Page images

may seem in prospect, was foreseen, was foretold to the world, so many ages ere it happened, this at least must convince the most incredulous. Is there an understanding so stupid, or so immured in conceit, and false learning, as to be impenetrable to this beam of piercing light, which strikes through the mind with a double exemplification; to wit, both of infinite wisdom and power? Or, is there a heart so congealed to all sense of goodness by long habitual depravity, as not to melt at the intense warmth of that beautiful and powerful morality, which accompanies, and is mixed with, the light of this irresistible demonstration? Yes, there are still men, who, as Isaiah foretold, and our Saviour and St. Paul found by experience, can hear the prophecies, and not understand them;' can see their wonderful accomplishment, and not perceive' the evidence it inculcates; and why? because the heart of these people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and healed,' Acts xxviii. 26, 27. This prophecy, and its completion, are not less wonderful than the rest; to hear, and not hear! to see and not see! both to hear and see, and yet not to understand! No man uninspired durst have predicted a resistance to proofs, so glaringly strong, in minds not altogether destitute of sense and reason. this prophecy is so literally verified before our eyes, that I trust, it will prove no small refreshment to our faith. We may make the same use of it, that St. Paul did, in the eleventh chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, where he observes its completion on the unbelieving Jews, and tells us, that through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles.' In this light, I cannot help looking on it as equally surprising and demonstrative.


Let us, however, leave these unhappy men to their 'evil hearts of unbelief;' and let us hold fast the faith,' together with the blessed hope of everlasting life, which God hath given us in his Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all might, majesty, dignity, and dominion, now, and for evermore. Amen.


Printed by J. F. Dove, St. John's Square.

« PreviousContinue »