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THE

CALVINISTIC MAGAZINE.

"Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

No. 7.

JULY, 1828.

VOL. II.

EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.

PART I. Many learned and pious men have attempted to enumerate and hring into a short compass, the Evidences of the truth of our Holy Religion. But after condensing the matter to such a degree as to exclude much that should be noted, they still were not able to crowd their leading thoughts into an ordinary volume. What then can be done within the limits of a few sheets? The writer of this Essay believes there are many in the condition of him, who signs himself A Sceptic.(See his letter, published in the 5th Number of the Calvinistic Magazine.) He feels for such more than an ordinary degree of interest, for he once occupied that unbappy ground himself. He would earnestly and affectionately entreat such to readendeavor to read extensively--(very often habits of doubting can only be overcome by a full investigation of the subject,)-to read industriously—to read attentively, the first volume of Horne's Introduction, Alexander's Evidences, Paley's Evidences of Christianity, Erskine's Evidences, Chalmer's Evidences, Fullers's Gospel, and Bonner's Inquiries. These are books which can be had by enquiring after them, and I do believe that no no one ever did read these authors without rejoicing that he had done so.

But there are some of our doubting fellow creatures, who, altho' they are not exempt from some solicitude on the subject, yet they would be frightened at a folio volume-or if they were to summon up sufficient fortitude to undertake one, would

grow weary before they had achieved the labour of penetrating into the heart of the debate. The writer of this hopes to catch the eye of such, and at least interest them so far as to make them willing to peruse some author who has written more at large on this most momentous subject. If there is any unfair argument used, or any incorrect state ment made, it is unknown to him, and far distant from his wishes. Vou. Ik

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Section First. There never was a lime when nothing existedfor nothing must have still remained. That something now exists, is positive evidence that something has been from eternity. Whatever existed first, is God-for that which existed first, must have been the cause of every thing which has subsequently existed.

SECTION Second. Man had Maker. The first man must have been produced in a state of maturity-for infants are incapable of şustaining themselves. The materials of which inan's body is composed, did not of themselves come together, so as to form men and women; for man's body is formed in the wisest possible way. There are other ways (nay millions of them) in which his frame right have been put together; but not one of them would have auswered the purpose. There are a thousand places on the surface of man's body, where the eye might have been located, (if chance had conducted the affair;) but any other than the one it now occupies would have been inconvenient. There are fifty thousand veins (and as many more as we might choose to name, for they could not be numbered) each one of which runs in the best direction, branches at the proper time, and is precisely of the proper diameter. But there are many fifty thousand different courses, in each one of which they might have been conducted; not one of which would have answered. Many fifty thousand different inosculations and diameters, any one of which would have jeopardized healthy action. If then man's bady was formed as it now stands, by chemical attraction, or in any other way than by the supervisorship of some wise personage, it was a fortunate accident, and equally as strange as it would be for the 24 letters of the alphabet, printed on different slips of paper and thrown loosely into the air fifty thousand times, to fall each time so as to spell the same individual's name in undeviating succession.The same may be said of the nerves, arteries, &c. &c. Philosophers tell us that man's body and bones are composed of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and phosphate of lime. Chemists can procure plenty of these materials, but they might mingle them very often, and in various proportions, before they would form themselves inte a man, as they must once have done, according to the system of the Atheist.

SECTION THIRD. God, a benevolent being. The water we drink is palatable. The air we breathe is healthful. The fruits we cat are delicious and abundant. The flowers we tread on are odoriferous. The landscapes are beautiful. The sounds we hear are musical.Blessings on the face of the earth predominate over curses.

Section Founty. Goll, wcise and powerful. We have seen that

God made all things. His wisdom and his power are of course never questioned by those who acknowledge he was "befgre all things.”

SECTION FIFTH. Man has been styled a noble animal—and in many respects it is true. The powers of his mind are wonderful, capable of expansion ad infinitum. He has a restless thirst for knowledge, an insatiable ciiriosity, and unconquerable longings for a happy existence. Would a wise and kind being place man here and never tell him whence he sprang-what was expected of him-but leave him to puzzle himself with vain conjectures, as to his origin, duty, or future destination? Has my Creator tantalized me with a wish to exist always, and never given me the slightest intimation whether the death struggle is to be the last of me or not? Am I cursed with a soul that in spite of me shudders at annihilation, or at an unhappy hereafter, and longs to know all about myselfabout my origin--what my Maker wants me to do—and, if I may hove to live again, how I may best secure a comfortable conditionand all this while has my producer been amusing himself at my perplexities? or has he spoken to man?

Section Fourth. God has spoken to men—for he is not cruel. He has told them what they are to do—what conduct is pleasing to him, and what displeasing. He has also told them how to spend life here to the best advantage, and informed them of their future destinies.

Section SEVENTH. The Creed of the Deist. Reason, says the Deist, is what God has given to men to direct and instruct them, as to what is, and is to come. Reason is sufficient. Guided by it man may become wise and happy. Now this is passing strange, on several accounts

First-Because the world has stood some time, and no one, conducted by reason alone, has ever yet become either wise or happy; which will be shewn presently.

Second--By reason, man never could have made the discovery that there was a God, or a future state.

Section Eighth. Were not many nations of antiquity civilized and happy by reason only, without the aid of the Bible? I have two answers to make to this question. First, those nations were but partially civilized--and secondly, they were aided by the glimmering of Revelation which descended to them from Noah, and wandered to them from Palestine, in attaining even to their puny acquirements in any thing that was desirable.

First, they were but partially civilized. They could paint can

tass. They understood the art of war. They could hew marble.But their refinement went no further. If it did, I ask, in what did it consist. Did it consist in their burning many hundred children to death freqently to propitiate the favor of Saturn? Did it consist in their whipping others to death on the altar of Diana? In exposing sickly or defective infants to perish? In celebrating the different 'mysteries, in which the most respectable females participated; where prostitution, and the most disgusting licentiousness, was a leading feature in their devotion? All these things, and a thousond other enormities, were never known to be amiss—were never known to be any thing else than a sacred duty, in the most refined age which Rome, Carthage, or Greece ever saw, before the gospel visited them. Their wives and their virgins never seemed even to dream that there was any thing the least amiss in the writings of their best poets—the filthiness of which would sicken the most degraded, beastlike creatures in all our land.

Section Ninth. Those nations were aided by some portions of revealed truth. All the correct ideas the Deist has of God, he received from the Bible, or from others who received them from that source.

We receive our ideas thro’ the senses, and of course can form ne idea of any thing the likeness of which has never in any way come under our observation. . Let any one strive to imagine a new colour, or a new shape, and he will find that he can do no more than combine things before familiar to him. We may think of a green snow storm. We never saw it, but we have seen the substance called snow, and the colour green-and the mind can combine the two, but cannot fancy a new colour, or a new substance. We may fancy an animal with an hundred heads, or an hundred arms. We never saw such, but the image is composed of nothing more than members before familiar to us. And for this reason man could have had no idea of God or of a future state, if God had never spoken to him. The deaf and dumb have not, until such ideas are communicated to them. Those few of our race who from being exposed in infancy have been found wild in the forests, have no idea of God or of a future state. As man derives all his ideas from observation, we might then suppose that if left to himself, without Bibles or teachers, he would gradually lose his knowledge of God and futurity, rather than improve, and that the truth of these unseen matters once communicated to his ancestors, would become more and more feeble in his recollections, even where he was improving in seen things that is, the science of natare around him. Accordingly we find this

: to be a fact. Rome and Greece, in the days of their civilization,

(as it is called) had multiplied their drunken feasts--their filthy ceremonies and their notions of Deity were far more dishonoring and stupid, than in the times of their earliest and most barbarous infancy. The reason is, because they were farther , removed from Noah, the original source of their traditions. The nonsense of Asiatic theolngy is more ridiculous now than it was before the christian era, where the Bible never travelled. Africa's paganism is more abominable than it was two thousand years ago. And nations have been found, that had lost all idea of a God entirely—so far was reason from being a sufficient guide to them.

SECTION TENTH. The Bible. When we look into profane bistory (as we may do if we feel disposed to credit that rather than sacred history) and find the Israelites living in the Holy Land under the law of Moses, there is one thing which excites our surprise. It is this. If we are acquainted with the state of the world at the time; if we look at the laws, usages and castoms of other vations of the wide earth, we behold a sickening picture of tyranny, deceit, ignorance, oppression, cruelty, licentiousness, unnatural and more than beastly abominations-in short, like Payan countries of the present age. But open the Book of Moses, and what does it say?

"Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother." “Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way.”

**Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fath. erless and widow.

"Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.” "And if a wicked man be worthy to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to be beaten. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed, lest thy brother seem vile unto thee."

“When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again. It shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow."

“Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it-lest he cry against thee to the Lord.”

“When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, the officers shall speak unto the people, saying-What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? What man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not eaten yet of it? What man hath betrothed a wife and hath not taken her? What

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