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tingly instrumental to preserving the general purity of the text, as well as increasing the number of its copies. So early as the first century, numberless heresies sprang up, the votaries of each appealing to the Scriptures of the New Testament in support of their peculiar opinions, and thus serving as mutual guards against the adulteration of the sacred text. And while no book has been translated into so many different languages, none has suffered so little by the errors of translators, or generally preserved so much of the spirit of the original: so that it may be said of it with truth, that "the worst translation ever yet made, is capable of teaching all the principal facts and doctrines of Christianity, so far as the knowledge of them is necessary to salvation, or even to some considerable degree of edification in piety."

SECONDLY-There is no question of the great antiquity of the PENTATEUCH: it is allowed to have been antecedent to any existing records of any nation on the globe. Nor is it denied, that on a comparison of it with those compositions, which are most nearly contemporary, it is, as a history, not only more credible, and confirmed by a greater number of concurring testimonies, in the appearances of the earth, and the early traditions of nations, but far exceeds all others in beauty of style, and language, and sentiment; and in some parts breathes a spirit of sublimity and eloquence, which does not yield to the most renowned productions of antiquity.

solute need of knowing, yet "could not possibly devise by human wisdom. Applying these observations to the case of Moses, and the Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles, we may lay down as a demonstrable theorem, that if the facts mentioned respecting them in the Bible be true, they were inspired teachers, and consequently their testimony must be received as paramount to all other in matters of religion and morality.

I would premise, that the Bible has one thing in common with all other books-it is liable to errors in transcribing, and to mistranslations. Yet, it is remarkable, that no book whatsoever has descended through such a lapse of ages, with so few of these blemishes.

The OLD TESTAMENT contained the political, as well as the religious constitution of the Jews; and was therefore necessarily exposed to the most vigilant and jealous scrutiny of every member of the community, each feeling an individual interest in preserving the purity of that text, which determined upon matters essential to his well-being in society. Each was enjoined and privileged by the constitution under which he lived, to have a copy of these laws, to read them diligently at all seasons, to teach to his children, and to speak of them in his social intercourse with his fellow-men. Moreover, they were the ground-work of all public instruction, they formed a part of religious worship, they were read in the service of the temple and the synagogue, and in latter times the veneration for the text amounted to superstition, giving rise to the sect of the Masorites, who actually numbered the letters of the sacred volume. So that there was a moral impossibility that the text of the Old Testament should have been materially corrupted. And with respect to the NEW TESTAMENT, the

Now, as a narrative of facts, it is authentic, because these facts are of that nature, that men's senses were capable of judging whether they really happened or not; and they were publicly transacted in the presence of multitudes; and not only were public monuments kept up, but several ordinances and outward actions of a peculiar nature observed in memory of them;

enemies of Christianity were unwit-which monuments, and actions, and

nesses.

observances were instituted, and did
commence from the very time when
these matters of fact were said to
have happened. By the first of
these considerations, it will appear
impossible that the miracles ascribed
to Moses could have been imposed
upon the Jewish people at the time
when they were said to have happened,
as they were appeals to men's senses,
and were publicly performed, and,
therefore, altogether of a different de-
scription from those ascribed to the
impostor Mahomet. All his reputed
miracles being, at the best, visions and
conversations with the angel Gabriel,
were not generally cognisable, and were
performed without the presence of wit-
If the Pentateuch then were
published at the time when these ac-
tions were said to have happened, or
while the witnesses were alive to whom
it was addressed, it is impossible they
could have received it as true, unless
it really was so, because it says, that
the facts it records happened in the
presence of the persons to whom it was
addressed. And if, at any future time,
it was attempted to be imposed upon
men, then the other considerations
would equally prevent its reception;
for it states, that monuments of these
miraculous acts were then actually in
existence, such as the budding rod of
Aaron, the golden pot of manna, the
brazen serpent, &c.; and that several
extraordinary observances and actions
were performed, commencing at the
time of these asserted miracles,
e. g. the celebration of the passover,
the feast of tabernacles, &c.; and that
certain municipal and political laws,
which governed them, had been, from
the days of Moses, acknowledged as
the standing laws of their nation.
Now no man could have imposed this
book upon a whole nation unless he
could also have persuaded them that
they had actually received it from their
fathers-had been instructed in it while
children themselves-had taught it to

their children (for the books assert all this); and certainly no persons could have been so persuaded, unless the facts were truly stated-the book itself a true book.

There were two very remarkable political regulations amongst the Jewish people, which were in themselves standing miracles, and to which nothing is found parallel in the history of any other nation. One was, abstaining from the cultivation of the soil every seventh year; the other was, leaving all the borders of their land defenceless three times every year, when all males capable of bearing arms were compelled to attend at Jerusalem.

Now the former regulation could never have been adhered to, in a country naturally almost too small for the support of its population, and altogether without commerce; nor the latter, by a people surrounded by inveterate enemies, some of whom they had despoiled of their territory, and reduced, in some instances, to the condition of slaves. Their receiving these regulations proved that they regarded their legislator as a messenger of God; and the fact of their continuing to observe them, proves that he really was an inspired teacher-for they could not have been observed unless there was a continual recurrence of a double harvest every sixth year, and a freedom from hostile invasion at the periods of their festivals: and these two things could only have taken place by divine interference; and, therefore, the man who foretold that they should take place was a divinely inspired person.

It is obvious, that whatever applies to the facts of the Mosaic history, does equally so to those of the New Testament. The miracles of Christ and his Apostles were all appeals to men's senses; they were done publicly; it was impossible that they could have resulted from fraud or collusion, or have been deceptions of sense; they

or heathens; and the supposition of their having been wrought by the agency of the evil spirit, was in itself an acknowledgment that they were miracles.

were not denied at the time by Jews | ment; because these are invariably quoted and appealed to by the Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles, as the productions of men inspired by the Holy Ghost.

THIRDLY-Infidels object to the Old Testament especially, that it gives us unworthy ideas of God, as creator and moral governor of the world. Let us try whether more exalted conceptions of that great Being are, or ever have been, propounded or discovered by unassisted reason.

We have two remarkable testimonies to the existence and miraculous deeds of Christ and his Apostles, namely, JOSEPHUS amongst the Jews, and TACITUS amongst the Heathens. Josephus lived within forty, and Tacitus about seventy years after the death of Christ. They were both capable of examining into the truth of the matters of fact asserted concerning Christ and his Apostles, they wanted neither malice nor prejudice to dispute them. Yet they admitted these facts; and so did Lucian, and Celsus, and Porphyry, and Julian the Apostate, and even Mahomet himself,-forming altogether an undeniable attestation to the truth of these matters of fact. It is notorious, that the several writings, especially the historical books of the New Testament, existed early in the first century, and are quoted and alluded to by a series of Christian writers, beginning with those who were contemporary with the Apostles, or who immediately followed them, and proceeding in close and regular succession from their time to the present. They appealed to institutions then in existence, such as Baptism and the Lord's Supper; they speak of miracles performed by their writers in the presence of the persons to whom they were written; and they never could have been received as they were re-impure, abominable, and sanguinary ceived, unless such institutions, in commemoration of these facts, actually did exist, and that these facts were actually performed before competent witnesses.

rites, degrading equally to the worshippers and the adored. And what did their philosophers, who affected to despise the vulgar, attain by their abstruse speculations,-what did they learn of God? Anaximenes says, that God is air; Archelaus, that he is air and mind; Democritus, that he is mind in a spherical form. There was, in fact, a vacuity in their minds upon

If, then, the books of Moses and the New Testament be truly the oracles of GOD, the same must be asserted of the Histories, the Proverbs, the Psalms, and the Prophecies of the Old Testa

The popular creed of the most polished nations of antiquity presents nothing but a series of puerile and absurd fables in mythology. The God whom they adored was neither One nor spiritual. Every part of creation, every element in nature, had its peculiar and appropriate deity, and the supreme in dignity amongst this rabble crowd was not even supreme in power. The Jupiter of Hesiod and Homer (who were at once the poets and the theologians of Greece) was a Being subject to every vice and infirmity of the worst of men; and the only distinction, in fact, between their gods and men, was, that the former had more power to accomplish every base and detestable purpose, which they equally followed with the human race. Their worship of these deities was conformable with these gross conceptions. Like that of their ancestors the Phonicians or Canaanites, the religion of Greece, that nurse of arts and literature, as also of imperial Rome, the mistress of the world, was a tissue of

this subject, which they gladly filled | awfully clear to us who live in latter up with fortune, necessity, accident times! a GOD who compassionates the or fate, just as each fell in their way. ignorance of man, and provides him Are we better informed when we turn an unerring guide in the volume of into the boasted theology of the Hindoos, spiration; who pities his infirmity and or the arrogant disciples of Confucius ? offers the gracious assistance of the No! We find their GOD is a Being Holy Spirit to correct the weakness who undergoes perpetual transmigra- and purify the defilements of his nation, at one time immersed in slumber, ture; who in the fulness of time sent at another, absorbed in meditation, at forth an accredited messenger on the another, sailing over the waters of the grand purpose of mercy, bearing the wide abyss. (Compare 1 Kings, xviii. stamp of divinity in every feature; 27.) And how do his worshippers who resigned that glorious Being to adore him? Not as a pure ethereal the temporary rage of men and devils, spirit, but as abiding in rude idols of and glorified him by a triumphant vicstone, or shapeless blocks of wood; tory upon the cross at Calvary; who delighting in the self-murder, or the made there, by that "one offering, a unutterably impure gestures, and at- full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, titudes, and actions of his suppliants. oblation and satisfaction for the sins Nor are we better informed by the of the whole world." And is this the cannibals of Africa or the warrior GoD and Saviour whom we are called tribes of the New World. Their God to surrender for the Jupiters, or Mois, literally, THE DEVIL! whom they lochs, or Juggernauts of Infidelity. worship because they fear him, and Infidels reject the Bible because it whom they appease by tortures and states the doctrine of eternal punishself-afflictions, from the bare mention ment, which they cannot reconcile of which humanity recoils. with the idea of a benevolent Being.

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Let us turn hence to the God of the Bible, a pure Spirit, who will be worshipped in spirit and in truth,-a Being to whom sin is hateful, and who yet regards the sinner with compassion, and willeth not his destruction; who manifested his abhorrence of evil in extirpating the accursed nations of Canaan; who selected a peculiar people as depositaries of his revealed will, as an eternal beacon to the world against the rocks of idolatry, infidelity and vice; who furnished them with a code of laws, the admiration of every reflecting mind, and the very source and spring of all just principles of legislation; who ordered a ritual of worship, sublime and solemn, and instructive even in its obscurest rites; and these, explained as typical and emblematic of his future purposes, by a succession of men eminent for their piety and magnanimity of soul, and gifted with a prophetic spirit

Evil we know exists. Why was it introduced, why suffered to continue? When every difficulty which attends this inquiry shall have been removed, then, but not till then, may we question the doctrine of eternal punishment, not only less clogged with difficulties, but perfectly analogous to the established chain of causes and effects in the natural world.

The happiness of heaven is holiness. It cannot then be heaven to an impenitent sinner. Remove him there, with all the sinful passions and propensities of his lower nature, and heaven would become his hell. Leave him to himself: as he dies, so shall he awake at the resurrection. His crime is its own punishment, and, from their nature, both must be progressive and everlasting.

Infidels scoff at the credulity of the Christian. But let us fairly state the case, and see whether of all beings in

existence the Infidel is not the most weakly credulous. What is the Infidel's creed? He believes that the whole world united in a conspiracy to impose upon themselves about the æra of the introduction of Christianity;that they invented an universal persuasion of the coming of some great personage, and that by mere accident their conjecture was verified in the birth of Christ,-that verses or poems, the productions of men who lived several hundred years before, accidentally happened to apply to that extraordinary person, and things the most contradictory did accidentally concur in him; that he was a deceiver and an enthusiast, and a false claimant to a divine commission, and yet that he was, without exception, the purest and the most amiable of beings;—and that he succeeded in his object without any of the means usually employed by similar characters; for that without money, without troops, without power, he convinced multitudes of his divine authority. He believes that after Christ was openly crucified as a malefactor, twelve illiterate fishermen took up the extraordinary tale that he had risen from the dead, although these fishermen must have known to the contrary if he was a deceiver; and without any assignable motive, in the face of danger and death, they formed the bold design of converting the whole world to a belief of this strange story; -that although aware of the calamities which they must thus occasion to mankind (and therefore men of unfeeling and cruel dispositions), their writings and actions exhibit the purest morality and the most benevolent spirit; that without education or literature they composed several works, in which the leading character or subject of their memoirs (if a fictitious personage) is unquestionably one of the most wonderful creatures of imagination that the range of literature can furnish; a character altogether un

like that of any being who ever dwelt on earth, sustained throughout with the most exact consistency, and the most minute and apparently unneces sary particularity of dates and times and places;-that they travelled over the greater part of the world, every where successful, though every where persecuted; and that they were eventu. ally the means of subverting the religious establishment of the most powerful nation upon earth.

Yes! and the Infidel believes that all this was CHANCE; these men were all impostors; the whole story was a fable and a forgery!!! If it be so, then the case is without a parallel in history; and the man who receives the creed of the Infidel betrays a credulity so capacious, a faculty so prodigious of overlooking difficulties, that we cannot but suspect there is something wrong in the ordinary powers of his understanding. But the case is otherwise: infidelity is not a derangement of the head, but of the heart. Believing, as we do, that the words of Christ are words of eternal truth, we maintain that it is impossible for any man to disbelieve the Bible who searches it with a right spirit: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God."

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Pride and evil passions are the main springs of infidelity. "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which cometh of GOD only? Ye love darkness rather than light, because your deeds are evil." Every one that doeth evil hateth the light." No wonder, then, that the profligate and the libertine should hail the temporary triumphs of infidelity, which annihilates the salutary dread of future retribution, and substitutes universal redemption, or the vain and fantastic salvo of purgatory, that most successful device ever yet employed by Satan to open the floodgates of licentiousness, and break down every barrier which

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