תמונות בעמוד

mean the notion, that our Creator, by an act of his almighty power, gave us a totally depraved nature, laid the blame of it to Adam, and is determined to punish us everlastingly for the same! We are not endeavouring to give these things any false colour to represent them as odious; no, any false colour would serve to hide their native deformity, and would give them a grace which they do not possess.

When we come to consider that such doctrines as have been noticed, have, for ages, been venerated as the true system of godliness, and that the Christian Church has been fed and nursed with such food, we cannot wonder at the blackness of her crimes, the wickedness of her frauds, or the murderous dispositions manifested by the parties into which these jargons have divided her.

There are many other inventions of men, which, if we had time, we might notice; but we must soon take our leave of this dark scene; not, however, without mentioning the mystery of an invented Trinity, which has been the means of sore contentions and bitter animosities in the Church. This self-contradictory doctrine of three infinite persons in but one infinite Being, has been so thoroughly shaken, that its warmest friends would now give it up, if they were not obliged to use this absurdity to maintain another; I mean the absurdity of an infinite, vicarious atonement. It is thought to be absolutely necessary that the sufferings of Christ should be considered as infinite, otherwise the notion of the infinite misery of any must be given up, which would ruin the kingdom of Satan at once!

Look, my friends, at this doctrine. God, from all eternity, determined who should be for ever happy, and who should be for ever miserable; and yet it is necessary that an infinite sacrifice should recone ile him to save any! And as if the more ab, surdities were multiplied, the better, it is maintain. ed that those whom the Creator predestinated from all eternity, to misery, are to suffer this unspeakable condemnation for not believing what the

clergy have told them concerning the infinite atonement! And to complete the climax, it is contend. ed that the everlasting salvation of those who were elected from all eternity, now depends on their being regenerated in this world, and having an entire new nature given them, which is ordinarily brought about by the highly necessary labours of learned ministers!

These, my friends, are a few of the things which men have made. They are things which will be shaken and removed, as fast as men come to use their reason assisted by divine Revelation. Many more injurious errors have been invented by the wisdom of this world, but those which have been mentioned, seem to form the main pillars on which the Temple of Antichrist has been built, and with which it must fall to ruins.

Taking our leave of those things which are to be removed, we may, in the next place, enter upon an inquiry infinitely more pleasing, and which will lead to discoveries calculated to fulfil the desire of every benevolent heart. The theme is “the desire of all nations." This is promised in our text: “'The desire of all nations shall come.'

But let us ask how this is possible? The nations are so opposed to each other, their religious superstitions so repugnant one to another, and such being the animosities which different creeds have engendered, can it be possible that their desires can all be concentrated in one point, and become satisfied with one thing ? This is promised, and it is not too hard for the Lord to accomplish.

What do all nations mostly desire ? Answer, LIGHT. “And God said, let there be light, and there was light.” Jesus is the light of the world, the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”. Will any object and say, that men put darkness for light, and light for darkness? This proves two things in favour of my argument : Ist, it shows that the desire is so strong for light, that even when darkness is mistaken for it, the

mind is tenacious to hold it fast. And 2d, it proves that more light is needed. We may accuse the nations, if we please, of an aversion to the true light, and in return we may receive their recrimination ; but if we travel to the ends of the earth, we shall never find the people who will say they do not desire the knowledge of divine truth. Light to those who are in darkness, is surely most desirable. “God is light," and he has given Jesus, "a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel."

When all the dark and dismal clouds of error and superstition shall have passed away, this eternal sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams, and be the fulness of universal desire.

It has already been noticed, that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, promised these fathers, that in their seed, which is Christ, all the nations and all the families of the earth should be blessed. This, most certainly is the desire of all nations. There certainly is not a nation so grossly ignorant, there is not a people on earth so bigoted in error, as not to desire to be blessed. There is not an individual who has become so contracted, however he may have exclud. ed millions and millions of his fellow creatures from the sympathies of his bosom, and however he may have made his mad calculations to be blessed in heaven, in seeing his dearest earthly connexions in everlasting misery, who has no desire to be blessed himself. So strong is this desire in the most stupidly contracted soul, that he even hopes he shall be blessed for ever, and feel his bliss increase even by the torments of his own offspring.

Standing in the light of this subject, we can clearly understand, that the doctrines which have been generally held up for gospel, are altogether inadequate to the fulfilment of the promise made to the fathers, or the promise in our text. My friends, you may make the best you can of any doctrine which excludes any of the human family

from the blessings of God's favour, and that doctrine is not the desire of all nations, nor can all nations and families of the earth be blessed in it. We must then find a doctrine in which all are blessed, then we have found the desire of all nations. This doctrine, this precious desire of all nations, is announced to the world in Jesus. The testimony of the Angel to the Shepherds, on the birth of this universel desire, is full evidence of this truth : “ Fear not ; for behold, I bring unto 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." How evidently does the desire of all nations appear in this angelic declaration,—“Great joy which shall be to all people.” Surely there is no nation, no people on earth, not a single individual, who has no desire for joy. We may search among the treasures of human inventions in vain to find a doctrine which contains great joy, which shall be to all people. But this we find in him whom the Father sent, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.

We have the same blessed desire of all nations expressed in the heavenly doxology, sung by an innumerable multitude of the heavenly host, immediately after the angel had announced his glad tidings : “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” Peace is the desire of every living, of every rational being. All want peace for themselves, and there are none who do not desire good will to themselves.

When the precious babe of Bethlehem was brought into the Temple for the accomplishment of the rights of the law, aged Simeon beheld this desire of all nations with transport, stretched out his feeble, withered arms, and clasping the heavenly treasure, said, “Now Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace ; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gen

tiles, and tne glory of thy people Israel.” Salvation is the desire of all nations ; this desire was then in the Temple, and this prophecy of Haggai was fulfilled. This was the desire of all nations, and this was the glory which filled the house of God.

Casting our eyes round on this newly erected Sanctuary, which indicates so much in commendation of the zeal and liberality of those who built it, and realizing at the same time, that it was their intention to dedicate it to the worship of the God of Abraham, who promised to bless all the families of the earth in Christ, fervent desires arise in our devotional hearts, that this house may be filled with that glory which is the desire of all nations.

My brethren in the Lord, had your souls been satisfied with those doctrines which men have invented, creeds which, so far from being the desire of all nations, are not the desire even of those who believe and preach then, you would never have appropriated of your earthly substance to the raising of this house, but would have been striving with Ephraim to feed on wind, and with the wandering prodigal to satisfy yourselves with husks. But the bread of our heavenly Father's house has invited you to that“ feast of fat things," which the Lord of hosts hath made unto all people.

The glory, which we trust will in future days, and for a long time to come, fill this house, is that pure and rational doctrine of Jesus Christ, which teaches the unchangeable, impartial love of God to all men, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. These divine truths are things which cannot be shaken, things which will for ever remain, when every invention of the wisdom of this world shall have vanished away. The evidences which support these most glorious and soul-rejoicing truths, shine with unfading lustre in the book of Nature, and also in that of Revelation. What learned Doctor would undertake to defend a partial creed, by evidences adduced from the works of God? Would he present his dark invention of eternal exclusion from

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