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norant worship," we are at once astonished at his intrepidity and his management; intrepidity, in preferring this bold charge against an audience of the most accomplished scholars in the world,—in charging ignorance upon Athens! blindness on "the eye of Greece!" --and management in so judiciously conducting his oration, that the audience expressed neither impatience nor displeasure, till he began to unfold the most obnoxious and unpopular of all doctrines,-Jesus raised from the dead.
It is recorded by Saint Luke of this polished and highly intellectual city, that it was wholly given up to idolatry; a confirmation of the remark of Pausanias, that there were more image-worshippers in Athens than in all Greece besides.
We have here a clear proof that the reasonableness of Christianity was no recommendation to its adoption by those people who, of all others, were acknowledged to have cultivated reason the most highly. What a melancholy and heart-humbling conviction, that wit and learning, in their loftiest elevation, open no natural avenue to religion in the heart of man; that the grossest ignorance leaves it not more inaccessible to Divine truth. Paul never appears to have made so few proselytes in any place as at Athens; and it is so far from being true, as its disciples assert, that philosophy is never intolerant, that the most bitter persecution ever inflicted on the Christians was under the most philosephical of all the Roman Emperors.*
In this celebrated city, in which Plato. near five hun dred years before, discoursed so eloquently on the immortality of the soul, Paul first preached the resurrection of the body. Horace speaks of searching for truth in the groves of Academus, but Saint Paul was the first who ever taught it there.
ON THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE of saint paul'S WRITINGS.
ONE of the most distinguished writers of antiquity, says, that “one man may believe himself to be as certam of his error as another of his truth." How many illustrious ancients, under the influence of this conceit, may either have carried truth out of its proper sphere, or brought in some error to fill the place which the truth, so transferred, had left vacant. The Pagan philosophers held so great a variety of opinions of the supreme good of the nature of man, that one of their most learned writers is said to have reckoned the number to amount to no less than two hundred and eightyeight.*
Christianity ought to be accounted a singular blessing, were it only that it has simplified this conjectural arithmetic, and reduced the hundreds to a unit. Saint Paul's brief, but comprehensive definition, "repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ," forming one grand central point, in which, if all the vain aims and unsatisfied desires of the anxious philosophers do not meet, this succinct character of Christianity abundantly supplies what their aims and desires failed to accomplish; for "they erred, not knowing the Scriptures:" those Scriptures which proclaim the wants of
man when they declare his depravity, and "the power of God, in providing its only remedy"
Saint Paul labours sedulously to convince his converts of the apostacy of the human race. He knew this to be the only method of rendering the Scriptures either useful or intelligible; no other book having explicitly proclaimed or circumstantially, unfolded this prime truth. He furnishes his followers with this key, that they might both unlock the otherwise hidden treasures of the Bible, and open the secret recesses of their own hearts. He knew that, without this strict inquisition into what was passing within, without this experimental knowledge of their own lapsed state, the best books may be read with little profit, and even prayer be offered up with little effect.
He directs them to follow up this self-inspection, because without it they could not determine on the quality, even of their best actions. "Examine yourselves; prove your ownselves," is his frequent exhortation. He knew, that if we did not impede the entrance of Divine light into our own hearts, it would shew us many an unsuspected corruption; that it would not only disclose existing evils, but awaken, the remembrance of former ones, of which perhaps the consequences still remain, though time and negligence have effaced the act itself from the memory. Whatever be the structure they intend to erect, the apostles always dig deep for a foundation before they begin to build. "On Jesus Christ, and him crucified," as on a broad basis, Saint Paul builds all doctrine, and grounds all practice; and firm indeed should that foundation be, which
has to sustain such a weight. He points to him as the sole author of justifying faith. From this doctrine he derives all sanctity, all duty, and all consolation. Af ter having proved it to be productive of that most solid of all supports, peace with God; this peace he promises, not only through the benignity of God, but through the grace of Christ, shewing, by an induction of particulars, the process of this love of God in its moral effects,-how afflictions promote "patience," how patience fortifies the mind by "experience," and how experience generates "hope;"-reverting always in the end to the point from which he sets out; to that love of God, which is kindled in the heart by the operation of the Holy Spirit.
He makes all true holiness to hinge on this fundamental doctrine of redemption by the Son of God, never separating his offices from his person, nor his example from his propitiation; never teaching that man's nature is to be reformed, without pointing out the instrument, and the manner by which the reformation is to be effected. For one great excellence of Saint Paul's writings consist, not only in his demonstrating to us the riches and the glories of Christ, but in shewing how they may be conveyed to us: how we may become possessed of an interest, of a right in them.
Though there is no studied separation of the doctrinal from the practical parts of his Epistles, they who would enter most deeply into a clear apprehension of the former, would best do it by a strict obedience to the precepts of the latter. He every where shews, that the way to receive the truth is to obey it; and