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disappointing, discouraging, and distressing the members of Christ ; that licencing and ordaining men of doubtful or dangerous principles ; that protecting, the enemies of the reformed system, weakning the hands of it's best friends, forwardness in censuring disobedience to our own orders, delicacy in finding fault with the breach of God's commands, and fixing pastoral relations without the least prospect of use fulness; until we see that an imitation of such measures would seem good to the Holy Ghost,- I trust it will never..never seem good to us.

By keeping, therefore, in our own spheres, and continuing to act in character, the disciples will still have cause to rejoice for the consolation,”-whenever our decrees are announced ;--dissensions, meriting the smallest notice, will be prevented ;--and the “'unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” happily Freserved.

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MATTH. xvi. 18.
Upon this rock I will build my church.

AS; - in our times, men have different notions of A Christianity ;--- during our Lord's perfonal ministry, they had various opinions concerning Christ himself. Some said, that he was “ Elias ;" and others, Jeremias ;, or one of the prophets,” verf. 14.

His disciples, alone, had just apprehensions of him, and acknowleged him to be “ Chrift, the Son " of the living God;" verf. 16. So belivers, only, are indowed with the faving knowlege of Christ and his Father. “For it is given unto” such “to

- N4

so know

. * This sermon was preached on the 20th of April, 1769, at the admission of the reverend Mr. Collin Campbell to the parish of Renfrew.

“ know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven ; “ but to” others “ it is not given." Chap. xiii. ii.

Peter and his fellow.apostles were indebted, for this saviog knowlege, to Christ's Father and their Father, to his God and their God; “for flesh and “ blood (said our Lord to Simon) hath not revealed “ it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven,” verf. 17. In like manner, that knowlege must how... uniformly flow, in the same channel to other finners. For “no man knoweth tlie Son but the “ Father," chap. xi. 27. and “no man can come “ unto" Christ “ except ir” be "given unto him of” his “ Father,” John vi. 65.

In calling and distinguishing Peter, by name, cur Lord discovered the holy delight he had, in the firmness of faith, instępidity of zeal, and success, as an apostle, whereof that pame was expressive. “ I say unto thee, that thou art Peter,” verf. 18. shewing us, that as he knoweth and distinguisheth, 1o,“ he calleth his own sheep by name,". John. X. 3. And Thewing, that our Lord is wonderfully pleased-highly charmed, with their graces, attainments, and performances, .-. saying, “ Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; “ for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is “ comely," Song ii. 14.

Having taken such notice of Peter's name,-in the words of my text, our Lord directed him and his brethren to a more glorious object, whose " name is as ointment poured forth ;” and from whose farour, the persons, the names, the principles and the lives, of men derive all their excellence and value. « Upon this,” rock faid he, pointing at himself, and not upon Simon Bar.jona, “ { " will build my church.”

What we propose, in a dependance upon grace,


T. To consider what Christ, is, according to this passage, - & rock.

II. What he, herc, promiseth,-Upon this rock, will build my church.

III. To improve the subject, in a suitableness to the occasion of our present meeting,

I. We are to consider what Christ is, according to this paffage-a rock.

Here, it may be observed, in general, that strictly speaking, the description of this glorious person, is a task infinitely beyond the capacity of angels themselves; consequently, that a man of like passions with others, is by no means equal unto it. For, whu (says one inspired writer) can declare his “ generation ?” If. liii. 8. And, says another, speaking of the Father, " What is his name, or “ what is his Son's name, if thou canst tell ?” Prov. XXX. 3.

In the name, however, which our Lord here takes to himself, two things may be observed, in way of illustration:

1. That Canaan, being a rocky mountaneous country, afforded the happiest shelter from sudden irruptions, and unexpected attacks of enemies.

The Old-testament fcriptures furnish us with many instances, wherein the Ifraelites retired to one , or another rock, in the land of promise, for safety, when surprized, or reduced to extremity. Accordingly, Balaam, alluding to this very circunstance, took up his parable, and said of the Kenires, “Strong “ is thy, and thou puttest thy nest in “ a rock,” Num. xxiv, 21.

Agreeable to this metaphor, our Lord's very name, Jesus...the Savisur, is expressive of the protection and safety that sinners fiod, in his righteoulness, perfectious and providence as Immanuel ; N 5


for, in the beautiful language of fcripture,..." a man “ Mall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a

covert from the tempeft: as rivers of water in a

dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a “ weary land," If. xxxii. 2. And again, “ The " name of the Lord is a ftrong tower; the righte“ bus runneth into it, and is safe,” Prov. xviii. 10. -Safe from the penal demands of the law, and the vindictive wrath of the Law giver :- From the paw, also, of the roring devouring lion, and all his emissarics among men. Observe,

2. That as this rocky country afforded shelter, so it abounded with the richest provision, for its inhabitants; for the mountains were covered with vines and olives, and the holes of the rocks were filled with swarms of bees. Accordingly, we are told, that God made Israel “ to suck honey out of the “ rock, and oil out of the finty rock,” Deut. xxxii. 13.

Than ihis account of Palastine, nothing could be more expressive of the liberal provision which is made for the souls of men in Jesus Christ, and pointed out too, by thc same metaphor of a rock or mountain. " In this mountain (says the prophet, “ Isaiah) shall the Lord of hosts make unto all peo“ple a feast of fat things ;-a feast of wines on the « lees, -of fat things full of marrow,- nf wines “ on the lees well refined,” If. xxv. 6. Intimating, that such things are not more adapted and agreeable to the palate, than the words of Christ, the ordinances of the gospel, and the blessings of his purchase are to the soul. Nay, in manifold experience, it hath been found, that the word of God, -revealing Christ, and conveying falvation, is more favoury to the soul than wine and milk, oil and hopey, marrow and fatness can be to the palate." How Tweet “ (said David) are thy words unto my taste !.

myca, s Iweeter

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