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is established upon such a variety of arguments, drawn from different parts of knowledge, that the true state, and full result, of the evidence, upon the whole, cannot, by the nature of the thing, be reduced to one point; and consequently that taking any one narrow view of it, and judging from that, is the way to deceive ourselves and others. It is indeed as if a man were rashly to pronounce that the earth is of no regular figure whatever, merely from observing the irregularity of the Alps, and other ranges of mountains, which fill the eye of the traveller, while the whole globe is too large and too near, for the human sight to comprehend its general figure. Yet the very first principles of geography show, that the protuberance of the highest mountain of the world, being but three miles
perpendicular, is no greater irregularity upon a globe, eight thousand miles in diameter, than a little roughness upon an orange are derogations from the general roundness of its figure; as a mite, or other very small insect, might be supposed to imagine them.
To consider any complex subject in a partial manner, exclusive of any material part, and without taking in the whole of it, is not considering it as it is; and subjects will not be understood otherwise than as they are. Men of narrow minds may run themselves, and designing men others, into endless labyrinths, and inextricable errors: bat Truth stands upon its own eternal and immoveable basis; and Wisdom will in the end be justified of her children.
The whole evidence of Revelation is not prophecy alone, nor miracles alone, nor the sublimity of its doctrines alone, nor the purity of its precepts alone, nor the character of Moses and the Prophets, Christ and his Apostles alone, nor the internal character of simplicity in the writings of Scripture alone; nor any one of the other branches of proof alone; but the joint coincidence and accumulated effect of them all concentred. Now, he who can bring himself to believe seriously, that such a number of amazing coincidences, such a variety of evidence, presumptive and positive, circumstantial and essential, collateral and direct, internal and external, should, by the Divine Providence, be suffered to concur, to the effectual and remediTess deception of the most inquisitive, judicious, and ingenuous part of mankind, must have strange notions of the Divine economy in the moral world. And he, who, in spite of the superabundant and accumulated evidence for the truth of Revelation, will suffer himself to be misled into opposition against it merely on the account of some single circumstantial difficulty, must have no head for judging complicated evidence; which yet, every man has occasion to weigh, and to act upon, almost every day of his life. And he, who, from indirect views of any kind, labours to mislead mankind into opposition against what would be infinitely to their advantage to receive, is the common enemy of truth, and of mankind.
If the sacred history of Scripture has not the internal marks of truth, there is no reason to give credit to any history in the world. And to question the veracity of ancient history in the gross, would be (to mention no other absurd consequences) doubting whether there were any men of integrity in the world till these four or five centuries last past. The remarkable coincidence betwixt sacred and profane history, shows the genuineness of the former; and its delivering grave and credible accounts of things, while many of the ancient writers amuse us with fables evidently drawn from imperfect accounts of the sacred story, plainly discover Scripture to have been the original, from which the other is an imperfect copy. Of the foundation and
: measure of certainty attainable by testimony, I have treated elsewhere.*
The fragments of ancient Phænecian historians, preserved by Eusebius ; with what we have of Zeno, the Egyptian
; writers, whose opinions and accounts of things are preserved by Diogenes, Laertius, Diodorus, Siculus, and others; the fragments we have ascribed to Linus, Orpheus, Epicharmus; the remains of Sanchoniathon, Berosus, Menetho, Phylo Bybilus, Eurysus the Pythagorean, Hipparchus, Amelius the Platonist, Hærclitus, Timæus, Chalsidicus, (who writes of Moses,) Homer, Hesiod, Callimachus, Aristophanes, Plato, Cicero, Ovid, all these, in what they say of the creation, agree, in the main, with Moses' account of it. Homer, Hesiod, Callimachus, Aristobu
lus, Theophilus of Antioch, Lucian, Dion Cassius, Sueto nius, Josephus, Philo, Tibullus, mention, or allude to the universal custom of resting every seventh day. The Egyptian writers, Plato, Strabo, Ovid, Virgil, and others, mention the state of innocence, and the Fall. Philo Byblius, from Sanchoniathon and Plutarch, show that several particulars of that Fall were received by the most ancient heathens. Ferdinand Mendesius testifies, that many particulars relating to Adam, Eve, the forbidden tree, and the serpent, are to be found among the natives of Peru, and the Philippine islands. And the name of Adam is known among the Indian Brachmans, which word, has been by some thought to have been a corruption of Abrahamans; and it has been thought probable, that the religion of Zoroastres and the Magi, is derived from that patriarch. The truth of Moses' account of the flood is attested by Berosus, Diodorus, Varro, Pliny, Plutarch, Lucian, Molo, Nicolaus, Damascenus, and others; some of whom mention the name of Noah, the ark, and the dove. Josephus Acosta, and Antonio Herrera, affirm, that at Cuba, Mechoana, Nicaragua, and other parts of America, the memory of the flood and the ark are preserved, and were found, with several other doctrines of mere revelation, upon the first discoveries of those places by the Europeans. But to proceed, Berosus, Manetho, Hesiod, Nicolaus, Damascenus, and others, mention the age of the first men to have been almost a thousand years. Plutarch, Maximus, Tyrius, Catullus, and others, speak of an intercourse between God and men in ancient times. Porphyry, Jamblicus, and others, speak of Angels. The history of the tower of Babel, under the poetical disguise of the giants to scale heaven, is found in Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, and the Sybilline Oracle, quoted by Josephus. Diodorus, Siculus, Strabo, Tacitus, Pliny, and Solinus, mention the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The history of Abraham, and other patriarchs, agreeable to the writings of Moses, is found in Philo Byblius, from Sanchoniathon, and in Berosus, Hecatæus, Damocenus, Artapanus, Eupolemus, Demetrius, and Justin from Trogus Pompeius, who also gives Joseph's history, agreeable to Scripture. By several of these, the principal acts of Moses are re
lated; of whom mention is also made by Manetho, Lysimachus, Cheremon, Diodorus, Siculus, Longinus, Strabo, Pliny, and Tacitus. Diodorus speaks of the drying up of the Red Sea. Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo, Philo Byblius, Aristophanes, Tacitus, Horace, and Juvenal, mention the ceremony of circumcision. Eusebius tells us that a book was written by Eupolemus on Elijah's miracles. The history of Jonah is in Lycophron and neas Gazæus. Julian the Apostate, owns that there were inspired men among the Jews. Menander mentions the great drought in the time of Elijah. The histories of David and Solomon are given in a pretty full manner in the remains of the Phonician Annals, and Damascenus' History, in Eupolemus, and Dius' Phænician History, who speaks of riddles, or hard questions, sent betwixt Solomon and Hiram ; of which also Menander the Ephesian historian, Alexander, Polyhistor, and others, give an account. Hazael, king of Syria, is mentioned by Justin. Menander the historian mentions Salmanasor, who carried the Israelites, or ten tribes, into that captivity from which they are not yet returned. The name and expeditions of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, are found in Derusu, Chaldaic's, and Herodotus' History, which last relates the destruction of his vast army, (2 Kings, xvii.) with a mixture of fable. Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the younger, and Numenius, testify that there was such a person as Jesus Christ. His miracles are owned by Celsus, Julian the Apostate, and the Jewish writers, who oppose Christianity. Porphyry, though an enemy to the Christian Religion, says, "after Christ was worshipped no one received any benefit from the Gods." Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny, Julian the Apostate, and the Jewish writers, mention his being put to death. And Tacitus affirms, that many were put to death for their adherance to his religion. A very particular, and favourable account of the character and behaviour of the first Christians, is given by Pliny, in a letter to the emperor Trajan, still extant. Phlegon, in his Annals, mentions the miracles of St. Peter. And St. Paul is celebrated, in a fragment of Longinus, among eminent orators. The history of our Saviour's life, death, resurrection, and ascension, was declared by the Apostles, in the face of
his enemies, and in the very country where he lived, died, and rose again. They wrote their accounts in Greck, which was universally understood, and related the things as they passed a very few hours before, and which must have been fresh in every body's memory. The name of Jesus must have been entered in the public tables, or registers, at his birth. To which, accordingly, Justin Mar. tyr, and Tertullian appeal. And the account of his death and resurrection, must, according to the custom, when any thing remarkable happened in any of the provinces of the empire, have been sent to the court of Rome. The memory of the slaughter of the innocents is preserved by Augustus' remark on Herod's cruelty: The miraculous darkness at our Saviour's crucifixion, (which was undoubtedly supernatural ; it being impossible that the sun should be eclipsed by the moon,
which was then in opposition,) is affirmed by Tertullian, to have been upon record in his time, in the public registers. Our Saviour is several times mentioned by Josephus ; though not in such a manner as so extraordinary a character deserved. But nothing is more common than such expected neglects in historians. Besides, it is probable that Josephus might be under some constraint in touching upon the subject
of Christ, and his Religion; as he makes honourable mention of John Baptist, and of James, the brother of Jesus ; to whose murder he ascribes the destruction of Jerusalem.
Such public passages as the dumbness inflicted on Zackarius, while the people were waiting without the temple ; of the wise men from the east; of the murder of the innocents; of our Saviour's driving some hundreds, probably, of people out the outer court of the temple, immediately after his triumph, which must have alarmed the whole city; the prodigies at his death : the dreadful end of Judas Iscariot; the names of the Roman Emperor, and Governor, of Herod, of the High Priest, of Nicodemus, of Josepk of Arimathæa, of Gamaliel, Dionysius the Areopagite, Sergius Paulus, Simon Magus. Felir, king Agrippa, Tertullus, Gallio, and many other persons of the highest rank mentioned with great freedom, shows, that the historians were under no apprehension of being detected; and, at the same time, establish the genuineness of the New Tes