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death near them; a belief the importance, the blessing or which is felt by every one who receives it.
It might be shown that there are other particulars, in which Christianity approves itself as superior to all Religions which went before it, but enough has been said to establish the assertion, that the New Testament teaches a Religious system, different from all that had been before tanght, and especially characterized by the excellence of its doctrines.
II. The system of morality derived from the New Testament is superior to every other.
1. It includes all that is excellent in other systems. This has been so generally admitted, even by the adversaries of Christianity, that it seems not necessary to dwell upon it. Those very persons who have denied that it is of Divine origin, have yet declared that they knew no morality so excellent. Some have indeed pointed out that it onnits certain topics But this very omission is one of its excellencies, as will be shown by considering, that
2. Christian Morality omits certain precepts, which are insisted upon in some other systems, but which consideration shows to be founded on mistaken notions. Such are valour, patriotisın, resistance to oppression. These all result from wrong ideas concerning the relation of one man to another, and are inconsistent, if carried out to any great extent, with the spirit of universal love. As far as they are desirable, they may be deduced from the precepts which the New Testainent does contain. Thus, mere active and pbysical courage depends principally on natural temperament; to possess it is therefore no ground for either praise or blame, yet it not seldoin leads men to the commission of deeds of violence. Passive courage, which endures steadfastly and meekly, and moral courage, which dares in the path of duty, are taught by Jesus. The love of our country, which makes us anxious to serve it, and sorry for its misfortunes, was exemplified by our Lord, when he wept over Jerusalem; but that patriotism, which would exalt one land, at the expence of another, is rightly omitted in the Christian precepts, because it is no virtue, but a selfish feeling disguised under the semblance of public spirit. So far from the omission of these precepts being any deticiency in Christianity, it is really a striking proof of the excellence of its moral code, as they are virtues, more in appearance than in reality, calculated to counteract the spirit of general Christian benevolence, if they were indulged in to any extent, and more
likely to produce wars and contention, than to be the cause of peace on earth and good will to men.
But further, the absence of these and such like precepts is a striking exemplification of the originality of Christianity, showing that its Author contemplated mankind from a point of view altogether opposite to that, froin which other legislators had looked at thein; thought of them as a whole with one common interest, not as split up into different and often opposing parties, and estimated the merit or demerit of actions, by a scale of his own, opposed alike to the prejudices of his contemporaries, and the principles laid down by his predecessors.
3. Jesus teaches the observance of some duties totally new to the worlıl, which had been inculcated by no previous moralist; such are, that we should forgive our enemies; how totally opposed this was to the maxims relied upon in bis own day, himself points out Matt, v. 38–48; that we should seek to gain a child-like spirit, full of meekness, bumility, readiness to be taught, Matt. xviii, 1–5; that we should abound with charity towards all men, considering every one to be our neighbour, for whose benefit we can exert ourselves, Luke x., 27—37; that we should obey the dictates of conscience, and strive to do our duty, without regard to consequences, with entire trust on God, and sacrifice of self, even as he did, Matt. vi., 33, John xv., that we should consider all this world's advantages of less value than the preparation for the world to come, by performing the task which God has given each of us to do, Matt. vi., 24-34, John xvii., 4. How
very different these precepts are from the principles of action generally popular in the world, is shown by the fact, that even now, with the advantage of possessing these precepts, and with the profession of being guided by them, there are very few, among us, who live up to them, few who are governed by a spirit of humility, ineekness, and long suffering, rather than by worldly notions of honour, or dignity; few who from their hearts forgive, every one his brother his trespasses; few who are less occupied with this world, and the things of the world, than with eternal interests. If we perceive that it is so difficult for men to obey these precepts, must we not be convinced that it is impossible for men to have invented them, or 10 have imagined, in the midst of thoughts and actions of so opposite a character, these commands, which even those who transgress them ad
12; mire, and which reason and feeling and experience alike. approve.
III. Jesus Christ, as he is represented in the Gospels, displays a character, equally remarkable for its novelty and beauty. Never man lived like this man. He is pictured as possessed of human feelings and sympathies, exposed to wants, tried with temptations; a man of sorrows, yet posessing unbounded power and highest glory, and altogether with ont sin. He is assisted by God with such peculiar aid as to give him the opportunity of raising himself to any height of wordly greatness, yet he refuses to acquire temporal power, or earthly fame. He displays a uniform but unos-, ientatious piety, perfect resignation, and unwavering faith, towards God; ineekness and humility, and universal love, towards men ; and entire self-command, purity, and temperance in all his thoughts and actions. He leaves home, with all its comforts, and endearments, turns a deaf ear to. the solicitations of sensual enjoyment, and the calls of per-sonal ambition, sacrifices every worldly pursuit and prospect, and even lays down his life in order to do his duty and accomplish the object of his mission. Human genius, can, create no character, human imagination can conceive now virtue, su, perfect, as was his, on whichever side you view it. If the account of him be a fiction, it is the most wonderful fiction to which the human mind has ever given birth.
And let us observe how opposed is the whole idea of his character to all the prevailing notions of ancient times. Where in the records of those times, except in the new Testament, do we see any trace of the idea, that mental and moral greatness might mark their possessor, as deserving of all reverence, even though he should be adorned with no ex-; ternal pomp, no ensigns of power, and exposed to ill-treatment and suffering in the world. The Heathens could not; conceive of a messenger from God being obliged to undergo a painful death; the Jews pictured their Messiah as a temporal prince, and his first deeds the subjugation of the Gentiles. From what human source then, could come the story of a crucified Saviour, or the doctrine of a kingdom not of this world, or the example of Jesus, "a man tempted as we are,
without sin?” The conclusion from what has been advanced has the force of positive demonstration. Here is a system, which, in its Religious truths, in its moral precepts, and in the character which it ascribes to its Founder, is at once different from all
the systems, which went before it, and superior to them. Whence did this originality and this excellence spring ? Every effect must have a commensurate cause; what was the cause of this astonishing effect ? To what author inust we ascribe a work, in every respect surpassing other productions of the same kind; uniting in itself every possible excellence; without one defect, which can be discovered even by the ingenuity of adversaries; containing many principles, not before known in the world, but now acknowledged to be most beautiful and valuable; which has nourished the spiritual life of the most civilized portion of mankind for eighteen hundred years, without their experience discovering a single case in which it is unsuited to their wants, or a single particular in which they could improve it, and which shows itself equally adapted for barbárous and half-civilized nations, in every age, and in every clime; a universal Religion; to what author must we ascribe it ?
Even if you deny the miracles, disprove the authenticity of the Gospels, and doubt the very existence of Jesus Christ, the argument will remain the same. No one can deny that the New Testament now exists, no one can disprove that it contains the doctrines and principles, which we have stated, aud it remains, for those who deny the Divine origin of Christianity to account for the production, in a corrupt age and by an obscure author, of the best Religion, the highest morality, the purest example, the most original system, the world has ever known. Experience forbids us to believe that
any could invent it; the only reasonable conclusion left to us is, that CHRISTIANITY IS A HEAVEN-ORDAINED RELIGION, AND ORIGINATED WITH THE INSPIRATION OF ALMIGHTY God.
M. D. W.
THE CHILD; ANGER; LOVE. (From the Child's Friend, edited by Mrs. FOLLEN, America.)
A Child knelt down in the forest dark,
Where no human heart could see ;
And crept through the gray oak tree;
As it fell on the child's bright up-turned face,
And heard its low sweet prayer, Like a glory it shone through the dark cold place,
Till the child seemned an angel there.
Then the prayer of the child was a low sad hymn,
For forgiveness, hope and trust, And it wept as it told of care and sin,
Till the flowers their sweet bells hushed.
Followed it every where,
And filled its heart with care ;:
Who tempted it evil things to do,
Harsh cruel words to say,
Frightened his birds away.
Aud so quiet his spirit grew,
And the flowers seemed praying too.
And he came each day thạt prayer to say,
Till the Giant's strength was fled,
His gentle footsteps led.
Each flower's trembling hand
That he could understand.
The purple shadows crept about,
So lovingly and near,
But for their timid fear;
Till the dark moss where they fell
As stars shine in a well.