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Three things are here observable: That Christians are to be warned;-that they are to be instructed in every kind of spiritual wisdom;-and that this warning and this instruction are to be addressed to all-"teaching every man, and warning every man."

Christians are to be warned.-Whatever some may conceive of the privileges of Christians, who, they suppose, are to hear only of the promises, mercy, and love of Christ, a real Christian will feel that he needs constant admonition and caution. He will feel the danger of relapsing into a careless and worldly spirit. The preaching which flatters, is not the preaching which is suited to him. He wants a close and faithful address to the conscience. He feels it often necessary to examine himself; and the warnings which Christ gave to the churches of Asia he cannot think unnecessary or inapplicable to his own soul. Corrupt habits insensibly creep upon us; a careless frame of mind is easily indulged; and were it not for the affectionate admonitions of the word of God, and of his ministers, we should soon sink into the state of the Laodicean church, "having a name to live, while we are dead."

In the same manner we need instruction.-The truths of the Gospel are indeed few and simple; and were our dispositions habitually devout and serious, we might soon acquire a competent knowledge of the truth. But we are by nature slow of heart to learn the things of God. So much of our time and attention is devoted to the world, and so reluctant are we to meditate on spiritual subjects, that we make but a slow proficiency in the school of Christ. Neither is it sufficient that we know the simple truths of the Gospel: we must consider them in their connexion and relation to each other; we must correct and enlarge our views of spiritual truth. On examination, we shall probably discover some mixture of error in our most settled opinions. New cases occur, new difficulties and dangers arise, requiring fresh wisdom and experience in the Gospel. Add to this, that the knowledge which the

Gospel inculcates is to be practical and influential on our conduct; and, whatever we may know in theory of the truth, we shall find, when we consider the influ ence it possesses over us, that we still need much instruction. The branches of Christian knowledge are very extensive. Wisdom is required towards them that are without; wisdom to discharge all the duties of our station; wisdom to escape the snares laid for us; wisdom to confirm the faith of those under our care; wisdom to avoid giving offence; wisdom to imitate the conduct of Christ, our Lord, in all things fully and completely.

The Apostle notices also, that every man has need of this warning and this instruction.-The Apostles themselves were not exempt from this necessity. Our Lord had occasion both to instruct and to warn them, even to the last day of his residence among them. Let no man, therefore, think he stands in no need of instruction. "If any man," says the Apostle, "think he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." There are, indeed, many whom ministers address from the pulpit, at whose feet they would gladly sit and receive instruction. But it is the word of God which they are commissioned to teach: they declare only what the oracles of Divine Truth confirm: and they consider themselves, therefore, as only the instruments to make known the power and wisdom of God, as it is revealed in the Gospel.

Thus, then, the man of God is perfected for every good work. By the preaching of the Gospel new light is continually afforded him-new and purer views are communicated to him-holier principles are implanted in his breast-the wrong motives by which he had been influenced, the depraved habits which he had indulged, are corrected-till at length he is presented perfect in Christ Jesus.

Two reflections seem naturally suggested by the subject we have considered.

First-If the office of the ministry is so important, is it not your duty to pray earnestly to God, that your ministers be endued with wisdom and grace, and that you may receive their admonitions with candour and affection? We feel, my brethren, the importance and difficulty of our station: we trust to your prayers for The pastoral relation ought to be closer than it is in general. There should be a mutual spirit of prayer for each other to the Supreme Head of the Church. It is a great design in which we are engaged-to present you perfect in Christ Jesus at the great day of his appearing.


And secondly, considering the magnitude of the work to which both ministers and people are called, let us never engage in it but with the solemnity which it requires. It will soon be found to have been unspeakably important. That day is at hand, when wealth, and power, and beauty, and wit, will be shewn to be vain and useless; and, amidst the wreck of all which the world esteems, the knowledge and love of Christ, and obedience to his commandments, will appear to be the only real and permanent good of man.

Let this great object, then, be frequently set before us. Let us often think of the design of Christ in coming into the world, of the strict inquiry which will be made at the last day into our principles and conduct, of the means which Christ has appointed and is daily employing to present us perfect at the great day, and let us anxiously examine ourselves, whether those means have been successful-whether we have attended to the instructions we have received-whether, in short, we are still worldly-minded, careless, and corrupt, living without God in the world, and without any true and practical knowledge of Jesus Christ;-or whether, being ingrafted into him by a living faith, we are walking according to his will, receiving his precepts and instructions, treasuring them up in our hearts, and conforming our lives to them; so that we may be

presented perfect in Christ Jesus at the great day of his appearing. Happy are they who will then be found so living! May this be the happy state of all my hearers! Or, to express in the Apostle's words my desires for them-"May the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd of his sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.




Coloss. iii. 1-3.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

THE spiritual nature of the Christian Religion forms a very strong presumption in favour of its Divine original. The principles it inculcates are not those of this world: the consolation and peace it affords do not arise from worldly sources; the hopes it sets before us, and the rewards it promises, refer to a future state. The desire of applause, the sense of honour, ambition, and the hope of temporal advancement-motives which are naturally very powerful, and which form the chief springs of action in other systems of religion-it rejects as unworthy of the Christian purity. Our Lord thus described the character of his religion; "My kingdom is not of this world." Its maxims and views are not such as naturally occur to the world: nor are they



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