صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

be accounted one of the most providential discoveries of the present age, that means have been fallen upon, to simplify the business of Education, and to bring it, at a comparatively small expence, within the reach of every individual in the community. To whom the merit of this discovery is principally due, or from what quarter it has chiefly arisen, I know not, my brethren, nor have I much anxiety to inquire; but this I know, that it is worse than folly to obstruct its mighty efficacy in the great work of instruction, by which the lower ranks of men are to be trained to the habits of virtuous industry, of intelligence, of Morals, and of Religion, from any weak scruples, and surmises, and imaginations of evil without a name !

You have it, this day, in your power to shew your superiority to such delusions: to assist those wise and benevolent men,

who have so nobly exerted themselves in this great work; who are too well aware of the value of religious knowledge, ever to give their sanction to any plan of education which is not built on the eternal rock of the Gospel; who are careful that the first book which is presented to the poor, should be the volume of Christian salvation; and who, while they are anxious that they may be taught the means of providing for their temporal good, are, above all things, anxious that they may have the Gospel preached to "them."





MARK, ii. 13.

"And he went forth again by the sea-side, "and all the multitude resorted unto him, "and he taught them."

In following out the history of our Lord, we have already seen him going from place to place within the district of Galilee, where his parents resided, and which he does not seem to have quitted for some time after he began his ministry. Occasionally we find him in the synagogues

expounding the Scriptures, and preaching the "Gospel of the kingdom of God;" at other times he goes forth, as in the text, into the scenes of Nature; and from a mountain or by the sea-side, he calls the attention of the multitude who resorted unto him, to those sublime discoveries which connect earth with Heaven.-In a former discourse, I took occasion to make some observations on those acts of miraculous beneficence which accompanied his progress. I am now led to examine his methods of instruction, and some of the lessons which he delivered.


In the present state of the world, instruction is commonly conveyed in a regular and didactic. form; and there may, therefore, seem to us to be, at times, no small want of connection in the discourses of our Saviour, and in the writ

* See Discourse V.

ings of the Apostles. To enter into the full spirit of these, we ought to remove ourselves, in fancy, to the age in which they lived, and to the description of people to whom their words were most commonly addressed. In an age in which men were not much accustomed to general or abstract reasonings, it was more useful, surely, to state the results of any system of Moral or Religious truth, in a striking and simple manner, than to point out all the processes of thought by which they might be established. We accordingly find that, even in our Saviour's most regular discourses, a great many truths are brought successively into view, connected rather in their general spirit, than by any distinct chain of reasoning, and they are stated briefly and decisively, as maxims which may stand upon their own evidence, without requiring much illustration in their

« السابقةمتابعة »