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and ye shall see me; and, because I go to the Father! They said, therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? We cannot tell what he saith. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them," &c. John xvi. 16, et seq.

VII. The meekness of Christ during his last sufferings, which is conspicuous in the narratives of the three first evangelists, is preserved in that of St. John under separate examples. The answer given him, in St. John,* when the high priest asked him of his disciples and his doctrine, " I spake opeply to the world, I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort, and in secret have I said nothing, why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me what I have said unto them;" is very much of a piece with his reply to the armed party which seized him, as we read in St. Mark's gospel, and in St. Luke's :'+ 66 Are ye come out as against a thief, with swords and with staves, to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not.”

In both answers, we discern the same tranquillity, the same reference to his public teaching. His mild expostulation with Pilate upon several occasions, as related by St. John, is delivered with the same unruffled temper, as that which conducted him through the last scene of his life, as described by his other evangelists. His answer, in St. John's gospel, to the officer who struck him with the palm of his hand, “ If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me ?''$ was such an answer, as might have been looked for from the person, who, as he proceeded to the place of execution, bid his companions (as we are told by St. Luke,)|| weep not for him, but for themselves, their posterity, and their country; and who prayed for his murderers, whilst he was suspended upon the cross, • For they know not (said he) what they do.” The urgency also of his judges and bis prosecutors to extort from him a defence to the accusation, and his unwillingness to make any (which was a peculiar circumstance) appears in St. John's account, as well as that of the other evangelists.**

There are, moreover, two other correspondencies between St. John's history of the transaction and theirs, of a kind somewhat different from those which we have been now mentioning

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xviji. 20.

$ xxviii. 23.

+ Mark xiv. 48. Luke xxii. 52. xviii. 34. xix. 11. | xxiii, 28. ** See John xix. 9. Matt. xxvii. 14.

Luke xxiii, 9.


The three first evangelists record what is called our Saviour's agony, i. e. his devotion in the garden, immediately before he was apprehended; in which narrative they all make him pray, " that the cup might pass from him.” This is the peculiar metaphor which they all ascribe to him. St. Matthew adds, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except Idrink it, thy will be done.". Now St. John does not give the scene in the garden; but when Jesus was seized, and some resistance was attempted to be made by Peter, Jesus, according to his account, checked the attempt with this reply : “ Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup



Father hath given me, shall I pot drink it ?This is something more than bare consistency; it is coincidence: because it is extremely natural, that Jesus, who, before he was apprehended, had been praying his Father, that "that cup might pass from him," yet with such a pious retraction of his request, as to have added, “ If this cup may not pass from me, thy will be done;" it was natural, I say, for the same person, when he actually was apprehended, to express the resignation to which he had already made up his thoughts, and to express it in the form of speech which he had before used, "The


which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" This is a coincidence between writers, in whose narratives, there is no imitation, but great diversity,

A second similar correspondency is the following: Matthew and Mark make the charge, upon which our Lord. was condemned, to be a threat of destroying the temple ; “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple, made with hands, and, within three days I will build another made without hands ;''I but they neither of them inform us, upon what circumstance this calumny was founded. St. John, in the early part of his history,g supplies us with this information; for he relates, that; upon our Lord's first journey to Jerusalem, when the Jews asked him, “ What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? He answered, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” This agreement could hardly arise from any thing but the truth of the case. From any care or design in St. John, to make his narrative tally with the parratives of the other evangelists, it certainly did not arise, for no, such design appears, but the absence of it.

A strong, and more general instance of agreement, is the following: The three first evangelists have related the ap

urin 42 txviii. 11, Mark ziy, 5. ii. O.


pointment of the twelve apostles;* and have given a catalogue of their names in form. John, without ever mentioning the appointment, or giving the catalogue, supposes, throughout his whole narrative, Christ to be accompanied by a select party of disciples; the number of these to be twelve ;f and, whenever he happens to notice any one as of that number,f it is one included in the catalogue of the other evangelists; and the names principally occurring in the course of his history of Christ, are the names extant in their list. This last agreement, which is of considerable moment, runs through every gospel, and through every chapter of each.

All this bespeaks reality.


Originality of our Saviour's Character. THE Jews, whether right or wrong, had understood their prophecies to foretell the advent of a person, who, by some supernatural assistance, should advance their nation to independence, and to a supreme degree of splendour and prosperity. This was the reigning opinion and expectation of the times.

Now, had Jesus been an enthusiast, it is probable that his enthusiasm would have fallen in with the popular delusion, and that, whilst he gave himself out to be the

person intended by these predictions, be would have assumed the character, to which they were universally supposed to relate.

Had he been an impostor, it was his business to have flattered the prevailing hopes, because these hopes were to be the instruments of his attraction and success.

But what is better than conjectures, is the fact, that all the pretended Messiahs actually did so. We learn from Josephus that there were many of these. Some of them, it is probable, might be impostors, who thought that an advantage was to be taken of the state of public opinion. Others, perhaps, were enthusiasts, whose imagination had been drawn to this particular object, by the language and sentiments which prevailed around them. But, whether impostors or enthusiasts, they concurred in producing themselves in the character which their countrymen look

Matt, X. 1. Mark iii. 14. Luke vi. 12. #vi. 7. *xx. 24. vi. 71.

ed for, that is to say, as the restorers and deliverers of the nation, in that sense in which restoration and deliver. ance were expected by the Jews.

Why therefore Jesus, if he was like them, either an enthusiast or impostor, did not pursue the same conduct as they did in framing his character and pretensions, it will be found difficult to explain. A mission, the operation and benefit of which was to take place in another life, was a thing unthought of as the subject of these prophecies. That Jesus, coming to them as their Messiah, should come under a character totally different from that in which they expected him; should deviate from the general persuasion, and deviate into pretensions absolutely singular and original, appears to be inconsistent with the imputation of enthusiasm or imposture, both which by their nature, I should expect, would, and both which throughout the experience which this very subject furnishes, in fact hare followed, the opinions that obtained at the time.

If it be id, that Jesus, having tried the other plan, - turned at length to this; I answer that the thing is said without evidence; against evidence; that it was competent to the rest to have done the same, yet that nothing of this sort was thought of by any.

CHAP. VI. ONE argument which has been much relied upon, (but not more than its just weight deserves) is the conformity of the facts occasionally mentioned or referred to in scripture, with the state of things in those times, as represented by foreign and independent accounts. Which conformity proves, that the writers of the New Testament possessed a species of local knowledge, which could only belong to an inhabitant of that country, and to one living in that age. This argument, if well made out by examples, is very little short of proving the absolute genuineness of the writings. It carries them up to the age of the reputed au. thors, to an age, in which it must have been difficult to impose upon the Christian public forgeries in the names of those authors, and in which there is no evidence that any forgeries were attempted. It proves at least, that the books, whoever were the authors of them, were composed by persons living in the time and country in wbich these

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things were transacted, and, consequently, capable by their situation, of being well informed of the facts which they relate.

And the argument is stronger, when applied to the New Testament, than it is in the case of almost any other, writings, by reason of the mixed nature of the allusions which this book contains. The scene of action is not confined to a single country, but displayed in the greatest cities of the Roman empire. Allusions are made to the manners and principles of the Greeks, the Romans, and the Jews. This variety renders a forgery proportionably more difficult, especially to writers of a posterior age. A Greek or Roman Christian, who lived in the second or third century, would have been wanting in Jewish literature; a Jewish convert in those ages would have been equally deficient in the knowledge of Greece and Rome.*

This, however, is an argument which depends entirely upon an induction of particulars; and as, consequently, it carries with it little force, without a view of the instances upon which it is built, I have to request the reader's attention to a detail of examples, distinctly and articulately proposed. In collecting these examples, I have done no more than to epitomize the first volume of the first part of Dr. Lardner's credibility of the gospel history. And I have brought the argument within its present compass, first, by passing over some of his sections in which the accordancy appeared to me less certain, or upon subjects not sufficiently appropriate or circumstantial; secondly, by contracting every section into the fewest words possible, contenting myself for the most part with a mere apposition of passages; and, thirdly, by omitting many disquisitions, which, though learned and accurate, are not absolutely necessary to the understanding or verrification of the argument.

The writer, principally made use of in the inquiry, is Josephus. Josephus was born at Jerusalem four years after Christ's ascension. He wrote his bistory of the Jew. ish war some time after the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened in the year of our Lord seventy, that is thirty-seven years after the ascension; and his history of the Jews he finished in the year ninety-three, that is, sixty years after the ascension.

At the head of each article, I have referred by figures

Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament, (Marsh's translation) o. ii. Hec. ni.

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