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THE

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WISE

that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands ?"

These things are not of men: such might can be derived but from one source,—the “ LORD OF ALL POWER AND MIGHT;" such wisdom is “not of this world, or of the princes” and lawgivers “ of this world, that come to nought:”

They turn to dust, and all their mightiest works,” -their works of mental, as well as corporeal skill,

“ die too :”—but this wisdom is as durable as transcendent; for it is the wisdom of "the King eternal, immortal, invisible, God.”

Christian !--if thou art a Christian in spirit and in purity, and hast weighed and understood these things,—know thy own dignity; feel thy happiness; exult in thy superiority, thy infinite superiority, as a disciple of the Gospel. The greatest, the wisest, and the best of old time, whether Gentiles or Jews, were, compared to thee, barbarians : kings, statesmen, sages, even prophets, in comparison of thee, were “poor, and naked, and blind, and miserable.” They knew, for they daily saw, that “in Adam,” the natural man, “ all die ;" thou knowest, that “in Christ,” the second man, “shall all be made alive.They faintly hoped that they might find mercy; thou hast actually obtained the covenant of mercy, which seals thy pardon with the signet of heaven. They erected temples and burnt incense to subordinate divinities, as intercessors with a superior God; or "sprinkled the ashes of an heifer, and shed the blood of bulls and goats, which can never take away sins :” thou hast “a temple, not made with hands,”—the sanctuary of the SPIRIT Of Truth: thou hast “a High Priest of good things to come,” who, having “ by one offering perfected for ever them that are sanctified,”— “is passed into the heavens-Jesus, the Son of God.” What canst thou learn, that thou hast not been taught ? What canst thou seek, that thou hast not found ? What canst thou desire, which thou shalt not enjoy ? “for all things are yours,—whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come,-all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."

DISCOURSE VI.

ON THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE.

2 TIMOTHY, CHAP. III. VER. 16, 17.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God; and is pro

fitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

It has been observed by one of our most judicious and learned divines, that this passage may be taken either as it stands in the common translation, “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” or be rendered thus, “All scripture, given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine,”. &c. But the difference is immaterial, the sense being very nearly the same.

According to the established reading, this text lays down the following positions :—First, that all scripture is of divine authority, “given by inspiration of God.” Secondly, That it is calculated to promote the knowledge, and facilitate the attainment, of true piety and moral virtue ; “ it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Thirdly, That its design and end is to establish and confirm believers in the uniform and constant practice of holiness, and universal righteousness of life and manners; "that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

By the word "scripture," we mean that collection of writings compiled by the Jewish and the Christian Church, and contained in the volume of the Old and New Testament. That these writings were inspired, that is, were dictated to their respective authors by the Spirit of God, cannot be a question here : every Christian receives them as from above. The only point of debate among us, is, how far, and in what degree, that inspiration was afforded, and to what limits it extended. Some have maintained, that this inspiration was absolute and unqualified; that the prophets and apostles were not only guided and instructed as to the general matter and substance of what they delivered, but that every

thing they said or wrote, every sentence and every word, were immediately suggested by the Holy Ghost; so that they never uttered their own sentiments, urged their own arguments, or formed their own conclusions, but were merely passive instruments,- vocal organs, through which the Divine Spirit breathed his sacred oracles. This opinion would not only involve us in considerable difficulties, not easily surmounted, but is moreover completely refuted by the discrepancies and disagreements we find in the different parts of Holy Writ; which, however minute and unimportant, cannot be accounted for on the supposition that every syllable is of divine inspiration; disagreements, naturally to be expected, and which are always found, in accounts of every event or transaction published by differ. ent individuals; and which, so far from exciting distrust, tend to confirm the veracity of the relators, since they repel every suspicion of contrivance and collusion; but which could not have existed, had these holy men been miraculously exempted from every possibility of the most trivial mistake or misconception.

It has therefore been concluded by other expounders and divines, that the inspiration of the

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