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THE

ONE THING NEEDFUL;

IN

SIX PRACTICAL DISCOURSES.

But one thing is needful.....LUKE X. 42.
Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which en.

dureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give un. to youum.JOHN VI. 27.

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PREFACE

To the inhabitants of the Frontier Settlements,

whose edification and salvation are most earnestly desired, Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

BELOVED BRETHREN,

I HAVE endeavored upon different occasions, and by different methods, as the Lord afforded opportunity, to direct your attention to the ONE THING NEEDFUL ; to convince you that the redemption of the soul is precious, infinitely precious ; and that this redemption can be secured only by improving the sufferings and mediation of Jehovah the Redeemer. A desire to promote this important end constrained me at first to prepare, and now to circulate among you the following discourses. No novelty of doctrine is studied ; those truths of the Holy Ghost are exbibited, which through his blessing have wrought mightily in all ages for the conversion, and sanctification, and salvation of souls. No elegance of manner is affected ; that language is employed which, with a humble dependance on the Lord the Spirit, appeared most calculated to instruct, and impress, and persuade." And my speech, and my preaching was not with en

ticing words of man's wisdom ; but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men ; but in the power of God.

The first discourse is intended to rouse the sinner from his security, and bring him to a consideration of his ways. The second is designed to preserve him from resting on false, unscriptural confidences ; on any other foundation than Christ Jesus the Lord —whom I have endeavored to exhibit in the third. The fourth is an attempt to illustrate the nature of that FAITH by which the sinner becomes interested in the Saviour, and «

grows up to the measure of the stature of his fulness." The fifth contains a variety of arguments urging all to close with this divinely gracious Redeemer without delay ; and the sixth is addressed more ime mediately to the young, recommending early religion, early acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, and union to his glorious person as their happiness, and interest, and honor. These plain, scriptural truths I not only entreat you in the bowels of our Lord Jesus, but admonish you by the majesty of his final appearing, affectionately to receive and diligently improve. If these be neglected or forgotten, not only the love of the Father in giving his Son, not only the love of Jesus in coming and suffering, but the very anxiety of ministers in publishing, and the liberality of christian friends in diffusing

them must aggravate your condemnation and woe.

You will readily observe that a crucified Jesus is kept constantly in view throughout these discourses ; because, if we are saved, he must be “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and ending” of our salvation. On this rock, Christ Jesus the Lord, in his atoning sacrifice, his everlasting righteousness, his covenant tulness-on this naked rock thy soul and mine must be founded, or there remains nothing but disappointment in life, and despair

in death, and damnation through eternity. That prayer inspired by the living God, and uttered by his holy apostle must receive its fearful accomplishment, “if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha,” accursed from his presence and kingdom. The Lord the Spirit forbid that this doom should overtake a single reader of these pages ; but in the riches of his grace may “he convince thee of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

That Christ may be formed in thee “ the hope of glory," and that thou mayst be enabled to walk intimately with him as thy righteousness, and strength, and consolation, is, beloved reader, the prayer of thy servant, for this Jesus' sake.

ALEX, PROUDFIT. Salem, January 9, 1804,

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