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the Holy Ghoft, and began to fpeak in other "tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."-Now furely this communication of the Spirit of God, connected with the facts and the promises which prepared the apostles for its reception, and with the effects which teftified its reality, ftands on the clearest ground of certainty.
Could enthusiasm perfuade them to believe that they had fuddenly acquired the knowledge of languages, which they had never learned? that they poffeffed the gift of healing, and exercised it upon multitudes Still further, could enthusiasm perfuade them, that by "prayer and laying on of hands" God enabled them to obtain for others, a portion of that fupernatural knowledge and power which they themselves poffeffed; and all this not for a short time, but for the whole remaining period of their lives?-how wholly incredible that in this they could be mistaken.
In truth we must admit the testimony of the apostles to all the facts they relate, or deny it in all—all were infeparably connected-all equally, fubmitted to the examination of their fenfes, with this difference, that the miracles which determined them to maintain the divine authority of their crucified Lord, must have excited their attention more ftrongly than any other parts of his life, because in these they were most interested
a Vid. Campbell's.
z Acts viii. 14 to 17. xix. 6. Difcourfe, P. 45.
not to be mifled; fince error here involved them in the extremeft perfecution and distress. Can we then believe they were enthusiasts in afferting the miracles, the resurrection, the afcenfion of their Lord, when they were as fully judges of these events, and had the very fame opportunities of observing them, as his life, his actions, and his death?
What enthusiasm could fo compleatly blind and fubvert, not merely the reafon, but every faculty, and every fenfe, of fuch a number of men, for fuch a length of time, that they should imagine that multitudes of diseased persons were instantaneously restored to health, who never were restored; that the lame were made to walk, the dumb to fpeak, the blind to see, and even the dead to rise to life; nay, imagine not only that all this was done, but that they were themselves the perfons at whose word, and by whofe agency these things were done.
To believe that any degree of enthusiasm could delude men to fancy these things for a series of days, and months and years, in the most public towns and places, furrounded by crowds of friends and enemies-to believe this is furely the enthufiafm of credulity-utterly inconfiftent with all truth and foberness of mind.
On this part of the argument it is, I truft, evinced that the apostles were at first attached to their Lord, not by the blind impulse of enthusiasm, but the strong attraction of reafon and evidence. That they every day were more firmly united to him by perpetually accumulated proofs of his ftupendous power; and that they finally were confcious of becoming themfelves the agents, by whom he difpenfed his mercies to mankind. When therefore they were commanded by the high priests not to "fpeak at all, or preach in the name of Jefus" well did they reply, not with the heat of enthusiasm, but the calm fteadiness of confcious truth." Whether it be right in the fight of "God to hearken unto you more than unto God judge ye; we cannot but fpeak the things which we have Seen and heard.”
Containing arguments to prove that the apostles were not enthufiafts, from their not requiring faith in others without fupplying fufficient evidence to justify it.
The apostles convérted men not by enthufiaftic delufions, but by working public and indifputable MIRACLES.
IN the first chapter religious enthusiasm has been
defcribed as perpetually difcernable by two primary and effential characters ;-the ift. credulity in believing without any, or at least without fufficient evidence, that a man's own mind is enlightened by divine inspiration ;-the 2d. presumptuous dogmatism in demanding the fubmiffion of others to the dictates of this fuppofed divine authority, without exhibiting any clear or fatisfactory proofs of its reality.
That the apostles and evangelifts were free from the first of these characters, I endeavoured to establish, by enumerating those striking proofs of divine wisdom and power exhibited by their Lord, which first induced his difciples to attend his inftructions, and acknowledge his facred miffion; and by ftating
the evidence addressed to their senses and their reason, which fupplied fuch a firm conviction of his refurrection and afcenfion, that they devoted their lives to the promulgation of his gofpel, and did not hesitate to die as martyrs to its truth.
The very charge of enthufiafm implies fincerity; and fuch facrifices as the apoftles fubmitted to, infallibly prove they were fincere; admitting therefore that they believed the facts which they attest, the only question as to the fource of their own conviction is, whether as to these facts they could have been deceived by any enthusiastic delufion? and that this was impoffible, I trust, has been evinced.
Let me now pass to the fecond character of enthufiafm, that of demanding affent on infufficient evidence. In afcribing this character to it, I am confirmed by the authority of the fame profound reafoner on the habits of the human mind, whom I have before quoted. Speaking of enthusiasm he obferves, that "the affuming an authority of dictating to others,
and a forwardness to prefcribe to their opinions, is a conftant concomitant of this bias of our judgments; for how can it be otherwise but that "he should be ready to impose on other men's be"lief, who has already impofed upon his own?"Here again he distinguishes between the delufions of
b Lock on enthufiafm, § 2.