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adjusts all, reconciles all. It is the intelligent view of this great mystery which lets in a flood of light on the mind of the beholder—as he discerns the impress of infinite love and infinite sacredness on that wondrous scheme, in the contemplation of which he finds all the misgivings of his own guilty nature appeased, and yet his reverence for the divine nature unbroken.
33. Thus much on the second experimental evidence for the truth of a profest revelation—the first being the accordancy between the statements which are there made, and the felt state of the human heart. The second is founded on the
they tell could not have been educed by any reasoning process of their own. Then the dependence, the mathematical dependence of these things, argues that they must have received by information what they could not evolve by reasoning; and the consistency which obtains in the matter of their revelation speaks for the truth of it. Now the same might apply to the agreements, the profound and exquisite agreements, which obtain between the parts of the spiritual system—too manifold, and perhaps too recondite, to have been devised by the messengers who have been the bearers of itthus evincing the transcendental wisdom or truth from which it must have had its rise. The doctrine of the atonement is far from being the ouly, though perhaps the most conspicuous, and certainly the most important exemplification of this—providing the freest and largest outlet for the divine mercy, and yet casting thereby a brighter radiance over the other attributes of the God. head, and more especially over the divine holiness. The more intensely this is viewed, the deeper is the insight which it gives of Christianity, as a well-compacted system, that, instead of being devised by man, originated with Him who presides over the harmonies, of truth and of the universe. The more that the under. standing is illuminated to behold the truths of scripture and their relations, the more will it appreciate the Bible as a well of hidden wisdom that is fathomless : and the more will it perceive the significancy of the expression “the unsearchable riches of Christ." This doctrinal evidence is entitled to a distinct chapter by itself. But we must stop somewhere--for however far we might prosecute the theme, we should still leave unfinished an argument that is in truth exhaustless.
accordancy between the felt wants of our nature, and the provision, that is there intimated to have been made for them. Both serve to manifest a power of divination. By the one it proves itself a skilful diviner of our thoughts; by the other a skilful diviner of our necessities. Had we time to expatiate on this second argument, we think it might be made palpable, that the hand of a God may be as directly inferred, from the adaptations which there are in the book of a profest revelation to the wants and the well-being of our moral economy-as from the adaptations which there are in the book of external nature to the wants and the well-being of our natural economy. If the beauty that regales the eye, if the music that charms the ear, if the food that appeases the hunger and sustains the else decaying body in health and vigour, if the many fitnesses of outward things to the senses and the convenience of man—if on these there can be validly founded the conclusion, that the same God who constructed our material framework, may also be traced in the manifold congruities of the surrounding materialism—then might there likewise be such a varied suitableness between the needs and the fears and the appetencies of man's spirit on the one hand, and the doctrines or the directions of that volume which is addressed to him on the other, as to put the legible impress of a presiding and an inspiring divinity upon its pages. Were full development given to this most interesting conclusion, we think that the evidence of a designing God may be made to shine forth as directly from His word, as it does from His works,
And if we will only think of the vivid recognition, which even the most unlettered of our peasantry can take of his necessities and his dangers; and also of the distinct intelligence wherewith he can lay hold of the simplicities of Scripture—we shall perceive that between the one and the other, he may have all the materials within his reach for the argument before us. Let us add to this consideration the principle upon which Dr. Paley holds anatomy to be a better substratum on which to rear an argument for a God than astronomy. Let us think with him, that, within a narrow compass, the relations of fitness may be so crowded, as to give more intense proof of a divinity, than can the sublime but simple relations which obtain in the celestial machinery of the firmament—and then perhaps we may apprehend, how even the homeliest of our population, with nought but the Bible in his hand and in his breast the microcosm of his own spirit, may nevertheless discern so many adaptations between the directions of the one and the desires or even diseases of the other, as to arrest him with the well-warranted conviction of the same divinity having been concerned in the formation of both. And it may not be the conceit of a fanatical imagination, it may be sound and sober rationality -when, after the experience that this is the book those informations have quelled his fears, and tleared away his perplexities, and lured him to the path of hopeful and progressive virtue, and renovated his whole character, and brought him to peace with God, and pound health and holiness into all the recesses of his moral constitution-it
may indeed be as valid an argument as philosopher has reared on the congruities of the external world, when, looking to the word and to its manifold congruities with the economy of his own nature, he is riveted into the assurance that verily God is in it of a truth.
34. We may here again observe that the elementary truths of the Gospel, are not like many of the truths of human science, in the pursuit of which we are carried onward by the stepping-stones of a long and successive argument. They are brought forth, more in the way of statement than in the way of demonstration.
And it is not through a train of reasoning, that we gain for them the acceptance of a man's understanding-but more speedily and directly through the manifestation of them unto the man's conscience. So that if this faculty be asleep, the intimations of the Gospel are unheeded; and it is only when this faculty is awake, and the
of the inner man is open to its own worthlessness, and sin is seen both in its deformity and its danger—that the tidings of salvation are apprehended to be true, and that, from the felt correspondence which there is between the offered remedy and the spiritual disease. But in order that this correspondence be felt, the disease must be felt-- the mind must be so far recovered from its palsy, as to be recovered to a sense and a consciousness which really do not exist among the vast majority of this world's generations. And hence the vanity of all those logical and lengthened processes, which, though all triumphant on that march of investigation by which the studious
inquirer is guided to a right conclusion on the questions of Philosophy or Physics or Law, have never availed for the conversion of a human soul to the truth as it is in Jesus. That truth in fact often discovers itself to the mind of an unlettered peasant, on the bare intimation of it.
There is a light which makes it manifest to his judgment, that may spring up immediately on the moment of its utterance; and by which too he attains, not a fanciful, but a sound and just and solid apprehension of it. Just grant in his behalf an organ of discernment, so purified of all those obstructions, which, in the shape of vain and carnal security, have blinded the perceptions of other men; and he may see himself in the actual characters of guilt and ungodliness which belong to him. And if a man but see his deficiencies, then by a single glance of the eye may he also see, how the doctrines of the Gospel and these deficiencies fit to one another; and thus, by an act of intuition, may a man without learning but with a conscience simply awakened, be made to perceive what no erudition and no elaborate contemplation of the articles of orthodoxy will make another man to perceive, whose conscience is unawakened. It is somewhat as if a fragment of any thing was broken away from some mass of which at one time it formed a part.
All the hollows and all the protuberances on the one surface, will be in a state of most accurate adjustment with the corresponding protuberances and hollows upon the other. But it is not by looking, however intently, to one of these surfaces, that we shall come to ascertain the truth of this separation;