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and familiarly conversing with some of them for forty days together; and finally ascending up to heaven before their eyes.

Would you expect, that his difciples, who were eye and ear witnesses of his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, and could not possibly be deceived in facts so open to all their senses, should at their peril preach this Saviour to the world; and continually undergo a life of painful travel and fa. tigue, poverty and reproach, opposition and persecution, to propagate his gospel; and that they would finally facrifice their lives in the cause, and seal their doctrine with their blood ?- This they have done, "nd it is impossible that more could be done, to raise their truth and sincerity above all suspicion.

Would you expect, that these disciples should be extraordinarily and peculiarly qualified for their great work; and sent forth to the nations with suf. ficient credentials to confirm their testimony, and inake their doctrines credible! What greater fur. niture can you possibly suppose needful in such a cafe, than for a number of unlearned men and wo. men, to be instantaneously endued with an intimate and familiar acquaintance with all sorts of languages; and (not, as pretended by some energumens and the modern French prophets, have their organs of speech improved by the devil, in pro. nouncing languages which they did not understand, but) capable constantly and familiarly to converse with every nation in their own proper speech ; and with greatest propriety to write, and transmit to pofterity the history and religion of their Lord and Master, in a foreign language which they had never learned.-Can you, Sir, possibly imagine a greater and brighter display of the immediate agency and omnipotent power of the glorious Author of our

beings, beings, than thus at once to enlarge the mind, and furnish it with such an amazing extent of knowledge, while God himself has borne them witness, with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will ?

Suppose you should see some unlearned rustics, with whom you are acquainted, pretending to a new revelation, and confirming their pretences, by speaking familiarly all the languages of Europe, by healing the sick and decrepit with a word, raising the dead to life, and striking men dead by a word, revealing the secrets of other mens hearts, communicating these and fuch like powers to others, by the iinposition of their hands; and declaring to you, that it was not by their own power or holiness that they performied these works, should you find the strictest holiness and conformity to the divine nature, joined with these miraculous powers,--Would you not believe the truth of their pretensions ? Would you not acknowledge, that God was in them of a truth?

Would you expect that those men, who were sent out to preach and propagate a new religion in the world, should themfelves be inspired with a prophetic spirit, and capable to foretel future events and is not this alfo visibly fact in the case before us? Have they not distinctly foretold the state and fate of the Church in all its periods, until the confummation of all things ?-Do not we ourfelves see their predictions exactly and circumstan. tially verified, with respect to the rise, reign, and rage of Antichrift; and with respect to the Jews still continuing a distinct people, and remaining in their unbelief, until God Mall again graff them into the olive-tree, from whence they have been cut off? C 2


Would you expect, that the Meffiah should profper and succeed those disciples, whom he should fend out to propagate the gospel among the nations, by the conversion of multitudes to the faith !-And do we not find in fact, that he has assisted a few mean and unlearned fishermen, without riches or power, art or eloquence, to triumph over all the prejudices in mens minds against the doctrines of the cross, over all the bitter opposition of the rulers of the world, all the rivetted prepossessions amongit both Jews and Gentiles to their ancient religion, and all the learning of Greece and Rome, and to bring fo great a part of the world into a professed subjection to the Cross of Christ !

Would you expect, that the religion of such a Saviour should be every way worthy of God, agree. able to all his glorious perfections, and every way suitable for man, perfective of his nature, and adapted to his welfare, in every station, relation, and capacity that he sustains in this world, as well as to his eternal interest in the world to come ? All this (I think) is what the Deists themselves are forced to allow.

Would you expect some apparent influence of this religion upon the hearts and lives of thofe who fincerely profess it, and who commit their fouls and eternal interests into the hands of this Saviour And do not you yourself see this continually exemplified? Do not every body see, that they who cordially receive the Lord Jesus Christ for their Prince and Saviour, are distinguished from the rest of the world, by the exercise of love both to God and man?-Is not the change wrought in the hearts and lives of fuch, visible to every observer, in the blessed fruits of holiness, righteousness, charity, and beneficence?- This change they themselves profefs to have experienced, by their exercise of faith in


the Lord Jesus Christ. This experience they justi. fy to the world, by the steady conduct of their lives.-And thus the great Redeemer approves himself indeed the great Physician of souls, by recovering all from their spiritual maladies, who apply to him, and depend upon him for a cure.

Would you expect a content and harmonicus scheme of religion through all the parts of divine Revelation ?-And is it not wonderful to observe, how the New Testament every way answers the design of the Old; and how all the numerous writers of these facred books, notwithstanding their very different manner of writing, the very distant ages in which they wrote, and the very

different circumstances of the Church, in their respective times of writing, have yet all taught the fame doctrines, all described the same dangers, and all pointed out the fame way to eternal salvation !

Thus, Sir, I have set before you, in the closest and most connected view, some brief hints of the credentials of Christianity. I know you are capable of extending your demands yet further; and of proposing something else that may still serve to reflect new light upon the Christian revelation ; and there is yet much more at your service, when you will be pleased to make your demands. You must, however, in the mean timne, allow me the freedom to say, that the evidence now in view is fufficient to fill the mind of every unprejudiced person with a necessary and infallible certainty of the truth we are inquiring after.--Deliberately cunsider each of these arguinents separately and particularly; consider them all in their connection and relation to each other, and then try whether you can refuse your assent to the gospel of Christ.

There is (I ain sensible) one objection ready to offer itself to your mind against all this, and that is,


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how do I know, that the great and principal facts, upon which Christianity is especially built, may be depended upon as certainly true!-How do I know the congruity of the Prophecies with the event ? -How do I know the miraculous conception of the Lord Jesus Christ, the attestation of the angels to his birth; or that he wrought such miracles in confirmation of his divine miffion; and that he rose again from the dead, and afcended up to heaven! How do I know, that his Apostles were inspired with fuch extraordinary and divine gifts; or that they performed such miraculous operations?

To this I answer, that some of the evidences which I have offered, are what directly, upon the very first view, you may know, and cannot but know, to be certainly and infallibly true, if you will but open your eyes to observe them. You do certainly know, that human nature is dreadfully corrupted and vitiated; that it is opposite to the holiness and purity of the divine Being; and that there is therefore great necessity of a Saviour to bring us to God, and to rectify our depraved na. ture.--You may certainly know, that there are a great variety of predictions of such a Saviour, dir. persed through the whole Old Testament; and that the whole nation of the Jews always did, and still do, from thence live in raised expectations of a Meffiah.--You may certainly know, that there were a great number of rites and ceremonies reli. giously observed and practised among the Jews; and that sacrificing, in particular, was not only enjoined upon them, but early and generally practised

all nations. For none of which things can there be any manner of reason given or imagined, unless they were types and adumbrations of an expected Saviour.-You may certainly know, that the time prefixed in the Jewish Prophecies for the


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