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How do thofe minifters mifs their w .y, who having much tirne for reading and prayer, fpend, the far greater part ot it, in reading curious books, fuch as have no proper connection with their calling, no tendency to fit them for greater ufefulnefs in the church of God, in no wife calculated to bring them near to God, or to make them more fpiritual, or heavenly minded, but juft the contrary. They . may gain much of that knowledge which puffeth up, but it will be of little ufe to them in the important work unto which they are called. They may perhaps pleafe fome very curious hearers, and may be admired by them, but will even thefe be truly profited? I fear not, rather will they not be eflentially hurt? Will not their tafte be more and more vitiated, and then they will feldom hear any thing from the pulpit, which will be of any real fervice to them.

I would by no means be thought to difcountenance reading; but would moft cordially recommend the advice of St. Paul to Timothy, to every preacher of the gofpel. Give attendance to reading, exhortation, to doctrine "Neglect not the gift of God that is in thee, meditate upon thefe things, give thyfelf wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all men.". But mould we not read fuch books, as by the bleffing of God, may have a happy tendency, not only to clear our underftanding, to enlarge our ideas of divine truth, but fuch as may warm our hearts, kindle ihe facred fire of divine love in our fouls, and roufe our minds from earth to heaven? And what book can we meet with, which in: this refpect may be compared with the Bible? Here we i' have the whole counfel of God clearly revealed, and all the unfearchable riches of Chrift brought into open day light. Next to the Scriptures J am inclined to-think, we mall find it the moft profitable, to read the li.ves of deeply pious . and holy men In their experience we may fee the truth ' i realized, the promifes of God fulfilled, and how .holy, how fpiritual and how heavenly-minded they were, and we fhall be ftimulated to follow their pious example, ^n<i en-, couraged to expect, all that divine assistance with which wo' , fee they were favoured. . , | IW i'l{,d'.,-;.. .;,,; , w

They doubtless are the best preachers, whose ministry.is' attended with rriost.of the power of God; and it is well known,: that he who has the fullest acquaintance with'his Bible, whose memory is well stored with divine tr-utfa^ :and Ji.y^es' the nearest to God by faith and prayer, and who brmgs most of the divine presence into the pulpit, will ajwfy.s.;be.the mosf useful preacher. When we can act taitlLupon our

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Lord's words, it is well with us. "And Id! I am with you always." Sensible of his presence, how are our views of his mercy and love, and of his truth and faithfulness enlarged? What freedom of mind; what enlargement of heart, and what liberty of spirit do we feel? With what unspeakable ease, with what inexpressible pleasure, can we communicate divine truth to our hearers. Preaching the Gospel is at such times our delightful emplovment, and at the same time the word generally sinks into the hearts of the hearers, being attended with the sacred energy of the Holy Ghost. We arei at no loss when thus favoured by our Master; and as we know by happy experience that these things are so, how inexcusable should we be, and how unfaithful to God, ourselves, and the people, if we did not constantly pursue such measures, as we welt know would infallibly tend to bring us into this desirable state of mind. We may well express our desires in these beautiful lines:

"O might our every work and word,
"Express the tempers of our Lord,
, "The nature of our Head above:
"His Spirit send into our hearts,
"Engraving on our inmost parts,
*• The living law of holiest love

"Then shall we do with pure delight,
"Whate'er is pleasing in thy sight,

"As vessels of thy richest grace;
"And having thy whole counsel done,
"To'thee ami thy co-eoual Son,

"Ascribe the everlasting praise."

This being the constant language of our hearts, our blessed Master will fulfil his faithful word, we shall be divinely assisted in our work, and our labour will not be in vain in the Lord.

Like the great Apostle, let us make it our grand business to declare to the people, the unsearchable riches of Christ. For we shall certainly find, that Christ, and him crucified l Christ the Lord, who bought us; redemption in his blood; present and eternal salvation, through faith in his Name: In a word, Christ Jiving and reigning in us, by the power of his Spirit, bringing us into a state of full conformity to his will, is the life and soul of all preaching. If we lose sight of him, however excellent our preaching may be, in other respects, we shall do the people little good. "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth," is the word of the Lord, and if we can only teach the people this one lesson effectually, we shall find them ready for every good word and work, And as we are taught in the text, that we are to consider ourselves to be the servants of the people, and in truth they support us for this very thing ; then we ought to Jay ourselves out, and to labour with our might for their good. The words of the Apostle should never be forgotten by us. "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and uubiameably we behaved among you who believed, as you know how we exhorted and commanded and charged everyone of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of Cod, who hath called you to his king loai and glory."

If we consider the reward which a«-aits the faithful minis, ters of Christ, when they shall have finished their work; we shall need no other inducement, one might suppose, to the diligent performance of it. "They that be wise shall in that day shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars, for ever and ever. Then let it be our highest ambition to work while it is called to-day, that when our Lord shall come, he may find us so doing: then will he say unto each of us, '* Servant of God, well done, enter tbou into the joy of thy Lord." Here we shall meet with those who have been brought to God by our ministry, who will be our crown of rejoicing for ever and ever, and with them we shall sing unceasing praises to God and the Lamb, through one eternal day.

SERMON XVII.

THE BELIEVER'S BEING DEAD TO THE LAW,

GALATIANS U. 19. •

I through the Lav, am dead to the Law, that I might lire unto God.

J.T appears from this Epistle that the Galatians had already .embraced the Gospel of .Christ, and through the abundant inercy of God, had experienced it to be the power of God

salvation lo their own souls: But as the people of God, in all ges, have been in danger of being led into pernicious errors, by false teachers; so it was with them at present. Certain men, who pretended to be the ministers of Christ, had crept in among them, and being zealous for the observe.

of the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish Law, were labouring to persuade them, that it was absolutely necessary to be circumcised, and to keep the Law of Moses, or thev would not attain eternal salvation. The Apostle hearing of this, as a faithful minister of Christ, wrote this excellent Epistle to them, to establish them in the truth, that the de'signs of the blessed God might be fulfilled in them.

He shews them, that if there had been a Law given, which they could so fulfil, as 10 give them a proper title to eternal life, then righteousness, or justification, should have been by that Law: But this was so far frombc-ing in their power, that by obeying any Law of God, which was ever yet given toman, no one born of a woman, was ever justified in the sight of God. And he adds, "That if justification by the works of the Law could be obtained, then Christ hath died in vain."

The Apostle carefully guards this precious doctrine from being abused by persons of a licentious turn of mind. These might say, "If a man is justified in the sight of God by faith alone, without the works of the Law, then we are at-perfect liberty to live as we please; we are under no necessity to pay any regard to the preceptive part of the word of God." Not so, saith the holy Apostle ; for if while we are seeking to be justified by Christ, we are then found tinners, and consequently must be justified by him, considered as ungodly, "'Is therefore Christ the minister of sin.? God forbid. This is so far from being true, that I myself, through, or by means of the Law, am dead to the Law; but it does not follow, that therefore I am free from all restraint; no, "but I am dead to the Law, for this very purpose that I might Htc unto God," might be inwardly and outwardly conformed to his holy and righteous will.

In discoursing upon these words, it may be necessary to consider,

First, In what sense, the believer is dead to the Law.

Secondly, By what means he is brought into that state of death.

Thirdly, The design of God, in working this death in him. *

First, In what sense is the believer dead to the Law of God.

1. With respect to the Ceremonial Law, the Christian believer, properly speaking, was never under that Law, and therefore never pretended to observe the various rites and ceremonies thereof; and now by the light of the Holy Spirit, he is convinced, " that Christ is the end of that Law for righteousness, ta every one that believeth;" that all the sacrifices and burnt -offerings, which were expressly commanded of God to be offered -tips day by day, continually, pointed to, and had their accomplishment in the sufferings -. and death ofour blessed Redeemer; and all the outward . washings and purifications, enjoined by the Law, pointed out the renewing or purifying influences of the Spirit of God upon the mind: so that the believer can see Christ crucified,' Christ and the riches of his grace set forth in every part of the' Law j but he is dead thereto, he is under no obligation to observe anv part of it, having experienced the true circum-' cision of the heart, as well as the sprinkling of the blood of the everlasting covenant, and every spiritual blessing, which was represented by the rites and ceremonies of the law. - .:

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2- The believer is dead to the Moral Law, he never was, at any time, in a capacity to perform the obedience which it requires of those who wish to be justified thereby. This law requires perfect, uninterrupted obedience of every one, from the hour of his birth, to the day of his death ; for this is' the voice of the Law to every child of man, "Cursed is every one wbocontinueth not in all things, written in the book of the Law, to do them." And again: "He who keepeth the whole Law, but dffendeth in one point, is guilty of all." And the Apostle adds, that " what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world stand guilty before God.'' The true believer has seen and felt the force of such Scriptures, as these, and hence he is deeply sensible,; he is so far from being able to attain justification by the works of the Law, that he is already accused by the Law itself, as a transgressor, and consequently, he stands guilty before God; and to a guilty sinner the Law knows not to shew mercy: It offers no pardon to any one, but condemns, without distinction, every one who is found a breaker of its holy precepts. -" t'

Besides this, the believer has been convinced he was destitute of that inward purity which the Law of God requires. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy ),eart, and mind, and strength," is the language of this holy Law: But the believer has been led to see that the Apostle's wtords were descriptive of the state of his mind, '' The Law of God is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin." Hence he was sensible ; so long as he remained carnal, the enmity of the carnal mind would not suffer him to love God at all, much Jess, while in that state of mind, love God with all his heart;

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