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bears down every obstruction, and ought to dissipate every doubt. Nothing remains for us as reasonable men, but to admit the conclusion, that the religion of the Bible is the TRUTH OF Gon.



The word experience must here be understood in a wide and general sense ;' as comprehending the results not merely of self-knowledge, but of that acquaintance with mankind and with the order and constitution of nature, which we obtain from our own observation. In discussing the present subject, we shall make use, as occasion requires, of the following lines of reasoning, all of which depend on that primary truth, that there is one God, the Author of nature, and the Supreme Ruler of created things.

First - When the doctrines revealed to us in the Scriptures are analogous to the ordinary course of nature and Providence similar in

effect and identical in principle, - this circumstance affords a satisfactory answer to all objections which can be urged against them; because experience proves that the effects or principles objected to, (though the reasons for them may be hidden from us,) belong to God's known plan for the government of the world. But such a mode of reasoning not only enables us to parry objections; it supplies us with positive evidence of no inconsiderable importance, that the doctrines in question are true. Since God is one, and his universe an harmonious system, the fact that these doctrines are of the like kind and character with those things which are actually perceptible in His government, affords a strong presumption that the God of nature has ordained them - that they originate with Him alone. The more exact the analogy, and the more marked and peculiar the points of resemblance, the more conclusive this evidence be


Secondly - When the declarations of the Bible respecting the character and condition of mankind, or any other points of a practical nature, are found to correspond with undoubted facts — when they fall in precisely with that


which we feel in ourselves and observe in oth

we, of course, draw the inference that the Scriptures are true. And when the truths which they thus communicate to us, although confirmed by experience, are such as man cannot discover in his own wisdom, and such as are utterly opposed to all his favourite systems, --we further conclude that this unflattering intelligence is sent to us from that Being, who searches our hearts and knows all things as they are.

Thirdly — When we take a view of our weakness and sinsulness by nature, and contemplate Christianity as a scheme ordained for our recovery; and when we ascertain from experience that this scheme is precisely suitable to its purpose, and supplies our whole spiritual need, we are furnished with unquestionable proof that it is the work of a wise and merciful Contriver. And further, when we consider the nature of this scheme-its complexity and unity, its wondrous originality, its universal applicability — we rest assured that its Contriver is Gon.

In the following pages, these lines of reasoning are not always separately pursued; but the reader will have no difficulty in perceiving to which of them each successive argument properly belongs; and I trust it will be found, that they are susceptible of being blended without confusion.



The declarations of Scripture respecting a future life admit, in one point of view, of no comparison with experience, because no man living has yet experienced that there is such a life ; and supposing that there is one, no man can compare that new state of existence, with the account given of it in the Bible, who has not himself passed through the portals of the grave.

In another point of view, however, the doctrine of revealed religion, that man lives after death, may justly be said to accord with experience, because things which we see, and feel, and know, in this present world, lead to the

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conclusion that this doctrine is true. That such is the fact will appear from a brief consideration of the following particulars.

I. Every man capable of reflection, is perfectly aware that he possesses not only a gross material body, but a mind which perceives, thinks, wills, and reasons; and although these two are brought into close union, and in various respects powerfully affect each other, he is also aware that they are distinguished by quite different capacities and functions. The body, like all other matter, is tangible, extended, and divisible; and being organized with a perfect skill, it becomes a well-adapted machine for all the purposes of life. On the other hand, the mind, intangible and spiritual, sits at the helm as its supreme governor, and directs all its movements. It sees through the eye, hears through the ear, and handles through the touch. Closely, however, as it is connected with the body in the exercise of all these functions, it is allied with foreign matter, in a precisely similar manner, though in a different degree. A man sees with his eye as he sees with a telescope ; both are mere instruments of vision.

But it is in the higher operations of the mind,

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