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most important point of the scriptures, there is nothing in the holy volume which it disregards.

5. Finally, this faith is active, efficacious, purifying. It is not confined to a barren admiration of the truths and facts that are revealed; it descends into the heart, and sanctifies all its powers; it receives the precepts and commands of God as well as his

promises ; it requires the sacrifice of corrupt passions, as well as the submission of our reason. No, brethren; all the predictions, types, shadows, holy examples, of the Old Testament; all the miracles of Jesus, his sublime instructions, his sufferings, his death, his glory, the triumphs of his gospel; the display of the attributes of God, the revelation of the joys of heaven and the agonies of hell; could not have been intended merely to attest to us some facts, to announce to us some truths, and at the same time to leave our hearts unholy, and inaccessible to all the sentiments of piety and divine love! Let us not deceive ourselves; the conviction of the understanding must pass to the heart, and then be manifested in all the actions of a holy life. See the believers of all ages: armed with the shield of faith, they have quenched the fiery darts of Satan, have overcome the world, and borne the fruits of holiness. Imitate their example, or suppose not that you have that faith which animated them.

Such is the nature of that faith which is here commended by our Saviour. Let us,

II. Inquire why those who thus believe, although they do not see, are blessed.

1. They are so because they display true wisdom, both in the choice of objects to occupy their mind, and in the rules they follow in giving their assent to them. They select for their belief, their confidence, and contemplation, the most important truths. A God, sovereignly perfect, all whose attributes fill them with veneration, wonder, and love; the august works of creation and providence; the ineffable mystery of redemption, into which even the angels desire to look; the statutes of heaven; the realities of eternity. Such are some of the objects which faith presents. Place by their side the most sublime human sciences; and in comparison, these sciences, to him who judges without prejudice, and with a reference to the eternal duration of man, will appear only a vain and pompous ignorance. How trifling, in reality, are the pursuits of the greatest earthly philosopher, if he is ignorant of the science of salvation ! But if the choice of objects justifies the wisdom of believers, so also do the rules which they follow, in order to give their assent to the things which they believe, though they see them not. Inquire of those great men, who have elevated themselves above the rest of their species by the certainty and extent of their knowledge, what path they have pursued in their investigation of truth; they will answer, that, in subjects susceptible of mathematical evidence, they are contented only with rigorous demonstrations; that in physical science, they require sure and satisfactory experiments; that in examining facts, they seek for witnesses, whose capacity and fidelity, in giving their testimony, they investigate. They would blush to say, I do not believe that Cyrus, that Alexander, have lived, because I have not seen them. They would regard as ignorant of the very first principles of reasoning, the man who would refuse to assent to proper testimony, and who would believe nothing which had not been subjected to his senses, or for which he could not give conclusive reason. Nay,

further, they would acknowledge, that in all things, in the minutest insect, in the smallest atom, there are difficulties, to explain which mocks all their sagacity. Those who have most profoundly investigated are those that have most felt the weakness and the bounds of the human mind; and with one voice they would tell you, that what is clear and evident cannot be destroyed by what is obscure; that a truth cannot be denied, merely because there is connected with it some unanswerable difficulty. Such is the path in which the true philosopher treads; and such is precisely the path of the believer. He is assured of the existence and perfections of God by reason and by feeling. He knows that this God, the Father of spirits, as well as the sustainer of our bodies, can make known his will, not only by visible and natural means, but also by extraordinary and supernatural modes. He has weighed and considered the internal and external evidences which give to the volume of revelation the impress of divinity. The types, the prophecies, the miracles, those truths, so transcendant that they could not have entered into the heart of man; those laws, so calculated to promote the perfection of our nature and to elevate us to communion with God; the stupendous and harmonious display of the divine attributes in redemption; those motives, so noble, so energetic, so touching; those consolations so abundant; the inward illumination and testimony of the Spirit of God; banish from them every doubt that this book is the tes- , timony of Jehovah. And then, whatever mystery or darkness may rest upon any subject, does not reason itself imperiously command them to believe, although they do not see? Is not their conduct far more rational than that of those persons, who, because religion opposes their vices, declare it is false and contradictory; or of those who, while they reason correctly on other subjects, abandon their principles when they come to the consideration of the truths taught in the scriptures, and because they cannot comprehend and exhaust infinity, believe nothing; who, compelled to admit the force of testimony on other subjects, reject it in these ; and refuse to believe miracles, or a resurrection, or judgment, or heaven, or hell, because they have not actually seen them? More happy and more wise are they who are contented to behold with the eyes of God what they cannot behold with their own; who submit to be directed by the infallible Father of lights; who, “ though they see not, yet believe.”

2. Happy also because they act not only in the wisest, but also in the most advantageous manner, since they thus avoid misery, and secure felicity.

On this part of my subject I need not dwell long; it has often been illustrated before

you. Without this faith, what overwhelming doubts, what cruel uncertainties, what multiplied fears, surround us! Whence am I? why was I called into being? what will be my future destiny? are questions which are unanswerable.

Without it, what hope has the penitent? Can God forgive the rebel, in consistence with his holiness? May all sinners obtain pardon? In what mode can the remission of our sins be secured? These and a thousand other questions are unanswerable.;

Without it, what adequate consolation is there to the persecuted and oppressed? What relief to the bereaved? What comfort to the dying ?

I conclude, my brethren; but let me first speak one word to those who believe only what they see.

Let me press and conjure them by all that our religion has most sacred, most tender, most touching, again to examine, calmly and without prejudice, the principles of our faith, their certainty, their connexion with temporal and eternal felicity. O God, Father of all thy creatures, exhaustless source of light, of grace, and of love, tear the veil from their hearts; let not their souls, the work of thine hands, be degraded and perish! Let not the souls created for immortality be constrained to envy the lot of the brutes. Lord! give them faith.

And let us, who call ourselves Christians, indulge gratitude and love for the glorious light of the gospel. May we experience more and more the exceeding greatness of his power in us who believe. Since, whatever is mysterious in the objects of faith, our duties are clearly displayed, let us so act that the unbelieving may never cry to us, with an insulting tone, “ Show us your faith by your works.” Let us fix our hearts in heaven. After a short period of darkness, all vails shall be rent; faith changed into distinct vision, and we be made to comprehend all the extent of our happiness. · Days of glory! Light of the New Jerusalem! blessed are the eyes that shall behold you; blessed the hearts that shall there ever be inflamed with divine love; blessed all they who, having here believed, although they saw not, shall there receive the rewards graciously promised to faith, and, with heavenly spirits and glorified saints, adore Him that sitteth upon the throne, and the Lamb that was slain !

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