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utterance may be given unto them that they may open their mouth boldly tomake known the mystery of the Gofpel, that therein they may speak boldly, as they ought to fpeak(). What is our united fupplication? “ Make, s we beseech thee, O Almighty God, all “ bishops and pastors diligently to preach * thy holy word, and the people obedi“ ently to follow the fame. Grant that
the ministers and stewards of thy myste“ ries may prepare and make ready thy “ way, by turning the hearts of the disobe“ dient to the wisdom of the just. Grant « unto us all that we, being called by thy “ holy word, may forthwith give up our $ selves obediently to fulfil thy holy com46 mandments, through Jesus Christ our “ Lord.”
<p) Ephes. vi. 19, 20.
ACTS, xxviii. 24. And some believed the things which were
Spoken; and some believed not..... ST. Paul, delivered by his false accusers w in Judea into the hands of the Roman governor, perceived that no prospect of preserving his life remained, but by an ap. peal unto Cæfar. Exercising therefore the right of a Roman citizen, he demanded ta be sent to the Emperor, that by him the cause might be examined and decided. He was accordingly conveyed, as a prisoner, to Rome. His first care, on his arrival in that city, was to assemble his countrymen, the Jews: to satisfy them, that he had never purposed, in appealing unto Czesar, to exhibit any complaint against the Jewish nation; and distinctly to set before them that faith in Jesus of Nazareth, the promised
Saviour, for which he was an ambassador in bonds. His countrymen replied, that no charge against himself had reached their cars; that they had received but imperfeet accounts concerning the doctrine which he professed; that they knew it, however, to be universally spoken against; and that they were defirous of hearing a full statement of his opinions. A day was appointed. Numbers came to his abode. Earnest for their conversion, and zealous for the glory of his Master, he expounded to them the Scriptures, and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Yesus, both out of the law of Mofes, and out of the propbets, from morning till evening. What was the effect of his labour? Some believed the things which were fpoken; and some believed not. Some believed: Why? They could not resist the power and wisdoin with which he spoke. They were willing to listen to the truth; therefore their preju. dices yielded. They turned their eyes ta the light; therefore the light thone not in vain. They discerned in Jesus of Nazareth the undeniable characters of that Meffiah, , to whom the Law and the Prophets bare witness: they discerned them with joy and thankfulness; therefore they glorified
God by faith in his beloved Son. Soine. believed not: Why? Because they were exactly fuch men as the foreknowledge of the Holy Ghost had described by the mouth of Isaiah. Their heart was waxed gross, and their ears were dull of hearing, and their eyes they had closed; left they fhould see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and be converted, and God should heal them. Their heart, fixed upon ceremonial ordinances and worldly pursuits, was averse to fpiritual religion, humility, and holineis. Their ear gave no attention to doctrines which contradicted their pre, poffeffions, and proclaimed the iniquity of the self-righteous. Their eyes they wilfully shut against that light from above, by which ignorance was detected, and guilt exposed. Therefore it was that Moses and the prophets testified before them, and produced not conviction. Therefore it was, that hearing they heard, and did not understand; and feeing they saw, and did not per, ceive. Therefore it was, that they withstood the evidence of the Gospel. Therefore it was, that they would not be converted and healed. Therefore it was, that they would · not accept the salvation of God.
How' - How stands the case with respect to Christians ? To them universally is the Revelation of Jesus Christ addressed. To them Moses and the prophets, and all the inspired writers of the New Testament, deliver their testimony concerning the Re. deemer of mankind. To them the Sabbath, as well as many an intervening day, opens the houses of God, that, with humble supplication and sincere thanksgiving, they may hear the words of eternal life, To them, the ministers of religion cease not to direct appropriate instruction; cease not to unfold the whole counsel of God; to unveil the radical corruption of human nature; to make manifest the power, the deceitfulness, and the consequences of sin; to display the grand doctrines of redemption and fanctification; to explain and enforce the precepts, admonitions, and exhortations of Holy Writ; to animate the righteous by the examples of faints of ancient days; to alarm the guilty by the fate of former rebels against the Most High; to strengthen the feeble, to confirm the wayering, to convince the gainsayer, to comfort the afflicted, to instil caution into the rash, humility into the presumptuous. The ministers of religion, those at least who