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themselves to the eye of the public, with the same powers, the same evidence, and the same testimony, it seems impossible to resist his account of the invisible principle, which gave birth and movement to the whole of this wonderful transaction. Whatever atheism we may have founded on the common phenomena around us, here is a new phenomenon which demands our attention, the testimony of a man who, in addition to evidences of honesty, more varied and more satisfying than were ever offered by a brother of the species, had a voice from the clouds, and the power of working miracles, to vouch for him. We do not think, that the account which this man gives of himself can be viewed either with indifference or distrust, and the account is most satisfying. “I proceeded forth, and came from God.”_"He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God."--" Even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” He had elsewhere said, that God was his father. The existence of God is here laid before us, by an evidence altogether distinct from the natural argument of the schools, and it may therefore be admitted in spite of the deficiency of that argument. From the same pure and unquestionable source we gather our information of his attributes.

« God is true.” God is a spirit. He is omni. potent," " for with God all things are possible." He

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is intelligent, “ for he knoweth what things we have need of.” He sees all things, and he directs all things, for “ the very hairs of our head are numbered," and "a sparrow falleth not to the ground without his permission.”

The evidence of the christian religion are suited to every species of infidelity. We do not ask the atheist to furnish himself with any previous conception. We ask him to come as he is; and, upon the strength of his own favourite principle, viewing it as a pure intellectual question, and abstracting from the more unmanegable tendencies of the heart and temper, we conceive his understanding to be in a high state of preparation, for taking in christianity in a far purer and more scriptural form, than can be expected from those whose minds are tainted and pre-occupied with their former speculations.

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CHAPTER X.

On the Supreme Authority of Revelation.

Iy the New Testament be a message from God, it behoves us to make an entire and unconditional surrender of our minds, to all the duty and to all the information which it sets before us.

There is, perhaps, nothing more thoroughly beyond the cognizance of the human faculties, than the truths of religion, and the ways of that mighty and invisible Being who is the object of it; and yet nothing, we will venture to say, has been made the subject of more hardy and adventurous speculation. We make no allusion at present to Deists, who reject the authority of the New Testament, because the plan and the dispensation of the Almighty, which is recorded there, is different from that plan and that dispensation which they have chosen to ascribe to him. We speak of Christians, who profess to admit the authority of this record, but who have tainted the purity of their profession by not ac

ting upon its exclusive authority; who have mingled their own thoughts and their own fancy with its information; who, instead of repairing in every question, and in every difficulty, to the principle of “ What readest thou,” have abridged the sovereignty of this principle, by appealing to others, of which we undertake to make out the incompetency; who, in addition to the word of God, talk also of the reason of the thing, or the standard of orthodoxy; and have in fact brought down the Bible from the high place which belongs to it, as the only tribunal to which the appeal should be made, or from which the decision should be looked for.

But it is not merely among partizans or the advocates of a system, that we meet with this indifference to the authority of what is written. It lies at the bottom of a great deal of that looseness both in practice and speculation, which we meet with every day in society, and which we often hear expressed in familiar conversation. Whence that list of maxims which are so indolently conceived, but which, at the same time, are so faithfully proceeded upon?“ We have all our passions and infirmities; but we have honest hearts, and that will make up for them. Man are not all cast in the same mould. God will not call us to task too rigidly for our foibles; at least this is our opinion, and God can ne

ver be so unmerciful, or so unjust, as to bring us to a severë and unforgiving tribunal for the mistakes of the understanding." Now, it is not licentiousness in general, which we are speaking against. It is against that sanction which it appears to derive from the self-formed maxims of him who is guilty of it. It is against the principle, that either an error of doctrine, or an indulgence of passion, is to be exempted from condemnation, because it has an opinion of the mind to give it countenance and authority. What we complain of is, that a man no sooner sets himself forward and says," this is my septiment," than he conceives that all culpability is taken away from the error, either of practice or speculation, into which he has fallen. The carelessness with which the opinion has been formed, is of no account in the estimate. It is the mere existence of the opinion, which is pleaded in vindication, and under the authority of our maxim, and our mode of thinking, every man conceives himself to have a right to his own way and his own peculiarity.

Now this might be all very fair, were there no Bible and no revelation in existence. But it is not fair that all this looseness, and all this variety, should be still ftoating in the world, in the face of an authoritative communication from God himself.

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