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INTRODUCTION. IN presenting my friends and the public this new periodical work, I deem it proper to state something of its object and design. The.destitute situation of many societies in this and the adjoining States, re. quire for their assistance, the most unremitting and best directed labors of those, whose lives, in the gospel ministry, are devoted to their service. Nothing, we bel ve, has a greater tendency to promote the geferal interest of mankind than friendly intercourse; and in no way can such intercourse he more advantageously supported, than by periodical publications. The different denominations of christians arnong us, have clearly seen this, and generally availed themselves of its benefits. “The Herald of Life and Immortality” by brother Smith, and "The Universalist Magazine” by brother Ballou, are vehicles of much good information; but they cannot be made so easy of access to the brethren in this part of the ccuntry, as a publication among them. The usefulness of No. 1, Vol. I.
those publications in the vicinity of Massachusetts, can afford no just argument against the existence of another in Vermont.
The editor hopes none will have reason to complain that this work is not conducted with the moderation and candor that is suited to the dignity of the subjects it contains. He, however, wishes to have it understood, that he calculates this work on too general principles, to exclude every writer, who does not, in all points, agree with bim. But each writer must consider himself accountable to the public for the ideas which he advances. Communications from all denominations of christians will receive a place, when the editor can have the privilege of assigning the real name of the author. But adverse sentiments to those of the editor will not be admitted to such a degree as to occupy a large portion of the Christian Repository. Its columns, according to what is promised in the title page, will be devoted, principally, to doctrine, morality, and religious intelligence, mostly original from the pen of the editor and others. Obitual notices, interesting anecdotes, and aphorisms will occasionally find a place. The selection will be the best that he can make from the authors that are and shall fall into his hands. Those pieces in the Christian Repository that have no signature, or where no credit is given, will be understood to be from the editor. His ohject, in the work, is to be governed by the language of inspiration. He calculates to avoid strife, and to disagree with none, but those who, as he thinks, disagree with the truth, and with themselves.
With these views, the editor has now only to add, that he solicits the patronage of his brethren, that this work, through the divine blessing of God, may 'be a mean of opening the eyes of the morally blind ; giving strength to the feeble; fortitude to the doubtful and fearful; consolation to the sorrowful; that it may powerfully awaken from the slumber of sin, the
careless and indifferent ; and afford to all inquirers some useful lessons of instruction in heavenly and divine things.
SERMON. NO. I. GAL. III. 8.''Anil the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, prcached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
In this passage we find an account of a brief Ser. mon preached unto Abraham by the scripture ; and the game which it preached to Abraham, by the kind provillence of God, it preaches to us. As people are much in a habit of talking about a good Sermon, 90 we will indulge some scriptural observations on this, which is one of the greatest that ever was preached. In tliis sermon are three important branches ;
ist. Abraham, in whom the blessing shall exist.
2d. All nations, to whom the blessing shall be granted.
3d. The blessing itself.
1. This blessing comes not from Abraham directly in his own person, but from Abraham's seed. See Gen. xxii, 18. “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." "Now to Abraham,” says St. Paul, “and his seed were the promises made." He saith not, and to seeds, as of many ; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ, Gal. iji. 16. Now our Sermon reads to us, And in CHRIST shall the nations of the earth be blessed.
11. "All nations." One of my friends understands this collectively and not individually. He says, it means some of all nations. But why did not the sacred writer use the phrase, “all nations,” in its
most natural sense, as he does in conversing about it? For if we limit it in his expression, it would read, It means some of some of all nations, &c. tin its meaning would be destroyed. But all the nations of the earth, mean all the families of the earth, Gen.xii. 3; and all the families of the earth mean all the kindreds of the cartii, Acts jit. 25. If an individual can be found that is not a kindred to some of the famiJies of the earth, we must acknowledge, that individual may be excluded from tbe blessing of Christ; but not without, according to promise. properly, of the earth, because he was formed of the earth and lived upon the earth. We are further instructed that “God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth,” Acts xvii. 23. This proves the kindred relation of all the nations that dwell on all the face of the earth by “one blood,” according to scripture. To find an irrelative, therefore, we must obtain one out of the nations of the earth, who has never dwelt upon the face of the earth. Unless such can be found, "all the kindred of the earth," must mean at least, as much as all the indivirluals of the human family. now read our brief Sermon again, And in Christ shall all the kindreds of the "one blood" hat dwell on all the face of the carth, be blessed.
III. We consider the blessing. If any one wish to confine this blessing to temporal favors, he is reminded, it is to come through Christ. If only temporal blessings come through Christ, what becomes of the saint's hope of life and immortality ? But if we look for spiritual blessings through Christ, who is prepared to say the blessing to all nations contains not spiritual favors ? Let us attend to St. Peter's explanation in Acts iii. 26. “Unto you first, God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sept him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." The blessing here spoken of is the same as that contained in the promise to Abraham, This
is evident from the preceding verse. To be turned away from iniquity is a spiritual and saving act. No person can be both in ipiquity and turned away from it, at the same time. Consequently, every one who is turned away from iniquity is saved from iniquity. The blessing through Jesus, the Son of God, is the turning of his people from iniquity. He came to seek and to save that which was lost, which being a blessing in or through him, is no doubt the blessing promised to Abraham.' He came not to destroy men's lives but to save them: The blessing is not then to be interpreted, so as to embrace the destruction of men's lives. God sent not his Son, the seed of Abraham, to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved. This proves salvation to be embraced in the blessing of Abraham.
Now, I think it will not be disagreeable to give our brief Sermon another reading. And in thy seed which is Christ, shall all the kindrcils of the one blood that dwell on all the face of the carth, be blessed in being turned away from iniquity.
A few things more we will notice concerning this Sermon.
1. It contains a promise that God made to Abrabam.
2. This promise is pronounced unconditionally from the mouth of Jehovah.
3. It is a covenant, CONFIRMED before the giving of the law, of God in Christ, Gal. iii. 15. St. Paul says, “Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmod, no man disannuileth,or addeth thereto." This he calls speaking after the manner of men : that is, using a human argument, or an argument ad hominem. If this be true of a man's covenant, when confirmed, what shall we think of the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ ?” Who can make it void ? St. Paul informs us “The law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot dis. donul it, that it should make the promise of none