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this we knew before. Let us leave this position therefore for the prefent, and pass to the next, yiz, Whether Christ's mission was nugatory
and fuperfluous, because the world already knew as much morality as he taught them.
This will at once be answered, if the Gospel affertion be established, that life and immortality were brought to light, We need not adduce any other of the mysteries of revelation ; we may safely rest the question here, and say with theapostle to the Gentile world-Behold! I few you a mystery : We shall not all peep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the laft trump (for the trumpet shall found) and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, Mark to how short an issue the argument is now brought! Either the apostle is not warranted in calling this a mystery,or the deift is not warranted in calling Christ's mission nugatory and superfluous.
It now rests' with the deist to produce from the writings and opinions of mankind antecedent to Christianity, such a revelation of things to come, as can fully anticipate the Gospel revelation, or else to admit with the apostle that al mystery was shewn; and if the importance of this mystery be admitted, as it surely must, the im.. portance of Christ's mission can no longer be:
disputed'; and though revelation shall have added nothing to the heathen system of morality, still it does not follow that it was superfluous and nugatory.
Let the deift resort to the heathen Elysium and the realms of Pluto in search of evidences, to set in competition with the Christian revelation of a future state ; let him call in Socrates, Plato, and as many more as he can collect in his cause; it is but loft labour to follow the various tracks of reason through the pathless ocean of conjecture, always wandering, though with different degrees of deviation. What does it avail, though Seneca had taught as good morality as Christ himself preached from the Mount? How does it affect revealed religion, though Tully's Offices were found superior to Saint Paul's Epistles ? Let the deist indulge himself in de claiming on the virtues of the heathen heroes and philosophers; let him ranfack the annals of the Christian world, and present us with legions of crusaders drenched in human blood, furious fanatics rushing on each other's throats for the distinction of a word, maslacring whole nations and laying nature waste for a metaphysical quibble, it touches not religion ; let him array a host of persecuting Inquisitors with all their torturing engines, the picture indeed
is terrible, but who will fay it is the picture of Chriftianity?
When we consider the ages, which have elapsed since the introduction of Christianity, and the events attending its propagation, how wonderful is the history we contemplate! We see a mighty light spreading over all mankind from one spark kindled in an obfcure corner of the earth: An humble persecuted teacher preaches a' religion of peace, of forgiveness of injuries, of submission to temporal authorities, of meeknefs, piety, brotherly love and universal benevolence; he is tried, condemned and executed for his doctrines; he rises from the tomb, and, breaking down the doors of death, sets open to all mankind the evidence of a life to come, and at the same time points out the sure. path to everlasting happiness in that future ftate : A few unlettered disciples, his adherents and survivors, take up his doctrines, and going forth amongst the provinces of the Roman empire, then in its zenith, preach a religion to the Gentiles, directly striking at the foundation of the most splendid fabric Superstition ever reared on earth: These Gentiles are not a rude and barbarous race, but men of illuminated minds, acute philosophers, eloquent orators, powerful reasoners, eminent in arts and sciences, and
armed with fovereign power : What an under taking for the teachers of Christianity! What a confli&t for a religion, holding forth no temporal allurements ! On the contrary, promising nó thing but mortification in this world, and referring all hope of a reward for present fufferings te the unseen glories of a life to come.
The next scene which this review presents to us, shew's the followers of Christianity suffering under perfecution by the heathen, whom their numbers had alarmed, and who began to tremble for 'their gods: In the revolution of ages the church becomes triumphant, and, made wanton by prosperity, degenerates from its primitive fimplicity, and running into idle controversies and metaphysical schisms, persecutes its seceding brethren with unremitting fury; whilst the Popes, thundering out anathemás and hurling torches from their throne, seem the vicegerents of the furies rather than of the author of a religion of peace: The present time affords a different view; the temper of the church grown milder, though its zeal less fervent; men of different communions begin to draw nearer to each other; as refinement of manners becomes more general, toleration spreads; we are no longer slaves to the laws of religion, but converts to the reason of it; and being allowed to examine
the evidence and foundation of the faith that is in us, we discover that Christianity is a relie gion of charity, toleration, reason and peace, enjoining us to have compasion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering railing for railing, but contrariwise bleffing; knowing that we are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blessing.
be considered either as sensitive or '
mental; and under each of these denominations is sometimes spoken of as natural, sometimes as acquired : I propose to treat of it in its intellectual construction only, and in this sense Mr. Addison defines it to be that faculty of the soul, which difcerns the beauties of an author with pleasure, and the imperfections with dislike.
This definition may very properly apply to the faculty which we exercise in judging and deciding upon the works of others; but how does it apply to the faculty exercised by those who produced those works? How does it ferve