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pure and benevolent lives, and for the avowed purpose of confirming a message of the highest importance to man, and in entire conformity to his nature. And such miracles, wrought by such men, are, as I have said, the seal which we should naturally expect God would affix to their message. They are an adequate seal, and every fair-minded man responds to the sentiment uttered by Nicodemus, “ No man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

I will simply say, in closing this lecture, that whatever probability there is that God has given a revelation at all, there is the same that Christianity is that revelation. We have now come to that point in the history of the world, in which the question among all well-informed men must be between the truth of Christianity and no religion. No man, surely, would advocate any form of idolatry or of polytheism, and there remain only the religion of Mohammed, and Deism, to be compared with Christianity. But I need not spend time in comparing, or rather contrasting, the religion of Mohammed, unsustained by miracles or by prophecies, propagated by the sword, encouraging fatalism, and pride, and intolerance, sanctioning polygamy, offering a sensual heaven, - a religion whose force is already spent, which has no sympathy or congruity with the enlarged views and onward movements of these days, and which is fast passing into a hopeless imbecility, — with the pure, and humble, and beneficent religion of Christ, heralded by prophecy, sealed by miracles, and now, after eighteen hundred years, going forth, with all its pristine vigor, to bless the nations,

Of Deism it may be doubted whether it should be called a religion. It has never had a priesthood, nor a creed, nor any book professing to contain the truths it teaches, nor a temple, nor, with the exception of a short period during the French revolution, an assembly for worship. If we mean, then, by religion, any such acknowledgment of God as recognizes our social nature, and binds mankind in one brotherhood of equality, while it presents them together before the throne of a common Father, Deism is not a religion. Those who profess to teach it have no agreement in their doctrines, and the doctrines themselves are, several of them, borrowed from Christianity, and then inculcated as the teachings of reason.

No; there is nothing on the face of the earth that can, for a moment, bear a comparison with Christianity as a religion for man. Upon this the hope of the race hangs. From the very first, it took its position, as the pillar of fire, to lead the race onward. The patriarchal, and Jewish, and Christian dispensations, all finding their identity in the true import of sacrifices, and in the inculcation of righteousness, have been one religion. The intelligence and power of the race are with those who have embraced it; and now, if this, instead of proving indeed a pillar of fire from God, should be found but a delusive meteor, then nothing will be left to the race but to go back to a darkness that may be felt, and to a worse than Egyptian bondage.

LECTURE III.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL EVIDENCE. - VAGUENESS OF THE

DIVISION BETWEEN THEM. REASONS FOR CONSIDERING THE INTERNAL EVIDENCES FIRST. - THE ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY.

In my first lecture, I attempted to show that, if God has given a revelation, we may certainly know it; and in the second, that there is no such antecedent improbability against a revelation, as to justify us in requiring proof different from that which we require for other events. There are laws of evidence according to which we judge in other cases, and I only ask that these same laws may be applied here.

If these points are established, we are ready to inquire whether God has in fact given a revelation.

On coming into life, we find Christianity existing, and claiming to be such a revelation. We wish to satisfy ourselves of the validity of that claim. How shall we proceed? The evidence by which its claims are sustained is commonly divided into two kinds, the external and the internal. This division is simple, and of long standing ; but by it heads of evidence are classed together, having so little affinity for each other, and, in regard to some of them, it is so difficult to see on what principle they are classed under one rather

of man,

than the other, that its utility may be doubted. Thus the evidence from testiinony, from prophecy, from the mode in which the gospel was propagated, and from its effects, - topics resembling each other scarcely at all, — are classed under the head of the external evidences; while the various marks of honesty found in the New Testament, the agreement of the parts with each other, its peculiar doctrines, its pure morality, its representation of the character of Christ, its analogy to nature, its adaptation to the situation and wants

topics still more diverse, are classed under its internal evidences.

I notice the vagueness of this arrangement, because these two classes of evidence have often been opposed to each other, and the superiority of one over the other contended for; and because great and good men, as Chalmers formerly, bave in some instances regarded it as presumptuous to study the internal evidences at all, as if it would be a sitting in judgment beforehand on the kind of revelation God ought to give; and others, as Wilson, have thought it arrogance to study the internal evidences first, as if the capacity to judge of a revelation after it was given implied an amount of knowledge that would preclude the necessity of any revelation at all.

But of which of the internal evidences mentioned above can it be said to be presumptuous for man to judge without reference to external testimony? Certainly not of those natural and incidental evidences of truth spread every where over the pages of the New Testament; nor of the agreement of the several books with each other; nor of the morality of the gospel ; nor of its tendency to promote human happiness in this

life ; and if there be some of the doctrines, of the probability of which we could not judge beforehand, that is no reason why we should be excluded from an im

mediate and free range in every other part of this field. · There is what has been called, by Verplanck, a critical,

as well as a moral internal evidence. Of the first we are competent to judge, and, in determining the question of our competency to judge of the second, we are not to overlook a distinction made by the same able writer. It is that “ between the power of discovering truth, and that of examining and deciding upon it when offered to our judgment.” “In matters of human science,” he goes on to say, “to how few is the one given, and how common is the other! Look at that vast mass of mathematical invention and demonstration which has been carried on by gifted minds, in every age, in continued progress, from the days of the learned priesthood of ancient Egypt to those of the discoveries of La Place and La Grange. Who is there of the mathematicians of this generation who could be selected as capable of alone discovering all this prolonged and continuous chain of demonstration ?

If left to their own unaided researches, how far would the original and inventive genius of a Newton or a Pascal have carried them ? Yet we know that all this body of science, this magnificent accumulation of the patient labors of so many intellects, may be examined and rigorously scrutinized in every step, and finally completely mastered and familiarized to the understanding, in a few years' study, by a student who, trusting solely to his own mind, could never have advanced beyond the simple elements of geometry.

“ This reasoning may be applied, either directly or

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