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the most satisfactory evidence both of its truth and utility. For he finds it a provision for all the wants which he previously felt. And if it discovers to him more extensive views of his own guilt and danger, and of the perfections and requirements of God, it does but discover that, of which he allows the justice and the propriety. And in proportion as he is thereby more humbled before his God, he also derives more abundant consolation from his word, and exercises a more confirmed confidence in his promises. And thus, being made perfect in love, and growing in grace and holiness, he waits for the hope of righteousness by faith.
The same meetness for heaven is attainable by all, and is necessary for all. But we must "give earnest heed to the things which we hear," if we are to "live and grow thereby." The same arguments which have convinced so many of the truth and of the importance of our religion, are still sufficient to satisfy us. And we must be content to receive the Gospel as it is offered to us, neither dissatisfied because of the absence of any evidence which we may suppose ought to have been furnished, nor objecting to the doctrines which are revealed by it. Our Lord referred the Jews to the witness of their own Scriptures; but he declared that "if they heard not Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded
though one rose from the dead". He declared that, while some cavilled at the character in which the Baptist appeared, and others at his own, "wisdom would be justified of all her children "." And assuredly, though "the Jews required a sign, and the Greeks sought after wisdom," we can shew that each of those demands was unreasonable, if they were made in any view which disposed them to a rejection of the Gospel. For it is most abundantly demonstrable, that "Christ crucified is both the power of God, and the wisdom of God."
But if we allow the evidence, and value, and necessity of the Gospel, let us not remain in ignorance of what is thereby revealed. We not unfrequently meet with some, even in a Christian country, who have had such opportunities, and have arrived at such an age, that, "for the time, they ought to be teachers; yet who have need to be taught again, which be the first principles of the oracles of God." That ignorance is sometimes openly avowed; and those who make the avowal sometimes even appear to be proud of it. Yet a young Athenian would have been ashamed to be thought so ignorant with respect to the philosophical systems of his age and city. Nay,
a Luke xvi. 31.
b Matt. xi. 19.
1 Cor. i. 24.
would not many among ourselves be ashamed to be thought ignorant of the laws, and literature, and science of our own country, who are yet negligent of the doctrine, and precepts of Jesus? Yet there is a more important knowledge than any that relates to terrestrial objects; there is a teacher more divine, and of more authority than any that we can "call Master upon earth." He calls upon us to hear, and to believe in him ; to repent, and follow him. He declares to us the authority with which he is invested, and the responsibility which rests upon ourselves." All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned.”
We have to conjure you, therefore, by the dignity of him, whom the Father sanctified, and sent into the world, by the miracles which he wrought, by the prophecies which he fulfilled,by the greatness of the salvation which he purchased, by the promises, and by the terrors of the Lord,-by the shortness of life, and the approaches of death, by the realities of eternity, and the inestimable value of your immortal souls-that you "turn not away from him that speaketh from heaven."-If we have at all increased your ad
Matt. xxiii. 10.
miration of the beauty and comprehensiveness of the word of God, from whence we have drawn, and ever shall draw, our arguments and representations, if we have disposed you to peruse it more frequently and attentively,-if we have been able to strengthen your conviction of its truth, to impress you with a sense of its importance, and to persuade you to a compliance with its dictates -our labours will not have been in vain. And if those, who are able, will defend the Gospel against its adversaries, and turn to righteousness those that profess it,-and if all that profess and call themselves Christians,' will adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour by a sober, righteous, and godly life, "endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,”—then will our heavenly Father be glorified. Our Saviour will then "see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied;"--and we shall one day be “with him, and behold his glory."