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sun of righteousness, with healing in his wings, has surmounted the horizon—the gloom is dispersed—the bustle of awakening agents is beginning to be heard-and the mountain-tops already glitter in the new-born radiance, and re-echo with the din of action. And O! shall any that bear the Christian name, continue lukewarm and inert under circumstances such as these? Shall one individual who comes to the table of the Lord, look without interest, and intense interest too, on the sublime efforts now making for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad? We trust not. I cannot forget that my audience is composed of Christians, who have been taught from the sacred volume, "to weep with them that weep,” and to 6 do good unto all men;" who have learned from the best authority, that there is a “charity that seeketh not her own”—a charity so vitally connected with the principles of genuine devotion, that it shall continue to warm and to animate the spirit, when prophecies shall fail, when tongues shall cease, and when knowledge shall va

nish away.

And now, dear hearers, I come to apply these general remarks to the particular occasion on which I address you. I appear before you in behalf of the Missionary Society connected with the New Castle Presbytery.* You are aware, it is presumed, that this society has been formed for the laudable purpose of supplying the destitute districts within our own presbyterial bounds, with the benefits of the ministry of reconciliation. That our territory affords such districts, is a lamentable fact. And that it is a duty to do the utmost that our resources will allow, to place them in a better condition, will surely not be doubted by any who entertain correct views relative to

Preached at Lancaster, 2d Sabbath of August, 1828.

the importance of a preached gospel. We ask, then, what will


contribute towards this object? Consider, we entreat you, before you decide. The welfare of immortal souls hangs upon the decision. Your answer, too, may have a material bearing on your own happiness through eternity. It is no trivial point which you are called on to determine. Again, therefore, we say, what, hearers of the gospel, will you this morning give, to aid in extending the precious privilege which a bountiful providence has conferred upon you, to others, who, unless the charity of their Christian brethren should interpose in their behalf, must remain ignorant and wretched for the want of some one to guide them in the study of the word of God? O! you cannot resolve that a pittance will be enough. You cannot conclude that a small contribution will suffice for this occasion. We must indulge the thought that your donations will be liberal—such as you shall not be ashamed of, when you come to die such as you shall not tremble to have published to the universe in the day of judgment, when the New Testament leads us to anticipate, that a rigid inquiry will be instituted into the benevolent acts of men. Yes, dear hearers, we hope that you will give amply and cheerfully. This we hope for your own sakes, as well as on account of the destitute for whom we plead, since it is our sincere desire and prayer to God, not only that they may be furnished with the preaching of the gospel, but also that you, by a wise instrumentality in turning many to righteousness, may at last shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever.


JOHN VI, 28, 29.

" Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works

of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

This passage presents us with part of a conference, which took place between Christ and the Jews in one of the synagogues of Capernaum. The Saviour was followed to that city by an immense concourse of people from the opposite shore of the sea of Tiberias, who had beheld the miracle of five thousand men, besides women and children, fed with five barley loaves and two small fishes. So stupendous an exertion of super-human power filled the spectators with astonishment, and compelled them to exclaim, “ This is, in truth, that prophet that should come into the world." Their admiration of Jesus was raised to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, inasmuch, that they determined to “take him by force,” and “make him a king." Our Lord, to prevent an officious display of zeal 60 little conformable to the object of his divine mission, withdrew to a mountain, and there secreted himself till the evening. He then walked over the sea of Tiberias," or, as it is at other times called, “the sea of Galilee," and the lake of Gennesareth.” As soon as he reached Capernaum, he repaired to a synagogue, and began to deliver religious instruction to the assembly. The multitude who had crossed the water in pursuit of him, found him thus occupied, and immediately accosted him with

the question, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” Jesus replied, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye follow me, not because ye saw the miracle, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give you; for him hath God the father sealed." This remark introduced the conversation, the commencement of which is related in our text: “ Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” • Commentators are not agreed whether this conference was between Christ and the people who had followed him across the water, or between him and the citizens of Capernaum who had previously assembled in the synagogue. The inquiry, however, is one of no consequence. It cannot affect the great moral and religious truths involved in the passage. To the careful and solemn consideration of these truths we would now solicit your attention. And may the Spirit of our God open a door of entrance for the word of his grace into every heart!

The question, “ What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” is such as must occasionally arise in every mind. We are all conscious of our dependence on some invisible power.

We feel our obligations to some munificent Benefactor, from whom all our blessings flow. We have a sense of accountability to Him for the manner in which we employ his bounties. Hence results an anxiety to discover in what way the unseen Divinity may be most effectually conciliated, and most gratefully adored. The religious sentiment thus defined, is a part of that magnificent furniture with which the Creator originally adorned our moral nature. It is a sentiment indelibly engraven

on the human heart, “ like that image of himself,” to borrow a beautiful illustration, “ which Phidias wished to perpetuate by stamping it so deeply on the buckler of his Minerva, that no one could obliterate it without destroying the entire statue.” Loog indulgence in evil habits may, indeed, impair the force of this sentiment. But though it may be impaired, it cannot be wholly subdued. To take an extreme case.

We sometimes behold individuals in whom the “still small voice” of conscience appears to be completely silenced. They seem to have succeeded in extinguishing the moral light which Christianity had infused into their souls. They throw the sacred volume away from them in disdain. They abandon the sanctuary of Jehovah. They avoid the society of the virtuous, and mingle only with the most depraved portions of the community. And yet even these indi. viduals cannot escape altogether from the deep-searching Spirit of the Most High. There are periods in their unhallowed career in which they awake to a momentary sense of their awful and degraded situation—periods of anxiety and alarm similar to those with which Caligula himself is said to have been visited, as often as the sound of thunder shook the heavens—periods in which they cannot help exclaiming with the utmost sincerity and the deepest interest, “What shall we do that we may work the works of God?”–We perceive, then, that the question in our text is a natural, as well as a highly important


We proceed to remark, that the phraseology of this question deserves particular notice, inasmuch as it brings to view an error on the general subject of religion, which, we fear, is extensively prevalent. The Saviour had said to the Jews, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.”

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