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we, therefore, deny them a licence to apply to the palpable language of truth, the rack and inquisition of their sophistry. We have traversed the different realms of modern science, and, whatever may have been our attainments, we do trust, we are not over confident that we can give a “reason” for the principle that constitutes the main spring of our happiness. “What is Truth?” said pusilanimous and versatile Pilate, while it stood personified before him in all its glorious attributes; but, like a light shining in a dark place, the darkness comprehended it not. Truth is an immutable and immortal thing, like its almighty Author it is “without variableness or the least shadow of turning.” It is a reflected ray from the Father of Lights, and like its heavenly Source, it is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” Time cannot impair its lustre, or tarnish its beauty. It springs brighter from the wave. “Great floods cannot drown it.” The Christian may well rejoice in his hope, rooted in such a Paradise as is the Tree of Life. That hope is founded on a rock which no tempest can successfully assail. Into this heavenly Palmyra “the righteous flee and are safe.” When they are chased by the enemy, this is their “strong hold as prisoners of hope.” Modern science and research, if our reason and our senses do not alike deceive us, give no colour or pretext to the artifices of scepticism or infidelity. Their assumptions rest on false grounds;–postulata, which, we hesitate not to say, are a bold inversion of the canons of inductive science, and framed in despite and defiance of the maxims of those great teachers of science and master-spirits of humanity, Newton and Bacon. We hate idolatry of every kind, and above all, that of talent and intellect, while we honour, respect and admire, the precepts of truth, however lowly be the source whence they emanate. These, however, were “mighty men" on the Gilboa mountains of philosophic truth; they were as sober and circumspect, as they were profound in wit and genius: we would gladly sit at their feet, and listen to their instructions. It is the Christian, above all men on earth, who is “in his right mind.” The times in which we live are of no ordinary character; and what may follow there is now no prophet to tell us. The canon of Scripture is closed, and the heavenly Roll, in which our destinies are written, is entrusted to us, and to our children; we do well to take heed to its admonitions; it has all the emphasis of a voice from heaven, and its enunciation is, THUS SAITH THE LORD. The champions of truth are summoned to the field, and loftier ground must now be occupied than has ever yet been taken. The great Armageddon of infidelity seems rapidly to approach. The spirits of men are restless and convulsed. Thrones are tottering and empires are ruined—“men’s hearts failing them for fear.” Thus, however, saith the Spirit of Eternal Truth, “knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.” Yes! religious knowledge is the pillar of our security— our “mountain that standeth strong.” It is the high hill of our comforts and our happiness, far exalted above the storms that agitate the lower world. A serene sky illuminated by the Sun of Righteousness above our heads, we have nothing to fear, though the lightnings flash and the thunders roll beneath us. Eternity and a world to come are no trifles in the eye of right reason, and in the estimation of the imperial and noble aspirant for “glory, honour, and immortality.” Man was not made in vain, with such prospects as these; and the Christian need not fear to explore the “valley of the shadow of death,” with the Safety-lamp of heaven in his hand.
We have, it has been noticed, visited the regions of science, studied in her schools, conversed with her philosophers, walked through her avenues, and cultivated her fields; we have interrogated the oracles of nature, and solicited a distinct and positive reply to the question, whether the elements of hostility to revealed Truth were contained in them P One and all returned a negative, and an amen to Lord Bacon's maxim, “the books of Nature and Revelation mutually illustrate each other.” The root of the matter is to be sought for, therefore, in the heart, not in the head, the pride of humanity—the would-be interpreter of nature's laws and phenomena. “Ye shall be as gods,” said the wily tempter to the too credulous pair in Eden's Elysium, —ambition kindled at the thought, and the crown of innocence fell to the ground: the same seeds of disease still rankle in the moral frame. These truths, however, shall endure when the pillars of the universe totter, and the “mountains be removed and there be no place found for them.”—
“Go, little book, heaven be thy guide.”
comparatively recent Epocha of the Event....................
Tables of Stone—Elevation of the Brazen Serpent—The Samaritans. 199
Shibboleth—Samson–Brook Elah—Captivity of the Ten Tribes by Shalmaneser—The Invasion by Shishak, King of Egypt—
Remarks on Miracles—The Spirit of Prophecy—Modern Judaism —The Sacred Code of the Jews—Retrospect—The Eve of Christianity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
The Advent of the Messiah—The Divinity of Jesus Christ—
Illustrations of the Acts of the Apostles—The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus Wespasian–Conclusion .......... ---------- 264