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ished, until the second or third generation. National sins may not meet their full desert, until after the lapse of centuries. Hence the difficulty of observing moral experiments, and hence do we account for the fact that the progress of moral science, in so far as it has depended upon observation, has been so remarkably tardy.
It is, however, worthy of remark, that, since the universal tendency to freedom in the human race has cultivated the habit of philosophic sagacity, and the press has so greatly enlarged the field of observation, and at the same time rendered the results of that observation a matter of permanent record, the progress of man in moral science has been greatly accelerated. The evidence of this is seen in the fact that the whole world is engaged in the work of reform. Every change in the form of political constitutions, by which a nearer approximation is made to the acknowledgment of equality of rights, every instance of the removal of antiquated laws by which the industry of a people has been crippled, or their rights of conscience violated, every instance of improvement in the laws for the prevention of pauperism or the punishment of crime, is a distinct exemplification of the progress of moral science. It is an evidence that the laws of human society are becoming more closely conformed to the moral laws of the universe.
I have, thus far, spoken of the progress of moral science as conducted by observation. I think that the considerations just suggested are sufficient to show, that this progress must of necessity, in the early periods of our race, be but tardy, and that this science can never be cultivated, in amplitude or with exactness, except in the advanced stages of society, and under circumstances in which opportunity is afforded for observing, with philosophical accuracy, the connexion between events which have transpired at periods of time frequently very distant from each other. Now, let us with this fact combine another, namely, that civilization has always advanced, just in proportion as the laws of society have been conformed to the ethical precepts of the Bible ; that every moral experiment has thus far failed which has not been conducted upon principles of the Bible; that, in the progress of society, , no moral law has been discovered which the Bible had not previously revealed ; that the Bible does, in fact, exhibit the moral system of the universe, with a comprehensiveness and and exactitude which leaves nothing to be wished for; and, in fine, that this ethical system was first promulgated by a few illiterate and naturally narrow minded peasants and fishermen, in a secluded corner of the Roman Empire, at a period when the state of society did not allow of the observation necessary for important moral discovery. I say, let any man candidly compare these singular facts, and I think he will see at least some reason for believing, that'holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.'
Several additional considerations will, in this place, readily suggest themselves to those at all conversant with reflections of this kind. It would, for instance, be interesting to show how exactly the attitude, which the God of nature assumes towards the inquirer after physical truth, corresponds with that which the God of revelation assumes towards the inquirer after
moral truth; and, also, how universally the principles of moral government revealed in the Bible, are in harmony with those which we know to be actually adopted in the moral system of the universe actually existing around us. These discussions, however, would extend these remarks too far, and must, therefore, for the present be omitted.
It is to a consideration of the internal evidences of Christianity, very much, if I mistake not, upon the principles which I have endeavoured to illustrate, that the present work is devoted. It is divided into two parts, first, the Bible considered alone; and second, the Bible compared with experience. In the first part it treats of the excellence of scripture and the accordance of its parts, of prophecy as compared with history, of the Supreme Being, of the moral law, of the example of Christ, of the general account of the Saviour, of the Father, Son, and the Spirit, one God; and, in the second part, of a future life, of the moral government of God, of the sinful and enslaved condition of man, of repentance and mediation, and of the fitness of the scheme of redemption.
It will at once be seen, from the above enumeration of topics, that all the most important doctrines of revelation are presented to view, These are unfolded with so much clearness, simplicity, and distinctness, in a manner so entirely divested of the technicalities of theology and the subtleties of the schools, that the candid inquirer after truth, as well as the devout believer, cannot, I think, read the work, without being instructed and refreshed. The bearing of each separate doctrine upon the evidences of revelation is shown with candor, and yet with precision, with a suitable respect for the understandings of those whom he wishes to convince, and yet with a deep conviction of the importance of belief from the heart to their eternal well being. It is, however, to the devout believer that the present treatise will probably prove most acceptable. Many a man who reposes his hopes for eternity upon the promises of the Bible, is entirely unacquainted with the external evidences of its authenticity. From its correspondence with his own moral nature, however, and with the moral universe around him, he feels that the