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in the great work of preaching the gos- placed him—it is the prayer of the apospel, that the word of the Lord might be tle to the church over which, by divine glorified. Oh, let the history of the authority, he was commissioned to prechurch, in past ages, encourage you, my side—it is the prayer we present to you friends, to the spirit of prayer! This this day, as the united pastors of churches will be to your own pastor, and to all mingling our supplications with those of connected with him in the ministry of our beloved brother at the throne of the the word, the most delightful evidence heavenly mercy, and we say to you, of the reality of your faith, and the sin- “Brethren, pray for us." The minister cerity of your devotion. This will be is encouraged in his work who knows evidence which God himself will ac- that his people are thus engaged. Like knowledge and approve. You never Moses on the mount, he is upheld by the knew eminent usefulness secured with hands of prayer. The man goes through out an eminent portion of the spirit of the labours and the toils of his pastoral prayer. What is it that has embalmed, duties, and the various engagements of his in the history of the Christian church, office, who is surrounded by devout men the illustrious names of Brainerd and who bear him up in their affectionate reMartyn, and others of modern times, who membrance in private retirement–in the stood before us arrayed in the beauties family circle. When you meet for prayer, of holiness, and who are lights thrown if you knew how much of the true comon our path to guide us onward, and to fort, of the holy courage, of the sacred animate us in the Christian pilgrimage ? joy of the Christian minister is connected What was it that distinguished those with the spirit of prayer for him and for men? The spirit of earnest, fervent, the success of his labours, you would persevering prayer. When we see our never be weary in well doing in this replaces of worship crowded at the period spect-you would never forget him. You when we meet for prayer—when we see would not remember him—nor would he the arrangements of social life, as far as be anxious that you should remember possible, made to adjust themselves to him—on the ground of any merely perthe period agreed upon in the church for sonal and selfish considerations; but he is united prayer—when we see religion anxious you should remember him, bemade the object, the commanding object, cause in proportion to the degree of your to which every thing else is subservient, zeal, and sincerity, and constancy in this both in the arrangements of the family work, you will listen to him with affecand the world, then will the church arise tion—his doctrine will distil as the dew, from her lowly state of degradation—then and drop as the rain on the tender grass, will she put on her beautiful garments, and your hearts will be open to receive for God himself will have arrayed her the ingrafted word. The man who comes with salvation—then will be the precur- to the sanctuary in the spirit of captious, sor that he himself is about to arise, and capricious feeling, desiring to make a pour out his Spirit in rich effusion on the man an offender for a word, is one who church and on the world; and then will has not presented for his minister earnest come salvation; and the kingdoms of the supplication. The man who is indifferworld will become the kingdoms of our ent and unmoved, who sits before the God and of his Christ, and he will reign pulpit altogether unconscious of the imfor ever and ever. The duty of prayer is portance and anthority of the truth preenjoined,
sented to his notice, and hears as though 4thly. Because those engaged in pro- he heard not—that man has not the spimoting this object, who have it directly in rit of earnest and fervent supplication. view, whose office it is peculiarly to regard If he had, there would be vitality—there it, have especial claims on you. “ Bre-would be deep and affectionate interest thren, pray for us."
there would be earnest concern to profit It is the prayer of the Christian minis- -ạith would be mixed with what he ter to the church over whom God hath hears--there would be a right construc
tion put on every explanation given, and the success which has been secured. while there would be a faithful regard to You have too high a standard of charac. the authority of God's word, as the only ter, and motive, and principle, brought rule of doctrine and precept, still there before you, to feel self-complacency; you would be that humility, that teachable know that every statement of the truth to ness, which is always found connected which you are accustomed to listen is with spiritual success, and with social intended to abase you before God-to edification.
produce the deepest personal humiliation But all this depends on the spirit of —and, oh, for that humiliation that eleprayer; and if God is to be honoured in vates the standard, both of your efforts this sanctuary by his assembled people, and of your hopes ! Still, humiliation if you are to comfort the heart of your does not forbid gratitude; and abasement pastor—if he is to succeed in the hallow- before God, on account of our person. ed work to which he has devoted himself, al short-comings, and our multiplied you must enter into the spirit of this apos- transgressions, is not incompatible with tolical injunction, and pray for him, that thanksgiving for what he has done hiththe word of the Lord may have free course erto, in us or by us. And if in any meaand be glorified. Your own interest is sure the word of the Lord is glorified intimately connected with it. And re- if the church of God is enlarged—if those member, brethren,
are brought into connection with the 5thly. And finally on this point, that in church, who not long before were walkproportion to the spirit of prayer, really and ing in paths of folly and of sin—if there honestly cherished, will you be prepared to are continued and repeated acknowledgmanifest the spirit of activity, of liberality, ments before God, and the church is conand of Christian zeal.
stantly saying, “ These, where have they Holy constancy of prayer will regulate been, and who hath begotten me these ?" all the motions of the inward man, and —and if, as the effect of these additions, all the actions of the outward man; and your hearts are continually rejoicing in you will be holy in all manner of conver- the progress of the truth, in the conversation, in proportion as you walk humbly sion of sinners, I may say to my brethren, with God, take hold of his strength, and Pray for us, that the word of the Lord maintain a daily correspondence with may have free course and be glorified, heaven, and live not to yourselves, but to even as it is with you.” Bless God and Him who died for you and rose again. take courage. Be not satisfied with the
But this apostolic injunction, while it past-be not satisfied with the present, brings before us the great objects of but be concerned that in all other churches, Christian zeal, and enjoins the duty of in every place where the name of Jesus prayer in order to their accomplishment, is recorded—under every pastoral admiin the
nistration where the truth is proclaimed, III. Place, REFERS TO KNOWN INSTANCES and the ordinances of the Redeemer are OF SUCCESS, AS A GROUND OF ENCOURAGE- administered, the word of the Lord may MENT. “Brethren, pray for us, that the be the power of God to salvation—may word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified among you, and in like manbe glorified, even as it is with you." ner glorified among others.
I am confident, my brethren, that with How was it glorified among the beout intending to awaken any feelings lievers at Thessalonica ? It was gloriwhatever allied to self-complacency on fied by faith—it was glorified by the libeyour part, much less which could subject rality of the church-by the patience of the speaker to the charge of adulation, I hope—by the self-denial of their liberamay with humble confidence and devout lity. The word through them sounded gratitude make the appeal of the apostle, out into all the surrounding region, and in the text, to the church of Christ be- many turned from dumb idols to serve fore me. You, I am persuaded, are not the living God through their instrumentaught by your pastor to be satisfied with Itality. Pray that the word of the Lord Vol. 1.-25
may have free course every where else, i Oh, if this opening service shall be so as it has been glorified among you. And followed with the blessing of the Most why did the apostle thus refer to known High that some hardened spirit shall be instances of success as a ground of en- subdued-some careless hearer brought couragement? For two reasons. As an to experience anxious solicitude-some illustration of what God can do, and as a wanderer restored to the paths of wisdom pledge of what God will do.
and of peace—there will indeed be reaMay I not say to some who are mem- son to rejoice in the recollection of this bers of the church of Christ here, Is there day. It will be hallowed in the future any case of depravity, of opposition to remembrance of the church, and even the truth, of ignorance of vital interests, with thanksgiving through eternity. Are greater than that which you yourselves there some connected with the congregaonce exhibited ? Look upon the history tion, especially assembling together with of your own conversion; consider how this church-are there any brought by the arm of the Lord has been made bare other circumstances to the services of in turning you yourselves; how the word this day, who have been living without was glorified in bringing you to the Re- God in the world? You are asking, perdeemer; how the ministry of God's ser- haps, why all this excitement—why this vant was honoured in your conversion! manifestation of liberality—why this conPray that others, by the same power, in cern to enlarge the place of worship, to connexion with the same truth, may be increase the number of hearers, to bring led to the feet of the Redeemer. There more within the sound of the gospel, and is nothing which God has done that does the administration of the ordinances of not encourage the hope of a still greater God? Ah, my friends! you have never manifestation of his power and of his yet reflected on the value of the soulmercy; and there is nothing that we are you have never yet reflected on the danwarranted to expect him to accomplish ger to which you are exposed-you have that he has not already effected. The never yet considered eternity in all its power that is requisite to convert the appalling realities—you have never yet world to himself is not greater than the asked, “ What shall we do to be saved ?" power that has converted your heart, and you have never yet fled to the refuge turned you, from being enemies, to be his of mercy. If you had, there would be no friends, and led you to the obedience of surprise. You would not wonder at any the truth as it is in Jesus. Therefore the effort, or any possible demonstration of apostle, you perceive, reasoned on this zeal, or devotedness, or charity, in proground to encourage the believers at moting the object for which we are this Thessalonica to pray. He knew that the day assembled; and if there had been ten experience of divine energy in their own thousand times more zeal and liberality conversion warranted the most enlarged displayed, still you could feel no astoexpectations of success. He knew they nishment, if you had ever felt the value could not refer to themselves without of the soul. The very feeling of surprise thinking of what the mighty grace of that the professors of religion manifest God had effected, and therefore he in- any solicitude, or make any efforts, for dulged in all the confidence of future tri- the objects connected with the truth of umph. Expect great things, and then God, the word of God, the honour and you will attempt great things.
the glory of God—that very feeling is The subject, my brethren, DEM INDS IN- an indication that you have never yet QUIRY. Has the word of the Lord been thought about your own eternal destinies. glorified in you? I would not pass by I beseech you to remember that the word the opportunity which the first service of of God must be to you the savour of life God in this place presents for making a unto life, or death unto death. Remem. direct appeal to those before me whose ber that if you are not receiving it, you consciences tell them that they have not are rejecting it—that there is no neutral. yet received the truth in the love of it.lity here, no middle state and condition
here you are either for God or against THE PULPIT GALLERY. him. We live in eventful times-we live in times that are bringing principle to action-we live in times that are try
REV. JOSEPH FLETCHER, D.D.
Of Stepney. ing men—that are exhibiting the true character of men, whether they are the friends of God, or the enemies of God; DR. FLETCHER was born in Chester, in whether they are the friends of man, or the year 1784. In his native city he obthe enemies of man; and it becomes each tained a classical education, and in his individual, capable of reflection, to look eighteenth year was removed to Hoxton at passing events, and to consider what College. In 1804 he went to the Uniwill be their future results : and, above versity of Glasgow, and remained about all, to look forward to the period when three years, preparing himself for the the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, ministry among the dissenters. In 1807, and when the convulsions of empires, and he graduated, taking the degree of A.M. the destinies of thrones, will be nothing, and was ordained to the pastoral charge and less than nothing, compared with the of a congregation the same year. He value of an individual immortality. Yes, shortly afterwards became divinity tutor big as present events are with the fate of in the Dissenters' College at Blackburn, empires, important as are the results of at the same time discharging the duties pending circumstances in the present con- of a pastor over the Independent church dition of nations, all these results, and in that town. In 1822 he received a call all these events, are less than nothing from the church at Stepney to become and vanity—are but as the shadow of the their minister, which he accepted. The morning—are but as the feverish dream university in which he graduated has not of night—are but of moinentary insigni- been inattentive to his preaching, his prinficance, when compared with the immor- ciples, his character, and the manner in tality of one individual hearer of the gos- which he spends his time. In 1830 he pel this morning. Your salvation, your was honoured by the Senatus Academicus individual salvation, my friends, is of of the University of Glasgow with the more consequence than the state and the diploma of Doctor in Divinity. condition of the whole inhabited globe, The preaching of Mr. F. is distinguish. as to every thing secular, and as to every ed by various excellencies. His appearthing temporal: for “what shall it profit ance commands respect. His capacious a man if he gain the whole world, and forehead, his eloquent and expressive eye, lose his own soul ?—or what shall a man unite with the seriousness and solemnity give in exchange for his soul ?" I then of his deportment, to convince every atturn your attention to your own salvation, tentive observer that he is about to hear and would lead you to ask-Is this word an intelligent, eloquent, pious sermon. of the Lord glorified in me? Is this word His voice is good, and occasionally pow. of the Lord glorified by me? Am I obey- erful; his diction is easy and graceful ; ing the gospel of God?
his action is chaste and impressive; and Let this subject encourage hope. The there is an impassioned glow about his word of the Lord shall be glorified; for whole address which causes the hearer the purposes of the Most High-the pro- to listen with eager attention. His exormises of the everlasting covenant-the diums are pertinent, and often striking; state of the Christian church--the pros- his arrangements simple and luminous ; pects of the world support our confi- his conclusions pointed and energetic. depce.
His whole sermons are indicative of a The subject enjoins activity. “ Be ye mind richly furnished for the office of the steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding ministry, by retirement, meditation, and in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye prayer; and are well calculated to inform know that your labour is not in vain in the judgment, to convince the conscience, the Lord."
and to lead to the Saviour.
THE EXCELLENCY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
BY THE REV. J. BLACKBURN.
“ The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven
times."-Psalm xii. 6.
It was once said to our blessed Mas-, wrote these books thus claim high auter, “ Thou bearest witness of thyself, thority for what they wrote, and plainly and thy witness, therefore, is not true;" assert that they were under the influence and some may be prepared to say, “ You of the Spirit of God, who inspired them quote a text commending the Scriptures to write what is here contained. from the Scriptures themselves; and, On the subject of inspiration I am disas the Scriptures commend themselves, posed to admit that it is not necessary such a commendation does not come we should suppose that they had the with much force to our minds." We same degree of inspiration in all cases. would cite what the Scriptures say to One degree of inspiration was necessary you, brethren; but we are anxious this to foretell future events, and to reveal truths evening to discuss the question whether professedly unknown among men; and a they are excellent or not, and shall only lesser degree of inspiration was necesadopt these words as supplying a conve- sary to narrate facts which the writers nient mode of advancing what we have saw, and which it was only necessary to state.
that they should be guided by the Spirit Now, in our text I perceive of God to record in the best possible
1. A holy description of the sacred manner; so that, while we say they were writings; and,
under the influence of inspiration, we do II. A striking illustration of the scru- not mean to assert that it required the tiny they have endured. We have, same degree of inspiration to write the
I. A FOLY DESCRIPTION OF THE SACRED | Proverbs of Solomon or the gospel of St. WRITINGS. They are called in our text, Matthew, as it required to reveal what 6. The words of the Lord.”
should be the fate of nations centuries to Here, then, we have a description, come, and what should be the way of
1st. Of their high authority. This is salvation for those who were perishing plainly perceived throughout the whole without a Redeemer. But we perceive of these books. We find that the men that all the men who wrote claim a high who wrote these books say, “ The Spirit authority for what they wrote. They of God spake by me, and his word was were honest men—they were holy men, upon my tongue" _" Thus saith the who loved purity-men who commended Lord”_" The burden of the word of the integrity and uprightness in all their Lord”—“All Scripture is given by in- writings; and one cannot conceive that spiration of God, and is profitable for men who thus advocate holiness, who doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for declare that liars, and adulterers, and all instruction in righteousness.” Holy unjust persons, shall come under the men of old spake as they were moved by wrath of God - men who could write the Holy Ghost.” Now, those men who such pure morality themselves, were at