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I have nothing to lose. Yes, if men of opulence lose their property, you will lose your employment. You have also a cottage, and perhaps a wife and family, with whom, amidst all your hardships, you live in love : and would it be nothing to you to see your wife and daughters abused, and you yourself unable to protect them, or even to remonstrate, but at the bazard of being thrust through with the bayonet ? If no other considerations will induce us to protect our country, and pray to the Lord for it, our own individual and domestic comfort might suffice.
To this may be added, our interests as Christians, no less than as men and as families, are interwoven with the well-being of our country. If Christians, while they are in the world, are, as has been already noticed, under various relative obligations, it is not without their receiving, in return, various relative advantages. What those advantages are, we should know to our grief, were we once to lose them. So long have we enjoyed religious liberty in this country, that I fear we are become too insensible of its value. At present, we worship God without interruption. What we might be permitted to do under a government which manifestly hates Christianity, and tolerates it even at home only as a matter of policy, we know not. This, however, is well known, that a large proportion of those unprincipled men, in our own country, who have been labouring to overturn its constitution, have a deeprooted enmity to the religion of Jesus. May the Lord preserve us, and every part of the united kingdom, from their machinations !
Some among us, to wbatever extremities we may be reduced, will be incapable of bearing arms; but they may assist by their property, and in various other ways : even the hands of the aged poor, like those of Moses, may be lifted up in prayer ; while their countrymen, and it may be their own children, are occupying the post of danger. I know it is the intention of several whom I now address, freely to offer their services at this important period. Should you, dear young people, be called forth in the arduous contest, you will expect an interest in our prayers. Yes, and you will have it. Every one of us ; every parent, wife, or Christian friend, if they can pray for any thing, will importune the Lord of Hosts to cover your beads in the day of battle !
Finally: It affords satisfaction to my mind, to be persuaded, that you will avail yourselves of the liberty granted to you, of declining to learn your exercise on the Lord's day. Were you called to resist the landing of the enemy on that day, or any other work of necessity, you would not object to it; but, in other cases, I trust,
Render to Cosar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's.
JESUS THE TRUE MESSIAH.
[Delivered in the Jew's Chapel, Church Street Spitalfields, Nov. 19, 1809.}
PSALM xl. 6-8.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire : mine ears hast thou opened : burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
THOUGH I have preached the gospel between thirty and forty years, yet I do not recollect to have ever entered a pulpit with such feelings as at present. In respect of the subject, I feel it an honour to plead the cause of my Lord and Saviour; but I am not without apprehensions, lest it should suffer through my manner of pleading it. I must, therefore, intreat, that if any thing which may be delivered should be found to be improper, you would impute it, not to the cause, but to the imperfection of the advocate. I have also some peculiar feelings on account of the audience, part of which, I am given to understand, are of the house of Israel. I cannot help recalling to mind the debt we owe to that distinguished people. They have been treated with both cruelty and contempt by men professing Christianity; but surely not by Christians! To Vol. VII.
them, under God, we are indebted for a Bible, for a Saviour, and for all that we know of the one living and true God. Who, then, will not join me in the language of the Apostle ? Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved.
The passage on which I shall found what I have to offer, is in the 10th Psalm, the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou
opened: burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of ine: I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
No Christian can doubt whether the passage relates to the Messiah, seeing it is expressly applied to him in the New Testament ; and if a Jew should raise an objection, he will find it difficult, if not impossible, to give a fair exposition of it on any other principle. Who else, with propriety, could use the language here used ? Certainly, David could not. Whether the Messiah, therefore, be already come, as we believe, or be yet to come, as the body of the Jewish nation believes, it must be of his coming that the prophet speaks. The question at issue between them and us is, not whether the scriptures predict and characterize the Messiah ; but, whether these predictions and characters be fulfilled in Jesus?
That we may be able to judge of this question, let it be observ. ed, that there are three characters held up in the passage I have read, as distinguishing the Messiah's coming : viz. That the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Mosaic law would, from thence, be superceded; that the great body of scripture prophecy would be accomplished ; and, that the will of God would be perfectly fulfilled.
Let us calmly and candidly try the question at issue by these characters.
I, It is intimated, that, whenever the Messiah should come, THE SACRIFICES AND CEREMONIES OF THE MOSAIC LAW WERE TO BE SUPERCEDED BY HIM. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire :then said I, Lo, I come. I am aware that modern Jewish wri