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But here let it be seriously remembered, that the works of nature are insufficient to display the whole character of God.-In creation and providence we trace his existence, and some of his perfections: it remains for divine Revelation alone, that blessed book the Bible, to set him forth in his full character. It is our exhortation, therefore, always to unite the book of Revelation with that of Nature. Thus will a train of the most useful meditations constantly present themselves, connected with clear views of the real character of the Almighty.
Lastly, if the character of God, as it is revealed in the works of nature, agrees with that which is revealed of him in the scriptures, let us endeavour to embrace him for our God, as he is represented in both. In contemplating the things of nature, we evidently perceive that his mercy is over all his works. Still, however, as we have offended against the Law of nature, we cannot but feel apprehensions that a future reckoning for these offences is designed, and that, that reckoning may prove awful beyond imagination. But in his revealed word, we learn that “mercy and truth have met together—that righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Here, we see that God is reconciled to returning sinners, through the sufferings and atonement of his own Son. Every page in the book of Nature points out the goodness of God as it is exercised in this world ; but every page in the Bible displays kindness and love, which will be extended through the countless ages of eternity. Yes, here we learn, that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Exhilirating information indeed! Who could ever have supposed, that such good news should be sent from the realms of light, to us offending rebels ? O come, my dear fellow-sinners! come and seek, with humility and faith, to have this God in heaven for your God, and portion for ever, through the merits of his crucified Son. Be assured he compassionately interests himself in your eternal welfare. To promote it, he has done that which is calculated to give you the utmost encouragement in seeking him. Why then should you delay? Why should any be backward to embrace by faith such a gracious and merciful God? Let me indulge the pleasing hope, my fellow-sinners, that you will not any longer disregard this your best friend. May I not expect that you will instantly seek the influences of his Holy Spirit, to enable you to become his willing and obedient people, and to embrace that redemption, which has been purchased for sinners, at the price of the blood of his
own Son; so that, both here and hereafter, you may join in celebrating the praises of him, “ for whose pleasure you are and were created ?"
TRUTH of the SCRIPTURES
PSALM CXIX.--VERSE 160.
Thy word is true from the beginning.
N every place where the important and interesting truths of the bible are unknown, the most awful ignorance of God and a future state prevails, and almost every species of iniquity is habitual. Indeed, in our own highly privileged country, what vague and confused ideas of religion, what levity of conduct, and what marks of profaneness, do those persons exhibit, whose minds are not enlightened by the Holy Scriptures ! Hence the desirableness and necessity of a revelation from God are strikingly evident. The reasonableness also of expecting such a dispensation from him, it is presumed, will be allowed, by all who believe that he regards and loves his creatures.
It need not be remarked, that we, as Christians, profess to enjoy this blessing. Adored be a gracious providence ! we are favoured with that sacred Book, which exhi. bits the marks of divine wisdom in every page.;--which defies the united energies of infidelity to invalidate its truth;-andwhich, the enlightened Christian hesitates not to say, will in due time triumph over all opposition, and fill the world with its glorious effects. It is, therefore, a pleasing exercise, my dear brethren, to attempt to confirm your minds in the belief of these sacred Oracles. It cannot, indeed, be expected, that the confined limits of a single discourse will afford an opportunity of treating the subject, in that full and satisfactory manner, which its importance demands ; yet, it is hoped, the evidence that shall be advanced, will prove sufficiently conclusive to every unprejudiced mind.
1. The evidence arising from the testimony of authors contemporary with the sacred penmen shall be first stated. Our scriptures not only bear the marks of authenticity in themselves, but are also confirmed and established, by the testimony of many ancient and creditable writers. Saveral of those who lived in the times of the Jewish Prophets, might be mentioned, were it deemed necessary. But since the New Testament