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By RICHARD WATSON, D.D. F.R.S.

LORD BISHOP of LANDAFP,

AND

Regius Professor of DIVINITY in the University of

CAMBRIDGE.

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Printed for T. Evans in the Strand, and in the Great Market, Bury St.
Edmund's; J. and J. Merrill, Cambridge ; J. FLETCHER, and Prince and

Cooke, Oxford; P. Hill, Edinburgh ; and W. M*Kenzie, Dublin.

M.DCC.XCI.

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This postliumous Treatise of Mr. Addison has been much ef-
teemed both at home and abroad : the general argument contained
in it has been carried to a greater length by other authors since his
time; especially by Mr. Correvin of Geneva ; by Professor Bullet
of Belançon ; and by Dr. Lardner, wlio has treated it in all its parts
with great accuracy in his Collection of Jewish and Heatheri Tefti.
monies to the Truth of the Christian Religion. There is, unfor:
tunately, in many men; a strange prepoffeffion against every thing

written by churchmen, in defence of the Chriftiani religion ;

that “ Priests of all religions are the fame" Lthat "6 they defend

altars of which their lives depend,” with an hundred other expref-

fions of a similar tendency, are frequent in the mouths of un-

believers : we sincerely forgive them this wrong, but as the charge

of selfishnefs and hypocrily cannot; with any shadow of propriety,

be brought againft Mr. Addison, and fuch other laymen as have

written in support of Chriftianity, we intreat them to give a sober

attention to what these unprejudiced writers have advanced on the

subject : surely eternal life is tơù important à concern to be jefted

away io sarcastic witticilin, and frothy disputation,

Vol. V.

Аз

of the Argument for the Truth of Christianity arising from

the fulfilment of our Saviour's predi&tions concerning the
destručtion of the Temple, and the City of Jerusalem,
and the dispersion of the fews. Being the third chap-
ter of the first vol. of a Collection of Jewish and Heathen

Testimonies to the Truth of the Christian Religion. By
· N. LARDNER, D. D. 1764. p. 103.

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The argument for the truth of Christianity which is taken from
the history of the destruction of Jerusalein as related by Josephus, com-
pared with our Saviour's prediction of that event recorded by the
Evangelifts Matthew, Mark, and Luke, has always been considered
as one of the strongest which can be urged, either against the Jews
in particular, or against unbelievers in general. In modern times
this argument has been illustrated by Jackson in the first volume of
his works, 1673 ; by Tillotson in the 12th vol. (8vo ed.) of his Ser-
mons; by Kidder in his Demonstration of the Meffiah; by Whitby
in his Commentary on St. Matthew, and in his General Preface;
by Sharpe in a discourse intituled, The Rise and Fall of the Holy
City and Temple of Jerulalem, preached at the Temple Ch
1764; and, to mention no others, by Jortin in the first vol, of his
Remarks on Ecclefiaftical History. This author has also well
proved, not only that the Gospels, in which the predictions of
Christ relative to the destruction of Jerusalem are delivered, were
written before that event; but that the predictions themselves
could not have been inserted into the Gospels, as interpolations,
afrer the event : the reader will not esteem this to have been an un-
necessary labour, who recollects the confidence with which Voltaire,
with a view probably of evading the force of the argument in quef-
tion, declares that the Gospels were written after Jerusalem was
destroyed-sans doute après la destruction de Jerufalem. Many
an unbeliever is apt to think and say, that he would have faith
in the Gospel, if he could fee a man raised from the dead, or any
one notable iniracle performed in attestation of its truth. Now the
completion of an ancient prophecy is, to us who see the completion, -
a miracle ; and I would sincerely recommend it to every one, who
is not steadfast in the faith, to examine carefully, and liberally,
whether the prophecies-- concerning Jerusalem being trodden under

foot of the Gentiles-concerning the sterility of Palestine--the state
: of the Jewish people the introduction of the Gentiles into the

Church of God--the apoftafy of the latter times--the independency
of the Arabs--the servitude of Ham's posterity, &c. have not been
literally fulfilled. These things are facts which fall within our own
observation; and if we search the Scriptures, we shall find that these
facts were predicted long before either we or our fathers were born.

The

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· The present constitution of the world, with respect to the civiliza-
tion, the religion, the liberty, or flavery of the different empires
which sublift in it, is but one stage of the completion of the va-
rious prophecies, which were of old delivered, concerning the for-
tunes of individuals, nations and countries. We in our day's may
say what Tertullian, speaking of the accomplishment of Scripture
prophecy, said in his--Quicquid agitur prænunciabatur, quicquid vi-
detur audiebatur. : The reader may find these subjects discussed by
Bp. Newton in his Dissertations on the Prophecies ; by Whiston in
his Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecy ; by Sharpe in his second
Argument in defence of Christianity ; by Lardner in his three Ser-
mons on the Circumstances of the Jewish People, an Argument for the
Truth of Christianity ; by the author of the Principes de la Foi Chré-
tienne ; by the author of an Efray in the Universal History, on The
Independency of the Arabs ; by Bishops Hurd, Hallifax, and Bagot,
in their Sermons preached at Warburton's Lecture; by Joseph Mede,
and Henry More, in their respective works ; and by Worthington in
his Sermon preached at Boyle's Lecture, 1766, &c.

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Thiş Tract is the 41h chap. of the ift book of the Truth of the
Gospel History, by Macknight. Young men should render this short
tract familiar to thein by a frequent perusal of it; they will find in it
very concise, but satisfactory' answers to many objections respecte
ing some parts of our Saviour's conduct, the poffibility and the
credibility of miracles, &c. which are, sometimes seriouily, oftener
in wanton mockery of religion, made subjects of common conver-
fation, and which never fail to leave a bad impression on the minds
of those who know not how to reply to them."

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