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Philosophy is dug beneath the ground; is dark, cold, and comfortless; and was never visited by the sunshine of heaven. The miserable rusb-light, which glimmers along its walls, scarcely enables this goddess, of man's creation, to distinguish her own footsteps around the dreary cavern; and shows no avenue to the world above. Here no celestial messenger ever arrived; and no tidings from that world were ever announced. Here God is neither worshipped, loved, nor known; the voice of mercy was never heard ; and salvation was never proclaimed, sought, nor found.
The Gospel, at an immeasurable distance from this desolate mansion, is the garden of Eden in its pristine beauty. Here Jehovah manifests himself in the Shechinah; as of old he caused the glory of his presence to dwell at the east of Paradise above the Cherubim*. Here his answers are given to the inquiring penitent. Here angels are again heard praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest; peace on earth; and good-will lowards men.
Here the Saviour is born; and publishes the glad tidings of great joy. Here the Spirit of Grace fixes his divine abode, and sheds piety, and peace, and faith, and hope, upon the assembly of the first-born. Here, finally, commences the high-way of holiness, which leads directly to the regions of immortality:
Who, in this house, can contemplate these things without the strongest emotions ? Who can behold his all at hazard; his soul, his eternal well-being, at stake ; without inexpressible anxiety ? Life and death, both eternal, are here the objects of choice. Whose bosom must not thrill; whose heart must not throb ; when, famishing with thirst, and perishing with hunger, he hears a voice from heaven, calling directly to himself, Ho! every one that thirsteth! come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money : come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price. With what transport will he learn, that the voice, which conveys this delightful invitation, is the voice of the Son of God! Must not his soul expand, with ecstacy, to see the Almighty arm of this glorious Person stretch
* Genesis iii. 24, paraphrased by the Targüms.
ed out, to seize him, while walking on the brink of perdition, and convey him to the world of joy?
On the brink of perdition every sinner in this house is walking at the present moment. The only way, back, to eternal life ; the only safety, the only hope ; is found in the Gospel. Strive, then, with all possible earnestness to enter in at the strait gate, which stands at the head of this delightful path. Now the gate is open : soon, to you, it will be shut. Now the path is illumined by the Sun of righteousness : soon it will be lost in interminable darkness. Now heaven invites you to enter in, and be saved. Soon its doors will be closed for ever. Now God is reconcileable to you; the Saviour proffers himself, and all his blessings, to your acceptance ; and the Spirit of Grace is waiting to renew you to repentance. How soon will all these blessings retire beyond your reach ; the hope of salvation set, to rise no more ; and the voice of mercy be dumb for ever!
Aetions of Christ: Creation of the Universe,
nature, do. 38
I. 296, 313
II. 531, III, 111
III. 125, 140, 154
Atonement of Christ : its nature,
Attributes of God: Eternity,
Baptism : its Reality,
V. 287, 302
ed into the name of the
for our own, III. 141