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some of you; but ye are washed; but ye are sanctified; but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." Wherever the Bible has found access to the mind, it has been the light that has dispelled darkness; the voice that has disturbed the slumbers of sin; the sword which has pierced the soul; the hammer that has broken the flinty heart in pieces; the ethereal fire that has enkindled every gracious affection. Think of the myriads of each sex and every condition, rich and poor, bond and free, young and old, who have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son; cast your eye back through the long tract of preceding ages upon the multitudes, whose pagan ignorance and sottishness have been chased away; whose views have been rectified; whose passions have been restrained; whose consciences have been awakened; whose hearts have been sanctified; whose lives have been conformed to moral rectitude; and who have themselves been made meet for the coming inheritance; and you will have some just conceptions of the moral tendency of the Bible. Go and stand in the midst of some of those numberless scenes of wonder and of mercy, of sovereignty and omnipotence, which have thrown such a charm over these latter days and these ends of the earth, where the Spirit of Jesus has moved the assemblies of his people as the trees of the wood are moved by a mighty wind; where hundreds have trembled on the verge of eternal wo, and where after the storm was past, a "" still, small voice has whispered divine peace, and awoke their everlasting song; and you may appreciate the influence of the Bible. O! what an unbending heart must that be, that has witnessed one Revival of religion, and can still be in doubt, whether the Bible is the word of the all-powerful and allgracious God!
And with these, there are effects still more extended, that are the legitimate results only of the Bible. The effects of the Bible on human society are such as no other cause has produced. It has mitigated the horrors of war; it has given effectual obligation to the nuptial vow; it has elevated the character and condition of one half the human species who were unnaturally degraded because they were not men; it has thrown its guardianship around helpless infancy and rescued it from the floods and from the flames; it has interposed its benignity in behalf of the inferior and dependent ranks of human society; it has constituted every church of God, and every Christian community an asylum for the widow and the orphan and for the poor and the needy; it has softened the rigours of despotism and broken the yoke of the oppressed; it has diminished the number of sanguinary revolutions, and given mildness, permanency, and force to public law; it has proved the
unchanging friend of literature and the arts; it has in every view diminished the sources of human misery and multiplied the sources of human happiness. It has opened rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of valleys. It has made the wilderness a pool of water, and dry land springs of water. From a world of barrenness and death, where there were nothing but briars and thorns and beasts of prey, already has it made a world of fertility and life, where trees of righteousness spring up and bear unwithering fruits, and where the lion and the lamb lie down together, and where, at no distant period, there shall be nothing to hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain.
These effects of the Bible, also, are uniform. Wherever they are found, the Bible has preceded them; wherever they are not found, the Bible is either unknown or has received no serious attention. Go where you will, where the Bible has exerted its proper influence, and you shall see its unvarying tendency, in the same holiness of heart and life, the same peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost, the same social and public welfare. And in view of this native power and efficacy of the Bible, we ask, can it be a cunningly devised fable? Does not its moral influence furnish distinct and decisive evidence of its divinity? Let the infidel produce a volume which has accomplished what the Bible has accomplished, and I will at once receive it as from God. And if from a view of what the Bible has done, we reflect for one moment, what would be its influence on the world, were its principles and its spirit universally adopted, the argument in its favour is overwhelming. If we look forward to what it will yet accomplish, when every mind shall be illumined by its revelations, every heart purified, every life renewed, every land redeemed from its corruptions and bondage, and the whole world assume a character which shall be the exact counterpart of this omnipotent revelation; how irresistible will be the evidence, that the Bible is in truth the word of the Living God. This wonderful Book resembles its wonderful Author. From what we know of God in the visible universe, we need only to be acquainted with the Bible to be satisfied that it emanates from him.
Thus we see, that the fitness of the Bible to all the purposes of a divine revelation-its holiness and purity-its perfect harmony-its inexhaustible fulness-its elevation and grandeur of design-its power and efficacy—all combine to demonstrate that it comes from God. And what God hath written shall remain for ever. The heavens and the earth may pass away, but "my word," saith Jehovah, "shall never pass away."
God speaks to us, my friends, from every paragraph and sentence of
this Holy Book. It is his voice that we hear; his signature that we behold; his ineffable glory,-which, the more it is viewed in this bright mirror, may the more powerfully command our wonder and praise. When we approach these divine Oracles, and hear the voice of God sometimes speaking out of the midst of the fire, but more often from the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel; we may well bend our knee, and take the shoes from off our feet, for the ground on which we stand is holy. O, that divine influence might come down upon us from the Spirit of truth and grace, and beams from the Sun of righteousness break in upon our minds, as we contemplate these intrinsic glories of the Bible! Let the truth and weight of these revelations sink deep into your ears. As men of this world merely, as creatures of time,-but especially as the proprietors of immortality, you have a thousand fold deeper interest in the Bible, than in any other, or all other books. It is just as important, that you who have the opportunity, should become acquainted with the Scriptures, and believe, and love, and obey them, as it is that you should be saved. This book offers to you, beloved hearers, that which most you want,— that which is infinitely more to you than all other things,-glory, honour, immortality, and eternal life. I cannot but look upon the prevailing indifference with which the Word of God is regarded as one of the evils over which we are loudly called to mourn. You send the Bible to the ignorant and destitute; you carry it to every cottage and waft it to every clime;—and thanks to God that you do so; but to what extent is it studied in your chambers, read in your families, taught to your children? There is no surer evidence of living without God in the world, than living without intimate communion with the Bible. Who that does not mean to remain in impenetrable obduracy; who that does not purpose effectually to grieve away the Holy Spirit; who that does not form the deliberate resolve to close every avenue to the divine influence ;—that is not prepared to plunge the dagger of the second death into his own bosom,--can live in the neglect of these Scriptures of God? And if you believe them, and understand them, will you refuse them the submission of your heart and your everlasting obedience? Do you accredit the stupendous truths contained in this Volume? and shall they waken no deep interest, and urge to no solemn preparation for your last account? I beseech you, think seriously of the weighty truths herein revealed from heaven. There is not one among them all that will not prove a savor of life unto life, or a savor of death unto death. It is even so. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder.
Go....Teach all Nations....Mat. xxviii. 19.
NEW-YORK, NOVEMBER, 1826.
SERMONS VI. & VII.
By WILLIAM B. SPRAGUE, A. M.
THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST, THE GROUND OF THE
ROMANS VIII. 34.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again; who is even at the right hand of God; who also maketh intercession for us.
It is the genius of Christianity, that it gives a new and noble direction to the intellectual powers, while it exerts a controlling and sanctifying influence on the heart and life. It does not, indeed, change the original structure of the mind, but it quickens and elevates the faculties, by employing them upon objects of the most pure and exalted character. I know not whether the apostle Paul, independently of divine inspiration, was more indebted to the original fertility and grandeur of his intellect, or to the all-inspiring influence of the subjects he discusses, for the majesty which pervades the chapter from which my text is taken but certain it is, that inspiration itself can hardly furnish a parallel to the sublimity with which the argument is here conducted. It is the mighty march of a mind acting in all the dignity of independent greatness, and fired and elevated by a principle no less commanding than the love of Jesus. The point which the apostle is here immedi
ately labouring to establish, is the superiority of the Gospel to the Mosaic dispensation, in the motives which it furnishes to religious purity and obedience and if you attend to the process by which he arrives at his triumphant conclusion, you will perceive that, at each successive step, his mind kindles with fresh rapture, and seems to be feasting upon new-discovered glories. After glancing at some of the most prominent peculiarities of the Gospel, all of which strikingly illustrate the happy condition of the Christian, he closes this part of his discourse with a magnificent climax, which mingles the power of a comprehensive genius, the glow of an exquisite sensibility, the triumph of an elevated faith, and the majesty of divine inspiration ;-Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again; who is even at the right hand of God; who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long: we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is the object of the following discourses, TO CONSIDER THE SEVERAL PARTS OF THE MEDIATORIAL WORK OF CHRIST, AS EXHIBITED IN THE TEXT; AND THEIR INFLUENCE IN SECURING THE FINAL TRIUMPH OF THE CHRISTIAN.
I. We will follow the order suggested by the apostle, and endeavour, first, to exhibit A BRIEF VIEW OF THE MEDIATION OF THE SON OF GOD.
1. And here the first thing that presents itself, is the CHARACTER of the personage by whom the mediatorial office is sustained: It is CHRIST that died. On this point, our inquiry shall simply be, What saith the Scripture?
To collect all that is said of this wonderful personage, would be to recite a large portion of the prophetical and historical parts of Revelation. We can only glance at a few prominent passages. The prophet