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trated by the example of a father pardoning the transgressions of his repenting son.
of the Old and the New Testaments to the same effect, which might fill a volume, distinctly promise us that the forgiveness of God and the favour of his Divine Majesty may be obtained by sincere repentance, as required of sinners by the Redeemer.
As to the second point, that is, How to be enabled to overcome our passions, and keep the commandments of God:-we are not left unprovided for in that respect, as our gracious Saviour has promised every strength and power as necessary consequences of earnest prayer and hearty desire. Matthew, ch. vii. and Luke, ch. vi. “Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him !" Luke, ch. xi. “I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you.” After a due attention to these and to numerous passages of the same effect, no one who believes in the divine message of Jesus of Nazareth, or even in the truth of his doctrine only, can be at all at a loss to find adequate means of attaining those two ends, justly considered to be most essential by the Reviewer.
4. The Reviewer imputes to the Compiler, error in exalting the value of the moral doctrines above that of the historical facts and dogmas contained in
the New Testament. This imputation, I humbly maintain, can be of no weight or force against the authority of Jesus himself, as quoted in the above texts ; which clearly shew, that there is no other means of attaining eternal life except the performance of our duties towards God in obeying his commandments. That the aim and object of all the commandments of God is to teach us our duty towards our fellow-creatures, may be gathered from a hundred
passages of Scripture, of which perhaps the following may suffice. Matthew, ch. xxv. ver. 31: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them
: one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in : naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick,
I and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in
prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say unto them also on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” In this description of the day of judgment it is clearly announced, that the merciful Father of the universe accepts as [a] manifestation of love towards himself, every act of charity and beneficence performed towards his creatures. (See text already quoted, Matthew, ch. vii. ver. 12.) And apparently to counteract by anticipation the erroneous idea that such conduct might be dispensed with, and reliance placed on a mere dogmatical knowledge of God or of the Saviour, the following declaration seems to have been uttered. Matthew, ch. vii. ver. 21 : “ Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord ! Lord ! shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord ! Lord! have we not prophesied in thy name; and in thy name have cast out devils ; and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you ; depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken himn unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.”
, Matthew, ch. xii. “ Whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Luke, ch. ix. “My mother and my brethren are those which hear the word of God and do it." Ch. xi, “ Blessed is the womb (said a certain woman to Jesus) that bare thee, and the paps
which thou hast sucked: but he said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” John, ch. xv. “ If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” What, then, are THOSE SAYINGS, the obedience to which is so absolutely commanded as indispensable and all-sufficient to those who desire to inherit eternal life? They are no other than the blessed and benign moral doctrines taught in the sermon on the mount, (contained in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew,) which include therefore every duty of man, and all that is
and all that is necessary to salvation ; and they expressly exclude mere profession or belief, from those circumstances which God graciously admits as giving a title to eternal happiness. Neither in this, nor in any other part of the New Testament, can we find a commandment similarly enjoining a knowledge of any of the mysteries or historical relations contained in those books. It is besides plainly stated, that but a very small portion
a of the works of Jesus have been handed down to us by the Evangelists. John says at the conclusion of his gospel, ch. xxi. ver. 25, “ There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one,
the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” On the other hand, we cannot doubt that the whole spirit of his doctrines has been faithfully and fully recorded. The reason of this appears obvious :-miracles must have had a powerful effect on the minds of those who witnessed them, and who, without some such evidence, were disposed to question the authority of the teacher of those doctrines. John, ch. xv. ver. 23: “ The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.” Ver. 37, and 38: “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works." Had his doctrines of themselves made their due impression, the aid of miracles would not have been requisite, nor had recourse to.