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with all these facts. He knows that the body he is to have, if he lives, is now diffused and commingled through all the elements of earth, air, and water ; but his belief is, that when he dies, if his body should go back into these elements, and be scattered abroad once more, God cannot collect it again!

Well might heaven mourn, earth be astonished, and hell rejoice. I never could have believed this if I had not seen and heard it. That scientific man is fully aware that for the twentieth time he has had a body gathered from the corners of the world ; but his prop

for eternity is, that God cannot do this once more on the morning of the resurrection! The fabric of his everlasting expectations rests on the creed, or the hope, that the Crea. tor, who has given this other man fifty new bodies, will fail in the fifty-first effort, should he endeavour out of all these bodies to gather one new frame !

If this system, or religious creed, is not the result of man's disrelish for truth, and his love for darkness, then is there no such thing as cause and result. My dear friend, I do not envy you your tower of refuge. Be not angry with me if I prefer the Rock of ages for my secu. rity when the world reels.

CHAPTER XIX.

MEN HAVE LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT.

Case 3.-A noted teacher of Latin, who had read the Bible, and who had read many volumes of history, averred that he could not receive the New Testament: “ For," said he, " the enemies of Christianity, pagan

writers, would surely have noticed Christ and his apos. tles, or their writings, or their miracles if they had been performed.”

This objection was the ground of his creed, the pil. lar of his confidence. It has been such to thousands, and continues so to be.

To show the strength of these objections, we will look at similar cavils in matters of common history. Suppose you were to meet an impetuous and loud-talking young man, who had taken up some strange dislike to the occurrences of the American revolution. With flashing eye and indignant action, he declares that he does not believe one half of the statements of our histo. rians. One of his most prominent difficulties and strongest objections he presents in the following way: “ I never can believe that Lord Cornwallis marched his forces through Virginia. This is Washington's native state, and he would certainly have opposed them had the enemy

crossed its border. The British troops never could have been in Virginia ; common sense tells me so; because, had they appeared there, we are certain, from what we know of the character of Washington, he would have interfered, he would have encountered them.” Now, observe, the secret of this marvellous difficulty is simply this: Washington was a man disposed to meet the enemy speedily and unfailingly. Nothing prevents this objection against American history from possessing great strength, but one solitary circumstance, that is this, he did encounter, surround, and capture them.

If a class of men should keep themselves in obstinate ignorance of the transactions at Little York, this cavil would to their minds, possess great force; but when the whole truth is told, we think an half idiot would turn

away from the objector with contempt. Thus, when the scoffer

says he cannot believe the Gospel, because he deems it altogether probable and to be expected, that other writers besides the evangelists would have mentioned or alluded to the occurrences of those times : it is indeed true that these attestations, records, or allusions were to be looked for, and all that prevents the argu. ment having some weight is simply that these records and heathen testimonies were penned in the greatest abundance. The objector is not only ignorant of what was written in that age, but he continues perseveringly ignorant, as we are now about to show. Volney, Hume, Voltaire, and other able infidel authors, make state. ments on these points utterly untrue. These the scoffers read, believe instantly, and never forget; but answers written by friends of the gospel, they never read; or if they do, it is cursorily, and languidly, and almost every statement is forgotten before a month. All this the reader may observe for himself if he be inclined. He may as. certain these facts from actual inquiry. He may test the matter whenever he chooses, by pursuing a course which in any degree resembles the following. Suppose he

goes to that unbeliever, (or to as many of them as he chooses, in any part of the earth,) and after reminding him that the emperor Julian lived so near the apostles that his grandfather must have been cotemporary with those who heard them preach; that this monarch was not only a splendid warrior, but an able writer of extensive information; that in either writing or fighting against Christianity, such was his bitterness, that he put forth all his energies, and then proposes questions like the following: “What does this learned emperor state in his writings concerning Peter and Paul, whom

he hated so bitterly?" "Had he any opportunity to learn whether or not the Saviour walked on the surface of the deep?" He confesses he did. “What does Julian record concerning the blind in the villages of Judea being restored to sight ?" &c. Reader, you will find that the man who is asking after heathen testimony either never knew facts of this kind, or his recollection is so dim, that out of volumes of them he cannot relate accurately three circumscribed items! Ask after the Greek philos. opher at Athens, Aristides, who renounced heathenism,* who wrote a letter to the emperor, &c. &c. Ask what this man said concerning those who had been healed or restored by the apostles in his day? Ask the objector if this philosopher's testimony is weakened because the evidences of Christianity were so strong as to cause him to renounce the religion of his fathers and be baptized ? Ask the objector, what Celsus wrote concerning the companions of Jesus, (who lived, he states, a few years before his time.) Ask what this writer states of the Sa. viour's incarnation of his being born of a virgin of his flight into Egypt-of his baptism ? &c. &c., and you will find that the man who turns away from the testi. mony of early Christian writers because they were friends of Christ, keeps himself in ignorance of the remarks, or confessions, or quotations, written by his enemies. Such a man of course must be destitute of evidence.

* See Addison's Evidences.

CHAPTER XX.

INCONSISTENCY OF UNBELIEVERS.

UNBELIEVERS demand heathen testimony concerning the book of the New Testament and the things contained therein, but the testimony of pagans and Jews on all such points they have forgotten, or they never knew.

Let those who can scarcely think this is so con. cerning the learned scoffer, go to him, (or to as many as a thousand, severally, if so inclined,) and ask, “What does Lucian say concerning the crucifixion of Christ ? concerning the doctrine of love which he inculcated to his followers ? concerning the honesty and fair dealing of his disciples, their hopes of immortality," &c. &c. You will find that concerning the contents of the Talmuds, or Lucian, or Porphyry, Celsus, Tacitus, Pliny, Josephus, or any writer living near that age, they are almost entirely ignorant, or their recollections are only a mass of confusion.

We will notice another case, selecting it out of many, to show that those who ask for

pagan

testimony, wish indeed for no testimony on the subject. For the sake of the youthful or the unlettered, we preface the case with a few remarks relating to ancient history. The Romans were in the habit of writing and preserving, amongst their senate's records, striking events, and strange occurrences. Their governors used to send to the emperors a written account of noted and remarkable transactions, which were preserved under the name of these several governors, such as the acts of the principal men who ruled. Pilate sent on an account

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