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strongest arguments in favour of the religion which he professes.
However prominent these evidences, which I have recited, may be, they are confirmed by many others of equal strength and equal importance. To destroy, is always more easy than to build up. In ordinary things the observation may be true; but in establishing the truth of christianity we are supported by the infallible word of God. To punish the sins of men, God may permit the evil of infidelity to prevail in the the world, but the triumph of the gospel must succeed. Let this chear the dejected hearts of good men in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, "Heaven and "earth shall pass away, but my words," says Christ, "shall not pass away."
Concurring Evidences for the Truth of
All are but parts of one stupendous whole.
As he, who from the dimness of his sight, or the nature of his situation, observes only parts of a large and beautiful building, can have but a faint conception of its real elegance and dimensions; so he whose mind rests only on a few of the evidences of revelation, however powerful they may be in contributing to establish its important truths, wants that irresistible conviction which arises from a contemplation of the whole. We see many a feeble critic ready to seize upon, what may be called, the outposts of christianity, whose heart is too much prejudiced to attend to all the comprehensive arguments which the subject affords. There are circumstances recorded in the Bible, which,
which, in every age, have met with some sceptic to turn them into ridicule, because. they happen to be contrary to the general experience of mankind. They reflect not that in estimating a divine revelation, the power of the Almighty Governor of the universe should be more regarded, than any fanciful opinion, any rule, however specious, directed by the fallibility of human judgment.
Had there been only one miracle or one prophecy on which the fabrick of revelation could be built, objections might have arisen, which would have shook the building to its foundation. Deception might have been thought to have produced the one, and accident the other. But when we behold a chain of miracles from the earliest times which history records; when a series of prophecies is presented to us, all tending to the same end, and meeting their accomplishments at different periods, do we not feel ourselves affected by a weight of evidence, which perhaps no single circumstance could have produced? "All the pro"phecies and miracles, howsoever remote,
are by their unity of design drawn together and formed into one regular whole, growing stronger and being mutually supported by the association. As the strength of the parts in a well constructed "arch is the result, not of their own solidity alone, but of their uniform direction to one common centre."
The more this argument is considered, the greater conviction it will afford. It corresponds with the magnificence of the idea excited by the great scheme of christianity, which comprehends within its plan every scriptural event from the fall of Adam to the present hour; nay, it ranges into the very depths of time, and anticipates the completion of many important prophecies. By the appearance of Christ, a dark and impenetrable veil was removed from the Jewish history. It became then evident, for what intent many of their rites and ceremonies were instituted; the importance of sacrifice and offerings was acknowledged, and a clear light shined on their hearts. When future times shall still more develope the great purposes of Providence, as revealed
in the scriptures of truth, the human mind will receive a yet greater accession of evidence, and be satisfied that it was not for one age, or one people, that Christ, our day-star, beamed on the world.
If we consider the series of predictions in the Old Testament concerning the coming of Christ, from the promise made to Adam, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, to the prophecy of Malachi, about four hundred years before that event, we must be sensible that no man, or succession of men, however distinguished, by knowledge or abilities, or even by the most penetrating foresight, could produce so regular and well-concerted a plan, without an assistance far superior to their own. "Can such a scheme," to adopt the words of an elegant writer, from whose treatise I have selected my last quotation, and to whom I shall be obliged for the following observations *: "Can such a scheme be merely an
* "A Sketch of the one great Argument, formed from the "several concurring Evidences for the Truth of Christianity. "By the Rev. John Rotherham, M. A. of Codrington College, "in Barbadoes. Oxford, 1754" [Late Rector of Houghton le Spring.] "invention