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ple' are, the more definite are the laws re-
It may here naturally be asked, can the
in another country proscribes
From these premises inferences could be drawn; from these propositions new ones could be deduced, which more widely extended the sphere of the knowledge of the truth in all its details.
To these revelations, therefore, men are indebted for the fundamental principles of civilization; and, as these revelations had respect to Christ, nay, originated in his great work, so he is the author of civilization, because he has procured and made known redemption through his blood. Hence the first societies were not savage, as many writers have maintained", but strictly civilized, because formed directly under the influence of the first promise. The traces of civilization which exist among the Heathen, are owing to the remains of traditionary knowledge derived from the original revelation of Christ, the promised seed'. Wherever the information afforded on this subject, directly, or through the medium of tradition, was disregarded or corrupted, the social state became more or less barbarous. In the
a Kaims' Sketches, Volney's Ruins, Dunbar, and others. b Riccaltoun's Attempt. Ellis' Inquiry.
knowledge of, and obedience to, Christ the propitiation for sin, consists the superiority of one people over another, or of one age above 'another. As this knowledge was gradually communicated, so the improvement of individuals and of the world was gradual: the latter always, however, bearing a striking proportion to the former.
A volume would hardly suffice to illustrate this single point. A brief and imperfect outline will only be given. Let the following remarks be remembered while the outline is sketching:
(1.) That real civilization can only exist where Christ the Mediator is known.
(2.) That the degree of civilization will be in proportion to the degree of the knowledge of Christ as Mediator.
(3.) That, as this knowledge has been imparted at intervals, so civilization has had its interruptions.
(4.) That, with the increase and spread of this knowledge, civilization will increase.
(5.) That, as real civilization necessarily includes the greatest improvement of our race in social intercourse, so it will be at its highest state when “ the earth shall be fill
“ed with the knowledge of the glory of the “ Lord, as the waters cover the sea":"
With these remarks, intended not only to explain my design, but to prevent mistakes about its execution, I proceed to sketch out the progress of Christ the Light of the world, and the interruptions which that progress has experienced from age to age.
1. We shall briefly review the state of society from the deluge to the call of Abrahạm.
'It will be necessary here to take a retrospective glance at the state of the antediluvian world: for, although the human race, with the exception of Noah and his family, had perished, yet their knowledge and improvements survived. The Word of God, our only guide to any correct information on this part of our subject, furnishes us with few materials: but, few as they are, they demand attention, for they constitute the elementary principles of religion, morals, and general science in the new world.
The Sabbath, instituted whilst man was in a state of innocence, we have abundant
a Habak. ii. 14.
reason to believe, was kept holy by the Saints of the old world, and the knowledge of its nature and duties familiar to Noah and his family. On it sacrifices were offered, which typifying the death of Christ, forcibly reminded men of their duty and best interests". In these sacrifices, to the institution of which you have already been referred, the first promise received a great and satisfactory illustration. Additional illustrations we find in the formation of public religious societies in the days of Enos, when“ men began to call upon of the Lord";" the selection and inspiration of prophets, as Enoch', Noah", and Lamech'; the degree of spirituality and conformity to God displayed in Enoch, 6 walked with God and was not, for God “ took him ;” and in Noah, a just man, and perfect in his generation, who walked with God'. Under the influence of this increase
a Camp. Vitringæ Aphor. curante Martino Vitringa, pars 4. cap. 20. See also Owen on the Sabbath, and West on the same subject. b Gen. iv. 26.
c Jude xiv. d 2 Pet. ii. 5, comp. with Gen. vi. 13—22. e Gen. v. 29. f Gen. 7. 24. & vi. 9. comp. with Heb. xi. 5. & 7.