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be made to him. For every comfort and necessary of life, for the air we breathe and the light which cheers us, we are indebted to his mercy. But there is a boon far more precious than these fleeting enjoyments. To us miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the sbadow of death, hath the promise of salvation been given. To all, my brethren, to all who acknowledge their transgressions; who repent and bewail their offences; who humble their souls before God; will he give pardon and peace. But the ransom which our Redeemer paid, will not avail us, if our hearts be still hardened, our spirits unsubdued. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Look then well to yourselves, ye that are high-minded one to another, ye who rely upon your own strength, and never ask God's aid, or God's blessing. Ye that are striving to excel in some matter of merely human importance; ye that would be great upon earth ; ye that court the applause of your fellows, and then deem yourselves exalted by their approbation ; in wbat do ye resemble the meekness and the simplicity of childhood? And yet you must put on these Christian
would become partakers of the blessings of the Gospel. May God then, my beloved brethren, so enlighten your minds to a sense of your evil ways ; may he so fill your hearts with the spirit of humility and devotion; may be so turn you from the stubbornness and pride of this world ; that your
be renewed through his mercy, avd purified by his grace; that they may be refrained and“ kept low, like as a child that is weaned from his mother," that they may in truth become " like that of a weaned child."
HABAKKUK II, 4.
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him :
but the just shall live by his faith.
There are gleams of the gospel light scattered over many parts of the Old Testament, which are too often overlooked by ordinary readers; but which, when discovered, are replete with the deepest interest and consolation. They are so for various reasons; the most important of which is, that a satisfactory and convincing proof is thereby afforded, that the old and new covenants both proceed from the hands of one Almighty Being, and are parts of the same great and comprehensive design. It has been repeatedly stated, that the Jewish law was but a preparation for the Christian dispensation ; that every part of its ceremonies and its ordinances, was intended to prefigure something, far more solemn and more holy, in the gospel institution. And if we examine and search into the writings of Moses and the prophets, every fresh inquiry will add to our conviction of the truth of these observations, and enable us to discover new links of beautiful and intimate union.
The one great doctrine inculcated in the gospel, is that of justification by faith alone, through the merits of Jesus Christ. We need not pause here in order to prove this point. There is scarcely a page in the New Testament which does not, either by immediate declaration or obvious inference, bear positive testimony to its truth ; and there are few denominations of protestant Christians who are hardy enough to deny it, however feeble be the influence which such a belief exercises over their own hearts.
It becomes, then, necessarily a question of some interest, to ascertain what traces, if
any, are given in the Old Testament of such a saving principle. We cannot, indeed, with any reason, expect to find justification through faith in the Redeemer, expressly set forth in the sacred records of the Jews; because the notices which are there given of the promised Messiah, refer rather to him as the great atonement for sin, than to the means by which his mercy will be made available to us.
All we can justly look for is, a declaration that we shall be considered righteous before God through faith, and not by obedience. Now we do not deny that this doctrine, though, as we shall presently see, manifest enough to shew that it is the everlasting purpose of God, is not very frequently, nor perbaps very plainly proclaimed in the Old Testament. But if we consider the subject attentively, we shall discover, I think, that there is design in this ; that one great purpose of the Almighty in establishing the Jewish commonwealth, and in giving it its varied and remarkable code of laws, was answered, by leaving this fundamental article of our faith to be fully revealed, under a future and more perfect covenant.
Of the various reasons which have been assigned for the separation of the Jewish people from the other nations of the earth, all, perbaps, in some respects, partaking of the truth, there is one not so frequently insisted upon as it deserves to be, to which I desire, on the present occasion, to call your most serious attention. It becomes not, indeed, such frail and sinful beings as ourselves, to attempt to pry curiously into the designs of the Almighty; and probable it is, that, when the veil which shrouds our perceptions now shall be removed, when hereafter we shall see things face to face ; if any earthly remembrances remain upon our minds, we shall wonder at the vanity and errors of many of those visionary speculations, in which we, with so much fondness, occasionally indulge. Still, although we may not