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from thence, and the intercourse the Jewish people successively had with the four great monarchies--the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman; by the prophets of GoD occasionally, by Jonah in particular at Nineveh; by Jeremiah, in Egypt; by Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego, and Zechariah, and the Church in captivity at Babylon; by the translation of the Scriptures of the Old Testament into Greek, which was at that time generally understood; and by various other means, till the blessed Apostles carried it accomplished to the remotest parts of the earth.
It is to this view of the sacred writings that I wish to open your eyes, to contemplate the JEHOVAH of the old covenant in the Redeemer of the new, and in the founder of Christianity, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, who had declared, that besides Him there was no Saviour. Every occurrence and every character in the scripture history was written for our instruction and example, and what, in the short detail of this discourse, could only be made subject of allusion, would, to a reflecting mind, furnish materials of thought, which would finally
center in Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. If the preservation of Noah in the ark be true, who shut the door of it, but He who is now calling the sinner to repentance, lest he outstay the day of grace, and the door of his Father's kingdom should be shut against Him for ever? Who released him from his imprisonment, and bade him tread securely upon a new world, but He who is to unbar the portals of the grave, and lead the family of the faithful to their new inheritance? Can we read of the Lord raining fire and brimstone from heaven upon the devoted cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, without thinking of Him, before whom, at his final judgment, is to go a consuming fire, when He shall visit in his anger the wickedness of those who dwell upon the earth; who alone is able, and has promised, to save us from the ruins of a burning world, and from those fires that never shall be extinguished; and who is now calling to every Christian, as He did to the faithful Lot, Haste, escape for thy life.
From the beginning to the end of all things the language of revelation has been one, the road to salvation the same-that as in Adam all
die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. On the right or the left of this path of faith all is darkness and error, and the multitudes who have wandered and perished, should be a warning to those who survive. We have much among us now of natural divinity and rational religion, which kindly take us out of the hands of the first and only instructor of mankind, to prove to us that there is a GOD, and a future state of retribution; and after carrying us to the bounds of immortality, leave us there without sanctification and without redemption, the only means of passing its barriers. Is our light, then, so dim at the completion of promise, that we want such guides? Is the covenant of mercy so little understood, as to need such explanations?
Those solemn assertions, I am the way, and the truth, and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father, but by me, shew us a life of grace, that no human reason can supply, and give us an hope in death, that nothing without Christ can afford. If we abandon Him, we abandon the only ground of true hope that ever was discovered to the world. Everlasting in his nature, his salvation must be for ever. He is
Jesus our Saviour, the sacrifice to purge our sins; He is JEHOVAH our Righteousness, to justify our persons. Whatever names are peculiar to Him throughout the prior dispensations, and which we may hereafter collect, they are all blended in our code of faith, in the beloved Son of God, who was to take away the sins of the world; who is the everlasting King of everlasting love and peace, whose mercies are everlasting, because He is everlasting. Like Abraham, therefore, may we obey his voice, and keep his charge, his commandments, his statutes, and his laws; and then we shall be called to sit down with Him in the kingdom prepared for us before the foundation of the world.
HEBREWS xi. 7.
By faith Noah, being warned of GOD of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith,
As far as we have hitherto pursued the object
of our enquiry, it has been to set before you, in the plain though prophetic language of scripture, the great doctrines of Christianity; to lead you to the true knowledge of your GoD and Saviour; to prove the stability of his mercy and faithfulness to his church and people, and that those whom He hath once loved, and was pledged to save, He will love and preserve to the end. But before we proceed to the distin