but their highest excellence, their extensive and true meaning, can be discerned alone, by observing the express
relation they bear to the divine REDEEMER.
There are in the Scriptures, "some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned
and unstable wrest unto their own destruction." (2 Pet. iii. 16.) - The prophecies,
antecedent to their accomplishment, must of necessity be, in a great measure, obscure. -
The doctrines which respect the Holy Trinity - the Word made flesh - the operation of the Spirit -
the sovereignty of GOD, and a total dependence upon him, are too sublime and mysterious to be
fully comprehended by finite minds. And what relates to the depravity of human nature, with the
inseparable consequences of guilt and sin, are directly opposed to the pride and prejudices of men.
These are so many sources of difficulty. These render some things hard to be understood, and
still harder to be cordially embraced. Yet, these notwithstanding, all who are taught of GOD
discovery a perspicuity sufficient to render them wise unto salvation, and they delight to meditate
upon the word. None cavil but the ignorant and profane. None but they complain, that clouds and
darkness rest upon the Scriptures. - Whatever it may be in regard to other matters, it is certainly
that in CHRIST the history of the Bible terminates - he is the sum of the promises - the end of the law -
the spirit of the devotion, and the principal object to which the whole is uniformly directed. He was
meant in the types, shadowed forth in the rites, and expressly intended in all the sacrifices. He is the sum,
the scope of the Old and of the New Testament. In the Sacred Scriptures CHRIST is all and in all.
The man, therefore, who reads the Bible without finding the Saviour there, is blind.
And the minister of the gospel who, to avoid offence, or recommend himself to the wicked, conceals the
exalted REDEEMER, is a madman; especially as,
II. CHRIST is all and in all in the religion of sinners.
That religion which removes the fatal consequences of sin - permits the guilty and depraved to worship in an acceptable manner -
restores to the favour and communion of GOD - administers consolation, and produces in the issue, perfection and happiness, that, and
that alone, can be denominated the religion of sinners. Every thing short of this must be inadequate to their exigencies, must be
insufficient for their salvation.