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and veneration in which they have ever been held; from the multitude of copies and early translations, which left no room to fraud or inattention to do them any important injury; and from the various readings themselves, which, for the most part, are of small consequence.
IV. The truth of the things contained in these books depends upon the integrity of the apostles, who did and endured so much for the sake of the gospel. The good character of the apostles is confirmed by the testimony of those many thousands who were converted by them; and the innocence and patience and great sufferings of these primitive Christians may be confirmed by the testimony of Pagan authors, and cannot, with any show of reason, be denied.
V. There never was a book which abounded more with internal, proufs of the truth of its contents than the New Testament. A spirit of piety, charity, and disinterestedness appears through the whole. The evangelists, when they relate the same things, differ, or seem to differ, in small circumstances; they ingenuously confess the misbehaviour of the apostles upon some occasions ; they have sometimes recorded' what the smallest degree of craft and
εξουσια, jus, as in the Gosp. i. 12. έδωκεν αυτοίς εξουσίαν τέκνα Θεού yerdo526. Grot.
Rev. xxii. 2. ¿YTEūley raì švtsū ev. The same expression is found in the Gosp. xix. 18. Some MSS. have in the Rev. ŠvTsŮ AEy xai £xesGev, but it seems to be an alteration quite unnecessary.
Aristot. cited in Constant. Lexic. erbev zal Gev ris and sys. Herodotus, ii. 170. i uży évbey, 6 ♡ érdey to payópou. Sophocles, Ajac. 731.- iveidesin "Ήρασσον ένθεν κάνθεν. Const. Apost. vi. 3. τα ύδατα ένθεν και ένθεν διαστήσαντα. Nothing is more common than ένθα και ενθα. Hinc et hinc’ is found in Virgil and other poets, and often in Seneca's Tragedies.
9 In scripturâ Novi Testamenti, imo in solis libris Lucæ et Joannis ea continentur, quæ cuivis Christiano, cognitu, speratu; factu sunt necessaria ; quia hoc sibi fuisse propositum, alter in præfatione, alter in conclusione operis, profitentur. Sed præter hæc multa sunt scitu utilia, multa ad regimen ecclesiæ etiam necessaria. Grotius, Annot. ad Cons. Cass. p. 628.
" A statuary works upon marble, an historian upon facts: both cut them to their fancy, and pare off all that will not serve for their pur
dissimulation would have taught them to suppress S; they enter into a large and accurate detail of places, times, persons, and events, in which if they had mixed fraud and falsehood, it might easily have been detected.
Of all the proofs which the New Testament carries in itself of its truth, there are few stronger than those which may be taken from the discourses of Jesus Christ.
Eminent men are observed to have usually a style of their own.
Whosoever examines the discourses of our Lord with attention, may sind in them a certain character and way of speaking peculiar to him. This manner, by which he may be distinguished, consists in raising matter of instruction and moral reflection from the things which were at hand, which presented themselves to him and to his audience.
· Hence it is that his sermons to the people, and his conversation with his disciples, allude perpetually to the time of the year, or to the place where he was, or to the objects surrounding him, or to the occupation and circumstances of those to whom he addressed himself, or to the state of public affairs. Of this several examples might be produced. I shall instance in those which may be taken out of his sermon upon
the mount. In the spring, our Saviour went into the fields, and sat down on a mountain, and made that discourse which is recorded in St. Matthew, and which is full of observations arising from the things which offered themselves to his sight : for,
When he exhorted his disciples to trust in God, he bade them behold u the fowls of the air, which were then flying about them, and were fed by divine providence, though they did not sow,' nor reap,' nor gather into barns;' he bade them take notice of the lilies of the field w, which were then blown, and were so beautifully clothed by the
pose. The writers of the New Testament stand remarkably clear from this imputation.
See H. More's Theol. Works, b. vii. ch. 12, &c,
same power, and yet toiled not, like the husbandmen, who were then at work.
Being in a place whence they had a wide prospect of a cultivated land, he bade them observe how God caused the sun to shine, and the rain to descend upon the fields and gardens, even of the wicked and ungrateful; and he continued to convey his doctrine to them under rural images, speaking of good trees and corrupt trees, of knowing them by their fruits, of wolves in sheep's clothing, of grapes not growing upon thorns, nor figs on thistles, of the folly of casting precious things to dogs and swine, of good measure pressed down, and shaken together, and running over *
Speaking at the same time to people, many of whom were fishermen, and lived much upon fish, he says, “ What man of you will give his son a serpent, if he ask a fish?" Therefore, when he said in the same discourse to his disciples, Yeare the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid ;' it is probable that he pointed to a city within their view, situated upon the brow of a hill y : and when he called them the salt of the earth,' he alluded perhaps to the husbandmen who were manuring the ground? : and when he compared every person who observed his precepts to a man who built an house upon a rock, which stood firm, and every one who slighted his
* Matt. vii. 1. and Luke vi. 38.
F A few points towards the north appears that which they call the mount of the Beatitudes,' a small rising, from which our blessed Saviour delivered his sermons. Not far from this little hill is the city Saphet, supposed to be the antient Bethulia : it stands upon a very eminent and conspicuous mountain, and is seen far and near. May we not suppose that Christ alludes to this city in those words ; 'A city set on a hill,' &c. Maundrell's Journey to Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Nazareth, &c. stood upon hills.
With dung, or with ashes, which abound with salts, or with which perhaps salt was mixed. • Sale conspersa sterilescunt,' says Grotius, * unde loca devota et humanis ademta usibus sale conspergi solebant." Too much salt may render the earth unfruitful; but a little of it has a contrary effect : and I am told that salt is often used in manuring. Virgil, Geor. i. 193.
Semina vidi equidem multos medicare serentes,
words to a man who built his house upon the sand, which was thrown down by the winds and floods ; when he used this comparison, it is not improbable that he had before his eyes houses standing upon high ground, and houses in the valley in a ruinous condition, which had been destroyed by inundations.
Going from Bethany to Jerusalem, with his disciples, as they passed over a mountain he said, “If ye shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done a'
He spake a parable concerning a nobleman who went into a far country to receive a kingdom , alluding to that which had happened to Archelaus.
When he says, " The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and they that exercise authority upon them are called Benefactors d' he alludes to the vanity of some wicked princes in those times, who were ' magnifici
a Matt. xxi. 21.
b Luke xix. 12. c Christus hanc suam parabolam desumsit ex more regum ejus ævi, qui beneficio imperatorum regnabant, potius quam jure natalitium, quales ab Herode Magno in Judæa fuerant. Non poterant diadema sumere, nisi jussu eorum qui Romæ rerum potiebantur. Herodes ille longinquum iter suscepit, ut regnum Judææ ab Antonio impetraret, nec frustra; ivit enim ex Judæa Romam, ut docet Josephus, Ant. Jud. xiv. 25, 26. atque inde, Triv Barreiay paparaswy, accepto regno, in Judæam rediit. Iterum iter suscepit, ut sibi a Cæsare regnum confirmaretur, ut idem historicus docet xv. 10. Idem successores ejus facere coacti sunt, quod ab eodem scriptore discere est, xvii. 13. Contra hosce legationes interdum a Judæis Romam missæ, ut ne regnum illis conferretur, aut etiam auferretur. Sic Archelaum accusarunt Judæi apud Cæsarem, Romæ, per legatos. Hinc intelligimus rationem, ob quam ita parabola concepta est. Archelaus, exempli caussâ, erat homo čuyer's, natus quippe ab Herode. Idem abiit in regionem longinquam' (in Italiam) accipere sibi regnum (Judææ) et reverti (in Judæam). Cives vero, qui eum oderant, miserunt legationem post illum, dicentes (apud Cæsarem) nolumus hunc regnare super nos; quod non potuerunt tamen impetrare. Itaque rediit, accepto regno, égvapziar tapanaowv, ut loquitur Josephus. Deinde de inimicis, qui noluerant eum regnare super se, gravem ultionem sumsit. Clericus.
d Luke xxii. 25.
e Hæc fuit inanis gloria principum illius ævi, ut 'Evegyety vel • Benefactorum' cognomen ambirent, eo ipso tempore, quo tyrannice populos regebant ; populique proinde adulationis caussâ titulum hunc in eos conferebant, aut ut levis beneficii gratiam referrent. Principes ideo
latrones,' and deserved the title of robbers much better than of benefactors.
When the woman of Samaria wondered that he should ask water of hero, he took occasion to represent his doctrine under the image of living water,' or water which flows from a spring.
When he was by the sea-shore, he spake three parables to the people concerning a sowers, because it was then probably seed-tiine, as others have observed.
At the time of the Passover, alluding to it, he says, He that heareth my word' is passed from death unto lifeh.'
When he spake of the fig-tree which had borne no fruit for three years, and was to be cut down if it produced none the next year', he alluded, perhaps, to the tiine that he had spent in preaching to the Jews, as well as to their obstinacy, and the punishment which would follow it.
Christ and his forerunner John, in their parabolical discourses, were wont to allude to things present.
The old prophets, when they would describe things emphatically, did not only draw parables from things which offered themselves, as from the rent of a garment k, from the Sabbatic year', from the vessels of a potter m, but also, when objects were wanted, they supplied them by their own actions, as by rending a garment”, by shootingo, by making bare their body o, by imposing significant names
urbibus congiaria dividebant, aut eas ædificiis publicis ornabant, aliaque similia faciebant; nec tantum in regno suo, sed etiam apud vicinos, Ita se ges:erat Herodes Magnus, non tantum in Judæa et vicinia, sed etiain in media Grecia, ut Athenis, Lacedæmone, Olympiæ, aliisque in oppidis, ut docet Josephus, Bell. Jud. i. 16. Exstat etiamnum Athenis--inscriptio basi statuæ, ut videtur, insculpta in honorem Berenicæ reginæ, de qua Act. xxv. in qua eam vocant Athenienses Ιουλίαν Βερενίκης βασίλισσαν μεγάλην Ιουλίου Αγρίππα βασιλέως θυγατέρα, και μεγάλων βασιλέων ευεργετών της πόλεως έκγονον. Cernitur idem titulus in nummis antiquis in multos principes collatus.Clericus. f Joh. iv.
1 Isai. xxxvii. & Matt. xii.
m Jer. xviii. h Joh.v.24. pero
muey. Grotius. n i Kings xi. i Luke xiii.
• 2 Kings xiii. i Sam. xv.
p Isai. xx.