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home to their Father's house—and he will convey your soul into the presence of the God of love, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. At the resurrection, your body shall be raised from the grave; and, placed on the right hand of the Judge, you will with rapture hear him say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” An eternity succeeds of perfect holiness, and of the purest and constantly increasing felicity, in the society of all wise and holy beings, and in the full fruition of the friendship of God. To bring you to the enjoyment of such happiness, is the design of this Essay in persuading you to become Christians. That every unbeliever who reads it may be made a partaker of these immortal joys, by receiving Jesus as the Saviour, is the author's fervent prayer; and would be deemed a glorious reward. If only one receive this benefit, he will account his labour not lost, but well bestowed; for the happiness communicated to that one soul exceeds, with respect both to degree and duration, all the pleasure which ever has been, or ever will be enjoyed by all the men on the face of the earth, in every country, and in every age.
EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL EVIDENCES
TRANSLATED FROM THE
LATIN OF SAMUEL WERENFELS, D.D.,
PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY, BASIL.
BY DAVID DUNCAN,
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, HOWGATE.
THOMAS AFFLECK; WAUGH AND INNES; AND
THOMAS IRELAND, JUNIOR;
The translation of the four Dissertations of Dr Werenfels, contained in the first volume of the New FAMILY LIBRARY, though all that was originally intended, having proved acceptable to many, and a continuation of it having been solicited, both on account of the scarceness of the work, and the utility of rendering its sentiments accessible to those who may not be able to peruse the original, the translator has been induced, at the request of the editor, to present the only remaining Dissertations on the Evidence of the Divinity of the Holy Scriptures. These, though separated from the former, will not be found out of place in the present volume, which relates to the same interesting subject.
The systems of morality formed by the heathen sages were universally defective and unsound. In them vices were often recommended and inculcated, and virtues degraded to the rank of vices, or entirely overlooked; actions dishonouring to God and injurious to men were lauded and honoured, and pious and beneficent dispositions condemned and vilified. And while virtue and vice were thus confounded, the grand principle which ought to regulate the conduct of every intelligent creature, and without which the best and loveliest actions of men are but splendid sins—a regard to the glory of Him in whom we live and move and have our being—was unnoticed or disregarded. But even though these imperfections had not adhered to their systems-though their views of morality had been
pure and unobjectionable, they could never have effected the renovation of the human family, or to any extent have repressed the wickedness which prevails in the earth; for their moral precepts were not enforced by motives sufficiently powerful to win men to compliance with them. They might declaim about the loveliness of virtue and the deformity of vice; but these declamations, however much they might please the fancy, could not warm the heart, or move the affections, or impress the conscience. Their systems of doctrine and duty were entirely disconnected; their mutual relation was disregarded or unknown. The moralist formed his system of ethics, and the sage his system of philosophy-precepts were delivered by the one, and dogmas taught by the other; but the former merely inquired into the number, and the relative situation and importance of what he deemed to be virtues; and the speculations of the latter furnished only an exercise for the intellectual faculties, and were never made to bear on the duties of life, or to enforce the observation of them. What a contrast to the writings of the wisest and best among the heathen is presented to us in the sacred Scriptures. The purity and completeness of the moral system they contain—which is summed up in love to God as our primary duty, and love to man as its necessary consequence—will be confessed by every unprejudiced inquirer. And the connexion which subsists between these duties and the other great department of religion, its system of doctrine, is never overlooked; for, while the practical tendency of every doctrine is exhibited, each precept is enforced by considerations suited to its peculiar nature. The proof and illustration of this superiority of Scripture to all the works of men, and the powerful evidence of divinity which is furnished by it, form the subject of the first of the two following Dissertations, in which the motives to virtue proposed in the Word of God are enumerated and compared with those of the heathen philosophers and moralists, and the cause of the smallness of their efficacy on professing Christians pointed out. In attending to the last of these topics, it should not be forgotten that the influence of these scriptural motives is often reckoned less than it really is, from inadvertence to the fact, that Christianity has heightened the standard of morality in all the countries where it has generally been received, and has produced a decency of external deportment, even among those who do not cordially embrace it, which we will look for in vain in the most refined nations of antiquity. Every one acquainted with the history of Athens and Rome knows that even in these seats of science and civilization, vices, which in this country would brand the perpetrators with infamy, were unblushingly practised, not by the multitude merely, but by those who claimed and received the title of philosophers.