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appears of their character and circumstances, we can never believe they would have attempted to deceive us; or if they had, that they could have gained credit in the world; yet they did gain it in a remarkable manner; therefore the facts they attested are true. And the truth of the Gospel evidently follows from the certainty of these facts, and is much confirmed by what has happened in the world since the first publication of it.

I shall conclude what I have to say on this subject with a few words by way of reflection.

1. Let us gratefully acknowledge the divine goodness, in favouring us with so excellent a revelation, and confirming it to us by such an ample evidence. We should be daily adoring the God of nature, for lighting up the sun, that glorious, though imperfect image of his own' unapproachable lustre, and appointing it to gild the earth with its various rays, to cheer us with its benign influences, and to guide and direct us in our journeys and our labours. But how incomparably more valuable, is that dayspring from on high which has visited us, that Sun of Righteousness which is risen upon us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace ? Oh Christians, (for I now address myself to you, whose eyes are so happy as indeed to see, and

your ears as to hear,) what reason have you for daily and hourly praise ! when your minds are delighted with contemplating the riches of Gospelgrace, when you view, with wonder and joy, the harmonious contrivance of our redemption, when you feel the burden of your guilt removed, the freedom

of your address to the throne of grace encouraged, and see the prospect of a fair inheritance of eternal glory opening upon you; then, in the pleasing transport of your souls, borrow the joyful anthem of the Psalmist, and say, with the humblest gratitude and self-resignation, “God is the Lord, who hath given us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar." Adore God, who first commanded light to shine out of darkness, that, by the discoveries of his word, and the operations of his Spirit, he has shined in your hearts, to give you the knowledge of his glory, as reflected from the face of his Son. Let us all adore hiin, that this revelation hath reached us, who live in an age and country so distant from that in which it first

appeared; while there are to this day, not only dark corners, but regions of the earth, which are full of the habitations of idolatry and cruelty.

Let me here peculiarly address myself to those whose education and circumstances of life have given them opportunities of a fuller inquiry into the state of those ancient or modern nations, that have been left merely to the light of unassisted reason; even to you, sirs, who are acquainted with the history of their gods, the rites of their priests, the tales, and even the hymns of their poets, (those beautiful trifles,) nay, I will add, the reasonings of their sagest philosophers, all the precarious, and all the erroneous things they have said, where religion and immortality are concerned. I have sometimes thought that God gave to some of the most celebrated Pagan writers that uncommon share of genius and eloquence, that they might, as it were, by their art, embalm the


monsters of antiquity; that so succeeding ages might see, in a more affecting view than we could otherwise have done, how weak the human mind is in its best estate, and the need which the greatest as well as the meanest of mankind have, of being taught by a revelation from above. Permit me to remind you, that while you are daily conversing with such monuments as these, (as I know some of you are,) and are also surveying the evidences of Christianity in a larger and more distinct view, than it was proper for me here to propose them, you are under peculiar obligations, to be very thankful for the Gospel yourselves, as well as to compassionate the case of those to whom it has never been offered, or by whom it is slighted. And this leads me to another reflection :

2. What reason have we to pity those, who reject this glorious Gospel, even when they have opportunities of inquiring into its clearest evidences ?---Such undoubtedly there are in our own age and nation; and surely we should sometimes bestow a compassionate thought upon them, and lift up an humble prayer for them: if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are now led captive by him at his plea

We should pity Heathens and Mahometans, under their darkness and errors; but how much more deplorable is the case of those, who, though they dwell in Emmanuel's land, and in the valley of vision, turn it into the valley of the shadow of death, by closing their eyes against so bright a lustre, and stopping their ears against the voice of the charmer! They are indeed in their own conceit the only people,



and wisdom will die with them; so that to be sure they will scorn our pity; but who can forbear it? Is there a more melancholy thought than this, that the Son of God should have done so much to introduce and establish the Gospel, and his Spirit so much to perpetuate and increase its evidence, and that, after all, it should be contemptuously despised, even by creatures who are perishing without it? That the blessed Jesus, instead of being received with open arms as the great deliverer, should either be treated as an empty name, or, if acknowledged to be a real person, should then be represented as a visionary enthusiast, or a wicked impostor; for there is no other alternative ! and this, not only (though I believe most frequently,) by men of profligate and abandoned lives, but sometimes by persons of external morality and decency, of great humanity and sweetness of temper, (for such I know are to be found amongst them,) as well as men of wit and genius, of politeness and learning, of human prudence and experience in affairs. I I may also add, that it is the case of some, who were the children of pious parents, who were trained up in religious exercises, who once discovered serious impressions, and gave very encouraging hopes. Alas, whither are they fallen! And whither have we reason to fear they will at length fall! How shall we shelter those that were once our brethren, that are perhaps still our friends, from the awful sentence which the Gospel denounces against all that reject it, without any exception? As to the wretches, that add insult and derision to their infidelity, I tremble to think of that load of guilt which they are bringing on themselves, and how near they approach to the unpardonable sin, if they have not already committed it.

For the rest, who behave in a more modest and sober manner, it will no doubt be a very difficult task to convince them; and so much the rather, as some of them, by too easy a transition, have renounced many of the most important principles of natural religion, nay, I might add, even the whole of it, together with the Christian revelation. But the influences of divine grace are almighty; let us recommend them to these, and omit no other proper method, either of recovering those who are already seduced, or at least of securing those who are not yet infected, but may be (as most of the youth are, especially in the most populous places) in imminent danger of the contagion. To this end let me add,

3. How reasonable is it, that Christians should form a familiar acquaintance with the great evidences of our own common faith. It is what we so apparently.owe to the honour of God, to the interest of Christ, to the peace of our own souls, and the edification of others, that I hope I need not urge it at large; especially considering what was said in the introduction to these discourses.

In consequence of all, let it be your care to make the evidences of Christianity the subject of your serious reflections, and of your frequent converse: especially study your Bibles, where there are such marks of truth and divinity to be found, that I believe few that have familiarly known them, and have had a relish for them, were ever brought to make shipwreck of the faith as it is in Jesus. Above all, let it be your care to act on the rules which are here laid down ;


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