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they profess the law, in order to establish a system of iniquity.”. It is a remarkable fact that Josephus speaks of the Jewish Gnostics under the name of Zealots; and the description which he has given us of their wickedness, throws much light on the second Epistle of Peter, and that of Jude. The Jewish historian and these Apostles will appear, when duly compared, to speak of the same people ; and hence the authenticity of these two Epistles will be placed beyond the reach of reasonable doubt. See Jones's Eccles. Researches, chap. xvii.

p. 435.

Page 42. Wakefield was so sensible of the absurdity of representing the Evangelist as referring to his own testimony, that he thus renders the passage : “ And he who saw this beareth testimony of it; and Jesus himself knoweth that he speaketh truth.” But this is only shifting the absurdity from one person to another; and no advantage is thus gained to the credibility of the fact. Our Lord was dead at the time, and it sounds like a contradiction to cite the testimony of a man that was dead, to prove that he aetually died.

Page 48. The discordances observable between the four accounts given of our Lord's resurrection, have occasioned great triumph to the enemies, and great perplexity to the friends of Christianity. West's Observations, &c., contain many valuable thoughts; but they are weakened by an injudicious diffusion ; and the work would have been much more acceptable, if it had been condensed to half the size. Lardner's Observations on Macknight's Harmony are elaborate, and, so far as they expose the wildness of that man's hypothesis, useful ; but, with due deference to the learning and candour of that valued author, he has left the original question where he found it, excepting that he adds to several erroneous points the sanction of his own revered name. The celebrated Priestley was not less remarkable for his fairness and candour, than for his acuteness and


genius. “ I believe,” says he, in his Harmony of the Evangelists, p. 117, “ it may be possible to draw up a narrative, which shall comprize all the different accounts, and be consistent with itself; but to me it is evident that, if the different writers had had exactly the same ideas of the circumstances attending that event, they would not have written as they have done concerning it."

Page 58. That Luke was one of the two disciples who went to Emmaus, may be gathered from the narrative: for he speaks in the first person in more places than one, while relating that event; thus—66 And they pressed him saying, Stay with us." Had Luke been stating an occurrence which he himself had no concern in, he would have said, “ And they pressed him to stay with them.So again, “ How did our heart burn, within us !” This could have been said only by a man who was describing his own feelings. This is precisely similar to what takes place in the Acts. Before the historian joined the Apostle, he speaks in the third person; but when he narrates facts, in which he became an agent, the person is changed into we. See Acts xvi. 10.

Page 66. The fact that the holy spirit was given to the new converts only through the medium of the Apostles, may be illustrated by incidents that occur in the history of the Apostles. Philip, the Evangelist, preached to the Samaritans; but though they were conto verted by him, the presence of Peter and John was necessary to impart to them the holy spirit, see Acts viii. 14. Apollos and Aquila preached the Gospel at Ephesus; but they did not pretend to impart to their converts the power of working miracles. Paul arrived, and he was the means of endowing some of them with the holy ghost. Acts xviii. 24. ; xix. 1. The circumstance that the Apostles alone were appointed to communicate these spiritual gifts is a fact of high importance, as it leads to the decision of a question which has been

much disputed in the last century, namely, at what period did these supernatural gifts cease in the Christian church? As the wisdom of Heaven made the Apostles the sole channel of communicating them, the communication of course ended with the days of the Apostles ; while the exercise of them terminated in the death of those who received them from the Apostles. The learned reader must here call to mind the celebrated Inquiry of Conyers Middleton. This intrepid inquirer and fine writer' limits the miraculous powers given the early converts to the apostolic age; and no rational person can doubt the validity of his conclusions : but he, with other learned Protestants, seems to have overlooked the wise principle on which that limitation was grounded. The wisdom of Jesus in making this limitation will appear hereafter, when we see the manner in which the Apostles employed the privilege which was thus given them.

Page 84. The passage of Josephus about the death of James'is quoted by Origen, who seems to consider the Jewish historian as having intended therein to set aside the divinity and miraculous birth of Jesus. For in animadverting upon Josephus he endeavours, in opposition to him, to explain and confirm these doctrines. “That James,” says he, “is the same whom Paul, that genuine disciple of Jesus, says he had seen, and calls the Lord's brother, not so much for the sake of consanguinity as their common education and agreement in manners and doctrine. If, therefore, he says the destruction of Jerusalem had befallen the Jews for the sake of James, with how much more reason might he have said that this had happened for the sake of Jesus who was the Christ, to whose divinity so many churches bear witness !" See Lardner, vol. vii. 121. These remarks are evidently intended to counteract what Josephus meant to inculcatė, namely, the simple humanity of Christ. Page 99. The persecution of the Christians excited by

Sejanus, and the suspension of it caused by his death, illustrate in a remarkable manner two events that occur in the Acts of the Apostles. The disposition which the enemies of the new converts cherished towards them in the provinces, depended of course very much upon the spirit shown them in the metropolis ofthe empire. When the jealousy and apprehension of the government were awakened, the conduct of the governors served as a signal to those in distant parts, who had hitherto been restrained from molesting the Christians by the terrors of the law. Accordingly we find that the dogs of persecution in Jerusalem sprang with savage fury on their unprotected prey, when they saw the chains that confined them loosened by the emperor himself. 66 And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem : and they were all scattered abroad throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles.” Acts viii. 1. But Tiberius, says Philo, became sensible that the accusations alleged against them were calumnies, the mere inventions of Sejanus. He therefore changed his measures, and soon published an edict in favour of those' very men, whom a little before he had banished from the city. The edict was sent to all the provinces; and it was immediately followed by the happy effect, which is thus stated in Acts ix. 31 : 66 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the holy ghost, were multiplied.”

Had Gibbon been aware of the full strength of the evidence that Tiberius proposed to the senate, the deification of Jesus, and that the edict to which Tertullian alludes is recorded by Philo, his insidious scorn on this subject would have been somewhat moderated. 6. This edict,” says he, “is attended with some diffculties, which might perplex the sceptical mind. We are required to believe, that Pontius Pilate informed

the emperor of the unjust sentence of death, which he had pronounced against an innocent, and, as it appeared, a divine person, and that, without acquiring the merit, he exposed himself to the danger of martyrdom.; that Tiberius, who avowed his contempt for all religions, immediately conceived the design of placing the Jewish Messiah among the Gods of Rome; that his servile senate ventured to disobey the commands of their master; that Tiberius, instead of resenting their refusal, contented himself with protecting the Christians from the severity of the laws, many years before such laws were enacted, or before the church had assumed any distinct name or existence; and lastly, that the memory of this extraordinary transaction was preserved in the most public and authentic records, which escaped the knowledge of the historians of Greece and Rome, and were only visible to the eyes of an African Christian, who composed his apology one hundred and sixty years after the death of Tiberius.” The Decline and Fall, &c. chap. xvi. vol. ii. p. 444. If my readers will take the trouble to compare this representation with the contents of the seventh chapter of this volume, they will see, and see with pleasure, how little this haughty historian knew of the subject : and I can affirm with the confidence of truth that, notwithstanding the glare of eloquence, and the parade of learning which distinguish this celebrated performance, the author is not better informed on any topic connected with the rise and progress of the Christian religion, than he is with regard to the transactions which happened at Rome.

Page 103. To this meaning of Xgrotos, Justin Martyr, Apol. I. p. 6, thus alludes : óY TE EX TOŨ xatnyopo usvou ημων ονοματος χρηστοτατοι υπαρχομεν, i. e. from the mere name which is imputed to us as a crime, we are the most excellent. In the next page he calls the Christians XgnOTIAVOI, and he then adds, “ To hate, Chreston, what is good is not just.” To this signification Tertullian (Apol.

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