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us, the voice and testimony of God himself, making known the certainty of that salvation wrought by his beloved Son, and declaring what we are to believe and do, that we may inherit Life Eternal.

Say not, then, that you want better evidence to satisfy you of these momentous truths. Put not your salvation to hazard, by adopting the scoffs and cavils of the libertine and blasphemer. Call to mind the faith and constancy, the doctrine and conduct, the spirit and power, which marked the lives and actions of the Apostles, throughout their eventful history. Remember that Peter, who had once denied his Lord ;- that Thomas, who, during a short interval of suspense, doubted his Resurrection ;—that Paul, who had been once a grievous persecutor of the disciples of Christ ;—that all these became, not only thorough converts to the truth, but were among the foremost in their subsequent labours for the Gospel ;—and that even Judas, the traitor, repented, when too late, of his apostasy and treachery. What will “con“ vince the gainsayers,” if such examples as these fail to produce their effect? Or who shall set his own surmises and suspicions in competition with such testimonies as these? God grant, that, duly pondering these things, we may all “ so perfectly, and without all

doubt, believe in his Son Jesus Christ, that “ our faith in his sight may never be reSERMON X.

proved ;” and that finally we may “receive “ the end of our faith, even the salvation of

our souls !"

1 Cor. xiii. 5.

Charity ... thinketh no evil.

AMONG the boasted attainments of the present age, (an age, perhaps, somewhat too much addicted to boasting,) none appears to be more loudly vaunted than that which is denominated Liberality of Sentiment. At no period, it is said, was there ever manifested so conciliating a disposition towards characters and opinions of whatever kind, as that which distinguishes the present generation. The time of Bigotry and Intolerance is gone by. Prejudices are daily diminishing and disappearing. The mind is no longer shackled with the fetters of undue authority. Mankind are becoming more and more enlightened : and with the fresh accessions of knowledge every where springing up, are introduced a spirit of free inquiry, and habits of unrestrained discussion, on topics of every description, which produce the happiest effects,

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in the enlargement of men's intellectual faculties, and in leading them to think favourably of all who indulge in the same latitude of opinion, however different may be the result of their investigations, or however opposite the principles and the practices by which those investigations are conducted. And thus are we represented to have at length arrived, or nearly so, at that perfection of Candour and Benevolence, which Christianity itself inculcates, and which exalts the human character to its highest pitch of excellence.

Such are the pretensions continually advanced in favour of the times on which we have fallen : pretensions, high-sounding, indeed, and captivating; but not to be admitted without careful examination ; lest we should be found, under the appearance of cultivating one of the most estimable graces of the Christian character, to be, in effect, encouraging that which is hostile to the true spirit of our Religion, and incompatible with some of its most important precepts.

With those who admit the authority of the Sacred Writings, no rule is more unquestionable, than that Scripture is to be interpreted by Scripture ; so that the nature and limits of each particular duty that is enjoined may be determined by reference to other injunctions equally authoritative in their kind. By this rule, then, let us proceed to examine that branch of Christian Charity which St. Paul has delineated in the words of the text; endeavouring to form a just estimate of the pretensions alluded to, by comparing them with the standard of Scriptural Truth.

That Charitythinketh no evilis a general maxim, admitting (like all other general propositions) certain restrictions and modifications. It can hardly be supposed to mean, that Charity thinks equally well of all men ; that it entertains the same regard for the good as for the bad; or that it obliges us to overcome that abhorrence of evil which is essential to the very character of goodness. This it were impossible to do with sincerity; and pernicious, if it could be done. We are constrained, therefore, to seek for some other interpretation of its meaning.

Purity of principle, simplicity, and sincerity of heart, are every where inculcated, or presupposed, in Holy Writ, as indispensable to our acceptance with God.

6 Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” “ The wisdom that is from above is first

pure, then peaceable.” “Let love be without dissimulation." Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

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