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yond the narrow bounds of time,—"an inheritance incor. ruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven,” (1 Peter i. 4.) is the rich reward which it exhibits to all the faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Hindoo Shasters present as a motive nothing which is equal to this. We have here, in this promise of the Christian Scriptures, a felicity presented which meets the most enlarged desires of the human mind. The promise of a blessedness which, if it be considered as a motive to obedience, will ever be found amply sufficient to rouse the Christian to activity and diligence in his Master's service. Having these promises, he will cleanse himself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor. vii. 1.) And animated by the believing expectation of this exalted felicity, he will conscientiously endeavour to crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts. (Gal. v. 24.) He knows, that in due time he shall reap, if he faint not. (Gal. vi. 9.) He will therefore walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; (Luke i. 6;) and laying aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset him, he will run with patience the race that is set before him, looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of his faith. (Heb. xii. 1.)
3. The enemies of Christianity have frequently written against the Bible, and been indefatigable in their exertions to contradict its statements, and to prove, if possible, that it was false. And the men who have engaged in this work were fully competent to accomplish their object, were there any possibility of doing so. They entered fully into the enquiry, and were, as to the generality of them, persons of superior talents and extensive information. It is, however, a fact, that not a single individual amongst them has ever been able to effect his purpose. Had the Bible, therefore, been false, we may be quite certain, that these hostile enquirers would both have discovered and exposed its falsehood ages ago. So far, however, from succeeding in their endeavours, their labours have tended only to defeat their own object; and instead of proving, as they designed, that the Bible is false, they have only drawn forth and exhibited in a more striking and satisfactory point of view, the reality of its truth, and the glory and indubitable certainty of its divine original.
4. Several parts of the Bible have been written three thousand, others two thousand, and no part of it less than one thousand seven hundred years ago. And yet to the present day, no man has been able to improve upon any part of it. The present age has improved upon most of the books written in the last century; and in general, the most ancient books are found to be the most defective and incorrect. How is it, then, that the Bible, which is the most ancient of all books in the world, instead of being the most defective, is not only the most correct, but absolutely perfect in every part? It contains no false principles-nothing superfluous, and is in no respect defective. Its superiority, therefore, to all other books can be accounted for, only on the principle of its having God for its author. Were it a work of man's production, it would undoubtedly have been found as false and defective as antiquated books of mere human authority universally are; and it would long since, as the consequence of this detection, have been rejected by mankind as worthless and false.
5. The Bible is the only book in the world which contains an account of the fall. The description also which it gives of the depravity of human nature, as the consequence
of man's fallen condition, is also found to be perfectly correct. It anatomizes the human heart, and exhibits its true state in the most clear and striking language, which no other book in the world does. If, therefore, it be not exclusively from God, how is it that it exclusively unfolds these distinguishing truths, which God alone could reveal ?-truths which involve the most important consequences, and which it is absolutely requisite for all men to become acquainted with, in order to their salvation ?
6. The Bible invites all to whom it is proposed to examine it. And in order that it may be examined, Christians, uniting themselves into various societies for the purpose, have translated it into almost all the languages of the earth, which they would not have done, were they not fully convinced of its divine authenticity.
The policy of a deceiver is to move as silently as possible, in order that he may avoid detection. It is not a good, but a bad rupee, that suffers by falling into the hands of the money changer. The Hindoo Shasters, by being kept secret and forbidden the people, are like a bad rupee, to which an examination would prove fatal. But it is the reverse with the Bible: like the good rupee, it has nothing to fear from the closest scrutiny, and the most critical investigation. Bring it, therefore, to this touchstone of truth; there is no danger to be apprehended from the result of the research: the more it is examined, the more it will be valued, and the brighter will appear the evidences of its truth, and the certainty of its divine original.
7. The Lord Jesus Christ frequently and plainly forewarned his disciples of the troubles and the difficulties to which they would be exposed, in consequence of their having embraced his religion. It is, therefore, evident that he was not an impostor, otherwise he never would have acted a part so prejudicial to his interests, and so much calculated, by the discouragement which it would excite in his followers, to ruin the interests of the religion which he was endeavouring to establish. An impostor, in his efforts to draw men after him, will tell them enough of the advantages to be derived fron the system which he advocates; but as to the difficulties and trials to which they may be exposed, if they adopt his sentiments, and follow his prescribed rules, these he will carefully keep out of sight. And if Christ had been an impostor, we may reasonably suppose that he also would have adopted this line of policy; and instead of exhibiting the dangers, have only pointed out to his followers the benefits which they would derive from embracing Christianity,
8. In addition to the evidences contained in this book, there are a variety of others which might be brought forward in confirmation of the truth of Christianity. They are, however, of such a description, that a knowledge of the nature, spirit, and design of Christianity is requisite, in order to understand and appreciate them. It is in vain to attempt to make a blind man understand the properties of light; and it is equally in vain to endeavour to make men who have not obtained an experimental acquaintance with the gospel to understand the value, the force, and the application of some of its most important evi. dences. We read, (John vii. 17.) “ If any man will do his will, (i. e. the will of God,) he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God:” and again, (1 John v. 10.) “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him. self.” These passages refer to an evidence which, in the experience of the Christian, is one of the most satisfactory and convincing that can possibly be advanced in support of the truth and divine authority of the Bible. It is, however, a proof which cannot be insisted upon before those who are strangers to the power and influence of the grace which the gospel imparts, because “ the knowledge of the doctrine,” and “ the witness” promised in these Scriptures, apply exclusively to the Christian. It is, therefore, requisite for men to become Christians, before they can comprehend its nature, or fully appreciate its worth and importance. Besides this, there are also other proofs, which cannot be enlarged upon in writing for the Hindoos, because they would not be able to judge of their truth and their force, on account of their not being acquainted with European literature. I have, however, brought forward in this work six distinct classes of evidence, i. e, one distinct class in each of the preceding chapters, viz. The internal evidences; the miracles; the prophecies; the resurrection; the spread of the gospel; and the sufferings and conduct of the apostles; exclusive of the concluding observations and other collateral remarks, calculated to throw increasing and important light upon the subject. Each of these chapters separately (but especially the first) contains, I conceive, sufficient proof to convince the judgment and solve the doubts of every candid enquirer. And the combined proof arising from the whole forms such a body of solid, satisfactory, conclusive, and irresistible evidence, as no other book in the world can advance in sup.. port of the truth, either of the histories which it may record, or the precepts which it may inculcate. The man, therefore, who rejects Christianity on account of the insufficiency of its evidence, will have no excuse to plead when he is called to “ appear before the judgment seat of Christ;" (2 Cor. v. 10.) who will shortly “be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. i. 7. 8.) “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John iii. 16.) Christ died upon
the cross to atone for the sins of mankind. In doing this, he has manifested the greatest love and the richest mercy to our fallen race. The religion which he has established in the world is confirmed and substantiated by the most incontrovertible proofs; and is, on account of its excellence and truth, "worthy of all acceptation.” (1 Tim. i. 15.) God, therefore, will not suffer those to go unpunished who despise his Son, or who neglect, and treat with indifference, the religion which he has established. Whether men believe or deny the assertion, it does not alter the reality of the case. Their refusing to believe it will neither avert nor diminish the misery which awaits them. And however they may now look upon it as a matter of indifference, yet the period is not far distant, when they will find, to their everlasting destruction, that Christianity is true, and the only true religion in the world; and that all systems which are opposed to it have their origin in deception and falsehood. It is not by any of these false systems, however, to which men may now ad