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and in his intellectual and moral improvement which the letter promises, this is additional proof of the excellence of the letter and of its claims to his attention. This is called EXPERIMENTAL evidence.

When a man has proved the virtues of a medicine, it is not necessary for him to have the history of it, or to know who furnished it, in order to be sure of its excellence and of its claims. It is his duty to use it, even if he knows nothing of its history.

In the second place, the son may proceed to inquire, if he chooses, respecting the manner, means, agents and various circumstances through which the letter was produced and brought from his father to him. The character of his father is a pledge that he would give only wise and good instructions. This fact, and the rightful claims of paternal authority, are evidence of the excellence of the letter and of its demands upon his attention. This is called HISTORICAL and EXTERNAL evidence.

Now the evidence upon which most believers in the Bible mainly rely, and that upon which multitudes almost solely rely, is internal and experimental. It is the kind of evidence peculiarly adapted to all minds. It is of itself sufficient. But as infidelity is continually making bold and confident attacks upon the historical evidences of the Sacred Scriptures, and as there is with most young men a great lack of knowledge re



specting these evidences, with which to meet and confront the ignorance and impudence of historical infidelity upon its own ground. I have thought it best to present, in a condensed form, something of the argument and proof on this subject. Ample justice to a subject embracing so much compass and learning, demands volumes ; but I shall endeavor to bring as much into a small compass as can be well expressed. I hope the reader will not consider the subject tedious and dry, nor pass hastily over it; but that he will give it a thorough and serious examination. The character and circumstances of this age strongly demand it, espeeially on the part of young men, who are soon to have the disposal of all those institutions of religion and learning, which are to preserve our nation and to enlighten and bless the world, and which rest for their support upon the TRUTH AND INSPIRATION THE BIBLE.







To them were committed the oracles of God."


THERE is in our hands à very ancient Book which is in every respect a most extraordinary vol

Of all the learned volumes with which the world has groaned for many ages, no other has exerted a thousandth part of the salutary moral influence upon mankind, or retained so great an ascendency over intelligent minds. The great Sir William Jones, one of the most learned men of any age, who was familiar with twenty-eight different languages and the most able productions in them, testifies, “I have carefully and regularly studied the Bible, and am of the opinion that this volume, independently of its divine origin, contains more true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, purer morality, more important history, and finer strains both of poetry and of eloquence, than could be



collected within the same compass from all other books which were ever composed.” The opinion of this distinguished scholar, is also the growing opinion of the most profound and cultivated intellects of both continents.

Judging of causes from effects, it is a book of transcendent power. The power to which I now refer, is not simply or mainly that of a literary kind; it is, as every thinking inan must see, the power of its moral principles. It discloses laws and facts, which experience proves to be true to nature and to our necessities. The power of the Bible is the power of living and momentous thoughts from the invisible world, striking deeply into the kindling spirit of man.

Could you see at one view the millions of learned volumes that promised immortality to their authors, which have gone to their long home of oblivion, and the tendency of every human production to perish from the minds of men, and in the same views observe the steady and strong march with which the Bible has been continually gaining upon the world, you would have a striking manifestation of its pre-eminence over all other volumes.

Observe also how triumphant its power over its enemies. There is not a passage or a thought in the Bible, which has not been assailed in innumerable ways. The loftiest pretensions of learning, science, and philosophy, and the most malignant

arts of wit, satire, and scurrility, have been employed against it in vain.

Were all the books which have been written against the Bible, and have gone to their grave, to be raised from the dead and collected into one volume, no library would be spacious enough to receive the book, and the common age of man would not suffice to read it through. Thousands of times has the Bible been condemned, banished, burned ; still it survives, developing fresh and ever-growing energies; and never did it promise a more certain and speedy reign over the whole empire of human minds, than at this very hour.

I approach the subject of the authenticity, genuineness, and credibility of the Bible, painfully conscious of the impracticability of exhibiting the strength of so voluminous a subject, in one or two chapters. I can only introduce you into the vestibule of the great temple.

Admitting the existence of a God of infinite power, wisdom, and moral excellence, and admitting our moral accountability to him, it is to be presumed that he would make communications to us; and that for this purpose, he would employ not only the laws and operations of nature, but also language-- that comprehensive, quick, and energetic vehicle of thought.

By a written revelation from God we are not to understand a system of arbitrary fabrications. It

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