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warmth of the most glowing heart. Now, just let me remark the great evil I have known to follow from the want of this exercise of the mind of the minister of God; we see it in this respect : you will very often find a crude exposition of the Scriptures of truth. Oh, there is one responsibility that presses upon me more heavy than all,-when I sit down with the Word of God before me, that is, in the character of an interpreter, and it would really seem from an allusion in the book of Job, that it is a very difficult and rare character; he calls it one of a thousand; and, undoubtedly, it is a character of deep and anxious responsibility. Now, you know, to sit down and expound the mind of God, -not to shew what the Bible may mean, but what it was intended to mean, --not to show what the Bible does mean, bearing out all that imagination might bring up, but setting forth the spiritual testimony of the living God; why, the undisciplined mind is amusing the imagination and fancy, instead of being engaged in active meditation on the book of God. And so it very often happens, that in this miscalled spiritualizing of Scripture, one set of opinions are maintained by one party, and the contrary opinions by the other. Now, to refer to some of the doctrines of the Word of God. Take that doctrine of the most exciting interest, the doctrine of the second advent of Christ. Oh, who of us does not know, that in the joyous anticipation connected with that holy doctrine, every thing is gloomy to him who is not illumed with the glory of this grand consumma. tion! Every exercise of obligation, every endearing exercise of privilege, every enlivening hope, is linked to this blessed and glorious doctrine; but how has it been,- I had almost said, murdered !-how has it been, that that which was a bond of union, should be made, by the subtlety of the enemy, acting on the undisciplined mind of man, a brand of disunion, so that brethren are set one against another, in the very recollection, that the coming of the Lord draweth near. For instance, how very differently have the points connected with this doctrine been treated. There is one, the proselyte of a lively fancy, who enters into details of this day, and brings it out as if passing before us ; another man, of calculating mind, takes his dates as if they were as certain as Daniel's weeks; and another man concentrates all his mind and interest on the mode, whether it is a spiritual or personal reign, or as to the time, whether it is to be pre-millenial or post-millenial. Now these, I admit, have their relative importance; but I fear they have too absorbing an interest; and I feel constrained to give my opinion, that far too great stress has been laid on the circumstances; and the spiritual contemplation of the glory of the grand event far too much overlooked and made little of, for want of discriminating what are the points of forbearance,—what are the-forbearances of faith, and so the pure, real, practical influences of the doctrine have been diverted into a speculative channel. Curiosity bas been fed instead of faith and love; and the consequence is, that the real heavenly glory has been painfully clouded. I have fixed it in my own mind most deeply, that the real power and practical influence of this great matter is linked, not with the appurtenances of the doctrine, but with the believing apprehension of the event itself. I would remark, also, that if we are resting too strongly on practical inferences, on uncertain calculations, we are taking the foundations of our faith from the simple resting on the testimony of God. I remember that the early Christians realized the nearness, in contemplation, of the event, even as we do now, when the event itself was actually distant. They realized as we alone ought to realize it, in the very exercise of that faith which is "the substance of things hoped for,—the evidence of things not seen, — with that faith which sees as with the eye of God, with wbom a thousand years are as one day; and in this exercise of living faith, we rejoice that “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed;" and we shall exercise ourselves in a posture of waiting, in the joyous anticipation of that event which will raise our grovelling souls from earth to heaven, “ from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Now allow me to mention two or three practical recollections, and I hope that God will enable me to speak of myself while I am speaking to you. I am sure there is not one among you who needs a word from God more than I do; and I never could stand up before
you, if I did not hope that my God would speak the word to me, that I desire to speak to you. Well, then, my dear friends, let us remember the great importance of living in the spirit of our ministry. I wish to connect these last meetings with our present meeting, and I would just say here how clear it is, that if you and I are living in the spirit of our work, we must grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We must study Christ, to preach Christ. What is the spirit of our work Improvement, -"we beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord;" and you know what is the fruitful result as well, or better than I do. “We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord;" and, therefore, if we are at a stand still in our ministry,rif even we are stationary in our statements and character, as ministers, I am afraid there is a neglect of the study of Christ, because I am sure we can never study Christ without having the moulding of his spirit in our own souls, and communicating a rich mould into our own ministrations. We know if we are living in the spirit of our work, we sbould be like Moses, going up to God; we will receive our message afresh from God: and then, surely, when we stard up before our people, our faces must shine before them... We cannot, you know, go up to God without receiving from him; and then, as we receive mercy from him, we bave mercy to impart to our peo, ple, and so we sow together and rejoice together; and so, as it regards the spirit of our work, how plain and simple it is just to remember, that our privileges, our dignity, our bappipess, all centre here, having but one object, living for that object, and subordinating every thing to exalt Christ. This is the object for which we were separated--the faith for which we were consecrated,—the faith in which we live, and hope to die. I find from my own experience, and I have no doubt but you find the same, that all our personal spirituality, all our 'ministerial effectiveness, depends, not upon talent, not upon advantages or endowments, not even upon exemplary diligence and conscientiousness, but upon the simplicity and godly, sincerity with which we devote every feeling of our heart, every exercise of our mind, and every expression of our soul to this one subject. We may depend upon it, that divine influence will be manifested on our character, when we are simply devoted to exalt our Master. But then, it is not pulpit work, though it must be, and ought to be the work of every pulpit, but it is the exhibition of our character before our people that is required. We must be living epistles of our ministry; they cannot understand our ministry, except it be seconded by our profession ; and then, when they see the holiness and the blessedness of it in us, it will be a powerful means to draw them to the Saviour, and to bring them into union with him. We cannot maintain the spirit, except we are separate from the world. Oh, how hard it is to be in the world witħout being mixed up with its formality! How hard especially it is, I have no doubt, to live in such a country as this, and to be separated from the spirit of party. While you
are obliged, in the exercise of your rights, connected as they are with the preservation of your religion, to adhere to one party, let it be your daily care, in the exercise of watchfulness, to be separated from the spirit of party. What have we to do with the politics of this world, but to say, “let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth, woe to the man that striveth with his Maker.” What is our Lord's message to us? “Let the dead bury their dead, but go you and preach the kingdom of God.” And, then, as it regards the character of the spirit of our ministry, time does not allow me, and ignorance of this country does not allow me, to enter on this point; all I will say is this, that the minister who is most full of tenderness, of yearning sympathy, affectionate confidence, self-denying tenderness, and devotedness to the immediate interests of the people, is the minister that will make us one in them, and make them more or less one with us. I will just touch on another consideration. I feel the importance, I hope I shall not be open to misconception when I speak of it,-l feel the importance of steadily carrying on our work upon our own platform. I do set_my seal to every word of my dear brethren. One object I had in desiring to see you and visit you, was, under God, to link myself with you, in affec. tionate, increasing attachment to our own Church, (hear.) If a somewhat different system of discipline may open a wider door for the preaching of the Gospel in your own land, as far as it would be consistent with canonical obedience and Christian consideration, I pray God to bless you a thousand-fold; and I have no doubt, that in diligently waiting upon God, many a door that may now be shut up may be opened, -that stumbling-blocks that now hinder may be removed; only remember the word of wisdom and the word of God,- he that believeth shall not make haste. I do feel the great importance of Christian order in a Christian Church. I remember it was a matter of joy to the apostle, that he beheld the order of the Christian Church; and he had good reason for it, for he knew in his own mind that it was connected with stead. fastness of faith in Christ. I do feel there is great need of caution, lest a relaxation of discipline may produce a relaxation of the whole system; I do feel, that the more liberty you have over your English brethren, the more watchfulness you have need of, that your liberty do not degenerate into disorder. I would entreat you to consider the importance of joining, with the general preaching of the Gospel, the distinct doctrives of your own Church. You will never be at a loss
in preaching Christ while you have such a system of doctrinal articles, with which your Church furnishes you, to be the foun. dation of your Gospel ministrations. You never need fear your love of souls being deadened, or your love of your Saviour being weakened, while in this Church, and in connexion with these responsibilities and those ordination engagements, which are specially binding on the members of the establishment, you preach the Gospel on the platform of the Church of England. I want no broader platform than this, as I feel that this platform saves me from wandering into the field of error, and it affords me the privilege of identifying myself with all those sympathies of my dear brethren in this country, who are living, and working, and serving God, and exalting Christ upon this same interest with me. Now, another consideration, and I have done. I cannot forget to say a few words on the trials of your own ministry. As a Church, I say, you are in the furpace, and, perhaps, you may say that the furnace is heated "seven times more than it was wont to be heated;", be that as it may, a hair of your head will not bə singed, for the Son of God is walking with you, to save you in the hour of conflict. You are on the conquering side, “ the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head,” the victory is sure,—the battle of our Gideon will be fought, and the crown shall be ours for ever,-“Be thou faithful unto death, and Christ will give thee a crown of life.” And as it regards individual trials, live as Christians, and we shall never be discouraged in our ministry. Live, as Christians, a life of faith in the Son of God, and you shall be able to fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life; we have such a witness, and have received such mercy, that how can
Remember it is your privilege to rejoice in hope. Wherever we are, we must expect trials, but they should not cause us to leave our work; they are sent to bring us nearer to our God, and strengthen the joyous expectation that belongs to us, as partakers of the sufferings of Christ; and when he shall appear, we shall be like him, and may be glad, also, with exceeding joy.