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The present constitution of the word, v tion, the religion, the liberty, or $2157 Dec which subfift in it, is but one ftage cheese rious prophecies, which were of oid devices tunes of individuals, nations and constres fay what Tertullian, speaking of the accur 1 prophecy, said in his--Quicquid agitat pretis.2437 detur audiebatur. The reader may fud ticis Bp. Newton in his Differtations on the Proper his Accomplishinent of Scripture Prophecy ; rés Argument in defence of Christianity ; brirem mons on the Circumftances of the Jewish Perse Truth of Christianity ; by the author of 101? tienne ; by the author of an Essay in the Independency of the Arabs ; by Bishops hue. in their Sermons preached at Warburiol's Eand Henry More, in their relpective wo: hịs Seçmon preached at Boyle's Lecture, 17

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p. 177

This Tract is the 4th chap. of us Gospel History, by Mackoight. You E tract familiar to them by a frequent per: very concise, but satisfactory anwens ing some parts of our Saviour's cuits credibility of miracles, &c. which 2:4ist in wanton mockery of religion, man sation, and which never fail to eart it, of thole who know not how to reply in the

of the Argument for the Truto ó';
arising from the conversion des

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made, is a proof of nothing but that the means were adequate to the
end, the cause to the effect. A falfe religion may be speedily and
widely spread by force or by fraud; or it may, by degrees, gain an
extensive eltablishment in the world, from its being propitious to
the follies, the vices, and passions of mankind; or from its being
first introduced in an unenlightened and credulous age ; or in a
country fitted by peculiar circumstances to foster and support it ; or
from a concurrence of many other human means. This may be
readily granted ; but that the Christian religion should have been
quickly propagated from Judea through the Roman Empire, during
the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, &c. by the human abili-
ties of the Apostles, appears to me to be an incredible fact. Those
who think otherwise would do well, in addition to the fact itself,
to consider the prophecies which were fulfilled when it took place.
es What motive, fays justin Martyr in his Apology (Reeve's
Traní.), could ever poffibly bave persuaded us to believe a crucified man
to be the first begotten of the unbegotten God, and that he would come
to judge the world, had we not met with those prophetic teftimo.
nies of him proclaimed so long before his incarnation ? Were we
not eye-witneiles to the fulfilling of them ? Did we not see the de-
folation of Judca, and men out of all nations profelyted to the faith
of his Apostles, and renouncing the ancient errors they were brought
up in? Did we not find the prophecies made good in ourselves, and fee
Christians in greater numbers, and in greater fincerity, from among
the Gentiles, than from the Jews and Samaritans. "--This argu-
ment has been infifted upon by Henry More in the firft vol. of his
works, where there is a chapter intituled, Veritas Evangelii demon-
kirata ex Succesu; by 7. Dirne in a discourse printed 1725, intituled,
The miraculous Success of the Gospel, a Proof of its divine Origin;
by Lefiey in his. Short Method with the Deifts ; by Millar in his Hif-
tory of the Propagation of Christianity, and Overthrow of Paganisin :
by. Tillotson in the 12th vol.-of his Serinons; by Leng in his Ser-
mons at Boyle's Lecture; by Jorlin in his Truth of the Christian
Religion ; by Leland in the 6th chapter of the ad part of his Defence
of Christianity : by Bp. Atterbury in his two Sermons on the Mira-
culous Propagation of the Gospel; by Bossuet in his Discourse on
Universal Hisory ; by Lardner in his Collection of Jewish Testi-
monies; by Powell in his 10th Discourse; by Benson in his Reafon.
ableness of Christianity; and by Young in the ad vol. of his Differ-
tations on Idolatrous Corruptions; where, also, there is a com-
pendious view, fupported by proper authorities, of the countries
through which the Apostles travelled in propagating the Gospel.

An Ejay on the Man of Sin, from Benson's Paraphrase

and Notes on St. Paul's Epifles. p. 268.

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That the Popish religion is the Chrisian religion, is a false po-
fition, and therefore Christianity may be true, though the religion

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of the Church of Rome be, in many of its parts, an impofture. This observation should be always kept in mind by such of our young men cf fashion, as are sent to finish their education by travelliog in Catholic countries, It may seem paradoxical to affert, that the corruptions of any religion can be proofs of its truth; yet the corruptions of the Christian ieligion, as practised by the Church of Rome, are certain proofs of the truth of the Chriftiaa religion ; inasmuch as they are exact completions of the prophecies which were delivered by Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John, concerning that apostasy from the faith, which was to take place, ia the latter times. I have known the infidelity of more than one young man happily removed, by Thewing him the characters of Popery delineated by St. Paul in his prophecy concerning the Man of Sin (2 Thef. ii. 1.), and in that concerning the apoftafy of the latter times (1 Tim. iv. 1). Bp. Hurd, in his 7th fermon at Warburton's Lecture, has given a concise hiftory of the charge of Antichristianism, which has, at different times, been brought against the Church of Rome. Dr. Whitaker, Regius Profetlor of Divinity at Cambridge, in his exercise for his degree at the Cominencement in 1582, supported this Thesis--Pontifex R manus eft ille Antichristus quem futurum Scriptura prædixit. He had, before that time, refuted the forty arguments by which Nicholas Sander boated that he had demonstrated that the Pope was not Antichrift. Whitaker's works are very well worth being looked into by those who would know what can be said for and against the other prineipal points in controversy between Proteftanis and Papitts, as well as against this primary pillar of the reformed faith-That the Hierarchy of the Church of Rome is the Little Horn of Daniel, the Man of Sin of St. Paul, and the Antichrift of St. John. The evidence arising froin the completion of the prophecies relative to the Rife, Charačter, and Fall of the Man of Sin, is an increasing evidence : it strikes us with more force than it struck our ancestors before the Reformation, and it will strike our pofterity, who hail obterve the different gradations of his decline, and his final catastrophe, with more force than it now strikes us,

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Observations on the History and Evidence of the Refur-
rection of Jesus Christ. By GILBERT WEST, E[q.
Lond. 1767. 6th. Ed. p. 289.
The Resurrection of Christ is the very corner-ftone on which the
hope of a Christian is built; for, if Christ be not risen, Christianity is
an imposture; and if Christ be risen, Christianity is true, and Deism
is a delusion, Whether Christ be, or be not risen from the dead,
is a question of fact, and must be decided (not by metaphysical dia
quisitions concerning the power of God to work a miracle, nor by
nice subtilties concerning the sufficiency of human testimony to el.
tablith the credibility of miracles, but) by fairly estimating the
weight of evidence for and against the fact. The main arguments

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which are brought to invalidate the fact of the Resurrection are des duced from the real, or seeming, differences in the accounts which the Evangelists have given of the circumstances which attended it ; and much labour has been employed in harmonizing the several accounts. But what if it should be admitted (1 do not fay that the concession is neceffary), that the accounts cannot in every little point be made to agree? Will you for that reaton disbelieve the fact itself? As well might you have disbelieved the report of those who should have faid, that they had seen the body of Cæsar dead, becaufe you would have foun:i them disagreeing, probably, in some minute points, relative to the number or situation of his wounds, to the time or manner of his being ftabbed in the Capitol. A flight dilagreement between the writers of the New Testament, in their re: lations of matiers of fact, is entirely analogous to what may be ob ferved every day in courts of justice ; no one, on account of a trifling difference in the testimonies of the witnesses, ever thinks of queltioning the existence of the fact in which they all agree, or of impeaching either their integrity, or competency to ettablish the fact. If the Evangelists do really differ from each other in their accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus, it is a proof that they did not write in concert, were not combined to impose a fable on the world'; and it is a proof, also, that what they wrote was not inspired in the manner which fome, with more piety than judgment, have supposed it to have been. Let the Deists make the most they can of the variations which they think may be found in the Evangelists; yet wilt they never be able to prove, that the facts inentioned by these writers respecting the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, and Aleension of Jesus Christ

, are not true : let them fasten upon the writers of the New Testainent as much human infirmity as they can ; yet will they never be able to prove that they were not divinely inspired in what they delivered concerning the doctrines necessary to be believed, and the duties neceffary to be performed, by all true disciples of Jesus Chrift.-The book which is here printed has been much esteemed ;

it has been translated both into German and French, and may be of great use to those whose religious principles are unsettled. Macknight, in bis Harmony, has endeavoured to reconcile the seeming inconfiftencies in the Evangelists relative to the resurrection. Lardner published some judicious observations on Macknig ist's plan. Benson has given his sentiments on the subject of the Resurrection in his Life of Chrift, and has answered the objections usually made to it. Bp. Newcome, in his Harmony, may be consulted on the subject with great advantage. A pamphlet, published many years ago, intituled, The Trial of the Witneffes of the Resurrection of Jesus, has been well received in the world; but the inost folid reasoning on the subject may be met with in a discourse concerning the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, by Humphrey Ditton, 5th ed. 1749. Fabricius, in the 44th chap. of his Delectus Argumentorum, mentions 28 'different authors on the Resurrection, and in the oth chap. of his. Lux Evangelica he adds above 20 more ; nor would it be a difficult taik greatly to enlarge his catalogue.

OF

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prophets, Christ and his apostles, were endued with divine authority, that they had a commission from God to act and teach as they did, and that he will verify their declarations concerning future things, and especially those concerning a future life, by the event : or, in other words, it is to receive the scriptures as our rule of life, and the foundation of all our hopes and fears. And as all those who regulate their faith and practice by the scriptures are Christians; so all those who disclaim that name, and pass under the general title of unbelievers, do also disavow this regard to the scriptures. But there are various classes of unbelievers. Some appear to treat the scriptures as mere forgeries; others allow them to be the genuine writings of those whose names they bear, but suppose them to abound with fictions, not only in the miraculous, but also in the common part of the history; others again allow this part, but reject that; and, lastly, there are others who seem to allow the truth of the principal facts, both common and miraculous, contained in the scriptures, and yet still call in question its divine authority, as a rule of life, and an evidence of a happy futurity under Christ our saviour and king. He, therefore, that would satisfy himself or others in the truth of the Christian religion, as opposed by these several classes of unbelievers, must inquire into these three things :

First, The genuineness of the books of the Old and New Testament.

Secondly, The truth of the principal facts contained in them, both common and miraculous. ' And,

Thirdly, Their divine authority, I will endeavour, therefore, to state some of the chief evidences for each of these important points, having first premised three preparatory propositions, or lemmas, whereby the evidence for any one of them may be transferred upon the other two.

B

PROP.

Vol. V.

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