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gest the remedy. But though I would on no account have you feel easy, while the great mass of sinners

, under your charge are going stupidly down to death, I would caution you against yielding to a paralyzing despondency This is wrong; and it may put away the blessing to a hopeless distance from a minister, when he was just ready to grasp it. It is your duty to labor on with zeal and untiring energy, in times of the greatest stupidity. Think how long it was, before you yourself could be brought to listen to the gospel. “Line must be upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.” Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits of the earth, and hath long patience, until he receive the early and latter rain.” What though you may have “ toiled all the night and taken nothing ?” Who can tell how soon the Savior may direct you where to “let down the net” and may fill it? But however your faith may

” be tried, I pray God it may never fail ; and may you never forget, that the first great object of the christian ministry is the conversion of sinners. For this you are to labor, for this you are to pray, as long as you sustain the sacred office.

I come now to the other great end of preaching, viz. the edification of the church. It is true there can be no church, no "household of faith,” till sinners are converted; but sinners are converted, not merely to be gathered into the church, and then left to find their way to heaven, as best they may. They are gathered into the church, that they may be “nourished up in faith and good doctrine.” They

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are born again, that they may be “ fed with the sincere milk of the word and grow thereby.” All important as the preaching of the gospel is, to bring sinners to Christ, the sacred writers lay quite as much stress upon its being preached to men after their conversion, as before. “ Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” “Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." “Feed my sheep_feed my lambs.” " When he (Christ) ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men: some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists,and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying the body of Christ.” This is very strong, and so are many other passages. Take heed, therefore,” says Paul to the elders of Ephesus, "Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over whom the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. And to Timothy, “ These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly ; but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

If the Epistles of Paul, Peter, James and John to the primitive churches, are to be taken as fair specimens of the style and burden of their preaching, the importance of this branch of ministerial duty, preaching to christians, is put beyond all dispute: for these letters are filled with the most animated exhortations and cautions, embracing the whole circle of christian duties, graces and affections. I hope, my dear E.,


you will read over these remarkable epistles again and again, with special reference to the point now under consideration. Mark all the texts as you proceed, which are just such as a minister wants in preaching to the church ; observe how they touch upon every conceivable trait of the christian character, and of christian experience, and then count them up, and go back, and spend a few moments in meditating upon each, and tell me if you are not astonished to find how full and various and rich they are. Were I to quote them all, they would fill many sheets. Selections might be made of an exceedingly interesting character : but I have not room even for these.

Now I do not say, that it is your duty to preach upon all these texts, the first year, nor the second year of your ministry—it would be impossible. But what I mean to urge upon your most serious consideration thus early, is the prominence which New Testament writers give to this department of ministerial labor; and I am the more anxious and explicit here, because I think it is not generally appreciated as it ought to be, in the pulpits of this country. Our clergy, of nearly all the denominations, as far as my knowledge and information extends, preach much more to the unconverted, than to professors of religion. I do not believe, that the awakening and alarming truths of God's word are preached so directly and pungently in any other country, as they are in the United States. And this may be one great reason, I think it is, why there are more revivals in America than in any other land. The appropriate means are more generally and faithfully used. Such

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being my conviction, you will not understand me to wish the style of American preaching essentially altered in this respect. But I think, if our Lord and Master were to address us from heaven, he would

“These things ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." There is a marked difference, in our own denomination at least, between the preaching on this side of the Atlantic, and in the pulpits of Great Britain. Our brethren there, as I believe I have remarked in another place, dwell much more than we do, upon the love, character and offices of Christ ; upon the blessed influence of the Holy Spirit; upon the beauties of holiness as they shine out in the example of eminent saints; upon the hopes, privileges, and glorious prospects of believers in this world, and upon the blessedness of the heavenly state. Accordingly, their ordinary preaching is, I apprehend, as much better adapted than ours to “edify the body of Christ,” as ours is better suited than theirs, to awaken sinners and bring them to repentance. I would not have your style of preaching, my son, exactly American or English in this respect, but let it combine the excellencies of both, or rather, I would have it conformable to the Apostolic standard, and then it will be sure to answer both the two great ends of preaching, the conversion of sinners and the building up of the church.

I am affectionately, &c, 9*

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IF I have not laid too much stress upon the importance of preaching, then it follows, that every minister must take time for prayerful and thorough preparation. Semper paratus, can be said of no one, however uncommon his talents, his knowledge of the scriptures, or his theological education.

Whatever gift of tongues, or of prophecy, a few ignorant fanatics may boast of, their rant is as unintelligible to their wondering proselytes, as it is to themselves. But some men who enter the ministry, though they have too much good sense and piety to lay claim to any miraculous assistance in the pulpit, place their chief reliance upon the impulse of the moment, and so neglect their studies. This is not wise. It is not right. It is degrading the sacred office. It is setting a bad example. If it were true that one minister in a hundred could preach as well with little or no premeditation, as by spending the best of his time in preparing his discourses, he would not be justified in thus tempting his less gifted brethren, to throw themselves upon their own feebler and more uncertain impulses. But it is not true. While I freely admit, that here and there one has his happy moments, when upon the spur of the occasion, he can throw off a discourse more warm and brilliant than he could prepare in a whole week in his study,

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