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sions, and propensities of mankind; the various scenes and circumstances through which they pass, the motives by which they are most easily actuated, and the avenues which lead most directly to the heart; with the characters, sentiments and humours, which prevail among the people he is destined to address.

The preacher must be acquainted with books as well as with men. The clearest commentaries on scripture, and the most judicious systems of divinity should hold the highest rank in his estimation; but such as possess sublime moral sentiments, unfold the obligations, characters, and connection of men, explain the principal sciences with elegance and accuracy, inspire the brightest train of thought, enrich the soul with exalted perceptions, improve the taste for composition, give a compass and purity of expression, and afford materials for forming a style, in which simplicity and grandeur, elegance and chastity, animation and ease, copiousness and perspicuity, harmoniously unite ;-are also entitled to a frequent and attentive perusal. Every book of real merit, indeed, may contribute to assist him in his official capacity, but such as contain the best precepts and specimens of eloquence which either ancient or modern times have produced, should be selected with judgement, studied with diligence, digested by mature reflection, and rendered subservient to the great end of the gospel ministry. It must always be recollected, however, that the most extensive reading will be of little advantage to the Christian clergyman, unless it be accompanied by the reiterated practice of careful composition. It is this which converts the materials of reading to the nourishment of thought, which establishes a habit of arrangement, of viewing objects with accuracy and distinction, and of expressing sentiments with variety, fulness, and freedom.

The gospel preacher must retain an unremitting regard to the great ends of his office; which are, to honour his divine Master, by a faithful exhibition of revealed truths, and an ample declaration of his coun

sels to men; to promote the best interests of his fellow creatures, by conscientiously explaining the doctrines, and enforcing the duties of religion, by endeavouring to confirm their faith, increase their comfort, and influence their practice; to adapt his discourses to the nature of the times, and the capacities of his hearers by trying to stop the progress of prevailing vices, directing to the proper uses of national calamities, and exciting to the grateful acknowledgment of public mercies; by avoiding unedifying conjectures about points.confessedly obscure, matters of mere speculation, and the peculiarities of party opinion, which tend to foster a disputatious temper, and to "minister questions rather than godly edifying ;"-by guarding against those minute criticisms, abstracted reasonings and learned investigations, which are not level to the comprehension of a common audience, and turning his thoughts into such a shape, as shall bid fairest for drawing the attention, enlightening the minds, and affecting the hearts of his hearers ;-by confining himself in every discourse to a single leading truth, character, virtue, or vice, which, when properly explained, placed in interesting views, and enforced by suitable motives, can scarcely fail to penetrate and possess the heart.

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Section II.


And God spake all these words, saying;

I am the Lord, thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage:

Thou shalt have no other Gods before me,

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor worship them; for I the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my command


"Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God In vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.


Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness againt thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Section III.



And the Lord sent Nathan unto David; and he went unto him, and said unto him:

"There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had nourished and brought up; and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

"And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come unto him."

And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan ;

"As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die; And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."

And Nathan said unto David, "Thou art the man."

Section IV.


The parable of the prodigal is no less beautiful and pathetic, than it is instructive and consolatory. It sets before us, in the most striking view, the progress and the fatal consequences of vice, on the one hand; and, on the other, the parental readiness of our Almighty Father to receive the returning penitent to pardon and mercy. It is peculiarly instructive to youth; and would become very instrumental to preserve them from the pernicious allurements of sin and folly, if they would seriously reflect upon it; if they would contemplate, in the example of the prodigal before them, the nature and the effects of those vices which brought him to extreme distress, and which will ever bring to distress all those who indulge them.


A certain man had two sons: and the youngest of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.' And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after, the youngest son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land, and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his field to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger?' I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.' And he arose, and came to his father.


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