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cerning himself as identified with his religion, for he claims to be the very essence and substance of it. That he came not to bear witness of himself, he himself interprets to denote, that he did not claim to be believed merely upon his own word, but in consequence of the power of God working with him by signs and wonders, and revealing by him truths worthy of God. I repeat, be lays claim to be the very substance of the religion which he revealed. He is its alpha and omega, its beginning, its middle, its end, its author and finisher. And not only, of what was strictly his own, but in like manner, of what was revealed by Moses, and at sundry times and in divers manners, by the prophets to the fathers ; and, of what was afterwards added to his own disclosures by his inspired apostles through the Holy Spirit. From any other system of religion you may take away the name and the history of its propounder, and leave it nearly complete; but from Christianity you can no more remove Christ and leave it entire, than you can take the sun out of the centre of the solar system and preserve its movements—than
away the key-stone of an arch and not demolish it—than you can remove the foundation of a temple and leave the superstructure-than
you can tear up a tree by the roots and keep its branches alive and fruitful—than you can take out the heart of the animal body, and maintain its circulation and warmth, its health and vitality. The reason is, Christ is all in all.
Is it the perfections of God ? By preaching Christ you can preach thesc, for he was in the beginning with God, and was God; he and the Father are one.
.-Is it the creation of all things by which are manifested the Creator's eternal power and Godhead? This also is preaching Christ, for he said, Let us make man in our own image. He laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the workmanship of bis hands. Without him was not any thing made that was made.-Would
the first era of the Church? Christ is to be found there as the seed of the woman who see,
you can take
was promised to bruise the head of the serpent. Would you dwell upon the patriarchal age? You meet Christ again with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, visiting and protecting his Church as the Angel of the Covenant.-Would you
illustrate the wonderful and fearful overthrow of the antediluvian world ? Christ once more appears to forewarn the wicked race that peopled it, and to avert their destruction, preaching by Noah, that preacher of righteousness; and Christ is the ark of salvation, symbolized in that great vessel, which saved from the food of heaven's wrath these eight souls.-Would you obtain the spiritual import of the history of the Israelites in Egypt, in the wilderness, in the promised land? You must think of man in bondage to the Prince of Darkness; you must think of him redeemed by the Captain of bis salvation; you must think of him travelling under his conduct through the desert of this world; healed, when dying of his moral wounds, by looking to the uplifted Saviour; and, after fearful conflicts with his invisible enemies, led triumphantly into the land of promised rest, the heavenly inheritance flowing with rivers of pleasure ?_Would you understand the typical meaning of all the washings and abstinences, the offerings and sacrifices, the priestly offices and sacred rites of the Mosaic economy? You must look for their interpretation to the atonement and intercession of the Great High Priest of our profession.Would you read with intelligence the glowing predictions of the prophets? You must remember that the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory which should follow; and that he came to fulfil the law and the prophets.
And, then, when we proceed to the review of the New Testament, all is Christ from the begining to the end; and were he not intended chiefly to be made known, we cannot
but that the revelation of God's will communicated to men in the New Testament, is most unnecessarily loaded and encumbered with allusions to him. He, in fact, is the hero of the New Testament story; he is the substance of the New Testament doctrine; he is the New Testament morality; he is the God of the New Testament. What relationship is there in which he does not stand to us? In what capacity have we not to do with him ?--Are we ignorant? He is made wisdom unto us.-Guilty ? He is made pardon.-Unboly? He is made sanctification.-Dying? He is made redemption.-Do we believe in God? It is by Jesus Christ,Have we access to the Fatber? No man cometh unto the Father but through the Son ?- Are we adopted as the sons of God and made his heirs ? It is as brethren of Christ, and joint heirs with Jesus.-Are we redeemed ? It is with the precious blood of Christ.--Are we made living stones constituting a living temple ? Christ is the living corner stone, precious and chosen.-Are we a royal priesthood ? Christ is the High Priest of our profession.-Do we offer up spiritual sacrifices ? These are made acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ.- Are we dead to sins? It is because he bare our sins in bis own body on the tree, that we should live unto righteousness. Are we begotten again to a lively hope of an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading ? It is by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.Are we to be judged? The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son. We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and give an account of the deeds done in the body. I know not where this enumeration might end, were I to attempt to expatiate to the full extent of the Scriptures upon it. But I think I have carried it sufficiently far, to confirm my previous assertion, that to preach Christ literally and truly, is to preach Christianity, or the whole substance of the Scriptures.
I think I have said enough to convince you, that although to the Greeks and Jews it did appear, and to unbelievers it does still appear a ridiculous thing to presume to instruct the world in religion by preaching solely about Christ crucified, the doctrine of the Cross is, notwithstanding, the wisdom of God, and the power of God to salvation. I think
you must feel that in our future ministrations, if God in his mercy spare us, we shall find no lack of matter to preach about, if Christ as God, and Christ as man; Christ as prophet, priest, and king; Christ predicted in the Old Testament, and Christ fulfilling predictions in the New; Christ in all his varied aspects and relations, be the constant subject of our ministry.
III. Let me advert now to the next topic, which is— The manner of discharging this work, Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom.
The necessity of warnings implies danger; the necessity of teaching implies ignorance; and the term "every man" implies the universality of this danger and this ignorance; while the variety of the wisdom required to discharge these duties of warning and teaching suggests that the degrees of these may
very different in different individuals, and must be assailed in very different ways. All are naturally in danger of neglecting religion entirely, and require to have its infinite importance, its indispensable necessity, pressed upon their attention. But some give regular attendance upon the means of grace; while others, without scruple, desert the sanctuary. Wisdom should guide the minister of religion in his efforts to prevent the one class from continuing at ease in Zion; the other from remaining callous in the city of destruction.-Some have an orthodox creed and heterodox practice; others are superior in piety and defective in intelligence. Wisdom is needful in the minister to expose the pbarisaical pretensions of the one; and to shake off the intellectual sloth of the other. Some are disposed to rest in a mere outside service, being man-pleasers rather than pleasers of God; others are inclined
l; to repose upon the complacent idea of the goodness of their hearts, to the neglect of external acts of worship and love. Wisdom must endeavour to impress upon the latter that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; and upon the former, that they who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth.—Some may select, as their favourite virtue, honesty in their dealings, and make the strictness of their integrity an excuse for the narrowness of their benevolence ; others may apologize for their inattention to the claims of justice, by pleading the extent and excess of their generosity. Wisdom must seek to render the latter more rigid ; the former less selfish.-Some may be too sectarian, attaching to lesser matters as much importance as to greater;
may be too liberal, good naturedly regarding all things as indifferent. Wisdom must teach the one that the desire of
peace and unity may be cherished at the expense of truth; the other, that in many things we must agree to differ, if we would not provoke incessant strife, and destroy all the bonds of social existence.—Some may be too bold and self-confi. dent; others too timid and distrustful. Wisdom must suggest to the one grounds of reliance, urging them to the exercise of their powers ; to the other grounds of caution, checking their fool-hardy pride.-Some may incline to superstition and fanaticism ; others to incredulity and earthliness. Wisdom must conduct the one into the activities of benevolence and homely duties; the other into the paths of meditation and prayer.—Some may grieve too much under afflictions; others too little. Wisdom must teach the one how to feel; the other how to bear.
Wisdom will have much to do. In warning, she must study fidelity without rudeness, forbearance without connivance, discrimination without partiality. In teaching, she must use such plainness that all may understand, and yet such propriety that the taste of none may be offended; such firmness that all may be awakened, and yet such feeling that, none may be unduly alarmed; no more of ornament than may administer to use ; all possible sincerity; all prudent zeal. She must teach every man—the young with kindness and