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vine principle was reserved for Him who came down from Heaven clothed with power from on high," who spake as never man spake,” and in whom was life, and this life was the light of
Thus we see the principal fruits to be derived from the study of profane history, of which every page declares what mankind were during so many ages, and what we ourselves should still be, had not the peculiar mercy, which made known the Saviour of the world to us, drawn us out of the abyss in which all our forefathers were swallowed up. Yet do our modern opposers of revealed religion, though indebted to divine revelation for the knowledge they possess, cry up natural religion and the light of reason; rejecting Christian revelation not only as useless, but baneful in its influence. A little attention to ourselves will convince us that our reason requires some powerful agent to supply its deficiencies. Man, when his reason is undisturbed, may be capable of investigating natural things which his faculties as man are able to comprehend, so as to judge of them with a degree of clearness; but there is a degree of uncertainty in many things of importance respecting his eternal well-being, which the wit, will, and wisdom of man are not capable of overcoming; he
is consequently subject to error in his conceptions; which led the apostle Paul to observe, "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so, the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God."
Reason is a faculty of the mind which those. only who use it to the glory of God may be said rightly to enjoy. To be thus qualified, it must be under the influence of that divine illumination which the Almighty has offered for man's acceptance, and by which he may become the exalted being his Maker is desirous he should be; yet ever having in view, that "the infinite, the omnipotent, the incomprehensible God doth great and unsearchable things on earth and in heaven; that there is no finding out the wonders of his power; and that if the works and ways of God could be comprehended by the reason of man, they would cease to be wonderful, and could not be called unsearchable." -Kempis.
INFIDELITY AND SCEPTICISM.
INFIDELITY Commonly signifies a want of faith, trust, confidence, and belief in Christianity; and is a term not acceptable to many, few being willing to acknowledge it, as perhaps being unacquainted with the whole extent of their disbelief. Infidelity often arises from a desire of greater liberty than the Gospel will allow; also, from taking up certain parts of Scripture without searching after, or without being able to see, their agreement with other parts; and sometimes from a natural disposition to doubt all things that cannot positively be accounted for.
The doctrine of Christianity is humiliating; it makes man always a fool in his own eyes, and often in the eyes of others: this he cannot bear, and will therefore set up for himself. There are, notwithstanding, many obstacles in the way. The most formidable, and which most oppose him, are those truths in the Scriptures which he cannot but assent to. In order, therefore, to remove every obstruction, he is under
the necessity of endeavouring to disbelieve the whole. Such, it will be found in most cases, is the progress of infidelity and scepticism. It is much to be lamented that there are among persons of this description too many who have got rid of all modesty in these respects; whose continual endeavour is to subvert and render nugatory the Christian dispensation; and, moreover, to persuade mankind that it is in their own power, by the strength of their natural faculties, to become every thing the Almighty would wish them to be. Ridiculing the idea that man is incapable of doing any thing to the glory of God without divine assistance," they thus, by degrees, endeavour to do away our dependence. on Christ for help in spiritual things, and completely overturn the foundation of our dearest hopes and consolations.
There are, however, various classes of sceptics and infidels; among whom there are many who take some pains to speak with a degree of respect of the person of Jesus Christ; partly, perhaps, because there is such a cloud of witnesses to establish the truth of his doctrines, and partly because their own reputation amongst men is a matter of great importance to them. Were not this the case, such, probably, would
throw off the mask, and discover to us, that what they profess is only a more exalted idea of human reason. There are indeed some who acknowledge this to be the case; but however charitably disposed we may be towards individuals of this class, we cannot but lament the tendency of their principles.
However strange it may seem, there are also those whose moral characters no one can impeach, and who would be offended if they were not considered as Christians; but whose acknowledged principles, when fairly examined, give no sign that their belief in Christ, is of any more importance to them than their belief in the strict morality of the heathen philosophers. Some of these do not hesitate to say "that man is the same now as he ever was ;" making no distinction between the state of Adam before and after the fall. "As to Christ," say they," he was a man like us, a prophet,-though the most dignified messenger and servant of God; he having had the Spirit without measure, and we only in measure that though the Sonship is in him, it is equally so in all that his miraculous conception is to be doubted; as are also his miracles, his incarnation, his resurrection, and ascension. That he is not a mediator or advocate with the