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tership in his ministerial servants. "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all."

Many of these things must be done away, that the excellency and the power of religion may appear to be of God, and not of us. God is jealous of his own honour, and will never give his glory to another. God's own truth, faithfully delivered, will bring glory to God from every recipient of grace; but, if false doctrine be advanced instead of truth, the hearer is zealously affected, but not well; and, if he adheres to false or legal doctrines, he is excluded from Christ by the preacher, that he may affect, or place his affections on, him instead of Christ, Gal. iv. 17. I hope I shall ever be honest in my Lord and Master's work, for I know that the goods which are put into the hands of every faithful minister are his Spirit, his word, and his people; and it becomes a steward to be found faithful, and not to waste his Master's goods. But, alas! for the want of gospel matter, and gospel experience, many have kept a flying troop in a profession by nothing but telling old wives' fables; and there are to this day legions in London who would go three miles to hear a country tale from the pulpit, who would not go over the threshold of their doors to hear Paul explain the seventh chapter of his epistle to the Romans. I know a pious broken-hearted soul, in London, who once sat in a congregation of three

or four thousand souls, and wept almost through the whole time of service, to see such a number gathered together, and nothing to entertain their minds with but a few foolish tales, more fit for a tea-table, or a washing-tub, than a pulpit. We may say, indeed, of such a ministry, as an old woman says of her calling, that—mangling is done here.

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I will never believe that God will own any doctrine but his own pure word. It is truth that is to make a sinner free; and if a preacher has any armour in God's work, it is truth. "Under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shield and buckler," Psalm xci. 4. These things have embittered the minds of many souls against the holy word of God, and against the preachers of it; and as they themselves have not an experience of the truth of God, they have not the springing well of God's Spirit within them; and therefore they find, that dealing in doctrines which they never enjoyed, and talking of grace which they never felt the power of, is all against the bent of their own spirits. Hence it is that they turn to the natural bias of their own wills, and preach up for doctrines those things which lie within the compass of natural reason; and they find that to be a minister of the letter is much easier than to attempt the ministry of the spirit. These, says the Apostle, are desirous of being teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. These lay by the truths of

the gospel, the promises, and the blessings of it, and fly to the precepts, and zealously enforce them, without any regard to the promised blessings of grace, which alone can enable the poor sinner to walk in the commandments of God.

These, says the apostle, begin in the spirit, and end in the flesh, that is, they make a beginning with the gospel dispensation, but end with the carnal commandment; they confuse the lines of the gospel plan, they make shipwreck of the doctrines of faith, which they once confessed and preached, and then they go on board of the galley with oars, Isaiah xxxiii. 21. For if a man be not a real believer in the blessed Saviour, he must, in spirit, be under the law; and if he be under the law he will naturally listen to the law; for the voice of the law is to such persons in particular, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law." Blessed be God, he himself applied the doctrine to my soul that I am enabled to preach. In this I can say, with our great apostle, the doctrine which I preach" is not after man; for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it; but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." "It pleased God to reveal his Son in me." Happy and blessed is that soul that receives the word from God's mouth, and lays up his commandments in his heart. But, alas! we live in a day when the blessed book of God is sadly neglected, private communion with God in closet prayer is little enforced, and con

sequently little practised; hence every thing goes down for gospel, and the faith of many stands on the wisdom of men, instead of the power of God, 1 Cor. ii. 5. “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide," says the Almighty, Micah vii. 5. It is a dangerous thing to have an inordinate affection for an unevangelized preacher; for if he apostatizes, the warm attachment of the simple to him will drag them into his error. Blessed," says the Psalmist, "is that man that maketh the Lord his trust; and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies." It was not without cause that the Saviour rebuked the natural affections of his followers when their love was hovering continually about his human nature.

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Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children: for if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" The fan must come, the floor must be purged: the man of sin shall never be revealed, except there come a falling away first.

The sun is going down over the prophets indeed, because his enlivening rays are little observed, and less enforced. The shadows of the evening are stretching out, and many wolves are creeping forth, who will not spare the flock. My dear friends, pray for me, that I that I may watch in all things, that I may do the work of an Evangelist, and make fuil proof of my ministry.

I know the word of God is fulfilled in the apostasy of some men, as well as in the steadfast

ness of others. God is the strength of his people; no man can stand alone; if he stand not in the Lord, he must fall. Christ is the foundation, and if a man be not fixed on that rock, though he begin to build, yet he is sure never to be able to finish. All profession, zeal, gifts, knowledge, diligence, and usefulness, will vanish, if the man has not got the real root of religion. These are they which for a while believe, but in time of temptation fall away, because they have no root in themselves. Except the branch be united to the vine by the uniting bond of love, he cannot be fruitful, nor abide in the vine; he may make a fair shew of wisdom in will-worship and voluntary humility, and that is all. "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, [which are the fruits of the spirit] he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit [the fruits of the spirit], he purgeth it [from the corruptions of the flesh], that it may bring forth more fruit."

The word of God in the heart, and gifts for the ministry too, must both be watered by the springing well of God's holy Spirit, or else they will soon be scorched, and wither away for want of moisture. No branch will abide in the vine without the spirit of love, no stone will stand fast on the foundation without the cement of faith, no ministerial gift will endure without a fresh supply of the Spirit of God.

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: he that

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