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wrong- Take that thine is, and go thy way. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
-and he may trace the features of his own disposition in the likeness of the jealous complainer.' He (on the contrary) who, through personal conviction, has learnt to assure himself that he may with safety trust his Maker, has passed his main difficulty in the beginning; and instead of keep
ing “ doubt” as a phantom always before him, is Cf. Acts enabled honestly to go on the rest of his way re
joicing. Wherefore, looking to the state of our own knowledge, and the tenor of our own dispensation, the important question seems to be; “ Is the Almighty, as a supreme governor and “ lawgiver, good to ourselves ?" Does he offer to ourselves terms, such as we can comply with? Does he vouchsafe unto ourselves means and motives sufficient to meet the necessities of our condition?
Proceeding, then, upon the same principles CE. Lect. i. with which we started in our commencement, I
assume, that to us are certainly revealed these influential doctrines: “a knowledge of the per“ fect purity and holiness of God;" of the “ori“ ginal corruption of man;” of “atonement by " the blood of JESUS CHRỊST;" of the “ resurrec« tion to eternal life;" of " sanctification by the 6 HOLY SPIRIT ;" of the “ necessity of faith, as a “ principle of living;" of the “positive knowledge
" that this our present state is by design left an “imperfect one, inasmuch as it is a state of “ trial ; but that there is another state to come, “ wherein all things will be made straight.”
Other points of belief, not less important to a right and adequate apprehension of the sacred Volume, but of a complexion more specifically “ theological,” I forbear to mention, as not strictly falling in with the present purpose. These now enumerated are, as I conceive, the essential and influential forms, in which all Christian doctrines come to action; and therefore, those with which we have to do
For let it be remembered what our object is; viz. not to unfold or vindicate these or any doctrines, either originally, or in detail ; but viewing them as established, to maintain the “au" thority” of that Volume which contains them, as a “ rule and law of life.”
I would, that the natural and lawful subjects of Christian discipline did but consider more simply, and more seriously, this great thing; that to him that knoweth to do good, in an espe- James iv. cial measure, and doeth it not, to him that very knowledge is sin. We have a rule and law of life prescribed to us in Scripture, which represents itself as a positive talent given, of which a specific account must be returned; it challenges us, on our personal peril, making appeal to a “ life to come.” Nay, (if I have any just appre
hension of what the spirit and power of the Gospel is,) it challenges an acceptance of itself, not vague or partial, but peculiar and entire: neither will it be satisfied with any other; and neglect or refusal of this, alone, may prove a fatal error in any steward's declaration at the day of reckoning, even where all else is fair,
This is an awful subject, and demands fuller notice. There is also more of human interpretation mixed with it; therefore let it be weighed with the greater caution. But let us reflect on this that follows. ..
We Christians live in the concentered light of all “knowledge,” human and divine. Unto us are gathered all ages, and people, and nations, and languages. The heathen have ministered to us: the Jews have ministered to us : GOD himself has made us the depositaries of his own word and will. Again: we ourselves are ever running, and have run, unto all the uttermost parts of the earth, seeking more “knowledge,” and finding it. ..
On the natural face of such a situation, it is no wonder that we are inclined to be proud of our possessions ; or that we are unwilling to prune down our flourishing tree of universal wis
dom-into the branches whereof come and lodge itiæ origón all the winged utterances” of all people--to Lect. iv. the simple stock of one small volume, such as pp. 81–3.
* we have described Scripture to be, It is quite
impossible not to have delight in the richness of many of our other treasures. We cannot deny the excellence of very much of heathen, or mere moral wisdom. • It is maintained, that neither need we do so. It has been argued, that the fulness of the Gospel iş more equitably and more truly glorified by the proper exaltation of uninspired know, Lect. v. pp. ledge, than by its depression. , We think that Scripture by no means wishes to disclaim all fellowship with " Philosophy;" but, on the contrary, under proper limitation, to establish an union with it. Scripture receives from human wisdom. gladly the ministry of illustration ; it accepts from the same source, in a great measure, more detailed analyses of duty. Reserving to itself the sole dispensing of principles, and distribution of motives, (as well'it may, seeing it is the very mystery which hath been hid from'ages Coloss. i. and from, generations; and that such gifts, by 26 their nature, appertain to the jurisdiction of a revealed authoritative will alone, it seems to proceed upon an implied calculation, that its own sufficiency of practical detail will be acknowledged, because, capable of being shown, from truths known before. . .. But, as it was said in a former Lecture, in Lect. iv. contemplating the volume of Scripture as a re-P velation, that there is one great spiritual temptation to be withstood, in respect of infidelity, as
to the whole; so is it to be said here, that there seems a like trial to be undergone, in respect of įts acceptance as the “ rule of faith” and “ law of " individual life.”
For it is an obvious snare, that many, out of such abundance of knowledge, should be tempted to forget, at times, this grand and simple point; that “all vital truth is to be sought from Scripture “ alone.” Hence, that they should be tempted rather to combine systems for themselves, according to a proportion and fancy of their own, than neither to add nor to diminish any thing from that which Christ and his Apostles have enjoined; to make up, as it were, a cento of doctrines and of precepts; to take from Christ what pleases them, and from other stores what pleases them; (the best, of course, as appears to their judgment, from each, so as to exhibit the most perfect whole ;) taking (for example) the “ blessed hope “of everlasting life” from Jesus of Nazareth, but rejecting his “ atonement;' or honouring highly his example of “humanity,” but disrobing him of his “ divinity;" or, “ accepting all the com“ fortable things” of the dispensation of the SpiRIT, but “ refusing its strictnesses and self-de“nials;” or, forming any other combination whatsoever, to the exclusion of the entire GOSPEL : thus inviting Christian hearers, not to the "sup“per” of the king's son, but to a sort of miscellaneous banquet, a cæna collatitia of their own: