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our poor heads can fully comprehend. Such would do well to confider the judicious direction a learned Jew*; "In every inquiry which is refolved by reafoning, inferring one thing from another, if it agrees with the dictates of revelation, we fay of it, it is a rightly regulated fearch, because, what we conclude from it, agrees with revealed truth. And here we have in our hands, two lights, the light of Scripture, and the light of our own understanding; but if what we gather by reasoning is not agreeable to the dictates of revelation, then we must own that we cannot get to the bottom of the matter by mere human fagacity, and we must by faith receive what revelation declares: Had it been pofible for human understanding to have taken in every thing fully and completely, there had been no need of a revelation; but for this end was a divinely inspired revelation afforded us, that we may gain fome knowledge of those things, which we cannot attain by the light of our own underftanding: Befides, this revelation is backed with the figns and wonders which sometimes altered the very course of nature, that men may know that deep fecrets are revealed, though it may furpass the comprehenfion of human understanding."-"The defign of revelation was not to destroy our reafon, but to improve it; and though it makes known to us things, which we never could have found out, and which, after they are revealed, we cannot fully comprehend, yet it never contradicts right reason: So that it is a great weakness in any to infinuate, that we are not to use our reafon in searching into divine things; it is alfo a most intolerable piece of arrogance, for us to make our shallow understanding the fole judge about things which are the proper province of faith. It would be very strange if creatures who are of yesterday, and in comparison know nothing, fhould have a liberty to arraign as folly, what the ANCIENT OF DAYS, a God of wisdom and truth, has revealed, when there is that in the most inconfiderable works of nature, which never has been accounted for, by all the fearches into natural fecrets from the beginning, and we may venture to fay never will be, by all who come after themt."

From hence then it follows, that there could not but be mysteries in the revelation of the Gospel of Christ. If we

* Rabbi Elias Ben Moses, a Karaite of Constantinople, in a manuscript Treatise, quoted by M. Triglandt, Dissert. de Karaio, b. 153, who lived toward the end of the fifteenth century.

† Abraham Taylor's Treatise on Saving Faith, Part iii. p. 174.

confider the nature of God, and our fcanty conceptions, we must confefs that myfteries are unavoidable. "Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know*?" Sin has fo debafed the mind, and drawn fuch a veil of ignorance over the faculties of the foul, that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But we may venture to affert that had man remained in his original purity, and his mind retained its original expanfion, he could not have comprehended the Deity, for angels desire to look into these things, and they learn of the church the manifold wisdom of God. If the mighty God behoves to speak to his creature, and to give a revelation of himself there must neceffarily be mysteries attending it; nay, this circumftance may be confidered as a collateral proof that the revelation came from God, in that it contains fome things above human reason.

"The more of wonderful

Is heard in him, the more we should affent;
Could we conceive him, God he could not be :
Or, he not God, or we could not be men.

A God alone can comprehend a Godt."


Let thefe confiderations imprefs on our mind a holy reve⚫rence of God. Every thing we hear and know of God is myfterious. Therefore we thould tremble at the most dif tant idea of arraigning the fovereign Judge of the Universe to our bar, or call in queftion thofe declarations he has made in his word. And let the humble Chriftian look forward to that day when all the myfteries of nature, of providence, and grace, fhall begin to be unfolded. Such a day there will be; and it will be no fmall part of the delightful employment of eternity to unravel thefe myfteries, and trace the wifdom, the juftice, and the love, which pervade every part of the divine conduct towards his covenant


* Job, xi. 7, 8.

t1 Cor. ii. 14.


When the hearers of Epictetus said to him, “ Sir, you uttered many excellent things of God, but we cannot as yet understand WHAT HE IS," he replied, "Were I able fully to set forth God, I should either be a God myself or God himself would cease to be what he is.”

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And while we are fojourners here below, furrounded with many a dark cloud, and encountering many a diftreffing providence; while we here know but in part, and fee through a glass darkly: let us blefs God that we have the Bible in our hands, which is a light shining in a dark place, to which we shall do well to take heed. And when the fublimity of the myfteries of godlinefs puzzles and perplexes our mind, let us fay,

"But, O my foul, if truths fo bright
Should dazzle and confound thy fight,
Yet ftill his written will obey,

And wait the great decifive day."



SINCE I am only a creer world, and as, upon my leaving it, I must be fixed in a state of unfpeakable happiness, or remedilefs ruin, it behoves me ferioufly and attentively to confider what ground I have to hope or expect I fhall escape the mifery of hell, and obtain the blifs of heaven. I am informed, by an unerring book, that by nature I am a child of wrath, that I fell in my firft parent Adam (who was the head and reprefentative of the whole human race), and thereby became obnoxious to the curfe and vengeance of a righteous fin-hating God; and, indeed, I have given demonstrative proof of the corruption and depravity of my nature, by repeatedly committing actual tranfgreffions. The fame divinely infpired, and, confequently, infallible book further informs me, that except I am born again, I cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. My nature must be renewed; a divine change must be effected; the current of my foul must be turned; in fhort, I must become a new creature, or I can never dwell with a holy God. Now, if this be the cafe, let me knock at the door of my heart, and inquire of conscience, God's vicegerent within, whether or not I have had any experience of fuch a change, and examine if its effects are vifible in my life and converfation; and may God help me to be fincere and impartial in this truly important and momen

INCE I am only a creature of a day, born to exist but a

tous concern.

1. Have I ever been convinced of the evil nature of sin, as being utterly contrary and infinitely odious to a holy and jutt

God? Have I ever felt the burden, groaned under the weight or ardently longed for deliverance from fin; and has the confequence of all been the forfaking of it?

2. Have I been led, under a deep fenfe of my own vileness, and utter inability to help or fave myfelf, to the Lord Jefus, the finner's friend and only Saviour; Have I been enabled by a divine faith to lay hold upon him; and to receive him as my wifdom, righteoufnefs, fanctification, and redemption? Is Chrift precious to me in all his offices? Do I fee a peculiar fuitablenefs in him? Am I willing to renounce all for him, to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him, through evil as well as good report, regardless of the fcoff of infidels or the ridicule of the ungodly? Do I walk in the way of his commandments and ordinances, and pant after more conformity to his image? Is it my earnest defire not only to get to heaven, but also to glorify Christ upon earth? Do I love all who bear the Saviour's image, notwithstanding many of them may differ from me as to the circumstantials of religion; and is it my fincere wish to be inftrumental in promoting his intereft? If I am totally unacquainted with these things, which are all Scripture evidences of a work of grace upon the foul, I am yet in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity, under the curfe of a violated law, and my state is not a moment to be rested in. But if, on the contrary, I know fomething of these matters by experience, and bear thefe evident marks of one truly regenerated, let me call upon my foul, and all that is within me, to praife and blefs the Lord for his diftinguishing goodnefs towards me the most unworthy of his creatures; in felecting me from an ungodly world, dead in trefpaffes and fins; in quickening my lifelefs foul; and in enabling me in the day of his power to flee for refuge to the hope fet before me in the everlafting Gofpel.-Let me adopt the language of the evangelical Prophet, "O Lord! I will praise thee : Though thou waft angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me."



HE death of Chrift is a fubject of the firft magnitude, Tand unspeakably interefting de the children of men.


is fuited to all perfons, feafons, and circumstances. Young and old, rich and poor, the healthy and the afflicted, will find it a profitable fubject; not only on Good Fridays and facraVOL. I.


mental occafions, but likewife all the year round, and all their lives long. It affords the choiceft delight in profperity, and the best confolation in adverfity. It is the grand pillar that fupports the church militant, and the fweet theme which will for ever be fung by the church triumphant. It occupied the deep counfels of heaven from eternity, and may well employ the fongs of the redeemed to eternity. To make known the cause, the nature, and the fruits of the death of Christ, is the chief glory of the Bible. Savingly to know them, is the highest honour, glory, and felicity of man. God forbid faid the great Apoftle of the Gentiles, that I fhould glory, fave in the crofs of our Lord Jefus Chrift. If the selfrighteous Jews of old efteemed it scandal, and the philofophic Greeks, like fome of our moderns, accounted it foolifhnefs, the reafon is not its meannefs, but their blindness. Souls enlightened from above, have always beheld in it a glory utterly unfpeakable. An event fo wonderful and aftonishing did never before, nor ever will again happen in the world. On this occafion, the earth quaked, the graves opened, the rocks were rent, and the fun was darkened. Preparatory and fubfervient to this all-important event, were the rife, the revolutions, and the decline of all preceding empires and monarchies. Every thing that happened in the world, is to be confidered as leading to it, and making way for it. All hiftory, except as it relates to this, fays M'Laurin," is but a hiftory of trifles or confufions, dreams, and vapours of fick-brained men." To this, all the faints under the Old Teftament difpenfation looked forwards, and on it erected their lively hopes; and believers, ever fince its accomplishment, have looked back to it, as the grand fource of all their comforts here, and better hopes above.

Man's inattention to this fubject is folly in the extreme. How very far are fuch men from doing the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven, where the angels are defiring to look into the wonders and glories of the cross, and where the spirits of just men made perfect chuse it as the delightful burden of their everlasting fong! There are many and weighty reafons, not yet mentioned in this paper, to excite the moft ferious and devout attention to the death of Jefus Chrift. In it we find the fubftance of the ancient types, and must own that, in reference hereto, they had a fignificancy in them, worthy the infinite wifdom by which they were inftituted: Whereas, confidered apart, and in themselves, they would appear cruel, lavish, and unmeaning. But it is not only the fubftance of the types and fhadows;

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