits, and these have a powerful sway 
either for enjoyment or distress. The habit of indus- 
try in some honest calling, or of study in some useful 
profession, is important for young persons. To be 
trained up to cleanliness of person, decency of dress, 
and engaging manners, is certainly worthy of atten- 
tion. The habit of rising early in the morning, is of 
vast benefit; as it is so well calculated to promote our 
daily comfort and prosperity, our health and wealth. 
Our natural and civil pursuits, all moral virtues and 
religious duties, may, by frequent and regular repeti- 
tion, and proper attention, become habitual. Habits 
of temperance and vigilance, of methodising and rea- 
soning, are very advantageous. The pains and 
labour bestowed in forming early and noble habits, 
lire thousands of times repaid in this present state 

SERMON X1X> 251 

hy the pleasure and profit which thej produce. How 
most desirable and essential to homau happiness are 
good habits I ' 

5th. To seek the preservation ©r promotioo of 
health, is an important step in the path of human 
happiness. Such is the cnion of soul and bodj, and 
their motoal influence opon each other^ that the j have 
cons^taiitlj mutoal sympathies and mntiial enjoyments 
or distresses. Hence it is that the activitj and 
vigour of the body give energy anc! hilarity to the 
mind. Bodily health i&most closely connected with 
serenity and joy ia the souL The degree of enjoy- 
ment of all things around us, is greatly in proportion 
to the measure of the health of any person^ and the 
flow of spirits which are a concomitant. How insipid 
are our lawful pleasures, when the body is enfeebled 
and in a languishing &tate. The satisfection and 
delight from food and raiment, from the arts and sci- 
ences, from friends and relatives, are greatly dimin- 
ished and dried up, to those who are afflicted with 
bodily infirmities. The mind is debilitated and 
prospects blighted, when the corporeal system is dis- 
eased and enervated. How careful then should each 
one be, not to do any thing unnecessarily, or indulge in 
any pursuit or gratification, that would tend to injure 
their bodily health, and how readily pursue those 
methods which are calculated for it& preservation 
and promotion. 

6th. An easy and social conversation is very favour- 
able to human happiness. The gift of speech is an 
inestimable blessing, for the mutual instruction and 
consolation of the great human family. Parents of a 
sociable tum^ and who are apt to teach, may not only 
do much for the welfare of their children^ but also for 
their own enjoyment. The instructer of children 
and youth who delights to communicate useful in- 
struction, not only interests his pupils, but must 
himself take much satisfaction from his own labours. 
The minister of the gospel who has the talent of rea- 

252 SERMON xix. 

dily introdui^ing i'eligious conversation, and of com- 
forting the afflicted, must have his own heart glad- 
dened from the benevolent counsels of his own words. 
Youth, who cultivate an easy, encouraging, and in- 
structive conversation, are not only acceptable and 
respected by their friends and companions, but they 
are active in the path of their own happiness. As 
he that watereth shall himself also be watered; so 
words fitly spoken, are evidence of a generous breast 
land joyful heart. As a good man out of the good 
treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, so is 
it favourable to human happiness for human and 
social beings to cultivate an easy, social, and instruc- 
tive conversation. 

7th. To cultivate a spirit of contentment is very 
important for human happiness. The phrase, a con- 
tented mind, may be clearly understood, if we con- 
sider it as the contrast of a fretful and restless dis- 
position. It depends more on the state of the mind, 
than on external things, whether a man be contented 
or discontented with his present lot ; or whether he 
attend to the avocations of Hfe with quietness and 
content, or with uneasiness and discontent. Persons, 
'who indulge a peevish and fretful disposition, not 
only render those unhappy around them ; but they 
are constantly rendering themselves miserable. A 
person's circumstances may be ever so favourable, 
and his prospects ever so promising ; still, if discon- 
tent rankle his breast, he is a poor man, for he is an 
Unhappy man. What can wealth, friends, or educa- 
tion avail any one, who has a spirit so uneasy and 
unhappy as not to be able to enjoy them ? The 
spirit of contentment may be cherished not only in a 
high but also in a low estate. St. Paul observes, I 
have learned, in whatsoever state 1 am, therewith to 
be content. Contentment is for the health of the 
body, favours cheerfulness of mind, and promotes 
happiness in every breast, wherever it is found. 

8th. To bear afflictions, losses, and bereavement?. 


with patience and submission, is necessary for them 
that would promote human happiness. The present 
probationary state, is a world of trial, of disappoint- 
ment, of sickness, pain, and separation ; and to bear 
up with manly fortitude under these calamities, is the 
part of wisdom. When suffering any affliction, to 
be unsubmissive, and to give up to impatience, is 
only to add grief to grief, and greatly to enhance our 
difficulties. When the Lord chastens, to murmur 
and repine, and to spurn at the rod, is not only 
a sin, but an aggravation of our own distress. When 
Job was most grievously afflicted with all the ca- 
lamities of life, how would he have increased his 
own burdens, had he been unhumbled, and not 
submissive to the divine Providence. Some af- 
flictions are very grievous, and may cause human 
beings to weep bitterly, and fill their souls with 
anguish ; but let them beware, lest their hearts fret 
against God, and their trials be turned into a judge- 
ment and curse. When patience and submission to 
the divine will are exercised in view of the calami- 
ties that fall upon us, they are sanctified, and work 
out the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Then to 
bear afflictions, losses, and bereavements, with 
patience and submission, is necessary for them that 
would promote human happiness. 

9th. Engagedness in the pursuit of some desirable 
object, tends greatly to the promotion of human hap- 
piness. As human beings^ are made for activity and 
improvement, so when they are suitably engaged in 
some useful pursuit, they are cheered and delighted 
as an encouragement to exertion, and a reward for 
their labour. Attention to any pursuit or calling, 
that is innocent and serviceable, is calculated to 
afford enjoyment; but the more noble the pursuit, or 
the more extensive the utility of the object of our 
engagedness, the greater is the prospect in favour of 
human happiness. The lawful acquisition of pro- 
perty, the education of children, or attention to some 


mechanical pursuit, are not only objects for exertion, 
but the means of enjoyment. Still the framing of 
wise and wholesome laws, or the projecting some 
great work for very extensive utility, affords a more 
ample field for the generous and noble powers of the 
mind, to be enlarged and delighted. It is by activity 
and dihgence, that any of our talents can be improved, 
and the happiness of mankind advanced. As many 
as are the evils which can be enumerated, arising 
from sloth, so many are the opposite and rich 
blessings, arising from engagedness in the pursuit of 
some lawful, desirable, and noble object. 

10th. In pointing out the path of human happiness, 
the last particular is naturally this: Rehgion is man's 
highest good. Happiness, consummate and durable^ 
can be found only in the immediate enjoyment of the 
fountain and source of all excellence. The various 
particulars which have been noticed, are well calcu- 
lated to promote true happiness, and wisdom loudly 
admonishes that we do not lightly esteem them. But 
still the human soul is capable of soaring after higher 
objects, and of aspiring after more perfect joys. The 
prophet Micah, exclaims. He hath showed thee, O 
man, what is good ; and what doth the Lord require 
of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to 
walk humbly with thy God. Here justice between 
man and man, is pointed out ; mercy is brought to 
view, to point men as sinners to Christ, who is the 
way, the truth, and the life; and a humble walk with 
God is to he an evidence of their supreme love to 
him. Says Solomon, after giving abundant and good 
instruction. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole 
matter: fear God and keep his comma* tdments, for 
this is the whole duty of man. By these words we 
are taught, that they, who would be truly happy, 
should not make a selfish inquiry after happiness; 
but their great inquiry should be, to know and do the 
will of their Father who is in heaven, as this wa& 
the great end of their being, and would raise their 

. SERMON XIX. 255 

souls to immortal glory. Philosophy will teach men 
the importance of governing unruly passions ; but 
the spirit of Christ, reigning in the soul, leads to the 
forgiveness of injuries, and teaches men to be tem- 
perate in all things. The religion of Jesus, enables to 
lead godly lives, and leads to a habit of praying. It has 
a balm and cordial for the health of the soul, by 
causing it to hold converse with God as its chief joy. 
The Apostle Paul observes. That godliness w ith con- 
tentment is great gain. And in the view of his own 
trials and sufferings with those of his brethren, 
Christian submission by divine grace, enabled him to 
say with joyful and triumphant hope. Our light afflic- 
tion, which is but for a moment, w^orketh for us a 
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 
While we look not at the things which are seen, but 
at the things which are not seen : for the things which 
are seen, are temporal ; but the things which are not 
seen, are eternal. The one who is rightly en- 
gaged in the things of religion, has prospects of hap- 
piness far more glorious than can possibly be con- 
ceived by the heart of man from any other pursuits 
or sources. Reason and self interest, may teach the 
utility of cultivating all the moral virtues; but the 
gospel infuses those heaven-born graces, w^hich will 
for ever expand in glory, and produce the rapturous 
joys of immortality. It is religion, which can give 
tranquillity in infirmity, can buoy up the soul in the 
storms of life, and at last safely land it in the heaven 
of eternal day. This is the one thing needful, which 
includes all that can be desired by an immortal and 
ever expanding mind. And it is only this, which can 
give sufficient peace and consolation in all the trying 
scenes of hfe, and cause the soul to triumph over 
death and hell, and join the innumerable company 
above. Then may this subject give us enlarged 
views of ourselves, and excite us duly to reflect on 
the momentous relations which we sustain. Shall 
not every one awake, and reflect that he is destined 


to eternity ; and that if he become a holy being, he 
is to be associated with angels and seraphs, and ad- 
mitted into the presence of his God and Saviour to 
go no more out for ever and ever? Let each one 
contemplate on the depths of his own immortal mind, 
and extend his thoughts down the line of endless 
duration, and inquire what he must be when the sun 
and stars shall have been blotted out for millions of 
millions of years ; and his capacities of enjoyment 
or suffering, shall have expanded beyond the present 
dimensions of the highest seraph. With such re- 
flections as these, may we by divine grace be enabled 
to pursue the true path of human happiness. Amen. 



Luke xri. 10. 


He that is faithful in that which is leasts is faithful also 
much : and he that is unjust in the leasts is unjust also 
in much, 

X REi holy scriptures are a peculiar fund of instruc- 
tion in concerus both of the smallest and of the 
greatest moment. They teach the truth in reality, 
and according to the mind lof God ; not in appear- 
ance, and according to the views of men. And they 
decide the characters of mankind not merely from 
their external conduct, but from the motives of their 
hearts; not from a few splendid or glaring acts, but 
from the general deportment of life. Hence those 
exploits which are frequently the astonishment of 
the world, are of little esteem in the view of God ; 
and on the other hand, a life of piety, of self denial, 
and devotedness in the ways of godliness, is of much 
value in his sight, although it obtain not the applauses 
of men. No doubt there are some, w^ho by their 
fellow-men are honoured as good and great; but 
whom, at the same time, the Lord holdeth in abomi- 
nation. And doubtless some who are thought not 
worthy to live, and who are accounted as the ofP. 
scouring of the earth, will at last shine as stars in the 
kingdo :n of God for ever and ever. The words of 
the text are the inference and declaration of the 
Saviour concerning the steward, who, for his own 
worldly interest, had induced his lord's debtors to 
act dishonestly. And although he is commended as 



it respects worldly wisdom or selfish interest; yet, tor 
his dishonest measures, he is condemned as an un- 
faithful steward. There was a certain rich man which 
had a steward; and the same was accused unto him, 
that he had wasted his goods. And he called him 
and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? 
give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest 
be no longer steward. Then the steward said unto 
himself. What shall I do ? for my lord taketh away 
from me the stewardship: 1 cannot dig; to beg I am 
ashamed. 1 am resolved what to do; that when I 
am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me 
into their houses. So he called every one of his 
lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How 
much owest thou unto my lord? and he said. An 
hundred measures of oil: and he said unto him, 
Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 
Then said he unto another. And how much owest 
thou? And he said. An hundred measures of wheat. 
And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write four- 
score. And the lord commended the unjust steward, 
because he had done wisely : for the children of this 
world are in their generation wiser than the children 
of light. And I say unto you. Make to yourselves 
friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, 
when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting 
habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least, 
is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the 
least, is unjust also in much. 

These words teach us, that little things make 
up the character of a man, and are a proper criterion, 
by which mankind are denominated either good or 
^>ad, faithful or unfaithful. 

This truth might be extensively illustrated from 
natural objects, or the works of nature. The im- 
mensity of ttie divine works is composed of parts ; 
or in other words, innumerable worlds constitute the 
universe. This^ material world is composed of 
elements; and even particles of matter comprise the 


whole. The face of nature, when exhibiting its most 
beautiful scenery, is unbounded and infinitely diver- 
sified ; yet spires of grass, plants, and leaves of trees 
are the component parts. We sometimes behold the 
heavens overspread with clouds ; but their substance 
is mists, or vapours of the air. Rivers, rills, and 
even springs may be considered as the fountains of 
the mighty deep; for the whole ocean is formed by 
drops of w^ater. Storms of snow and hail, and the 
falhng showers give demonstration to our senses, 
that all things in nature are made up of little things. 
The subject might be pursued in this manner, to great 
extent; but calculated to please, rather than to benefit 
mankind, as their own experience would not be 
brought immediately to the test. This discourse 
should be of such a nature as to make the hearers 
feel themselves deeply interested, and should serve 
as a glass into which they may look, and discern their 
true characters whether good or bad. And for this 
purpose let us bear in mind, that a few acts, although 
they be laudable, conspicuous, and brilliant, are not 
sufficient to establish an upright and excellent cha- 
racter; neither are a few misdeeds, although known 
to the world, sufficient to destroy an established 
Christian character. For example, a life prosti- 
tuted to vicious courses, cannot be denominated a 
virtuous one, merely from a^ few acts of humanity, 
generosity, or patriotism. On the other hand, some 
of the worthies, recorded in scripture, who fell into 
temptation and grievous sins, did not destroy their 
religious character, although they brought a stain on 
their good profession. Suppose a person of sober 
habits fall into the sin of intoxication but once or 
twice during his life ; this will not fix on him the 
character of a drunkard. Neither will he, on the 
other hand, who is addicted to lying, if he occasion- 
ally speak the truth, be denominated a person of 
veracity. Greatly to extol any person, because a 
few things are eminently in his favour, and to pro- 


iiounce such an one upright on the account af these- 
when other circumstances are not correspondent, dis- 
covers weakness of mind, and a want of a knowledge 
of the world, and of the w^ord of God. Neither 
should we be hasty to condemn any one as possessing 
a bad character, because some faults appear ; but 
should learn his varied deportment, especially his 
daily walk, would we form an opiiiion concerning his 
true worth. 

1st. Little things make up ike character of a man, as if 
respects the common conduct and affairs of life. Some 
persons with great activity, occasionally exert them- 
selves and effect much in the course of a day; but 
this does not entitle them to the character of indus- 
try, although they be applauded, for performing un- 
paralleled labours, or eifecting wondrous exploits. 
But, if a person be daily and perseveringly engaged 
in some useful occupation ; although he be able to 
accomplish but little, he is justly called an industri- 
ous man. Sometimes acts of enterprise make a man 
wealthy -, and at once, secure a fortune. But gene- 
rally to accumulate properly little by little, is the 
manner by which we are to obtain the character of 
faithful stewards in the good things of this life, and 
to have economy and frugality witness our daily 
conduct. Again: little things Mill render a man a 
prodigal and spendthrift. Prodigality, which like a 
flood, desolates the best of farms, and buries in sad 
ruins large estates, is irequently made up of little 
things, perhaps not larger than half gills. Negligence 
and wastefulness in matters of small moment, will 
soon arise to a great and sad amount. Very few, at 
one hazardous blow, lavish an estate; but thousands 
Squander away their substance insensibly and their 
little excesses, like a moth, consume all they possess. 
It is a common proverb, Take care of the pence^ 
find the pounds will take care of themselves. So 
the wasting of cents, is the consumption of thousands 
of dollars. Thus the present prospects of a man. 

SERiMON XX. 261 

whether goodly or sad, depend generally on little 
things, which serve to form his character. 

2d. Little things make up the character of mankind as 
honest or dishonest. For illustration let a few exam- 
ples be taken. Suppose a merchant set an unrea- 
sonable price on some articles, with which the buyer 
is not acquainted. He is a cheat; for his store is 
opened with an implicit promise of deahiig fairly and 
hoQOurably. He might as well, by slight of hand, 
take money from a person's pocket without his 
knowledge. Let him so adjust his weights, that he 
will fraudulently save but half a penny weight on 
each pound he weighs, he is a dishonest man. He 
needs not be chargeable with open injustice, or 
cheating by the gross, in order to establish his true 
character; for he makes this up by httle things. 
But this same person would defraud others of large 
sums, could he over-reach them and not be detected. 
And if he be not dishonest in concerns of large 
amount, the true reason is, not that he is not a disho- 
nest character, but because he believes such a course 
of dishonest dealing, would not in the end, so well 
answer his unlawful gain. This is the true import 
of the expression. He that is unjust in the least, is 
unjust also in much. Take by contrast, one who is 
conscientiously honest in all the smaller concerns 
and pursuits of life, and the same principle will lead 
him to uprightness when matters of much importance 
are presented before him. For it is equally true, 
he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful 
also in much. Let a silversmith knowingly defraud 
those of whom he buys or to whom he sells, of only 
one cent on a dollar, or an ounce of old silver^ he 
stamps his own character with dishonesty. But let 
him fear dishonest gain in trivial concerns ; and he 
will not dare attempt it in those which are weighty. 
Suppose that a farmer, in every half bushel of grain 
or other things, that he buys or sells, wrongs another 
of only one gill. This may be called a trifling dis- 


honesty ; but as little as it is, the words of the text 
announce it to be the true standard of his character. 
Not only are false weights, false measures, and a false 
balance, an abomination to the Lord ; but also 
trifling and designed errours, when we have those 
which are true. Suppose a minister of the gospel 
preach the truth clearly and forcibly, with wisdom 
and faithfulness ; but that he lead not a life of piety, 
nor seeks to follow the directions which he gives to 
others. He is not only inconsistent, but doubly dis- 
honest, \ striking discourse, or a splendid appear- 
ance on the Sabbath, will not avail as a substitute for 
the smaller or more private duties of the week. Let 
these few examples serve as glasses for persons of 
every trade, pursuit, and profession, into which they 
may look, and discern their true character. The 
application is easy : and that we examine and judge 
ourselves by little things, is of vast importance. We 
need not be deceived, nor seek for great things, in 
order to tell what manner of spirit we possess; for 
little things are the criterion, which decide the 
character of a man. 

3d. Little things may make up the character of a 
defamer or slanderer. The tongue is a little mem- 
ber and it needs not utter great words, nor very 
bitter sayings, in order to do much injury. Persons 
may be free from open railing slander, and by dis- 
courses of surmises and curious inquiries, most effec- 
tually defame their neighbours. There are some who 
profess a tenderness for the character of others, and 
who, by their insinuations, aim to cast a reproach 
upon their good name. They would not be seen railing 
against them on publickoccasions; but in the presence 
of a few, they are ever ready to express their doubts 
and fears concerning them. They give caution not 
to have their remarks spread, under pretence that 
they would not wish to injure them ; but in reality, 
that they may sheath a dagger in their hearts. In 
many instances, the secret whispers and slanders of 


an envious tongue, are more pernicious than open 
and rank defamation. They are hke a poisonous 
and deadly serpent, which is more to be dreaded, 
when concealed under the grass, than in an open 
field. Persons of uprightness and integrity, stand 
secure from open and virulent attacks ; but what can 
secure from secret aspersions, uttered with the spirit 
of satan, and clothed with the appearance of an 
angel ? Who does not know that hints, surmises, 
and doubtful inquiries, though little things, are most 
fatal weapons ? Let whisperers and backbiters, tale- 
bearers and busybodies, yea and all of us, remember 
that flagrant expressions are not necessary and essen- 
tial to slander ; but that little things, may most effec- 
tually make up the character of a defamer. 

4th. A moral and amiable character is made up of 
little things; which consists simply in rendering to all, 
their dues, it is but a little thing that some be ac- 
knowledged as sup'eriours,and honoured according to 
the dignity of their station, and the excellence of 
their character. The same courteous and friendly 
treatment, which we may reasonably expect from our 
equals, is an easy rule to regulate our conduct 
towards them ; and we need not call it too small a 
thing, or esteem it beneath us, to pay proper attention 
to those whom we consider our inferiours. The pa- 
rental character is made up of a train of little things, 
of varied and repeated acts, which are the natural 
result of parental affection. It is certainly a great 
work to train up a child in the way he should go; and 
it is equally true, that little things, in due season , are 
sufficient to effect this. The duty of a child towards 
his parents, does not consist in great, but in little 
things. All the social duties may be comprised in 
seasonable attention and suitable conversation, and 
demand not brilliant talents nor extraordinary exer- 
tions. The character of the charitable man, is not 
formed from bestowing large sums ; but from his rea- 


diness to relieve and assist, little by little, according* 
as situations and circumstances require. A little 
seasonable aid and a few salutary directions, may be 
of much avail to the poor, and to those who stand in 
need of counsel. A friend in need, is a friend in deed ; 
and a word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in 
pictures of silver. As it respects the various offices, 
relations, and duties of this present life, we may do 
much good, if we seasonably attend to what may be 
called little things. 

5th. The character of a patriot or hero of a nation, 
is most thoroughly established by little things. When 
we hear of the wondrous exploits and successes of 
any man, what a jewel is set in his character, if his 
private life and secret walk correspond to the dignity 
of his elevated station ! Is Washington the glory of 
our nation, as he is the father of our country ? How 
is his character exalted and dignified from the 
account of his servant, respecting his daily deport- 
ment, especially that of stated secret prayer, when he 
would withdraw to kneel before his Maker in his 
closet, to implore his guidance and blessing. Gene- 
ral La Fayette is extolled as an American hero. But 
the generality do not consider that he embarked not 
to regain his own liberty, but ours; and that in our 
infant state, he sacrificed his property, though little 
did he expect a rich reward at this day. On the 
other hand, the character of Alexander the Great, 
appears small when we turn to the effeminacy and 
latter end of his life. The brilliant and successful 
exploits of any man are most glorious, as it respects 
his good name, when they are supported by the little 
things pertaining to his life, which add excellence to 
fame. How desirable that they who would render 
their names immortal amongst men, be found faithful 
in that which is least, that their memory be perpetu- 
ated in realms above. A few memorable events in 
any person's life, will not prove an equivalent or com- 

seSjvlon XX. ^. ^ 26Jj 

pensation for the defects of the many little thing^i 
which are the true standard and criterion, of whick 
the characters even of great men are made up. 

6th. Little things must make up the character of 
most men, as few have capacity or opportunity for 
great and noble enterprises. Comparatively few of 
the human race, are gifted with extraordinary natural 
powers of mind ; and fewer still, have all the advan- 
tages which are necessary to cultivate them to their 
greatest extent. Of the few able and eminent men 
which at any time live, how small is the number of 
those, who in the whole course of their lives, have 
opportunity of doing what the world would call 
great things. A mere trifling number can be the 
monuments of history, and the astonishment of ages ; 
tor the principal part live and die in obscurity. They 
have not the power of being distinguished in thei^ 
whole lives by any great and glorious work, dr noble 
enterprise, consequently their memory is lost in 
oblivion at death. Ten thousand times ten thousand 
human beings are never known beyond the neigh- 
bourhood in which they are born. Many are brought 
up in the most lamentable ignorance, and scarcely 
ever hear of doings beyond their own town or vicin- 
ity. Concerning such it is emphatically true, that 
little things make up their character; for their means 
of knowledge, ideas, and opportunities of doing 
good, are greatly limited. But whether they improve 
the talents they have, whether they are faithful oi* 
unfaithful according to their means and opportuni- 
ties, is their important concern. Such persons do 
form characters either good or bad, and they are 
interested in this subject as well as others ; for it 
teaches simple truth : He that is faithful in that which 
is least, is faithful also in much : and he that is unjust 
in the least, is unjust also in much. 

7th. Little things make up the character of a man as ct . 
Christian^ and will be the criterion by which^ at the last 
great dai/, sentence will be pronounced for cterrtitif. The 



worJs of the texfwill be the test as a trial orstandard, 
by which we must be judged; but the sentence to 
be pronounced will be a httle varied, he that is unjust 
let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him 
be filthy still : and he that is righteous, let him be 
righteous still : and he that is holy, let him be holy 
still : Then a lii'e of piety, though in a corner of ob- 
scurity and shrouded in abject poverty, will shine 
conspicuous, and out dazzle all the pomp and 
grandeur of this world. Self denial, meekness, and 
charity, will be most brilliant gems in the heavenly 
crow n. The sceptres and badges of kings and 
princes, of popes and emperours, w ill fadeaway and 
shrivel as a scroll, when compared with those little 
things, which w ill serve to show that a man is found 
faitliful in that which is least. Let us then now re- 
alize the true import of the saying of the Saviour to 
his disciples: Whosoever shall give you a cup of 
water to drink in my name, because ye belong to 
Christ, verily, I say unto you. He shall not lose his 
reward. And w^hosoever shall offend one of these 
little ones that believe in me, it is better for him 
that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and 
he were cast into the sea. Let not the account of 
that little sum, two mites, which the poor widow cast 
into the treasury, be forgotten nor despised by us. 
Though a little thing, it is recorded for instruction, 
and has a direct bearing on our character. Perhaps 
some would hope for divine approbation, neither 
from great nor little things; but from neutral ground, 
or not openly opposing religion. Let me draw an 
arrow from the divine quiver, sharpened and made 
ready by the blessed Redeemer. He that is not with 
me, is. against me ; and he that gathereth not with 
me, scattereth abroad. I see another character of 
quite a different form. It is one who glories in a 
wonderful conversion, hke that of the apostle Paul. 
The heavens seemed opened, and the angels of God, 
and the Son of man, apjpeared in all their glory 


But, friend, have you none of those httle things 
which are credentials, essential to a Christian cha- 
racter? Oh no! I think it not worthy to trouble 
myself about such things. My past conversion is all 
I ask, to make my caUing and election sure ; and a 
life of godhness would be an intolerable cross to me, 
Alas deluded man! Satan has appeared to }ou 
transformed into an angel of light; and if you do 
not yet repent, and begin to walk in newness of life, 
he will meet you at last in the clouds of the air, and 
drag you down to the region of despair. The secret 
motives of the heart, words, and retired places for 
prayer, will be sources of joy to some and of con- 
sternation to others. Let us recollect that Naaman, 
the Syrian leper, was not required to do some great 
thing in order to effect his cure. Then let us take 
the simple and ordy safe means which God has given, 
to save from hell and raise to heaven. If we seek 
to do great things and for these to be saved, we die ; 
but if we neglect not those little things, which the 
word of life points out as essential to our forming a 
Christian character, we live. Yes, live in glorious 
immortality, when these heavens and this earth shall 
be no more. 


1st. In the light of this subject we may see, that our 
great concern should not be to know what the world 
may think of us ; but how we are esteemed in the 
sight of God. It is desirable to have tHe goo'd 
opinion of others; and earthly friends in this pil- 
grimage state, are important. If an upright and cour- 
teous conduct will secure the esteem of our fellow- 
men, we should endeavour to obtain their good 
opinion, that we may be the more useful. Still we 
should not seek to be men-pleasers, but the servants 
of God. And when our name is evil spoken of, 
when our motives and character are questioned by 
others, our solicitations should be to obtain the ap- 


probatidfi of the Searcher of hearts. Our fellow- 
mortals may be deceived, or from some evil design 
may judge us uncharitably ; but it will be a strong 
consolation, if the Lord, who cannot err, smile upon 
us. Better to have all the world in hostile array 
against us, and to suffer the most bitter persecution, 
if we have heaven on our side, than to please all 
men, and not be the servants of Christ. As it is desira- 
ble to have the friendship, sympathies, and aids of 
our fellow-mortals, so it is infinitely important to 
have that communion, and those joys, which are the 
effect of being reconciled to God through the death 
of his Son. Happy is that man, who has a good 
report amongst his fellow-men; but blessed is the one, 
who, like Enoch, w^alketh with God, and who enjoyeth 
the smiles of his reconciled countenance, and that 
peace which passeth understanding. 

2d. When we see criminals arraigned before 
human tribunals, we should exercise compassion and 
pity, rather than scorn and contempt. They may 
not be more guilty than some of the spectators. 
Suppose for instance, a person is condemned for 
having robbed another of a thousand dollars. Do 
we look upon him with abhorrence and dread? 
Perhaps he would not have committed the deed, had 
he not been in straitened circumstances. Or could 
he have obtained but a dollar at a time by some 
other dishonest means, he might not have had 
recourse to robbery. Probably he would rather have 
bbtained the same sum from several persons than 
from one. Yes, and the person who habitually cheats 
but a gill of grain, or a cent at a time, has the same 
dishonest principle and views. He might be alarmed 
and deterred from taking a large sum dishonestly, 
or all that any man possessed. But let his base heart 
insinuate that a man is wealthy, and that the loss of 
a thousand dollars would be a mere trifle; if he 
should hate opportunity to cheat or overreach 
without any means of detection, quickly would hiK 


avarice grasp the dishonest gain. And let the same 
person be brought to want, he might be more odious 
and more to be dreaded, than the arraigned criminal. 
The only difference between the most secret and 
trifling dishonesty, and the m.ost open and daring 
robbery, is merely circumstantial. The principle is 
the same ; for he that is unjust in the least, is unjust 
also in much. A change of condition and the de- 
pravity of the human heart, would be sufficient to 
lead such an one into the most enormous crimes. 
Then when overt acts, disgrace any of our fellow- 
mortals, let us inquire of our own hearts, if we cherish 
the secret lurkirigs of such a principle in our breasts. 
3d. This subject may serve to show ^ that though 
the gain of sin be small.) the guilt may be great. One 
great principle to be inferred from the text, is, that he 
who has sinned, though to a small amount in respect 
to the fruit or profit of the transgression, has, by so 
doing, incurred a lull condemnation. He who has 
just passed over a forbidden limit, which was dis- 
vlinctly known to him, is unfaithful in the least ; and 
is also guilty in much. For a vindication of this, it 
is evident, That by a small act of fraud, the line 
which separates the right from the wrong, is just as 
effectually broken over, as by a great act of injustice. 
The Saviour, in the words of the text, speaks to the 
man who is only half an inch within the limit of for- 
bidden ground, in the very same terms by which he 
addresses the one who has made the fartherest and 
the largest excursions over the boundary. Grant 
that he is but a little way upon the wrong side of the 
line of demarkation ! But why is he upon it at all } 
It was in the act of crossing that line, that he entered 
upon the contest between right and wrong ; and then 
it was decided. That was the instant of time at 
which principle struck her surrender. The great 
difficulty was to pass the partition wall; for, after 
that was done, the moral principle has no barriers 
to obstruct his progress over the whole extent of the 


forbidden field but what may be easily surmounted. 
If he is but a littJe way within the unlawful territory, 
even upon its margin, the God who finds him there, 
will reckon and deal with him as a bold transgressor. 
In the words of the text.the Saviour has taken his stand 
on the mere dividing line between what is lawful and 
what is unlawful ; and he gives us to understand, 
that the man who enters by a single footstep on the 
forbidden ground, immediately contaminates his 
person with the full hue and character of guiltiness. 
He does not make the difference between right and 
wrong to consist in a gradual shading of the one into 
the other; and thus obliterate the distinctions of 
morality. He allows no imperceptible intermixture 
between the nature and margin of virtue and vice; 
but gives a clear and decided delineation. It is not 
a gentje transition for a man to step over from honesty 
to dishonesty, and from truth to falsehood. There is 
between them a wall, rising up unto heaven : and the 
authority of God must suffer violence, ere one inch 
of entrance can be made into the field of iniquity. 
The Saviour never glosses over the beginning of 
crimes. His object is effectually to fortify the limit, 
to cast a rampart of exclusion around the whole 
territory of guilt, and to rear it before the eye of 
man in such characters of strength and sacredness, 
as should make him feel that it is impregnable. 

Again: We may see, that he who is unfaithful in 
the least, has incurred the condemnation of him who 
is unfaithful in much ; because the littleness of the 
gain, so far from lessening the guilt, is in fact rather a. 
circumstance of aggravation. It is certain that he who 
has committed injustice for the sake of a less advan- 
tage, has done it on the impulse of a less temptation. 
He has parted with his honesty at an inferiour price, 
by bartering it for a mere trifle. And does this lessen 
his guilt ? Certainly it proves how small is the price 
which he sets upon his eternity; and how cheaply he 
can bargain away the favour of God, and an inherit- 


aiice in glory. And the more paltry the trafick is in 
respect of sinful gain, the more profane it may be in 
respect of principle. It likens him the more to pro- , 
fani^ Esau, who sold his birth-right for a mess of pot- 
tage. The piercing eye of Him who looketh down 
from heaven, and pondereth the secrets of every 
breast, perceives that the man who is abhorrent only 
in the view of flagrant acts of injustice, has no jus- 
tice whatever in his character. It is at the precise 
limit between the right and the wrong, that the 
flaming sword of God's law is placed. This is stri- 
kingly evident in the instance of the first sin that 
entered the world. What is it that swells the eat- 
ing of the forbidden fruit with a grandeur so moment- 
ous ? How came an action, in itself so minute, to be 
the germe of such mighty consequences ? How are 
we to conceive that our first parents, by one act of 
disobedience, brought death upon themselves and 
their posterity ? By the eating of the forbidden fruit, 
a clear requirement, or distinct prohibition was 
broken. A transition was made from loyalty to re- 
bellion ; andan entrance was effected into the king- 
dom of Satan. If the act itself was a trifle, it served 
to aggravate tlie guilt ; that, for such a trifle the au- 
thority of God could be despised and set at defiance. 
Moreover, the truth of God was pledged for the ex- 
ecution of the threatening. And now, if for a single 
transaction, all the felicity of paradise had to be 
broken up, and the wretched offenders to be turned 
abroad upon a world, now changed by the curse into 
a wilderness; and all the woes with which earth is 
filled, be the direful consequence, let us not hesitate 
to believe, That he who is unfaithful in that which is 
least, contracts great guilt; and for the sake of a 
little gain, incurs an aggravated condemnation. 

4 th. We may also see, that he who is faithful in thai 
ivhich is least, is entitled to the highest praise. In respect 
both of righteous principle and practice, such an 
one is, and ought to be considered as being faithful m 


that which is much. Who is the man, my hearers^ 
to whom you would most readily confide the whole 
of your property ? He who would disdain to put 
Ibrth an injurious hand on a single farthing. Of whom 
would you have the least dread of any unrighteous 
encroachment ? He is the one, all the delicacies of 
whose principle are awakened when he comes within 
sight of the dividing limit, which separates justice 
from injustice. Who is the man whom we shall never 
find among the greater degrees of iniquity ? He who 
shrinks, with sacred abhorrence, from its smallest 
degree. Nobleness of condition in life, is not essen- 
tial as a state for nobleness of character : Nor does 
a man require to be high in office, to gather around 
his person the worth and lustre of a high-minded 
integrity. Humble life may be as rich in moral 
grace and moral grandeur, as the loftier places of 
society and refinement. True dignity of principle 
may be cherished in the breast of a man of the low- 
est drudgery, as well as in the bosom of him who 
stands entrusted with the fortunes of an empire. 
Moreover, that man has the brightest christian char- 
acter who conscientiously observes all the punctilios 
of godliness. It is in a humble, and almost unno- 
ticed walk, that he can most effectually prove to his 
God and his own conscience, that he is a Christian. 
Hence, the secret walk, the private acts of men, if 
noble, far the noblest of their lives. And to be 
faithful in those things that are little, gives the most 
incontestible evidence, that a man is faithful in that 
which is much; and consequently entitled to the 
highest esteem and commendation from his fellow 
men and the peculiar smiles and approbation of his 
G(5d. Amm, 



Romans iii. 24. 

Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemptimi 
that is in Christ Jesus. 

JL HE doctrine of justification is one of the main 
pillars, which supports the Christian religion. It ifr 
of great importance that it be rightly understood ; 
for it is essential to the system of divine truth, re- 
vealed in the sacred scriptures. And that we may 
have clear views of this fundamental article of Chris- 
tianity, let us attend to the context. St. Paul, after 
showing that by the deeds of the law, there shall no 
flesh be justified in the sight of God, illustrates the 
present subject in the following manner. But now 
the righteousness of God without the law, is mani- 
fested ; being witnessed by the law and the prophets ; 
Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of 
Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all, them that believe, 
for there is no difference : For all have sinned, and 
come short of the glory of God : Being justified 
freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in 
Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a pro- 
pitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his 
righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, 
through the forbearance of G od ; To declare, I say, 
at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, 
and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. 

We are now naturally called upon to attend to the 
explication of the term, justification. 

This word is adopted from the proceedings of ju*- 
dicial courts ; and denotes the acquittal of a per^ori^ 



tried by such a court, upon an accusation of a crime. 
The person accused, being upon trial, found innocent 
of the charge, is declared to be just in the view of 
the law ; and by an easy and natural figure, is said to 
be justified : That is, he is made, or found to be just. 
As the allegations, with which he may be charged, 
cannot be substantiated against him, he is freed from 
indictment, and pronounced innocent. 

Now, in this original, forensick sense of the term, 
it is obvious from the declarations of the context, 
that no human being can be justified by the law, 
before the bar of God. As all mankind have dis- 
obeyed this law, it is clear that he whose judgement 
is invariably according to truth, must declare them 

Perfect beings are justified by their own obedi- 
ence ; since they fulfil all the demands of the divine 
law. To them, therefore, the religion of nature is 
amply sufficient to secure their duty, their accep- 
tance with God, and their final happiness. And as 
such sustain the character of sinless perfection, 
their justification is according to a dispensation of 
perfect righteousness, that renders unto them rewards 
for personal merit. 

But sinful beings cannot thus be justified ; because 
they have not rendered that obedience, which is the 
only possible ground of justification by law. Con- 
sequently, some other ground of justification is ab- 
solutely necessary for them, if they be ever accepted 
and rewarded. 

Still the scriptures teach us, For what the law^ 
could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, 
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful 
flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh ; That 
the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, 
who w^alk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, it 
is however certain, that justification, when extended 
to returning sinners, must in some respects, be a thing 
t^ id ely -different from iustification under the law. A. 


subject oi law is justified only when he is in the full 
and strict sense, just : that is, Avhen he has completely 
obeyed its requisitions. In this case, his obedience 
is the onjy ground of his justification, and is all that 
is essential to it ; because he has done every thing 
required of him, and no act of disobedience can be 
truly laid to his charge. 

From this case, that of the penitent under the 
gospel diflfers entirely. He has been gudty of in* 
numerable acts of disobedience, which are all truly 
chargeable to him. Nor can it ever be truly said, 
that he has not been guilty of them, if, therefore^ 
he be ever justified, it must be in a sense widely 
different from that which has been already explained. 
The term is, then, not used in the gospel because 
its original meaning, is in every sense, strictly 
intended ; but because this term, figuratively used, 
better expresses the thing intended, than any other. 
The act of God denoted by this term, as used 
in the gospel, so much resembles a forensick and 
legal justification, that the word is naturally, and 
by an easy translation, adopted to express this act. 

Hence, " to justify." as the term is used in the 
gospel, is to absolve from an accusation, and to frea 
fron the condemnation of past sin by pardon. Jus- 
tification, as tlTe term is used in the divine word, 
stands opposed to condemnation; so that it must 
essentially consist in the acquittal and forgiveness of 
transgressions. Hear one of the Proverbs of Solo- 
mon, appropriate to the point under consideration. 
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condem- 
neth the just; even they both are abomination to the 
Lord. Again: says the prophet isaiah, Wo unto 
them which justiiy the wicked for reward, and take 
away the righteousness of the righteous, from him. 
In both of these expressions it is obvious, from the 
contrast of the epithets and characters, th it to justiiy 
the wicked, implies to pardon and acquit them, and 
to treat them as righteous. And this is the sense 



in "Which the phrase is used in the Word of God, when 
he is said to justify penitent, believing sinners. 
Therefore, the justification of a sinner, comprises the 
forgiveness of his sins, the dehverance from their 
deserved punishment, and entithng him to all the 
blessings contained in eternal life. 

I would now remark, that these three particulars 
are included in the pardon of sin, if the term 
pardon be used in its most extensive import. This 
word is generally used to signify only a partial 
removal of evil; and not a full, or complete pardon. 
Let an example be taken for illustration. Suppose 
a citizen of the United States should commit a crime, 
for which the law condemned him to stand on the 
gallows, during one hour, with a rope round his 
neck. On the day appointed for the disgraceful 
punishment, a pardon is received from the President; 
but with this proviso, that the criminal shall never 
stand as candidate for any publick office, neither be 
allowed to vote for any candidate to office. Such a 
pardon would be only a partial removal of evil ; for 
the criminal would be deprived of some of the lib- 
erties of a free citizen. A complete pardon would 
not only remove the disgraceful punishment of the 
rope and gallows, but it would also entitle him to all 
the immunities of free citizens, bj restoring all those 
privileges which he would otherwise have enjoyed, 
had he not committed the crime. Thus, a complete 
pardon of sin not only gives peace of conscience to 
the penitent sinner, and delivers him from the threat- 
ened penalty of the law; but also places him in such 
a standing, that he will receive a reward for all those 
acts which imply true obedieiice, as if he had never 
sinned. It is in this light, that we discern the con- 
sistency of those scriptural declarations, which 
teach us that the Lord will reward believers for every 
good work, and that he will reward every one accor- 
ding to his works. Hence, this is the sense in which 
we are to understand the term, justijicatmu as used 


in divine revelation ; or the sense, in which mankind 
are under the gospel, said to be justified. 

2d. Let us now inquire in what sense believers 
are said to be justified fi-eely by the grace of God. 
Being justified fi-eelj by his grace. 

From the observations already made, it is evident 
that their justification can in no sense nor degree be 
merited by themselves. Then it must, of course, be 
communicated freely. 

The word gracc^ is used by the inspired writers, in 
various senses. In its original import, it denotes a 
free gift. As it is used in the text, the unmerited love 
of God, is exhibited as the original source of all the 
forfeited blessings conferred upon our guilty world. 
So under the influence of this love, the Lord formed 
the original and gracious design of saving mankind 
from sin and death. The law of God is a perfectly 
just law. But, by this, man was condemned and 
finally cast off Justice, therefore, in no sense de- 
manded the deliverance of mankind from condem- 
nation. Consequently this deliverance was planned 
by the mere gracious good will of the Most High. 
The Lord could not but foresee, that the glorious 
blessings proposed to mankind, would be proffered 
only to rebels and apostates, who merited nothing 
but wrath and indignation. Then, unbounded, gra- 
cious love, only could operate in the Divine Mind in 
favour of such beings. 

It was also, the same kind of divine love that induced 
the Son of God to become incarnate, and suffer the 
just for the unjust, that he might redeem lost man. 
Love, glowing with bowels of compassion stronger 
than death, induced him to leave his native heaven 
and all the adoring hosts, to come into this world to 
do and suffer all that he did, that there might be jus- 
tification for the guilty, by grace. Redemption, by 
his death, proclaims grace unmeasurably great. 

The mission and agency of the Divine Spirit, are 
the result of this same gracious, incomparable love. 

27 U SER.MON XXi. 

In the human character there is nothing to merit the 
interference of this glorious Person on the behaU^ of 
mankind. The Holy Spirit comes to renew and 
sanctify him ; because without his agency in sanctiti- 
cation, he is undone. There is nothing amiable in 
the moral character of man, to merit or invite his de- 
scent and renewing influence. The miserable con- 
dition of the human race must be the only induce- 
ment to the Spirit of grace, to interfere in this impor- 
tant work. 

The several particulars, just mentioned, so plainly 
necessary to the justification of man, are the result 
of the unmerited love of God. And his justification 
itself, also flows entirely from the same gracious love. 
As grace, in all its operations, implies free unmerited 
favour; so believers may be said to be justified freely 
by the grace of God. The forgiveness of their sins, 
their acquittal from final condemnation, and their 
admission to the enjoyments of heaven, are all granted 
them freely and graciously, because God regard i$ 
them with unparalleled compassion ; and is therefore 
pleased to communicate to them these unspeakable 

3d. Let us now inquire in what sense believers 
are justified through Christ's redemption. Being 
justified freely by his grace, through the redemption 
that is in Christ Jesus. 

This expression doubtless implies, that the atoning 
sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the 
sole gro:ind of their justification. By these the Di- 
vine Redeemer made an atonement for the sins of 
mankind. In other words, he rendered to the law, 
character, and government of God, such peculiar 
honour as to make it consistent with their unchange- 
able nature and glory, that sinners should, on proper 
conditions, be forgiven. The pardon of the guilty 
and rebeUious, rendered an ator.ement absolutely 
necessary; for the sacred oracles declare, That 
without the shedding of blood, is no remission. 

bERMON XXI. 279 

And, that the blood of Christ is the righteousness by 
which God the Father justifies the believer in Jesus, 
appears evident, from the shedding of the blood of 
beasts in sacrifice, under the law of Moses. These 
were all types of the great sacrifice that was to be 
oflfered in due time. They had no efficacy in them- 
selves to atone for sin; but pointed the believing Jews 
to the blood of their Redeemer, for pardon. 

The important errand for which Christ came into 
this world, was to make an atonement. Hence, he 
was set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his 
blood, to declare God's righteousness, that He might 
be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in 
Jesus. Moreover, believers are represented to be 
healed by his stripes, to be reconciled to God by 
his death, and to be justified by his blood. In whom 
we have redemption through his blood, the forgi^^e- 
ness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. 
Thus we are taught, that God justifies believers 
solely on Christ's account. And Christ's once offer- 
ing up himself a sacrifice for sin, is the only ground 
of justification. But how is the atonement of Christ, 
the ground of pardon ? It is the reason for which the 
Lord can consistently justify the penitent : Or it is 
that to which he has respect, when he delivers from 
the curse of the law. If perfect obedience were 
the ground of justification, man would be cut off'; on 
the ground, that all have sinned and come short of 
the glory of God. The whole world are guilty 
before him ; therefore, by the deeds of the law, there 
shall no flesh be justified in his sight. Neither can 
the obedience of the gospel be the ground of justi- 
fication before God : for the gospel requires all who 
embrace it, to obey all its precepts; but the lives of 
the most pious are very imperfect. And should any 
one who enAbraces the gospel, live a life of perfect 
obedience through the remainder of his days, his 
obedience could not be accounted a ransom ; for he 
would, have done no more than his duty : and the law 


%vould have demands for sins previously committed. 
Moreover, should a man live a thousand years and 
daily do many more righteous deeds than his duty 
required, these could not be the ground of his justi- 
fication in the sight of God ; for the law threatens 
death, or everlasting punishment for every transgres- 
sion. Hence, even such a life of superabounding 
good works, could not atone for one sin. 

A sinner has nothing in himself, nor is it possible 
he ever should have any thing, that could render it 
proper and reasonable that he should, out of respect 
to that, be forgiven and received to favour. Nothing 
that can be done by him to make atonement for his 
sins, will do any thing towards removing the curse of 
the divine law. No consequent obedience can atone 
for transgression, so as to remove or even mitigate 
the curse. The proclamation is gone forth from the 
throne of the great Eternal, Cursed is everyone 
that continueth not in all things written in the book 
of the law to do them. But Christ is the end of the 
law for righteousness : That is, he was made a curse, 
that he might deliver all who believe in him from the 
curse of the law. And now God can be just, can 
act consistently with his righteousness ; make a glo- 
rious display of his law and government, and main- 
tain all the divine rights, whilst he justifies the 
believer. In this view, the divine word represents 
all favour, the forgiveness of sin, and eternal life to be 
bestowed upon men, not out of regard to their 
righteousness and worthiness, but purely for the sake 
of Christ ; wholly from a regard to the atonement 
which he made by his own blood. The whole that 
is comprised in redemption, flows through Christ : 
that is, on his account and for his sake. \ perfect 
righteousness does indeed recommend to the divine 
favour. This the justified sinner has not in himself, 
but in Christ ; whose righteousness is unto all, and 
upon all them that believe. 

Being justified freely by his grace through the 


redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath 
set forth to be a propitiation. 

The term rcdemptian^ as used in the word of God, 
sometimes has reference to the atonement of Christ ; 
and, in other instances, it relates to the actual re- 
deeming of sinners from sin and death. Perhaps 
both senses are included by the word, as it is ex- 
pressed in the text. The term propitiation^ however? 
is pecuharly expressive of Christ's atoning sacrifice, 
and its proper import is his atonement. 

The word atonement^ in its original sense, denotes 
isome amends, or satisfaction, for the neglect of 
some duty, or the commission of some fault. An 
atonement for a crime committed against a govern- 
ment of any kind, supposes the offender, if he re- 
ceive the benefit of it, to be pardoned. In this case, 
it must be such as to leave the government in as good 
a state, as firm, as honourable, as easily and surely 
efficacious in its future operations after the offender 
is pardoned, as it would have been if he had been 
punished with exact justice. In no other manner 
can it become a satisfaction for the injury. U all 
the services of the offender in this case, were due to 
the government after his crime was committed, it 
would be impossible for the atonement to be made, 
unless by another person. Sin is a crime committed 
against the government of God. All the services of 
sinners are owed to him, even while they transgress. 
No future services of any sinner, therefore, can be 
any satisfaction for his past sins. If an atonement 
be made in this case, then, it must be made by a sub- 
stitute ; and this substitute must be able to render 
services of sufficient value to repair the injury done. 
In the performance of these services, he must leave 
the divine government as firm, as honourable, as effi- 
cacious in its operations, after the atonement is made, 
as it was before the crime was committed. 

The government of God over his moral creatures, 
is a moral government: that is, a government of 



rules and motives ; or of laws, rewards, and punish- 
ments. Such a government, even in the hands of 
Omnipotence, may become weak and inefficacious in 
the view of its subjects. A law, which, after it has 
been violated, is not vindicated by punishing the 
violater, loses, of course, a part of its authority. 
A moral governour will cease to be regarded with 
veneration, if, when he is insulted by his subjects, he 
do not inflict on them the proper punishment. And 
a moral government cannot be preserved, unless the 
motives to obedience be continued, to the view of 
its subjects, in full tbrce. 

An atonement for sin, therefore, that is, a complete 
atonement, must be such as to leave these motives 
wholly unimpaired. It must consist of such services, 
as whatever else may be their nature, will, after the 
transgressors are pardoned, leave the government 
of God in no degree less venerable, less efficacious, 
or less likely to be punctually obeyed, than before 
their sins were committed. As these sins have been 
very numerous and very great, it is further evident, 
that the services rendered as a satisfaction for them, 
must be of great value. And Christ, both by his 
obedience and sufFerings, has magnified the law and 
made it honourable. With the sacrifice that he 
made, or the redemption that he wrought, the Father 
was well pleased. When his soul was made an oflfer- 
ing for sin, the highest honour redounded to the 
Supreme Ruler, to his law and government. 

Let us now view the sinner as a bankrupt debtor, 
who owed ten thousand talents, but had nothing to 
pay. He has transgressed in innumerable instances 
and is utterly unable to atone for one of his trans- 
gressions. The law of God he has every way violated; 
and there is no possibility of his making amends. 
He has destroyed himself; and with all his resources, 
help is not to be found from a finite arm. In vain may 
h,e look to the law for justification, which can onlv 
denounce etexnal condemnation. 


Now, if such an one be ever pardoned, it must be 
solely on the account of the atonement oi Christ. 
His redemption must be the only ground of his for- 
giveness and acceptance in the sight of God. And, 
ill this sense of the term, justification, repentance, 
faith, and a holy life, have not the least possible claim. 
Nor does even divine grace form any part of it, as a 
procuring cause in this view ; for the sole foundation 
is Christ's atoning death. To justify, is a phrase of 
almost the same import, as to pardon ; when we 
consider the ground, or that on the account of which 
God justifies the ill-deserving. 

4th. Let us now attend to the inquiry, in what 
sense believers are justified by faith. Beiiigjustified 
freely by his grace, through the redemption that is 
in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a 
propitiation, through faith in his blood. 

The expression, throt^gh faith in his bloody is most 
expressive ; that faith is the bond of union by wliich 
believers become united to Christ, so as to be repre- 
sented as one with him, and to be accoui ted his 
members. As the branches are united to the vine, 
so believers, by a beautiful figure, are said to be uni- 
ted to Christ by faith. It is by this vital union, that 
his atoning blood is applied to them, through uhich 
th-'y receive the full pardon of their sii-s. In this 
vie»v we can sr^e the propriety of the declaration, that 
believers are justified by iaith, as they could rot be 
justified vvithoat it ; ibr iaith is exhibited as the great 
term or condition of salvation, Beheve on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Hence it is 
obvious, that faith is the medium, the instrument, or 
hand, as it were, with which believers accept the 
offered good, and lay hold on eternal life. 

To become interested in the atonement of Christ, 
so as to be justified on its accou'it, and for his sake, 
mankind must be united to him by such a union as 
will constitute them members of the body, of which 
he is the head. This union and the consequent re- 


lation which al^e formed between Christ and the justi- 
fied, are represented in the sacred oracles by various 
sitnihtudes: By the union of the branches with the 
vine, by which they are one, having the same sap and 
life, running through the whole: By the head and 
members, which make one body: By the union 
of hiisband and wife, by which they become one 
flesh, and the wife shares in the riches, worthiness, 
and honours of the husband ; even though antece- 
dent to this union^ she had been poor and unworthy 
bf him. This union of the justified with Christ, is 
often expressed by their being in him, and abiding 
in him. 

Notwithstanding the atonement of Christ is com- 
plete, as a ground of pardon for the sins of all men ; 
or in other words, is a propitiation for the sins of the 
whole world; still, this does not put any impenitent 
sinner in such a state as to entitle him to the forgive- 
ness of his sins, and to eternal life. Every sinner 
wiJl as certainly perish in his iniquities, as if there 
had been no such Redeemer; unless a moral and 
vital union take place between him and the Saviour. 
by his cordial approbation of his character, of his 
design, and of what he has done and suffi3red for the 
sake of the salvation of lost men. Hence, he must 
be cordially united to him in the character he sustains 
as the Redeemer of sinners. It is morally improper 
and incongruous, therefore morally impossible that 
he should have any interest in the atonement of 
Christ, so as to be pardoned out of respect to that ; 
while with his whole heart he opposes and rejects 
him, and is not disposed to come to him that he might 
have life. While in such a state, there is moral dis- 
cord between him and the Redeemer : an opposition 
and refusal to the gracious saving union and relation 
to him by faith, as he alone is proposed in the gospel. 

Let an example be noticed for the sake of ill us*- 
tration. Suppose a rich and most worthy prince 
should offer himself to a woman, poor and greatly 


in debt, to become her husband ; consequently to 
render her rich, respectable, and honourable. Now 
this proposal could not *put her in the possession of 
these benefits, nor give her the least claim or title 
to them, unless she should consent to take him as 
her husband, and cordially receive him as he offers 
himself. Yea, by refusing his glorious proffer, she 
would announce to all the subjects of his kingdom, 
her consummate folly and unworthiness. Thus we 
see, it is by accepting the offer and by the marriage 
covenant, that the union and relation of husband and 
wife takes place, and unites the two as one. They are 
accounted the united head of their family,and have one 
common interest. So no sinner can obtain an interest 
in the unspeakable blessings of Christ's atonement, 
unless there be a real consent of the heart, and living 
union by faith ; by which moral union they are in such 
a sense and degree,one: that the sinner,now justified, 
becomes entitled to the marvellous and inconceiva- 
ble benefits of redemption. 

These remarks render it obvious, that faith is an 
essential qualification on the part of man, as a pre- 
requisite to his being pardoned. Hence, it is the 
term o^ justification and salvation. Mankind, in an 
unrenewed state, are ruined and helpless. To them 
in such a state, Christ is offered as a Saviour on the 
condition that they will become his ; that they will 
come to him, or give themselves up to him. The 
act by which this voluntary surrender is accomplish- 
ed, is the faith of the gospel, and is justly denomi- 
nated justifying faith. When the soul thus renders 
itself into the hands of Christ, it complies with his 
own terms. It casts off all former dependence on 
its own righteousness for acceptance with God: 
for forgiveness and justification. Conscious of its 
entire unworthiness and desert of the Divine anger, 
the reality and greatness of its guilt, the justice of 
its condemnation, and the impossibihty of expiating 
its own sins, it casts itself at the footstool of Divine 


mercy, as a suppliant for mere pardon ; and welcomes 
Christ as the glorious, efficacious, and all-sufficient 
atonement for sin and intercessor for sinners. With 
these views and affections, it yields itself up to him 
with an entire confidence in all that he hath taught, 
done, and suffered in the glorious character of Me- 
diator between God and man. Therefore, being 
justified by faith, we have peace with God through 
our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom, also, we have access 
by faith into this grace wherein ye now stand, and 
rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

Thus we may clearly see, that faith is the means 
by which man, in the economy of redemption, be- 
comes entitled to its inestimable blessings, ft is not 
only the instrument of justification, but may be con- 
sidered as the hinge on which the whole evangeli- 
cal system turns. He that believeth on the Son, 
hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not, 
shall not see life. These declarations, show that all 
the future interests of man are suspended on his 
faith. Generally, all those passages which speak of 
maxikind as justified and saved by the blood and by 
the death of Christ, indicate, in an unequivocal man- 
ner, that our faith especially respects this as its 
object ; because his death is, in a peculiar sense, 
the cause of our salvation : since by ih^s, he became 
a propitiation for the sins of the world. The faith 
of the gospel always respects Christ as its object. 
Hence, says St. John, To him that worketh not, but 
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith 
is counted for righteousness. To him that justifieth 
the ungodly, that is, who pardons and accepts the 
guilty, the rebellious, when they exercise evangeli- 
cal faith. Now it must appear indispensible to all, 
that their faith must respect Christ as its especial 
object; that whenever this is the fact, they are 
assured of everlasting life ; and wherever it is not, 
they shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth 
on them. 


Now why are mankind justified by faith, rather 
than by any other christian grace ? Says the apostle, 
Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by 
faith, without the deeds of the law. Doubtless faith 
is made the sole term of justification; because it is 
the only act which embraces Christ and confides in 
his atonement for the full pardon of sin. Supreme 
love to God, repentance for sin, and all other Chris- 
tian graces, are exercised in the view of different 
objects ; and in this view, are essentially different in 
their natures. Then justification is annexed to faith, 
because it is that attribute, or act of the soul, which 
receives Christ as an atoning and all-sufficient Sav- 
iour, as he is freely offered in the gospel. 

5th. Let us now inquire, in what sense believers 
are justified by works? Ye see, then, how that by 
works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 

This expression, with the subject inseparable in 
its connexion, most emphatically establishes the 
doctrine, that a man is justified by an evangelical 
and not by a speculative faith ; by a living, and not 
by a dead faith. That is, by a faith which is produc- 
tive of works, or of a godly life. Hence, obedience 
to the requisitions of the gospel, would be the best 
evidence of the genuineness of a man's faith. In 
this manner, a justifying faith would appear to be 
real, well grounded, rooled in love, and not spuri- 
ous. Thus the method is pointed out, by which we 
are to manifest, or prove our justification by faith, 
to our fellow-men, to ourselves, and to our God. 
To elucidate these remarks, let me notice that there 
are two kinds of faith mentioned in the scriptures, 
essentially and totally distinct in their natures. The 
one consists in a speculative belief, or mere assent 
of the understanding to probable evidence. The 
other, is that gracious confidence in Christ, orthe 
faith of the gospel. From the former of these, obedi- 
ence to God never sprang, and cannot spring. The 
latter is in its own nature, productive of obedience. 

288 SERMON XXf. 

St. James introduces his discussion of this subject, 
with these questions: What doth it profit, my brethren, 
though a man say he. hath faith, and have not works? 
can fdith save him ? Undoubtedly it can, if it can 
justify him. But such a faith implies not the least 
shadow of evidence of its being of a saving nature. 
The justifying faith of the gospel, is the faith which 
worketh by love and purifieth the heart ; the faith 
by which alone man believeth unto righteousness. 

The uselessness of a faith unproductive of works, 
St. James then elucidates, by an allusion to an in- 
active and worthless benevolence. If a brother or 
sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and 
one of you say unto them, Depart in peace ; be ye 
warmed and filled, notwithstanding ye gave them 
not those things which are needful to the body, 
what doth it profit ? As such philanthropy is not 
only of no use, and therefore, of no value, but a 
reproach to him who professes it, because his con- 
duct gives the lie to his professions, so the faith of 
him who believes the gospel and whose life is not 
governed by its all important doctrines and precepts, 
is equally destitute of worth, and reproachful to his 
character. In the words of the apostle. Even so 
faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 

Next it is proved^ in the strongest manner, that 
such a faith is not the faith of a Christian. Yea, a 
man may say. Thou hast faith and I have works : 
Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will 
show thee my faith by my works. Christ taught the 
great doctrine, that his disciples were to be known 
by their fruits only ; and that these were the true, 
regular, and invariable proofs of that faith by which 
they were constituted Christians. But the faith, that 
is without works, is wholly destitute of the grand 
characteristicks of that faith which is a well spring 
of water, flowing out unto everlasting life. Conse- 
quently, it cannot be of the nature of justifying faith. 

Now let us attend to declarations which exhibit 

SERMOif XXI. 289 

the present subject in a light so clear, as to ptesent 
the truth beyond controversy. Thou believest that 
there is one God ; thou doest well : the devils also 
believe and tremble. The devils are the subjects 
of speculative belief; but it will not be pretended, 
that they can be the subjects of justifying faith. It 
is impossible for fallen angels to exercise this kind of 
faith, as a Saviour was never provided for them nor 
the means of redemption in their behalf made known. 
Neither can holy angels exercise the saving faith of 
the gospel, as they need no Saviour and no pardon. 
And if guilty man should believe in the existence of 
a God, and tremble in view of his natural and moral 
perfections, the nature of his faith would be the same 
as that of the devils. No good works would be the 

With precision let the subject be exhibited under 
a different form. But wilt thou know, O vain man ! 
that faith without works is dead ? Vain man, or hypo- 
crite. But surely the faith of the hypocrite, is not 
the faith of the gospel. It is the contrast most cer- 
tainly. It is not a living, but a dead faith. 

If we compare such a faith with that of Abraham, 
the subject will be farther illustrated. Was not 
Abraham, our father, justified by works, when he had 
offered up Isaac, his son, upon the altar? Seest 
thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works 
was made perfect ? And the scripture was fulfilled, 
which saith, Abraham believed God : and it was im- 
puted to him for righteousness. And he was called 
the friend of God. Ye see, then, how that by works 
a man is justified, and not by faith only. These ex- 
pressions plainly evince, that the faith of Abraham 
was the genuine faith of the gospel ; a real, opera-^ 
tive confidence in the promises of God. This it 
showed in a very forcible manner ; because he man- 
ifested singularly great and self-denying obedience. 

St. James repeats the passages in three different 
instances ; and clearly proves the same doctrine to 



be the main thing on which he meant to insist, in 
these concise and emphatical words. For as the 
body without the spirit is dead, so faith without 
works is dead also. The true import of these words, 
is not that evangelical faith is ever a dead faith ; for 
it cannot exist without being operative of good 
works. But such a faith as is unproductive of Chris- 
tian obedience is a mere speculative, lifeless faith. 
Hence, a man is justified by works; as they are the 
consequence, fruit, and evidence of a saving justify- 
ing faith. 

We are now naturally led to the true sense of the 
following declaration : Now to him that worketh 
not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, 
his faith is counted for righteousness. By the ex- 
pression, to him that worketh not^ is evidently to be 
understood, one who does not attempt to work, to 
recommend himself to the favour of God by his 
moral goodness, so as to be justified by the deeds of 
th^ law. He renounces all pretence and expecta- 
tion of acceptance in this manner, by his works. In 
opposition to working, so as to render himself worthy 
of a reward in a legal sense, and to bring God in debt 
to him, his hope is founded in the faith of the gospel, 
to which the promise of pardon is annexed. The 
following reason is subjoined. Now to him that 
worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of 

Hence, even good works, those which are truly 
evangelical, are not designed to recommend a man 
to the divine favour; but to be an evidence of pardon, 
acceptance, and justification by faith. They are to 
be a manifestation, that our faith is genuine, the faith 
of the gospel, which, through the grace of God, is 
saving, or is connected with the promise of salvation. 


1st. This subject exhibits evidence, that the gospel 
furnishes a consistent scheme of salvation to man- 


kind. The gospel takes man, where it finds him, in 
a state of sin and ruin ; condemned by the law of 
God to final perdition, and incapable of justification 
by his own righteousness. In this situation, it an- 
nounces to him a Saviour, divinely great and glori- 
ous; divinely excellent and lovely, assuming his 
nature, to become an expiation for his sins ; reveal- 
ing to him the way of reconciliation to God, and of 
eternal salvation. The terms on which he may be 
reconciled, it discloses with exact precision and per- 
fect clearness. Repentance towards God, faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and a godly Hfe, include them all. 
They are terms the most reasonable in themselves, and 
productive of incomprehensible good to all who 
embrace them. The way of salvation is here become 
a highway; and way-faring men, though fools, 
need not err therein. Natural religion does not hold 
forth the method of return and reconciliation to God. 
It is the rehgion of the law, which proclaims. Do 
these things, and thou shalt live : but the soul that 
sinneth, shall die. We have sinned, and the sentence 
pronounced on those who disobey, is a sentence of 
final condemnation. In such a situation, what man, 
not lost to sense and thought, would not hail the 
dawn of the gospel with transport ; and joyfully wel- 
come the clear rising of the Sun of righteousness, to 
illume his path through this melancholy world, to 
dispel the darkness of the grave, and brighten his 
passage to the heavens ! 

2d. In the light of this subject, we may see that 
we are under unspeakable obhgations of gratitude 
to each of the Divine persons in the Godhead. 

In view of the unbounded grace of God as the 
originating, moving cause of justification, praise un- 
speakable is due to the Father, who devised the 
great plan of man's redemption ; by which sinners, 
entirely ruined, are in a savable state. Neither men 
nor angels could have been adequate for devising 
the wondrous scheme. Matchless the wisdom, and 


matchless the grace ! Had the Father refused to 
oflfer his Son, that he might become a sacrifice for 
gin, the case of man must have been as hopeless 
as that of the sinning angels. Every one of the 
human family must inevitably have had their portion 
in endless perdition. 

And when the Father had devised' the plan, and 
proposed the terms to the Son, that redemption 
should be purchased by his blood, had the Son been 
unwilling and rejected the proposal, none of the 
guilty sons and daughters of Adam could have 
escaped hell and obtained heaven. All must have 
^unk down to the regions of sorrow and everlasting 
despair. But the Son, for the honour and glory of 
his Father, and in the most tender compassion for a 
world of sinners in a desperate condition, says, Lo ! 
I come : I delight to do thy will, O my God. Hence, 
in the fulness of time. He made himself of no re- 
putation, and took upon him the form of a servant, 
and was made in the likeness of man. And being 
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and 
became obedient unto death, even the death of the 
cross. And are the atoning sulTerings and death of 
the Lord Jesus Christ the sole ground of pardon, or 
that on the account of which God the Father justi- 
fies any of this rebellious world ? Then how un- 
speakable are the obligations of gratitude to the 

And as believers are justified by a living faith 
which is productive of works, equal praise is due 
to the Holy Spirit. All mankind are so dead 
in trespasses and sins, as to stand in perishing need 
of his divine renewing influence to work in their 
hearts evangelical faith, which alone embraces a 
Saviour, and is connected with a godly life. Unless 
the Divine Spirit enable them to work out their 
salvation, they would draw back unto perdition. 
Through his agency the blood of Christ is applied, 
the work of grace perfected, and the soul prepared 


for immortal glory. In the economy of redemption, 
and in the view of the different senses of justifica- 
tion, each of the divine persons has claims for the 
most lively gratitude for interminable ages. 

Then let ns give to the Father prai?c. 

Give glory to the Son ; 
And to the Spirit of his grace, 

Be equal honours done. 

Let all the redeemed shout aloud for joy; and 
whilst for ever exulting in the Author of their salva- 
tion, give glory to the Father, to the Son, and to 
the Holy Ghost. 

3rd. This subject renders it evident, that they who 
reject the atonement of Christ, can have no well- 
grounded hope of obtaining the divine favour. 

Without a vital, operative faith, no saving benefit 
can result to mankind from the redemption that is in 
Christ Jesus. A mere ground for pardon, though 
ever so complete, cannot profit those who refuse 
compliance with the proposed condition. And, in- 
deed, a mere speculative, dead faith, and a rejected 
Saviour, will serve to sink the soul down to the 
lowest abodes of perdition. How peculiar the guilt of 
setting at nought the singular, the eminently divine 
goodness of God, manifested in the wonderful pro- 
vision for the recovery of lost man ! It is beyond the 
power of man to conceive in what manner they could 
more contemptuously despise the divine character, 
or in what manner they could more insolently affront 
the divine grace and mercy. Shall rebel man sit in 
impenitence from the cradle to the grave, under the 
noon-day light of the gospel ? Shall he in unbelief, 
bask through life, in the beams of the Sun of right- 
eousness ? Such ingratitude is wonderful ; such inso- 
lence, amazing ; such guilt, incomprehensible. Still 
by what multitudes is the Redeemer of sinners, re- 
garded with cold-hearted unbelief and stupid indif- 
ference ! How often is his glorious name profaned and 
blasphemed by those to whom he is offered as a 


Saviour from sin and death. By how many is he 
treated with open opposition and avowed contempt, 
till they launch hopeless into eternity ! 

4th. We may see that the promised rewards of 
the gospel to believers for all their good works, are 
rewards of grace. 

. All will grant that the rewards of the gospel must 
be of grace, and not of debt; since the salvation of 
believers has its origin and completion wholly found- 
ed in the grace of God, and through the redemption 
that is in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul, speaking 
of future retribution in his epistle to the Romans, 
teaches that God will render to every man according 
to his deeds. To them who by patient continuing 
in well-doing, seek for glory and honour and immor- 
tality, eternal life. Hence, they who shall have 
done but little for the honout and glory of God, will 
not receive so great a reward as those that shall have 
been more faithful, having suffered all manner of 
persecution for Christ's sake. The same apostle 
encourages the Hebrews to good works, in the follow- 
ing strain : God is not unrighteous to forget your 
work and labour of love, which ye have showed to- 
wards his name, in that ye have ministered to the 
saints, and do minister. Again : He which soweth 
sparingly, shall reap also sparingly : and he which 
soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. Love 
ye your enemies, and do good ; and lend, hoping for 
nothing again, and your reward shall be great. 

Various remarks might be made which would show 
that the rewards of the gospel, promised according 
to works and for works, are rewards of grace. This 
is evidently true; for sinners who cannot be justified 
by the deeds of the law, could not be the subjects of 
reward in any other way. If their obedience, faith- 
fulness, or sufferings, shoidd ever be rewarded, it 
must, for various reasons, be wholly of grace. 

It was the grace of God that proposed a new and 
living way of salvation by a Redeemer. And without 


an atonement, mankind could not have been placed 
on probationary ground ; consequently they could 
never have been in a state whereby it would be con- 
sistent for rewards to be bestowed or promised. 
That they are in a state of probation, called upon to 
repent and work righteousness; and encouraged to 
faithfulness from promises of everlasting rewards, is 
to be ascribed to the free grace of God, through the 
redemption of his Son. Hence, all the rewards 
promised for works, must be rewards of grace. 

Moreover, it is the grace of God that calls upon 
mankind, awakens, renews, sanctifi- s, and enables 
them to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. Even 
while they work out their salvation with fear and 
trembling, it is God, by his holy and gracious Spirit, 
that worketh in them to will and to do of his good 
pleasure. And since their obedience is not that of 
sinless perfection by the deeds of the law, but of faith 
in the Redeemer, and that by grace, their salvation 
and consequent glorious eternal rewards, are the 
effect of grace from the foundation to the top stone. 

5th. This subject should serve to prevent injurious 
disputes among professed Christians, concerning 
their justification. Unprofitable contentions do some- 
times arise, concerning this subject; because the 
ieYin justification^^ not understood in the same sense. 
The question of dispute, is generally this : Whether 
believtirs be justiiied wholly and absolutely on the 
account of the atonement of Christ ? In the light of 
this subject we see that they are, in one of the senses 
in which the term justification is used. The sacred 
scriptures no where teach us that they are justified 
partly on account of their own righteousness, and 
partly on the account of the righteousness of Christ. 

When a man is said to be justified by grace, in 
this view his justification must be attributed wholly 
to the grace of God as the originating first cause. 
JHiis works can claim no merit, nor form any part. 

When justification is mentioned through the re- 

296 SERMON xxr. 

demption of Christ Jesus, his atoning sufferings are 
the sole and absolute ground ; as believers obtain the 
pardon of their sins, wholly on Christ's account. 

If a man be said to be justified by faith, that vital 
union by which he becomes united to Christ, is to be 
understood as the sole means of his justification. A 
living, operative faith is the great stipulated term by 
which he receives the glorious benefits of redemp- 
tion. Faith, which worketh by love, is an essential 
qualification on the part of man, before he can be 

As it respects the way of salvation and jthe ground 
of pardon for sin, Christ is indeed all in all for justifi- 
cation in the sight of God. There can be no part, 
no claim, no merit whatever from any other quarter, 
in this view of the present subject. 

Still, without evangelical faith, a man cannot be- 
come interested in the redemption of Christ Jesus. 
He must have the qualifications prescribed in the 
gospel, as a pre-requisite on his part, or he can never 
be admitted into the kingdom of heaven. Unless a 
man, in a moral sense become a new creature, all 
that Christ has done and suffered, cannot avail, can- 
not profit him. He must have the terms, specified in 
the gospel, in his own person; must have Christ 
formed in the soul, the hope of glory, by the renew- 
ing of the Holy Spirit, or he cannot be justified by 
Christ, by faith, nor by works. Except the soul be 
renewed and sanctified by the Divine Spirit, while 
in the body, and rendered perfectly holy before it be 
ushered into the immediate presence of its Judge, 
there will be no atonement and no intercessions of 
the Son of God, to deliver or prevent it from depart- 
ing into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil 
and his angels. 

Thus we may see, that the atonement of Christ, 
and the obedience of believers, have no inter- 
mixture in justification. The one forms no part of 
the other. Both the nature and end of each are en- 


iirely separate and distinct. The one is the founda- 
tion, the sole ground of pardon, and claims the glory 
of eternal salvation. The other consists in the mere 
qualification, or preparedness of the soul for the 
favour of God, and the employments of heaven ; and 
ascribes to him all the praise for the unspeakably 
gracious and glorious blessings of the gospel. The 
one is an invaluable ransom offered, and most glori- 
ous consequent blessings included ; the other flows 
from their acceptance. 

If professed Christians would form distinct views 
of the term jusltfication^ as it is used in its several 
senses, in the word of God, conversation on this 
subject, for edification, would take the place of 
painful disputes, calculated to darken the under- 
standing and increase prejudice. If the subject be 
clearly understood in its various relations and uses^ 
why cannot the Methodists and Presbyterians be at 
peace in regard to this point ? M ist it not be their 
misconceptions, or misunderstanding of each other, 
that can at any time, set them at variance ? When- 
ever they discourse or argue about the glorious 
doctrine of gospel justification, let it be in the spirit 
of meekness, and for mutual benefit : but not a 
striving for the mastery. Let them regard their glo- 
rious and divine Redeemer and the salvation of the 
redeemed, as subjects too valuable to be the theme 
of bitter and hostile reproaches. 

6th. This subject, with light and force, presents 
itself to the understanding and conscience of every 
ungodly impenitent sinner, that he repent and believe 
on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every soul of man is so 
polluted with sin, as to be an infinite debtor to the 
grace of God, if ever saved with an everlasting sal- 
vation. And who has not already committed sins of 
a nature so odious, and to that extent, as to need the 
atoning blood of the Son of God for pardon ? But 
in addition to the divine law being everyway violated, 
will a Saviour set at nought, despised, and rejected, 


298 SERMON xxr'. 

deliver from perdition impenitent, unbelieving, Christ- 
less sinners ? No ; Such a dishonour, a reproach so 
unparalleled, no intelligent in heaven could endure ! 
Reader, the inconceivable and eternal glories of the 
gospel must be yours, must be cordially embraced in 
your heart by faith, or all its curses will be poured 
out upon you as your inevitable doom. God is not 
mocking you in the declarations of his holy word ; 
in the terms of acceptance and justification, neither 
in his promises, nor his threatenings. Christ must be 
your Saviour from sin and eternal death, or he will 
be your Judge to sentence you to everlasting punish- 
ment. Then may you and I duly reflect how happy, 
what blessed beings, we shall be for eternity ! if we 
believe in him to the saving of our souls. By faith, 
then, may we embrace him as our God and Saviour^ 
our divine and glorious Redeemer. Amen,- 



Ecclesiastes xii. 7, 

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it loas : and the 
spirit shall return to God ivho gave it. 

In the beginning of this chapter, Solomon enforces 
upon the joung the importance of an early remem- 
brance of their Creator, by a consideration of the 
evils incident to old age. The gloom, feebleness, 
and despondency of this period of life, are arrayed 
before the mind in a series of images, of remarkable 
elegance and expressiveness, in old age, the relish 
for the pleasures of life, is lost; and men grow indifl 
ferent even to those objects, which once occasioned 
the most agreeable sensations. Hence, the sun with 
its pleasant light, the fair moon and radiant stars, are 
as it were, obscured to them : or the imagination, 
memory, and judgement, the lights of the mind, are 
so impaired, that they seem darkened. One afflic- 
tion or pain, succeeds another, as clouds return after 
showers in a rainy season. The hands and arms, 
with which a man defends himself from assaults and 
accidents, as watchmen keep the house, grow feeble, 
tremble, and falter when their help is requisite. The 
legs and thighs which as strong men support the body, 
seem in old age, to bend under its weight. The 
teeth which used to grind the food, are most of them 
gone; and the few that remain, become useless. The 
eyes, by which the soul looked as it were, out at the 
windows, grow dim. In such a melancholy state, 
men have no inclination to eat; as they cannot grind 
or chew their food without pain and difficulty. And 


they keep at home, retired, having their doors shut 
towards the street. Their rest is so easily disturbed, 
that they awake and rise up uneasy and alarmed at 
the least noise, even at the singing of a bird. The 
voice and the ear, those daughters of musick, are no 
longer capable of performing their functions ; or the 
spirits are too languid to attend with satisfaction. 
Every ascent in the way terrifies them, on account of 
the labour of climbing ; and they shun every high 
place, through fear of tailing. Their heads covered 
with silver locks, seem to blossom like the almond 
tree : And every little inconvenience, though but the 
weight or chirping of a grass-hopper, is a burden to 
them. They are bowed down, and draw nigh to the 
end of their journey, and to the house appoiiited for 
all the living. 

When these things take place, then the silver cord 
will be loosed, which may mean the inexplicable bond 
of union between the soul and body ; or the spinal 
marrow, which continues sensation by the nerves, 
from the brain to every part of the body. Or the 
whole verse may be a description of the functions of 
life, taken from a well, where is a cord to the bowl 
or bucket, with which the water is drawn ; a wheel, 
by which it is the more ea«ily raised ; a cistern, into 
which it may be poured ; and a pitcher, or vessel, 
with which it is C!arried away : but now all are 
broken, or loosened and become useless. Thus at 
death, the lungs no more play ; tlie heart ceases to 
beat, and the blood to circulate. Every vessel 
becomes useless : The whole surprising machinery 
for forming and communicating the blood, which is 
the life, fi'om the fountain of the heart to every ex- 
tremity of the body, is now entirely deranged. The 
silver cord is loosed; the golden bowl broken; the 
pitcher and the wheel are marred at once. 

Thus, when animal life shall cease, and the myste- 
i^ibus union of soul and body shall be dissolved, then 
shall the dust, or the material frame, return unto the 


ear til as it was, and mingle with its original dust. 
How great and affecting the ehaiige ! What was 
once animate, now becomes inanimate : What was 
once life and activity, becomes lifeless and inactive : 
What was once a regular organized body, becomes 
irregular, disarranged particles of dust : And what 
was once the beauty and dehght of the eye, becomes 
deformity and a loathsome mass of corruption. The 
decree went forth against our first parents. Dust 
thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. They were 
the subjects of its execution, and innumerable of 
their descendants have followed them. Abraham 
viewed himself as constantly liable to be turned to 
clay, for he says, I have taken upon me to speak unto 
the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. Job, who 
was once dear and lovely to his friends, became 
loathsome and offensive to them, even while life re- 
mained. His proclamation is, My flesh is clothed 
with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, 
and become loathsome. What a melancholy de- 
scription! Our souls sicken at the disgusting recol- 
lection. Hear his interrogation concerning the human 
race: Shall mortal man be more just than God? 
shall a man be more pure than his Maker ? Behold, 
he put no- trust in his servants,' and his angels he 
charged with folly : How much less in them, that 
dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the 
dust, which are crushed before the moth. 

The declaration of Jehovah, is. All flesh shall 
perish together, and man shall turn again to the dust. 
The united voice of the inspired writers, every age 
and nation attest. It is appointed unto man once to 

Two things are worthy of notice in relation to the 
human body. The first is its vast superiority over 
all the animal creation, in regard to the erectaess of 
its form, the nobleness of its frame, the admirable 
texture, and wonderful arrangement of its animated 
particles. None of the creatures upon earth will 


hear a comparison to its agreeable symmetry, its in- 
teresting aspect, and dignified structure. The second 
is its most loathsome situation, when turned to cor- 
ruption. No animal, when in its highest state of 
putrefaction, is so loathsome and disgusting as the 
human body. Perhaps it becomes as much more 
putrid and nauseous, as it was once the more beau- 
tiful and lovely. 

Doctor Dwight has the two following particulars, 
in regard to the things which immediately after 
death, respect the body. 

1st. That the body is changed into a corpse. 

Death is the termination of all the animal functions 
of our nature.. So long as these continue, life the 
result of them, diffuses warmth, activity, and beauty 
throughout our frame. In this state, the body is a 
useful as well as pleasing habitation for the soul; 
and a necessary, as well as convenient instrument 
for accomplishing the purposes to which it is destined 
in the present .world. But, when these functions 
cease, Hfe also ceases. The body then becomes 
cold, motionless, deformed, and useless. The form 
which once gave pleasure to all around it, now creates 
only pain and sorrow. The limbs are stiffened ; the 
face clouded with paleness ; the eyes closed in dark- 
ness; the ears deaf; the voice dumb; and the whole 
appearance ghastly and dreadful. In the mean time, 
the spirit deserts it ruined habitation and wings its 
way into the unknown vast of being. 

2d. The body is conveyed to the grave. 

Necessity compels the living to remove this de- 
cayed frame from their sight. Different nations have 
pursued different modes of accomplishing this pur- 
pose. By some nations, the body has been consumed 
with fire. By others, it has been embalmed. By 
some it has been lodged in tombs, properly so called. 
By others it has been consigned to vaults and cav- 
erns ; and by most has been buried in the grave. All 
nations, in whatever manner they have disposed of 



the remains of their departed friends, have, with one 
consent, wished like Abraham, to remove their dead 
out of their sight. 

In this situation, the body becomes the prey of 
corruption and the feast of worms. How humiUating 
an allotment is this to the pride of man ! When the 
conquerour, returned from the slaughter of millions, 
enters his capitol in triumph ; when the trumpet of 
fame proclaims his approach, and the shouts of mil- 
lions announce his victories; surrounded by the spoils 
of subjugated nations, and followed by trains of van- 
quished kings and heroes; how must his haughty 
spirit be lowered to the dust by the remembrance 
that within a few days, himself would become the 
food of a worm, reigning over him with a more abso- 
lute controul than he ever exercised over his slave. 
Yet this will be the real end of all his achievements. 
To this humble level must descend the tenant of the 
throne, as well as of the cottage. Here wisdom and 
folly, learning and ignorance, refinement and vulga- 
rity will lie down together. Hither moves with an un- 
conscious, but regular step, the beauty that illumines 
the gay assembly's gayest room ; that subdues the 
heart even of the conquerour himself; and says, I sit 
as queen and shall see no sorrow. All these may 
say, and ultimately must say to corruption, Thou art 
our father ; and to the worm. Thou art our mother and 
our sister. But we are not yet at the end of the progress. 
The next stage in our humiliation, is to be changed into 
dust. This was our origin : this is our end. The very 
clods on which we tread, were once, not improbably, 
parts to a greater or less extent, of living beings like 
ourselves. Not a small part of the surface of this 
world has, in all probability, been animated and in- 
habited by human minds : And the remains of man, 
are daily, perhaps as well as insensibly, turned up by 
the plough and the spade. 

2d. Let us attend to some reflections concerning 
the spirit or soul of man after death. 

304 SERMON xxn. 

First. Jit death the soul quits the body to return to it 
no more^ as an animal frame^ for its companion. 

At death, the animal functions cease ; or rather 
the cessation of them, is death itself. Then the flex- 
ibility, the power of action, and the consequent 
usefulness to which they gave birth, are terminated 
also. The soul, of course, finds the body no longer 
fitted to be an instrument of its wishes or its duties. 
The limbs can no longer convey it from place to 
place ; the tongue cannot communicate its thoughts, 
nor the hands execute its pleasure. Deprived of all 
its powers, the body becomes a useless and uncom- 
fortable residence, for a being to whose nature acti- 
vity is essential; and the purposes of whose creation, 
would be frustrated by a longer confinement to so 
unsuitable a mansion. We cannot wonder, therefore, 
that the Author of our being, should in his provi- 
dence, remove the soul from a situation so contradic- 
tory in all respects to the design of its existence. 
Though the body was once its beloved partner, yet 
utihty now demands an entire separation. And they 
are not only disunited, but their abodes are in dif- 
ferent worlds. Whilst the one is consigned to the 
mansions of the dead, the other becomes an inhabit- 
ant of the world of spirits. And whilst the one is 
deprived of all sensation and enjoyment, the other 
is rendered more sensible and active, and its happi- 
ness or misery augmented. 

Second. // certainly is possible for the soul thus to sur^ 
vive the body. 

There is nothing absurd in the belief, that the soul 
exists in a state of perfect consciousness when the 
body is deprived of animal life and of all sense, and 
turned to dust; for they are essentially dijfFerent in 
their natures. The one is a material substance, the 
other immaterial : The one is naturally sluggish, in- 
active, and unconscious ; but the other is by nature, 
alert, active, and conscious. Moreover, the soul is 
the at^ent which actuates and governs the body in all 

SERMON XXif. 3(Jta 

the various movements of life, in such a manner that 
the body is as it were a mere machine, performing all 
those things which the soul directs. It labours oi' 
rests; moves hastily or slowly; views distant or 
present objects at the discretion of this intelligent 
agent. Hence, it is the soul which denominates the 
person. Were we possessed of our present organ- 
ized bodies, and endued with animal life without the 
soul, we should not be constituted human beings; but 
would be sunk to the grade of the animal creation- 
St. James remarks, The body without the spirit, is 
dead : This expression favours the sentiment that 
the soul is distinct and can exist separate from the 
body. St. Peter calls the soul himself, and the body 
the tabernacle for the soul. His words are, Yea, I 
think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to 
stir you up by putting you in remembrance, knowing 
that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even 
as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. 

There is no more difficulty in supposing the soul 
of man to be capable of existing in a conscious and 
active state, when separated from the body, than in 
supposing any other spirit to be capable of existing 
and acting without a body. Are angels unembodied.'^ 
Why may not ^he spirits of deceased persons exist 
in a similar state ? Surely such a thing is more than 
possible ; and the belief of such existence is not in* 
consistent nor improbable. 

Third. Evidence may be derived from the great desire 
and universal expectation of mankind^ that the soul will 
exist y a conscious arid active beings after it has forsaken tht 

In the human breast there is a secret and strong 
desire of immortality. The soul, so averse to anni- 
hilation, shrinks at the very thought. As it is capa-- 
ble of making constant improvements in useful 
knowledge, so with all the opportunities of life and 
of age, it only makes a beginning towards its per- 
fdction. Hence, there is an ardent de^sire for im- 



mortality, and a strong aversion to the thought of 

Moreover, mankind are looking forward beyond 
the grave; some with awful, and others with joyful 
expectation. Human beings have apprehensions of 
future rewards and punishments so universally, that 
this appears to be the consent of all nations in every 
age of the world. The criminal condemned to 
death, fears the dreadful hour of his execution, not 
as the end of his being, but as the entrance into a 
world of strict retribution. The good man, with joy- 
ful anticipation, looks forward to the event of his 
dissolution, not merely as an end of his trials, but as 
the commencement of a glorious reward. Let us go 
to the solemn chambers of death, and inquire of 
those who are about to depart. The impenitent and 
unreconciled in heart to God, with deep distress, are 
constrained to express their awful apprehensions of 
an existence beyond the grave. On the other hand, 
the man of penitence and submission, with cheering 
expectation and ecstasy of expression, evinces his 
views of death as the gate to immortal glory. And 
the desire of immortality, and the universal expecta- 
tion of a future conscious existence, are not merely 
the effect of a religious education ; but they are sen- 
timents implanted in the active principles of our 
nature, by the Author of our being; and as it re- 
spects their propensity, are innate. They doubtless 
are improved by moral culture ; but their original is 

Fourth. The consideration of the present state oj 
things^ ivill furnish an argument of much weighty to prove 
the future existence of the human souL 

Divine Providence is so administered in the pre- 
sent world, as to furnish strong presumptive evidence, 
that there will be another state of human existence, 
as a world of righteous retribution. Do we believe 
that the supreme, moral governour and Disposer of 
all existences^ and events, is a being of the most per- 


feet righteousness and goodness? Then we must 
conclude that the present life is only a state of pro- 
bation ; for we cannot with clearness discern these 
important truths merely from the present dispensa- 
tion. No man knoweth either love or hatred, by all 
that is before him. Hence, then, there is nothing in 
the bestowment of favours, or the sending of judge- 
ments, which can enable us with assurance to deter- 
mine that God is perfectly righteous and good, should 
we confine our views solely to the present state of 
things. Were this the only state of existence for 
human beings, and should we judge from the allot- 
ments of Providence, we could not discern who 
were righteous, or who wicked ; who the friends of 
God, or who his enemies. We should be liable to 
pronounce the rich man the favourite of heaven, and 
Lazarus a son of perdition. And consequently, we 
could not determine with any degree of certainty, 
that the Lord loveth righteousness and hateth iniqui- 
ty ; for many of the righteous suffer very great and 
grievous calamities, drinking deeply of the cup of 
affliction, of poverty, and persecution; while some of 
the wicked, even the openly profane and licentious, 
are crowned with wealth and worldly prosperity, 
raised to great worldly honours, and followed with 
affluence to their graves. These remarks give con- 
clusive evidence, that this world is not designed as a 
state of righteous retribution ; but as a state of pro- 
bation, in which characters are formed, and souls 
prepared for future rewards and punishments. 
Therefore we may conclude from the present state of 
things, and from the most perfect righteousness and 
goodness of God, that the souls both of the righteous 
and of the wicked, will exist beyond the grave, and 
be rewarded according to the deeds done in the 

Fifth. By various considerations we ore taught from 
divine revelation^ that the soul exists in a state of sensibil- 


ity itncl activity*, and of happiness or misery^ from death 
till the resurrection and general judgeynent. 

In the Words of the ie^sX^ we are informed, That 
then shall the dust return to the earth as it was : and 
the spirit shall return to God who gave it. Thus we 
may see, the soul and body are natures so essen- 
tially different, that in a certain sense, they are two 
distinct beings : That the one returns to the earth, 
as from that it was formed ; and the other returns to 
God, as he is the Father of all spirits. The most 
obvious sense of the latter part of the text is, that 
at death, the soul is adjudged and awarded with 
strict retribution, according to the moral character 
ibrmed while in the body: That the souls of the 
righteous return to God, to be received into his pe- 
culiar favour; and the souls of the wicked, to be 
banished from his glorious presence. I have already 
rtoticed there is nothing absurd in such a belief; for 
we can as easily conceive of the souls of the right- 
eous and of the wicked, existing without an earthly 
house of a tabernacle, as we can of the existence of 
the spirits of angels and of devils ; and that the souls 
of the former may be as capable of enjoyment or 
suffering, as are the latter. 

Although the souls of the righteous may not par- 
ticipate so great a degree of happiness, nor the souls 
of the wicked endure so great a degree of misery, 
as they will a^er the resurrection and general judge- 
ment, still this does not militate against the reality 
of their consciousness, and of their existence in a 
world of righteous retribution. It is probable that 
the holy angels will then be more exalted in glory ; 
Ijnd the devils are bound under chains of darkness, 
reserved to the judgement of the great day, when 
they expect to suffer fiercer torments, as appears 
from this their interrogation of the Saviour: Art 
thou come to torment us before the time ? Hence, 
|allen angels have not yet received their final judge- 

SERMON xxn. 309 

ment, nor of course, their final reward. A similar re- 
mark would apply to the condition of the souls of 
mankind in an intermediate state. Notwithstanding, 
virtuous men when they leave this world, go to a 
state of enjoyment only ; aad impenitent men, to a 
state of mere suffering. Lazarus was only comforted 
after he left this world, and the rich man was only 
tormented. When the bodies of mankind shall be 
changed and re-united to their spirits, there can be 
no doubt that the happiness of the righteous and 
the misery of the wicked will be rendered more 
complete. But, antecedently to that event, both the 
happiness and the misery will be entire and unmin- 
gled. The happiness will in no degree be alloyed 
by suffering ; the misery will in no degree be lessen- 
ed by enjoyment. 

The soul after death returns immediately to God, 
to give an account of its conduct in the present life. 
This appears to be the plain import of the text, in 
which the return of the body to the dust, and of the 
soul to God, are exhibited as co-existing events. 
That the purpose of its return to God, is that it 
may give up its account, appears sufficiently plain 
from the parables of tlie talents and the pounds. In 
these, each of the servants is represented as sum- 
moned to give, and as actually rendering his account 
to his lord concerning his use or abuse of the privi- 
leges entrusted to him, immediately after the close 
of his stewardship. And in this account will be un- 
folded, alike the state of the thoughts and that of 
the external conduct. The soul will of course be 
furnished with a power of recollection, sufficiently 
capacious to comprehend all that it has done, and 
Avill be constrained to declare the whole truth without 
disguise or evasion. Its secret chambers and refuges 
of lies will be fully laid open to its own view, and 
appear manifest as in the sight of God. In this 
manner, the motives by which it has been governed, 
and the moral character which it has sustained 


during its probation, will be so entirely developed, 
as to evince even to itself, that the investigation is 
just as well as complete. The decision and retribu- 
tion of all that it has done during its probation, will 
be in perfect righteousness. But the sacred volume, 
from a variety of considerations, establishes the pro- 
position now under consideration. There are several 
particular persons brought into view in the divine word, 
who are represented as being already in heaven, or in 
a state of activity and enjoyment. The Lord styles 
himself the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. 
And our Saviour observes. He is not the God of the 
dead, but of the living : That is, the God of the 
spirits of these patriarchs, living at the time when 
this declaration was made to Moses. Hence their 
souls must be alive, or in a state of active existence, 
though their bodies were dead and laid in sepulchres. 
That saints are in heaven in the intermediate 
state, in such a sense as implies a world of action 
and enjoyment, is evident from scriptural facts. 
Abraham is there; for saints are represented as 
being carried into his bosom. Moses and Elias, doubt- 
less are there ; for they appeared on the mount of 
transfiguration with Christ, since their death. Enoch 
and Elijah are already there, for they were trans- 
lated. And Christ said to the penitent thief on the 
cross. To-day shalt thou be with me paradise. But 
how could this be verified, unless the departed 
spirit exist in a separate state of enjoyment.'* Whe- 
ther the term paradise^ be significant of the final 
state of the blessed in heaven, or of the invisible 
intermediate state of the souls of the righteous, be- 
tween death and the general judgement, it is very 
evident that the Saviour designed to convey to the 
penitent, the idea that his soul, when absent from 
the body, should witness his presence, in a state of 
consciousness and happiness. The apostle Paul 
exhorts his fellow Christians not to be slothful, but 
followers of them who through faith and patience 


inherit the promises; plainly intimating, that depart- 
ed saints now possess the inheritance of saints in 
light, and consequently exhibiting conclusive testi- 
mony of the immediate happiness of behevers after 
death. The Apostle evidently designed to lead his 
readers to meditate on the blessed state of Abraham, 
Moses, Joshua, Job, and all others, who on earth 
had lived by faith in the promises of God, patiently 
waiting, labouring, and suffering in obedience to the 
divine will ; and who at the time this exhortation 
was given, were inheriting the glorious reward of the 
blessings promised. 

Concerning the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, it is said. They gave up the ghost, or rendered 
their spirits to God, who gave them, and were 
gathered unto their people. By this declaration we 
are not to understand, that their bodies were gath- 
ered to the bodies of their kindred. The people of 
Abraham were all buried either in Padan Aram, or 
in Ur, of the Chaldees ; while he was buried in the 
cave of Macpelah, in Canaan. Isaac was buried 
with none of his friends beside his parents ; and 
these could not be styled his people. The people, 
then, to whom these patriarchs were gathered, were 
the assembly of the blessed. The gathering must 
relate to their persons, or souls, and not to their 
bodies. In conformity to this interpretation, Christ 
says concerning Lazarus, that he died, and was car- 
ried by angels to Abraham's bosom: a complete proof, 
that he was in existence among the blessed, at the 
time to which this parable refers. 

The apostle Paul, addressing his brethren, the 
Corinthians, declares, Whilst we are at home in the 
body, we are absent from the Lord ; and subjoins. 
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be 
absent from the body, and to be present with the 
Lord. We are here taught, that believers can be 
absent from the body ; and that this absence must 
take place, to enable them to be present with the 

312 SERMON XXir. 

Lord, and that whenever it does, they will be present 
with him. Hence, then, believers, that is^ their souls, 
exist in a state separate from the body. Would not 
the Apostle and his brethren appear to be inconsist- 
ent in their expression, " willing rather to be absent 
from the body, and to be present with the Lord," if 
that were a state of sleep and unconsciousness ? We 
can easily see the absurdity of such an opinion ; for 
there can be no enjoyment in a state of inactivity 
and insensibility. The Apostle had an ardent desire 
to serve Christ more perfectly ; and he was confi- 
dent, that death would prove to him an entrance into 
his immediate presence. This faith inspired him and 
his brethren, with confidence and fortitude ; as they 
were satisfied, that whenever their bodies should be 
worn out by labours, or suffer martyrdom, their souls 
being dislodged from the clayey tenejment, would im- 
mediately be admitted into the presence of their 
beloved Lord. This surely is very decisive con- 
cerning the felicity to be enjoyed by the souls of be- 
lievers, when absent from the body; and it also 
shows that they will possess their happiness in the 
very place where Jesus displays his glorious pre- 

The same Apostle expresses his assurance of the 
same truth very fully, in his address to the Philippians. 
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. For I 
am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart 
and be with Christ, which is far better. When the 
Apostle says, "For me to live is Christ;" he implicitly 
declares that the present Hfe is to him a source of 
high enjoyment. But if he should not have sense of 
existence in a separate state, his death would put an 
end to all his enjoyment ; being an entire termina- 
tion of his consciousness. If, then, his life was desi- 
rable, his death would to him be a loss. And how 
great must this loss be, as he informs us, It was 
Christ for him to live. But he informs us, that the 
gain of his departure, consisted in being with Christ; 


in a state of happiness, totally superiour to any thing 
found in the present world. Here, indeed, he enjoyed 
the presence of his Saviour, in an eminent degree ; 
yet, in a manner, farinferiour to what he was assured 
he should experience immediately after death. The 
Apostle was fully persuaded that the soul was imma- 
terial, and that the dissolution of the body would 
not render it insensible; but that it would then be 
more active in the service of God. And as it would 
not be impeded in its operations by its mortal frame, 
it would exercise itself the more freely; thus his joy 
would be greatly increased. With peculiar anima- 
tion the Apostle has here declared the happy frame 
of his mind ; viewing Christ as the author and sup- 
porter of his Christian graces and joys, and as the 
end and object of his life upon earth. He had no 
other business, interest, or pleasure, for which to 
live, than the service, glory, and favour of Christ ; 
therefore, he knew that to die would be his greatest 
gain : as he should then be enabled more perfectly 
to know, lov^e, and serve his Lord, and enjoy his 
blessed presence. Yet, if he should continue to live 
in the flesh and endure hardship a little longer, 
it would be well; as his labour would be fruitful of 
good to himself, as well as to others. Thus he knew 
not which he should choose, if it were left to him; 
being in a strait between two, and drawn both ways 
by the reasons which he had to desire life on the one 
hand, and death on the other. Indeed, he had a most 
vehement longing to depart from this world of sin 
and sorrow, that he might immediately go and be 
with Christ ; exchanging the life of faith, hope, and 
imperfect love, for that of sight, fruition, and perfect 
holiness ; as this was incomparably more desirable, 
than any thing which could be possessed or enjoyed 
upon earth. Nevertheless, his continuance here 
being the more needful for the benefit of his beloved 
people, he was willing to postpone the completion of 
his own happiness for their advantage. And now, 



could the Apostle conceive that a state of insensi- 
bility would be much better than a life tending so 
much as his did, to the glory of God, to the propa- 
gation of the gospel, and to the furtherance of the 
joy of believers ? The doctrine of the soul's imme- 
diate happiness with Christ in glory, is here declared 
so evidently, that it is beyond almost the possibihty 
of being doubted. 

I shall now notice the parable concerning the 
beggar and the rich man. And it came to pass, that 
the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into 
Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and in 
hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and 
seeth Abraham afar oflf, and Lazarus in his bosom. 
In this parable we have the account of one already 
in a state of activity and blessedness, and another in 
a state of activity and misery. Its design was to re- 
present the state of the souls of the righteous and of 
the wicked immediately after death, till the day of 
the resurrection of the body and general judgement. 
This we can readily determine from the connexion. 
The rich man cried, and said, father Abraham have 
mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the 
tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue ; for I 
am tormented in this flame. But when he was denied 
the least mercy for himself, he desired that Lazarus 
might be sent to his father's house, that he might 
testify to his five brethren, lest they also come into 
this place of torment. This is language the most 
emphatical and conclusive, to represent the state of 
human souls in the intermediate, invisible world; for 
all the circumstances give the most ample testimony, 
that Lazarus was in heaven, and the rich man in hell, 
when the Saviour delivered this parable. His request 
for his brethren, shows that human beings were yet 
in this world, on probationary ground, liable to come 
to the same place of torment. Will any one object 
that this is only a parabolical representation ? He 
will thus speak, only to escape from an argument 


which he cannot face. That parables are a figura- 
tive representation, is acknowledged. But to assert 
that the parables of the divine Redeemer, exhibit 
any thing but truth, is to do an injury to his true cha- 

St. John, when caught up to heaven in his vision, 
beheld a great multitude, which no man could 
number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and 
tongues, standing before the throne, and before the 
Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their 
hands, uniting with the angels in their everlasting 
song of praise. He asked, who these persons were? 
The interpreting angel informed him, They were 
those who came out of great tribulation, and had 
washed their robes and made them white in the 
blood of the Lamb. Therefore, he adds, are they 
before the throne of God ; and serve him, day and 
night, in his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne, 
shall dwell among them. It will not be denied, that 
these were men, or the spirits of deceased persons ; 
nor that the time referred to in this passage, must be 
long antecedent to the resurrection. They were, 
therefore, separate spirits: conscious, virtuous, happy 
beings. It may be said, and truly, that all this passed 
in vision. But it must be added, and must be admit- 
ted by those who would say this, that a vision com- 
municated by the Spirit of God, exhibits nothing but 
what is true. 

Moreover, in conformity to this representation of 
St. John, the apostle Paul says to his brethren, the 
Thessalonians, If we believe that Jesus died and 
rose again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus, 
will God bring with him; that is, when he comes to 
the final judgement. But who are those whom God 
will bring with Christ, at this time ? Certainly not 
the bodies of the Saints. They will be raised from 
the grave, and cannot be brought with Christ. The 
only answer, therefore, is, he will bring with him the 
spirits of just men made perfect. Perhaps the Apostle 


had heard that some of the Thessalonian behevei^B 
had lately died ; and that their relatives and brethren 
had too much sorrow, by not duly attending to the 
consolations suggested by the gospeh He, therefore, 
would not have them to be ignorant concerning those 
who were fallen asleep in Christ, that they were in 
a safe and happy state. 


1 St. This subject exhibits the folly of that excessive atten- 
tion^ so commonly bestowed by mankind upon their bodies. 

How is the soul far the most dignified nature ! and 
what momentous consequences, the result of its 
moral character ! Yet, how much of the probation- 
ary state, and how great a portion of the care, anxi- 
ety, and labour of man, are rendered to the body ! 
Necessity, decency, and comfort, demand a portion 
of our time and exertions to be employed in favour 
of our mortal frames. But revelation and reason, do 
certainly assign limits to this employment. The real 
good of all our labour under the sun, is the portion 
which God allows us ; and the allowance is indeed 
liberal and sufficient. Still common sense continually 
discerns and declares, that manifold anxieties are 
experienced, and eflbrts made, which are productive 
of no such good. It is necessary to have food, and 
desirable that it be wholesome and pleasant ; it is 
necessary to have clothes, and desirable that they be 
convenient and becoming. But many are agitated 
with excessive cares, and consume the, chief part of 
their life, in devising means either to gratify their 
palate, or to adorn their person. 

Is our life the only period of probation; and, 
during that time, is eternal life to be gained or lost ? 
What madness to waste this little period in providing 
means of luxury to pamper our bodies, and giving 
our whole souls to the study of pleasures, which 
terminate in sorrows ! Would the epicure, while 
feasting his sight, his smell, and taste, on every kind 


of viand, remember that he is satiating his flesh, 
merely to make it a more dainty meal for the wbrms 
of the dust, the keenness of his relish might possi- 
bly be blunted*; and his solicitude concerning what 
he should eat, and what he should drink, exchanged 
for a more becoming anxiety concerning the means 
by which he might live for ever. Were the monarch 
on his throne, to adorn whom the south has yielded 
up its gold and the east lavished its gems, to recollect 
that within a few days he must be wrapped in a 
shroud and lodged in a grave; would not all these 
splendours fade upon his eye and pall upon his heart? 
Were the beauty who animates the dance, or spar- 
kles in the drawing-room, with the conscious superi- 
ority of her charms, and amid the homage of sur- 
rounding admirers, to call to mind that the form which 
she surveyed in the glass with rapture, must within 
a few days be chilled by the icy hand of death ; the 
roses fade from her cheeks, the splendour vanish 
from her eyes, and all her elegance of form be dis- 
solved in dust, must she not be compelled to believe 
that her vanity was misplaced and worthless ; that 
she squandered away life upon objects equally unde- 
serving and mischievous ; and that to acquire beauty 
of mind, to become lovely in the sight of God. and 
to merit the esteem of angels for eternity, were pur- 
suits, unspeakably more worthy the supreme regard 
of a rational, immortal being. Does it become a 
mortal to dote upon a beautifully animated frame ? 
Let us call to mind of what the Lord made our 
bodies, and not forget their origin nor their end. He 
formed them out of earth. He made them so frail 
as to be subjected to accident, pain, and disease, in 
ten thousand forms. At death he returns them to 
earth again. This is their destination ; for flesh and 
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. More- 
over, the more animated and lovely the form, the 
more ghastly and loathsome its return^ to corruption 
and dust. 

0? -- 


Wisdom admonishes that we keep our bodies in 
subjection, and not render them instruments of las- 
civiousness and unrighteousness. They should not 
be given to any indulgence, or permitted to execute 
any purpose incompatible with the dignity and wel- 
fare of the rational and immortal spirit by which 
they are inhabited. Their chief end is to serve as 
instruments of righteousness to the soul, and to be 
subservient in preparing it for immortal glory. Hence 
they should be cqnsecrated as an help-meet to the 
inward adorning of the mind as their highest honour. 
They should be presented before God to be employ- 
ed in his service, and worn out in executing the 
various purposes of his will, that so they might be 
wholly devoted to his glory. The soul should not 
be rendered a slave to the lusts and indulgencies of 
an animal frame : but the body with its members and 
senses should readily subserve to the rational pur- 
poses, and express the devout affections of the 
superiour nature. Thus our bodies would become 
living temples, and our souls consecrated priests in 
the service of God. Says the apostle Paul, 1 beseech 
you, therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye pre- 
sent your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable 
unto God, which is your reasonable service. And 
be not conformed to this world ; but be ye trans- 
formed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may 
prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect 
will of God. How can these tabernacles of clay be 
more highly honoured, than to be the happy medium 
of exalting our spirits to mansions of immortal glory .^^ 
Or what greater dishonour can we brand upon them, 
than to have them serve as instruments to prepare 
the soul for the abodes of darkness and perdition.'^ 

2d. By this subject we are taught the folly and indecen^ 
cy of pride. 

Why should pride, vanity, or ambition, dwell so 
fondly in a subject so full of frailty and humiliation ? 
They are passions cherished and fondled in the 

isERMON XXII. 319 

human breast, and are the most dangerous enemies to 
our true interests. They were the commencing sin 
of angels, the real begilning of human apostacy, 
and constitute a prime part of our rebelhon against 

Pride is a principle source of our injurious treat- 
ment of each other ; is unkind, unjust, insincere, im- 
patient of the prosperity of others, jealous, hard- 
hearted, cruel as the grave, arrogating to itself the 
blessings of mankind and the prerogatives of God, 
is unbelieving and obdurate. Hence, we need not 
wonder that it is in every degree pernicious to our- 
selves. Therefore, says Solomon, Pride goeth before 
destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 

Although the word and works of God furnish in- 
numerable dissuasives from the indulgence of pride, 
yet how insufficient are they to overcome this obsti- 
nate evil. But the affecting truths contained in the 
present subject, are happily adapted to this end. 
W lien we look around with exultation on the advan- 
tages which we fancy ourselves to possess over our 
fellow-men, and let loose the pride of wealth, the 
pride of office, the pride of taste, and the pride of 
reputation ; when we turn our eyes upon ourselves 
with all the dotage exercised by a fond and foolish 
parent towards a favourite child, and become infla- 
ted with the pride of beauty, the pride of talents, or 
that most odious of all pride which is customarily 
styled self-righteousness, w^e can hardly fail of being 
humbled and abased, if we call to mind the end of 
all our loftiness exhibited in this discourse. 

While walking over the dark and dismal recesses 
of the burying-ground, on whom do you tread ? On 
the mighty man of war, the judge and the prophet, 
the prudent and the honourable man, the cunning 
artificer and the eloquent orator, the slave and his 
master. Though the one may have a costly tomb- 
stone, and the other none ; they are all in the abodes 
of equality, mingled together in the common mass of 


dust, an equal prey to corruption, and the insolent, 
greedy, devouring worm. And is it possible that 
beings destined to this end should be proud ? It is 
possible ; for you and I are proud, though appointed 
to the same humble, deplorable condition, as that of 
these dreary tenants of the dead. When, therefore, 
you contemplate with high self-complacency, the 
advantages of person which you possess, or the en- 
dowments of the mind ; when you look down from 
superiority of birth, riches, character, or. influence, 
on those below you, and your bosoms swell with the 
consciousness of distinction, remember your end, 
and be proud no more. Bear in mind that your 
gayest attire will soon be exchanged for a winding 
sheet, and your most agreeable and splendid habita- 
tion for the grave. 

Remember also, that the pride which you now in- 
dulge, will, in the future world, become to you a 
source of the deepest humiliation. In the grave, the 
beggar and the fool will lie on the same level with 
you. But, in the invisible state, every humble child 
of Adam will become your superiour. Unless you 
renounce your pride, and assume the humility of the 
gospel, the slave and the beggar in many instances, 
will rise to a superiority above you, higher than your 
minds can conceive; and look down upon you with a 
holy aversion, which, although you will justly deserve, 
you have never been able to endure. You, in the 
mean time, will sink to a depth of degradation which 
your present powers cannot measure; and will feel 
yourselves lowered to a double depth, by seeing 
some of those whom hitherto you have only despised, 
elevated to endless dignity and glory. 

Shall the man of pride despise the poor, the 
ignorant, and the afflicted ? They may be the fa- 
vourites of heaven, and he the child of hell. Shall 
he dote upon the nobleness of the human frame ? 
Quickly that form will be rendered a ghastly corpse 
and a most putrid mass. Shall he boast concerning 

SERMON XXll. 321 

the dignity of the human soul ? An ungodly, proud 
spirit in man, is a ground for humiliation and deep 
lamentation. Shall any one be proud in view of his 
riches and superiour attainrnents ? To that man they 
are proving temptations, snares, and hurtful lusts, 
w^hich drown men in destruction and perdition. Says 
the prophet Malachi, Behold, the day cometh that 
shall burn as an oven ; and all the proud, yea, and 
all that do wickedly shall be stubble : and the day 
that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of 
hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor 

3d. This subject ought to remind us how near the 
solemn events mentioned in this discourse^ are to ourselves. 

There is only a thin veil between any one of us 
and the world of spirits. That is the veil of death : 
and nothing but the brittle thread of life prevents 
the invisible curtain from being drawn, and our souls 
ascending to heaven or descending to hell. When 
this slender thread is cut, we shall instantly shout 
with angels, and glorify God with the spirits of just 
men made perfect; or rage with devils, and weep 
and wail with lost souls as their companions in wo. 
We are every moment of our lives, standing on the 
brink of eternity and the verge of everlasting joys, 
or precipice of endless sorrows. A healthy consti- 
tution and the greatest prudence to preserve life, are 
of no avail to warrant security ; for when death is 
commissioned to carry us hence, he regards not the 
fairest prospects of man. In no age or situation are 
we exempt from his deadly arrest. The tender 
infant, as well as the aged ; the blooming youth in 
full strength, as well as the person of delicate consti- 
tution, are snatched away as in a moment, when he 
comes with his fatal mandate. 

Our life is even a vapour, that appeareth for a 
little time, and then vanisheth away. Moreover, the 
close of life closes our probationary state, and puts 
an end to all our enjoyments of things beneath the 



sun. And it is but one more step to pass into the 
eternal world ; but the sons of men can never step 
back again into time ; for death, in this respect, is 
an impassable gulf. And have we eternal conse- 
quences depending on the moral characters we form 
in life ? How solemn, then, the reflection that our lives 
at best are but shadows ; that the arrows of death are 
continually levelled at our hearts ; and we, every mo- 
ment of our mortal existence, liable to be summoned 
by the king of terrours into the immediate presence of 
our final Judge, to be awarded according to the deeds 
done in the body ! And when we shall open our eyes 
on the eternal world, and mark the incomprehensi- 
ble vast which is before us, how strong will the 
reasons appear which urged us to prepare ourselves 
for this amazing existence ! How immensely desira- 
ble will it seem to enter upon boundless being with 
a complete provision for our comfort through its in- 
terminable ages : a provision which will fill up every 
passirig year with enjoyment, and leave an ample 
supply for the countless multitude of ages to come ! 

How soon will the short period of our life be gone! 
With what rapid flight, hours, and days, and years, 
hasten over our heads ! What is the amount of our 
past life ? A moment. What will be the amount of 
our days to come? Another moment. And then we 
shall be summoned to give up our account to God. 
And who will be our attendants through the dark 
valley of the shadow of death, angels or devils ? 
Our characters as saints or sinners, will decide 
whether we be accompanied with the glorious mes- 
sengers of light, or the fiends of darkness. While 
in life, we are in the midst of death; and con- 
stantly very near the amazing solemnities of eter- 

4th. This subject shows the propriety of our being 
solemnly affected in view of the death of our friends and 

A variety gf solemn and interesting reflections i^ 


Katuraily suggested. Death itself is a very solemn 
and affecting thing. It is nature's last extremity: 
and the soul then stands in need of such support as 
mortals cannot give. At death, it takes its flight to 
a world unknown ; but, to a world where all the in- 
habitants are ever active. This is true in regard to 
both saint and sinner. The soul does not then pass 
into a state of mental and moral stupidity ; but it 
becomes incessantly active with the powers above, 
in glorifying God ; or, in joining with infernal spirits, 
in their horrid blasphemies. This solemn and mo- 
mentous truth is implied in the declaration. The 
wicked is driven away in his wickedness ; but the 
righteous hath hope in his death. When we con- 
template the departure of the soul at death, we may 
well exclaim, 

But O the soul, that never dies ; 

When once it leaves the clay, 
Ye thoughts, pursue it where it flic?. 

And trace its wondrous way. 

Up to the courts where angels dwell- 

It mounts, triumphing there ; 
Or devils plunge it aown to hell. 

To infinite despair. 

If we see a fellow-mortal swept away by death, 
whose soul, we may justly fear, is consigned to the 
region of wo, all is darkness; for the body will be 
raised to shame and everlasting contempt, to which 
the guilty and wretched spirit will be re-united as 
its proper pg^rtner. While friends are mourning, 
the soul of the deceased is lifting up its eyes in tor- 
ment, and no gleam of light issues in view of the 
resurrection for consolation. 

But if we have a friend leave these mortal shores 
in the triumphs of faith, all is light ; for his very 
remains are of incalculable value, in the distinction 
to which they are entitled beyond the grave. The 
body necessarily follows the destination of the mind. 
He, therefore, who gains a title to endless life, makes 


complete provision for the welfare of the whole man. 
In the Christian system all good is united ; our duty 
and our interest ; the well being of the soul, and that 
of the body; the blessings of time, and those of eter- 
nity. Then may we mourning friends, so love our 
bodies and desire to preserve and cherish them, that 
we shall with the most effectual care, secure their 
revival to immortal honour, and the happiness with 
which it is connected. And this is to be accomplished 
not by adorning and pampering them here, in obe- 
dience to the calls of pride and luxury; but by seeking 
effectually the immortal life of those minds by which 
they are inhabited. 

Under what great obligations we all are to Christ, 
the believer's life and resurrection. Had he not 
come into this world to die, the just for the unjust, 
every one of the human race must inevitably have 
sunk down to eternal death. Mourning friends must 
then have expected to meet the departing spirit, at 
the great judgement day, re-united to the raised body, 
and with it sentenced to everlasting misery. But 
now there is hope, even in the grave. The sting of 
death by reason of sin, is taken away from the be- 
Hever ; and he may exclaim, when contemplating the 
gloomy mansions of the dead, O grave ! where is thy 
victor} ? The soul will immediately pass into glory 
to exult with glorified spirits, with patriarchs, pro- 
phets, and apostles; with Christ and his holy angels, 
in the immediate and blessed presence of God. And 
at the resurrection, the body which was turned to 
corruption and dust, will be raised and fashioned 
like unto Christ's own glorious body. 

What consolation then for mourners, who have 
cheering evidence, that their departed friends are 
gone to the arms of Jesus. The blessed Redeemer 
stands ever ready to receive the departed spirit of 
his friends ; for he is gone to prepare a place for 
them: And to his mourning disciples he said, in ray 
Father's house there are many mansions. And are 


we lamenting the loss of those who have died the 
death of the righteous? While we are mourning on 
the account of their departure, how are their souls 
rejoicing in heavenly transports, and now participa- 
ting in joys unspeakable and full of glory. In view 
then of their unspeakable gain, let us weep for our- 
selves, and for our children. And may not parents, 
who have lost a tender infant, resign the soul to the 
grace and compassion of the Redeemer } Christ 
took little children in his arms, while on earth, 
and blessed them ; and why may he not receive such 
into his arms in glory } Certainly the Lord may 
grant the sanctifying influences of his Holy Spirit, 
even to infants, and make them meet to be partakers 
with saints in light. 

How comforting that neither abject poverty, ma- 
licious enemies, nor grim death, can pluck the soul 
of a believer from the hands of the divine Redeemer ! 
Did the blessed Jesus frown in view of the ascen- 
sion of the poor, despised beggar to a mansion of 
glory ? No : as an eternal monument of honour, it 
will be proclaimed, He was carried by the angels 
into Abraham's bosom. 

5th. This subject 7iaturally calls to our mind, how affect- 
ing and melancholy it is to ivitness the death of an im- 
penitent sinner. 

There is not only reason ibr unbelievers to tremble 
at the prospect of their departure hence; but their 
surviving friends also may justly have their hearts 
quake, as they stand around their dying bed. Their 
distracted countenances, and dreadful exclamations, 
pierce the stoutest heart, and rend the souls of their 
relatives. As they view death fast approaching, in 
agony they break out. Hast thou found me, Oh! mine 
enemy! Must I be forced away? dread, cruel mes- 
senger! Oh! precious lost time! Oh! deluded, 
murdered soul ! Now, now, I feel the cold, icy hand 
of death, preying upon my whole body. And ah f 
see merciless fiends greedy to seize my guilty, des^ 


pairing spirit. Oh, my friends! Oh, my God! Am 
I eternally undone? Must I be plunged in wo, with 
awful expectation of more terrible vengeance being 
poured upon me, after the judgement! Oh, that God 
would be gracious, and strike out my existence ? Can 
he not hear my accursed prayers and grant me anni- 
hilation ? are all my enjoyments for ever at an end; 
and is hope gone for ever ! I am chilled with death : 
my blood cold in my veins: my senses racked: my soul 
distracted. Adieu, vain world. Farewell my friends! 
1 am already sinking in eternal despair, and over- 
whelmed in torments without end. 

How faint this description of an impenitent, dying 
sinner ! But how affecting, how solemn, and how 
awful the departure of unbelievers, which will 
consign their wretched souls to that dreadful world, 
where reign the mists of the blackness of darkness 
for ever ! Our souls may justly shudder at the thought 
of beholding a fellow-mortal thus expiring. 

6th. How blessed the sight to behold a believer leave 
this world in peace. 

The body dies ; but glorious the release of the 
soul, in its departure from these mortal shores. Be- 
lievers at death, do indeed experience an affecting 
change in regard to their bodies ; still the soul can 
triumph in prospect of a blessed immortahty. They 
then enter a new state of existence ; are instantly 
surrounded with new and surprising objects, which 
excite the most transporting admiration. When a 
mortal paleness overspreads the dying frame, glory 
divine beams upon the soul. The departing saint, with 
death on one hand and his God on the other, in full 
view, exclaims in ecstasy. Whom have 1 in heaven but 
thee } and there is none upon earth that I desire 
beside thee: My flesh and my heart faileth; but God 
is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 
O my dear children ! beloved wife and friends ! what 
mean ye weeping for me, and breaking myheart.^ 
My divine Redeemer calls; are you not willing to 


have me fall asleep in Jesus ? Hark ! Hear the whis- 
pering angels ! See the white shining train ! They 
beckon me away : \ must go up to heaven. O, pros- 
pect bright and glorious ! The unclouded morning 
of eternal day, bursts upon my sight. Farewell, my 
friends. Adieu, cares of the world ; sin and sorrow. 
Come, Lord Jesus! come. Now, all glory to God, and 
the Lamb that sitteth on the throne. How great the 
change ; how solemn, and transporting the departure 
of believers, who have full assurance of being ush- 
ered into the immediate presence of God, to be 
placed at his right hand, where is fulness of joy, and 
rivers of pleasure for evermore. What prospect to ,.^.m^ 
mortals can be more consoling ! what event more lHIP 
glorious ! 

7th. This subject admonishes that we make daily pre- 
paration for the solemn events., and momentous consequen- 
ces which await us, 

ft is not only a solemn thing to die, but death 
comes often in an unexpected hour. And if we be 
unprepared at his coming, it would be good for us had 
we never been born. Our souls and our bodies will 
both serve to render our existence wretched. Shortly 
it will be said of each one of us, that we are dead. 
Shortly our dust will return to the earth as it was ; 
and our spirits shall return to God, who gave them. 
And are we prepared each one of us to give up his 
account to God ? The amazing end of this inter- 
view will be to settle the concerns of the soul for 
ever, and fix its condition for interminable ages. On 
this account, is suspended endless happiness or 
endless misery. And can we guilty beings render 
our account with joy, unless we have an advocate 
with the Father, even Jesus Christ the Righteous ? 
How affecting must be the situation of the soul at 
this decisive interview ! to stand in the presence of 
God, the Judge of all, alone ; without a friend to 
help, without an advocate to plead its cause ; its 
all depending, itself to receive its eternal destina- 

328 SERMON xxu. 

tion! And now let me ask, Havp we that well- 
grounded hope, upon which we are wiUing to hazard 
the acceptance of our souls for unmortality ? Or 
has our whole course hitherto been directed, .shall 
it through life be directed towards perdition, and 
not a single step taken towards heaven ? Rather, 
infinitely rather, let us be wise, lay up for ourselves 
treasures which will remain durable ; immortal trea- 
sures, when these visible heavens and this earth shall 
be no more. Let us as miserable, penitent sinners, 
fly to the Saviour, make the Judge our friend : He is 
our rewarder: His frown is hell, His smile is 
heaven. To him let us give all glory for ever- 
more. Amen, 



1 Corinthians xv. 53. 

2\is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal 
must put on immortality, 

X HE grand theme of this chapter, is the general 
resurrection of the dead. And the su'bject is so 
discussed as to exhibit one of the first specimens of 
that expansion and subhmity of intellect, for which 
St. Paul is peculiarly distinguished. Nothing in 
heathen antiquity can be found among poets, orators, 
or philosophers, which in loftiness of conception, or 
extensiveness of views, deserves to be named in com- 
parison with this discourse. From its commence- 
ment, and throughout all its progress, the writer 
gradually ascends higher and higher in his descrip- 
tions, until he elevates the mind of his reader to the 

In the beginning of the chapter, the resurrection 
of the body is asserted and proved. The proof 
alledged, is the resurrection of Christ. The argu- 
ment may be advantageously exhibited in the follow- 
ing manner: Christ predicted his own resurrection, 
and actually rose in the manner predicted. He has 
thus proved both his power to do every thing, and 
his veracity in all his declarations. But he has de* 
clared that he will raise up at the last day, all that 
are in their graves. Thus his own resurrection is a 
complete proof of the general resurrection of man- 

The Apostle pursues the examination of the subject, 


330 . SERMON xxm. 

by putting an objection against a future state, into the 
mouth of an opponent, derived from apprehended diffi- 
culties concerning the future existence of the body. 
The objection is indeed without weight; as it is merely 
an expression of the objector's ignorance concern- 
ing the subject, and his inability to imagine what kind 
of body, or by what means any body can be united 
to the soul, in the future world. But some man will 
say. How are the dead raised up ? and with what 
body do they come ? The source of perplexity with 
regard to the question, appears to be, whether the 
same body will be raised. If the query be, whether 
the same atoms which have composed our bodies in 
the present world, will constitute the body raised at 
the final day, both reason and revelation evince the 
contrary. The whole number of particles, which 
have at different times constituted the bqdy of a man 
during his progress through life, w^ill undoubtedly be 
sufficient to constitute many such bodies. The 
answer to the objector in relation to this question, is 
the following: Thou fool, that which thou sowest, is 
not quickened, except it die : And that which thou 
sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but 
bare grain ; it may chance of wheat or some other 
grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased 
him, and to every seed his own body. So also is the 
resurrection of the dead. Thus we are taught, that 
even the ordinary productions of the earth, exhibited 
a process which might illustrate the subject : fbr the 
seed sown in the gRound does not vegetate, except it 
corrupt and die. This is true : for whatever change 
transfers a body into a new class of beings, may be 
justly called the death of the original substance. 
And'in fact, the seed as such, dieth: for it ceases to 
remain an original grain of corn or of wheat ; though 
a part of it springs, as it were, into new life, by a 
process which we can no more fully conceive, than 
we can the manner of the resurrection. Thus the 
bodies of believers, after corrupting and turning to 


dust, will be raised into a new and more glorious i'orm ; 
not in every respect the same that they were, but far 
superiour and more excellent. Still, the identity of 
the same particles of matter, as necessary to the re- 
surrection of the same body, is no where mentioned 
in the sacred volume. Moreover, the instruction 
contained in the present chapter, seems^to militate 
against such an opinion. The Lord hath many other 
ways of preserving personal identity. Besides, ex- 
actly the same particles do not constitute our bodies, 
for two hours together, in any part of our lives ; yet 
we are the same persons, both in body and soul, from 
childhood till old age. 

Again : If the same constitution, arrangement, and 
qualities of the body be^intended by the question, it 
is equally evident that the same body will not be 
raised. This is decisively taught in the following 
declaration : Flesh and blood cannot inherit the 
kingdom of God ; neither doth corruption inherit in- 
corruption. Thus the human body in its present 
form of subsistence, and with its present animal 
wants, propensities, and infirmjties, cannot partake 
of the pure^and refined enjoyments of the kingdom 
of glory : Nor can the body, as mortal and corrupt- 
ible, inherit the incorruptible and unchangeable feli- 
city of heaven. Moreover, reason would decide to 
a certainty, that a constitution which involves in its 
nature, decay and termination, cannot belong to a 
body destined for the residence of an immortal and 
ever vigorous mind. 


The Apostle, to illustrate the present subject- 
refers to the variety as well as the wonderful nature 
of the works of God, in the flesh of different ani- 
mals as well as the form of vegetal3les, differently 
constituted, produced, and supported. Yet we can- 
not comprehend the manner in which the Lord hath 
made and preserves this difference ; though it is evi- 
dently intended to fit them for their several kinds of 
life, their diverse elements, and yapious destinations. 



Cannot he then raise our bodies, suiied to the state 
intended for them, consistently with our personal 
identity, though in a manner inexplicable to us ? The 
great diversity of animal natures should serve to 
teach us, that there will be, in various respects, a 
rast difference in the human body in the resurrec- 

We are also taught that the same wisdom and 
power of God hath formed celestial, as well as ter- 
restrial bodies; but the celestial appear far more 
splendid than the terrestrial : Yet, even among the 
former, there are different degrees of glory, as they 
are in themselves, and as they appear to us. The 
sun is far more glorious than the moon ; yet the re- 
flected light of the moon, far exceeds that of the 
remote stars ; and even some of them shine more 
brightly than others. Thus also will it be in the re- 
surrection of the dead : The bodies of the righteous 
will appear as much more glorious than they now do, 
as the glory of the heavenly luninaries excels that 
of an opaque clod of the earth ; yet they will shine 
w4th different degi'ees of splendour, as' do the sun, 
moon, and stars. 

^ After this illustration, the Apostle dwells exten- 
sively on the nature of the body with which those 
who are dead, will be invested at the final day. He 
also declares the change which those who are living 
at that time will experience, and concludes with a 
song of triumph over death and the grave. 

INow it may be remarked, against the resurrection 
itself there is no presumption ; and in favour of it, a 
presumptive argument may be derived from analogy. 
Many things pertaining to this world, naturally and 
strongly dispose the mind to admit the doctrine. In 
this climate, almost the whole vegetable world dies 
annually under the chiUing influence of winter. At 
the return of spi*ing the face of nature is renewed : 
and all the plants, shrubs, and trees, with which it 
was adorned, are again clothed with verdure, life. 

SERMON xxriL 333 

and beauty. From the appearance of winter, when 
nature is clad with the habiHments of death, who 
could expect that she would ever revive and hve 
again, unless taught to believe it from what has so 
often taken place ? 

In the insect creation, we find a direct and striking 
example of the manner of the resurrection itseh'. 
Many of the animals of this class, begin their exist- 
ence in the form of worms. After continuing some 
time in the humble state of being to which they are 
necessarily confined by their structure, they die and 
are gone. In the moment ^of death, they construct 
for themselves a species of shell, in which they may 
with the strictest propriety, be said to be entombed. 
Here they are dissolved into a mass of semi trans- 
parent water: the whole, which remains of the pre- 
viously existing animal, exhibiting to the eye no trace 
of life, and no promise of a future revival. After re- 
maining in a dead or torpid state, until the term of it& 
burial approaches to its proper period, the tomb dis- 
closes, and a winged animal comes forth with a 
nobler form, often exquisitely beautiful; brilliant with 
the gayest splendour, possessed of new and superi- 
our powers, and destined to a more refined and 
more exalted life. Its food is now the honey of 
flowers ; its field of being, the atmosphere. Here it 
expatiates at large in the delightful exercise of its 
newly discovered faculties, and in the high enjoy- 
ment of those sun-beams, which were the imniediate 
ineans of its newly acquired existence. 

Now let us bear in mind, that in the various 
changes of existence of forms and faculties, the 
insect is considered the same; though it has assumed 
to itself life and death, and even different natures. 
Hence we may discern,. in the essentially different 
state of existence, by reason of a wonderful change 
and transformation, a type of the resurrection of the 
human body. Through, life the human frame is con- 
stantly changing; and at the sound of the last trump 


it will experience a most amazing change, though 
identity will be one of its attributes. The seed that 
is cast into the earth, after being sown or planted, ap- 
parently is dead ; yet it springs up, first the blade, 
then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. The 
acorn that falls to the ground, corrupts, vegetates, and 
becomes a mighty oak. The examples which have 
been noticed, bear a great analogy to the death, 
burial, and resurrection of the human body. Still it 
should be remarked, in a certain respect there is a 
difference. They are all eflected by the power of 
God, according to his established laws of nature ; 
but the resurrection will be the effect of his divine 
power exerted beyond any such law, or stated course 
of operation. Let these observations suffice as illus- 
trations of the present subject, derived from the 
system of nature, exhibited to our view in the present 
state of things. 

Let us now attend to the instruction of the divine 
word, more particularly in regard to the present 

Job thus expresses himself with the fullest assu- 
rance of its truth. I know that my Redeemer liveth, 
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the 
earth : And though after my skin worms destroy this 
body, yet in my flesh shall 1 see God : Whom I shall 
see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not 
another, though my reins be consumed within me. 
As to Job himself^ though his body would be con- 
sumed by putrefaction, yet he should be raised from 
the dead, and behold his God and Saviour. Him he 
should certainly behold for himself, not only as the 
object of mental contemplation, but with his own 
eyes in his own body raised from the dead, and not 
in another. 

St. John does most strikingly describe the resur- 
rection and future state. He informs us, that the time 
was approaching, when all the innumerable multi- 
tude of the dead would hear the voice of the Son of 


God, calling them to arise and come to judgement : 
So that wheresoever their bodies were dispersed 
and turned to dust, they would be immediately raised 
up and come forth, either to life or to damnation, ac- 
cording as their works had been. Hear his emphat- 
ical declaration : Marvel not ; for the hour is coming, 
in the which all that are in the grave shall hear his 
voice, and shall come forth ; they that have done 
good, unto the resurrection of life ; and they that 
have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 

The apostle Paul, when standing before Felix, the 
governour of Judea, fully avows the doctrine under 
consideration. He says. This I confess unto thee ; so 
worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things 
which are written in the law and in the prophets : 
And have hope toward God, which they themselves 
also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the 
dead, both of the just and unjust. The Apostle was 
free to confess, that he worshipped the God of his 
fathers ; that he behoved the doctrines and promises 
both of the law and the prophets, concerning the 
Messiah; and that he expected a future resurrection 
of both the just and the unjust, as the Jews in gene- 
ral allowed. 

Let us now attend to the argumentative manner of 
the Apostle in his address to the Corinthians. A 
small portion of his arguments exhibits various con- 
siderations as undeniable proof of the doctrine of 
the general resurrection of the dead. 

Now^ if Christ be preached, that he rose from the 
dead, how say some among you that there is no re- 
surrection of the dead ? But if there be no resur- 
rection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And 
if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and 
your faith is also vain. Yea, and w^e are found false 
witnesses of God; because we have testified of God, 
that he raised up Christ; whom he raised not 
up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the 
dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if 


Christ be not raised, jour faith is vain ; ye are yet 
in your sins. Then they also which are fallen 
asleep in Christ, are perished. If in this life only, 
we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most mis- 
erable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and 
become the first fruits of them that slept. For since 
by man came death, by man came also the resurrec- 
tion of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in 
Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in bis 
own order: Christ the first fruits; afterwards thej 
that are Christ's at his coming. 

This chain of the Apostle's argument is highly in- 
teresting and most conclusive. Having established 
the fact of Christ's resurrection, from that fact he 
shows the certainty of our resurrection. 

And let me remark, that identity itself makes it 
necessary that our mortal bodies should be raised. 
Moreover if the same bodies should not be raised, 
there would in reality be no resurrection; but a new 
creation of bodies. Besides, it appears fit and suit- 
able, that those bodies which were the instruments 
of righteousness or unrighteousness, should be raised 
and made the partners of the soul in happiness or 
misery. And though the bodies, which will be rais- 
ed, will not differ from what they now are in regard 
to their substance, yet they will difTer exceedingly 
in respect to their qualities and attributes. The 
bodies of the righteous and wicked will have a mo- 
mentous dilTerence in one point of view ; for of them 
tbat sleep in the dust of the earth, they shall awake, 
some to everlasting life, and some to shame and ever- 
lasting contempt. Then whatever strength and im- 
mortality shall be put upon the bodies of the wicked, 
they will serve only to make them instruments of 
endless pains. But St. Paul, in the words of the 
text and context, is describing particularly, the glori- 
ous change that shall take place in the bodies of the 
saints, when they shall be raised. And now this^ 
part of the subject demands our attention. 

aERMON XXili, 337 

The tirst thing to be noticed, is that the bod j will 
be raised incorruptible. It is sown in corruption, 
it is raised in incorruption. The body as a descendant 
of dying Adam, during its mortal state, and as laid in 
the grave, is sown in corruption : it tends to corrup- 
tion ; and after death, it is speedily wasted and de- 
cayed. But at the resurrection, it will be raised in 
incorruption, without any seeds of mortality, disease, 
or decay in its constitution. One of the most striking 
characteristicks of the human body in its present 
state, is its universal tendency to decay. This ten- 
dency appears, and often fatally, in its earliest exist- 
ence, and at every succeeding stage of its progress. 
It is, however, most visible and affecting, after it has 
passed the middle point of life. Then decay arrests 
it in many forms, and with irresistible power: Then 
the limbs gradually stiffen, the faculties lose their 
vigour, the strength declines, the face becomes 
overspread with wrinkles, and the head with the 
locks of age. Health, at the same time, recedes by 
degrees, even from the firmest constitution : Pains 
multiply, feebleness and languor lay hold on the 
whole system ; and death at length seizes the frame 
as his prey, and changes it to corruption and dust. 
As it is appointed unto man once to die, so from the 
cradle to the tomb, he is constantly liable and tending 
to his dissolution. 

But a mighty and glorious diflference will be made 
Hn our nature, when the body revives beyond the 
^grave. All the evils and accidents which befal it in 
the present w:orld, will then have lost their power. 
Hunger, thirst, weakness, declension, death, and cor- 
ruption, are bounded by the tomb. The grave is 
their everlasting termination. They that rise to the 
resurrection of life, will hunger no more neither 
thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them 
nor any heat. Firm, end uring, unassailable by distress, 
and proof against the undermining progress of years, 
ihey will like gold tried in the fire, remain bright and 


33B 6EKMON xxni. 

indestructible, through the endless succession ot 

The bodies of our first parents, before their apos- 
tacy, were not liable to disease and death. Had they 
not sinned, they would never have seen corruption. 
Their food, the air, and all things around them, would 
then have tended only to preserve their animal frames 
from destruction. Still their bodies would have been 
flesh and blood for ever; unless at some period of 
their existence, they should have experienced a won- 
derful change. But the human body in the resur- 
rection, will be far more refined in its substance, and 
possess .attributes far supe.riour to what it did even 
in paradise. Moreover, the region of its everlasting 
destination is inconceivably better adapted to prevent 
decay and corruption, and to promote vigour and in- 
corruption, than were the salubrious gales that fanned 
the garden of Eden. Both the nature and condition 
of a glorified body, become its eternal safeguards 
from the diseases and infirmities to which our mortal 
frames are constantly subject. Thus its very attri- 
butes and situation will for ever render it far removed 
from dissolution ; and will serve to perpetuate, for 
eternal ages, its highly exalted nature of a glorious 

2d. The body will be raised immortal. This corrupti- 
ble must put on incorruption^ and this mortal must put on 

The terms incorruptible and immortal, in various 
respects might be illustrated as synonymous expres- 
sions. But although their import in general is the 
same, still there is a sense in which there is a differ- 
ence. An incorruptible body, although it cannot 
perish by decay and dissolution,may notwitiistanding 
be annihilated. An immortal body will know no 
end, either from its own weakness or from external 
power. Such has God been pleased to constitute 
the bodies of his children beyond the grave. Death 
to them shall be no more. In defiance of time and 


superiour to injury, the body will live with him for 
ever and ever. 

Hence, though incorruption and immortality are 
attributes so nearly allied as not easily to be sepa- 
rated in their illustrations, still they may be consid- 
ered only as kindred attributes, and not both en- 
tirely the same. As both the declaration of Heaven, 
and the circumstances of the human frame, in the 
present state, evince the mortality of the body, so 
both the will of God and the attributes of a glorified 
body, will sec ure its immortahty. As the soul is 
destined in its nature and by Divine appointment to 
immortahty, so in the resurrection the body will 
become immortal as the soul. And as in the present 
state the body is inevitably corruptible and mortal, so 
in the future state it will be raised to put on incorrup- 
tion and immortality 

3d. The body at the resurrection^ ivill be arrayed iu 
glory. It is soivn in dishonour, it is raised in glory. 

To have these animated, useful bodily frames 
become lifeless and turn to corruption, is an affecting 
consideration. How humihating the thought, that 
these mechanically organized temples of our spirits, 
should be changed into a loathsome, disorganized 
mass, to be reduced«to atoms by the devouring w orm ! 
How is the pride of man laid low and his glory de- 
parted, when the king of terrours consigns his body 
to the grave ! 

But the resurrection announces a release to the 
degraded captive from the power of the grim tyrant, 
and exclaims, O grave ! where is thy victory ? And 
now let us notice how glorious must be the triumph 
to the dishonoured prisoner. But for this we must 
have some just conception of the greatness of the 
change in being restored to liberty, and raised to a 
state of exaltation. Says the Apostle to his brethren, 
the Philippians, in view of this subject. We look for 
the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall change 
our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his 


glorious body, according to the power whereby he is 
able even to subdue all things unto himself. How 
mysterious and wonderful the change, when the 
body of our humiliation will be fashioned anew; that 
it may become of the like form with the glorified 
body of the Lord Jesus ! 

On the mount of transfiguration, Christ appeared 
to Peter, James, and John, in his glorious body : and 
then, as the Evangelists inform us, His face did shine 
as the sun, and his raiment became white and glister- 
ing. In Revelation we have a more ample exhibition 
of the same illustrious object ; in some respects em- 
blematical, but in all sublime and glorious beyond a 
parallel. And being turned, 1 John, saw seven golden 
candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candle- 
sticks, one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a 
garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps 
with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were 
white like wool, as white as snow ; and his eyes 
were as a flame of fire ; and his feet like unto fine 
brass, as if they burned in a furnace ; and his voice 
as the sound of many waters. And he had in his 
right hand, seven stars; and out of his mouth went a 
sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was 
as the sun shineth in his strengtli. Of the supreme 
splendour of this appearance, how high must our 
conceptions rise, when we hear St. John subjoin, 
And when I saw him, L fell at his feet as dead. In 
Ihe wonderful change at the resurrection, St. Paul 
(Observes, there shall be a display of energy; that is, 
of power and skill, like that by which Christ subdues 
all things unto himself What a transformation must 
that be which these poor, frail, perishable bodies 
will experience when the full import of this predic- 
tion shall be accomplished ! How exceedingly is 
such a change to be desired by beings like ourselves ; 
subject as we are to pain and disease, decay and 
death ! 

By reason of sin and the consequent curse de- 

SERMON xxiir. 341 

tiotmced upon man during life, at death, and in the 
grave, the body is sown in dishonour. Its mortal ex- 
istence somewhat resembles the state of a condemn- 
ed criminal. Various sufferings and diseases are 
the forerunners of the execution which takes place 
at death, with much ignominy. And the putrid, 
wasting state of a dead body, is very dishonourable 
in itself; though the death and burial of Christ have 
consecrated the grave to all believers, and his re- 
surrection hath assured us that the body shall be 
raised in glory. But how honourable will be the tri- 
umph over death and the grave, when the body will 
be rendered most beautiful and glorious, resembling 
the glorious body of the Lord Jesus himself^ who is 
the first born'from the dead. 

Besides, the body itself being raised in glory, the 
divine glories with which it will be constantly pre- 
sented, will serve to render its appearance still more 
glorious. This was the effect on the* countenance of 
Moses in beholding the glory of the Lord on mount 
Sinai. Moses wist not that the skin of his face 
shone^ while he talked with him. But when Aaron 
and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold the 
skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come 
nigh him. And till Moses had done speaking with 
them, he put a veil on his face. As the light of the 
sun causes even opaque bodies on which it shines* 
to appear luminous, so the special contemplation of 
the divine glory caused an irradiation of the soul of 
Moses, which was marvellously represented to the 
people by this external brightnes&of his countenance. 
And though he was not conscious of the splendour 
of his face, yet it was too resplendent for the people 
to behold ; therefore he covered it with a veil when 
he spoke to them. But if a temporary view of the 
feebler displays of the divine glory produces such a 
lustre in the countenance of a mortal, what must be 
the effect of the full glories of the heavenly world 
upon a glorified' body ? 


4th. The body will be raised in power. It is sown in 
weakness^ it is raised in power. 

In the future world, the righteous serve God day 
and night in his temple: That is^they serve him without 
cessation or rest; and need, of course, faculties fitted 
to the performance of these services ; faculties, whose 
vigour the magnitude of no duty shall overcome, and 
no continuance of action fatigue or impair. Origin- 
ally destined for an existence of this nature, the 
powers of the body will correspond with the activity of 
the mind; and will sustain without injury, defect, or 
decay, every undertaking which it is required 
to achieve, and will accomplish every work with en- 
joyment growing out of its exertions. Instead of 
being exhausted or weakened, it seems* evident from 
the sacred scriptures, that its strength as well as its 
other attributes, will, like those of the mind, advance 
towards a higher and higher perfection throughout 
the ages of eternity. 

We are constantly reminded that our mortal bodies 
are sown in weakness ; for our manifold infirmities 
and death, in which they terminate, are peculiar 
evidences of human imbecility. And the state of 
the body as shrouded, buried, and over-run by the 
most hateful worms, shows most affectifigly how little 
all the power and abilities of men can do for them. 
But the body of a believer will not only be raised by 
Almighty power, it will also be endued with a power 
of which we have no conception, and be rendered 
capable of such motions and of producing such 
effects as surpass whatever we have seen, heard, or 
even imagined. It was the unanimous sentiment of 
the Patriarchs, that no man could see God and live : 
That is, that no mortal could endure the full view^ of 
the glories of the invisible world. The word of God 
does indeed import, that if the splendours of the 
heavenly state were exhibited to our view, the sight, 
so transcendently glorious, would so overwhelm us 
as to cause the dissolution of soul and body. With 



what strength, then, must glorified bodies be endued, 
unceasingly to behold the full displays of all. the 
divine glories as they shine forth in the kingdom of 

And are they for ever and ever to be most actively 
employed in the service of God without weariness or 
rest ? What an amazing contrast compared with our 
weak, perishable bodies! A difference as vast as 
that of a natural day, when contrasted with an eter- 
nal day Our mortal frames are daily so accustomed 
to fatigue and to the necessity of rest, that we can 
scarcely conceive it possible for them to be so 
changed as to be for ever freed from these, and in- 
vested with a power which is never weakened. And 
with what immortal vigour must they be endued, to 
be ever awake and uninterruptedly engaged in the 
manifold service of God, without a sensation of 
weariness, or the least desire of cessation from their 
employments ! Shall eternal ages, indeed, make no 
impression on them to create fatigue and produce a 
tendency to weakness ? No ; eternity, with all its 
growing obligations and magnified duties, will only 
serve to render them more and more vigourous, and 
perpetuate their attribute of power with continued 
increase and exaltation. Power eternally rising- 
higher and higher in vigour and glory. 

5th. The body will at the resurrection be endued ivith 
great activity. 

Various arguments might be 'adduced to establish 
this proposition. Both the perfection and emploj- 
ments of the future state will require the power of 
action the most consummate. In the world of glory, 
all is life and activity of the most perfect nature. No 
wearisomeness nor inactivity has ever been permitted 
to enter the abodes of the blessed. In the present 
state, inaction and slothfijlness are characteristicks 
of the human frame. But how changed the scene 
in the resurrection, when the human body will I e 
endued with the attribute of perpetual activity ami 

344 sermojn xxiii. 

vigilance ! How essential to a mortal body are con- 
stant cessations from labour and periods of rest, that 
it may be enabled to perform the various duties of 
life ! But a glorified body is so constituted as to be 
for ever on the wing; unceasingly engaged in em- 
ployments which demand the highest degree of atten- 
tion and activity. 

The Saviour declares concerning the righteous ift 
the future state, that they are as the angels of God 
in heiaven : That is, possessing in a near and kindred 
degree, the attributes which they possess. Accord- 
ingly, in the fourth chapter of Revelation, we are 
taught that the four and twenty elders, the represen- 
tatives of the ancient and modern churches, are 
placed round about the throne, together with the 
Four Living ones, the representatives of the angelick 
host. The resemblance here exhibited, is such as 
strongly to exemplify this declaration of Christ. 
Their station is substantially the same : their em- 
ployments the same. 

The activity of angels is disclosed to us by the 
sacred canon in many passages, and in language of 
the greatest force. The ninth chapter of Daniel, 
particularly, contains in relation to these glorious 
intelligences, a remarkable illustration of this sub- 
ject. Here we are told that Gabriel received a 
command in heaven, while Daniel was employed in 
prayer, to interpret his vision ; and that being caused 
to fly swiftly, he touched Daniel about the time of 
the evening oblation. The activity here declared, 
is plainly superiour both to conception and calcula- 
tion; and exceeds that of the sunbeams beyond 
any proportion perceptible by our minds. Similar 
to this representation will be the activity of the right- 
eous in the future world. 

In our present state, we are like worms of the dust, 
slowly and humbly creeping upon the earth ap- 
pointed for our habitation. With how much exertion, 
and with what slow progress we go from place to 


place! How sluggish and slow-motioned are we 
mortals ! 

Still, to act is the end of all rational existence; 
and to act at pleasure, the necessary concomitant of 
happy existence. Like Moses and Elias, if we 
obtain a part ia the first resurrection, we may here- 
after visit distant worlds with incomparably more 
ease, than we can now pass from one continent to 
another, and find the ocean of space by which they are 
separated, merely means of illustrating our activity 
and furnishing delightful opportunities of expatiating 
at our pleasure. 

Js all heaven unceasingly active ? Do all the spirits 
of that blessed place, glow with raptures of divine 
love the most consummate? And have glorified 
bodies a nature the most vigorous ? Then who can 
conceive how great and glorious will be their activity 
during the countless ages of eternity! 

6th. The body at the resurrection will, of course, be in- 
vested with the character of endless youth. 

The fore-mentioned attributes united, establish a 
complete basis to form this dehghtful characteristick. 
The remarks which have been already made, tend 
strongly to establish the truth of the present propo- 

For illustration let me observe, that the angels 
who appeared to Mary and the Apostles after the 
resurrection of Christ, were, although created seve- 
ral thousand years before, still young ; and were re- 
garded by them at first, as being young men. On 
them, duration in this respect, makes no impression. 
Ages roll their years away, and leave them as they 
found them in the bloom of youth which shall con- 
tinue for ever. Such is the character of all the 
people of God beyond the grave. 

In the present state, old age comes on apace with 
a gloomy train of infirmities. Within a few years, 
the body goes bending and tottering to the tomb. 
The whole frame announces that time is encroach- 



ing to prostrate its vigour, beauty, and activity in the 
dust. But how glorious the contrast of the human 
body, when it rises in the morn of the resurrection 1 
Vigour, beauty, and eternal youth then triumph over 
every infirmity of time and old age. instead of 
being worn out. with years and rendered ctfmber- 
some, duration will serve to invigorate the bodies of 
the righteous and render their youth more and more 
the perfection of beauty. The place, the company, 
and the glorified spirit, will excite inconceivable 
vivacity. No impression or sensation will ever mar 
the youthful vigour of a glorified body, but all things 
will inspirit and advance its youth to higher degrees 
of perfection for ever and ever. 

7 th. The body raised^ will be a spiritual body. It is 
sown a natural body,, it is raised a spiritual body. 

The body here sown, is a natural or animal body: 
That is, it resembles the bodies of animals in its 
original, its wants, appetites, pains, and. diseases; 
and after death, turns to dust as do other animal 
bodies. But hereafter it will be raised a spiritual 
body, capable of the spiritual work, worship, and 
happiness of heaven. Being entirely refined from 
all its sensual dross and low desires, it needs no more 
food, rest, sleep, or recreation; is no longer in a 
state to enjoy animal pleasures, and no more a hin- 
drance to the soul in its holy exercises. There is a 
natural body, and there is a spiritual body : the one 
suited to our state on earth, the other to the heavenly 

By a natural or animal body, is intended the 
present body of man, depending for its continuance 
upon the principle of animal life; the subject of in- 
numerable frailties, and making a regular progress to 
dissolution. Of a spiritual body it is not, perhaps, 
in our p6wer to form an adequate conception. Some 
have supposed it to be a body, which, having no 
ueed of the animal functions, was preserved in life 
by the mere inhabitation of the mind. Doubtless, 

SERMON xxm, 347 

the remarks already made, have pointed out the 
various attributes pertaining to a spiritual body. 

In the following verses, this important subject is 
treated in a fervent and sublime strain. After de- 
claring that there is a spiritual body as well as an 
animal one, the Apostle illustrates the declaration 
by observing, That the first Adam was made a living 
soul; the last, a quickening spirit. That the first 
was of the earth, earthy : the second, the Lord from 
heaven. That they who are earthy, are like the 
earthy Adam : and they who are heavenly, like the 
heavenly Adam. And that as we have borne the 
image of the earthy, so we shall also bear the image 
of the heavenly. This quickening energy does liot 
relate merely to the souls of believers, for Christ 
will also quicken their mortal bodies by his Spirit, 
that dwelleth in them ; and this is what is here prin- 
cipally intended. Thus, they would not only bear 
the image of the heavenly Adam in their souls, but 
in their bodies also, which would be raised very dif- 
ferent from their present appearance and capacities, 
and rendered glorious. We are next informed, that 
they who are alive at the sounding of* the last 
trumpet, must necessarily undergo a change of the 
same nature as that which the dead will experience, 
and which is described in the precedipg part of the 

Hence we may see, that a spiritual body will in its 
nature, possess powers of life totally superiour to 
those which we now possess, being destined to re- 
semble, in this respect, the quickening Spirit whose 
image it will bear. None of its organs will prove 
temptations to sin, as in the present world ; but all 
of them will be wonderful aids to holiness. The 
sacred scriptures do frequently represent this cir- 
cumstance as an essential distinction between that 
which is natural or animal, and that which is spirit- 

A spiritual body will also possess organs of per- 
ception and enjoyment of a far higher and more 


noble nature than those with which we are now fur- 
nished. Like Moses and EHas, the glorified man 
may be able without danger of mistake, to direct 
his way from the highest heavens to the distant re- 
gions of the universe. Moreover, the attributes of 
the body will generally so resemble those of the 
nund, as to render the epithet spiritual, the proper 
description of its nature. Like the mind, it may in- 
herently contain the principles of life and the seeds 
of immortality. 

At the resurrection, the huaian body will doubtless, 
Hot only be greatly changed as to the quality of its 
substance, but also in regard to its form. There 
must be a great difference as it respects the organs 
and faculties of the body. Some that are necessary 
in the present state, will be useless in the future; and 
probably others, then become essential, will be sub- 
stituted. In the future state, there will be no propa- 
gation of the human species ; neither will there be 
necessity of food, as in the present sUJ^, for the sup- 
port of the body. Hence, \y^i|(lferfully changed 
must be the faculties and form oFa spiritual body. 

Perhaps we may consider the peculiar essence, or 
particular attribute of the epithet spiritual^ as the 
climax or highest perfection of a glorified body, in 
relation to the forementioned qualities and attributes. 
It is that vvhich will render in the highest degree 
perfect, the attributes of incorruption, immortality, 
glory, power, activity, and youth. How much it will 
be assimilated to a glorified spirit in its nature, em- 
ployments, and enjoyments, cannot be determined. 
No doubt its spiritual attribute will be that refined 
and glorious quality which will be the nearest resem- 
blance of those exalted beings that compose the 
kingdom of glory. 


l8t. ]^ objections be advanced against the doctrine of the 
resurrection^ they must be groundless. 

God is a being of almighty power, consequently 


can do whatsoever pleaseth him. He has created, 
or given positive existence ; produced something, of 
which there was nothing. And surely, he who 
created the world and formed human bodies out of 
the dust of the ground, is able to raise the same 
when they become inanimate, and inspirit them with 
superiour life and vigour. It is not a difficult work 
for Omnipotence to form lifeless, scattered particles 
of matter into an organized body, endued with all the 
glorious attributes of immortality. Is any thing too 
hard for the Almighty ? No : though we mry greatly 
err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of 

Although we cannot determine what particular 
particles are necessary to constitute the same body, 
yet we may rest assured that the Lord can, and that 
he will raise those which are essential. We do not 
hesitate to say we have now the same bodies which 
we inhabited in childhood, although they may have 
but few of those numerical particles. And though 
our bodies die aridjningle with the dust, yet the om- 
niscient and omnifjotent God can determine with 
absolute certainty what particles and peculiarities 
constitute Hie basis and essence of identity, and 
from their inherent qualities will form a regular, glo- 
rified body. 

We are not capable of distinguishing bodies by 
the particles, of which they are composed, but by 
figure, size, and features ; and when our bodies shall 
be raised at the last day, we shall undoubtedly be 
conscious, that they are the same bodies we inhabited 
whilst here on earth. And though this doctrine is 
mysterious, far above our comprehension, still this is 
no objection against its being a divine truth. The 
philosophy of the vegetation and growth of plants 
and trees, is as really incomprehensible to us as the 
doctrine of the resurrection. When grain is com- 
ipitted to the earth, we cannot comprehend how the 
stalk shoots up and produces grain ; but we are 

350 SERMON XXlIi. 

confident, that seeds thus committed, die, vegetate, 
and bring forth their same kind in abundance. Now, 
who is the man, that can tell whether all, or a part, 
or whether any of the essential particles of the grain 
sown, compose that which is reaped ? 

All objections against the doctrine of the resurrec- 
tion are unreasonable. Its denial is an article of in- 
fidehtj. The Sadducees denied and opposed it; 
though the Apostles were its strenuous advocates. At 
this day, some deny it: whilst others are earnestly 
contending and proving from the scriptures, that there 
will be a resurrection of the dead both of the just 
and unjust. Some affirm that it is not necessary for 
the bodies of the dead to be raised, as the soul is 
the prime agent both of the righteous arid wicked. 
Hence, they imagine other bodies or forms, may as 
well be prepared for the everlasting dwelling of the 
soul. But such a supposition is contrary to both 
reasori and divine revelation. 

2d. The doctrine of the resurrection exhibits (M import 
tcmt specimen of the consistency of divine revelation^ in 
view of the different parts of this great system. 

The gospel every where discloses to us illustrious 
things, concerning the future happiness and glory of 
the mind ; and at the same time, teaches us that it 
will be re-united to the body in the future world. 
The least reflection, however, will convince us that 
such bodies as we now possess, must be ver)^ misuit- 
able mansions for minds, destined to be thus glori- 
ous and happy. The mind is prepared for an elegant 
mansion. Such a body as our mortal frame, could 
only become its prison. The resurrection that 
divine light discovers to us, that the bod) shall be 
fitted to become the habitation of a sanctified and 
immortal mind, and prove to it a most useful and 
delightful companion throughout eternity. Here we 
learn, that the body will be suited to all the percep- 
tions, employments, and glories of the mind ; and 
that the soul in the possession of this residence, will 


become more exalted and blessed. Thus this part of 
the Christian system, is exactly proportioned to the 
rest, and strongly illustrative . of the wisdom and 
goodness of its author. 

3d. The doctrine of the resurrection is a doctrine of 
revelation only. 

To the standard of divine truth we must bring our 
sentiments in relation to this subject, to determine 
whether they be correct or not. Of this doctrine 
not a trace can be found in all the investigations of 
philosophy. It must, indeed, be acknowledged to 
lie beyond the reach of reason; and in its very 
nature, to be hidden from the most scrutinizing in- 
quiry. The resurrection itself is an event, depend- 
ing absolutely on the will, as well as on the power 
of God : And what he will choose to do with respect 
to this subject, no being but himself can determine. 

Yet no doctrine, devised by philosophy concern- 
ing man, is so sublime, so delightful, or so fitted to 
furnish consolation^and hope to beings whose life in 
this world is but a moment, and whose end is the 
grave. All who have gone before him, have pointed 
their feet to its silent chambers; and not one of them 
returned, to announce that an opening has Been dis- 
covered from their dreary residence, to some other 
more lightsome and more desirable region. No lamp 
illumines the midnight within. In absolute despair, 
he calls upoi philosophy to cheer his drooping mind; 
but he calls in vain. She has no consolations for 
herself; and can therefore, administer none to him. 
JHere, she coldly and sullenly cries, is the end of man! 
From nothing he sprang: to nothing he returns. 
All that remains of him is dust, which here is mingled 
for ever with its native earth. ' 

At this sullen moment of despair, Revelation ap- 
proaches ; and with a command, at once awful and 
dehghtful, exclaims, Lazarus, come forth! We shall 
not all sleep ; but we shall be changed in a moment, 
in the twinkling of an eye; for the trumpet shall 



sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. 
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with 
a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with 
the trump of God ; and the dead in Christ shall rise 
first. Divine revelation alone avers, that at the end 
of time, immediately preceding the general judge- 
ment, all that shall then be on earth or in their 
graves, shall come forth; and every soul and body 
of the whole human family be summoned before the 
judgement-seat of Christ. 

4th. Wisdom admonishes to a preparation for the future 
well-being of the body. 

The human frame, in view of the distinction to 
which it is entitled beyond the grave, is of incalcu- 
lable value- Then let none of its members serve as 
instruments of unrighteousness unto iniquity, but of 
righteousness unto holiness. Let not our concern 
be to make provision for the lusts of the flesh; but 
for the wonderful attributes of a glorified body. Let 
not the temporal, but the eternal welfare of these 
frail tabernacles be motives to direct our ways. Let 
them not be degraded by any base deed ; but let us 
so love, nourish, and cherish them, that we shall 
w^ith the most effectual care, secure their revival to 
all that distinction and enjoyment which a blessed 
resurrection gloriously proffers. 

5th. We are encouraged to entertain the highest appre- 
hensions concerning the future glory of the mind. 

If the resurrection will produce such great and 
delightful things for the inferiour nature; what must 
we suppose will be the future allotments of the 
mind, in its nature imperishable and eternal ? I'he 
utmost efforts of human imagination cannot equal the 
future glory of the body, as revealed in the word of 
God. How exceedingly abundant, then, above all 
that we are able to ask or think, will the mind be 
exalted, adorned, and enraptured by Him whose 
glory and delight it is to bless, and who has already 
enstamped it with his own glorious image. In 

hiiRMOxN' XXIII. 35;i 

the world of glory, the mind united to a spiritual 
body, will perceive more clearly, enjoy more exqui- 
sitely, and act more gloriously, than it would do, if dis- 
embodied. This subject may not only be improved 
by way of inference, to show that the souls of the 
righteous will be hereafter completely blessed; but 
incomparably, inconceivably glorious. 

6th. This subject is no ground of comfort^ but of alarm, 
to the ungodly and impenitent. 

Terrible thought to all unrighteous, unbelieving 
sinners, that at the resurrection the bodies of all the 
unjust will come forth from their graves, like guilty- 
prisoners and condemned criminals, to be a source 
of additional woes to the soul for ever and ever ! 
Has the Lord given some of you, my hearers, health- 
ful and active frames ? and do you dote upon their 
vigour and beauty ? Does the framer of your bodies 
call upon you to employ them in his service ? and 
have you never bowed the knee, nor turned your 
eyes, nor extended your hands towards heaven in 
prayer ? Do you say your tongues are your own.^* 
And are your hearts so fdled with self-importance, 
that you scorn to use your lips as suppliants, in ad- 
dressing the throne of d^H^e grace for mercy, and 
pleading earnestly for the pardon of your sins ? 
Does the blessed Redeemer admonish you, to seek 
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.^ and 
do you make it your main concern to ornament the 
body.^ accounting its pleasures as your chief joy .'^ 
Alas ! what folly and madness, so to think and act, 
as most fatally to ruin the body, and your immortal 
souls ! Notwithstanding all your care and indul- 
gence of your mortal frames, if you die in impeni- 
tence they will be raised to shame and everlasting 
contempt. If they come forth with the attributes of 
incorruption, strength, and activity, they will express 
with awful horrour, the direful passions and torments 
of your wretched existence. They will not lessen, 
but augment your intolerable eternal pains. Doleful 



reflection! to endure the curses of the God of heaven, 
in your souls and bodies for ever and ever, without 
any mixture of mercy ! Those bodies which appear 
in the house of God, in the time of his solemn wor- 
ship, in a careless and indecent manner, will be far 
from levity when summoned to the judgement. The 
wicked will be filled with honour, when their eyes 
shall behold the Lord Jesus revealed from heaven 
with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking ven- 
geance on them that know not God, and that obey 
not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those ears 
that now listen to the enchanting sounds of tempta- 
tion and wickedness, and hear the inviting calls of the 
gospel with indifference and disgust, will be everlast- 
ing inlets of anguish to the soul. How will both the 
soul and body of every Christless sinner be over- 
whelmed with agony and seized with eternal con- 
sternation, when their final sentence, Depart from me, 
ye cursed ! shall be pronounced. Let me remark, 
that as glorious and delightful as the doctrine of the 
resurrection is to saints, so inglorious and dreadful 
must it be to sinners. 

7 th. This subject is precious and profitable to saints. 

By living a few years in these animal bodies, we 
naturally become attached to them ; and it is affect- 
ing to think they must shortly decay, become putre- 
faction, and amass of vile dust. With secret disgust, 
and painful sensations our minds turn from the 

But in joyful contemplation, the believer with an 
eye of faith, can look beyond the grave to the resur- 
rection, which will cause an amazing and glorious 
alteration. Is such a one afflicted with bodily in^ 
firmities, pained with acute diseases ? Do any bear 
a weak, decaying body, which retards them in their 
journey towards the heavenly Canaan ? Let such 
take courage, and not despond. Be comforted and 
strengthened; for in the resurrection, God shall 
wipe away all tears from your eyes, and there shall 

SERMON XXIll. 355 

be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither 
shall there be any more pain. Yes, your light and 
temporary afflictions will shortly be exchanged for 
an eternal and inconceivable weight of glory. 

They who have lost near and dear pious relatives 
and friends may receive consolation in the view of 
this subject. Have some of you, my hearers, seen 
the eyes of such, which once sparkled with life and 
beauty, rolled in death ; that tongue, which once in- 
structed and encouraged, sealed in solemn silence ; 
and the whole frame a lifeless corpse, turning to the 
food of worms ? Console yourselves. At the resur- 
rection, their bodies will be rendered incorruptible, 
glorious, spiritual bodies, fashioned like unto Christ's 
own glorious body Then let divine light illumine 
your understandings : Let heavenly rays beam with 
consolation upon your souls. 

Christian friends, O ! frequently contemplate the 
wonderful, the delightful, and glorious change your 
frail, decaying tabernacles will experience in the 
morn of the resurrection. Extend your thoughts a 
little forward, what divine and blessed realities are 
presented ! And shall not the prospect of the 
glories of the heavenly world inspire you with 
Christian fortitude, under the trials of your pilgrim- 
age state ? It is your privilege to be profited here 
below, in the view of the precious, extatick truths 
flowing from this subject. Yet a little while, and 
you will mount triumphing on the celestial wings of 
a glorified body, soaring for ever higher in degrees 
of perfection; and with seraphick love, shouting 
God's praises in endless day. Jimen. 



Matthew xiii. r>2. 

Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdoin of 
heaven^ is like unto a man that is a householder^ which 
hringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. 

JL HESE words the Saviour addressed to his disci- 
ples immediately after the delivery of a number of 
important parables. They seem to have been apart 
from the multitude; and he demanded of them 
whether they understood the things he had related. 
They readily answered in the affirmative, though 
perhaps too Confidently. Christ, however, did not 
administer rebuke; but his answer tended to show 
the importance of their being skilled in the mysteries 
of the kingdom of God. Jesus saith unto them. Have 
ye understood all these things ? They say unto him, 
Yea, Lord: Then said he unto them. Therefore, every 
scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, 
is like unto a man that is a householder, which 
bringeth forth out of his treasure, thin&s new and 

Now let us attend to a brief exposition of these 
words. The scribes were at this time the teachers 
of the Jews, under the Jewish dispensation : and the 
Apostles, with their successors in the ministry, were 
to be the teachers of the Gentiles, under the Chris- 
tian dispensation. Every one of them, therefore, 
ought to be a scribe well instructed in all things per- 
taining to the kingdom of heaven. This the Saviour 

yERMON ixiv. Hi/I 

represented under the similitude of a householder, 
who has to provide for a large family. Such a one 
will take care to have a stock of provisions on hand 
for their supply, to vvhich he will be continually 
adding those things which he judges needful or use- 
ful. Thus the people would depend on the Apos- 
tles and other ministers of Christ as stewards of the 
mysteries of God, who were appointed to dispense 
to them the bread of life. They should, therefore, 
carefully treasure up in their understanding and heart, 
what they had learned ; and add to their fund of 
knowledge continually, by deriving fresh instruction 
from what they see, hear, and experience. Then 
they would be able to bring forth old truth, with new- 
observations, illustrations, aiid exhortations ; and to 
lead the people forward in knowledge, as they made 
progress themselves. In accordance with these re- 
marks, the apostle Paul addresses his Corinthian 
brethren in the following terms: Let a man so ac- 
count of us, as of the ministers of Christ and stew- 
ards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is re- 
quired in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 
Thus we are reminded, That they ought to be dili- 
gent, who have not only to be wise lor themselves, 
but to dispense the wisdom of God to others. 

These introductory observations serve to show 
that by the ienji scribe^ is to be understood a minister 
of the gospel. But to be qualified for this important 
office and station, a man must be taught of God, by 
having his heart renewed by his holy Spirit, and his 
understanding richly stored with the manifold truths 
of divine revelation. Moreover, such a one will 
bring forth from his extensive store of knowledge, 
things both new and old, to the people of his stew- 
ardship. One great object in his studies and re- 
searches, will be to have variety in his instructions. 

In the prosecution of the present subject, my de- 
sign is to exhibit some of the encouragements, and 
show how important it is that ministers of the gospel 


hold forth variety as a prominent trait in their pub- 
lick discourses. But, while at the threshold, let me 
remark, that I am not presuming to give directions to 
those men whose eminent piety, experience, profound 
erudition, or elevated stations, have rendered them 
highly venerable. Let me freely confess as it re* 
spects my own character as a sinner, or as to my 
christian walk, I feel myself the least worthy of the 
ministerial office. Notwithstanding, a humble hope 
is entertained that the present discourse will prove 
profitable to both saints and sinners, and even to 
some in the gospel ministry. 

Then let me not waive the point in view; but let it 
be freely granted, that the kingdom of God is, suffi- 
ciently large to produce materials for subjects new 
as well as old ; not only for one, or for ten years, but 
for the longest period of our mortal existence. In 
general, the field is as vast as the works of creation, 
providence, and redemption, which God has made 
known to man ; and ideas and motives may be pre- 
sented as varied and interesting as can be drawn from 
heaven, earth, and hell. The Lord has not limited 
those who are called to preach his word, as it re- 
spects means of knowledge and excellent attain- 
ments; but he has made rich provision and given 
ample scope for the continued erdargement of all the 
human faculties, and the improvement of ministerial 
gifts and talents. As their station is an elevated and 
important one, which must be supported by a rich 
treasure and increasing revenue, so an extensive, 
an unbounded field is furnished to yield copious and 
permanent supplies. And if any are straitened, it 
cannot be for the want of means and diversity of 
objects ; but because they will not arise to take an 
extensive view of the kingdom of God. 

It is sometimes observed, that ministers of the 
gospel should be dismissed from the people of their 
charge, to take the oversight of some other congre- 
gation ; and the reason assigned is expediency : a? 


though they had exhausted the fund of theology, of 
mental instruction, and Christian edification. Six, or 
ten years at most, are deemed the extent, that one ' 
man should continue steadily as the pastor of any 
church. But why ? Are there not a sufficient vari- 
ety of interesting texts in both the old and new Tes- 
taments ? Or has not the Lord provided resources 
manifold to that extent, that they can be illustrated 
with variety of manner, of observations, of simili- 
tudes, and with a newness of interest? Surely in 
these there can be no lack, no deficiency. A steward 
may not be devoted to the service of his master; and 
hence, imagme he comes short of accomplishing his 
work : notwithstanding for his dehnquency he is to 
be blamed. But if he be really unable to give him- 
self wholly to his work, he is entitled to pity and 
compassion. The probable reason, however, why 
there is a want of variety in the sermons of many, 
is that they have viewed the study of theology as a 
science of a very limited range. They do not take 
an extensive survey of that wide and divine field 
which is presented before them. They do not well 
consider how intimately connected is the economy of 
nature with the economy of redemption; and that 
it is the same God, that contrived the system of 
nature, who is also the author of eternal salvation to 
all that love and serve him. But it is unquestionably 
unbecoming for a divine, or for any man, to overlook 
or to undervalue any of the modes, by which the 
divine Being is pleased to make known his nature 
and perfections to mankind. * 

If we consider the system, or study of theology in 
its most extensive sense, in its relations to the supreme 
Being, to his past and present dispensations of the 
human race, to the present circumstances and future 
destiny of man, and to the physical and moral condition 
of all the sentient and intelligent beings of which we 
have any intimation, we must view it as the most varied 
and comprehensive of all the sciences; as it embra- 


ces within its compass all the other departments of 
useful knowledge both human and divine. All the 
moral arts and sciences may be considered as having 
a direct bearing on theology as the grand central 
point ; and as having a certain tendency to proniote 
its important objects. Rehgioa rightly understood, 
never disdains to derive her supports and illustra- 
tions from the resources of science and the system of 
nature; for the investigations of philosophy into its 
economy, are only inquiries into the plans and ope- 
rations of Deity. Moral philosophy especially, 
ought always to consider it as her highest honour to 
walk as a hand-maid in the train of that religion, 
which points out the path to eternal bliss. And it 
should not be considered as in opposition to true re- 
ligion, nor in hostile array to vital piety ; •for philo- 
sophy and religion should march hand in hand to the 
portals of immortality. Geography and geology, 
history and chronology, anatomy and physiology, as- 
tronomy and philosophy, do all come within the pro- 
vince of the divine ; for scriptural facts may be the 
more extensively illustrated from those arts and sci- 
ences, which serve to elucidate the works of God, 
exhibited in the system of nature. These subjects 
are highly favourable to the promotion of the impor- 
tant objects of religion, and they present materials, 
that ministers of the gospel may be neither barren, 
nor unfruitful ; but always abounding in the work of 
the Lord, by bringing forth from their manifold and 
increasing treasure, thii^s both new and old. 

2d. Ministers of the gvspel may be encouraged to in^ 
traduce variety in their religious instructions^ from the con- 
sideration that it is so well calculated to excite arid interest 
the attention of their hearers. They are called to ad- 
dress intelligent beings, whether saints or sinners, 
who have capacities capable of enlargement and of 
great attainments. And the Lord has endued them 
with such active principles in the very constitution of 
their natures, as are most readily excited by new 

SERMON xx:iv. 361 

subjects. The experience of every age, and the 
observations of every class of men, bear testimony to 
this fact, that novelty and variety are highly requi- 
site in order to arouse the attention, not only of 
the more ignorant, but even of the more intelli- 
gent class of mankind, and to excite them to make 
progress in the path of moral and intellectual im- 
provement. The principle of curiosity which ap- 
pears at a very early period of life, and w^hich the 
variegated scenery and novel objects of nature tend 
to stimulate and to gratify, instead of being depres- 
sed and decried as it relates to the things of religion, 
ought to be encouraged and cultivated in the minds 
both of the old and the young. It is a principle 
which God himself has implanted in our natures for 
wise and important purposes, and requires only to be 
chastened and directed in a proper channel, in order 
to become one of the most powerful auxiliaries in 
the cause of religion, and of moral and intelleciual 
improvement. To gratify this principle, and to in- 
crease its activity, the Creator has adorned our globe 
with a combination of beauties and sublimities, 
strewed in endless variety over all its different regions. 
And as the system of nature in all its parts presents' 
a boundless variety of scenery to arouse the atten- 
tion and to gratify the desire for novelty, so the 
revelation of God contained in the sacred records, 
displays a diversified combination of the most sub- 
lime and interesting subjects and events. And as 
the scenes of nature and the scenes of revelation 
are thus wonderfully diversified, in order to excite 
the atteiition of intelligent beings and to gratify the 
desire for variety, so we have every reason to believe 
that the scenes, objects, and dispensations which will 
be displayed in the heavenly world, will be incom- 
parably more grand and diversified. When we con- 
sider trie i«ninensity of God's universal kingdom, and 
the nuioerous systems, and worlds, and beings com» 
preheaded within its vast expanse," and that the en^t- 


362 fciERMON XXIV. 

gies of creating power may be for ever exerted in 
raising new worlds into existence, we may rest as- 
sured that the desire of variety and novelty in holy 
intelligences, will be completely gratified throughout 
an endless succession of existence; and that the 
most luxuriant imagination in its boldest excursions, 
can never go beyond the reality of those scenes of 
diversified grandeur which the heaven of heavens will 

But away heated imagination, and violent enthu- 
siasm ! Should not ministers of the gospel beware, 
lest they instil into the minds of their hearers a vain 
curiosity, and excite an itching ear ? Truly my 
hearers. But the most effectual method for this, 
is that they excite in their minds a laudable curios- 
ity, and thus prepare the way for sound doctrine. 
A rich diversity of topicks from the pulpit would 
afibrd manifold excitements to rouse this principle 
into exercise, and to direct the mind to the contem- 
plation of the marvellous word and wonderful works 
of God. What encouragement then, for every min- 
ister of the gospel to be zealous to bring forth from 
an inexhaustible treasure things both new and old ! 

3d. If ministers of the gospel would hold forth variety 
in their publick discourses as a prominent trait^ their con- 
duct would be in accordance with the divine economy in the 
revelation which God has given to man. Not only does 
the face of nature exhibit boundless variety, and the 
heavens bespangled with stars ; but the volume of 
divine truth also exhibits the same diversity of 
scenery. And is it not becoming the heralds of salva- 
tion, to endeavour in some feeble degree, to become 
imitators of the author of their messages ? Certainly, 
it cannot be denied, that in the writings both of the 
Old and New Testament, as in all the other displays 
and manifestations of the Almighty, divine perfec- 
tion and Providence are exhibited in the most diver- 
sified aspects. And now let some of the facts, 
?5vents, ^nd transactions, which are recorded for our 


instruction, be briefly noticed. I shall quote the par* 
ticulars as arranged in the Christian Philosopher, by 
Thomas Dick; to which work I am not only indebted 
for ideas on this subject, but also for a number of 
whole pages. He observes, We have recorded a 
history of the creation and arrangement of our globe ; 
of the formation of the first human pair; of their pri- 
meval innocence, temptation, and fall ; of the arts 
which were cultivated in the first ages of the world ; 
of the desperate increase of human wickedness ; of 
the building of the ark; of the drowning of the world 
by a universal deluge; and of the burning of Sodom 
by fire from heaven. We will now pass to the account 
of the origin of languages; of the dividing of the 
Red Sea; of the journeying of the tribes of Israel 
through the deserts of Arabia; of their conquest of 
the promised land, and their wars with the nations 
of Canaan ; of the corporeal translation of Elijah 
from earth to heaven; of the manifestation of the 
Son of God in human flesh, the benevolent miracles 
he performed, and the triumphs he obtained over all 
the powers of earth and hell. We are here presented 
with the most interesting and effective narratives, 
elegies, dramatick poems, and triumphal songs; with 
views of society in the earliest ages of the world, 
when the lives of men were prolonged to nearly a 
thousand years ; with splendid miracles performed 
in the land of Egj/pt, in the wilderness of Horeb 
and in the field of Zoan ; when the sun and moon 
stood still in their habitation; when the waters of the 
great deep were divided, and mountains shook and 
trembled at the presence of Jehovah. We are 
favoured with the history of the glorious marching 
of a whole nation through the deserts of Sinai, under 
the guidance of a miraculous pillar of cloud and fire; 
of the visits of celestial messengers and the visible 
symbols of a prfesent Deity. We are addressed with 
prophetical delineations of the present and future 
x;ondition of the race of Adam ; with descriptiona of 

3^4 aERMON XXI?. 

the power, wisdom, love, and majesty of the Almighty, 
and of his operations in heaven and earth; and with 
the results and bearings of the economy of redemp- 
tion. Divine songs, odes, and hymns, composed by 
angels and inspired men ; maxims of moral wisdom, 
examples of sublime eloquence, of strength of rea- 
soning, and of manly boldness of reproof; and pro- 
verbs, parables, allegories, exhortations, promises, 
threatenings, and consolatory addresses, are pro« 
mulged with abundance of variety of manner, and 
peculiar occasions and circumstances. In short, 
in the word of God we have detailed, in the greatest 
and most interesting variations, history, antiquities, 
voyages, travels, philosophy, geography, natural 
and moral science, biography, arts, epick poetry, 
epistles, memoirs, delineations of nature, sketches 
of human character, moral precepts, prophecies, 
miracles, narrations, wonderful providences, mar- 
vellous deliverances, the phenomena of the air, the 
waters, and the earth. The past, the present, and 
the future scenes of the world are all blended 
together in one vast, harmonious system, without ar- 
tificial order ; but with a majesty and grandeur, cor- 
responding to the style of all the other works of 
God. Moreover, we cannot deny but that they are 
calculated to interest and gratify the principle of 
curiosity ; and to convey reproof, correction, and in- 
etruction in righteousness, and to make the man of 
God perfect and thoroughly furnished to every good 

Now, since the book of nature and the book of 
revelation ; since all the manifestations of the Crea- 
tor in heaven and earth, are characterized by their 
sublime and diversified aspect, let me ask, Why 
should not the ministers of the gospel be imitators of 
God, in displaying the diversified grandeur of his 
kingdom of providence and grace, before the minds 
of those whom they profess to instruct.'^ Why should 
they confine their views to a few points in the Christ 


tian system ; to a few stones in the fabrick of the 
Divine operations, when a wide and unbounded pros- 
pect Hes before them? Why should they not rather 
attempt to rouse the moral and intellectual energies 
of mankind from the pulpit and press, by exhibiting 
the boundless variety of aspect which the revelations 
of Heaven present, that men may learn with intelli- 
gence and devout contemplation to meditate on all 
the works of the Lord, and to talk of all his doings ? 
By enlarging and diversifying the topicks of religious 
discussion, they would have it in their power to 
spread out an intellectual feast to allure and gratify 
every variety of taste. The young and the old, the 
learned and the unlearned, yea, even the careless and 
the ignorant, the skeptical and dissipated, might be 
frequently allured, by the selection of a judicious 
variety of striking and impressive objects and de- 
scriptions, to partake of those mental enjoyments 
which might ultimately issue in the happiest results. 
The man of an inquisitive turn of mind, who is wont 
to throw every thing aside that has the appearance 
of religioa, on the account of its dulness to him, might 
have his curiosity excited and gratified amidst an in- 
teresting variety ; and from perceiving the bearing 
on the great realities of religion both for the present 
and future state, might be led to serious inquiry after 
the path that leads to immortality. In a word, to 
associate and intersperse the arts and sciences, and 
every department of useful knowledge with divine 
subjects, is to consecrate them to their original and 
legitimate ends, and to present rehgion to the minds 
of men in its most sublime, and comprehensive, and 
attractive form, corresponding to what appears to be 
the design of the Creator, in all the manifestations he 
has given of himself in the system of nature, in the 
operations of Providence, and in the economy of 

It may be replied, That the Lord has given a reve- 
lation to mankind in view of what they are, and not 


of what they ought to be; therefore he was graciously 
pleased to grant one suited to their fallen condition. 
But is it not the duty of ministers of the gospel to 
address them as intelligent beings who have sinned, 
and not merely as those who have never transgress- 
ed ? Are they not in some measure to follow that 
diversified and divine pattern which God has put 
into their hands as a guide and rule for their imita- 
tion ? Or shall mortal man presume to be wiser than 
his Maker ? Because God gives mandates and law 
to all the holy and exalted beings thai surround big 
throne, is he the less capable of discerning what in- 
structions, methods, means, and ways would be the 
most suitable to be unfolded to the inhabitants of 
this lower world ? Or because his ambassadors are 
here on the ground, and see with what a wicked and 
rebellious race they have to treat, shall they pretend 
to be wise above what he has written, by greatly re- 
trenching and circumscribing his communications ? 
Can they teach their King knowledge, and lea^n him 
wisdom? As his understanding is infinite, his omni- 
science would certainly enable him to foreknow 
what things would be best to be revealed to our 
apostate race, dead in trespasses and sins. Doubt- 
less he who gave existence to the inhabitants of the 
earth, and who implanted in them the various prin- 
ciples of their animal, intellectual, and moral natures, 
could determine what things would be the most fa- 
vourable and effectual to arouse their energies, excite 
their attention, and to awake them to a solicitous in- 
quiry concerning divine and eternal realities. And 
some of the varieties and glorious novelties which 
God has not been ashamed, but pleased to have re- 
corded in his holy word, have been named. And 
what an interesting variety would be presented, were 
they chosen as the foundation of religious and pub- 
lick discourses ! This is one great and important 
end for which they were revealed to man. They 
are dispersed throughout the sacred pages, and are 


so valuable that men should seek for them as for 
hidden treasures. But especially we may be led to 
see, that if ministers of the gospel would hold forth 
variety in their publick discourses as a prominent 
trait, their conduct would be in accordance with the 
divine economy as manifested in the system of reve- 

4th. The particular examples of holy men of old^ who 
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ; of the Sav- 
iour and the Apostles^ and many eminently worthy minis- 
ters of the gospcU may be held up for imitation as an en- 
couragement to a variety of topicks and illustrations in the 
discharge of the ministerial office. The writings of 
Moses are extensive not only as historical records, 
but they are a rich fund from which may be derived 
abundant instructions, relating to social, civil, and 
religious life. Besides those laws and regulations 
which were peculiar to the Jewish nation, a great 
variety of important rules are laid down to direct us 
in the various pursuits of life, and in the more imme- 
diate duties of religion. The Psalms of David are 
full of piety, and an almost continual scene of devo- 
tion ; but how marvellous for their abundant variety 
of interesting subjects! The Proverbs of Solomon 
are a continued series of diversified texts, relating to 
worldly concerns, to the propriety or impropriety 
of human conduct, to moral principle, and to a godly 
or ungodly hfe. Isaiah and Jeremiah abound with 
beautiful and sublime varieties. The Saviour is the 
most interesting preacher, both as it respects tempo- 
ral concerns and Christian morality, and those more 
solemn truths which immediately relate to eternity. 
Perhaps some may be ready to imagine the apostle 
Paul was averse to a variety of subjects in the preach- 
ing of the word, because he declared to the Corin- 
thians, I determined not to know any thing among 
you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. This ex- 
pression shows that the Apostle considered his great 
work and main business to be the preaching of the gos- 


pel: And that in the expounding of the old Testament, 
in his conversation and sermons, he aimed to prove 
that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah, who was to 
come and be offered as a sacrifice for sin. And the 
more effectually to accomplish this great object, he 
avows, I have not shunned to declare unto you the 
whole counsel of God. By the expression, " whole 
counsel of God," is not to be understood merely the 
five Calvinistical points ; but that as he had opportu- 
nity, he unfolded all the great and important doc- 
trines and duties of Christianity- The writings of 
this great Apostle of the Gentiles, and his avowal, I 
am made all things unto all men, that I might by all 
means save some, may serve to evince his variously 
extended views in relation to the subject now under 

Now it may be replied. That the life of one man 
is far too short to exhibit all the varied subjects of 
some of the sacred historians, much more to endeav- 
our to bring forward the varieties of all of them. 
Then as they have opportunity, let them abound 
with an interesting variety, and be imitators of those 
whom God holds forth as worthy examples. In the 
present age, some imitate the goodly prophetical and 
apostolical examples ; and instead of having all their 
ministerial instructions confined within a very small 
compass, take a wide range as it respects their sub- 
jects and illustrations. And yet there is room for 
pthers to expatiate in the divine field, and to collect 
rich materials to add to their treasure. How much 
of it is still uncultivated ; but which will unquestion- 
ably be improved as a foundation for religious dis- 
courses and a means of accomplishing the various 
ends of the ministerial office. 1 hen let us, my 
brethren, be encouraged to hold forth an interesting 
variety as a prominent trait in our religious dis- 
courses, as we are presented with many manly, glori- 
ous, and godlike examples. 

5th. An extensive variety in publick discourses, is 


the method best calculated to repress vice and pro- 
mote virtue. One important object in the topicks 
and discussions from the pulpit, is the present good 
of community. The temporal welfare of individu- 
als, of families, and society, demands the attention 
of Zion's w^itchmen ; for a proper management of 
worldly concerns and the morals of a people, are in- 
timately connected with the important duties and 
interest of the gospel. Hence, vice in all its defor- 
mities and destructive tendencies, must be depic- 
tured; and the beauties and beneficial results of 
virtue, strikingly delineated. But in order to this, 
appropriate discourses are highly important. And 
a sermon on morality should not be a rare thing, a 
phenomenon; but a portion of almost every discourse 
should be of such a nature. If a minister but once 
a year address his people on the subject of morals, 
and that discourse be a declamatory moral harangue, 
they will not be much impressed nor benefited. But 
if his discourses be frequently interwoven, with 
Christian morality, they will believe him serious and 
interested in the truths he delivers ; and virtue and 
vice will not be considered as empty names. How- 
ever I very well know that some professors of religion, 
and even deacons in the church,imagine that sermons 
on morality are almost useless, if not detrimental to 
the cause of religion. Their souls are pained, and 
they hang down their heads whenever they hear a 
text named of a moral nature. But let us query; 
How can they read their Bibles without being much 
grieved at heart? How can the multiplicity of moral 
texts be but grating to their feelings ? Can they not 
discern them ? Then they must have exerted all their 
moral faculties to have shut their eyes. But what 
would such have ? Truly, if the sermons of their 
minister accord with their views, they must be all 
comprised in a small rotine of fundamental and doc- 
trinal points ; and an additional one containing theii* 
whole Calvinistical creed, as the Climax of their di- 



vinitj. If such have indeed tasted the delights of 
renewing grace and redeeming love, hovs^ much is 
it to be lamented that they have not their hearts en- 
larged ! From a false zeal of contending for the 
fundamentals of religion and of being pillars in the 
church, they may render themselves a burden to 
their brethren and stumbling blocks to the world. 

What a contrast in the views, preaching, and life 
of the Saviour, that great and divine teacher of moral- 
ity. He not only delivered the most weighty messa- 
ges relating to eternal realities, but he inculcated 
all the moral virtues and went about doing good ; 
granting healing to the sick, hearing to the deaf, sight 
to the blind, and administering to the temporal wants 
of men. And did the divine Redeemer, whose great 
object was to be the physician of souls, do well to 
become the physician of the body, and to discover 
a lively interest for the present well-being of man ? 
Then let not his ministers think they demean them- 
selves to copy his worthy and glorious example. 
Shall objects of pity and charity have no claim to 
their addresses and pleas from the pulpit ? Are there 
no afflicted suffering widows, whose hearts the irre- 
gularities of a husband have broken? No half fam- 
ished orphans whom the indolence, intemperance, or 
excesses of a father have reduced to want ? Surely 
society burdened with manifold evils, cries aloud for 
help from the discourses of the minister in the pulpit, 
and in his volume of sermons. Then let the varied 
topicks of Christian morahty have their due weight 
and share in the publick discharge of the ministerial 

6th. If ministers of the gospel bring forth an interest- 
ing variety in their religious instructio?is, they will do much 
for the promotion of useful knowledge among the people of 
their clutrge^ and for building up the church in the most 
holy faith. An ingenious and intelligent minister has 
it in his power greatly to cnhghten the congregation, 
over which he may be appointed a pastor. And if 


his subjects be wisely chosen, they will be of such a 
nature and variety as will tend to enlarge the view^s 
of his hearers, to excite a spirit of inquiry, and to 
instruct them in many useful and important truths. 
Moreover, piety will be encouraged and promoted ; 
for believers must grow in knowledge in order to their 
growth in grace. Thus an enlightened and faithful 
minister will be a burning and shining light in the 
midst of his people, who, from his extended views, 
will be enabled to take an extensive survey of the 
kingdom of God. And the man who connects the 
different departments of knowledge, and the dis- 
coveries of science with his prospects of God's 
universal dominions and government, can with his 
mental eye, traverse the different regions of the earth, 
and penetrate into the most distant and retired reces- 
ses where human beings have their residence. He 
can contemplate and adore the conduct of divine 
sovereignty, in leaving so many nations to grope 
amidst the darkness of heathen idolatry ; can trace 
the beams of the Sua of Righteousness, as they grad- 
ually arise to illumine the benighted tribes of men ; 
can realize in- some measure, the glorious and happy 
scenes which will be displayed in the future ages of 
time, when the kingdoms of this world shall become 
the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ; and when 
the everlasting gospel shall be pubHshed, and its 
blessings distributed among all who dwell upon the 
face of the earth. With his mental sight he can 
view the planetary worlds, and survey far more 
spacious globes than ours ; peopled with a higher 
order of intelligences, arranged and superintended 
by the same almighty Sovereign, who doth according 
to his will among the inhabitants of the earth. With 
enlarged views he exclaims, Who can utter the 
mighty acts of the Lord ? who can show forth all his 
praise ? A gospel minister, who bringeth forth from 
his treasure things new and old, renders his people 
highly exalted in point of privilege ; for they have 

*il2 S'ERMON XXiV. 

an important aid in acquiring new and interesting 
ideas, and in enlarging their views of the works ot cre- 
ation, providence, and redemption. But how different 
the prospects of those who have a religions teacher, 
that is confined to a narrow circle in his publick dis- 
courses. Sameness must be a pecuhar trait in his 
instructions; and with a few exceptions, the people 
of his charge will have contracted and illiberal views. 
Whilst they make but little progress in divine or 
useful knowledge, they will verify the saying, Like 
priest, like people. And indeed how strangely ig- 
norant are the majo^-ity of some congregations re- 
specting the various doctrines nnd di?ties of Chris- 
tianity, and other important and interesting truths 
closely connected with them. The range of subjects^ 
to which the minds of some professing Christians 
i^eem to be confined, may be comprised within the 
limits of five or six chapters of the New Testament. 
And how very narrow and limited are their ideas re- 
specting the universal kingdom of Jehovah, and the 
range of his operations! Hie views of some indi- 
viduals are confined chiefly within the limits of their 
own parish; or at fartherest, extend only to the sen- 
sible horizon, which forms the boundary of their 
sight. Within this narrow circle, all their ideas of 
God, of religion, and of the relations of intelligent 
beings to each otber.arechiefly circumscribed. \\ hat 
maybe the rtature of the vast assemblage of shining 
points which adorn the canopy of their habitation, 
and the ends they are destined to accomplish in the 
plan of the Creator's operations, they consider as no 
part of their province to inquire. There is a cer- 
tain narrowness of view and principle of selfish- 
ness that pervade the minds of many professors of 
religion, which lead them to conclude that if they 
can but secure their own personal salvation, they 
need give themselves no trouble about the glory and 
extent of the kingdom of the Most High. What need 
we care, say they, about nations in the far distant 

.\EKMON XXIV. il.i 

parts of the world, and about the divine works in the 
planets and stars ; our business is to attend to the 
spiritual interests of our souls. But such persons 
seem not fully to understand in what salvation really 
consists, and what is conducive to their spiritual 
growth, nor to appreciate those tempers and habits, 
which will quaHfy them for the enjoyment of eternal 
life. It forms but a very slender evidence of their 
being the children of God, if they wish to rest satis- 
fied with the most scanty and vague conceptions of 
his works ; and if they do not ardently aspire after a 
more enlarged view of the greatness and glory of his 
empire, and of whatever may tend to expand their 
conceptions of the inheritance of saints in light. 

But how great the influence of a gospel minister 
over the minds of the generality of his hearers, 
either to render contracted or to enlarge their views ; 
to render them bigots, or to cause them to abound in 
all Christian and useful knowledge. If the pastor 
feed his flock from all that richness of provision 
which the great Shepherd, in his abundant fulness 
has provided, instead of having leanness sent into 
their souls, they will enjoy a feast of fat things. 
Each one will have his portion of meat in due season; 
while the whole will be edified and sanctified. Then 
what encouragement for ministers of the gospel to 
hold forth variety as a prominent trait in their pub- 
lick discourses. 

7th. The beneficial influence on the minds of 
young people, should be viewed as an encourage- 
ment and powerful excitement for the bringing forth 
of things new and old, in the rehgious instructions 
from the pulpit. If an extensive variety of topicks 
should be introduced into the publick discourses of 
the sanctuary, by connecting the manifestations of 
Deity in the system of nature, and the discoveries 
of science with the objects of religion, it would 
have a tendency to allure the attention of the young 
to religious subjects, and to aflford mental entertain- 

374 ijERMON XXIV, 

meiit and moral instruction to intelligent minds of 
every description. And certainly every wise and 
well instructed scribe must feel a lively interest in so 
gaining their attention, as to excite them to an inquiry 
of the great things of the kingdom. Are youth the 
pecuhar hope and encouragement of a minister's 
usefulness ? Then they certainly claim a particular 
regard in the choice of his subjects and illustrations. 
But variety and novelty are highly favourable to 
attract the notice and impress the minds of the rising 
generation. Are young persons generally fond of 
reading novel© ? And are they much in quest of new 
things ? Then let singular texts and subjects be oc- 
casionally chosen and elucidated ; that they may be 
led to a perusal of the holy scriptures in view of 
the marvellous things therein recorded. Doubtless 
if a suitable portion of the manifold varieties, sin- 
gular events, and wonderful phenomena of divine 
revelation should be judiciously illustrated from the 
pulpit, many young people, from a laudable curiosity, 
w^ould be incited to hear the word preached with 
readiness, and would eagerly peruse the sacred 
volume for entertainment and instruction. Does the 
Bible abound with such a variety of novelties and 
divine wonders only to be read, and not to be the 
theme of gospel heralds ? Do not the age, the active 
principles, and dearest interest of children and 
youth, in a special manner require that they derive 
a due portion of food from such nutritive provision? 
I am well aware that some may be ready to reply, 
Young people are so thoughtless concerning reli- 
gious subjects, and so bent on the vanities of youth, 
that they should be addressed with subjects of the 
most pungent and alarming nature. But is it not a 
fact that the generality of youth do frequently have 
their minds much exercised about the concerns of 
their souls ? Moreover, does not a continued series 
of doctrinal and terrifying subjects serve to impress 
on their thoughts that the duties and essence of reli- 


gion are very much of a gloomy and disconsolate 
nature ? Then may they not only hear discourses of 
the most solemn import, and observations of a very 
striking nature, but let the varied peculiarities and 
beauties of the gospel be delineated ; that Chris- 
tianity be not presented to their youthful and tender 
minds in a forbidding aspect, but in its most attrac- 
tive charms and lovely forms. Would a minister of 
the gospel be influential and useful among this im- 
portant class of his hearers, let his conversation and 
sermons evince his respect for them, and manifest 
his solicitations for their present and future well- 
being. Let them not only be affectionately reproved 
and warned, but let them be encouraged, animated 
and drawn by all the varied motives and excitements 
which can be derived from the volume of divine 
truth. Their youthful days and vigour of life, their 
golden period of existence, plead for an interesting 
variety in the instructions of their pastor. 

8th. In order to enlarge congregations and build 
up society, it is highly important that ministers of the 
gospel hold forth variety as a prominent trait in their 
publick discourses. The beneficial effects resulting 
to Christian society and to community from an ex- 
tensive range of subjects well chosen, and from a 
variety of apt illustrations, are numerous ; and that 
of the satisfaction and enlargement of the people of 
a minister's charge, is of great consequence. There 
are the learned and the unlearned, the diligent in- 
quirer after 'truth and the slothful, the moral and the 
immoral, within the limits of almost every parish ; 
and there is a rich plenitude in the divine word, from 
which something may be brought forth appropriate 
to their diversified taste and circumstances. And 
in scattered and broken societies, how essential that 
the instructions of the sanctuary have an interesting 
variety; that the people be built up, and not broken 
down ! But how often, and indeed how justly is the 
complaint made, that there is a great sameness in 

376 SERMON xxrv. 

the topicks and discussions of the pulpit ! How many 
in the ministry have all their subjects comprised 
within a very small circle, and their illustrations 
quite limited ! And, on the same account, compara- 
tively [ew enter the threshold of the sanctuary : 
hence, ministerial usefulness is greatly restricted. 
What next ? The feeble church is deprived of their 
pastor. It is doubtless true, that in many places, 
different sects and indifference to a preached gospel, 
cause societies to be in a divided and broken state. 
Moreover, it is equally true that in many places 
where few assemble together on the Lord's day, 
respectable congregations might be collected by a 
scribe who would hold forth variety as a prominent 
trait in his publick discourses. It is a matter of fact, 
that a certain number of texts and topicks are so 
frequently introduced by ministers of the gospel, 
that when one of them is named, no small part of the 
congregation wish themselves home, or else invite 
sleep. Then let new texts and new subjects be in- 
troduced, as often as those that are old ; and this 
variety will prove a remedy for such lamentable ei^ 
fects. Let ministers generally select some of the 
varied and interesting texts which have not yet been 
discussed in the sanctuary; and the expressions, 
" singularity and curious minded," will not fall from 
the tongues of the illiberal and illiterate. Since 
God, in the co'jrse of his Providence, has disclosed 
to the present age a far more expansive view of the 
glory of his kingdom than former ages (5ould obtain, 
for the purpose of illustrating the revelations of his 
word, shall not proportionate advances, and suitable 
improvements be attempted ? Who will dare assert, 
that the scribe who has access by his studious efforts, 
to contemplate this wondrous scene and its rising 
grandeur, and yet withholds from communicating'to 
the people the increasing displays of the divine glory, 
does not thereby hazard the divine displeasure? In 
relation to this point, and the present particular, the 


following passage deserves a serious consideration. 
Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor 
the operations of his hands, he shall destroy them, 
and not build them up. For a minister to be exten- 
sively useful in his preaching, it is not only necessary 
that the people of God hear him, but that many of 
the impenitent attend his publick ministrations. And 
unless this be accomplished, one great end of his 
ministry is frustrated. The text suggests a method 
of accomplishment. Moreover, the situation and 
circumstances of hundreds of congregations and fee- 
ble churches in our own highly favoured land, plead, 
though with a disconsolate tone, yet most patheti- 
cally, for a minister who will hold forth variety as a 
prominent trait in his publick discourses. 

9th. The promotion of the declarative glory of 
God, demands that ministers of the gospel publish to 
mankind things new as well as old, in their delivering 
his messages. In the works of creation, providence, 
and redemption, the Lord has been pleased gradu- 
ally to unfold his perfections and his great and glo- 
rious designs. And the advancement of his w^onder- 
ful works towards their highest perfection, is an 
increasing display of the divine glory, as it respects 
the vievvs of created intelligences. And although 
the material creation wonderfully displays the glory 
of God, yet its brightest manifestations are exhibited 
in his moral kingdom. Whatever tends to a more 
enlarged display of the wonderful works and ways 
of God, tends to the furtherance of this great and 
glorious end : hence, angels and men are instrumen- 
tal in promoting the work. And the Lord is pleased 
to see his gospel heralds take a wide range in their 
survey of his empire, and to proclaim his manifold 
works, and his varied mighty acts to all his subjects. If 
they attain but a scanty view of his doings and re- 
hearse a contracted portion of his ways, they eclipse 
the glory of his great name. But if they expatiate 
in the various territories of his vast dominions, and 



with their enlarged views, promulge their newly dis- 
covered wonders, they are the honoured agents of 
promoting the declarative glory of God. 

The present age is wonderful for improvements in the 
various art^ and sciences, and glorious in relation to 
the advances and honour of the intellectual world. 
How do interesting and useful inventions abouiid ! 
How varied the works of man which are wonderful 
to behold ! And would not the Lord be delighted to 
have the remaining hidden glories of his holy word 
discovered and brought forth to the view of the sons 
of men ? Surely his name would be magnified among 
the people, if their admiration should be duly ex- 
cited by the exhibition of new and divine things; and 
by beholding the manifold and increasing wonders 
of his kingdom upon earth. Will the whole world 
be peopled before the end of time '^ And will not 
the whole volume of divine revelation be preached 
before that period ? Doubtless every interesting 
text in the sacred scriptures will be selected as a 
foundation for religious instruction in the house of 
God, before the archangel shall proclaim, That time 
shall be no longer. Then why should not the am- 
bassadors of God now aspire to give glory to him, by 
bringing forth new texts, manifold subjects, and va- 
riously improved exhibitions of divine truth ? T here 
are thousands of interesting and admirable propo- 
sitions contained within the pages of the divine 
canon which are yet to be the themes of benevolent 
invention, of new ideas, and of newly modified illus- 
trations to the ministers of the gospel. Much of the 
holy scriptures is yet to be more thoroughly ex- 
plored and more fully understood, besides the pro- 
phetical parts. And must it not be for the declarative 
glory of God ? Must it not be pleasing in his sight 
to behold the expositors of his holy word, humbly 
but zealously engaged to unfold more and more of 
its glorious contents ? Shall it yet be said, That the 
children of this world are m their generation wiser 


than the children of light ? Does not the declarative 
glory of God, demand of the present age that the 
investigations and discoveries of the manifold won- 
ders of his kingdom, should equal the inventions 
and improvements of the political and intellectual 
world ? 

lOth. The immortal interest of a vast number of 
human beings may serve to show how important it 
is that ministers of the gospel should hold forth 
variety as a prominent trait in their publick dis- 
courses. The great end of divine revelation and 
the preaching of the word as it relates to man, is his 
eteriial salvation. Hence a most important inquiry 
naturally arises, How should the word be preached 
so as to be instrumental in saving the greatest num- 
ber of human beings ? But the various particulars 
which have been adduced in this discourse, do tend 
to make it evident that an extensive and interesting 
variety of religious subjects would have the most fa- 
vourable tendency to promote the immortal interest 
of man. 

It may be replied, some ministers who have not 
been noted for an extensive scope and variety of 
discourses, have been instrumental in winning souls 
to Christ. Grant it. But, if an interesting and ex- 
tensive variety of subjects had been held forth as a 
prominent trait in their publick instructions, it is 
highly probable that their congregations would have 
been greatly enlarged, and more souls converted 
under their ministry. 

Again: It may be remarked. That some ministers 
of eminent talents, and whose sermons have been 
peculiar for variety, have had but little success as to 
any apparently saving eflfects from their labours. 
Let me answer, Their discourses may have had a 
general deficiency of striking, evangelical, and most 
important truths ; or they may have been deficient 
as it respects a life of prayer and devotedness to 

080 SERMON XXli. 

An instance of any salutary effect from an excite* 
rnent of curiosity, may be demanded. Zaccheus, 
from a laudable curiosity to see the Saviour, ascended 
a sycamore tree, and the same day salvation c&me to 
his house. And the relation of christian experience, 
m thousands of instances, attest similar glorious re- 

One important design of revelation was to be an 
exposition of the manifold works of God, exhibited 
in creation and providence ; to explain their nature, 
and to show to man the agency, purposes, wisdom, 
and goodness of the supreme Being, in their forma- 
tion and government. Thus explained and thus 
illuminated, they become means of knowledge very 
extensive and eminently useful. Hence, in those 
places where the manifold doctrines, duties, and 
truths of divine revelation have been most extensively 
and strikingly exhibited to the minds of men, there 
has the greatest number of souls been savingly con- 
verted as witnesses of the marvellous grace of God 
in the glorious effects of an interesting variety in the 
preaching of the word. If divines of the present day 
should only follow the footsteps of those who have 
gone before them, their sermons would tend to con- 
found rather than to convert their people. The in- 
terest of Zion, and the salvation of multitudes of our 
fallen race, call loudly upon them to bring forth from 
their treasure a variety of things new and old, pro- 
portionate to the rising wonders and additional glo- 
ries of the present age. 

By a continued repetition of a certain series of 
(Subjects on a few points of divinity, instead of the 
being of an occasion of additional joy to the angels 
©f heaven in view of the conversion of sinners, there 
would be ground for seraphs to weep. If ministers 
©f the gospel do not search for varied and interest- 
ing truths new and old as for hid treasures, and bring 
^lem forth to the view of their hearers, must they 
not be unfaithful, and guilty of the blood of souls ? 


Surely the perishing condition of impenitent sinners, 
the bleeding cause of the Redeemer, the prosperity 
of Zion, and the immortal interest of a vast number 
of human beings, may serve to show how important 
it is that ministers of the gospel should hold forth 
variety as a* prominent trait in th^ir publick dis- 


1st. We may see that it is highly important for 
ministers of the gospel to pay particular attetition 
to their style in their publick discourses. As they 
generally have great variety of hearers, it should be 
plain, easy to be understood by common capacities ; 
and it should be elegant, so as to interest the most 
refined mind. To have one part of the congregation 
leave the house of God, complaining of the obsc.irir 
ty and bombast of a discourse; and the other part, of 
its vulgarity and ungrammatical sentences,is a melan- 
choly circumstance. Or to have a people extol an 
abundance of flowery expressions in a sermon, of a 
continued series of tropes, figures, and metaphors, is 
an effect equally lamentable. Hence, words should 
be acceptable and style interesting, in that manner 
which is the best calculated to draw the attention of 
hearers to the subject for instruction, and impress 
their minds with a sense of the important truths de- 
livered. The great object of a minister of the 
gospel should be, so to please his hearers with lan- 
guage as most effectually to excite in them a lively 
and deep interest in his discourse. And the chief 
end of an interesting variety of words and sentences, 
should be the same as that of an interesting variety 
of subjects; viz. the promotion of the great and 
important objects of divine revelation. Moreover, 
as it is by words that thoughts and sentiments are 
conveyed to the understanding and conscience, so 
these should be aptly chosen that they may commu- 
nicate the particular ideas and truths designed. It 


is laudable for ministers of the gospel to bestow 
pains to find out words agreeable to the minds of 
their hearers, provided thej be suited to convey 
divine truths in the plainest and most convincing 
manner. They are honourably employed, if they 
copy the example of the wise and royal preacher, 
by seeking out acceptable words, even those of up- 
rightness and truth, set forth in the most forcible and 
persuasive arguments in order to lead men to a 
knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. If, indeed, 
divine truths be exhibited in suitable language, with 
variety and in their purity, thej will prove a source 
of peace, comfort, and consolation lo saints ; but of 
disquiet, terrour, and remorse to sinners. Hence, 
says the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, 
The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper 
than any two edged sword, piercing even to the divi- 
ding asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and 
marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents 
of the heart. Thus when the preaching of a minis- 
ter is not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but 
in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, it be- 
comes a divine sword with two sharp edges, pene- 
trating where no other sword can reach; for it lays 
open to the view of men their secret thoughts and 
intentions, even their most hidden purposes, and sins 
long forgotten, as naked and open to the eyes of him 
with whom they have to do. Moreover, the most 
solemn and glorious realities of eternity may be dis- 
cussed in a manner so indefinite, and with a style so 
languid as not to interest the attention either of saints 
or sinners. But let the same divine truths be exhib- 
ited with striking words and energy of expression, 
some will fill the souls of believers with extatick joy 
in view of the unspeakable glories of heaven, and 
others would pierce the conscience and heart of the 
impenitent, forcing convictions and alarms upon the 
most haughty and obstinate, and presenting a hell 
with devouring flames near to their view. How great 


the power of language, and how highly imf>ortant for 
ministers of the gospel to pay particular attention to 
their style in their publick discourses ! 

2d. We may see that it is highly important for 
ministers of the gospel, to attain an interesting man- 
ner in the delivery of their pubHck discourses. Elo- 
quence in the proclaiming of the glorious truths and 
narrations of the word of God, is highly favourable 
to the promotion of the same great and desirable 
ends, as a good style and an interesting variety of 
subjects. Indeed, without an engaging or interesting 
delivery, the most ingenious and striking discourses 
generally mike but little impression. How many 
thousands of excellent sermons have served only to 
lull one part of the congregation to sleep, and to 
render stupid those that were awake ; because they 
were delivered in an enervate and monotonous man- 
ner! But if a speaker be eloquent, though his 
discourse have no peculiar merit, he commands at- 
tention; and his illustrations commend themselves 
with weight to the minds of his hearers. And the 
talent of oratory is not merely to excite the passions ; 
but to convey light to the understanding, to pene- 
trate the conscience, and affect the heart. Though 
mankind may feel indifferent, and have their thoughts 
roving to the ends of the earth, when an ordinary 
speaker addresses them with the most heavenly and 
divine messages; yet, who is not interested, who 
is not eagerly drawn to the subject, when rhetorical 
sounds vibrate on the ear.-^ Shall it be deemed 
highly necessary for lawyers and statesmen to be elo- 
quent men? Surely it is as much more important for 
ministers of the gospel to be eloquent, as the well 
being of man for eternity is more important than his 
well being for time. And does not the present age, 
in a special manner, demand of them much attention 
to rhetorick ? The number of orators among oth. r 
professions, the advancement of the Redeemer's 


kingdom, the glorious prospects of saints and dread- 
ful prospects of sinners, should urge ministers of the 
gospel and students of divinity, with unwearied ex- 
ertions to improve their voice, and attain an inte- 
resting manner in the delivery of their publick dis- 
courses, ff a man be eloquent, he has the power of 
being extensively useful; for he will collect, or obtain 
a large congregation, and have opportunity of preach- 
ing to many saints and sinners. Moreover, it is a 
fact that many worthy ministers in these United 
States, have but a few attend their ministry, and 
scarcely receive a scanty support ; because they 
have not the gift of an interesting dehveryin the 
pulpit. How many more respectable congregations 
might soon be collected, and ministers comfortably 
and promisingly settled, if there were a supply of 
those who are truly eloquent. But the days of youth 
are far the most favourable for acquiring the talent 
of a natural and interesting delivery of a discourse ; 
and if young men who hope to become ministers of 
the gospel, do not zealously and perseveringly im- 
prove this golden period with a view to this very im- 
portant attainment, they will have lasting and painful 
regret and repentance for their presumptuous and 
criminal negligence. If a most impressive, most an- 
imating, or most alarming sermon be delivered 
without an easy and interesting address, eternal re- 
alities are made to appear at a great distance : But 
if divine truths be gracefully and forcibly exhibited, 
a holy God, a heaven and hell seem near at hand. 
How great the effect of ministerial eloquence to 
make men believe and reahze the varied and inte- 
resting truths of divine revelation ! And what minis- 
ter of the gospel, that prays for eminent usefulness, 
must not ardently pant for eloquence. Thousands of 
arguments relating to this particular, begin to crowd 
upon ray mind ; but I must forbear. Surely the few 
thingssuggested willservetoshow the encouragement. 


and how highly important^ it is for ministers of the 
gospel to attain an interesting marnier in the delivery 
of their publick discourses. 

3d. We may see that it is highly important for 
ministers of the gospel to be men of profound eru- 
dition, and of study. Unless their information be 
extensive, and they give all diligence for higher at- 
tainments in useful knowledge, they will be unable to 
bring forth things new and old, so as to exhibit an in- 
teresting variety as a prominent trait in their publick 
discourses. It is generally granted that they should 
be men of eminent piety, whose souls and lives should 
be devoted to the work of the ministry; but the 
same arguments that would show that their Christian 
experience should be extensive and their walk exem- 
plary, would make it evident that other extraordinary 
gifts and acquirements would be highly important. 
How can a minister instruct and edify his hearers, 
unless he shall have made greater proficiency, and 
have superiour skill in those things which do par- 
ticularly relate to his profession ? He should not 
only study to have a conscience void of offence in 
the sight of God, but he should be enabled to per- 
form his ministerial services as one whose qualifica- 
tions would recommend him to a people as their 
teacher. In accordance with this sentiment the 
apostle Paul addresses Timothy, Study to show 
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth 
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 
Thus Timothy was enjoined studiously to endeavour 
to approve himself in the sight of God in hisi^onduct 
and ministrations, and to exhibit himself by his 
performances as a skilful workman, who understood 
his business, and who would not be put to shame by 
having his work examined. Moreover, a large num- 
ber of the inspired penmen do exhibit indubitable 
evidence not only of their being devoted to the 
service of the Most High, but also of their bein^ 
men, who had acquired a rich fund of varied and useful 



knowledge both human and divine ; and whose souls 
panted for more extensive acquirements, and more en- 
larged views in regard to the wonderful scenes of 
creation, providence, and redemption. 

And if ministers of the gospel in the present age, 
have not a good foundation laid for mental and theo- 
logical improvement, and if they be not men of study, 
their people must be fed with old provision: nor will 
they be refreshed by him with running and living 
Btreams: but they must hunger and thirst for the 
rich dainties of the gospel through his deficiency 
and negligence. How lamentable for a gospel 
minister to trust to his former attainments as an inex- 
haustible fund, from which to derive constant sup- 
plies. Instead of giving himself wholly to his work, 
he may be said not to give himself to it at all. His 
illustrations will be general and vague; and the people 
of his charge, for new things must hear a continued 
repetition of old ; and instead of experiencing the 
varied blessings of an interesting variety of publick 
discourses, and a corresponding style, they will par- 
ticipate the contrary eflfects, the judgements of a 
barren and unfaithful minister. Although the ways 
ahd means of improvement are manifold and the 
objects unbounded, still with assiduity must a man 
improve them, in order to replenish his own mind 
and to be capable of instructing others. If the edu- 
cation, the reading, and the contemplations of a 
divine be superficial, his inst^-uctions will be but 
chaff instead of wheat. What man upon earth 
does it become to be diligent in his vocation more 
than a minister of the gospel ? Who sustains a 
station more elevated than he ? or has a more im- 
portant trust committed to his charge ? How impor- 
tant for him, then, profound erudition and close ap- 
plication to study. 

4th. This subject should be improved by Chris- 
tians and by all men, as an excitement to a spirit of 
liberality, of candour, and of accuracy, in the judge- 

SERMON xxiy. '4^7 

ing of the opinions and actions of men, and of the 
divine procedure and operations. And that thej 
may derive much light to see how important it is to 
be thus influenced, permit me to close this discourse 
with remarks on the subject from the Christian Phi- 
losopher. Who is the most candid and liberaKBeing 
in the universe? God. And why is God to be con- 
sidered as the most liberal intelligence, that exists ? 
Because he embraces a minute, a full and compre- 
hensive view of all the circumstances, connexions, 
relations, habits, motives, temptations, modes of 
thinking, educational biases, physical affections, and 
other causes that may influence the sentiments or 
the conduct of any of his creatures. 

Who among created intelligences may be viewed 
as endued with these qualities in the next degree ? 
The loftiest seraph that God has created, who has 
winged his way to immerous worlds, and taken the 
most extensive survey of the dispensations of the 
Almighty, and of his creatures and events. 

Who among the sons of men, is the most illiberal 
and inaccurate in the judgeing of opinions, of persons, 
and of things ? The man who has lived ail his days, 
within the confines of his native village; who has 
never looked beyond the range of his own religious 
party; whose thoughts have always run in one nar- 
row track; whose reading has been confined to two 
or three volumes ; who cares for nothing either yi the 
heave IS or the earth, but in so far as it ministers to 
his convenience, his avarice, or his sensual enjoyment; 
who will admit no sentiment to be true, but what he 
may have heard from his own parson ; and whose 
conversation seldom rises beyond the slanderous 
remarks which are circulated among his neighbours. 
Persons of such a character are entirely unqualified 
for forming a correct judgement, either of the senti- 
ments and actions of men, or of the works and the 
ways of God ; for they are devoid of that informa- 
tion and those principles, which are requisite to form 


a rational decision in relation to either of these sub- 

It maybe admitted as a kind of axiom in our esti- 
mate of human character, that in proportion to the 
ignorance and narrow range of view which charac- 
terize any individual, in a similar proportion will be 
his want of candour, and his unfitness for passing a 
sound judgement on any subject that is laid before 
him. Moreover, the man who has taken excursions 
through the widest range of thought, accompanied 
with a corresponding improvement of his moral 
powers, will be the most liberal and candid in his 
decisions on the moral and iiilellectual qualities of 
others. To these maxims, few exceptions will gen- 
erally be found. In forming an enlightened judge- 
ment in regard to any action or object, it is essen- 
tially requisite that we contemplate it in all its dif- 
ferent features and aspects, and in all its minute 
circumstances, bearings, and relations. On the 
same principle, it must be admitted that he who has 
viewed religion in all its aspects and bearings, who 
has taken the most extensive survey of the manifesta- 
tions of God and of the habits and relations of men, 
is the best qualified to pronounce a caridid and ac- 
curate decision on all the intellectual and moral cases 
that may come before him. And if the spirit of these 
sentiments be founded on fact, it will follow that 
the more we resemble God in the amplitude of our 
intellectual views and benevolent affections, the more 
candid, and liberal, and accurate will our judge- 
ments be in reference to all the actions, objects, and 
relations we contemplate. 

On the other hand, the man who is confined to a 
narrow range of thought and prospect, is continually 
erring in the estimates he forms, both in respect to 
physical facts, to general priiiciples, and to moral 
actions. He forms a premature and uncharitable 
opinion on every slander ar;d report against his 
Tieidibour. He condemns without hesitation, and 



liirovvs an unmerited odium on whole bodies of men, 
because a few of their number may have displayed 
weakness or folly. He hates and despises men and 
their opinions, because they belong not to his politi- 
cal or religious party. He pronounces his decisions 
on the motives of men with as much confidence as 
if he had surveyed their hearts with the eye of om- 
niscience. He cannot hear an objection against his 
favourite opinions wdth patience, nor an apology for 
any set of principles but his own. He is arrogant 
and dogmatical in his assertions, and will make no 
concessions to the superiour wisdom of others. He 
sets himself with violence against every proposal 
for reformation in the church, because his forefa- 
thers never thought of it ; and because such inno- 
vations do not suit his humour and pre-conceived 
opinions. He decides in the most confident tone, 
on what God can and cannot do, as if he had taken 
the most perfect survey of infinite perfection ; and 
he frets at the divine dispensations w hen they dp not 
exactly correspond with his own humour and selfish 
views. Moreover, he vainly imagines that he is bet- 
ter qualified to pronounce a decision on the varied 
topicks of divinity, than all the philosophers and 
divines, and all the brightest geniuses who have ever 
appeared in the world, though he cannot but confess 
that he never gave himself the trouble to examine 
into such matters. His views of the providential 
dispensations of God, are equally partial and distort- 
ed. If disease, or poverty, or misfortune, happen 
to his neighbour, especially if he had withdrawn from 
the religious party to which he belongs, it is consid- 
ered as a penal judgement for errour and apostacy. 
If prosperous circumstances attend his family or re- 
ligious party, it is viewed as a sign of divine appro- 
bation. He seldom views the hand of God except 
in uncommon occurrences; and then he imagines 
that a miracle is performed, and that the wheels of 
nature are stopped in order to accomplish the event. 


He seldom looks beyond the precincts of his own 
church or nation, to observe the movements of the 
divine footsteps toward other tribes of his fallen 
race. He overlooks the traces of divine operation, 
which are every moment to be seen above and around 
him ; and yet, in the midst of all such partial and 
contracted views, he will sometimes decide on the wis- 
dom and rectitude of the ways of God with as much 
confidence as if he had entered into the secret coun- 
cils of the Eternal, and surveyed the whole pla"\ of his 
procedure. Such are a few prominent outlines of 
the character of thousands whose names are en- 
rolled as members of the visible church, and whose 
ilHberality and self-coiifidence are owing to the con- 
tracted notions they have formed of God and of re- 
ligion And surely it must appear desirable to every 
enlightened Christian that every proper means should 
be used to prevent rational, immortal beings from 
the remaining enchained in such mentrd thraldom. 

On the other hand, the man who takes an enlight- 
ened^'iewof all the works and dispensations of God, 
and of all the circumstances and relations of subor- 
dinate beings, readily acquires a nobleness and libe- 
rality of mind, and an accuracy in the judgeing of 
things human and divine, which no other person can 
possess. He does not hastily take up an evil report 
against his neighbour ; for he considers how un- 
founded such reports often are, and how much they 
may be owing to the insinu itions of envy or malice. 
And when he can no longer doubt of an evil action 
being substantiated against any one, he does not 
triumph over him in the lafjgu ige of execration, for 
he considers all the circumstances, relations, feel- 
ings, and temptations with which he may have been 
surrounded ; and he considers that he himself is a 
frail, sinful creature, and might possibly have fallen 
in a similar way had he been placed in the same 
situation. He does not trumpet forth the praises of 
a man who has performed one brilliant benevolent 

SERMON XllV. 391 

deed, as if he were a character to be admired and 
eulogized, while the general course of his life is 
marked with vice and an utter forgetfulness of God 
and religion : nor does he fix a stigma of immorality 
upon the person who may have acted foolishly or 
sinfully in one or two instances, while the general 
tenor of his conduct has been marked by purity and 
rectitude ; for in both cases, he considers that it is 
not a single action, but general habits which deter- 
mine the character of any individual. He esteems 
the wise and the good, and holds friendly intercourse 
with them, to whatever political or religious party 
they belong. He can bear with affability and can- 
dour, to have his opinions contradicted ; and can 
differ from his neighbour in many disputed points, 
while at the same time he values and esteems him. 
He will not brand a man as a heretick or deist, be- 
cause he takes a view of some opinions in theology 
in a different light from what he himself does; for 
he considers the difference of habits, studies, pur- 
suits, and educational prejudices which must have 
influenced his opinions; and makes due allowance 
for the range of thought to which he may have been 
accustomed. He is disposed to attribute the actions 
of others to good motives, when he has no proof of 
the contrary. He uses no threats or physical force 
to support his opinions, or to convince gainsayers; 
for he knows that no external coercion canilluminate 
the mind ; and that the strength of arguments and 
the force of truth, can alone produce conviction. 
He is convinced how ignorant he is, notwithstand- 
ing all his study, observations, and researches, and 
presses forward as long as he lives, to higher degrees 
of knowledge and of moral improvement. 

And such a man is an active promoter of every 
scheme that tends to enlighten mankind, and melio- 
rate their condition, and extend the knowledge of 
salvation to the ends of the earth ; for he considers 
that it is not by miracles, but by the subordinate 


agency of intelligent beings, that God will effect the 
illumination, and moral renovation of our apostate 
race. He views the hand of God in all the move- 
ments of the scientifick, the political, and religious 
world; and perceives him accomplishing his purpose 
in the inventions of human genius, and in the econ- 
omy of the minutest insect, as well as in the earth- 
quake, the storm, and the convulsions of nations ;»for 
he considers the smallest atom,and the hosts of heaven, 
as equally directed by eternal wisdom, and equally ne- 
cessary in the universal chain of creatures and events. 
He displays a becoming modesty inthe speaking of the 
ways and works of God. When he meets with any 
dark and afflictive dispensation in the course of Pro- 
vidence, he does not fret and repine ; but is calm and 
resigned, conscious that he perceives only a small 
portion of the chain of God's dispensations, and is 
therefore, unable to form a just comparison of the 
connexion of any one part with the whole. When 
he contemplates the depraved and wretched con- 
dition of the greater part of the world at present, 
and for a tliousand years past, notwithstanding the 
salvation which has been achieved for sinners of 
mankind, he is far from arraigning the divine good- 
ness and rectitude, in leaving so many nations to 
walk in their own ways ; for he knows not what re- 
lation this dismal scene may bear, what influence it 
may have, or what important impressions it may pro- 
duce on worlds and beings with which we are at 
present unacquainted. 

Moreover, a man of such enlarged views is cau- 
tious in the pronouncing decisively respecting the 
dispensations of God, in regard to the universe at 
large. He does not, for example, assert with the ut- 
most confidence, as some have done, that there never 
was, and never will be to all the ages of eternity, 
such a bright display of the divine glory as in the 
cross of Christ. He admires and he adores the 
condescension and the love of God in the plan of 


salvation which the gospel exhibits, and feels an in- 
terest in it far beyond that of any other special mani- 
festation of Deity ; but he dares not set limits to the 
divine attributes and operations. He considers 
himself at present, with regard to the grand system 
of the universe, in a situation similar to that of a 
small insect on one of the stones of a magnificent 
edifice, which sees only a few hair-breadths around 
it, and is altogether incapable of surveying the sym- 
metry, the order and beauty of the structure, and of 
forming an adequate conception of the whole. He con- 
siders that he has never yet surveyed the millionth 
part of Jehovah's empire, and therefore cannot 
tell what the eternal Sovereign has been pleased to 
exhibit in its numerous provinces; and least of all, 
can he ever presume to divine into the depths of 
interminable ages, and boldly declare what the 
Almighty will or will not do, through eternity to 
come. He therefore views it as presumption, while 
he has no dictate of revelation for his warrant, to 
pronounce decisively, either on the one side or the 
other, of such a deep and important question, which 
seems above the reach of the loftiest seraph to de- 
termine. In short, he endeavours to take a view of 
all the manifestations of Deity within his reach, from 
every source of information which lies before him, 
and as far as his limited faculties will permit. He 
does not call in question the discoveries of science, 
because they bring to his ears most astonishing re- 
ports of the wisdom and omnipotence of Jehovah 
and the boundless extent of his kingdom; but rejoices 
to learn that the grandeur of his dominions is actu- 
ally found to correspond with the lofty descriptions 
of divine majesty and glory recorded in the volume 
of inspiration, and is thereby inspired with nobler 
hopes of the glory and felicity of that heavenly 
world, where he expects to spend an endless exis- 
If, then, such be some of the features in the charac- 




ter of the enlightened Christian ; if liberality, and 
candour, and accurate investigation mark the judge- 
ments he pronounces on the sentiments and the ac- 
tions of men, and on the works and the ways of God ; 
and if such views and feelings ought to be consider- 
ed as more congenial to the noble and benevolent 
spirit of our religion than the narrow and distorted 
notions of a contracted mind, it must be an object 
much to be desired, that the mass of the Christian 
world would be led into such trains of thought as 
might imbue their minds with a larger portion of this 
spirit. And if diversified and occasional discussions 
on the topicks to which we have adverted, would 
have a tendency to produce this desirable effect, it 
is obvious that such branches of knowledge as are 
calculated to enlarge the capacity of the mind, and 
to throw a hght over the revelations and the works 
of God, should no longer be overlooked in the range 
of our religious contemplations. 

With such striking remarks and noble sentiments 
of an eminent man and highly distinguished author^ 
^ly discourse and volume are concluded* Amen. 

JHE ENt>. 








HE term nature^ includes all the works of creation which revelation and 
philosophy make known. Or nature, taken in its utmost extent, embraces the 
whole compass of things in the universe, whether corporeal or mental, physical 
or moral. 

T'le phrase, works of nature^ is frequently used. By the works of nature we 
are to understand the works of Deity, which exhibit wisdom in them all ; which 
manifest design, order, and harmony. Or the works of nature are the woi^s of 
creation, which bear evident marks of intelligence and proclaim a God. 

The course of nature is a phrase which is used in a great variety of senses. 
The planets and all the revolving luminaries of which we have any knowledge, 
perform their circuits according to a course of nature, (he sun so constantly 
performs his course ; or more strictly philosophical, the earth perpetually and 
statedly revolves round its axis, according to a course of nature ; and the moon 
also revolves on its own axis, and around the earth according to the same course. 
The varieties and regularities of times and seasons, the re-production of plants 
of the same kind from their original seed, and the propagation of animals of the 
same species, are said to be produced according to certain courses of nature. But 
what are we to understand by the phrase as thus used, and as used in various 
other ways ? I he most eminent philosophers and divines have been, and are 
still divided in their ideas and writings concerning the subject. One class maintain, 
that the courses of nature in all their diversified forms, are effected by the im- 
mediate hand of Deity, in a regular and stated manner ; or that the works of 
divine Providence are only the works of creation carried on to their final com- 
pletion. That is, that God immediately and positively exerts his power in 
every effect or movement, not only of the heavenly bodies, but also in the smallest 
matters that pertain to this earth, even to the Ml of a sparrow. 

Another class conclude, that the Lord created all things with certain inherent 
properties and principles, by which all events and effects are produced in a 
certain uniform manner, without the assistance of his immediate interposing 
hand. They account for the regularity of the heavenly boditj in their courses, 
and of the principle movements pertaining to this earth, upon the laws of at- 
traction and gravitation ; and for the succession of the animal and vegetable 
kingdoms, by peculiar natures and principles given, by which they are re-pro- 
duced. These inherent laws or properties they consider sufficient to effect what 
is called a stated course of nature. If we embrace either of the above senti- 
ments, we may justly revere and adore the efficiency of the God of nature. How 
sublime the thought, that the hand of Deity is immediately present, directing 
all his works ! Or how momentous the reflection, that the Great First Cause 
created all things with such properties and innate laws, as to effect what we 
behold in the manifold stated courses of nature. 

The expression, human nature^ is frequently used and in various senses. In 
its most general import, it is designed simply to point out a human being as far 
different from the animals of the earth, and alsolrom other beings. Human 
nature is sometimes mentioned in an exalted point of view ; and at others, as in 
a state of degradation. On the one hand, human nature has great dignity 
stamped upon it ; as man is a being of noble powers, capable of endless pro- 
gression and exaltation. Thus truly elevated and dignified is hunxan nature. 

398 *3yPI*ENDlX. 

But on the account of the fall and depravity of man, how debased his nature.. 
In this view how perverted 1 consequently how humiliating ! 

Man may be said to act according to his nature, whether he conduct in a d«^ 
gr .ding or honourable point of view. When he debases himself by his conduct, 
he acts according to human nature in a fallen depraved state. But when his 
actions are truly manly and noble, he acts according to human nature aa viewed 
j,n a state of dignity nd honour. 

It is said to be the nature of animals, to perform certain actions necessary to 
their preservation and comfort. I he true import of this expression is, that 
animals are endued with certain instinctive principles, which excite them to do 
those things that are the means of their support and enjoyment, and that an- 
tecedent to instruction or experience At the end of time, it is said will be the 
dissolution of nature. Some conclude that this phraseology implies, that the 
material system will be consumed and annihilated. The more probable opin- 
ion is, that the elements will then be dissolved and newly modelled : that they 
will be formed into a system vastly different and far more perfect, beautiful, 
and glorious than the present ; suited to the great change that human beings 
will experience ; and be the glorified state to which the righteous will be ex- 

The study of nature is frequently recommended to man. Nature in this view, 
is the same as the works of creation. And the term, stitdy^ implies an investiga- 
tion of the laws and properties both of matter and of mind. A boundless field, 
suited to the noble and endless progressive powers of man. As he has a nature 
capacitated for improvements without end, so the works of nature are vast as 
immensity. And when he shall enter another state of existence, with enlarged 
and glorified attributes both bodily and mental, he will find nature, or creation, 
newly formed, inconceivably more perfect and glorious ; a boundless prospect 
adapted to his enlarged, exalted, and glorified powers^ 

APiPENDlX. 399 


It is worthy o? remark, when this term is used an a^ent must necessarily be 
presupposed ; for a law is strictly a rule, according to which some intelligent 
being acts, or by which he prescribes actions to others. Or, a law may be con- 
sidered either as a rule of action, or as an established and constant mode of 
process. This word is used in a great variety of senses, natural, civil, and 
moral. Some authors suppose they may all be included under two general 
heads, natural and moral ; those which refer to body or matter, and those that 
refer to mind or intelligent beings. But they are generally divided three 
classes : divine laws, human laws, and the laws of nature. 

The divme laws are those that result from moral fitness, and which are essen- 
tially the same in all their requisitions in every part of the universe; or those 
that are contained in positive precepts, and made known by revelation. By moral 
fitness we are to understand the propriety of those obligations that result from 
the moral perfections of God, and from the relation of created intelligences to 
him as the \uthor of their existence and of all their comforts ; and from their 
varied relations and situations in regard to each other. In what part soever of 
the universe, created intelligent beings exist, these moral ties are necessarily and 
unchangeably binding ; and demand supreme love to the Supreme Being, and 
perfect obedience to every duty which reason and the moral faculty point out. 
Finite* intelligences, even without a written law or any particular immediate 
revelation, are bound by these obligations. Hence, such a state is generally 
called a state of nature; and the law that is particu arly suited to such a state, 
is denominated the law of nature. Revelation has its commencement where 
reason and conscience are insufficient to make known to created inte ligent 
beings, those duties which the Lord seeth proper to enjoin upon them. There- 
fore, the laws of divine revelation comprise the mandates r>ecessarily included 
in the moral law ; and they also contain positive precepts, suited to the particu- 
lar situation of those to whom they are promulged. 

By the civil law, or law of the land, we are to understand those rules and 
regulations that relate to civil society, and exist between man and man. This 
is the using of the phrase in its most extensive import ; for it includes both the 
laws resulting from civil communities, and those that spring from a state of 
nature. They point out the rights of mankind in their various situations and 
relations as individuals, or nations ; and also in various degrees and forms, make 
known the means of attaining and defending their rights. 

The law of honour is styled a system of rules constructed by people of fashion, 
calculated to facilitate their intercourse with one another, and for no other 
purpose. This law can scarcely be ranked among the civil laws. It may be 
said to belong to human laws, as it is a regulation of human beings. What I 
would remark concerning the system of this law, is, that it is a compound of 
manly virtues and degrading vices ; demanding certain courses of conduct truly 
Doble, and admitting'actions>candalous. 

A law of nature may be defined to be a uniform and established course of 
operation and events of some particular kind. Or, by the laws of nature are to 
"be understood the stated courses by which the great First Cause directs the 
works of providence. It is said to be by a law of nature, that the primary 
planets revolve on their own axis and round the sun, respecting him as the 
centre of their system ; and that the secondary planets move round thei- re- 
spective primaries as their centre. By this expression we are to understand 
that the principles or laws of attraction and gravitation produce such uniform 
and constant effects, that a deviation would be considered a strange phenomenon, 
a miracle. The regular and constant movements of the heavenly bodies justly 
excite the admiration of man. But on the account of their having pursued 
tbeir stated ^courses since titne began, if one of them should stop in its course. 


or move in a different direction, it would astonish the world ; for a law of nature 
would be counteracted. 

The natural and constant tendency of the bodies in our atmosphere to fall to 
the earth, is ascribed to a law of nature. The reason is obvious ; for the effect 
uniformly takes place, unless there be a preventing, external power, or a repel- 
ing force introduced. With the same propriety the principles or properties of 
magnetism, electricity, and motion, may be attributed to the laws of nature. 

It is said, that by a law of nature the existence of a God is made known to 
all mankind. This expression imports that the •xistence ot the Supreme Being 
is so clearly exhibited and demonstrated in the works of creation and providence, 
as to obtain the belief and acknowledgement of a God among all nations in 
every age of the world, or to attain the universal consent of mankind. 

The essential difference between right and wrong is said to be pointed out by 
a law of our nature. This declaration conveys the idea, that all men have, 
reason and conscience, which teach them that virtue is amiable and ought to 
be cultivated ; and that vice is odious, and ought to be shunned : That is, virtue 
and vice are diametrically opposite in their natures ; and mankind have powers 
of mind which enable them to discern their essential difference ; and while they 
feel under obligations to practice the one, they feel bound to refrain from the 

Parental, filial, and conjugal affections belong to the laws of human nature. 
These principles appear to exist among all nations, whether in a civilized or 
savage state, and seem to be innate. Hence, the attribute of natural affection 
is implanted in the breasts of men, and interwoven into the very principles of 
our nature by the hand of Deity, to answer important ends in the present state 
of existence. And as this principle evidently exists in the breasts of all human 
beings, it may with propriety be denominated a law of human nature. 



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