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be proved to be genuine and authentic, with an evidence far fuperior to that of any other writings of equal antiquity, which yet are received with an undoubted affent. The truth of the great facts recorded in the gofpels cannot be invalidated. And to deny fuch extraordinary things as are therein related, to be manifeft interpofitions of divine providence, divine operations, and complete proofs of a divine mission, were full as unreasonable as denying the facts themselves. If there is any regard to be paid to past transactions, any faith due to the moft credible human teftimony, if any thing may be believed, which we have not feen with our own eyes; the chriftian religion is true and divine. If the things Jefus Chrift did, and the fignal tokens of the divine concurrence and approbation which attended him, do not really prove him, to be fent of God; it is not poffible any thing fhould.

To fuppofe fuch things might take place, by the power of unknown invifible beings, in favour of an impofture or deceit; is utterly irreconcileable to every juft fentiment of the divine character: it is morally impoffible: befides, feveral of the facts, particularly the refurrection miracles, feem to require no less than creative power. It is a propofition, clear and obvious to the meaneft capacity, that no man could do the things Jefus did, except God was with him. The chriftian may triumph in the author, the nature, the evidence of his religion :

gion it is not a cunningly devised fable, but a glorious and unspeakably important reality.

Thefe are indeed amazing facts, but there is fufficient reason to believe that they are true. They are related in a manner, that has every mark of credibility by eye-witneffes who gave the ftrongeft poffible proof of their fincerity, by fealing their teftimony with their blood. What reverence and honour are due to the lord Jefus: he is in all refpects, the greatest and most glorious perfonage; that ever appeared on earth. What infolence and baseness to speak with flight or indifference, of fo exalted a character, a character of fuch unparalleled excellence, and fo honoured by the Supreme Being. We are apt enough to pay extraordinary deference to one raised to high eminence, particularly royalty, among his fellow creatures and by their confent: but what is the highest earthly dignity, compared to that of the Son of God, who was, by the eternal Majefty of heaven and earth, conftituted lord of all, and who will finally appear, in ineffable glory, as univerfal judge.

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That he was man, does not diminish one reason of regard to him: the great Sovereign of the universe will support and vindicate him: to defpife him, is to defpife Almighty God. What a dreadful judgment did the Jews meet with for their wicked treatment of this divine man. Thofe who can allow themselves to speak of him, in any other terms E 2 than

than thofe of the highest respect and veneration, must be loft to all fenfe of true dignity and real greatness. We ought to honour the Son as we honour the Father. We are under unspeakable obligation to his goodness: and owe the highest veneration to his authority. His name ought to be held by us, moft dear and facred: we should glory in our relation to him, and do him all the honour in our power. And it is his own direction, "if ye call me master, do the things that I fay; if ye love me, keep my commandments."

He was once, as we now are, vifible upon earth, in a ftate of trial and affliction, inftructing men in the great principles of religion, calling them to repentance, with the affurance of pardon, and encouraging the practice of virtue, by the promise of immortality, bearing the contradiction of finners against himself, and at last submitting to the cruel, ignominious death of the crofs, in order to answer the great end of his miffion, and promote the prevalence of truth and righteoufnefs, in the way agreeable to the eternal providence. But now he is exalted to the right hand of God, clothed with ineffable fplendour and glory, and though at prefent hid from our view, and though the heavens muft retain him till the reftitution of all things; yet the time is coming, when he will appear in a moft glorious form, in his Father's glory, his own glory, and with the holy angels.

SERMON

SERMON

THE SIXTH.

ACTS xix. 1-6.

AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHILE APOLLOS WAS AT CORINTH, PAUL HAVING PASSED THROUGH THE UPPER COASTS, CAME TO EPHESUS; AND FINDING CERTAIN DISCIPLES, HE SAID UNTO THEM, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? AND THEY SAID UNTO HIM, WE HAVE NOT SO MUCH AS HEARD WHETHER THERE BE ANY HOLY GHOST. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, UNTO WHAT THEN WERE YE BAPTIZED ? AND THEY SAID, UNTÓ JOHN'S BAPTISM. THEN SAID PAUL, JOHN VERILY BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE, SAYING UNTO THE PEOPLE, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE ON HIM WHICH SHOULD COME AFTER HIM, THAT IS, ON CHRIST JESUS. WHEN THEY HEARD THIS THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. AND WHEN PAUL HAD LAID HIS HANDS UPON THEM, THE HOLY GHOST CAME ON THEM; AND THEY SPEAK WITH TONGUES AND PROPHESIED.

THE confufion, ambiguity and metaphyfical fubtilties, introduced into the fubject of Deity, by E 3

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the doctrine of a trinity, have done unfpeakable prejudice. The abuse and corruption the chriftian religion has fuffered from this quarter, cannot be thought of by any ferious perfon, who has real religion at heart, without the utmost concern and grief. If the doctrine of the pre-exiftence of Chrift (as I have endeavoured to fhow in a previous difcourfe) has no real foundation in fcripture; how many doctrines which depend upon it fall to the ground. The doctrine of a second divine person affuming a human body, fo difficult to conceive, fo embarraffing, need not be admitted: and if the holy ghoft does not mean a perfon or being distinct from God, but God himself, or the immediate effect of his power and agency, which I verily believe to be fcripture truth; this abfolutely clears us of the whole notion of a trinity, which, whether in the Nicene, or Arian fenfe, is fo extremely disagreeable to a thinking mind, and has produced fo much disturbance and unchriftian animofity and contention. The difference is but little between. afferting a trinity of unequal, or equal perfons. However, let these things, fo freely fpoken, occafion no difagreeable debates amongst us. Let us judge freely and seriously for ourfelves, pursue truth for our own benefit, and recommend it to others as we have opportunity: let us examine what is proposed to us, and receive only what appears right and true to our own minds.

The

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