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unto it-And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat thingsAnd he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it."
The gracious design of the whole discipline of God's house is thus compendiously expressed by the prophet Jeremiah ; cc For the Lord will not cast off for ever ; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.”
Let these quotations from the prophets suffice as a sample of their whole testimony respecting our subject, and let us lend a moment's attention to the joyous declaration of celestial messengers. “ Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord-And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.' These angels ascended and descended on the Son of man; and we may associate with the witness which they gave, the testimony of the apostles, a sample of which we may quote from St. Paul, who says ; “And we declare unto you gald tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again—who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification—that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man-who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time-For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell ; and
by him to reconcile all things unto himself ; by him I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven-.For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God ; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus—Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life-For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Jesus said, as has been noticed, “I will draw all men unto me." Why? Because they were all in his heart, his love comprehended the whole, and his divine determination and promise are, that he will never leave nor forsake them until he shall have fulfilled all his desire.
Jesus said, to the woman of Samaria, “The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem, worship the FatherBut the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth-God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth." Christ is the truth, and he says, “I will draw all men unto me.” This is the truth, and wherever it is manifested, there is the house of God and the gate of heaven. This is our Father's house where there is bread enough, and to spare.
The wisdom of this world has framed a very different doctrine from this which we have endeavoured to set before you at this time; but it is not the house of God, nor is it the gate of heaven. It is the house that is built on the sand, and it is the wide gate that leadeth to destruction; and many there be that go in thereat.
Christian friends, you will permit me to speak the honest conviction of my heart, without giving offence.
As the doctrine of God, of love, of grace, of peace and of truth, the doctrine of Jesus, of life
and salvation, constitutes any place the house of God and the gate of heaven ; so a contrary doctrine, a doctrine of wrath, of everlasting condemnation, of hatred, and of every species of partiality, constitutes the synagogue of Satan, and the broad road to destruction.
In this state of destruction men are tormented day and night, with superstitious fears, with malicious spirits, with partial notions of divine goodness, with a persecuting disposition. “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help found.” In this doctrine for which we contend, there is a sovereign remedy for all the disorders of error. This love to God and mankind heals all our spiritual maladies. It casts out devils, it heals the leper, it opens the eyes of the blind, unstops deaf ears, and quickens the dead.
A manifestation of this glorious gospel of Jesus is the “ mountain of the Lord's house, which he has established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, unto which all nations are to flow. And this is the house of the Lord, in which those who are planted shall flourish, as in the courts of our God, and bring forth fruit in old age.
By the doctrine to which we have attended it appears, that in order to render any place the house of God, there must be a manifestation of the divine covenant, in which God has promised, that all the families of the earth shall be blessed; there must be an exhibition of him and his doctrine, who is the way, the truth, and the life.
A manifestation of these divine things will constitute this covenant edifice, the fruit of your labours and expenses, the house of God and the gate of heaven. In the divine testimony, which we humbly and devoutly trust will be dispensed in this house, which we this day dedicate to God and his service, those who coine hither to worship will find the laws, the covenant, and provisions which our Father in heaven has treasured up in
the gospel of Jesus Christ, for all people. And may it please the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, to grant to the builders of this house, to the worshippers therein, and espe. cially to our Brother who may labour in holy things in this place, clear manifestations of the everlasting covenant, of Jesus its divine mediator, of the doctrine and spirit of his love, that this house may be to old and young, to male and female, none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven. Here may the gentle reproofs of the spirit of truth seasonably check impure desires, and the admonitions of righteousness be successfully dispensed. May the faithful word of reconciliation, the doctrine of God our Saviour, drop as the rain, and distil as the dew, as the small rain upon tne tender herb, and as the gentle dews upon the mown grass. Here may the church of God flourish, and those who hear and know the joyful sound of the gospel walk in the light of the divine countenance.
· When prayer is offered up in this house, may it be offered in faith, and in conformity to the will of God; and may it please our Father in heaven to hear and give assurances of peace.
THE CHARACTER AND WORSHIP OF GOD.
DELIVERED IN CAMBRIDGE-PORT, ON WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18, 1822.
DEUTERONOMY XIV. 23.
“And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall
choose to place his name there, the tythe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and of the firstlings of thy herds, and of thy flocks ; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.”
The wisdom and goodness of God are clearly manifested in the religious institutions which owe their origin to divine authority. Man, being not only a religious, but also a social being, requires for the promotion of his rational happiness, religious institutions which, while they give a proper direction to devotion, at the same time make a wise and profitable improvement of his social feelings. Agreeably to these principles our indulgent and kind Creator gave to the people, whom he chose of all the nations of the earth, to preserve the knowledge and worship of the Divine Unity, such ordinances as were wonderfully calculated to remind them of his goodness, and at the same time to make the best possible use of all their social sympathies and affections.
If we duly contemplate a whole nation assembling, by divine command, and bringing together the tithes of the corn, the wine and the oil, with which a bountiful Providence had blessed them, together with the firstlings of their flocks, the increase of which they owed to the giver of every good and perfect gift, and in a most religious and .