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feature in the character of Jesus Christ. The resemblance is so striking, that all the fathers have observed it, and it is impossible to be deceived in it. What prejudice, what blindness, must possess the mind of that man who dares to compare the son of Sophroniscus to the Son of Mary ! What a distance is there between the one and the other The death of Socrates, philosophising calmly with his friends, is the most gentle that can be wished; that of Jesus, expiring in torments, insulted, derided, and reviled by all the people, the most horrible that can be imagined. Socrates taking the poisoned cup, blesses the man who presents it to him ; and who, in the very act of presenting it, melts into tears. Jesus, in the midst of the most agonizing tortures, prays for his enraged executioners. Yes, if the life and death of Socrates are those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus are those of a GOD.” +
It is not, then, the prejudice (as it has
been called) of a Christian education, it is not the mere dotage of superstition, or the
* Emile, v. 2. p. 167.
mere enthusiasm of pious affection and gratitude towards our Redeemer, which makes us discover in his character plain and evident marks of the SoN of GoD. They have been discovered and acknowledged by men who were troubled with no such religious infirmities; by one man who was a professed Pagan, and by another man who, without professing it, and perhaps without knowing it, was in fact little better than a Pagan. On the strength of these testimonies, then, added to the proofs which have been here adduced, we may safely assume it as a principle, that Jesus is the Son of God. The necessary consequence is, that every thing he taught comes to us with the weight and sanction of Divine AUTHORITY, and demands from every sincere disciple of Christ implicit belief, and implicit obedience. We must not, after this, pretend (as is now too much the prevailing mode) to select just what we happen to like in the Gospel, and lay aside all the rest; to admit, for instance, the moral and preceptive part, and reject all those sublime doctrines which are peculiar to the Gospel, and which form the wall of partition between Christianity, and what is called natural religion. This is assuming a liberty, and creating a distinction, which no believer in the divine authority of our Lord, can on any ground justify. Christ delivered all his doctrines in the name of God. He required that all of them, without exception, should be received. He has given no man a licence to adopt just as much, or as little of them, as he thinks fit. He has authorized no one human being to add thereto, or diminish therefrom. Let us, then, never presume thus to newmodel the Gospel, according to our own particular humour or caprice, but be content to take it as God has thought fit to leave it. Let us admit, as it is our bounden duty, on the sole ground of his authority, those mysterious truths which are far beyond the reach of any finite understanding, but which it was natural and reasonable to expect, in a revelation pertaining to that incomprehensible Being, “the High and Lofty One that “ inhabiteth eternity.” ". “Let us not ex“ercise ourselves in great matters, which “are too high for us, but refrain our souls “ and keep them low.”f Laying aside all the superfluity and all the pride of human wisdom, "let us hold fast the profession of "our faith without wavering," without refining, without philosophizing. Let us put ourselves without delay and without reserve, into the hands of our heavenly Guide, and submit our judgments, with boundless confidence, to his direction, who is, "the "way, the truth, and the life." * Since we know in whom we believe ; since it has been this day proved by one kind of argument, and might be proved by a thousand others, that he is the Son Of God ; let us never forget that this gives him a right, a divine right, to the obedience of our understandings, as well as to the obedience of our wills. Let us, therefore, resolutely beat down every bold imagination, "every high thing that "exalteth itself against the knowledge "of God; bringing into captivity every "thought to the obedience of Christ, and "receiving with meekness the ingrafted "word, that is able to save our souls.""-}
O TARRY THou THE LORD's LEISURE : BE STRONG, AND HE SHALL COMFORT THINE HEART ; AND PUT THOU THY TRUST IN THE LORD.
HAT this life is not, and was not intended to be, a state of perfect happiness, or even of constant ease and tranquillity, is a truth which no one will be disposed to controvert. That we are beset with dangers, and exposed to calamities of various kinds, which we can neither foresee nor avert, is equally certain. It is a fact, which, probably, most of those who now hear me know too well, from their own experience; and the rest will most assuredly know it, full time enough : for there cannot
* Preached at St. Paul's on the Thanksgiving-day for His Majesty's recovery, April 23, 1789.