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inflame the mind,* or restore it to reason. LECT: The bigotted Jew, the ancient heathen, the modern infidel, the man of levity and pleasure, are, all upon a level, all equally adverse to the Christian plan of salvation; all equally restless and impatient when the proofs of it are laid before them. Even Paul himself (who from the part he took when the blood of the martyr Stephen was med, must have been present at the trial) could hear the martyr's apology without being persuaded by it: that very man, who afterwards struck into the same way of interpretation, and delighted to apply the figures of the law as a testimony to Jesus Christ. There was a time when he was not only deaf, but inveterate, and as he said, exceedingly mad against the Chriftians and all their arguments. Stephen might look like an angel, and reason like an angel : nothing could touch him. He had an opinion, that the Christians were wrong, and deserved to be perfecuted : but opinion is that judgment which a man forms of the things of God without the
* Stultos facit infanos. Ter. R4
LECT. grace of God. When Stephen had rea
soned with his hearers, he prayed for them; and perhaps the conversion of that glorious instrument of God, the blessed apostle St. Paul, might be granted in consequence of that prayer.
3. We are lastly to learn from the deliverance of the Hebrews under Moses, which God was pleased to accomplish by his hand, after all the contempt and opposition he had met with; that, however the church, in bad times, may be corrupted and oppressed, and even averse to its own deliverance; yet the counsel of God is sure; and He who hath promised to be with it to the end of the world, will never forsake its interests. Kings, with their ftatesmen and politicians, may be jealous of its rights, and invade them without fear or shame: nay, the time may come, when the very idea of a divine authority, either in priests or kings, shall be as hateful among Christians, as Moses and Aaron were to Pharaoh and the magicians of Egypt: and there are too many amongst
us already, who cannot speak of it with LECT. patience. But the powers of the world can S proceed no farther than God shall permit; and when things are at the worst, and seemingly past remedy, then will the time of the promise draw nigh; God shall interpose in what form and manner he sees best; and the church shall be conducted to glory and liberty, as the afflicted Hebrews were led forth to the possession of the land of Canaan.
ON MIRACLES; PARTICULARLY, THE MIRA
CLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, AS THEY
LECT. W E are prepared to consider the X.
VV miracles of the gospel, as descriptive of something beyond theinselves ; because we have already seen how the miracles of Moses, for the saving of the Israe elites, are applied in the New Testament, as figures of the saving of all mankind by Jesus Christ. Our Saviour applied the lifting up of the serpent by Moses in the wilderness, to the lifting up of himself upon the cross, to draw all men unto him for the cure of their souls. The apostle tells us, that the rock which Mofes smote, to give drink to the people, was Chrift; that is, a figure of Christ, smitten for our fins, and giving to a thirsty world the wa- LECT, ters of life. Moses fed the people with manna; but that manna was a figure of the true bread from beaven which giveth life unto the world. These things were our examples: the miracles wrought for them were signs of the miracles to be wrought for us. And as it was under the law, so it is under the gospel: the miracles of Christ are not of any private interpretation ; but, like the miracles of Moses, with a miraculous effect carry a miraculous signification.
And now, for the right understanding of this whole matter, we are to consider, that the name of Jesus was given, because he who bore it was to save his people from their fins. Sin is the great distemper of man, and salvation from sin is the great deliverance. The want of grace is the greatest want of man, and therefore grace is the greatest gift of God. To fave us from sin, and restore us to grace, was the great work which Jesus Christ descended from heaven to accomplish. Every word