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every object and event serve for a constant monition and remembrancer of His instructions, which must be more easily retained, than they could be by a long train of abstract reasoning, or under any artificial arrangement of a number of particulars laid down together.
To the preceding reflections on the character of our blessed Lord and the excellency of His religion, which have been selected from the writings of distinguished Christians, it may be useful to add the following passages from writers of a very different description, for the purpose of showing what strong testimony to the Divine character of the Founder of Christianity has been borne, even by persons who were greatly prejudiced against the truth of His religion.
Of the two extracts which are here subjoined, the former occurs in the works of a well known sceptical English writer, Mr. Chubb; the latter, in those of the celebrated French author, Rousseau.
“ In Christ we have an example of a quiet and peaceable spirit, of a becoming modesty and sobriety; just and honest; upright and sincere; and,
above all, of a most gracious and benevolent temper and behaviour. One who did no wrong, no injury to any man, in whose mouth was no guile; who went about doing good, not only by His preaching and ministry, but also in curing all manner of diseases among the people. His life was a beautiful picture of human nature, when in its native purity and simplicity; and showed at once what excellent creatures men would be, when under the influence and power of that Gospel, which He preached to them.”
“I confess that the majesty of the Scriptures and the holiness of the Gospel greatly affects me. View the books of the philosophers with all their pomp; how little do they appear placed beside this ! Is it possible that a book, at once so sublime and simple, can be the work of men ? Is it possible that He, whose history it records, can be but a mere man ? Does He speak in the tone of an enthusiast or of an ambitious secretary ? what mildness, what purity in His manners! what persuasive grace in His instructions! what elevation in His maxims! what profound wisdom in His discourses !
what presence of mind, what ingenuity, and what justness in His answers! what empire over His passions! Where is the man, where is the sage, who knows how to act, to suffer, and to die, without weakness and without ostentation ? "
A RETROSPECTIVE GLANCE. WE have now taken a view of Sacred History from the creation of the world to the consummation of all things; and are, by the perusal of the New Testament, put into the method of understanding as much of the nature of the SUPREME BEING, and the dispensations of His Providence, as God has thought proper to reveal.
We find that there are three by whom the attributes of the Divine nature are displayed, the Father, the WORD (or Son), and the Holy SPIRIT: that these are not three separate Deities, but all included in GOD. Our LORD JESUS CHRIST commanded his Disciples to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: from whence we may infer, that we are also to distinguish each, and at the same time to unite them in our worship
of the Deity, in order to keep alive in our minds the remembrance of God's gracious dispensations towards us. When we consider God as an universal Parent, our reverence, gratitude, and love strongly excited—when we reflect on his wonderful condescension as the Redeemer of the world, these sentiments are enlarged, and we have at the same time an opportunity of honouring the Messiah ; and when we contemplate God as a spiritual guide and comforter, ever at hand to direct us in the paths of immortal happiness, we are
struck with the sense of the present Deity, to whom our most secret thoughts and inclinations are known, and we are encouraged to put our trust and confidence in Him. We see, then, that distinguishing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in our worship of God, has a natural tendency to excite proper sentiments of devotion in our hearts, by reminding us of the blessings of creation: and that this mode of worship is suitable to the method in which it has pleased God to reveal himself to us.
In what manner the DIVINE THREE makes one God cannot be explained; but since our reason