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EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY

THEIR EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL DIVISION:

EXHIBITED IN

A COURSE OF LECTURES,

BY CHARLES PETTIT M'ILVAINE, D. D.
BISHOP OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE STATE OF

OHIO.

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REVISED AND IMPROVED BY THE AUTHOR.

V PUBLISHED BY THE
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,

150 NASSAU-STREET, NEW YORK.

.5. 18t B

C1283. 110.35

+ARVARD COLLEGE LIBRART 1

Entered by the author, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

Right of publishing transferred to the American Tract Society.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTORY OBSERVATIONS, ........... 21

The difficulty of presenting the evidences of Christianity arises, not

from any lack of arguments, but from the difficulty of a just selec-

tion and arrangement where materials are so abundant, . . 22

I. The high importance of the investigation proposed, . . . . 23

The question is, Is the religion of Jesus Christ, as exhibited in the New

Testament, a revelation from God, and consequently possessed of a

sovereign right to universal faith and obedience? . . . . . 21

We must have the religion of Christ or none, ... ... 24

Deism, the only imaginable substitute, shown to offer no refuge, 25

The investigation urged on the experimentally convinced Christian, as

a matter of spiritual pleasure and improvement, and as a matter

of duty to the cause of truth, and to the good of his neighbor, 34

The same urged on the merely nominal Christian, as necessary to a

rational and steadfast belief of what he professes not to doubt, and

for a deeper impression of the solemnity of its truth, . . . 36

The investigation derives additional importance from the peculiar

character of the present times, as those of licentiousness, under the

boast of freedom, in such inquiries, . . . . . . . . . 38

It derives, also, advantage from the present times, as distinguished for

scientific research and discovery, . . . . . . . . . . 43

II. The importance of strict attention to the spirit in which this investi-

gation is conducted, .. .. ...... 46

The opposition between the precepts of Christianity and the natural

dispositions of man makes the question one of feeling as well as

evidence, and has a tendency to magnify objections, and to depre-

ciate the contrary, .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

The pride of human reason is often deeply offended at the claims of

Christianity, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

It is true of Christianity, as of many other very important matters of

truth, that objections are more easily invented than answered, 52

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