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this inquiry, we shall naturally be led to attempt the correction of some errors, which have almost imperceptibly crept into the Christian church.

The office and work of a witness is, to make known the truth, not to those who already know it, but to those who are not in possession of the knowledge thereof. When a witness is called into any of your courts of justice, it is in order that he may bring to your knowledge facts and circumstances which have a bearing on the case in hand, that those who are judges in the matter may obtain the information that is necessary to form correct judgment. A witness is not expected to make any thing true that is not true before his testimony is heard. No person supposes that the testimony of any witness will make that true which is not true. A faithful witness testifies only to facts which are true before his testimony is given.

Here, then, you perceive that Christ, the Saviour of the world, in the character of a witness, makes nothing known to the children of men but what was true before he came into the world. Every point of doctrine that Jesus taught to the people, was just as true before he came, as it has been since. Every divine promise contained in the Scriptures, in relation to the gift of everlasting salvation, and in reference to being blessed of God forever, was equally true before the advent of Jesus, as it has been since, or ever will be.

So far from having these views distinctly in their minds, many Christians have supposed that the truth of the Christian system began to exist about eighteen hundred years since! They talk about the Gospel, and the Christian religion, and the scheme

of man's salvation, as though these things had their beginning at the time the Saviour entered upon his ministry! But this is not the case. All truth is coeval with the Divine existence-and consequently the doctrines above mentioned, were just as true before Jesus proclaimed them to the world as they are



'But," says the hearer, "if this be so, we do not perceive the necessity of the mission of Christ." My hearers, be not too hasty. The Messiah came in the character, and to do the work, of a witnessto make that known which was true before he came. As I have already remarked, a witness comes to manifest that which was true before his testimony is heard, and not to make something true by merely testifying to its existence.

According to the views of thousands of Christians, the truth of the whole scheme of man's salvation depends entirely upon our believing it! This is another step in error. They seem to suppose that the thing to be believed, is not true until it is believed. Now, your common sense teaches you better than this. You know that believing a thing does not make it true, neither does disbelieving a thing make it false.

Says the objector, "I never could see any utility in, or necessity for preaching, if your doctrine of Universal Salvation be true." And yet, my hearers, you readily perceive that the position we have laid down, is approved and admitted by common sense. The testimony of a witness is to confirm, and not to make a thing true by testifying to it.Allow me to present an illustration. Suppose this congregation was induced to believe, that the sun

would never rise again. If you really thought so, you would become melancholy in a moment. You would exhibit distress and perplexity in your countenances; and you would probably be well nigh frightened out of your senses. You would say, "What! shall we never again behold the glorious sun-never again feel his invigorating and cheering rays!" Never, no, never. Now, the truth of the case is, as the laws of nature have established it. Would your unbelief prevent the sun from rising? Would your unbelief make any difference as to the matter? Yes, just as much difference as it would in regard to the simple truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but all the unbelief that ever existed, or ever will exist, can never make it false. The Apostle Paul has stated an important question, referring to this subject:-"What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar." Unbelief may beget lies by the million; but it cannot change truth into falsehood.

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, he said to that magistrate, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." Yes, my friendly hearers, this was the great end and object of the mission of the Messiah-"to bear witness unto the truth." But the truth to which he testified, was truth before he came into the world. He is spoken of as "the faithful and true witness;" and he is thus spoken of, because he was faithful in proclaiming the great truths he was sent into the world to bear witness unto. Do you still inquire, "what necessity was there for his coming?" It was that man might know

the truth, and rejoice in it. "Ye shall know the truth," saith our Lord, "and the truth shall make you free."

Suppose I should see this congregation in the situation before referred to-all believing that the sun would never rise again, and that eternal night, in all its cheerless darkness, would cover the world. And suppose that your humble servant enjoys the converse opinion, and believes that the sun will rise again, and continue to rise, in all its beauty and loveliness. Would it not be kindness in him to attempt the correction of your tormenting error, and deliver you from your gloomy forebodings? And were he to succeed in his endeavours, would you not be filled with joy? Certainly. Suppose I should succeed in convincing only one or two individuals, would they not leap with joy and gladness? And certainly if I could effect this object, it would be my duty to confer such pleasure on every one.. Do you think it would give pain and distress to a father or mother, to see a son or daughter rejoicing in the belief that the sun would rise again? Certainly not. Would you not think that the heart of the parent who could in such a case treat a child with coldness and abuse, because it believed the joyful truth, was as cold and unfeeling as the earth? My friends, I am sure you would. And yet we have seen something precisely like it. How many cases have occurred, in which children have been treated with coldness, and even with cruelty, by their parents, simply because those children believed and rejoiced in the Gospel of universal and efficient grace!

Jesus, my hearers, came as a messenger of peace. He came to bear witness to the truth. And the truth to which he came to bear witness, was the truth of the covenant which God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "In thee and in thy seed shall all the nations, families and kindreds of the earth be blessed." Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians, has referred to this covenant. "And the Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel to Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." And when the same Apostle was at Antioch, he said, "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again." In another place, he says, "Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."

And you will perceive that Jesus has borne the same testimony to the world that God proclaimed to Abraham. He proves to us, that God is love. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. [This is the old-fashioned doctrine, which Jesus came to condemn.]. But I say, Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you; that. ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Now what is the sum of all this testimony? It is, that God loves all upon whom the sun shines and the rain descends. These things you always have before your senses.

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