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brace a religion so different from every other, and so apparently contrary to their temporal intei :st.
Mr. Clif. I have had my doubts whether they ever were in Egypt, or in the wilderness. I confess, if they were, your reasoning would be conclusive. Mr. Nev. Might you not as well doubt whether there
ch a man as Moses? And when you have done this, you may also doubt of the existence of Cyrus, of Alexander, and of Julius Cæsar. But, not to mention how much the Mosaic history is corroborated by the testimonies of Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Trogus Pompeius, and other heathen writers, there is that internal evidence in the Scriptures which abundantly confirms them
The posterity of Abraham also now exist, and, with as little real piety in general as any people ever possessed, are invincibly attached to their own religion ; and they have been kept a distinct people in all their dispersions, as their saered books foretold they should be. The divine intention in thus preserving them, is, that, when the tinie prefixed shall arrive, they may return to their own land. It cannot be doubted that they are descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whose sepulchre was among them. The burying place of Rachael was well known. The carrying up of the bones of Joseph from Egypt was a public act ; and the history of that, and of a thousand other things, could not have been imposed upon a nation, if fabulous. In the time of David literature had made a considerable progress, as the inimitable odles written by him, and by others of his age, testify. Wherever and whenever the pentateuch was composed, writing could not have been a very uncommon attainment, since the judicial law obliged him who divorced his wife to give her a certificate of it in wri.. ting. If the author therefore of the Jewish history had given a fabulous account, it would not have maintained its credit, but would have been contradicted by other historians. The pentateuch relates that the Israelites were not the original inhabitants of the land of Canaan. Their wars
with the former' inhabitants prove the truth of this assertion. Of the reality of those wars there is this presumptive proof. If the history had been fabulous, it would have been written under the influence of that disposition which all men have to extol the prowess of their ancestors and countrymen, and would have contained a continued series of successes. Circumcision and sacrifices, it is highly probable from the very nature of them, owed their origin to a divine command. The probability of this with respect to the latter is greatly increased, when we consider that
nation has endeavoured to render its gods propitious by sacrifices There must have been some cause of the universal prevalence of such a practice. Nothing in the nature of the thing itself is sufficient to account for it. A history, therefore, asserting sacrifices to be of divine institution, is highly credible. The children of Israel are represented as having been a most wicked and rebellious people while they were in the wilderness. Their posterity would not have received this account from any writer, if they had not known it to be true. The incest of Reuben, the wickedness of Joseph's brethren and the disgraceful origin of a considerable part of the tribe of Judah, would not have been recorded by a historian who intended that his work should be read by the nation whose history he wrote, if they had not been universally acknow. ledged. His recording these things is a proof of his faithfulness and impartiality. The same may be said of the sin of Aaron in making the golden calf, undoubtedly in imitation of the Egyptian Apis, from which also no mean proof arises that the Jewish nation had been in Egypt. Other arguments might be brought to prove the truth of the. Mosaic history; but these ought to convince a wise man that it is imprudent to oppose divine revelation, espe. cially when that of position will be followed by dreadful .consequences if it is true, and can be of no service if it should be false.
Mr. Clif. I acknowle:Ige the reasonableness of your last observation, and must also confess that your arguments in defence of the Mosaic history have some weight. I sin cerely thank you for the concern you manifest for my welfare. But really, Sir, your endeavouring to prove the truth of these things gives me pain. Since it is not my interest that they should be true, it cannot be my interest to believe them. And indeed the greatest pleasure that I experience is, either to forget them, or to persuade myself that they are false.
Mr. Nev. Sir, I truly pity you. It is an error to suppose that to believe divine revelation would make you miserable : it would make you one of the most happy men in the world. Can a belief that God pardons sinners make a man miserable ? Yet this is the subject of the Old and New Testament. Under the Old Testament Jehovah proclaimed his name, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in gooulness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. And in the New Testament the method of pardon is clearly revealed. A person's being a great sinner is no greater an impedement to his pardon than his being a little sinner. The only obstacle is, his treading under foot that remedy which alone can heal him.
Mr. Clif. My dear Sir, what you say I doubt not you believe; but it administers no consolation to me. If I believe any thing, it is that I am under the pos of Satan : for whenever I purpose to do any thing that was good, or to alter my course of life, I was certain to be ten times the worse for it; so that now I have entirely left off resolving.
Mr. Nev. I feel for you. And do not you know the cause of these disappointments ?
Mr. Clif. I have told you. I believe that I am under the power of Satan.
Mr. Nev. That undoubtedly is one reason, but not the greatest. You have rejected the only Physician of souls. You have forsaken the fountain of living waters, and have hewn out broken cisterns that can hold no water. M. Clif. What then wonld you
1 advise me to do? Mr. Nev. My friend, you have attempted to do (as yap
justly term it) often enough already, and have not succeeded. The forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ is proclaimed to sinners, and they have nothing to do in order to receive it, but to apply to God for it in his name. But our merciful Father is beforehand with us even in this respect, since he who sincerely embraces the doctrine of salvation by Jesus Christ, is in possession of his pardon, although he may be unacquainted with it.
Mr. Clifford thanked Mr. Neville, and told him he had a heart harder than the nether mill-stone. He said that he could not pray'; but he begged that we would pray for him. He appeared to be much affected. Very few are called at the eleventh hour: yet there are some. . I hope and pray that this gentleman may be of that number.
My letter being wanted for the post, I must conclude with presenting the respects of Mr. Neville's whole family, and with assuring my dearest aunt that I ever remain
Her dutiful and affectionate niece,
From Miss Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
DEAR MADAM, THE task of giving you an account of my brother's marriage having at my desire been committed to me, and it being my intention to give you as early intelligence as pos.. sible, and to be particular in my account of the occurrena
ces of the day, I will endeavour to put down things as they - occur.
My brother, his bride elect, and myself went this afternoon to Ringdale, to drink tea with our rector, Dr. Mildmay, and to concert with him the plan to be pursued tomorrow morning. Mr. Barnwell, among other hard speeches to his daughter, having constantly prognosticated that she will be a beggar, and he and his wife being to
dine here to-morrow, my father wished the marriage to be kept as secret as possible till he himself shall find it out by inference, which he certainly must do at dinner, as my new sister will sit at the head of the table, and as we shall be dressed in white.
Dr. Mildmay and the clerk are to be at church at half after eight. The Mr. Cliffords have promised to be here by eight. My father has fixed upon the old gentleman as a proper person for performing the ceremony of presenting the bride. This he intends to be a compliment to him, in return for his kindness in defending your niece against her father and Mr. Law, and for his generous offer if she should marry with my father's approbation. Although Mr. Clifford's intention cannot now be pui in execution, it does not on that account make a less impression
dear parent. Dr. Mildmay is a gentleman of considerable learning, and of elegant manners. He
possesses a most benevolent disposition, and which is better than all, preaches the pure gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ. But I am obliged to add, that I fear it may be truly said of him, as it was of the church of Ephesus, that he has left his first love. He married a lady with a great fortune, who is very affable, and who is what the world would term a very good wife. But
many excellencies, and not be born again. She may be a good wife in other respects, and not a suitable wife for a disciple and minister of Jesus Christ. Family prayer will drag on heavily, if the wife take no pleasure in that solemn duty After having been practised or submitted to with reluctance, it will many times be entirely discontinued, as it is I find in Dr. Mildmay's family. Eli, though a servant of God, stands lowest in the catalogue of saints, on account of his sinful indulgence to his family, which ended in their ruin, and in his own distress. Dr. Mildmay is an indulgent husband, and a kind master: and being a good-natured man, and keeping a plentiful table, his house is resorted to by many who call themselves his friends, but who, I fear, are not the friends of the Re