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from the dictates of his own reason, but as immediately conveyed to him, from the source of light and truth--from God himself. “Whatsoever I speak, even as the Father said to me, so I speak.” 3. He delivered his doctrine, on many occasions, as the proper author of it, as one who had a right to propose the terms of salvation, in his own


say unto you, (is the formulary, with which he prefaces his momentous instructions)—“ He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day-Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Nay, he goes so far as to assert, expressly, “ that he hath life in himself, even as the Father hath life in himself,” and though he says at the same time, that he had this privilege given to him by the Father, and though he declares else where, “that as the Father had taught him, so he spake,” yet there is no contradiction in these affirmations, for he tells us plainly, “ All things that the Father hath, are mine, and I and the Father are one.' These three circumstances constitute the proper authority of Christ's doctrine. It was the authority of one, who spake from


conviction, who spake by the special ap. pointment of God the Father, who even spake by the virtue of his own essential right, from himself, and in his own name.

St. James, in the 4th chapter of his Epistle, informs us, that in the church of God “ there is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy,”—that is, Christ. Christ, therefore, being the only lawgiver in his church, the gospel, which contains his laws, must necessarily be the rule of faith, practice, and worship, to all, to whom it is made known. Whenever a rule of this nature is enjoined upon any man, the great question, naturally asked by him, is, by what authority am I required to conform to this rule ? In matters of conscience, even an illiterate man knows, that no being except God, has any right to prescribe to him rules of obedience-when God prescribes to him, the prescription is a law; when man prescribes to him, it is only advice ; but between law and advice, the difference, in this case, is infinite.

To believe a revelation which is clearly

and explicitly propounded to us from the supreme being, is so much an act of reason, and of homage to his holiness and sovereignty, that infidelity would be madness, and disobedience, treason. That the gospel, with all its preparations and appendages, is such a revelation, we have a series of evidences, and a cloud of witnesses, which nothing can resist. To obey the will of God, who is the eternal fountain and pattern of right and truth, who is also the creator and governor of the universe, must be the perfection and happiness of every reasonable being. The commands of God, delivered in the gospel, are holy, just, and good,” and experience shews them to be adapted to our condition, and productive of our welfare.

The conditions of salvation, proposed by the gospel, are, therefore, the very law of reason and nature, illustrated and improved by a heavenly teacher, enforced by his authority, recommended by his love, and by the promise of his eternal favour.

Yet, alas, when we turn our eyes to the annals of religious history, is it not distressing to see, under this last most enlightened dispensation of mercy, (which is, in the fullest sense of the word, calculated to correct the errors of man, and carry truth to every mind, that is open to receive it,) how large a multitude, entertaining opinions utterly inconsistent with the purity of the gospel, even at this day, Christendom contains ?

If it be asked, what is that subject, the power of contemplating which, is the proudest distinction of the human understanding ? I answer, the being and perfections of the -Deity. If it be asked, what is that subject, upon which the mistakes of man have been most numerous, and thrown the darkest blot upon his intellectual honour? I answer, his inadequate conception of the laws and dispensations of his God.

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If it be enquired what is that principle which is most eminently calculated, to animate the social virtue of man, and inspire into his breast the consoling expectation of a blessed immortality—to produce in him the faithful friend, the kind relative, the good peighbour, the patriot citizen, the useful

member of that community with which he is connected, and the fervent lover of mankind? What is it that is most excellently adapted to make him all that men admire, and all that society, wants ? I reply with readiness, and with pleasure, religion.

If it be enquired, what causes have most powerfully operated, to rob society of his services, have sequestered him from his fellow men, and frozen his social affections into the most torpid insensibility ; have buried his talents in the profoundest inactivity, have turned his humanity to the hardest stone, and have sullied his sword with the foulest stains ? I reply, with sorrow and with shame, errors in religion.

If it be said, as with truth it must be said, that there is no joy so sublime, no superiority to anxiety so serene, no sense of security, temporal and eternal, so tranquil, as that which religion inspires--with equal truth it may be said, that of all the melancholy, into which man has been ever plunged, the deepest has been religious melancholy,of all the excessive solicitudes, by which he

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