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depths.” It is for us therefore, rather, to confidently glory with the Holy Apostles, Martyrs, Fathers, and the most enlightened of our species, on accouut of the unequalled sublimity, and celestial majesty of Faith, than distrustfully to ramble amid the humbling imperfections, and conscious weakness of our own finite, and narrowed powers. When breathing the ethereal atmosphere of the sanctuary of Faith, and temple of the Majesty of heaven, we should exclaim with St. Ambrose, “When Faith is in question, away with all arguments”—with St. Ephrem, “ Why do you search into what is inscrutable" - with St. Chrysostom, that“ Human reasoning hath nothing in common with the Mysteries of God” with St. Cyril of Alexandria, “In matters of Faith, all curiosity must cease” (Tiotel napádentov & TOUT payporntov sivou zen.) — with St. Augustine, “ To you, who come to scrutinize what is inscrutable, and to investigate what cannot be investigated, I say, Stop and Believe,--or you perish”with the immortal and penetrating Bacon, “ We must not submit the mysteries of Faith to our Reason”with Locke—the great advocate for the supremacy and guidance of reason, “Whatsoever is divine Revelation ought to over-rule-all our opinions, prejudices, and interest—and hath a right to be received with full assent- with Bayle, the most subtle and acute of all modern philosophers, “If Reason were consistent with herself, we might be the more distressed at her disagreement with some of the articles of our Religion ; but she is a strumpet who knows not where to stop, and like another Penelope destroys her own work—'diruit, ædificat, mutat quadrata rotundis.' She is more suited to pull down than to build up: she understands better what things are not, than what things are(Elle est plus propre à démolir qu'à batir : elle connoit mieux ce que les choses ne sont pas, que ce qu'elles sont)—with the religiously great, and divinely sublime Pascal, “Man, is the subject of a host of errors, that divine grace only can remove. Nothing (i. e. in his natural state) shews him the truth; every

thing misleads him. Reason and the Senses, the two means of ascertaining truth, are not only often unfaithful, but mutually deceive each other, and thus our two sources of error mutually lie, and wrong each other;" and again, “ The highest attainment of Reason, is to know that there is an infinity of knowledge beyond its limits”-and again, “ There is nothing so agreeable to Reason, as the rejection of Reason in matters of Faith”—and finally we should ever act, and think in the spirit of the beautiful exhortation of the inspired Apostle, Casting down imaginations, and every thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

From the preceding observations, we may infer that the degree of assent to be conceded to the messengers of Revelation, is a legitimate and unlimited subject of human inquiry. To meet such an investigation, we have almost a superfluity of diversified materials,*

* It may be well to mention, that some of the leading materials for establishing the truth of Christiany are—the possibility, probability, and necessity of Revelation ;- the insufficiency of philosophy and right reason to instruct men in their duty ;--the genuineness and authenticity of the books of the New Testament proved from the impossibility of forgery-from external or historical evidence afforded by antient Jewish, Heathen, and Christian testimonies in their favour --and also by antient versions of them in different languages-and from internal evidence, furnished by the character of the writers, by the language and style of the New Testament, and by the circumstantiality of the narrative, together with the coincidence of the accounts there delivered, with the history of those times. The uncorrupted preservation of the books of the New Testament, proved from their contents -- from the utter impossibility of an universal corruption of them being accomplished.- from the agreement of all the manuscripts -and from the agreement of antient versions, and of the quotations from the New Testament in the writings of the early Christians. None of the Canonical books of Scripture are, or ever were lost proved from convincing, general and particular proofs. The Credibility of the New Testament directly proved from the consideration that its writers being ear and eye-witness, as well as contemporary, had a perfect knowledge of the subjects they relate ; and their moral character, though rigidly tried, was never impeached by their keenest opponents ;-proved also by the fact that if there had been any falsehood in the accounts of such transactions as were generally known, they would have been easily detected; for these accounts

events, and data, lying before us, which, are conveyed to us, by the ordinary, human evidence of the authen

were published among the people, who witnessed the events related by the historians; and therefore the sacred historians could neither be deceived themselves, nor did or could deceive others;—and its Credibility also is further proved by the subsistence to this very day of monuments, such as Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the observance of our Sabbath, instituted to perpetuate the memory of the principal facts, and events recorded and by the wonderful establishment and propagation of Christianity ;-the Credibiliy of the New Testament, also, confirmed by Jewish and Pagan writers—and collaterally by antient coins, medals, inscriptions, structures, and marbles. The Inspiration of Revelation externally proved by miracles, and prophecies-internally, by the sublime doctrines and purity of the moral precepts forming a perfect rule of faith and morals, revealed in Scripture, the wonderful harmony subsisting between every part, its miraculous preservation, its suitability to the wants of man, and agreement with other parts of the divine administration, and by the tendency of the whole to promote the present and eternal happiness of mankind, as evinced by the blessed effects which invariably result from a cordial reception and belief of the Bible. And, finally, the peculiar advantages possessed by the Christian Revelation over all other Religions, supply us with a demonstrative proof of its Inspiration ;---these peculiar advantages and superiority consist in its perfection, openness, adaptation to the capacities of all men, spirituality of its worship, opposition to the spirit of the world, humiliation of man and exaltation of the Deity, restoration of order to the world, tendency to eradicate all evil passions from the heart, contrariety to the covetousness and ambition of mankind, restoration of the Divine Image to men, and lastly in its mighty effects. Thus the Genuineness, Authenticity, Uncorrupted Preservation, Credibility, and Inspiration of the Scriptures, are supported by more evidence-in quantity, variety, quality and veracity, than perhaps any other fact, within the range of the whole circle of science, philosophy, history, or literature. For an ample and most satisfactory discussion of the above important branches of Evidences we refer to Michaelis' Introduction to the New Testament, vol. i. ; Bishop Marsh's Course of Lectures on the Several Branches of Divinity, Part v.; Less on the Authenticity, &c. of the New Testament, translated by Kingdom, 8vo. London, 1804 ; Dr. Lardner's General Review of the Credibility of the Gospel History; Jones on the Canon, vol. i.; and the highly useful and learned work of T. H. Horne's Introduction to the Holy Scriptures, vol. i. passim. The Writer of these pages begs to say, that he has been for some time collecting, and arranging materials for a new work on the Evidences of Christianity, and which he hopes, at no very distant period, to publish. It might be said that this field of Theology has been pre-occupied by a superabundance of valuable treatises on the same subject. We are not inclined to deny this, but we must declare, that we do not know

tic characters of historical testimony. The entire conduct of the Messengers, challenges the sober expe

any one work that contains a twentieth part of the host of Evidence for Revelation. Of works professedly on this subject, Paley's is certainly the best in arrangement, and most unexceptionable in argument; though, perhaps, that of Grotius is equally convincing, and certainly more gratifying to the scholar ; and doubtless Paley made it, along with Jenyns' View of the Internal Evidence, his model. We would make Paley the basis of our work, and in pursuance of the spirit of the inductive philosophy, would draw additional facts from every quarter-foreign and domestic, and group them under new, and additional general laws and arguments. We cannot but observe, that Paley in extent of research, and variety of matter, is glaringly deficient. The weight of his general propositions and arguments considered as a whole, is indeed irresistible, but there is, nevertheless, so great a scarcity of equally as unanswerable points, which the subject, inexhaustibly supplies, that an elaborate production of them, is undoubtedly a desideratum, as much to be longed for, as the enlargement of any other branch of Divinity. We confess, likewise, that the degrading looseness which characterizes almost all of Paley's writings, slyly creeps into this most celebrated work. It had been better if his heart and conscience had undergone as much Gospel cultivation, as his head and mind were stored with mathematics and logic. If this had been the case, we should have seen the effects of Christianity raised to a higher pinnacle, and so beneficially influencing the energies of empires, stated in his works with more truth and knowledge, than what he has done in chap. vii. Part iii. The accuracy of this observation, will be apparent from comparing that chapter with Section iv. chap. v. vol. i. of Horne's “ Introduction,” or with Dr. Ryan's “ History of the Effects of Religion on Mankind," or Bp. Porteus's Tract on the Beneficial Effects of Christianity. Paley there intimates that those who are forward on the public stage of life, can no more afford to have religion, than he himself-as was reported to have said "could afford to have a conscience !” Nor could his views of Religion be very strong as to its unlimited supremacy, and divine influence, when he there states, “we do not pretend that Religion has any such necessary and irresistible power over the affairs of nations, as to surmount the force of other causes.” There is in this sentiment a laxity, that Voltaire himself would not have exceeded; and which Rousseau would have indignantly rejected. We would gladly lead the worshippers of Paley's irreligious looseness, to the bar even of this fascinating antagonist of the credibility of the Gospel truths ; and his favourites would even in this infidel testimony, find a palpable contradiction to Paley's assertion. “ If (says Rousseau) all were perfect Christians, individuals would do their duty ; the people would be obedient to the laws ; the chiefs just ; the magistrates incorrupt; the soldiers would despise death and there would be neither vanity nor luxury in such a state” (Rousseau,

rience, the actual observation, and the rigorous scrutiny, even of those who have an eagle-penetration,

Du Contract. Social. lib. iv. ch. 8.). We would also oppose to the above vile dogma, the sentiments of a divine--a kindred spirit of our author—Bp. Watson; the depth of whose theology, or the correctness of whose political views, we are indeed very far from admiring. Montesquieu” (says Bp. Watson in his Letter II. to Gibbon)“ is of opinion, that it will ever be impossible for Christianity to establis itself in China and the East, from this circumstance, that it prohibits a plurality of wives. How then could it have been possible for it to have pervaded the voluptuous capital, and traversed the utmost limits of the empire of Rome, by the feeble efforts of human industry, or human knavery ?” We have here Watson versus Paleyhonesty versus prevarication--and knowledge versus ignorance. The real state of the case, however is, that Paley suffered the ill humour of disappointed ambition to enter into his review of the effects of Christianity; and hence he supposed from self-conviction, that the candidates for power could have no religion, the possessors (Mr. Pitt's Administration) still less, and that all established institutions, and privileged orders were a public nuisance! It would be painful to advert to Paley's unblushing avowal of the latter, and his jealous and malignant scowl at all rank, in another of his workshis “Moral Philosophy.” It might be deemed a dangerous experiment to assail a work, which one of our Universities has lifted upon a blazoned pedestal, higher than that assigned either to the Scriptures, or Scriptural morality. But danger, or complaisance is not much to be regarded, when writings are admired, and industriously plied, that advance such loose notions of property, government, morality, and Religion ; where also the most deterinined and aspiring Jacobin, might find a justification of his principles, and a sanction for his conduct. Let us ask, for instance, whether the most furious republican or regicide would require any better justification of their plunder and havoc, than “the substitution of public expediency into the place of all implied compacts, promises, or conventions, whatsoever ?” Whether their destructive machinations would require any stronger sanction than this sweeping proposition affords—“The justice of every particular case of resistance is reduced to a computation of the quantity of the danger and grievance on the one side, and of the probability and expense of redressing it on the other.- But who shall judge of this ? We answer, every man for himself ?The inferences which Paley deduces from the above propositions are, that as “all civil obligation is resolved into expediency," so resistance, usurpation, rebellion, and republicanism, are at any time justifiable as expediency,or the peoplein whom the physical strength resides,” may deem an innovation, or Revolution expedient!!! We need not allude to Paley's pigeon” remarks on Property; it is sufficient to observe, that they inculcate the justice and right of a levelling mob, seizing at any time all the property of the empire, if they regarded it as expedient, and themselves more deserving !!! The same

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