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Gospel did not annul that purpose, or derogate from its importance; but confirmed it in every respect, and stamped upon it an indelible character of Divine authority.
The result of these inquiries should be to increase our veneration both for the one dispensation and the other. More especially should it impress upon us, that however wisely and mercifully adapted any preceding revelations may have been to the exigencies of former times, the full display of infinite perfections was reserved for that complete and final manifestation of the Divine will, under which it is our happiness to live. We can survey, as from a lofty eminence, giving us an entire command of the extensive scene on which these wondrous things have been transacted, the whole plan itself, the developement and connection of the several parts with each other, their mutual dependencies, their mutual cooperation, their combined effects. Let not such advantages be lost upon
Let it not be imputed to us, that we remain as much unaffected by them, as if we had never been placed within their reach. Let them elevate our thoughts and affections to the great “ Author and Finisher of our “ faith,” with whom these wonders originated, by whom they were conducted and carried on
from age to age, and in whom they have at last been brought to their perfect consummation.
To Him, therefore, who is “ Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last P,” to Him, who, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, is “God, blessed for evermore," be ascribed, as is most due, all honour and glory, might, majesty, and dominion, henceforth and for ever. Amen.
p Rev. i. 8.
ACTS xv. 5, 6. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Phari
sees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses. And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter.
SOME of the prejudices entertained against Christianity by the Jews, on its first promulgation, however unjust or ill-founded, were better entitled to patient consideration, and even to a certain degree of indulgence,
than many which, in later times, have been cherished by persons proud of being distinguished as philosophical unbelievers. They had this, at least, to give them plausibility, that they arose out of a professed reverence for Divine authority, and a dread of departing from what had once been clearly attested as the will of God. They did not partake of that rash spirit which sets up
man reason against divine revelation ; but recognised the duty of scrupulously adhering to the very letter of every thing which had borne the stamp of an heavenly origin. And, however erroneous might be the application of this principle, the principle itself is too sacred to be treated with levity or with disrespect.
The devout Jew, whether brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, or in some more humble schools of Pharisaical instruction, was habituated from his earliest infancy to regard the institutions of Moses, and even the traditions of those who sat in Moses' seat, as the dictates of infallible truth. The sacred Law so environed him against every external attack upon his faith, and so effectually precluded the admission of any internal principle which might tend to weaken its authority, that few, perhaps, who had been nurtured under such tuition, deemed it necessary to investigate with much precision either the original purpose of the Law itself, or the limits which necessarily circumscribed its extent and its duration. And this want of attention, however reprehensible, but too much resembles that of many among ourselves, who are Christians rather from habit and from custom, than from that careful examination of the subject