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his days, and the his hand. He sh satisfied: by his justify many; for will I divide him ? vide the spoil with his soul unto death gressors; and he sion for the transg THESE words are the predictions of fore the Christian ‹

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ars, is presumed Isaiah were deliver the solemnity belon delivered, was all a to refer to somethi of the author. Th cerning the design book of Ecclesiasti what should come them that mourned to pass for ever, an (ch. xhem $4.)

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and to have been falsely ascribed to Christ; and observe what extraordinary coincidences (accidentally, as it must in that case have been) attend the forger's mistake.

First, that we have Zacharias in the book of Chronicles, whose death, and the manner of it, corresponds with the allusion.

Secondly, that although the name of this person's father be erroneously put down in the gospel, yet we have a way of accounting for the error. by showing another Zacharias in the Jewish scriptores, much better known than the former, whose patronymic was actually that which appears in the text.

Every one who thinks upon the subject, will find these to be circumstances, which could not have met together in a mistake, which did not proceed from the circumstan ces themselves.

I have noticed, I think, all the difficulties of this kind. They are few; some of them admit of a cleat. offers of a probable solution. The reader will compare then with the number, the variety, the closeness, and the satisfacte riness of the instances which are to be set agains: tiem : and he will remember the scautiness, in any cases. O our intelligence, and that difcuties always attent imperfect information.


Underigned Convater Lea

BETWEEN the letters with bear the unme of St. Ferd in our collection, and his history in the Art of the proces there exist many notes of correspondency. The spe perusal of the writings is went to prise that seliber the history was taken from the letters for the letters from the history. And the wateriguedness of the agree ments, which undesignedness is gathered from their late cy, their minuteness, their obliquity, the suitableness of the those circumstances occur, and the circuitous references circumstances in which they consist, to the places in which by which they are traced out. demonstrates that they have not been produced by meditation, or by any fraudulent But coincidences, from which these causes accounted for by accidental concurrences of fiction, test are excluded. and which are too close and numerous to be


necessar's have truth for their foundation.


this Dint

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This argument appeared to my mind of so much value (especially for its assuming nothing beside the existence of the books) that I have pursued it through St. Paul's thirteen epistles, in a work published by me four years ago under the title of Horæ Paulinæ. I am sensible how feebly any argument, which depends upon an induction of particulars, is represented without examples. On which account, I wished to have abridged my own volume, in the manner in which I have treated Dr. Lardner's in the preceding chapter. But, upon making the attempt, I did not find it in my power to render the articles intelligible by fewer words than I have there used. I must be content therefore, to refer the reader to the work itself. And I would particularly invite his attention to the observations which are made in it upon the three first epistles. I persuade myself that he will find the proofs, both of agreement and undesignedness, supplied by these epistles, sufficient to support the conclusion which is there maintained, in favor both of the genuineness of the writings, and the truth of the narrative.

It remains only in this place, to point out how the argument bears upon the general question of the Christian history.

First, St. Paul in these letters affirms, in unequivocal terms, his own performance of miracles, and, what ought particularly to be remembered, "that miracles were the signs of an apostle."* If this testimony come from St. Paul's own hand, it is invaluable. And that it does so, the argument before us fixes in my mind a firm assurance.

Secondly, it shows that the series of action, represented in the epistles of St. Paul, was real, which alone lays a foundation for the proposition, which forms the subject of the first part of our present work, viz. that the original witnesses of the Christian history devoted themselves to lives of toil, suffering, and danger, in consequence of their belief of the truth of that history, and for the sake of communicating the knowledge of it to others.

Thirdly, it proves that Luke, or whoever was the author of the Acts of the apostles (for the argument does not depend upon the name of the author, though I know no reason for questioning it) was well acquainted with St. Paul's history; and that he probably was, what he professes himself to be, a companion of St. Paul's travels: which, if true, establishes, in a considerable degree, the

* Rom. xv. 18, 19. 2 Cor. xii. 12.

credit even of his gospel, because it shows that the writer from his time, situation, and connexions, possessed opportunities of informing himself truly concerning the transactions which he relates. I have little difficulty in applying to the gospel of St. Luke what is proved concerning the Acts of the apostles, considering them as two parts of the same history; for, though there are instances of second parts being forgeries, I know none where the second part is genuine, and the first not so.

I will only observe, as the sequel of the argument, though not noticed in my work, the remarkable similitude between the style of St. John's gospel, and of St. John's first epistle. The style of St. John's is not at all the style of St. Paul's epistles, though both are very singular; nor is it the style of St. James's or of St. Peter's epistle; but it bears a resemblance to the style of the gospel inscribed with St. John's name, so far as that resemblance can be expected to appear, which is not in simple narrative, so much as in reflections, and in representation of discourses. Writings, so circumstanced, prove themselves, and one another, to be genuine. This correspondency is the more valuable, as the epistle itself asserts, in St. John's manner indeed, but in terms sufficiently explicit, the writer's personal knowledge of Christ's history; "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you."* Who would not desire, who perceives not the value of an account, delivered by a writer so well informed as this?


Of the History of the Resurrection.

THE history of the resurrection of Christ is a part of the evidence of Christianity; but I do not know, whether the proper strength of this passage of the Christian history, or wherein its peculiar value as a head of evidence, consists, be generally understood. It is not that, as a miracle, the resurrection ought to be accounted a more decisive proof of supernatural agency than other miracles are; it is not that, as it stands in the gospels it is better attested than some others; it is not, for either of these reasons,

. C. i. 1. 3.


that more weight belongs to it than to other miracles, but for the following, viz. that it is completely certain, that the apostles of Christ and the first teachers of Christianity, asserted the fact. And this would have been certain, if the four gospels had been lost, or never written. Every piece of scripture recognizes the resurrection. Every epistle of every apostle, every author contemporary with the apostles, of the age immediately succeeding the apostles, every writing from that age to the present, genuine or spurious, on the side of Christianity or against it, concur in representing the resurrection of Christ as an article of his history, received without doubt or disagreement by all who callel themselves Christians, as alleged from the beginning by the propagators of the institution, and alleged as the centre of their testimony. Nothing. I apprehend, which a man does not himself see or hear, can be more certain to him than this point. I do not mean that nothing can be more certain than that Christ rose from the dead; but that nothing can be more certain, than that his apostles, and the first teachers of Christianity, gave out that he did so. In the other parts of the gospel narrative, a question may be made, whether the things related of Christ, be the very things which the apostles and the first teachers of the religion delivered concerning him. And this question depends a good deal upon the evidence we possess of the genuineness, or rather, perhaps of the antiquity, credit, and reception of the books. Upon the subject of the resurrection no such discussion is necessary, because no such doubt can be entertained. The only points which can enter into our consideration, are, whether the apostles knowingly published a falsehood, or whether they were themselves deceived; whether either of these suppositions be possible. The first, I think, is pretty generally given up. The nature of the undertaking, and of the men; the extreme unlikelihood that such men should engage in such a measure as a scheme; their personal toils and dangers and sufferings in the cause; their appropriation of their whole time to the object; the warm and seemingly unaffected zeal and earnestness with which they profess their sincerity, exempt their memory from the suspicion of imposture. The solution more deserving of notice, is that which would resolve the conduct of the apostles into enthusiasm, which would class the evirist's resurrection with the numerous stories


of the apparitions of dead men.

mstances in the narrative, as it is pre

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