« EdellinenJatka »
O N HIS knowing age, as it is called,
has given frequent occafions to eve
ry one that has learning, to use it
.: in defence of revealed religion. CHRISTIANITY is to be considered two ways, as a system of truths convincing the human mind, and a collection of precepts influencing human practice. The former of these must now be supported by literature and -fill in reasoning, the latter by upright conduct in the preachers and exemplary life: For miracles are ceased. The children of wisdom have both; and she is juftifyed by them. But there are some who being unnatural children, and wanting the latter, find pleasure in endea-vouring to destroy the influence of christianity, by a wicked use of the former.
Y E are they, who are principally concerned to oppose them. Because education gives you kill in the use of the weapon, which is so be employed in the combat. The writer of this book
* They we are not conversant in the sciences may do well se pelo over the latter part of this ADDRESS. ;..
is far from thinking himself able, eithe grapple with the enemy alone, or to ac you in the various plans, which may be i
posed for execution, in this spiritual conf - He only wishes to be thought worthy to be mitted to a council of war, and in his turi give his opinion concerning the militant Chui
In these capacities as a fellow student, fellow soldier, he takes the liberty to exh you to study diligently the laws and discipl of our spiritual militia, and most religiou to regard the precept of the Captain of salvation ; WATCH. The worst enemy is · who is in the garrison, and means to be fal
The enemy against whom at present we principally to watch, is not the Mahometa the Jew, or the Pagan, but the treachero Christian; who having imbibed christianity his early life, betrays it in his maturity; ai though continuing in external communion wi thofe who profess it, is an Infidel in his hea · Infidelity is a great fin, and the divine s
sentment will be to infidelity, at least what used to be to idolatry,' when the Jew was t! favourite of God: The greatest crime he coul commit was to give his honour to false Deitie and now that the Christian is become the fa vourite of God, the greatest crime he can com mit is to deny divine revelation. There ar many vices which a woman may forgive he husband, and one that she will not; and many vices which a man may forgive his wife, an
a Europy , fellow labourer.
one that he will not. This is also the case between God and mankind. Idolatry is often considered in the old teftament as whoredom: In the new, the christian church may be confidered as a spouse; and the transferring of honour in this case is so dishonourable, as to be unpardonable; and therefore there is only one fin excepted out of all that human nature is capable of falling into, utterly excluding the mercy of God, and that is, the fin against the holy Ghost. What that is may be disputed by fome, but to those who weigh things with discernment and honesty, it will appear, to have been the fin of attributing the miracles of Christ to Belzebub; that is, of grofly denying the revelation of God by Christ, with contempt, when he was personally upon earth; and it is now the denying of his written reves lation, against that blaze of evidence, which Thinés round all the fundamental truths of it. And if that evidence be now greater, than it was at the time of our Saviour's personal prea fence, (which seems to be the truth) the sin of infidelity must also now be greater.
The apostles were, according to our Saviour's declaration, to do greater miracles than himfelf: But we have the miracles both of one and the others recorded: And miracles upon record are perhaps as strong as miracles seen; Considera ing that no one man has seen all the miracles wrought by Christ and the Apostles, which are recorded : But the recorded testimony is the evidence of all these united, almost forcing conviction upon the mind of the inquirer, Besides, which, we have also histori
cal events fulfilling prophecies, which is increase of evidence every day arising. I scriptures informing us that there is no ot] name under heaven whereby a man can Saved but the name of JESÚS CHRIS if they, to whom he has been preached wi
such abundant evidence, do not believe, th . deprive themselves of the only means of ete
nal salvation, and commit the worst of fin perhaps the sin against the HOLY GHOST
He who compassionately wished to gath the Jews under bis wings, as a ben gatherei ber chickens, (and the Jews were only emble matical of the whole human race, for he ha the same affection towards mankind) coul not avoid expressing himself strongly on th other hand. Thou Capernaum which art ex alted unto Heaven, shalt be brought down t Hell. For if the mighty, works which bav been done in thee bad been done in Sodom, it would bave remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolérable for the lana of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Seeing therefore that infidelity is so great a fon, all care ought to be taken in the education of youth, so as to impress such sentiments of religion upon their minds, as may render them observant of the truth, and the laws of God. This perhaps may be called by those, who are witty scoffers at every thing ferious, ai method of inftilling Prejudices. But since it is evident, that the bulk of mankind will ever: act by education, custom, or example, which in reality is nothing more than Prejudice, even when they happen to be right, (Prejudice be
ing any opinion taken up without reason,) is it not prudent to prejudice all persons, as early as possible in favour of that, which is thought truth?
But say they, systems of religion are various, and though all pretend to flow from one fountain, the Scriptures; yet the perverseness of men has so muddied the waters, that few have skill to strain what is necessary for their spiritual subfiftence. ...
This indeed with concern we are obliged to own ; yet lamentable as the case is, mankind . must make the best of this troubled state of things, till it Thall please the Spirit of God once more to move upon the face of the waters, and reduce this chaos of religious opinions, to a well connected system of saving truths. And this, inasmuch as we are to expect no further revelation, muft arise from an honest and diligent application of human talents to the divine books; which books certainly contain in them whatever an all-wise, and an allgracious God thought necessary for ignorant corrupted men. Solomon tells us it is the Glory of God to conceal a thing; we should therefore acknowledge it great mercy in him to reveal any thing to us: But he has revealed a great deal, which, by a proper application of human means, may be understood, so as to give reasonable comfort to honest minds. , T ÓYOU this province does particularly
1 belong, who, in the seminaries of learning are either laying the foundation of human - letters, whereon to build the fabric of divine