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that oftentimes by very affecting representations, upon some of the most interesting topics, of human duty, and of human meditation : upon the principles, by which the decisions of the last day will be regulated * ; upon the superior, or rather the supreme importance of religion + : upon penitence, by the most pressing calls and the most encouraging invitations #; upon self-denial 8, watchfulness|l, placability (, confidence in God **, the value of spiritual, that is, of mental worship*f, the necessity of moral obedience, and the directing of that obedience to the spirit and principle of the law, instead of seeking for evasions in a technical construction of its terms

If we extend our argument to other parts of the New Testament, we may offer, as

* Matt. xxv. 31, et seq. of Mark, viii. 35. Matt. vi. 31-33.Luke, xii. 4, 5.16--21. I Luke, xv. § Matt. v. 29. ll Mark, xiii. 37. Matt. xxiv, 42.-XXV, 13. I Luke, xvii, 4.

Matt. xviii. 33, et seq. ** Matt. vi. 25-30. # John, iv, 23, 24. I Matt. v. 21.

amongst the best and shortest rules of life, or, which is the same thing, descriptions of virtue, that have ever been delivered, the following passages :

“Pure religion, and undefiled, before God, and the Father, is this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world ***

“ Now the end of the commandment is, charity, out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned -:."

6 For the grace

of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world 1."

Enumerations of virtues and vices, and those sufficiently accurate, and unquestionably just, are given by Saint Paul to his converts in three several epistles g.

* James, i. 27. f 1 Tim. i. 5. # Tit. ii. 11, 12.

Gal. v, 19. Col. iii. 12, 1 Cor. xiii.

The relative duties of husbands and wives, of parents and children, of masters and servants, of Christian teachers and their flocks, of governors and their subjects, are set forth by the same writer*, not indeed with the copiousness, the detail, or the distinctness, of a moralist, who should, in these days, sit down to write chapters upon the subject, but with the leading rules and principles in each ; and, above all, with truth, and with authority. .

Lastly, the whole volume of the New Testament is replete with piety; with, what were almost unknown to Heathen moralists, devotional virtues, the most profound veneration of the Deity, an habitual sense of his bounty and protection, a firm confidence in the final result of his councils and disa pensations, a disposition to resort, upon all occasions, to his mercy, for the supply of human wants, for assistance in danger, for relief from pain, for the pardon of sin.

Eph. v, 33. vi. 1. 5. 2 Cor. vi. 6, 7. Rom. xü.

CHAPTER III.

The candour of the writers of the New Tes

tament.

I MAKE this candour to consist, in their putting down many passages, and noticing many circumstances, which no writer whatever was likely to have forged; and which no writer would have chosen to appear in his book, who had been careful to present the story in the most unexceptionable form, or who had thought himself at liberty to carve and mould the particulars of that story, according to his choice, or according to his judgement of the effect.

A strong and well-known example of the fairness of the evangelists, offers itself in their account of Christ's resurrection, namely, in their unanimously stating, that, after he was risen, he appeared to his disciples

is made to say,

alone. I do not mean that they have used the exclusive word alone; but that all the instances which they have recorded of his appearance, are instances of appearance to his disciples ; that their reasonings upon it, and allusions to it, are confined to this

supposition; and that, by one of them, Peter “ Him God raised

up

the third day, and showed him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead *.” The most common understanding must have perceived, that the history of the resurrection would have come with more advantage, if they had related that Jesus appeared, after he was risen, to his foes as well as his friends, to the scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish council, and the Roman governor: or even if they had asserted the public appearance of Christ in general unqualified terms, without noticing, as they have done, the presence of his disciples on each occasion, and noticing it in such a manner as to lead their readers to

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