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to the general view of our Saviour's divine commission and authority.

I shall divide this subject into three general heads:

I. These words imply, that many would believe who had never seen Christ.

II. That such persons had sufficient grounds on which to rest their faith.

III. That such belief is entitled to peculiar commendation.

I. These words certainly imply that many would believe who had never seen Christ.

This idea is conveyed by the very mode of expression: "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." Our Saviour would not have pronounced a blessing on non-entities. Our Lord once appeared to five hundred brethren, the greatest number to whom he ever showed himself between his resurrection and ascension; but, what is five hundred, when compared with the millions. who have since believed, and who will hereafter believe on his name! But I go further, and say, that, had they not known him before; had they not been intimately acquainted with him as the Apostles were; had not their minds been impressed with a precise idea of

his person, his manner, his attitude, his every thing, their testimony would have been of no higher value than that of persons who had never been thus favoured; but, let us never suppose, that none but those who had been actual companions of our Lord can possess sufficient evidence for belief. Our Saviour must daily revisit our earth; must again mix in the common intercourse of men, and must live in exile from his heavenly state, were such assurance necessary. Undoubtedly, it would have been a high privilege to have beheld him restoring to life the daughter of Jairus, or raising Lazarus from the tomb; to have been in the ship when he hushed the storm, or to have witnessed the multitude fed. It would have been a privilege to have gone with the pious women to visit his sepulchre, and to have received the assurance of the


celestial messenger, "He is not here; he is risen, as he said; Come, see the place where the Lord lay;" but such assurances are by no means necessary to establish our faith. Look to the beginning of the first Epistle of St. Peter, you will find it inscribed to the strangers scattered abroad throughout"


different countries. And how does the Apostle address them? Speaking of the Lord Jesus, he says, (chapter i. verse 8,) Whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom,


though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." This Epistle was written but twenty-five years after our Saviour's ascension, but the persons to whom it was addressed, were as ignorant of the person of Christ, as we are, living in the nineteenth century.

II. The words of the text farther imply, that there is sufficient grounds for such belief. Here we must undoubtedly give up the evidence arising from a sight of miracles, but there are many other distinct branches of evidence which may be brought forward in support of this proposition;-permit me to enumerate a few of them.

1. The arguments to be drawn from prophecies.

2. From the character of the reporters.

3. From the life of the Founder.

4. From the doctrines and precepts he delivered.

5. From the manner of the narration.

6. From the rapid spread of the Gospel.

7. From the influence it has upon our own lives.

Let us briefly examine each of these points.

1. Let us take a view of the argument arising from prophecy.

We can read the sacred writings, we can trace the advent of the Messiah from the faint promise to our first parents in paradise, down to the period, when, in the fulness of time, he appeared upon earth; we can compare the prediction with the fulfilment, and perceive the events taking place, which those predictions unfold. We are assured of the authenticity of the Sacred Oracles. The very existence of a Jew at this time, is a standing evidence of their truth, and that they are transmitted to us as they were originally written, neither added unto or deducted from. Their Scriptures are the same as ours, till we finish the last verse of Malachi, and begin the New Testament: which prevents the possibility of its being said, that any interpolations had been made by Christians. They possess the picture, of which we profess to hold the original, and never was a portrait more accurately painted!

2. Let us inquire into the character of the reporters.

The simplicity and integrity of their characters may be gathered from the style of the

narration, as well as from the events they recorded; they could have no personal interest in view, in relating such a history; for the very name of Christian subjected them to persecution and contempt; neither can they be suspected of giving accounts of the truth of which they were not fully persuaded, since they enjoyed the fullest opportunities of judging, both of the public and private character of their Master, being admitted to the most friendly intercourse with him, having been the constant companions of his journies, as well as the auditors of his discourses, and the spectators of his miracles. They simply. related what they had seen and heard, and if any doubt remains of their accuracy, you will find their accounts confirmed by many heathen writers, especially by Pliny, Tacitus, and Suetonius.

3. Let us view the life of the Founder. And surely this affords ample evidence of the truth of his mission. Here we find exemplified, in colours the most striking, every christian virtue; his life was the brightest comment on his precepts, and challenges our admiration, while it commands our re


That extraordinary genius, long the boast of France, Rousseau, has devoted two com


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