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LECT, because in such there can be no faith pro

perly so called ; in as much as it will either have falle objects, or none at all.

II.

In the religion of the Gentiles, there was a sort of faith, but it was chiefly directed to objects fabulous and false. The Mythology (by which I mean the religious mysteries) of the Greeks, gave them a traditionary account of the world's original : of its destruction by the flood; of a future paradise (called Elysium) for the virtuous; and a place of torment (called Tartarus) for the punishment of departed fouls, after a formal trial and condemnation by the judges of the infernal regions: and they preserved the institution of sacrifice; thereby confessing their dependence on invisible powers for the expiation of fin. They also maintained the doctrine of man's natural blindness and impotence without the aflistance and inspiration of their deities, for which they never failed to invoke them in their compositions and great undertakings. Modern times have been refining upon the reformation, till by degrees they

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II.

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have conceived and brought forth a fort LECT.
of philosophical religion, distinct from
every thing the world had seen before ;
because it is a religion without faith. The
scheme of our Deifts, as they call them-
selves, has nothing in it of things past;
no fact or tradition to ground itfelf upon:
it has no facraments, nor services of any
kind, to keep up an intercourse with
heaven ; it expects no predicted judgment,
and has no particular view of

any thing
after this life. Thus having no objects of
faith, it teaches no dependence, which
alone renders the most just man accept-
able to God. It actually inculcates inde-
pendence, and glories in it: it has neither
church, nor facraments, nor religious wor-
Thip, nor allegiance, nor submission to God
or man; and therefore, it comes more
nearly up to the wishes of the Devil, the
great author and first father of indepen-
dence, than any religion ever professed in
the world before. If dependence upon
God be the characteristic of a religious
man, then it must be better to believe the
labours of Hercules, the future judgment

of

7

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LECT. of Rhadamanthus, and to do facrifice to fu-
II.

piter, than to be of this persuasion; because
the worst religion, professed in natural ig-
norance and sincerity, must be preferable
to that proud and incorrigible ignorance,
which wilfully rejects all the religion in
the world.

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From the two general reafons I have now given you, it appears, that the law and the gospel are the same religion under different forms : for they have the fame name, and are distinguished by the same character ; that is, by the great principle of faith, which is essential to both. To these two general reasons, I shall now subjoin as many particular ones as are necessary, from the Epistle under our consideration ; in all of which it is required of me to Thew, that as the principle of faith is common to both Testaments, so the articles of faith were in general the fame.

1. We have seen already, that the Son of God had been revealed to the Hebrews as the Creator of the world, and fitting at

the

II.

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.

the right hand of God, in certain paffages, LECT.
of which the worst of the Jews did not
dispute the application ; and with all this,
that he should yet be partaker of fleshy and
blood, * and in all things made like unto his
brethren; as Moses had before declared in
the law; the Lord thy God will raise up unto
thee a prophet from the midt of thee, of thy
brethren, like unto me. fo So particular is
this prophecy, that it is twice given in the
book of Deuteronomy, and twice reasoned
from in the Asts of the Apostles, first by St.
Peter, and afterwards by St. Stephen, in
their discourses to the Jews. I

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2. The necessity of mediation with God on the behalf of man, was signified by the priesthood of the law; to teach the people, that prayer could not be heard, nor sin pardoned, without a priest to intercede, and blood to expiate. But then, that this was only a figurative priesthood, a figurative intercession, à figurative atonement, serving for a time, to describe what should * Chap. ii. 14. of Deut. ch. xviii. 15. 18.

Acs iii. 22, and vii. 37.

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come

II.

LECT. come after, and supersede the descriptive

services of the law ; the apostle here proves from the Old Testament itself, where a prophet pronounces them infufficient; in burnt offerings and sacrifices for fin that haft had no pleasure-Then said be, lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second; * that is, he taketh away the services of the law, that he may bring in Christ to do the will of God. In the volume of the book it had been written of him ; for the book of the law spoke this language in every part of it, that Christ should come to do the will of God for our fanctification.

3. The law shewed moreover, how this should be effected : for it was dedicated with blood, and its precepts and promises were called a Testament, that is, a Will, such as is made and witnessed amongst men for the conveying and settling an inheritance in a lawful way. Hence it followed, that no service could be accepted without the offering of blood; and that the death of * Chap. x. 6.9.

the

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