Page:A New England Tale.djvu/24

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passed their arms around her, and led her to her home.

The clergyman of ——— was one of those, who are more zealous for sound doctrine, than benevolent practice; he had chosen on that occasion for his text, “The wages of sin is death,” and had preached a long sermon in the vain endeavour of elucidating the doctrine of original sin. Clergymen who lose such opportunities of instructing their people in the operations of providence, and the claims of humanity, ought not to wonder if they grow languid, and selfish, and careless of their most obvious duties. Had this gentleman improved this occasion of illustrating the duty of sympathy, by dwelling on the tenderness of our blessed Lord when he wept with the bereaved sisters at the grave of Lazarus: had he distilled the essence of those texts, and diffused their gracious influence into his sermon—“Bear ye one another's burthens;” “Weep with those who weep;” “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these, ye have done it unto me;”—had his preaching usually been in conformity to the teaching of our Saviour, could the scene have followed, which it is our business to relate?

We fear there are many who think there is merit in believing certain doctrines; who, mistaking the true import of that text, “by grace are ye saved,” quiet themselves with having once in their lives passed through what they deemed conviction and conversion, and from thence believe their salvation is secure. They are like the barren fig-tree;