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with regard to Divine revelation:-a subject to which we directed your attention in a former discourse. We ought, beyond all controversy, to exercise our reason, in determining the question, whether this book contains a revelation from God. This we must do, by an examination of the evidences, of various kinds, external and internal, by which its high claims are substantiated.-But suppose this great point fairly ascertained: what is the province of reason then? Is it not equally beyond controversy, that, on this supposition, the only rational conduct is implicit faith? Once ascertain the Scriptures to be "given by inspiration of God," and nothing can be more absurd, than to erect our reason into a standard of the truth or falsehood of what they contain. This would be to deify reason: to "exalt it above all that is called God, or that is worshipped." It would be to admit that the declarations of this book possess the authority of God, and, at the same time, to question and deny them on the authority of reason;-to question and deny them, that is, on our own authority; thus assuming to ourselves the arrogant office of censors on the dictates of infinite wisdom and infinite truth. -It is true, that the contents of this book ought to be examined, as forming what has been called the internal evidence of its Divine authority. If it could be shown to contain what was clearly contradictory, the discovery would be a proof, sufficiently convincing, of its not being from God. This, however, is firmly, and without qualification, denied. I am arguing, too, at present, on the supposition of its being acknowledged as a revelation from heaven. And I repeat, that for any man to profess to believe that the Bible is the word of God, and yet not implicitly to regulate his convictions by the question, "What saith the scripture?" is of all conduct the most unreasonable and inconsistent.
For my own part, so far from being staggered by finding
mysteries in revelation, I am satisfied, that the entire absence of them would have formed a much stronger ground for suspicion. All analogy excites and justifies the expectation of them. Nature, in its various departments, is full of them and shall we, then, account it strange, that there should be any in the department of grace? They abound in the works of God: why, then, should we not look for them in his word? They present themselves in the nature and constitution of every one of his creatures: and is it to be conceived, that in his own nature and essence, nothing of the kind should be found? Is it reasonable to think, that all should be plain and easily comprehensible, which relates to God himself, and that inexplicable difficulties should embarrass and stop our researches, only in what regards his creatures? Ought we not rather, on such a subject, to anticipate difficulties ?-to expect to feel the inadequacy and the failure of our faculties? -and to expect this, with a certainty proportioned to the superior magnitude of the subject above all others that can engage our attention, and its complete and absolute exclusion from the sphere of all our senses, and of all our experience? If finite things every moment confound us, ought we to be surprised at finding that we cannot comprehend what is infinite? Let us remember, my brethren, the apostolical lesson, and let it be our desire, that we may think, and feel, and act, on all subjects, and on all occasions, consistently with the principle and spirit of it: "I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, NOT TO THINK
OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK, BUT TO THINK SOBERLY.'
I shall conclude this Discourse with a single practical observation.
* Rom. xii. 3.
While the unity of the Godhead is proclaimed in the text, in terms fitted to impress the vast importance of the doctrine on the minds of the Israelites, they are admonished, with the same earnestness, to hear, and to retain in their remembrance, ́the DUTY which they owed to "Jehovah their God, the one Jehovah :"-" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."-This, according to the testimony of our Saviour himself, is "the first and great commandment:"* and it may be considered as the principle and sum of all the rest.—It is a righteous law: "holy, and just, and good." It finds a testimony in every conscience, that is not seared to utter insensibility.—But alas! it is a law which we have broken. "The carnal mind is enmity against God." And in the violation of this law, which respects the inward spring of all our conduct, is involved the breach, in their great principle, of all the other commandments of God.-We have not given to God the supreme, and affectionate, and practical homage of our hearts. In withholding it, we have sinned: and having sinned, we are justly condemned. This is the state in which the gospel finds us: this is the state, indeed, that renders the gospel necessary.The gospel is a manifestation of God's love to his enemies. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." It is the object of the gospel, to reconcile these enemies to God: to bring them to a participation of his pardoning favour and paternal love, and to the renewed exercise of love to Him. It is "the word of reconciliation:" and the ministry of it is "the ministry of reconciliation."-"Now then," says the apostle of the Gentiles, "we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech by us; we pray men in Christ's stead, Be ye
Matth. xxii. 37, 38.
+1 John iv. 10.
reconciled to God: for He hath made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."*-When a sinner, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, believes this testimony, and complies with this invitation, the enmity of his heart is subdued :-love to God, for what he is, and for what he has done, complacential and grateful love, takes possession of his soul: and, although mingled and polluted with the foul dregs of remaining corruption, it becomes the spring of his future conduct; emitting, in all directions, streams of the same nature with itself, although tainted proportionally with the same pollution. He is no longer "without law to God," but is "under the law to Christ." He lives to God. He has his fruit unto holiness, and his end everlasting life."
2 Cor. v. 19-21.
ON THE SUPREME DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST.
1 JOHN v. 20.
his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God."
IN last discourse, I endeavoured, from the words of Moses to the Israelites in Deut. iv. 4. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God, is one Lord," to illustrate the great doctrine of the Divine Unity.
After a few introductory remarks, on the unreasonableness of Deists in smiling, with scorn, at the diversity of sentiment amongst professed believers in revelation, while, in proportion to the limits of their own creed, a diversity no less striking is found to prevail among themselves; and also on some of the causes which may contribute to produce this difference of opinion, amongst those who agree in rejecting the Divine authority of the Bible :-I proceeded to consider a little, how far this important doctrine of the Unity of God, is entitled to be ranked among the articles of Natural Religion; and closed some desultory observations on this question, by remarking, that, whatever judgment we might form concerning it, no doubt whatever could exist, as to the doctrine under consideration being a prominent and essential article of revealed truth.
I then attempted to show, from a variety of passages, in the Scriptures both of the Old Testament, and of the New (the only source of information possessed by us on the subject), that in the Unity of the Godhead there are three