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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, conof 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 People.


V. 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. VN the last tract we ascertained that the 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, including 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 80 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, impair 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 have 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 | bave ever since observed, and do to this day celebrate, at all, but is for that very reason entirely removed from by religicus 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 himself 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. I mean 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 thens, 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 bis friend D'Alembert to lie for him ; his friend replies earth, and may arrive at a better prominence anjong that he has done so. Thus the correspondence of the the nations of the saved, has been preserved, under great American herald of the Age of Reason exhibits God, by that Revolution. We could scarcely know hinı 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, fishermen, the number of the witnesses, comparing a number of proconsuls, eni perors, 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 solenn and more numerolis agree 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; diametrically 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 honours that of the priesthood; was accordingly consefirst among these, those which stand latest on the page crated an augur, and built temples, bought images, and of sacred history—the ten letters of John; two from consecrated them on his estates; was, in A.D. 106, apPeter to the Christians of Asia ; and those which Paul, pointed Governor of the Roman Provinces of Pontus and in chains for the gospel, dictated from imperial Rome. Bithynia*-a vast tract of Asia Minor, lying along the

From the abundant notices of the early Christians by shores of the Black Sea and the Propontis; and includhistorians and philosophers, satirists and comedians, ing the province anciently called Mysia, in which were martyrs and magistrates, Jewish, Christian, and heathen, situated Pergamos and Thyatira, and in the immediate I shall select only two for comparison with the Epistles vicinity of Sardis and Philadelphia. Pliny reached his of the apostles, and both those heathen-the celebrated province by the usual route, the port of Ephesus, where letter of Pliny to Trajan, and the well established John had lived for many years, and indited his letters History of Tacitus--and both utterly undeniable, and A.D. 96. The letters of Peter to the strangers scattered admitted by the most sceptical to be beyond suspicion. through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and BithyNot that I suppose that the testimony of men who did nia, bring us to the same mountainous region, eight not take the trouble of making any inquiry into the hundred miles distant from Judea, whence, in earlier reality of the facts of the Christian religion, is more days, our savage ancestors received those Phænician accurate than that of those whose lives were devoted to priests of Baal, whose round towers mark the coasts of its study; or that we have any just reason to attach as Ireland nearest to the setting sun; and whence, about much weight to the assertions of persons who, by their the period under consideration, came the heralds of the own showing, tortured and murdered men and women Sun of Righteousness, who brought the Leabhar convicted of no crime but that of bearing the name of Eoin” + which tells their children of Hin in whom is Christ, as to those of these martyrs whose characters the life and the light of men. Natives of these countries they acknowledged to be blameless, and who sealed had been in Jerusalem during the crucifixion of Jesus, their testimony with the last and highest attestation of and, though only strangers, had witnessed the darkness, sincerity-their blood. Considered merely as a historian, and the earthquake, and the rumours of what had come whether as regards means of knowledge or tests of to pass in those days; and on the day of Pentecost had truthfulness, by every unprejudiced mind, Peter will mingled with the curious crowd around the apostles, and always be preferred to Pliny. But because the world heard them speak, in their own mother tongues, of the will ever love its own, and hate the disciples of the wonderful works of God. The remainder of the story of Lord, there will always be a large class to whom the their conversion we gather from the letters of Peter, History of Tacitus will seem more veritable than that Jolin, and Pliny. of Luke, and the Letters of Pliny more reliable than

Pliny, to the Emperor Trajan, wisheth health and those of Peter. For their sakes we avail ourselves of

happiness: # that most convincing of all attestations—the testimony

“It is my constant custom, Sire, to refer myself to you in of an enemy. What friends and foes unite in attesting

all matters concerning which I have any doubt. For who must be accepted as true.

can better direct me when I hesitate, or instruct me when I The facts which we shall thus establish are not, in

am ignorant ? the first instance, those called miraculous. We are “I have never been present at any trials of Christians, so now ascertaining the general character for truthfulness that I know not well what is the subject matter of punishof our letter-writers and historians. If we find that ment, or of inquiry, or what strictures ought to be used in their general historic narrative is contradicted by that

either. Nor have I been a little perplexed to determine

whether any difference ought to be made upon account of age, of other credible historians, then we suspect their

or whether) the young and tender, and the full-grown and story. But if we find that in all essential matters of robust, ought to be treated all alike; whether repentance public notoriety they are supported by the concurrent should entitle to pardon, or whether all who have once been testimony of their foes, and that the narrative of the Christians ought to be punished, though they are now no sairacles they relate bears the seals of thousands who longer so; whether the name itself, although no crimes be defrom foes became friends, from conviction of its truth,

tected, or crimes only belonging to the name, ought to be then we receive their witness as true. Even in Paul's


“In the meantime, I have taken this course with all who day, heathen Greek writers bore testimony to the

have been brought before me, and have been accused as Christ. apostles, what manner of entering in they had unto the

ians. I have put the question to them, whether they were converts of Thessalonica ; and how they turned to God Christians ? Upon their confessing to me that they were, I from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to repeated the question a second and a third time, threatening wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from also to punish them with death. Such as still persisted, I the dead-even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath

ordered away to be punished; for it was no doubt with me, to come. Pliny wrote forty years later.

whatever might be the nature of their opinion, that contu. Pliny the younger was born A.D. 61-was prætor under Domitian-consul in the third year of Trajan,

* Lardner, vii. p. 18, et seq.

+ Pronounced Laar Owen John's Book. A.D. 100— was exceedingly desirous to add to his other

: 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 Conimercial—that he statues 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

being to establish their authenticity by proving the said they had been Christians, but had left them; some three years ago, some longer, and one or more above twenty

truthfulness of their allusions to these things. If you 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 affirmed 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 which, accord who had seen its Founder crucified, we find Christians ing to your command, I prohibited assemblies. After receis. 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, I have customarily brought before courts for trial and punishrecourse to you for advice ; for it has appeared to me a mat

ment-though he had not himself been present at such 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 suspended, 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 conwhereas, 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 assemigods—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 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.

first day of the week, to break bread," as a heathen * Lib. x. Ep. 98, Lardner, vii. 24.

could give in few words. Their terms of communion, Aristides, who taught that lying, thieving, adultery, and For ever and for ever is, O God, thy throne of might;

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 :

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 Thon 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 hath tecture, statues of exquisite sculpture, priests and victims not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let superbly adorned, attendant beauteous 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 music, perfumes of the rarest fragrance," and other more virtuous is apostolic religion, as displayed in these letters. licentious enjoyments, 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 thens-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, ud

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