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for the proposition which form's the subject of the first part of our present work, viz. that the original witnesses of the Christian history devoted themselves to lives of toil, suffering, and danger, in consequence of their belief of the truth of that history, and for the sake of communicating the knowledge of it to others.
Thirdly, it proves that Luke, or whoever was the author of the Acts of the Apostles (for the arguinent does not depend upon the name of the author, though I know no reason for questioning it), was well acquainted with St. Paul's history; and that lie probably was, what he professes himself to be, a companion of St. Paul's travels: which, if true, establishes, in a considerable degree, the credit even of his gospel, because it shows, that the writer, from his time, situation, and connections, possessed opportunities of informing himself truly concerning the transactions which he 'relates. I have little difficulty in applying to the Gospel of St. Luke what is proved concerning the
Acts of the Apostles, considering them as two parts of the fame history; for, though there are instances of second parts being forgeries, I know none where the second part is genuine, and the first not so.
I will only observe, as a sequel of the argument, though not noticed in my work, the remarkable fimilitude between the style of St. John's gospel, and of St. John's first epistle. The style of St. John's is not at all the style of St. Paul's epistles, though both are very singular ; nor is it the style of St. James's or of St. Peter's epistle : but it bears a resemblance to the style of the gospel infcribed with St. John's name, so far as that resemblance can be expected to appear which is not in simple narrative, lo much as in reflections, and in the representation of discourses. Writings so circumstanced, prove themselves, and one another, to be genuine. This correspondency is the more valuable, as the epifle itself afferts, in St. John's manner indeed, but in terms sufficiently explicit, the writer's personal know04
ledge of Christ's history : “ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life ; that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you *.” Who would not desire, who perceives not the value of an account, delivered by a writer so well informed as this?
* Ch. i. ver. 1. 3.
Of the History of the Resurrection.
THE history of the resurrection of Christ is a part of the evidence of Christianity ; but I do not know, whether the proper strength of this passage of the Christian history, or wherein its peculiar value, as a head of evidence, consists, be generally understood. It is not that, as a miracle, the resurrection ought to be accounted a more decisive proof of supernatural agency than other miracles are ;
it is not that, as it stands in the Gospels, it is better attested than some others, it is not for either of these reasons, that more weight belongs to it than to other miracles, but for the following, viz. That it is completely certain that the apostles of Christ, and the first teachers of Christianity, aflerted the fact. And this would have been certain, if the four Gospels had been lost, or never written. Every piece of scripture re
cognizes the resurrection. Every epistle of every apoftle, every author contemporary with the apostles, of the age imniediately fucceeding the apostles, every writing from that age to the present, genuine or spurious, on the side of Cliristianity or against it, concur in representing the resurrection of Christ as an article of his history, received without doubt or disagreement by all who called themselves Christians, as alledged from the beginning by the propagators of the institution, and alledged as the centre of their testimony. Nothing, I apprehend, which a man does not himself fee or hear, can be more certain to him than this point, I do not mean that nothing can be more certain "than that Christ rose from the dead; but that nothing can be more certain, than that his apostles, and the first teachers of Christianity, gave out that he did so. In the other parts of the gospel narrative, a question may be made, whether the things related of Christ be the very things whichche apostles and first teachers of the religion delivered concerning him? And this question depends