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West who was wealthy. He was a man of good educa. tion, and an infidel. The most of his friends, associates, and relatives, hated Christ with an unconcealed dislike. A train of circumstances gave a certain preacher of the gospel access to this man's ear, which few ministers could obtain. They had each other's confidence and esteem. The minister, at different times, informed him plainly and fully of the want of information prevailing in the army of unbelievers, and told him that this igno. rance was likewise his. He requested him to read a number of the books we have named, and at length ad. dressed to him the following sentiments : “My friend, eternity is long, and the prize you may win invaluable, therefore I must be plain with you. You may read these books, and reperuse them, for you have little else to do. The amount of newspaper invective which you read, shows what time and vision you could expend, if so inclined. You are judging about religion, and never heard nor read much more than the revilings of its truth. You begin to suspect that much as you know on many subjects, you might know much more of this. Your judgment, if wrong, may lead to hell. Your judgment may be wrong, because you are ignorant of the facts from which you should draw your inferences. Much as you know of business, agriculture, law, or political affairs, you have learned nothing here but a few total falsehoods, which you have read, or heard retailed, until you begin to take them for history. You have, like scoffers in general, kept other information so entirely excluded, that you are even lame in conve
versation, unless your antagonist is afraid to speak plainly. If I ask you of the letter of Tertullian, I find you do not know within three centuries of his age,or on what continent he was
born. If I ask you of a passage in Tacitus, I find you remember not what he said of the crucified One. If I inquire after a passage in Joel, I find you have almost forgotten, or never knew, of such a book in the Bible. I speak of the fulfilment of a prophecy, and find you did not know that it had ever been uttered. I ask you as to the confessions of early haters of the gospel, and discover that you
know better what they have written of every thing else. I do affectionately entreat you to inform yourself well, and then decide. You may be positive, if
you choose, as soon as you are well prepared to judge. The result is too momentous for you to risk an error here! Will
you read the books ? Read on the other side, if you have not seen enough of perversion. Take more, and keep on until you are thorough in facts. Read on the side of truth faithfully, and cunning misstatements will begin to lose their influence over you. Continue still to read, and after a time, every entire lie, stated by a celebrated opposer of the gospel, will weaken his cause in
estimation. Will you read ?" He was answered, " I will read some.” The substance of the following dialogue then took place.
Preacher.-Why not read industriously? you confess there is much that you might learn. If so, there is a possibility you may be wrong.
We should never de. cide in whole, where we know but half, especially if it be an enquiry of momentous consequence.
Unbeliever.—True, I see that there are many things I have not learned. I would be willing to know them, but I fear to promise you lest I should fail, for you know that we have not always a taste for every kind of reading.
Minister. If you may possibly be wrong, and I may
possibly be right, then you may be now neglecting mercy, and rejecting heaven, and in the hour of final con. flagration you will feel how much activity was called for at the present hour of your indolence, because your mistake can never more be rectified, and your failure will continue unendingly. For the sake of a possible fortune men will toil. Will you not for the sake of a possible eternity of joy, read a few books attentively?
Unbeliever.-Perhaps I ought to read something as you request; but you know we are often called away by pressing business. Visiting friends sometimes makes us forget our studies, and furthermore, what few pages I have seen on this subject, were somewhat dull to me. I fear that I may find the investigation irksome to one of my
habits and accustomed indulgences. Reader, the following fact is that which I wish you to note, and avoid forgetting it, lest God should make you remember it at an unwelcome hour. W If that man's friend had pointed him to a faint probability only of doubling his estate by a moderate exertion, and no risk, he would have embarked in the effort. B If he had told him of only a distant danger, which threatened his fifty thousand dollar farm, he would have been vigilant, and that specdily. But to inquire after joy and splendour everlasting, to watch against eternal loss, he could not be influenced. Nothing could move him to begin. What is the reason of this ? It is because we have an appetite for any thing rather than the true re. ligion. The rolling rock moves down hill with ease. Fallen man climbs the hill of truth with difficulty, even when he wishes to ascend. How swiftly then may he rush when he seeks the dark vale of falsehood below.
Å FURTHER REMEDY.
The second remedy, called the all-powerful.—We come now to the second part of the inquiry, concerning the cure of infidelity. The remedy which is infallible, which never fails, is called the experimental evidence of Christianity. This remedy is indeed invincible. Millions have used it with success, and no one has ever used it in vain. may then be asked by some, why are there
any unbelievers ? Why is not every infidel cured? The reason is, they will not use it. Dear reader, do not think this, metaphorical rhapsody, or fig. urative expression, the result of strange enthusiasm. We mean what is written. We mean that there is a cure which all might use, many have used, thousands will not use, and that it is actually all-powerful. Fur. thermore you shall understand us, and understand the modus operandi of the remedy, if you are not afraid to follow us, and to observe faithfully, and to meditate honestly, of that which concerns you. You are capable of seeing this subject through its length and breadth, and if you do not it shall be your fault and not ours, or with the help of God we will place it before you. We have resolved on child-like simplicity; and for the purpose of keeping at a distance from every thing obscure, we must ask you to remember first principles, of which we are all aware already, and concerning which there is no dispute. There is no difference between us concerning three principles, or acknowledged facts.
That these facts may be made more distinct, definite and observable, we will divide this chapter into sections, and devote a section to each one.
Experimental testimony is the strongest evidence which exists.-If we were to see a man of truth and probity approach a pile of new and strange fruit, and after par. taking of it declare, that its taste was singularly de. lightful, and that its effect was immediately exhilarating beyond the excitement of wine; we might believe the statement, or we might not. One man might believe, and another might discredit the avowal. If we were to see ten more individuals, of equal respectability, ap. proach one after the other and partake, each one declar. ing forthwith that the taste was strange, but delightful, and the result rapid exhilaration ; the evidence would be much strengthened by their statement. Add one hun. . dred more, and the testimony might be called more than convincing. But it still does not entirely equal our own experience, when we partake and find it as declared. Experimental testimony is the strongest evidence by which we are influenced.
Man cannot feel by simple effort, and by mere re. solve. -Should some one of boundless resources, offer you an estate equal to a nation's treasury, provided you would love, with glowing attachment, the son of a Russian officer (his name you hear, but he is an entire stranger) you could not succeed by simply trying to