« ElőzőTovább »
Mearns's Christian Eridence.
515 i and the sentences already adduced from the Discourses
lodern Astronoiny, it is not a little curious that the obhere stated, to the proof which nature pffords of the
God, was obviated, when the proof was first exhibited er alles, by the father of moral philosophy. “ I see not,” CARS' istocemus, " the architects of what takes place here.” extess" replied Socrates, “ do you see your mind, which disreligions of your body*.” an obat perience is the only source of human knowledge, it will tract de possible to support Christianity by external evidence,
The de experience alone does not enable us to conceive of a dividual, e to ascertain the existence of our fellow creatures, as
of hari tual or moral beings, or to determine whether any credit ng to their testimony. lits of his impossible to manage an inductive process by the light of ;' of frience merely; for, without an additional element, we ature, úst confide in the continuance of tbe laws of nature, or ces of the connexion of effects with their physical causes. Dr. C. ular altid readily allow, that the process by which he has shewn sposes à s: the great masses of the universe are occupied with live as bera x-intelligent, and moral agents, is strictly inductive. But of the fi irst step of that induction cannot be taken, without comving tog with the results of experience, the principle that id sizzes appearances are to be ascribed to like causes. "By ex1 degrace: 20 ce alone we could not determine the bulk of the moon. ode of makisame principle by which we ascertain physical causes, Te realizaces us to believe in the existence of those tbat are efficient. the sales his belief is rejected, it involves us in contradiction and
a stating experience to be our only guide in philosophical
estigations, Dr. C. differs entirely from the father of the of delesinej uctive logic, and the most illustrious of his disciples.. Bacon,
wton, those who have most successfully cultivated the phys spolopos exims to investigate the objects of our consciousness, thought
al sciences, as well as those who have applied the Baconian the request
strictly philosophical, not only to infer the existence of efficient uses from physical effects, but to deduce from the character of
known effects, the peculiar attributes of their causes. If we
bat God ena
scend froin physical effects to ellicient causes, and infer the vbservation
"baracter of such causes from the perception of ends and uses
n their effects, the reasoning by which the conclusions of na. ribute, eta ural theology are deduced, and the internal evidence of Chris.
ianity, will appear in perfect harmony with the purest principles of inductive science. The process, indeed, of resolving the
* Xenoph, Memor, Lib. I. cap. iv. sec. 6.
er of the Dire contradictions
celestial phenomena into a case of gravitation, is more circuitous and elaborate, but not more inductive or satisfactory, than that of resolving the varied and successive appearances of nature, into the agency of a perfect and eternal Mind. If by the supposition of universal gravitation, the celestial mechanism is explained, do we not, by supposing the being of a supreme and perfect lutellect, find an explanation equally satisfactory, of the innumerable traces of power, intelligence, and goodness, diffused over nature?
• Unless our faculties are radically deceptious, we have undoubted ground for concluding that a Deity exists-that certain qualities belong to the Divine character-and that certain general principles mark his administration. Thus combining together the natural evidences furnislied by the sources above mentioned, we conclude with the fullest assurance, that one Supreme Intelligence has created and arranged all thnigs that he presides over all—and that wisdom, justice, and benig. nity mark his character and administration. Christianity offers itself to our acceptance, professing to be a revelation from heaven. It presents a new class of phenomena, exhibited in a written record, to which we attend as carefully as to those which are displayed to us in the book of nature. In this new field of investigation, we trace the same characteristic marks of the Divine Being, which we had previously ascertained. Comparing with our former conclusions, the general principles here declared to regulate the Divine procedure, we find them to correspond in every respect; what is obscure in the former, is illustrated by the latter; and their mutual harmony serves to verify both.' • The argument which establishes the previous presumption in favour of miracles, being grounded on the dignity of the end manifestly contemplated in the constitution of Christianity, proceeds on principles fully recognized by the inductive philosophy. Acknowledging the authority of primary laws of belief, uniformly regulating the procedure of the inductive philosopher, the full credibility of the testimony of the Christian witnesses is ascertained. And furnished with those antecedent conceptions of Deity, which natural theology establishes, or permitted to employ the internal evidence, we are able by a process of irduction, equally simple and legitimate, to prove from miracles, in the most conclusive manner, the truth of Chris. tianity.' pp. 124, 125, 127, 128.
According to Dr. C. the heathen, in primitive times, were converted to Christianity solely by its external evidence, " They I saw the miracles, they acquiesced in them as satisfying cre• dentials of an inspired; they took their own religion from his • mouth. If this were the fact, it might still be inquired whether the process in those cases was the only legitimate mode of conviction, or the best possible in all circumstances. But the above statement is not substantiated by any evidence. That the internal evidence of Christianity was not exbibited, or that if exbibited, it was nugatory, remains to be shewn. In the dis
hode that Dr. C.commend their cone Paul, em
courses of the great Master of Christians, arguments will be found drawn from the principles of natural theology, as well as
from the character and tendency of his doctrine. The Apostle * Paul will be found to appeal to fact, to the reason and conscience
of his readers, to the reasonableness of bis doctrine, in short to a principles of natural theology, in order to substantiate the truth 7 of what he taught. As it would be impiety to suppose that our
Lord, or his servant, the Apostle Paul, employed fallacious arguments to recommend their conclusions, it follows undeoiably that Dr. C. was not a little rash in pouring contempt on modes of inculcating Christian truth, which have been consecrated by the founders of our religion.
For our own part we must say, that the internal evidence of Christianity appears to us to have been, in all ages, most efficacious in producing a salutary conviction of its Divine
origin. In the first ages of the Church, the universal belief of Lê demoniacal agency, impaired in a degree the force of the ai miraculous evidence. The great argument of the early apolo
gists, is, the excellence of the Christian religion, compared, not i only with the absurdities and abominations of idolatry, but
with the most refined speculations of philosophy. From the great use of this argument, it is natural to infer that it was actually found most efficacious in making converts to the faith. Modern missionaries find the excellence of the Christian religion the most generally prevailing arguident among the objects of their labours. In Christian countries, the faith of comipon Christians in the truth of their religion, rests mainly on its character and tendency. It is impossible, therefore, to view without extreme regret, any respectable Christian writer attempting to subvert the internal evidence of our faith. If the impress wbich God has inade on his truth could be effaced, its place would be ill supplied by crude novelties.
The able work of which we have endeavoured to exhibit an outline, deserves to be attentively read by all Christians who wislı to know the principles from which the evidences of religion derive their cogency. It will teach those who may have rested their faith chiefly on the internal proofs of Revelation, that on the same principles, the miraculous evidence affords ground for confidence; while to those whose trust in the internal evidence of Christianity, or in the light of nature, may have been shaken by plausible sophisms, it will shew that they may most reasonably
repose in both; and it will make all perceive that if the evidence de of our faith should be subverted, it will involve in its ruia all
practice and all speculation.
Art. II. Narrative of an Expedition to explore the River Zaire,
usually called the Congo, in South Africa, in 1816, under the Direction of Captain J. K. Tuckey, R. N.
(Concluded from p. 458.) VARIOUS cirumstances soon occurred, to indicate the difVference between the tract of the globe at which the observers had arrived, and that which they had left, to see no more; as for instance, the fresh traces, on the ground, of elephants and tigers, and, at one spot near the shore, “human skulls and
other human bones, close to a place where had been a fire.' This last appearance, so much like a sign of cannibalism, was explained some days afterwards.
-We were assured that they were the remains of criminals, who had suffered for the crime of poisoning, this spot being the place of execution of a certain district. When a common man is convicted of this crime, his head is first severed, and his body then burnt; but the punishment of a culprit of superior rank, is much more barbarous; the members being amputated one by one, so as to preserve life' [that is, for part of an hour] • and one of each sent to the principal towns of the kingdom. The trial is always by a kind of ordeal.'
They laboured up the side channels of the stream, almost constanıly attended and incommoded by boarding parties of Mafooks and their filthy gangs, in quest of brandy, and exorbitant
traffickers of a few of the products of the country. They were · now also in the proximity of vessels employed in the slave-trade,
one of which, under Spanish colours, is pronounced to have been English or American property. Considerable alarm baving been excited among these villains, by the appearance of the vessels of the expedition, the Captain very properly judged 'it his best policy to cause to be circulated the most positive declarations, that as his commission had nothing to do in any way with the slave-trade, he should interfere with no one. Passing the great mass of granite called Fetiche rock, bearing a quantity of rude sculptures, and commanding the river by projecting froin the one bank to within a mile and a half of the otber, they approached at Embomma, a new stage of the river, · in which it presents itself in the form of one individed stream. Here a black man named Simmons, whom they had on board, was recognised by his father and o:her relatives, after an absence of eleven years, and welcomed with transports of joy.
This history of this man adds one blot more to the character of European slave-traders. His father, who is called Mongova Seki, a prince of the blood, and counsellor to the king of Embomma, entrusted him, when eight or ten years old, to a Liverpool captain of the name of ,* to be educated, (or according to his expression to learn
* The name of such a miscreant ought not to have had the im.
the inc. of Embomma. The Chenoo, or, in civilized phrase,
of an Ek) in England ; but his conscientious guardian found it 1392 r.ome to have him taught to make sugar at St. Kitts, where kidogo Igly sold him ; and from whence he contrived to make
and got on board an English ship of war, from which he # on the reduction of the fleet.'
a long account of the ceremonies and negotiations at
y, had sent, for the conveyance of the Captain, a sort outros ck, somewhat resembling the palanquin of India, but spot se z dirty plight,
' that a long walk was preferred, with the close all vuglit in attendance, to be entered, for etiquette's sake, 50 Baiere al proach to the royal residence, time enough to be
in foron under a great tree, near what inust be called bat the rece, which tree was adorned with ensigns of state, in re of aer following: orice iz first objects which called our attention were four human - Essenang to the tree, which we were told were those of enemy's
eiweken in battle, whose heads it was the custom to preserve as * 2:3; these victims, however, seemed to have received the coup de
ex evious to the separation of the head, all the skulls presenting
is.nd fractures.' he said whole account of the levee is highly curious. There TRA) want of appropriate officers, or dignified ceremonial, 23.30 1 a rather inconvevient absence of understanding; inaswe pred2 as it was found totally impossible to make any of the Tui Te I pled personages comprehend the motive and object of the Gads tot ition. They were induced however to admit, at hazard, Tina por ourable judgement of whatever might be its inexplicable
aut in use, by what they were enabled to comprehend of it ne8. Biely, namely, that it was not intended to obstruct the slave* W***, nor to make war. The council broke up in a prodigious
set, on the sight of a keg of rum, which the English emtena had brought as a present,--to be re-assembled, however,
aore privy consultation, during the time the visiters were at
past provided for them, after which they were again sumused to audience. The negotiation appeared to end amicably,
n a solemn reiteration, on oath, by the Captain, of those 3. Birsa
ative declarations, on which they were forced at last to rest, Jer the impossibility of understanding any thing more of the (ter. The most ready and unreserved offers were then made, the Chenoo and the gentlemen of his court, (and the Captain s, in the grossest, vilest language,) for the indulgence of the
ity of oblivion, unless the suppression be from some consideration ve feelings of innocent relatives, such relatives as stand clear stine from all suspicion of participating the present iniquity of