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The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature

Boston: E.P. Peabody, 1842


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INTRODUCTION.

our work, we were, what he perhaps is, a deist, or something very near it, and that, when we finished it, we found ourself a Christian, and a Christian more deeply convinced than any theologian, because our conviction was the result of the free and lawful use of our individual reason. Indeed, the evidence accumulated by this new method of studying the holy books, which consists in reading them as written, from beginning to end, in the language of nature, are more than sufficient to convince any man of good faith, or rather any man of good will, that Jesus Christ was not merely an extraordinary man, or a Prophet, greater than the others; that he was not merely an image of divinity, a spark of divinity, or an eternal Son of God, distinct from him as to personality; but that he was Jehovah himself, Jehovah in person; that, by making himself Jesus Christ, the hidden God, the metaphysical and incomprehensible God manifested himself; that it was by making himself Jesus Christ, that the infinite Being entered into communication with finite beings engrossed in matter; in a word, that, by appearing on the confines of his creation, to show his erring children as much love as he had shown them power, the God became also Redeemer.

Our ideas will, without doubt, appear extraordinary to more than one dais of readers; but who will dare to reproach .us" for them? When, in the nineteenth century, Christianity still appears in so precarious a state that philosophy dares to doubt its ultimate triumph, what danger can there be in trying some great means ? Does not an impartial view of Christian society, for eighteen hundred years past, with its hateful and inconceivable divisions, authorize us in -suspecting that, from the first, some great error has been committed which has obstructed the work of the regeneration of the universe ? and that, in consequence, there is some great obstacle which must be removed before truth can make its way? Is it not more than probable that the Infidels, and all those Christians, who are Christians only in name, would long ago have embraced the true faith, if the true faith had been rightly presented to them? Is it not more than probable that the miserable descendants of Israel, as well as those of our philosophers, who seek truth sincerely, would long ago have acknowledged the God who has manifested him-self upon our globe, if his majesty had not been degraded, as it were, before their eyes? If, in consequence, our deep conviction should be charged with temerity, if our courage should occasion scandal, we shall not retract, convinced as we are, with Saint Chrysostom, that, even if truth should cause scandal, it were better even to. suffer this scandal - - than to let truth perish.

What has most emboldened us in this great- enterprise, is the entire certainty that we have acquired, of being 'definitely on the road to that language of Nature, which, as every one will easily conceive, must have preceded all languages of convention; in which, indeed, we have found the greater part-of our holy books to be written, and which sheds over them collectively a light too strong and unexpected for deism to resist.

Nothing is more conformable to sound philosophy than the belief in the primitive existence of a language of nature. The greatest names in the learned world stand at the head of those philosophers who have occupied themselves with what they called a universal- language, of which, accordingly, they experienced the advantages, and which they



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