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THE ORACLES OF COD:

FOUR ORATIONS.

TO THE

REV. THOMAS CHALMERS, D. D.

MINISTER OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, GLASGOW.

My HONOURED FRIEND,

I thank God, who directed you to hear one of my Discourses when I had made up my mind to leave my native land for solitary travel in foreign parts. That dispensation brought me acquainted with your good and tender-hearted nature, whose splendid accomplishments I knew already; and you now live in the

memory

of

my heart more than in my admiration. While I laboured as your assistant, my labours were never weary, they were never enough to express my thankfulness to God for having associated me with such a man, and my affection to the man with whom I was associated. I now labour in another field, among a people whom I love, and over whom God hath, by signs unequivocal, already blessed my ministry. You go to labour likewise in another vineyard, where may the Lord bless your retired meditations as he hath blessed your active operations. And may we likewise watch over the flock of our mutual solicitude, now about to fall into other hands. The Lord be with you and your household, and render unto you manifold for the blessings which you have

rendered unto me. I could say much about these Orations, which I dedicate to you ; but I will not mingle with any literary or theological discussion this pure tribute of affection and gratitude, which I render to you before the world, as I have already done into your private ear.

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There was a time when each revelation of the word of God had an introduction into this earth which neither permitted men to doubt whence it came, nor wherefore it was sent. If, at the giving of each several truth, a star was not lighted up in heaven, as at the birth of the Prince of truth, there was done upon the earth a wonder, to make her chil. dren listen to the message of their Maker. The Almighty made bare his arm ; and, through mighty acts shown by his holy servants, gave demonstration of his truth, and found for it a sure place among the other matters of human knowledge and belief.

But now the miracles of God have ceased, and Nature, secure and unmolested, is no longer called on for testimonies to her Creator's voice. No burning bush draws the footsteps to his presence chamber; no invisible voice holds the ear awake ; no hand cometh forth from the obscure to write his purposes in letters of flame. The vision is shut up, and the testimony is sealed, and the word of the Lord is ended, and this solitary volume, with its chapters and verses, is the sum total of all for which the chariot of heaven made so many visits to the earth, and the Son of God himself tabernacled and dwelt among us.

The truth which it contains once dwelt undivulged in the bosom of God; and, on coming forth to take its place

among things revealed, the heavens and the earth, and Nature through all her chambers, gave it reverent welcome. Beyond

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