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sect. nign influence to all the children of men, iv. The day-spring from on high rises on the

unjust, as well as the juft. It at once invites finners to repentance and salvation, and diffuses a serene joy through the souls of the righteous. Nor is it designed, like the ancient systems of philosophy, for the rich alone; the poor also have the Gospel preached unto them. Its expressive symbol, baptism, aptly represents that spiritual regeneration, in which the blood of Christ washes us from all our fins, and initiates us into newness of life. And in its other solemn facrament, the Lord's fupper, we are all equally concerned, equally interested. Christ died for us all, yea rather is risen again from the dead, and for ever maketh intercession for us at the right hand of God. To all nations therefore does the memorial of his precious blood-thedding equally belong.

3. Its ritual

ticular church.

3. The ordinances of the Jewish church left to the were particularly specified, and minutely of each par- laid down. One temple and one form of

worship was appointed, for one selected people. But as the Christian church was designed to comprehend the whole globe, each separate nation was left at liberty to

efta

II.

establish a church and a ritual, independent CHAP. upon any other; provided only, that all things were done decently and in order. The grand outlines of our religion are marked out with precision and exactness by God himself; the intermediate spaces, the outward forms of prayer, and such ceremonies as are necessary for decency, are left to be filled up at the discretion of pious men lawfully appointed.

the various

the Law,

4. As the Jews were striatly required to

Requires wash before meat, and to abstain from divers internal puforts of food; Christians are commanded to position to be earnest in their pursuit after true holi- washings of nefs, and to refrain from the only real pollution, that of the heart and conversation. The kingdom of heaven in the soul of man does not consist of meats and drinks, and external purification ; but of love, joy, peace, and every other fruit of the Spirit.

5. Forbids di

5. The Law, for the hardness of men's hearts, permitted divorces, on every trivial vorces, exoccasion ; but the purity of the Gospel of adultery. utterly forbids such an abuse, and allows a separation only in cases of adulterya. The

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IV.

sect. disciples of Christ expressed their surprise

at this restraint; but the answer was, “ All “ men cannot receive this saying, save they “ to whom it is given.” Our Lord seems here to allude to the Christian church, when arrived at that degree of perfection, of which the Jewish was incapable. Accordingly, we now find this decision adopted as statute law in

every Christian country.

6. Forbids revenge.

6. Under the Mofaical dispensation a spirit, which bore the semblance of revenge, was permitted ;“ an eye for an eye, " and a tooth for a tooth :" but the milder genius of the Gospel of Christ breathes nothing but love and forgiveness. This disposition our blessed Lord places upon the best and the only solid foundation. « Be

ye merciful, as your Father also is merci

ful.In the prayer which he himself hath taught us, our forgiveness of others is made a term of God's forgiving us ; and we daily supplicate, that he would remit our trespasses, only as we remit those of our brethren. Upon the same principle we are commanded to pardon an offender, not until seven times, but until seventy times seven; not a particular number

of

of transgressions only, but an unlimited CHAP.

one.

II.

7. St. Paul's

between

Chrift,

7. The parallel, which St. Paul draws between Moses and our Saviour, is much parallel to the present purpose.

“Wherefore, holy Moses and “ brethren, partakers of the heavenly call

ing, consider the Apostle and High-Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was “ faithful to him that appointed him, as 66 also Moses was faithful in all his house. “ For this man was counted worthy of “ more glory than Mofes, inasmuch as he « who builded the house hath more ho

nour than the house. For every house “ is builded by fome man; but he that “ built all things is God. And Moses ve

rily was faithful in all his house, as a fervant, for a testimony of those things, “ which were to be spoken hereafter ; but " Christ as a Son over his own houses; “ whose house are we, if we hold fast the “ confidence and the rejoicing of the hope, « firm unto the end."

8.

8. In fine, the Christian religion may be

Chriftianity pronounced perfect in three several points perfect in of view. Whether we consider, that a way veral re

three le

fpects. b Heb. iii. 1.

sect. was prepared for it, by the sure word of iv. prophecy, both verbal and figurative, ex

actly fulfilled in this dispensation and its divine Author; and therefore proving, that it was predetermined by, and that it originated with, an all-wise God. Whether we call to recollection the numerous and wonderful miracles, wrought in attestation of its truth, at the time of its first promulgation, both by Christ and his Apostles ; miracles, which we cannot, without a mixture of blasphemy and absurdity, suppose that the Father of truth would have permitted to be wrought in confirmation of a falsehood; miracles, the real existence of which the bitterest enemies of Christianity, the Jewish priests, and the Pagan philofophers, never dared to deny, though they maliciously attributed them to demoniacal agency Or lastly, whether we examine the holiness of its doctrines, and the spirituality of its precepts, every way worthy of that God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.

Such is the mysterious plan of redemption, which was predetermined by the diyine wisdom, ere the foundations of the earth were laid. The fimplicity of the

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