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THE ERAS OF LIGHT.
28 in remembrance our Saviour's words, “ The
poor have the Gospel preached to them :" 16 in which is implied, “ That the poor would
the Gospel, and RECEIVE the “ Gospel; and these words have been illustrated in every age. The Apostle Paul had less success among the learned ai Athens, than among the barbarous people. And the same is sometimes the experience of Preachers at this day among the Gentile nations. It so happens that the most numerous conversions, during the last century, have been among those nations which have least civilization. *
And this fact demonstrates the PERMANENT CHARACTER and divINE NATURE of the Christian dispensation. For, “ Where is “ the wise ?" saith the Apostle, in reference to this subject: “ Where is the Scribe ? “ Where is the disputer of this world ? Hath “ not God made foolish the wisdom of this “ world? For ye see your calling, brethren; “ how that not many wise men after the flesh, “ not many mighty, not many noble are call
The ESQUIMAUX Indians of LABRADOR; the COLAREES of the Decan in India; the AFRICAN slaves of several islands in the West Indies; and the natives of Caffraria, and of the Great and Little Namaquas, in the South of Africa. Sce the Reports of the Moravian, Danish, and English Missions.
r. rten, He that glorieth, let him glory in the
.THOIJ O 3 HO
But God hath chosen the foolish thiņgs of the « and God hath chosen the weak things of " the world to confound the things that are
mighty: That no flesh should glory in his ES
PRESENCE: But that, according as it is writ
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Gen. I. 3. Let there be Light.
AMONG the many pieces of sublime and beau: tiful composition with which the service of our Church abounds, there is a prayer which I have always admired, and which will properly introduce the Era of Light that is to be the subject of this discourse; I mean that collect in which we pray that our Church may
be “ enlightened by the doctrine of the Evange" list Saint John." Le nou.
The doctrine of the Evangelist St. John'accords with that of our Saviour before mention. ed: namely,
That God the Father is Love. - God is 66 Love. Herein is Love, not that we loved « God, but that He loved us, and sent his « Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John iv. 10.
Of God the Son he saith, that “ Jesus Christ 66 is come in the flesh: and that the blood of
Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin." 1 John i. 7.
Of God the Holy Ghost he saith, “ It is the Spirit that beareth witness (to the Son of
God), because the Spirit is TRUTH;" and of its operation on the hearts of believers he saith, that “ they have an UNCTION from the “ Holy one; and that this unction ABIDETH " in them; that they are thus BORN of God, 6 and become the children of God;" and finally, that the evidence of their being thus born again, is “ the love of the brethren."
We know," saith he, “ that we have passed “ from death to life, because we love the bre" thren." 1 John iii. 14.
“This is the doctrine of the blessed Apostle and Evangelist St. John, as expressed in his Epistles, and confirmed by his Gospel; and this is the heavenly doctrine which our Church prays for in the following words:
“ Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast "thy BRIGHT BEAMS of light upon thy church, " that it being enlightened by the doctrine of " thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint “ John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, " that it may at length attain to the light of “ everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our 66 Lord. Amen."
This prayer was offered up continually during a long season of darkness, and at length was answered at the appointed time.
In our former discourse we stated that, while the Protestant Churches were declining in piety, a NEW ENEMY appeared.
66 While “ men slept, the Táres were sown." Matt. xiii, 25. It was about the middle of the last century that INFIDELITY, which had appeared long before, first began to shew itself in strong and general operation. It was at a time when the light of Christianity was very feeble, and it was apprehended that this new adversary would totally extinguish it. But behold the providence of God!' At this very period, there was a revival of religion in England, commencing in the bosom of our own church. Distinguished preachers arose in succession ; men possessing the spirit and eloquence of the first Reformers, and the doctrine of the 5. Blessed Apostle, and Evangelist St. John," was preached with great energy and effect; ñultitudes of the people bearing witness, by their repentance and conversion, to its truth and heavenly power. And it was soon found to be the pure and operative faith of the Primitive Church, and of the Reformation ; differing as much from the mere profession of Christianity, as the substance from the shadow; and bearing the true character, which