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will cease, when once
minds are brought into an 'humble, teachable, and religious frame; when the veil is taken from your hearts, and scales have fallen from your eyes. In ny yourselves, therefore. Cease to live in sin. Mortify your lusts and passions. Part with the pride of faise philosophy. Live in humility, purity, and virtue, Be good moral men, conscientious worshippers of God, upon your own principles, sober inquirers after truth, praying for divine direction, and it will not be long before you b.come believers in Jesus Christ. No moral man cm, rationally, wish to reject the gospel; because it is all purity and goodness, and the most powerful means, with which the world was ever favoured, of making us virtuous and good.
" In his blest life
Of immortality.” For, whatever was the cause, it is plain in fact, that human reason, unassisted, failed mankind in its great an i proper business of morality; and, therefore, he that shall be at the pains of collecting all the moral rules of the ancient philosophers, and compare them with those contained in the New Testament, will find them to come infinitely short of the morality delivered
its evidence, are to be reckoned among the chief causes of infdelity."
Allix's Reflections upon the books of the holy Scripture, contain a large number of valuable thoughts, and should be read in oppo. si ion to all the flimsy objections of the above deists. Kett's Ser. mons sufficiently invalidare the sophistry of Gibbon. Much sa. tisfactory light has lately been thrown upon the plagues of Egypt, by Bryant. The Old Testament has been defended against the a'tacks of Paine by David Levi, a learned Jew, with considerable ability
But of all single books, none is equal to the admi. rable course of Lectures by Doddridge ; a work which no inquisi.
iian should be without in his library.
by our Saviour, and taught by his Apostles.(70) Add to this, that no other religion which was ever in the world, hath made provision for pardoning the sins of mank nd, and restoring us to the divine favour, in a way consistent with the perfections and government of the Supreme Being.
You will give these reasonings the weight which you suppose they deserve. If you seriously and conscientiously think there is nothing in them worthy of your attention, by all means reject them. If any of you are convinced by what is advanced, that you have hitherto been mistaken, in rejecting Jesus Christ and his gospel; or if you see ground to suspect you may be wrong; let no consideration of shame induce
you to deny your convictions or suspicions. Many men have been mistaken as well as you. I myseif have seen reason to change several opinions, which before I had thought founded in truth. Every person, indeed, must naturally and necessarily at first be a stranger to the gospel-redemption. Our efforts, therefor', should be made to become acquainted with it, and to get into the good and right way. If we look back
(70) " Is it bigotry to believe in the sublime truths of the gospe with full assurance of faith?-I glory in such bigotry: I would not part with it for a thousand worlds; I congratulate the man who is possessed of it; for amidst all the vicissitudes and calami. ties of the present staie, that man enjoys an inexhaustible fund of consolation, of which it is not in the power of fortune to de. prive him.”
“ There is not a book on earth so favourable to all the kind, and all the sublime affections, or so unfriendly to haired and persecution to tyranny, injustice, and every sort of malevolence as the gospel.-It breathes nothing throughout but mercy, benevolence, and peate.'
Paine reflects upon the Scripture for being deficient in moral precepts. I defy him, however, or any other deist in the world; to produce from all the stores of heathen writings, any thing equal or second to Christ's Sermon on the Mount; to the 12th chapter of Romans, or to the 13th chapter of the 1st Corinthians. Let any man shew us a system of morality equal unto these passages. The truth is, Paine knows very little of the matter.
upon the foregoing pages, we shall see that several of the characters there mentioned had been much led astray. Through different means, however, they discovered their error. They acknowledged their fault. They lamented their sin. They laid aside their prepossessions, and sought for the truth with all their skill and abilities. They were convinced in their understanding;(1) converted in their hearts ; they believed in the Redeemer; obeyed his gospel; and through infinite and unmerited grace, were eternally saved. Why then should not you pursue the same measures, if you have any suspicions every thing is not with you as it should be? You must allow, if the gospel-account of things be true, it is inconceiv. ably important. Treat it not, therefore, with contempt, neglect, indifference, but examine the matter to the bottom. Follow the example of West and Lyttleton, and let no man lead you by the nose to destruction, or sneer you out of salvation. Examine the evidence, and, with all simplicity and humility of mind, judge according to that evidence. And if you are finally convinced, that Jesus is the Christ, act nobly, confess his name, like Rochester,(2) to the
(1) The reader will find a very clear and concise account of the true foundation of all human knowledge in the letters of Euler to a German princess. This extraordinary man, second to none but Newton, was a serious and conscientious Christian and avowed: his belief in Christ upon all proper occasions. And while his great master declared that he found “ more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible, than in any profane history whatever;" he writes to the above princess, that “the holy life of the apostles and of the other primitive Christians appeared to him an irresist ible proof of the truth of the Christian religion
(2) We have another very respectable and honourable instance of this nature io present to the reader, which has just taken place, and which others of our deistical brethren would find their ad. vantage in imitating: Dr. Okely published an Octavo volume, en. titled “ Pyrology, or the Connection between Natural and Mora! Philosophy, with a Disquisition on the Origin of Christianity;" in which it was completely exploded, together with the doctrine of a future; tate.
It has pleased God, however, to shew Do
teeth of his opposers, and strive like him, to undo all the mischief you may have been the occasion of to others.
“ But, if we should be so seriously religious, as you seem to think necessary, we shall lose all the comforts of life, and become dull and melancholy."
If this were true, one hour's enjoyment of the glory of heaven would more than make amends for all your present loss. It is not, however, true. of godliness are grievously belied. For there is no happiness like the happiness of religion, even in the
Okely, the vanity of his philosophy, and he has done himself the honour to publish the following manly renunciation of his
" The author of Pyrology feels himself irresistibly impelled to make known, that he is now thoroughly convinced of the moral government of God, the immortality of the human soul, or future state, and of the truth of christianity in its fullest extent. For his involuntary error he confidently hopes to be pardoned by Almighty God, through the merits of Jesus Christ; but at the same time he thinks it his duty, in this public manner to solicit the pardon of his readers for having, as much as in him lay, though he trusts ineffectually, contributed to lead them astray.”
There are other conversions in the present day from deism to christianity besides this of Dr. Okely, and those which we have already mentioned. Dr. Vanderkemp, a Dutch physician, was convinced and recovered from infideli y by an alarming providence, and devoted himself as a missionary for the conversion of the hea. then. Captain Wilson is another remarkable instance, who, in gratitude to God for his goodness to him, undertook to convey he missionaries to the Southern Ocean, and has accomplished ihe undertaking with great and surprising success without putting ihe Society to the smallest expense.
Henry Redhead Yorke, who was sentenced to a long imprisonment for sedition, is another instance of a person, whose mind has undergone a great change during his imprisonment, and he has been open and honest enough to avow it.
The vices and frauds of the professors of christianity have nothing to do with christianity itself. To know what it is, we must look to the only proper place, the Scriptures. The Christian religion is peculiar to itself; it has nothing in common with the other systems of religion which have existed in the world. It has God for its founder, and reason for its basis.-It is every where uniform, consistent and complete.”
present world; and no peace like that of God, whick passeth all understanding.
“ The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
From faith and hope do grow.
A thousand sacred sweets.
Or walk the golden streets."
" But I shall be singular!"- This is partly true, ard partly otherwise. And suppose you are singular; how will this injure you? You will have the approbation of vour own mind. You will have God, and Christ, and angels, and all good men your friends. And is not this sufficient, but you must have the approbation of the devil and all his servants too, the children of vice and folly? Mistake not, the approbation of both is incompatible. You cannot serve God and Manimon; neither can you have the friendship of God, Christ, angels, and good men, and at the same time possess the approbation of the devil, and his servants, whose portion is in this life. The thing is impossible. You may as well attempt to reconcile light and darkness, fire and water, heaven and hell.-But suppose you should become a convert of the gospel of Christ, and be truly in earnest about the salvation of your soul, and, of course, singular in your way and manner of life; what inconvenience would you sus. t:; . or what real dishonour would you undergo? Was not Socrates singular among the Athenians? Were not Enoch and Noah singular among the Antediluvians ? Was not Abraham singular in Canaan, and Lot in Sodom? Were not Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and the prophets very singular persons in their day? Cur blessed Lord, his holy Apostles, and all the primitive Christians, were they not uniformly the same? Ani where was the misiortune of all this?