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forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Finally, be instant in prayer, be watchful, be diligent; and God will enable you to fulfil your ministry—to turn sinners to righteousness, to edify the church; and eventually your reward will be a crown of glory. May God grant this for Christ's sake; to whom be ascribed all honour, power, majesty, and dominion, world without end.
CONSECRATION OF A CHUROH.
GENESIS Xxvii. 16.
Surely the Lord is in this place.
Is this so? Is that Being who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth --whose throne is that heaven, and whose footstool is this earth-before whose glory the archangel vails his face-at the foot of whose majesty the cherubim casts his crown-Is he here ? Does that presence, which, vast as infinity, cannot be contained even by the heaven and the heaven of heavens, and which, when we would seek to cover ourselves with the darkness, turns the night into day-does that presence fill this temple? Yes God revealed the gracious promise of mercy to the patriarch in the visions of the night. Excited and awed by this manifestation of the divine glory, he exclaimed—“ Surely the Lord is in this place.' And the same Almighty Lord fulfilling the promise, “ In whatever place I record my name, I will come unto thee, and will bless thee," and thus revealing, in this temple set apart for his service, his truth, his mercy, and his grace, in the word which is to be preached, in the worship and the ordinances that are to be celebrated, and in the ministry by which these are to be dispensed,--the same senti'ment of excited and deep awe which solemnized the mind of the patriarch, should fill our souls “ Surely the Lord is in this place.”
Brethren, did this truth, in all its powerful energy, sink deep into our hearts-did we realize that, in this house, those divine truths are to be authoritatively proclaimed, which, if received in faith, will make us wise unto salvation that here are to be offered the confessions, the supplications, the praises, which, coming from penitent, humble, and grateful hearts, that Lord who is here in the midst will hear and accept—that the divinely constituted ambassadors for Christ are here to proclaim the messages of reconciliation which will convey pardon and consolation to the contrite and sorrowing, and the stewards of the mysteries of God, to open, in his ordinances, those fountains of grace, from which flow health and salvation to the corrupt and the lost did we indeed believe, with the full conviction of our minds and the excited feelings of our hearts, that certainly, as we here assemble in God's name, he is here, in this especial manner, present, dispensing, in the services of this sanctuary, his truth, his grace, and his mercy-oh! how would the overwhelming sentiment prostrate our souls in the deepest awe!--God the Lord, whose glory fills the heavens, dwells in this temple made with handsGod the Lord, who chargeth the angels with folly, is here in the midst of us, children of the dust, of mortality, of sin. Lord of heaven and of earth, thy condescension as much transcends our comprehension as it exceeds our deserts. the Lord is in this place.”
1. Let then the truths of his sacred word be here faithfully delivered and humbly received.
They are here delivered in the presence of the Almighty Lawgiver who originally promulgated them, the inflexible Judge who will vindicate them with the sanctions of eternity. With that awful presence surrounding him, in the very temple of the Most High, at the very footstool of the eternal throne, shall the servant of the Lord withhold any of these sacred truths, weaken their force, or pervert their meaning, in the gratification of the pride of his own reason, or in accommodation to the caprices or the passions of his guilty fellow-men? Let him reverently open here the living oracles of truth, and let him speak as they speak, pronouncing error, and guilt, and depravity on the wisest and the best of the sons of men. They may speculate as to the cause of the malady-they may lose themselves in the labyrinths of endless doubt, in the aspiring attempt to reconcile its existence with the holiness and goodness of an omnipotent Creator; but the fact forces itself on their reluctant conviction-man is diseased by sin ; and the speculation and the doubts which assail the attributes of the Being who permitted the parent of our race, in the exercise of free agency, to plunge himself and his posterity in all this wo, confirms the fact, that a creature thus rising against the government of his Creator, must be weakened and depraved. But his weakness and depravity (thus is vindicated the justice of the Eternal) are man's misfortune, not his crime until he neglects or rejects the all-sufficient means that are provided for his recovery, and for his exaltation to greater glory than that which transgression forfeited. It is in faithfully unfolding that wonderful plan which infinite wisdom and goodness devised for restoring favour, and holiness, and immortality to a ruined race, that the servant of the Most High exchanges the painful task of humbling the soul under a sense of its deep guilt, of its subjection to sin, of its exposure to that eternal wrath which sin justly merits, for the animating and delightful office of proclaiming salvation--salvation in that blood of Christ which washes away guilt, though deep in its dye as scarlet or as crimson; which raises, by the power of the Almighty Spirit, from the death of trespasses and sins, the new life of righteousness and holiness; and which thus, through grace as unmerited as it is supreme and all-sufficient, translates the children of wrath from their bondage to corruption, into that state where they become the sons of God by adoption, and the associates of the angels of heaven in immortal purity and blessedness.
The herald of the Most High, mindful that he here proclaims it (awful responsibility!) in the more especial presence of the Being who commissions him, will not dare to doubt the truth of the message intrusted to him, and which is fraught with consolation, and with hope, and with everlasting triumph to the guilty but penitent souls of the flock for whom he is charged with it.
If indeed he chooses to speculate, difficulties will gather around him, and confound his understanding and his hopes. But he knows not-(what does he know?)—the essence of the Spirit that so brightly and powerfully stirs within him ; he knows not the essence of that uncreated Spirit that breathed into him immortal breath; he knows
- (I repeat it, what is it that he does know?)— only the surfaces of things, only the facts of nature. Let him not expect to know more than the