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enthusiasm, and the clear evidence of divine revela, tion. "The holy men of old," fays he, "who were "fent to convince others, had a power given them to juftify the truth of their commiffion, and by vifi"ble figns to affert their divine authority."

On this ground the first teachers of the gofpel stand far removed from every fufpicion of enthufiafm. Never did they claim affent merely on an unsupported affertion of being actuated by divine infpiration-of having been driven by a fudden and irrefiftible impulse-of having feen a divine light infufed into their fouls, needing no evidence but its own brightness. They did not appeal to obfcure and doubtful proofs, fuch as agitations of mind, or convulfions of body, vifions by night, or fecret whispers by day. No, they claimed the affent of mankind to doctrines established by facts-facts which were themfelves miraculous, and direct proofs of a supernatural interference; or which exhibited the accomplishment of prophecies, and thus evinced that divine Providence had introduced the fcheme of which they formed a part. Of these facts they had been themselves eyewitnesses, but they had not been the only witnesses; frequently the events were most public and undeniable. -The refurrection of our Lord, his fubfequent converfe upon earth, and afcent into Heaven, with the descent of the holy Spirit on the apoftles, feem to have been the only leading facts, of which numbers,

c Lock. ib. § 15.


befides Chriftians, had not been witneffes. Yet even thefe could not be termed private transactions; five hundred persons had seen our Lord at once, of whom, says St. Paul, addreffing the Corinthians, "the greater part "remain unto this present."-And instantly on the descent of the Spirit, the apoftles appeared in public; "e" and when it was noifed abroad the multitude came ❝ together, for there were dwelling in Jerufalem Jews, "devout men out of every nation under heaven, "Parthians and Medes, and Elamites, and the "dwellers in Mesopotamia and in Judea, in Pontus "and Afia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in "the parts of Libya about Cyrene, strangers of Rome, "Jews and Profelytes, Cretes and Arabians, who were all amazed hearing them fpeak in their own 66 tongues the wonderful works of God."-Three thousand persons on one day added to the church, proved the certainty of the miraculous power which convinced their reason and established their faith.

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If a calm and fteady appeal to plain and public events is fuch a proof of truth and fobernefs, as enthufiafm never can produce, that proof the evangelists fupplied. Hear the language in which Peter addreff ed the affembled populace of Jerufalem :-" Ye men "of Ifrael hear these words-Jefus of Nazareth, a 66 man approved of God among you, by miracles, and "wonders, and figns, which God did by him in the "midst of you, as YE YOURSELVES ALSO KNOW: him

1. Corinth. xv. 6.

e Acts ii. I to 13.


"being delivered by the determinate counsel and "foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and with "wicked hands have crucified and flain; this Jefus "hath God raised from the dead, whereof WE ALL ARE WITNESSES ". Exactly the fame is their language before the Jewish people, again collected by the fame of a new miracle, before the priests and elders, the rulers and fcribes, affembled in council, to try and punish them, before Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, who dwelt at Cæfarea, not many miles diftant from Jerufalem, who had called together his kinsmen and near friends, to receive the glad tidings of the gofpel. In every place, and before every audience, they repeat this language; and furely this is the language of manly reason and conscious truth, not of folly and fanaticism.

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Yet convincing and rational as was the appeal to past facts, it was not the only evidence from which the apostles claimed the affent of mankind to the gofpel. They had been chofen as peculiar witneffes of the refurrection of their Lord; the credit of this fact therefore must have refted folely on their own veracity; and in diftant countries the whole feries of facts appealed to, must have been unknown. Now, though they undoubtedly established their veracity upon the firmeft ground, by teaching a doctrine of piety and purity, and fubmitting to diftrefs and dan

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f Acts ii. 22-24 and 32. h Acts iv. 1—12.

& Acts iii. 13-18.

i Acts x. 36-43.


ger of the feverest kind in its fupport; yet they were frequently enabled to evince their truth, and divine miffion, by proofs more ftriking than any past tranfaction however notorious; by prefent miracles; by a direct appeal to the fenfes of their hearers.

They appealed to the effufions of the holy Spirit, proved at the moment by the miraculous gift of tongues" God, fays the apostle, has fhed forth that "which ye now fee and hear;" they appealed to the man at that moment healed, whom all the people knew " to be the fame who had been daily laid at the gate of the temple, to feek for alms, having been "lame from his mother's womb; but whom they "now, full of wonder and amazement, faw walk"ing and leaping, and praifing God."



When Peter by a word restored to inftant health, "Eneas, who for eight years had been confined to his " 'bed"—" all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron faw "him, who turned to the Lord."-Not lefs public was his raifing Dorcas from death ", "which was "known throughout all Joppa, so that "in the Lord,”



When at "Lyftra, Paul with fupernatural power, commanded one who had been a cripple from his birth, to rife and ftand; and perfect ftrength was

k Acts iii. -16. from 36 to the end.

1 Acts ix. 32-35.
"Acts xiv. from 8-18.

m A&s ix.


instantly bestowed on him. So public and fignal was the act, that the multitude of fpectators exclaimed, the "Gods are come down to us in the likeness of "men," and scarcely were restrained from offering to them facrifices as to Gods.


But these particular inftances are but a few, incidentally recorded, from a multitude, wrought by different apostles in different countries, and for confiderable periods of time. By all the apoftles at Jerufalem" were many figns and wonders wrought among the people, fo that there came a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerufalem, bringing fick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits, and they were healed every one.

At Samaria, where Philip spread the gospel," "and "the people with one accord gave heed to those things “which he fpake, hearing and seeing the miracles which "be did."


At Ephefus, by Paul, for a period of two years, fo that all they which dwelt in Afia heard the word of "the Lord Jefus, both Jews and Greeks, and God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul."At Corinth, at Theffalonica, cities which were at that period most distinguished and enlightened, and


• Acts v. 12. 16.

P Acts viii. 6. 9 Acts xix. 10. 12.

r Vid. 1 Cor. ii. 4. with the 12th, 13th, and 14th chapters. * Vid. 1 Theff. i. 5, 6. & v. 19, 20. and Benfon's History of



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