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did predestinate, then he also called. Rom. viii, 30. is is an inestimable privilege. By the preaching of
Gospel we are called out from a world lying in ckedness, from the service of sin and Satan, to follow e Saviour and obtain his glory. 2 Thess. ii, 14. In is heavenly calling, (Heb. iii, 1.) we are invited by the ather of all mercies freely to partake of all spiritual essings. Are we doubtful whether we are included? ow can we doubt, when the last lingering words of his wn book again repeat the oft-reiterated (Isa. ly, 1; ohn vii, 37.) invitation, Whosoever will, let him take of The water of life freely. Rev. xxii, 17. Do you feel so
ressed and weighed down with sin, that you think you #annot be included? you are the very persons specially Envited-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy Jaden, and I will give you rest. Matt. xi, 28. Do you yet hesitate? ministers are sent on purpose to entreat you-We are ambassadors for Christ; as though God edid beseech you by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled. 2 Cor. v, 20. Are you still full of fears that you MAY not believe? nay, rather fear, lest you 3HOULD not obey his commands; for this is his commandment, that ye should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ. 1 John iii, 23. Rather fear, lest you incur his final wrath by unbelief-He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Johu iii, 36. And as God thus calls all that hear the Gospel by the outward preaching, so he inwardly, by the teaching and internal calling of his blessed Spirit, given with the outward word, disposes his people to attend to his word, and to become partakers of his blessing, and to have fellowship with his Son. 1 Cor. i, 9; 1 Thess. i, 5.
CONVICTION OF SIN FOLLOWS A RIGHT HEAR
ING OF THE WORD. We shall thus be led z acknowledge the perfection of the law of God, and ti wretchedness and insolvency of man, and be humbled and contrite before God. This is the spec work of the Holy Spirit through hearing. Acts i, ♫ It is founded on a knowledge of God's holy law requ ing constant and undeviating obedience in thought a well as in word and deed, and of our own innumerab violations of that law, and utter inability to fulfil « on a view of the unspeakable loving-kindness of t Lord, and our own vile, ungrateful, hard, and e hearts. Then our guilt is not extenuated, but confessed and our natural corruption is not brought forward as 2 excuse, but as an aggravation of our many offences This conviction arises from a cordial reception of t truth. This important effect of the instruction of m isters is independent of their endeavours. There is unavoidable defect in the teaching of ministers, th they cannot answer as to the result in particular case But the Spirit of God, through them, does much mor He not only presents in the word the truths which be designs to teach, but he also opens the heart to receiv them-The Lord opened Lydia's heart that she attende to the things which were spoken of Paul. As soon migh the blind reason themselves into sight; or the deaf int hearing, as we, by any powers of our own, remove the blindness and hardness of our hearts, and become tru contrite and penitent. As the mighty works of Chris were performed by his miraculous and visible interfer ence, so it is no less necessary for the Holy Spirit by his real, though invisible interference, to awaken and renew the dead souls of men, and convince them of sin. But though repentance and conviction of sin are thus the work of the Spirit, yet the preacher is the chief
as which the Spirit uses; and of the word He ares, It shall accomplish that which I please, and it
prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Conviction
Another blessed result of hearing aright is, that IT
OPLE. Faith is undoubtedly God's gift, (John 44;' Matt. xvi, 17; Phil. i, 29;) but the way in ich it pleases him that it should BEGIN, is by hearing e truth. Rom. x, 17. We look in vain for faith nong those who know not divine truth, and never hear e word of God. But Paul describes the faith of
Alluding to the repentance of the people of Nineveh, ch the Latimer says, "Jonah was but one man, and he preached but ne sermon, and it was but a short sermon neither, as touching he number of words, and yet he turned all the whole city, great and small, rich and poor, king and all. We be many
s heart Preachers here in England, and we preach many long sermons,
and yet the people will not repent nor convert. This was the Pfruit, the effect, and the good, that his sermons did, that all the whole city, at his preaching, converted and amended their evil living, and did penance in sackcloth. And yet here in this of our sermon of Jonah is no great curiousness, no great clerkliness, no arts at it was none other but Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed! It was chyno more. This was no great curious sermon; but this was a nipping sermon, a pinching sermon, a biting sermon, it had a fall bite, it was a rough sermon, and a sharp-biting sermon. Do you not here marvel that these Ninevites cast not Jonah in prison, that they did not revile him and rebuke him? They did not revile him, nor rebuke him; but God gave them grace to hear him, and to convert, aud amend at this preaching. A strange matter, so noble a city to give place to one man's sermon!"-Sermon on Luke xii, 15.
or the Ha
uce, to onvince
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Christians as following hearing the word Eph. i, 13. Faith springs from the word, ast plant from the root, and as the rays from the M is impossible for any one to become a believer in C but through some part of revealed truth made k to him.* The PROGRESS of faith proceeds in the way from hearing. At first, we are weak in fri little children, but the word is as milk to the (1 Cor. iii, 1, 2.) and as meat to the strong men, v, 14.) by which both are nourished and strengthen And the PERFECTING of faith is connected also the ministry of the word. St. Paul shews at s length that ministers are appointed for this end, the perfecting of the saints. Eph. iv, 11–13. R hearing of the word nourishes till it perfects faith. will be found true, in general experience, that in y portion as the whole truths of God are clearly broe before the minds of men by the public ministry of word, and as they faithfully and constantly attent so true Christian faith, with all its blessed effects, r spread and increase.† The reason is, it is promis
Latimer thus meets the objection made from his admit that some of our forefathers might be saved without hearing"But some will say, What need we preachers then? God ca save his elect without preachers. A goodly reason! God | save my life without meat and drink, need I none therefore God can save me from burning if I were in the fire, shall I into it therefore? No, no; I must keep the way that God hart ordained, and use the ordinary means that God hatli assignes and not seek new ways. This office of preaching is the on ordinary way that God hath appointed to save us all by,"
Sermon on Matt. xxi,.
The Reformers insisted much on this. Cranmer, in b much as faith is the work of God and the light of our hearts, Catechism published in 1548, gives this exhortation-"For we cannot attain faith and the knowledge of Christ without which God putteth in us by his word and Holy Spirit, (so that
divine power shall accompany the word-My that goeth forth out of my mouth, shall not return ne void. The word of man, or of angels, has no power. Certainly, though men by persuasion can ice many important changes of sentiment, no voice ›rd of men can by its native energy impart divine
and regenerate and convert the soul. John i, 12, James i, 18. True Christian faith will not spring, *row under mere human doctrine. Thus saith the d, is the only foundation for that faith which overes the world, and gives peace to the troubled connce. St. Paul restricts the gift of faith in ordinary es to the hearing of the word, as is evident from the ole passage. Rom. x, 8-17. All systems of ethics, mere human philosophy, all the wisdom of this rld, are utterly insufficient. In Jeremiah (xxiii, 28, .) it is asked, with amazing emphasis and force of ontrast, What is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord? not my word like as a fire, and like a hammer that reaketh the rock in pieces? The Holy Scriptures were written for the very purpose of producing faith in those who received them. These things, says St. John,
God's word and true preachers,) therefore accustom yourselves even from your tender age to hear the word of God, that he by his Holy Spirit may move and stir up your hearts to true faith and knowledge of him." Tindal also, in his Exposition of 1 John i, 3-4, says, "To bring unto the fellowship of God and Christ, and of them that believe in Christ, is the final intent of all the Scripture, why it was given of God unto man, and the only thing which all true preachers seek, and whereby ye shall ever know and discern the true word of God from all false and counterfeited doctrine of vain traditions, and the true preacher from the wily hypocrite. We preach unto you, says John, that everlasting life which we have heard, and in hearing received through faith, and are sure of it, to draw you to us out of that fellowship which we have with the damned Devils in sinful lusts and ignorance of God."