2 Timothy, iii. 14, 15. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them : And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus."

How vast are the obligations under which man lies to his Creator, and how great is his responsibility respecting them ! The subject is one of infinite importance, and deserves our most serious consideration. In infancy and childhood, in youth and in riper years, the mercies of our God have been renewed to us every day, and as we read in one version of the Psalms " Through all the changing scenes of life, " In trouble and in joy," He has shown his long suffering and tender mercy. Why is it then, my beloved brethren, that we do not continually " praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men ?" The reason is, we are " alienated from him by the ignorance that is in us," because unbelief exercises over us a controul which we have every day cause to deplore ; because

the world, with its fascinations, blinds and deceives our hearts. But there is One who is able to break the snare, and deliver the soul ; and sincerely do I hope, and earnestly do I pray, that you all may become savingly acquainted with him who can set the sinner free, who " has so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The writer of this Epistle was one who felt the converting power of the grace of God, and throughout his entire ministry he seems to have had two objects in view — first, the awakening of the ungodly, and secondly, the building up of the servants of the Lord in their most holy faith — for these objects he laboured, for these objects he prayed ; and neither his labours nor his prayers were in vain. The Divine unction, as the evangelist John speaks, accompanied his words, and he was the instrument of turning multitudes of sinners, as disobedient as himself, (and never was there one more disobedient,) to the wisdom of the just; One of these converted sinners was Timothy, styled by him " his beloved son in the faith," and to Timothy he wrote two epistles, abounding in seasonable instruction for himself, for the special regulation of the churches at that time, and for the direction of the churches of God at all times. On the present occasion, we shall dwell

on one passage which I have just read to you, and from which we may draw the following subjects for consideration : 1st, that " the Scriptures are able to make wise unto salvation ; 2d, " that Timothy was instructed in them from his youth," or strictly speaking, from his infancy, which the original word means ; and lastly, " the



exhortation to Timothy, to continue in what he had heard." ow, it is stated here, that, " the Scriptures are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. Have you ever meditated on this passage ? It is one that concerns each individual ; for every one that possesses an immortal soul (and that is every one of the human race,) needs salvation ; and without it, better for him he had never seen the light — better for him he had never breathed the breath of this present world, for " what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own 60ul ?" The Scriptures referred to here by the apostle are, as most of you know, the Scriptures of the Old Testament, for the ew was not at the time in existence ; yet we see here the testimony borne to their excel-

lence ; that these Scriptures which were then written were " able to make wise unto salvation." ow how was this ? There is one command of our blessed Lord, which shows it clearly, " Search the Scriptures ; for in them ye think ye have eternal life : and they are they which testify of me." The ancient prophets wrote and spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the great subject matter of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and all who believed the record which they contain, looked forward to that glorious day, when the Son of God was to be incarnate — when he was to appear as " Emmanuel, God with us" — " God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them ;" and ^herein, my beloved brethren, the great value of the Scriptures consists, that " they testify of Christ." " The heavens" do indeed, " declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work," and if a man were not fallen and apostate, a sinner, and a rebel against God, the very sight of the heavens and the earth would call forth the gratitude and praise of his heart ; but he can now see these things without seeing the hand that made them. The heathen

behold the sun, moon, and stars, and the whole host of heaven : but instead of adoring their great Creator, they fall down and give unto the creature the homage which is due only to the Creator ! The Scriptures then bring light into the world. " Christ is the light of the world, "

and he says, " he that believeth on me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." ow the Spirit of the Lord is one in all his operations, whether he work under the Old Testament dispensation, or now under the ew. He enlightens the mind, he converts the soul, he leads the sinner to the Lord Jesus Christ, and enables him to glory no longer in himself, but " in him who died for him, and rose again." This is the work of the Spirit. " He guides into all truth," and blessed are they who, under his teaching and guidance, renounce all confidence in the flesh, and determine, with the apostle, to glory in nothing " save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ." These Scriptures then are able to make wise unto salvation ; but the apostle, you may observe, does not stop there. We see every day that a man may possess his bible, and live like an infidel ; he may read his bible, and yet walk with the multitude in the ways of evil and sin ; he may read his bible, and yet neglect his soul ; that which an individual does, a church may do — and how many, oh, how many in every professing church, even those that acknowledge the Scriptures to contain a revelation of the most High God, depart from these Scriptures ! But if a church, like the church of England, holds up the Scriptures as paramount authority, holds them up as containing the will of the most High God, and as publishing to man the way of salvation, there is no reason why any one should forsake the communion of that church,

because all her members are not influenced by divine truth ; that ought rather to operate as a call upon every one individually to examine and ask, am I in the



faith ? have I believed ? what is my hope ? And my friends, it. is no common blessing to be born within the pale of a Church, which puts into the hands of the youngest of her members the book of eternal life — it is not a trifle that should turn away a man from that church — it is not a trifle that should lead a man to quarrel with some things in it, the nature of which, perhaps, he has never given himself time or patience to consider. Oh, then, let us, on the one hand, prize the privilege we enjoy, in having the Scriptures in the

tongue in which we were born ; and let us, on the other hand, take care not to trust in ourselves, and say, in the language of the Jews of old, " the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we." At this very time they were destroying the prophets of the Lord, they were pouring out torrents of human blood, they were so fast proceeding in their course of iniquity, that at length " all the blood that was shed from righteous Abel, to the blood of Zacharias, was required at their hands." Let us then seriously think of these things, and as God has so highly favoured us, let us pray that our blessings may never be removed from us, or by our abuse be turned into curses ; but let us pray that we may " receive with meekness the engrafted

word, which is able to save our souls." The Scriptures do, indeed, contain the truth that makes wise to salvation, but it is " by faith that is in Christ Jesus." — It is when the Scriptures are believed, when they are received in the love of them and have a place in the heart, as well as in the head, that man becomes a partaker of a blessing, as the apostle, writing to the Romans, says, " with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the lips confession is made unto salvation." There is no doubt but that if Christ be in the heart the hope of glory — if he dwells in the heart by faith, there will be an outward confession of him ; love to his people will be mani-

fested, and love to his cause exhibited — there will be an anxious desire faithfully to discharge our duties in whatever statitxi of life the providence of God may place us. These Scriptures, then, which are able to make wise unto salvation, are made profitable when they are believed, or received into the heart by faith. — Here it may be said, what strange language ! — believe the Scriptures ! — why we always believed them ! — ah, my brethren, those who utter such observations may imagine they believe, but they never believed — "faith workethby love : ' — "faith purifies the heart" — " faith overcomes the world,'' — faith is not a fancy, — faith is not something floating through the mind of man, but it is of the operation of God,

it lays hold for its grand object on God's eternal truth, that truth testifies of Christ, and faith, embracing Christ, embraces him who is " the way, and the truth, and the life," and who " is able to save to the* uttermostall who come unto God by him." If then a man is careless about his soul, he does not believe — if he thinks more highly of the testimony of the world than he does of the testimony of his God, he does not believe : if he depends on his own poor doings, and makes 'them the ground of his hope, he does not believe ; " for other foundation can no man lay but that which is laid, Christ Jesus." If a man neglects the various relative duties of life, and spends his time and money in satisfying in any way the lusts and desires of his flesh, that man, whatever he may be, or whatever he may say, does not believe. Look at what is said of believers, 1 lth chap. Hebrews ; one of them, Moses, " counted the reproaches of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt ;" Enoch walked with God, and was not found, because God translated him ;" he was taken up without tasting death, and " before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Look at the primitive Christian Church, see how those who composed it were of " one heart and one



soul ;" they lived to promote each other's good ; " the love of Christ constrained them while they thus judged, that Christ died for all, that they who live should not live to themselves, but to him who died for them and rose again." ow it is in these things a man is to show whether lie believes the Gospel or not ; it is not by saying " Lord, Lord," but by " doing the things which he says." Upon this subject, however, we cannot longer dwell ; I will just refer you to the verses following the text : " All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Bear then in mind, that the Scriptures of God are divinely inspired, and whenever you open your Bibles, remember, that in them God speaks, and speaks as plainly and intelligibly to the judgment and the conscience of man as he spoke upon the day of our Lord's baptism, when he uttered these words, " Thou art my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him." Do not listen to those who would fritter away the word of the living God, that would oppose one passage of it to another, but do you regard it as you would any other blessing, receive it as a whole, as that word in which God speaks, and in which he has made known his will to perishing and guilty sinners.

I would next call your attention to the circumstance, That Timothy ivasinstructed in these scriptures from his youth, " From a child thou hast known the scriptures." There was mention made, in the 1st chap, of this epistle, of this circumstance, 5th verse, " When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice ; and I am persuaded that in thee also. " ow what a beautiful picture was this at such a period of the world ! a mother and grandmother training up this little boy in the way in which he should go ; training him up, not

for this world, but for the next ; training him up, not as too many parents train up their children, in the service of that verj prince of darkness whom they have solemnly sworn to renounce ; but for the bliss of heaven ! Perhaps, indeed thenis no doubt of it, they thought little of "this work and labour of love,'' and if any one had commended them for it, or praised or flattered them, they would doubtless have put that flattery away, and said " we are only doing that which is our duty to do," and having done it far better than ever we could have expected to do, we are still unprofitable servants, we claim for it no merit. Little did they imagine in what their labour of love would end, — little did the aged grandmother, bowed down over that little child, instructing him out of the book of God, little did she or could she imagine, (for we

cannot look into futurity, "we know not what a day may bring forth") that that youth would grow up, not only to manhood, but "to the fulness of the stature of Christ ; that he should be one of those whose names are left on record in the book of God, and that shall be heard of while there remains upon earth a memorial of the loving kindness of the Lord ; " Into whatsoever part of the woild this Gospel comes, there shall also this, that this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her." And here we have a direct answer given to those who would withhold from the young the book of God ; and there are many who propagate this doctrine in the present day. o man of sense or common understanding or ordinary feeling, would withhold a medicine from his sick child, in consequence of that child being unable to ascertain the nature of the medicine or calculate the effect of its operation ; his child is sick, his physician prescribes a remedy, he asks no questions as far as he himself is concerned, he never thinks of asking as far as the child is concerned, but gives the medicine to him, in hopes that' it may be the means of alleviating pain, or



removing the disease. My dear friends, how true are the words of the blessed Saviour, " the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light," — than those who have the light, and say it is their desire to walk in the light. We are wise respecting earthly things, respecting the body, respecting worldly concerns, respecting business and profession, but downright fools respecting the concerns of the soul and salvation ; and it is not till the Spirit of that God who ha3 put this book into our hands, and commanded us to read it, applies it with wonder-working energy to the heart, that the sinner feels any interest in what that book contains. But we read, " this word makes wise the simple," little children are simple, and to whom does our Lord compare his own people ? to little children ; and in giving directions to those to whom he wrote, the apostle says, " as new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby ;" and again our Lord, addressing Peter, " feed my lambs, feed my sheep," and no doubt our Lord had in view the young of the flock, as well as those more advanced. Blessed be God, in the present day we have proof upon proof, that it is a wise thing to put the Scriptures into the hands of the young. Oh, what a change — what a wondrous change has taken place in this country, since the first day that God permitted me to stand in this place ! what a change ! then the word of God was little thought of in the four provinces of Ireland ; then, except it

might be in the case of a few individuals who assembled their children on the Lord's day to give them some merely formal catechetical instruction, there was no such thing throughout the borders of our land heard of as a Sunday-school; the Protestants of our land were awfully and fearfully neglected, and we are now reaping the awful consequences. There is no use in dwelling on what is past, except that it may, under God, excite us

to greater diligence for the future. Look now at the change ; well may we say — and oh, that we may say it with thankfulness, " what hath God wrought ?" look around to the east, to the west, the north, and south, does it not appear as if the Lord were blowing, not with the blast of his displeasure, but with approval and love on the teachers of our church ; see them increasing in number, increasing in zeal, increasing in diligence and activity every year, while going forth to proclaim " the unsearchable riches of Christ;" exhibiting in a most remarkable and eminent manner the influence of the principles that are inculcated in our liturgy, in our articles and in our homilies, in every one of which Christ is held up as, " the all and in all." And if the Church of England did not hold up Christ, with the convictions that are in my mind at present, I would not utter one single word in her praise ; but believing as I do that God has a blessing within her — finding that the heavens open, and that showers of blessings descend from above

on old and young, and seeing her increasing in usefulness, 1 cannot shut my eyes to that which is so plain before me ; and I would call upon you to rejoice and bless the Lord that that which passed in vision before the prophet Ezekiel, when he saw the bones in the valley which were all dead and dry coming together again, and observed a crackling among the bones, till at length they were cloathed with muscle and flesh, blessed be God, we behold, in a measure, in reality. Let us then " thank God and take courage ;" and I would call especially on every member of the Church of England who hears these words — and I speak not, God forbid, to discourage the exertions of any church under the sun that holds the truth as it is in Jesus, but I would call on you who say you are Protestants, who say you are members of the Church of England, to exhibit that truth to the world, " Let your light so shine before men, that they may see



your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven : " go forth with that Bible in your hands which the church holds up before all her members, and causes to be read whenever the church door is

open for divine worship ; go forth and exert yourselves to the uttermost, in making known the blessing which that word contains. Lastly, we come to consider The exhortation given, " continue thou in the things that thou hast learned and been assured of." ow, this is what we all want ; some have no assurance whatever that the Bible contains the truth of God, and the consequence is that such go on carelessly from day to day, " denying the Lord that bought them ;" but there are others who seem to have an interest in these things, but do not give themselves as they ought wholly to to the Lord. ow, I would address to you that one exhortation of the apostle to the Romans, xii. 1, " I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to the Lord, which is your reasonable service ;" and you may rest assured, if a man glorifies God in his life, he will not be sorry for it in the hour of death ; if a man lives to God while in health and strength, he need not fear that God will forsake him in the time of weakness, sickness, and sorrow. God is faithful, he has given these two immutable things, on which he commands and directs his people to rely, his word and his oath, " as I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner." Oh, what condescension — oh, what language of entreaty does that convey to the ears of every man that reads the Scriptures of truth ! The Lord pledges his very existence to the fulfilment of what he has promised to do

for those who believe on his Son's name, and who " count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord." The apostle never would have said to Timothy, "continue thou in the things

that thou hast learned, and hast been assured of," if Timothy had not been well taught. This proves that he was well taught, and that there was no need of his changing his doctrine; and if the members of our church were well grounded in her principles, they would not be so apt, as too many are, to be led away with every wind of doctrine, and to become the proselytes of heady and high-minded, although perhaps well-intentioned, individuals. God grant, my dear friends, that we may be so rooted and grounded in the faith, that in times like these, when popery and infidelity have united together to endeavour to crush our church to the very earth, we may determine to abide by that Bible by which she abides. Oh, let us be persuaded to pray that the Spirit of the Lord may breathe on the deadness of our souls, that we may be grafted into Christ, alive to God, and be found walking in the steps of Him who alone can call sinners to repentance. If all present were under the influence of this doctrine, if all believed, that man had "sinned, and come short of the glory of God," that "other foundation can no man lay but that which is laid, Christ

Jesus," that " if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," if all believed that the " Scriptures" of the Old and ew Testament were " given by inspiration of God," why then my labour on the present occasion would be greatly lightened ; for you would then need no argument to prove, that it was your bounden duty to assist with liberality and promptitude the schools for which I am called upon this day to plead : and I desire to indulge the hope, that whatever may be your state in the sight of the great Searcher of hearts at the present moment, you may yet "be given repentance to the acknowledging of the truth," that you may yet walk well pleasing in the sight of God, and may be kept from the pollutions of an evil world : then indeed will you have a foretaste of that joy which shall hereafter be revealed.



It is now my duty to bring before you the state of the schools of this parish. They at present contain 247 children, of whom 97 are Roman Catholics. The Scriptures are read by all ; were it not so, think not that I would stand here to ask you for your support ; but the Scriptures are brought to the ears and the eyes of

those dear little ones, and praver is offered tip to God that he would bless the word of his grace to their salvation. But it is to be regretted that parishioners do not take a greater interest in these schools. For there is indeed a sad want of teachers, especially in the Sunday Schools. I would now, in conclusion, address the young persons who hear me. Would it not be a most profitable occupation to take the word of God, and undertake the instruction of a class, and endeavour to train them up as Lois and Eunice trained up young Timothy ? Did time allow, I could bring before you facts to prove that teaching others has brought a ten-fold blessing on the heads of the teachers ; there are many now advanced in years, that have reason to praise the Lord that their minister said to them, " will you take a class in a Sunday School ?" There is nothing more neglected than the Scriptures; this will greatly counteract the evil, for if a person comes to teach others, he will naturally endeavour to obtain some information himself. I have brought this subject before you — may God in his

mercy lay it on your consciences, and may he show you, that as immortal beings you ought to live for eternity, and not for time ; that you ought to live for God's glory, and not for your own sensual gratification. But in this work, there is great delight felt by those who love the word of the Lord. Oh, what delight is felt by the teachers at seeing the hearts of the little ones speaking out through their

eyes, and their eyes filled with tears, while their heart is melted under a sense of God's redeeming love. These schools depend chiefly for their support on the annual charity sermon. They receive no aid now from the Kildare Place Society, not from any disinclination on the part of the Society to give relief, but from its inability to do so. I can testify that these schools are carefully and diligently attended to by the respected clergymen of this parish ; but I can tell you from experience, that the greatest exertion on the part of the minister of any parish is neutralized by the apathy of the parishioners, and that unless his hands are held up by the countenance and support and contributions of those who are committed to him in the Lord, things cannot go on as they should. I leave now the cause in your hands ; may God dispose you to give as he has blessed you, fully aware, that if God inclines your heart, you will give cheerfully and generously.

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