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manifestation of the Meffiah, was the very time in which, by the concurring testimony both of the friends and enemies of Christianity, the Lord Jesus did appear.—You may certainly know, that the Jewish Prophets did foretel a suffering Savinur, a Saviour that should be wounded for our transgreffions, bruised for our iniquities; that should make his Soul an offering for fin; and that should be cut off, but not for himself: And you are equally certain from all other historians, as well as from the Evan. gelifts, that our Lord Jesus did undergo such opprobry, wifery, and death, as was foretold of the Meffiah by the Prophets. You may certainly know, that it was foretold in the Prophets, that the sceptre Should not depart from Judah, and a lawgiver from between his feet, until the coming of the Meffiah; but that, after his death, the Jewish facrifices should cease, and their holy city and sanctuary be destroyed and made defolate: And that the event does affure us, that the circumstances of the Jewish nation did exactly answer to these Prophecies, both before and after the death of Jesus Christ. You may certainly know, both by the Jewish and Chriftian Prophecies, that under the Gofpel dispensation the Jews were to be rejected of God; and to continue despifed and dispersed among all nations; but the Gentiles to come to the light of the Mefiah, and fee his righteousnefs and glory: and that the event is agreeable to the prediction. You may certainly know, that the rise of Antichrift was predicted to be after the fall of the Roman empire, when that could no longer let or restrain him, that he fhould appear under the guife of a minister of religion, in the temple of God; that he thould pretend to all power and signs, and lying wonders; that he should make war with the saints, and overcome them; that he thould relide in the great city, that was then built upon feven mountains, and reigned over the kings of the earth, which was true of the city of Rome only. And you may consider, whether all this is not true of the Pope and the Roman Papucy.

You may certainly know the amazing progress of the gospel in the first ages of Christianity, in the face of the most formidable and powerful opposi. tions; and its continuing progress against all the at. tempts of its heathen and papal enemies. You may know the excellency of its doctrines, and the glo. rious effects it hath upon the hearts and lives of true .believers. You may know (as, blessed be God, multitudes do know by experience) how it conquers mens corruptions, changes their natures, pacifies their consciences, fills their souls with light and joy, strengthens them again{t temptations, sweetens the afflictions of life, and fortifies them against all the pains and terrors of death.And you alfo may know, that this gospel is the gospel of Christ, and consequently that these won, derful effects, which so apparently carry a divine signature upon them, are produced by him.-All these things, and others of a like nature, which might be mentioned, are immediately open to your view, most visible and certain ; and one would think that these alone would satisfy the mind of a serious and impartial inquirer into the truth of Christianity : And especially when these are accompanied with such other credentials of our holy reli. gion, which (though not so directly in view, yer) by necessary consequence give us the same assu. rance and certainty of the truth.

But it is time I thould come more directly to aija fwer the objection; and to thew you, how it may by neceffary confequence be known, that the facts, upon which Christianity principally depends, are certainly true.


You yourself muft own, it is impossible that those doctrines can be false, which are attested by so many and such kind of miracles, as are faid to be wrought by our Lord Jefus Christ and his Apostles. -For God cannot set his seal to a lie; nor confirm a horrible imposture, by his immediate attestation from heaven.

You must own, that it is impossible for the Apostles, and other witnesses of these miraculous operations, to be themselves deceived, while they had all the means of certainty in the case before us, that ever any man had in any case whatsoever.

You must likewise own, that it is impossible for a great number of sober, judicious, and apparently honest men, to fpend their lives in a continued conspiracy against their own ease, comfort, honour, life, and eternal welfare, for no other motive but to deceive the world, and bring eternal ruin upon themselves and their fellow-creatures; as these mult have done, if they knew those facts to be false, which they published at their peril, and sealed with their blood.

You must also own, that it was impossible to deceive the world about them, at the time when these facts were done, by reporting, that such miraculous operations were openly performed before them all, which none of them knew any thing about.

You will certainly own, it is impossible that they could deceive the churches to whom they wrote, by vain pretences, that each one of these had themselves the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, such as tongues, miracles, healing, prophecy, and the like, when every one of them knew that there was nothing in it.

You muit, in like manner, own it impoffible for fuch multitudes of people, for so long a tract of time, to be imposed upon by prétences of miracu. lous operations; and none of them ever detect the imposture, so much as in one single instance, wbile all of them had the opportunity of doing it when they pleased, if the facts had not been true.


Can you imagine it any ways possible, that such multitudes in the first ages of Christianity, in such distant countries and nations, should conspire to. gether to acknowledge these facts, and the doc- . trines founded on them, at the peril of their lives; and no man among these professors themselves, or a. mong the heretics and apoftates that fell away from them, should discover the fraud, either living or dying?

You will certainly own it utterly iinpoflible, that so many thousands, in so many lands, could with joy and cheerfulness submit to such poor and afflict. ed lives, and to such cruel and barbarous deaths, as were the common lot of the first Christians, in confirmation of a religion, founded upon facts which they knew to be false.

And you must acknowledge it also altogether impossible, at any time after these facts were pretend. ed to be done, to palm the history of them upon the world, if it was falle; and to persuade fq many nations to receive it for truth.-It were impossible to perfuade any nation, and much more all the early nations of Christendom, that at some distant forgotten age there were a number of men that came a. inong them, taught them the doctrines of Christianity,

confirmed the same by miracles, baptized them into the faith, and established a settled order of the ministry in their churches: From which time, they have all of them professed the Christian faith, had the New Testament in their hands, and enjoyed a continued succession of ministers and ordinances. Let an attempt of this kind be made upon our Indians, and



any one man among then can be imposed upon to believe these things.


To this I may add, that it is absolutely impossible, at any one time, to have obtruded the inspired wri. tings upon the world, if they were indeed fpurious; and to have made all the Christian nations believe, that these were written in the apostolic age, speedi. ly translated into divers languages, publicly kept, and publicly read and preached in their churches; that they and their fathers before them had always reverenced and esteemed them as the rule of their lives, and their guide to eternal happiness.-What success, but scorn and derision, could be hoped for from such an attempt?

I may once more fubjoin to all this, that it is at least highly improbable, that the early writers a. gainst Christianity should never deny these facts, if they were not notoriously true, when they could not want advantages to detect any fraud or deceit that can possibly be supposed in a case of this kind. -And it is yet more improbable, that any of the adversaries of Christianity should confirm the truth of these facts, as we find some of them do, if they had not been most apparently and undoubtedly true.

And now, Sir, what can be wanting, what can you demand or desire more, to confirm you in the faith of Christianity? It is established upon the veracity of God himself; upon those facts, by which he has from Heaven attested to the truth of it; and thefe facts are verified by evidences which cannot possibly deceive us.-By believing therefore, we set to our seal that God is true : But he that believeth not, maketh him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

You may perhaps tell me, that if you had seen these miracles yourself, you would have believed them. But has not every body else the same claiin to this sort of satisfaction as you; and the same rea. son to desire to be eye and ear witnesses of such mi.


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