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barren research of useless curiosities; and which have in such a manner both advanced and extended the knowledge of religious truth, that a large proportion of the poor and unlettered inhabitants of Christian countries, attain to a more extensive, more certain, and more efficacious acquaintance with God and their duty, than the wisest Greeks and Romans? If, with the Prussian monarch, we deny the great and more mysterious peculiarities of Christianity, and reject all as a divine revelation, we cannot do less than value and admire, as he is said to have done, its morality. We cannot but admit the truth of its statements respecting morality, the unity and spirituality of the Deity, and a future life. But how can we separate these portions from others, when inquiring whether the Gospel is a divine revelation? And do not even the more mysterious parts of the Gospel doctrine provide us with a satisfactory elucidation of matters of anxious inquiry to sinful, ignorant, weak, dying mortals; with the only information respecting them, on which we can place any reliance? All surely is delivered as claiming the same authority; how then can we select some as excellent, and condemn the other as the dictates of enthusiasm ?

But in what manner can the charge of enthusiasm be suggested, except by our own reluctance to admit these instructions as true? And

how did the delusion of a Jew take an aspect and direction so entirely different from all established opinions and prejudices? And, if that were the case, how are we to account for the absence of all the characteristics of enthusiasm? We find no vehemence, pride, conceit, or uncharitableness, in Jesus. He had none of the impetuosity, forwardness, or haste, that we should expect to have found in an enthusiast. His whole doctrine, though unfolded by degrees, is harmonious and connected; and contains no visions or rhapsodies. Neither would enthusiasm have at all enabled him to verify ancient predictions, or to deliver others respecting himself and his Church, which equally have been verified. He could not have long persevered in attempting miracles, much less could he have made others believe that he wrought them, unless they were realities. We must then adopt some probable solution. And the supposition that he was sent from God, and performed his will, satisfactorily explains the whole mystery.

If he were an impostor, and knowingly deceived others, then he "sought his own will," and was influenced by some sinister inclination, from which no one, engaged in such a cause, could be free, but one who had been sent from God, and sought the will, and spoke the words, of him that sent him. But such an imputation is so much at variance with the character and the

doctrines of Jesus; with all that he did, and all that he omitted to do; that it is in every point of view improbable. His object could not be covetousness; for he continued in a state of poverty, and made no attempts to rise above it. He was so far from courting the favour of the rich and powerful, that he checked their disposition towards himself; though he would fain have persuaded them to embrace the truths which he taught. He required of the rich young man to sell what he had, and to give the price, not to himself, but to the poor. We learn, incidentally, that Jesus also gave to the poor, even from his own scanty stock, which he committed to the care of his only faithless disciple, and that knowing his character. And trifling indeed were the opportunities which Judas had for dishonest gain, since he covenanted to betray his Master for thirty pieces of silver. Though some "ministered to Jesus of their substance," yet. it was never sufficient to provide him, even the ordinary comforts, much less the elegancies, of life. And as he threw no temptations in the way of the rich to draw them to him during his life, so neither did he hold out any inducement of a gratifying nature. For he repeatedly declared, and the nature of what he taught and required abundantly tended to shew the propriety of the declaration, that "they that trust in worldly

riches," and therefore, too generally, those who possess them, would with difficulty enter his kingdom. Did we say that he spoke of a kingdom? We may ask, then, with Pilate, was he a King; and did he advance and forward such a claim? Yes, but his was not a kingdom like those of this world, or that displayed "the glory of them.” "If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence." Neither did he himself fight, or attempt any political innovation, authority, or disturbance; nor did he direct, or authorize, his servants to do so. He endured, with a patience, and a submission which he proposed as the model to all his followers, contempt, violence, and persecution. Ambition had no share in influencing his mind, or directing his actions. He predicted the establishment, not of an earthly, but of a spiritual, kingdom; and occupied most of his time, labours, and instructions, in teaching its nature, while he gave evidence of its authority. He did not profess to attain it by triumphs in the field, in which he should merely expose his life, but only by his actual death. That death he predicted distinctly, though figuratively, to the Jews; but to his own disciples openly, literally, and repeatedly. And in the way in which he predicted and expected, and for which he prepared, was

his kingdom set up. Yet it never offered any allurement to worldly ambition, but included, in its nature, all that was opposed to the desires, and, in its accompaniments and transactions, much that was at variance with the comforts, and hopes, and attempts of the ambitious, and even with human feelings. And Jesus himself never spoke of his attainment of earthly, but of heavenly, glory. Had he been an impostor, we may judge, with certainty, what would have been the nature of his aims; and we know also, that the time at which he lived, the expectations of the Jews at that time, the situation of his country, and the known feelings of his countrymen towards the Romans, and their hopes and disposition towards himself, would have abundantly favoured any such interested intentions. But he did not act consistently with the adoption and furtherance of any selfish design. Opportunities offered for the gratification of such, beyond what his fondest wishes could have anticipated; but he never availed himself of them. He courted not popularity for its own sake; he retired and hid himself when it was tending to actions in his favour; he repelled it, and cooled its fervour, when of a more quiet, though, as he taught his followers, mistaken character. He did not shew himself to the world, as one that sought to be known openly, in any way which human wishes or corruptions


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