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tians, to prevent mistakes. And the to be the truth. It can scarcely be divisions and controversies which imagined ihat the five books of have taken place in all periods of Moses, and other historical parts of the christian church, are a sufficient the Old Testament, would have proof, that no material alterations been received with universal confior gross corruptions of the original dence by the people of Israel, eren el te could have been attempted, to serve when the events recorded must have the interests of a party without be- been fresh in their memories, if the ing discovered and exposed. In statements contained in them had by: short, my dear sir, there are no been untrue. Some of the facts are books come down to us from ancient indeed very extraordinary, which sages, whose genuineness and pu- may seem to justify suspicions. But rity are better verified, or more in- the greatness of these events would dubitable, than the holy scriptures. have rendered the imposture more are
In reading a book professedly his- notorious, and enabled every man torical, our first inquiry is, whether of common sense to detect the cheat. or not the statements contained in The miraculous events moreover it are true. If the events in ques- are interwoven with the common tion happened at a time or place, history in a manner so intimate and in wbich we had no means of know- inseparable, that if the latter be ing ebem by personal acquaintance, true, the former cannot be falla
. it would be right to inquire, whe. cious, but the whole must stand or ther the character of the bistorian, fall on the same ground. But the the nature of the events themselves, writings of the prophets are found. the manner in which he states them, ed on the facts affirmed in the bisthe sources from which he derived torical books, and by a continual his knowledge, and the testimony reference to past events and wellof other historians, sufficiently con- known customs, prove beyond a firm the veracity of the facts re- reasonable doubt, the credibility of lated. If the writers of national the statements which those books history were to publish a number of contain. fictions, falsehoods, or misrepre If, moreover, we proceed to the sentations intermingled with the New Testament, we shall perceive truth, many of their contemporaries in the narratives written by the four would be induced to expose the de- evangelists, every appearance of the ception, and consign their writings most sacred regard for truth. The to contempt. In matters of great facts which they record respecting interest and universal concern, whe- our Saviour's doctrine, miracles, ther they be ancient or modern, death, and resurrection, are amply near or remote, the truth or false- verified by the acts of the apostles hood of a narrative is for the most and the epistolary writings. Had part closely scrutinized and suffici- they been untrue or even doubtfol, ently confirmed.
the opponents of the gospel wanted If then, my dear friend, we ex- neither ability nor inclination to examine the scripture upon these prin- pose them to public scorn. But ciples, we shall find in the particular their veracity in the most essential mention of times and places, per- particulars is corroborated by the sons aud circumstances, and in the acknowledgments of the Jewish San. whole texture and style of writing, bedrim, and by the testimony of abundant proof that the sacred Josephus, Porphyry, Celsus, Pliny
, writers intended to record nothing and a numerous host of writers
, in but what they believed and knew the first three centuries, enemies as
well as friends. In short, whether structions were delivered; they were we appeal to the books themselves, men of God, whose names should be or to the foreign and circumstantial embalmed in our memories, and evidences of their credibility, no so. spoken of with gratitude as the ex. lid reason can be adduced to im. cellent of the earth. peach the truth of a single narrative, With respect to the apostles of much less to invalidate the claims of Christ, the same things may be affirm: the whole volume.
ed more forcibly, and with stronger Although bad men are sometimes evidence. Though they had neither made the instruments of moral good, learning, opulence, nor power to vet it seems reasonable to expect
, promote their cause, they weut forth that the character of persons raised in pursuance of their Lord's com. up by Divine Providence for impor- mission, as the avowed ministers of tant purposes, should, in a great a new and a divine religion, intending measure, correspond to the work as- to overturn, by their instructions, signed. If the prophets and apostles those false and pernicious systems were indeed the messengers of God, of superstition which had been es
inspired to communicate to the world tablished for ages, and were every , a revelation of his purposes and where supported by the great. And
commands, it is but just to antici- yet they were neither madmen, impate, in the discharge of their com- postors, nor fanatics; but they spoke mission, those evidences of faith and the words of truth and soberness, piety, wisdom and integrity, purity commending the gospel to every and benevolence, fortitude and per. man's conscience in the sight of God, severance, which would verify their and, at length, suffering martyrdom pretensions, and furnish an example, in attestation of the doctrine they of the truth and excellence of their delivered. religion.
What then, my dear Sir, shall be lo the character of Moses and the said and thought of the character of Jewish prophets, it must be con- Christ himself, in whom, even his fessed, we do not find an entire ex- bitterest adversaries could find noemption from moral defect; nor can thing to justify their malice, or to absolute perfection be looked for in substantiate their charge? His unany man. But no person, I conceive, exampled excellencies, as delineated can take an impartial review of their by the four evangelists in their simwhole conduct, and, at the same ple unstudied narratives, leave ou the instant, consider the time and cir- Christiau's mind a deep and indelible cumstances in which they performed conviction that the authority he astheir part; without admiring the sumed was real, and the doctrines simplicity and purity of their man- taught by him entitled to universal Ders, their manifest superiority to a credence. That the author and fi. selfish and vain ambition, the elevated nisher of our faith was a model of fervour of their devotions, and the every virtue that can adorp humanity, manly firmness they displayed in the or benefit the world, has been acbour of difficulty, martyrdom, and knowledged indeed by many, who, death. Their characters, viewed in at the same time, denied the truth, comparison with the greatest sages or questioned the authority of his of antiquity, instead of sinking, will doctrine. But no person, possessing rise in our esteem. In a dark and the wisdom and virtue of our Saviour, benighted age, they appeared as stars to say nothing of his divine nature, of the first magnitude. And though could either be imposed upon himpersecuted, in many cases, by ihe self, or attempt to impose on others, people for whose benefit their in- by assuming a commission for which VOL. XVII:
he had no credentials; or in propa. tually dependent, and intimately gating, under divine sanction, a re- combined. ligion, which, at the same time, was The New Testament is, in fact, untrue. The character of Christ the perfection of the Old; and inand his apostles may, therefore, be clades all the discoveries we are deemed a decisive evidence, that the warranted to expect, till the consum. system recorded in the New Testa- mation of all things. But, if the ment, is indeed " the glorious gospel one be true, the other, though less of the blessed God."
important, just be true likewise. Allow me also, before I close this The New confirms and elucidates Telter, to remind you that the different the Old, and is itself confirmed by a lart from parts of divine revelation, though the same circunstauce. Hence there by ste given to the church at sundry times exists in the different books of scripti and in divers manners, instead of ture, though written by different in pala being opposed to each other, are persons at remote periods, a coinciperfectly consistent and harmonious. dence of design which has no analogy The patriarchal dispensation prepared in the whole range of uninspired the way for the divine legation of composition. Could the same numre Moses, the lawgiver of Israel. The ber of books, written by the best fri2 spirit and design of the Mosaic in- authors in this or any other nation, werdas stitutions, were further developed at periods equally distant from each fata and exemplified by the miuistry and other, be collected into one volume anter writings of the prophets till the close of the same bulk, it would, on the of the Old Testament. The divine contrary, exhibit a stravge mass of authority of Moses and the prophets contradictory and irreconcilable is acknowledged and maintained by ideas. What then could produce the founders of the New Testament; in the sacred volume this remarkable sentera and the accomplishment of their agreement, but the unity of truth
, predictions is referred to, as one of and the unerring dictates of the phone the principal evidences of the Chris- same divine and infallible Instructor? tian faith. Though different persons I should now proceed 10 the inwere employed in different ages as trinsic excellencies of the sacred the inspired messengers of God, volume, but for the present, must there is nothing discordant or irre- leave these cursory hints to your concilable in their commission or candid and serious attention; while doctrines. Some of their commands I again subscribe myself, dear Sir
, certainly were local, temporary, and
Your affectionate Friend, prefigurative, and were in conse Harlow.
T.F. quence abolished by the same authority, when the design of their insti. tution had been answered. But
QUERY. wbatever difference of a circumstan Will any considerations justify tial nature may exist between them, evangelical Christians in giving their their authority, their principles, and support to a literary Institution, their designs, are the sanie. The when its conductors have refused differeut parts of the divine economy, “ to declare their adherence to including the patriarchal, the Jewish, Christianity," or even, that " nothing and the Christian dispensations, must contrary to Christianity should be therefore be viewed as gradual dis- taught by its Professors ? Would closures of the same divine purpose, vot such conduct be in opposition to and modified applications of the same the Divine injunction, "That we plan. Like the different wheels of coutend carnestly for the faith ouce ihe same machinery, they are mu- delivered to the saints."
Mr. Ris, a most interesting Christian,
servant of Christ. He took an uncomLETTER, No. VI.
mon interest in the Moravian Missions,
the only ones existing in Holland at ne true by
Hoorn, Sept, 24, 1820. his time: ten pounds # year was his I HAD the pleasure of addressing regular subscription to them, as I bave el content you last from Alkmaar, and, since then, understood. Besides this,' he stood Ette. havo visited the Mennonite Baptist in correspondence to the last witli sono of legends Church in this place. It stands under of the most devoted Christians and
the pastoral care of a Mr. Pol, who Misssionary spirits of that body. Somos received me in a very friendly and time after bis death, a collection of tris
bospitable manner, offering bis table letters was published by a pious clergga El 1998 and his roof. Hoorn was formerly a man of the reformed charch. They
place of considerable commercial con breathe a very sweet spirit, and are the sout sequence; but, like most other towns interesting for the naivette of theit
on the Zuider Zee, fell into decline as style, and the depth of their piety. A
Amsterdam rose. The late war also copy of them was presented ite; by drie Slari in gave it a mortal blow. In its better of tho Mennonite brethren at Zeist. O
days there was a population of twenty that the spirit of this excellent mart to thirty thousand, and out of this were to be found in every one of bis
there were two very flourishing Baptist surviving brethren! Haring licard Emaig. Charches: ten to twelve thousand in- and read so much of Mr. Ris, it was
habitants are now the utmost extent: natural that I should call on' Wis wi-
Mr. Pol took me also to see thieit After dining with Mr. Pol, he, agrees place of worship. It is a plain buildably to the object of my visit, sent a ing, and particularly neat and clean. circular notice to call a meeting of bis Though the church does not consist of deacons, at his house, for the evening. more than seventy or eighty members, Six of them attended, and appeared to the place would seat from five to six onter upon the sabject of the Mission bandred, without being crowded, Wo with more than common interest. They afterwards made a call upon the des.
had been proviously apprised of it, also cons, and others of Mr. Pol's flock, who 1 of my coming, by the printed circular. bad pot been with us the preceding
The evening passed away very agree- evening. I proceed next to Enkhuiseri,
W. H. ANGAN.
Tbére is a tradition, that in the Thc predecossor of Mr. Pol was a "planting of New England, the first
settlers met with many difficulties and Matt. XIII. 21. “ By and by he is hardsbips, as is generally the case offended." when a civilized people attempt establisbing themselves in a wilderness
A Hint to Church Members. country. Being men of piety, they
“By and hy he is offended." - I see sought relief from Heaven, by laying in these words, a "litile cloud, the size their wants and distresses before the of a man's hand;"—an ox-eye cloud Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation and dis ricane-a moral tornado! " By and
a brooding storm-a tempest-a burcourse on their difficultics kept tbeir by he is offended." And what tben? minds gloomy and discontented; and, Then he changes countenance-then like the children of Israel, there were he frowns then his voice alters, it bemany disposed to return to that Egypt, comes barsh-tben his words difer, which persecution bad induced them become offensive then be absents to abandon. At length, when it was himself from private fellowship meetproposed in one of their assemblies to ings—then be withdraws, occasionally, proclaim a fast, a farmer, of plain from the public means then from the sense, rose, and remarked, that the Lord's-table-then for good and all. inconveniences they suffered, and con. So much, and more, is contained in cerning wbich they had so often wearied
" By and by he is offended." My sool Heaven with their complaints, were depend on 'no present smiles-confide not so great as they might have ex. in no present professions, however sopected; and were diminishing every lemnly averred. day as the colony strengthened ; tbat the earth began to reward their toil,
Corg. MAG. and to furnish liberally for their sub
Deut. XXIX. 12. “ That thou should sistence; that the seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate est enter into covenant with the Lord thy
God." These words in the original healthy, and, above all, that they were in the fall enjoyment of their civil and bave a peculiar energy, and signify religions liberty; he, therefore, thought, &c. Interpreters think that they refer
" that thou shouldest pass into covenant, that reflccting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable, contracting covenants. On immolating
to a ceremony formerly practised in as tending more to make them con; the victims, they divided the flesh into tented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming ibe gratitude two parts, placing the one opposite to they owed to the Divine Being, if, in the other, the contracting parties then stead of a fast, they should appoint a
passed each other in the open space
between them; thereby testifying their thanksgiving. His advice was taken, and from that day 10 this, they have, victims were, if they did not religiously
consent to be slaughtered, as those in every year, observed circumstances of public felicity sufficient to farnish confirm the covenant entered into in so cause for a thanksgiving day; which solemn a manner. The 15th of Genesis is, therefore, constantly ordered, and affords an example of tbis nature. religiously observed.
Obituary and Recent Deaths.
enjoyment of those pleasures and
amusements peculiar to her age and Died, at Worlingbam, near Beccles, situation; but was happily preserved Mrs. Lenny, wife of Mr. S. G. Lenny, from conduct which too often stajos op the 14th of March, 1824.
the fair fame of the rising generation. Mrs. Lenny, io' ber early days, cn- Abont sixteen years ago she attended tered on the stage of life by a fancied the preaching of the gospel at Lax.