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The necessity of rivelation.
a book containing matter worthy of God to re-
veal, and adapted to the circumstances and nee
cefities of mankind.
converting the soul : The testimony of the Lord is sure,
inspiration of the Old Testament.
Abraham saith unto him, they have :
inspiration of the New Testament.
vised fables, when we made known unto you the power
and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye wit.
the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they
any material alteration or corruption.
forth your strong reasons, saith the king of Jacob. 278
the scriptures, with general reflections on the
"ERRATA.-- Typographical errors in this work are * Tot very numerous or very important. A few, however, have escaped the corrector's eye--the principal of which are as follows:
Page 31, Jine 17 from top, in part of the copies, dele a, between suppose and prayer.-P. 34, 1. 38, for appears read appear.--P. 67, 1. 26, for promifer T. promises.-P. 70, 1. 13, for derived r. devised.-P. 83,1. 3, for truths r. truth.-P. 88, l. 24, for confirmed t. confined.-P. 127, 1. 20, for importunely r. importunately--. 29, for set 1. fat.P. 217, 1. 32, and p. 235, twice in l. 13, for bare r. base.
for "Gadaza r. Gadara.-P. 277, l. 1o, for statute r. Patutes.-P. 295, 1. 3 of the note, dele that. -P. 336, 1. 30, after it insert is.-P. 368, lalt line, in part of the copies, for of r. fram.
1 CORINTHIANS, i. 21.
The world by wisdom knew not God. WISDOM, absolutely considered, is one of the efsential perfections of Jehovah. Divine wisdom, like all the other perfections of Deity, knows neither bounds nor limits, but embraces in one comprehenfive view, things past, present, and to come. From the fountain of his own inexhaustible fullness, God has been graciously pleased to communicate a portion of wisdom to his creatures, particularly to his creature man He has taught him more than the beasts of the field, and made him wiler than the fowls of the air. Wisdom, as applicable to man, is in fcripture, frequently put for religion and virtue. Bchold the fear of the Lord, ihal is wisdom; and to depart from evil is undersiandirg. In the more usual acceptation of the term however, and frequently in facred writ, by wisdom we are to understand an intelle&ual endowment, common to perfons of different and opposite moral characters, and is generally considered as implying two things. ift. Prudence and discretion, which although an endowment of nature, may be cultivated and improved by experience. 2dly. Knowledge, which is principally acquired. The man who inherits fron nature, or rather from nature's God,, a sound judgement, a retentive memory, and accurate reasoning powers, especially if these powers are cultivated by a proper cducation, and improved by application, and when the exercise of these powers is under the direclion
of prudence and discretion, is denominated a wise man. Such wisdom properly improved, tends to the discovery of many things useful and important to mankind. Such was the wisdom of the heathen world before the coming of the Meliah. Many of their more enlighted characters poffeffed accurate reasoning powers, cultivated and improved by education and application. In the exercise of these powers, they made numerous important discoveries in various arts and sciences. In several branches of knowl. edge, each succeeding generation might, and probably did improve on the acquirements of that which preceded. But notwithstanding all the wisdom of the world, and all the discoveries which were made during the long period of four thousand years or upwards, in which there was an abundance both of time and opportunity to make the trial, we are told by the Apostle, that the world by wisdom knew not God.
The text, taken in connexion with the other clauses of the verse, may be thus paraphrased. q. d. “ After God “.had, agreeably to the di&tates of his own infinite wisdom, s permitted the wisdom of this world to make a fair and S long trial, during the space of four thousand years, and " it had been found by experience that no progress what
soever had been made in arriving at the true knowledge s of God and our duty, by all the efforts of human wis. “ dom, it pleased God mercifully to interpose, and by es the preaching of the Gospel, (a mean which human “ wisdom never could have discovered, and which, when 6 discovered, the wise men of the world were disposed to o treat as foolishness,) to save them that believe.” Intending by the leave of providence, to take a brief view of the evidence of the inspiration of the Holy scriptures of the old and new Testaments, and of the divine original of the Christian religion, as it rests on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, what I propose from these words is rather a preliminary discourse, introductory to the main subject. My design is to illustrate the truth contained in the text, which afferts the insufficiency of human wisdom as a guide in matters of religion, and to show that divine revelation is of course, necessary to direct mankind in the