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The present constitution of the word, i t doen tion, the religion, the liberty, or 12151 which subfist in it, is but one fiage at the s e c rious prophecies, which were of oid debe 53 . tunes of individuals, nations and constre


o say what Tertullian, speaking of the accom: 1 prophecy, said in his Quicquid agitut I'EUL13.27 detur audiebatur. The reader may fud ticie . .. : Bp. Newton in his Differtations on the Prese

his Accomplishinent of Scripture Prophecy ; Dr Bu : .. Argument in defence of Christianity ; bor i recupermons on the Circumstances of the Jewish Verma 41 : Truth of Chriftianity ; by the author of the go . tienne ; by the author of an Essay in the 21st Independency of the Arabs ; by Bishops . in their Sermons preached at Warburiol's

a and Henry Mire, in their relpective v9: : bis Sesmon preached at Boyle's Lecture, Ioan

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of the Argument for the Truto ó'; : :arising from the converfisnot ::m the Truth of the Ge

nGHT, D. D, 1763. [..

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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 ipeedily and widely spread by force or by fraud; or it may, by degrees, gain an extensive establishment in the world, from its being propitious to the follies, the vices, and paflions of mankind; or froin its being first introduced in an unenlightened and credulous age ; or in a country fitted by peculiar circumítances 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 fudea through the Roman Empire, during the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, &c. by the human abilities of the Apostles, appears to ine 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. 66 What motive, tays Justin Martyr in his Apology (Reeve's Tranf.), could ever poliibly have perfuaded 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 profely ted to the faith of his Apolttes, and renouncing the ancient errors they were brought up in ? Did we not find the prophecies made good in ourselves, and see Chriftians in greater numbers, and in greater fincerity, from among the Gentiles, than from the Jews and Samaritans?”—This argument has been intilted upon by Henry More in the first vol. of his works, where there is a chapter intituled, Veritas Evangelii demonMirata ex Succeffu ; by 7. Denne 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 Hiltory of the Propagation of Christianity, and Overthrow of Paganisin : by: Tillotson in the 12th vol, of bis Serinons; by. Leng in his Sermons a: Boyle's Lecture; by Fortin in his Truth of the Christian Religion ; by Leland in the 6th chapter of tlae ad part of his Defence of Christianity : by Bp. Aiterbury in his two Sermons on the Mira. culous Propagation of the Golpel; by Boluet in his Discourse on Universal Hisory ; by Lardner in his Collection of Jewish Testimonies; by Powell in his roth Discourse; by Benson in his Reafon. ableness of Christianity ; and by Young in the ad vol. of his Differtations on Idolatrous Corruptions; where, also, there is a compendious view, fupported by proper authorities, of the, countries through which the Apostles travelled in propagating the Gospel.

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

and Notes on St. Paul's Epistles. p. 268. :.

That the Popis religion is the Christian religion, is a false po. Ritiva ; and therefore Christianity may be true, though the religion of the Church of Rome be, in many of its parts, an impofture. This oblervation should be always kept in mind by such of our young men cf fashion, as are sent to finish their education by tras velling in Catholic countries. It may seem paradoxical to allert, that the corruptions of any religion can be proofs of its truth i yet the corruptions of the Chriftian ieligion, as practised by the Church of Rome, are certain proofs of the truth of the Christian religion ; inasmuch as they are exact completions of the prophecies which were delivered by Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John, concerning that apostaly from the faith, which was to take place in 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 (I Tim. iv. ). Bp. Hurd, in his 7th fermon at Warburton's Lecture, has given a concise history of the charge of Artichristianism, which has, at different times, been brought against the Church of Rome. Dr. Whitaker, Regius Profeflor 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 boafted 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 principal points in controversy between Protestanis and Papifts, as well as against this primary pillar of the reformned faith-That the Hierarchy of the Church of Rome is the Little Horn of Daniei, ihe Man of Sin of St. Paul, and the Antichrist of St. John. The evidence arising froin the completion of the prophecies relative to the Rife, Character, 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 thail oblerve the different gradations of his decline, and his final catastrophe, with more force than it now strikes us.

Antichriftus quemne forty argumenthat the Pope worked into by

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Observations on the History and Evidence of the Reliure

rection of Jesus Christ. By GILBERT WEST, E[q. Lond. 1767. 6th. Ed. p. 289..

The Resurrection of Christ is the very corner-stone 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 Deison is a delusion. Whether Christ be, or be not risen from the dead, is a question of fact, and must be decided (nor by metaphysical dilim quisitions concerning the power of God to work a miracle, nor by nice fubtilties concerning the fufficiency of human testimony to el. tablish the credibility of miracles, but) by fairly estimating the weight of evidence for and against the fact. The main argunjenits

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 mould be admitted (I do not fay that the concession is necessary), that the accounts cannot in every little point be made to agree? Will you for that reason disbelieve the fact itself? As well might you have disbelieved the report of those who should have said, that they had seen the body of Cælar dead, because 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 ftalibed in the Capitol. A fight dilagreement between the writers of the New Testament, in their res Jations of matiers of fact, is entirely analogous to what may be obferved every day in courts of justice ; no one, on account of a trifling difference in the testimonies of the witnesses, ever thinks of quelo tioning the existence of the fact in which they all agree, or of imó peaching either their integrity, or competency to e{tablish 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 some, with more. piety than judginent, have supposed it to have been. Let the Deifts make the most they can of the varias tions which they think may be found in the Evangelists; yet wilt they never be able to prove, that the facts mentioned by these writers respecting the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, and Alcension 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 necessary to be performed, by all true disciples of Jesus Christ. 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 his Harmony, has endeavoured to reconcile the seeming inconlistencies in the Evangelists relative to the resurrection. Lardner published some judicious obfervations on Macknislit's plan. Benson has given his fentiinents on the subject of the Resurrection in his Life of Christ, and has answered the objections usually made to it. Bpi Newcome, in his Harmony, may be consulted on the subject with great advantage. A pamphlet, published many years ago, intituled, The Trial of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus, has been well received in the world; but the inost solid reasoning, on the subject may be met with in a discourse concerning the Resurrection of Jesus Chrift, by Humphrey Ditton, sth 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.

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TO believe the Christian religion, is to believe that Mofes and the.

I 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, muft 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. VOL. V.


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