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already born of God, and needing only further sanctification; and hearing besides frequent cautions against excess in religion, and the danger of enthusiasm-will not, I say, such persons be insensibly led to conclude that their state is upon the whole good, and that, with a little reformation, they may, through the merits of Christ, fulfil the conditions of the Gospel covenant?
Is it not then, to say the very least, the safest plan to adhere to the prominent and plain track of Scripture; and, leaving points of subordinate difficulty, to dwell in our own minds and in our instructions to others, on the main and intelligible features of the regeneration by God's Holy Spirit? Will not this give us the greatest security of discharging our duty in the best manner towards God and towards the souls of men? Will not all inferior questions sink into comparative insignificance, if we begin with plainly urging, in the first instance, on every child of Adam, whatever may be his external privileges, if he is living in irreligion and impiety, the indispensable necessity of a new and spiritual birth, of an actual and complete transformation of the whole man after the image of God? And will not a learned and enlightened clergy be then most likely at once to control the real disorders of enthusiasm, to bring down on their labours the blessing of the Holy Spirit, and to
lay the foundation of true scriptural piety, when by such a manifestation of the truth, they commend themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God?
PREACHED AT THE PARISH CHURCH OF
ST. BRIDE, FLEET STREET,
ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1814,
Church Missionary Society
FOR AFRICA AND THE EAST,
ON OCCASION OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE
REV. JOHN CHRISTOPHER SPERRHACKEN,
REV. JOHN HENRY SCHULZE,
TO THE WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA,
TOGETHER WITH SEVERAL OTHER PERSONS ATTACHED TO
ISAIAH, LXII. 6, 7.
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
WHEN HEN we consider the high duties of a Christian Missionary, the zeal and humility which are to be united in his character, and the persevering fortitude which must enable him to meet almost innumerable difficulties, we might conclude that no human virtue could be equal to so great an enterprize. But when we contemplate, on the other hand, the power and grace of God in Christ Jesus, and the various prophecies which relate to the future glory of the church, we check our rash distrust, and we no longer doubt that the same Almighty grace