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indulgence, that pride and vanity and things the Son of man went as it was avarice which govern your conduct written of him.” Why then did not when the light of eternity shall shew the Jews believe on him? Because their results. If there be a future his character and his doctrines were world, let this world be constantly such as did violence to their preconused as the place of preparation for ceived opinions, and arrayed against that ; let this world never be regard- him the enmity of their hearts. “ His ed in any other view than as connect- kingdom he declares is not of this ed with that which endures through world, how then shall be give freedom eternal ages. So believe in the happi- to our nation and exalt us to univerpiness there to be enjoyed, as if the sal empire? It consists not, he gives heavens were opened and the glories of us to understand, in meat and drink, that world beamed upon your sight: but in righteousness and peace, and weigh the fleeting pleasures of the joy in the Holy Ghost; all figurative present state with the never fade expressions which we cannot undering joys of that which you may short- stand. He calls upon us to repent ly enter. How would such pros- of our sins, upon pain of God's eterpects raise you above the vanities nal displeasure, and to believe on him that here solicit your pursuit ? What upon peril of perdition. He claims different feelings would they awaken to be greater than Moses, and anunder all the troubles and events of nounces a dispensation which shall your earthly existence ? How would supersede his ritual, and introduce a the soul glow with love to God and mode of worship, which in every ardent devotion to his will and his place and nation may be offered acglory, how would such views purify ceptably by such only as worship the heart as God, as heaven and its God in spirit and in truth. He has joys are pure !—Thus will you use declared himself to be older than this world as not abusing it. Thus Abraham, and equal with God, and the world that pollutes, ensnares and when we took up stones to stone ruins thousands of your fellow crea- him, instead of retracting his blastures, shall itself become the occasion phemy, he attempted to justify it. of your sanctification, by the Spirit No evidence can prove to us that of all grace; you shall obtain tri- such an one is the Messiah. His umph in death through him that des- doctrines are mystical, uncharitable, troyed the power of death, your en- absurd, and blasphemous. We know trance into eternity shall become the that God spake to Moses, but as for era of perfection in the likeness of this fellow we know not whence he God, and the great end of your being is.” and the glory of God beunitedly se They assumed the principle that eured in your meetdess for heaven, the solution of all difficulties, which and in the participation of its joys. may appertain to a subject, is indis
T.W. pensable to the validity of evidence
in that particular case; that no docA SERMOX.
trine which cannot by its own inherJoan vii. 17.—If any man will do reach of mysterý, or the embarrass
ent light place itself beyond the his will
, he shall know of the doctrine, ment of difficuliy, can be substantiawhether it be of God, or whether I
ted by evidence. In other words, speak of myself.
that external evidence is unavailing When our Saviour appeared, there until the light of internal evidence were many who refused to receive has rendered it superfluous. A prinhim as the Messiah. The evidence ciple as adverse to philosophy as to by which he sustained his claim was religion, and which adopted, would ample. His miracles were unques- send the nations back to a barbarian tjopable and frequent, and in all superstition, to believe, in defiance of
evidence, things absurd and mon- employment. Every thing valuable strous. Still, as in the case of the demands effort as the condition of Jews, difficulties unsolved, would in attainment. Those who would their consequence become unbelief understand the Scriptures therefore, and ruin, Jesus was willing to lay must“ search them," and have open before them a plainer and short “their understandings exercised by er course to knowledge. He there reason of use." Nor are we liable to tore declared that the blindness which exhaust the subject of divine knowlbad happened to them, was the edge, so as literally to “know all bliodness of their heart; that what in things," nor shall we conduct our him and his doctrine seemed unrea- inquiries under the influence of such sonable, arose in fact from a criminal perfect love while on earth, as to prestate of feeling in them. He there- clude mistake in any respect. The fore made the proclamation, “If any promise is not made to the first exerman entertains doubts concerning my cise of holy love, irrespective of what character or doctrine, let bim do the may follow, but to a continuance in will of my father, and his doubts doing the will of God. Nor does the shall be dispelled, and he shall kuow promise guarantee this continuance. whether my claims and doctrine are It only shows where our safety lies, of God, or whether I speak of my- and assures us of knowledge in prosell."
portion as we diligently seek it, under It is proposed to consider in this the influence of a right state of heart; discourse, ihe condition, the extent, that if our heart be perfect, our knowand the certainty of this gracious ledge shall be perfect. promise of our Saviour.
III. How does it appear that if evI. The condition is “ If any man ery man will love supremely the will do the will of God.”
Lord his God, he shall be able to By the will of God is to be under- know the truth? stood, his revealed will, particularly A revelation was given to man for the moral law, contained in the ten the purpose of being understood, and commandments, and summarily in it is not to be alleged or admitted that these two, thou shalt love the Lord God has performed his work defecthy God with all thy heart, and thy tively, so that where there is a right neighbour as thyself; and yet more state of heart, and a faithful inquiry, summarily in that love which is the the truth cannot be known. generic principle of all obedience, Supreme love to God, includes and which, including its nature, and an earnest desire of knowing his will, certain consequences, is the fulfilling which will produce the requisite inof the law. The condition of the vestigation. It is a filial atlection promise then is; “ If any man will which prompts to the inquiry “ Lord love supremely the Lord lis God, he what wilt thou have me to do,” and shall know concerning my doctrine, which keeps awake the exploring eye whether it be true or talse.”
to read and understand the Scriptures. II. To what extent is the promise It will secure also the exercise of carito be understood:
dour and common sense in the interShall knowledge as the conse- pretation of the Scriptures. He who quence of love, be instantaneous, and is summoned to receive a doctrine as without study and mental effort ? revealed, wiich he hates, is not likeShall it be universal, rendering prog. ly to be a candid expositor of the biress and difficulties alike impossible? ble. He will be liable to explore the And shall it be minutely intallible to the inspired passage, not to ascertaiu the exclusion of errour in the least de- its obvious meaning, but to discover gree? None of these. It is not the some way of escape from it.
A man purpose of God by his aid to release who is in reality honest, finds little our faculties from their appropriate difficulty in his dealings, in deciding in
each case what is right; but the man judgment and the meek will he teach who at heart is dishonest, and yet de- his way. What man is he that fearsires to maintain the reputation of eth the Lord, him shall he teach in the honesty, is always environed by way that he shall choose.* These doubts because he has not, like the things have I written unto you conhonest man, a plain path before him. cerning them that seduce you, but the In like manner, he whose heart is al- anointing which ye have received of ienated from God, and opposed to the him, abideth in you, and ye need not truth, calls to his aid, difficulties and that any man teach you ; but as the doubts, that he may be released from same anointing teachetb you of all the necessity of coming to the light things and is truth, and is no lie and
To these considerations it may be even as it has taught you, ye shall aadded, that those who do the will of bide in him.t God, have in many points of doctrine, Then said Jesus to those Jews an experimental knowledge, which is which believed on him, if ye continue absolute certainty. Having compar- in my word then are ye my disciples ed their hearts with the law of God, indeed and ye shall know the truth, they know that by nature they are as and the truth shall make
you free. the Scriptures testify, without goodness It follows from what has been said: and full of evil. They know that 1. That the irreligious and immorthey perceive in the Son, the same al, are never candid inquirers after divine excellence, which they per- truth. ceive in the Father; and that they Often they are at open war with experience the same joy and peace in revelation, and obviously because revconfiding in him, which they experi- elation is at war with them. Or if ence in confiding in the Father.- they render to the book a nominal creThey know that in their own obedi- dence, it is only that under the guise ence, there is such a relative defect, of reverence, they may carry through that upon no principles of law can its pages a war of extermination athey be justified, on account of their gainst all its peculiar doctrines.obedience or repentance; and that if These “do not the will of God," and pardon is possible, it must be obtain- in forming a judgment concerning the ed on other conditions than works of doctrines which he has revealed, they righteousness which they have done. are convicts judging in their own
Those who do the will of God, cause. No wonder that the God of know that a great change has been the bible wears to their apprehension accomplished in their affections by a a character which they find it convensupernatural influence. They have ient to “ change.” No wonder that as perfect knowledge, that a change the doctrines of the bible, appear unin this respect has taken place, as a reasonable and unamiable; and no man who was born blind, 'had of the wonder, when kind bearied friends change, when he testified, “ Where have obliterated from the sacred page as I was blind, now I see," and from its spiritual requisitions, and its depast inesiectual effort to feel as they nunciatious of “wrath to come,” that now do, in connection with the decla the hostility of the flagitious and the rations of Scripture on this subject, infidel is allayed. Finding as they they have as perfect evidence of su- think in the rectified page, a charterpernatural aid, as the blind man had ed impunity in sin, they begin to doubt in the case of restored vision.
whether the bible may not be true. It accords with the promises of Are any who read this discourse God also that they who do his will the subjects of such conversion, let shall kuow the truth. The text does
* Psalm, xxv. 9 aod 12. not stand alone. Then shall we know if we follow on to know the
| 1. John, ii. 26, 27. Lord.* The meek will he guide in
1 John viji. 31, 32; see also, John xis.
15, 16, 17 and 20: Isaiah liv. 13: John X. • Hosea, vi 3.
4 and 5.
them remember that Jesus Christ has the sun ariseth, even a morning withpronounced the convert to a false re out clouds. Reject this expedient, ligion, sevenfold more the child of and probably you will never become hell than he was before. Not of pe established in your faith, until the cessity more immoral or more irreli- light of eternity shall dispel your gious, but more profoundly and doubts, and compel you to know the hopelessly deceived. Repent and truth. The intellect of Gabriel would break off your sins by righteousness, not suffice to counteract the prevail. and then your temptation to change ing influence of an unholy heart; while the truth of God into a lie will cease, the intellect of a child associated with and then too you shall know the rectitude of heart, will enable us to truth, and the truth shall make you understand the doctrines of the Gus. free. In no other way can you suco pel. Listen then, ye disputers of this ceed to quiet your fears. The bible world to the voice of mercy, which is too evidently the word of God, speaks to you from heaven. Whereand too full of wrath, revealed agaiostfore do you spend your money for all ungodliness of men, to consist with that which is not bread, and your laquietness of mind while you live in bour for that which satisfieth not. Insin. Your consciences condemn you, cline your ear and come unto me; and like the troubled sea when it can hear and your souls shall live. not rest, you find no peace. Cease 3. The subject we have discussed then from your vain expedients to may set at rest the hearts of those reconcile sipping with peace of con who are anxious about the ignorant science, and try a more excellent and the poor. We have certainly way.
intelligence, and leisure, and means 2. The mode proposed by our Sa- of knowledge which they do not posviour of removing doubts, and giving sess; and yet we find our miods perefficacy to evidence, is peculiarly a- plexed with difficulties and doubts. dapted to the necessities of men of a How then can the multitude ascerphilosophical and speculative turn oftain what is true? By adopting the miod.
method proposed by the Saviour; by These are they who as described doing the will of God. Multitudes of by the Apostle as ever learning, and this class of men have made the exnever able to come to the knowledge periment, and are walking in the of the truth. They are anxious and light of his countenance, while you indefatigable. They read much, and who pity them are groping in darkconverse often,
Their love to God has render
ed the doctrines of the bible plain,
and reason high of Providence, foreknowledge, will and its precepts reasonable, and obedi. fate,
ence delightful. They need not the Fix'd fate, free-will, fore-knowledge abso. aid of learned critics to help them to
lute, And find 'no end in wandering mazes lost. vironed as the bible may seem to be
misunderstand the sacred book. EnThe reason is, the malady is in with difficulties, the poor have the their hearts; and no application to gospel preached to them, and become the understanding can reach it. They rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom. say and they think that they are wil. 4. The expedient proposed by our ling to be convinced. But then they Saviour to gain doctrinal knowledge, must see the evidence and have their will leave without excuse the ignoobjections answered. Do any such rance of those who complain that read this discourse, let them adopt they have not time for the investigathe prescription of their Saviour, tion of truth. It belongs, they supand do the will of God, and the light pose, to the ministers of Christ to uuof truth shall break upon their bewil- derstand such matters, and if any dered minds, as the morning when others have leisure, it may be weil to
attend to the subject; but as for them ed, as well as duties to be done; and they have more urgent matters to at- there are damnable heresies, as well tend to, which cannot be neglected. as immoralities; and though it is not
L'obappy men, you are placed then, possible for all men to look alike, it it would seem, in a condition of una- is possible for all who possess the bivoidable ignorance, and are obliged to ble, substantially to think alike; and go bliudfold out of time into eternity, it is easily accomplished. Let their not knowing whether you shall open hearts be united in doing the will of your eyes in heaven or in hell. How God, and their understanding will be hard is your lot, doomed as you are, harmonious, with respect to the docmerely for the blessings of the life trines of his word. that now is, to risque the welfare of 7. Do any read this discourse your souls for ever. But behold I who have enjoyed the blessings of a briug you glad tidings. A very little religious education, who by the sugtuition of the heart will avail more gestions of others, or of their own than years of study and intellectual hearts, have become unsettled in speculation. Do the will of God, their religious opinions; and are you and you shall be rescued from the open to conviction, and sincere and danger of perdition, and know and en honest in your inquiries after truth, joy the doctrines of the gospel. You and ready to say in your heart, what shall come out of darkness into mar- more can we do? And is, after all, vellous light, and learn the happy art we should err, will it not be a misof reconciling diligence in business, take so honest and sincere, that God with fervency of spirit in the service will be too just to punish it? of God.
Take heed that ye be not deceiv5. Those who complain that there ed. The heart is deceitful above all are so many different opinions upon things, and desperately wicked. You the subject of religion, that they know are judges too in your own cause, not, and cannot know what to be- and your verdict is on the side of lieve, may find relief in complying your acquittal from a crime, and now with this direction of Jesus Christ. what authority have you for the con
There are none who can deny that clusion to which you have come ? Is God requires you to love him. Do it inclination that speaks, or philosothis then, and you shall know amid phy, or the bible ? Turn to the chapthe conflicting opinions of men, the ier and the verse of the word of God, true doctrine of the bible. Your path which gives a dispensation to those shall be like that of the just, shining who sincerely and honestly reject the more and more, to the perfect day. fundamental doctrines of the gospel. Your love shall constitute a golden Such a case, I apprehend, has never thread, leading you through all the demanded the attention of the Highlabyrinths of errour, in the right way; Court of heaven, for it must bring an anchor ever holding you sure and home to the Majesty on high, the steadfast amid winds and floods charge of imbecility in making a revuntil you enter the haven where elation unintelligible to honest and the wicked cease from troubling, and sincere subjects; or the charge of inthe weary are at rest.
justice in requiring impossibilities.6. Are there any who have read Are you sure that in the day of judgthis discourse, who are in the habit of ment it may not be disclosed, that an despising the obligation of maintain- evil heart darkened your understanding correct opinions, and denying the ing and perverted its decisions ? criminality of errour; dealing out the There one way to decide whether flippant argument, “ that men can no you have been, as you suppose, sinmore think alike, than they can look cere and honest in your inquiries afalike?” All your positions are false. ter truth. If you have availed yourGod has revealed truths to be believ- selves faithfully of all the means of Vol. 3—No. I.