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ent dispensations; incapable, therefore, of concerting a plan, though perfectly harmonizing in their grand object. I cannot conceive how this harmony could be produced but by inspiration of God.

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Such a union in prediction, and such exact correspondence in event, together with the fulfilment of the other predictions contained in this book, I view as a STANDING MIRACLE to this day in proof of its inspiration.

We need not go to the New Testament to learn the history of Christ and his kingdom. An ancient record, scrupulously preserved through ages by his present enemies the Jews, foretells the time, place, and manner of his birth; the circumstances of his life, rejection, miracles, death, and resurrection! the subjects of his kingdom; its progress, opposition, and victory. Nor did this chain of prophecy close on his appearing; for he expressly declared what should follow on his gospel being rejected by the Jews: he gave an exact description of the overthrow of their Church and State; together with a declaration of the events of his own kingdom to the end of the world. Every other book is perfectly dark on these most important of all truths: but, on opening this book, by far the most ancient in the world, I see them all expressly set before me.

Nor is this grand event notified only by prophets. To keep alive and direct the expectation which

had been raised, I observe a long train of emblems or types instituted. Shadows of good things to come were kept up, and special tokens of the divine presence were afforded, until SHILOH came, to whom it had long been predicted that the nations should be gathered.

In the fulness of time I see SHILOH Come. And I perceive the broad seal of heaven in signs, wonders, and mighty deeds, set to his mission. So grand a design is worthy of such an attestation. Omnipotence could find no difficulty in producing it: and the witnesses are unimpeachable. Bad men could not invent such a character as Christ: good men could not attest falsehoods. A number of pious and consistent witnesses could neither be deceived themselves, nor deceive others, as to the facts which they had seen, which they recorded, and which they stood ready to seal with their blood. They could appeal to whole churches, as living witnesses of the continuance of this seal. Even the infidels of that day did not attempt to deny the facts, however absurdly they attempted to account for them.

Nor can I reasonably object to this knowledge as coming by the testimony of others: for has not God appointed that the greatest part of my knowledge can be received no other way, than by the report of competent and credible witnesses? I have no doubt at all of the existence of Rome or Constantinople; and yet what more do I know of

these cities than by report? and what doubt have I of their existence? Cases of life and death are every day determined by the evidence of testimony. In the gospel history, and in the effects following, I have all the evidence which the case admits, and all which an humble mind will require.

I find also this testimony attended with that accidental and circumstantial evidence, which attaches only to truth. A number of simple witnesses state facts, many of which had passed in the presence of multitudes as well as of themselves. They make no comment: they court no prejudices: they conceal no failings: they obviate no probable objections. They also maintain this testimony, not only without a single worldly motive, but against all worldly hope.

I perceive the reverse of this in the opposers of the truth. From that day to this, art, malignity, falsehood, and an evident hatred to the humble and holy principles. of the Gospel, appear on the very face of their opposition. And yet I can gather honey from the carcasses of these Lions. Josephus, the Jew, and Tacitus, the Pagan, confirm the history of Christ, and the fulfilment of his prophecies. Suetonius and Pliny, Celsus and Porphyry, while they pursue their secular projects, and occasionally express their malignity against Christianity, confirm the very facts. on which I build my hope. Such is the uniformity

VOL. III.

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of truth that it derives evidence from its very

opposers.

Besides this diversity of evidence arising from such opposite characters, I cannot but know the astonishing moral change which took place in a great part of the world; and that it took place upon setting forth the character, teaching, miracles, passion, and resurrection of Christ. This is another standing monument of truth and its victories. The strong-holds of pride, prejudice, policy, power, and philosophy, were pulled down -by what? By arts or arms? by carnal policy or worldly prospects? No. The weapons of this warfare were not carnal, but spiritual; yet I see them mighty through God to the pulling down these strong-holds. I see them doing this, not only in barbarous nations: but in the most enlightened on earth: not only the poor and illiterate acknowledged and died for the truth, but men of eminence and science could not resist its evidence; and therefore declared, that what things had once been gain to them, they now counted loss for Christ.

As it is evidently the design of Revelation to recover an alienated creature to his God, so I am penetrated with the Wisdom and Grace discovered in suiting the means of recovery to the apostasy of fallen man. The scripture method of recovery accommodates itself to man, as he is; not, as he might have been. It comes down to his state and case, however desperate. It aims, by every

means, to win his heart, as well as to alarm his conscience. Man, like Adam, flies from the voice of his God to some hiding-place, but the voice follows him: O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help. Sottish Man would stop his ears to the voice of his friend; but God thundereth marvellously in them. He falls among thieves; but the Good Samaritan pities him, binds up his wounds, and provides for his wants. He is still prone to wander like a silly sheep; but the Good Shepherd restores him, and beseeches him to be reconciled. The offer of such a friendship confounds him he feels troubled at the strange proposal

"Dwells in all Heaven Charity so dear?"

the Good Shepherd layeth down his life to prove it.

When I contemplate the authentic and unbroken channel, through which this Sacred Record is brought to my hand; the various translations which have preserved it intire from the first ages; its marvellous preservation under every attempt to destroy it; the jealousy of opposite sects, watching over each other on any attempt to corrupt it; the attestation of its bitterest enemies to all its important facts, corroborated by their character, as well as that of its friends and adherents: when I regard the rites and ordinances set up at the time to commemorate those facts,

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