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we may look within the door, and see so much, and only so much, as Christ came to witness unto us. For he says,
“ For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” We may, then, safely inquire, “ What is truth?”
1. God is true. This may be known by his works. Look into yourselves; see the order of your bodily system, the flow of blood, the heaving of the lungs; see, too, the activity of thought, the affections of the soul, the acuteness of feeling ; every department of the mind, every function of the body acting in unison with its fellow; no jarring, while in health, but every motion and emotion true to the original cause as the needle to the pole. Can these laws by which we are governed in the body be thus true, and He who created them be untrue? No.
Look at the vegetable world. See the regular system of all the plants of the earth, each springing forth in its season, growing, budding, blossoming, bearing fruit, yielding its seed after its kind, and each seed containing elements of further increase, and so on, until figures would fail to multiply the number of likes contained in every seed. All true to the laws of the vegetable world—can this be true, and He who clothes the field with its verdure not be true? Never.
Look again at the heavens. See the systems of the planetary world. See suns innumerable, each the centre of a system, and all the planets moving in their respective orbits around these suns, keeping their proper distances, observing regular times, and so true that revolutions unnumbered may pass off without the variation of a moment. Do not all these things show that He who spake them into existence must be truth?
When, in short, we view the regular laws of nature, and behold all things, both animate and inanimate, obeying those laws, and man, though a rebel, compelled to yield to them, so that he cannot by any physical force evade or nullify the acts of the Almighty, are we not irresistibly led to conclude, that God is true-true to himself, true to his own laws, true to bis own word and will, and that he does manifestly declare that he will be true in his moral government? This leads us to show, II. THAT THE WORD OF GOD is TRUTH.
That the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, is hardly a disputable point at the present day. Yet there are a few heaven-daring sceptics who do sneeringly insinuate that it is only the work of man. And we would not wish to deny that there are many, very many, who deny parts of the word, and hy so doing nullify, or endeavor to nullify, so much as does not suit their carnal appetite or moral taste of things. Some do away the divinity of Christ, others the otfice or work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, others the depravity of the natural heart; and so on, to the several other parts of the word. Some deny the his. torical, and some the prophetical; some dispute the doctrines, and some the precepts. But I ani to show that the word of God, embraced in the Old and New Testaments, is true.
1. It is true, because those books give the only rational account of creation.
2. It is true, because they give the best code of laws in our world.
3. It is true. They tell of events to come with a certainty that silences all caviling.
4. It is true. They describe the character of man, the thoughts and intents of the heart.
5. It is true. There is a general harmony through the whole. In every page, in every book, we find the same important pillars of truth. We find the same God, the same Savior, the same Spirit, describe ed. We see human character unfolded with entire harmony and truth; and the two opposite states of man, the righteous and the wicked, from Abel and Cain, down to the judgment of the great day, clearly brought to view. In every book we find the same promises to the one, and the same curses denounced upon the other. And, although these writers lived in different ages of the world, and about sixteen hun. dred years apart, from the first writer to the last;
although there were between forty and Afty of them, in every grade of life, from the king on his throne to the poor
fisherman ; yet their enemies have not been able to show any discrepancy, or disagreement, that is not easily reconciled.
These things show that God is the author of his word.
“And holy men (from the king to the peasant) spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.”
Again; the historical part of the word of God is true. All the contemporary profane historians agree in supporting some parts, and collectively prove the whole; and many monuments of antiquity, stil] standing, are an additional weight of testimony. The evidences of the flood, of the cities of the plain, of Babylon, Jerusalem, and the monuments of Egypt, all shown that the writers lived in the several ages in which they professed to write; and if their writings had not been true, how easily would their enemies have detected them. And surely no one will pretend that the writers of the sacred books had no opposers. Had Moses none? See Egypt, then in her glory; see the Moabites, the Ammonites, Edomites, and all the nations of the land of Judea. Had Joshua, Samuel, David, no enemies? Yes; for there was war all the days of these writers. Had the prophets no enemies? Yes in their own kings. See the history of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and of all the smaller prophets. Would not the kings and rulers among
the Jews have confuted the writings of these men, if it had been in their power, for they were all against them? Yes, yes. But God preserved his word; for it was truth.
In the apostles' days,—had they no enemies ? There were Jews and Gentiles, all opposed to those wild fanatics and visionary fools, as they were called, who wrote the New Testament,-" to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness.” Al the erudition and wisdom of the pagan government of Rome, that mistress of the world, embracing the most learned people in the whole earth, worshipping in all manner of ways, having and professing to have a knowledge of all the gods many and lords many then known, and altars erected in every city and kingdom in their empire, with their gods and goddesses, priests and priestesses, kings, generals, heroes, soldiers, and people, all combined to destroy the Bible; and yet how vain was the attempt. It stood; “ for truth is mighty and will prevail.” The fishermen's Bible hath stood the shock.
Look at the infidels of France in modern times. A government which shook the kingdoms of Europe, and made Egypt and Asia quail, bent all her energy and power to destroy the Bible. Her learned men, her great men, her mighty men, did all that men coulă,- and what did they do? They opened the eyes of the world. For after three years and a half, during which time the Bible was a dead letter in France, anarchy, -urder, and blood filled the kingdom with horror, torror, and dismay; so that the infidels and deists thenselves prayed for the restoration of the christian religion-the precepts of the Bible. And the two witnesing, the Old and New Testaments, arose in a cloud, aad have been sent to every nation, in every clime, and are now witnessing in every language.
By these events, the truth of the prophecies of the Bible has been tested. John, in Rev. xi. 5, 6, says, " And if any man will hurt thern, fire, proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth their enemies. And if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy : and have power over waters (people) to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth uith all plagues, as often as they will.".
How truly were these texts fulfilled on infidel France! Where are her infidel writers ? " Devoured and slain” in the same Revolution which they said would revolutionize the christian world and destroy the Bible. Where are the millions of deists who filled France in the days of her Revolution ? And the millions more in every nation in Europe and
America ? They are “turned to blood,” or “smitten with a curse." There are but few left, and that “remnant was affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."
Once, our cities, our villages and hamlets, were full of deists.
But now, where are they? None, none, to raise their puny arm against the Lord and his Anointed.
But, my brethren, there is one more battle, and then the mystery of God will be finished. The ene. mies of truth have one weapon yet. They wield ii now; they begin to shout the victory. It is to per. vert the word of God, and wrest its meaping to change the truth into a lie. This will be the last struggle. Here the enemies of the truch will fall to rise no more forever; for “ truth is mighty and will prevail.” “ Which they that are unlearnal and unstable wrest, as they do the other scriptures
, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, zeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye alss, being led away
with the error of the wicked, fall ,rom your own steadfastBut
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ : to him be glory, both now and forever. Anen.' So says Peter; and it is a solemn admonision to us, in thiş last day. Let us not pervert or wrest the scriptures from their own simple meaning. The word of God must be its own expositor. It is a chain of truth which cannot be broken without doing despite to the Spirit of God hy whom it was ipdicted.
III. WHAT DOES THE WORD TEACH US ?
1. It teaches that God is the Creator of all things, both which are in heaven and on earth. It teaches that we must be created anew in Christ Jesus: yet some say we create ourselves by good works.
9. It teaches that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh: the mighty God, the everlasting Father.. Yet some tell us he is but a man.
3. It teaches that the Holy Spirit is sent down from God, as a sanctifier and reprover, to lead our minds into truth, and to regenerate the heart. Yet some deny his office totally, and some in part.