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the shaking of thrones, and popular disorganization consequent on the tumult of the people. Busy industry cannot ply her wonted energy where Civil confusion is paramount, where confidence is loosened, where the reciprocal ties and obligations of Employer and employed are sundered and set at nought. The insane rivalries of Maminon idolators, “making haste to be rich," which entangled thousands in schemes as wild but not so benevolent as the Utopian Commonwealth, have entailed accumulated difficulties on this Country, and these added to by the influx of the effects of foreign stagnation in commerce, have well nigh paralysed the arm of industry and sent distress into thousands of the Homes of the land. Teach should these occurrences lessons of thrift, of prudence, of Christian integrity, of moral principle. Teach should they the avoidance of craftiness and deceit. Teach should they the duties of honesty and probity. Teach should they the true foundations of National prosperity. Explain should they the mutual relations and dependencies of employed and employer. Remind all should they that if property has its rights it has its duties likewise, and that those duties can never be neglected but to the disparagement of the neglector, and are in violation of the compact which binds together the component portions of the community. "The poor ye have always with you," said the Saviour, Me ye have not always." But if the principles of the religion of Christ be ever practically regarded, the spirit of Christianity will solve many a tangled social problem, will prompt to succour the distressed, assist and bless the needy and the sorrowful. It will go deeper down into the depths of Society than Financial Reform; it will base the social superstructure on other and better foundations than those on which it has hitherto rested. Christianity, in very truth, and not merely in theory or in name, will become part and parcel of the law of the land.
In the other hemisphere also has the byepast year proved eventful. Military conquest, lust of extended territory have had their triumphs. The sacrifice of life, of treasure and of principle has been correspondent. The gold of California may seem an opportune discovery for the re-payment of one expenditure, but nothing can compensate for the other violations. That discovery may itself prove a moral retribution to its Calf idolaters. Wealth rapidly attained rarely benefits. Commonly it entails a curse on possessor or descendents. It is not likely to teach Repudiators probity, or
dollar worshippers persevering honesty. Rapacity and crime will congregate, misery will be rampant, death will banquet on the victims. A brighter prospect than that presented by California, dawns on America in her Halls of legislation, The Slave question has been discussed, and the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, the spirit of Christianity, obtained a reverent majority. Subsequent defeat may ensue, but only for a season. "The curse causeless" must cease to blight and stain the land of Washington and Channing,
CHRISTIANITY AND CHILDHOOD.
BEAUTIFUL is the form of the Gospel considered as the religion of a Child. To him Christianity is the tale of one who was once a child himself; who was nurtured on a mother's lap; whose increasing strength was exercised in a father's occupation; who had brethren after the flesh as well as after the spirit; the kindred of blood as well as of benevolence; who lived in a cottage home, and was taken to worship in a metropolitan temple; who asked pertinent questions of the wise and aged, and made himself beloved of all, so that he grew in knowledge, and increased in stature and in favour both with God and man: of one who in maturity never disdained childhood, but had ever ready for it his smile, his blessing and his heart; who rebuked those that prevented children coming to him; who told his disciples to be like little children in their simplicity, t heir innocence, and their docility; who was their protector, teacher and friend; who wrought wonders which the child has experience enough to know are wonderful; who took the little girl by the hand when she laid dead upon the couch, and said, Arise, and she did arise; whose miracles cannot but lay hold of the youthful ima gination, while there is that in them which must sink into the youthful heart: a tale of one who was sent by the Great Being whom we cannot see, but who made us all; who was instructed by him to tell mankind of his love, and care, and kindness, to all his creatures; who showed that Being in the beauty of the flower, and the brightness of the sun, and the grandeur of sovereignty, and the affection of a Father; who told those touching parables, over which young eyes may weep, and voung minds may wonder; who made that prayer to our Father in heaven, in which the child learns to pray; whom wicked men killed, but whom God made to live again; whom the good shall be made alive to meet and be happy with for ever. This is Christian truth. This is the basis and substance of Revealed theology. This is the child's Gospel; this is a plain story for his comprehension; the world of divine knowledge, just as it looks when the first beams of intellect dawn upon it, with their new, and faint, but increasing light. W. J. Fox.
EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.
No. 1.-THE QUESTION STATED.
ANY one who attempts to enter on the consideration of a subject, which has been much talked of and argued about, during a long series of years, must find a difficulty alike in obtaining attention, from those to whom his subject seems trite and thread-bare, and in gaining an unprejudiced hearing, from those who have already made up their minds on one side or other of the question. These disadvantages especially meet us, in an endeavour to state, in a brief but comprehensive form, the Evidences of Christianity. Every one has already heard or read something on the subject, and therefore is inclined to say "Oh here is only the old tale over again ;" and many imagining that any fresh opening of the subject must lead to mere repetition, decline to reconsider it. But without making any presumptuous claim to novelty, in the mode of presenting arguments, for which we are indebted to the learned men, who have gone before us, we may surely say to every reader, a subject of this importance cannot be considered too often; if you are a believer, a reperusal of the reasons for belief may strengthen your faith; if you are an unbeliever, candour requires that you should not refuse to listen to what is urged, in favour of the Religion you reject. But supposing that we obtain the attention we ask, still our difficulties are not over; for every one has certain notions of his own, certain preconceived ideas, which, mixing up with whatever arguments are advanced, tend to throw the whole into confusion; it is therefore very seldom that the minds of those, who take different views on this subject, can be brought to a full recognition of the exact point at issue, or can agree what it is, that is to be proved.
The only fair way of approaching such a topic, is to commence the investigation completely afresh; to forget all we know, all we feel, all we have heard about it, and to look at the question, as though Christianity were a new thing, now brought for the first time under our notice. At the same time, we must beg every reader to put out of his mind that feeling of partizanship, which so often closes the eyes to truth. Christianity does not ask for anything to be taken on trust, but proves her right to be hearkened to, before she demands obedience. Yet the reason is so bound up with the feelings, so influenced by the will, that it is all but impossible to convince one, who is anxious not to be convinced; and he
who comes to the perusal of the evidences of Religion, not with the view of searching for truth, but, like an antagonist, to discover how he may answer and refute them, cannot be convinced by them A certain degree of moral purity, an earnest desire to know the truth, a wish to be free from prejudice, and a heart which can be touched with tender feelings and moved by sympathy and love, are essential prerequisites for the study of this subject. Suppose that a man, suffering under several painful diseases, were offered a medicine, which it was said would effect a speedy and complete cure, and would at the same time strengthen and nourish him, what would be his conduct? He would surely examine carefully, whether what was said of it was true; and he would conduct this examination with a hope to find that it was so; he would not let this hope make him too hasty in adopting the remedy, lest instead of medicine it should be poison; he would weigh the evidence with candour and perseverance; and if he found reason to believe that the pretensions of the medicine were well founded, he would gladly use it. In a similar manner should we examine the evidences of Christianity, which professes to be a certain remedy for all the diseases of the soul.
Let us imagine ourselves brought into contact with an intelligent and thoughtful man, who had lived among us, to maturity, but had never heard of Christianity. Such a case is, of course, impossible; but to place ourselves in the position of such an imaginary being, will assist us in the development of our argument. He is asked, are you a Christian, do you believe in Christianity? He naturally inquires, what is Christianity ?-The Religion taught by Jesus Christ. Are you a believer in the truths, which he taught? do you take him for your Master, and learn of him ?—The answer would be, I never heard of him; where does he teach? how am I to learn of him? He would then be told that Jesus Christ lived many centuries ago, and taught mankind, and that a record of his teachings is preserved in the New Testiment, together with some of the writings of his earliest disciples. His next wish would be to obtain a copy of this book, and when he had done so, and had carefully perused it, he would know what Christianity is; but the question would remain for him to decide, is Christianity true? He would reason thus with himself,-" If what this book tells me is true, that Jesus Christ said and did these things here recorded, his teachings must be worthy of attention, he must
be the Son of God;' I will therefore examine the book itself, to see whether the things taught are worthy of the divine origin which is claimed for them, whether it is such a book as would probably be written in that age; whether the different accounts support each other; and then I will inquire what evidence there is in other histories of such events as are here mentioned, and whether any ancient writers give reason to believe that this book existed in their day." Such is the course of inquiry, which we propose to pursue. Taking the New Testament, we shall consider what it professes to be, and what must be proved about it, in order to establish the truth of Christianity. We shall first enter on the internal evidence, viz., that which is gathered from the study of the book itself, with the aid of such knowledge as we have, of the state of the world, and especially of Palestine, at the period when the events it records are said to have taken place. We shall then consider the external evidence, viz., that which can be obtained from all sources without the book itself, and which would remain the same, whatever were its peculiar contents. The inconvenience attending the necessary separation of the several parts of the argument, will be, as far as possible, remedied, by a general summary of the whole, at the conclusion.
Christianity consists of the doctrines taught, the duties inculcated, the promises given, the spirit breathed, the example set, by Jesus Christ. What these are, we can learn only from the New Testament. Let us inquire then, what is the character of this volume? It naturally divides itself into three parts, the Gospels and Acts; the Epistles; and the Book of Revelation. The Gospels are four narratives of the life of Jesus Christ. They are stated in their titles to have been written respectively, by Matthew, a personal follower of Jesus, and an apostle; Mark, the companion of Peter, one of the apostles; Luke, a companion of the apostles; and John, the constant associate and beloved disciple of Christ. If these memoirs are the work of those whose names they bear, there can be little doubt of their correctness; but it is desirable to mark what is the exact merit they appear to claim. They do not profess to be the revelation from God, but only the records of the revelation. The difference is important. Did they profess to be a revelation, we should expect, with reason, a perfect agreement among their several parts; we should find in them nothing but absolute and certain truth; not only on matters of Religion, but on every