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A DISCOURSE, &c.

ROMANS VIII. 19-23.

19. For the earnest expectation of the Creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

THOSE of my audience, who have attended the previous Lectures of this Course, must now be aware, that the future, personal, and glorious reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth is one of “ those things, which are most surely believed among us." A preliminary difficulty, however, may have occurred to their minds, namely, that any such expectation is not easily reconciled with the prevailing ideas respecting the final state of the righteous, and, in particular, regarding the utter destruction of man's present dwelling-place, if not also of the surrounding suns, moons, and stars, at the second "glorious appearing of the great God, even our Saviour." common imagination,” says an eloquent living divine-who, we trust, in spite of his eloquence, will be allowed to have some rational views of Biblical interpretation—the common imagination,” says Dr. Chalmers, “that we have of Paradise, on the other side of death, is that of a lofty aerial region, where the inmates float in ether, or are mysteriously suspended upon nothing—where all the warm and sensible accompaniments, which give such an expression of strength, and life, and colouring, to our present habitation, are attenuated into a sort of spiritual element, that is meagre, and imperceptible, and utterly uninviting to the eye of mortals here below-where every vestige of materialism is done away, and nothing left but unearthly scenes that have no power of allurement, and certain unearthly ecstasies, with which it is felt impossible to sympathize.'

66 The

Now, my hearers, it must needs be confessed at the outset, that, if these monkish frenzies are to be venerated as your only true spiritual orthodoxy, then the Society, at whose invitation we are met here this evening, is most grievously heterodox. And as all the members of that Society are, at the same time," members of evangelical churches in good and

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regular standing,” (Note E,) it is certainly incumbent on them to render their reasons for “the hope that is in them," but which to many of their brethren seems so questionable. The Perpetuity of the Earth has, accordingly, been selected as the subject of discussion to-night.

And now, in fulfilling this design, let

me

I. In the first place, ask your earnest attention to the Scripture just read, where we shall find the truth, which is elsewhere commonly taken for granted, most emphatically asserted.

II. We shall confirm the results of this exegesis by other collateral testimonies of Holy Writ.

III. We shall notice objections, and may the gracious Spirit of the Master grant us all an understanding mind, and a docile heart, in the study of His own Word!

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