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of Christianity." Not a page of that work (as a page) remains in my mind, but I feel indebted to that author for the light in which I shall view this part of my subject. He divides our Lord's addresses into three successive stages. He began with mere instruction, mild, gentle, persuasive; and he wrought miracles to prove his right to teach.

In the 4th chapter of St. Matthew, and the 23d verse, we read, "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people." In process of time, when his miracles were slighted, and his word despised; when he was driven from city to city, and from town to town, he ventured on a reprimand. When Cornelius, a centurion, came to intreat him to heal his son, struck with the faith and the humility of this good man; (for he confessed himself unworthy that Jesus should come under his roof; he believed his very word would be sufficient, his very fiat would cause nature to change ;) our Lord mildly declared, "Verily, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel!" How gentle, and yet how penetrating! Did ever snow fall more melting? After this, we find him frequently using the language of expostulation, bringing forward the predic

tions which alluded to his mission, and to the success it should meet with, and especially that prophecy which bears so pointed a reference to the behaviour of the Jewish nation ;"This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

When all these methods failed in their effect, when he had worked miracles sufficient to melt the hardest heart, and to soften the most inveterate prejudices, when his sufferings were nigh at hand, and he had nothing further to fear from their exasperated malice, then he publicly denounced the woes contained in the 23d chapter of the Gospel by St. Matthew, strongly censuring the sect of the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, in various instances; and declaring, that Tyre and Sidon, Chorazin and Bethsaida, shall be preferred before them in the great day of account; this was the climax of his instructions. Patience could hold out no longer; indignation, at length, burst from the lips of meek

ness.

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As the best improvement of this subject, let us more carefully study the New Testa

ment, and let us read it with a view to the succession, as well as the variety, of the instruction it affords; and it should likewise lead us more closely to examine the conduct of our Lord; more highly to prize a life which will bear thus to be probed, thus to be analyzed, as it were, with the fire of the critic.

Let us admire the pains he took to discover the different dispositions, as well as the different circumstances, of his auditors; to examine the complicated feelings of the human heart; and the methods most adapted to strike the senses and interest the mind. And, oh, that his ministering servants may catch some portion of his sacred flame! May they never rest satisfied with a sameness and uniformity in their public addresses; but may they, in imitation of their Divine Master, endeavour to extract variety from every passing occurrence, to enter, like Him, into the complicated feelings, and the various circumstances, of their auditors! May they aim to impress the consciences of their hearers, while, at the same time, they use the utmost tenderness, and the mildest persuasion! May they seize nature, reason, philosophy, scripture, revelation; bring them all into the field, and try, if by any means, they may save a soul! Amen.

D

SERMON III.

ON THE

RESPONSIBILITY

ATTACHED TO ALL

HUMAN TALENTS AND PRIVILEGES.

Unto whomsoever much is given, of him will much be required. LUKE xii. 48.

THERE are two circumstances which concur to render these words of universal importance. The first is their phraseology: "Unto whomsoever much is given." The second, the question put to our Lord by Peter, which introduces the remark in the text, Speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?"

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I shall, in the first place, take a general view of the talents bestowed upon man.

Secondly, attempt a vindication of Providence, with respect to the diversity of gifts.

Thirdly, endeavour to show the responsibility, attached to all such privileges and talents.

I. Let us take a general view of the talents and privileges bestowed upon man. Perhaps both these terms are necessary to convey the full meaning of the subject intended; but I shall not attempt a nice distinction, for talents are privileges; privileges are talents. I shall therefore, for the sake of brevity, class them together; and here so wide a field opens upon me, that my difficulty has been to compress and to arrange. Instead of creating, I have been obliged to reject, materials. I shall divide the several talents intrusted to mankind, into five distinct classes :

1. Natural.

2. Acquired.

3. External.

4. Political..

5. Religious.

1. Natural talents. These are such as are born with us; such are, genius, memory, imagination, wit, the powers of thinking, of comparing, of reasoning, the faculty of collating and concentrating ideas, and the ability of making them known, and introducing them at pleasure. That these talents are bestowed in various degrees, upon different individuals, is evident. One child will be as long learning an alphabet, as another will be in gaining a language; and, while one youth is only per

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