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Of the Bible.

The sufferer in the hospital.

delightful emotions has the Creator provided! So with all the other senses; and now, after you have examined in this way the whole structure, body and mind, of this being, follow him out to a summer's walk, and see how a benevolent Creator pours upon him, from all the scenery of nature, an almost overwhelming tide of delight. God smiles upon him in the aspect of the blue heavens, in the verdure of the fields, in the balmy breath of air upon his cheek-and in the very powers and faculties themselves, which he has so formed that every motion is delight, and every pulsation a thrill of pleasure. Such a revelation does nature make to us of the character of God, and of his feelings toward his creatures; and the Bible corresponds-" God is love."

But nature speaks to us sometimes in another tone. Let this child grow up, and abandon himself to vice and crime, and after the lapse of a few years let us see him again. How changed will be the scene! To see him, you must follow me to the hospital-room of an alms-house; for he has given himself up to vice, and endured suffering as a vagabond in the streets, until society can no longer endure to witness his misery, and they send him to an asylum out of their sight, in mercy both to themselves and to him. He lies upon his bed of straw in uninterrupted agony― his bones are gnawed, and his flesh corroded by diseaseevery motion is torment, every pulsation is agony; for the God who has so formed the human constitution, that in innocence, and in the health which generally attends it, all is happiness and peace, has yet so formed it, that vice can bring upon it sufferings-awful sufferings, of which no one but the miserable victim can conceive. I once saw in an alms-house, a sufferer whose picture has been in my imagination while writing the above. I have used general terms in my description. I might have given a much more detailed and vivid picture of his condition, but it was too shocking. Were my readers to see the scene, even through the medium of a description of ordinary clearness, the image of it would haunt them day and night. As I

The awful misery which vice sometimes brings upon its votaries.

stood by the side of this man, and reflected that God had brought him into that condition, and that God was holding him there, and probably would hold him in the same awful suffering while life should remain, I could not help saying to myself, "With how efficient and decided a moral Governor have we to do!" No man would have held this miserable being in his sufferings a moment: the superintendent of the hospital would have released him instantly, if it had been in his power; but God had the power, and he held the guilty breaker of his law under the dreadful weight of its penalty. Man shrinks from witnessing suffering, even where it is necessary to inflict it; but this feeling will not measure, and it has no power to limit God's dreadful energy in the punishment of sin. All nature tells us so, and the language that the Bible uses is the same"God is a consuming fire." Our feelings can no more contemplate with composure, as our hearts are now constituted, the judgments which the Bible denounces against the wicked in another world, than they can the agonies of delirium tremens, or the gnawings of the diseases with which God overwhelms the dissipated and the vile. In both cases there is a severity whose justice we must admit, but whose consequences we cannot calmly follow. If any one thinks that I describe the character of God in too dark and gloomy colors, I have only to say, that all nature and all revelation unite in painting God in the most dark and gloomy colors possible, as he exhibits himself toward those who persist in breaking his law. He is love to his friends, but he is a consuming fire to his foes; and every one ought to go to the judgment, expecting to find a Monarch thus decided and efficient in the execution of his laws, presiding there.

"The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice," says the Psalmist; and again he says, "The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble." We have abundant evidence, both in nature and revelation, that we must rejoice with trembling, under the government of God; for that government

Butler's Analogy.

III. Experimental evidence.

is most efficient and decided against sin--and we are sinners.

There are many other points of correspondence between the character and administration of God, as described in the Bible, and as exhibited in the constitution of nature; but I must not stop now to describe them. Butler, in an admirable work usually called Butler's Analogy, has explored this ground fully; and I would recommend to all my readers who take an interest in this subject, to obtain and study that work. I say study it, for it is not a work to be merely read, in the ordinary sense of that term; it must be most thoroughly studied, and studied too by minds in no inconsiderable degree mature, in order to be fully appreciated.

I have endeavored, by thus mentioning several points in which evidence may be found in favor of the truth of the Scriptures, from an examination of their contents, to illustrate the nature of the Internal Evidence. I have not designed to present the argument fully.* Having accomplished, however, the purpose intended, I now proceed to the third head I proposed.


The Experimental Evidence of the truth of Christianity is its moral power over the human heart. This is the most convincing of all. It is direct. There is no laborious examination of witnesses to bring the truth to us-no groping in the dimness of ancient times, and straining the sight to ascertain the forms of objects and the characters of occurrences there. All is before us. We can see distinctly, for the proof is near. We e can examine it minutely and leisurely, for it is constantly recurring.

I have remarked, that I considered this species of evi

* I would recommend to those of my readers who are interested in this part of my subject, the examination of the following works; Chalmer's Evidences of Christianity; Paley's do.; Alexander's do. ; Leslie's Short Method with Deists; Paley's Hore Paulinæ; Butler's Analogy.

Case of sickness supposed.


dence far more calculated to make a strong impression upon the mind than either of the two preceding heads I have described, on account of the difficulty, on the part of those whose lives are not devoted to literary pursuits, of looking back eighteen hundred years, and judging, with confidence of evidence in regard to events that occurred then. But I have often heard it remarked, by men amply qualified to investigate such subjects, that the power of the Bible, as they have often seen it exerted, in elevating to virtue and to happiness some miserable victim of vice and crime, has made a far stronger impression upon them, in favor of its divine origin, than any examination of the labored arguments of learned men. Now this must be so, not only in the case of Christianity, but in all similar cases. Suppose that some dreadful plague should break out in London, and after raging for many months,-suspending all business, driving away from the city all who could fly, and carrying consternation and death into all the families that should remain,-suppose that, after all this, the news should arrive, that in some distant part of the earth a remedy had been discovered for the disease. We will imagine it to have been in China. Perhaps the same disease had broken out in former times at Canton, and some plar growing in that vicinity had been found to be a specific against it: it would cure the sick and protect the healthy. The government of Great Britain concludes to send a ship to China to obtain a supply of the remedy. After waiting the proper time for the voyage, a telegraph announces the arrival of the ship on her return. She sails

up the Thames, comes to anchor, and soon the remedy for which they have all waited so anxiously is in full circulation about the city. Now, what will interest the people of London most in such a case? Will it be an examination of the officers of that ship, in order to satisfy themselves that they are not imposing some spurious article on the nation? Will they lay aside the remedy itself, and allow the sick to die, and the well to be attacked,

Proof of it.

The Mother.

while they examine the proof that this ship has actually been to China, and that her supercargo was really faithful in obtaining the identical article for which he was sent? No-all such inquiries, if they are made at all, would be left to the few official agents by whom the ship had been employed. The mass of the population would turn themselves to the remedy itself, with the eager question, "Will this medicine cure?" And, notwithstanding any skepticism or opposition of a few who might be interested in sustaining some other mode of treatment, the imported remedy, if found successful upon trial, would soon be in universal use among the sick all over the city.

Now, shall a man who is still under the power and dominion of sin, with this great remedy (which has saved, and is continually saving thousands all around him,) entirely within his reach, shall he waste his time in speculations and inquiries in regard to the manner in which Christianity came into the world, instead of flying to it at once as the remedy for all his sin and suffering? No: come at once and try the remedy. It restores others to health and happiness, and it will restore you. Come and be saved by it, and then you may inquire at your leisure how it came into the world.

In regard to the case supposed above, I have spoken of the skepticism or opposition of those who might be interested in some other mode of treatment. Suppose one of these men, interested in the continuance of the disease, and inhuman enough to desire on this account to perpetuate the misery of his fellows, should come into some wretched tenement in a crowded part of the city, and should find there one or two inmates under all the power of the disease. They are children. The mother has been away to some public office from which the remedy is distributed to the poor, and has obtained a supply for her dying boys. As she comes to their bedside, and begins with trembling joy to administer it, her hand is arrested by the visiter, who says to her, Stop; how do you know


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