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SERMON I.

ROMANS i. 16. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ ; for it is

the

power of God unto salvation.

PRIDE and prejudice were the great obstacles with which Christianity had to contend, on its first appearance in the world. To the Jews, bigoted to their own Law, and fondly indulging the expectation of a temporal Deliverer, it was “ a stumbling-block.” To the Greeks and other heathen unbelievers, vain of their philosophy and imaginary wisdom, it appeared to be “ foolishness," a system unworthy of their acceptance or regard. Prejudices strong and deep-rooted, widely differing from each other, yet springing from the same source of arrogance and self-sufficiency, operated in both cases to produce a determined opposition to the clearest proofs that could be set before them of the Divine authority of the Gospel.

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The Apostle nevertheless

nevertheless begins this Epistle to the Romans with a declaration that he is “ not ashamed of the Gospel of 6 Christ.” He also assures them that he was very desirous, had he not been hindered by untoward circumstances, to preach it in person at Rome; having received a special call unreservedly to declare its truths “ both to “ the Greeks and the Barbarians, both to “ the wise and the unwise.” The religion he was commissioned to promulgate had no respect of persons; it was not confined to high or low, rich or poor, learned or unlearned; it was “ the power of God unto sal“ vation to every one that believed, to the “ Jew first, and also to the Greek.” It was revealed, to instruct mankind in general what they must do to inherit eternal life, and was confirmed by evidences the most incontrovertible of its Divine authority. Thus recommending itself to universal acceptance, it was a system of which no Preacher ought to be ashamed, and to which indeed, nothing parallel could be produced, either by Jew or Gentile, as to dignity or importance.

With the same unhesitating confidence, every one now invested with the office of the Christian ministry is bound to declare the sacred truths of the Gospel; and, with

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