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reasoners, or a thousand persons were to declare that breath was not necessary to the existence of man, we should reject their theories, as being founded on impossibilities. Our conviction is here built upon experience : upon what can be seen, or felt, every moment of the day.
But a heavenly faith requires in us the same strong, determined, rooted conviction and belief, in regard to what the Scriptures have revealed to us, which we can have neither seen with our own eyes, nor heard with our ears, as if God had appeared to every one of us in the way he did to Moses ; as if He, our Saviour, in the likeness of man, had actually performed in our sight the many miracles recorded by those, who really did witness them; his Apostles. Faith so believes : and well may; for let us but examine any object, small or great, in nature ; whether a singing bird, or the heavens studded with thousands of stars, we shall immediately understand, that no being, but an infinite one, could form such wonders. If, then, an infinite being there is—and who dares, who can doubt this? then the term applies to a God, an Almighty, a supreme being, with boundless power; above all things ; confined to no limits, and Lord of all. And such is, indeed, our God.
We know and feel, then, as certainly as we know we exist and breathe, that there is a God; and the instant that this truth is believed, admitted, and fixed, we turn to the only volume upon earth in which this holy Being is plainly, truly, affectingly, and awfully described, through his acts, his people, and his promises ; his fulfilment of them, his redemption of us;
his wonders, his miracles, his signs, his denunciations, his comfortings, his judgments, his mercy, his commands, his inspirations, and his revelations. We find, as we read this great mass of divine information, that it is recorded by men who have no private ends of their own to answer ; who, in general, argue little, and confine themselves, with simple conciseness, to the matters of fact, which facts, whether they describe them many years before the period in which they existed, which constitutes a prophecy; or whether they relate them many years after they happened, so many, as that the recollection of them should be almost worn away, which can then only be renewed by inspiration : whichsoever of these is the case, we find so wonderful a connexion, so complete a fulfilment, so perfect a consistency in every part, as no other set of writers in the world, upon any continued history, can offer a parallel to. Indeed, throughout the works of the heathens, are scattered passages which go to establish the truths recorded in our Holy Bible. Events which are there positively affirmed, as being past by, or to come, are often also named in profane history; either as having been preserved through oral tradition, or as having taken place, and as we find by comparing, at the time, too, actually predicted by God's prophets, and when the inspired penman who predicted them had been in the tomb of his fathers one, two, four, nay many hundred years. The prophecies thus wonderfully accomplished, were registered by other prophets at the time of fulfilment ; they also predicting, and glorifying God.
Thus do the heathens often describe the same facts, though in a different and imperfect manner. Still, the facts themselves, the dates, the chief personages, the names slightly altered, so as just to suit the genius of the language, and the local situations remain the same. But, with all their boast of sibylline aid, or visionary priestesses, they could not dive into futurity; neither had they aught to assist them but their inventions, when a circumstance had almost faded away from memory in the lapse of ages. And hence the origin of many of their fables. They affected to despise that solitary people who were blessed with the favour of the Almighty; little did they imagine that many admirable passages in their own most accredited writers, were one day to be offered as homage to the humble and devout lawgivers and prophets of the Jews.
Every well-taught female knows where to find the proofs of this assertion; however, let us give the subject a moment's consideration.
First, then : Moses gives an account with clearness and precision of the history of the creation; of the first man and woman; of their fall from innocence to sin ; of their children and children's children; of Noah, of the wickedness of the world, and the deluge; of Abraham ; of Joseph ; of the other patriarchs and their families, two thousand five hundred years after the first of these events had taken place.
Let us now stop a moment and look back, fifteen hundred or two thousand years, to the beginning of our own or any other nation. Let us not have one single book, papyrus, paper, or parchment, on which
a line of writing even as hieroglyphics shall appear; nay, let every shape and form of character be unknown, and unthought of. Then let us reflect what man on earth we could single out as capable of writing five books of genuine history of the nation ?
Let Moses, who was educated by the Egyptian sages in and about the palace, who headed an Egyptian army at forty years of age, and who associated but little with the Jews, then bondsmen, and living at some distance from the capital : let him whilst in the house of Pharoah have been solicited to write the history of the creation, fall and deluge, with all the beautiful story of the patriarchal times, would be not have been astonished and confounded at such a request? Could he, who actually afterwards wrote the Pentateuch from the inspiration of God, after a long communion with his Maker, and strict obedience during a series of years, could he have marked down, even in hieroglyphics, two simple incidents as they now stand in the Old Testament?
And if Moses, who was learned in the wisdom, such as it was, of Egypt, could not think himself at that time equal to writing a history of two thousand five hundred years, how much less qualified for such an arduous task were the other Hebrews, who had been detained as slaves in a foreign country for a period of more than two hundred years? During which time the recollection of their good forefathers the patriarchs, and of the chief of God's mercies and favours to them and their children, was so enfeebled, that these people did occasionally revolt from their Maker, and with the corn and vegetables of Egypt,
took up also the sacrilegious worship of the country; making themselves molten calves to bow down to, as the Egyptians likewise made prostrations before the parent of this animal? Who, then, of these Hebrews was fit to be the dignified historian of a nation which had degenerated to ignorant slaves, and in great part to idolators ? or to be the instrument for making known the power, the majesty, the goodness of a God, through his acts and mercies, when many of them had estranged themselves entirely from his worship and his ways?
Again : Let us suppose, for an instant, the Redeemer not yet descended to earth, and let us, with the Jews before Isaiah's time, imagine a Saviour only generally promised. What man on earth, be he astronomer, philosopher, or mathematician, what man is there existing, who with no more than human knowledge could declare at once the time, the place, the family, the sufferings, the peculiar treatment and kinds of affronts, the passion, death, and resurrection of the Redeemer? Yet Isaiah and the other prophets actually did all this several hundred years before he appeared. They, besides, even mentioned the mi. nuter circumstances of the Saviour's garments being disposed of by lot; of his riding on a colt on which man had never sat, which could never have seemed a probable incident.* That they should look on him
* Yet our Lord did ride upon such a fval, and so entered Jerusalem, amidst such an assemblage of the people as, one would think, would bave terrified a young animal, unbroken to the rein. It was not so, however, for the creature was constrained by the