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not that plain preaching of the cross which it ought to be, but a species of human philosophy, which can never make the hearer wife unto falvation.

I am not more surprised that fuch a charge should be brought, by those who have fuffered an acquaintance with the conduct of fome minifters of the church, and an attachment to certain preachers out of it, to create in their minds unfortunate prejudices, than I am perfuaded that the ground for such a charge, as applicable to the great body of our clergy, does not in these days exist. The truth, I believe, is, that the defect of individuals among the clergy has been industriously magnified into a general plea for separation from the church; which is, in fact, to pronounce that sentence upon the cause, which ought to have been confined to the party, by whose unskilfulness it has been injured.

The Gospel, it fhall be admitted, is not preached exactly in the fame manner in the church, as it fometimes is out of it; and God forbid it should. From the general tenour of the writings of thofe, to whom the ministerial office was originally committed, who, from the circumftance of their being under the immediate direction of the spirit, must be confidered perfect models for imitation; the religion of CHRIST

appears to be a comprehenfive fyftem of faith and morality; the one confidered as the foundation, the other the fuperftructure of the Chriftian building. Now we know that where the foundation is not firmly laid, the fuperftructure raised upon it, however excellent the materials of which it is compofed, must in a fhort time fall to the ground. But we alfo know, that where the whole time is spent in laying the foun dation, the work not being carried above ground, nothing will appear to which the term building can with propriety be applied. The object, therefore, which the Chriftian divine ought to have in view, is so to join the two parts of the Christian edifice, that they may together form one compleat building; in other words, fo to connect faith and obedience, those two parts of the Divine fcheme of falvation, that they may constitute that perfect fystem of Christianity, whereby man may become qualified for his heavenly inheritance.”

Whoever fees the fubject in this light, and he who does not is unqualified for a teacher of Chriftianity, will confider it to be his duty to pay that attention to both parts of the Christian fyftem, which, according to his best judgment, the circumstances of thofe committed to his charge may require. He will,

therefore, from time to time, be a preacher of morality; and he must be fo, if he would fully discharge his office; not the morality of the heathen, which looks to the merit of the work as its title to reward, but the morality of the Christian; a morality built upon the Gospel foundation, and deriving all its value from the principle upon which it is performed; a morality dependent upon Divine grace, and looking only to Divine grace for acceptance, upon the terms of the Gospel covenant.

The common objection, therefore, that is made to the moral preaching in our churches, is inapplicable

that species of morality of which we are now speaking; and which, I trust, is now generally inculcated. A morality of this nature, essential to the completion of the Christian plan of salvation, must be preached; and where it is not, the whole truth, as it is in CHRIST Jesus, not being delivered, the Gospel is, as it were, preached by halves; and the consequence is, what it too generally has been, that the hearers of it are a sort of half Christians; standing (if we may so fay) in a tottering condition upon one leg; whilst the design of the Christian revelation was, that they should stand firmly upon two.

Unfortunately, these pious members of our church, (for in that light I am moft willing to confider them) who are led to an occafional feparation, from a zeal which they feel for the glory of the bleffed Author of falvation, fuffer themselves to be frightened with the found of a word, to which they themselves affix a wrong idea: hence it has happened, that the word has ofttimes been condemned, without the meaning annexed to it by the clergy, from whom they turn away, having been fairly examined; upon the fame principle, that indifcriminating Chriftians are fright. ened with the words crofs, altar, facrifice, and priest, words peculiarly characteristic of the Christian church, because they have been feverally abufed in the Romish communion.

Might I be permitted to fpeak for the clergy, whom as a body I have always confidered to be greatly mifrepresented on this fubject, (for in all general conclufions individual cafes must be put out of the queftion;) I fhould not think that I incurred a risk of contradiction by saying, that the doctrine which they preach corresponded in the main with the revelation they have received. There was a time, indeed, when the doctrine of the crofs was kept too much out of fight; and when the language of our pulpits, it

must be confeffed, was calculated to teach men to place a vain dependence on moral performances. But it fhould in justice be confidered that this was an extreme, which grew out of a laudable defire to counteract the fatal effects of that oppofite and not less dangerous doctrine, by which the Christianity of this country had long been difgraced. But neither the writings nor difcourfes of the prefent clergy, fo far as my acquaintance with them has extended, juftify, generally speaking, the fame charge being brought against them,

They preach, I trust, CHRIST crucified, as the foundation of the Chriftian building; and "other foundation can no man lay." They look, generally fpeaking, to the Crofs as to fallen man's only hope, and only title to falvation. But it being the office of the Christian miniftry "rightly to divide the word of truth," the grand object they have before them is, Ja to preach the doctrine of the Crofs that no erroneous conclufion may be drawn from it.

Confidering that CHRIST, by his death, has redeemed fallen man from the curfe of the law, and placed him, if the expreffion may be allowed, in a falvable condition; they occafionally feel themselves called upon to enforce obedience to the moral law, as neceffary to the accomplishment of the Christian

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