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711E Sacrd Volume, which we term the BIBLE, or the BOOK, by way of the Jews were divided after their canon was closed; as well as their disper eminence, consists of two grand parts, the Old Testament and the New Tession into every part of the globe, concurred to render any atteinpt at fabrica Lament; containing conjointly a variety of different compositions, historical, tion improbable and impossible before the time of Christ, and after that poetical, and judicial, moral, preceptive, and prophetical, written at various period, the same books being in the hands of the Christians, they would intimes by different persons, through a space of fifteen hundred years, and stantly have detected the fraud of the Jews, if they had endeavoured to afterwards collected into a volume.
accomplish such a design ; while the silence of the Jews, (who would not
have failed to potice the attempt if it had been made,) is a clear proof that GENUINENESS.
they were not corrupted by the Christians.
2. Equally satisfactory is the evidence for the integrity and incorruptness That these books are genuine, that is, were written by those persons whose of the New Testament. The multiplication of copies, both of the original, baznes they bear, we have the most satisfactory evidence, and have no and of translations into a variety of foreign languages, which were read, not no reason to doubt, than that the histories which we have under the only in private, but publicly in the religious assemblies of the early Chris. names of HERODOTUS, XENOPHON, or TACITUS, were written by those au tians; the reverence of the Christians for these writings; the variety of sects thon. For,
and heresies which soon arose in the Christian church, each of whom ap. 1. The books of the Old Testament have always been received as genuine pealed to the Scriptures for the truth of their doctrines, rendered any material by the Jews, and those of the New Testament by Christians, from the earliest alteration in the sacred books utterly impossible; while the silence of their period to the present time ; and, in addition to the earlier books being cited acutest enemies, who would most assuredly have charged them with the or alluded to by subsequent sacred writers, we have ample evidence afforded attempt if it had been made, and the agreement of all the manuscripts and of the genuineness of the Old Testament by Jewish Translators and Writers, versions extant, are positive proofs of the integrity and incorruptness of the od of that of the New, by a regular succession of Christian Writers, who New Testament: which are farther attested by the agreement with it of all quote or allude to a number of passages as we now read them, from the the quotations which occur in the writings of the Christians from the earliest tizies of the Apostles to the present hour ; nor was their genuineness ever age to the present time. In fact, so far from there having been any gross umpagned by the most determined and acute Jewish or heathen adversaries, adulteration in the Sacred Volumes, the best and most able critics have as. or heretics.
Herted and proved that, even in lesser matters, the Holy Scriptures of the 2 Tire language and style of writing, both in the Old and New Testaments, New Testament have suffered less from the injury of time, and the errors of prove them to liave been composed at the time and by the persons to whom transcribers, than any other ancient writings whatever; and that the very they are ascribed. Their diversity of style proves them to have been the worst manuscript extant would not pervert one article of our faith, or destroy work of various authors, and competent Hebrew scholars have shown, that one moral precept. the difference of character and style of the language in the Old Testament, as well as the introduction of certain foreign words, can only be accounted
AUTHENTICITY. for by the supposition that they were composed at different and distant perods, and by the authors to whom they are attributed; while the Greek, in It is no lese certain that the Sacred Writings are authentic, that is, relate which the New Testament is written, which is intermixed with many Ho. matters of fact as they really happened ; and consequently, that they are brev, Chaldee, Syriac, and Latin words and idioms, accords only with the entitled to the fullest credit, and possess the greatest authority. For, tume, situation, country, and circumstances, of the persons to whom it is 1. The Sacred Writers had the very best means of information, and could asenbed.
not be deceived themselves. They were, for the most part, contemporary 3. The inoral impossibility of their being forgeries is an additional evidence with, and eye-witnesses of the facts they record; and those transactions of their genuineness ; for, it is impossible to establish forged writings as which they did not see, they derived from the most certain evidences, and rengine in any place where there are persons strongly inclined, and well drew from the purest sources. Thus, in the four last books of the Penta
unlified, to detect the frand. Now, if the books of the Old Testament be teuch, Moses had a chief concern in all the transactions there related ; and forgeries, they must have been invented either by Gentiles, Jews, or Chris- the authors of the subsequent historical books, as Joshua, Samuel, Ezra, and tians Pat they could not have been invented by the Gentiles, because they | Nehemiah, as well as the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, were alike ignorant of the hiswry and sacred rites of the Hebrews, who relate those events of which they were witnesses; and, when they relate most unquestionably would never have given their approbation to writings cvents that took place before their own times, they refer to certain public ibyratrd by them, nor yot to any fabrications of the Christians, by whom, it documents and annals, then extant, which might be appealed to by their is evident, they could not have been forged, as they were extant long before readers. In like manner, the writers of the New Testament, as Matthew, the Christian name had any existence; and it is equally certain that they Jolin, Peter, James, and Jude, were the immediate disciples of our Saviour; were not invented by the Jews, because they contain various difficult laws his constant attendants and companions throughout his ministry ; eye-witand preoppts, and relate all their idolatries, crimes, and punishments, which Tiesses of the facts and miracles, and ear witnesses of the discourses they
ould not have been inserted if they had been forged by them. Equally im-relate; and the other sacred writers, as Mark and Luke, though themselves possible is it, that the books of the Nero Testament were forged; for the Jews not apostles, yet were the contemporaries and companions of apostles, and were the most violent enemies of Christianity; they put its founder to death ; in habits of society and friendship with those who had been present at the and both Jews and Gentiles persecuted his disciples with implacable hatred. transactions they record; as St. Luke expressly affirms in the beginning of Henee, if the New Testament had been forged, the Jews would certainly his Gospel : "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a have detected the imposture; and the inhabitants of Palestine would not declaration of these things which are most surely believed amongst us; even bare received the Gospels, nor the churches of Rome and Corinth acknow- as they delivered them unto us, which, from the beginning, were eye witnesses lertget the epistles addressed to them, if they had not had sufficient evidence and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me, also, having had perfect unof their genuineness. In fact, these arguments are so strong, that if we deny derstanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee, in order, most the retuineness of the Sacred Writings, we may, with a thousand times excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things more propriety, reject all the other writings in the world as spurious.
wherein thou hast been instructed.'
2. As the sacred writers could not be deceived themselves, so they neither UNCORRUPTED PRESERVATION.
could nor would deceive others. They were so many in number, and lived
at such a distance of time and place from each other, that it was utterly im. Tial the Sacred Writings are not only genuine, but have been transmitted possible for them to carry on any forgery or fraud without being detected; Lo u entire and uncorrupted, and that they are, in all essential points, the and the writers of the New Testament, in particular, were plain, honest, fame as they came originally from the hands of their authors, we have the artless, unlearned men, in very humble occupations of life, and utterly inca. bost satisfactory evidence that can be required. That, in the various tran- pable of carrying on such a refined and complicated system of fraud, as the scripts of these writings, as in all other ancient books, a few letters, syllables, Christian religion must have been, if it was not true. The principal facts O even words, may have been changed, we do not pretend to deny ; but that and events themselves are of such a nature as totally precludes the possi. there has been any designed or fraudulent corruption of any considerable bility of imposition; facts which appeal to the very senses of the men to part, especially of any doctrine, or important part of history or prophecy, no whom the histories were first addressed. Thus Moses could not have perone has ever attempted to prove.
suaded a body of six hundred thousand men (to whom he appeals for the 1. With regard to the Old Testament, the original manuscripts were long truth and reality of those facts, De. xi. 2.) that they had seen rivers turned preserved among the Jews, who were always remarkable for being most into blood,-frogy filling the houses of the Egyptians,--their fields destroyed faithful guardians of their sacred books, which they transcribed repeatedly, by hail and locusts,--their land covered with palpable darkness,-their first. and compared most carefully with the originale, of which they even num-born slain in one night, -the Red Sea forming a wall on the right hand and bered the words and letters. That the Jews have neither mutilated nor cor-left for the passage of the Israelites, but overwhelming their enemies, -a rapted these writings, is fully proved by the silence of the prophets, as well pillar of cloud and fire conducting them.-manna falling down from heaven 2 of Christ and his apostles, who, though they bring many heavy charges for their food,-water gushing out of the rock to quench their thirst,--and
uost them, never once accuse them of corrupting one of their sacred wri: the earth opening and destroying his opponents if all these things had ting; and also by the agreement, in every essential point, of all the versions been false. Nor could the Evangelical historians have succeeded in per. and manascripts (amounting to nearly 1150) which are now extant, and suading their countrymen and contemporaries, that a man, whose death was which furnishes a clear proof of their uncorrupted preservation. In fact, public and notorious, was risen again from the dead, -that narkness had the constant reading of their sacred books, (which were at once the rule of covered the land at the time of his execution, and that there had been an their faith, and of their political constitution.) in public and private ; the earthquake at the moment of his decease,-if all these events led not taken burnerous copies of the original, as well as of the Septuagint version, which place. And, as it is thus evident, that the sacred writers cou Dot possibly wu widely spread over the world: the various sects and parties into which I impose upon others : so it 18 equally certain that they 10%. I nake the
INTRODUCTION. attempt. The whole tenor of their lives demonstrated, as even their bitterest of the magistrate, and the subtleties of the philosopher, over the prejudices enemies have confessed, that they were men of piety and integrity; and they of the Gentiles, and the bigotry of the Jews, and extended its conquests over could have no possible motive to induce them to propagate a deliberate the whole Roman empire, which then comprised nearly the whole known falsehood. They sought neither riches nor glory; and their writings bear world. Nothing, indeed, but the plainest matter of fact could induce so the most unequivocal marks of veracity, candour, and impartiality. They many thousands of prejudiced and persecuted Jews, to embrace the humiliause no panegyric or flattery; they offer no palliation for their own frailties ting and self-denying doctrines of the Gospel, which they had held in such and follies; they conceal nothing; they alter nothing, however disgraceful detestation and abhorrence; nor could any thing but the clearest evidence, to their heroes and sovereigns, to their own nation, or to themselves. How arising from undoubted truth, make multitudes of lawless and luxurious then can they be supposed capable of so gross an imposition as that of as. heathens receive, follow, and transmit to posterity, the doctrines and wri. serting and propagating the most impudent fictions? The writers of the tings of the apostles; especially at a time when the vanity of their preten. New Testament especially could gain by it neither pleasure, profit, norsions to miracles, and to the gift of tongues, could have been easily detected, power. Ou the contrary, it brought upon them the most dreadful evils, and had they been impostors; and at a time when the profession of Christianity even death itself. If, therefore, they were cheats, they were cheats without exposed persons of all ranks and ages to the greatest contempt, and to the any motive, and without any advantage; nay, contrary to every motive and most imminent danger. every advantage that usually influence the actions of men. They preached 6. In addition to the above evidence of the authenticity of the Sacred a religion which forbids falsehood under pain of eternal punishment and Scriptures, it is to be observed, that many of the facts and circumstances re
corded in them are confirmed by the accounts of ancient heathen authors hood; and, whilst guilty of the basest and most uscless knavery themselves, which demonstrates their perfect agreement with the most authentic records they were taking infinite pains, and enduring the greatest labour and suffer
extant. Thus, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the first origin and ing, in order to teach mankind honesty. This is a mode of acting so con
creation of the world out of chaos; the completion of this great work in trary to all experience, to all the principles of human nature, and to all the six days; the formation of man in the image of God, and his existence in a motives of human conduct, as to exceed the bounds of belief, and to compel
state of innocence ; his fall, and the introduction of sin into the world; the every reasonable being at once to reject such a supposition as absurd and
longevity of the antediluvians; the destruction of the world by a deluge ; monstrous. Hence the facts related in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles,
the circumstance of the ark and the dove; the building of the tower of especially, even those evidently miraculous, must be true ; for the testimony | Babel : the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah • many particulars relatine of those who die for what they assert, and of which they are competent to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses; the departure of the Israelites judges, is sufficient evidence to support any miracle whatever.
from Egypt, and their miraculous passage of the Red Sea ; the giving of the 3. Such a multitude of minutely particular circumstances of time, place, law, and Jewish ritual; the fertility of Palestine; the destruction of the person, &c., is mentioned in the books of the Old and New Testaments, as Canaanites by Joshua and the Israelites ; Jephthah's devoting his daughter ; affords a clear and unquestionable proof both of their genuineness and au- the history of Samson ; the history of Samuel and Saul; the slaying of Gothenticity. No forged or false accounts of things thus superabound with liah by David ; many remarkable circumstances respecting David and Soloparticularities, and no forger, or relater of falsehoods, would mention somon: the invasion of Israel by Shalmaneser, and deportation of the twelve great a number of particulars, since this would put into his reader's hands so
tribes; the destruction of Sennacherib's army; the defeat of Josiah by many criteria by which to detect him; nor, in fact, could he produce such a
Pharaoh-necho; the reduction of Jerusalem, and captivity of Jehoahaz; minute detail of circumstances. It is easy to conceive how faithful records, these facts, and others of the same kind, are confirmed by the testimony of kept from time to time by persons concerned in the transactions, should profane authors, and even some of them by traditions, which still exist contain such a minute account of things; but it would be a work of the
among heathen nations, and others by coins, medals, and other monuments highest invention, and greatest stretch of genius, to raise from nothing such | Not less striking and decisive is the testimony of both Roman historians and nurnberless particulars as are almost every where to be met with in the Old Jewish writers to the truth of the principal facts detailed in the New Testaand New Testaments,-particulars, the falsehood of which would most as.
ment; such as Herod's murder of the infants, under two years old, at Bethguredly have been detected by the persons most interested in detecting them, lohem ; many particulars respecting John the Baptist and Herod; the life if they had been forged or false. These accounts were published among the and character of our Lord; his crucifixion under Pontius Pilate; and the people who witnessed the events related by the historians, and who could, I earthquake and miraculous darkness that attended it; the miserable death with the greatest ease, have exposed any fraud or falsehood, if there had of Herod Agrippa ; and many other matters of minor importance related in been any, in the details of such transactions : but they did not attempt to these writingy. Nay, even many of the miracles which Jesus himself question either the reality of the facts, or the fidelity of the narrators; and wrought, particularly in curing the blind and lame, and casting out devils, their acquiescence with them, as well as their obedience to the injunctions are, as to matter of fact, expressly owned and admitted by Jewish writers; contained in these books, are conclusive evidence in favour both of their and by several of the earliest and most implacable enemies of Christianity; genuineness and authenticity, abundantly sufficient to convince every candid for, though they ascribed these miracles to magic, or the assistance of evil inquirer.
spirits, yet they allowed that the miracles themselves were actually wrought. 4. The authenticity of the Old and New Testaments is farther attested by And this testimony of our adversaries, to the miraculous parts of the sacred the principal facts contained in them, being confirmed by certain commemo-history, is the strongest possible confirmation of the truth and authority of rative ordinances of great celebrity, which have existed among the Jews and the whole. Add to this, that in the sacred history, both of the Old and New Christians from the time the events took place, which they are intended to Testaments, there are continual allusions and references to things, persons, commemorate, to the present day, wherever Jews or Christians are to be places, manners, customs, and opinions, which are perfectly confonnable to found. Such, among the Jews, is circumcision, the seal of the covenant with the real state of things in the countries and ages to which they stand related, Abraham, their great progenitor ;-the passover, instituted to commemorate as represented in the most authentic records that remain ; while the rise and the protection of the Israelites, when all the first-born of the Egyptians were fall of empires, the revolutions that have taken place in the world, and the destroyed, and their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, which was the im: grand outlines of chronology, as mentioned or referred to in the Scriptures, mediate consequence ;-the feast of tabernacles, instituted to perpetuate the are coincident with those stated by the most ancient and creditable writers sojourning of the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness ;--the feast of extant.
extant. Pentecost, which was appointed fifty days after the passover, to commemorate! Such are the principal evidences, both external and internal, direct and the delivery of the Law from Mount Sinai ;-and the feast of Purin, kept in collateral, of the authenticity and credibility of the Sacred Scriptures; and memory of the deliverance of the Jews from the wicked machinations of when the number, variety, and extraordinary nature of many of them are Haman. Now all these institutions, which have been held sacred among considered, it is impossible not to come to the conclusion, that the Sacred the Jews in all ages since their appointment, and are solemnly and sacredly Writings contain a true relation of matters of fact as they really happened. observed among them to this day, in whatever country they sojourn, bear the If such a combination of evidence is not sufficient to satisfy every inquirer most unequivocal testimony to the truth of the facts which they are designed into truth, it is utterly impossible that any event, which passed in former to commemorate, and which facts are inseparably interwoven with the his times, and which we did not see with our own eyes, can ever be proved tu tory and laws, and even morality and prophecy, of the Old Testament. In have happened, by any degree of testimony whatever.* like manner, the principal facts of the Gospels are confirmed by certain institutions which subsist to this day among Christians, and are the objects
INSPIRATION. of men's senses. Such is the initiatory rite of Baptism, which is performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, by which those sub The Scriptures are not merely entitled to be received as perfectly authentic mitting to it renounce every other religious institution, and bind themselves and credible, but also as containing the revealed will of God, in other words. to the profession of the Gospel alone ;-the Lord's supper, kept in commemo- as divinely inspired writings. By inspiration is meant such a complete and ration of the life, sufferings, death, resurrection, and the promise of the immediate communication, by the Holy Spirit, to the minds of the sacreu second coming of the Founder of their religion ;-and the observance of the writers, of those things which could not have been otherwise known, ang First day at the Week, in honour of Christ's resurrection from the dead. such an effectual superintendence and guidance, as to those particulars conNow, as these monuments perpetuate the memory, so they demonstrate the
cerning which they might otherwise obtain information; as was amply suftruth, of the facts contained in the Gospel history beyond all reasonable ficient to enable them to communicate religious knowledge to others, with doubt; because, unless the events, of which the Christian rites are com
out any error or mistake, which could in the least affect any of the doctrines memorations, had really taken place, it is impossible to conceive how these
y taken place, it is impossible to conceive how these or precepts contained in their writings, or mislead any person, who consider rites could have come into general use. If Jesus Christ neither lived, nored them as a divine and infallible standard of truth and duty. Every sentaught, nor wrought miracles, nor died, nor rose again from the dead, it is tence, in this view, must be considered as 'the sure testimony of God,' in altogether incredible that so many men, in countries so widely distant, that sense in which it is proposed as truth. Facts occurred, and words should have conspired together to perpetuate such a series of falsehoods, by
were spoken, as to the import of them, and the instructiou contained in commencing the observation of the institution of Baptism, the Lord's sup.
them, exactly as they are here recorded; but the morality of words and acper, and the Lord's day and it is equally incredible that, by continuing to tions, recorded merely as done and spoken, must be judged of by the docobserve them, they should have imposed these falsehoods on posterity. trinal and preceptive parts of the same book. The sacred writers, indeed,
6. The wonderful establishment and propagation of Christianity is a most wrote in such language as their different talents, tempers, educations, habits, onvincing proof of the authenticity of the New Testament; and, conse and associations suggested, or rendered natural to them ; but the Holy Spirit quently, of that of the Old Testament, with which it is intimately and in so entirely superintended them, when writing, as to exclude every error, and separably connected. Before the second century was completed, the Chris- every unsuitable expression, and to guide them to all those which best lian doctrine,-unaided by any temporal power, protected by no authority, suited their several subjects: they are the voice, but the D
suited their several subjects: they are the voice, but the Divine Spirit is the assisted by no art, not recommended by the reputation of its author, not enforced by eloquence in its advocates, but by the force of truth alone, --had For references to classical and other anthors as to the facts stated, see notes to the triumpbed over the tiercest and most determined opposition, over the tyranny | Introduction of Bagster's Comprehensive Bible.
INTRODUCTION. RFBAKER. Now, that the Sacred Writings are thus inspired, we have abund-sent man in a lapsed state, a rebellious and fallen being, alienated from God int evidence of various kinds, amounting to a moral demonstration. For, and goodness, averse by nature to all that is good and amiable, and prone to
L The sacred writers themselves expressly claim Divine inspiration ; and every thing that is sinful and hateful, and consequently exposed to the eterahesitatingly and unequivocally assert that the Scriptures are the Word of nal wrath of God. The Scriptures, however, do not leave us in this wretched Go All the prophets, in the Old Testament, speak most decidedly of them. state ; but they propose an adequate remedy for all our diseases, and an ample Belves, and their predecessors, as declaring not their own words, but the supply for all our wants. They show us how to be delivered from the doword of God. (2 Sa. xxiii. 1, 2. Ne. ix. 30. Ps. xix. 7..11. Is. viii. 20. Je. xx. minion and awsul consequences of sin, and how human nature may be truly 1... xv. 3, 4. xvi. 12.19. Eze. i. 1..3. Xxxviii, 16, 17. Da ix. 12, 13. Mi. ii. improved and perfected, through the obedience, death, and mediation, of the 1.12 Zee. i. 5, 6.) They propose things, not as matters for consideration, only begotten Son of God, by receiving him as made of God unto us wisdom, sut for adoption : they do not leave us the alternative of receiving or reject-righteousness, sanctification, and redemption--as an effectual root and prinng: they do not present us with their own thoughts, but exclaim, Th48ciple of holiness; and by walking in him by faith, denying ungodliness and sit the LORD, and on that ground claim our assent. The Apostles and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present writers of the New Testament, also speak respecting the prophets of the Old world, setting our affections on things above, where Christ is, and mortify. festament, as boly men of God, who spake as they were moved by the ing, through the Holy Spirit, every sinful and corrupt affection. We are Holy Ghost' (2 Pe. 1. 19..21. He, i. 1, 2.) These writings are expressly af taught to love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul; to lovo firmed to be the Oracles of God,' (Ro. iii. 2.); and it is declared that all our neighbours as ourselves; to fulfil perfectly the particular duties of every Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for relative station; to lay aside all malice, envy, hatred, revenge, and other reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God malevolent dispositions or passions ; to love our enemies; to render good for may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.' Our Saviour evil, blessing for cursing; and to pray for them who despitefully use us. lumself expressly recognizes them, on various occasions, as the infallible These laws of universal purity and benevolence are prescribed with an auWord of God, and of Divine authority. (Mat iv. 4..11. xii. 1..5, 41, 42. thority proper only to God, and extended to such a compass and degree as W.L.14. m . 29.32, 41.46. Mar. vii. 1.,9. Lu. iv. 23.27. xvi. 29..31. Jn. v. God alone can demand ; and those sins are forbidden which God alone 33.. 47.) The sacred writers of the New Testament also adopt language, could either observe or prohibit. The most powerful motives to duty and which, in its most obvious meaning, claims the attention of their readers to dissuasives from vice, are wisely proposed and powerfully urged; motives Deur own instructions as to the Word of God; and they also thus attest and drawn from the nature and perfections, the promises and threatenings, thu sanction one another's writings in the most unequivocal manner. (1 Co. vii. mercies and judgments of God, particularly from his overflowing benevolence 39. 40. Th. iv. 6.8. 2 Pe. iii. 1..4, 14..16.) Now, admitting the veracity of and mercy in the work of our redemption, and from advantages and disadtise writers, (which, we have seen, is absolutely unimpeachable, we must vantages, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. And, while the most excellent adure that the Scriptures are the inspired and infallible word of God. In
means of directing and exciting to the cxercise of piety and virtue are they were ide men, (and every man mtist perceive that they were neither established in the most excellent forms and authoritative manner, the most ignorant nor void of sense.) they could not have been deluded into the perfect and engaging patterns of holiness and virtue are set before us in the iya gination that "hey, their predecessors and contemporaries, were inspired ; example of our Redeemer, and of God as reconciled in Him, and reconciling fund, if they were gond men, (as they certainly must have been, for bad men,
the world to himself. Now, all these things were written at a time when all if they could, would not have written a book which so awfully condemned the rest of the world, even the wisest, and most learned, and most celebrated the nelves.) they would not have thus confidently asserted their own inspi
nations of the earth, were funk in the grossest ignorance of God and religion; ration, and anctioned that of each other, unless they had been inspired;
were worshipping idols and brute beasts, indulging themselves in the most they would not have accribed their own inventions to inspiration, especially abominable vicea, living in envy, hatred, and strife, hateful, and hating one na much forgeries are so severely reprobated in every part of them. Con
another. It is a most singular circumstance, that a people in a remote, obBapeatiy, the Bible must be the word of God, inspired by him, and thus
scure corner of the world, far inferior to several hea:hen nations in learning, given to inan.
in philosophy, in genius, in science, and in all the polite arts, should yet be 2 A great many wise and good men, through many generations, of various so infinitely their superiors in their ideas of a Supreme Being, and or every nations, and in different countries, have agreed in receiving the Bible as a thing relative to morality and religion. This cannot be accounted for on Divide revelation. The Jews have unquestionably in all ages acknowledged any other supposition than that of their having been instructed in these the Seniptures of the Old Testament as the word of God ; and Christians, things by God himself, or by persons commissioned and inspired by Him; fron the earliest ages to the present tirne, have not been less backward in that is, of their having been really favoured with those Divine revelations testifying their belief in the inspiration of both the Old and New Testament which are recorded in the sacred books of the Old and New Testaments. Many of them have been distinguished for piety, erudition, penetration, and Indeed, both the doctrines and morality of the Sacred Scriptures infinitely impartiality in judging of men and things. With infinite labour and patient transcend the abilities of the penman, if they were not inspired. Men of the investigation, they detected the impostures by which their contemporaries best education, far less men of no education, could not of themselves form were daped; but the same assiduous examination confirmed them in be. such exalted schemes of religion, piety, and virtue; and wicked men, as lieving the Bible to be the word of God; and induced them, living and they must have been if they were impostory, would not publish and prosecute dring, to recommend it to all others, as the source of all true wisdom, hope, such a scheme of mystery, holiness, and morality. and consolation. Now, although this does not amount to a demonstration, 5. The harmony of the sacred writers fully demonstrates that they wroto yet it is a strong presumptive proof, of the inspiration of the Scriptures; by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Other historians continually differ and it must be allowed to bo a consideration of vast importance, that the from each other: the errors of the former writers are constantly criticised whole company of those who worshipped the living God in spirit and in and corrected by the latter; and it even frequently happens that contempo. trath,' including those who laid down their lives as a testimony of their un rary writers contradict each other in relating a fact that happened in their shake belief, and who were the most pious, holy, and useful men in every own time, and within the sphere of their own knowledge. Should an equal age, have unanimously concurred in handing them down to us as a divine number of contemporaries, of the same country, education, habits, profesTerelation, and have very little differed about the books which form that sion, natural disposition, and rank in life, associating together as a distinct cred deposit
company, concur in writing a book on religious subjects, of even less extent 2. The matter contained in the Scriptures requires a Divine inspiration than that of the Bible, each furnishing his proportion without comparing Setting aside, for a inoment, the prediction of future events, and the excel notes, the attentive reader would easily discover among them considerablo ory of its doetripes and morality, and merely admitting the veracity of the diversity of opinion. But the writers of the Scriptures succeeded each other cred writers, (which we have every reason to do) we must admit that during a period of nearly sixteen hundred years; some of them were princes
rh of the information contained in the Bible absolutely required a Divine or priests, others shepherds or fishermen ; their natural abilities, education, terelation. The history of the creation, part of that of the flood, &c. as re- habits, and occupations, were exceedingly dissimilar ; they wrote laws, hislaced in the seriptores, could have been known to God alone. Mysteries tory, prophecy, odes, devotional exercises, proverbs, parables, doctrines, and relative to a Trinity of persons in the Godhead, -the nature and perfections controversy, and each had his distinct department; yet they all exactly agree of God, the covenant of grace,-the incarnation of the Son of God, his in the exhibition of the perfections, works, truths, and will of God ; of the mediatorial offices, and redemption through his blood,-justification, adop-nature, situation, and obligations of man; of sin and salvation; of this world tron, sanctification, and eternal blessedness in him,--and the offices of the and the next; and, in short, in all things connected with our duty, safety, Holy Spirit the Comforter,-these, and many others of a like nature, God interest, and comfort, and in the whole of the religion which they have only could either comprehend or discover. Mysteries, therefore, in the promulged: they all were evidently of the same judgment, aimed to esSrriptures, rather confirm than invalidate their inspiration : for a book, I tablish the same principles, and applied them to the same practical purposes. claiming to be a revelation from God, and yet devoid of mystery, would, by One part of Scripture is so intimately connected with, and tends so powerthe very circumstance, confute itself. Incomprehensibility is inseparable fully to the establishment or another, that one part cannot be reasonably refron God and his works, even in the most inconsiderable, such, for instance, ceived without receiving the whole ; and the more carefully it is examined, e the growth of a blade of grass. The mysteries of the Scriptures are sub and the more diligently it is compared, the more evident will it appear, that lime, interesting, and useful : they display the Divine perfections ; lay al every part, like the stones in an arch, supports, and receives support from the fondation for our hope ; and inculcate humility, reverence, holiness, love, rest, and that they unitedly constitute one grand and glorious whole. In and gratitude. What is incomprehensible must be mysterious; but it may both the Old and New Testaments, the subsequent boo
both the Old and New Testaments, the subsequent books, or succeeding be intelligible as far as it is revealed; and though it be connected with parts of the same book, are connected with the preceding, as the narrative things abore our reason, it may imply nothing contrary to it. Hence, it may either of the execution of a plan, or of the fulfilment of a prediction. If we be confidentiy inferred, from these mattery contained in the Scriptures, that receive the history, we must also receive the prediction; if we admit the prethey were given by inspiration of God.
diction, we must also admit the history. Every where the same facts are sup4. The scheme of doctrine and morality contained in the Bible is so exalt. posed, related, or prepared for; the same doctrines of a gracious redemption
pre, and benevolent, that God alone could either devise or appoint it. through Jesus Christ exhibited or supposed to be true; the same rules or ex. In the Scriptures alone, and in such books as make them their basis, is the emplifications of piety and virtue; the same motives and inducements to the infinite God introduced as speaking in a manner worthy of himself, with performance of duty; the same promises of mercy, and threatenings of just nim plicity, majesty, and authority. His character, as there delineated, com misery to persons, societies, or nations, without a single contradiction. pries all possible excellence, without any intermixture; his laws and ordi Apparent inconsistencies may indeed perplex the superficial reader; but they Rances accord with his perfections ; his works and dispensations exhibit vanish before an accurate and persevering investigation ; nor could any them; and all his dealings with his creatures bear the stamp of infinite charge of disagreement among the sacred writers ever be substantiated; for Wisdom, power, justice, purity, truth, çoodness, and mercy, harmoniously it could only be said that they related the same facts with different circum
played. While the Suprerne Being is thus described as possessed of every stances, which are perfectly reconcileable, and that they gave instructions perfection, unbounded and incomprehensible in his essence and nature, and as suited to the persons they addressed, according to various circumstances of w Creator. Governor, and Benefactor of his creatures, the Scriptures repre. I time, place, and manner, without systematicauy showing their harmony w
INTRODUCTION. other parts of divine truth. They did not write in concert, and they be- | the latest of which was delivered 1700 years ago, and some of them 800C stowed no pains to avoid the appearance of inconsistency; yet the exact years ago, the descendants of Shem and Japheth are 'ruling' and 'enlarged, coincidences plainly perceptible among them,-not only in their grand, pri and the wretched descendants of Ham are still the servants of servants, mary, and general objects, which are written as with the beams of the sun, (Ge. ix. 25. 27.) ;-the posterity of Ishmael have multiplied exceedingly, but in particular subjects comprehended in their plan, and even in particular and become a great nation' in the Arabians; yet living like 'wild men,' and words and expressions, (though they evidently borrowed nothing from one shifting from place to place in the wilderness, their hand against every another,)-is truly astonishing, and cannot be accounted for on any rational man, and every man's hand against then,' and still 'dwelling,' an independprinciples, without admitting that they all wrote 'as they were moved by ent and free people, in the presence of all their brethren,' and in the prethe Holy Ghost,'--that all their writings were indited under the influence of sence of all their enemies, (Ge. xvi. 10..12. xvii. 20.);-the family of Esau has the same Spirit, and flowed from the same infallible Source.
become extinct, 'cut off for ever,' so that there is none ' remaining of the 6. The multitude of miracles, which only the infinite power of God could house of Esau,' (Je. xlix. 17, &c. Eze. xxv. 12, &c. Joel iii. 19. Am. i. 11, &c. effect, wrought in confirmation of the divine mission of the writers of the Ob. 10, 18, &c.); - the sceptre has departed from Judah,' (Ge. xlix. 10.), Sacred Scriptures, afford us a most convincing proof of their inspiration. It though the Jews still'dwell alone, and are not reckoned among the nahas been already seen, that the narrations of these miracles were published tions,' while the remembrance of Amalek is utterly put out from under very soon after the time, and at the places, in which they were said to have heaven,' (Nu. xxiii. 9. xxiv. 20.);--Nineveh is so completely destroyed, that been wrought; that they were performed in the most conspicuous manner, the place thereof cannot be known, (Na. L.III.) ;-Babylon has been swept before very great multitudes, enemies as well as friends ; that they were of with the besom of destruction, and is made a desolation for ever, a posses. such a nature,-appealing to the very senses of men,-as totally precluded sion for the bittern and pools of water,''a dwelling place for dragons, an the possibility of deception; that public ceremonies were instituted in astonishment and hissing, without an inhabitant,' (Isa. XIIL XIV.) ;-Tyre memory of several of them, which have been observed in all ages ; that the has become like the top of a rock, a place for fishers to spread their neta reality of them, as facts, was admitted even by the most determined enemies upon,' (Eze. xxvi. 4,5.);-Egypt, a base kingdom, the basest of the king. of Divine revelation ; that the witnesses, from whom we have received the doms,' still tributary and subject to strangers, so that it has never been able accounts of them, were many in number, unanimous in their evidence, of un- to exalt itself above the nations,' (Eze. xxix. 14, 15);-the fourth and last questionable good sense, undoubted integrity, and unimpeachable veracity, of the four great empires, which was greater and more powerful than any of who showed the sincerity of their own conviction by acting under the uni the former, has been divided into ten lesser kingdoms; and among them has form influence of the extraordinary works to which they bore witness, in arisen a power 'with a triple crown diverse from the first,' with a mouth opposition to all their former notions and prejudices, and in contradiction of speaking very great things,' and with a look more stout than his fellows, every worldly honour, profit, or advantage, either for themselves or friends, speaking great things against the Mont High, wearing out the saints of and at last by laying down their lives in confirmation of the facts which they the Most High, and changing times and laws,' which did 'cast down the attested; and that vast multitudes of their contemporaries, men of almost truth to the ground, and prosper, and practice, and destroy the holy people, all ages, tempers, and professions, were persuaded by them that they really not regarding the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard were performed in the manner related, and gave the strongest testimony any god,' but honouring the god of forces,' or Mauzzim, gods-protectors, which was in their power of the firmness of their belief, by foregoing every and causing the priests of Mauzzin' to rule over many, and divide the land worldly advantage, and suffering every temporal evil which was endured by for gain,' (Da. xi. 37..39.) Jerusalem has been destroyed, with all the cirthe original witnesses. To this it may be added, that the number of the cumstances related in the Evangelists, and the Jews have been led away miracles is almost incalculable; that they were all calculated to answer into all nations, and Jerusalem trodden down by the Gentiles,' through a some great and benevolent end, every way worthy of the infinitely wise and long series of ages, (Lu. xxi. 24.) ;-for their infidelity and disobedience to beneficent Creator; that they were wrought in attestation of nothing but their great Prophet like unto Moses, they have been plucked from off their what was agreeable to reason, so far as reason could apprehend it, and in own land, and removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, and scattered confirmation of a religion the most holy, pure, and benevolent; and per among the heathen, among the nations, among all people, from one end of formed by persons of the greatest moral worth, and the most eminent pat. the earth even to the other,' sifted 'among all nations, liko as corn is sifted terns of every virtue. Now, admitting the reality of the miracles related in in a sieve,' having been left few in number among the heathen,'have'pined the Sacred Writings, (as every unprejudiced mind must be constrained to away in their iniquity in their enemies' lands,' have become an astonishdo,) and rationally believing, that the Supreme Being, the God of truth, wis ment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations,' 'a reproach, a taunt, dom, and goodness, can never give his testimony to falsehood, it irresistibly and a curse,' have found ' among these nations no ease, and the sole of their follows that the Scriptures are, as they unequivocally claim to be, the Word foot has had no rest; but the Lord has given them a trembling heart, and of God, written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind, and sent a faintness into their hearts in 7. The astonishing and miraculous preservation of the Scriptures from be- the lands of their enemies, so that the sound of a shaken leaf has chased ing either lost or corrupted, is an overwhelming instance of God's providen them,' and they have been many days without a king, and without a prince, tial care, and a constant sanction and confirmation of their truth and Divine and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and authority, continued by Him in all ages of the church. While the histories without a teraphim,' (Le. xxvi. 38, 39. Deut. xxix. 62.67. Exo. v. 10..15. Ho. of mighty empires, and innumerable volumes of philosophy and literature, in iii. 4.); and yot, while their mighty conquerors are every where destroyed, the preservation of which the admiration and care of all mankind seemed to they are miraculously preserved a distinct people, and neither swallowed up conspire, have been lost and forgotten in the lapse of time, the Sacred Scrip- nor lost among the various nations amidst whom they are dispersed, but are tures, though far more ancient, and though hated and opposed by Satan and reserved until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,' when they shall 'seek his agents in all ages, who sought with the deadliest hatred to cause their the Lord their God, and David their king: and shall fear the Lord and his very memory to perish from among men, have come down to our own time goodness in the latter days ;'-in the mean time, the Gentiles have been adentire and genuine, free from every material error, and nearly in their original vanced in their room, and God has given to the Messiah 'the heathen for purity. With great wisdom, God, for their preservation, ordered an original his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession,' (Ps. copy to be deposited in the holy of holies, (Deut. xxxi. 26); appointed the ii. 8.), and the gradual, but progressive, and steadily advancing conversion careful and frequent reading of them, both in public and private; and that of heathen nations in our own days, prepares us to expect the speedy arrival every Hebrew monarch should write out a copy for his own use, (Deut. xvii. of the time when Jehovah shall be worshipped 'from the rising of the sun 18.) With astonishing kindness and wisdom has he made the various con- even to the going down of the same,' and when his 'name shall be great tending parties who had access to the Scriptures,--such as the Jews and Is. among the Geptiles,' (Mal. i. 11.) ;--the grand apostacy from the Christian raelites, the Jews and Samaritans, the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Jews faith has already taken place, which consists' in giving heed to reducing and Christians, and the various sects and parties of Christians,--mutual spirits, and doctrines of devils, (or demons, worshipping angels and departed checks upon each other for almost three thousand years, that they might saints, and is promoted through) speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their not be able either to extirpate or corrupt any part of them; and by quickly consciences seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding multiplying the copies both of the original and translations, as well as the te abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanks. readers of the Scriptures, he rendered it absolutely impossible to falsify giving of them which believe and know the truth,' (1 Ti. iv, 1..3.) The seven them in any thing important, without causing the corruption to start up in churches of Asia lie in the same desolate state that the angel signified to every copy dispersed through the world, and in the minds of almost every St. John, (Re. II. III.) their 'candlestick removed out of its place,' their reader-than which supposition nothing can be more absurd and monstrous. churches turned into mosques, and their worship into supertition ;-aud the By what tremendous judgments did he restrain and punish Antiochus characters of the beast and false prophet,'-to whom' was given to make Epiphanes, the Syro-grecian king, Dioclesian, the Roman emperor, and war with the saints, and to overcome them,' and power over all kindreds, others, who attempted to destroy the Sacred Scriptures, in order to extirpate and tongues, and nations,' so that all that dwell upon the earth worshipped the Jewish or Christian religion! And he has bestowed amazing support him,'-have been exemplified in every particular, and also those of the and consolation on such as have risked or parted with their lives rather whore of Babylon,' mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and than deny the dictates of Scripture, or in the least contribute to their de- abominations of the earth: with whom the kings of the earth have commitstruction or misinterpretation. During the profanation of Antiochus, who ted fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with ever was found with the book of the law was put to death, and every copy the wine of her fomication,' while she herself has been drunken with the that could be found, burned with fire ; and Dioclesian, after the most bar. blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus,' and she is barous havoc of the Christians, issued an edict, commanding them, on pain that great city (seated upon seven mountains) which reigneth over the kings of death under the most cruel forms, to deliver up their Bibles; though of the earth,' (Re. XIII. XVII) These, and many other events, fulfilling an. many complied with this sanguinary edict, yet the greater part disregarded cient predictions, very many ages after they were delivered, can never be it; and notwithstanding these, and numberless other calamities, the Sacred accounted for, except by allowing, that He who sees and 'Geclares the end Volumes have survived pure aud uncorrupted to the present day, and doubt from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,' less will exist as long as there is a church in the world--till the end of time (Isa. xlv. 21.), thus revealed his secret purposes, that their accomplishment and the consummation of all things--a monument of God's unceasing and might prove the Scriptures to be His word. The prophecies also, though providential care, and an unquestionable attestation of their inspiration and written by different men, in different ages, have yet a visible connexion and Divine authority.
dependency, an entire harmony and agreement with one another; formning 8. The prophecies contained in the Sacred Scriptures, and fulfilling to this altogether a prophetical history of the world, as to the grand outlines, from day, which form a species of perpctual miracles, challenging the investiga- the beginning of time to the consummation of all things; and accompanied tion of mon of every age, fully demonstrate that they are divinely inspired with such a distinct notation of order, place, and time, as has been justly Almost every historical passage of the Bible is a narrative of something an- termed the geography and chronology of prophecy. As one prediction retecedently foretold; and the New Testament is little else than a relation of ceived its accomplishment, others were given, connecting prophecy with the Mulfilment of the predictions and types of the Old Testament, relative to history, till the Revelation of St. John concluded the whole; and evento Jesus Christ and his church. According to the prophecios in these books. I have hitherto, in every age and nation, exactly corresponded with those INTRODUCTION. prediction. So many extraordinary and improbable events, which have oc- Christians are not at all qualified to dispute with infidels, yet they are ena. carred through so many ages, and in so many nations, as foretold in the bled, through this inward testimony, to obey the Gospel, and to suffer in its Scriptores, could only have been made known by the Omniscient God him. cause; and they can no more be convinced by reasonings and objections, that self; and must convince every rational mind, that the prophecy came not uninspired men wrote or invented the Bible, than they can be porsuaded that of old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were man created the sun, whose light they behold, and by whose beams they aro mored by the Holy Ghost.' 2 Pet. I. 20, 21.
warmed and cheered. 9. The extraordinary success which has attended Christianity, which is founded on the Sacred Seriptures, while it proves the truth of the facts TESTIMONY TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE AUTHORIZED which they detail, and demonstrates the fulfilment of the prophecies they
TRANSLATION. contain, is a continued miraculous proof of their divine origin. Other reli000. have owed their extension and prevalence to the celebrity of their The venerable Bede seems to have been the first person who attempted the founders, to the learning of their advocates, to their conformity to the pre-translation of the Scriptures into Anglo-Saxon. He translated the Psalter,
dies and passions of men, to the energy of the secular arm, or even to the and afterwards the Gospel of John. This was in A. D. 734. In the latter power of the sword; but Christianity was totally destitute of all these ad part of the next century, Alfred the Great ordered the whole Bible to be Fantares (if such they may be termed,) either to recommend or enforce its translated into Anglo-Saxon, and himself undertook to translate the Book of reception in the world. Its founder was put to an ignominious death by the Psalms, but died in A. D. 900, before it was completed. Little or nothing comma consent of his countrymen ; its original promulgators were twelve was done in the next 400 years, till the time of Wickliffe, who, in 1380, com.
erate meu, wholly devoid of every kind of worldly influence; its doc pleted the whole Bible. In the fifteenth century printing was invented, and trines were opposed to the principles and practices of the whole world, immediately employed for multiplying copies of the Scriptures. In 1526, deeply rooted by inclination, and firmly established by extensive custom, by William Tyndal (a Welshman) printed his first New Testament at Antwerp, la continued laws, and by the high and universal authority of nations. I and was soon after burned for heresy in Flanders. He expired praying, -Yet, by the simple preaching of the Gospel, Christianity triumphed over the " Lord, open the King of England's eyes!" craft, rage, and power of the infuriated Jews,-over the haughtiness, policy, Henry VIII. was long averse to having the Scriptures in English; but as and power or use Roman empire, -over the pride of learning, and the obsti.
soon as Cranmer could get permission, he divided the New Testament into Bacy of ignorance, hatred, prejudice, and lust,-over the hardened inclina. ninc parts, and sent it to as many learned divines for a new translation, who tions, deep-rooted customs, and long-established laws of both Jews and all performed their parts except Tonstall Bichon of I
all performed their parts except Tougtall, Bishop of London, who sent word Parans, - that, notwithstanding every conceivable form of opposition, to the Archbishop, he would have no hand in it. The work was, however, wuun a few years after Christ's ascension, it prevailed, in a greater or less finished ; and, after much discuity, printed and published. In 1539, Lord degree, in almost every coner of the Roman empire, and in the countries ad Cromwell procured from Henry VIII, license for the people to read the Word jacent; and multitudes, at the hazard of every temporal loss or punishment, of Godi and the permission was most joyfully received. The first Bible thus readily believed, constantly adhered to, and cheerfully and strictly practised tolerated was called Coverdale's, because he superintended the publication. its rare and holy precepts. Nor has the success of Christianity been con. During the next reign, that of Edward VI., Bibles were placed in all the fort to the early ages only; for, during the period of eighteen centuries, churches; but were again displaced at the accession of the crue! Queen Botwithstanding innumerable persecutions, together with the wickedness of Mary, and every person endangered his life who was found reading it.* profesors, and the inconceivable villanies and base indifference of the clergy, Great numbers of the clergy, and other friends to the Reformation, now fled it has been more or less successful in reforming the hearts and lives of mul to Geneva, where the edition called the Geneva Bible was printed, in 1560. titades in almost every nation under heaven; and we may assert, that even Eight years afterwards, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was printed the at present, there are many thousands, who have been reclaimed from a pro-Bishops' Bible; so called as being prepared and published under the care of fane and immoral course of conduct, to sobriety, equity, truth, purity, and Archbishop Parker, with the aid of seven other Bishops. piety, and to an exemplary behaviour in the relative duties of life. Having
At the Hampton Court Conference, in 1603, Dr. Rainolds suggested the been made free from sin, and become the servants of God, they have their propriety of a new translation, which being approved by the King, fifty-four fruit upto holiness ;' and, after patiently continuing in well-doing,' and learned divines, of Westminster and the two English Universities, were apebeerfusiy bearing various afflictions, they joyfully meet death, being sup- pointed to the task, though forty-seven only appear to have engaged in it. portet by the bope of eternal life, as the gift of God through Jesus Christ :' The divines of Westminster translated the historical books of the Old Testasule they who are best acquainted with them, are most convinced, that ment, from Genesis to Chronicles, and also the Apostolical Epistles; those they have been rendered more wise, holy, and happy, by believing the Bible; at Cambridge took the rest of the Old Testament to the end of Ecclesiastes, and that there is a reality in religion, though various interests and passions and the Apocrypha; and the divines of Oxford, the Prophets, the Gospels, Bu keep then from duly embracing it. This would, indeed, be far more the Acts, and the Apocalypse. aperot were the Gospel more generally, or fully believed and obeyed. Among the Westminster divines were Dro. (afterwards Bishops) Andrews Did all men believe and obey the Bible, as a divine revelation ; were repent and Overall. The former said to be acquainted with fifteen languages, and a dece, aod renunciation of all vice and immorality, universal or even general, most excellent divine ; the other, unquestionably a man of learning, and contided with the spiritual worship of God, faith in his truth and mercy, | Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. Dr. Seravia, who had been Protid the mediation of his Son, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, as visi fessor of Divinity at Leyden, and, after coming to England, Prebend of WestDe a true believer they would form the bulk of mankind into such I minster. He was the bosom friend of the immortal Hooker, who actually characters, and would produce such effects, as the world has never yet wit died in his arms. And Mr Bedwell, a great Arabic scholar. The University Desd. Men would then habitually and uniformly do justice, speak truth, I lists included the Professors of Greek and Hebrew, Archbishop Abbot, and show mercy, exercise mutual forgiveness, follow after peace, bridle their | Dr. Rainolds, with whom the work originated, and other divines, of eminent apretites and jassions, and lead sober, righteous, and godly lives. Murders, learning and great respectability. When the work was gone through, three sary, slasery, cruel oppressions, rapine, fraud, and unrestrained licentious.
copies were sent to Stationery' Hall, London, and revised by two divines Deze, would no more desolate the earth, nor fill it with misery, nor would frorn each University, and two from Westminster. The whole was again rebutter contentions ever more destroy domestic comfort ; but righteousness, viewed by Bilson, Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Myles Smith; these propoudress, and truth, would bless the world with a felicity far exceeding all fixed arguments to the several books, and the latter wrote the preface to the Cor urisent conceptions. Such has been the extraordinary succcee and happy I whole. In 1611, the work was published, dedicated to the King, and ordered efect of the religion of the Bible; and such is doubtless the direct and le-to be read in churches. Estimate tendency of its doctrines, precepts, motives, and promises. Tol Messrs. Thompson and Orme, from whom many of these particulars aro what cauten, can we attribute the success which has attended Chris-talen, vive it the following character :-"Like every thing human, it is no tality in the absence of every thing else to recommend or enforce it, but to doubt imperfect; but, as a translation of the Bible, it has few rivals, and no an Almighty inducdce accompanying the preaching of the Gospel'--to its superior. It is in general faithful, simple, and perspicuous. It has seized the but wg preaclied with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven?' And is not spirit, and copied the manner of the divine originals; it seldom descends to this be of the strongest possible attestations made by the God of truth I meanness or vulgarity, but often rises to elegance and sublimity; it is level kurall, to the truth and Divine inspiration of the Sacred Volume? And, to the understanding of the cottager, and fit to meet the eye of the critic, the wcile its extraordinary success and eflects thus constrain us to admit the poet, and the philosopher. Its phraseology is now familiar to us from our Dirige authonty of the Seriptures, the holy and happy tendency of its doc infancy; it has had the most extensive influence on the style of religious the proves, that they could not have originated either with bad angels or works of every description, and has contributed much to fix the standard of mon, soce they are so diametrically opposite to their vicious inclinations, the English language itself. No work has ever been more generally read, or interests, and honour; nor yet with uninspired good men, who would not more universally adınired ; and such is its complete possession of the public Lare dared thus to personate God, and to ascribe their own inventions to in: I mind, that no translation differing materially from it can ever become $man It remains, therefore, that God must be their author; and that popular." *hony mrn of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,' not in the | Selden, a very leamed lay member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, Sunds which we's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.' in his "Table Talk," says, “The English translation of the Bible is the best . CO. IL 13.
translation in the world; taking in for the English translation the Bishops' 18. Lastly, Though these arguments are abundantly sufficient to silence ob Bible, as well as King James'." Joctors, and to produce a rational conviction of the Divine origin and au Bp. ITalion, author of the Polyglot Bible, says, " The last English transla. thority of the Srriptures, yet it is only the effectual application of them to tion, made by diverse learned men at the command of King James, may justly thre mind, conscience, and heart, in their self-evidencing light and power, contend with any now extant, in any language of Europe."
laich can produce a cordial and saving persuasion that they are indeed | L. Capellus, Professor of Divinity and the Oriental languages at Saumur, THE WORD OF GOD. But when thus applied, then 'He that believeth lath and author of the Critica Sacra," bears witness to our translation as "both the witness in himself,' (1 Jn, v. 10.) The discoveries which he has made 1 true and agreeable, as well to the original words as to the analogy of faith." by the Divine light of the Seriptures; the sanctifying and abiding effects Dr. Durell, a celebrated Hebrew critic, was of opinion, that "the chief produced on his judgment, dispositions, and affections: the comfortable et excellency of the version now in use, consists in its being a closer translation Derience which he has had, that God fulfils the promises of His word to than any that had precedod ; in using the properest language for popular use." Een who trust in them, and the earnests of heaven enjoyed by him in
• The late Dr. Franklin relates of his pious great-grandfather, in the reign of this Comuniog with God, put the matter beyond all doubt; so that there is no Queen, that, having an English Bible, which was then a mark of heresy, they were stating the eyes, por hardening the heart against them,--no possibility of obliged to conceal it under the lid of a night-stool. When he read it, one of the family
obouing stupid and unconcerned under them; but the whole faculties of was set to watch, lest an officer of the Spiritual Court should be on the listen; and when the sul are necessarily affected with them, as indeed stamped with diving he had done, he restored it to its hiding place, till another opportunity occurred of read Ovidence, and attended with almighty power. And, though many real ling it.- Franklin's Life.