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receives it the heir of all things, extending in every way to the east, and to the west, to the north and to the south."
As Philo has no where mentioned the person of Christ, so he no where mentions the death of Christ. This is a circumstance of the highest moment, as it proves that our Saviour washes away the impurities of men in no other way than by teaching them to become holy and virtuous. Philo witnessed the improper use, which the mistaken friends and the disguised enemies of the Gospel were making of the death of Christ; and he passes over it in silence, thus shutting the door of the Christian church in Egypt against the atonement, and other influx of Heathenism, as foreign to the religion of Jesus. This great and good man had received Christianity as it came simple and unadulterated from the mouth of Christ. The converts in Egypt and Palestine, whom he has so eloquently described, fully justified his opinion. They were purified from the disorders of vice, and qualified by faith in Jesus for a divine inheritance; and yet their creed merely was, that they worshipped and obeyed the only true God through Jesus Christ.
“Because it is written, Be ye holy as I am holy. And if you call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth every man according to his works, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear; knowing that ye were redeemed from the unavailing mode of worship*, delivered by your fathers, not with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, but with the honoured blood of Christ, as of a lamb, spotless and unblemished, foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in these last days for your sakes, who through him believe in God that raised him from the dead, and gave bim glory; so that your faith and hope in God that
The original is avasgeøn, behaviour, conduct, or the mode in which a man conducts himself in regard to God, i, e. the 'inode of worshipping him.
he will raise you also. Having purified your souls by obeying the truth, cherish brotherly kindness without hypocrisy, and from a pure heart, and earnestly love one another. Having been born again, not from corruptible seed, but from seed that is incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and remaineth for ever.” 1 Pet. i. 16—24. Our Saviour considered the paschal lamb which commemorated the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage as a type of his death, which was intended to deliver men from the bondage of sin. When the reality came to pass, the shadow vanished away. Hence our Lord instituted his supper in order to supersede the paschal lamb as celebrated by the Jews. Matt. xxvi. 26. To this passage Peter here alludes : hence the mention of a lamb, spotless and unblemished, in connection with the blood of Christ; hence too he says, that the death of Jesus was foreknown before the beginning of the world, though not fulfilled till the latter days of the Jewish dispensation. This allusion moreover explains the reason why we are said to be redeemed or ransomed by the honoured blood of Christ, not from our sins, but from an unavailing mode of worship, that is, from the burdensome, yet unprofitable, rites of the law; the ordinances of the law, and the sacrifice of the paschal lamb in the number, being abolished by his death. No efficacy then, either to appease the wrath of God, or to purify men from their sins, is in this passage of Peter imputed to the blood of Christ. Our Lord, as he instituted the sacrament before his death, could only allude to his resurrection, as the efficacious means of purifying men from their sins. But Peter now writing after that event, brings it forward, and renders it prominent as the true source of the purification which the Gospel was calculated to produce. They believed in God that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, so that they had faith and hope in God that he will raise them also. Under the influence of this faith and hope, by obeying the truth, i. e. by embracing the Gospel, which was the truth or reality, in contradistinction to the Mosaic rites, which were its shadow, they purified their souls, and were born again to a new life of virtue, purity, and benevolence.
PART THE SECOND.
The conversion of Paul according to Gamaliel Smith a
scheme of personal ambition.-His objections against
the narrative of Paul's conversion stated and refuted. THE object of the work " Not Paul but Jesus” is thus briefly stated by the author :-1. That Paul had no such commission as he professed to have ;-2. That his entero" prize was a scheme of ambition, and nothing more ;3. That his system of doctrine is fraught with mischief in a variety of shapes, and, in so far as it departs from or adds to those of Jesus, with good in none ;--and that it has no warrant in any thing that, as far as appears from any of the four Gospels, was ever said or done by Jesus.
In making out these novel charges against one of the principal pillars of the Christian religion, Gamaliel Smith yet pretends to be a believer in its divine origin. Whatever renders Christianity more rational, renders it at the same time more worthy of acceptation. Convinced of this, Middleton, Lardner and Farmer have endeavoured to remove the rubbish that had been heaped upon it in the dark ages ; and Gamaliel, in imitation of these great men, professes to have for his object the removing of one thorn, which still remained to be plucked from the side of this much injured religion. This being the case, he hopes “by the clearing it of this incumbrance, not only, as yet unexampled purity, but additional extent may not unreasonably be expected to be given to it.”
Here I have to complain of a disingenuousness utterly unworthy of one, whose object is to enlighten mankind on a subject of the highest importance to their morals and happiness. The author of this work is not a believer in Revelation : and his pretence to imitate the example of the above venerable names, in removing the corruptions which, in the eye of reason, weigh down Christianity, is a mere snare to entrap his readers: and if this publication succeeded, it might soon be followed by another from the same pen, entitled, “Neither Paul nor Jesus." The whole of this work is penned in the same spirit of disingenuousness and even dishonesty; and my object is not merely to prove the futility of his arguments, but to show that these arguments are too obviously inconsistent, false, and absurd, to be believed even by the author himself. Gamaliel Smith, through metaphysical subtlety, or the abuses of Christianity, or some unhappy early bias, became an unbeliever in the Gospel ; and the present work is a laboured effort of his own imagination, without one particle of truth, first to justify himself in believing, and next to induce others to believe Christianity to be a system of imposture. The person therefore, who undertakes to answer Gamaliel Smith, will have the painful task not only to silence petty cavils, to unravel sophistry,to correct misrepresentations, to expose ignorance, but also to detect fraud, and to brand falsehood and imposition in a writer, who on other subjects has the fairest claims on the gratitude and admiration of the human race. Since the publication of this work, certain persons * who look to this casuist as an oracle, have been industrious to trumpet him forth as
* I allude to the conductors of the Examiner-men who seldom miss an opportunity to vilify the Christian Religion-men, nevertheless, who have a
Jarge claim on the gratitude and patronage of the public, as being on all occasions the able and consistent advocates of civil and religious libertyas