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power of the lesser punishments was suffered to remain with the Jewish authorities. It is only for the purpose of noticing the amount of surface over which this work of comparison has been extended, that we advert to the title of his next chapter, “ of the state of the Jews out of Judea”_whilst the title of the following, “concerning the Jewish sects and Samaritans,” serves to evince how crowded the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles are with the materials of a” cross-examination between their respective authors and Josephus. The next succeeding chapter of the Jews and Samaritans' expectations and their idea of the Messiah, brings even heathen authors into a state of juxtaposition with the writers 'of the New Testament. But perhaps, no passages of the evangelical history are more replete with this sort of argument, than the single chapters which retail the circumstances of our Saviour's last sufferings, where we have the names and titles and respective powers of the respective dignitaries that were concerned in this solemn transaction—the process of trial and condemnation-the infliction of mockery and scourging that took place before the execution—the bearing of the cross—the inscription of the offence upon it in three different languages,' which is fully deponed to by classic authors as one of the customs of the age—the mockeries which He had to endure at the time of the crucifixion—the place of it, without the city of Jerusalem--the burial, and lastly the embalming of the body. Nothing be more artless or incidental than the
manner, which all these particulars are detailed by
the Apostles; and yet, such testimonies can be brought together both of the Jewish and classic authors, as to furnish throughout the most ample and sustained corroboration-carried forward, beyond the death and resurrection, to the accounts which the New Testament gives of the various churches that were founded by the first teachers of Christianity. Here we have a chapter of close and manifold cominunion between the scriptural and the exscriptural, in the account it gives of the treatment which the apostles and other disciples of Jesus met with both from Jews and Gentiles. The chapter which follows treats of diverse opinions and practices of the Jews; and we shall finish our very general description of this vast and voluminous evidence, by the catalogue which Lardner makes of the Roman customs mentioned in the New Testament_First, the use of the question or of torture for the discovery of crimes by the Romans—then of their method of examination by scourgingthen of the unlawfulness of scourging a Roman, especially if uncondemned—then of the power which Lysias who had Paul in custody held at Jerusalem --then of Paul's citizenship—then of the way in which this was obtained by purchase—then of the Roman justice in not receiving accusations in the absence of the person accused—then on the imprisonment of St. Paul—then on the sending of prisoners to Rome-and, lastly, on the practice of their being delivered there to the captain of the guard. Within our narrow limits, we represent most inadequately the power and the abundance of this argument; and perhaps it had been better, for the purpose of impressing it on the reader, to have made a general reference to Lardner--without attempting, what we have done but slightly, to instance a few of the specimens. The number, the minuteness, the circumstantiality of the allusions, and the manifest undesignedness wherewith they occur in the course of the narration—all serve to satisfy the inquirer, that a history which touches the truth at so many points, could not have done so fortuitously and at random; and these coincidences are so obviously beyond the reach, or even though within possibility could so little subserve any of the purposes of design, that no other conclusion remains for us--but that they touch the truth at so many points, only because they touch it generally or at all points; or because truth is the direction in which the writers of the New Testament move, the groundwork along which the platform of the gospel history is laid. The coincidence with truth at so many places, in the absence of the art that could have framed or even of the power that could have accomplished it, is the sure token of an entire coincidence.
15. One precious fruit of these investigations is, that they have demonstrated, and upon their own new and peculiar evidence alone, the antiquity of the evangelical record. None but contemporary writers could have exhibited so minute and manifold an accuracy, amid the ephemeral changes, which, in these days of incessant fluctuation, were ever taking place in the civil and political arrangements
2. And what makes it altogether concluat, in a few years after the resurrection of
T, Jerusalem was destroyed and the whole fabric of the Jewish polity was swept away-SO that not a fragment or a vestige of it remained. On this tremendous event we feel assured, that the local practices and peculiarities which are so statistically and truly set forth in the New Testament must have been described by eye-witnesses, or at least during the subsistence of the Hebrew commonwealth—for the memory of them could not have survived a single generation. The unavoidable inference as to the early publication of these narratives, is of immense worth to the christian argument-proving, as it does, that they made their appearance at a period far enough back; for affording every facility, whether to the confirmation or the exposure of the miracles which are recorded in them.
16. And there is one great synchronism, which, singly and of itself, fixes the age of the composition of the New Testament; and settles it down to the first age of Christianity. It is such a style as could only have proceeded from men of Hebrew origin, who wrote in Greek, but in a Greek tinged and interspersed with the peculiarities of their own vernacular language. And accordingly, it is alike distinguishable from the language of classic authors, and from that of the christian fathers, of the second and third centuries. To imagine that the innumerable Hebraisms and Syriasms of the New Testament were interpolated, or rather intertwined with the whole structure of the book, for the sole purpose of giving a colour or consistency to its reputed authorship in the days of the Apostles, were to accredit some forger of a later age, with the most difficult,
upon men; and, in the course of these allusions we have not only repeated notices of God, but of other orders of intelligence beside ourselves and of the relations in which we stand to them. Now, in the glimpses which are thus afforded of an extended moral economy, we are unable to confront the informations of scripture, with any independent knowledge of our own. We have no direct or personal observation of angels and spirits; and we are not in circumstances, either for obtaining a confirmation of the Bible, or of detecting in its statements any marks of imposture—by comparing what it tells of things supernal to the world, with aught that we previously or originally know of these things.
18. But the Scripture not only offers notices and allusions in regard to matters external to the world; it offers these notices far more abundantly in regard to matters that are within the compass of the world, but external to the church and all which matters, unlike to the former, were within the compass of human observation, and many of which have been derived by historical transmission to ourselves in the present day. The truth is, that the Bible may be said to present us with a general outline of the world's history—as consisting in the movement of nations, in the rise and fall of earth's great empires, in the most noted chronological eras; and adventuring, as it does, both on the names of countries, and the monarchs that ruled over them, and the manners that
neople-never did imposture,
be, so expose herself to a Show
examination, or so multiply