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tes-Plato-Aristotle. Artists-Zeu- ments, manners, and modes of thinkxis-Parrhasius-Phidias - Alcaina. ing. A short review of the most renes.
markable events, with their respecChap. VI. The subject continued. tive causes and effects. I. The FeuThe causes and consequences of the dal Systein. II. The Crusades. Peloponnesian war. Character of III. The Institution of Chivalry. Pericles. The decline of Athenian " Chap. X. The subject continued. power and fame. Epaminondas and The events in Modern Europe conPelopidas illustrious Thebans. Cha- tinued. IV. The Reformation of Re. racter of Alexander the Great.- ligion. V. The revival of Classical Apelles and Lysippus. The degene. Learning. The most remarkable Disracy of Athenian manners. Greece coveries of modern Times, and their subdued by the Romans — by the beneficial Effects. Concluding ObTurks. Degraded state of its pre- servations." p. ix-xv. sent inhabitants, who retain some The subject of the first class is retraces of the character of their an- ligion: and the first chapter treats of cestors. Advantages derived by mo. the “ Christian religion,” commence dern Europe from ancient Greece. ing with “ the reasonableness of inConcluding remarks suggested by structing children in the principles some points of resemblance between of religion at an early age," and proAthens in the time of her glory, and ceeds to state the superior excellence the present state of Great Britain. of “CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,” on
« Chap. VII. The History of which the author observes that, Rome. - The singular excellence of “ To know Christianity is therethe Roman History. The magnifi- fore both to understand what the cence of Rome, and the wide extent Supreme Being has revealed for our of the empire in the reign of Trajan, greatest good, and to ascertain what naturally excite our curiosity to in. conduct we ought to pursue in order vestigate the leading causes of the to obtain bis approbation and favour. greatness and fall of the Roman How long therefore must the acquirepower.-The causes of its greatnessments of learning and science sink in were, I. The peculiar Constitution our opinion, when placed in opposiof Government. II. The Improve- tion to religious knowledge ! But ment of the Arts of War. III. The when it forms the basis, upon which Attachment to the established Reli- they are built, they derive additional gion. IV. The Spirit of Patriotism. value as well as stability froin its sup
Chap. VIII. "The subject conti, port; they are consecrated to the nued..The Roman institutions and best purposes, and directed to their Jaws, by forming the manners, and most salutary ends. Much as the directing the conduct of a hardy, knowledge of the scholar, and the active, and courageous people, ena- speculations of the philosopher may bled them to establish their extensive elevate and enlarge the mind, and empire. — The Carthaginians were much as they may improve and adorn their most formidable rivals.-Their it, they extend not our prospects benaval power and extensive commerce. yond the world, they bound our Characters of Hannibal and Scipio views within the narrow limits of huAfricanus. The civil wars - The man life. But the knowledge of a character of Augustus—The flourish. Christian takes a more exalted and a ing state of literature and the arts more certain aim; it respects a deduring the Augustan Age.--The de. gree of felicity, which exceeds, our generacy of manners from that pe. utmost powers of conception, and a riod.--Its causes ; I. Luxury: II. Cor- situation of pleasure and delight withruption. III. Neglect of Education. Out alloy, and without endit relates IV. The prevalence of the Epicurean to a state of existence, when the spiPhilosophy.--Good and bad Empe- rits of the just will be made perfect, rors. Rome sacked by the Goths. and the transcendent bliss of angels Division of the Empire. Reflec- will be imparted to glorified and imtions.
mortal men. Chap. IX. The History of Mo “ Such being, the excellence of dern Europe.-The events and revo- Christianity, and such the important lutions in this part of history have end, which it proposes, every person,
with divine truth, and to build his ment of their doctrives. Upon such happiness upon the most solid basis, momentous points, as contribute to will take, with the greatest satisfac. form an infallible rule and standard tion, a particular and distinct view of of faith and practice, they were its nature and evidences. Then will he guided by the divine wisdom, and avoid the imputation of being a Chris- thus are raised to a degree of authotian merely in compliance with the pre. rity and credibility unattainable by judices of his parents, or the customs all other writers.” p. 25, 26. of his native country; and he will be “ In the preservation of the bols come one in consequence of a rational scripture, we may observe a very preference, and a properexamination. striking instance of the superintendHis conviction of its truth will then ance of divine Providence, erer be solid and clear; he will plainly watchful for the happiness of manperceive the strength of its founda- kind. Notwithstanding the various tions, and fully understand the extent dissentions which have continued to of its advantages: he will be persuad- prevail in the Christian church, eser ed that it bears the character and since its first establishment, the stamp of divinity, and that it has books containing the principles of every claim to the reception of man- the religion itself, are come down to kind, which a divine Revelation can us who live at the distance of pearly reasonably be expected to possess. eighteen centuries from the time of
“ The proofs of the truth of the their authors, in a pure and unadulChristian Revelation are numerous, terated condition : so that whenever clear, and conclusive. The most the Christian faith has been corrupt. obvious and striking are those which ed, its deviation from a state of puarise; I. From the authenticity of rity could always be detected by an the Books of the New Testament, appeal to the most indisputable auII. The Character of our Lord and thority. Nor has the stream of time Saviour. Ill. The Prophecies of merely conveyed to us this divine which he was the subject, as well as treasure, uninjured and secure; but those which he delivered. IV. His even in the midst of the most violent Miracles. V. The sublime Morality persecutions, and the darkest super. of his Precepts. And, VI. The rapid stition, the Christian faith has been and extensive propagation of his so protected by divine care, that it Religion under circumstances the has never been wholly lost to the most hostile to its advancement.” world. The spark of heavenly fire, p. 19-21,
although it has been covered by the On the first of these topics are the ashes of error, has sull remained following observations.
alive, and although in the supersti“ Here presides the majesty of pure tious ages, previous to the Reformaand unsullied truth, which shines in tion, its light could be with difficulty unadorned but awful state, and never discerned, yet it was always accessiturns aside to the blandishments of ble to those, who wished to fan it into flattery, or listens to the whispers of a tlame." p. 28. prejudice, or defamation. Here The author then presents us with alone she invariably supports the a statement of " six of the leading same dignified and uniform charac- proofs of the truth of Christianity, ter, and points with equal impartiali. I. THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE ty to Peter now professing his unal- BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. terable fidelity, and now denying II. The Character of our Lord and his Lord; to the apostles at one Saviour. III. THE PROPHECIES of time deserting Christ, and at another, which he was the subject, and those hazarding their lives by the bold pro- which he pronounced. IV. His Mi. session of his Gospel. And these RACLES. V. His PRECEPTS, or plain characters of truth atsord the CHRISTIAN ETHICS. VI. THE RAclearest evidence of the inspiration AND EXTENSIVE PROPAGAof the sacred books. The Holy Spi- TION OF THE Gospel at its first rit, whose assistance was promised to preaching, under circumstances the his disciples by their heavenly Mas- most hostile to its success. ter, guarded them from error in The subject is continued in the their narratives, in the statement of second chapter, which contains the
ollowing topics. Reasons why the its rules. They can never be weighoctrines and precepts of Christiani. ed in the balance of merit, with the y have been attacked by infidels of advocates of Christianity, so dispasIl ages.-Their cavils shewn to be sionate, sincere, ingenuous, and acute, weak, and their arguments proved to so divested of all objections, that can e inconclusive.-The character and be drawn from professional bias, or onduct of modern infidels furnish interested attachments, as Milton, dditional evidence to the truth of Clarendon, Hale, Boyle, Bacon, Christianity, as they are plainly fore. Locke, Newton, Addison, Lyttleton, old in Scripture. - The absurdity of West, and Johnson. he opinions of the French philosophists, “Ought not the testimony, which and their followers, relative to univer- such men as these have given, to be held sal philanthropy exposed.
in the highest estimation? A testiinoFrom the author's observations and ny founded not upon any surrender arguments on the subject of infidelity, of their judgments to the prevailing we extract the following:
opinions of the day, but upon close “ Modern unbelievers may have and patient examination of the evireason to boast of the boldness of dences of Christianity, of which their their attacks, but little of the originan writings give the most satisfactory lity of their arguments, since the ca- proofs. Or are such men to be un. vils of Voltaire, and his followers, dervalued, when brought into come newly pointed as they may be with parison with the vaunting infidels of wit, or urged as they may be with inodern times? Where do we find additional vehemence, can be traced persons of such profound understandto Julian, Porphyry and Celsus, the ings, and inquisitive minds, as Bacon, ancient enemies of the church. Some Locke, and Newton; where of such who dislike the toil of investigating a sublime genius as Milton; where of truth for themselves, eagerly take such various and extensive learning; advantage of the labours of others; exhausting all the literary treasures and lay great stress upon the exam of eastern, as well as western litera. ple of those eminent men, who have ture, as Sir William Jones, who at disbelieved, or rather in some in- the close of life recorded his conştances, perhaps, only affected to dis- viction of the truth of divine Revebelieve, the fundainental truths of lation, and celebrated the excellence Christianity. The Christian profes- of the holy Scriptures ? To compare ses not to deny the force of such an the race of modern infidels in point argument, because he is aware, that of genius, learning, science, judge the weight of authority is very pow. ment, or love of truth ;-to compare erful, whether avowed or concealed. Voltaire, Hume,, Gibbon, Godwin, It undoubtedly gives a bias to the and Paine, with such men as these, mind, which is more commonly felt were surely as idle, and as absurd, as than acknowledged; and it has con- to compare the weakness of infancy siderable influence in determining the with the maturity of manhood; the judgment in most of the atfairs of flutter of a butterfly with the vigolife. If however this argument be rous soaring of an eagle; or the urged in opposition to Christianity, twinkling of a star with the glory of fair reasoning requires that it should the sun, illuminating the universe be allowed due force in its favour. with his meridian brightness.” p.60— Ask the infidel, who are the leaders, 63. under whose banners he has enlisted " Against the authority of such himself, and perhaps he will point to insidious writers
as Voltaire and Hume, and to Bolingbroke: but sure- Gibbon, we enter our serious, and ly, if even we allow the elegance and we think our equitable protest; we acuteness of the one, and the florid exhort every one to beware of their declamation of the other, all the sophistry, and to guard against their praise they deserve, they can never delusive arts. They have violated bear a competition with those lumi. the laws of fair controversy, and naries of science, and those teachers fought with the weapons that cannot of true wisdom, who have not only be allowed on such occasions. They embraced the Christian faith, but employ ridicule instead of argument, maintained its truth and divine ori- artful 'insinuation instead of serious gin, and directed their conduct by discussion, and bold assertion instead VOL. I.
of proof. They write to the passions inconsistent with the purity of the and imagination, and not to the Christian character; it is clear, they judgment of mankind. They art. are imperfectly acquainted with the fully involve the questions relative to real nature of ihe religion itsell, and the evidences of Christianity in per- the various proofs by which it is plexity, and endeavour to throw the supported. They condemna not so blame arising from the dissensions much what they do not understand, and usurpations, the vices and igno- as what they do not give themselves rance of some of the clergy, and the the trouble to investigate. Do they incroachments which in dark and carefully examine the facis which had superstitious tinies were made upon such great influence ju attracting the the liberties of mankind, upon Chris- notice of the world to our Saviour? tianity itself. They select those to. I allude to the miracles of various pics, which can best be turned to their kinds which he wrought; and do purpose, by the arts of misrepresen- they read the accounts of these wontation; they embellish them with the derful operations of divine power and flowery ornaments of stile, and skilo goodness, with minds disposed to fully adapt them to the passions and yield to the force of historical esi: prejudices of their readers. As how, dence! We read in the awful parable ever their conduct is thus artful and of the Rich Man and Lazarus, that insidious, so ought their labours to be the fornier, when in a state of tor, vain and unfruitful; for they do not ment, was desirous that a person try the cause upon its own merits: might be sent from the dead for the they do not, like candid and dispas, conversion of his unbelieving brosionate reasoners, separate the sub- thers. Is there any infidel who wishes ject in dispute from all foreign and for such a proof of the truth of Chris. extraneous circumstances: they do tianity ? Suppose God should grant not agitate questions, and start ob- his desire, and that in the still and jections, from a desire of being well solemn hours of the night, whex deep informed : they do not, in the spirit sleep had fallen upon the rest of manof true philosophy, examine the evi- kind, a spirit should pass before him, dences of Christianity with that be whose form he could not distinctly coming seriousness, which is due to discern, but which resembled a latean affair of such infinite importance ly departed friend. · Fear would to the present welfare and future come upon him, and treinbling, happiness of mankind: they do not which would cause all his bones to consider, that the saine unbelief, if shake. Suppose there should be applied to the common records of profound silence, and then a voice be history, or the ordinary affairs of life, heard, saying, I am come 10 tell you would expose them to the imputation there is a God-a heaven and a hell: of blind 'rashness, or extreme folly. forsake your sins, ere it be too late, and As their conduct is evidently not seek salvation in the Gospel of Christ, dictated by a love of truth, their or you will perish for ever. What eiscoffs, their sarcasıns, and their so fect would this vision produce: Prophistry, deserve no attention; and as bably it would terrify the infidel to they not only wantonly reject, but death ; or should he surrise it, and industriously depreciate the best gift be at first deeply inpressed with the of heaven, they ought to be shunned, awful circumstances, it is probable, and reprobated, as enemies to the that the cares and the pleasures oi dearest interest of mankind.” p. 64, 65. the world would gradually wear out
From the author's observations and its impression. As to his sceptical arguments on the subject of infide- - friends they would not believe him; lity, we extract also the following pa. they would strive to laugh, or to reae ragraph.
son' him out of his alarms, by repres * From whatever causes the doubts senting that all be related was a and cavils of modern infidels arise, dream. He would in time begin to whether from a desire to gain the think so himselt, and perhaps would reputation of superior sagacity, a suspect that he had been imposed love of novelty, an ainbition to soar pon, and so would remain obdurate above vulgar potions, a fear of being and unconvinced. As such evidence thought credulous or superstitious, or of the truth of Revelation would be the pursuit of such practices as are thus ineffectual, so is it bighly unne
cessary, for no facts recorded in the fame by their opposition to the faith; history of mankind are níore fully we may enumerate, in addition to its attested than the miracles of our extensive and various improvements, Lord. Did he not repair to the tomb the refinement it has given to manof Lazarus, the brother of Martha ners, and its beneficial influence upon and Mary, who had been dead four the public judgment of morals. Mandays, and in the presence of many
kind, no longer left a prey to igno. people cry aloud to bim to come rance, or to loose and Auctuating forli,--and did not the dead man opinions, are furnished with a guide, hear his voice, and live for a long to which they can always resort, for time after ? Our Lord declared re- principles of religion and rules of peatedly that he should himself rise conduct. Hence the most illiterate from the tomb. When the appointed and humble members of the Christian hour arrived, was there not a great church can form more true and acearthquake, and did not the Saviour curate notions of the Deity, his attriof the world arise? Were not these butes and providence, as well as a things attested by friends, and by more rational notion of moral obli. enemies, who were all eye witnesses'; gation, of virtue, and vice, and the and did not the primitive Christians final destination of man, than was endure every hardship, and suffer ever reached by the ancient sages in every torment in proof of such faces ? the brightest days of heathen philoWhat need therefore can there be sophy. of any additional assurance? If the * Christianity, far from being calintidel will not believe Moses and the culated for any political constitution prophets, Christ and his apostles; in particular, is found to prosper and neither will he be persuaded, though flourish under every form of governone came to him from the dead." ment; as it is equally incompatible
The author then shews that Chris with licentiousness on the one hand, tianity has produced the happiest or oppression on the other. It coreffects upon the opinions, conrluct, rects the spirit of democracy, and and institutions of mankind. It was softens the rigour of despotic power. darkened by superstition, and inter- An enlargement of mind, and superior mixed with error by the Papists: intelligence, distinguish in a peculiar But was refined and brought back manner those nations that have emmore nearly to the apostolical stand- braced the faith, from those extensive ard by the REFORMATION-parti portions of mankind, who fight under cularly by the PROTESTANT Esta the banners of Mahomet, or adhere BLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH OP to the more pacific institutes of BraENGLAND.-Summary of the su ma and Confucius. The inhabitants blime truths of Christianity.It com of the east groan under the oppres. prehends the last revelation of the di- sions of arbitrary power, and little vine will to mankind establishes the does their religion contribute to allecertainty of a future state-reconciles viate the weight of their chains. The man to the dispensations of Provi Mahometans more especially are dence-and qualifies him, by a life marked by peculiar ignorance; and of faith and obedience, for the rewards so far are they from being distinof eternity.
guished by the light of science, or Amongst the blessings produced by the cultivation of useful knowledge, Christianity, which the author endi that they adopt with the greatest remerales, we notice the following. luctance all foreign improvements,
“ And, not to expatiate upon its and even smother in its birth the mild and salutary effects upon the spirit of liberal enquiry and research." temper, the passions, and the general p. 76—78. conduct of millions, who, although The subject of the second class is their names were never recorded in language, and the first chapter treats the pages of history, were more wor of language in general in the followthy and honourable members of so. ing order. ciety, and are infinitely more de ADVANTAGES resulting from a serving the approbation of mankind, knowledge of various languages.than all the ancient heroes who have The theories of Lord Monboddo, and sought renown by war, or all the mo. Adam Smith, relative to their origin dern sceptics who have aspired to examined. All languages derived