Page images

"Thanks to thy name for meaner things, Bat they are not my God."

unexpected trials, yet a closer walk with God will make this the happiest year we have hitherto lived. How supremely excellent are The nearest approach we can make the sentiments and language of the on earth, to the sublime enjoyprophet! "Although the fig tree ments of the heavenly state, conshall not blossom, neither shall sists in habitual communion with fruit be in the vines; the labour God. "Truly our fellowship is of the olive shall fail, and the field with the Father, and with his Son shall yield no meat; the flock shall Jesus Christ; and these things write be cut off from the fold, and there we unto you, that your joy may be shall be no herd in the stalls: yet full." Such a state of spiritual feliI will rejoice in the Lord, I will city, too, is inseparably connected joy in the God of my salvation." with thediligent occupation of every If wealth, distinction, and volup-appointed means of instruction, and tuousness secured happiness, then a conscientious endeavour stedgreat numbers who are now mise- fastly to pursue the directions of rable, would long ago have reach-Christian obedience: for, if we ed nearer to its summit. Alas! say we have fellowship with him, how often are these very things, and walk in darkness, we lie, and in the eager pursuit of which the do not the truth. This blessed energies of mortals are so fre- career will be attended with dequently put to their utmost stretch, vout solicitude for the spiritual and the principal cause of their anxious eternal welfare of friends and strandays and of their sleepless nights!gers, those that are nigh, and those "Riches certainly make to them- that are distant; and, as opportuselves wings they fly away as an nity and ability may be imparted, eagle towards heaven"-fame is with cheerful co-operation in every reluctant in its approach and un-liberal plan which the inspirations certain in its continuance, and the of heavenly charity has devised to pleasures of sense, in more re-bless a fallen and benighted world. spects than one, resemble the Thus, living not to ourselves, but crackling of thorns under a pot." to him who "both died, and rose, To solid and lasting happiness it and revived that he might be Lord is essential that the Spirit of God both of the dead and living," we illuminate the understanding, sanc. shall earnestly desire the arrival tify the affections, and regulate of that period when "in every the conduct the soul must pros-place incense shall be offered to per and be in health. In the ab- his name and a pure offering"sence of these substantial and du- when Jew and Gentile shall meet rable blessings, there may be vi- in the same temple and worship sions and dreams of happiness, but the same Saviour-when the whole they will entirely vanish, leaving earth shall be of one language, and behind nothing but mortifying dis- holiness unto the Lord shall be appointment" an aching void." inscribed on every object. In this "There is no peace, saith my God, manner to commence, and to perto the wicked." severe in conducting the transac- ́ tions of the new year; receiving every common and special benediction with unfeigned thankfulness, bearing with meekness and resignation the burdens we may

Should, therefore, the new period of time on which we are now entering, be characterized by many external deprivations, and even by the presence of some heavy and

fidels of our own day, who have servilely copied their objections.

There is another point of view in which the superlative importance of internal evidence is clearly evinced-its universal adaptation

be called to sustain, exercising a
generous sympathy to all around
us who are in circumstances of
depression, and wishing the uni-
versal diffusion of happiness in the
world, we shall find no year we
have yet lived so happy as eigh-to
teen hundred and twenty-eight.


Or the Truth of the Scripture History of our Lord Jesus Christ evinced by the Undesigned Coincidences to be found in the Histories of the four Evangelists, when compared with one another, and with the subsequent Books of the New Testament.

persons of every rank and character, whether learned or illiterate. It comes home to the judgment and conscience of every man, and leaves infidels of every description without excuse. No transcendent talent, no depth of learning is required to apprehend its nature, and to appreciate its force. The talent required is possessed by every intelligent creature-the capability of comparing one thing with anWITHOUT depreciating the value other, and drawing an inference; of the external evidence of the and the only learning requisite, is truth and divine inspiration of the a knowledge of the Sacred ScripScriptures, it may safely be affirm-tures. A man of plain, common' ed, that in several respects the in- sense, with the sacred volume in ternal evidence, arising from the his hand, is fully qualified to unsublimity of the doctrines, the pu- derstand and decide on every arrity of the morality, the extraordi-gument which may be adduced nary harmony, and the beneficial respecting its internal evidence. tendency of the whole, possesses Of such a man, if he honestly exan infinite superiority, and is en-amines this evidence, accompanied titled to a greater degree of cre- with humble and fervent prayer for dence than the former. Thus, the illumination of that Spirit by whatever pretences a book may whom the Scriptures claim to be make to authenticity and inspira-indited, it may justly be affirmed, tion, and by whatever weight of in the language of a distinguished external evidence it may be sup- prelate, on a kindred subject, that ported, if it contain immoral precepts, or real contradictions, we should justly deem them sufficient to invalidate its truth, and to destroy its pretensions. It is precisely on this ground that we prove the non-inspiration of the Koran Of the various species of interof Mohammed, lofty as are its pre-nal evidence, that which arises tensions, much as it is extolled, from the undesigned coincidences and widely as it is received by the between the sacred books, appears followers of the wily Arab. For the most convincing and satisfacthe same reason, the apparent con- tory, and least liable to objections. tradictions in the Christian Scrip- It was first developed, in the most tures have been a favourite topic able manner, by the late Dr. Paof cavil with the enemies of divine ley, in his "Hore Paulinæ; or revelation, from Spinosa down to the Truth of the Scripture History Voltaire, and the puny herd of in- of St. Paul evinced by a compari

"the whole compass of abstruse philosophy, and recondite history, shall furnish no argument with which the perverse will of man shall be able to shake this learned Christian's faith."

and another to be forced, dubious, or fanciful. These are distinctions which ought to be always retained in our thoughts.


In this


son of the Epistles which bear his name with the Acts of the Apostles, and with one another." It is upon the plan of this judicious and excellent work, that the following papers are drawn up; and to it the No, I. Chap. x. 2-4.. reader is referred for a full and "Now the names of the twelve clear exposition of the argument. apostles are these: the first, SiThe several instances of agreement, mon, who is called Peter, and to adopt the statements of that Andrew his brother; James the able writer, are disposed under son of Zebedee, and John his broseparate numbers, not only to mark ther; Philip, and Bartholomew; more sensibly the divisions of the Thomas, and Matthew the publisubject, but also to remind the can; James the son of Alpheus, reader that they are independent and Lebbeus, whose surname was of each other, and complete of Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, themselves. Nothing has been and Judas Iscariot, who also beadvanced which did not appear trayed him." probable, but the degree of probathe twelve aposbility by which different instances tles are enumerated in pairs; a are supported is undoubtedly very mode of arrangement adopted by different. If the reader, therefore, no other evangelist, though the meets with a number which con- same order is in some measure tains an instance that appears to preserved. The reason for the him unsatisfactory, or founded on adoption of such an arrangement mistake, he will dismiss that num- is not immediately obvious. Conber from the argument, but with- sanguinity might justly be assigned out prejudice to any other. He as the cause in the cases of Simon will also please to remember this Peter and Andrew his brother, word, undesignedness, as denoting James the son of Zebedee and that upon which the construction John his brother, and James the and validity of our argument chiefly son of Alpheus and Lebbeus or depend; and which, it is hoped, Thaddeus, also called Judas the will be sufficiently apparent from brother of James (Luke vi. 16.); the instances themselves, and the and if Bartholomew be the same separate remarks with which they with Nathanael, as some have supare accompanied. It should also posed, he might with propriety be be observed, that the more oblique associated with his friend Philip, or intricate the comparison of a who first introduced him to a coincidence may be, the more cir-knowledge of the Saviour. John i. cuitous the investigation is, the 43-46. But there appears no better; because the agreement reason why Thomas, a fisherman which finally results is thereby of Galilee (John xxi. 1–13.), further removed from the suspicion should be united with Matthew the of contrivance, affectation, or de-publican; nor why Simon the Casign. And it should be remem- naanite, or Zelotes (i. e. the Zealbered, concerning these coinci- ous, Luke vi. 15.) should be assodences, that it is one thing to be ciated with Judas Iscariot, the minute and another to be precari- betrayer of our Lord. ous; one thing to be unobserved, and another to be obscure; one thing to be circuitous or oblique,

If it be said, that, as there were but four of the Apostles who remained to be classed, it was im


material which of the two possible | coincidence between the accounts modes of arrangement were adopt- of these Evangelists, appears on ed, and that there might be no rea- the very face of it, to be wholly son why the present one was cho- undesigned; and consequently, sen, the possibility is readily con- clearly proves that they wrote inceded: though apart from every dependently of each other, and other consideration, it seems more establishes the truth of their reprobable, that the association of spective relations. Had St. Mark persons so different in their ordi- possessed a copy of St. Matthew's nary avocations as Thomas and Gospel, and merely abridged his Matthew, and so dissimilar in their larger history, as some have imacharacters as Simon Zelotes and gined, it can scarcely be conceived Judas Iscariot, was not a fortuit- that he would have concluded from ous circumstance, but the effect of St. Matthew's arrangement that choice, grounded upon some de- our Saviour sent out his twelve terminate reason of preference. In apostles "two and two;" and, if fact, it appears, that neither conwe can suppose that he could have sanguinity nor friendship, nor yet inferred this, yet it is highly imthe blind direction of chance, was probable that he would have been the proximate cause of this ar- content with merely stating the rangement; for Simon, who was fact, without giving the order in the third son of Alpheus, and bro- which they were sent out. But, ther of James and Lebbeus so far from this being the case, Judas, (Matt. xiii. 55.) is disjoined where he does enumerate the Aposfrom them, and united with Judas tles, he not only does not arrange Iscariot, in consequence of this them in pairs, but differs materimode of arranging in pairs having ally in the order of the names; inbeen adopted. A circumstance, terposing James the son of Zebehowever, related by St. Mark, we dee, and John his brother, between conceive, furnishes us with the Simon Peter, and Andrew his brotrue reason why St. Matthew has ther, adding, that our Lord called thus enumerated them. He re- the former two "Boanerges, which lates, that our Lord having "cal- is, the sons of thunder," and placed unto him the twelve," began ing Matthew before Thomas. (Mark to send them forth by two and iii. 16-18.) On the other hand, two." (Mark vi. 7.) From this if St. Matthew had had St. Mark's statement we at once clearly per- gospel before him, (which, we beceive why St. Matthew should have lieve, has never been imagined,) thus arranged them in pairs. It it will scarcely be supposed that also satisfactorily accounts forevery he drew up his arrangement of the circumstance connected with this Apostles from the simple assertion arrangement; our Lord having, as a of St. Mark, that Jesus sent out pious man remarks, "united by his disciples "two and two;" or, grace those who were before united that, if he did so, he would omit, by nature; and intending, per- as he does, the statement of the haps, to counteract the timidity and fact. As, therefore, neither of unbelief of Thomas by the firmness these suppositions can be admitted, and faith of Matthew, and the it must be inferred, that each of worldly-mindedness of Judas Is- these sacred writers wrote indecariot, by the zealous fervour of pendently of the other, and related Simon. in their own manner the circumNow this minute and striking stances of a act with which they

[ocr errors]

W. G.

were well acquainted; and the morals, act like him, and with reality of which cannot conse- far less plausible semblances of quently be questioned, being thus argument for their proceedings. confirmed by two writers who agree "Having often heard Pharaoh cenrespecting it in the most minute sured for enslaving the Hebrews— and undesigned particulars. having often heard the expressions, London. "Egyptian slavery," "Egyptian bondage," "Egyptian oppression," as well as "Egyptian darkness," —it came into my mind a few days since, to examine what kind of bondage the Hebrews were held in, and what excuses Pharaoh could have made to himself for such a course towards that people. The result of my inquiry was rather surprising to myself; and led me to make some remarks on the case, under the above title.


Oxford, 25th March, 1813.


"DEAR BROTHER, I NEVER shall use the diploma of which you speak. I request you forbid, in my name, its insertion on the cover of the Baptist Magazine. I have no right to it, and if I had I should decline it as Mr. H. has done. I wish the M. A. to my name always to be omitted. took it merely as a ticket of admission to the Bodleian Library, because they would not admit me without such an appendage to my On the Magazine I wish it not to stand. Your affectionate brother,





"Let me not, however, be misunderstood. I do not mean to justify the conduct of Pharaoh towards Israel. My apology is not absolute, but comparative. I only object to the practice of representing the slavery of Israel as the hardest ever endured; and of Pharaoh as the most unjustifiable of all slave-holders. It is not cor

rect. And the people of every country where slavery is tolerated, and especially slave-holders, would do well to borrow their proverbs respecting slavery and oppression, from a different quarter than ancient Egypt. If I am not mistaken, these two facts can be fully

THE following attack upon Slavery, in the form of a defence, the production of an American pen, is so ingenious and novel, that we can-made out, from the Hebrew acnot be satisfied to withhold it from our readers. The writer, of course, as he twice informs us, did not mean seriously to apologize for Pharaoh; his shrewd irony being intended not to exculpate that tyrannical monarch, but to shew the proportionably greater criminality of those who, possessing an infinitely higher code of faith and

* It was known that a Doctor's degree

count of their bondage; first, that it was not as hard as several kinds of modern slavery; and secondly, that Pharaoh not only had more plausible, but better, reasons for his course, than many modern slave-holders have. In proof of the first, I adduce the following facts:

"1. The Hebrews were allowed to live separate to themselves, and retain their own manners, customs,

had been sent to Mr. Hinton, from one of and religion. (Exod. ix. 26.) They formed a community by them

the American universities.-ED.

« PreviousContinue »