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present; but they have no effect on the young inquirers, for they are not sufficiently simplified and extended. They are invincible in the view of those who are fa. miliar with chronology and history; but they suit the educated alone. It has been long true with the author of the following pages, that, after trying to speak on the subject, he has been addressed by young persons, who have told him that they rejoiced he had noticed a cer. tain infidel quibble ; that it had long harrassed them; that they knew it was weak and puerile, but had still been annoyed without having heard the proper answer given.
THIRD FACT.--Infidelity is now growing and spread. ing to an extent the blindness of the Church does not suspect: pocket volumes of false statements ; infidel manuals ; painted perversions of history, &c. are spreading profusely: whilst opposite publications are growing more rare.
There are many thousands more in our land, now growing up in the darkest unbelief, than is known or suspected by any, except those, who once themselves fought in that division of Satan's army.
FOURTH FACT.—Those who read on this subject in the Church, are sew; and christians are, to a great ex. tent, but poorly qualified to instruct, or to answer the objections of skeptics against their holy religion.
It has a bad influence on the youthful spectator who notices a leader in society, “a gray-headed professor,"
unable to answer the cavil of an uninformed mocker. It has a bad influence on a youthful inquirer, who applies for assistance against some sophism of Infidelity, to one of God's people, and does not receive it.
AND MORE.-Is not the age of Infidelity approaching, along with the time of terrible judgments ?
In a great part of Catholic Europe, are not large masses of the population almost total atheists ?
In Great Britian, do not multitudes of the people openly renounce God's Holy Volume ?
Is not our own Nation walking down the same track ?
CAUSE AND CURE OF INFIDELITY.
Cause of Inndelity.
INFIDELITY is produced by two causes, acting con. jointly. The primary, or more remote cause, is man's depravity; the second, or proximate cause, is man's want of knowledge. As it regards the first, or origi. nal cause, man's wicked nature, we can readily see how it would bend his belief towards the side of falsehood. It must incline him to reject the sacred volume, which enjoins every thing that is righteous, self-denying, pure and holy. Again, we can easily understand how this first cause of unbelief, (man's sinfulness,) must tend toward the production of the second cause, his lack of information. It retards his labours in search. ing after truth; it aids in continuing his want of knowledge ; it prevents his activity in search after facts which sustain the truth. As it regards the secondary, or proximate cause, want of knowledge; it sounds strange to speak of the ignorance of the learned. This seeming contradiction will be fully explained after a time. For the present, we must begin with the origi. nal cause : Man's depravity.
MAN A FALLEN BEING.
The Bible is not true, if man is not prone to evil. The holy page has two modes of expression in holding up the fact of man's depravity. The first is his hatred towards God; the second is his love for falsehood. Let us look at each of these assertions.
1. The carnal mind is enmity against God.
This seems to the unconverted man as though it must be false. He is not conscious of any enmity against God. He thinks, usually, that he loves his Creator. Of course, if we talk of his hatred, we can. not gain his assent. The reason it seems to him that he loves, where he really hates, is simply this,--he does not hate that which he calls God. He well
approves the character which he himself has given to the Creator; but this character always differs in one or more traits from that which is drawn of God in the Bible. It always resembles, more or less, the character of the individual who has drawn it. A part of the character accords with the sacred page; but a portion of it, more or less, belongs to the man who draws it; of course he does not hate it. This has been true in every age; and is now a fact, wherever men are living.
Examples.-Could you have asked the ancient Scandinavian, as he stood before you, with a purse in one hand, and a spear in the other,—“Do you love God ?” he would have answered you in the affirmative. Then, had you enquired, “Who is God?" he would
have replied, Thor—the God of battles and of plunder. The warrior loved such a Deity,-a part of the charac. ter belonged to the barbarian. Omnipotence and other traits were correct, and were received from true tradi. tion; but holiness and purity the man did not love, and therefore did not receive into his creed as belonging to heaven. Could you have asked the Greek, at Athens, two thousand years ago, if he loved God, he would have replied, Yes. 6 Who is God ?" Answer-Bacchus, Venus, or Mars. A Deity of wine, or revelry, or sen. suality, or war, he did not hate ; but if you
had placed before him the full character of the God of the Bible, as the Apostles did, he would have turned
anger. Go, now, and converse with the enfeebled Asiatic con. cerning his enmity to God, and he will look astonished at your assertion. He is willing to give up his life in the service of his God. But ask after this Deity, and he will name one of lust, cruelty, and pollution ; one resembling, to a great extent, the man who stands before you. If you claim his notice to the God who loves justice and humility, purity and peacr, he cannot bear to hear you.
Just so it is in the land of Bibles and of light; so it is in England or America. Go to that Universalist, and ask him if he hates God. He is indignant at the question. He thinks he loves his kind Creator ardent. ly; he thinks he never did hate God. And it is true that he does love a God whose character resembles that of the man before you, in some prominent traits. But place before him the God of the Bible,-one who will say, Depart, to the wicked; one who will not take pol. lution, and the rejecters of mercy into heaven ; one who will see the smoke of their torment ascend up for ever and ever : and the Universalist will tell you earnestly,