I. Shew in what manner we are to hear the word
1. Consider well the matter or import of what is spoken.
2. Attend to the truth and propriety of what is delivered.
3. Consider the weight and importance of what is delivered.
4. Consider the personal concern you have in the truths delivered.
II. The motives which should induce us well to consider what we hear
1. Think, in whose name the ministers of the gospel speak, and whose person they represent.
2. Consider the great end they aim at in their ministrations.
3. By the word that we hear we shall be judged at the last day.
(1) We may learn from hence, how just God will appear in the destruction of thoughtless and careless sinners.
(2) We see what it is that supports faithful ministers in their work, and prevents their sinking into despondency, - the hope that God may lead some of their hearers to serious reflection, who have hitherto been careless.
(3) While we labour to exhort, we would also add our fervent prayer, that our instructions and exhortations may not be in vain.
What stubborn wretches, Lord, are we!
Unmoved by all the joys of heaven,
Unawed by endless misery.
With what a base contempt we treat
Thy threat’nings and thy promises!
Duty neglect, and mercy slight,
Nor fear t’offend, nor seek to please.
Could angels weep, they’d weep for us;
Break thou these rocky hearts, O God!
O let us melt beneath thy grace,
Nor feel the terrors of thy rod!