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to say to you, I know you will excuse my sending for you at this early hour. You and I, B. have spent many happy hours together; and you will naturally be desirous of knowing something of the state of my mind; but such is the weakness of iny body, that I shall not be able to say much. You see the situation in which I am; but I hope I can say that I desire to submit with patience and resignation to God's will, and to be very thankful that I was not cut off, in my youthful days, in the midst of my sins. I now feel that if the important concerns of religion had not been attended to before, this is not the time; but, blessed be God, Jesus Christ has done all things well; his salvation is complete; and I desire to renounce all my own doings, and to throw myself at his feet as a poor sinner, entirely depending upon his atoning blood and righteousness for acceptance with God..


You and I have been walking many years together, and devising many plans for the glory of God and the good of souls; and I hope you will long be spared as an instrument to promote his cause; but, Oh! do let ine, as a dying man, recommend to you, that you look well to all your motives. I now see that the best of plans may be formed, and the best of works done, without the best motives. I repeat it again, look well to all your motives.' His friend now attempted to say something; but supposing he intended to commend him, he stopped him by saying, You do not know a hundredth part of what has daily and hourly passed in my mind. I have now such a view of the infinite holiness of God, that, if it were not for the promises of his word, I sometimes think I should be ready to sink in despair.'

He now became weaker and weaker, till his friends were ob liged to relinquish all hope of his recovery. As he approached nearer to his end, he expressed a wish to be removed to his house at Kentish Town, that he might die in peace, at a distance from the noise of the city. He felt convinced that he was going to return no more, and determined to seize the last opportunity he ever would have, of speaking to many of his old friends and connections in business, He therefore sent for them, one by one, and took a very solemn and affectionate farewell of each, dropping a kind word of exhortation to them as their case appeared to him to require. He was followed with the blessings and prayers of his friends; and his departure was a very affecting scene. Soon after his arrival, he said to a friend, I know you have been praying for my recovery; but the greatest kindness you can now do me is to pray for my speedy dismissal from this world of sorrow to a heaven of joy. He now became so weak as to be incapable of conversation; and we can only collect a few detached sentences, which fell from him at different times during the few weeks he survived. I have been afflicted so long, I would

rather depart and be with Christ, which is far better. While I was able, I thought upon aud poured out my soul in prayer to God; but my intellects are now so weak, I can only offer up a short petition with my Amen. I have prayed earnestly through this affliction for sincerity. I hope I can appeal to the Searcher of hearts, that I have been sincere.'

I trust I can say I know in whom I have believed. My mind is very comfortable, my faith is unshaken, the fear of death is taken away. I long to depart and be with Christ, -precious name!'

When it was remarked, how beautiful the fields appeared, he repeated, with much energy,

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When Mrs. B. anxiously expressed a wish for his recovery, he very earnestly answered, No, no. I would not exchange for ten thousand worlds, the glory I have in prospect." Some of his last words were directed to Mrs. B. May the God of Israel bless you, my dear; the Lord will be your husband.My long affliction appears but a moment, compared with the peace of mind I now enjoy. Thus on the 28th of April, 1810, in the forty-fifth year of his age, he sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, and went to the enjoyment of that everlasting rest, which he had so long and so earnestly desired.

He was buried on the 5th of May, in Bunhill Fields. His family wished as much privacy as possible; but the love and veneration of his friends were too ardent to be restrained; and many feeling spectators bore testimony to his exalted worth, and the universal estimation in which that worth was held *.

His death was improved by the Rev. Mr. Campbell, at Kingsland, from Phil. i. 23; and at Kentish Town, from Psalm xxiii. 26.

*Want of room obliges us to omit several extracts from his letters, as well as the character of Mr. B. drawn at large by the friend who furnished us with this paper.



It has been common for the enemies of Christianity, and for some of its injudicious friends likewise, to treat of the different branches of its evidence as if it was necessary that every one, separately, should furnish a complete demo.istration of the truth. Some have chosen the external (or

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historical) evidence; others, the internal (or that which its contents afford) as the sole ground of faith in the Bible; and others, some particular view of either, especially of the latter kind of evidence. No view, indeed, ever has been, or probably can be, fairly taken of the sacred Scriptures, that would not, to a diligent and candid inquirer, supply a strong presumption both of their authenticity and their inspiration; but it is only by uniting their various kinds of evidence that we are likely to obtain absolute certainty on a subject of such vast importance. In proceeding, therefore, to illustrate the peculiar view which it has been proposed in these papers to take of the evidences of the gospel, its connexion with the universal consent of Christians from the beginning; with the particular testimonies of an unbroken chain of writers through every age of Christianity; with the gradual fulfilment of prophecies; with the indisputable excellence of its precepts, the incomparable sublimity of its doctrines; and the undeniable efficacy of its practical influence where cordially believed, should be kept in mind as concurring with that claim to entire freedom from error, and those internal proofs of authenticity and inspiration, which these papers are designed to establish in behalf of the Four Gospels..

The passages of Scripture to which references were made in the Magazine for March, page 89-92, may have sufficed to convince every atttentive reader, that all the gospels bear internal marks of having been composed by those persons to whom, from their first publication, they have constantly been ascribed, although the authors have carefully avoided naming themselves. The same invincible modesty is remarkable in them all, though necessarily diversified, according to the dif ferent circumstances in which they wrote: and it is chiefly by their invariable adherence to a principle of conduct so congenial with the doctrines which they record, that we are enabled to detect the latent writers; each of whom mentions all that were concerned in their transactions, except himself. The consistency of such a practice in those who (above all others) could say We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord,' is too obvious to need illustration.

From the view which has already been taken, some intimations have naturally occurred respecting the sources from which the materials of the four gospels were derived, as well as the occasions and the dates of their composition. To develope these, as much as the necessary limits admit, is the object of this communication..

Falsehood, whether proceeding from fraud or error, is equally opposed to truth. To receive any testimony as the ground of our belief, it is therefore indispensably necessary that it should be free from both these changes; to one or the other of which all testimony merely human is liable.

Supernatural assistance, or inspiration, was therefore requisite, to render the gospels worthy of our implicit reliance; but the assistance necessary for this purpose, was not of the same kind with that which dictated prophecies, or revealed doctrines undiscoverable by human reason. All that was required was, that those who wrote should have an infallible recollection of what they had seen or heard; and this was promised by our Lord to the apostles, as one of them expressly asserts, John xiv. 26. Without such an influence of the Holy Spirit, it cannot rationally be supposed that four writers. should have related either the same events, or different events of the same period, with a very striking diversity of manner and of circumstances; yet not only without any real contradiction, but with such strict consistency as, on close examination, to afford the strongest confirmation of each other's testimony in those very cases where, on the first glance, they seemed most to differ.

The sources, therefore, whence the materials of all the four gospels are derived, are the respective testimonies of eye and, ear-witnesses of the facts, who were enabled by the Holy Spirit to report them without any mixture of error. That the very small proportion of events recorded in any of the gospels, of which none of the apostles could be eye-witnesses, would not have been inserted, but upon testimony of equal validity. to their own, will, it is hoped, be demonstrated in the course of this inquiry.

The whole gospel of John is delivered as his personal testimony to events, which had mostly been omitted by the preceding Evangelists. It has been shewn also, that by much the greater part of Matthew's is to be regarded as his personal evidence: but, since various portions, even of that part of his gospel, are related in the very same words which are often used either by Mark or Luke, or sometimes by both those writers in recording the same facts,-we must conclude either that they were all inspired, to use the same phraseology, or that they did so accidentally; or, that they copied one from another; or, that all three writers, in some instances, and two of then in many, inserted their statements from the same original authority.

The utter improbability of a majority of these suppositions, will easily be perceived, by any person of information and reflexion. To what end should a comparatively few phrases be made precisely the same, by divine inspiration, when the substance of each gospel was permitted to vary so greatly from the others, not merely in phraseology, but even in the arrangement and subordinate circumstances of the same events? To suppose the intervention of any thing miraculous, without. absolute proof of the fact, or without obvious and important occasion for it, is highly degrading, both to the character and,

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to the author of inspiration. To accident, no one who has carefully examined the verbal samenesses in the gospel, can attribute them, without forfeiting his claim to rationality. That any of the first three evangelists should have seen the other gospels when he wrote, is inconsistent with what has already been ascertained respecting their authors, except that Mark might be acquainted with the gospel of Luke; but it is still more inconsistent with the purport and obvious design of their writings, that they should copy one from another! It remains, therefore, only to consider the probability that these passages which are expressed in the same words, were inserted by the different writers, from the same original authority.

All the instances in question relate to facts of which the apostles were eye-witnesses. From the testimony of one or another of them, therefore, the several evangelists might derive their sameness of phraseology,-whether the apostle's themselves wrote down what the Holy Spirit brought to their remembrance, or dictated it to others. The former is the more probable; as Matthew, doubtless, recorded in his own phraseology, various passages, in which the text is verbatim the same with that of Mark or of Luke: and as it does not appear that either of those evangelists could have seen Matthew's gospel, they most probably derived those statements from detached memorials, which that apostle had much earlier committed to writing, and of which he also would naturally, inake use in the composition of his own gospel.

[To be continued.]




I HAVE received your favour by Mr. Churchill, and am deeply affected that I have not acknowledged your former kindness. The parcel was retarded in its passage some months; but this is no vindication of my long silence. The very truth is, the last winter was with me a time of indisposition and languor; I neglected writing, from day to day, in hope of finding some lucid interval of constitution, till I had delayed beyond all reasonable measure, and was at last become like a desperate debtor, who has no heart to look into affairs, that seem irretrievably ruined; but since you are so indulgent as to overlook this fault, and honour me with a fresh instance of your friendship, be pleased to accept my sincerest thanks, as well for your candour in forgiving, as for your generosity in giving. The book which I received, exactly corresponded with the catalogue drawn by the young lady

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