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the persons with whom he contended would ascribe | with the old solution of magic applied to the mirathese miracles to magic; “ Lest any of our oppo-cles of Christ by the adversaries of the religion. nents should say, What hinders, but that he who “Celsus,” saith Origen, " well knowing what is called Christ by us, being a man sprung from great works may be alleged to have been done by men, performed the miracles which we attribute Jesus, pretends to grant that the things related of to him, by magical art ?"). The suggestion of this him are true; such as healing diseases, raising reason meets, as I apprehend, the very point of the dead, feeding multitudes with a few loaves, of the present objection; more especially when we which large fragments were left."* And then find Justin followed in it by other writers of that Celsus gives, it seems, an answer to these proofs age. Irenæus, who came about forty years after of our Lord's mission, which, as Origen underhim, notices the same evasion in the adversaries stood it, resolved the phenomena into magic; for of Christianity, and replies to it by the same ar- Origen begins his reply by observing, “You see gument: “ But if they shall say, that the Lord that Celsus in a manner allows that ihere is such performed these things by an illusory appearance, a thing as magic.”+ (pavT15108w5,) leading these objectors to the pro It appears also from the testimony of Saint Jephecies, we will show from them, that all things rome, that Porphyry, the most learned and able were thus predicted concerning him, and strictly of the Heathen writers against Christianity, recame to pass."* Lactantius, who lived a century sorted to the same solution : “ Unless,” says he, lower, delivers the same sentiment, upon the same speaking to Vigilantius, "according to the man. occasion; "He performed miracles;--we might ner of the Gentiles and the profane, of Porphyry have supposed him to have been a magician, as ye and Eunomius, you pretend that these are the say, and as the Jews then supposed, if all the pro- tricks of demons." phets had not with one spirit foretold that Christ This magic, these demons, this illusory appearshould perform these very things.”+
ance, this comparison with the tricks of jugglers, But to return to the Christian apologists in their by which many of that age accounted so easily order. Tertullian :-“That person whom the for the Christian miracles, and which answers Jews had vainly imagined, from the meanness of the advocates of Christianity often thought it nehis appearance, to be a mere man, they afterward, cessary to refute by arguments drawn from other in consequence of the power he exerted, considered topics, and particularly from prophecy, (to which, as a magician, when he, with one word, ejected it seems these solutions did not apply.) we now devils out of the bodies of men, gave sight to the perceive to be gross subterfuges. That such reablind, cleansed the leprous, strengthened the nerves sons were ever seriously urged, and seriously reof those that had the palsy, and, lastly, with one ceived, is only a proof, what a gloss and varnish command, restored the dead to life ; when he, 1 fashion can give to any opinion. say, made the very elements obey him, assuaged It appears, therefore, that the miracles of Christ the storms, walked upon the seas, demonstrating understood as we understand them in their literal nimself to be the Word of God."!
and historical sense, were positively and precisely Next in the catalogue of professed apologists we asserted and appealed to by the apologists for may place Origen, who, it is well known, published Christianity; which answers the allegation of the a formal defence of Christianity, in answer to Cel- objection. sus, a Heathen, who had written a discourse I am ready, however, to admit, that the ancient against it. I know no expressions, by which a Christian advocates did not insist upon the miraplainer or more positive appeal to the Christian cles in argument, so frequently as I should have miracles can be made, than the expressions used done. It was their lot to contend with notions of by Origen; “Undoubtedly we do think him to be magical agency, against which the mere producthe Christ, and the Son of God, because he healed tion of the facts was not sufficient for the conthe lame and the blind; and we are the more convincing of their adversaries: I do not know whefirmed in this persuasion, by what is written in ther they themselves thought it quite decisive of the prophecies: “Then shali the eyes of the blind the controversy. But since it is proved, I conceive be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear, and with certainty, that the sparingness with which the lame man shall leap as a hart.' But that he they appealed to miracles, was owing neither to also raised the dead ; and that it is not a fiction of their ignorance, nor their doubt of the facts, it is, those who wrote the Gospels, is evident from at any rate, an objection, not to the truth of the hence, that, if it had been a fiction, there would history, but to the judgment of its defenders. have been many recorded to be raised up, and such as had been a long time in their graves. But, it not being a fiction, few have been recorded: for instance, the daughter of the ruler of a syna
CHAPTER VI. gogue, of whom I do not know why he said, She is not dead but sleepeth, expressing something Want of unirersality in the knowledge and ro peculiar to her, not common to all dead persons : ception of Christianity, and of greater clear and the only son of a widow, on whom he had ness in the evidence. compassion, and raised him to life, after he had bid the bearers of the corpse to stop; and the third, Of a revelation which really came from God, Lazarus, who had been buried four days." This the proof, it has been said, would in all ages be so is positively to assert the miracles of Christ, and public and manifest, that no part of the human it is also to comment upon them, and that with a species would remain ignorant of it, no underconsiderable degree of accuracy and candour. standing could fail of being convinced by it. In another passage of the same author, we meet The advocates of Christianity do not pretend
* Orig. Cont. Cels. I. ii, seçi. 48. Iren. 1. c. 57.
† Lactant. v. 3.
† Lardner's Jewish and Heath. Test. vol. 11, p. 294. eda 1 Tertull. Apolog. p. 20; ed. Priorii, Par. 1675.
Jerome cont. Vigil. 3 B
that the evidence of their religion possesses these | trivance ?—The observation, which we have esqualities. They do not deny that we can con-emplified in the single instance of the rain of ceive it to be within the compass of divine power, heaven, may be repeated concerning most of the to have communicated to the world a higher de phenomena of nature; and the true conclusion to gree of assurance, and to have given to his com- which it leads is this that to inquire what the munication a stronger and more extensive influ- Deity might have done, could have done, or, as ence. For any thing we are able to discern, God we even sometimes presume to speak, ought to could have so formed men, as to have perceived have done, or, in hypothetical cases would have the truths of religion intuitively; or to have car- done, and to build any propositions upon such inried on a communication with the other world, quiries against evidence of facts, is wholly unwarwhilst they lived in this; or to have seen the in- rantable. It is a mode of reasoning which will dividuals of the species, instead of dying, pass to not do in natural history, which will not do in heaven by a sensible translation. He could have natural religion, which cannot therefore be applied presented a separate miracle to each man's senses. with safety to revelation. It may have some He could have established a standing miracle. foundation, in certain speculative a priori illeas of He could have caused miracles to be wrought in the divine attributes; but it has none in expeevery different age and country. These, and rience, or in analogy. The general character of many more methods, which we may imagine, if the works of nature is, on the one hand, goodness we once give loose to our imaginations, are, so far both in design and effect; and, on the other hand, as we can judge, all practicable.
a liability to difficulty, and to objections, if such The question, therefore, is, not whether Chris- objections be allowed, by reason of seeming in. tianity possesses the highest possible degree of completeness or uncertainty in attaining their evidence, but whether the not having more evi- end. Christianity participates of this character. dence be a sufficient reason for rejecting that The true similitude between nature and revelation which we have.
consists in this ; that they each bear strong marks Now their appears to be no fairer method of of their original; that they each also bear appearjudging, concerning any dispensation which is ances of irregularity and defect. A system of alleged to come from God, when a question is strict optimism may nevertheless be the real sys made whether such a dispensation could come tem in both cases. But what I contend is, that from God or not, than by comparing it with other the proof is hidden from us ; that we ought not to things which are acknowledged to proceed from expect to perceive that in revelation, which we the same counsel, and to be produced by the same hardly perceive in any thing; that beneficence, of agency. If the dispensation in question labour which we can judge, ought to satisfy us, that opunder no defects but what apparently belong to timism, of which we cannot judge, ought not to be other dispensations, these seeming detects do not sought after. We can judge of beneficence, bejustify us in setting aside the proofs which are of-cause it depends upon effects which we experience fered of its authenticity, if they be otherwise en- and upon the relation between the means which titled to credit.
we see acting and the ends which we see produced. Throughout that order then of nature, of which we cannot judge of optimism, because it necesGod is the author, what we find is a system of sarily implies a comparison of that which is tried, beneficence: we are seldom or ever able to make with that which is not tried; of consequences out a system of optimism. I mean, that there are which we see, with others which we imagine, and few cases in which, if we permit ourselves to concerning many of which, it is more than probarange in possibilities, we cannot suppose some- ble we know nothing; concerning some, that we thing more perfect, and more unobjectionable, have no notion. than what we see. The rain which descends If Christianity be compared with the state and from heaven, is confessedly amongst the contri progress of natural religion, the argument of the vances of the Creator, for the sustentation of the objector will gain nothing by the comparison ! animals and vegetables which subsist upon the remember hearing an unbeliever say, that, if God surface of the earth. Yet how partially and ir- had given a revelation, he would have written it regularly is it supplied! How much of it falls in the skies. Are the truths of natural religion upon the sea, where it can be of no use ! how often written in the skies, or in a language which every is it wanted where it would be of the greatest! one reads ? or is this the case with the most useful What tracts of continent are rendered deserts by arts, or the most necessary sciences of human life? the scarcity of it! Or, not to speak of extreme An Otaheitean or an Esquimaux knows nothing cases, how much, sometimes, do inhabited coun- of Christianity ; does he know more of the princitries suffer by its deficiency or delay !-We could ples of deism, or morality? which, notwithstandimagine, if to imagine were our business, the ing his ignorance, are neither untrue, nor unimmatter to be otherwise regulated. We could portant, nor uncertain. The existence of the imagine showers to fall, just where and when they Deity is left to be collected from observations, would do good; always seasonable, every where which every man does not make, which every man sufficient; so distributed as not to leave a field perhaps, is not capable of making. Can it be upon the face of the globe scorched by drought, argued, that God does not exist, because, if he or even a plant withering for the lack of moisture did, he would let us see him, or discover himself Yet, does the difference between the real case and to mankind by proofs (such as, we may think, the the imagined case, or the seeming inferiority of nature of the subject merited,) which no inadverthe one to the other, authorize us to say, that the tency could miss, no prejudice withstand ? present disposition of the atmosphere is not If Christianity be regarded as a providential inamongst the productions or the designs of the strument for the melioration of mankind, its proDeity? Does it check the inference which we gress and diffusion resemble that of other causes draw from the confessed beneficence of the provi- by which human life is improved. The diversity sion ? or does it make us cease to admire the con- is not greater, nor the advance more slow, in reli
.gion, than we find it to be in learning, liberty, ance, or the Christian pronze, flock,"if any man government, laws. The Deity hath not touched will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, the order of nature in vain. The Jewish religion whether it be of God,"*)—it is true, I say, that they produced great and permanent effects; the Chris- who sincerely ac, or sincerely endeavour to act, tian religion hath done the same. It hath dispos-according to what they believe, that is, according ed the world to amendment. It hath put things to the just result of the probabilities, or, if you in a train. It is by no means improbable, that it please, the possibilities of natural and revealed remay become universal: and that the world may ligion, which they themselves perceive, and accontinue in that stage so long as that the duration cording to a rational estimate of consequences, and of its reign may bear a vast proportion to the time above all, according to the just effect of those of its partial influence.
principles of gratitude and devotion, which even When we argue concerning Christianity, that the view of nature generates in a well ordered it must necessarily be true, because it is beneficial, mind, seldom fail of proceeding farther. This we go, perhaps, too far on one side: and we cer also may have been exactly what was designed. tainly go too far on the other, when we conclude Whereas, may it not be said that irresistible that it must be false, because it is not so efficacious evidence would confound all characters and all as we could have supposed. The question of its dispositions ? would subvert, rather than promote, truth is to be tried upon its proper evidence, the true purpose of the divine counsels; which is, without deferring much to this sort of argument, not to produce obedience by a force little short of on either side. The evidence,'' as Bishop Butler mechanical constraint, (which obedience would be hath rightly observed, " depends upon the judg- regularity, not virtue, and would hardly, perhaps, ment we form of human conduct, under given cir- differ from that which inanimate bodies pay to the cumstances, of which it may be presumed that we laws impressed upon their nature,) but to treat know something; the objection stands upon the moral agents agreeably to what they are; which supposed conduct of the Deity, under relations is done, when light and motives are of such kinds, with which we are not acquainted.”
and are imparted in such measures, that the inWhat would be the real effect of that over- fluence them depends upon the recipients thempowering evidence which our adversaries require selves ? " It is not meet to govern rational free in a revelation, it is difficult to foretell; at least, we agents in viâ by sight and sense. It would be no must speak of it as of a dispensation of which we trial or thanks to the most sensual wretch to forhave no experience. Some consequences however bear sinning, if heaven and hell were open to his would, it is probable, attend this economy, which sight. That spiritual vision and fruition is our do not seem to befit a revelation that proceeded state in patria." (Baxter's Reasons, page 357.) from God. One is, that irresistible proof would — There may be truth in this thought, though restrain the voluntary powers too much; would roughly expressed. Few things are more impronot answer the purpose of trial and probation; bable than that we (the human species) should be would call for no exercise of candour, seriousness, the highest order of beings in the universe : that humility, inquiry; no submission of passion, animated nature should ascend from the lowest interests, and prejudices, to moral evidence and to reptile to us, and all at once stop there. If there probable truth; no habits of reflection; none of be classes above us of rational intelligences, clearthat previous desire to learn and to obey the will er manifestations may belong to them. This may of God, which forms perhaps the test of the vir- be one of the distinctions. And it may be tuous principle, and which induces men to attend, which we ourselves hereafter shall attain. with care and reverence, to every credible inti III. But may it not also be asked, whether the mation of that will, and to resign present advan- perfect display of a future state of existence would tages and present pleasures to every reasonable be compatible with the activity of civil life, and expectation of propitiating his favour. “Men's with the success of human affairs? I can easily moral probation may be, whether they will take conceive that this impression may be overdone; due care to inform themselves by impartial consi- that it may so seize and fill the thoughts, as to deration; and, afterward, whether they will act leave no place for the cares and offices of 'men's as the case requires, upon the evidence which several stations, no anxiety for worldly prosperity, they have. And this we find by experience, is or even for a worldly provision, and, by conseoften our probation in our temporal capacity. quence, no sufficient stimulus to secular industry.
II. These modes of communication would leave Of the first Christians we read, “that all that beno place for the admission of internal evidence ; lieved were together, and had all things common which ought, perhaps, to bear a considerable part and sold their possessions and goods, and partes in the proof of every revelation, because it is a them to all men, as every man had need; and, species of evidence, which applies itself to the continuing daily with one accord in the temple, knowledge, love, and practice of virtue, and and breaking bread from house to house, did eat which operates in proportion to the degree of their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.”+ those qualities which it finds in the person whom This was extremely natural, and just what might it addresses. Men of good dispositions, amongst be expected from miraculous evidence coming Christians, are greatly affected by the impression with full force upon the senses of mankind: but which the Scriptures themselves make upon their I much doubt whether, if this state of mind had minds. Their conviction is much strengthened been universal, or long-continued, the business of by these impressions. And this perhaps was in the world could have gone on. The necessary tended to be one effect to be produced by the reli- arts of social life would have been little cultivated. gion. It is likewise true, to whatever cause we The plough and the loom would have stood still. ascribe it (for I am not in this work at liberty to Agriculture, manufactures, trade, and navigation, introduce the Christian doctrine of grace or assist. would not, I think, have flourished, if they could
* Butler's Analogy, part ii. c. vi.
* John vii. 17.
| Acts ii. 44–46.
have been exercised at all. Men would have ad-gree than they are upon any other subject. Redicted themselves to contemplative and ascetic ligion operates most upon those of whom history lives, instead of lives of business and of useful in- knows the least; upon fathers and mothers in dustry. We observe that Saint Paul found it their families, upon men-servants and maid-sernecessary, frequently to recall his converts to the vants, upon the orderly tradesman, the quiet vilordinary labours and domestic duties of their con- lager, the manufacturer at his looin, the husbanddition; and to give them, in his own example, a man in his fields. Amongst such, its influence lesson of contented application to their worldly collectively may be of inestimable value, yet its employments.
effects, in the mean time, little upon those who By the manner in which the religion is now figure upon the stage of the world. They may proposed, a great portion of the human species is know nothing of it; they may believe nothing of enabled, and of these multitudes of every genera- it; they may be actuated by motives more imtion are induced, to seek and to effectuate their petuous than those which religion is able to exsalvation, through the medium of Christianity, cite. It cannot, therefore, be thought strange, that without interruption of the prosperity or of the re- this influence should elude the grasp and touch of gular course of human affairs.
public history: for, what is public history, but a register of the successes and disappointments, the vices, the follies, and the quarrels, of those who
engage in contentions for power ? CHAPTER VII.
I will add, that much of this influence may be
felt in times of public distress, and little of it in The supposed effects of Christianity. times of public wealth and security. This also
increases the uncertainty of any opinions that we That a religion, which, under every form in draw from historical representations. The inwhich it is taught, holds forth the final reward of tiuence of Christianity is commensurate with no virtue and punishment of vice, and proposes those effects which history states. We do not pretend distinctions of virtue and rice, which the wisest that it has any such necessary and irresistible and most cultivated part of mankind confess to be power over the affairs of nations, as to surmount just, should not be believed, is very possible ; but the force of other causes. that, so far as it is believed, it should not produce The Christian religion also acts upon public any good, but rather a bad effect upon public hap. usages and institutions, by an operation which is piness, is a proposition which it requires very only secondary and indirect. Christianity is not strong evidence to render credible. Yet many a code of civil law. It can only reach public inhave been found to contend for this paradox, and stitutions through private character. Now its invery confident appeals have been made to history, fluence upon private character may be considerand to observation, for the truth of it.
able, yet many public usages and institutions reIn the conclusions, however, which these wri. pugnant to its principles may remain. To get ters draw from what they call experience, two rid of these, the reigning part of the community sources, I think, of mistake, may be perceived. must act, and act together. But it may be long
One is, that they look for the influence of reli- before the persons who compose this body be sufgion in the wrong place.
ficiently touched with the Christian character, to The other, that they charge Christianity with join in the suppression of practices, to which they many consequences, for which it is not respon- and the public have been reconciled by causes sible.
which will reconcile the human mind to any I. The influence of religion is not to be sought thing, by habit and interest. Nevertheless, the for in the councils of princes, in the debates or re- effects of Christianity, even in this view, have solutions of popular assemblies, in the conduct of been important. It has mitigated the conduct of governments towards their subjects, or of states war, and the treatment of captives. It has softenand sovereigns towards one another; of conquered the administration of despotic, or of nominally ors at the head of their armies, or of parties in-despotic governments. It has abolished polygamy triguing for power at home, (topics which alone It has restrained the licentiousness of divorces. It almost occupy the attention, and fill the pages of has put an end to the exposure of children, and history;) but must be perceived, if perceived at the immolation of slaves. It has suppressed the all, in the silent course of private and domestic combats of gladiators, and the impurities of relilife. Nay more; even there its influence may not gious rites. It has banished, if not unnatural vices, be very obvious to observation. If it check, in at least the toleration of them. It has greatly some degree, personal dissoluteness, if it beget a meliorated the condition of the laborious part, that general probity in the transaction of business, if is to say, of the mass of every community, by proit produce soft and humane manners in the mass curing for them a day of weekly rest. In all counof the community, and occasional exertions of la- tries in which it is professed, it has produced nuborious and expensive benevolence in a few indi- merous establishments for the relief of sickness viduals, it is all the effect which can offer itself to and poverty; and, in some, a regular and general external notice. The kingdom of heaven is with provision by law. It has triumphed over the
That which is the substance of the reli- slavery established in the Roman empire; it is gion, its hopes and consolations, its intermixture contending, and, I trust, will one day prevail
, with the thoughts by day and by night, the devo- against the worse slavery of the West Indies. tion of the heart, the control of appetite, the steady direction of the will to the commands of God, is necessarily invisible. Yet upon these depend the
* Lipsius affirms, (Sat. b. i. c. 12,) that the gladiato. virtue and happiness of millions. This cause ren-thousand lives in a month; and that not only the men,
rial shows sometimes cost Europe twenty or thirty ders the representations of history, with respect to but even the women of all ranks were passionately fond religion, defective and fallacious, in a greater de- of these shows.--See Bishop Porteus's Sermon Xili
A Christian writer,* so early as in the second, been observed, there may be also great consecentury, has testified the resistance which Chris- quences of Christianity, which do not belong to tianity made to wicked and licentious practices, it as a revelation. The effects upon human salthough established by law and by public usage : vation, of the mission, of the death, of the present, “Neither in Parthia, do the Christians, though of the future agency of Christ, may be universal, Parthians, use polygamy; nor in Persia, though though the religion be not universally known. Persians, do they marry their own daughters ; Secondly, I assert that Christianity is charged nor among the Bactri, or Galli, do they violate with many consequences for which it is not rethe sanctity of marriage; nor, wherever they are, sponsible. I believe that religious motives have do they suffer themselves to be overcome by ill- had no more to do in the formation of nine tenths constituted laws and manners."
of the intolerant and persecuting laws, which in Socrates did not destroy the idolatry of Athens, different countries have been established upon the or produce the slightest revolution in the manners subject of religion, than they have had to do in of his country.
England with the making of the game-laws. But the argument to which I recur, is, that the i These measures, although they have the Chris. benefit of religion, being felt chiefly in the obscu- tian religion for their subject, are resolvable into rity of private stations, necessarily escapes the a principle which Christianity certainly did not observation of history: From the first general plant (and which Christianity could not uninotification of Christianity to the present day, versally condemn, because it is not universally there have been in every age many millions, whose wrong), which principle is no other than this, names were never heard of, made better by it, not that they who are in possession of power do what only in their conduct, but in their disposition; they can to keep it. Christianity is answerable and happier, not so much in their external cir- for no part of the mischief which has been brought cumstances, as in that which is inter præcordia, upon the world by persecution, except that which in that which alone deserves the name of happi- has arisen from conscientious persecutors. Now ness, the tranquillity and consolation of their these perhaps have never been either numerous thoughts. It has been since its commencement, or powerful. Nor is it to Christianity that even the author of happiness and virtue to millions and their mistake can fairly be imputed. They have millions of the human race. Who is there that been misled by an error not properly Christian or would not wish his son to be a Christian ? religious, but by an error in their moral philoso
Christianity also, in every country in which it phy. They pursued the particular, without adis professed, hath obtained a sensible, although verting to the general consequence. Believing not a complete influence, upon the public judg- certain articles of faith, or a certain mode of worment of morals. And this is very important. ship, to be highly conducive, or perhaps essential, For without the occasional correction which pub- to salvation, they thought themselves bound to lic opinion receives, by referring to some fixed bring all they could, by every means, into them. standard of morality, no man can foretell into what And this they thought, without considering what extravagances it might wander. Assassination would be the effect of such a conclusion, when might become as honourable as duelling; unna- adopted amongst mankind as a general rule of tural crimes be accounted as venial as fornication conduct. Had there been in the New Testament, is wont to be accounted. In this way it is possi- what there are in the Koran, precepts authorizing ble, that many may be kept in order by Christi- coercion in the propagation of the religion, and anity, who are not themselves Christians. They the use of violence towards unbelievers, the case may be guided by the rectitude which it commu- would have been different. This distinction could nicates to public opinion. Their consciences may not have been taken, nor this defence made. suggest their duty truly, and they may ascribe I apologize for no species nor degree of persethese suggestions to a moral sense, or to the cution, but I think that even the fact has been native capacity of the human intellect, when in exaggerated. The slave-trade destroys more in fact they are nothing more than the public opi- a year, than the inquisition does in a hundred, or nion, reflected from their own minds; and opinion, perhaps hath done since its foundation. in a considerable degree, modified by the lessons If it be objected, as I apprehend it will be, that of Christianity. “Certain it is, and this is a great Christianity is chargeable with every mischief, of deal to say, that the generality, even of the meanest which it has been the occasion, though not the and most vulgar and ignorant people, have truer motive; I answer, that, if the malevolent passions and worthier notions of God, more just and right be there, the world will never want occasions. apprehensions concerning his attributes and per- The noxious element will always find a conducfections, a deeper sense of the difference of good lor. Any point will produce an explosion. Did and evil, a greater regard to moral obligations, the applauded intercommunity of the Pagan the and to the plain and most necessary duties of ology preserve the peace of the Roman world ? life, and a more firm and universal expectation did it prevent oppressions, proscriptions, massaof a future state of rewards and punishments, cres, devastations? Was it bigotry that carried than, in any Heathen country, any considerable Alexander into the East, or brought Cæsar into number of men were found to have had.”+ Gaul ? Are the nations of the world, into which
After all, the value of Christianity is not to be Christianity hath not found its way, or from appreciated by its temporal effects. The object which it hath been banished, free from conten. of revelation is to influence human conduct in this tions? Are their contentions less ruinous and life ; but what is gained to happiness by that sanguinary? Is it owing to Christianity, or to influence, can only be estimated by taking in the the want of it, that the finest regions of the East, whole of human existence. Then, as hath already the countries inter quatuor maria, the peninsula
of Greece, together with a great part of the Medi* Bardesanes, ap. Euseb. Præp. Evang. vi. 10.
terranean coast, are at this day a desert? or Clarke, Ev. Nat. Rel. p. 208. ed. v.
that the banks of the Nile, whose constantly re