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present generation,—then have we a testimony to the worth and surpassing excellence of this wisdom, above all the acquisitions of science and philosophy, which cannot be disregarded, without incurring the imputation of folly. Science and human learning we hold in high estimation, and let them be diffused throughout every corner of our land; but what we affirm is, that they do not meet the necessities of man's moral constitution. The man of science may be rich in all these acquisitions, and yet be destitute of that knowledge which forms a right preparation for the duties of time, or a sound preparation for the glories of eternity, while the humble peasant, whose mind has never been illumined with science, may be illustrious in wisdom of a far higher order, and, by turning the consideration of his latter end to its right and practical use, may have attained to that knowledge in which the apostle determined alone to glory, “the knowledge of Jesus Christ and him crucified,”
It is the great design of such a consideration, to lead us to that gospel which is freely offered to all. But though the gospel be offered freely, it only becomes ours by our receiving it freely; and seldom is it so received by him who, after being laid on the bed of his last sickness, has still a Saviour to seek, instead of a Saviour. to enjoy. The evil heart of unbelief, which he has cherished through life, cleaves to him, and keeps its hold till the last hour of it; and, therefore, never does the mind entertain a delusion more ruinous, never is eternity placed on a more desperate stake, than by those who put away from them now the offers of
salvation, and think that then they shall have it for the taking It is the part, then, of all to look forthwith and earnestly to the Saviour—to contemplate him in his revealed offices—to make a real and intelligent work of closing with him--to receive him as their atonement- to render allegiance to him as their Lord and their Proprietorand submit themselves unto Him, that he might rule in them by his Spirit, and over them by his. Law. Whether they be the unconverted, who have yet to lay hold of Christ, or the already converted, whose business it is to keep that hold we know not how the consideration of their latter end can be turned more substantially to the purposes of wisdom and of true understanding, than by leading them supremely to prize, and immediately to acquire, that knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, which is life everlasting.
CHRISTIAN'S DEFENCE AGAINST INFIDELITY.
1. LESLIE'S SHORT AND EASY METHOD WITH THE DEISTS. 2. LYTTLETON'S OBSERVATIONS ON ST. PAUL. 3. DODDRIDGE'S EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. 4. BATES ON THE DIVINITY OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. 5. OWEN ON THE SELF-EVIDENCING LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE. 6. BAXTER ON THE DANGER OF MAKING LIGHT OF CHRIST.
There are several ways in which a man, who practises the art of divination, might try to make good his pretensions to this supernatural endowment. He might do so by attempting to pronounce on the kind and the quantity of money which I have about my person.
He might pass a confident utterance on a matter that is hidden from every human
my own, even on the number and the character of those pieces of coin which I am carrying about with me,—and this description of his may be rigidly true, in all its varied particulars, —and at different times may he make distinct and repeated trials of the same kind, and succeed in every one of them.
And surely it is conceivable, that these examples of an unfailing coincidence, between what he says, and what I myself know of the subject, may be so striking, and so multiplied, and so obviously free of all the symptoms and all the
preparations of jugglery, as to leave upon my mind, not merely a firm, but also a most just and rational conviction, that the man is what he pretends to be; that there is a reach of discernment about him, beyond all that is known of the powers or the principles of nature; that in fact, he has established himself to be a miraculous personage, and by evidence, too, of such a kind, as, with a man of sober and enlightened judgment, might be altogether irresistible.
Now, it is to be remarked of such evidence, that, in the main strength of it, and in the proper and original impression of it, it is addressed exclusively to myself. I may make known to others the whole history of this wonderful transaction. report to them all the cases of successful divination which have been accomplished upon me. But still the evidence of these cases has to pass through the intervening medium of my testimony. Before that others can feel the same power of evidence with myself, they must be made to undergo the same treatment; or the same divination must be practised successively and individually upon each of them. They may choose to discredit my testimony. They may
They may distrust my powers of memory and observation. They may suspect a 'collusion between me and an artful pretender. They may look upon me as a man either of dishonest
purpose, or of diseased imagination. They may muster up a thousand possibilities, to ward away from them a conviction, which I know and am assured to be a just one. And thus it is that I may, on the one hand, be surrounded by the incredulity of all my fellows, and I may be assailed, in every direction, hy the imputations of falsehood or fanaticism; and yet, with the personal access I have had to an evidence to which none of my acquaintances hare been admitted, and with a proper confidence in the soundness of my own recollections, and with the sense of a single-minded integrity throughout the whole of this business, I may, on the other hand, though accosted at every turn by the ridicule ar: the, reproaches of my acquaintances, be fully warranted to place my immoveable confidence in him with whom I have held the intercourse of all these intimate and peculiar communications.
But let us now vary the supposition, and conceive that our extraordinary personage embarks his pretensions on another and a higher species of divination ; that, instead of attempting to divine the money which is in my pocket, he attempts to divine the thoughts which are in my heart ; that, laying claim to the wondrous prerogative of supernaturally knowing what is in man, he offers to scrutinize my mind, and to read to me the varied characters which, in the shape of opinion, and desire, and ruling passion, and prevailing infirmity of temper, stand engraven in its chamber of imagery; that he unfolds to me the workings of my own soul, and lays before me a picture of the inner man, that can be vividly recognised by the eye of my own conscience; that he proves to me, how this little world of self, with all its affections and its tendencies, which stand so hidden from general observation, by a thick and an impalpable veil, is altogether naked and open before him ; that he makes