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what has now been proclaimed to you from the word of God, it is nevertheless true. Hear then, and obey, that your

souls may not die, but live for evermore.Amen.

SERMON VI.

JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF FAITH.

HEBREWS XII. 2.

Jesus, the author and

finisher of our faith.

GLORIO

Rious things are spoken in Scripture concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the grand subject of the sacred volume, both in the Old and in the New Testament,

the centre where all the rays of divine revelation meet, and from which they receive their brightest lustre. Numberless, indeed, and truly magnificent, are the titles with which he is there adorned. He is the eternal and only begot“ ten Son of God; the brightness of the “ Father's glory, and the express image 6 of his person.”

66 Unto us a child is “ born, unto us a son is given, and the

But even this knowledge of which I speak, imperfect and corrupted as it was, , extended no farther than the narrow limits of Judea, and a few Gentile proselytes. By far the greatest part of the human race was sunk in the grossest ignorance with respect to divine things. Nor was this the character of the barbarous nations alone; for, even in the refined

ages

of Greece and Rome, when the different arts and sciences were carried to a high pitch of perfection, how miserably defective were their systems of natural religion ?how

gross and deplorable was the darkness of even the wisest of men, with respect to the most important of all subjects, -the knowledge of God and his perfections,—the manner in which he ought to be worshipped,—and the way in which his favour is to be obtained,—the relations that man bears to his Maker, and the duties resulting from these relations ! The imperfection both of their moral and religious knowledge, and the inefficacy of all their attempts to instruct and improve mankind, are best seen from the ill success with which they were attended.

doctrines of salvation in his written word. But the Jews were the only people on earth who enjoyed this heavenly light; and even among them it was sadly obscured. Divine truths were blended and perverted with human inventions. Captivated with the ceremonial precepts of their law, they utterly neglected the moral; and while they paid their highest attention to those rites which pleased their own imaginations and humours, they undervalued those essential duties that were calculated to purify and improve the heart. By their vain traditions they increased the load of ceremonies; and by their corrupt interpretations of the law, they not only abridged the number of its moral precepts, but in a great measure destroyed the obligation of those that remained, and which they themselves acknowledged to be divine. Their ideas of doctrinal truths were equally erroneous; and their interpretation of the prophecies respecting the Messiah shewed the absurd notions they entertained of the nature of his kingdom. Their teachers were blind leaders of the blind.

But even this knowledge of which I speak, imperfect and corrupted as it was, , extended no farther than the narrow limits of Judea, and a few Gentile proselytes. By far the greatest part of the human race was sunk in the grossest ignorance with respect to divine things. Nor was this the character of the barbarous nations alone; for, even in the refined ages of Greece and Rome, when the different arts and sciences were carried to a high pitch of perfection, how miserably defective were their systems of natural religion ?how gross and deplorable was the darkness of even the wisest of men, with respect to the most important of all subjects, -the knowledge of God and his perfections,—the manner in which he ought to be worshipped,—and the way in which his favour is to be obtained the relations that man bears to his Maker, and the duties resulting from these relations ! The imperfection both of their moral and religious knowledge, and the inefficacy of all their attempts to instruct and improve mankind, are best seen from the ill success with which they were attended.

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