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imputed to natural incapacity or natural prejudice, but
to ihe fact that the time was not come when the designs
of God were to be made plain. The doctrines of
Atonement for Sin, and the supercession of the Mosaic
Law, not clearly expressed by Christ himself, and
only to be found in the teaching of God's Spirit
through the Apostles.

292

The Discovery of the Christian Covenant of Pardon and Grace,

a sufficient comfort and compensation to Christ's followers for

his departure from the World.

Enumeration of the advantages to which the eyes

of the Apostles were thus first opened. Effect of these

discoveries on their conduct and character.

293

The Discovery of that Covenant a necessary and sufficient

vindica-

tion of Christ's character from the objections of the Jews.

The Spirit of God, in his capacity of Paraclete, was

to testify of the Messiah's truth,-io convict the world

of the guilt they had incurred in rejecting him, &c.

Objections urged by the Jews against the truth of our

Lord's pretensions to the character of the Messiah.

Those objections not sufficiently answered by the

blamelessness of his Life or the greatness of his Mir-

acles. Jewish Treatise called the Nizacchon. Suffi-

ciently answered by the discovery of the nature of that

Salvation which Christ wrought for us, and of the

means by which it was to be accomplished. The

Unitarian system of Theology takes away the only

competent answer to the Objections urged by the

Jews;ando all adequate motives for the prophecies

and miracles by which our Lord's birth, life, and death

were distinguished. A Revelation from God may be

expected to contain discoveries transcending human

293

By his Revelations made to the Apostles the Paraclete instructed

the Church in "things to come.

Our Lord himself rarely assumed the prophetic cha-

racter. Our knowledge of the rise and fall of Anti-

Christ,—of the events which are to take place in the

last days, &c. all derived from the Holy Ghost through

the Apostles.

294

Answer to the Objection that, since the time of the Apostles, no

fresh revelation of God's will has been made to the Church.

The promise of our Lord implies the universal and

continual superintendence and perfection of the Para-

clete, but not that he should be perpetually guiding us

into new truths. The inspiration accorded to the

Apostles and the elder Prophets not continual or

universal. The length of the intervals between the

Revelations made to them immaterial. Intervals of

the same kind and of very considerable length, oc-

curred in the history of the Jewish Church. The

Bath-Col a Rabbinical Fable. Yet God still dwelt in

his Temple (Matt. xxiii. 21.) though he had ceased,

in a perceptible and miraculous manner, to declare his

will from thence,-and, therefore, the Comforter may

still be present with the Church, though no case has

latterly arisen to demand a new Revelation.

294

But, further, the Comforter has, in every uge, continued to teach

the Church by the Scriptures of the New Testament.
A knowledge of Divine Things being given to the
Church,--the manner in which this knowledge is com-
municated is a matter of indifference. All Revelations
made to a few that the many might, through their
means, be benefited. Immediate Inspiration not ac-
corded to the majority of Christians in the Apostolic
Age. This dispensation not unequal nor disadvan-
tageous to the majority. The abode of the Paraclete
among men would have been sufficiently proved by a
succession of one or more inspired individuals by whose
instruction the Holy Ghost should govern the Church.
No difference whether this instruction were oral or
epistolary. Nor whether their authors were absent or
dead. Therefore, so long as the writings of a deceased
Apostle govern the Church, the Holy Ghost who
dictated those writings, continues to govern it by them.
The Scriptures not only dictated by the Inspiration

of the Holy Ghost, but preserved to our time and

offered to our notice by his Providence. This particu-

lar exertion of his Providence how distinguished from

his general care. By the peculiar dispensation in

question, the rites which our Saviour appointed before

the Paraclete's coming, and the dispensations of the

Spirit's mercy and power which we share with other

ages and nations, have become more blessed and val.

uable to the Chistian than to the rest of the world.

But it is through Scripture only that the character of

these dispensations is thus altered. And by Scripture

alone that the Holy Ghost now guides us into truth,

or shows us things to come, or pleads the cause of

Christ against his enemies. It is, then, as Dispenser
of Supernatural Truth and Teacher of the Doctrine of
Redemption, that the Holy Ghost sustains his charac-
ter of Comforter. And this truth he now conveys to
us through the Holy Scripture.

295
The Inspired Authority of the New Testament asserted,
1st, From the Personal Inspiration of its reputed Authors.

Their Inspiration proved by the miracles which they

performed. The reality of those miracles admitted by

the ancient enemies of Christianity---Celsus—Julian-

the Toldos Jeschu. No want of ability or inclination

in the contemporaries of the Apostles to detect any

false pretences to miraculous power. The reality of

the works in question rendered probable by the sensa-

tion which they excited in the Heathen World. Na-

ture of the change which they produced in the habits

and pretensions of those who continued hostile to

Christianity. Their reality further shown from the

internal evidence to this effect offered by the Apostolic

Writings. St. Paul speaks of miracles not only as

wrought by himself, but by those to whom his Epis-

tles are addressed. Force of this argument. The Apos-

tolic Epistles not addressed in the first instance to the

Heathen, or even to the Church at large. Devoid of

empirical ostentation.

- 297

2. The New Testament is the genuine Work of the Writers

whose name it bears.

Proved from internal Evidence-from universal Tra-

dition-from the reluctance with which Christians in

every age have admitted any works into their sacred

canon,-- from the excellence of the works themselves,

as contrasted with the spurious productions which

have been, at different times, offered to the Church, -

and with the acknowledged compositions of the unin-

spired contemporaries of the Apostles,

298

Lect. VIII.-Preliminary Observations.

The entire New Testament the work of the Apos-

tles or their accredited amanuenses. The Gospels of

Mark, and Luke, sometimes called those of St. Peter

and St. Paul. Distinction made by the primitive

Church between the Canonical writings and those of

the Apostolic Fathers. The claims of those writings

called' àrtiaróueve, always placed on the ground of

their being the genuine works of the Apostles only.

But, though all the works of the New Testament pro-

ceed from Inspired Persons,-it might still be ques-

tioned whether their Authors were Inspired at the

time. Inspiration not a perpetual and pervading gift.

Difficulties urged against the inspired Authority claim-

ed by the New Testament.

298

Probability that some of the writings of the Apostles should be

inspired, shown,-1st, From the necessity of the case.

Written documents absolutely necessary to the ex-

tension and perpetuity of Religious Truth. No rule of

faith or practice can be absolute and definitve unless in-

spired. "Nor unless the person who delivered it were

inspired at that time and to that effect. Inconvenien-

ces of renouncing the plenary inspiration of Scripture;

or of confining, with Simon and Warburton, the inspi-

ration of the Sacred Writers to a few conspicuous truths. 299

2. From the Analogy of the Mosaic Dispensation.

Certain Written Laws were given by inspiration to

the Jewish Church. But the advantage which was

given to the less perfect dispensation would not be

withheld from the heirs of the promise to whom it was

equally necessary. Nature of this necessity further

explained. The leading Facts on which our Faith is

founded, might be believed on historic evidence only.

-But the practical results which follow from those

facts, as explained in Scripture, must be received on

the authority of Revelation, or rest on no firm ground

whatever.

- 300

3. From the fuct that the Oral Doctrine of the Apostles was, in

certain cases, inspired.

This fact established from the promises of Christ,

(Mark xiii. 11. Luke xii. 2.) But if the discourses

which only extended to a few were thus privileged,

we may much more suppose the like assistance given

in works where all ages were concerned.

• 301

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Thus all our views of the attributes of God depend upon law, and the necessities of the sinner, we bring down the our sentiments in reference to his law. Neither his holiness, whole work of Christ, whether in us, or for us, in the very nor his justice, nor his love, can be in any degree appreciated, same proportion. They that are whole need not a physiunless, like the Psalmist, we learn these wondrous things out of cian, but they who are sick. If we be not, and feel not ourthe law. In proportion as the law is magnified, are our con- selves to be totally lost and ruined, then surely in vain, so ceptions of the divine perfections exalted. And in the de- far as we are concerned, is the purpose of the Father, and the gree to which the law is superficially considered, are our substitution of the Son, for the redemption of the world. views of the character of Jehovah lowered and rendered in- Upon our accurate convictions of what the law actually deeffectual. What reason have we, then, from this view of the mands, and of what the law actually threatens, depend all subject, to adopt with earnestness the prayer of the Psalmist our views of the character and offices of Christ, in the salvain the text! But the importance of this petition will yettino of man, as displayed in the gospel. more evidently appear, while I proceed to observe,

3. I proceed to apply the same course of reasoning to the 2. That upon our clear knowledge of the law depend all operations of the Holy Ghost. just views of the character and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our correct sentiments in regard to them, rest entirely upon

Our sole necessity for a Saviour arises from the relation in our proper knowledge of the divine law. The Spirit of God which we stand to the divine law. It is because we have is sent upon us from on high to form our natures and charactransgressed this law, are condemned by its sentence, and are ters anew; and to impress again upon our souls that utterly incapable either of atoning for our past sins, or of image of God which sin las destroyed. But the less we restoring ourselves to the Divine Image, that we need the suppose to be required of us, the less there is for him to do intervention of some Redeemer, who shall be able to save within us. unto the uttermost.

His office is to create our souls anew in holiness. But if Our view of the demands of the law will regulate our the first creation of them be not destroyed entirely, where is whole conception of the value of the atonement of Christ. If the necessity for a new creation? If the difficulty be partial, we are convinced that our sins are infinitely numerous, and the remedy may be partial too. He is to raise us up from that our guilt is inconceivably great; if we believe that every the dead, and to quicken us, by his power, into life. But if deviation from God's perfect law has brought upon us a we are not actually dead in sin, why should we require the curse, an everlasting curse, under the wrath of Almighty exercise of a life-giving power. He is to bring us back to God; if we see that the demands of law and justice could God, to give us a new heart, to sanctify us from our pollunever be satisfied with any thing but the full punishment of tions, and to deliver us from our darkness. But if we do not the offender, either in his own person or in the person of an feel ourselves to be entirely depraved, involved in the deepadequate surety; that the death which the law denounces must est darkness and ignorance, and altogether gone out of the be bome before satisfaction can be made; then do we at- way of life and peace, how shall we be led to seek and suptain a correct and satisfying apprehension of the atonement plicate his creative power upon our souls? If we believe our of Jesus. In exact proportion as our views of our own guilt dangers and our wants to be extreme, we shall rejoice in the and misery are magnified and extended, do we exalt the value provision of a remedy suited to extremities. But such a of the Saviour, who, by the sacrifice of himself, has restored remedy will never be sought without this conviction be first us to the lost favour of God. And just in the degree to impressed upon our minds. It is entirely from this want of which we lower our views of our own necessities and of the a just view of the actual condition of man, under a violated divine demands, do we depreciate the value and destroy the law, that so many deny the necessity of the influences of the character of the atonement of the gospel. It is only by a Holy Ghost; either for the illumination of their minds, or correct knowledge of what the law demands, that we can for the sanctification of their souls. To this single source gain an adequate idea of what Christ has done.

must be traced the whole denial of the doctrine of the TrinOur view of the law will control our understanding of the ity, and of all the doctrines which are dependant upon it; gospel system of justification. Conceive of the law as never the doctrine of atonement, of imputed righteousness, and to be satisfied without a perfect obedience to its commands, of divine regeneration. Men do not feel their need of a as requiring every soul to possess, either in himself or in his divine Saviour, of an Immanuel, to make up the breach besurety, a righteousness commensurate with its highest de-tween them and God. They do not feel their want of an mands; as altogether refusing to relax its requisitions, unless Almighty Agent, to work in them the work of God; and thus in every point and tittle they have been fulfilled; and then they bring down their systems and principles of theology to you will proportionably exalt the Redeemer, who has wrought the low and miserable standard of the Pelagian, Arian and out, in his personal substituted obedience, a spotless righ- Socinian heresies. This ignorance of the law of God is the teousness for all who shall believe in him; and has opened Pandora's box from whence all these evils spring. Let a through the offering of this righteousness, first to God in man obtain a thorough insight into the spirituality of the man's behalf, and then to man for his acceptance, a way of divine law, and see how solemnly and fatally its demands salvation for every human sinner. But reduce your views of and sanctions shut up his soul under sin, and he will find these demands of the law, lower the righteousness which it will that these meagre systems will never supply his wants, accept to any inferior standard, say your own sincere but nor afford any remedy in the least degree adequate to his neimperfect obedience, and in this false view of the law you cessities. He will see that if any one less than God himself, undermine the whole system of gospel grace; you reduce to undertake to effect his soul's salvation, he must assuredly nothing your need of the righteousness of Christ; cancel al-perish; that if he is to depend upon any power inferior to together all the obligations under which you are placed to Jehovah, if he has none but the most exalted creature to rely him; and make him to have lived, obeyed, and died in vain. upon, he would be glad to take his portion under rocks and

But look still more extensively at the offices of the Son of mountains, if they could hide him from the unquenchable God. Consider him as the great Prophet who is to instruct wrath of God. us; and what comparative need is there for his instructions, I have thus made clear my first head of discourse : that if so partial and defective a knowledge of his religion as we upon our correct knowledge of the divine law depend all just are able of ourselves to obtain, will suffice our purpose ? views of religious truth. In the next discourse I shall proWhy should we ask for his teaching, if there be competency in ceed to consider all proper religious feelings and all scriptural any inferior guide? Why seek for light from heaven, if our hopes of salvation, as resting upon the same foundation. darkness be not too deep for any earthly glimmering to pene- In this partial accomplishment of my design, I feel that trate ? Consider him as the great High Priest of our pro- there is seen sufficient reason for the prayer of our text. fession, who is to atone for us; and what need have we of Wondrous things the divine law reveals, when it shows us his infinite sacrifice, if our own repentance and reformation the depth of our own depravity, the extent of our actual dancan be accepted by God, and restore us to his favour? To gers as sinners against God, and our need of Christ and his what purpose was all this waste, if a smaller offering will great salvation. Let this prayer be made your own. It make up our deficiencies ? Consider him as the King of will be a blessing to you to know your wants, to see how Zion, who is to rule over us; and why do we require such holy much there is to be done for your souls destroyed by sin. and powerful government and protection, if our weakness and God alone can draw aside the veil, and enable you to behold rebellion and danger be so unimportant? What need of in- this view of your own characters. So far, then, from opfinite authority, if so little is to be effected in our behalf, posing this revelation, unite, I beseech you, with earnestness either in a way of deliverance from sin, or in a way of spir- of desire to him, that he would give you understanding of the itual renovation? The less that is required of man himself

, truth; that he would make you to feel its power, and lead the less must of necessity be required of his surety. And you in the deep conviction of your wants, to cry aloud to God consequently, as we reduco our views of the demands of the for ti.e pardon and salvation which Jesus has purchased, and

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