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the World to great Multitudes, at Jeru- «
/^/m the Capital oijudœa, and a very... .-.'
populous City; at the Time of one of__' 'a
their solemn Festivals, when many Myriads of Jews and pious Gentiles were come up thither to worship, not ortly from all Parts of Judaa, but from every Nation under Heaven. Not only to'their -Acquaintance and Followers, Friends either to their Master or to themselves; not only to Persons of low Condition, or of mean Endowments of Mind, who might be thought the most liable to be impos'd on; but to Persons of all Sorts and Degrees without Distinction; to those of the most ample Fortunes, and in the highest Stations j to those of the greatest Name for Learning and Policy; to their Lord's most bitter and irreconcilable Enemies; to those who had been the Contrivers and Authors of his Death, the High Priests and Elders, who wanted neither Skill nor Authority, nor Inclination, and whom it mightily behov'd in Point of Interest and Reputation to detect the Cheat, if there were any, and
-to bring the Forgers of it to condign
111,1V. Yhey gave in their Evidence not
lightly and ludicrously, but with all becoming Seriousness and Solemnity, as in 3 Concern of the greatest Moment -y not in Words obscure and of uncertain Signification, so as to leave room either for others to misunderstand it, or for themselves to deny and evade it j but in the clearest and strongest Terms, in as proper and significant Expressions as Language could convey: Not by Compulsion, nor by the Instigation of others; not long deliberating, whether they should testify or no; not with Reluctancy or Irresolution; not doubtingly or waveringly, but of their own Accord, with the greatest Willingness, and with remarkable Alacrity and Zeal; not only uucall'd for, but in Contradiction to the Commands of their Superiors, as Persons fully assur'd both of the Truth of what they depos'd, and of the indispensable Obligation they were under to publish it; declaring most solemnly, That they
must obey God rather than Man, and that ''
they could not but Jpeak the Things which «}*.« they had seen and heard. Not once, nor _ * for a short Time, nor in one Place only, not occasionally nor by the bye; but very often, during a Course of many Years, and unto their Lives end j industriously seeking Opportunities of publishing their Testimony, forsaking all other Employments, and devoting themselves wholly to this; spending their Days in continual Labour and Travels, that by them the Preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles in every City and Country of the Universe might hear. Not differently, on different Occasions, but to all Persons, at all Times, and in all Places invariably and alike j in perfect Agreement with themselves, and with one another; not faintly or timorously, not disguising or palliating the Matter to avoid the Displeasure of any, but with signal Courage and Boldness, in the most open and unguarded manner declaring thse naked Truth, and representing it in it£ native Colours,, to those to .whom it £ - must
« mUft needs be most of&nfive, and whom,
Serm. jt wa8 yery dangerous to offend; un^'^dauntedly and with notable Presence of ^^ "Mind telling the Jews, Jesus of Nazareth a Man approved of God among you by Miracles and Wonders and Signs, 'which God did by him in the midst of you % as ye yourselves also know. Him being delivered by the determinate Counsel and Fore-knowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked Hands have crucified and stain, . This Jesus hath God raised up,
•whereof we all are Witnesses $ And prp-r claiming to the Faces of the High Priests themselves and of the whole Senate, The. God of our Fathers hath raised up Jesus, whom ye stew and hanged on a Tree^ Him hath God exalted with his right Hand to be a Prince and a Saviour. This is the Stone which was set at nought of you Builders, which is become the Head^ of the Corner. And we are his Witnesses of these Things. Such was their Demeanour even to the Governours of their Nation. All this has certainly the Face "of plain and upright Dealing: Here are
no ho Marks of Craft and Deceit. These' -^—-* Ways of Proceeding bear no Resemblance TjTRtt/ to the Tricks and Wiles of Impostors. _ ^J^ Truth, Truth alone is opert and constant, uniform and always the fame; loves to come at the Light, and will b'e'atf Examination, and is not to be oyer-f uled either by Fear or Shame.
Knavish and fraudulent Designs are generally undertaken and pursued with a View to some selfish and worldly End, such as Gain, Power, Honour, ot the Gratification of Lust. But what worldly End, what secular Advantage the Apostles could aim at by testifying the Resurrection of their Master, is utterly unimaginable. They could hot expect thereby to insinuate themselves into~ the Favour of the High Priest and Rulers, nor to receive any Reward or Courftcnancfe.from them, who had all along persecuted their Master as a Counterfeit* afad had at last imbrued their Hands in his Blood; for them therefore it was very necessary that he mould be reputed a: Deceiver. They could riot reasonably