Obrazy na stronie

Serm. II. Certainty of the Truth of Christianity; if

every unprejudiced Mind is determined by moral Certainty, we may argue thus.--It is demonftrably certain, that there is a Being of infinite Goodness, Truth," and Veracity. It is demonstrably certain, that a Being of infinite Goodness, Truth, and Veracity will not miflead his Creatures into unavoidable Errors, nor fuffer an Imposture to pass upon the World, in bis Name, in a Matter of the last Importance, with such manifest Tokens of Credibility, and moral Certainty, as muft, and do in every other Cafe, determine an unprejudiced Mind therefore it is demonstrably certain, that Christianity is no Imposture. Thus the Christian Faith, in the faft Resort, resolves itself into, and terminates in, the divine Veracity : It is as fure as that God cannot lie, that he who has laid his Creatures under an Obligation to act upon moral Evidence, would not have done fo, if such strong Evidence could ever inevitably deceive them in an Affair of infinite Concernment.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

On the Genuineness and Inspiration
..; of the Sacred Writers.

[ocr errors]

::;141 Thess. II. 13.
When ye received the Word of God, which

beard of us, ye received it not as the
Word of Men, but (as it is in Truth)
the Word of God.


HEN St. Paul preached the Serm.III.

Gospel of Christ to the Thef

Salonians, they embraced it
gladly, and believed it to be, what it really
is, of divine Authority and Inspiration.

That we may do so too, it will be ne-
cessary to prové,

U 2

14, The

Serm. III. IX, The Genuineness of those Books,

which contain the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Ildly, Their divine Inspiration.

It, I am to prove the Genuineness of those Books, which contain the Gospel of Jesus Christ. :

Those Authors are confessedly genuine, who have received the Sanction of their Contemporaries, or immediate Succeffors, followed by an uninterrupted Series of Vouchers.

Thus St. Paul quotes the Gospel of St. Luke, whose Praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches, as of equal Authority with the Writings of Moses.

of Moses. For the Scripture faith, thou shalt not muzzle the Ox that treadeth out the Corn, and, the Labourer is worthy of his Reward, 1 Tim. V. 18. which last Passage occurs no where but in St. Luke x. ver. 7. as the former is to be met with Deut. xxv. ver.

4. Thus. St. Jobn, as Eufebius * informs us, stamped his Authority, at the Instance

[ocr errors]

* Eufebii Hift. Eccl. Lib. 3. cap. 24.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

of his Friends, upon the Gospels of Mat-Serm. III.
thew, Mark, and Luke, and then added
his own as a Supplement to them.

Much the same Account we have from
the ancient Author of the Martyrdom of
Timothy, with this additional Circumstance,
that before St. John reviewed them, they
had already been translated into several Lan-
guages Nor is it at all unlikely, that
the same Zeal, which prompted St. John to
expose one Fraud, as we shall prove by and
by; would likewise determine him to au-
thorize the genuine Records of Christiani-
ty. This is what the World might expect
from a Person so'venerable, for his Wisdom
and Authority, as well as for his
And this is, what common Sense would
suggest to one ; who lived after Forgeries
had begun to creep abroad.

Though Clemens Romanus, Barnabas,
Hermas, Ignatius, Polycarp, Writers who
had been conversant with the Apostles, sel-
dom ascribe any of the Books of the New
Testament to their respective Authors; yet
they virtually own them all to be genuine,
by Thewing the most distinguished Regard

great Age:

* Photii Bibliotheca Cod. 254.

U 3


Serm.III. to them, by often quoting them, and oft

ner alluding to them : An Honour they do
no other Writings, except those of the Old
Testament. They transcribe numerous Pre-
cepts from the Scriptures, of which their
own Lives were indeed the most beautiful
Transcript. That they have not expressly
named the Authors, from whom they bor.
row, is easily accounted for: They wrote
chiefly, if not entirely, for the Benefit of
their Contemporaries, and it was needless
to point out to those, who lived so near
the Fountain Head, from what Source they
drew that living Water, which they had
so thoroughly imbibed, and so plentifully
transfused into their own Compositions.

What a religious Veneration these early
Writers paid to the Scriptures, the follow-
ing Passage of Ignatius * will clearly thew.
* Your Prayer to God, says he, shall make

me perfect, that I may attain to that
" Portion, which his Mercy has assigned

me; having Recourse to the Gospel, as
to the Flesh of Jesus Chrift; and to the
Apostles, as to the Presbytery of the

[ocr errors]

* Ignatii Epist

. ad Philadelph. Sect. 5. Cotelerii Patres Apoftol. Tom. 2. Vide Notas Johannis Clerici in locum.

« Church,

« PoprzedniaDalej »