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Jesus our Saviour, the sacrifice to purge our sins; He is JEHOVAH our Righteousness, to justify our persons. Whatever names are peculiar to Him throughout the prior dispensations, and which we may hereafter collect, they are all blended in our code of faith, in the beloved Son of God, who was to take away the sins of the world; who is the everlasting King of everlasting love and peace, whose mercies are everlasting, because He is everlasting. Like Abraham, therefore, may we obey his voice, and keep his charge, his commandments, his statutes, and his laws; and then we shall be called to sit down with Him in the kingdom prepared for us before the foundation of the world.
HEBREWS xi. 7.
By faith Noah, being warned of GOD of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith,
As far as we have hitherto pursued the object
of our enquiry, it has been to set before you, in the plain though prophetic language of scripture, the great doctrines of Christianity; to lead you to the true knowledge of your GoD and Saviour; to prove the stability of his mercy and faithfulness to his church and people, and that those whom He hath once loved, and was pledged to save, He will love and preserve to the end. But before we proceed to the distin
guishing particulars of the Mosaic dispensation, and from thence to the brighter era of Christianity, let us look back upon the visitations of GOD's Providence, and try, whether we can discover among them any that may furnish additional proofs to our general argument, or any that may strengthen it by distinct illustration.
Admitting the Bible to be the written word of GOD, and an authentic narrative of events, under his immediate guidance and direction ; it is a history in which every human being is concerned, and it must be a revelation of duties of permanent and perpetual obligation. The object of it is the instruction of man created after the image of his Maker; and whatever may have been the mode or degree of divine communications, the tendency of them has been the same; the revelation, the prophecy, and the miracle, all conspire to promote one heavenly purpose: they are only the different parts of a building unto God, Christ being the chief corner-stone; and the work of redemption, which neither the passions of men have frustrated, nor any convulsions of nature altered, will remain firm and immove
able upon the rock of our salvation, till the whole be completed in the final deliverance of the faithful.
If we lose sight of this grand and gracious design, every thing that has passed, or is now passing, in the world, becomes a confused revolution of events; which, like the waves of the sea, beat upon the shore of time with a momentary noise, and soon sink into the calm of oblivion: the promises and rewards, the threatenings and the punishments, the destruction and deliverances, which appear as invariable consequences of man's observance or neglect of his duties, cease to be admonitions and examples recorded for our instruction, no longer vindicate the ways of GOD to man, but present a series of marvellous occurrences, of which a lapse of ages may be allowed to erase the remembrance, or which temporal ease and immediate security forbid us from connecting with any personal or national application.
To what this forgetfulness of God's judgments has led mankind, let the heathen world pronounce; of the miseries to which it is now leading them, let the christian world beware.
The wheels of Providence are not turned round by blind chance, nor directed by human agency. They are full of eyes round about, and they are guided by the spirit of GOD; where the spirit goes, they go; and whether rolling over kingdoms, or crushing a whole people in their motion, they set out from the throne, and to the throne of Him, who is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, will they again return, with the accomplished work of redemption.
The scriptures, and the scriptures only, unfold one entire system of divine administration from the creation to the end of all things; and man, with all his passions, is made subservient to it.
Distinct from every other history, the narrative and the application go together; it addresses itself to every government, to every people, and to every individual. Without detailing their errors, or commenting upon their good or evil management, it manifests the interfering Providence of GOD in every part of his moral administration, it cries aloud to us, them that honour me I will honour, and them that despise me shall be lightly esteemed; and whilst it is hard to select a maxim in the moral or po