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nothing to fear, and vainly do Unbelievers decorate their volumes (as the Author once witnessed) with an impious vignette-representing the cross shivered to pieces! Never will their accursed prediction be realized. Bad as the world is_amenity of temper and purity of conduct, invigorated by the hope of immortality, command an authoritative influence. To these irrefragable arguments in behalf of the cross, there is no reply. The appeal is final. The silent but overwhelming eloquence of a Holy Life strikes dumb the most incredulous of the sons of Infidelity. Exhibited by every individual of the human race, it constitutes that emblazoned æra of prophecy when TRUE and UNDEFILED RELIGION is destined to adorn and dignify-to regenerate and bless the world!
Upon the conclusion of a recent trial it is said, that the evidences of the CHRISTIAN Religion resounded from the pulpits of nearly all the Established Churches and Dissenting Chapels throughout the kingdom. This was as it should be, for it is the only legitimate mode of defending the truth as it is in Jesus. Ăs the Author of the subsequent Address disapproves of Prosecution in matters of religion, he would deem himself inexcusable not to have contributed his mite, however humble, towards illustrating the nature and excellence of the Christianity of the New Testament on the present memorable occasion. The generous communication of an anonymous Correspondent has induced him to send it to the press. It enables him also to put the Address at a price which may ensure to it a wider sphere of circulation. The kind aid is bere gratefully recorded whilst it is the prerogative of him that seeth in secret to reward openly.
Islington, Nov. 5, 1819.
2 PETER i. 16:
56 WE HAVE NOT FOLLOWED CUNNINGLY DE
VISED FABLES, WHEN WE MADE KNOWN
The Transfiguration of our LORD Jesus Christ constitutes one of the most splendid events of the evangelical history. It is received by us upon the broad basis of historic faith common to all the facts of the New Testament. Upon the immoveable pillars of testimony, borne by well-accredited witnesses, rests the siinple but divine fabric of Christianity.
66 We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such. a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased
And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy Mount.”
Two qualifications attach to witnesses whose assertions are entitled to belief-competency and honesty.
By competency is understood the possession of common sense, exercised by individuals upon objects which have been brought before them. To have seen and heard what they relate, are indispensably necessary on such occasions, Thus seeing and hearing the subjects of their testimony, they have it in their power to communicate it to others. Indeed, without this personal knowledge, no sufficient evidence could be yielded, at least to such a degree as to produce a rational and permanent conviction.
By honesty I would be understood to mean, character--on which due reliance might be placed. Hence I look for an individual whose motives are above suspicion ; who is under no temptation to employ his information for a sinister purpose. The human mind is capable of being impelled by considerations of a very various and even opposite description. Vanity, interest, and ambition, exercise a powerful sway in the production of human affairs. In receiving the truth from others, it behoves us to institute a rigorous scrutiny respecting the conduct of our fellow.
creatures. Thus alone shali we avoid becoming a prey to any kind of imposition.
The qualifications of competency and of honesty will be found to distinguish the original witnesses of the gospel of our LORD Jesus CHRIST. Hence this circumstance has been dwelt upon by the intelligent defenders of Christianity. The religion of the New Testament disdains the aid of implicit faith. It calls on individuals of every rank to search the Scriptures; to judge even of themselves what is right : and having made every proper inquiry into this most important of all subjects—to render unto others a reason of the hope that is in them, neither rashly nor dogmatically, but with meekness and fear.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were competent witnesses, because they were not only contemporaries, but they were the associates and followers of Jesus Christ. Matthew was found sitting at the receipt of customs—an office of respectability under the government of his country. Luke, the beloved physician, must have possessed some degree of education, as he filled up one of the liberal professions. Mark and John may have possessed a certain portion of knowledge. All the original propagators of the Christian religion were men of plain sense, and of uncorrupted understanding. They saw
and heard what they testified. They were competent to form an accurate judgment.
As Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were competent, so they were likewise honest witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. Viewing them in every possible situation, there is no reason to suspect their integrity. Jesus was the reputed son of a carpenter, and born in Nazareth-out of which obscure as well as despised place, no good was expected. His followers were fishermen, men possessing neither rank nor consequence in society. In quitting their respective situations, they did not improve their circumstances: they were insulted and reviled ; they were thrown into fetters ; consigned to the darkness of a dungeon; whilst some of them perished upon the ensanguined scaffold.
The end also must be considered for which JESUS CHRIST came into the world. THE Messiah employed himself in the dissemination of knowledge—in the inculcation of repentancein the bestowment of forgiveness—in the exemplification of every good work—as well as in the disclosure of a Future state, by his resurrection from the dead, and ascension up into heaven, accompanied by the solemn assurance of his coming a second time without sin unto salvation ! Cunning and fraud would never have conspired to introduce such a system. The kingdom of