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with every instruction, but that which is derived from the word of God; to see so many without Christ, without God in the world; and to be assured of the terrible judgments that will overtake them is among the painful duties of useless exhortation. · But however the plan of his mercy may be slighted, it is still our part to persevere, and to proclaim, that the same divine testimony which compels' an universal acknowledgment of the one true God and Father of all, at the same time bears witness to the majesty and perfect fullness of his Son Jesus Christ; that the same testimony which sets that Son in opposition to idols, demands our lowliest reverence to Him in unity with the Father; that it calls reason home from her wanderings in a wilderness where no path is to be found, and shews her, by the light of faith, that Jesus Christ is the only way by which we can come to the Father; that in Jesus Christ alone, who of God is made unto his kingdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, a world condemned and dead in sin can find forgiveness and renewal of life. Upon a belief in this testimony alone shall we
be enabled to feel its value or to prove its truth; the scriptures of God afford the only immoveable ground of our confidence, the sole founda. tion of our consolatory hope, and that bond of peace, of brotherly love and charity, which may not be untied by the changes and chances of this mortal life. From the ineffectual wisdom of this world let us therefore return to Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Believing in Him who is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever-in Him which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty-let us rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and finally through his mercies may we receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.
PSALM lxxiv. 9.
We see not our signs.
TAKING the Holy Scriptures for our guide,
1 we have been employed in following the train of human events from the creation to the dissolution of all things; and without bringing examples from the Heathen world which knew not God, in the very bosom of his revelation, and among the people of his choice, our examination has proved a painful history of man's ingratitude and disobedience. Under every state of his trial and dependance we have seen the covenant of love and the conditions of pardon disregarded, broken, or despised; and with judgments forgotten, with mercies slighted, with blessings abused, with time squandered, and with talents unimproved, have hours, days, and years
passed over thoughtless ages, filling up the sum of their iniquity, or charged with little accusation against their guilty proceedings.
But amidst the signal punishments inflicted, whilst states and empires have been trodden down, and it may be said of nations, as the Psalmist reported of the ungodly, I went by, and lo he was gone; I sought him, but his place could no where be found—He who is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, appears at the head of human affairs. The vicissitudes of times, the changes of power, the elevation and overthrow of empires, in short, all the plans of human counsels, and the whole series of earthly events, instead of lying in a confused and obscure mass, are shewn us by the light of revelation as so many parts of the great work of redemption; and the scriptures, exhibiting in sundry chastisements and corrections, in the fall and ruin of its enemies, the perpetuity of God's mercy to his church and people, are only waiting their ultimate completion, when the kingdom of Christ shall be extended to all nations, and all the ends of the earth shall look unto Christ, and be saved.
We have, my brethren, again concluded another annual period of our lives; and like those which have gone before, it has brought every one of us so much farther onwards in our journey towards the grave. With a respective application, therefore, of the text to every individual, it may be asked, what preparations the Christian traveller has inade for the rémainder of his way, what strength he may have acquired to endure its increasing hardships? To what guide he has adhered for directions, and what provision he has made for its awful close? We might then bid many look back on the paths they had trodden, and if there they too frequently find and lament their own devis ations from the way on which God had shed forth the light of his word, and the obstacles that have thence impeded their feeble advances, on such we have only to call for greater vigilance, and more exerted vigour, to gird up the loins of their mind, and seek diligently to walk henceforward there alone, where the Sun of Righteousness will guide their feet into the way of peace.
But to many, I fear, we should have to pronounce the sharper admonitions of the Gospel.