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which have hitherto, alas ! deluged the fields of Europe with blood, christian love, mutual forbearance, forgiveness of injuries, returning good for evil, and requiting insults by benefits, would tie the bonds of peace and amity closer and stronger than they were before. .
But still more widely is the influence of these divine principles felt. Asia, Africa, and America, rejoice at the change in the sons of Europe. Instead of beholding strangers grasping at every advantage, and pursuing by every means an increase of power and commerce, they find men who act as brothers ; who are as forward to confer benefits, as to receive them ; nay more anxious to do them good, than to possess their wealth. They are astonished at the pleasing alteration ; and they conclude that principles which lead men to act thus, must be from God. While henevolent Europeans la bor to do them good, and to make them happy, they eagerly enquire, “ Whence proceeds this remarkable change ? Formerly you were a curse, and we viewed you with dread. Our gold, our territory, our very persons, you snatched away. Now you are a blessing : your highest end is to confer benefits upon us. Whence did you derive these principles, which have indeed made you new creatures ?”
“ Read this book," the Europeans reply, putting the New Testament into their hands, « we have translated it into your tongue, that you may, like us, derive from the perusal, wisdom, goodness, and felicity.”—They eagerly snatch the book : they read it : they too are made wise unto salvation : and the happiness it imparts is enjoyed throughout the world. Arms become useless : magazines are opened : arsenals are emptied. “Let not our eyes," they say," any more behold the heart-rending sight. Convert these huge cannons into in-struments of husbandry ; these destructive balls into mattocks and shovels : beat these swords into plough-shares, and these spears into pruning hooks.” Mankind live in peace. Extended intercourse produces increasing affection. Wherever man meets man, he meets a brother : love to God, and love to men reigning in the heart, generate every where righteousness, harmony, benevolence, and joy.
Can principles, so directly tending to felicity, and producing it in every form, spring from imposture, and from the hearts of bad men ? Satan's kingdom would be divided against itself, and must fall. Characters so formed, do they not proclaim their original to be from above, and not from beneath ? Does not the scheme announce its author to be the infinitely merciful and gracious God, who delights in the happiness of his creatures, and who has frained it with such wisdom, that it suits every relation, and renders, at once, the individual and the
world happy? Will it be said, this is a mere Utopian dream? It will be granted, however, that it is a pleasing one. But is it not the natural result of the influence of the principles of the gospel on the heart ? Nor, to him who believes the scriptures, is it an imaginary state of things which has been described. The faint representation which has been atteinpted, is consonant to the predictions of the Old and New Testament, which plainly foretel and describe, in the most glowing and lovely colors, the full establishment of knowledge, goodness, and, felicity over the face of the whole earth, by the establishment of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the hearts of men. Isaiah, chap. ii. and xi. Micah, iv. Rev. xx.—I ask no more, but that you would thoroughly weigh the subject, and throw its just weight into the scale of evidence.
There is every thing in the New Testament which a Revelation from God may be expected to
contain. BEFORE God has given a revelation of his will, for a man to say, precisely, what it will contain, would be just as absurd as for an angel before the creation of the earth which we inhabit, to have attempted to describe what kind of a
World God would make. When it is created, he may form an accurate idea of it: and may clearly perceive the wisdom, power, and good ness of God, displayed in its formation, and in its various parts. It is thus in respect to divine revelation. The wisest of the human race must have groped in the dark before it was given, and could form no distinct view of its nature. Every sober enquirer now may discover clearly how well it suits the necessities of man ; and how much it manifests the perfections of God, ad is calculated to promote his glory.
Every thing necessary for us to know, is here revealed. God instructs us in his nature and excellencies. Various books have made pretensions to a divine origin ; but there is not so much said of God, nor is there so full and enlarged a view of God in them all, as in the New Testament alone. Human nature is delineated in all its parts, in all its principles, and in all its wants., The character of Christ furnishes a model for the imitation of every intelligent being. The doctrines of a mediator, and redemption through him, present a remedy for the wants and miseries of mankind ; and open the way to everlasting blessedness. In the precepts of the gospel there is a full and perfect rule of temper and conduct. A future state is unveiled, and we are presented with a view both of the happiness of the righteous, and of the misery of the wicked : and in addi
tion to this, every motive which can influence the heart, is set before us in all its force.
In short, there is nothing of value which men need to know, but is here taught. I will not say there is nothing we can desire ; for we may desire to know many things which are not revealed. But I will confidently assert, that every thing which sober reason can say it is necessary for us to know, in order to the direction of our conduct, and to the real comfort of a present state of being, is here revealed with inimitable simplicity, purity, and precision.
An inattentive reader of the New Testament may say, “what is all this to the purpose : and what proof does it afford of a divine revelation ?" But the judicious and reflecting enquirer who is in search of principles, and who is determined to examine with care whatever professes to be a revelation from God, will not satisfy himself with asking, “ What external evidence " is there of its divinity ;”—but in the first place, “ What are the things which it contains, and delivers as heavenly truths, that I may know what it is, which the evidence is to confirm.” This is the proper method of proceeding: and whoever will take the pains to search profoundly into the principles which have been presented to view : and survey them in their light, sanctity, extent, and fullness ; and give due weight to the consideration, that there is every thing in them necessary to the perfec