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far the best view, which we have The dislike of former books
denice. He thinks that men in It is the excellence of the general, may judge very well of work before us, that it unites the the credibility of the messengers, evidence and the authority of the who say, they have been sent of christian revelation-ans, thought God with a revelation to manthe peculiar doctrines of the kind; but are incapable of jullie gospel are not brought forward in ing before hand, wliat it may be detail, the writer abundantly worthy of God to reveal.
ACshews, that they are with him 'cording to him, therefore, the inatter of serious belief. It is external evidence alone of chris not enough to say, that he does tianity should be submitted to inilot contradict, or that he indic quirers; and, when convinced rectly admits ; he cordially em- by that, they ought to bow to braces, and he affectionately re- tic authority of revelation, and commerus them. The spirit of ceceive with the most profound liis performance is clearly that of reverence its fair meaning, what Paul' in the celebrated declarac' ever doctrines it shall be found tion : "Bän not ashamed of the to teach. This, he very ably, gospel' ot" Christ, för it is the and at great length, shows, is power of God unto' salvation to the identical dictate of the ex. every one that believeth.”.
perimental philosophy, the very
principle miroduced by the great sage, been a little more explicit Bacon, and to which modern and distinct. The “ manifestaphilosophers are indebted for the tions of the Saviour” is an exremoval of so many erroneous pression, which may not by many theories, and the discovery of so be clearly understood. The de many valuable truths.
monstration of the Spirit in In this argument, we presume; equally necessary, and equally will be found the characteristic to be expected, to give decisive: feature, and the great strength effect, to the external, and to the of Mr. Chalmers's work. There internal evidence of christianityare some serious readers, how- In speaking of the internal evi, ever, who scruple thus to set a- dence, he seems to have chiefly, side the internal evidence of if not solely, in view, notions christianity; because they know which men have päeviously adopt. that many are brought to believe ed concerning the Divine Being, the gospel by means of it, before with which the doctrines of chrisover they attend to the external tianity must be found, or made, evidence. It appears from a pas- to agree, before they will admit sage in his prefixed advertise their truth. These, however, ment, that Mr. Chalmers admits are no part of the evidence ot, this fact : “ The Author,” says christianity, but prejudices which he,“ is far from asserting the tend to obscure it. To concede, study of the historical evidence to these is to be sure a very un.. to be the only channel to a faith philosophical and dangerous prinin the truth of christianity.--ciple: a principle, however, (as How could he, in the face of the Mr. Chalmers justly observes), obvious fact, that there are thou- commonly implied in the mode sänds and thousands of christians, of defence adopted by writers who: bear. the most undeniable the Deistical Controversy. marks of the truth having come
Leland's performance, kome to their understanding” in and it will be found, that one balt demonstration of the spirit and of his discussion is expended upon of power.”. They have an evi- the reasonableness of the doctrines, dence within themselves which, and in asserting the validity of the. the world knoweth not, even the 'argument which is founded upon promised manifestations of the that reasonableness. It would save Saviour. Thiş evidence is a
a vast deal of controversy, if it
could be proved that all this is susign to them that believe;" perfluous and uncalled for ; that but the bible speaks also of a upon the authority of the proofa al
sign to them which believe ready insisted on, the New Testa-, riot.” From this passage, and ment must loe received as a revela from what appears to be in the tiou from heaven; and that, instead Author's mind when he speaks of sitting in judgment over it, noof the arguments drawn from the thing remains on our part but ar
act of unreserved. submission to all internal evidence of christianity, the doctrine and information which we are, for our own part satisfied, it offers to us. It is conceived, that that he does not really differ from in this way the general argument those who hesitate about the pro-. might be made to assume a more priety of the ground on which powerful and impressive aspect, and. he has chosen to rest his argu
the defence of Christianity he more ment. At the same time, we
accomodated to the spirit and pbia wiishhe inad, in the above pas.
losophy of the times.”-op. 189, 199.
We agree to all this, but would John iv, 29,) see a man, wha submit to Mr. Chalmers, that the told me all things that ever I internal evidence of christianity, did: is not' this the Christ?". properly so called, is the know- « Now we believe," (answered ledge which it displays of man; her townsmen, V. 42,) « not bea knowledge which every man cause of thy saying, for we have may !e able to discern, and may heard him ourselves; and know be constrained to feel: its appeals that this is indeed the Christ, the to conscience, as to whąt we are; Saviour of the world:” We do what we have done, what we not say that these Samaritans suffer, what we fear, what we had no reference to external eviwish, what we need : its meet- dence, but their words especially ing at once our character, and those of the woman, may illus our state, with a suitable reme- trate the conviction produced by dy; and proposing a change that internal evidence which we which comes with the double re- have endeavoured to describe.“ commendation of being com- We add, that the believer, by pletely attainable, and unspeak- whatevermeans he becomes such; ably advantageous. When the will immediately set himself in demonstration of the spirit ac- earnest to learn. “ As a new born companies these appeals to the babe, he desires the sincere milk conscience and the heart, they of the word that he may grow are “ a sign to them that be thereby." Every successive less lieve not," as much as ever the son of christianity proves a trial historical evidence of christiani- of christian character. A hard ty can be'; and such a sign as saying may make some; who produces the faith of which till were suid to have believed, go now they were destitute. To back. Hence the importance of feel their force requires no tedin our Saviour's address : “ If ye ous process of investigation.- continue in my word, then arc Hence the rapidity with which ye my disciples indeed; and ye they often overcome the most shall know the truth, and the thoughtless. If there be no pre- truth shall make you free.” vious information, it may be soon John viii. 31, 32. conveyed': if there be, it may With these remarks, we give be soon applied. Examples of the most cordial praise to Mr. the first case, were those hea- Chalmers's Essay. It is a manthens at Athens, and elsewhere, ly, eloquent, warm-hearted pleadwho believed in consequence of ing with these who have not ema single sermon of an Apostle, or braced the faith of the gospel, an Evangelizt: of the second; which we trust the Lord will those Samaritans to whom our render indelibly impressive on Saviour paid a single visit.-- the minds of many.
We can These examples were admirable; notice a few only of its particular but not unaccountable. They excellencies. may be explained, as above, to In treating of the application the conviction even of an unbe- of the principles of historical liever. some of them accord- evidence to christianity, he very ingly, are accounted for, in a ably shows, that, instead of being way perfectly consistent with the unduly baissed in favour of it, by preceding remarks, « Come," a sense of its importance, as (says the woman of Samaria, some allege, men are, from
that circumstance, more difficult mony, both in weight and in quan, of persuasion on this, than on tity, would have been looked upon any other subject. He admits, as quite unexampled in the whole indeed, that same, in their an compass of ancient literature.”xiety to promote christianity, p. 12, 13, 14. may be disposed to" overrate its Of the success with which Mr. evidences,
Chalmers has applied the argu
ment for christianity to the pre" Let it be remembered, how
sent state of philosophical opiever, that while one species of judice operates in favour of Chris- nion, we think his " lemarks on tianity, another prejudice operates the scepticism of Geologists” an against it. There is a class of men admirable specimen. Some of who are repelled from the investi. those who have lately been spex gation of its evidences, because in culating on the structure of the (heir minds Christianity is allied Earth, assign to it a higher an with the weakness of superstition; and they feel that they are descend: tiquity, than most of those who ing, when they bring down their read the Bible had any concep, attention to, a subject which en
tion of. Our author contends, grosses so much respect and admir- that this supposition, although it ation from the vulgar.
should be admitted, cannot inIt appears to us, that the pecu- validate the strength of thc his, enliar feeling which the sacredness torical evidence of christianity, of the subject gires to the enquirer, And while that evidence remains is, upon the whole, unfavourable to the impression of the Christian untouched, he shews that, in vay argument. Had the subject not rious ways, we may dispose of been sacred, and had the same tes- the alleged authority. timony been given to the facts that are connected with it, we are satis
“ We may deny the truth of the fied, that the history of Jesus in the geological speculation ; nor is it neNew Testament, would have been cessary to be an accomplished geolooked upon as the best supported to deny it. We appeal to the spe
logist, that we may be warranted by evidence of any history that has come down to us. It would assist
culations of the geologists them. us in appretiating tbe evidence for
selves. They neutralise one anothe truth of the gospel history, if ther, and leave us in possession of we could conceive for a moment, the Old Testament. Our imagina
free ground for the informations of that Jesus, instead of being the founder of a new religion, had been tions have been much regaled by merely the founder of a new sckool but they are so opposite to each
the brilliancy of their speculations, of philosophy, and that the different histories which have come down to other, that we now cease to be im118, had merely represented him as
pressed by their evidence. But an extraordinary person, who had
there are other ways of disposing of rendered himself illustrious among our's testimony: • Does he really
the supposed falsehood of our Savi. his countrymen by the wisdom of his sayings, and the beneficence of his assert what has been called the Mom actions. We venture to say, that
saical antiquity of the world? It is had this been the case, a tenth part
true that lie gives his distinct testipart of the testimony which has
mony to the divine legation of actually been given, would have
Moses; but does Moses eyer say, been enough to satisfy us. Had it
that when God created the heavens been a question of mere eruditioo,
and the earth, he did more at the where neither a predilection in fa- time alluded to than transform them vour of a religion, nor an antipathy out of previously existing materials : against it, could have impressed a
Or does he ever say, that there was bias in any one direction, the testis not an interval of many ages be
twixt the first act of creation, de-, meaning of any philosopher is col
c. What thinkest thou?" is made
the principle of their creell, and, most important part of the whole they hare committed themselves te book is the Author's doctrine, the enilless caprices of the human " on the Supreme Authority of intellect. Let the principle of " what Revelation." This forms the ex- thinkest tholi” be exploded, and that press subject of the concluding of '" what readest thou” be substi
tuted in its place. Let us take our Chapter ; but is often most suc
lesson as the Almighty places it becessfully introduced in the pre- fore us, and, instead of being the vious parts of the discussion. judge of his conduct, be satisfied We shall subjein as many extracts with the safer and humbler office of is our limits will permit. If being the interpreter of hislanguage. the New Testament be a message
Now this principle is not exclu. from God, it beloves us
to sively applicable to the learned. Inake an entire and unconditional
The great bulk of Christians have
no access to the Bible in its original kurrender of our minds to all
languages; but they have access to the•duty and to all the informa- the common translation, and they tion wluck it-sets before us." may be satisfied by the concurrent « Could we only get it reducesl different sectaries of this country,
testimony of the learned among the to a mere question of language, we should look at no distant period for We do not confine the principle to
that the translation is a good one. the establishment of a pure and un
critics and translators; we press it animous Chrisiianity in the world. put, . While the mind and the upon all. We call upon them not
to forma their divinity, by independent