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proved upon no other principle than that which has been rejected.' pp. 56, 57.

If we are not allowed to reason from the effect to the existence and character of the cause, and consequently to infer the being and attributes of the great Agent, from his operations, we can never establish even the existence of those who performed the Christian miracles, as moral and intelligent beings, much less can we be entitled, from their peculiar intellectual and moral character, to entertain any proposition, on the strength of their testimony.

If the ideal atheist should allow the legitimacy of reasoning from the effect to the cause, but reject the great argument for the existence of God, because he finds not appearances of design in nature, miracles will not work his conversion. The ordinary and the extraordinary appearances afford evidence of the same nature.

'Phenomena are submitted to his observation, and he is desired to infer the existence of a cause in which intelligence and power are combined. That the phenomena of the first class display numerous and striking appearances of intelligence and power, has almost ceased to be a subject of dispute; yet the atheist perceives no such appearances; his understanding, nevertheless, is in a high state of preparation, it seems, for perceiving such appearances in the other class of phenomena. His negative mind can discover in the processes of nature, no appearances which give even probability to the conclusion, that they were instituted by any thing different from the inert instruments employed in conducting them; nor from investigation of nature's laws, can his understanding perceive any traces of a power higher than that of the subjects of these laws; yet from the counteraction of these laws and processes, he is expected immediately to perceive the ex. istence of God. On the "blank surface" of his mind, observation of the celestial mechanism has inscribed no trace of a powerful and skilful Architect; he has viewed the admirable construction of the planetary system, has investigated the composition of the forces employed, and the mode of dispensing light and heat; and he can find no more reason for concluding that a Cause in which power and skill are combined exists, than for the random "assertion, that in some distant region, there are tracts of space, which teem only with animated beings, who without being supported on a firm surface have the power of spontaneous movement in free spaces." Yet this is the person whose intellect is in the best possible condition for being convinced of the existence of such a cause by "a voice from heaven!" He has contemplated the skilful mechanism of the human body,-the various combinations of parts united for the production of a common end, and that end the welfare of the whole. He has sought a solution of the great question of a First Cause; he has applied to the solution of that question, the declination of atoms, the appetencies of molecules, the energies of nervous fibrillæ, with all the other famous hypotheses of a similar nature, on the one hand; and on the other, the almighty

mode of ratiocination which Dr. C. deems the ideal atheist reasonable in rejecting as illegitimate.

There are two conclusions, which our author, in his loose manner of reasoning, here presses upon his atheist, as if they were strictly interchangeable; the existence of a God, and " of a power superior to "nature." To us whose preconceptions are so different from those of the negative atheist, the distinction may not at first view be very apparent. We are accustomed to consider supernatural power as inseparably connected with intelligence and with moral character; but to the mind of such an atheist, no such connection would appear to exist. Should it therefore be admitted that he finds reason to conclude from the phenomena in question, that there exists "a power superior to "nature," he is still very far from finding evidence of the existence of a God.' p. 53.

But the atheist, having nothing before him but the con'sciousness of what passes within, and the observation of what 'passes without,' cannot have any conception of power, the notion of power not being supplied either by our senses, or by consciousness. It being impossible, therefore, to convince this imaginary person of the existence of a supernatural power, by the miraculous phenomena themselves, it may be considered whether the explanation of them, afforded by the ostensible agent, will achieve his conviction. That claims upon our belief were accumulated to an unexampled degree in the person of Jesus of Nazareth,' is gladly acknowledged.

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But such is the perverse force of that principle on which the atheism now under consideration is rested, that it rejects as a nonentity of the imagination,' every such ground of belief. So wide is the range of that law of belief by which we are impelled, from the character of effects, to infer the existence and nature of efficient causes; and so intimately connected is the natural argument from design, with every department of Christian evidence; that the prin⚫ciples which may be assumed to justify resistance to that law, and rejection of the conclusions of natural theology, are found every where to oppose the Christian argument. Thus, how vain is it to urge upon a mind which disclaims the authority of this law of belief, the cre dibility of testimony, and the high moral character of those by whom it is emitted. If power be a word absolutely without meaning,-how can "veracity," ," "worth," "benevolence," "constancy," be any thing else than mere "nonentities of the imagination?" "We do not avail "ourselves," says Dr. C. "of any other principle than what an atheist "will acknowledge!" And he instantly proceeds to avail himself of principles which the atheist does not acknowledge; nay, principles which Dr. C. himself cannot acknowledge, if his own reasoning against the conclusions of natural theology are good for any thing. It is vain to press the admission of conclusions upon grounds which have been previously affirmed to be fallacious; and the existence of those qualities which give credibility to the testimony of the witnesses, can be

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proved upon no other principle than that which has been rejected.' pp. 56, 57.

If we are not allowed to reason from the effect to the existence and character of the cause, and consequently to infer the being and attributes of the great Agent, from his operations, we can never establish even the existence of those who performed the Christian miracles, as moral and intelligent beings, much less can we be entitled, from their peculiar intellectual and moral character, to entertain any proposition, on the strength of their testimony.

If the ideal atheist should allow the legitimacy of reasoning from the effect to the cause, but reject the great argument for the existence of God, because he finds not appearances of design in nature, miracles will not work his conversion. The ordinary and the extraordinary appearances afford evidence of the same

nature.

Phenomena are submitted to his observation, and he is desired to infer the existence of a cause in which intelligence and power are combined. That the phenomena of the first class display numerous and striking appearances of intelligence and power, has almost ceased to be a subject of dispute; yet the atheist perceives no such appearances; his understanding, nevertheless, is in a high state of preparation, it seems, for perceiving such appearances in the other class of phenomena. His negative mind can discover in the processes of nature, no appearances which give even probability to the conclusion, that they were instituted by any thing different from the inert instruments employed in conducting them; nor from investigation of nature's laws, can his understanding perceive any traces of a power higher than that of the subjects of these laws; yet from the counteraction of these laws and processes, he is expected immediately to perceive the ex. istence of God. On the "blank surface" of his mind, observation of the celestial mechanism has inscribed no trace of a powerful and skilful Architect; he has viewed the admirable construction of the planetary system, has investigated the composition of the forces employed, and the mode of dispensing light and heat; and he can find no more reason for concluding that a Cause in which power and skill are combined exists, than for the random "assertion, that in some distant region, there are tracts of space, which teem only with animated beings, who without being supported on a firm surface have the power of spontaneous movement in free spaces." Yet this is the person whose intellect is in the best possible condition for being convinced of the existence of such a cause by " a voice from heaven!" He has contemplated the skilful mechanism of the human body,-the various combinations of parts united for the production of a common end, and that end the welfare of the whole. He has sought a solution of the great question of a First Cause; he has applied to the solution of that question, the declination of atoms, the appetencies of molecules, the energies of nervous fibrillæ, with all the other famous hypotheses of a similar nature, on the one hand; and on the other, the almighty

power of an Allwise and Benignant Cause; and has maintained unmoved the strict neutrality of his mind. And yet, with all this unnatural dulness of perception, he no sooner observes "health" given "to the "diseased on the impulse of a volition," than he immediately perceives "the existence of a God." That mind which judges it neither probable nor improbable that life is originally given by a living Being, is in the best condition for admitting the existence of that Being, from having witnessed restoration of life! And the understanding of that person, who having examined the admirable construction of the eye, finds no probability in the conclusion that it was made to see with, is in a high state of preparation for being convinced of the truth of theistical conclusions, by the miraculous gift of sight to the blind.’ pp. 66-69.

But if it were allowed, that the imaginary atheist might, ccnsistently with his principles, find reason, from miraculous events, to believe in an Invisible Cause sufficient to suspend certain laws of nature, he would have no means to ascertain whether this Cause were omnipotent, or not; whether it were, or were not intelligent and of a moral character; the same as the power which regulates nature, or different from it. Nor could the ignorance of the atheist, on those and kindred questions, be removed by the testimony of the ostensible agent in the transaction; for, as the atheist's confidence in human testimony is derived solely from experience, it is impossible he should have any conception of the credit due to the testimony of a rational being, different in any respect from mere man. Of such beings he has had no experience. If it were supposed that he might find reason to believe, on the testimony of the ostensible agent, that he was commissioned by the Invisible Cause, whose existence some miraculous event has been allowed to evince, the atheist, who is perfectly ignorant of the character of this Cause, it is most obvious, has no rational grounds for believing the information imparted by the ostensible agent.

He has no reason to believe that the agent is not himself deceived. He believes therefore in the truth of a message of which he knows nothing, because that message is sent by a Power of whose supremacy he knows nothing,-of whose relation to man as his Creator or Governor he knows nothing,-and of whose moral character he has no conception. "Though the power which presided there, should be "an arbitrary, an unjust, or a malignant Being, all this may startle a "Deist, but it will not prevent a consistent Atheist from acquiescing "in any legitimate inference, to which the miracles of the gospel, "viewed in the simple light of historical facts, may chance to carry "him "* Now the "legitimate inference to which these facts have "chanced to carry" the Atheist, is this, that a message sent by a "Power which may be a malignant Being" is, certainly true, for no other reason than that it is sent by such a Power.' p. 77.

* Evidence and Authority &c. p. 230.

Such is the powerful and impressive aspect which Dr. C. has made the Christian evidence to assume!

As Dr. C.'s principles thus subvert the whole evidence of Christianity, it might be useless to consider whether they enable us, without discussing their reasonableness, to dispose of infidel objections, did not the inquiry serve to illustrate the internal evidence of our religion, and the theological conclusions from which it arises. Atthough Dr. C. says we have no right to

sit in judgement over the information of heaven's ambas'sador,' and, consequently, there might seem to be no scope for objections to the substance of a revelation attested by miracles, he subjects the above position to such limitations, as still to be obliged to discuss the usual objections to the Scriptures. If the statements of the ambassador were inconsistent with observation or experience, he allows that they ought to be rejected. He alludes to miracles, as a special mark' or watchword which we previously knew could be given by none but God.' This previous knowledge is of great extent, embracing

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'among other points, that no unintelligent principle can operate according to any other laws than those which regulate the present system of things on this globe-that there are no beings superior to man, excepting God, capable of suspending certain laws of natureand that it is contrary to reason to suppose that two or more divine Principles or Intelligences, share the government of the universe.' p. 86.

Dr. C. appeals to the sense which his readers have of right and wrong, in proof of some of his positions, and, by consequence, allows that moral distinctions are not relative to the human intellect and condition, but eternal and immutable. He adduces the unity obvious in the doctrine and sentiments of Jesus Christ,as a most striking evidence of the truth of his religion. It follows, therefore, that if it were objected, that the statements of revelation do not accord with the results of our own observation, or consciousness, or that the conclusions of natural theology essential to the validity of the evidence of miracles, are not sustained by reason, or that the Scripture ascribes such qualities to God, or inculcates such maxims of duty, as are inconsistent with our clearest moral perceptions, or that it contains heterogeneous and contradictory doctrines, Dr. C. is not entitled, on his own principles, to dismiss such objections, without entering into a discussion of their reasonableness.

Shortly after the Evidence and Authority of the Christian Revelation appeared, Dr. C. had occasion to expose what he deemed a formidable objection to Christianity. It might have been expected that he would seize this opportunity, to shew with what facility his novel mode of sustaining the Christian revelation, enabled him, without discassion, to dispose

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