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Two questions now present themselves for candid consideration-What evidence did the apostles say they had themselves that Christ had risen from the dead? And, what evidence did they afford others to induce them to give credit to their testimony concerning it? 1st, What evidence did the apostles say they had themselves that Christ had risen from the dead? They constantly testified that God raised Christ from the dead, Acts 2: 24, 32. 3: 15, 26. 5: 30. 13: 23, 33. 2 Cor. 4:14. Col. 2: 12. Heb. 13: 20. 1 Thess. 1: 10. Gal. 1:1. God's righty power was displayed in his resurrection, Eph.: 19, 20. They also testified that God raised Christ up the third day, as we shall see afterwards. And that he was the first who rose from the dead, Acts 26: 22, 23; which evidently means, that he was the first who rose to die no more. Others had risen from the dead, and some of them were raised by himself, but they all died again. Christ was the first over whom death should not again have dominion, Rom. 6: 9. Acts 13: 34. Hence he is called "the first born," and "first begotten from the dead," Col. 1: 18. Rev. 1: 5. Of Christ's resurrection the apostles declared themselves the appointed witnesses, Acts 2: 32. 3: 15. 5: 32. The question is, What evidence do they say they had of this fact? They say, "this Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly, not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he arose from the dead. But God raised him from the dead and he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of

God. He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren* at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time," Acts 2: 32. 10: 40, 41. 13: 30, 31. 1: 3. 1 Cor. 15: 5-9. See also the following passages to the same purpose; Matt. ch. 28. Mark 16. Luke 24. John 20 and 21. Matt. 26: 32. Mark 14: The apostles then declare that they saw Christ after his resurrection, not once' out often, for he was seen of them forty days. During this period he spoke to them of things pertaining to the kingdom of God. He ate, drank, and conversed with them. He showed them his hands and his feet pierced by the nails on the cross; yea, he urged Thomas to satisfy his incredulity, by putting his finger into the print of the nails, and to thrust his hand into his side. At last they say they saw him ascend into heaven and a cloud receive him out of their sight, Acts 1: 9. In short, unless the senses of the apostles were perfectly bewildered and rendered useless to them, it was not possible they could be mistaken.

2d. What evidence did the apostles afford to others to give credit to their testimony? Their merely saying they had seen him after he was risen, and eat, drank, and conversed with him, were not sufficient evidence, that the fact was as they asserted. It might be true, but being a fact of a very extraor

Were these five hundred persons brethren at the time they saw Christ, or did they become so afterwards? If brethren at the time they saw him, how happened it that the number of the disciples, just before the day of pentecost, were only one hundred and twenty ? If they became brethren afterwards, perhaps in consequence of seeing him, it accounts for their not being present with the one hundred and twenty. It also removes the objection sometimes madethat none but Christ's disciples saw him after his resurrection. But 1 merely suggest the idea for consideration.

dinary kind, required more than mere assertion to establish it. If they were sane, and had the use of their senses, they could not be deceived themselves, but still they might be impostors wishing to deceive others. It was vain for them to expect much attention to their testimony on their unsupported assertion. By what evidence then did they support their testimony, showing that it was true, and that they were not deceived themselves, nor were imposing on others?

1st. The extraordinary powers with which the apostles were endued, on the day of pentecost, not only qualified them for giving their testimony, but was conclusive of its truth. They were prohibited from commencing it until thus qualified. One or other of the following grounds must then be taken here, for we can devise no other. 1st, That God endowed the apostles with power to speak a variety of languages and work miracles, the more effectually and extensively to publish a falsehood and deceive the world. But as neither Jew, deist, nor any other man will advocate this, it must, 2d, be contended that no such extraordinary powers were conferred on the apostles. But how such a position is to be defended I know not. The facts detailed, and the miracles recorded in the Gospels, and referred to in the Acts and Epistles were all of a public nature, subject to the inspection of all. From the time of our Lord's ascension into heaven, until the books of the New Testament appeared, the apostles and others were employed in proclaiming the fact of Christ's resurrection, and working miracles both among Jews and Gentiles. Societies of Christians were formed in all the principal cities of the Roman empire in the course of thirty years after Christ ascended. It was necessary such societies should exist before the books of the New Testament appeared,

to whose care they might be committed. It could not have been otherwise with the Epistles, for they were written to churches and about their concerns. Nor with the Acts, for it is a history of the first preaching of the gospel and the planting of those churches. Most of the books of the New Testament were made public before that generation of men passed away who had witnessed the facts and transactions which they record. The dates of the books are in the period of the lives of many who were in the prime of life when Jesus was on earth. Those writings were received by Christians, and held sacred among them. But could this have been the case if they contained what they knew to be false? They appeal to miracles wrought among them, extraordinary gifts conferred upon them, and to a multitude of facts and things, which if not known to be true, must not only have caused their rejection, but have rendered the writers ridiculous the moment their books appeared. Their enemies, the Jews, never attempted to deny, but allowed the reality of the miracles of the apostles, and were confounded to hear them speak, in a variety of languages, the wonderful works of God. But the evidence of the miracles does not merely rest on the New Testament. No evidence appears that this was ever disputed by friends or foes. All the early writers, whether Christian, Jewish, or Heathen, admit their reality. The opposers of Christianity in those days, never objected to it on the ground that the miracles were false, or that the apostles were never endowed with the gift of tongues. It was too near the period when such things happened, to risk this, but is done now by some, who certainly are less capable to determine the facts of the case.

3d. No other alternative is therefore left, but to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, as the

apostles testified. To reject this, is to refuse being regulated as to faith or unbelief by evidence, yea, to remain sceptical in spite of evidence. It deserves to be noticed, how differently ancient and modern deists think, and reason and act, relative to this subject. Ancient deists say "what shall we do to those men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it," Acts 4: 16. But what say modern deists? Let us hear Mr. Hume. He is much perplexed with the subject of Scripture miracles. After asserting that no testimony for any kind of miracle has ever amounted to probability, much less to a proof, he thus writes-"We may establish it as a maxim, that no human testimony can have such force as to prove a miracle, and make it a just foundation for any such system of religion." But who could ever suppose that the same Mr. Hume should add, in a note, the following remarks? "I beg the limitation here made may be remarked, when I say, that a miracle never can be proved so as to be the foundation of a system of religion. For I own that otherwise there may possibly be miracles, or violations of the usual course of nature, of such a kind as to admit of proof from human testimony." Mr. Hume had no objection to miracles, provided we allow, that "a miracle can never be proved so as to be the foundation of a system of religion." But why make religion an exception? For whatever proves or disproves the possibility of a miracle in relation to religion, must do the same as to miracles in all other cases. If human testimony is admitted, proving that a miracle has been wrought in any case, it must equally prove that they may have been wrought in confirmation of religion. What could induce Mr. Hume, as an honest man, or candid philosopher, to admit that "there may possibly be

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