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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 a mystery was thewn; and if the importance of this mystery be admitted, as it surely must, the importance of Christ's million can no longer be disputed ; and though revelation shall have added nothing to the heathen fystem of morality, still it does not follow that it was superfluous and nugatory.

Let the deist 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 ftate; 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 fuperior 'to Saint Paul's Epistles ? Let the deist indulge himself in declaiming on the virtues of the heathen heroes and philosophers ; let him ransack 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, mafsacring 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 say it is the picture of Christianity ?

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 obscure corner of the earth : An humble persecuted teacher preaches a religion of peace, of forgiveness of injuries, of submission to temporal authorities, of meekness, piety, brotherly love and universal benevolence; he is tried, condemned, and executed for his doctrines; he rises from the tomb,

and,

and, breaking down the doors of death, fets open to all mankind the evidence of a life to come, and at the same time points out the fure path to everlasting happiness in that future state: 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 sovereign power : What an undertaking for the teachers of Christianity! What a conflict for a religion, holding forth no temporal allurements! On the contrary, promising nothing but mortification in this world, and referring all hope of a reward for present sufferings to the unseen glories of a life to

come,

The next scene which this review presents to us, shews the followers of Christianity suffering under persecution by the heathen, Vol. III.

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whom their numbers had alarmed, and who began to tremble 'for their gods : In the revolution of ages the church becomes triumphant, and, macle wanton by profperity, degenerates from its primitive simplicity, and running into idle controversies and metaphysical schisms, persecutes its 'feceding brethren with unremitting fury; whilst the Popes, thundering out anathemas 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 les fervent; men of different communions begin to draw onearer to each other ; as refinenient 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 religion of charity, toleration, reafon and peace, enjoining us to have compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering railing for railing, but contrariwisa bleling; knowing that 'we are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blesing:

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No. LXII.

DARK

ARK and erroneous as the minds of

imen in general were before the appearance of Christ, no friend to Revelation ever meant to say, that all the gross and glaring absurdities of the heathen fyftem, as vulgarly professed, were universally adopted, and that no thinking man amongst them entertained better conceptions of God's nature and attributes, juster notions of his superintendance and providence, purer maxims of morality, and more elevated expecStations of a future state, than are to be

found in the extravagant accounts of their : established theology. No thinking man

could seriously subscribe his belief to fuch fabulous and chimerical legends; and indeed it appears that opinions were permitted to pass without censure, very irreconcileable to the popular faith, and great latitude given to speculation in their reasonings upon natural religion ; and what can be more gratifying to philanthropy, than to trace these efforts of right reason, which redound to the honour of man's nature, and exhibit to

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