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dotage, or a second childbood. But this will prove nothing ; because others are found, with far less promising bodily constitutions, to have reached a more advanced season of life, and without any such impair of the vigor of the mental faculties. In short, there are not yet known, that I have ever heard of, any data, upon which we are waranted to conclude, that the rational mind rises and falls witb the material composition.
The materials Mr. Chubb has laid together are enough, if true, and what may be depended upon as close and good reasoning from just principles, not only to exclude miracles in support of the Christian doctrine; but also to invalidate and nullify the whole scheme of Christianity : 1.e. If it be yet a moot point, whether man shall exist, or. shall not exist hereafter ; or rather, if it be doubtful whether the great intention of the Christian doctrine has to do with man's existence in futurity.
As to the rational mind in man, of which Mr. C. has affirmed, that it is capable of religion, or of asting in obedience to God's law, and with reference to his glory; which, he says, are the Same thing. Vol. I. p. 285. Also that motive is not the physical cause, but the ground and reaSon of action. p. 166. And again, that motives are to be estimated from the action relating to God, to ourselves, and to others. p. 217. From these principles, it is most obvious, that man has a power of action which is or may be perfectly at liberty from physical impulse; because motive is not the physical cause, but the ground and reason of action : and because motives are to be examined and estimated by this rational mind, froin the action they would induce unto, as relating to God, to ourselves, and to others. Action which - relates to a designing mind, that exists eternally,
Vol. I. 162, which Mr. Chubb denies matter.to have done, p. 163. God, and matter in Mr. Chubb's opinion are infinitely distinct: the one a necessary existence, the other not. If therefore the mind of man is capable of religion, that is, of acting by choice, in obedience to God's will, .or in reference to his glory; this being the first end at which man levels his actions; and on which depends his right conduct towards God's creation ; it will follow, that if the mind of man be only material and perishing, notwithstanding its thus forming and conducting its aims and actions; then, the principles and motives of action do not produce any effects upon the agent, that are equal or agreeable to their nature and
force. For man having the will of an eternal, - immutable spirit, as the chosen rule of its af
fections, even the eternal, invariable rule of right; yet, this rational and moral mind in man :'remains perishable! : : ww ; Mr. Chubb seemis not to have weighed well his own principles ; nor enough to have attended
to the capacities of the human mind. For al: though we cannot form any idea of the substra
tum of thought, yet, we discern that the human mind does increase in its power and abilities by use and exercise. It does so in speculative abilities, as well as in the habits of its action. But then, with me, it appears evident, that we must distinguish between the habitudes of action. As thus , if the mind of man employs itself habitually upon principles that are only relative to
the necessities, conveniences, and accommoda· tions of this present, temporary life, in which · he takes a first care to secure there, as his great
scope and end; he cannot be said to have attained those habitudes of action that, are immortal: because of his utmost scope and aim
being limited and confined to temporal and pe-, rishing good. But if the mind of man, employs ito: fof habitually upon principles that are relative to religion, that is, to the doing of the will of God, and obtaining his approbation, who is an inmuta-, ble, eternal Spirit, and in whom man centers all his reverence, trust, hope, and joy; then, the human mind fo habituated to religious action, imbibes principles that are immortal ; because the scope and aim of his whole deportment has the favour of God, as its end. “And God being in himself immutable and eternal ; his favour, or an interest in his perfections, thus cbtained, must be immutable and eternal: So that as the human mind, may, or may not habituate itself to such principles of action; it may, or may not have che poffeffion of life eternál.
And as to the Christian revelation, I understand it, in the great design of its doctrine, to inculcate the certainty of life eternal; it being in the above manner attainable. Nor only so, but I take the resurrection of Jesus Christ to be in direct evidence of that certainty.---The objections made to the publickness of the testimony, are, with me very trilling. For, had not the JewSenbedriin and people, together with Pil te the Roman governor,' who put our Lord to death, full evidence that he was dead, by the foldiers piercing his Side with a spear? ‘And did they not feal his fepulchre, and set a watch over it? In these circumstances he arose, and within the time he himself had foretold. Allo his appearances to his disciples were such as give them entire satisfaction, that he was risen. Nor could the few nation complain of any want of evidence, in that his apostles did afterward work miracles in his name: in his, the name of the very same person whom they told the Jew nation, that c ii O 2 .
they had, by wicked bands crucified and Main, but God bad exalted him to be both Lord and Christ ! - This fact should be refuced, before any objection can be fairly made to his not rising
publickly Še&t. Mr. Chubb feems inclined to attempt an overXXIX. throw of it. . The manner of his operation is Another this; he labours to fhew, That the principal attempt to inväli- controversy with the apostles, was, whether Chridate mira- stianity was a supplement to Judaism, or Judaism cles from was to be abolished by the introduction of Chri
aritha ftianity. And if miracles were not proper evinity, being'a Sup. dences of the truth and divinity of the do Etrines plement to atove-mentioned ; tben, how come they to be so in Judaism. any other case? Vol. II. p. 243, 244.
This Objection will vanish, when we consider, that the history never once intimates that any one of the apostles either did, or could work a miracle to determine any one controversial difference, or matter of speculative debate. The special power could only operate in evidence of Christ's being the promised Messiah, and that the doctrine he had taught, was of God. It supported the doctrine of remission of sins, without sacrifice ; which had not been the doctrine of the Jew ritual. Nor do any one of the apostles ever in the least difagree, as to the design of the miraculous power being exerted. In the great controversy which had arisen among some few zealots, who would have annexed circumcision to Chriftianity, AEts xv. the apostles wrought no miracle to decide the controversy: for so far from disagreeing in their opinion, they all unite in their verdict; yea, in a full afsembly they pitch upon Paul and Barnabas, who they call their beloved, to go to the Gentiles. Neither is it matter of surprize, that debates fhould arise among the first few.converts, who were prejudiced strongly in favour of circumcifion. Or, that the Apostles to the Jews, and those to the Gentiles, should take different measures with thein, as the different state of their people's prejudices would require. But in this, miracles are never said to be wrought in support of the one, or of the other measures of conduct.
Miracles are objected to, because they were no Sea. protection to the apostles :-though this seems to me XXX, paft belief. Vol. I. p. 208.
- Miracles But what if miracles were never intended to be no protec.
tion to the used by the apostles to screen them from perfecu-a tion? what then will follow? why, that the objection has no foundation in truth or reason. And I am afraid a greater objection would have been raised against them, if our Lord had allowed his apostles such use of miraculous power. Indeed during his own personal ministrations, the miraculous power did fecure both Cbrift himself and his disciples from all violence and stratagem, till the hour came in which he was to resign or lay aside for a season, that morphe, or form of God, which he had been invested withal, in order to take on him the form of a Nave. But the miraculous power could not be intended, after Christ's ascension, to protect the apostles, except in some special cases, from evil; for then the predictions of their mafter would have been false, who had told them, that they should undergo great persecutions.
Mr. Chubb objekts to the truth of facts recorded of the apostles, and thinks, that they have marks Sea.. of incredibility upon them; such as the effufion of XXXI. the spirit at pentecoft, Acts ii. beg. p. 212. And
And Marks of
u incredibithe miracles by bankerchiefs and aprons, Acts litvino xix. 11, 12. savouring of fiction. p. 214. And to racles Matth. viii. 7, 8. p. 215. upon which he says, that themthe casting out devils, and curing diseases, in the felves. use of bandkerchiefs and aprons, look too much like juggling and cb:at, &c.—He objets also to the