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tical operation, it is entirely and equally adapted to the whole human race.

All men are guilty all condemned by the law - all diseased with sin — all under the yoke of Satan. To all alike therefore is that religion suited, which provides for our pardon, our deliverance, and our cure. But another reason of the universal applicability of the scheme of redemption, is the simplicity of the terms on which it is offered to our acceptance "Believe and live.” God gave his only begotten Son, that“ whosoever believeth in him might have everlasting life." "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

That it is the duty of every man, as far as lies in his power, to examine the evidences of Christianity, and to mark and number the pillars which support the fabric of our faith, and that such a practice is of eminent use, both for the conviction of unbelievers and for the confirmation of Christians, is a truth which cannot be questioned. Nevertheless a practical belief of the gospel is usually found to rest on a far

* Essays on Christianity, No. iv.

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more simple ground. The Saviour is proposed to the sinner, and the sinner, when made sensible of his actual condition, will no more reject the Saviour, than a drowning man will refuse to lay hold on the arm which would draw him to the shore, and which is his only means of safety.

He who has just views of the holiness of God and of his own sinfulness, and feels the depth of his need by nature, will imbibe the gospel as simply and eagerly as the new-born babe its natural food; and just in proportion as his heart and conduct are influenced, will his understanding be opened to perceive the perfect fitness, and therefore the unquestionable truth, of the scheme of redemption.

When we reflect on the sublimity of the prins cipal doctrines of the Bible, we might be tempted to suppose that none but the most intellectual of men would be capable of embracing them. But Christianity, in its application to the understanding as well as to the heart, is evenly adapted to all men; embracing in its comprehensive grasp of charity, the most simple and the most cultivated of our species,

While, as it regards their mode and nature, her mysteries are far beyond the comprehension of any man - in their practical bearing, in their suitableness to our need, in their saving efficacy, they are just as intelligible to the Indian convert, or to the illiterate peasant, as they are to the most profound and enlightened of philosophers.

Now I conceive that nothing can more clearly evince the wisdom as well as goodness of its Author, than this distinguishing provision. Were a vast and complex machine to be formed for some important temporal purpose universally interesting to men, although it might be put together on scientific principles, and display a matchless variety and combination of forces, foul would be that blot on the wisdom of its contriver, should much of art or science be required in applying it to its use. But when such a machine may be brought to bear upon its purpose,

with undeviating success, by means of a simple handle which a child may turn, then indeed are we fully satisfied that its maker understood his calling — then have we a perfect specimen of human ingenuity.

To conclude one of two alternatives is inevitable. Either the religion of the Bible comes from God, and is therefore unquestionably and perfectly true; or else this glorious system,-50 diversified in its parts, yet so simple in its operation, susceptible of no improvement even from the wisest of men, distinguished by features far beyond the reach of human conception, and yet fitted to the humblest as well as to the highest capacities, universally and perfectlý adapted to the spiritual need of all men is a forgery.

A forgery invented by whom? Not by persons of profound reasoning powers, belonging to some highly cultivated society, and skilled in all philosophy and learning; but of a few obscure, illiterate, Jewish fishermen !

Now it is surely no exaggeration to assert, that he who believes this latter alternative, has adopted the most preposterous of superstitions. Notwithstanding his pride of intellect and all his boasted show of reason, the ipfidel must take his place among the most credulous and irrational of mankind.


To convince the cold, deliberate unbeliever, who has made up his mind to prefer a fathomless chaos to the beauty and order of revealed religion, I can scarcely venture to hope. In pity for the soul of such a man, I would pray God to put forth that pre-eminent work of grace, by which alone can be reclaimed the reckless speculator who tramples on the Son of God, despises the blood of his covenant, and contemns and derides the work of the Holy Spirit.

That many persons are to be met with in the present day who have been betrayed by a little knowledge* into this depth of error, is a melancholy fact. May they be brought to repentance before that awful period arrives when they shall hear a voice saying, - The day of your

* “ It is an assured truth, and a conclusion of experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of philosophy may incline the mind of man to atheism, but a farther proceeding therein doth bring the mind back again to religion.”—Lord Bacon's Advance ment of Learning, p. 10.

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