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"fuch a train, that I can serve thee."-I was answered, "Now "is the accepted Time!" I then pleaded for fix months;for one month ;-for one week ;-fill the answer was,"This is the Time !" The enemy remained filent till I was denied one week in his fervice, he then infinuated, "The "God whom you are attempting to ferve, is a hard Mafter; "and I advife you to defift from your endeavour.", My heart inftantly rebelled against my Maker; and I arofe from my knees with these words, "I will take my own time, and then "I will ferve thee."

I got on horse-back, but had not rode above a quarter of a mile before the Lord met me with,-" Thefe three years have "I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none !—I now "come once more to offer you Life and Salvation; and it "is the last time !-chufe, or refufe !"-Immediately a divine power furrounded me ;-Heaven and Hell were disclosed to view; and Life and Death were set before me. I verily be lieve, if I had rejected this call, Mercy would have been for ever taken from me. I am fully perfuaded, that man has power, through divine Grace, to chuse, or refuse, in religious matters, otherwife GOD would have no reasonable service from his creatures. I was confcious of the very moment when I fubmitted to the Lord, and willingly yielded that Chrift fhould reign over me. I threw the bridle upon the horse's neck, and closing my hands together, cried out, "LORD, I "fubmit!" and now, for the first time, I was reconciled to the Juftice of God. The enmity of my heart was flain; the plan of falvation was opened to full view; I faw an unfpeakable beauty in the perfections of the Deity, and felt that power of faith and love which humbled me to the duft before him. I felt a Heaven within me, and wifhed for wings to fly away to the Heaven of Heavens. Although alone, in an unfrequented wood, I was conftrained to found forth the praises of my great Redeemer. I thought I fhould not be afhamed to publifh his Name to the ends of the earth. As I drew near home, the fervants heard me, and came to meet me at the gate in great furprize. I called the family together for prayer, but my prayer was turned into praife.

[To be continued.]

XVII. Jan. 1791.



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Preached at the Conference held at Leeds, July, 1793, by JOSEPH BENSON, and publifhed, with fome enlargement, at the defire of the Preachers.


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IN N. reading the facred Narrative of the Evangelifts, refpecting the Life and Doctrine of the Lord Jefus, and in comparing their fundry accounts together, one thing is diligently to be obferved, and that is, that, in writing their hif tories, they regarded only the inftruction and edification, and - not the amusement of their readers. They paid no refpect to the gratification of the curiofity of mankind, by a relation of uninterefting and trivial circumftances,, but confulted merely the illumination and renovation of their minds, by laying be -fore them important truths. Hence, without detaining us to hear on what occafion, at what time, or in what place, our Lord performed his miracles or delivered his difcourfes, they carry us forward to obferve rather, what is of infinitely greater importance to us, the fact done, or the doctrine, taught.



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The confequence, however, of this is,, that, if we do not make allowance for their paffing over unimportant matters, and reflect that fome of them omitted what others of them relate, we fhall be led into the erroneous idea of their defignedly connecting events, which, in reality, were not immediately connected, and even of their contradicting one another, which would impeach their credit as Hiftorians, and thake the very foundation of our faith..


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MARK XVI. 15, 16.

Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gofpel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, fhall be faved; but he that believeth not, fhall be damned."


2. I am led to make this remark by confidering the paffage before us in connexion with the context. Thefe words of Chrift, as they ftand here, feemingly connected with the preceding verfes, may appear, at firft fight, to have been fpoken to his difciples on the day on which he rofe from the dead. Whereas, upon comparing the context of this chapter, with the accounts which the other Evangelifts have given, of the events which took place between the refurrection of Chrift and his afcenfion, it seems evident that they were uttered on the day of his afcenfion, and probably at the very time, when, as we read, Luke xxiv. 50, he was lifting up his hands and bleffing them, and was just about to be parted from them and carried up into heaven. At that folemn and ever-memorable




2400 38 TA moment, it feems, among other inftructions and advices, recorded by St. Luke, in the above mentioned Chapter, and Atsi. Jefus gave them this most important, most benevolent; and yet molt awful charge, and Taid, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gofpel to every creature: He that be lieveth, and is baptized, shall be faved; but he that believeth not, fhall be damned." For, as we are affured, verfe 19 "after the Lord had spoken unto them," viz. the preceding words, a part of which is my Text, he was received up into heaven, and fat on the right hand of GOD."


In difcourfing from thefe words, containing, as we fee, the laft, folemn charge of the Son of God to his difciples, I propose to confider

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I. What is implied in preaching the Gofpel?

II. To whom the office of preaching it belongs? In other words, To whom this charge is given?


III. Where they are to preach it, and to whom? And IV: Laftly. What is required of thofe who hear it, with the confequences of their complying, or not complying, with the condition required of them. Pat.micr


1. And first, I am to enquire, What is implied in preaching the Gofpel? Under this head it will be neceffary to con Tider fir, what the Gofpel is, that we may understand fecondly, what it is to preach it. "




1. Now with regard to the nature of the Gofpel, I may obferve firft, in general, that the very word, ufed here and in other places, by the Evangelifts and Apoftles, in the original, and tranflated Gofpel, gives us much light concerning it. It means, as is well known, not God's-fel, or God's tidings, which is all that is fignified by the Saxon term Gospel, but Good-news, or Glad tidings. Such the Gofpel of Chrift is in the very effence of it. It is good news, or glad tidings to the fallen race of Adam, to the fiful, guilty, weak, and wretched children of men, even tidings of a Saviour, and falvation through him. Therefore when the Angel announced the birth of Chrift to the fhepherds, Luke'ii. 10, he expreffed himself thus, behold, I'bring you glad tidings of great joy," wayyi δίζομαι ὑμῖν χαξαν μεγάλην, literally, I crungeti te unto you great joy, or, I preach the Gospel, containing matter of great joy "for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, who is CHRIST the LORD." So that tidings of a Saviour at leaft of fuch a SAVIOUR as Chrift the Lord, are good tidings, and the very effence of the Gofpel Hence it is, that when the evangelical Prophet, Ifaiah, was foretelling Gofpel days, an defcribing the meffage which the minifters of the Gofpel would, in thofe days; deli ver to mankind, he expreffes himself in the following words: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publifheth peace," that bringeth

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tidings of good, that publifheth Salvation, that faith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" This therefore, is the true nature of the Gospel. It is good tidings, or good tidings of good and a meffage of peace and falvation. And accordingly, as we learn Acts xiii. 26, and 1 Tim. i. 15, they that preached the Gofpel, "preached peace by Jefus Chrift," and bore witnefs, that it is "a faithful faying, and worthy of all acceptation, that he came into the world to fave finners."

2. To be a little more particular. The Gofpel may be defined thus: "It is that revelation which God hath made of "himself, and of his mind and will to mankind refpecting their falvation." This was made firft, obfcurely, and in part, to the ancient Patriarchs, and by them to the early ages of the world, before and after the flood. As to Adam, when God faid, "The feed of the woman fhall bruife the Serpent's head;" and to Abraham when he promised him, that "in his feed all the nations of the earth fhould be bleffed ;" and lafly to Jacob, when he aflured him, that "Shiloh fhould come, and that unto him fhould the gathering of the people be." But when the Law was given to the pofterity of Jacob, from Mount Sinai, an inftitution took place, the defign of which was to exhibit to mankind, in a variety of typical perfons, and actions, and emblematical reprefentations, the whole Gospel, with its Author, origin, and end, its precepts and promifes, its privileges and bleflings, its grace and glory, as it was in due time to be unfolded more fully and clearly by the eternal Word of JEHOVAH, made flesh, and the Spirit of Truth and Holinefs poured out, in all his plenitude of gifts and graces, upon the firft difciples and minifters of the divine Immanuel. When this fulness of time was come, and that fame GOD, who at fundry times, and in divers manners, had, formerly fpoken to his ancient people by the prophets, had in thele laft days fent forth his Son, the brightnefs of his glory and the exprefs image of his perfon, with credentials and powers, fuch as no other divine Meffenger ever was, or will be invefted. with, then the Gofpel, which in former ages had been exhibited in types and thadows, rather fhaded than revealed, was manifefted in all its glory and appeared

"Full orb'd in its whole round of rays complete."

It arofe upon the world with healing in its wings, and fhone forth in all its beauty, fplendour, and importance. "The dayfpring from on high vifited us, to give light to us that fat in darknefs, and in the region of the fhadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." It is this laft, cleareft, and fulleft revelation of the divine Will, refpe&ting our falvation, that is most properly and emphatically termed the Gofpel, and that is here chiefly meant; as also, in divers other paffages


of the New Teftament, fuch as Mark i. 1, Rom. i. 1, and 16.-1 Theff. i. 5.-2 Theff. i. 8.—1 Tim. i. 11. which you' may confult at your leifure.



3. The Gofpel, confidered in this view, has refpect to all the offices fuftained by its glorious Author. In reference to his Prophetic Office, it is a revelation of truths, including doctrines, precepts, promifes, and threatenings, more clear and full than any preceding revelation. Thefe truths, as they are of a fpiritual and divine nature, and concern chiefly if not wholly, fpiritual and divine things, fo they are to us the moft important that can be imagined. They refpect (1.) GOD the FATHER, whofe nature and attributes, efpecially his moral attributes, as his holiness, juftice, truth, mercy, and love, have been abundantly more plainly and fully revealed to mankind, by Chrift and his Apoftles, than ever they were before. "No man hath feen God," fays St. John, at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bofom of the FATHER, he hath declared him." "The Son of GOD is come, and hath given us an underflanding, that we may know him that is true. And we are in him that is true." 66 They fhall know me," fays God, fpeaking of gospel days, from the least to the greatest' They regard (2.) the SON of GOD, whofe perfon and offices, humiliation and exaltation, grace and glory, are exhibited and difplayed, by himfelf and his Evangelifts and Apoftles, as they neither were, nor, in the nature of things, could be before his manifeftation in the flesh. They concern (3.) the SPIRIT of GOD, not indeed fo much, with relpect to his nature and effence, as his office in the Church, and his operations in the fouls of men in order to their falvation. These are revealed much more at large, and with abundantly greater evidence, in the New Teftament than in the Old, and we fee with much more clearness than the Jews did formerly, how he enlightens, quickens, ftrengthens, fan&tifies, and comforts his people, and by a variety of gifts and graces. prepares them for, and gives them a pledge and earnest of eternal felicity and glory. The truths of the Gofpel (4.) refpect ourselves. They reveal to us our fail in Adam, with the fintulnefs, and guilt, the depravity, weakness, and mifery, derived unto us, and entailed upon us thereby, in a much clearer and fuller manner than they were known to the Old Teftament faints. In the mean time (5.) our Redemption by Chrift, with the nature and properties, caufes and effects of that falvation which is by faith in him, is alfo manifefted and difplayed in all its love and power, glory and extent, in this fame Gofpel. Here we learn alfo, (6.) the Will of GOD concerning us, viz. what he requires us to know, to believe, to experience, to be, to do, to fuffer, and to enjoy, in time


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