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able. God would never have suffered any person pretending to have come from him, to impose upon your nation and the whole world in so egregious a manner as Jesus must have done, if he had been an impostor. Would God have raised an impostor to life, after a public execution ? And yet in my discourse on that subject, I have shewn that this one fact has the most convincing evidence that any fact of the kind could possibly have. If you attentively consider the character of Jesus, his great simplicity, his piety, his benevolence, and every other virtue, you must be satisfied that he was incapable of imposture. Compare his character and conduct with that of Mahomet, or any other known impostor, and this argument of the internal kind must strike you in a forcible manner. Besides, how was it possible for such a religion as the Christian, preached by persons in low stations, without the advantage of a learned education, to have esta. blished itself in the world, opposed as it was by every obstacle that could be thrown in its way, if it had not been supported by truth and the God of truth? The belief of your nation in general, has answered an important purpose in the plan of Divine Providence, as nothing else could have given so much satisfaction, that Christianity received no aid from civil government, and that the books of your scriptures are genuine writings, not imposed on the world by Christrans. But this great end being now.completely answered by the continuance of your incredulity for such a length of time, I hope the time is approaching, when, as the apostle says, Rom. xi. 26, All Israel will be saved, an event which will be followed by the conversion of the Gentiles in general. Your restoration cannot fail to convince the world of the truth of your religion; and in those circumstances, your conversion to Christianity cannot fail to draw after it that of the whole world !” In the Spectator, No. 495, Addison has given a paper on the history of the Jews, written with his accustomed ingenuity and piety. See also a Discourse lately preached on the Conversion of the Jews, by the Rev. D. Bogue, before the Missionary Society.
THE Chinese religion is involved in great mystery. Father Amiot, after the most assiduous researches on the subject, comes to this conclusion: ** The Chinese (says he) are a distinct people, who have still preserved the characteristic marks of their first origin ; a people whose primitive docmine will be found, by those who take the trous
ble of investigating it thoroughly, to agree in its essential part with the doctrine of the chosen people, before Moses, by the cominand of God himself, had consigned the explanation of it to the sacred records ; a people, in a word, whose traditional knowledge, when freed from whatever the ignorance or the superstition of later ages has added to it, may be traced back from age to age, and from epocha to epocha, without interruption, for the space of four thousand years, even to the renewal of the human race by the grandson of Noah.” The King, or canonical book of the Chinese, every where inculcates the belief of a Supreme Being, the author and preserver of all things. Their great philosopher Confucius lived about five hundred years before our Saviour's birth, and to this day each town has a place consecrated to his memory. See the late Sir George Staunton's Embassy, where much information is given respecting their religion. Amongst other particulars, it is mentioned, that the Chinese have no religious establishment.
CHRISTIANITY. CHRISTIANITY (to which Judaism was introductory) is the last and most perfect dispensation of revealed religion with which God hath favoured the human race. It was instituted by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who made his appearance in Judea near two thousand years ago. He was born at Bethlehem, brought up at Nazareth, and crucified at Jerusalem. His lineage, birth, life, death, and sufferings, were minutely predicted by a succession of the Jewish prophets, and his religion is now spread over a considerable portion of the globe. The evidences of the Christian religion are comprised under historical testimony, prophecies, miracles, the internal evidence of its doctrines and precepts, and the rapidity of its first propagation among the Jews and the Gentiles.--Though thinking Christians have in every age differed widely respecting some of the doctrines of this religion, yet they are fully agreed in the divinity of its origin, and in the benerolence of its tendency.
Brief representations of the Christian religion, shall be transcribed both from the writings of churchmen and Dissenter's, well deserving of attention. . Bishop Gibson, in his second Pastoral Letter, observes-" It will appear that the several denominations of Christians agree both in the substance of religion and in the necessary enforcements of the practice of it: that the world and all things in it were created by God, and are under the direction and government of his all-powerful hand and all-seeing eye ; that there is an essential dif
ference between good and evil, virtue and vice; that there will be a state of future rewards and punishments, according to our behaviour in this life ; that Christ was a teacher sent from God, and that his apostles were divinely inspired ; that all Christians are bound to declare and profess themselves to be his disciples ; that not only the exercise of the several virtues, but also a belief in Christ is necessary, in order to their obtaining the pardon of sin, the favour of God, and eternal life; that the worship of God is to be performed chiefly by the heart in prayers, praises, and thanksgivings; and as to all other points, that they are bound to live by the rules which Christ and his apostles have left them in the holy scriptures. Here then is a fixed, certain, and uniform rule of faith and practice, containing all the most necessary points of religion, established by a divine sanction, embraced as such by all denomi. nations of Christians, and in itself abundantly sufficient to preserve the knowledge and practice of religion in the world*.”
* Some curious particulars respecting the religion of the Hindoos in the East Indies, communicated in the Asiatic Researches, seems to indicate that it is a corruption of the Christian religion. How far the resemblance holds, the reader of the Asiatic Re searches must form his own judgment. That celebrated work was published under the inspection of the late Sir W. Jones. The reader should also consult Maurice's Indian Antiquities, in which