Wright - BT300 W8 1788

72 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED felves by long - continuance, were deep - rooted in the human heart, and main- tained by the paffions, prejudices, and intereft of mankind. Had human pru- dence direaed to the choice of perfons to be employed on this great occafion, they doubtlefs would have been men of great learning, fuperior eloquence, and poffeffed of every art of perfuafion and addrefs. But the wifdom of God £coops not to be direaed by the wifdom ofman ; his ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts. When his glo- rious gofpel was fent to enlighten and enrich the world, this divine treafure was committed to earthen veffels, that the excellency of the power might appear to be of God : accordingly, it appeared that the religion which thefe illiterate filher- men, thefe defpifed Galileans, publifhed . through the world, was far fuperior, was more worthy of God, and beneficial to man, than the acuteff reafonings, or the fublimeft ftrains of the Greek and Roman philofophers and poets, though they were furnithed with all the flores of human literature, and fpent their whole time in fludy and contemplation. Hence, it is manifefi, that the glorious gofpel of God, by it's noble fimplicity, by it's own intrin- fic dignity and worth, as well as by the miraculous power which attended it, and the heavenly glory which !hone around it, proved itfelf to be wholly original and divine. Nor was the fuccefs which attended the attempts of thefe weak and, defpifed infiruments, wanting to prove the divine original of-the'doariné they taught ; while the tenéts of the philofophers were con- fined to their refpeEtive fchools, the glo- rious gofpel fpreads over the world, and was received in every country, and by men of every Dation ; it was received by the bulk of mankind, with the higheft fatisfaftion, and the fublimeltjoy ; as fome- thing neceffary to their fupreme good, which hitherto they: had been feeking in 3 vain. It was, therefore, the higheft wif- dom which conduEled the propagation of the gofpel, and made ufe of fuch low and contemptible perfons; for hence, it plainly appeared, that thefe noble truths were not of human invention, but were the produaion of Infinite Wifdom, and were firfi advanced, and are Dill fuppported, by the mighty power of God. After our great Redeemer had appointed his twelve apoftles, he came down from the mountain, and was joyfully received by multitudes of people, who were wait- ing for him in the plain ; and fuch was the heavenly virtue which attended and furrounded him, that whoever touched the border of his garment, was healed of his difeafe. This is fufficient to ac- count for the great numbers of people that daily followed this illufirious per- fon, who crowded around him wherever he went, and accompanied him to the remoteft part of the wildernefs ofJudea nor was it only the vulgar and neceffitous that purfued our Redeemer's fleps where- foever he went, but perfons of high rank and charaEter came from the remoteft parts to converfe with him, hear his di- vine doftrine, and be fpèaators of his wonderous works, and partakers of the benefits refulting from them. After healing the fick amongft the multitude, he proceeded to infiruft them, and delivered a divine difcourfe, in fub- fiance nearly the fame as that which he before preached from the mountain : the chief difference in thefe difcourfes, is the threatenings which are here denounced againfi particular ftnners, whereas the difcourfe recorded by St. Matthew, con- tains only bleffings. It may not be amifs, briefly to confider thefe malediflions, as a large paraphrafe bath been given on the former fermon. Wo unto you that are rich, raid our exalted Saviour,foryou have receivedyour confolation,