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It will be the habitual endeavor of the Editor, in this work, to present such Sermons, on all important subjects of Gospel doctrine and practice, as may tend to honor the great Redeemer and save immortal souls. We have been cheered with constant assurances of its usefulness, and if those who read and appreciate, will make it known to others, and encourage its circulation among conscientious paying subscribers, its influence may widen and extend so long as the Gospel is preached.
We respectfully solicit this encouragement to a work which, scattered as it is throughout the United States, is very far from having been to the proprietor a source of pecuniary gain. May not those who receive this, obtain, on an average, one new Subscriber each, and thus increase the number of the reading community!
From the Boston Recorder. “PREACHER TO MANY NATIONS. “The National Preacher, which has been published for nine years in New-York, besides being widely circulated in our own country, and to some extent in England, is also read with interest in China, in India, in South America, and in the far distant isles of the Pacific. The following extract of a letter from a Missionary at the Sandwich Islands shows in what light the work is regarded on the other side of the globe.
“This plan of calling forth the varied talents and united energies of co. temporaneous preachers, and bringing their happiest efforts before millions of our fellow-men, even while the authors, warmed by their own exertions, are still on their knees, imploring a blessing on the truths they have sent forth, appears adınirably adapted to promote the strength and harmony of the churches, to facilitate their highest attainments in knowledge and piety, to excite them to that course of benevolent action which the present state of the world demands, and to supply, to some extent, the spiritual wants of multi. tudes who are not favored, statedly, with the pulpit and pastoral labors of any minister of Christ. The National Preacher deserves the confidence of the world. May this high-commissioned messenger of Christ be received with thankfulness and joy by tens of millions of our race. May the Divine Author of all the valuable gifts in the church copiously shed down the graces of his Spirit upon the contributors to this evangelical publication, that their writings may be worthy of the enlightened age in which we live, and such as hundreds of millions may be edified to read, when the pens of the writers are exchanged for harps of gold."
A number of individuals, acquainted with men and manners, and of respon. sible character, to extend the circulation of this work. To such, very gene. rous lerms would be offered on application to the Editor.
TERMS NEXT PAGE.
EDITED BY Rev. AUSTIN DICKINSON.
Ofice at the Bookstore of JOHN S. TAYLOR, 151 Nassau-street, New-York.
CONTENTS OF No. 119.-APRIL, 1836. Two DISCOURSES; ** The one thing needful ;" and " The Parable of the Tares.”
By Rev. Dr. MilNOR.
SPECIAL NOTE. The closing number of the volume will be issued, as usual, the last of May. We have occasion to rejoice in the very obviously increasing number of able writers of different denominations, and in the prospect of good sermons to come; as well as in the promptitude and kind expressions of in. terest with which the work has been received by many from its commencement. But some seem to have forgotten the terms on which it is received; and, it is to be seared, are not profited or interested. We would again earnestly request such to remit to this office the amount due, agreeably to the terms, and give direction, if they so desire, that the work, to them, be dis. continued. To such of them as have excused their delay, simply on the ground that in their State they have no small bills, we would respectfully suggest, whether a strict sense of right, as well as convenience, would not dictate, that they obviate this difficulty by paying, at once, for as many years in advance as they have been delinquent. We regret the necessity for marring this cover ; as, in the eye of many, it may, in more points of view than one, bring reproach on professed friends of truth and Heaven. A word to the wise is sufficient.
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CONTRIBUTORS. UPWARDS of fifty Clergymen, of five Christian denominations, and belonging tu sixteen different states, most of whom are well known to the public as authors, have allowed the Editor to expect from them Sermons for this work; among whom are the following:
Rev. Dr. Richards, Professor in the Theological Seminary at Auburn ; Rev. Dr. Proudfit, Salem; Rev. Drs. Tucker and Beman, Troy ; Rev. Dr. Sprague, Albany ; Rev. Drs. Milnor, Mathews, Spring, Woodbridge, and De Witt, New York City; Rev. Drs. Alexander and Miller, Professors in Princeton Theological Seminary ; Rev. Professor M'Clelland, Rutgers College, New Jersey; Rev. Drs. Green, M'Dowell, and Cuyler, Philadelphia ; Rev. Dr. Bishop, President of Miami University, Ohio; Rev. Dr. Fitch, Professor of Divinity, Yale College ; Rev. Asa hel Nettleton, Killingworth, Con.; Rev. Dr. Wayland, President of Brown University; Right Rev. Bp. Griswold, Salem, Mass.; Rev. Dr. Griffin, President of Williams College; Rev. Dr. Humphrey, President of Amherst College, Mass.; Rev. Dr. Beecher, President of Lane Seminary, Cincinnati ; Rev. Professors Woods, Stuart, Skinner, and Emerson, of Andover Theological Seminary ; Rev. Dr. Fisk, President of the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct. ; Rev. Daniel A. Clark, Bennington, Vị.; Rev. Dr. Bates, President of Middlebury College ; Rev. Dr. Matthews, Hanover Theological Seminary, Indiana ; Rev. Dr. Baxter, Union Theological Seminary, Va.; Rev. Dr. Tyler, Portland, Me.; Rev. Dr. Lord, President of Dartmouth College; Rev. Dr. Church, Pelham, N. H.; Rev. Dr. Leland, Charleston, S. C. ; Rev. Dr. Coffin, Greenville, Tennessec; Rev. Professor Halsey, Western Theological Seminary ; Rev. Drs. Perkins and Hawes, Hartford, Conn.; Rev. President Wheeler, Vermont University ; Rev. Prof. Howe, Columbia, S. C. ; Rev. Dr. Chapin, President of Columbian College, D. C.
EPHESIANS ii. 1.
You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses
When we address dying men on the subject of that dissolution, which is the inevitable lot of all, they fully comprehend our meaning. The destruction of natural life is every day before their eyes; and however insensible they may be to their own constant liability to the stroke of the destroyer, and their consequent endless happiness or misery, yet arguments are needless to convince them that what has happened to the generations that have passed away, will happen in turn to them. Sooner or later, the inevitable doom involved in the sentence, “Dust thou art and unto dust thou must return," they know will be theirs. But the case is far different when we speak to them of that spiritual death which alienates the soul from God, precludes his favor, and is not risen from in the present state of existence, assuredly banish them forever from his presence. Beings so bustling and active, so full of enterprise and cnergy, so alive to all that concerns their temporal interests, are very unwilling to believe that they may be dead while they live ; and that if they be not quickened into spiritual life, their end will be what the Apostle terms, “ Death unto death.”
In our text he declares the Ephesians, to whom he wrote, to have experienced both these states.
were dead in trespasses and sins.'' Now Christ had quickened them into spiritual life. Of two similar classes does this whole world consist. The larger number are dead in trespasses and sins. Like these Ephesians before their conversion, as described by St. Paul in the verses following the text, they are “walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, who worketh in the children of disobedience;" “ having their conversation in the lusts of the flesh;" and " fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” The Apostle guards against the supposition, that this was a character peculiar to the Ephesians merely because engulfed in the darkness of heathenism, by attributing the same properties to himself and his associates in their uncon, yerted state. He confesses they " were, by nature, children of wrath, even Vol. X. No. 11.
as others." But, with humble gratitude he avers, that their situation was now very different : “God, says he, who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us, hath quickened us together with Christ.”
The text may lead us to consider,
I. The state and character of the natural man. He is " dead in trespasses and sins."
His condition has no fitter emblem than that of death. Similitudes, however, must never be strained so far as to lead into absurdities and contradictions. It would be carrying this allegation too far to make the natural death of the body, and the spiritual death of the soul identical. The body deprived of life is utterly incapable of action, just as if it had never been the tabernacle of that thinking principle we call the soul. But a soul dead in trespasses and sins is not exactly in that state. So far as regards the powers, sensations, and actions of our intellectual nature, it is perfectly alive. Its thoughts are exercised, and its sensibilities engaged, in earthly things with activity and energy. It can soar aloft into the regions of spec. ulative knowledge. It can even avoid, in the exercise of its natural pow. ers, much of moral evil, and practise much of seeming good. All that is exterior even in the offices and duties of religion, comes within its grasp. Nay, its faculties may be employed in the use of those means of grace which are designed to be the instruments of the soul's resurrection from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. It would be a perversion of a Scripture doctrine, not to regard man, at every period of his existence, as a rational creature, or to question his free will. For so God unquestionably regards him.
He is at all times under the obligation of the duties prescribed to him by his Maker. He is subject to the law of God, with all its sanctions; and to him are addressed the promises, expostulations, and invitations of the Gospel. These concessions are necessary to set aside those excuses which human reluctance and indolence are continually presenting for the neg. lect of the soul's salvation, and to maintain the universal accountability of all men for the talents committed to their trust. And yet, in perfect con. sistency with these admissions, it is, neverthless, true, that all unregenerate
are considered in God's word, as “dead in trespasses and sins.” “ Sin hath entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death, (spiritual as well as natural,) hath passed upon all men in that all have sinned.” survey of the world be taken with that purified vision which the sacred Scriptures and the Holy Spirit supply, and its fallen inhabitants present the aspect of such a valley of dry bones as was spread before the eyes of the prophet of the Lord.
The scene presented is one wide carnival of death, over every region of the habitable globe, in every place of man's dwelling, from the cheerless hovel of poverty to the splendid mansion of luxury and wealth, and over every intellectual variety of our species, from him who scarcely seems raised in mental endowments above the beasts that perish, to him whose understanding has mastered all the heights of human science. One spiritual condition is the heritage of our race. " There is none that