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labour of the evangelical, like that of the natural husbandman, is easy and pleasant; but when it is grown hard and frozen up in the winter of age, no harrow will be sharp enough to break it in pieces. But above all things remember, that the only way to remove the ignorance, either of young or old, is to instruct them publicly and privately in the principles of the Gospel? When wickedness is epidemical and in a manner triumphant, philosophical essays and empty lessons of morality without faith, will be of small force as preservatives against the contagion of vice and the machinations of the Devil. But the Gospel, if delivered in its native truth and purity, will appear to be what it hath always been,
a “ People are not to be harangued, but catechised into “ principles; and this is not the proper work of the pulpit, “ any more than threshing can pass for sowing--It is want “ of catechizing, which has been the true cause of those “ numerous sects, schisms, and wild opinions, which have « so disturbed the peace, and bid fair to destroy the re, “ ligion of the nation. For the consciences of men have “ been filled with wind and noise-rSo that amongst the “ most seraphical illuminati, and the highest puritan perfec. “ tionists, you shall find people, of fifty, threescore, and “ fourscore years old, not able to give that account of their -«« faith, which you might have had heretofore of a boy of "inine or ten." South's Sermons, vol. v, p. 34.
the power of God unto salvation ; and if the people hear it in the church, they will have no plausible pretence for wandering in search of it to other places.
Be not tempted then by any of the silly refinements of infidelity, to think that a condescension unworthy of a scholar, which even in this world will never lessen your reputation with those whose good opinion ought to be valued, and will hereafter be accounted your greatest glory and honour, that you were not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. There is a day approaching, Sir, when it will be enquired how we were thought of, or how we were spoken of, by the proud Arian or the heathenizing moralist; but whether we have added to the number of the righteous, and sought after that praise which cometh only from God.
4. Having now said as much upon this subject as I can expect you will attend to, and perhaps more than is necessary, I shall lay aside my pen for the present, with the expectation of employing it again in your service: for if this letter, in which I have a view only to your principles, should meet with your approbation, I may propose something at another opportunity for the advancement of
your your studies. In the mean time, I hope you will accept of what I have already offered, as a small pledge of that very sincere friendship and affection, with which I shall always remain,