much for religious truth. “Any man would “ bedeemedan ideot, who did notinstantly part “ with a farthing, as soon as he saw only a “ small probability, that by so trifling a deposit “ he should obtain millions of pieces of gold, “ So no one in his right senses, who has even a

flight belief that, if I may use the expression,

by depositing all the advantages of this life, “ and even life itself, in obeying God accor“ ding to the precepts of Jesus of Nazareth, “ he shall secure another and an immortal life, “ attended with the highest and never-ending “ felicity, (as may be the case, if thosethings are

true which are related by the sacred historians) " would not immediately resolve to do it.

Is this supposition, my Christian friends, stated too strongly? Is there not, in the evidences of our faith, and the recompense it sets before us, a just foundation for it? But, blessed be God, we are not often called to make such a sacrifice for the hope of our calling. In the general course of things, faith in Christ hath the promise of this life as well

• Memoirs of the Life of Fauftus Socinus, p. 19, 20. Or Socinus's Argument for the Authority of the Holy Scriptures, translated by Combe, p. 125. Or, F. Socini Opera: tom. i. p. 276, 277,

as of that which is to come. Can words be wanted,-need persuasions be urged,--must exhortations and entreaties be used, to engage our attention to, to excite our pursuit of, so great and noble an object as ETERNAL LIFE? Rather, without constraint, with a willing mind, let each of us, for himself, adopt the words of Peter, when“ many forsook CHRIST,

and walked no more with him." LORD, to whom shall we go; Thou hast the words of ETERNAL LIFE ? Amen.






1. TIM. II. 5.

For there is ONE GOD; and one Mediator between God

and Men, the Man Christ JESUS.


HE history of ancient times, as far as

religious principles and practices are concerned, is the history of idolatry, of its superstitions and crimes. Ægypt, Athens, , and Rome, those celebrated seats of literature. and refinement, had their “Gods many, and " Lords many.” The hills and the vallies throughout the world had their numerous and peculiar divinities. The plains, the

rivers, and the seas, had their Gods. In no region, in no corner of the earth, except in Judea, do we find a temple to the true and living God. The wisdom of philosophy was stained with the guilt, and obscured with the darkness of polytheism. The religion of Mofes alone taught and preserved the doctrine of the divine unity, of one only God, the sole object of worship, among a select people, till Jesus Christ appeared, promulgated it with new and peculiar evidence, and commissioned his Apostles to preach it through the world, “ It is certain, wherever Christianity spread, “it entirely demolished polytheism and all

its appendages. So that now for more than " a thousand


incense has not been offered, or a libation made, to any heathen ” deity, through the greatest part at least of " the Roman empire. If we candidly com

pare this change, which Christianity has “ introduced, with the change made by any “ sect of philosophy, any institution of religion “ or civil government, we shall be at no loss “ to determine which is the greatest." This


* Leechman's Sermon on “ The Wisdom of God in the Gofpel « Revelation.” p. 30, 31.

revolution reflects glory on the religion of Jesus. It was the natural, genuine effect of its principles, produced on those only who embraced it, but arising wherever it was embraced : and it has been not a transient but permanent effect of the gospel. The state. ment of this faît, while it evinces the importance and utility of Christianity, is a powerful inducement to study this its leading and efficacious doctrine with care, and to preserve it with purity.

" There is one God, and one “ Mediator between God and men, the MAN “ Christ Jesus.”

This declaration stands opposed to the polytheism of the pagan world, as it included the worship both of superior heavenly beings, who were eternal, and of inferior, earthly deities, or mediators, who had been men. Of these Gods, of these Lords, there were many.' But the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, agree in inculcating, that there is but ONE God; and Christianity teacheth that " there is one Mediator between God and men, “ the Man Christ Jesus.” On these two essential principles of religion it is our design

y See Locke on 1 Cor. viii. 6.

« ForrigeFortsett »