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LECTURES




IN



DIVINITY.



BY THE LATE



HE LAI

GEORGE HILL, D. D.

PRINCIPAL OF ST. Mary's college, st. Andrews.



EDITED FROM HIS MANUSCRIPT,
BY HIS SON,

THE REV. ALEXANDER HILL,

MINISTER OF DAILLY.



SECOND EDITION.



VOL. L



EDINBURGH:
PRINTED FOR WAUGH & INNES;

M. OGLE, GLASGOW; U. M. TIMS, DUBLIN ; AND JAMES DUNCAN, LONDON.

M.DCCC.XXV.



>-«rfk



PRINTED BY A. BALI OUK AND CO.



PREFACE
BY THE EDITOR.



The Author of the following Lectures was appoint-
ed Professor of Divinity in 1788, and completed the
plan which he had formed for himself, in about four
years. In every succeeding year, he revised with
unwearied care that part of his course which he in-
tended to read to his students ; and not a few of the
Lectures appear to have been recently transcribed.
He took no steps himself for publishing them as a
whole ; but he is known to have had this in contem-
plation ; and at his death he consigned them to the
Editor, in such terms as implied that the publication
of them would not be in opposition to his wishes.

It will be agreeable, the Editor believes, to the
wishes of that large proportion of the ministers of
the church of Scotland, who went from the hall of
St. Mary's College with unfeigned respect for the
character and talents of the Author, to peruse those
prelections which commanded the attention of their
earlier years. And he is well persuaded, that there
are many, who, from personal attachment to the Au-
thor, or from a knowledge of his high reputation, are



IV PREFACE.

anxious to become acquainted with his sentiments,
on points so important as those which his Lectures
embrace.

These considerations alone, however, would not
have induced the Editor to disclose his father's ma-
nuscripts to the public eye. In the conclusion of his
opening address, as Professor of Divinity, the Author
pledged himself by making this solemn declaration :
*' Under the blessing and direction of the Almighty,
in whose hands I am, and to whom I must give ac-
count, no industry or research, no expense of time or
of thought, shall be wanting on my part, to render
my labours truly useful to the students of divinity
in this college." It was under a strong impression
that this pledge has been fully redeemed; — in the firm
belief that the publication of his theological lectures,
one of the principal fruits of the Author's active and
laborious life, will do honour to his memory ; — and
in the anxious hope that the object, for which the
Lectures were written, to teach and to defend " the
truth as it is in Jesus," may be thus more largely
attained, that the Editor resolved to present them to
the world.

He cannot withdraw from the charge, which he
has felt it both a duty and a pleasure to fulfil, with-
out expressing the increased veneration, which an
attentive perusal of the Lectures has excited in his
bosom for the Author ; and without offering a fer-
vent prayer to God, that the church, of which he
formed so distinguished a member, may never want
men, on whom the example of his diligence and sue-



PREFACE. V

cess may freely operate, who may be equally emi-
nent in biblical and theological learning, and may
cherish his liberal, enlightened, and truly Christian
views.

The Author himself divided his course into Books,
and Chapters, and Sections, first when he printed the
heads of his Lectures for the use of his students, and
afterwards in a larger work, entitled " Theological
Institutes." In the present publication the same ar-
rangement has been adopted. This has necessarily
led to some inconsiderable changes on the Lectures,
as they were read from the chair. But the Editor
has been scrupulous in making as few other altera-
tions on the manuscript as possible. The introduc-
tory discourse to the students, which related to the
sentiments and character essential for them to main-
tain, has been much abridged, as it bore in some
measure upon local circumstances in the University
of St. Andrews. And towards the end of this work,
it will be found, by a reference to the notes, that
those parts of the course have been omitted, which the
Author himself had previously given to the public.

It was the wish of the Editor to subjoin a note of
reference to every quotation made by the Author.
But in the manuscript it frequently happened that
there was nothing to lead him particularly to the
passage or authority cited. In his remote situation
he had not access to all the books which it was ne-
cessary to consult ; and even with the assistance of
his friends, he has not been uniformly successful in



CONTENTS OF VOL. I.



BOOK I.

EVIDENCES OP THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.

Page
INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE, . . 1

Belief of a Deity founded on the constitution of the Human
Mind — Almost universal — Moral government of God traced
in the constitution of Human Nature, and the state of the
world — Brought to light hy the Gospel.

CHAP. I.

COLLATERAL EVIDENCE OF CHRISTIANITY FROM HISTORY, . 18

CHAP. II.

AUTHENTICITY AND GENUINENESS OF THE BOOKS OF THE NEW

TESTAMENT, ...... 22

Sect. 1. External Evidence of their authenticity full and va-
rious—Internal marks.
2. Various readings — Sources of correction.



CONTENTS.



CHAP. III.



Page
INTERNAL EVIDENCE OF CHRISTIANITY, . 34

Manner in which the claim of containing a divine revelation is
advanced in the New Testament — Contents of the Books —
System of religion and morality — Condition of the sacred
writers — Character of Jesus Christ and of the Apostles.

CHAP. IV.

DIRECT OR EXTERNAL EVIDENCE OF CHRISTIANITY MIRACLES, 52

Sect 1. Argument from the miracles of Jesus — Uniformity of the
course of nature — Power of the Almighty to interpose
— Communication of this power a striking mark of a
divine commission — Harmony between the internal
and external evidence of Christianity — Miracles of the
Gospel illustrate its peculiar doctrines.

2. Mr. Hume's argument against miracles — Circumstances
which render the testimony of the Apostles credible —
Confirmation of their testimony — Faith of the first
Christians — Manner in which the miracles of Jesus are
narrated — No opposite testimony.

3. How far the argument from miracles is affected by the
prodigies and miracles mentioned in history — Duration
of miraculous gifts in the Christian church.

CHAP. V.

ILLUSTRATION OF THE EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY, 104

John xi. Exhibition of character — The historian — The other
Apostles — The family of Lazarus — Our Lord — Resurrection
of Lazarus — Effects produced by the miracle.

CHAP. VI.

EXTERNAL EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY PROPHECY, 138

Sect. 1. Antiquity and integrity of the books of the Old Testa-
ment — Hope of the Messiah founded on the received
' interpretation of the prophecies.

2. Correspondence between the circumstances of Jesus, and
the predictions of the Old Testament.



CONTENTS. XI

Page

3. Direct prophecies of the Messiah — Double sense of pro-
phecy — Not inconsistent with the nature of prophecy
— Supported by the general use of language.

4.. Quotations in the New Testament from the Old Testa-
ment.

5. Amount of the argument from prophecy.

CHAP. VII.

PREDICTIONS DELIVERED BY JESUS, . 183

Magnificence and extent of the system of prophecy — Jesus the
object of the old prophecies, and the author of new ones —
Advantages of attending to the prophecies of our Lord and
his Apostles — Clearness and importance of his predictions
— Specimens.

CHAP. VIII.

aESUKRECTION OP CHRIST, . . 2H

Resurrection of Christ an essential fact in the history of his re-
ligion — Evidence upon which it rests — Evidence of it in these
later ages — Universal belief of the fact — Clear testimony of
the Apostles — Their extraordinary powers.

CHAP. IX.

PROPAGATION OF CHRISTIANITY, . . 261

Sect. 1. When the success of a religious system forms a legiti-
mate argument for its divine original — Progress of
Mahometanism and Christianity compared.

2. Secondary causes of the progress of Christianity assign-

ed by Mr. Gibbon considered.

3. Rank and character of some of the early Converts to

Christianity.

4. Measure of the effect produced by the means employed

in propagating the Gospel— Objections drawn from it
— Answers.



Xll CONTENTS.

BOOK II.

GENERAL VIEW OF THK SCRIPTURE SYSTEM.

CHAP. I.

Page
INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE, . . 305

Inspiration not impossible — Three degrees of it — Necessary to
the Apostles for the purposes of their mission — Promised by
our Lord — Claimed by themselves — Admitted by their dis-
ciples — Not contradicted by any thing in their writings.

CHAP. II.

PECULIAR DOCTRINES OF CHRISTIANITY, . 341

CHAP. III.

CHRISTIANITY OF INFINITE IMPORTANCE, . 374

Sect. 1. The Gospel a republication of Natural Religion — Mis-
takes occasioned by the use of this term.
2. The Gospel a method of saving sinners — Duties conse-
quent upon the revelation of this method.

CHAP. IV.

DIFFICULTIES IN THE SCRIPTURE SYSTEM, . 404

Difficulties to be expected — Extent of our knowledge.
CHAP. V.

USE OF REASON IN RELIGION, . . 415

CHAP. VI.

CONTROVERSIES OCCASIONED BY THE SCRIPTURE SYSTEM, 429

Multiplicity of Theological Controversies — Platonic and Peri-
patetic Philosophy — Progress of Science — Authority of the
Fathers.

CHAP. VII.

ARRANGEMENT OF THE COURSE, . . 445

The Gospel a remedy for sinners — All opinions respecting it
relate to the Persons by whom the remedy is brought, or to
the nature, extent, and application of the remedy — Church
government.



LECTURES IN DIVINITY.



BOOK I.

EVIDENCES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE.

1 HE professed design of students in divinity is to
prepare for a most honourable and important officcj
for being workers together with God in that great
and benevolent scheme, by which he is restoring the
virtue and happiness of his intelligent offspring, and
for holding, with credit to themselves and with ad-
vantage to the public, that station in society, by the
establishment of which the wisdom of the state lends
its aid to render the labours of the servants of Christ
respectable and useful. Learning, prudence, and
elociuence never can be so worthily employed as
when they are devoted to the improvement of man-
kind ; and a good man will find no exertion of his
talents £o pleasing as that by which he endeavours
to make other men such as they ought to be. We
expect the breast of every student of divinity to
be possessed with these views. If any person is
devoid of them, if he despises the office of a minister
of the gospel, if the character of his mind is such as



21 INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE.

to derive no satisfaction from the employments of
that office, or from the object towards which they
are directed, he ought to turn his attention to some
other pursuit. He cannot expect to attain eminence
or to enjoy comfort in a station, for which he car-
ries about with him an inward disqualification ; and
there is an hypocrisy most disgraceful and most
hurtful to his moral character in all the external ap-
pearances of preparing for that station.

In attempting to lead you through that course of
study which is immediately connected with your
profession, I begin with what is called the Deistical
Controversy, that is, with a view of the Evidences
of Christianity, and of the various questions which
have arisen in canvassing the branches of which
they are composed.

I assume, as the ground-work of every religious
system, these two great doctrines, that " God is,
and that He is a rewarder of them that seek him." *
When I say that I assume them, I do not mean that
human reason unassisted by revelation was ever
able to demonstrate these doctrines in a manner
satisfactory to every understanding. But I mean
that these doctrines are agreeable to the natural im-
pressions of the human mind, and that any religious
system which j)urifies them from the manifold errors
with which they have been incorporated, corresponds,
in that respect, to the clear deductions of enlighten-
ed reason.

It is not my province to enter into any detail
upon the proofs of these two doctrines of natural re-
ligion ; and I am afraid to engage in discussions

* Hebrews xi. 6.



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 9

which have been conducted with much erudition
and metaphysical acuteness, lest I should be enticed
to employ too large a portion of your time in review-
ing them. Leaving you to avail yourselves of the
copious sources of information which writers upon
this subject afford, I will not enumerate, far less at-
tempt to appreciate the different modes of reasoning
which have been adopted in proof of the being of
God, and his moral government. But, having as-
sumed these doctrines, I think it proper to give, by
way of introduction to my course, a short view of
the manner in which it appears to me that they may
be established as the ground-work of all religion.

When we say that there is a God, we mean that
the universe is the work of an intelligent Being ;
that is, from the things which we behold, we infer
the existence of what is not the object of our senses.
To show that the inference is legitimate, we must
be able to state the principles upon which it pro-
ceeds, or the steps of that process by which the
mind advances from the contemplation of the ob-
jects with which it is conversant, to the conviction
of the existence of their Creator. These principles
are found in the constitution of the human mind, in
sentiments and perceptions which are natural and
ultimate, which are manifested by all men upon va-
rious occasions, and which are only followed to their
proper conclusion when they conduct us to the know-
ledge of God. One of these sentiments and percep-
tions appears in the spirit of inquiry and investiga-
tion which universally prevails ; another is inva-
riably excited by the contemplation of order, beau-
ty, and design.

A spirit of inquiry and investigation has larger



4 INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE.

opportunities of exertion, it is better directed, and
is applied to nobler objects with some than with
others. But, to a certain degree, it is common to
all men, and traces of it are found amongst all ranks.
Now you will observe, that this spirit of inquiry is
■an effort to discover the cause of v/hat we behold.
And it proceds upon this natural perception, that
every new event, every thing which we see coming
into existence, every alteration in any being, is an
effect. Without hesitation we conclude that it has
been produced, and we are solicitous to discover the
cause of it. We begin our inquiries with eagerness ;
we pursue them as far as we have light to carry us ;
and we do not rest satisfied till we arrive at some-
thing which renders farther inquiries unnecessary.
This persevering spirit of inquiry which is daily ex-
erted about trifles finds the noblest subject of exer-
tion in the continual changes which we behold upon
the appearances of the heavenly bodies, upon the
state of the atmosphere, upon the surface of the
«arth, and in those hidden regions which the pro-
gress of art leads man to explore. To every atten-
tive and intelligent observer these continual changes
present the whole universe as an effect ; and, in con-
templating the succession of them, he is led, as by
the hand of nature, through a chain of subordinate
and dependent causes to that great original cause
from whom the universe derived its being, upon
whose operation depend all the changes of which it
is susceptible, and by whose uncontrolled agency all
events are directed.

Even without forming any extensive observations
upon the train of natural events, we are led by the
same spirit of inquiry from considering our own



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 5

species, to the knowledge of our Creator. Every
man knows that he had a beginning, and that he de-
rived his being from a succession of creatures like
himself. However far back he supposes this succes-
sion to be carried, it does not afford a satisfying ac-
count of the cause of his existence. By the same
principle which directs him in every other research,
he is still led to seek for some original Being, who
has been produced by none, and is himself the Fa-
ther of all. As every man knows that he came into
existence, so he has the strongest reason to believe
that the whole race to which he belongs had a begin-
ning. A tradition has in all ages been preserved of
the origin of the human race. Many nations have
boasted of antiquity. None have pretended to eter-
nity. All that their records contain beyond a certain
period is fabulous or doubtful. In looking back up-
on the history of mankind, we find them increasing
in numbers, acquiring a taste for the ornaments of
life, and improving in the liberal arts and sciences ;
so that unless we adopt without proof and against
all probability the supposition of successive deluges
which drown in oblivion all the attainments of civi-
lized nations, and spare only a few savage inhabi-
tants to propagate the race, w^e find in the state of
mankind all the marks of novelty which it must
have borne, had it begun to be some few thousand
years ago. But if the human race had a beginning,
we unavoidably regard it as an effect of which we
require some original cause ; and to the same cause
from which it derived existence we must also trace
the qualities by which the race is distinguished.
The Being who gave it existence must be capable of
imparting to it these qualities, that is, must possess



6 INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE.

them in a much higher degree. *' He that planted
the ear, shall he not hear ? He that formed the
eye, shall he not see ? He that teacheth man know-
ledge, shall not he know ?" * Thus, from the intel-
ligence of men, we necessarily infer that of their
Creator; while the number of intelligent beings
with whom we converse cannot fail to give us the
noblest idea of that original primary intelligence
from which theirs is derived.

While the spirit of inquiry which is natural to
man thus leads us from the consciousness of our
own existence to acknowledge the existence of one
supreme intelligent Being, the Father of Spirits,
we are conducted to the same conclusion by that
other natural perception which I said is invariably
excited by the contemplation of order, beauty, and
design.

The grandeur and beauty of external objects do
not seem to affect the other animals. But they af-
ford a certain degree of pleasure to all men ; and in
many persons a taste for them is so far cultivated
that the pleasures of imagination constitute a large
source of refined enjoyment. When grandeur and
beauty are conjoined as they seldom fail to be with
utility, they do not merely aftbrd us pleasure. We
not only perceive the objects which we behold, to be
grand and beautiful and useful ; but we perceive
them to be effects produced by a designing cause.
In viewing a complicated machine, it is the design
which strikes us. In admiring the object, we ad-
mire the mind that formed it. Without hesitation
we conclude that it had a former ; and, although ig-

* Pbul. xciv. 0, 10.



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. ,7

noraiit of every other circumstance respecting him,
we know this much, that he is possessed of intelli-
gence, our idea of which rises in proportion to the
design discovered in the construction of the machine.
By this principle, which is prior to all reasoning,
and of which we can give no other account than that
it is part of the constitution of the human mind, we
are raised from the admiration of natural objects to
a knowledge of the existence, and a sense of the per-
fections of Him who made them.

When we contemplate the works of nature, dis-
tinguished from those of art by their superior ele-
gance, splendour, and utility ; when we behold the
sun, the moon, and the stars, performing their offices
with the most perfect regularity, and although re-
moved at an immense distance from us, contribut-
ing in a high degree to our preservation and com-
fort ; when we view this earth fitted as a convenient
habitation for man, adorned with numberless beau-
ties, and provided not only with a supply of our
wants, but with every thing that can minister to our
pleasure and entertainment ; when, extending our
observation to the various animals that inhabit this
globe, we find that every creature has its proper
food, its proper habitation, its proper happiness ;
that the meanest insect as well as the noblest ani-
mal has the several parts of its body, the senses be-
stowed upon it, and the degree of perfection in which
it possesses them, adapted with the nicest i)ropor-
tion to its preservation and to the manner of life
which by natural instinct it is led to pursue ; when
we thus discover within our ov/n sphere, number^
less traces of kind and wise design, and when we
learn both by experience and by observation that



S INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE.

the works of nature, the more they are investigated
and known, appear the more clearly to be parts of
one great consistent whole, we are necessarily led
by the constitution of our mind to believe the being
of a God. Our faith does not stand in the obscure
reasonings of philosophers. We but open our eyes,
and discerning, wheresoever we turn them, the
traces of a wise Creator, we see and acknowledge
his hand. The most superficial view is sufficient
to impress our minds with a sense of his existence.
The closest scrutiny, by enlarging our acquaintance
with the innumerable final causes that are found in
the works of God, strengthens this impression, and
confirms our first conclusions. The more that we
know of these works, we are the more sensible that
in nature there is not only an exertion of power, but
an adjustment of means to an end, which is what
we call wisdom ; and an adjustment of means to the
end of distributing happiness to all the creatures,
which is the highest conception that we can form of
goodness.

A foundation so deeply laid in the constitution of
the human mind for the belief of a Deity has pro-
duced an acknowledgment of his being, almost uni-
versal. The idea of God, found amongst all nations
civilized in the smallest degree, is such that by the
slightest use of our faculties we must acquire it.
And accordingly, the few nations who are said to
have no notion of God are in a state so barbarous
that they seem to have lost the perceptions and sen-
timents of men.

The Atheist allows it to be necessary that some-
thing should have existed of itself from eternity.
But he is accustomed to maintain that matter in mo-



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 9

tion is sufficient to account for all those appearances
from which we infer the being of God. The absur-
dities of this hypothesis have been ably exposed.
He supposes that matter is self-existent, although it
has marks of dependence and imperfection inconsist-
ent with that attribute. He supposes that matter
has from eternity been in motion, that is, that mo-
tion is an essential quality of matter, although we
cannot conceive of motion as any other than an ac-
cidental property of matter, impressed by some cause,
and determined in its direction by foreign impulses.
He supposes that all the appearances of uniformity
and design which surround him can proceed from
irregular undirected movements. And he supposes
lastly, that although there is not a plant which does
not spring from its seed, nor an insect which is not
propagated by its kind, yet matter in motion can
produce life and intelligence, properties repugnant
in the highest degree to all the known properties of
matter.

I do not say that it is possible by reasoning to de-
monstrate that these suppositions are false ; and I do
not know that it is wise to make the attempt. The
belief of the being of God rests upon a sure founda-
tion, upon the foundation on which He himself has
rested it, if all the suppositions by which some men
have tried to set it aside contradict the natural per-
ceptions of the human mind. These are the language
in which God speaks to his creatures, a language
which is heard through all the earth ; and the words
of which are understood to the end of the world.
By listening to that language, we learn from the va-



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