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ance; and to temperance, patience ; and to patience, godli. ness ; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.” These are the titles, the ftars and the ribhons in the kingdom of heaven, and if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you thall neither be barren nor unfruiiful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let the spirit of adventure and fiience discover unknown regions and nations on the globe, and new planets in the firma. ment of heaven; be it your concern, Chriftian, your study, your employment, to contemplate, through the glass of promise, “ new heavens and a new caith, wherein dwelletba righteous ness.” Suffer the man of the world to enjoy his triumph ; sufter him to ouiftrip his rival, to run down his enemy ; be thine the more glorious triumph to promote a rival, to spare an ad. versary, as knowing that “ He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty : and he that ruleth his fpirit than he that taketh a ciiy."
Such, disciple of Jesus, be thy holy aspirations, such thy pride and ambition; and mảy such be thy blessed attainments even in time: thought is loft in contemplating “ the glory that is to follow. The beloved disciple ihall declare it, in the fublimity of his own conception and expression, or rather in the idea and diction with which the Holy Spirit supplied his pen : “ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that bath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
ISAIAH, Ļur. 8.
Who shall declare his generation ?
1 graphical account of their situation and extent ; of the climate and soil; of the names and the reason of imposing such names; of the era and the means of discovery ; of the original inhabitants, and of other circumstances 'tending either to communicate useful information or lo gratify curiosity." The biographer, in like manner, in delineating the life of bis prince, statesman, hero or philosopher, usally begins with tracing his pedigree and parentage, and enables the reader to form fome acquaintance with his ancestors, in order to introduce the personage himself with greater advantage and effect. ' But both the general historian andthe biographer quickly lose themselves in research. The origin of no ‘nation or individual can be traced up to its source. The light becomes fainter and fainter as we proceed, the object is rendered more obscure and uncer-tain, till time at length spreads his sable mantle over it, and we behold it no more. Who then shall declare his generation. who'" was in the beginning with God, by whom all things were made, and withou; whom was not any thing made that is made.” . We are advancing, men and brethren, upon holy ground ; ground sacred as Eden's blissful plains, as the region which surrounded the bush that burned with fire, as Sinai's awful summit. Borne aloft on the pinions of the celestial dove, we are aiming a bold, adventurous flight into the heaven of heav. ens, to expatiate through the boundless regions of eternity, to contemplate objects which “angels desire to look into,” to search into the “g eat mystery of godliness,” to lose ourselves in seeking " to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge."
We are going tu attempt a delineation of the Life and His. tory of Jesus Chrift, the Saviour of Men. My heart fails at the thought of the task which I have undertaken; my tongue.
cleaves to the roof of my mouth. Spirit of Grace, etablira thou my heart
thou my voice inspire, " Who touch'd lsaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!" The question of the prophet which has now been read, and which suggested the idea that we mean to pursue through this Lecture, is interwoven with a variety of pointed and Itribing predictions which, whether taken separately or in their combi. nation, can apply only to one person ; and who that person is, no doubt can possibly be entertained when we consider, that this is the very passage of Scripture to, which Philip the Evangelift was providentially directed, as a text for “ preaching Jelus," to the Ezhiopian Eunuch. I shall not employ any part of your time in detailing ihe various opinions which have been entertained respecting the meaning of the paslage in general, or the precise import of the term “ generation' in particular. The question appears simply to be a bold defiance given to all created wildom to investigate, to untold the generation, the origin, the essence of that wonderiul Person concerning whom such singular circumstances and events are predicted ; it amounts to a strong and politive affirmation that it is impossible to declare Him as he is, io trace his existence through the fuccessive periods of duration up to its commencement, as you may do that of a mere man from the moment of his birth, or through a series of ancestors. What, in this view, is the ob. vious doctrine of ihe iext? That the generation of Him who the Spirit of prophecy, and the corresponding history represent as an innocent, patient, vicarious sufferer, extends beyond the sphere of created nature, eludes pursuit, spreads the gory of eternity around it, and conceals it from mortal eyes. It is 'worthy of remark, that the genealogy of our blessed Lord's humanity is more clear, and distinct, and extended, than that of any other person. Two several Evangelists have declared it; purluing it, through two different but parallel channels, up to Abraham, and from him up to the common Father of the human race. In this respect, therefore, “the Spirit himselt helpeih our infirmity ;” and he who by the mouth of Isaiah seems to forbid and defy all inquiry, by the pen of Matthew and Luke, makes a clear and full discovery, and enables us to trace the pedigree of Jesus Christ, like that of any other man, It is the peculiar privilege of the sacred volume to unfold the real history of human nature, of the globe, of the universe, to follow nature up to the hour of her birth, to declare “ the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were
created ; in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the .
You are well aware that the doctrine, whics we wish to ef..
icated, and on it we would again prelent our whole selves as living sacrifice unto the one true God, and “our Saviour Je. sus Chrift ; to whom be glory forever and ever.”
" Who shall declare his generation ?" Incapable thou art, O man, to trace back the short and sender thread of thy own existence and descent. Thou mayest have lome faint recollection of weak and dependent childhood; of a father's early care. and of a mother's tenderness; of the anzusements, the compan. ions, the solicitudes, the sorrows and joys of thy boyish days. But all beyond is a blank; to thee creation began a tew years ago; the second or third, at moft, of thy own immediate pro. genitors, is blended with the men who lived beyond the flood. We are ignorant of and unknown to each other. How much more lo are the men of distant nations and of times more remote ? But family tradition, national ecord, the inspired page can supply the want of personal knowledge, can carry us back to departed torefathers, and bring them down to us. But what recollection, what tradition, what record, can carry us beyond the birth of nature, can convey us to a Aate of exiftence previous to the lapse of time ? Now the person of whom the prophet speaks, as we saw in the preceding Lecture, is the WORD who spake all things into existence, who built the world, who spread the flood, wbo set time a flowing, who “ breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life.” Who then of the sons of men, which of the angels of God snall declare the generation of Him who made thern what they are, who placed them in their stations, who prescribed to them bounds which they cannot pass ? The slightest detail of nature, 0 man, prelents a mystery which thou canst not solve, a world, which thou canst not comprehend unto perfection. That seed cast into the ground cannot be “ quickened except it die;" canst thou declare the generation of this infect, to day a butter. fly, yesterday a moth, the third day a mere lifeless incrustation, and prelumest thou to explain the great mystery of godliness, “God made manifest in the flesh ;' at so many different times, in such divers manners made known unto the Fathers by the prophets; and in these last days unveiled to us in the person of the Son, the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his person? We repeat the question, understandest thou, and art thou able to unfold, the union that exists in thy own frame, between the clay tabernacle and the immorial mind ; earth and heaven blended in thine own person ? And fhall " it be thought a thing incredible,” that lie who, in the uninterrupted course of his providence, produces this union