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Yet it by no means follows that such results are the highest exercise of power. Its seat, its source is still the thinking mind, the sympathetic heart. And the witchery of a tone, a word, an act, a look; the influence of the soul beaming through the countenance, thrilling in the voice, is often more really grand and potential than any application of brute force by whicli a change of matter is wrought. Immediately or remotely, spirit is che only real, energetic power in the universe. In the beginning, all lay dark and formless and inert, until the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and from the void abyss uprose the beautiful creation. Man was but a.clod of earth, until the Spirit breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living soul. Now, spiritual power God pre-eminently displays in redemption. To accomplish the fulfilment of his promise, that " the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head;" to bring about his purpose in the birth and death of Christ, demanded hifinite power as well as consummate knowledge. Over the minds of how many different agents, and through how long a period of time did this influence extend ; how effective was it in shaping and controlling the volitions and designs of these unnumbered instruments, so that, without impairing his freedom in the least degree, each one was made unconsciously to do whatsoever God's hand and his counsel determined before to be done.” What control, in like manner, over the actors in the final tragedy! What a literal fulfilling of minute and obscure predictions, by both Jews and Roman soldiers, when yet "they thought not so, neither was it in their hearts ;" but they simply and freely acted out their own wicked inclinations. How did he make the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder be restrained !” What less than Omnipotence could have raised Christ from the dead-she first fruits of that inconceivably glorious resurrection of all the dead, and their appearance in life and immortal vigor before the throne of God? And what less than a Divine power gives a converting agency to the simple utterance of the truth as it is in Jesus? After many means have been tried, and have failed; where the light of conviction has been long resisted, and indulgence in sensuality and worldliness seems to have closed every avenue to the mind, and so hardened the heart that all would say the case is hopeless, the man never will feel or yield-I say, in these cases of apparently conscience-seared transgressors, what is it that often startles them from their delusions, sets sin in array before their eyes, weighs down the soul with the terrors of the world to come, and makes it realize that none is beyond the grasp of Alurighty power, that no sinner can be assured God has not ways of reaching him, or feel that he may sin on with immunity from present woe and future wrath? And what is it, that of such daring rebels often forms “the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty;" what, but the mighty power of God applying this doctrine of Christ, and working effectually to renew and to save?

The diffusive influence of the gospei presents another view of God's glorious power in the face of Jesus Christ. It is destined finally to overspread the world; to subvert and root out every other religion, and to banish all those rites which are adverse to God's honor and man's happiness; to make the earth again, in piety to God and in integrity to man, what it was before the building of Babel—of one lip and of one speech. But what ages and what agencies seem requisite to such a consummation. Unbelief exclaims, “If the Lord should open windows in heaven, this thing might be.” Infinite power, we know, by a word, in a moment, might accomplish it. But that has not been God's method of procedure, and otherwise, how dreary the prospect. But antagonism, the conflict of light and darkness, and the gradual dispersion of the latter by the silent, steady diffusion of the former, has ever been his method in his spiritual kingdom. And so will it be now. Of old the truth was circumscribed within the narrow boundaries of Judea, and but dimly revealed in types and shadows even there. But at the advent of Messiah, light broke forth upon the world. The wise men, attracted by a new star, inquire, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews ?" With better wisdom and a deeper fervor, they might have asked, Who is he? What his character and the design of his coming? What grand results to man, to God; to heaven, to earth ; in time, and through eternity, are shadowed by this strange epiphany? From that moment began the work of demolition and a new erection. The vast fabric of superstition and misery, which, for ages, Satan had been building up, began even then to dissolve. And although, like some icy temple, it may, at times, assume more gorgeous hues, and glow with more resplendent beauty as it melts away, yet will it certainly and utterly vanish under the free air of heaven and the bright shining of the Sun of Righteousness. And in its place will succeed a more glorious vision; a scene more transporting shall burst upon the eye of faith;—“the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” What a condition of hunan things shall exist when this conquest of the Lamb is achieved ! Over this entire earth the light of truth shall be displayed, and the influences of purity shall prevail. The victory shall be given to the saints of the Most High God, and they shall go up and possess the land in the length and the breadth of it. Nor is this all; nor is the blessing for this world alone. No! No! We shall be raised from the dust by the power of God. In virtue of Christ's mediation, these bodies shall be revived and re-united to glorified spirits; and in a countless retinue of redeemed ones in heaven, throughout eternity shall be displayed “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

1. We may learn, in application of our subject, what place the redemption of man holds amidst the varied works of God. It is the last, the brightest and the best. It gives us the most distinct rerelation of his disposition. It sets forth the Eternal One to our minds in forms of majesty and grace he nowhere else assumes. God is indeed observed in other departments of his works. IIis glory is written upon the spreading skies in characters of golden radiance. Yonder orbs floating in boundless space, by their numbers, their wonderful harmony, their nnfading light, declare his glory, the firmament showeth his handiwork. So impressive an exhibition do they make, that from them the first, and perhaps the most excusable form of idolatry arose—Sabiism, or the worship of the Host of Heaven. The green earth, outstretching in our sight, sublime or beauteous in its scenery, yielding abundant treasures for our enjoyment, is an object of ineffable grandeur ; and though under a curse for man's sake, speaks forth the praise of the Creator still. The living tribes that roam its surface, that filant in air or sea in countless numbers, join the general chorus to Him whose hand hath made and fashioned all these things. Not a creature he has made, which does not attest the perfections of that Being who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working; and man, the nobleet, most of all. Yet this is a tribute paid to him as the source of physical life and enjoyment. It regards not his moral glory, which evermore excels, and which appears pre-eminent in the person and work of Christ. Those forms of glory are to change and fade; this will survive and brighten through eternal years. The skies shall wax old, and the earth shall decay and die ; and their divine characteristics will disappear so that no intelligent spectator will behold and adore. But the history of salvation by Christ will continue the grand subject of interest and attraction in heaven, as long as God and heaven shall last. Our enlarged minds will become more and more interested in its unfolding glories. We shall take in hand the ample volume of the Creator's works, and occupy our thoughts in scanning its wonders. And as we turn from page to page, it will be our high delight to see God in Christ; to read of redemption in its beginnings, its progress, its completion. We shall think how its influence spread with silent power over the face of the globe, to meliorate its rugged features, and bring back its rebellious inhabitants to God's sceptre and his love. We shall see the trophies of grace all around us. We shall hear, we oball join the song that shall roll through heaven's high arches: " Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty: just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." Finally, we may deduce from our subject the proper topic


and the great end of the gospel ministry.* It is so set forth “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Paul is speaking in the context of preachers of the gospel; and in so doing, furnishes one of the most impressive exhibitions of ministerial duty and responsibility to be found even in the writings of the apostle of the Gentiles himself. The same sentiments are elsewhere frequently brought into view. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto men their trespasses ;"—this was the gospel according to Paul; and on this basis, to “beseech men to be reconciled unto God," this was his, and is our appropriate and special work. “God forbid,” he exclaims, “ that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are to preach, not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; with such repetition of the wondrons theme, that the people shall not be allowed to lose it from their thoughts amidst the distracting cares and alluring pleasures of • the world ; and with such plainness and affection that they must understand its meaning and feel its force. Nor need we fear that the subject will become insipid, or that men's minds will weary of ministrations chiefly or wholly occupied with these matters. For besides the immense importance of the subjects themselves, which must ever make them interesting to sober and intelligent hearers, if only presented with evident sincerity and an ordinary share of address; there will be found within the lively oracles a copiousness and variety of matter, a fund of pertinent and beautiful illustrations, which the most original mind and glowing fancy can never exhaust. Experience, moreover, has abundantly proved that these truths, from their adaptation to our inward life and most urgent wants, will bear repetition so as no other subject of human interest or research will do, without satiety; and that those services are felt to be most in accordance with the great purposes of preaching, and that ministry is, in the end, most honored and most successful, which is made up mainly of a full, clear and faithful presentation of the elemental doctrines of the gospel. Intelligent worldly, men quickly perceive that a minister mistakes bis calling, who appears ever intent to escape beyond the limits of his commission into the regions of speculation or fancy; who seems to consider that some novel theory about Bible doctrine, some frostwork of fancy to amuse the imagination, coid as beautiful, will most interest his auditors and best subserve the ends of his ministry. His ministry, it may. But then he surely bas other views than those Paul entertained ; and the people are little likely to be nourished and built up on most holy faith by his lucubrations. No! brethren of the ministry, let us never forget that whatever might befit learned professors, or men of purely literary pursuits, it is our business to preach Jesus Christ and

• This sermon was preached at the installation of Rev. H. M. Field as pastor of the First church in West Springfield, Mass., Jan. 30th, 1851.

him crucified, the less encumbered by theories and speculations, the more simply and directly, the better. This has ever been the true glory of the gospel ministry ; this, in all ages, has given it all its respectability, its real vitality, and its moral power. When the gospel was almost lost amidst the rubbish of Papal superstition, a recurrence to the cardinal truths embraced in this phrase, and a soul-felt and soul.stirring enforcement of them, was the means, under God, of giving new life and power to his cause. This it was, which gave to Luther and Calvin and the rest of the Reformers their energy and their victory. They felt, when preaching Christ, that they had in hand an instrument nei. ther beneath their power to employ, nor incongruous to the work of pulling down strongholds. These doctrines, plainly, earnestly preached, gave Whitefield that success, which clse not all the magic of his surpassing eloquence would have obtained. The same system of truth made Edwards so mighty in word and in doctrine, and becanic the operating cause of the Great Awakening in his day; it has been the means of rousing the slumbering energies of the Church to take hold on God's strength, when in any particular place he has been about to appear and build up Zion; it has been the life and soul of all genuine revivals of religion that have so often blessed our land. And, brethren, when we mourn, as now, the painful dearth of Divine influences in the Church, may we not believe that the cause, in part at least, lies here : that we have somewhat forsaken the old paths ;—that a muflling of the truth in soft phrases, or presenting it in grotesque methods, or a disposition in some measure to accommodate the gospel to the preconceptions of a philosophizing spirit, that it may be more acceptable to the prejudices of the carnal heart, has something to do with this result? Is there not room, at least, for the inquiry? And is there not reason why we should return to the methods which we know God has owned ; to a more simple and free and fearless declaration of those truths we know he has, in times past, so signally blessed ? To this new pastor, and the younger brethren present, the subject has a peculiar interest. For the character of their ministry as an evangelical ordinance and the success of their labors will doubtless depend upon their practice in regard to the subjects and the mode of their preaching. Let them, let us all strive to catch Paul's fervor on these high themes, to imitate his example in setting forth Christ as “ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” And then why may we not hope to see a day of revived

' zeal and orderly.progress? Why may not all these regions be vocal, as once, with the sounds of rejoicing and salvation? Why may not the land bloom with the beauty and fertility of spring after the desolation of winter? Why may we not hear from all parts of the earth, the shout that shall usher in a day of millennial glory, “ Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people.

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