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blessing so unspeakably great. But there are other points of view, wherein it appears necessary to a frail creature, daily exposed to temptation, and liable to be drawn into the most fatal errors. It is admirable for caution, prevention, and reproof. It points out wherein man's danger lays. Men do not become great offenders suddenly; they are led on by slow degrees to the commission of sin. Christianity strikes at the root of evil. It guards men against incipient crime, by directing them to curb irregular desires and banish immoral thoughts, and to keep a strict watch over the pas sions and propensities of their nature. A distinguished characteristic of Christianity is plainness; it is therefore adapted to the understandings, and, consequently, to the instruction, of that great mass of mankind the poor and the unlearned:to those who, before the time of Christ, had no instructor, no code of morals suitable to their peculiar case, Christianity addresses itself, and purposes to make them wise unto salvation. In fact, whether considered with regard to the circumstances of the poor or the rich, the ignorant or the learned, the system which is intended to regulate the life, ought to be plain and lucid. Where there is obscurity in the precept, men are apt to interpret its injunctions agreeably to their dispositions and prejudices. Christianity, uncontaminated by the mystical systems of the gentile philosophy, unmingled with the dogmas of science falsely so called, is peculiarly distinguished by its plainness, insomuch, that the way-faring man and the simple cannot err therein.
admirably adapted to counteract the contaminating influence of the world. In the season of youth, man is artless, generous, benevolent, and kind. As he mingles with the world, enters into its engrossing pursuits, and is agitated by its debasing cares, he becomes more or less vitiated-often the mere ruin of what he was. Christianity is the great restorative of the moral and spiritual life-it brings him back towards the feelings, the simplicity, and the better dispositions of his youth. Hence the Lord Jesus says, 'Unless ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' In speaking of the applicability of the Christian precepts to the circumstances of man, I except not those which might seem more obnoxious to the unbeliever's objections. I quote such as occur to me. Resist not evil but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. This is merely an hyperbolical mode of expression common to the eastern world, which was not intended to be understood in a literal sense, and which means no more than a caution against a revengeful and litigious disposition. 'Love your enemies; bless them that curse you:' which means no more than a caution against harbouring malice, hatred, and revenge, and an injunction to be ready to do good unto all mankind, howsoever they may be accustomed to forget the duties of our common nature. In fact, the religion of Jesus teaches universal righte ousness and benevolence. It inculcates a charity and a good-will which were utterly unknown and unpractised before. It limits our regard neither by
localities nor by opinions, but it aims at uniting the whole family of man in one firm bond of friendship and love. I say, these are distinguishing features of the Christian religion, such indeed as no other religion possesses, and these furnish strong internal evidence of truth.
Again; Christianity is eminently calculated to be a universal religion; which is also an internal evidence of its truth. All other religions were framed for some particular people, or adapted to some particular region of the earth. Its ceremonies are so few, and its forms so simple, that Christian worship may be conducted at all times and in all places. Yes, the disciple of Jesus may worship God, in spirit and in truth, in the hut of the peasant or in the mansion of the noble-in the kraal of the negro or in the village of the white man-in the forests of America or in the temples of Europe-on the banks of the Ganges or on the shores of the Caspian. The gods of the heathen were limited to space; they had a local habitation and name. There were favourite seats in which they were supposed to be more acceptably worshiped: Diana at Ephesus, Apollo at Delphos, and Jupiter at Rome: but Jesus taught his disciples to worship the Father omnipotent and omnipresent, • Whither shall we go from his spirit? or whither shall we flee from his presence? Where shall we address unto him a prayer that will not be heard? and in what region shall we offer unto him a contrite heart that will not be accepted? For these views of the Creator, and of an accept
able worship, men are indebted to Christianity. The unbeliever, indeed, affects to contemn its discoveries, and to be independent of its guidance. Whence did he borrow the idea of a pure worship? Through whose means is he acquainted with the Father of mankind? Wherefore is he so much better informed on these subjects than the wise and the good of antiquity, of whom, nevertheless, the world was not worthy? What, in fact, is the pure deistical worship of which he so much boasts, but, as it were, a spiritual plagiarism?Christian forms, and Christian petitions, and Christian sentiments, and Christian precepts, are adopted, while their author is ungenerously denied, and But herein does his name ungratefully omitted. the unbeliever pay unwilling homage to Jesus and his religion.
Again; the language and style of the books of the New Testament are characteristic of their authors. 1. The language is completely oriental. 2. The style evidently shows that the books were written by men of Hebrew origin. They abound with Jewish phrases, ideas, and allusions: insomuch that they must have been the productions of Jews. It is in the highest degree improbable, that go to Jews should have written these books, which the utter subversion of the authority of their ve
* See Outlines of Evidences of the Truth of the Christian Religion, by the Rev. J. Grundy. See also Historical Evidences of Christianity Unassailable, by the Rev. J. R. Beard; wherein are some excellent remarks upon this subject.
nerated lawgiver, unless the extraordinary events therein related were true. 3. 'There is a distinction of style, characteristic of each author, and invariably preserved by each.' This mark of genuineness is so prominent and indelible, that different individuals are not more readily distinguished by their personal appearance, than the different compositions of the Evangelists and Apostles by their style. What simplicity and artlessness appear in the narratives of the former! they record the most astonishing events as they happened, without any laboured comment: they take no pains, as impostors would have done, to recommend their accounts to the belief of mankind. What energy is displayed in the Epistles of Paul, and how admirably do they accord with the character of the man! and in the writings of John, how forcibly one is reminded of the amiable disposition of the beloved disciple.
Again; the candour and impartiality displayed by the writers of the Christian books, offer a strong internal evidence of the truth of their cause, They do not attempt to conceal the failings and weaknesses of friends and coadjutors. They record, without the least reserve, 'the incredulity of the Apostles, their stupidity in misunderstanding the plainest language, their absurd expectations of temporal grandeur, their silly disputes for secular pre-eminence, Peter's denial of his master with oaths and execrations, the treachery of Judas, the base desertion of all, the dissimulation of Peter at Antioch, the cowardice of Mark, the con