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perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Those were to begin the work these were to complete it. The church was to be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; but the superstructure was to be raised by the stated and ordinary ministers of Christ.
We perceive then the means, divinely instituted for propagating the name of Christ through every successive generation of the human race. Pastors and teachers are to give instructions in the great truths and duties of Christianity. They are to be instant in season and out of season, and to do what in them lies to bring all, who are within the sphere of their instructions, to the knowledge of the truth, as it is in Jesus, that they may be saved. Ministers, ordained to the sacred office, are, together with the ministry of the word, to administer the ordinances of the Gospel. These ordinances, it is worthy of special remark, are essentially instrumental in perpetuating the name of Christ. Ever since the disciples were first called CHRISTIANS at Antioch, they have, by their own name, preserved that of CHRIST, their Lord. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are as happily calculated, as they were purposely designed, for the preservation of that name. The one is administered in the name of Christ; the other is commemorative of his death. The one designates us as his professed disciples; the other shows us the price of our redemption. The one reminds us of that worthy
name by which we are called; the other evidently sets forth, before our eyes, Jesus Christ, crucified among The influence of these ordinances, in perpetuating the name of Christ, may be clearly inferred from what is recorded concerning each, at its institution. To the commission, which Christ gave to the apostles to baptize all nations, he subjoined a promise to be with his ministers alway, even unto the end of the world; and to the institution of the Supper, in commemoration of his death, he subjoined the declaration, For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. During the space of eighteen hundred years, the promise has been fulfilled; and the means have accomplished the end. He is faithful, who promised; and he will continue to fulfil his engagement. The same means too, accompanied with the presence and blessing of the divine Head of the church, will continue to be effectual. Who then, that duly considers the promises and the power of Christ, and the admirable ordinances, which He hath instituted for the perpetual observance of his church, can hesitate a moment to believe, that his name shall be propagated as long as the sun?
For the propagation of the Gospel among heathen nations, since the apostolic age, no extraordinary provision has been made. The principles of Christianity require those, who have come to the knowledge of the truth, to impart it to others. The motto, designated for them by Christ himself, is: FREELY
YE HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE. Christians, whose endowments qualify, and whose situation and circumstances permit them, to communicate the light of the gospel to those who are sitting in the region and shadow of death, are under high and sacred obligations to perform that benevolent office. Pious young men, who have had the advantages of a liberal education, who have deep impressions of the worth of the immortal soul, and who have a zeal according to knowledge, are peculiarly adapted to a service, which requires firmness and vigour, enterprise and activity. Ministers, uniting experience with piety, and wisdom with talents, may, when a door is opened to them, be signally useful, in this cause of Christian philanthrophy. Missionaries in the present age are what Evangelists were in the age of the apostles. They preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Private Christians, who are debarred this honour and privilege, are obligated to contribute, according to their ability, to the support of those servants of Christ who, regardless of temporal ease and interest, enteras labourers into the most uncultivated parts of his vineyard, and bear the heat and burden of the day. By these means, my brethren, the name of Christ has been made known to the heathen in every successive age, from the first mission of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, down to the present time. By these means, that name is spreading at this moment among pagan nations, with a rapidity scarcely paralleled since the apostolic age. By these means it is unquestionably the divine purpose to propagate it,
until all the ends of the earth shall have seen the salvation of God.
I am reminded then to show,
II. The blessings of Christ's kingdom. His government, his church, his religion, are perpetuated for the present improvement, and the final salvation of his people: Men shall be blessed in him.
Mankind are blessed by the religion of Christ. The knowledge, which Christianity has imparted to the world, is of the highest possible importance. Its instructions respecting the character of God; the acceptable method of worshipping him; the duties of piety, which we owe to him; the moral and relative duties; and all the obligations we are under, as rational, accountable, and immortal beings; render it a system of religion, admirably calculated to improve the minds, the morals, and the manners of men, and, by consequence, to promote their present interest and happiness. The light, imparted by all the systems of all the pagan philosophers, on these momentous subjects, was but darkness, in comparison with the light imparted by the Gospel. And whom, after all, did the light of philosophy illumine? The philosophers themselves, who devoted their lives to the investigation of moral truth; and a few disciples, who had leisure and inclination to sit at their feet. By the great mass of people, who stood in most need of instruction, the tenets of these wise men were either
not understood, or not regarded. The sages, who taught, had neither authority to command, nor pen. alties to sanction, the reception of them. No nation accordingly can be found, which was ever essentially enlightened by their doctrines, or radically reformed by their precepts. This illumination and reformation were reserved for HIM, who was emphatically the Light of the world; for HIM, who spake as never man spake; for HIM, who spake with authority, and not as the scribes of Judea, or the sophists of Athens; for HIM, who exemplified what he taught; and who enforced his doctrines and precepts by the sanction of everlasting rewards and punishments.
The doctrines then of a future state and of a final judgment must be mentioned among the blessings of Christianity. Jesus Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. Of what inconceivable importance to the present and future happiness of men must be the knowledge of these doctrines !
But the Gospel is preeminently a blessing to mankind, as it imparts to them the knowledge of redemption by Jesus Christ. It is rendered worthy of all acceptation, by teaching us, that HE came into the world to save sinners, and by communicating to us those words of eternal life, which are able to make us wise to salvation, through faith in him. In him therefore are they blessed, who enjoy the light of the Gospel. Justly may they exclaim, in grateful trans