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to the chief of sinners; that whosoever will, may come and receive it, and be forever happy; and that if any to whom it is preached, shall perish at last, they will have nothing to blame but their own wilful, obstinate unbelies.
[The application is wanting.)
ON STEADFASTNESS IN RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT.
EPHESIANS IV. 14.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to
and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
The unity of Christians in the faith, the growth and strength of their character, have much inportance attached to them by the Lord Jesus, and appear, if we may use the expression, to lie very near his heart. After his ascension to the throne of his glory, one of the first acts of his intercession, and of the power of his exalted state, was to make provision for the continuânce and increase of these When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men: and he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry; for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man; unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. What the particular connection is between his people's advancement in knowledge and spiritual attainments, and the degree of happiness in their unseen witnesses, or what especial influence it may exert upon the general economy of his kingdom, in the invisible world, we do not know, nor is it useful if it were proper to inquire. But we do know, from the passage just read, that whatever is great or magnificent in the office of an apostle, or prophet, or evangelist; whatever is useful or honorable in a pastor or teacher, it was and is conferred upon them, not for their own sakes, but for the sake of his body, the church. furnished with ordinances, and means in every variety, that there may be no hindrance to our profiting in the school of Jesus Christ—that we may habitually enlarge our knowledge of those things which the angels desire to look into; and as fellow-students with them of the mystery of God, may grow in the intelligence which they value,