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MINISTER AND A CHRISTIAN

CONGREGATION.

A SERMON,

PREACHED

IN THE UNITARIAN CHAPEL,

IN ESSEX-STREET, LONDON;

SUNDAY, JULY XXI. MDCCXCIII.

ON UNDERTAKING THE PASTORAL OFFICE IN

THAT PLACE.

C

BY JOHN DISNEY, D.D. F.S.A.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD.

MDCCXCIII.

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A

SERMO N.

II CORINTHIANS IV. 5.

WE PREACH NOT OURSELVES BUT CHRIST JESUS THE LORD; AND OURSELVES YOUR SERVANTS FOR JESUS'S SAKE.

THE apostle Paul, in this his fecond epiftle addreffed to the chriftians at Corinth, disclaims the practice of ufing any art or cunning, any concealment or amplification, in order to interpret the word of God unfaithfully or deceitfully; and, in confirmation of the purity of his purpose, he appeals to the manifeftation

of the truth, commending himself to every 'man's confcience in the fight of God."

:

After this public challenge of any impeachment of his conduct as a minifter of Jefus Chrift, and

folemn

folemn declaration of his purpose not to abuse, by any private and unwarrantable practices, the doctrine he had engaged to preach, but to refer himself to the approbation of God and every good man, he proceeds to afcribe the difficulties and hindrances with which the religion of Jefus Chrift had to contend, to their true cause. The God of this world, as he expreffes himself; the pursuits of wealth and pleasure; a devotedness to the enjoyment of ignoble eafe and relaxing indulgence; the gratification of their lower paffions, and the entire occupation of their minds in the things of the world, had fo blinded men's understandings, that they were impenetrable by the light of the gofpel of Chrift. This excefs of attention to animal and fecular purfuits, fo much below and unbecoming the enlarged and noble views. now opened to mankind by the preaching of Chrift and his apoftles, not only caft an impervious cloud between the reafon of man and the chriftian revelation, but occafioned a darknefs almoft vifible. And fo long as the fame caufe fhall continue, the fame effect will follow.

Our apostle proclaims his own miffion, and the extent of his profeffion; that he preached

not

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