« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The second part of this work is a small selection of texts from the Old and New Testaments, brought under different heads, to prove the dispensation of Jesus Christ from Scripture authority, which is beyond all doubt incontrovertible; nothing herein having occurred which had not the evidence of prophetic declaration many centuries previous to the facts coming to pass.
If it should prove useful to those who have permitted doubts to have gained an ascendancy in their minds, or a little strength to those who have got somewhat further on their journey, the earnest wish of the writer will be accomplished.
PART THE FIRST.
ON THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, AND ON DIVINE
REVELATION AND GRACE....
The knowledge of the exterior works of Om-
of immediate revelation and grace, known in times of adversity-exemplified in the closing periods of Buckingham, Rochester, &c. The acknowledgement of Job a proof of the weakpess there is in a blind confidence in ourselves.
Human reason, if rightly exerted, a blessing to man.
A definition of human reason. Relia gion a vital principle-not attainable by mere human reason. Aristotle's opinion of the philosophers. The opinion of Lactantius concern. ing them. The philosophers advocates for virtue and morality, though they themselves indulged in many excesses.
The evil treatment of Socrates a proof of the want of real virtue in his disciples. The sentiments of Juvenal, Arnobius, Cicero, and others, respecting the philosophers. Spartan virtue what. The inconsistency of Plato, Socrates, and Cato. Vice countenanced by the philosophers. Their sentiments contrasted with the language of Christianitythe reason of man not infallible. Causes why reason may not have its due influence on the mind-the nerves the medium between soul and
body-any derangement of them renders reason incomplete. The instinct of animals and reason of man compared and considered. The consideration humbling to man. The fallibility of human reason proved from the excuses made for our various passions. Through human reasoning how easily war is reconciled. The opinion of Erasmus and the Bishop of London on this important subject. Divine truth an emanation from Divinity-human reason incapable of commanding this emanation. Philosophy, logic, &c. incapable of discovering the truth. Perfect humility, and a surrender of our wills to the divine will, the great means of obtaining this knowledge. The imperfect knowledge of the ancients respecting the Divine Being. Cicero. Socrates. Aristotle. The opinion, that Socrates suffered for asserting the unity of the Divine Being, an error. See Xenophon and Plato. His acknowledgement of his belief in idolatry. Discourse on the day of his execution on the immortality of the soul, related by Erasmusat his death assents to the popular idolatry. Seneca's strange opinion concerning the Deity. The reasoning and philosophy of the ancients made little or no change in the lives of mankind -how different the effects of Christianity ! How far human reason can go-but to be per
fected, it must be divinely illuminated. Finite man incapable of comprehending the ways and works of infinity.
ON INFIDELITY AND SCEPTICISM. p. 48.
Progress of infidelity-various classes of sceptics and infidels. Their definitions of Christianity naturally lead to a rejection of the Scrip. tures--speak with great respect of the moral character of Jesus Christ. The heathens did not question, but corroborated his miracles. The arguments of infidels oftentimes self-evident contradictions. Pride the cause and effect of infidelity. Uniformity not necessary to make up the harmony of nature. The harmony of nature discovered to consist in a most beautiful variety. Perfect uniformity is only discoverable in the truth. The inconsistency of a modern deist, (Rousseau.) His confession of the purity of the Gospel, and of the divinity of Christ. He contradicts the truths he had advanced. Anecdote of Lord Herbert if Cherbury, a celea brated deist. Positive assertion often substituted for truth. The sophistry of deists in general. The means made use of by Hobbes, Boling