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THE ART OF PREACHING.
BEING about to take upon yourself the office of a Preacher of the Gospel, you
advice, which I consider as a proof, that you feel the difficulties attendant upon what you are going to perform. How many young Preachers do we see, who have received no previous instructions and who have not,
may be presumed, considered instruction necessary-presenting themselves, with confi. dence before a public assembly! The modesty which characterizes you, is an omen of your suc. cess, and you deserve a more able guide, than my knowledge and abilities allow me to be.
you have resolved to adopt the ecclesiastical vocation, you have, doubtless, made a previous investigation of your resources, and compared your several faculties, not with those of persons, whose lives have been devoted to their profession, but with those which the discharge of the duty requires. You have also, I trust, compared the importance of the work, with the powers of your mind ; remembering, that you should not undertake any engagement without having first ascertained your capability to fulfil it.
Few vocations require such an union of talents, as that of a Minister of the Gospel. It calls forth every endowment of the mind, all the faculties of the soul, and the most attractive gracefulness of the body. Of these several powers, some are more essential than others; some are so indispensably necessary, that a young man is unpardonable, if he engage in this work of the Lord, without them.
If our studies have been well directed ; if we have profited by application ; and if we are ambitious to distinguish ourselves in our profession ; it is quite sufficient to have been born with common abilities, to possess the qualities of mind requisite for a Preacher. A certain flow of ideas, and a perfect knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, is the effect of mature study. One view of a subject will discover what it principally contains, to form the basis of a discourse; and a knowledge of logic will teach you to make an happy decision, and just arrangement. There is not a man, devoted, in any degree, to his calling, who cannot, with care and labour, compose a Sermon, which, if not eloquent, will, at least, be useful and edify. ing