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said to this effect, that it is the testimony of Jesus Christ to the divine law, grounded on the eternal and unalterable difference between right and wrong, as it exists in the nature of things, and is viewed by God. But if on this, or on any similar abstract definition, the subject should be rested, a very small proportion of the importance of it will be realized and felt, com. pared with what might be expected, in case we should trace out its peculiar qualities, and its tendency, and the effects of its operation,

If this part of the subject can be managed advantageously, if we can follow truth in the paths marked out by the great Master of Assemblies, it is hoped we shall go away more convinced, more humbled, more deeply penetrated with the truth, and with more carnest solicitude to know it as it is in Jesus Christ our Lord, than when we convened.

Shall we then behold in the light of God's word, the truth, which Jesus has disclosed, in its nature, in its tendency, and in the effects of its operation. And

1. Truth is enlightening.

Jesus Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the ending, and every cope stone of truth, is represented in the scripture, by way of eminence, and with peculiar emphasis, the enlightener of the world. John his forerunner speaks of him in these words. • In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not. That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Simeon a just and devout man, and one who waited for the consolation of Israel has given us the same testimony. "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.' David tells us, that • the commandment of the Lord,' by which is meant; truth, is pure, enlightening the eyes. It is the nam

ture of truth to enlighten. This will appear abun. dantly evident by marking the vestages and course it has taken. Those to whom the oracie of truth was first committed were enlightened far beyond those who were enveloped in heathenism. A comparative view of the nations of the world, from the first dawn of light shed forth by the son of righteousnes af. fords complete demonstration on this point. As early as the patriarchal age, we discover remarkable disparity between the nations which were given over to heathenism, and the few who were favored with the light of divine truth. While the Israelites to whom God gave the special communications of his mind, worshipped the one living and true God, the nations round about them, were begotted to the most abominable idolatry. They defied not only the hosts of heaven, but offered sacrifices to Gods of wood and of stone, and even creeping reptiles and fouls of the air. In this early period, the Egyptians prided themslves as superior to their neighbors; but their boast. ed fame was none other than an imaginary greatness. Magic was the principal acquisition to which their ambition aspired. In moral sentiment they were shrouded in midnight gloom. Call up to your recollection, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and look among their heathen cotemporaries for their equals, and do you find them ? God had selected a people to be peculiarly his own, to whom he unfolded some pages of truth, which, though obscured by intervening clouds, so enlightened them, as to give decided ascendency to them, in point of correct information, over all the nations of the earth.

If from the patriarchal age we move farther down, the line of destinction between those God had undertaken to instruct, and those who were given over to their bewildered imaginations, gradually magnifies. As God discovered more of truth, so his people became more enlightened. One Israelite spiritually

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taught, in the truth outshone the whole heathen world combined. The collected wisdom of the Babylonian monarchy, fell as far short of the wisdom of Daniel, as a dim taper is beneath the unclouded sun. The light of his mind was confessed as a prodigy by three of the greatest and most splendid monarchs, who ever ascended the eastern throne. The illumination of that wonderful man was the effect of truth taught him by the Lord God Almighty. Detached from this qusition, he was no more than another man.

When Jesus made his discent he opened an immense treasure of truth to the world and demonstrat. ed this fact, that truth is enlightening. Enlightened by Jesús from whom truth shone with unborrowed lustre, and shed its genial rays, a few plain men whose acquired abilities were inferior to no small proportion of their cotemporaries confounded the boasted wisdom of the great and honorable of the earth. During Christ's ministry and the apostolic age, there was such an astonishing disclosure of truth, that in a short time its cheeringinfluence had extended through the greater part of the Roman empire. The shades of heathenish superstition and false philosophy were chased away by the irradiating beams of that immense combination of truth reflected by Jesus upon a benighted world, and on subjects of everlasting importance. Heathen temples and worship side by side with Christian assemblies stood abashed and dwindled into contempt. The-votaries of Pagan divinities awakening from delusion, revolted in crouds from the shrines of superstition, to the courts of the living God. Concurring here with the celebrated Mosheim, very elegantly and justly observes.*

“ Jesus, being ascended into heaven, soon shewed his aflicted disciples, that though invisible to mortal eyes, he was still their omnipotent protector and their

Vol. 1st, chap. 4.

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