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add some Hints surther to illustrate the Case before us.—If this last Case be suppofed, the Forgery must be palm'd upon the World, either before or after Christianity had generally obtained. If this false History was thrust upon the World in some distant Age, aster the Facts were pretended to be done, before Christianity had generally obtained, it will then follow, that all the Historians of thofe Times (ChrisUan, sfewijlj, and Pagan) have united in Consederacy, to give us a salse Account of Christianity's immediately lucceeding the Crucifixion of Christ, not only in Judea, but in all Parts of the Roman Empire. — I hat they do all agree in this Report is what you must acknowledge; but how they camr to unite in relating such Matters of Fact, 'w'rich they all (upon this Suppofition) must know to be salle, is what no Man can possibly imagine.— If this was.done after Christianity had obtained, it will sol ow, that a great Part of the World renounced the Religion in which they had been educated; for they despised the Doctrine of the Crofs, and for a Lise of continued Contempt, Misery and Peril, without knowing the Reason why, and altogether ignorant of the Foundation upon which their new Religion was built. For, if they prosefll ed Christianity, before they knew the History of Christ's Lise, Miracles, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and before they had heard of the Apostley Progress and miraculous Works, with the miraculous Gifts of the Holy Ghost which accompanied their Ministry, they then all agreed to sacrisice their most valuable temporal Interests, and Multitudes of them endured the most terrible Deaths, in a Cause which they knew nothing about, and none of them knew any Manner of Reason why they should do lo.—That is, in plain Englijh, agrea£ Part of the World run mad ,at once most unacF countably • countably; and from these Madmen Christianity Is descended down to the present Time.

It may be surther observed, that upon the Supposition before us it will also follow, that in what, ever distant Age from these pretended Facts, this History was palm'd upon the World, all Men at ence must be persuaded to believe for Truth what they knew to be falfe.—These Histories declare, that they were written by the Apostles and immediate Disciples of our Lord; that the Authors of these Histories did propagate the Guspel through the World, did send these Writings to the Churches, to be kept in their Hands, as the Rule of their Lives, and the Directory of their Conduct; and that, in Fact, Multitudes of the several Nations were profelyted unto, and baptized into the Faith of Christianity.—Now, was it possible, at any Time whatsoever, aster those pretended Facts, that these Nations could be ignorant, whether these Books, and this Religion, were handed down to them by their Progenitors? Could not every one of the Nations who are, in these Books, said to be converted to Christianity, at once conclude that.they had never heard any Thing of this Nature before; and therefore that these Histories were all salse and spurious, and consequently not worthy of the least

Notice? Is it possible, that the World should

agree to venture both Time and Eternity upon such a known Falstiood? Could all the World ac once be gulled by such glaring and open Forgery and Deceit ?—In a Word, these Books were many ©fthem directed to large Societies of Men, in difserent Parts of the World; were early translated into divers Languages, in which they are still extant; liave been publicly kept and publicly read in the Churches; have been appealed to by all Parties and Sect*, and never tailed in Question ai a Forgery* Ij, either by the Friends or Enemies of the Christian Cause.—All these Things put together, we have as much Certainty, that these Histories are not, cannot be Forgery or Imposture, as we can have of any Thing whatsoever not immediately open to our Senses.

Now, Sir, let us sum up this Evidence, and see what the Conclusion must be.

All Mankind must own, that if the History of these Facts be true; if the Lord Jefui Christ did . persorm so many astonishing Miracles for so long * a Time together, in Justisication of his divine Mil- J lion; if he did himself rise from the Dead, commission his Apostles to their Work, endow them with the miraculous Gifts of the Holy Ghost, and em- \ power tliem, by the Imposition of their Hands, to f communicate the same miraculous Gifts to others; , here was certainly the greatest Interposition of j Heaven, in savour of the Christian Institution, that v| can possibly be imagined or conceived.—The Pow-^J~ er and Veracity of God himself were at Stake in o this Cause : For they were both appealed to in Confirmation of the Truth, and both in the most amazing Manner displayed in Answer to that Appeal.—All doubting in this Case is therefore a calling in Question the Truth and Faithsulness of God himself, as well as his Power.

If this History be not true, then all the known Laws of Nature were changed: All the Motives and Incentives to human Actions, that ever had obtained in the World, have been intirely inverted: The wickedest Men in the World have taken the greatest Pains, and endured the greatest Hardship and Misery, to invent, practise, and propagate the most holy Religion that ever was: And not only the Apostles and first Preachers of the Gospel, but whole Nations of Men, and all Sorts of Men, Christian, ftian, Jew, and Pagan, were (no body can imagine bow or why) consederated to propagate a known Cheat against their own Honour, Interest and Safety; and Multitudes of Men, without any Profpect of Advantage here or hereaster, were brought, most constantly and tenaciously, to profess what they knew to be salse, to exchange all the Comforts and Pleasures of Lise for Shame and Contempt, for Banishments, Scourgings, Imprisonments and Death; . in a Word, voluntarily to expofe themselves to be hated both of God and Man, and that without any known Motive whatsoever.—This must be allowed, or else you must allow, that no Man ever was, or ever can be certain of any Thing, as is more particularly considered above.

There now remains one of these three Things, a necessary Conclusion from what has been said; either,

(1) That these Consequences may be justisied; or,

(2) That they are not regularly deduced from the Premises; or, (3) That the Christian Religion is ,

true, and of divine Authority. 1 am persuaded

you'll not assume either of the two former, of these Conclusions; the latter therefore forces itself upon you.

That the Lord may direct you in the Way of Truth, and Path of Lise, is the Prayer of,

S 1 R,

Your, ire.

L E T T E R V. Wherein fome of the internal Evidences of Christianity are confidered.


According to the Direction given in your last, I shall use the greatest Freedom in my Answer, Twer, and, laying shde all Reserves, shall presume on your Candor.

You "can't see (you tell me) how these Argu"mcnts of mine, for the Truth of Christianity, "can't admit of a rational and consistent Answer." How then can you be but" almost persuaded to be "a Christian?" How can you want *• some gene"ral and easy Directions how to get rid of thofe "Doubts which still hang upon your Mind, from "the various Difficulties which are continually ** casting themselves in your Way?" Do you -deal thus with yourself in other Cases of insinitely less Importance \ Do you harass your Mind with Doubts about other Things which are clearly evident to you, only because you meet with some Difsiculties which you cannot readily solve ?-—Thi* were the Way to downright Scepticism in every Thing which salls under your Consideration, whether natural or moral: And at this Rate you may call into Question your own Being, and al) your rational Powers, as well as every Thing you see, hear, or seel. For I dare say, there are difficulties enough in any or all of these, to puzzle the most {agacious Philosopher thai ever breathed, and to nonplus the Inquiries of all the Men in theWorld, The Question before you is, Whether the Facts, upon which the Evidence of Christianity depends are clearly proved, and necessarily true? If so, there certainly must be some Way to solve all those Difficulties, whether you have found out the Method to do it or not.—You should likewise consider, that it is of no Importance to the Sasety of your Soul, whether you are or are not capable to obviate all the Objections which sall in your Way; but it is of eternal Importance, that you build on a fure Foundation., and that you believe in the only be~ gotten Son ef Cod.—Thus then ihoujd be your MeF 3 «ta<S

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