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belief in one supreme Divinity; but it is a proof that no man is without a God. It is absurd to suppose that the true God is to be worshipped through the medium either of the heavenly bodies, or that of any image framed by art or man's device; but those men who adore a divinity in the bright luminaries of heaven, in an idol, or in an animal, acknowledge that there is a God. But this all-wise, all-powerful, and all-gracious Being is out of sight, though every where present. There is no dispute among men of reflection, whether there be an invisible power, that controls men and things. The dispute is, whether that power be in a star, in an idol, or in an animal; and we are willing to leave this controversy to the decision of sober reason, knowing that truth must prevail over error, and that Dagon must fall before the Ark of God. That there have been men, in every age and nation, who have denied the being of a God, may be allowed; but their sincerity may be called in question. "The few that have denied the being of a God, are not to be accounted in the number of rational creatures, but are the monsters and disgrace of human kind."* The ancient Greeks and Romans, the Persians and Egyptians, believed in a God; and the wild Indians of America have acknowledged a Great Spirit, who governs this lower world.
VII. That there is a God, is a truth which is deeply impressed on the mind of man; and which cannot be erased, except by a long course of sin and iniquity.
Animals in the brute creation have no knowledge of Him. He hides himself from them in thick darkness; but he has stamped his being on every human heart. When man sins against the divine law, he is afraid of punishment; and the dread of an offended Deity pursues him, both by day and by night. This continues from youth to old age, unless the heart be completely hardened, through the deceitfulness of sin; and even then, there are awful seasons in which the guilty man is filled with terror: particularly when dangers press upon him, and when death stares him in the face. Thus all men, both in life and death, whether learned or unlearned, find it utterly impossible to divest themselves of the idea that there is a God. How can we account for this, without allowing, that the adorable Creator has written his name in legible characters on every human heart?
VIII. The objection, that we cannot see God, has no weight in this argument.
Perhaps we should like to see him in his fulness; but that is impossible in the present state of things. He is a pure Spirit, and cannot be seen by these eyes of flesh without some material medium; and if he were to show us a con
siderable portion of his glory, even through that medium, we should be overpowered, and sink, and die. The best way of seeing him is through the medium of those virtues and graces which he imparts to humble souls.* It is allowed that man has a soul; but did we ever see the soul of man? We see the body which is actuated by it, but the mind is hidden from our view; and we see the material world, which is moved and guided by the Lord God Omnipotent, but he is invisible. How we shall see him in a future state is not fully revealed; nor is it fully known how we shall see created spirits in that state; but neither the one nor the other can be seen in the present world without the assumption of some material form. Pure spirit is, and must necessarily be, invisible to man. Nor is this matter of wonder, for, even in the world where we dwell, the wind is invisible; but would any man in his senses deny its existence because he never saw it? It is much the
God has placed us at a suitable distance from his infinite majesty; near enough to have a perception of its existence, but not so near as to be annihilated by it. He veils his intelligence from us under the forms of matter, and he inspires us with confidence as to the movements of matter, by the sentiments of his intelligence. If he be pleased at any time to communicate himself to us in a more intimate manner, it is not through the channel of our presumptuous sciences, but through the humble one of our virtue. He discloses himself to the simple, while he hides his face from the proud.—French Author.
same to affirm that there is no God, because we never saw him.
We see enough, in every direction, to prove the existence of a supreme Being: "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." Rom. i. 20. And those who do not believe in him, with all these proofs before their eyes, are without excuse. Their infidelity is the effect, either of wilful ignorance, or of wicked principles; and in either case they are guilty before God, and are constantly exposed to his wrathful indignation. Stupid atheists have denied his being, but all the wise and good among men have confessed, honoured, and obeyed him. Of this number may we be found! May we pray to him for a supply of our wants; and praise him for all we enjoy! May we trust in his providence; submit to his will; and fully answer the end of our creation! Then, whether we live on earth or in heaven, we shall cry aloud with holy joy, There is a God; and he is our God for ever and ever!
GOD IS THE AUTHOR OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. The canon of Scripture-General observations on the Scrip'tures-God speaks to men in these books by the instrumentality of man-the character of the men who wrote the sacred books-These books are full of wisdom, and worthy of God-The writers professed to be sent of God-They gave satisfactory proof of their mission-The style of the Scriptures-All good men have loved and admired themThey will bear the test of strict examination—And while other writings have been lost, they have been preserved through the lapse of ages, and the revolutions of mighty empires.
WE now state our views of those sacred writings, by which we should live, and by which we shall be judged.
I. The canonical books of Scripture, universally received by the Christian church, are included in the Old and New Testaments.
The Jews acknowledge the books of the Old Testament; but both Testaments are received by the Christians. The word canon, кavwv, signifies a rule; and it is applied to the Scriptures, because they contain a complete rule both of faith and practice. The Old Testament was divided by the Jewish Rabbies, or Doctors, into three parts: the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, or holy writings; and our Lord probably alluded to this division in the following passage: "All things must be fulfilled