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gurations of the Mosaic Law ; and to make the Rewards and Punishments of another Life so agreeeble to humane Heason, and so worthy of Divine Majesty j this was a Scheme, which these poor illiterate Men were no more able to invent, than they were to create a World: And yet, notwithstanding the great variety and difficulty of this Province, 'tis wonderful to observe, how all the four' Evangelists, who wrote at different Times, and in distant Places, agree, not only in the main Topcks, but sometimes in the moft minute Circumstances; in so much that, whenever they seem to disagree, e (which chiefly arises from their not confining themselves to the fame Words, or the lame Order of 'Time, and, with a little critical Observation, may easily be reconciled) whenever they disagree, I say, it looks as if the Spirit of God designed on purpose that it should be so, not only that they might be d'tjlintt Witnesses of the fame Things, but • that all succeeding Ages of the Christian World might fee with their Eyes, that they neither transcribed from one another, nor combind nor complotted together, like crafty Knaves.

I might here produce the Testimony which God gave to the Truth of the

Gospel,

•Grew's Cosrittlogia Sacra, p. 3°4

Gospel, * by Signs and Wonders, and by diverse Miracles, and Gifts of the Holy Ghost; and what a mighty Proof the Evangelists themselves gave of their Fidelity in composing those Writing?, which they, and Thousands more, were not afraid to seal with their Blood: But, because an Agreement with other Authors is always reputed a good Token of Historical Probity, I shall rather take notice of some few Facts, whereby the professed Enemies of Christianity, both Jews and Pagans, have confirm'd the Authority of these Sacred Penmen. The Te- f The coming of a King out of the fiimovy of gafc wno should do great and mighty thors". U Actions, was a constant Report (founded on the Sibylline Prophesies) which prevail'd about the Time of our Saviour's Birth, and s Tacitus,(zs a great Politician and Statesman,) will needs have it fulfill'd in Vejfa/ian or Titus, because they were called out of Judæa to the Empire of Rome. The Appearance of a. wonderful Star, at the Time of his Nativity is mention'd by h Pliny in his Natural History, under the Name of a bright Comet. The Murther of the Babes of Bethlehem is mention'd by Dion in his

Life

*Hcb. ii. 4. {Edtvardi'iTruth and Autho

rity of the Holy Scripture. « L. 2. & 25. * Sw twnal, L. 2. c« 4.

Life of O&dv'w Cæsar; and Macrobiusy (who relates the Thing more at large)tells lis, that Herod, upon the account of the lame Jealousy, order'd his own Son to be slain. The Miracles that Jesus did, when he enter'd Upon his Ministry; the Title he laid claim to, of, being the MeJJiaS) or a divine Person lent frorri Heaven to redeem Mankind; and the Doctrines which he preach'd (as they iare recorded in the Gospels) are acknowledge and confefs'dby Celsus, Julian, and Porphyry, as l several of the ancient Fa-^ thers aslure us. The Death of out blesled Saviour, and the manner of his Suffering under Pontius Pilate, and in the Reign of Tiberius, is mention'd (as we said) both by 'Tacitus and Lucian* The universal Eclipse, which happen'd at the Time of his Pajjion, is mention'd k by Dionyfius, before he was converted to the Faith. The terrible Earthquake which was at the fame time, is related by Dion, Pliny, and Suetonius; and the rending of the Veil of the Temple, (mention'd by three Evangeliss,) isx testify'd by the Jewish Historian Jtsephus, who, among other Passages, has given us this memorable one concerning our Saviour G * Christ,

, 'Origin cons. Celsum. Cml contr. Julian: & August, civ. Dei 1. s2. c Is. * Annul. 1. 18.

e. 44

r

Christ. "At this time there was one "Jesus, a wife fylan, if I may call him "a Man, for he did most wonderfql u Works, and was a Teacher of thole, "who receiv'd the Truth with Delight: "He brought many to his Persuasion, "both of tj^e Jews and Gentiles. This "was Christ: And tho' he was, by the "Instigation of some of our Nation, and "by Pilate's Sentence hung on the "Cross, yet those, who loved him at "first, did not cease to do so: For he "came to Life again the third Day, and "appeared to them j the Divine Pro"phets having foretold these and in"finite other Wonders of him: And to "this Day there remains a Sect of Men, "who have from him the Name of "Christians." A Passage, which (as 1 a learned French Author has fully prov'd) is far from being an Interpolation. An Me- Upon a Review of what has been renci said then, with Relation to the Evange

fToiche ¥•*> viz- That they were twJ and

undejjgning Men, recording Things plainly ^ and without any artful Insinuations, and lb free and impartial in their Accounts, as neither to conceal their Master's mean Condition, nor their own Faults and Failings; that they had sufficient

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ficient means of Information in what they were to Record, and no visible Interest in the least, to sway them against their Knowledge; that they ventured to publish their Gospels in a short Time after their Lord's Ascension, though they knew that Shame, and Persecution, and Death itself (which they underwent with the utmost Bravery) would be the result of so doing- that their Gospels, when made publick, appear'd to be far above their Skill and Capacity to invent, singly considers, and, when compared together, sufficiently uniform and consistent; and (what is no mean Consideration) that their greatest Enemies ha\e, in their own Writings, either asserted or acknowledge the most material Parts of their Narrations: It must needs follow, that, according to the genuine Marks of a true Historian, we have greater Security, than any humane History can pretend to, of the Faithfulness of the Evangelists, and of the Certainty of every thing contained in their Writings: That Persons, situated in their Circumstances, even considers as common Historians, would not have deluded ^ with afalse Representation of Things, out then, considered in the Capacity of '»///rVH;storians, (which Christians in 111 Ages have esteem'd them) they could C 2 not

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