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II,

ingly he told them, that when the Com- serm. forter, that is, the Spirit of truth, was come, he would guide them into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever he had said unto them d. And this promise was remarkably fulfilled upon them on the tenth day after his ascension into heaven; when they received a miraculous aid from the Spirit of divine , wisdom, when their minds were totally divested of that prejudice, which had hitherto obscured their faculties of apprehension, and their eyes were fully opened to the light of all those gospel truths, which before that time they were not able to beare.

Thus although he expressly came a light unto the world; although with equal elegance and fitness he is called the Sun of righteousness; yet like the morning sun under a cloud he continued for a time to invest himself in the shade of parable, because the peo ple to whom he came were not able to endure a clearer light. But as soon as the state of this divine economy allowed,

John xiv, 26. xv. 26.

¢ Acts ji.

the

SERM. the cloud was removed from before the Il. eyes of men.

Sb great indeed and inveterate is the prejudice of the Jews, that even unto this day the veil is upon their hearts. The light still shineth in darkness, and the, darkness comprehendeth it not 6. But to Christians it is granted with open face: to see the glory of the Lord. To all true "Believers, as well as to the first Disciples, it is given to know the mys-, teries of the kingdom of Heaven. To, such, as acknowledge Christ in deed and in truth, the word which he delivered once

is intelligibly shewn. Divested of that mist of prejudice, which obstructed the moral vision of the Jews, we are competent to draw some of the most edifying lessons of practical instruction from those very parables, which were generally so obscure on their first delivery: and all, who apply themselves to an honest and diligent inquiry are enabled to understand them, from the greatest even to the least. As they are now. presented to us. in the word of God, we cannot easily.

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2 Cor. iii. 15.

* John i, 5.

select

II.

select any portion of scripture more en-serM. gaging or more instructive, whether to the uncultured understandings of the common people, or the tender capacities of children. Thus Christ continues in his written word to preach the gospel to the poor, to reveal himself to babes.

We must allow nevertheless, that there are difficulties in the ways of

providence, which we cannot solve; there are secrets in the divine counsels, which we cannot comprehend. While we are under the veil of mortality, we see only a part of that great mystery, which hereafter shall be revealed. "We are but children in knowledge during the present life: and we cannot reach the maturity of wisdom, till we attain the fulness of our stature in a future world. According to this is the reasoning of the Apostle ; When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

childish things. For now we see through i glass darkly, but then face to face: Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known". In that state of pure intelligence the Son

Ii Cor, xü. 11, 12.

of

SERM. of God will no longer speak to his DisII. ciples in parables, but will plainly shew

them the Father: God himself shall remove from his faithful votaries the face of the covering now cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations : they shall be enabled to comprehend all the mysteries of godliness : awaking from the sleep of death, they shall behold the face of God in righteousness; and being restored to his image, and being recreated after his own likeness, shall be completely satisfiedk.

I CLOSE this discourse with a few words of practical application.-We may learn from this enquiry, what obligation rests upon us to be thankful to God for so freely imparting to us the benefits of divine knowledge, for giving us the means of grace on earth and the hopes of happiness in heaven. In all these communications of the gospel treasures we have signal advantages not only beyond the Heathens, who had very faint and confused opinions both of the business and the end of

but

man,

i Isa. xxv. 7.

* Psalm xvii. 17, 25.

also

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also beyond the Jews, who were left to Serm. conjecture these important truths, as they were, faintly signified through the shade of ancient types and parables: In common with the Disciples we have advantages even beyond the Prophets and righteous men of ancient times, in seeing all those mysteries revealed, which they were anxious, but were not able to explore.

Now if we would avail ourselves of these peculiar favours, it is incumbent on us, that we bring to the study of the divine word unprejudiced and well-disposed minds. For want of this qualification it was, that the multitude of the Jews were suffered, even when the light was risen upon them, to continue in darkness, when instruction was imparted to them from above, to remain with the veil upon their hearts. Because they came without an honest purpose to receive the truth, our Lord was pleased to impart it under the shade of parable, not so deep indeed as to baffle the research of devout and honest minds, yet certainly too deep.for the eyes of prejudice or passion to explore. And if we read the word with prejudice or want of care and thought, we shall be

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