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success of whose preaching appears by many to have been incorrectly estimated. His efforts as a preacher were preparatory : by him the seed was sown which afterwards sprang up so luxuriantly. “ He labored, and others entered into “ his labors."
Isaiah, prophesying of this illustrious teacher, who condescendingly came to accomplish the salvation of a lost world, affirms, “ with stammering
lips and another tongue shall he speak,"* that is, he will lisp to them in their own language as tender mothers speak to their children; to which instance of the Divine compassion in thus dealing with ignorant man, the Apostle refers.t « In the “ law it is written, With men of other tongues “ and other lips will I speak unto this people; “ and yet for all that, will they not hear mie,
saith . the Lord.
To be conformed to him as our fairest model, is certainly the most distinguished praise of the Christian and the Minister: the attempt will be approved by Him, who hath chosen by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.
In arranging your thoughts on these words
* Chap. xxviii. v. 11.
1 Cor. c. xiv. v. 21.
which have been read as a text, I shall take occa. sion to state
I. The grand theme of ministerial instruction« The word of salvation."
II. The method which our Lord adopted in his public labors" with many such parables:"-and
III. Specify the superior advantages of this mode of communicating religious information.
I. The grand theme of our Lord's ministry. The “ Word” here, is a comprehensive term, and without confining our attention to any niceties of definition, I shall content myself with placing before
you the general truths which our Lord and all who have imitated his example, have rendered prominent in their religious addresses, whether popular or personal.
1. He expressly taught the truth of man's mis. erable and ruined condition as a sinner. A sheep lost and wandering from the fold—a person mortally diseased--a debtor arrested by an inexorable creditor-a human being under the tyranical control of a stronger and more powerful adversarya traveller wounded by thieves and weltering in his blood—together with the most distressing infirmities to which human nature is obnoxious; such as lameness—loss of sight, speech, or hearingand even death, with all its terrors and torments; each of these are such express intimations of this obvious fact, that it is scarcely necessary to notice further, the design of his advent—the general tenor of his conduct-the tears he shed at his rejection—" his decease accomplished at Jerusalem”. and the everlasting ruin he denounced on the impenitent-as all fully confirming the view He took of the wretched condition of our apostate world. And you my hearers are not so taught, as to conclude that his estimate of man's condition was narrow and gloomy, and therefore to be resisted and rejected by the cheerful and enlightened part of society;--nay, these representations are to be regarded not merely as facts indubitably true, but as facts in which you and I have a lively and personal concern.
2. Correct statements of man's moral malady pave the way for an acceptable display of that glorious system, by which present happiness and endless bliss may be obtained.
The character of Jehovah, as ready to forgive as pitying the misery of man, his sinful and erring creature--as sending his son to die for sinners, that whosoever believeth should not perish but have everlasting life-as rejoicing with paternal affection at the prospect of the prodigal's repentance and return-as communicating the highest honors and sweetest satisfactions to the reconciled, through the merits and sufferings of “the Beloved”—are the cheering representations every where discoverable in the discourses of our blessed Lord.
The necessity of the new birth, from whence naturally result holy tempers and useful lives—the cheerful dispositions with which the ransomed shall render new obedience the largely liberal and eternal reward of grace to every sincere servant of the Most High-and the ability requisite for attaining the promised prize, were truths which in varied modes of address, but all distinguished by the most affectionate tenderness, were enforced by Him“ who spake as never man spake.”
3. Nor did he neglect to insist upon the matchless mercy displayed in the selection of instruments employed to diffuse these gladsome tidings, :-“ the Word”—the voice-language which man could understand.
The gospel was not committed to angels, nor was it spoken immediately by that voice which otice shook the earth and convulsed every hearer with terror; but " men of like passions with our"selves” were entrusted with this deposit. When every effort of Divine compassion was unavailing or rejected, the high resolve was taken to part with the Son," the heir of all things.” “ It may “ be they will reverence my Son.” “ He took not “ on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abra“ ham.” “God, who at sundry times and in divers
manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by “ the prophets, hath in these last days spoken by « His Son."
The most bitter medicine is taken gratefully from the kind and affectionate friend of our bosom, and how additionally sweet are mercies when communicated by such unexpressive benevolence!
Much of the divine favor is seen in this arrangement; much did our Lord insist on this pledge of the divine willingness to save the standing confirmation of that most solemn oath, “ As I live, “ saith the Lord, I have no delight in the death of
a sinner, but rather that he should return and 66 live"?
Our text guides us
II. To the consideration of that method which our Lord took to recommend these interesting truths to his hearers. “ With many such parables
spake He the the word unto them.”
He used similitudes; and under natural repre