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I JOHN i. 3.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also

тау have fellowship with us : and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

We are assembled, my brethren, under very interesting circumstances. At a distance from our respective homes, we have met together in a foreign land for the purpose of mingling our devotions before the altar of our common Father. And while I would congratulate you upon an event so likely, I trust, to prove salutary to us all; while I would mention with thankfulness the kindness of our Christian friends, who thus generously furnish us with so convenient a place for worship; I should poorly discharge

. ; the duties of the sacred office, did I not call upon you to look with the eye of gratitude to that Being whose superintending providence directs all the concerns of this lower world, and to whom we are ultimately indebted for every good and every perfect. gift. It is his Hand that has gathered us together --a little flock. It is to Him that we owe this inestimable privilege of treading his earthly courts. It is his presence and blessing which can alone render our services acceptable in his sight. It is his Word which we expect to hear. It is his Gospel that is to sound in our ears. It is his Son that is to be offered to us as the object of our faith, and as the only Saviour of our souls. And as we improve or abuse these occasions of learning his will and our duty, we must expect to receive at last the kindest tokens of his love, or the severest marks of his displeasure. With these momentous truths in view, and feeling my own weakness and insufficiency, I venture to address you, and, as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, to solicit your serious attention to all you may hear that is conformable to the oracles of Divine Truth. And may the Source of all Truth shed down his wisdom upon our minds, and his grace upon our hearts, while we attend at this time to the portion of Scripture recorded in our text! “ That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

Religion is seated in the heart-an inward, secret principle of thought and action. Thence it communicates life and activity to the whole spiritual

Its hidden workings are seen by the eye of Omniscience alone. We can ascertain its existence, and trace its operations, only by its effects upon the



outward appearance and conduct : and there we have to observe it acting uniformly through all the various forms of human character. It occupies, with the same Divine influence, the breast of the prince and the beggar-of the wise and the ignorant—of the old and the young—of the refined and the rude-of the civilized and the savage-of the freeman and the slave. In this respect, it resembles both the principle of vitality and of intellect in man. God breathes into man the breath of life. Its impulse causes the heart to throb and the blood to flow, under all the diversities of human countenance, complexion, and structure. However great these diversities may be, man, wherever you find him, has one uniform principle of animal life. The same is true of his intellectual character: “ There

66 is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Al

1 mighty giveth them understanding.” This immaterial and immortal principle, the gift of the Father of spirits, displays the same general characteristics, and appears to be governed by the same laws, whether

you view it in the philosopher or the child -in the lettered recluse or the busy man of the world. There is, in like manner, an unity, a oneness of religious principle in the hearts of all sincere Christians, of whatever age, or climate, or nation; of whatever rank or condition in life: “ For they are all born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” He is their common spiritual Father, and they all bear the impress of his moral image on their hearts. Nor

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