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him; that I shall repent those bitter, cruel words In one of the quiet evenings which mamma till my last day; that I would have given my spent with her, Nina told her too the story of life gladly to have saved his—I that so scorned her sorrow. I was glad of this; mamma had and wounded him. But he will never know it so much better a way of comforting than I had. now-never! never !”.
And never again did the ice close round Nina's With her hand in mine I sat and watched beside heart. After those few first days, indeed, we her, till the silver moonlight gave place to the seldom spoke of her special share in our common dim gray of early dawn; and she slept. But the grief. But words were not needed. Heart reaction of long-repressed excitement, and the answered to heart. I knew in the quiet twilight violent agitation of the previous night, were too hours, when she and I sat alone and in silence, much for her fragile frame, and the next few what thoughts were filling the fair head that days she was unable to leave her room. I think rested on my knee—the light touch of the little our kind old doctor more than suspected the cause hand that sought mine with such a clinging, con
a of her illness; he had been our friend ever since fiding clasp, told me more than many words; he came to Paris, Uncle Lucien's before; and and she knew this. Léon was his special favourite.
AIpologetics for the Pcople.
BY DR. R. PATERSON, CHICAGO.
THE TRUTH AND THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL. “For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the
living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."-1. Thess. i. 9, 10. VAN the last tract we ascertained that they dotting of an i, have been carefully enumerated ; yet
Gospels and Epistles were not forgeries of the result of the whole of this searching scrutiny has some nameless monks of the third century been merely the suggestion of thirteen, or, as later
-that the shopkeepers, silversmiths, tent- critics say, nine unimportant alterations in the received makers, coppersmiths, tanners, physicians, senators, text, of the seven thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine town councillors, officers of customs, city treasurers, and verses of the new Testament. This is a fact utterly nobles of Cæsar's household, in Rome, Antioch, Ephesus, unexampled in the history of manuscripts. There are Corinth, Athens, and Alexandria, could no more be but six manuscripts of the Comedies of Terence, and imposed upon in the matter of documents, attested by these have not been copied once for every thousand the well-known signatures of their beloved ministers, times the New Testament has been transcribed, yet than you could by letters or sermons purporting to there are thirty thousand variations found in these six come from your own pastor-and that the documents manuscripts, or an average of five thousand for each, which they believed to contain the directory of their and many of them seriously affect the sense. The lives, and the charter of that salvation which they average number of variations in the manuscripts of the valued more than their lives - which they read in their New Testament examined, is not quite thirty for each, churches, recited at their tables, quoted in their writings, ineluding all the trivialities already noticed. appealed to in their controversies, translated into We are, then, by the special providence of God, now many languages, and dispersed into every part of the as undoubtedly in possession of genuine copies of the known world, they neither would nor could corrupt or Gospels and Epistles, written by the companions of falsify.
Jesus, as we are of genuine copies of the Constitution The genuineness of the copies of the New Testament of the United States, and of the Declaration of Indewhich we now possess is abundantly proved by the pendence. These are historic documents, of well estabcomparison of over two thousand manuscripts, from lished genuineness and antiquity, which we now proceed all parts of the world ; scrutinized during a period of to examine as to their truthfulness. nearly a hundred years, by the most critical scholars, There is no history so trustworthy as that prepared so accurately that the variations of such things as would by contemporary writers, especially by those who have in English correspond to the crossing of a t, or the themselves been actively engaged in the events which they relate. Such history never loses its interest, nor and find that, when they have occasion to refer to them, does the lapse of ages, in the least degree, in pair its they also confirm the great facts already ascertained, credibility. While the documents can be preserved, then our belief becomes conviction which cannot be Xenophon's Retreat of the Ten Thousand, Cæsar's Gallic overturned by any sophistry, that these things did occur. War, and the Despatches of the Duke of Wellington, will If Whig and Tory agree in relating the facts of James's be as trustworthy as on the day they were written. Yet flight and William's accession, if the letters of his some suspicion may arise in our minds, that these com- Jacobite friends and those of the French ambassador manders and historians might keep back some important confirm the statements of the English historian, and events which would have dimmed their reputation with if we are put in possession of the letters which James posterity, or have coloured those they bave related so himself wrote from France and Ireland to his friends as to add to their fame. Of the great facts related in in England, does any man in his common sense doubt memoirs addressed to their companions in arms, able that the Revolution of 1688 did actually occur? at a glance to detect a falsehood, we never entertain the When, in addition to all this concentration and conleast suspicion.
vergence of documentary testimony, one finds that the There is, however, another kind of contemporary matters related, being of public concern, and the changes history not so connected and regular as the formal diary effected for the public weal, the people of Great Britain or journal, which does not even propose to relate history have ever since observed, and do to this day celebrate, at all, but is for that very reason entirely removed from by religious worship and public rejoicings, the annithe suspicion of giving a colouring to it; which, at the versaries of the principal events of that Revolution, cost of a little patience and industry, gives us the most and that he hiniself has been present, and has heard the convincing confirmations of the truth, or exposures of thanksgivings, and witnessed the rejoicings on those the mistakes of historians, by the undesigned and in- anniversaries, the facts of the history come out from cidental way in which the use of a name, a date, a the domains of learned curiosity, and take their stand proverb, a jest, an expletive, a quotation, an allusion, on the market-place of the busy world's engagements. flashes conviction upon the reader's mind.
We become at once conscious that this is a practical contemporary correspondence. If we have the private question-a great fact which concerns us—that the whole letters of celebrated men laid before us, we are enabled of the law and government of a vast empire has felt its to look right into theni, and see their true characters. impress—that our ancestors and ourselves have been Thus Macaulay exhibits to the world the proud, lying, moulded under its influence, and that the Protestant restupid tyrant James, displayed in his own letters. ligion of Europe and America, under whose guardianship Thus Voltaire records himself an adulterer, and begs we have grown to a prominent place among the people of his friend D'Alembert to lie for him ; his friend replies earth, and may arrive at a better prominence among that he has done so. Thus the correspondence of the the nations of the saved, has been preserved, unler great American herald of the Age of Reason exhibits God, by that Revolution. We could scarcely kar him drinking a quart of brandy daily at his friend's whether most to pity or contemn the man who should expense, and refusing to pay his bill for boarding. In labour to persuade us that such a Revolution had never the unguarded freedom of confidential correspondence, occurred, or that the facts had been essentially misthe veil is taken from the heart. We see men as they are. represented. The true man stands out in his native dignity, and the Now it is precisely on the same kind of evidence as that gilding is rubbed off the hypocrite. Give the world which we have for these indisputable facts of the English their letters, and let the grave silence the plaudits and Revolution, that we believe the great facts of the the clamours which deafened the generation among Christian Revolution. We have contemporary histories, whom they lived, and no man will hesitate whether or formal and informal ; letters, public and private, from not to pronounce Hume a sensualist, or Washington the principal agents in it, and opposers of it, dispersed the noblest work of God-an honest man.
from Babylon to Rome, and addressed to Greeks, Romans, If we add another test of truthfulness, by increasing Jews, and Asiatics ; written by physicians, fishernen, the number of the witnesses, comparing a number of proconsuls, emperors, and apostles. And these great letters referring to the same events, written by persons facts stand out more prominently on the theatre of the of various degrees of education, and of different occupa- world's business as effecting changes on our laws and tions and ranks of life, resident in different countries, lives, and their introduction as authenticated by pubacting independently of each other, and find them all lic commemorations, more solemn and more numerons igree in their allusions to, or direct mention of, some than those resulting from the English or the American central facts concerning which they are all interested, Revolution. Our main difficulty lies in selecting, from no one can rightfully doubt that this undesigned agree- the vast mass of materials, a portion sufficiently distinct ment declares the truth. But if, in addition to all these and manageable to be handled in a tract of this size. undesigned coincidences, we happen upon the corre- We shall be guided by the motto already announced spondence of persons whose interests and passions were as the rule of inductive research. One thing at a time; ciametrically opposed to those of our correspondents, and the nearest first. The Epistles being nearer our
own times than the Gospels, claim our first notice; and first among these, those which stand latest on the page of sacred history-the ten letters of John ; two from Peter to the Christians of Asia ; and those which Paul, in chains for the gospel, dictated from imperial Rone.
From the abundant notices of the early Christians by historians and philosophers, satirists and comedians, martyrs and magistrates, Jewish, Christian, and heathen, I shall select only two for comparison with the Epistles of the apostles, and both those heathen-the celebrated letter of Pliny to Trajan, and the well established Ilistory of Tacitus-and both ntterly undeniable, and admitted by the most sceptical to be beyond suspicion. Not that I suppose that the testimony of men who did not take the trouble of making any inquiry into the reality of the facts of the Christian religion, is more accurate than that of those whose lives were devoted to its study; or that we have any just reason to attach as much weight to the assertions of persons who, by their own showing, tortured and murdered men and women convicted of no crime but that of bearing the name of Christ, as to those of these martyrs whose characters they acknowledged to be blameless, and who sealed their testimony with the last and highest attestation of sincerity--their blood. Considered merely as a historian, whether as regards means of knowledge or tests of truthfulness, by every unprejudiced mind, Peter will always be preferred to Pliny. But because the world will ever love its own, and hate the disciples of the Lord, there will always be a large class to whom the History of Tacitus will seem more veritable than that of Luke, and the Letters of Pliny more reliable than those of Peter. For their sakes we avail ourselves of that most convincing of all attestations--the testimony of an enerny. What friends and foes unite in attesting must be accepted as true.
The facts which we shall thus establish are not, in the first instance, those called miraculous. now ascertaining the general character for truthfulness of our letter-writers and historians. If we find that their general historic narrative is contradicted by that of other credible historians, then we suspect their story. But if we find that in all essential matters of public notoriety they are supported by the concurrent testimony of their foes, and that the narrative of the iniracles they relate bears the seals of thousands who from foes became friends, from conviction of its truth, then we receive their witness as true. Even in Paul's lay, heathen Greek writers bore testimony to the apostles, what manner of entering in they had unto the converts of Thessalonica ; and how they turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come. Pliny wrote forty years later.
Pliny the younger was born A.D. 61—was prætor under Domitian-consul in the third year of Trajan, A.D. 100—was exceedingly desirous to add to his other
honours that of the priesthood; was accordingly consecrated an augur, and built temples, bought images, and consecrated them on his estates; was, in A.D. 106, appointed Governor of the Roman Provinces of Pontus and Bithynia*--a vast tract of Asia Minor, lying along the shores of the Black Sea and the Propontis; and including the province anciently called Mysia, in which were situated Pergamios and Thyatira, and in the immediate vicinity of Sardis and Philadelphia. Pliny reached his province by the usual route, the port of Ephesus, where Johın had lived for many years, and indited his letters A.D. 96. The letters of Peter to the strangers scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, bring us to the same mountainous region, eight hundred miles distant from Judea, whence, in earlier days, our savage ancestors received those Phoenician priests of Baal, whose round towers mark the coasts of Ireland nearest to the setting sun; and whence, about the period under consideration, came the heralds of the Sun of Righteousness, who brought the “ Leabhar Eoin" + which tells their children of Hini in whom is the life and the light of men. Natives of these countries had been in Jerusalem during the crucifixion of Jesus, and, though only strangers, had witnessed the darkness, and the earthquake, and the rumours of what had come to pass in those days; and on the day of Pentecost had mingled with the curious crowd aronnd the apostles, and heard them speak, in their own mother tongues, of the wonderful works of God. The remainder of the story of their conversion we gather from the letters of Peter, Jolin, and Pliny. 'Pliny, to the Emperor Trajan, wisheth health and
happiness: I “It is my constant custom, Sire, to refer myself to you in all matters concerning which I have any doubt. For who can better direct me when I hesitate, or instruct me when I am ignorant ?
“I have never been present at any trials of Christians, so that I know not well what is the subject matter of punishment, or of inquiry, or what strictures ought to be used in either. Nor have I been a little perplexed to determine whether any difference ought to be made upon account of age, or whether the young and tender, and the full-grown and robust, ought to be treated all alike; whether repentance should entitle to pardon, or whether all who have once been Christians ought to be punished, though they are now no longer so; whether the name itself, although no crimes be (letected, or crimes only belonging to the name, ought to be punished.
“In the meantime, I have taken this course with all who have been brought before me, and have been accused as Christians. I have put the question to them, whether they were Christians ? Upon their confessing to me that they were, I repeated the question a second and a third time, threatening also to punish them with death. Such as still persisted, I ordered away to be punished; for it was no doubt with me, whatever might be the nature of their opinion, that contu.
* Lardner, vii. p. 18, et seq. + Pronounced Laar Owen-John's Book.
Lib. x. Ep. 97, Lardner, vii. 22.
maey and inflexible obstinacy ought to be punished. There crime whatever, may a bill of information be received withwere others of the same infatuation, whom, because they are out being signed by him who presents it; for that would be a Roman citizens, I have noted down to be sent to the city. dangerous precedent, and unworthy of my government."
“In a short time the crime spreading itself, even whilst under persecution, as is usual in such cases, divers sorts of
I must request my reader now to procure a New people came in my way. An information was presented to Testament, and read, at one reading, the First General me, without mentioning the author, containing the names of Epistle of Peter, the First General Epistle of John, and many persons, who, upon examination, denied that they were his Seven Epistles to the Churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Christians, or had even been so; who repeated after me an
Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea invocation of the gods, and with wine and frankincense made
-only about as much matter as four pages of Harper's supplication to your image, which, for that purpose, I have caused to be brought and set before them, together with the
Magazine, or half a page of the Commercial—that he statnes of the deities. Moreover, they reviled the name of
may be able to do the same justice to the apostles as to Christ. None of which things, as is said, they who are the governor. He will thus be able to see the force of really Christians can by any means be compelled to do. the various allusions to the numbers, doctrines, morals, These, therefore, I thought proper to discharge.
persecutions, and perseverance of the Christians, con“Others were named by an informer, who at first confessed
tained in those letters ; the object which I have in view themselves Christians, and afterwards denied it. The rest said they had been Christians, but bad left them; some
being to establish their authenticity by proving the three years ago, some longer, and one or more above twenty
truthfulness of their allusions to these things. If yon years. They all worshipped your image, and the statues of think this too much trouble, please lay down the the gods ; these also reviled Christ. They aftirmed that tract, and dismiss the consideration of religion from your the whole of their fault or error lay in this : that they were thoughts. If the letters of the apostles are not worth a wont to meet together, on a stated day, before it was light, careful reading, it is of no consequence whether they are and sing among themselves alternately a hymn to Christ as
true or false. a God, and bind themselves by a sacrament, not to the com
1. These letters take for granted that the fact of the mission of any wickedness, but not to be guilty of theft, or robbery, or adultery ; never to falsify their word, nor to deny
existence of large numbers of Christians, organized into a pledge committed to them, when called upon to return it.
Churches, and meeting regularly for religious worship, at When these things were performed, it was their custom to the close of the first century, is a matter of public notoseparate, and then to come together again to a meal, which riety to the world. Here, in countries eight hundred they ate in common, without any disorder ; but this they had miles distant from its birth-place, in the lifetime of those forborne since the publication of my edict, by whichi, accord
who had seen its Founder crucified, we find Christians ing to your command, I prohibited assemblies. After receiv. ing this account, I judged it the more necessary to examine
scattered over Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and two maid-servants, which were called ministers, by torture.
Bithynia-Churches in seven provincial cities--the sect But I have discovered nothing besides a bad and excessive
well known to Pliny, before he left Italy, as a proscribed superstition.
and persecuted religion, the professors of which were “Suspending, therefore, all judicial proceedings, have customarily brought before courts for trial and purishrecourse to you for advice ; for it has appeared to me a mat- ment-though he had not himself been present at sach ter highly deserving consideration, especially upon account of
trials—and now so numerous in his provinces, that a the great number of persons who are in danger of suffering. For many of all ages, and every rank, of both sexes likewise,
great number of persons, of both sexes, young and old
, are accused, and will be accused. Nor has the contagion of
of all ranks, natives and Roman citizens, professed this superstition seized cities only, but the lesser towns also, Christianity. Others, influenced by their example and and the open country. Nevertheless, it seems to me that it instruction, renounced idolatry; victims were not led to may be restrained and arrested. It is certain that the tem- sacrifice; the sacred rites of the gods were suspendel, ples, which were almost forsaken, begin to be frequented. and their temples forsaken. The existence, then, of And the sacred solemnities, after a long intermission, are revived. Victims, likewise, are everywhere bought up,
Churches of Christ, consisting of vast numbers of cogwhereas, for some time, there were few purchasers. Whence
verted heathens, at the close of the first century, is in no it is easy to imagine what numbers of men might be reclaimed,
wise mythological or dubious. It is an established hisif pardon were granted to those who shall repent?"
torical fact. The Epistles of the Apostles stand con
firmed by the Epistles of the Governor and the Emperor. “ Trajan to Pliny, wisheth health and happiness : * 2. The second great fact presented in the Epistles, and “You have taken the right course, my Pliny, in your pro
confirmed by the Letters of the Governor and the Emceedings with those who have been brought before you as peror, is, that the worship of the Christian Church then Christians; for it is impossible to establish any one rule that was essentially the same which it is now. We find these shall hold universally. They are not to be sought after. If Christians of the first century commemorating the any are brought before you, and are convicted, they ought to
death and resurrection of Christ, and rendering divine be punished. However, he that denies his being a Christian, and makes it evident in fact—that is, by supplicating to our
honours to him: the "stated day” on which they assemgods--though he be suspected to have been so formerly, let
bled for worship, and “common meal,” are as plain a him be pardoned upon repentance. But in no case, of any
description of the “disciples coming together upon the
first day of the week, to break bread," as a beathen * Lib. x. Ep. 28, Lardner, vii. 24.
could give in few words. Their terms of communion,
too, to which they pledged their members by a sacrament, | divine worship. This second great fact, affirmed in the “not to be guilty of theft, robbery, or adultery; never Epistles, stands confirmed by the testimony of the to falsify their word, or deny a pledge committed to heathen governor and of the Roman emperor. them,” find their counterpart in every well regulated 3. A mere theory of a new religion, unconnected with Church at this day.
practice, may be easily received by those who care little The articles of the Christian faith, then, are not the about any, so long as it brings no suffering or incon“gradual accretions of centuries,” nor is the “redemp- venience. But the religion of these Christians was, as tive idea, as attaching to Christ, a dogma of the post- you see, a practical religion. If their new worship reAugustine period.” The Churches of the first century quired a great departure from the worship of their childcommemorated the death and resurrection of Jesus as hood, their Christian morals required a still greater dethat of a divine person, "singing the hymn to him as a parture from their former mode of life. I need not reGod," which their descendants sing at this day around mind you of the moral codes of Socrates, Plato, and his table :
Aristides, who taught that lying, thieving, adultery, and “For ever and for ever is, O God, thy throne of might; murder were lawful; nor how much worse than the theory
The sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre that is right. of the best of the heathen were the lives of the worst; nor Thou lovest right, and hatest ill; for God, thy God, most how unpopular to persons so educated would be such high,
teaching as this—“Forasmuch then as Christ hath sufAbove thy fellows hath with th' oil of joy anointed thee.”
fered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the And the question will force itself upon our minds, and same mind : for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath cannot be evaded, How did these apostles persuade such ceased from sin ; that he no longer should live the rest multitudes of heathens to believe their repeated asser- of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the tions of the death, resurrection, and glory of Jesus? In will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us the space of threo octavo pages, Peter refers to these to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we facts eighteen times. John, in like manner, repeatedly walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, affirms them. The Christian religion consists in the be- banquetings, and abominable idolatries : wherein they lief of these facts, and a life corresponding to them. think it strange that ye run not with them to the same Now, how did the apostles persuade such multitudes of excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give acheathens to believe a report so wonderful, profess a re- count to him that is ready to judge the quick and the ligion so novel, renounce the gods they had worshipped dead.” “Layiaside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrifrom their childhood, and all the ceremonies of an at- sies, and envies, and all evil speakings.” “Whosoever tractive, sensual religion—"temples of splendid archi- abideth in Christ sinneth not: whosoever sinneth bath tecture, statues of exquisite sculpture, priests and victims not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let superbly adorned, attendant beanteous youth of both no man deceive you : he that doeth righteousness is sexes performing all the sacred rites with gracefulness, righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth religious dances, illuminations, concerts of the sweetest sin is of the devil.” So sharp, and stern, and strictly musie, perfumes of the rarest fragrance,” and other more virtuous is apostolic religion, as displayed in these letters. licentious enjoy ments, inseparable from heathen wor- Is it possible, then, that these converted heathens did ship? How did they persuade them to exchange all really even approach this standard of morality? Did this for the assembly before daybreak, the frugal com- this gospel of Christ actually produce any such reformamon meal, the psalm to Christ, and the commemoration tion of their lives? of the death of a crucified malefactor? If we add that You have the testimony of apostates, eager to save they commemorated his resurrection by observing the their lives by giving such information as they knew Lord's-day, the question still comes up, How did they would be acceptable to the persecutor; you have the come to believe that he was risen from the dead? Could testimony of the two aged deaconesses under torture ; a few despised strangers, or a few citizens if you will, you have the unwilling, but yet express, testimony of persuade such a community, purely by natural means, their torturer and murderer, that all his cruel ingenuity to believe such a report, to care whether the Syrian Jew could discover nothing worse than an excessive superdied or rose, or to commemorate weekly, by a solemn stition and culpable obstinacy. What, then, does this religious service, either his death or resurrection ? It is philosophic inspector of entrails and adorer of idols call evident they believed what they commemorated. How an excessive superstition and culpable obstinacy? Why, did they come to do so ?
they bound themselves by the most solemn religious serBut whether we can answer the question or not, the vices not to be guilty of theft, robbery, or adultery; not fact stands out as indisputable, that not merely the to falsify their word, nor deny a pledge committed to writers of the Epistles and Gospels, and a few enthusi- them; and when some senseless blocks of brass were asts, but an immense multitude of all ages, of both carried on men's shoulders into the court-house, to resexes, and of every rank-the whole membership of the present a mortal man, they would not adore them nor primitive Churches--did believe in the death, resurrec- pray to them-no, not though the philosopher compiled tion, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and did render to him the liturgy and set the example. For this refusal, :und