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P. 1
Christmas Day.

Christmas Day.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.


Hebrews, i. 1, 2.

God, ivho at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in
time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last
days spoken unto us by His Son.
BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.


Hebrews, i. 1, 2.

God, ivho at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in
time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last
days spoken unto us by His Son.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 10, 2014
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CHRISTMAS DAY. BY REGIALD HEBER, M.A. Hebrews, i. 1, 2. God, ivho at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. There is a consideration which may have, per- haps, occurred to many of you, and which has been often used as an excuse for unbelief by the Jews, by the Heathens, and even by some who, having been suckled at the breasts of Christianity, have turned against that bountiful instructress, the liberty and reasoning powers which derive their strength from her. By such scoffers as these it has been sometimes objected that " it seems strange, that, if the coming of Christ, were necessary to the salvation of the world, His birth should be delayed so long ; and when, at length, the day of salvation came, that its benefits should be spread so partially. Why," say they, "was man created in need of such help ? or why, when he needed it, was not the succour as immediate, as the necessity was urgent? Why did not Christ bring salvation VOL. III. B r- 2 SERMO I.
 
into the world as soon as ever Adam had fallen ? Why were four thousand long years of sin and misery and ignorance allowed to cover the race of mankind ? or why was a twilight of revelation made to the Jews, and to the Jews only, while the rich and renowned and learned countries of Greece, and Persia, and Rome, were doomed to sit in darkness, and to languish under their Creator's displeasure ? That small and stubborn nation of Israel, — why were they favoured above all their fellow men? and when the Sun of Righteousness at length arose, when, after ages of expectation, the promise of a Redeemer was performed, why was the light confined to so small a portion of the world, as that which now professes Christianity? Why were not truths, more precious than the light of day, diffused like the daylight universally? Why has not Chris- tianity dispelled the darkness of the Indian nations, or pierced the wild deserts of Africa and America ? If the faith be necessary, why is it offered to so few ? If it may be dispensed with, why is it offered at all ?" Such are the questions, which many unbelievers have brought against the faith of Christ. I will examine them in order ; and it is my hope, — by the help of His grace, and by the Holy Scriptures, and by that reason which He has dispensed to mankind as a natural witness of His power, "the candl; J&i? as Solomon calls it, " of the Lord," — by these helps, CHRISTMAS DAY. S I trust to make it evident, that the conduct of Providence, which they blindly condemn, has been perfectly agreeable to the rules of human  justice, and is a degree of mercy beyond the utmost point to which human love could attain.
 
When Adam had once transgressed the cove- nant which entitled him to a happy and immortal life in Paradise, on no principle, either of reason or justice, could he claim from God a deliver- ance from those evils which clung to his nature, and which by his own fault he had incurred. " But," the objector will answer, " his fault itself might have been prevented ; God might have made him a more perfect being." And what then ? If God had made him an angel, have not the angels also fallen ? It is vain and idle to speculate on what might have been : every state of existence must have its tempt- ations and its dangers. Mount as high as fancy can dare, we must stop short of perfection ; and unless God had taken away the freedom of choice, and had reduced men and angels to the level of plants or of machines, his rational creatures, being free in their will, and imperfect in their faculties, must have been liable to error, to sin, and to surfering. " But, granted that Adam might fall without blame to the Divine mercy or justice," the un- believer will reply, " it was cruelty on the part of Providence to delay the remedy of his fall so b 2 4 SERMO I. long; Christ," says he, " ought to have been made man, and, — as His death was quite as necessary to our salvation as His birth, — to have been sacrificed, immediately after Adam's trans- gression." What, immediately, when none were in the world but Adam and Eve, or perhaps

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