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DISCOURSE III.

ON THE EXTENT OF THE DIVINE CONDESCENSION

Page. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high. Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth !”_Psal. cxiii.

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5, 6.

DISCOURSE IV.

ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF MAN'S MORAL HISTORY IN

THE DISTANT PLACES OF CREATION,

" Which things the angels desire to look into.”—1 Pet. i. 12..

126

DISCOURSE V.

ON THE SYMPATHY THAT IS FELT FOR MAN IN THE

DISTANT PLACES OF CREATION.

" I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven

over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance."-Luke xv. 7..

160

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DISCOURSE VI.

ON THE CONTEST FOR AN ASCENDANCY OVER MAN, AMONGST THE HIGHER ORDERS OF INTELLIGENCE,

Page,

" And having spoiled principalities and powers, he

made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”-Col. ii. 15.

189

DISCOURSE VII.

ON THE SLENDER INFLUENCE OF MERE TASTE AND

SENSIBILITY, IN MATTERS OF RELIGION.

« And, lo! thou art unto them as a very lovely song of

one that bath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not."-Ezek. xxxiii. 39. .

216

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Appendix,

257

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DISCOURSE I.

A SKETCH OF THE MODERN ASTRONOMY.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained ; What is man, that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man, that thou visitest him ?”—Psalm viii. 3, 4.

In the reasonings of the Apostle Paul, we cannot fail to observe how studiously he accommodates his arguments to the pursuits or principles or prejudices of the people whom he was addressing. He often made a favourite opinion of their own the starting point of his explanation ; and educing a dexterous but irresistible train of argument from some principle upon which each of the parties had a common understanding, did he force them out of all their opposition, by a weapon

of their own choosing-nor did he scruple to avail himself of a Jewish peculiarity, or a heathen superstition, or a quotation from Greek poetry, by which he might gain the attention of those whom he laboured to convince, and by the skilful application of which, he might “ shut them up unto the faith.”

Now, when Paul was thus addressing one class of an assembly, or congregation, another class might, for the time, have been shut out of all direct benefit and application from his arguments. When he wrote an Epistle to a mixed assembly of Christianized Jews and Gentiles, he had often to direct such a process of argument to the former, as the latter would neither require nor comprehend. Now, what should have been the conduct of the Gentiles at the reading of that part of the Epistle which bore almost an exclusive reference to the Jews ? Should it be impatience at the hearing of something for which they had no relish or understanding ? Should it be a fretful disappointment, because every thing that was said, was not said for their edification? Should it be angry discontent with the Apostle, because, leaving them in the dark, he had brought forward nothing

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