Puslapio vaizdai

to the ministers, but God thereby loses the affections of the children he has formed!

There is one particular in which our clergy have improved on the example of Absalom. "Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel." And herein his sagacity failed. He should have attempted to steal the hearts of the women of Israel; and in the opinion of your humble servant, if he had succeeded in so doing, he would have succeeded in his rebellion.

I remarked, that our clergy have improved on Absalom's example. You will generally find, that they take the opportunity to visit your houses, when the father, husband, or brother, is engaged in his business. They sit down with the wife or daughter, as the case may be, and begin the conversation by saying, "I feel concerned for your welfare; I fear there is a dreadful doom coming upon you. You know that God is the enemy of sinners, and that hell is the certain portion of every unconverted soul. I come out of pure love,-shall I pray with you?" "Why, yes." He kneels down, and prays fervently. He then tells the inmates of the house how ardently his heart longs for their salvationand how sincerely he desires to save them from the vengeance of Almighty God! They look upon his visage, and behold nothing but the most ardent affection. It would be wicked," say they, "to refuse the message of such a loving friend!" So they give their hearts to the minister, and think they are doing right!

Is not this stealing the hearts of the people from the Father of the spirits of all flesh? Why cannot mankind perceive, that God would not send such

affectionate messengers, if what they say be true? If he be really so wrathful toward mankind, would he send such loving ministers? If God were our enemy, he would send ministers of wrath and indig nation. The clergy to whom I have referred, profess to come in the name of God-and yet their object seems to be to steal the hearts of women and children from their Creator! I do not intend to impugn their motives. They may themselves be de ceived, and think that they love the people better than the people are loved by the Almighty. If they are not thus deceived, they are guilty of the rankest hypocrisy-of which, however, I do not accuse them. I believe they are themselves deceived. When they were rocked in their cradles, the same deception prevailed around them. They were sent to colleges and theological seminaries, in which the doctrine they preach was taught. It has been carefully instilled into their minds-and they have been deceived thereby. It is a most terrible delusion. And the doctrine which gives existence to it, and sanctions it, and enables the preachers of it to steal the hearts of mankind from our Father in heaven, must of necessity be false.

In a former part of this discourse, the fact was mentioned, that David had done much for the people of Israel, while Absalom had done nothing for the advantage of his country. It is also worthy of notice, that when Absalom professed so much love for the men he deluded, and expressed so great a desire to do them justice, they did not think of inquiring whether David had ever wronged them, or whether he had ever ceased to love them. When

Absalom kissed them, they forgot every thing but Absalom.

Now, should mankind institute the inquiry, "Who has done most for us, God or the clergy?" they would be surprised that they should ever have been so deluded as to suppose that God is their enemy. He has ever loved us. "Goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives." No one will pretend that God ever wronged himno one should suppose that God has ever ceased to love him. The sun still shines on the good and evil-the rains still descend on the just and the unjust; and to these visible objects our Saviour referred, as proofs of the Creator's universal love.

My Christian friends, the man who can preach the love of God, will never have much to say about his own. How weak, how limited, is human love, when compared with the love of our Father in heaven! He loved the world, when the world was dead in sin. And before ministers of the gospel can rightfully lay claim to the hearts of the children of men, they must prove, not by words only, but by deeds, that their love is stronger than the love of God. Let them remember, that "Christ died for the ungodly," and that in this the boundless love of heaven was commended to all mankind, My desire is, that your hearts may never be stolen. "Son, give me thy heart." Do not love any thing so well as you love your Creator. If there is no safety in Him, there surely can be no safety in man. Well did the Apostle say, "We preach not ourselves; but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants, for Jesus' sake." O that preachers

would imitate Paul's example! O that they would say less about their own love, and more about the love of Christ! "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again,"


Delivered in the Callowhill street Church, Sunday evening,
November 9, 1834.


"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid: how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"-ROMANS, vi. 1, 2,

It is evident from the mode of expression in the first member of our text, that the writer had allusion to something he had before said or written. His language is, "What shall we say then?" that is, if what I have stated, and attempted to prove, be granted, what inference shall we draw from such principles? It is also evident, that the Apostle, when he wrote these words, was conscious that his opposers would start an objection to his doctrine; and that he intended to propose their objection in plain terms, and meet it directly by his reply. He well knew that he had laid down principles, in the argument which precedes our text, that would induce the enemies of the religion of Jesus to say, "If that doctrine be true, we may live, and continue to live, in sin— for according to your doctrine, grace will abound let us sin as we may."

To place this subject in a proper light, we must refer to the preceding chapter, and there learn what the Apostle had said, of which his opposers would

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