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The contents of the first part of this volume form the substance of the article CHRISTIANITY, in the EDINBURGH Ency.
Its appearance is due to the liberality of the Pro. prietors of that Work-nor did the Author conceive the purpose of presenting it to the world in another shape, till he was permitted and advised by them to republish it in a separate form. It is chiefly confined to the exposition of the historical argument for the truth of Christianity; and the aim of the Author is fulfilled if he has succeeded in proving the external testimony to be so sufficient, as to leave Infidelity without excuse, even though the remaining important branches of the Christian de. fence had been less strong and satisfactory than they are. “ The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness 66 of me.” “ And if I had not done the works among them “ which none other man did, they had not had sin.'
The Author is far from asserting the study of the historical evidence to be the only channel to a faith in the truth of Christianity. How could he, in the face of the obvious fact, that there are thousands and thousands of Christians, who bear the most undeniable marks of the truth having come home to their
understanding "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power ?" 1. They have an evidence within themselves, which the world
knoweth not, even the promised manifestations of the Saviour. This evidence is a “sign to them that believe ;” but the Bible speaks also of a “sign to them which believe not;" and should it be effectual in reclaiming any of these from their infidelity, a mighty object is gained by the exhibition of it. Should it not be effectual, it will be to them “a savour of death unto death ;" and this is one of the very effects ascribed to the proclamation of Christian truth in the first ages. If, even in the face of that