« EdellinenJatka »
morals. It is, however, too much funhappily) the custom of the present day, to set up the pride of human reason against the express word of God; to sit down to read the Scriptures, not with a view to reconcile difficulties, and to satisfy our minds upon them, by diligent research, but to find them out and cavil at them, and to maintain our own crude and hasty judgment, against the well digested opinions of learned and pious men. “ The great vice of the present day, “ (says a very able writer*) is a presump“ tuous precipitancy of judgment; and there “ is nothing from which the cause of Chris« tianity, as well as of general knowledge, “ has suffered more severely, than from that “ impatience of investigation, and that con“ fidence of decision upon hasty and partial “ views, which mark the literary character of an age, undeservedly extolled for its
“ improvements in reasoning and philoso“ phy.” This is not becoming the humility of Christians in sacred researches. If we enter at all upon the subject, let us, by long study and application, endeavour to make ourselves masters of it; but if our inclinations or occupations have led us another way, it is, surely, the greatest want of candour and modesty, to refuse attention to those, who, from careful investigation, and long reflection, are not likely to misunderstand it, and who can have no motive to mislead us.
It is most unfairly urged against the members of the Church of England, that they only support, and endeavour to advance the tenets of that Church, to promote their own emolument and secular interests ; that, like the Ephesian artificers, they cry out, because they think “that their craft is in 66 danger to be set at nought;" for is it not continually found, that men who wish no
further promotion, are the most zealous in the defence and advancement of its doctrines, from the highly laudable principle of discharging an incumbent duty to their Lord and Saviour, and to all mankind ?
Lastly, Christ declares, that “He is not o come to destroy the law and the pro“ phets ; he came not to destroy, but to 6 fulfil.” The moral law of Moses is clearly of everlasting obligation; the comprehension of our duty to God and man, must ever remain the same; “ Thou shalt " love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, 66 with all thy mind, and with all thy 6 strength, and thy neighbour as thyself,” is a sufficient summary of the Mosaic law, at once concise and comprehensive; as our Saviour says, “on these two command“ ments hang all the law and the pro• phets.” The whole of the Old Testament endeavours strongly to inculcate these two
INTRODUCTORY. : 31 grand duties of man, the New Testament to enforce and to extend them. But with respect to the law of sacrifices, Christ has fulfilled that, and rendered them no longer necessary; “ For this man, after he had of66 fered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat “ down on the right hand of God.”
WHO THAT REDEEMER WAS; GOD, AND
THE SON OF GOD.
JOHN I. XIV. And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among
us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace
and truth. U AVING briefly noticed, in my first
- discourse, some promises and types of a Redeemer, I shall, secondly, proceed to enquire, who that Redeemer was? The pre-existence, and super-angelic nature of Jesus Christ, are so often alluded to by himself and others, and have been so clearly proved by many able writers, that all dispute on these points, seems to be given up: but the Godhead of Christ, and his being, in a peculiar apd exclusive manner, the