Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the obedience or disobedience, on which it was suspended. Nor is this the case only with a single prediction or set of predictions. The morality of scriptural prophecy is its uniform and characteristic feature. If ، If ye be willing ' and obedient,' (says every where the indignant prophet)'ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be 'devoured with the sword; for the mouth ⚫ of the lord hath spoken it.' If ye diligently 'hearken unto me,' (saith the lord,) to hallow 'the sabbath-day, to do no work therein, then 'shall there enter into the gates of this city

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

kings and princes, sitting upon the throne ' of David; and this city shall remain for ever.

[ocr errors]

'But if ye will not hear these words, I swear

by myself,' (saith the Lord,) 'shall become a desolation.'

[ocr errors]

that this house

And again, when

the course of history had determined the fulfilment of prophecy to the latter alternative, our lord, Jesus, thus confirms its voice, and bewails the obstinate disobedience, which had rendered the last infliction of its fatal sentence unavoidable. If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things,

[ocr errors]

'which belong unto thy peace! But now they

are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall 'come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast

a trench about thee, and compass thee around, ' and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay 'thee even with the ground, and thy children 'within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knew'est not the time of thy visitation.'

The state of the argument is therefore now in some measure altered. Before it was admitted, that the miracles and prophecies of scripture are divine; and it was thence inferred, that the precepts must be so likewise. But now the precepts of scripture themselves appear to bear the strongest impress of divinity upon them. They stand forward with the greatest prominence to our view; and all its miracles and prophecies appear to be dependent upon

them.

Observe then, brethren, what reason you have even in this short view of the case for believing, that all the commands of scripture are the commands of God! The bible consists of two parts, called the two testaments, one

being the recognised code of the Jews, the other the recognised code of the christians. Both are full of precepts, purporting to be the precepts of the lord. In both those precepts are confirmed by miracles. In both they are guarded by prophecies, according to which. the judgments of God attend a disregard of the precepts, and his blessing is promised to the observance of them. Moreover History attests, that these prophecies are no idle breath. Take the first judgment upon the first transgression! In sorrow thou shalt bring forth 'children.' Has not this sentence been executed? Or its counterpart! In the sweat ' of thy face shalt thou eat bread.' At what period of human existence has not the food of the species been moistened by the sweat of those, who have raised it? Look to the narrative of the flood! How fully was the divine word, which denounced it, as the threatened penalty of transgression, accomplished! Where now are Nineveh and Babylon, those mighty cities, which gave laws to the world? Their contempt of the divine law brought them within the censure of pro

phecy; and the fulfilment of prophecy is seen in their extermination. Of Egypt it is written

It shall be the basest of the kingdoms, 'neither shall it exalt itself any more above 'the nations; for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.' Has not history here been the very transcript of prophecy, and that, because the provocations of Egypt had brought upon it the ban of prophecy? But above all the history of the Israelites themselves, to whom the law of God was especially given, illustrates the supremacy of that law, which they have broken, and may convince us by a fearful example, daily before our eyes, that, where the word of God has given its command, it shall never want either prophecy for its herald, or miracles for its executioners.

Surely then there can be nothing, which it more nearly concerns us to know, than what is that law of God, which comes to us, so strongly authenticated; nor can we be at any loss, where to discover it, when we find the handwriting of God, so clearly impressed upon it in the bible.

If any thing, like this, could be pleaded on

behalf of the koran or shaster or any code of antichristian superstition, you might justly suspect error in the reasoning, and reject it, as a ground of confidence. But I believe it has never been attempted to produce a tissue of prophecy, of miracle, and of moral enactment, so strongly attested, so wonderfully combined, so reciprocally corroborated, in any work, except the bible. This is a threefold cord, of which it may be truly said, that it is not quickly broken; and, while it remains entire, the sanction of the divine law, revealed in the bible, is established, like a rock, which may not be removed, but standeth fast for

ever.

It is impossible therefore, as I said before, that we can stop here. We must be anxious to know, what is the law of God, so marvellously ushered in to our view, because we cannot but be sensible, that it is a law, to which we are bound to conform ourselves in every particular, and because all the miracles and prophecies of both testaments are SO many concurring proofs, that the divine

« AnteriorContinuar »