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of the world were all the assertion of St. Paul, that mountains levelled ; the “ the law had a shadow of valleys filled up ; the crook- good things to comel." and ed and rough places made again, that the instituted straight and plain ? But in meats and drinks, the holy the figurative sense all these days, new moons and sabthings were to be brought baths, of the law, are a to pass in the minds of men shadow of things to come, at the publication of the having their substance in gospel, when
“all flesh the doctrines and mysteries should see the salvation of of Christianity ; or, as the God k.” Then should the Apostle speaks, whose “body high and mighty of this is of Christm.” And thereworld be confounded and fore in the gospel things are brought low; the humble still described to us in the should be exalted, the meek terms of the law; the subencouraged, the crooked stance itself taking the lanways of men rectified, their guage of the shadow, that wild and rugged tempers the design of both may be softened and civilized. understood : as where the
The Bible has farther dif- Apostle saith, “Christ our ficulties arising from an- Passover is sacrificed for us, other principle. For it &c.",” from the application pleased God, for wise ends, of which term to the person to exercise the faith and of Christ, we are taught devotion of His people with under this one word of the a system of forms and cere- passover, that He is to us a monies, which had no value Lamb in meekness and innobut from their signification. cence of manners ; pure and I mention no particulars spotless from every stain of here, because they will oc- sin ; slain (and that withcur to us abundantly here out the breaking of His after : but the fact is un bones) for the redemption of doubted from that general His people from the wrath of the destroyer; and feed- disagreeable. When there ing with His body those is neither ear nor skill in who put away all leaven music, heavenly sounds give from their hearts.
n 1 Cor. y. 7.
Luke üi. 6.
1 Heb. x, 1.
m Col. ii. 17.
no delight; and with the But now, beside this first blind the beams of the sun difficulty, which we are 'give no beauty the under, of comprehending richest prospect. It is thus the matter of the Scripture in every other case of the from the peculiar manner
kind. The mathematician in which it is delivered, we and logician apply to the are under a second diffi- intuitive faculty of reason ; culty as to the receiving the poet to the imagination of it; without which our or mirror of the mind; the understanding of it will be orator to the sensibility of very imperfect, if any at the affections; the musician all. For the force of men's to the musical ear. The maminds is generally found to thematician demonstrates be according to their affec- nothing but to patient and tions; for which reason the attentive reason; to the imdisaffection of the Jew is agination which is dull the attended with a very con- poet is a trifler ; on the spicuous weakness of the hard and unfeeling heart understanding We may the orator makes no imlay it down as a certain pression ; and the sweetest truth, confirmed by the ex- music is referred to the class perience of all men, that of noises, where there is no when any object is ad- sense of harmony. Thus mitted into the mind, it when God speaks of things must find a faculty there which are above nature, His which corresponds with its meaning must be received own peculiar nature. When by a faculty which is not the there is no appetite, the gift of nature, but supersweetest meat is of no added to nature by the gift value, and even the sight of God Himself. For spiriand savour of it may be tual truth there must be a
spiritual sense ; and the sant style, and who seem Scripture calls this sense by to be in other respects the name of faith : which (within the sphere of their word sometimes signifies the affections) very sensible and act of believing ; sometimes ingenious persons. On what the matter which is be- other ground but that of lieved ; but in many pas- the scriptural distinction sages it is used for that between faith and natural sense or capacity in the reason, is it possible to acintellect by which the in-count for a fact which so visible things of the Spirit frequently occurred at the of God are admitted and first publication of the gosapproved.
pel ; when the same speech, It is a doctrine which the same reasoning, yea and may occasion some mortifi- the same miracle, had a cation to human pride, and totally different effect on the it seldom fails to do so; but minds of different hearers, no doctrine of the gospel of all present on the same Jesus Christ is more decided occasion ? When Peter and than this, that “all men John healed the lame man have not faith ;” that it is at the gate of the temple, the “ gift of God” wherever and all the people were it is found ; and that the spectators of the fact, the
natural man,” or man with Apostles addressed themno powers but those of our selves in a powerful discommon nature,“ receiveth course to those who were not the things of the Spirit present; the lame man still of Godo :” so far from it cleaving to them, and standthat they seem foolish, ex- ing by them as a witness : travagant, and incredible, and thus they made some and rejected with thousands of converts to the mockery and contempt by word of the gospel. But men who can write a plea- behold, the Sadducees were
grieved at the doctrine of conclude this sense to be the resurrection, though wanting : and when that is preached with all the force the case, the evidence of a of truth from their own miracle will not force its scriptures, and attended way through the hardness with the credential of an of the human heart. Some indisputable miracle; which speculative writers have only vexed and distressed treated of credibility and them the more. At Athens, probability, and the nature, the philosophers of the and force, and degrees, of place, proud of their Grecian evidence, as if we had rules talent for oratory and dis- for weighing all truth to a putation, considered the single grain with mechanimatter of Paul's preaching cal certainty: whereas in merely as new thing, fact, man, with all his which gave them an op- boasted ballancings of reaportunity of questioning son, can resist a proof that and wrangling. Some called would confound a deyil. him a babbler ; some said Compare the following exthey would hear him again; amples : The Jews said, “as some mocked at the resur- for this fellow we know not rection of the dead; while whence He is.” The devils Dionysius, one of their sena- said, “I know Thee Who tors, Daraaris, and Thou art, the Holy One others, clave unto them and of God.” The Jews said, believed : in other words, that Christ cast out devils they received the gospel through Belzebub their with that faculty of the prince : but the devils spirit, which alone is sus- never said so themselves. ceptible of it. Till there the sun of the noon-day is in man the sense which shines without effect upon receiveth these things, the the blind, because the proBook which treats of them per sense is wanting : So will not be understood. If saith the Evangelist, “ the they are rejected, we must light shineth in darkness, and the darkness compre- nothing in the soil to give hendeth it not p." Vicious it nourishment and growth. inclinations and habits of The distinction which the sin, which render truth dis- Scripture hath made beagreeable, are sure to have tween natural and spiritual the effect of weakening and men ; that is, between men perverting the judgment : that have faith and men “this is the condemnation, that have none, is agreeable that light is come into the to what hath been observed world, and men loved dark- from the beginning of the ness rather than light be- world ; that there have been cause their deeds were evilo.” | two classes of people, all The understanding of truth sprung from the same oriimplies a love of truth ; ginal, but totally different and the understanding will in their views, principles, be deficient so long as that and manners. Before the love is wanting. None are flood, they were distinso blind as they who are so guished as the children of by choice ; that is to say, Cain, and the children of the ignorant are never found Seth ; the latter of whom to be so absurd as the dis- inherited the faith of Abel. affected. The word of God is After the flood we find them in itself all-sufficient for the | again under the denominaillumination of the mind; it tions of Hebrews and Heais a seed quick and vigorous thens. In the gospel they apwith the principles of life ; pear to us as the “ children but like other seeds, it must of this world,” and the chilfind something congenial | dren of light :” the former with itself in the soil into cunning and active in their which it falls. The word generation for the interests spoken did not profit the of this life, the other wise Jews, because it was “not towards God and the things mixed with faith in them of Eternity. These two run that heard it?;" there was on together, like two parallel