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astonish the world, aš noisy and confident örators, the broachers of some novel system equally repugnant' to the laws of God and to the nature and condition of man; but it will not be lian easy" matter to make out their claim to the character of good Christians, orderly subjects, and useful members of society.
To conclude.--It is evident, on the one hand, that undisciplined man is not qualified for the regular discharge of his obligations to God, or to his neighbour ; and, on the other, that Christ has established a sacred law of order for the government of his church; it is therefore the undeniable privilege and duty of a Christian people, in which the governors and the governed are equally members of that church, to maintain its principles, support its interest, and enforce its discipline. At the same time, they are neither to forget their duty to those that differ from them, nor the measure of that duty. All men are to be treated by Christians with impartial justice and gentle clemency, but the orderly and inoffensive alone are entitled to encouragement and approbation. Whilst we remember that it
is God's province; nut ours, to judge them that are without--to inflict punishment, or exalt the banner of mercy, as to his infinite wisdom shall appear most, meet, on those who have erred and strayed from his church, we must beware of betraying the sacred cause committed to our trust, by an indis creet confidence and mistaken liberality,
OF THE DUTY OF PROVIDING FOR THE RE.
LIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF THE POOR.
MATT. XI. 5. The poor have the Gospel preached unto
Our blessed Lord improved every opportunity of impressing upon the minds of men this sacred truth-that the doctrine which he taught was from above; and was, therefore, to be received in its purity and simplicity, unmixed with the vanity of human imagination. And this is particularly the scope of the words which I have now read, and which he pronounced upon the following occasion.
When John the Baptist had heard, in the prison, of the mighty works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples to ask him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
-Art thou the Messiah that was to appear in the world for the redemption
of his people, and whose way I was sent to prepare? Our divine Master, whose glory it was that he bore not witness of himself, instead of simply answering in the affirmative, produces the 'evidence of those niiracles which he wrought in his Father's name, in which John might not only perceive the immediate hand of God, but also the accomplishment of the ancient prophecies, relative to the office and character of the Messiah. Accordingly, he dismisses the messengers with this charge :-Go; and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see. The blind receive their sight, and the lame' walk: the lepersi are cleansed, and the deaf hears the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gaspel preached; unto them. And blessed is she whosoever shall not be offended in me.
The tenor of this history furnishes a clear inference, that the several particulars here enumerated were eminent marks of the Messiah's character, such as: must have produced in the mind of John a firm conviction of the identity of his person: and that this was the case, more especially with that circumstance which finished the climax
of our Saviour's works of mercy the poor have the Gospel preached unto them. And, indeed, this must have forcibly reminded the Baptist of some remarkable prophecies, which described the great Redeemer in the execution of his office.
Of him the royal psalmist had declared He shall judge the poor of the people: he shall save the children of the needy. (Psal, lxxii. 4.) Isaiah had testified of that branch which was to grow out of the root of JesseWith righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity the meek of the earth. (Chap. xi. 4.). And, again, the same prophet thus speaks in the person of Christ : -The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me TO.PREACH. GOOD TIDINGS'UNTO THE MEEK; he hath sent me to, bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound --to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (Chap. Isi. 1, 2.) Such is the passage which our Lord himself recited in the synagogue Nazareth, declaring to his audience-To-day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke, įv., 21.) From the recollection of such