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nesses, and had they been extirpated, we should have had no witnesses at all.

The Jews rejected Christ, yet not all of them.Those who were holy received him; those who were carnal did not: and so far is this from militating against his glory, that it gives to it the finishing touch. The reason of their rejection, and the only one which is found in their writings, in the Talmud, and in the Rabbins, is that Jesus Christ did not subdue the nations by force of arms. 66 Jesus Christ,” they say,

66 has been slain ; he has fallen; he has not subdued the heathen by his might; he has not given us their spoils; he has given no wealth.” Is that all they can say? It is for this that I love him. A Messiah such as they describe, I have no wish for.

ö. How delightful it is to see with the eye of faith, Darius, Cyrus, Alexander, the Romans, Pompey, and Herod, laboring unwittingly for the glory of the gospel.

7. The Mohammedan religion has for its foundation the Koran and Mohammed. But has this

man,

who was said to be the last prophet expected in the world, been at all the subject of prediction? And what mark has he to accredit him, more than any other man who chooses to set up for a prophet? What miracles does he himself affirm that he performed ? What mystery has he taught, even by his own account ?What morality did he teach, and what blessedness did he promise. Mohammed is unsupported by any authority.

His reasons then had need to be powerful indeed, since they rest solely on their own strength.

8. If two men utter things which appear of a common place and popular kind, but the discourse of one has a twofold sense understood by his disciples, whilst the discourses of the other have but one meaning ; then any one, not in the secret, hearing the two persons saying similar things, would judge in a similar way of both. But if, in conclusion, the one utters heaven ly things, whilst the other still brings forward only

common-place, and mean notions, and even fooleries, he would then conceive that the one spoke with a mystic meaning, and the other did not; the one haying sufficiently proved himself to be incapable of absurdity, but capable of having á mystic sense; the other, that he can be absurd, but not a setter forth of mysteries.

9. It is not by the obscurities in the writings of Mohammed, and which they may pretend have a mystic sense, tbat I would wish him to be judged, but by his plain statements, as his account of paradise, and such like. Even in these things he is ridiculons. Now, it is not so with the Holy Scriptures. They also have their obscurities ; but then there are many clear and lucid statements, and many prophecies in direct terms which have been accomplished. The cases then are not parallel. We must not put on an equal footing, books which only resemble each other in the existence of obscurities, and not in those brilliancies, which substantiate their own divine origin, and justly claim a due reverence also for the obscurities, by which they are accompanied The Koran itself says that Matthew was a good

Then Mohammed was a false prophet, eitherin calling good men wicked, or in rejecting as untrue, what they affirm of Jesus Christ.

10. Any man may do what Mohammed did; for he wrought no miracles, he fulfilled no previous prophecy. Noman can do what Jesus Christ did.

Mohammed established his system by killing others; Jesus Christ by exposing his disciples to death; Mohammed by forbidding to read; Jesus by enjoining it. In fact, so opposite were their plans, that, if according to human calculation, Mohammed took the way to succeed—Jesus Christ certainly took the way of failure. And instead of arguing, that because Mohammed succeeded, therefore Jesus Christ might; it follows rather, that since Mohammed succeeded, Christianity must have failed, if it had not been supported by an energy purely Divine.

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CHAPTER XVII.

THE PURPOSE OF GOD TO CONCEAL HIMSELF FROM SOME, AND

TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO OTHERS.

It was the purpose of God to redeem mankind, and to extend salvation to those who will seek it. But men render themselves so unworthy of it, that he is equitable in refusing to some, because of the hardness of their hearts, that which he bestows on others, by a mercy to which they have no claim. Had he chosen to overcome the obstinacy of the most hardened, he could have done so, by revealing himself to them so distinctly, that they could no longer doubt the truth of his existence. And he will so appear at the last day, with such an awful storm, and such a destruction of the frame of nature, that the most blind must see him.

He did not, however, choose thus to appear at the advent of grace; because, as so many men rendered themselves unworthy of his clemency, he determined that they should remain strangers to the blessing which they did not desire. It would not then have been just to appear in a mode manifestly divine, and such as absolutely to convince all men; nor would it have been just on the other hand, to come in a mode so hidden, that he could not have been recognized by those who sought him in sincerity. It was his will to make himself perfectly cognizable to all such; and hence, willing to be revealed to those who seek him with their whole heart, and hidden from those who, as cordially fly from him, he has so regulated the means of knowing him, as to give indications of himself, which are plain to those who seek him, and shrouded to those who seek him not.*

* The pillar of cloud and of fire, is a beautiful illustration of this idea.

2. There is light enough for those whose main wish is to see; and darkness enough to confound those of an opposite disposition.

There is brightness enough to enlighten the elect, and sufficient obscurity to keep them humble.

There is mystery enough to blind the reprobate; but light enough to condemn them, and to make them inexcusable.

If this world subsisted only to teach men the existence of God, his divinity would have shined forth in every part of it with resistless splendor. But since the world only exists by Jesus Christ, and for him, and to teach men their fall and their redemption, the whole abounds with proofs of these two truths. The appear-ance of things indicates neither the total abandonment, nor the plenary presence of the Divinity, but the presence of a God that hideth himself. Every thing wears this character.

If God had never appeared at all, such a total concealment might have been ambiguous, and might have been referred equally to the non-existence of the Deity, as to the unworthiness of men to know him. But his occasional manifestations remove the ambiguity. If he has appeared once, then he is always. And we are shut up to the conclusion, that there is

God, and that men are unworthy of his manifested presence.

3. The purpose of God was more to rectify the will, than-the understanding of man. Now, an unclouded brightness would have satisfied the understanding, and left the will unreformed. Had there been no obscurity, man would not have been sensible of his corruption. Had there been no light, man would have despaired of a remedy. It is then not only equitable, but profitable for us, that God should be partly hidden, and partly revealed; since it is equally dangerous for man to know God, without the conciousness of his misery; or to know his misery, without knowing his God.

4. All things around man teach him his real state; but he should read them rightly. For it is not true either that God is wholly revealed, or wholly hidden.

But both these assertions are true together, that he bides himself from those who tempt him, and that he discovers himself to those who seek him. Because men are, at the same time, unworthy of God, and yet capable of receiving him; unworthy in consequence of their corruption; capable by their original nature.

5. Every thing on earth proclaims the misery of man, or the mercy of God; the powerlessness of man without God, or his might when God is with him.

The whole universe teaches man, either that he is corrupt, or that he is redeemed. All things teach him his greatness or his misery In the heathen he sees the withdrawment of God; in the Jews, his presence and protection.

6. All things work together for good to the elect; even the obscurities of Scripture; for they reverence them on account of those portions which are manifestly Divine. All things are evil to the reprobate, , even the plainest truths of Scripture, because they blaspheme them on account of those obscurities, which they cannot comprehend.

7. If Jesus Christ had only come to sanctify and save, the whole of Scripture, and all other things, would have tended to that object, and it would have been easy indeed to convince the infidel.

But since, as Isaiah says, chap. viii. 14. he became both as á sanctuary (for salvation) and a rock of offence, we cannot expect to overcome the obstinacy of infidelity. But this does not militate against us, since we ourselves affirm, that God's dealings with us were not meant to carry conviction to those stubborn, self-satisfied spirits, who do not sincerely seek for truth.

Jesus is come, that those who see not, may see ; and that those who sce, may become blind. He came to heal the diseased, and let the whole perish: to call sinners to repentance and justification, and to leave the righteous, those who think themselves righteous, in their sins : to fill the hungry with good things, and to send the rich empty away.

What say the prophets of Jesus Christ? That he

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