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uous and extensive : But on the other hand, it will be a very solemn thing to appear there with the blood of souls in our skirts.
5. There are important rewards to the faithful and successful. The souls converted by the instrumentality of ministers' preaching, will be so many gems in their crown of glory. It will be exceedingly consolatory here, to have such important pledges of our ministry; to have a number of dear spiritual children, as the reward of our labors : A greater reward than crowns and sceptres. How much more so still, to have the promise ver. ified, "they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever." This ought to animate us to get at the consciences of sinners, and to preach under a sense of the importance of their reconciliation to God and final salvation.
These observations will naturally suggest important reflections. We see that the work of a gospel ministry is a great work.
Much depends on the wise and faithful discharge of it. We see the great wisdom and propriety of our Saviour's exhortation, "be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doyes." We need to be much devoted to it.
It is not only a great work, but a good work. It is more desirable to be thus a wise and faithful minister, than a monarch of the world.
It is, at the same time, exceedingly dreadful to be an unfaithful minister.-It is on the other hand, a blessed employment to be a good minister of Jesus Christ, connected with the highest honors and rewards. The crown of glory which such will receive will be peculiar in lustre. I do not mean that they are to expect any thing great in this world. They may expect contempt from many, but God will honor them in glory.
We see that ministers need to be much in prayer and watchfulness; to study and deyote themselves to the work.
I shall add but a few words more addressed to you, my wear brethren of the gospel ministry.
The subject, however imperfectly treated, may suggest some solemn reflections on the highly interesting nature of our business and employment as ministers. It
be well to take a view of our past ministry and enquire how far we may expect the blessed sentence of approbation, well done good and faithful servants? Whether we have been bold in the cause ? Whether we have used all requisite wisdom and prudence in the manner of our preaching. We have some of us been called to various trials, and it will be happy if our sufferings are endured for our Lord and Master. Some are called to endure worldly straits, as the fruit of the neglect of those for whom they prayerfully and solicitously labor.
Some have met with indignity and opposition from sinners, and have been rejected by those whose salvation has lain with great weight on their minds, and for whose good they have labored with tears : All which things have in them peculiar trials. Let us see to it that we are not suffering for our imprudent conduct, and have thereby stopped many ears and rendered our ministry unsuccessful.
In a worldly view, there are to all many discouragements. It is a time in which error prevails. It is a time of great stupidity and of dark worldly prospects : But, cost what it may, let us preserve fidelity to our Lord and Master. You may be courted, on the one hand, to keep back the truth, and threatened on the other. But oh! it is infi nitely too great a sacrifice to gain the honors and riches of this world, at the expense of fidelity to Christ. We are not, my brethren, to expect much from this world. This, however comfortable, would be but a poor reward. If we are faithful, we shall have an infinitely more important reward. A crown of glory'awaits us from our Lord and Master, which may we by our faithful labors inherit fir the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
ISAIAH XLIX. 23.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy
WE are now, for the first time since the settle. ment of peace, met to exercise our right of choice and liberty as a free people. We are now called, as a State, to attend to rules and principles of government, on which the future peace, prosperity and happiness of this State will greatly depend. Our civil rulers have now an opportunity on the one hand, to establish a system of government subordinated to the great design of its institution, to lay a lasting foundation for the political happiness of a free people, and to subserve the purposes and designs of Christ's kingdom: Or, on the other hand, to establish false and corrupt principles of government, subversive of its original design and institution, and favorable to the designs of the grand enemy of mankind. These last, like plants not of God's planting, will be rooted out and destroyed; and a state so established will be like the kingdoms described by Daniel, that will crumble and vanish
• Preached before the General Assembly at Manchester.
before the rising kingdom of Christ, as the dust of the summer threshing floor.
The All-wise Governor and King of Kings has instituted civil government for certain important purposes, which ought to be kept in view as the grand object and design of it. The Bible does not afford laws and rules adapted to particular circumstances, but exhibits only the grand leading object and outlines of civil government. Within these limits, societies and states have a right to adopt what laws and rules they please. The design of the ensuing discourse is only to hint at the tendency and design of civil government according to its institution, and to bring into view the grand ends at which civil rulers are ultimately to aim. The Apostle speaks of power, as being on the side of virtue and religion, "a terror to evil-doers and a praise and encouragement to them that do well. Do that which is good and thou shalt have praise of the same." The Apostle is here describing power or authority vested in rulers agreeable to the will of God. When he observes that "the powers that be are ordained of God,” it is not to be supposed, that he considered the government that then was, as wholly agreeable to the divine institution, but, so far as it was a terror to evil-doers, it was such. The words of the text are prophetically descriptive of the nature and tendency of civil government in its most perfect state. The prophecy of which the text is a part, was delivered while the Jews, the visible church of God, were oppressed, and in bondage at Babylon, and so had immediate respect to one of the means of their deliverance from Babylon. It had, therefore, a literal accomplishment in the protection and succour which the then church experienced against its enemies, and pointed to the decree of Cyrus and
Darius in favor of the restoration of the Jews, and the rebuilding of the temple, and that interposition by which they were secured, from time to time, against the rage of their enemies. “Their queens thy nursing mothers” no doubt literally referred to Queen Esther, who was an instrument of nourishing and preserving the church from the rage of its enemies : And not only did kings protect the church from the rage of enemies, as in Ezra vi. 6, 7. but actually assisted. But it is evident that these prophecies pointed to the events, only as typical of the future deliverance of the church from the antichristian reign and tyranny.
Thus we find the captivity of the Jews in Babylon, and the temple being left to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles, applied, in the Rev. as typical of the reign of Antichrist. The fall of Antichrist's kingdom is represented by the fall of Babylon. The river Euphrates, which ran through the city, was dried up, and this prepared the way for the Persian king to enter Babylon. This event is, in the Revelations, applied to represent the future deliverance of the church. “The great river Euphrates shall be dried up that the way of the kings of the East may be prepared.” So that it is beyond a doubt that the prophecy in our text, had a farther reference than to the favorable disposition and succour of the potentates towards the church of the Jews.
The words thus considered, afford this observation: The future prosperity of Christ's church and kingdom, and the spread of religion, will be accompanied with a refinement of civil government, in subserviency to Christ's kingdom. Civil government has hitherto, generally, been on the side of Satan's interest, and opposed to the king. dom of Christ. His church rose in opposition to the Roman Empire, and in almost every age,