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the nations flee away like the shadows of night. Be. fore its heavenly light Paganism forsakes her cruel altars, deserts her polluted temples, abandons her obscene worship, snatches from the monster of the deep her devoted infants, and from the funeral pile her burning widows. Before the cross, the bold front of infidelity stands abashed her iron sinews tremble, her brazen heart quakes, her tearless eye moistens, heaven becomes a reality, the smoke of the bottomless pit tells its existence and the torment of its inhabitants ; and at last infidelity herself flies to the cross, as the only refuge from the tempest of divine wrath. The Jew must renounce his ceremonies, the Mahomedan break league with his Arabian prophet, the Persian cast away his boasted wisdom, and the august monarch come down from his throne, and all must bow before the cross. This is the ensign of that kingdom, which is to triumph over all kingdoms; to demolish the strong holds of Satan's empire ; to hush the tumult of the embattled plain, and make the earth, one vast altar, from which incense shall ascend to God as the clouds of heaven. By the cross, the justice of God is maintained, his holiness forever established, the proclamation of pardon issued, the heralds of the gospel commissioned, the Holy Spirit shed down on a sinful world, an innumerable company of sinners redeemed, the sting of death taken away, the grave conquered, the gates of heaven 'unbarred, and the courts of paradise filled with those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. By the cross, every creature which is in heaven and on the earth, is made to shout, blessing and honor and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.
Some think they can induce men to repent, and can awaken in their bosoms emotions of piety, by setting forth the loveliness and the rewards of virtue, without preaching the doctrine of the cross. Whatever claims such men may make to honesty or piety, they can make none to sound philosophy. They reason neither from facts drawn from the word of God, the history of the world, nor even from their own experience. Mistaken men indeed! they may as well think to call up the rolling storm, or to awaken the tenants of the tomb, by their talk on the rewards and the loveliness of virtue. A man who rejects salvation by the cross of Christ, may preach till his locks are white with age; till the brightness of his vision is dimmed by his moral vigils; till of all his generation he stands alone in the congregation, a stranger amidst a race sprung up at his feet, and then be compelled to exclaim, who hath heard our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed. Let now this veteran preacher, who has spent his life in beating the air, be called of God at the eleventh hour to work in his vineyard ; let him be fired with zeal which is according to knowledge; let him hold communion with heaven, till his heart has caught fire from above; and then let him go away and shake his white locks, while he pours forth the deep and throbbing energies of his soul in preaching the cross, and every eye will glisten with tears, and every heart will burst at the remembrance of its follies and its crimes. Faith in the cross of Christ makes the bosom, which is so often the seat of contending passions, the battle-ground of conscience and duty, of judgment and feeling, of our eternal interests and our earthly inclinations ;
where generates the storms and contentions and miseries of life ; where kindles the fire that is never quenched, and where breeds the worm that never dies,-faith in the cross, I say, chases away from this bosom, every unholy, every contending passion, and makes it serene as the vernal morning; calm as the unruffled waters.
The faithful pastor will not depend for the success of his ministry wholly on public and stated exhibitions of divine truth. He must be often among his people, to instruct, admonish, and warn them. It was predicted of Christ, that he would feed his flock like a shepherd ; that he would gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his bosom. His life, which is the great example for his ministers to imitate, shows the manner in which he fulfilled these predictions. In private conversation, the messenger of mercy can more easily adapt his instructions to individual wants, and thus rightly divide the word of God, giving to each his portion in due season.
Private conversation, if chastened and elevated, if dictated by truth, and guided by love, never fails to interest the heart. When applied to divine subjects, it quickens and animates piety, and has often carried conviction to many a bosom, which has remained steeled to the most lucid exhibitions of truth, and the most powerful appeals from the pulpit. The faithful pastor will be the friend of his people. He will identify his interests and his happiness with theirs. Like Ruth to Naomi, he will say, Where thou goest, I will go; thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God. He must watch with a parental solicitude over the youthful part of his flock. He should address them from the pulpit, con
verse freely with them in the social circle, and as often as possible assemble them together to impart kind and appropriate instruction from the word of God. No part of his charge should awaken in his bosom a deeper and more lasting interest. Youth are specially exposed to temptation. The gay and alluring scenes of life are opening fresh before them. All the passions which glow in the youthful breast, urge them on to mingle in these opening scenes without restraint. As yet they know not the deceitfulness of the world ; the hollowness of its pretensions ; the emptiness of its joys; the changing nature of its fair prospects; or the scorpion stings which follow its unhallowed indulgences. Gay, and thoughtless, and unsuspecting, they rush onward as the bird hasteth to the fowler's snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. For want of kind and faithful friends in the ministers of Jesus, many a youth whose prospect was opening fair as the cloudless morning, has launched at venture on the sea of life, quickly stranded his bark amidst the wrecks of infidelity and passion, and sunk to an untimely and inglorious grave. The minister of Christ should be like a guardian angel, gliding noiseless and unseen among his spiritual charge, intent on the work of truth and love.
This discourse contains instruction for the pastor elect. The success, my dear brother, with which you discharge the duties of the pastoral office, will be owing, under God, to your qualifications and faithfulness. Střive, as far as in you lies, to understand and to declare the whole council of God. Search the scrip
Draw from them your system of theology ; your views of the character of God; your views of
Christ,—of the Holy Ghost,—of the plan of salvation,—of the moral character and future destiny of
Waste no time in metaphysical speculations or useless study. The philosophy of the christian réligion is a philosophy of facts; clear, plain, easy to be understood ; proved by the word and works of God, by the history of the world, and by christian experience. Give yourself wholly to these things, that your profiting may appear unto all. Never forget, that the proper influence of the christian ministry is a moral influence. So far as you cannot persuade men to walk in the right paths, you must commit them to God in fervent prayer, and with the kindest feel. ings leave them to the retribution of another day, however painful and heart-rending it may be. One of the greatest trials of a godly minister is, that he can accomplish the benevolent designs of the gospel only in part. This day, my dear brother, should be accounted one of the niost interesting and solemn periods of your life. With your flock before you ; with the authorities of the church on your right hand and on your lest; with the eye of the omniscient Judge, searching your heart through and through, you are about to be invested with the responsible duties of the pastoral office. The man who does not feel, deeply and solemnly feel, on such an occasion, is unworthy to be a minister of heaven. Woe to the flock who will hang their harps on the willows, as he leads them beside the cold streams of Babylon.
Bound together, as we are, by all that is dear in the ties of brotherhood ; by all that is sacred in parentage and home, by the scenes of childhood and youth; by a similarity of pursuits, of christian faith and feel