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thing had been written which our Saviour spoke in the course of his ministry, “the world itself could not contain the books that should be written;"—the gospel would have been too large a work for any one to possess, much more to read; -all the great benefits arising from its present portable size would have been lost ;-besides, you do not suppose that Christ preached new doctrines and precepts every day. claimed but one and the same faith and practice; -and although he may have varied the expressions from time to time, yet he must continually have taught the same truths in substance to different congregations ;-and we cannot doubt that all have been preserved and transmitted to us, which it is necessary that we should know, that nothing has been omitted which is essential towards making us “wise unto salvation.”

And there is one thought, my brethren, which ought to occur to us, when we indulge the desire to hear more of the words of Christ. Have we sufficiently profited by those which we have already heard ?

are we heartily thankful for them? do we value them above gold and silver ? are they truly precious to us? do we constantly read them, and meditate on them day and night? Is his word our “guide and our counsellor ?” “a light unto our feet and a lantern unto our paths ?” are we never offended at it? do we never forget it? do we never prefer our own wayward wills, and the evil maxims of the world before it? Let us be very careful that we value what we have, and derive the full benefit from it, before we presume to ask for more; let us take heed that we discharge our present obligations, before we desire to lay ourselves under an increased responsibility.

But although we must be contented without having the means of reading the divine discourse which Christ delivered to the people of Nazareth, yet we have the text and the first sentence of it, and these will furnish us with the clue by which we may understand what was the drift and purport of the whole. The text is a most beautiful one;-nothing can be more consoling and encouraging ;—“the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” These in themselves are indeed “ gracious words;” but “ of whom speaketh the prophet this ?-of himself, or of some other man?' The first sentence of the sermon will explain : “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Hereby Christ declared that he was the person, anointed with the Holy Spirit, of whom the prophet spake, and that according to those words would be the character of his preaching that day. Happy day, which at length saw the accomplishment of that promise which had been delayed for so many centuries ! Happy people (if they had known their happiness,) for whom it was reserved to hear those things which“

many prophets and righteous men had desired to hear " in vain! But most miserable in this, that, when they “ who sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light sprung up," the darkness which possessed their minds

gross” that it “ comprehended it not!” Most miserable, inasmuch as “they rejected the counsel of God against themselves," and when the blessed gospel was preached to them, even by Christ himself, they madly “put it from them and counted themselves unworthy of everlasting life !” They “ would not come unto Christ that they might have life:”-nay, he came unto them, "he came unto his own, and his own received him not;” he preached to them with his own lips, he “pleaded with them face to face,"--and what was the result? After the first emotion of thankfulness, after the first effusion of idle admiration, when his words were applied closely to their consciences, when they heard their sin denounced in being prejudiced against him because he had lived amongst them, and they knew his lowly extraction, and when they were persuaded that the privilege, which they despised, would be withdrawn from them, and conferred upon others, “they were filled with wrath,” and would have destroyed him, but that they “had no power against him at all,” because it was not "given them from above."

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I will not pass over this event without a brief observation on the instruction to be derived from it, both by a minister and by his congregation. We are sometimes apt to be discouraged and faint-hearted when we can behold no fruit of our labours, and have reason to fear that “our preaching has been in vain ; are almost ready to despair, to fly from our posts, to relinquish our work altogether, and to say with Elijah, “ It is enough, now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” But who is that presumptuous servant that expects to be “ above his Lord ?” When Christ himself, preaching in person, was so often “despised and rejected of men,” shall his ministers think it a strange thing, if his words, conveyed and expounded by their lips, very frequently meet with similar treatment? Disappointed as they may be at the small progress in christian

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attainments which they may observe in their flocks, and grieved that so many refuse their own mercy, shall they cease to tend them still with anxious care ?--shall they neglect the apostle's injunction to “ preach the word, to be instant in season, out of season, to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine ?” No: still let us labour in faith and love, and having planted and watered the seed as far as our abilities extend, however unfavourable may be the prospects of a harvest, let us trust in God that in due time he will give some increase.

And you, my brethren, have something to learn from the conduct of the congregation, to whom Christ preached in the synagogue of Nazareth. You find that at first they were highly pleased with his discourse; they all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words, which proceeded out of his mouth.” Does this prove that his sermon had done them any real good ?—that it had converted them ?-that it had produced in them an humble conviction of their sins ?— that it had disposed them to embrace his religion with sincerity, and to take up their cross and follow him? It was but a momentary impression that had been made upon them; instantly their old prejudices return, “ Is not this Joseph's son? Why should we listen to his preaching? What right has he to undertake


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