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as is necessary for our happiness and direction. Christianity performs a twofold office; both enlightening the understanding and subduing the heart, by the most powerful motives. The sinner is no longer under fear and doubt as to what
be the divine dure towards himself: it is of the essence of Christianity to inform the mind and tranquillize conscience on this important particular!
Survey the wondrous cure,
The knowledge of God and his attributes, with which revelation has favoured us, fairly authorizes the inference that a dispensation emanating from himself, would bear strong, distinctive marks of its divine Author in its general outlines, and that while promoting glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and good-will towards men, would characterize its ulterior provisions. This was the case both as regards Judaism and Christianity : Judaism was good in its place as paving the way and conducting to a more finished revelation, of which the Prophets spake, and having effected its purpose,
it became, as it were, absorbed in the superior glory of Christianity, which has more fully displayed the divine perfections, and benefited the nations. This is confirmed by actual reference to the condition, moral and political, as well as religious, of the countries where Christianity has penetrated. In proportion as its pure doctrines have been undebased by human mixtures, so much the more strikingly perceptible are its beneficial results : but the reverse is the case with Islamism, which has subsisted more than twelve centuries with an injurious and stationary effect wherever it has obtained ascendency. Contrast the two systems as to their relative influence on knowledge and civilization, and this position will be fully verified.
The superior intelligence in Christian coun
tries is obvious to the most superficial observer: it is the character of revelation, while enlightening the mind on subjects professedly beyond its reach, to address itself to the reason and understanding: whenever prevalent, it encourages and promotes the growth and expansion of the intellectual faculties. What surpasses reason is avowedly grounded on the authority of God, but the evidence which accompanies it, and the Scriptures by which the whole is to be weighed, are recommended to frequent attentive perusal. " Search the Scriptures,” says Christ, “ for they testify of me:" the great Apostle to the Gentiles also applies the epithet noble to the Bereans for this very circumstance : “ These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, because they searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things therefore many
of them believed." This spirit of investigation candidly pursued, and after proper objects, is highly con
ducive to a state of mental and intellectual superiority. Its benefits are not restricted to religion, but habits of close thought and reasoning are produced, favourable to the advancement of knowledge generally: the mind is strengthened and enlarged by the exercise, more correct views are acquired, the judgment is convinced, and reason acts as a useful ally to revelation : they mutually illustrate and receive support, and truth is benefited by the friendly association,
The genius of Mohammedanism is directly opposed to Christianity in this respect: because, if the faith of the Moslems, be as they pretend, perfect with all its attendant circumstances, if nothing remain but implicit assent, there is an end to every mental effort and all solicitude on the subject. To doubt or attempt improvement or correction in any point, must be accounted an act of sacrilege or impiety--the melancholy con