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Christianity the only true liberty.
the body, while it leaves free the spirit, that is in communion with Christ. But no favours of fortune, no worldly prosperity, can give freedom to the soul, which is bound with the fetters of sin.
Let nothing, that has now been said, be miscontrued in a meaning hostile to the political liberty, which is the boast of this nation. But dear as that inheritance is, let it be rightly understood, and wisely applied. And, may we all, by the means of grace disclosed in the Gospel, cultivate the yet infinitely more valuable moral and religious freedom here illustrated. Without this all civil liberty must be an unprofitable possession; but with its influence supporting us, under any form of government, we may rise superior to all the evils, which the best human institutions are intended to prevent, as well as to those which they can never reach. Time has no sufferings or perils, eternity has no terrors, to subdue the soul which has its hopes and affections in the everlasting blessings promised by Him, who is the fountain of liberty and happiness,
Christianity the only true liberty.
and with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning.
Simplicity and probity of mind proper qualifications for the reception of divine truth.
Preached in the Autumn of 1819.
St. John's Gospel 8. 42.
Jesus said unto them; if God were your love me.
Father, ye would
ITH these words our Saviour denied
what the Jews had just before affirmed, that they had God for their Father. The passage may be paraphrased thus-If you were the affectionate children of God; if you were accustomed to obey his voice, like good and dutiful children; you could not hate and reject me; you would embrace, with satisfaction and joy, the truths which I teach,
Simplicity and probity of mind proper qualifications
and execute, with alacrity, the duties which I enjoin: for, I come from God; and my language, and doctrines, and miracles, are His. The thing, which makes you not believe me, is not the want of evidence, but that my doctrine is not agreeable to your wishes, your prejudices, and humours; that it censures your corrupt traditions, and the superstitious ceremonies, which you have introduced into your religion; that it condemns your mode of living, and opposes the favourite inclinations of your hearts.
Although the law, which our Saviour preached, was for the everlasting benefit of man; yet the Jews, you see, to whom it was immediately revealed, could not receive it. This new law was to supply the deficiencies equally of the natural law, and of the law of Moses. Yet the Jews, to whom the oracles of Heaven were entrusted, who had been selected from all nations of the earth, to preserve the true knowledge and worship of the Almighty Lord of the universe-this very people could not receive this complete and effectual law: and our Saviour tells them, the reason was that, they had not
for the reception of divine truth.
loved the Father, nor served him; they had not, in heart and in life, practiced the law of mercy and justice visible in the natural light of reason, and divinely revealed to the posterity of Jacob. That law, they had perverted and made subservient to the pride, and evil propensities of the mind; they had violated the commands of God, had offended him in the departure from the virtues, in which he chiefly delights; thus they had alienated themselves from Him, and had contracted those mental habits, with which they were proved incapable of love to our Saviour, and of assent to his doctrine.
Contemplating this unhappy state of the peculiar people of Heaven, when their redeemer, and the redeemer of mankind, lived and taught among them, I have formed the purpose of addressing you in reference to the present state of religion among us; to shew you that, by the appointment of God, in consistence with his moral government of mankind, a sincere, upright, unprejudiced mind is open to receive, and well prepared gradually