« السابقةمتابعة »
made, is a proof of nothing but that the means were adequate to the
The miraculous Success of the Gospel, a Proof of its divine Origin ;
An Esay on the Man of Sin, from Benson's Paraphrafe
and Notes on St. Paul's Epistles. p. 268.
That the Popish religion is the Christian religion, is a false po-
of the Church of Rome be, in many of its parts, an imposture. This observation should be always kept in mind by such of our young men of fashion, as are sent to finish their education by tra. velling 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 Chriftian religion, 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 apoftasy from the faith, which was to take place in the latter times. I have known the infidelity of inore 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 apostary of the latter times (1 Tim. iv. 1). Bp. Hurd, in his 7th sermon at Warburton's Lecture, has given a concise history of the charge of Antichristianism, which has, at different times, been brought againit the Church of Rome, Dr. Whitaker, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, in his exercise for his degree at the Cominencement in 1582, supported this Thesis--Pontifex Romanus eft ille Antichriftus 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 Antichritt. 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 Protestants and Papifts, 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 Antichrist of St. John. The evidence arising from the completion of the prophecies relative to the Rije, Character, and Fall of the Man of Sin, is an increasing evidence : it strikes us with more force than it ftruck our ancestors before the Reformation ; and it will strike our pofterity, who shall observe the different gradations of his decline, and his final catastrophe, with more force than it now strikes us,
Observations on the History and Evidence of the Refurrection of Jesus Chrift. By GILBERT West, Esq. 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 Deisim 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 dis quisitions concerning the power of God to work'a miracle, nor by nice subtilties concerning the fufficiency of human testimony to eltablish the credibility of miracles, but) by fairly estimating the weight of evidence for and against the fact. The main arguments
which are brought to invalidate the fact of the Resurrection atë de 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 ac
But what if it hould be admitted (I do not fay that the concession is neceffary), 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 Cæfar dead, because you would have found them disagreeing, probably, in some minute points, relative to the number or fituation of his wounds, to the time or manner of his being stabbed in the Capitol. A flight disagreement between the writers of the New Testament, in their relations of matters of fact, is entirely analogous to what may be obu served every day in courts of justice ; no one, on account of a trifling difference in the testimonies of the witnesses, ever thinks of questioning the existence of the fact in which they all agree, or of impeaching either their integrity, or competency to establish 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 man ner 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 will they never be able to prove, that the facts mentioned by these writers respecting the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, are not true : let them falten 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. Macknights in his Harmony, has endeavoured to reconcile tlie seeming inconsistencies in the Evangelists relative to the resurrection, Lardner påbs lished fome judicious observations on Macknight's plan. Benson has given his sentiments on the subject of the Resurrection in his Life of Christ, 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, publithed many years ago, intituled, The Trial of the Witneiles of the Resurrection of Jesus, has been well received in the world, but the soft solid realoning on the subject may be met with in a discourse concerning the Resurrection of Jefus Clirist, by Humphrey Ditton, 5th ed. 1749. Fabricius, in the 44th chap. of his Delectus Arguinentorum, mentions 28 different authors on the Resurrection, and in the 9th chap. of his Lux Evangelica he adds above 20 more ; nor would it be a difficult talk greatly to enlarge his catalogue
prophets, Christ and his apoftles, 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; fo 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 claffes 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 faviour 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 evidendes 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.
с ) which are brought to inv.: duced from the real, or the Evangelists have gi: and much labour has bei counts, But what if it concession is necesary), be made to agree! W!! As well might you hat have said, that they h. would have found t. points, relative to the time or manner of lii greement between the lations of matters of : ferved every day in diffcrence in the ti! tioning the existence peaching either the If the Evangelists ! of the Resurrection. concert, were not is a proof, also, th. ner which fome, to have been. tions which they they never be ter's respecting 1 of Jetus Chris New Testament never be able : they delivered the duties no Christ. The has been trai great ute to : in his Hair encies in the lished fom given his Chrift,