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purposes and previous design of these events, added, “And ye are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." He had before his death given the promise of the Holy Spirit; he now predicted its speedy communication and the design and consequences of it." John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence." "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." As Jesus predicted, so it came to pass; and we have reason to cherish feelings of the most lively gratitude to God for those inspired writings which the Evangelists and Apostles have bequeathed to the world, and for the wisdom, and boldness, and success, with which they were enabled to discharge the ministry committed to them.
The commission which Jesus gave to his Apostles was suitable to the declarations which we have been considering. Go ye into all the world," said he to them, "and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is bap
a Acts i. 5-8.
tized shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned"." This is an alarming sanction, a fearful penalty. If these things be so,-if he, who declared these things, had that dignity and authority which has been so abundantly evidenced to us, then a great responsibility rests upon us, who have been made acquainted with the glad tidings of salvation through him. We shall hereafter have to consider the danger, as well as the causes of infidelity. Let us now ask, what does the Christian, who fully comprehends the purport of the title which he bears, profess to believe? -Our text will furnish us with an answer.
"Thus it is written-that the Christ should suffer, and rise again the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.”—Promises of such things, and predictions of their accomplishment in the fulness of time, had existed for ages before the Christian era. And the fulfilment of such previously existing intimations may convince the Gentile, as well as the Jew, that the communications of God's mercy, and the interpositions of his providence, have not been made in vain. Important purposes were thereby to be answered, or these things would neither in such a manner, nor even at all, have been foretold and transacted.
a Mark xvi. 15, 16.
And not only "thus is it written," but "thus it behoved the Christ to suffer." There was a moral necessity for it, the whole extent of which we can but imperfectly comprehend; but the nature and occasion of which we know. The same God who "created man upright," when man fell from the security of innocence into the peril of guilt, gave to him the promise of restoration and deliverance. That general intimation of mercy, and the perfect and explicit revelation of it through the Christ, are the only ground of present consolation and future hope, amidst the depravity and sinfulness of our nature. Hence alone the assurance of pardon of sin, the means of sanctification, and the hope of future glory. The origin and prevalence of evil does indeed still perplex us; but we may justly believe, that all will finally issue in the glory of God, and that, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men."-" God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself;" and therefore, "it behoved the Christ to suffer," "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."-It was necessary that we should have sufficient grounds for faith and hope in him; and therefore "it behoved the Christ to rise from the dead." It was necessary, in order that the world might be reformed and regenerated, that these facts and
their design should be made known to the sons of men; and, therefore, it behoved that repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations." We have still in our hands those
records, which shew us how the merciful design
was at first formed and promised, how it was carried on, and how it was completed.
The facts and miracles, the types and prophecies, by which the divine intention respecting "so great a salvation," is evinced, form the highest possible moral demonstration. All is harmonious and consistent; all tends to the great and important end, the salvation of man through a long predicted, divine, incarnate, and crucified Redeemer. The demonstration is as complete in its kind to prove the mercy of God to his sinful creatures, as is that, by which, from the wonders and order and arrangement of the material world, we deduce the existence and wisdom and power of the Creator. And so abundant is the evidence, and so satisfactory to all who will seriously consider it, that it is as little needful that Jesus should now repeat his miracles, and that all the other proofs both of his divine mission, and of the success of it, should again be exhibited, as that the world should be created anew, to prove the being and attributes of the Creator.
What then remains for us but to "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that we may be saved?"
His words and his works, his sufferings and his exaltation, are all recorded for our instruction, "written" with the pen of inspiration, "that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we may have life through his name." Therefore were we "baptized into Christ, that we might put on Christ," "baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," the authors of our salvation. Therefore are we "taught to observe all things whatsoever Jesus hath commanded us." We also have the sure and encouraging promise, "Lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.”
One other evidence of the truth of the Gospel, was noticed by our Lord, the exhibition of which depends upon ourselves; which, through the "special grace of God preventing and following us," we may be enabled to illustrate, and than which none will be more effectual for our own consolation, and for the conversion and establishment of others in "the truth as it is in Jesus." Our Lord himself prayed for us and for all men, after he had prayed for the Apostles, who were to be his witnesses to all men of "what they had seen and heard." "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may