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the service of God. Such is the sub- Sect. II. stance and intention of the promise made with an oath to Abraham, as explained by Zacharias, and fulfilled under the gospel. In the mean time, between the promise and it's accomplishment it pleased God to interpose a difpensation, which exhibited a visible representation of this great and important transaction, in the case of the children of Israel, or the posterity of Abraham according to the flesh, who, after having been long detained in cruel bondage by Pharaoh and the Egyptians, were delivered out of the hands of " their enemies;" and delivered for this purpose, that they might serve God with a prefigurative service, calculated to last “ till the feed should come, to « whom the promise was made.” For thus Jehovah faith to Mofes, " When “ thou hast brought forth the people “ out of Egypt, they shall serve God upon
this mountain." So that when, at the transfiguration of our Lord upon mount Tabor, Mofes discoursed with him on the subject of “his decease,”, a Exod. iii, 12.
Sect. II. or, as it is in the original, his EXODUS, V« which he should accomplish at Jeru
salem," may we not imagine to ourfelves the deliverer of Israel addressing the world's Redeemer in some such words as these By my hand the Lord God of Israel did once vouchsafe to bring forth his people from the afflicting bondage of Egypt; but thou shalt turn the multitude of the Gentiles from the power of Satan to God. I saw the Lord make a path through the waters, for his redeemed to pass over ; but thou shalt find a more wonderful way through the waves of death; and though the floods shall compass thee about, yet shall thy life be brought up from corruption. I beheld the chariots of Pharaoh and the mighty host of Egypt plunging in the deep, when the morning appeared ; but thou shalt "triumph over principalities and powers, and see them overwhelmed in the lake of fire. I led my people through the wilderness, and
them a law which had “ the shadow of good “things to come;" but thou shalt conduct thine through the world,' and teach them to “worship in spirit and
« in truth.” I went before Israel to Sect. II. the borders of the promised land; but thou art the true shepherd of souls, and they who follow thee shall “ pass from « death unto life.'
Zacharias concludes his divine song with an apostrophe to the infant Baptist, as one who was designed by providence to be the precursor of such a Saviour, and the publisher of such falvation.
" And thou child shalt be called
« his ways;
10.“ To give knowlege of salvation
“ unto his people for the remis-
“The law prophesied until John,” who succeeded it in it's office of pointing out the Messiah, and spake the language of it's institutions, when he said, i Behold the Lamb of God, which "i taketh away the sin of the world.”
Sect. II.“ Remiffion of sins" is the doctrine in
which the Christian religion justly glorieth, as that most necessary and fundamental point, in which every other religion fails. The heathen confesseth himself to be in the dark; he guesseth only what is the will of God, whom he knoweth not. He hath not strength to perform what he imagineth to be such ; and he understandeth not the meaning of the sacrifices and lustrations derived to him by tradition. The blood of bulls and goats cannot wash away the sins of the Jew ; and his oblations, since the truth is come, which they were intended to prefigure, are preposterous, and impious. The Mahometan hath no evidence for the miflion of his prophet, no argument for his religion but the sword, and no heaven but fense. The doctrine of « salvation
by the remission of sins," through faith in a Redeemer, was, from the beginning, the sum and substance of true religion, which subsisted in promise, prophecy, and figure, till John preached their accomplishment in the person of Jefus. Paganism was a corruption of it
before that time, as Mahometism hath Sect. II. been since; and modern Judaism is an apostasy from it. And will Christians go away, and forsake their Redeemer ? To whom can they go ? He hath the words of eternal life: he only can give “ salvation by the remission of sins.” It is this religion which enlightens the understanding with true knowlege, and warms the heart with true charity : it is this which alone brings confidence, and comfort, and joy, and bids fear and despondency fly away: it is this which raises the soul, as it were, from the dead, puts new vigour into all her powers and faculties, and animates her to duty, by the powerful motives it suggesteth : it is this which is a counterbalance to the temptations of sense, by the promises made to our faith which supports the infirmity of nature by the glorious objects proposed to our hope ; and which triumphs over the opposition of the world, by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts: it procures us the only solid happiness there is in this world, and opens a way to the felicities of the next : it holds him out