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but most interestingly sketched. But so soon as reasons are given in the history of Shem, of Ham, and Japheth, for a special providence in dispersing them over the whole earth, and in selecting the younger of these three to stand at the head of the postdiluvian line of the child of promise, the historian eonfines himself to the royal and sacerdotal line of the Messiah. He next counts off ten other progenitors of our Lord. These are Shein, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abraham. The promise given to Eve and repeated to Shem, is suill farther developed and committed to Abraham. To the end of Genesis we have five other noble links in this patriarchal chain. These are Isaae, Jacob, Judah, Phares, and Ezrom. Genesis then gives us in all five and twenty of our Lord's ancestors, and just so much of human affairs as is necessary to their favourable introduction to our notice. Joseph's history, so pre-eminently connected with the whole drama of man's redemption, and terminating in the migration and settlement of the symbolic nation in Egypt, is more minutely and particularly detailed than any one individual history in the five books of Moses. His other books, occupying but forty years' incidents, adds no new names to the illustrious line. After the books of Joshua and Judges, the book of Ruth is inserted to connect Judah and the promise made to him with David through Boaz, Obed, and Jessemaking the line from Ezrom to sueceed thus: Aram, Aminadab, Naashon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David.
The beautiful story of Ruth, the Moabitish saint, inserted for the express purpose of connecting David with Judah, Abraham, and Seth, and of completing through him the illustrious line down to the vigin's son, is itself a demonstration of the truth of our assumption, namely, That the plan of the Bible is to reveal God to man and man to himself, by placing one family under a special providence, and in making all its fortunes first the subject of prophecy, and then of history, from the beginning to the end of the world.* God meant more than any man has yet comprehended when he said," I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, This is my name for ever and my memorial to all generations," The history of that family is, then, a documentary revelation of the attributes of God, and especially of his truthfulness and covenant-keeping character; while all other histories of all other families serve as night to day in the contrast, to present his in all the most favourable attitudes before us, and to in. duce all men to place themselves under the wings of his almighty protection.
Soon as David ascends the throne and his family obtains the sceptre of the twelve tribes, the royal lineage is in safe-keeping. The books of Samuel, the Kings, and the Chronicles, down to the end of Old Testament history, not only faithfully preserve the records of the nation, but afford a thousand developments of human nature and of divine providence, full of instruction to all mankind in all ages of the world.
Matthew and Luke open the New Testament history by giving from the archives of the nation and the rolls of lineage the ancestry of Jesus up to Adam; the former, by his legal father Joseph; the latter,
# See Ruth, chapter iv. 18-22.
by his natural mother, Mary. By the legal paternal line he is the sixtieth in descent from Adam; while by the maternal line he is the seventy-sixth. The Apostolic writings give the history of the Jews down to the crucifixion of their promised Deliverer, the repudiation of them as the nation and people of God, and the adoption of believing Jews and Gentiles as one in the Lord Jesus in their stead ; while the prophecies of the New Testament indicate the destiny of Israel according to the flesh, as well as Israel according to the spirit, till the final consummation. Such is the plan of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.
From the plan of the Bible, as well as from its philosophy, its claims upon
the faith and admiration of mankind may be strongly argued. Its philosophy is, that without piety no man can be happy; and that with it any man in any outward circumstances may be happy to the full extent of his capacity for human enjoyment. But human enjoyment is neither animal nor angelic enjoyment.
Animal or sensitive enjoyments are supreme and exclusive in the brutal creation, but subordinate in man. Intellectual pleasures are necessarily dependent upon the ministry which the intellect performs. If the intellect is made subordinate to the animal instincts, passions, or propensities; or if the intellect is subordinate to moral and spiritual enjoyments, its pleasures are essentially different. In the former case they are but refined animalism ; in the latter case they are spiritual and divine. In this view all human enjoyments are reduced to two classes : the one is spiritual, and the other carnal; the one is moral, social, and refined ; the other is selfish, exclusive, and gross; the one rises, the other sinks to all eternity.
The philosophy of the Bible is, therefore, the philosophy of human happiness, and the only philosophy which commends itself to the cultivated understanding of man.' No mere rationalist, philosopher, or sage, ever proposed such a view of happiness to man. It is peculiar to the Bible. It is an original and divine conception, and proves
the divine authorship of the book. From the object and character of the book of revelation, its divine authority can be most triumphantly argued. It is a book equally worthy of God to bestow and of man to receive. Dictated by infinite benevolence, characterized by supreme intelligence, and perfectly adapted to the genius of human nature, it is worthy of universal reception and of the most profound and grateful homage.
Its plan is superhuman and divine. No one class of men of any one age could have formed such a plan as that of writing the history of one family for seven thousand years, and of incorporating with that history a scheme of eternal redemption from sin. And yet it is as clear as the sun in a cloudless sky, that Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah- with all the Jewish historians, prophets, and poets, during a period of fifteen hundred years, were, without concert, conference, or voluntary co-operation, prosecuting just such an object without seeming to comprehend it. And not they only, but all the patriarchs before Moses, all the renowned fathers of mankind from Adam to Moses, were orally transmitting such information to their descendants; and all the scribes of the Jews, from Malachi to Matthew, were in their chronicles of Jewish times recording such incidents and events as make out the entire history of the family of Jesus Christ from Adam to Joseph, his legal father, and to Mary, his natural mother. This was done but once in all time, and for a purpose just as peculiar and singular as the Bible itself.
A sceptic or an infidel might as well argue that king Hiram's thirty thousand woodsmen and builders, and king Solomon's one hundred and fifty thousand hewers, stone-cutters, and carriers of burdens, with his three thousand three hundred supervisors and directors, were severally and individually working each one after a plan of his own, and that without concert or prearrangement, all their materials were fitted up into a temple the most splendid and magnificent that ever stood upon this earth-the wonder of the world and the glory of architecture-as that shepherds, husbandmen, fishermen, artisans, historians, lawgivers, kings, living in different countries, in ages very remote, speaking divers languages, and of every peculiarity of character, could have, either by accident or design, got up such a volume as the Bible, marked in every page by peculiar originality of character, a most striking unity of design, pervading an almost infinite variety of circumstantial details, and in a style the most simple, artless, and sublime. The fortuitous concourse of atoms into a universe indicative of designs and adaptations as innumerable as the stars, as countless as the sands of the sea, would be a rational hypothesis, a plausible and credible theory, compared with such an assumption.
The divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures is, indeed, fully proved by the divine wisdom and knowledge contained in the record itself. The author is known in his works. God's book is full of divinity. It reveals what human wisdom cannot fathom, but what human wisdom must believe and approve. God has not only affixed his sign manual to the mission of Apostles and Prophets in the miracles which they wrought, and in the prophecies which they uttered; but he has stamped upon the treasures of wisdom and knowledge which it contains, and incorporated with all its gracious and sublime developments, its holy doctrine, its heavenly spirit, and its divine precepts, the indubitable indications of its superhuman, supernatural, and divine origin. But we shall, for the present, only attempt to prove its divine origin by the indirect method of reducing to an absurdity a contrary hypothesis. Paul is my example and my authority for an occasional assault upon the fortress of error by showing what will result from its admission to be truth, or, which is the same thing in other words, by assuming the truth to be a lie. He says, “ If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is not Christ raised. If Christ be not raised, then all men are in their sins--preaching is useless, faith is vain; we Apostles are all liars, and all that have died in attestation of it have voluntarily destroyed themselves.” So let us reason in this case as few words as those found in that admirable argument in proof of the resurrection. We assume that the Gospel is true or not true. If it is true, it ought to be obeyed; if it is not true, it ought to be disproved and repudiated. All the world so far agrees with our postulata. Well, now, say it is not true; in other wor it is a falsehood-a lie. What then ?
1. There is not a credible history in the world; because no history
possesses so great a number or variety of the attributes of truth or reasons of faith as the Gospel history. The original witnesses were plain, common sense, ordinary, matter-of-fact men. They were eyewitnesses and ear-witnesses of the facts which they attest. Their occupations of life were favourable to having good eyes and good ears: They were chiefly fishermen. The facts which they relate, and which constitute the Gospel, were sensible facts-subjected not to one sense, but to several senses. So speaks one of them :-"That which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life, declare we unto you."* They had nothing to gain, but every thing temporal and fleshly to Jose by the proclaination of these facts. They made themselves “ of all men the inost miserable." Their life, if their doctrine be not true, is more marvellous than their doctrine: no men ever gave stronger evidence of truthfulness than they. If they cannot be believed, no historian can: There is, then, no credible history in the world!
II. In the second place, there is no sincerity in martrydom. It is an indisputable fact that the Messiah and most of his Apostles were martyrs. They died for what they said, and not for what they did. Mankind in all ages concur in the opinion that the strongest proof of any man's honesty or sincerity is his dying voluntarily in attestation of the truth of what he affirins. We allege that martyrdom does not prove the truth of a mau's opinions, but only that he sincerely believes them. Sincerity is no test of truth in any matter of theory or speculation. But in all matters of sensible facts tested by the senses, seen or heard by many persons and on many occasions, sincerity in the avowal of them is a proof of the certainty of them. Now, as martyrdom proves sincerity, and sincerity on the part of witnesses of sensible facts proves the facts--the Gospel, being founded on sensible facts, seen often, and seen by many, is true, or there is no sincerity in martyrdom !
III. Is the Gospel facts are false, then learning and talent are of no value. . The value of talent and learning consists in the power they impart to their possessor to acquire and communicate truth. Now it needs not to be proved that innumerable multitudes of the most talented and learned men in all the ages of Christianity from its first promulgation till now, have been enrolled amongst the friends and advocates of the Bible. Nay, indeed, in all ages the literature and sceince of Christendom have been on the side of the Bible, and mainly employed in its service. If, then, the Bible be not true, learning and talent neither protect us from error, nor assist us in the acquisition of truth!
IV. But again, on the admission that the Gospel is not true, there is no connexion between goodness and truth-no excellency in truth. The best men in the world have always been those that believed in the Bible. The most humane, benevolent, public spirited, philanthropic, and virtuous unen that ever lived, whose virtuous examples have been an honour to human nature, have been believers in the truth of the Bible. Now if the Bible be a cunningly devised fable, then there is no necessary connexion between truth and moral excellence,
* John, 1 Ep. chap. i. verse 1.
any more than between error and virtue. There is, then, no excellency in truth !
V. Still farther, if the Bible be not true, falsehood, imposture, and error are better than truth. The reason is obvious— the Bible is either true or false. If false, those who believe it believe a lie. But that lie has done more to civilize, refine, purify, and adorn human nature, than all the atheism, infidelity, and philosophy of Egypt, Chaldea, Greece, and Rome. Surely, then, the Christian lie is better than all the philosophic truth of all ages and all nations. Hence we inser that if the Bible be false, error and fraud work better for mankind than honesty and truth!
VI. But, again, if the Bible be false, as all who reject it affirm, then there is no reason in the universe; or, what is the same thing, creation is a maze without a plan, and nature works in vain. We must judge of the unknown by the known. Now the fortunes of our planet are our data for the fortunes of all other planets. The fortunes of its inhabitants are, so far as nature or reason is our guide, the fortunes of the inhabitants of all other planets. Amongst earth's inhabitants there is one class of beings for wbose creation and comfort all others do exist. Man is the name of that class of beings. He is the end of this terrestrial creation. If he be lost-for ever lost, all is lost. Crops of vegetables annually spring out of the earth, and return to it again. Races of animals feed upou them, and die. They, like their food, but enrich the earth. Day and night succeed each other. Years revolve. The earth turns upon its axis, wheels round its orbit, feeds and buries all its tenantry. Man himself and his food alike perish for ever.
Now what is gained by the whole operation ? If man lives not again-if the Bible be not true, nature labours in vain; and if there be a Creator, he works without a plan, and toils for no purpose. Nature is an abortion, and the whole machinery of the universe a splendid failure. There is no reason for creation- for nature; and there is no reason in either. If, then, the Bible be not true—if the history it gives of man, his creation, his fall, his recovery, be not true -in one word, if the Gospel be a lie and the Bible salse, no living man can give one good reason for the existence of our planet, or that of any sun or system in that collation of worlds and systems which compose this mysterious and sublime universe.
But if the Bible be not true, it is not enough to say—Ist. That there is not a credible history in the world. 2d. That there is no sincerity in martyrdom. 3rd. That human learning and talent are of no value. 4th. That there is no excellency in truth. 5th. That falshood, imposition, and error, are better than truth. And 6th, That there is no reason in the universe; but we must also add, that THERE IS NO God!!
Nature ends in ruin-the world is full of sin and misery—there is no reason for any thing-man lives for no purpose-no kind intimation has been given him of any great and good FIRST cause; which is but equivalent to saying there is no good being above man—no one of almighty power, who could speak to him, enlighten him, or comfort him, touching his origin, his nature, his relations, his obligations, or his destiny; and that is equivalent to saying that there is no supremely