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Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection 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 we 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 the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins." He goes on in this strain till he starts and answers an objection. "But some men will how are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? 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." Finally he says, "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruption shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory.' Thus philosophically and scripturally the apostle reasoned upon the resurrection of the body, and the immortality of the soul.

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When Paul preached before Felix, "he reasoned" so plainly and forcibly "of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, that Felix trembled." Immediately after he was converted and baptized, he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God, and reasoned so clearly and conclusively on the subject, that he confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. After he came from Athens to Corinth, and found a certain Jew named Aquila, he abode with him there. And we are told, that he there "reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." He continued preaching in this manner to the Corinthians


a year and six months; but at length he came to Ephesus, where he entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews, in his publick discourses, speaking boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God." I trust, it now appears evident to every one, that Paul usually reasoned in his preaching, and fairly proved the truth of the important doctrines, which he publicly taught and inculcated. I now proceed to show,

II. Why he made it his common practice to prove the doctrines, upon which he treated. He did not adopt this mode of preaching because he supposed it would be the most pleasing to his hearers, nor because he was not capable of preaching in a more agreeable manner : But,

1. Because he meant to preach the gospel plainly and intelligibly to persons of all characters and capacities. He says to the Romans, "I am a debtor, both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians, both to the wise, and to the unwise." And he says to the Corinthians, "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit, and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God." The Apostle very well knew, that in order to preach the great, the deep, and important doctrines of the gospel plainly and intelligibly to all descriptions of men, it was necessary to explain those doctrines, that they might be clearly and distinctly understood; and in the next place, to prove them to be true; that they might be believed; and in many cases, to answer objections, that the mouths of gainsayers might be stopped. All preachers ought to be teachers, and all teachers find it necessary to explain and prove

what they teach, and to remove all objections, which naturally occur to the minds of those they teach. It is impossible to preach the gospel so as to be clearly and easily understood, without explaining particular doctrines and distinguishing one from another; and it is no less impossible to lead men to believe any particular doctrine after it is explained, without producing plain and powerful arguments in support of it, and removing every plausible objection against it. The Apostle knew, that men are reasonable creatures, and capable of perceiving the force of plain reasoning, and therefore he made it his common practice, to address the understandings of his hearers, and to prove the doctrines he taught, that they might believe them upon just and solid ground. He positively declared, "In the church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." He made a point of preaching argumentatively, for the important purpose of preaching plainly and intelligibly.

2. He commonly proved the doctrines he taught, because he meant to preach profitably, as well as plainly. He often assigns this good reason for his preaching so sentimentally and argumentatively. He solemnly declares to the elders of Ephesus, that he had meant to preach to them profitably, or in a manner best calculated to promote their spiritual and eternal good. He says "ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." He declared to the Corinthians, that " he had not sought his own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved. For we are not as many, who corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but

as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty; not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." The Apostle knew, that it was entirely out of his power, by preaching, to change, or sanctify the hearts of his hearers. This he freely acknowledged. "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." But yet he knew, that by preaching the truth plainly and convincingly, he should certainly do God, if not man, service. He says "Now thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other, the savour of life unto life." All that preachers have to do, is to pour light into the understanding, and conviction into the conscience, by the manifestation of divine truth. It is only through the medium of the understanding and the conscience, that preachers of the gospel can reach and affect the hearts of the hearers. But in this way, they can deeply affect them, and prove greatly instrumental, in saving, or destroying them. It is of as much importance, therefore, that they should in their preaching approve approve themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, as if they could change his heart. Accordingly, the Apostle made it his practice, by lucid explanation, plain reasoning, and solid arguments, to exhibit the great and essential doctrines of the gospel before the understanding and consciences of men, in the clearest and strongest light; because he knew, that this was the most profitable mode of preaching, and would certainly produce some important effects under a divine influence, and such as would be


most pleasing to God. Now, if the Apostle commonly preached the gospel argumentatively, for the purpose of preaching it most plainly and profitably, he certainly had good reasons for his peculiar mode of preaching, and far better reasons, than any can have for preaching in any different manner.


1. It appears from Paul's usual mode of preaching, that he was, in the most strict and proper sense of the term, a metaphysical preacher. He preached argumentatively and drew just consequences from true premises. He employed fair reasoning and argumentation, in preaching upon the great doctrines and duties of the gospel. And fair reasoning upon any subject is precisely the same thing as metaphysical reasoning; or at any rate, fair reasoning upon any metaphysical subject, is metaphysical reasoning; and any deep, difficult, profound subject is properly a metaphysical subject. And taking the term, metaphysical reasoning in this strictest sense, Paul employed metaphysical reasoning in his preaching. For, in the first place, he usually preached upon metaphysical subjects, which required the exercise of the highest reasoning powers of man. He preached upon the existence of God-the perfections of God-the decrees of God-the sovereignty of God-the agency of God in the production of moral exercises in the human heart-the free agency of man under a divine agency-the divinity of Christthe atonement of Christ-the nature of moral virtue or true holiness-the nature and extent of moral depravity in the human heart-the nature and necessity of regeneration or change of heart, by a special divine influence-the perseverance of saints-the dissolution of the body at death-the future resurrection of the body-and the immortality of the soul in a future state. These are the most difficult, most profound, and most important subjects, that any natural philosopher, moral philosopher, metaphysician, or divine, ever presumed

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