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of the unwearied ocean, which, one in fact though under various names, surrounds and embraces the whole habitable globe.
• Circumquaque porro infatigati fertur fluctus oceani; UNUS quidem, sed multis cognominibus instructus. DION.
PREACHED BEFORE THE
Prayer and Homily Society,
CHRIST CHURCH, NEWGATE STREET,
On Thursday, May 6th, 1819,
BEING THEIR SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY.
1 TIM. iii. 14-16.
These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And, without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
WALK about Zion, and go round about her; tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces: that ye may tell it to the generation following. Such was the language, in which Zion of old was celebrated. But what is the glory intimated in these words, compared with that of the New - Testament Church, which can number her Spiritual palaces,
which counts her Everlasting towers; whose bulwarks are Salvation, and her gates Praise ? It is of this church that the Apostle treats in the sublime passage before us. His design is to urge on the several orders of ministers the obligation of conducting themselves aright in the discharge of their office, from a consideration both of the nature of the Christian Church, and of the mystery which is committed to its care.
Such a subject will be admitted, I think, to be appropriate to an occasion like the present; and if I could hope to discuss the various topics which it involves, in a manner at all corresponding with its importance and grandeur, I might proceed without despondency. But the passage is of acknowledged difficulty. For, while the general sentiments which it conveys are perspicuous and sublime, its construction and language, as well as some of its allusions and doctrines, appear to be, in many respects, intricate and perplexing.
To that Divine Saviour, therefore, of whose glory I am to attempt to speak, let our supplications be addressed, that He may vouchsafe to preserve us, by the grace of His Holy Spirit, from all material error; whilst we consider, The COMMENDATION here bestowed on the Christian Church; The MAGNITUDE of the truth entrusted to its care; and The INFERENCES which may be drawn from both these topics, as to our con