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meditate on these things day and night, and thereby make them familiar to our minds. We must not only know, but be intimately conversant with, the scriptures, which are the only records of this great revelation, and feel an increasing satisfaction in reading and meditating on their important contents. Otherwise, we shall be Christians in name only, and mere men of the world in reality.
It is not what we think of only occasionally, but what habitually occupies our thoughts, that forms the mind, and the character; and this will be discovered by the mind involuntarily reverting to it, and taking pleasure to dwell upon it. Is the man of business, or the man of science, formed without much attention to his object, and taking pleasure in it? You know the contrary. Expect not then to become Christians in any other way. You must prize your religion above every thing else, and be ready to sacrifice every thing else to it. It is only when we thus make religion our principal object, that the gospel will teach, and enable, us to deny all ungodliness
and worldly lusts, and to live righteously, foBerly, and piously, in this present world, so as to encourage us to look forwards to that blessed hope, even the glorious appearance of i be great God, and of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, in that great and triumphant day, when corruption shall put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality.
DISCOURSE 11. Revelation the only Remedy for Ido
latry and Superstition.
The time of their ignorance God winked at.
Acts, xvii. 30. Tue fufficiency of reason, or the light of nature, for the discovery of all useful truth, has been the great boast of unbelievers in divine revelation. But this idea has been the offspring of a conceit of the powers of the human intellect, in consequence of knowledge acquired in an advanced period of the world, without considering by how Now degrees that knowledge was attained, and especially how much of it was, in reality, derived from that very revelation which they consider as unnecessary. :
Without positive instruction, mankind, in the earliest ages, must have been entirely ignorant of every thing on which their existence and happiness moft depended. See, ing nothing but effeEts, and unable to trace their true causes, they must have wandered in a boundless field of conjecture, of which we see the mind of man to be always exceedingly fertile. Soon finding that there is no effect without some adequate cause, men, who have naturally but little patience of investigation (for it is only experience that teaches this) presently imagine something or other to be the cause of every thing that they observe, and they acquiesce in this suppofed cause till farther observation shall convince them of their mistake. But what is moft to be regretted, is, that an opinion of this kind once entertained, especially when it has been' recommended by a derivation from remote antiquity, does not easily give way to better judgment. · Whoever were the first of the human race, and by whatever means they came into existence, unless the coạrse of nature was wholly different from what it is known to be now, they must have perished without foreign assistance. Whether men were
produced in a state of infancy, or of perfect manhood, will make no difference ; because our ideas, the elements of all our knowledge, have no inlets besides the external senses, and these must be used and exercised before they can give us any information of things without us; and these ideas must be variously combined and compared, before we could, by their means, form any proper judgment of things, or take any proper and safe measures for our conduct. A child left to itself would be more helpless than any other young animal. It must necessarily perish ; and a grown man, with no more knowledge than a new-born child, would be as little able to take care of himself. Whenever, there. fore, men were first produced, they must have had some instructions communicated to them by their maker; so that what we may properly call divine revelation was absolutely necessary in the first stage of our existence.
It is agreeable, however, to the general plan of providence, that no more superna