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and unison with its great Author, no pious mind can contemplate without increasing wonder and admiration.
Perfect uniformity is therefore only discoverable in the immutable truth. This is the end of all right investigation; it is the centre of union. The eye being steadily and impartially fixed on him who is the centre, even Jesus Christ the divine shepherd, those who are attentive to his voice he leads into the true sheepfold thus demonstrating, by a divine and soul-enriching illumination, that he is the way, the truth, and the life;" and that there is but one fold and one shepherd.
Deists and freethinkers can hardly be said to perceive the many inconsistencies they are led into, in order to pass, in some degree, as approvers of the Christian morality, the beauty and excellency of which they dare not but acknowledge in some way or other. This appears from the testimony of a modern deist; which is no inconsiderable proof of the power of that divine influence by which the vain reasonings of man are sometimes put to flight, and, in spite of every opposition, made to contradict their own superficial theory, and bend to the superior wisdom of truth.--Rousseau was one of the
most eccentric and unaccountable geniuses that perhaps ever had existence. This same extraordinary man, though he appears determined to be in earnest in his opposition to the Gospel, yet in his Emilius, under a gale of conviction, makes the following ingenuous and solid confession in favour of it: I will confess to you that the majesty of the Scriptures strikes me with adiniration, as the purity of the Gospel hath its influence on my heart. Peruse the works of our philosophers with all their pomp of diction; how mean, how contemptible are they compared with the Scriptures! Is it possible that a book at once so simple and sublime should be merely the work of man? Is it possible that the same personage whose history it contains should be himself a mere man? Do we find that he assumed the tone of an enthusiast or ambitious sectary? What sweetness, what purity in his manner! what an affecting gracefulness in his delivery! what sublimity in his maxims! what profound wisdom in his discourses! what presence of mind; what subtilty; what truth in his replies! how great the command over his passions! Where is the man, where the philosopher, who could so live and so die; without weakness, and without ostentation? When Plato described his imaginary good man,
loaded with all the shame of guilt, yet meriting the highest rewards of virtue, he describes exactly the character of Jesus Christ: the resemblance was so striking, that all the Fathers perceived it. What prepossession, what blindness must it be, to compare the son of Sophroniscus to the son of Mary! What an infinite disproportion there is between them! Socrates, dying without pain or ignominy, easily supported his character to the last; and if his death, however easy, had not crowned his life, it might have been doubted whether Socrates, with all his wisdom, was any thing more than a vain sophist. He invented, it is said, the theory of morals :— others, however, had before put them in practice; he had only to say, therefore, what they had done, and to reduce their examples to precepts. Aristides had, just before Socrates, defined justice: Leonidas had given up his life for his country, before Socrates declared patriotism to be a duty. The Spartans were a sober people before Socrates recommended sobriety;-before he had even defined virtue, Greece abounded in virtuous men. But where could Jesus learn among his competitors that pure and sublime morality, of which he only hath given us both precept and example? The greatest wisdom was made known amongst the most bigoted fanati
cism; and the simplicity of the most heroic virtues did honour to the vilest people on earth. The death of Socrates, peaceably philosophizing with his friends, appears the most agreeable that could be wished for. And that of Jesus, expiring in the midst of agonizing pains, abused, insulted, and accused by a whole nation, is the most horrible that could be feared. Socrates, in receiving the cup of poison, blessed indeed the weeping executioner who had administered it. But Jesus, in the midst of excruciating tortures, prayed for his merciless tormentors.-Yes, if the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus are those of a God. Shall we suppose the evangelic history a mere fiction? Indeed, my friend, it bears not the marks of fiction. On the contrary, the history of Socrates, which nobody presumes to doubt, is not so well attested as that of Jesus Christ. Such a supposition, in fact, only shifts the diffi culty, without obviating it. It is more inconceivable that a number of persons should agree to write such a history, than that one only should furnish the subject of it. The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality contained in the Gospel; the marks of whose truth are so striking
and inimitable, that the inventor would be a more astonishing character than the hero."
Yet, notwithstanding all this, in another part of his Emilius he says: "This same Gospel abounds with things so incredible and so repugnant to reason, that it is impossible for any man of sense either to conceive or admit them."
We shall offer one more proof of the inconsistency of those who endeavour to invalidate the truths of divine revelation. "Lord Herbert of Cherbury," says Dr. Leland, in his View of the Deistical Writers," as he was one of the first, so he was confessedly one of the greatest writers that have appeared among us in the deistical cause, and in several respects superior to those that had succeeded him." He adds: "His lordship seems to be the first that formed deism into a system, and asserted the sufficiency, universality, and absolute perfection of natural religion, with a view to discard all extraordinary revelation as useless and needless. He seems to assume to himself the glory of having accomplished it with great labour, and a diligent inspection into all religions; and applauds himself for it, as happier than any Archimedes."
Those who have read the Life of Lord Herbert will have no doubt of his sincerity; but they