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UTICA CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE.

VOL. II.

FEBRUARY, 1815.

No. 8.

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For the Utica Christian Magazine. With respect to the Phenician acANSWERS TO DEISTICAL OBJECTIONŝ. counts, Sanchoniathon is the only Phe

nician writer of any note, and he conThe opposers of divine revelation firms, and that very strongly the acare sometimes men of high pretensionscount of Moses, as well with regard lo to learning and science. And they || time, as to other circumstances. not unfrequently bring forward, with With respect to the Hindoo accounts, AR imposing confidence, pretended it may be observed, that no man has facts in history or philosophy, to inval-extended his inquiries further into idate the scriptures. One or two of their history and antiquities than Sir these have been so often repeated that William Jones. He entered on these it may not be amiss to take notice of inquiries, as he professes, with an atthem. The first is, that by an inquiry | tachment to no system, and as much into the history and antiquities of some disposed to reject the Mosaic history, of the ëastern nations, it is found that if it were proved to be erroneous, as they have authentic records, which go to believe it, if he found it confirmed. much farther back, than the period as- | And the result of his laborious resigned in the bible for the creation of searches into the chronology, history, the world. And in support of this, the mythology, and language of the east, appeal has been made to the Egyp-was a perfect conviction of the truth tians, the Phenicians, the Hindoos,|| of the Mosaic account. And be bas and the Chinese.

satisfactorily shown, that the Hindoo The Egyptian historian, who claims accounts confirm, in many striking for that nation a more remote antiqui- and important particulars, those of ty than the Mosaic period of the crea-Moses ; and especially that their chrotion, is Manetho. But the assertions nology, in its true import, harmonizes of this writer on this subject, plainly with the chronology of the bible. deserve no credit. He pofesses to With respect to the Chinese acderive his accounts from books or re-counts, the following. extract is in cords, written in the Greek language, point. It is taken from “ Memoires and laid up in the Egyptian temples by sur les Chinois," a very voluminous the second Thoth. But at the time and elaborate work, composed in Chialledged by Manetho, as the date of ne, by several learned Frenchmen, these writings in the Greek language, who had spent many years in their there was no such language as the researches; and contains a very full Greek; nor was there any such nation and satisfactory account of their histoin existence as the Greek, till long af- |ry and chronology, their arts, scienterwards. Besides, all his accountsces, and literature, ancient and mod. of times very ancient, are mere accounts of names, without facts, and « The Chinese literati, consider the without vouchers ; and therefore de- history of the times before Fo-hi as fabserve not the least attention,

ulous, and not entitled to credit, Fo

hi founded their empire, and is said to • Panoplist, vol. 3. p. 287.

have invented astronomy, music and VOL. 2. E e

ern.

characters for writing. He established , proposed to notice, is one stated in haws, regulated marriage, which was Brydone's Tour through Sicily and before unsettled, and rendered his sub-|Malta, and is summarily as follows: jects happy, and in a measure, civiliz-That a straturi of lava, which is suped. The history from Fo-hi to Ho-| posed to have flowed from Mount Elang-ty is reckoned as uncertain, but no na in the time of the second Punic war, doubt contains a good deal of truth. | about 2000 years ago, is not yet suffFrom the sixtieth year of Hoang-ty to ciently covered with soil to produce the present day, the history and chro-either corn or vines. Hence it is cornology is considered as fully authenti-||cluded, that it requires 2000 years to cated, and to be relied upon as correct. change the surface of lava into a ferThe 60th year of Hoang-ty, answers tile soil. But in digging a pit near Jato the year 2637 before the Christian ci, in the neighborhood of mount Etna, era, according to the chronology of seven distinct lavas, were discovered, the septuagint, to the year 1079 after one under another, most of them covthe deluge, and to the year 113 be-ered with a thick stratum of rich soil. fore the birth of Abraham. From this And, hence, it is concluded, that the time back to Fo-hi, they reckon ten | lowest of these lavas flowed from the reigns, lasting in all 824 years; and mountain 14000 years ago ; and that if this calculation be supposed correct, the earth is of course more than 14,000 it will fix the beginning of the reign of years old. Fo-hi in the year 255 after the deluge. To this objection, the following an

“The errors of Cassini, Gaubil, swer is decisive. The mass which Marlini, and others, on the subject of|covers the ruins of Herculaneum and Chinese chronology, appear to have Pompei, in the neighborhood of mount arisen chiefly from their confounding Vesuvius, consists of seven distinct the text of the aathentic history, with lavas, with veins of good soil between the hear-says, and fables of the numer-them. But the lowest of these lavas ous commentators, which are frequent- we know to have flowed from Vesuvi. ly contradictory and absurd.”! us in the year 79 after Christ, a little

This extract shows, on the best au- more than 1700 years ago. This furthority, that the Chinese have no ac- || nishes complete proof that lava may counts, to which they themselves give be covered with a fruitful soil in about any credit, of times prior to the year 250 years, instead of 2000; and con255 after the deluge : and that the ac. || sequently, that the different lavas counts which they have been suppose which have flowed from mount Etna, ed to have, of earlier times, are not to instead of proving the earth to be more be found in what they consider their than 14000 years old, do not prove it authentic history, but only in the to be 2000. hear says and fables" of the commen These are specimens of those obtators. And if the Chinese literati jections which pretended philosophers themselves consider alt accounts of so frequently bring against the scriptimes before Fo-hi as fabulous, there tures. It is seen that these have no is no reason why we should consider foundation in truth. And the humble them in any other light; much less believer may rest assured, that howthat we should, on the credit of these ever specious the objections may apfables, reject the Mosaic history. 'And pear, and how great soever the confiif men who are acquainted with these dence with which they are brought facts, profess to believe these fables, forward, they can all be answered, and on their account to reject the Mo- with equal ease by those who are acsaic history, we may justly conclude quainted with the sources from which that they are either the maost design-| the objections are drawn.

X. ing or the most credulous of all mon.

Tke second objection which it was

BIOGRAPHY

meetings for prayer, fasting, and reliBF TIL VENERABLE FATHERS OF NEW-ENGLAND.gious conference. By the blessing of

(Continued from page 207.) God upon these means, he was

REV, MR. WILSON. brought to an acquaintance with his MR. JOHN Wilson the first pastor own heart, to a knowledge of divine of the church in Boston, was born at truth, and, apparently, to a perpetual Windsor, on the Thames, in the year union with the divine Saviour. 1588. He was son of the Rev. Wm. Being thus brought to an estimation Wilson a prebendary of the church of the truths of religion as of the first at Rochester. His parents, who de- importance, Mr. Wilson proceeded to scended from a very respectable ances- a very careful consideration of the try, and sustained an exemplary Chris- great subjects of controversy between tian character, were very attentive to the advocates of the religious establishthe education of this son. They took ment and the non-conformists. This pains to impress his mind with an ear was about the time that Mr. Robinson ly abhorrence of all vice, especially, and his people removed to Holland, falsehood. After receiving the rudi- when the debates between the contenments of his education der their im-ding parties were, perhaps at their mediate inspection, he spent four years height. After a laborious, prayerful, in the celebrated Eaton School. At and conscientious atteption to this subthat school he delivered a latin oration|ject, Mr. Wilson concluded it to be his in the presence of the French embas- duty, though with the prospect of the sador, the Duke of Biron, from whom greatest temporal sacrifice, to refuse he received a particular commendation to comply with many of the prescribed and reward. In his fifteenth year, he ceremonies of the established church. was removed to the University, and| A great part of the regulations of the became a member of King's College, University were appointed by ecclesiCambridge. After completing the re-astical authority, and were considered gular course of studies, he was elected by the non-conformists as unscriptural a Fellow of the college. During his and improper impositions. By a noncontinuance in the fellowship, he be-compliance with these regulations, Mr. came acquainted, in a very providen- Wilson soon brought upon him the notial manner, with the writings and tice and censures of authority. His preaching of several pious puri- father and others used great exertions tan divines, whose instructions were to persuade him to conform; but bethe means of engaging his mind to a lieving himself called in the holy provvery serious attention to divine things. sidence of God to raise his testimony By the habits of his education, he had against those unscriptural impositions, imbibed a great antipathy to all who he steadily refused. He was nerewere denominated purilans. But in fore obliged to leave the University. the distresses of his soul, he found him His father finding that he had em

self irresistibly inclined to seek for in- braced the sentiments of the puritans, **struction to those who had been the contrary to his former intentions,

subjects of his aversion. He soon wished him nọt to engage in the work found his moral state to be that of a of the ministry; but now desired him lost sinner, and that he was dependent to enter one of the Inns of court, to on sovereign mercy for an escape from pursue the study of the law. Wishing to everlasting death. While he continu- manifest a filial obedience in every ed to improve every opportunity of || thing which was not forbidden by a attending the ministrations of evangel- | paramount duty to God, though his ical preachers; by the advice of the ex- heart was wholly set upon the glorious cellent Dr. Ames, he connected him-ministry of reconciliation, he compliself with a number of serious persons i ed, and engaged in the study. But in the University, who held private that God to whom he had dedicater?

his life did not forsake him. In the land influence, the suspension was, at Inns of court, he fell into an acquain-length, removed. But as he still partance with several young gentlemen sued his former course, he was conwho were seriously inclined, with stantly liable to be apprehended, and whom he attended on the preaching subjected to fines, forfeitures, and per. of evangelical ministers, and was ena-petual imprisonment. The only albled to maintain a life of religion. Afternatives now presented bim were, a ter three years spent in the study of violation of what he deemed the plainthe law, he was admitted to the higher est dictates of duty, a submission to honors of the University : after which, unrelenting persecution, or a voluntaby the consent of his father, he was fry exile from his native country. He soon authorized to be a preacher of the chose the latter. The plan of a colgospel. This work he pursued, with la- ony for the establishment of the pure borious study, with an ardent zeal for religion of the gospel being now proChrist, and for the salvation of souls.-jected. Mr. Wilson cordially engaged Previous to his commencing à preach in the important design. With the er of the gospel, he made a private large company that established the resolution, “That if the Lord would Massachusetts colony, he united his lagrant him a liberty of conscience, withbors and hopes, and came to America purity of worship, he would be con-|| in the year 1630. The first church tent, yea thankful, thoughit were at the gathered by the company was the one futhermost end of the world." He at Charlestown, of which Mr. Wilson had not been long a preacher, before was the minsiter. The congregation inhe was solemnly ordained as a min-||cluded the two settlements at Charlesister of Christ. Still he had no partico-town and Boston. The year followlar charge. He had frequent and Jing, a separate church was organized pressing invitations to settle in particoat Boston, of which Mr. Wilson beular places, but the precarious situation came the pastor. of all ministers who were accused of In the spring of 1631, Mr. Wilson non-conformity, induced him to de- | sailed to England, and after an abcline several advantageous offers. Atsence of a year, returned to Newtength, however on receiving an ear- England with his family. His affecnest invitation from the people of Sud- tionate people at Sudbury were very bury, he accepted of their call and desirous to have him still conclude to was installed their pastor. During the spend his days with them. His near short period of his labors in this place, connections used every exertion to his ministry was attended with an em- || dissuade him from a return to the inent blessing of God. Many that American wilderness. But his heart. were opeply vicious and erroneous, was too much set on the great work were brought to the love and obedi-i of rearing colonies and churches for ence of truth. He pursued his work the honor of the Redeemer, to be diwith diligence and constancy, as if|verted from his design. On his return, knowing that it must be short, that he he was attended by a number of pious might do something for God. and worthy planters. A few years af

In this quiet retreat, Mr. Wilson ter, he again visited his native councould not be permitted to rest. The try, to receive a valuable legacy which sticklers for conformity, learning his had been left him by a deceased brothsteady perseverance in omitting the er. On the voyage, the ship became prescribed ceremonies, fearing the ef- very leaky, and there was every prosfect of his weight of character, called |pect that all must be lost. A day of him before the ecclesiastical courts, fasting and prayer was kept on board, where he was censared, and suspond- on account of the danger, and, in the ed from the ministerial office. By the time of the exercise, the leak was disazterposition of friends of high station || covered and closed. On his return

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to New-England Mr. Wilson was ac- and love, he continued to a late period companied with a large number of set- of life. Having survived the greater tlers, many of whom were persons of part of his cotemporaries, and the character and distinction.

most of the first settlers of the country, The Antinomian errors which were he died in 1667, in the seventy-ninth introduced by Mrs. Hutchinson and year of his age. others, which greatly affected the The life of this venerable man, was church at Boston, gave Mr. Wilson eminently devoted to the service of the deepest concern. Temperate and his Lord. After devoting himself to firm, he bore a uniform testimony for the duties of religion and the work of the truth of the gospel, and with every the ministry, he ever appeared to feel indication of tenderness and love, be that he was not his own. He had enused unwearied efforts to reclaim the gaged for Christ, and wherever he di.. erronous, and to confirm others in the rected his way, it was always his detruth. . Those errors, by the partic-sire to pursue the course, undeterred ular circumstances with which they | by any obstacles which might resist, or were inculcated, were, for a season, any burden which he might be called highly popular, and many worthy men to bear. No one of the New England were drawn into the snare. Mr. Wilson fathers was more sincerely engaged had long been used to leave ali conse-||for the interests of true religion in the quences with divine providence, when towns and churches of the colonies, called to witness for truth, and now, than Mr. Wilson. To the promotion pursuing the plain and direct course, of this great object, his eminent talents he was a most eminent instrument of|his extensive learning, his unwearied preserving the churches from convul-exertions, were always devoted. His sion and ruin. He was one of the mind was as steady in adversity as in most active and influential members || prosperity, strengthened by the conof the venerable Synod of 1637, which seious integrity of his own intentions, suppressed those dangerous errors. with a uniform reliance on the perfect

In the war of the Pequod Indians, wisdom of all the appointments of God, in 1637, a chaplain for the Massachu-lhe rejoiced to labour or to suffer for setts troops being designated by lot, bim. He was favored with a valuable Mr. Wilson was called to the service. property, and used it as a faithful stewBeing eminently, a man of prayer, the ard to God. Having devoted his life soldiers vieived him as a host in the to rear an infant colony and church for day of battle During the greater part | the honor of his Redeemer, his propof his ministry at Boston, Mr. Wilson erty, when needed for the same object was favored with a colleague who was could not be withheld. In the distressteacher of the church. This place es of the first winter, when the colony was held twenty years by Mr. Cotton, had to contend with the horrors of and ten years by Mr. Norton. Asfamine, wbile he labored to comfort pastor of the church, Mr. Wilson was the desponding with a recollection of peculiariy laborious, in frequeut prea- the sufferings and deliverances of the ching in exhortation, visiting, and do-people of God, in every period of the mestic instruction ; keeping a constant church his house was open to the neeand affectionate attention to the spirit- dy, administering relief, to the last porual interests of his people. He also tion it contained, and the last which spent much time in the neighboring could be procured. On every call for towns, generally attending their week-the exercise of liberality, whether for ly lectures. The whole colony enjoy the common welfare or the relief of ed the benefit of his pious zeal, his em- the destitute, he was a most faithful inent acquaintance with divine truth, example to his flock, by devising libhis patient example, and his unmeriteral things. He possessed an uncom. ed prayers. In these labor's of faithmon degree of the benevolence of the

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