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the truth of such a representation as summation. It is not the view of he now perceives, but never before those naked propositions that can adverted toto such a man we ren- evince or establish the general truth der the homage due to an insight and of the system which contains them; a sagacity so marvellous, and at but they are variously and repeatedly length, to border on our argument, set forth in the sacred record. And this sagacity we may conceive en- this gives rise to innumerable touches hanced into a discernment superna- of descriptive accuracy in the multural, which may amount to such a tiplied and sustained harmony bedivination of the thoughts of the heart tween the inner tablet of the heart as nought but the interposal of a and the outward tablet of the predivinity can explain; it might an- sented revelation. There is an evinounce itself to be a higher wisdom dence offered by the agreement bethan any upon earth--to be a wisdom tween a complex tally and its alike from above; and so draw the very ac- complex, but accurately resembling knowledgment which the first teachers counterpart: and there may be a like of Christianity drew, to whom, when resemblance in the countless adaptaan unlearned hearer listened, “ he tions wbich obtain between a superwas judged of all, he was convinced natural application from heaven and of all, and thus were the secrets of the human nature beneath on which his heart made manifest; and so it has descended. And besides these, falling down on his face he worshipped there are many other symptoms or God, and reported that God was in signatures of truth which the conthem of a truth."

science can lay hold of. It can disAfter these preliminary observa- cern the apparent honesty of any tions we now feel ourselves some- communication, it can take cognizance what prepared for stating the argu- of all that marks the worth or simment of the text. The substance of plicity of its bearings; it can feel, and the Apostle's testimony, whether as be impressed by, its aspect of unorally delivered by himself to the doubted sacredness; it can distiapeople of his own age, or as trans- guish the voice of God, or when mitted, in a written record, to the ambassadors are from God, in its people of all ages, is such as makes promulgation of a righteous law, and manifest its own truth to the con- in sustained dignity and the effect science of every man. When mak- wherewith it challenges a rightful auing demonstration of human guilt, thority; it can perceive all which there might be such an accordancy appears, in and about the message, with all that nature felt of its own to be in keeping with the high origuiltiness—when making demonstra- ginal which it claims; and, whether tion of the offered atonement, there it looks to the profoundness of its might be such an accordancy with all wisdom, or to the august and inviothat nature felt of its own necessities– lable purity of its universal character, as first to draw the attention, and it will be so plainly perceived, when then to compel the belief of all who these evidences are so enhanced and were thus aroused. The felt force of multiplied on the professed commuthe difficulties on the one hand, the nication from heaven, as to announce felt suitableness of the remedies on its descent from a God of knowledge the other, might send them, and and of holiness. rightfully send them, on such a con- You will now understand what is

meant by the self-evidencing power that he lifts up a veil, but it is but the of the Bible. The evidences of veil which hides from our view the seChristianity might be variously dis- crets of any distant or mysterious retributed-into external, internal, and gion. He taketh away the veil from historical evidences. Well, you will our hearts, and we are made to behold understand from these whatis meant by that which is within, and also to behold the self-evidencing power of the Bible that which is without, and become -strictly an internal evidence. It is alive to the force and fulness of that that in virtue of which it announces its evidence which lies in the manifested own authority to the understanding of adjustment between them, convinced the reader. It is not only the bearer at once of the magnitude of every of its own contents, but is the bearer man's sin and of the suitableness and also of its own credentials. It is by reality of the offered salvation. In the external and the historical evi- this process there is no direct andences of Christianity that we are nouncement made to us by the spirit enabled to maintain its cause against of God, there is neither a voice nor a the infidel, and the lettered academic vision, no whisper to the ear of the man; but it is another evidence that inner man, no gleam either of senrecommends it to the acceptance of sible or spiritual representations. the general population. Their be- There is light, it is true, shining out lief in scripture, and we think all of darkness, a light which the Bible saving belief whatever, is grounded makes luminous, reflected from the on the instant manifestation of its tablet of the conscience, now made truth to the conscience, and this with visible. It is not a light shining out the aid of sensible miracles in directly upon us from the heavenly the present age, and without even objects themselves, but it is a light the scholarship which ascertains and shining on a medium, the proof of verifies the miracles of the past age, which we are made sensible of its do we hold that the divinity of the realities. He who has been visited Bible may be read and recognized in by this manifestation can say, “I was its own pages, and that in virtue of blind, but now I see.” He may rethe evidence which might be addressed remember the days when a darkness with effect to the moral nature of man inscrutable seemed to hang over those in any quarter of the world. But mystic, those then unmeaning paswhat gives complete and conclusive sages of the Bible that he now pereffect to this evidence is the revelation ceives to be full of weight and signiof the spirit. For the understanding ficance. He may remember the day of this there is one thing of primary when safe in himself he neither saw importance to be attended to. The the extent nor the purity of God's Spirit, when he acts as an enlightener, lofty commandments, nor his own presents us with no new revelation of deficiency and distance therefrom. his own ; he only shines on that reve- Though now burdened with the conlation which is already given in the scious magnitude of his guilt he now Bible. He brings no new truths from sees the need of a Saviour and feels afar, he but discloses the truth of his preciousness. He is now brought that word which is nigh unto us. within full view of the argument of It is true that he opens our eyes, but my text, and the transition, the perit is to behold the wondrous tbings sonal or bistorical transition which contained in this book. It is true himself has undergone, is to his mind a most impressive argument; it forms themselves daily to the perusal of the to him an experimental evidence of Scriptures, and have poured forth the truth of Christianity, and may be their hearts in earnest prayer to God regarded as another appeal to his that he would reveal these Scriptures conscience, or his consciousness, in to their understandings--if in point its favor. He has become a Christian of fact they are made to feel their in the true sense and significancy of weight and significancy, and their the term; the gospel has entered his manifold and various applications to mind in the demonstration of the all the peculiarities of their own spirit and with power. He rejoices hearts and history, they may at in the hope of its bright fulfilment, least conceive this would be very and untutored though he be, in the effective evidence. It would require scholarship of its literary or argu- the illustration of a volume, instead of mentative evidence, he with an hum- the synoptical view which can be ble education and humble circum- given in the limits of a single sermon, stances, can give a reason of his hope. to follow out the question, through I am quite sensible that this cannot all its bearings. In one sentence we be fully accorded to by the sympathy shall now state what the evidence is on of those who have not required the which we would vindicate the rationtransition. I have great hope on the ality and the hopefulness of missionary part of those who have equally felt enterprises. the transition, who remember the time We have the Bible which can be when a veil of hieroglyphical obscu- multiplied indefinitely and sent to rity seemed to hang over the pages all countries. We have the conof the New Testament, who did not science universal in human nature, feel the force of its adjustment to the and in virtue of which every possessor felt moral and spiritual wants of their of this nature, whether Greek or barown nature, and who now feel a barian, might respond to the word weight and see a significancy on which is there addressed to them. We every page, which they did not come have the Spirit of God given in anat by any logical process, but which swer to prayer, and promised to achas been the result, in all probability, company and to abide with us even of great moral earnestness giving rise until the end of the world. And to a devout perusal of the Scriptures what we affirm is, that having these, accompanied with prayer, in answer we have means for the Christianizato which the Spirit has opened their tion of the whole earth-a mighty understandings to see the Scriptures. yet marvellous achievement, wrought And they appeal to this as a tangible with the simple apparatus of a Bible method of proof, that whereas they and a conscience, and the evidence were blind, now they see. Even that is struck out between them by a those who have not undergone this light from the Spirit of God, irratransition may be made to conceive diating them both. You have the the evidence, by imagining the possi- whole philosophy of this evidence bility of that which they now nauseate, condensed within a very narrow comperhaps, as mysticism, or regarded pass in those beautiful lines of Cowas a non-intelligible something which per, when he compares the Christian cannot enter into our sympathies. intelligence of a poor and aged feLet us suppose that they have been male, with the accomplishments of roused to the obligation of devoting the philosopher Voltaire :


« She, for her humble sphere by nature fit, the historical pathway till they could With little understanding, and no wit, lay their hands on the authenticity of Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible the books of the New Testament, by true ;

the certainty of the narrative conA truth the brilliant Frenchman never

tained in it? If these people have knew

faith at all they have a reason for And in that charter reads with sparkling

their faith. They do see the truth of eyes, Her title to a treasure in the skies.

the gospel, and the question is, wheO, happy peasant! 0, unhappy bard!

ther they see it immediately in the His the mere tinsel-hers the sure reward ! light of scripture doctrine, or mediHe praised, perhaps, for ages yet to come;

ately in the light of historical demonShe never heard of half a mile from home! | stration. When you enter the house He, lost in errors, his vain heart prefers ; of one of your cottage patriarchs and She, safe in the simplicity of hers." examine the library which lies in a

little room upon its shelves, you may II. Having now said all that we can there find what that is which has beafford on the subject of the manifes- gun and which still manifests his tation spoken of in the text, we now Christianity. Let me speak at least pass on to the second head of the dis- with confidence of the state of matters course, under which we proposed that in our own land. Such books often we should at least assert, and, as far met with even in the lowest hovels as we could, establish the assertion of our peasantry, are not books on that THE

the external history of the BibleTHE CONSCIENCE WAS THE GREAT, If they are the Bible itself, and books

on the internal substance and conTIANIZATION, BOTH IN AND OUT OF tents of the Bible; they are the CHRISTENDOM. Here we think it must Flavels and the Guthries and the be quite palpable that it is at least to Richard Baxters of the patriarchal some such evidence we owe the great age which are his favourites-men bulk of our home Christianity. We who say little or nothing on the aron this subject make a confident ap-gumentative evidence of Scripture, peal to the ministers of the gospel but who unfold the subject-matter, and who are now present, and bid them who urge, and urge most impressively, tell what that is which originates on the consciousness of the readers of and which fashions the Christianity the lessons of Scripture. In a word, of their own people. Was it a series it is by a perpetual interchange beof lectures on the Deistical contro-tween their consciences and the Bible versy? Was it the arguments of that their Christianity is upholden by Paley, or of Leslie, or of Butler, that a light struck out between the sayings germinated their faith? Was it the of the one and the findings of the doctrine in the book, or the history of other. It is not a light which is out the book that was the instrument of of this book, but a light which is their conversion? That they might within the book that commences and see the truth of the gospel had you to sustains the Christianity of our land, plant an historical ladder, ascending the Christianity of our ploughmen, from the present age to that of the our artisans, our men of handicraft apostles, or by the light of criticism and hard labour. Yet not the Chrisand erudition ? Had you to guide tianity either of deceitful imagithem by a series of indices along nation or of implicit deference to


authority, but a Christianity of deep, parishes. We translate the sacred I will even say of rational belief, volume and circulate it amongst them. thoroughly and profoundly seated on We send schoolmasters who might the principles of our moral nature, teach them to read their vernacular and nobly accredited by the virtues Bible. We send ministers who ex. of our well conditioned peasantry. pound it. We knock at the door of In the olden time of Presbytery, that heaven's sanctuary that a virtue may time of scripture Christianity in our

descend from on high-that God pulpits and of psalmody in all our may add the grace of his spirit to the cottages, these men grew and multi- testimony of his word. You cannot plied in our land, and though derided overthrow the efficiency of this proin the heartless literature, and dis- cess but by an argument that will countenanced and disowned in the nullify all the Christianizing process earthly politics of other days, it is of our own land. You cannot pull their remnant which acts as a pre- down our cause without passing senserving salt among our people, and tence of extinction on the religious which constitutes the real strength light of all Christendom. You canand glory of the Scottish nation. not rightfully charge the work of

We now begin to feel ourselves on missionaries, with fanaticism and firm vantage ground for the main- felly, without fastening the brand of tenance of our cause, and on which these very imputations on the work the reasonableness, I would say, the of ministers within. If no Christiphilosophy, of missions might be anity can be formed there without vindicated. It is an axiom in phi- the power of working present miralosophy that we should look for the cles or the power of evincing to the like effect from like causes, and like belief of savages, the reality of past manufacture from like materials. In miracles, then no Christianity can be the work of conversion, the materials formed here throughout the mass or on which we operate are the same, great majority of our own population. whether at home or in India--the But if Christianity can be formed identical human nature that is cha- here by the simple power of truth racteristic,- I say the identical human upon the conscience, this is the prinnature that is characteristic, not of ciple which opens the world to the tribes, or nations, but is characteristic enterprise of missionaries. Whereof the species. The instrument by ever there is a human being there is which we operate is the same, the a conscience, and on this ground identical doctrine of the Bible, the alone the message of salvation might identical message from heaven, to all circulate around the globe, and be the people that be upon the earth. carried with acceptance through all The power which gives the instru- its nations, and tribes, and families. ment its efficacy is the same, even And if it were not so, if there were that spirit which bloweth where he no such evidence as that for which listeth, and who, with but the Bible we are contending, by what practical to pioneer his way, disowns all the avenue could the faith of the gospel distinctions of savage or civilized life, be made to find an entrance and an and all the barriers of geography. establishment amongst the great mass In the prosecution of the cause we of our population ? Take away from transfer to other lands the very us the self evidencing power of the machinery that is at work in our own Bible, and you lay an interdict on the

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