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attaching to it a solemn, and even a terrific character. God will bring every work into judgment.' Nothing would man's heart more willingly consider false, and against no sentiment does it sometimes more fearfully contend; but life and judgment to come still take their place as truths, however neglected, in the conscience of mankind.

A similar remark may be made respecting the nature of future happiness and misery, as constituting the retributive element of the divine dispensation in the world to come. It is in the Bible alone, for example, that we find the conception of a spiritual and holy heaven. From the mythological imagination of the Greeks, the Elysian Fields, we go through the gross conception of the Koran paradise and its houris, to the notion of the Indian, his hunting-grounds and his dog, and in all we find but a reproduction in the future of the sensual pleasures of the present; while the Indian philosophers, escaping from these, fly but to an opposite error, in the idea of supreme felicity consisting of absorption into the Deity. The idea that a good man is still to have an independent existence, and that his pleasures are not to be sensual ; that he is to be holy, like God, and to be happy in the communion and service of God, these are statements of the Bible, and they are true to man's nature. Man's heart says, If there be a heaven, it is, it must be this.

5. Remark what the Bible tells us of God's method of mercy to mankind.

Our readers know the gospel of the grace of God.' It sets out with representing mankind universally as chargeable with a deeply criminal rebellion against their Maker, and as liable to a condign infliction of retributive wrath. It exhibits a spontaneous interposition of mercy, of a kind altogether extraordinary. God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' His obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, constituted an all-sufficient expiatory sacrifice, available for every sinner on his acceptance of it; while out of this proceeding arise various and powerful motives, leading men to repentance and reconciliation, to purity and devotedness. It is not our business here to enforce these statements, or to adduce any argument in support of them. What we have to say is, that when they find their way to the conscience and the heart, they approve themselves to man as true. Long as he may strive against it, in proportion as he acquires a just knowledge of himself he feels that he is what the Bible has represented him to be; and the grace of the gospel is so fitted to his case, the fulness of mercy so like a God, the reconciliation of grace and justice so glorious and so complete, the humbling and purifying tendency of the system so powerful, and the whole mass of motive at once so gentle and so grand, that the heart accepts it as true because of its own glory and adaptation. Nowhere else is a scheme which, like this, ventures to contemplate man in the real depth of his misery and guilt; which, like this, comprehends in its wide embrace all the difficulties of his position ; which, like this, provides a complete remedy for his sorrows; which, like this, exhibits 'a just God, and a Saviour.' Can such a system be fallacious ? And if true, whence but from heaven?

A striking peculiarity of the evangelical system is to be found in the delineation of the Saviour. Even infidels have felt the singular loveliness of the character of Jesus Christ, and have acknowledged the impossibility of accounting for such a portrait, especially as drawn by several hands, except by supposing the reality and divinity of the original.

We may here, perhaps, be allowed to quote the well-known words of two distinguished men of this class, which may serve the purpose

of our argument better than our own :

* Shall we suppose the evangelic history a mere fiction ? Indeed, my friend, it bears not the marks of fiction. On the contrary, the history of Socrates, which nobody presumes to doubt, is not so well attested as that of Jesus Christ. Such a supposition, in fact, only shifts the difficulty, without obviating it; since it is more inconceiveable that a number of persons should agree to write such a history, than that one should furnish the subject of it. The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality contained in the gospel, the marks of whose truth are so striking and inimitable, that the inventor would be a more astonishing character than the hero.'-- Rousseau.

• Is it possible that the sacred person whose history it contains should be a mere man? Do we find that he assumed the ton- of an enthusiast, or ambitious sectary? What sweetness, what purity in his manner! What an affecting gracefulness in his delivery! What sublimity in his maxims! What profound wisdom in his discourses! What presence of mind in his replies ! How great the command over his passions ! Where is the man, where the philosopher, who could so live and so die, without weakness, and without ostentation' ---Chubo,

So true to human nature, and its highest conceptions of moral beauty, is the character of Jesus Christ, as to extort from infidels themselves, those instructive and significant acknowledgments.

6. Remark, finally, what the Bible tells us of man's obligations and duty.

Nothing in the Bible is more peculiar than its moral system. Without any attempt to define goodness, or entering at all into the controversy, begun so long ago and not terminated yet, respecting the nature of virtue, its precepts embody virtue in its noblest forms. Its tracing external actions back to the heart, and laying the foundation of right conduct in right principles ; its making morality to consist essentially in love, and taking as the primary aspect of morals a supreme love to God; its placing at the basis of the most exalted virtues, the unesteemed—the too lowly-grace of humility; its rejection of all conventional morality, and contempt of the most established worldly maxims; its requirement of not merely an outward, but an inward self-government, and purity of heart; its intolerance of human frailty, and its perpetual injunction of perfection-these, and other features which might be enumerated, place the preceptive parts of the Bible quite apart from any other moral code. The corrupt heart, no doubt, is alien from so much purity, and resents so much strictness; but both are approved by the uncorrupted conscience. Laxer systems of morals are more agreeable, but the conscience, if enlightened, rebukes the laxity which the heart revels in ; and, even a profligate will acknowledge that a practical Christian-one embodying in his life the precepts of Christianity—is the highest style of man.'

If then-to comprehend in one observation all these particularsthe matter and substance of the Bible is thus true to human nature, and the laws of human thought and feeling; if its various contents at once meet man's deepest necessities (a task which has never been attempted by any book besides), and embody his noblest imaginings; if what is told us only by the Bible, and could not have been known without it, is so congruous with the mind as to approve itself as true as soon as known, and to make a lodgment in it by which contrary views are permanently displaced ; whence is the Bible itself, but from the Author of our nature? Why have other men not written as the sacred writers did, but because divine wisdom was not in them?

IV. In addition to the peculiarities of the Bible already noticed, we advert to those which appear in its aptitude and adaptation. The singular adaptation of the sacred volume to its purpose, is as remarkable as any aspect in which it can be contemplated.

1. It is adapted to the human faculties in general—the understanding, the conscience, and the heart.

To the understanding it presents its copious and sublime materials with a majestic simplicity. All its writers ‘use great plainness of speech.' They neither commence with definitions, nor lay down axioms; they neither resort to refined distinctions, nor indulge themselves in abstract thought; they neither cultivate a philosophical style, nor employ scientific terms. They wrote for man, and they use, in its widest sense, man's words, the language of common life. Their style contrasts strikingly with that employed by philosophical writers of every age, whether ancient or modern, from the Greeks to the Ger

The Bible delivers to us a philosophy more sublime than any of them, in a dialect incomparably more intelligible.

To the conscience the Bible speaks in a manner which no other book has ever attempted. We do not know, indeed, that any other book has ever attempted to speak to the conscience at all, except to seduce it from its integrity, or to lull it to slumber. To enlighten and awaken it is an object which the Bible alone has embraced, and which it has well understood how to accomplish. Its statements of duty are so clear as to be fully understood, and so consciously just as to be immediately appropriated. Its accusations penetrate the most secret recesses, and come with an irresistible force of conviction. Its reproofs and directions are given with an authority which the conscience owns without reserve, and before which, in its more awful aspects, it quails with terror. The thunder and the lightning are not more piercing or more solemn to the bodily organs, than the Bible is to this faculty of the mind.

And in what inimitable tones does the Bible speak to the heart ! What passion is not appealed to? What motive is not employed And every one of them with surpassing power. Speak we of fear"

mans.

· Who knoweth the power of His anger,' whose wrath “is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men ?' Speak we of hope? What benefits can be so rich and glorious as those presented to us in the salvation of God? Speak we of love the master motive of man's heart, and the grand persuasive of the sacred word ? What display of it can compare with the love of God to a guilty world, in the redeeming work of his Son, Jesus Christ? Ah ! man's heart was never besought after this manner, or moved by persuasives like these-except in the Bible. There are thrilling and touching scenes in human life ; there are thrilling and touching scenes in the region of romance; but the Bible unutterably surpasses alike reality and fiction, as indeed it should do, if, as is alleged, it brings man himself into contact with the eternal and the divine.

2. The Bible is adapted to the faculties of man in their various degrees and forms of development. How much there is of it that may be understood by a child! The first lessons of an infant may be drawn from it. How nobly it occupies the expanded and vigorous intellect of the man! It may be the partner of his severest studies. With how mellow a light it shines on the ripened judgment of the old! As if gently guiding the steps of age to a region of more brilliant illumination. Its truths did not lose their lustre amidst the lights of ancient philosophy—at Athens, at Corinth, and at Rome, • the foolishness of God’ was 'wiser than men;' and they can make themselves effectively visible amidst the greatest darkness of heathenism—the Bushman and the Greenlander have been guided to heaven by them. None are too wise to learn from it, and none too foolish to be taught by it.

3. The Bible is adapted to man in the various circumstances and conditions of life. It supplies ample materials for occupation to the student, and of contemplation to the sage; but it is also fitted to mingle with the active world. It was necessary it should be so, if it was to be a book for mankind; for the world is mainly active, and not contemplative. Man is almost always the busy, the anxious, the tried, the tempted; found amidst responsible duties, onerous cares, or touching griefs. To do him much good, the words that are spoken to him must be few and powerful ; easily understood, and coming home to him in a moment. Şuch words the Bible speaks, and the Bible only. And it speaks them so as to suit all classes. To the peasant they are so plain that he that runs may read; and the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein.' To the prince they open a source of royal wisdom, and they teach kings to do judgment. They can find room, with a sturdy strength, amidst the most crowded cares of business, and insinuate themselves with a winning gentleness into scenes of overwhelming sorrow. The Bible is emphatically the practical book for human life; and the one book for every condition.

4. The Bible, in fine, is adapted to man in every nation, and in every age. National characteristics are diverse, and impress themselves strongly upon national literature, so that, to a great extent, the proAuctions of one country are not generally acceptable to those of another. The Bible had a national origin, and bears, undoubtedly, the

his own.

impress of some national characteristics, yet it is pre-eminently a book for all nations. With matter which commands the attention of all, it has a form which is gratifying to all, and repulsive to none. Long wrapped up in the simple, primitive, and narrow vocabulary of the Jew, its wisdom was at length transfused into the rich and glorious language of Greece, the language of all history, poetry, and philosophy, except the biblical, the spoken language of the civilized world in that age, and the destined study of ages long to come. Its style is too largely mixed to be peculiar anywhere, and it has no nationality ; less like the Swiss, who retains the characteristics of his country to the last, than the Anglo-Saxon, in whom the blood of so many races is mingled, that he has the virtues of all without the singularities of any. It is descriptive, didactic, poetical, dramatic, allegorical, pathetic, philosophical—it is everything that man is, and man everywhere feels it

And thus it belongs to every age. There are many things which ages alter. They witness changes of government, the rise and fall of dynasties, the advent of new masters and new principles of administration. They witness the advance of knowledge, and the revolutions of science; the extension of commerce, and the abandonment of its ancient channels; the development of practical genius, and the triumphs of art; and sometimes the total change of habits, customs, and manners; but man is the same, and for the purposes of his highest welfare, the same book suits him. He never gets beyond the lessons of scriptural wisdom, and if he thinks he does, and throws them aside, he is sure to relapse into darkness. Aristotle and Seneca are old books, and this age does not heed them; but the sacred book never gets old. On the contrary, the Bible is always new, not only because every new comer into the world wants it for himself, but because it is always presenting new phases of truth, and new applications to the heart and life. To the end of the world it will be new, and it will be as fresh and earnest in its application to the conscience of the last sinner, and the heart of the last sufferer, as it was to those of the first who perused it.

Such is the Bible. It is passing marvellous that all this can be said of one book, and of only one. It must be obvious from whence such a book has come. From the very ground we have occupied, however, objections to

divine origin of the Scriptures have beer drawn, and objections which have been urged with much tenacity. The Bible has been condemned, for example, because its statements do not agree with facts, as in geology; because its doctrines are contrary to reason, as in the Trinity; and because its morals are impure, as in some Old Testament narratives. Now, without attempting to go into this class of objections in detail, which is here neither opportune nor necessary, we may make on them, as a whole, two or three brief observations. In the first place, they are evidently made in a spirit of hostility, so that they are greatly exaggerated, and, to a great extent, unworthy of regard. In the second place, these objections are capable of being, in great part, removed by patient investigation and candid judgment; so

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