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and the writers (had they been guided merely by human wisdom) could scarcely have refrained from expressing the opinions on scientific subjects which were universally entertained in their age. We shall afterwards see that the Hindu books, the Zend books, and the Koran, introduce many statements connected with scientific questions, and that these are frequently erroneous. On the other hand, it is most remarkable that there are no scientific blunders in the Christian Scriptures. The works both of Jews and Gentiles who lived at, or near, the same period with the writers of the New Testament, contain many speculations, and state many things as facts, which the progress of philosophy has now completely set aside. But not so with the New Testament writings. This is a strong argument in support of the opinion that they were inspired by God.

III. The harmony of the Christian Scriptures with the

Harmony between the Scriptures and Providence.

Providence, or moral government, of God is

a proof of their having come from God. This, like the preceding head, is a subject of very great importance and interest; and, as your own philosophical studies advance, you will be able to trace still deeper and more remarkable resemblances between Providence and the Scriptures. I will not at present dwell upon it at much length; but you will distinctly understand the nature of the argument from the following observations. One of the objections which young natives frequently urge against Christianity is this, that, if Christianity had been intended by God to be a religion for all men, God would have directly revealed it to all men, and revealed it to all long ago. It is thus maintained that, because many men do not know it until other men explain it to them, and because many never heard of it till lately, it cannot have been designed by God to became universal. Now, what light do God's proceedings in His ordinary providence, throw on this question? We shall take the

simplest illustrations.

Iron is one of the most valuable

gifts of God in nature,—but some countries have no iron minės; is it wrong in them to bring iron from other lands? Some useful medicines have been discovered only very recently; is it right to say that, since God did not allow them to be found out for many thousand years, He does not intend them to be used for the benefit of men now' Clearly, the notion that what God wishes to be learned respecting himself, He will always communicate directly and not through human instrumentality, is opposed to His conduct in providence. He intends that men should understand and keep His commandments; but, unless the parents and guardians of children teach them to do so. and carefully train them in the ways of righteousness, the children will grow up ignorant, careless and ungodly. Jus in the same way, God commands Christians to go and teach all nations but, unless Christians do so, the nation will remain ignorant, wicked, and miserable. The cir cumstance that you in this country learn the way of salva tion not from God directly, but from Christian Missionaries is perfectly parallel to the fact that you learned in child hood to avoid lying and stealing, not directly from God himself, but from your parents and instructors. To say

"if God had wished me to believe on Christ, He himself would have told me so by a voice from heaven,” is the same kind of argument as saying, "if God had wished me not to steal, He himself would have told me so by a voice from heaven."

In the cases I have now referred to, you trace a close similarity between Providence and Christianity. The book of Providence and the book of Revelation appear written in similar characters and by the same hand. They resem ble each other even in various characteristics which some It extends men may think objectionable. For example, the assertion in the Bible that chil

even to difficulties.

dren often suffer for the sins of their parents, is a statement which many unbelievers have held to furnish a strong argument against the Bible. But the very same thing is A wicked parent can

seen in God's ordinary providence. injure, or murder, his child. Or, if he spare his body, he can pollute and poison his soul: Indeed, the child often necessarily suffers on account of his parent's sin,-for example, the parent who has enfeebled his body by vicious conduct cannot transmit a healthy constitution to his offspring. If you ask, why is this? we must answer, that we do not well know.



But such is the fact; and that is

The argument, then, which has now been explained, is briefly this: There is a wonderful similarity between many things in Christianity and in Providence,-and the similarity exists even in cases in which the principles of God's doings are so profound as to be to us perplexing and incomprehensible; so that, in this way, often the very difficulties that exist in Christianity become powerful arguments in its support. Man would have striven to keep such difficulties out of sight. Man, in inventing a religion, would have made it as free from objections as he possibly could. God, however, will not consent to impair the truth, because man is unable, as yet, fully to comprehend it; and, so long as there are depths in Providence which we cannot fathom, there will be depths in Religion which we cannot fathom.*

thus, often, prove the truth of the Scriptures.

I am, &c.

The subject which has been noticed in the last three or four pages is one of the most interesting portions of the Christian Evidence.

The reader who has attended in some measure to the study of logic or mental philosophy will find the argument treated in a profoundly philosophic spirit in the celebrated work of Butler, entitled; "The Analogy of Religion (Natural and Revealed) to the constitution and course of Nature."




WE proceed with our inquiry into the internal eviden ces of the Christian religion. We come now to compare it with what is called Natural Religion. By Natural Religion we mean those truths respecting God which man might discover by the exercise of his own mind in the contemplation of God. This subject is closely connected

with what we considered in the last letter, but still it deserves a separate examination.

We may grant that, even without any miraculous revelation from heaven, men might still attain to a considerable knowledge of God. There is what we call the Light of Nature; it denotes all that knowledge of God which we might derive from the works of Nature around us, the Providence of God, and the constitution of our own minds. When we unite all the instruction which these things communicate respecting God, into a system, we term that system Natural Religion. Let me, however, beg you to avoid an error into which people often fall on this subject. Some have thought that, because the Light of Nature shows many truths respecting God, men would easily see all these truths;-they suppose that, whensoever Nature speaks, human beings hear. Not so, however. The voice of Nature says; "Do no murder,"-and yet, there are nations that delight in nothing but war and blood,

A common error on this subject.

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there are even races of cannibals. Thus, then, although Nature speaks, men often shut their ears, and hear not her voice. You are, then, by no means at liberty to suppose there ever was a nation that held all those truths which we include under Natural Religion. Not even any of the philosophers of antiquity held the whole of that system which we now so denominate, and the opinions of the common people were, in most cases, very widely removed from our present system of Natural Religion. Another thing ought to be carefully attended to.

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Light of Na


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the opinion of all Christians, and of some also who are sceptics, that Almighty God granted a Revelation to mankind soon after their creation, and that important fragments of that original Revelation still remain in the Heathen systems of religion. On this principle, many of those truths which Heathen nations hold respecting God, have been obtained from recollection or tradition, and not discovery.

Take, then, these things into account, and Natural Religion is seen to consist of those doctrines respecting God which are intimated by the constitution of Nature, but which, although intimated, may not be generally comprehended. It is exceedingly probable that, unless Revelation had enabled us to interpret the voice of Nature, we should never have learned more than a very insignificant part of what she actually teaches. When we speak then, of Natural Religion, we include all that men, in the use of every assistance they possess, can see to be intimated in Nature. It is after hearing all that Christianity and other religions have to communicate, that men proceed to state what are the truths to which Nature testifies.

I am the more anxious to explain my meaning on this point, because many young men in India still seem to think that the truths laid down in modern treatises on Na

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