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exclusive examination of some scanty portion of the argument for Christianity, employs his faculties in a free and a fair contemplation of the whole, will never be confounded by the objections he may hear urged against any insulated part; but will still turn, in the hour of danger, to the irresistible force of the whole body of his reasoning; will still appeal to it as his apology, and still rest upon it as his stay. For it is not the lever or the wheel that forms the machine. It is not the eye, or the foot, or the tongue, or the hand, that constitutes the strong and living man; but it is the intimate connection and the judicious combination of them all. Separate them from each other, and from that moment their strength and their life are lost.
Go then, and the miracles and the doctrines and the prophecies, which the Lord did join together in his answer, let no man henceforth dare to put asunder in his own. Go, and when the infidel shall ask you a reason of the hope that is in you, tell him that you know both in whom and in what you have trusted, and lay before him the full and connected system of your proofs. Tell him, first of all, that you believe that the things which are written in the Gospel are true
If he ask you why, tell him, that it is because these things were written by the earliest and constant followers of
our Lord; and because those disciples, shewed their sincerity by their sufferings; and because you never can, and never will renounce your belief in the testimony of men, whose virtue and integrity are known; who relate what they had heard and seen ; of whom it is impossible to suppose that they were deceived; and who went down to the grave, through the severest agonies, maintaining with a firm and undaunted countenance the same undeviating tale.-- Then lay your Bible before him.
Turn to the Gospel itself, and recount to him the works of your Saviour upon earth. Tell him they were works of wonder, and therefore prove that there was in his mind and in his arm the co-operating strength and wisdom of a power superior to that which belongs to our poor and simple humanity. If he borrow the written language of the unbeliever" to aid him in his defence, and ask you,
66 what powers, whether supreme or subaltern, mortal or immortal, wise or foolish, just or unjust, good or bad?”. Tell him that, with you, there is in this no mystery at all; because the works of Jesus were works of mercy, as well as wonder ; and, therefore prove that the Father of mercy, as well as of might, had sent him-that he was a prophet favoured above measure by God. Then, to prove that Jesus was indeed worthy of such sup
port, let him learn the spirit of the Gospel by precept and example too. Let him go to the Mount and hear his Saviour commanding his disciples to love their enemies, and then let him go to the Cross and listen to that Saviour in
prayer for the forgiveness of his.
The Gospel and its miracles and its morality having thus spoken for themselves, break to him the seal of prophecy. Lay before him the great scheme of Providence, from the foundation to the end of the world. Point to our first parents, fallen, wretched, banished, and just turning their unwilling steps from the beauties and blessings of a Paradise which they had lost through the disobedience of unbelief, and relieved from despair only by their confidence in the promise of a future Redeemer. Next lead him to the faith of Abraham, rewarded in the gracious declaration, that in Isaac should his seed be called, and that in him should all the nations of the earth again be blessed. Carry him hence through Judah to the man after God's own heart-to David and to David's line. But here the system will become too extensive for particular consideration. Fix his thoughts, therefore, upon some powerful and leading feature. Repeat to him, though it be through tears, the mournful forebodings of Isaiah, concerning him who was “acquainted with grief," as it were with
a familiar friend ; “ whose visage was so marred” : with his griefs, “ more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men"_" who was despised and rejected, wounded, bruised, oppressed, cut off out of the land of the living,” and who in that death did seem to be so utterly forsaken of his God, that men did absolutely “esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Ask him, whether he deems thiş to be a history or a prophecy ? and if he refuse or hesitate to answer, let him be assured that it is the record of an ancient age-that it was, and that it still is, a prophecy, lamenting the continued infidelity of men, and saying, “Who hath believed our report?” Then close the book, and tell him that, with you at least, it is a thing impossible that Christianity should be false ; that as Jesus by his miracles and morals is proved to be a divine prophet, so by the prophecies he may be proved to be the Christ. Yet should he still cling to an evil heart of unbelief; should he flee to subtlety and the vain deceits of philosophy for his defence -call to his remembrance, that it is at any rate possible that Christianity may be true, and then let him think how different, even upon that ground, are the prospects of hope in him that believeth and in him that believeth not. For what, and if we Christians should lean upon a broken reed ? It is one too tender to wound the
breast that leans upon it. What, and if there should be no world to come? We know the worst. Death is an eternal sleep, the grave a place where all things are forgotten; and so no one can ever hereafter arise from the dust to accuse us of credulity before God, or to punish us for our reliance upon a Redeemer, or to ridicule the daily self-denial with which we have practised the graces of a Christian life. Or be it, that there is a world to come, and that the creed of the Deist should prove true. Still the Christian is safe under the armour of his integrity. The Deist boasts a merciful creed, and is confident that the Lord will never visit with his wrath the involuntary errors of the understanding, or be extreme to mark what has been done or believed amiss from motives of humility. If, then, there be a God that judgeth the earth, doubtless he will judge the Christian in pity, and according to his sincerity. And if there be verily a reward for the righteous, then will the Christian, who has been devout before his Maker, pure in himself, and bestowed charities upon men, be justified as a righteous man, and receive a righteous man's reward. But if the Gospel speaketh no lies; if Christ really and truly came into the world to save sinners, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ? If “ he that believeth not shall be damned,” then is the unbeliever “ condemned