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absurd in the highest degree, what can be plainer, or more satisfactory, than the Scripture relation of it; likewise of the fall of man, and of the origin of that evil we find to exist in the world? what clearer than the relation of the glorious scheme of man's redemption? With respect to the duty God requires from man, can words more clearly express that will, than as it is expressed in the Old Testament, in the Ten Commandments, and in this com prehensive sentence of the prophet Micah, 6. He hath shewed thee, Oman, what is
good; and what doth the Lord require of “ thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, “and to walk humbly with thy God?” And in the New Testament, than by our Saviour's sermon
on the mount, and his summing up the whole duty of man, in loving the Lord our God with all our heart, and doing by our neighbour as we would be done unto? Can any words describe the amiable character of God in plainer terms than he himself makes use of in the delineation of that character to Moses ; “ The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and
gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for " thousands, forgiving iniquity and trans
gression and sin, and that will by no means “ clear the guilty?" Or can words more plainly express the manner in which God is pleased to rule and govern the world and human affairs than these; “I am the Lord, which “ exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and
righteousness in the earth : for in these things
I delight, saith the Lord?” Is it not mentioned in the clearest and most unambiguous terms, in various parts of Scripture, that to those who will love, honour, and obey him, God will give his peace, blessing, and favour in this life, and, through his goodness, and for the merits of his Son, everlasting happiness in the next? And are not in the same holy pages the severest inflictions denounced against obstinate men, who, in spite of reason, conscience, and the word of God, will persist in disobedience to his commands?
With respect to what we are required to believe, God declares in the most intelligible manner, that " the seed of the woman should “ bruise the serpent's head: that ultimately sin « and satan should be vanquished, and death u swallowed up in victory: that he so loved “ the world, as to send his only-begotten Son w into it, that mankind should not perish, but
" have everlasting life:” accordingly at his own proper time he does so. A long train of prophecies, delivered in many succeeding ages, identify, by precise and unequivocal signs and marks, the character and person of our blessed Saviour; they all meet in him, and answer to his person and character, and to him only, in so distinguished and remarkable a manner, as not to admit the possibility of any unless wilful mistake. He himself gives these unquestionable proofs of his divine origin and mission. He speaks as no man ever spake; teaches doctrines calculated to make the souls of men happy in this life, and wise unto salvation; does works which no man ever did ; performs miracles so various and public, so unpremeditatedly, and so adapted to the occurring occasion, as to any fair, candid, and considerate mind excludes all idea of counterfeit or forgery. He arises from death; appears after his resurrection to his disciples, with whom he eats and drinks, and his body is felt and examined by them; and after, by his death, opening the kingdom of heaven to all believers, he ascends into heaven, to be our Mediator and Intercessor with our heavenly Father, and promises to send on earth the Holy Ghost the Comforter,
to dwell in the hearts of the righteous, and to sway them to the acquisition of that holiness, which it is required of every man to possess before he can be admitted into the presence of God.
As these doctrines respecting our faith and practice are thus clearly and intelligibly expressed, so is the evidence which proves them equally convincing, when properly. examined and attended to; of the truth of which no fair and candid person will dispute or entertain any doubt, when he considers, that this evidence, after the most elaborate investigation, and strictest and severest scrutiny, has invariably from age to age, during a period of more than seventeen centuries, convinced men of the greatest genius, learning, and talents, laymen as well as clergymen, of its truth. Now what ends can any man propose to himself to accomplish, from a mystical interpretation of Scripture, greater or nobler than is to be attained by this literal interpretation of it? For to the man who forms his ideas of the attributes of the Deity, and of his gracious conduct to the human race; and who in humility and sincerity of heart follows those rules of Scripture, which are given for his faith and conduct in life, in
e plain and literal way in which they are divulged to his understanding; the noble result will be, his enjoyment of the peace of God, and habitual cheerfulness in this life, and, through the goodness of God, and the merits of his blessed Redeemer, an entire belief, when he dies, that he shall enjoy everlasting happiness in a life to come. There are millions of human beings who, receiving this divine theory in the literal manner in which it is expressed, and forming their faith and practice on it, are living testimonies of the truth of this assertion, as it relates to their present enjoyment of the peace of God; and millions more, who, in consequence of having adopted and practised the same theory during their lives, have proved its truth at their death, by dying the death of the righteous, and in the fullest persuasion of being admitted into the kingdom of God, and of partaking of those pleasures which are at the right hand of God for evermore. It is scarcely possible to imagine, that those who give way to Calvin's mystical interpretation of Scripture, with respect to their faith and practice, and who entertain such ideas as he did respecting the conduct of God to man, can either live or die with equal com