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LET. erecting a statue to his memory. For, XVII.
take him either as a fool, or a knave, he is at the top of his profession.
But if no such plan by such perfons were or could be concerted, then the evidence of the apostles and disciples (to 500 of whom Christ appeared at once, and among whom he walked in and out for forty days together) is as good and valid for the fact of his resurrection, as for any other fact concerning his life or his death. Nor is it true, that “God chose to " deprive all mankind of the proper “evidence of the resurrection, because " the Jews of that age were finners." Whatever evidence it had pleased God to vouchsafe to “the Jews of that “ age,” “all mankind” besides could have received it only upon testimony; and they enjoy now, upon testimony, more and better evidence for the re
surrection of Christ, than ever was let. produced for any one transaction that XVII. has happened, from Adam to the prefent hour. The descent of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the propagation of the Gospel by instruments otherwise totally inadequate to the work; the conversion of so many thousand Jews; the destruction of Jerusalem ; and the establishment of the Christian church, in opposition to the efforts of the whole Roman empire -all these considerations, added to the original positive evidence for the fact, and the futility and absurdity of the arguments then and since employed to invalidate it, form duch a moral demonstration in it's favour the only demonstration we can have, in cases of this kind that there must be something very wrong indeed in
LET. the head, or the heart of him, who, xvii. at this time of day, fets himself to
deny and blaspheme it. With joy and pleasure I desire to risk upon the truth of it every thing that is dear to me, in this life, and that which is to come.
P. 47. It is asked, whether God expects that we should “ shew our « faith and reliance on him by mak. “ ing a sacrifice of our reason, and " believing, not by an act of the un. “ derstanding, but of the will ? "
How necessary, in many cases, the concurrence of the will is towards the production of faith, daily experience may convince us. We see men rejecting the strongest evidence, when opposed by interest, prejudice, and passion ; and accepting the nightest, which falls in with them. The best
arguments in the world avail nothing LET. on one side, when pride, pleasure, and XVII. profit are engaged on the other. Hope of what is deemed good, and fear of what is deemed evil, will find means to elude the force of all the syllogisms which the most skilful disciple of Ariltotle can frame. « This man (said “ the rulers of the Jews) doeth many “ miracles.” Acknowlege and receive him, therefore, as a man sent from God." No: we will apprehend and “'crucify him.”-For what reason ?“Because if we let him alone, all men 66 will believe in him; and the Ro" mans will come and take away our “ place and nation" - But he has raised Lazarus from the dead " Why " then, we will put Lazarus to death 66 again" - What can be done with such people as these? Or what effect
LET. would the appearance of Christ among XVII. them after his resurrection have pro
duced, but that of provoking fresh blasphemies, and fresh insults ?
And thus you see, Dear Sir, we are come round to the point from whence we set out. Affent to proper evidence is an act of the highest reafon. Such evidence for Revelation, once established, is not to be set aside, or invalidated, by any difficulties, supposed or real, which may occur in the matter of that Revelation. Malice and ignorance will always find room for objections, and they will never believe, who have no mind to believe. The infidels, therefore, have not ground for the furmise, that we want to “ deprive them of God's best “ gift." We wilh only to teach them the right use of it. Reason is not " the