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it. The Ezour Veda was written by a Jesuit missionary, in the year of our Lord 1621, and with a view to promote christianity among the Brahmins of India.
It used to be said, that the account given in Exodus of the building of the tabernacle could not be true; because the materials composing it could not have been furnished at that early period. The arts were not sufficiently understood. But it has been recently discovered, that the arts were at their greatest perfection in Egypt, at the time when the Israelites sojourned there, and became “ skilled in all the wisdom of the Egyptians."
It used to be said on the authority of Herodotus, that the ancient Egyptians drank no wine; and of course that the story of Pharaoh's butler, recorded in Genesis, could not be true. But the researches of Champollion and others have settled the question, that ancient Egypt abounded in vineyards, and that its inhabitants were in the constant use of wine.
It has been said a thousand times, that admitting the Scriptures to have been originally inspired, they may have been essentially corrupted. The copies have been tampered with ; they have been interpolated. Passages have been foisted in, and foisted out, to suit the convenience of interested individuals, till we can have no confidence in the accuracy of what remains. To this, it need only be said in reply, that the subject has been laboriously and critically examined, and it has been ascertained, to a demonstration, that the various readings are of no essential moment. They are somewhat numerous, as might be expected, the books having passed through the hands of thousands of transcribers ; but in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, they consist in the mere accidental change of a letter, or a point, which makes no essential variation in the sense.
These instances have been introduced for the purpose of showing, that the disappointment of infidels, in regard to the results of geological enquiry, has not been their only disappointment. It is but one among a great many others of a similar character. Defeated in one course of inquiry, they have fled to another; and foiled here, they have resorted to a third. They have appealed to the heavens, for a confutation of our sacred books. They have cried to the sun, and moon, and stars, Come, curse ye them from thence.” They have uttered the same cry to the rocks and caverns of the earth, "Come, curse ye these hated books from thence.' They have looked to hoary legends, and crumbling monuments, and the catacombs of ancient kings, and have said in despair, “ Come, curse ye them from thence.” But the curse,
every instance, has been turned into a blessing. And so it always will be. Scientific investigations, fairly and thoroughly conducted, must always turn to the furtherance of christianity. For what is science, but a knowledge of nature's laws ? And what are nature's laws, but rules which the Supreme Being—the God of the Bible, has prescribed to himself, in carrying into effect his vast designs ? The God of nature and the God of the Bible are identical ; and hence a consistent and thorough investigation of nature—the more thorough the better-must always tend, as in the case of geology, to illustrate the nature, and support the evidence of Bible truth. None but smatterers, dabblers in the study of nature, as a general thing, become infidels, or are in any particular danger of becoming such. Was Newton an infidel ? Were Boyle, and Bacon, and Leibnitz infidels ? Were Cuvier, and Davy, and Bentley infidels? Yet before these hierophants in nature's temple, the puny infidels of modern times, may well retire abashed, and “ hide their diminished heads."
“ No system ever laid itself open more completely to detection, if it contained any error, than that of christianity. No book ever gave so many clues to discovery, if it tell an untruth, as the sacred volume. In it we have recorded the earliest and the latest physical revolutions of our globe; the dispersion of the human race; the succession of monarchs in the surrounding countries, from the time of Sesostris, to the Syrian kings ; the habits, manners, and languages of various nations ; the great religious traditions of the human race : and the recital of many marvellous and miraculous events, not to be found in the annals of any other people.” Add to this, that it is a work, not of one hand, but of many, between whom there could have been no collusion or design ; and I appeal to the considerate reader, if there ever was a book which, if untrue, if an imposition, presented so many chances for detection and exposure ? And yet its leaves were thrown fearlessly open, from two to three thousand years ago, to the investigation of philosophers and critics—to the scrutiny of friends and foes. Its leaves have lain unfolded from that time to the present, inviting discussioninviting research; saying virtually, like its author—' T'estify against me if you can;' and it has passed the ordeal; it has stood the test. Its evidences, so far from being weakened by the labours of critics, the researches of philosophers, and the lapse of time, are becoming continually strengthened. Dark passages are brought out into light. Seeming discrepancies are reconciled. What were regarded as difficulties two hundred years ago, are found such no longer. Every science, every pursuit, as it makes a step in its own natural, onward
progress, increases the mass of our confirmatory evidence.” The very efforts of infidels are made to recoil on their own heads, and are over-ruled for the establishment and advancement of the gospel. And shall christians tremble now, for the safety of their precious ark ? Shall they fear now, that the progress
real science can shake the foundation of their hopes?
christians, it may
be feared, who have no practical conception of the unmoveable security of that foundation on which it is their privilege to stand. They are easily terrified at appearances. The boastful pretensions of some infidel hypothesis, some mis-named science, alarms them. Or what is worse, they are drawn away,
may be, for a time, from the clear shining of the light of heaven, to follow in the glare of some meteor, or mock-sun. The subject here discussed is calculated to impress upon all christians the folly of such terrorsthe guilt and danger of such aberrations. In the faith of the gospel, we have a rock beneath our feet; and it is our own fault if we leave it,
There are many
and become lost and buried in the sands. We have a sure word of prophecy, to which we do well to take heed, as to a light shining in a dark place;' and it is our own fault, if we turn from it, in the pursuit of wandering stars.
There will be dreams and visions, plausible theories and lying vanities, in days to come, as there have been in days that are past. There will be false pretenders to science, speaking great swelling words, and leading unwary souls astray. But let the christian possess himself in perfect peace, as most assuredly he is in a situation of perfect security. The storm may rage around him for a season, but it will pass over. The lightnings may flash, and the thunders roar, but they will ere long be hushed. And christianity will come out of every new trial, as it has out of every previous one, strengthened in its evidences, and not weakened-victorious, and not vanquished.
But in speaking thus confidently of the truth of christianity-of its eternal, inflexible truth, are those who profess it aware, in all cases, of what they affirm? What is christianity? What does the sacred volume teach? Its conclusions, in many points, are coincident, as we have seen, with those of science; but in various other points, it discloses what no mere science ever taught, or ever can. It publishes truths— and this is the reason why it has been so violently assailed-truths, humbling to the pride of man, startling to his fears, wounding to his carnal peace, and" fatal to his unfounded hopes. It tells of guiltawful guilt; and of impending judgment-awful judgment. It tells of a Deliverer, who saves all that embrace and follow him, but who punishes all others with an aggravated condemnation. It tells not only (like geology) of melting elements and burning worlds, but of a great white throne, and of him who is to sit upon it, before whom the earth and the heavens are to flee away. It shows us the rising dead-the assembled worlds—the open books—the final awards. It shows us heaven-and it shows us hell. It calls us to look upward, and behold the unmingled joys and glories of the saved. It permits us to look downward, and listen to the wailings of the lost.
There are truths (and they are truths, if christianity is true) which, for solemn interest and impression, cast all others into the shade. Here are truths, on the heights of which the christian may plant himself, and look far down upon mere questions of science, as manhood looks upon the baubles of infancy, or as angels may be supposed to look upon the rifling pursuits of men.
Of the reader of these pages, may I be permitted to inquire, before we part, Do you believe the truths of the Bible? Dare you disbelieve them? Or perhaps I might better inquire, Dare you believe them ? Dare you feel, and live, and act, in all your intercourse with the world, as though the Bible was the truth of God?
I know there are some, who are very ready to profess their belief of the truth of christianity, and then live as though there was no truth in it. But what good can such a belief of christianity do? Must it not to those who persist in it, do immense hurt ? Must it not deepen the stains of their guilt, and aggravate their final condemnation ?
I know, too, that there are some, who would receive christianity in the gross, while they reject it piece-meal. They would have the credit of receiving it, while they are bent upon explaining away its solemn truths. But what good, I ask again, can such a reception of christianity do us? What good can the mere covers of the Bible do usalthough they be gilded covers—when its precious contents are all torn out? What good can the chapters and verses, the words and the letters of the Bible do us, when their solemn meaning is discarded ?
Assuredly there is but one course which those who have the Bible, and who profess to believe it, can with propriety pursue. Let them henceforth live as though it were true. Let them shape their faith, and form their characters according to it. Consistency requires as much as this of them; and the God of the Bible requires no more. A character consistently formed on the basis of the Scriptures is a christian character, and entitles its possessor to the christian's reward.
A REMARKABLE DREAM.
Mr. R., of Bowland, a gentleman of landed property, in the vale of Gala, was prosecuted for a very considerable sun, the accumulated arrears of teind, (or tithe) for which, he was said to be indebted to a noble family, the titulars, (lay impropriators of the tithes.) Mr. R. was strongly impressed with the belief, that his father had, by a form of process, peculiar to the law of Scotland, purchased these teinds from the titular; and therefore that the present prosecution was groundless. But, after an industrious search among his father's papers, an investigation of the public records, and a careful inquiry among all persons who had transacted law-business for his father, no evidence could be recovered to support his defence.
The period was now near at hand, when he conceived the loss of his law-suit to be inevitable, and he had formed his determination to ride to Edinburgh next day, and make the best bargain he could, in the way of compromise. He went to bed with this resolution, and with all the circumstances of the case floating apon his mind, had a dream to the following purpose His father, who had been many years dead, appeared to him, he thought, and asked him why he was disturbed in mind. In dreams, men are not surprised at such apparitions. Mr. R. thought that he informed his father of the cause of his distress, adding, that the payment of a considerable sum of money was the more unpleasant to him, because he had a strong consciousness that it was not due, though he was unable to recover any evidence in support of his belief. You are right, my son,' replied the paternal shade. I did acquire right to these teinds, for payment of which, you are now prosecuted. The papers relating to the transaction, are in the hands of Mr.
a writer, (or attorney) who is now retired from professional business, and resides at Inveresk, near Edinburgh. He was a person whom I employed on that occasion, for a particular reason ; but who never, on any other occasion, transacted business on my account. It
is very possible,' pursued the vision, that Mr. — may have forgotten a matter, which is of a very old date; but you may call it to his recollection by this token : that, when I came to pay his account, there was difficulty in getting change for a Portugal piece of gold, and that we were forced to drink out the balance at a tavern.'
Mr. R. awaked in the morning, with all the words of the vision imprinted on his mind, and thought it worth while to ride across the country to Inveresk, instead of going straight to Edinburgh. When he came there, he waited on the gentleman mentioned in the dream, a very old man. Without saying anything of the vision, he inquired whether he remembered having conducted such a matter for his deceased father. The old gentleman could not at first bring the circumstance to his recollection, but on mention of the Portugal piece of gold, the whole returned
upon memory; he made an immediate search for the papers, and recovered them, --so that Mr. R. carried to Edinburgh the documents necessary to gain the cause, which he was on the verge of losing.
THE POWER OF SUGGESTION.
[From Lectures on the Faculties of the Mind, by Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia.]
During the time I passed at a country-school in Cecil county, in Maryland, I often went, on a holiday, with my school-mates, to see an eagle's nest, upon the summit of a dead tree, in the neighbourhood of the school, during the time of the incubation of that bird. The daughter of the farmer, in whose field this tree stood, and with whom I became acquainted, married, and settled in this city, about forty years ago. In our occasional interviews, we now and then spoke of the innocent haunts and rural pleasures of our youth, and among other things of the eagle's nest in her father's field.
A few years ago, I was called to visit this woman, when she was in the lowest stage of a typhus fever. Upon entering her room, I caught her eye, and with a cheerful tone of voice, said only–The eagle's nest. She seized my hand, without being able to speak, and discovered strong emotions of pleasure in her countenance, probably from a sudden association of all her truly domestic connexions and enjoyments with the words I had uttered. From that time she began to recover. She is now living, and seldom fails when we meet, to salute me with the echo of the eagle's nest.'
An old native African, obtained permission from his master, some years ago, to go from home, in order to see a lion that was conducted as a show through the state of New Jersey. The moment he saw him, in spite of the torpid habits of mind and body, contracted by fifty years' slavery, he was transported with joy, which he vented by jumping, dancing, and loud acclamations. He had been familiar with that animal, when a boy, in his native country; and the sight of him suddenly poured upon his mind the recollection of all his enjoyments, from liberty and domestic endearments in his own country, in the early part of his life.