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dled in the least degree: I leave the subject as too dreadful to be insisted on; and will rather direct ‘ your thoughts to a more delightful consideration;' “ Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Having thus briefiy reviewed this prophecy, I will again demand your attention to its contents, which are too obvious to need much interpretation, and which involve no ambiguity or uncertainty. Have not these predictions, concerning the opposition of the world to the kingdom of Christ, and his triumph over his enemies, been exactly fulfilled? Have not facts corresponded with the evident meaning of the language here used?
These accomplishments of scripture, in things which no human sagacity could possibly foresee, are unequivocal demonstrations that it is the word of the omniscient God. Ingenious men may easily start plausible objections, or answer arguments with sarcasm, or repartee: but is this a suitable way of treating subjects of such awful importance? Let the opposers of our holy religion stand forth with manly frankness, and fairly prove, if they can, that these prophecies were not delivered a thousand years before the coming of Christ; or else that the events have not corresponded to them. Until one of these things has been undeniably effected; we shall continue to affirm, that so far from believing without evidence, we have unspeakably better reasons to assign for our faith and hope, than unbelievers can have for any of their opi, urions.
For my own part, after a diligent examination of the subject, during many years, I am fülly convinced
that the Bible is the infallible word of God; and am thankful, that I did not imbibe this sentiment from education or early prejudices, but that it has been the result of a most hesitating investigation: because this gives me a confidence, not easily to be shaken, that the gospel will maintain its ground, though all the ge. nius, learning, eloquence, and authority of the whole world should unite against it. Nay, I am assured, that it will survive the ruin of all its enemies, who can only destroy themselves: for they can neither prevent its
progress and triumphs, nor hinder the salvation of the meanest believer; but will at length, find, that "it “ is hard to kick against the pricks.”—The remainder of the present discourse will contain a more particular consideration of the text, in the following me. thod.
I. We will enquire into the special nature of that kingdom, which God hath determined to establish;
II. Notice the exhortation of the text; “ Kiss ci the Son, lest he be angry.”
III. Make some remarks on the warning and encouragement, “ If his wrath be kindled, yea, “ but a little; blessed are all they that put their
“ trust in him.” 1. Then, we consider the special nature of the Messiah's kingdom. “ Yet have I set my King up“on my holy hill of Zion.” This was the purpose of God, even when he created the world. He formed the earth to be a theatre, on which he might display his essential glory: and the person, salvation, and kingdom of Emmanuel, constitute the grandest exhi
bition of all the mysteries and perfections of the divine nature that hath ever been made. All the dispensations of providence have been arranged, in subserviency to the same great design; as it must be evident to all who carefully study the history of the Old Testament, or indeed the history of the world in every age.
When therefore the tempter had prevailed on our first parents to violate the Creator's prohibition, the promise of a Saviour was immediately given: “Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head:” • The Messiah shall overturn the usurped dominion
of the devil, and set up his kingdom on the ruins of • it; to the final confusion and destruction of that great 'ringleader in rebellion against God.'— The Messiah, as the Head of this kingdom, was foretold in the law of Moses, and by the prophets, who “spake of the suffer"ings of Christ and the glory that should follow."* This was the Stone seen in vision by Nebuchadnezzar; which was "cut out of the mountain without hands,” and having destroyed all opposition, “became a great “ mountain, and filled the whole earth.”+
In the fulness of time the promised Saviour appears: and his messenger goes before him, proclaiming as a herald, “ Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at “hand.”—Now the ancient prophecies are fulfilled; “The blind receive their sight, the deaf hear, and the · dead are raised.” “ Behold a voice from heaven,
saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am " well pleased; hear ye him.” He leads a lowly and
• 1 Pet. i. 10-12,
4 Dan. ii. 31–48.
suffering life: he goes about doing good: his most be. neficent doctrine is confirmed by benign miracles of the most stupendous nature: all his words and works are stamped with divine wisdom, holiness, love, and power. Yet is he “ despised and rejected of men.” He dies a spotless sacrifice upon the cross; numbered with malefactors, and treated with extreme contempt, malice, and cruelty. He rises from the dead a glorious Conqueror, “ascends up on high, leading capti
vity captive, and receiving gifts for men; yea, for " the rebellious also, that the Lord God may
dwell among them.”* Now “ he receives to himself a kingdom,” “ All power in heaven and earth is given to him:” “angels, principalities, and pow.
. ers, are made subject to him; and he is made Head
over all things to his church!” His apostles having received the promise of the Spirit from on high, go forth every where preaching the gospel, and de. claring that “the same Jesus," whom the Jews had crucified, “ is exalted to be a prince and a Saviour,
to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of "sins:”
“ That there is no salvation in any other; “ for there is none other name under heaven given “ unto men, whereby we must be saved;” while the miraculous powers which they display and communi. cate, confirm their testimony and command attention. Their formidable persecutors are confounded, thousands and tens of thousands embrace the religion of the crucified Jesus; till Jewish infidelity, and pagan idolatry, and all the power and policy with which they
* Ps. lxviii, 18,
are supported, fall down before it; as the image in Nebuchadnezzar's vision before the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands.
In this manner Jehovah attested the despised Jesus to be his well-beloved Son; thus, as it were, ad. dressing the Jews, Ye have crucified the Lord of 'glory, because he said I am the Son of God; but be"hold I have raised him from the dead! I have exalt. *ed him at my right hand in heavenly places,' “ I have " “set my King upon my holy hill of Zion,” according to my ancient predictions. Now the whole earth shall be his inheritance, whatever obstacles or enemies may oppose him. I have undertaken and I will accomplish it: all men shall either bow to the scep'tre of his grace, and become his willing subjects and redeemed people; or they shall be crushed as obstinate rebels under his feet. This is the determination of the Lord of Hosts.'
A mistaken idea of Christianity seems in this respect to be very prevalent. Numbers imagine, that it may be very well to believe the gospel, but that there is no necessity of so doing; as others may be safe and happy upon their own plans. But the scripture uses a very different language: Christianity is there considered as the only true religion, and faith in Christ the only way of being saved. This is no unessential matter, in which men may safely embrace opposite opinions: every man who reverences the Bible as the word of God, must own, that no unbeliever can escape final condemnation: for the Lord himself hath repeatedly attested it; and “ he that believeth 5 pot hath made him a liar." Let it also be observ.