gion are very much of a gloomy and disconsolate nature? Then may they not only hear discourses of the most solemn import, and observations of a very striking nature, but let the varied peculiarities and beauties of the gospel be delineated ; that Christianity be not presented to their youthful and tender minds in a forbidding aspect, but in its most attractive charms and lovely forms. Would a minister of the gospel be influential and useful among this important class of his hearers, let his conversation and sermons evince his respect for them, and manifest his solicitations for their present and future wellbeing. Let them not only be affectionately reproved and warned, but let them be encouraged, animated and drawn by all the varied motives and excitements which can be derived from the volume of divine truth. Their youthful days and vigour of life, their golden period of existence, plead for an interesting variety in the instructions of their pastor.

8th. In order to enlarge congregations and build up society, it is highly important that ministers of the gospel hold forth variety as a prominent trait in their publick discourses. The beneficial effects resulting to Christian society and to community from an extensive range of subjects well chosen, and from a variety of apt illustrations, are numerous; and that of the satisfaction and enlargement of the people of a minister's charge, is of great consequence.

There are the learned and the unlearned, the diligent inquirer after truth and the slothful, the moral and the immoral, within the limits of almost every parish; and there is a rich plenitude in the divine word, from which something may be brought forth appropriate to their diversified taste and circumstances. And in scattered and broken societies, how essential that the instructions of the sanctuary have an interesting variety; that the people be built up, and not broken down! But how often, and indeed how justly is the complaint made, that there is a great sameness in the topicks and discussions of the pulpit! How many in the ministry have all their subjects comprised within a very small circle, and their illustrations quite limited! And, on the same account, comparatively few enter the threshold of the sanctuary: hence, ministerial usefulness is greatly restricted. What next? The feeble church is deprived of their pastor. It is doubtless true, that in many places, different sects and indifference to a preached gospel, cause societies to be in a divided and broken state. Moreover, it is equally true that in many places where few assemble together on the Lord's day, respectable congregations might be collected by a scribe who would hold forth variety as a prominent trait in his publick discourses. It is a matter of fact, that a certain number of texts and topicks are so frequently introduced by ministers of the gospel, that when one of them is named, no small part of the congregation wish themselves home, or else invite sleep. Then let new texts and new subjects be introduced, as often as those that are old; and this variety will prove a remedy for such lamentable effects. Let ministers generally select some of the varied and interesting texts which have not yet been discussed in the sanctuary; and the expressions,

singularity and curious minded,” will not fall from the tougues of the illiberal and illiterate. Since God, in the course of his Providence, has disclosed to the present age a far more expansive view of the glory of his kingdom than former ages could obtain, for the purpose of illustrating the revelations of his word, shall not proportionate advances, and suitable improvements be attempted? Who will dare assert, that the scribe who has access by his studious efforts, to contemplate this wondrous scene and its rising grandeur, and yet withholds from communicating to the people the increasing displays of the divine glory, does not thereby hazard the divine displeasure? In relation to this point, and the present particular, the


following passage deserves a serious consideration. Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operations of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. For a minister to be extensively useful in his preaching, it is not only necessary that the people of God hear him, but that many of the impenitent attend his publick ministrations. And unless this be accomplished, one great end of his ministry is frustrated. The text suggests a method of accomplishment. Moreover, the situation and circumstances of hundreds of congregations and feeble churches in our own highly favoured land, plead, though with a disconsolate tone, yet most pathetically, for a minister who will hold forth variety as a prominent trait in his publick discourses.

9th. The promotion of the declarative glory of God, demands that ministers of the gospel publish to mankind things new as well as old, in their delivering his messages. In the works of creation, providence, and redemption, the Lord has been pleased gradually to unfold his perfections and his great and glorious designs. And the advancement of his wonderful works towards their highest perfection, is an increasing display of the divine glory, as it respects the views of created intelligences. And although the material creation wonderfully displays the glory of God, yet its brightest manifestations are exhibited in his moral kingdom. Whatever tends to a more enlarged display of the wonderful works and ways of God, tends to the furtherance of this great and glorious end : hence, angels and men are instrumental in promoting the work. And the Lord is pleased to see his gospel heralds take a wide range in their survey of his empire, and to proclaim his manifold works, and his varied mighty acts to all his subjects. If they attain but a scanty view of his doings and rehearse a contracted portion of his ways, they eclipse the glory of his great name. But if they expatiate in the various territories of his vast dominions, and

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with their enlarged views, promulge their newly discovered wonders, they are the honoured agents of promoting the declarative glory of God.

The present ageis wonderful for improvements in the various arts and sciences, and glorious in relation to the advances and honour of the intellectual world. How do interesting and useful inventions abound ! How varied the works of man which are wonderful to behold! And would not the Lord be delighted to have the remaining hidden glories of his holy word discovered and brought forth to the view of the sons of men ? Surely his name would be magnified among the people, if their admiration should be duly excited by the exhibition of new and divine things; and by beholding the manifold and increasing wonders of his kingdom upon earth. Will the whole world be peopled before the end of time? And will not the whole volume of divine revelation be preached before that period ? Doubtless every interesting text in the sacred scriptures will be selected as a foundation for religious instruction in the house of God, before the archangel shall proclaim, That time shall be no longer. Then why should not the ambassadors of God now aspire to give glory to him, by bringing forth new texts, manifold subjects, and variously improved exhibitions of divine truth? There are thousands of interesting and admirable propositions contained within the pages of the divine canon which are yet to be the themes of benevolent invention, of new ideas, and of newly modified illustrations to the ministers of the gospel. Much of the holy scriptures is yet to be more thoroughly explored and more fully understood, besides the prophetical parts. And must it not be for the declarative glory of God ? Must it not be pleasing in his sight to behold the expositors of his holy word, humbly but zealously engaged to unfold more and more of its glorious contents ? Shall it yet be said, That the çhildren of this world are in their generation wiser


than the children of light ? Does not the declarative glory of God, demand of the present age that the investigations and discoveries of the manifold wonders of his kingdom, should equal the inventions and improvements of the political and intellectual world?

10th. The immortal interest of a vast number of human beings may serve to show how important it is that ministers of the gospel should hold forth variety, as a prominent trait in their publick dis

The great end of divine revelation and the preaching of the word as it relates to man, is his eternal salvation. Hence a most important inquiry naturally arises, How should the word be preached so as to be instrumental in saving the greatest number of human beings? But the various particulars which have been adduced in this discourse, do tend to make it evident that an extensive and interesting variety of religious subjects would have the most favourable tendency to promote the immortal interest It

may be replied, some ministers who have not been noted for an extensive scope and variety of discourses, have been instrumental in winning souls to Christ. Grant it. But, if an interesting and extensive variety of subjects had been held forth as a prominent trait in their publick instructions, it is highly probable that their congregations would have been greatly enlarged, and more souls converted under their ministry.

Again: It may be remarked, That some ministers of eminent talents, and whose sermons have been peculiar for variety, have had but little success as to any apparently saving effects from their labours. Let me answer, Their discourses may have had a general deficiency of striking, evangelical, and most important truths; or they may have been deficient as it respects a life of prayer and devotedness to God.

of man.

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