« PreviousContinue »
GOSPEL ITS OWN WITNESS;
THE HOLY NATURE AND DIVINE HARMONY
THE IMMORALITY AND ABSURDITY
Laying his hand on the Bible, he would say, " There is true philosophy. This is the wisdom that speaks to the heart. A bad life is the only grand ob. jection to this Buok."
EARL OF ROch ESTER.
PART THE SECOND ;
Evidence of its Divinity.
THE struggle between religion and irreligion has existed in the world in all ages ; and if there be two opposite interests woich divide its inhabitants, the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God, it is reasonable to expect that the contest will continue will one of them be exterminated. The peaceful nature of Christianity does not require that we should make peace with its adversaries, cease to repel their attacks, or even that we should act merely on the defensive. On the contrary, we are required to make use of those weapons of the divine warfare with which we are furnished, for the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteih itself against the knowledge of God, and bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of Cbrist.
The opposition of the present age has not been confined to the less important points of Christianity, nor even to its first princi. ples : Christianity itself is treated as imposture. The same things, it is true, have been frequently advanced, and as frequently repelled, in former ages; but the adversaries of the gospel of late, encouraged it should seem by the temper of the times, have renewed the attack with redoubled vigour. One of their most popular writers, hoping to avail himself of this circumstadre, is pleased to entitle his performance The Age of Reason. This writer is aware that flatterry is one of the most powerful means of gaining admission to the human mind; such a compliment, therefore, to the present age, was doubtless considered as a masterstroke of policy. Nor is Mr. Paine less obliging to himself than to his readers, but takes it for granted that the cause for which he pleads is that of reason and truth. The considerate reader, however, may remark, that those writers who are not ashamed to beg the question in the title page, are seldom the most liberal or impartial in the execution of the work.
One thing which has contributed to the advantage of Infidelity is, the height to which political disputes have arisen, and the de. gree in which they have interested the passions and prejudices of mankind. Those who favour the sentiments of a set of men in one thing, will be in danger of thinking favourably of them in others ; at least they will not be apt to view them in so ill a light as if they had been advanced by persons of different sentiment in other things, as well as in religion. It is true, there may be nothing