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occurred; and the subjects of such changes have gone, when they have been liberated, in peace and happiness to their homes. There are now scattered over our land, vast numbers who have been brought, from every stage and degree of guilt, to seek pardon through the Saviour, and to begin a life of virtue and piety. The influence of the Bible, too, upon the community at large, is so great, that every country where it freely circulates is distinguished for the peace which reigns there. Vice is diminished; property and life are safe; every man sits under his own vine and fig-tree, with none to molest or make him afraid. But when man is left to himself, he makes his home a den of robbers. If you travel on the Nile, or the Tigris, you must look well to your means of defence. Men must go in caravans in all those regions, for mutual protection. But how would an armed escort for a traveller appear, on the banks of the Connecticut or the Hudson! And yet, though benefits so great are procured to society by the Bible, they are procured, after all, only by a limited application of its moral power. It is a very small proportion of the whole population, even in the United States, which attends at all to the commands and instructions of the word of God. The numbers are, however, rapidly increasing.

I will close this chapter by mentioning one more instance of the moral power of the Bible: it is, its effect in destroying the fear of death. The fear of death is instinctive, not founded on reasoning. It is reasonable for us to fear some things connected with death; but the chief apprehension which every man feels, in looking forward to that hour, is the result of an instinctive principle which Providence has implanted in every man's mind; and the only way by which it can be counteracted, without the Bible, is by banishing the subject from the thoughts. This is the way that soldiers acquire courage

in battle-by accustoming themselves not to think of death at all. It is not in human-nature to contemplate its approach, habitually and calmly, without such a preparation as the Bible gives.

Come, in imagination, to this sick chamber. That young man, tossing restlessly upon his pillow, is soon to die. His physicians have given him over. His friends despair: but, by a most absurd and preposterous species of kindness, they will not tell him of his danger, for they know he is unprepared to die; and the knowledge of the approach of the dread hour they think will distress him! But the sad secret they cannot conceal ;-he reads the sentence in their anxious looks and agitated words; his pale cheek turns paler with fear; and to the natural restlessness of disease there is added the overwhelming agitations of mental anguish. Can you soothe him? Can you calm him? Your very effort reveals to him his danger more distinctly; and his heart sinks within him in hopeless terror. Sometimes, it is true, this fear of death does not reign in the heart at the closing hour: for reason may be gone, or the soul may sink into stupor. But when death is really foreseen, and known to be near, while the faculties retain their power, the expectation of it often weighs down the human spirit with overwhelming fears.

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But the Bible tells us, that the sting of death is sin, and that Christ will give Believers the victory over it. The Bible most faithfully keeps this promise. See that dying Christian mother! She knows that death is near, and has calmly made all her arrangements for the closing She is a Christian; and looks forward to an entrance into the world of spirits with no foreboding and no anxiety. Her husband and children and friends stand in agitation and distress around her bed-side; but she is calm. A Christian death-bed very often exhibits the astonishing spectacle of composure and happiness in the

one who is to drink the cup; while those around, who are only witnesses of the scene, are overwhelmed in agitation and sorrow. The very one who is to encounter the suffering, is the only one who can look forward to it without fear. It is because the Bible has been shedding its influences upon her heart, and, by a moral power which no other means can exert, has disarmed Death, the very king of terrors, and given to a weak and suffering mortal the victory over all his power.

But I must close this chapter; and, with it, close the short and simple view I have been endeavouring to give of the Evidences of Christianity. The book is designed as an illustration of Christian Duty, not of Christian Truth. I do not, therefore, go far into subjects of this nature. It is so necessary, however, for the peace and happiness of a young Christian, that his mind should rest calmly and firmly upon a belief that the Christian religion does really come from Heaven, that I have thought it would be useful to give this subject a place. I cannot but hope that my readers see evidence enough to satisfy them that the Bible is really the word of God. If you do, lay up the conviction in your heart, and let it guide and influence you. But let me, before I dismiss the subject, give you two or three short practical directions.

1. Do not think there is no other side to this question. There are a great many things which may be said against the Bible; and some things which you cannot answer. But they do not touch or affect the great arguments by which the authority of the Bible is sustained. They are all small, detached difficulties. This is a fundamental point. Some of these difficulties can be satisfactorily removed. Others, perhaps, cannot. And it is no matter if they cannot. When some difficulty, such as the difference between the genealogy of Christ, as given by Matthew and by Luke, is presented to you, do not be too anxious

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to explain it. Acknowledge that it is a difficulty; and let your mind, instead of being thrown into a fever by a vain effort to understand what you have not philological or historical knowledge enough to investigate, just say, "I do not understand that point;" and, then, rest, calmly and with confidence, upon the great but simple arguments on which the strong foundations of your belief stand.

2. Never dispute with any body upon the Evidences of the Christian Religion. The difficulty with unbelievers is far oftener one of the heart, than of the intellect; and you cannot alter the heart by disputing. When they' present you with arguments against Christianity, reply in substance: "What you say seems plausible, and I have no particular answer to it. Still, it does not reach the broad and deep foundations upon which, in my view, Christianity rests; and consequently, notwithstanding what you say, I still place confidence in the word of God.”

3. Notice this, which, if you will watch your own experience, you will find to be true. Your confidence in the word of God, and in the truths of religion, will be almost exactly proportional to the fidelity with which you discharge your duty. When you lose your interest in practical religion, and neglect prayer, and wander into sin, then you will begin to be in darkness and doubt. If you are so unhappy as to get into such a state, do not waste your time in trying to reason yourself back to belief again. Return to duty. Come to God, and confess your wanderings; and make peace with Him. If you do this, light for the intellect, and peace for the heart, will come back together.

CHAPTER VIII.

STUDY OF THE BIBLE.

Way to study the Bible-The Young Man's Experiment-The Family Circle-Distribution of Books-Interest of the Children.- Particular Directions-Familiar Sounds-The Motto in the School-room-Description from the Bible-Vivid Conceptions-Picturing the Scene to the Mind-Clear Conceptions-West's Picture of Christ Rejected- Effect upon the Assembly.-Writing Questions-God's Command to Abraham: Questions upon the Passage-Questions written by a Boy: many faulty- Utility of writing Questions - Many Questions on one VerseExperiment tried by a Mother.-A Sabbath-School Teacher.-Re-writing Scripture-The Boy's Evening Work Actual Case-Passage-Difficulty arisingExplanation of it-Story of Micah: a Specimen-Two Specimens on the same Subject-Questions-Collating the Scriptures- Plan tried by James and JohnEffect of this Method-Three Accounts of Paul's Conversion-Advantage of the Plan-List of Lessons-Difficulties to be anticipated.-Studying by Subjects: The Sabbath-Jerusalem- List of Topics.-Too little Intellectual Study of the Bible-Object of the Historic Form-Reading practically-Daily Reading of the Bible-Useless Reading-The Apprentice-Reading two Verses aright.

"Able to make us wise unto salvation."

It is not my intention, in this chapter, to give any description of the Bible itself, or of its history since it came into the world. Nor shall I endeavour to establish its divine authority, or present the evidences or the nature of its inspiration. My object is, to point out practical duty: and I shall confine myself to a description of the best methods of reading and studying the book.

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I ought, however, to remark at the outset, that I intend the chapter to be of a highly practical character; and I' shall go, accordingly, into minute detail. Besides, I am writing for the young; and shall, as I have generally done in this book, confine myself exclusively to them: for I have much more hope that they will be influenced to follow the course which I shall endeavour to describe, than that my efforts will produce any good effect upon those who have gone beyond the meridian of life.

There should be a distinction made, between the manner

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