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not be much surprised, that CHRIST CRUCIFIED should be FOOLISHNESS to the Roman sage as well as to the Greek. That same philosophy which, we are told “had purified their minds from the prejudices of superstition," had substituted in their room certain other prejudices, that would effectually prevent them from embracing the Gospel, if ever they condescended to bestow a single thought upon it, or to make the least enquiry into it; which is far from being certain. Full of Full of system and of science, of the all-sufficiency of reason, the dignity of hu man nature, and the absolute perfection of Stoical wisdom and virtue, they must needs regard with supercilious contempt an unsystematical and unscientifical religion, first promulged in an unpolished and unlettered corner of the world, by the son of a carpen ter, who never studied at Athens or at Rome; preached afterwards by illiterate fishermen and mechanics, and received with eagerness by the illiterate populace. They would never endure a religion that rejected the aid of eloquence and learning, in the pursuit of which they had spent their lives; a religion that laid

laid open the weakness and depravity of the human heart, and the insufficiency of our own powers, either to lead us to a just knowledge of our duty, or support us in the due performance of it, without supernatural aid ; which inculcated the necessity of a mediator, a redeemer, a sanctifier, and required the very unphilosophical virtues of meekness, humility, contrition, self-abasement, self-denial, renovation of heart and reformation of life; which taught the doctrines of a resurrection from the grave, and an eternal existence in another world, doctrines that appeared to them not only perfectly ridiculous, but even impossible; which " chose the foolish things "of the world to confound the wise," (a title peculiarly arrogated by the Stoics)" and the "weak things of the world to confound the "things that are mighty; casting down

imaginations, and every high thing that "exalteth itself against the knowledge of “God, and bringing into captivity every "thought to the obedience of Christ +" These were doctrines which not even a Stoical


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Stoical slave, much less a Stoical Emperor, could ever submit to listen to with any degree of patience. Where then can be the wonder, that, on minds labouring under such strong prepossessions as these, neither the internal excellence, nor the external proofs, of the Christian Revelation, could ever make the smallest impression?

II. The next inference I would offer to your consideration is, that although the doctrine of Christ crucified is one of those which are the most offensive to the philosophers and disputers of this world, yet we should not be in the least dismayed by their opposition to it; nor remit any thing of our diligence and earnestness in asserting the truth, and insisting on the importance, of this fundamental article of our faith. We have seen, that at the very first publication of the Gospel, this doctrine gave the utmost scandal to the pride of the Jew, and the wisdom of the Greek. We have seen too what little regard was paid to them by the great apostle of the Gentiles. The same prejudices do in some measure still subsist: and deserve to meet with the same treatment. There are Jews and


Greeks still to be found in every Christian country. Unbelievers, I mean, who in their way of thinking and reasoning on the subject of Revelation resemble both; who are, like the former, shocked at the seeming ignominy of the cross, and, like the latter, disgusted with the absurdity of supposing, that the sufferings and the death of an unoffending individual, and of one too that pretended to be nothing less than the Son of God, could in any way contribute to the salvation of a guilty world. It concerns not us to satisfy these fastidious reasoners. The only proper answer to them is, that our faith "does not "stand (and was not designed to stand) in the “wisdom of men, but in the power of God *.* All that we have to do, is to content ourselves with facts, and to receive with thankfulness the doctrine of Redemption, as we find it delivered in the plain, and express, and emphatical words of Scripture. We may safely trust ourselves in the hands of God, and rely on his wisdom for the best methods of redeeming us. His dealings with mankind are truly great and wise, but he does not conduct

* 1 Cor. ii. 5.

X. conduct nimself on the principles of worldly grandeur, or worldly wisdom. On the contrary, it is plainly his intention, in this and a thousand other instances, to humble, and mortify, and confound them both. We have, therefore, no reason to be afraid of either, "for the foolishness of God is wiser than 66 men, and the weakness of God is stronger "than men*."

Artful and ingenious cavillers will attempt to lead us into long disquisitions and subtle speculations on the subject. They will start innumerable difficulties, propose ensnaring questions, and urge us with a variety of seem→ ing absurdities. But unmoved by all their artifices, let us hold fast the profession of our faith, without wavering, and without philosophizing. Unless we were admitted into the counsels of God, it is impossible for us to comprehend all the reasons which induced him to prefer that particular method of redeeming us which he has chosen. But But yet what we may understand of it is sufficient to convince us, that it is admirably well calculated for the purposes which it seems designed to answer; and that although the doctrine

* 1 Cor. i 25.

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