صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the interval requisite for effecting the change alluded to (by what means I pretend not to conjecture), and so," or from thenceforth, they "shall be ever with the Lord." To this purpose, namely, of a change to be effected, the apostles Peter and John express themselves, when they speak of new heavens and a new earth-that is, a new appearance, of every thing above and around, as well as of natural and moral temperament, when the former things shall have passed away. Whether I meet with your indulgence in bringing forward the subject under this form I know not-but it appears to me more consistent, both with reason and revelation, than that which supposes some region beyond the sky and above the stars, as the common expression is, to which we cannot affix such an idea of substantiality, or locality, as to make it real, and which sound philosophy cannot but reject. You must have perceived, in the greater part of this discourse, many departures from commonly received opinions, yet such as are consistent with our principles as Unitarian Christians. If they afford more solid and satisfactory ground of faith and consolation, than those from which, it may be, some of us have departed, we ought to value them the more; particularly, it ought to exalt our hope and our joy, to reflect that God not only can, but that having done it in the instance of Christ, he will raise and refine (not the divine or superangelic, but) the human nature, so as to qualify it for unknown and inconceivable measures of felicity and glory. Warmed with the contemplation, let us, while sojourners in these abodes of frailty and imperfection, and where our

largest views are so confined, begin those songs of praise, which we hope will be the employment of perfected faculties, of immortal tongues, of eternal ages. Thanks, everlasting thanks, be to God who hath given us this victory, in our risen, our ascended, our glorified Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen.



ACTS, ii. 1, 2, 3, 4.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place;

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting;

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

IT must afford great satisfaction to every sincere, candid, and unprejudiced inquirer into the truth of Christianity, to find how few and simple, how well established and incontestible, are the main foundations on which it rests; and yet that they are of a nature so astonishing, and so far out of the usual course and order of events, as evidently to prove an immediate divine interposition-as to show that human ingenuity, fraud, or folly, had nothing to do with its institution or propagation; and that, wearing the indubitable impress of the hand of God, its claim to the highest regard, and the most diligent L

attention of mankind, is thereby fully established. The more accurately it is examined in this point of view, the more convincingly will the faith of the Christian appear to stand, not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God-that is, not in abstruse speculations, visionary notions, or fine-spun theories, such as the heathen philosophers propounded to their disciples; neither in such as, in too close an imitation of their example, Christian scholiasts have laid down as indispensably necessary to an orthodox belief, but in objects really discernible by the senses, and either of public notoriety, or attested by witnesses who have given indisputable proofs of their honesty and credibility; such, in fact, as they whose inclination and whose interest it was to bring them into discredit, have never been able to falsify;—and these are, the public designation of Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, or the Son of God, (which are all equivalent titles) his miracles wrought in consequence thereof his actual and unequivocal deathhis resurrection-his ascension-and THE POURING FORTH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON THE APOSTLES. These enter into, and form, the main body of Christian truth; they are its sum and substance; the consequences to be drawn from them are direct and obvious; and such as affect the most important interests of mankind, whether relating to their present or their future happiness-it is to the last of these circumstances, as recorded in the text, that I now wish to call your attention.

This event, our Lord had frequently, towards the latter part of his ministry, taught his disciples to expect. Its reality rests upon the same testimony as the whole gospel history. To show that it is desti

« السابقةمتابعة »