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evidence in its favour, than if they had never heard it proposed !
From a warfare so conducted, it was impossible that Christianity should not be a great gainer. The Gospel has come like gold out of the furnace, Some late writers, indeed, who have taken a prominent part in the wretched cause of infidelity, have been permitted (as it were, by a kind of judicial infatuation) to fall into such senseless inconsistencies, such mean buffoonery and scurrility, nay, such palpable falsehoods,-in a word, into such a malignant superfluity of naughtiness—that to a wise and pious mind, they must appear like those venomous creatures, who are said to carry in their bowels an antidote to their own poison.
The sum of what has been adduced is as follows:
The Gospel is probable in theory; as, considering the nature of God, and the circumstances of mankind, there was reason to hope that a Revelation might be given; and that, if given, it would most probably be accompanied by evidence internally such as that of the Gospel is, and externally such as it is said to be.
But Christianity is, also, true in fact. For it was early professed, as it was first introduced by Jesus of Nazareth, whose life and doctrines were recorded by his immediate attendants, in books still extant in their original language, and faithfully translated into our own; so that they may be depended upon as assuredly written by the persons, whose names they bear. Hence the truth of the Gospel is easily deduced; for these authors, undoubtedly, knew the certainty of the facts which they related; and from their character and
situation we can never believe, that they would have attempted to deceive the world, or if they had, that they would have succeeded. Yet they did succeed, in a most surprising manner. Their story, therefore, must have been true; and consequently, the dispensation of the Cross, founded upon that story, divine. This conclusion is greatly strengthened by what has occurred, in various ways, subsequently to the first publica
tion of it.
Let us, therefore, gratefully acknowledge the goodness of God, in having favoured us with so excellent a Revelation, and confirmed it by such irresistible testimony; and pitying those who, with abundant opportunities of investigating that testimony, continue in their infidelity, let us remember how incumbent it is upon ourselves to adopt an opposite line of conduct. Let it be
deeply impressed upon our minds, that this Gospel was not introduced with such awful sanctions, prophecies so solemn, and miracles so magnificent, to be rejected and dishonoured at pleasure; but that, as it shall determine, we shall all, from the greatest to the least of us, be happy or miserable for ever. And let it be our constant care, while we defend it with our tongues, to adorn it by our examples; in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation shining as lights in the world, and so holding forth the word of life. *
* Phil. ii. 15, 16.
APOLOGY FOR THE BIBLE;
BISHOP WATSON'S ANSWER
SECOND PART OF PAINE's age of reason.
"Let all the nations be gathered together, and all the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth."-Isai. xliii. 9.