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stances of it are related with the greatest Plainnefs imaginable; they all concur in their Testimony, and the greatest Sufferings never prevailed upon them to deny or conceal it. And it is not to be imagined, that fo many among the firft Converts to Christianity, that were famous for their Learning and Judgment, and inquifitive Temper, brought up in the Prejudices of a falfe Religion, fhould have declared themselves Worshippers of a crucified Saviour under all worldly Difadvantages, if the Evidence of our Saviour's Resurrection upon the strictest Examination had not appeared in the cleareft Light, and that there had been no Doubt remaining concerning the Truth of it.

Q. How was the Refurrection of our Saviour an Evidence of his divine Miffion?

A. In that it fulfilled the Prophecy concerning the Meffias, that He should not fee Corruption and in that it confirmed the Truth of· what our Saviour had afferted in Relation to his being the true Mefias, and the Son of God, agreeable to thofe Apprehenfions and Expectations which the Jews had concerning the Meffias. For God, by raifing him from the Dead, did plainly demonftrate to the World, that our Saviour was no Impofter, and that he did not vainly arrogate to himself those Titles of King of Ifrael, and Son of God, for which he was crucified and put to Death; for if fuch Evidence as this could be given to a Deceiver, we should be at a Lofs ever to diftinguifh a true Prophet.

Q. What Evidence had our Saviour befides Miracles of his being a Perfon fent from God?

A. He

Mat. 20.

Mark 16.

A. He had the utmoft Teftimony of divine Authority by the Spirit of Prophecy, which refided in him, and was made manifeft by the Accomplishments of his own Predictions; and whenever the Predictions have been plain and clear, and the Event answerable, it hath always been counted a fure Proof of a divine Miffion; upon which Account the Angel tells St. John, That the Teftimony of Jefus is the Spirit of Rev. 19. Prophecy. Thus our Saviour foretold his own 10. Death, with the Manner of it, and the Circum- 19. ftances of his Sufferings, the Treachery of Ju-Mark 10. das, the Cowardice of his Difciples, and St. Pe-33, 34 ter's denying him; his own Refurrection, and Mat. 16. 21.26.21, the Defcent of the Holy Ghost in those miracu- c. lous Powers we now commemorate. He pro- Luke 24phefied of the Deftruction of Jerufalem, which 49. came to pass in forty Years after his own Death, within the Compass of that Generation, Mat. 24as he had foretold; the very Foundations of the Temple and City were deftroyed, and the Ground plowed up, fo that there was not left one Stone upon another that was not thrown down, according to our Saviour's Prediction. And indeed the Signs that he foretold fhould fore-run the Destruction of that City, with the concomitant and fubfequent Circumstances, exactly agree with that punctual and credible Hiftory of the Fact related by Jofephus a Jew. He affured his Difciples, that his Gospel should be published in all Ñations, and that his Reli- Mat. 24. gion fhould prevail against all the Oppofition 14. of worldly Power and Malice, and that the 28. 19. Gates of Hell should not prevail against it. Now thefe Things being purely contingent in refpect of us, and many of them unlikely to

18.

16. 18.

happen,

happen, the fulfilling of fuch Predictions do argue a prophetick Spirit in our Saviour, and confequently a divine Authority.

Q. What Evidence did the Apoftles give of their divine Miffion?

A. As Witneffes they juftified the Credibility of their Testimony, in teftifying only of fuch Things as they themselves had feen and heard, and in venturing their Lives for this Teftimony, and fealing it with their Blood. And God was pleased to confirm this Teftimony, by endowing them with the Power of working Miracles, whereby they spoke all Languages, healed Diseases, caft out Devils, foretold Things to come, raised the Dead; which fenfible Demonstrations of a divine Power gave Credit to their Teftimony among thofe to whom they were otherwise unknown.

Q. What Proof have After-ages of the miraculous Evidence that was given to the Truth of the Chriftian Religion?

A. They have a credible Account and Relation of those Matters of Fact tranfmitted down to them through all Ages to this Time, in fuch a Manner, and with fuch Evidence, that they have no Reafon to doubt of the Truth of them; for all thofe general Rules before-mentioned concur; which, when they meet, the Matters of Fact cannot be falfe. These Things being transacted many Years ago, must rely upon the Teftimony we call moral Evidence; and though thefe After-ages muft want the Evidence thofe had, that were contemporary with our Saviour and his Apoftles, yet they have other Advantages to fupply that Defect. They have the Reason and Judgment of the most confiderable

fiderable Part of Mankind for Wisdom and Impartial Confideration to confirm them. They can compare the Events already paffed with the Predictions; they fee the Difperfion of the Jews in all Nations, and that they have for above fixteen hundred Years continued a diftinct People; a Monumnet of the divine Justice, and a standing Teftimony of the Truth of our Saviour's Predictions, and of the Christian Religion. They have the wonderful Succefs of the Gofpel in Verefication of Prophecy, notwithstanding the Oppofition of the Power and Malice of the World; and the wonderful Prefervation of it, through all the various Scenes of Profperity and Adverfity. And it is likely, that they that believe not at a Distance under fuch ftrong Motives of Credibility, would not have believed, if they had been Eye and Ear-witneffes of our Saviour and his Apostles.

Q. Pray fhew how the four Rules mentioned in the former Chapter concerning Matters of Fact, meet in the Matters of Fact recorded in the Gospel of our bleffed Saviour, fince, where they meet, the Matters of Fact cannot be falfe?

A. According to the two firft Rules the Matters of Fact of the Gofpel were fuch as Mens outward Senfes, their Eyes and Ears could judge of, and were done publickly in the Face of the World; and thus our Saviour argues with his Accufers, I pake openly to the World, and in fe- John 18. cret I have faid nothing: And it is related in the 20. Acts, that three thoufand at one Time, and five Acts 2.41. thousand at another, were converted upon the Conviction of what themselves had feen, what had been done publickly before their Eyes,

wherein

4. 4.

wherein it was impoffible to have impofed upon them. Then for the two laft Rules we find Baptifm and the Lord's Supper were instituted as perpetual Memorials of thefe Things, and this at the very Time when these Things were faid to be done; and have been observed without Interruption in all Ages through the whole Christian World, down all the Way from that Time to this: And Christ himself did ordain Apostles and other Minifters of his Gospel to preach and administer these Sacraments, and to govern his Church, and that always unto the End of the World; and they have accordingly continued to this Day, and confequently are as notorious a Matter of Fact, as the Tribe of Levi was among the Jews. So that if the Gospel were a Fiction, and invented, as it must be, in fome Ages after Christ, then at that Time when it was firft invented, there could be no fuch Sacraments, nor Order of Clergy, as derived themselves from the Inftitution of Chrift; which must give the Lie to the Gospel, and demonftrate the whole to be false; and therefore by the last two Rules, it was as impoffible to have imposed upon Mankind in this Matter, by inventing it in After-ages, as at the Time when thofe Things were faid to be done.

Q. How doth the intrinfick Evidence of the Christian Revelation confirm the external Evidence that was given to it?

A. In that it excels all other Inftitutions of Religion that ever appeared in the World. It is every Way worthy of God, and entirely beneficial to his Creatures, and agreeable to the best Reason and Sense of Mankind. And where

any.

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