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ING OF THE WORD. We shall thus be led
#hs 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 n is one great design of God in sending his minisThus Nineveh was led to repent.* Thus Baruch directed to go and proclaim the words of the Lord er this hope-It may be they will present their supgation before the Lord, and will return every one from evil way. Jer. xxxvi, 7.
Another blessed result of hearing aright is, that IT
OPLE. Faith is undoubtedly God's gift. (John
Tect of thong 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, ugh then 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
as het Preachers here in England, and we preach many long sermons,
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and yet the people will not repent nor convert. This was the Pa fruit, 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 sermon of Jonah is no great curiousness, no great clerkliness, no great affection of words, nor of painted eloquence; it was none other but Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed! It was no 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. for the 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 convint hear him, and to convert, aud amend at this preaching. A strange matter, so noble a city to give place to one man's sermou!"-Sermon on Luke xii, 15.
tion of s
Christians as following hearing the word of truth
The reason is, it is promise
* Latimer thus meets the objection made from his admittis? 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 Ca 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 rat into it therefore? No, no; I must keep the way that God hath ordained, and use the ordinary means that God hath assigned and not seek new ways. This office of preaching is the only ordinary way that God hath appointed to save us all by.” Sermon on Matt. xxii,2).
The Reformers insisted much on this. Cranmer, in b Catechism published in 1548, gives this exhortation-"For much as faith is the work of God and the light of our hearts, which God putteth in us by his word and Holy Spirit, (so that we cannot attain faith and the knowledge of Christ without
at a divine power shall accompany the word-My Ard that goeth forth out of my mouth, shall not return to me void. The word of man, or of angels, has no ch power. Certainly, though men by persuasion can troduce many important changes of sentiment, no voice e word of men can by its native energy impart divine aith, and regenerate and convert the soul. John i, 12, 23; James i, 18. True Christian faith will not spring, br grow under mere human doctrine. Thus saith the Lord, is the only foundation for that faith which overcomes the world, and gives peace to the troubled conscience. St. Paul restricts the gift of faith in ordinary cases to the hearing of the word, as is evident from the
poe whole passage. Rom. x, 8-17. All systems of ethics, all mere human philosophy, all the wisdom of this world, are utterly insufficient. In Jeremiah (xxiii, 28, 29.) it is asked, with amazing emphasis and force of f Godar contrast, What is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord? is not my word like as a fire, and like a hammer that breaketh 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,
ere in the f ep the w of preaching
to save wall
exhortati the light
1 Holy Spi
Age of Cat
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 bypocrite. 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."
Christians as following hearing the word of trut Eph. i, 13. Faith springs from the word, as the living plant from the root, and as the rays from the Sun. 1 is impossible for any one to become a believer in Ch but through some part of revealed truth made know. to him.* The PROGRESS of faith proceeds in the su way from hearing. At first, we are weak in faith, E little children, but the word is as milk to the your (1 Cor. iii, 1, 2.) and as meat to the strong men, (He v, 14.) by which both are nourished and strengthene And the PERFECTING of faith is connected also w the ministry of the word. St. Paul shews at sur length that ministers are appointed for this end, eva the perfecting of the saints. Eph. iv, 11-13. Rig hearing of the word nourishes till it perfects faith. i will be found true, in general experience, that in pr portion as the whole truths of God are clearly brough before the minds of men by the public ministry of th word, and as they faithfully and constantly attend i so true Christian faith, with all its blessed effects, spread and increase.† The reason is, it is promised
* Latimer thus meets the objection made from his admitting that some of our forefathers might be saved without hearing"But some will say, What need we preachers then? God car save his elect without preachers. A goodly reason! God can 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 rat into it therefore? No, no; I must keep the way that God hath ordained, and use the ordinary means that God hatlı assigned, and not seek new ways. This office of preaching is the only ordinary way that God hath appointed to save us all by." Sermon on Matt. xxii, 2.
The Reformers insisted much on this. Cranmer, in his Catechism published in 1548, gives this exhortation-"Fora much as faith is the work of God and the light of our hearts, which God putteth in us by his word and Holy Spirit, (so that we cannot attain faith and the knowledge of Christ without