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pect is, you have no relish for doing what God directs you.
Conclusion.-- If one man approach the fire and declare that its cherishing heat is abundant, another may go there if he chooses. If he stand off, calling for evidence and declaring that none is given, the builder of the fire is not to blame. If, notwithstanding the fact that not one since the creation ever approached closely without making the same avowal, he call out that no testimony is offered him, he uttereth lies. If he exclaim vocifer. ously, “ I know that your testimony is all fancy, heated imagination, and fanatical delusion, or hypocrisy," and when answered, "Then approach, and judge for yourself,” he still stays away mocking, then we can only say farewell. Faithfulness and truth demand that to that farewell be added, Thy blood be upon thine own head. .
Christians usually believe it impossible for any one to become a real atheist. Their minds are divinely in. fluenced, and they forget what they would be capable of believing were they left to themselves.
The most of wicked men doubt if there are any sin. cere atheists. They are heaven,restrained themselves, but they do not know it. To every unconverted man, the suggestions and influences of the blessed One appear as nothing more than the simple operations of his own mind. The ungodly are unconscious of holy persua.
sions, because it seems to them solely and entirely their own mental effort. But we say, to the saint and the sinner, There are atheists by the million. If you were abandoned, you would forthwith become a settled and sincere atheist. We
many calling them. selves atheists, are not entirely forsaken, and that, at times, they feel a degree of apprehension ; but, not. withstanding this, there are armies of atheists.
For the entire atheist we have no hope.' Those who die, may and sometimes have been known to revive, but when we see our friends expire, our hope for them in this life is gone, because the cases of resuscitation are
Omnipotence could restore the complete atheist, but we have no reason to expect it.
To the partial atheist we say, our hope for you is very feeble, for a little more, and your head is beneath the billow; but we ask you to read Paley's Natural Theology, twice over. We ask you to read Dick, on the same subject. If these do not influence you to try the second remedy, (Experimental Evidences of Chris, tianity,) then we can only say farewell.
We have now done with atheists, and with the sub. ject of atheism on their account. Further argumenta. tion with the atheist we have none; yet, on another account, we must pursue the subject. For the sake of the rest of mankind we take the case of the atheist, to show the fall of man, to exhibit the doctrine of to. tal depravity, to prove what man would be without heavenly restraint. To hold up atheism as an example illustrative of important truth, may require more chapters than one. We have before stated that the clear consciousness and constant recollection of the fall of
man, is all important for those inquiring after truth, and for those attempting to practice virtue or piety.
We deem it a momentous duty to look faithfully at what men are capable of believing, if left to themselves. Accompany us then through the creed of the atheist, and observe the doctrines of Holy Writ, exhibited in his case.
There are crowds of them now. alive, but their race is not yet finished. If there were no atheists, it would
prove either that man is not a fallen creature, or that the Spirit does always strive with man so long as he lives on earth.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
We wish to dwell awhile on the belief of the atheist, that all may be reminded of the amount of evidence man is capable of resisting. Our illustrations are of course drawn from things around us. We must endeav. our not to write in the language of the chemist, or of the philosopher, but to use the plain every day dialect, understood by the little boy, or the uneducated, without assistance. It is necessary that we should not be misunderstood in our most ordinary expressions. In the first place, then, we must define fully what meaning we attach to the word accident or casualty.
If we see a quantity of brick overthrown in the street, and hurled along the earth in impetuous confusion, we call their position the result of accident or casualty. We mean that mind was not employed in directing their location.
If we see them lodged in a shapely wall, we at once assert that their position was the result of thought, and not of accident.
We have seen the forest where the sweeping tornado had snapped the trees, and hurled them across each other, in tangled prostration. We then call the particular location of those timbers accidental, meaning that design, thought, or plan, did not effect it. We have seen trees ranged over each other, and squared into a house: then we did not believe their position cas. ual, we had no doubt but thought was employed in their arrangement.
The atheist is one who believes there is no God. He believes that man is the highest being in existence. He believes that the things we see, either came into being of themselves, or have been always here, for he usually believes they are here now. It is not material in the controversy, whether he contends that the world, or the matter of which it is formed, is of recent date, or that it has been here from eternity ; but it is more common with them at the present day, to contend that matter has always existed. Of these, we shall chiefly take notice. We shall do no more than tell the creed of the atheist, and the creed of the Christian again and again, placing them frequently side by side.
We name different facts telling first what the Christian believes concerning them. In looking for these facts it matters not where we begin. The objects nearest us are our choice; we have only to aim at being understood by the unlettered, with immediate ease, and we had better pain the ear of the scientific by the coarseness of our words, or method, than to fail of comprehension from the unlearned.
Young reader, when you look abroad you see very many breathing animals around you. You know that the air we breathe is not fit to breathe again, so that if closely confined, although we might not feel injured for the first few minutes, yet, after a time we must die. You may not be aware that the air you breathe is so totally changed, that you would expire forthwith were you to continue its use. It is true, that were you to receive it back again into your lungs, unmixed with the other air around you, it would cause your death. There is no danger that this will happen. Those who know nothing of these facts are mostly safe ; because in the action of breathing it is thrown some distance from the face, and even when the head is covered, it cannot be drawn back again, without receiving much of the other healthful air near us, along with the draught. But where many live near us, it is natural to inquire, why the atmosphere is not so poisoned, frequently, as to cause our death? So it would:even on the muster-ground, where hundreds crowd into a circle, it would be felt: but, in the first place, by breathing, this air is made a little heavier than it was before. If it is only a little heavier than the common air around us, then it will sink down to the earth, and it does thus fall. This increase of weight causes the air which has been once used in the crowded room, to sink down to the floor. It seeks every crevice to pass lower, or it rolls out of the door and finds the earth. This increase of weight is either plan or accident. It is a little matter in one sense, but it saves too many millions of lives, not to be too extremely for. tunate, or very kind.
Again, it is natural to ask, why we do not dread the increase of this altered and unwholesome air. Why