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a thousand, and that it is of his mercy we are not consumed, and because his compassions fail not. It implies, that we depend on him for assistance to enable us to perform our duty, that he may perfect strength in our weakness, preserve us from the influence of temptation, and keep us by his mighty power, through faith unto salvation. And this temper which is so suitable to us, while encompassed about with so many infirmities, will continue to actuate the minds of the faithful in a future state. For, while they contemplate the perfections of the Deity and other beings superior to them in wisdom, and holiness; they must be constrained to acknowledge, that they have not yet attained, neither are already perfect, and therefore they will pray that God would sanctify them wholly in soul, body, and spirit, till they are changed into his image from glory to glory, by the powerful influences of the Holy Ghost.-Another mental quality which is particularly enjoined in the gospel, as necessary for our present peace, and future happiness, is meekness or gentleness of disposition. Accordingly our Lord says, " blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This includes patience and forbearance with the violent tempers of mankind, unwillingness to retaliate provocations and abusive treatment, and a disposition to live peaceably with all men. The excellence of this virtue will appear, by considering that we thereby preserve our souls in that state of equanimity, which is so necessary to self-enjoyment, and check those froward emotions which would involve us in contention with those around us. While the irritable and impetuous are constantly disturbing the concord of society, the meek and peaceable live quietly, and without offence, and dwell together like brethren in unity. And while the quarrelsome and outrageous thereby assimilate themselves to those infernal fiends among whom discord and animosity prevail for ever; the meek and gentle will be associated with those happy spirits, who love one another with pure hearts fervently, and among whom the strife of tongues is never heard. If, therefore, we wouli' be admitted to the company of saints made perfect, let us not be hasty


in our spirit to be angry, but forbear, and forgive one another, even as God for Christ's sake, hath forgiven us. -Allied to this amiable quality, is another, which is strongly recommended in the gospel of Christ, as necessary to render us acceptable in the sight of God, and heirs of his heavenly kingdom. This is universal charity, and good will to all our brethren of mankind. It displays itself in acts of kindness, complacency and benevolence to those who require our affectionate regards. It teaches us to be loving to our domestics, friendly to our neighbours, sympathizing with the afflicted, and generous to the poor. In short, it should inspire us with desire to promote the happiness of every one as we have opportunity; and never do any thing which might occasion inneasiness to any with whom we have intercourse. This disposition is so indispensable, that it is the peculiar characteristic of the Christian spirit, and the test by which we are distinguished as the servants of our divine Master. By this, says he, “ shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another.” It is a precept so beneficial for our happiness, that were men actuated by it, they would soon be relieved from all those inquietudes arising from their unruly passions of anger, envy, revenge, and malice, which are so often found to embitter human life. And it is no less essential as a qualification for the enjoyment of heaven, for, if the spiteful and malignant were admitted there, they would disturb the tranquillity of those blessed abodes, but, as universal love shall be established among the saints made perfect; therefore, we must now be kindly affectioned one towards another, with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another.

While these social virtues are required as qualifications necessary for the participation of eternal life, there are also other graces, without which, “no man shall see the Lord.” These may be comprehended under the gecharacter, and render it altogether indisposed to the service of religion. For, if we suffer our minds to be enslaved by objects of sense and vanity, we will never feel any delight in those spiritual employments which elevate the affections to God and the things above; and when we are introduced into another world, we will be incapable of relishing those mental pleasures which consist in the contemplation and worship of our Maker in the realms of bliss. If, then, we would be admitted into his presence, where holy exercises shall engage our attention, let us now purify ourselves, even as he is pure ; for, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.—Lastly, as we live in a world where we are constantly solicited by our circumstances to be anxious what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed, let us abstract ourselves occasionally from earthly concerns, that we may think and prepare for that new heaven, and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness; and while we are diligent in business, let us be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; that when our pilgrimage here below is finished, we may enter into that rest which remains for the people of God, and sit down with Abra. ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

Having thus described the excellence of Christianity, in discovering to us the existence of a future state, and the means of preparing ourselves for its enjoyment. I proceed to prove,

III. The divine character and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the reasonableness of believing in the revelation he has made.

The apostle St. Peter was persuaded of the dignified nature of his master, from the extraordinary circumstances of his birth, the miraculous operations which he performed, and the sublime doctrines which he delivered to the world. Accordingly he says in the words of the text, “ we believe, and are sure, that thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” The evidence of our Lord's divinity was apparent to his followers, and sufficient to convince them of the truth of his pretensions as the Messiah promised to the Fathers, For, the person whom they expected under that character was always believed by the Jews to be the son of God; if, therefore, it can be proved, that he answered the description given by the prophets, this will be a presumptive proof of his divine character. Now we find, that his genealogy, and descent, the time and place of his birth, the manner of his life, the nature of his miracles, the circumstances of his death, resurrection, and ascension, exactly corresponded with the predictions respecting that illustrious personage who should appear in the world in the latter days, and that they never were fulfilled in any other.

Notwithstanding the obscurity of his condition, yet many testimonies of his divinity were given from on high, when the Holy Ghost descended upon him, and declared that he was the son of God, when angels from heaven were heard asserting his dignified character, and when a voice frein the excellent glory announced, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” These tokens of his Godhead were known to the disciples, and confirmed the belief in him as the son of God. And when, muncover, they heard the gracious words which proceeded from liis mouth, and beheld the astonishing miracles performed by his hands, they were more and more convinced of his heavenly origin, and that he was God manifested in the flesh. -We also, on whom the ends of the world are come, have abundant evidence to persuade us of the divine nature of the author of our faith. For he was declared to be the son of God, by his resurrection from the dead, he manifested his omnipotence by imparting power to his apostles to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people, and supporting the cause of his religion in the world against all the opposition it met with from the policy of its enemies:-Besides, we have unequivocal attestations of his divinity in the writings of his inspired disciples, who declared that the “ Word was God, that he thought it not robbery to be equal with God, and that he was the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Now, if the Christian ter of its founder, we must credit the record which God has given of his son, and believe that he is the Christ whom he hath sent,

But, it may be said, that many impostors have arisen in the world, who pretended to be commissioned from on high, as well as he, and how shall we judge whether he may not also be one of that number. In proof of the truth of his character and mission, we appeal to the credentials which he produced. Besides receiving communications from heaven by angelic beings, and performing miracles by his own power; he was raised from the dead, according to the scriptures, as an attestation of his divinity, which was an event that: never happened in the case of any other individual who assumed the title of a messenger from God. This is an external evidence for Christianity peculiar to it, and to it alone of all other religions that have appeared in the world.—And not only so, but its internal evidence is sufficient to recommend its divine authority to every one capable of appreciating its value. For, its doctrines are more subline and rational, and its precepts more consonant with right reason, than those of any religious system which has been propagated either in ancient or modern times. While the Pagan, and even the Jewish theology represented God as a Being, endowed with qualities, inconsistent with the perfection of his nature, Christianity exhibits him as possessed of every excellence, both physical and moral; while all other religions were at a loss to determine how man could be reconciled to his Maker; Christianity informs us, that through the mediation of his only begotten son, he hath reconciled the world to himself, not imputing unto men their trespasses; while every other system of morals recommends virtues that are incompatible with the spirit of true goodness, such as ambition, and valour, pride and revenge; Christianity enjoins piety, humility, meel-ness, gentleness, purity, and heavenly-mindedness,

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