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not enough. They must have been divinely informed what to write; for had they possessed the natural abilities of Gabriel, they could not have taught the things which they did, had they not received them from God;-things too high for them to know ;-things appertaining to God, angels and men, time and eternity, heaven and hell. Hence we conclude that the sacred writers were inspired with the inspiration of suggestion or revelation.
That the sacred penmen were thus divinely inspired, we infer,
3. From the fact, that they profess to be so. The writers of the Old and New Testamants frequently speak of themselves, as under the inspiration, and abiding inspi.ration of the Spirit.
The Prophets inform us, that they saw visions,-that the Word of the Lord came to them,--and that they were authorized to sanction their communications with "Thus saith the Lord." In accordance with this profession, the apostle Peter observes, "No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Paul tells us, "All Scripture," (and he means, here at least, the whole of the Old Testament,) "is given by inspiration of God." And he also asserts in the most positive and unequivocal. manner, his own inspiration, and the inspiration of the other apostles. He says of himself, "I certify you, brethren, that the gospel, which was preached of me, is not after man. For neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." He says of the other apostles in connexion with himself; "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy
* Appendix A e.
Ghost teacheth." To this same inspiration, John lays claim in writing his Revelation. He begins by saying, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things, which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel, unto his servant John; who bear record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw." Citations from Scripture to this point might be multiplied; but it is needless. It does most clearly appear, that the writers of the Old and New Testaments profess to have written under the inspiration of suggestion, or revelation,-to have spoken in all respects as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.*
To consider how it appears, that the sacred Scriptures, including the Old and New Testaments, were given by inspiration of God.
1. It appears, that they were given by divine inspiration from history.
We have testimony from the whole Jewish nation, that all the books of the Old Testament, beginning with Genesis and ending with Malachi, written during the space of a thousand years, and by different amanuenses, and collected into one volume by the Jews, are authentic, that is, the writings of those persons to whom they are attributed. This testimony is abundant, explicit, and dispersed throughout a great portion of the Jewish writings. They also testify not only that these were the writings of those persons whose names they bear, but that those persons were divinely inspired, and that the copy they have is genuine, that is, a true copy of the ancient manuscripts, transmitted to them in a continued succession by their forefathers, from the times, in which the respected authors lived.†
* Appendix A f.
† Appendix A g.
There is, in manuscript, still extant, a copy of the five books of Moses, called the Pentateuch. This copy is preserved by the Jews in their ark, as sacred and inviolable, and as containing their laws; and from the date herein assigned them. A portion of these writings is read every Sabbath-day in their synagogues;* and to these writings they uniformly have recourse, in the decision of those difficulties which arise among them in their secular concerns.
The translation of the Old Testament into Greek, called the Septuagint, nearly three hundred years before Christ, . still remains, and contains the same books that are found in the Hebrew copies of our English version, and agrees in all respects remarkably with both of them.† This, I think, proves satisfactorily, that the Old Testament was considered at the time it was translated into Greek by the Seventy-two, as the Word of God, and that our version is genuine. Of the genuineness of our version, we may be further satisfied from the fact, that the Jews and Christians have ever had in keeping a copy of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Greek. This being the case, they have been, as it were, a guard upon each other; so that the copy of the one could not have been altered without the others knowing it. But, as neither the Jews nor the Christians know of any alteration by the other, we may be certain that no alteration has taken place.‡
The account of many things which Moses has given, is corroborated by the most renowned pagan authors of the highest antiquity. They mention or evidently refer to the creation of the world in six days, and to the Sabbath,
-to the innocence and fall of man,—to the deluge, and the change it produced on the earth,-to the ark, and the preservation of the different animals in it,-to the rainbow as a token that the world shall no more be destroyed † Appendix A i. Appendix A k.
* Appendix A h.
by a flood,—to the tower of Babel, and the confusion of language,―to the call of Abraham and the rite and seal of circumcision, to the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah, by fire,—to many things respecting Moses, the giving of the law, and the Jewish ritual,—and to a variety of other things and occurrences. The accordance or coincidence between sacred and profane history is an evidence of the truth and genuineness of the former. And the fact that the sacred historians give "grave and credible accounts of things, while many of the ancient writers amuse us with fables, evidently drawn from imperfect accounts of the sacred story, plainly discovers Scripture to have been the original, from which the other is an imperfect copy."
That the persons to whom are ascribed the writings of the New Testament, beginning with Matthew and ending with Revelation, did exist, and that these writings are their's, we cannot so reasonably doubt, as that there ever existed among the Greeks and Romans such men as Longinus, Thucydides, Livy, and Tacitus, and that certain writings, ascribed to them, are their's; for we have more proof, of the former than of the latter; and the proof in either case, is the uniform testimony of that age. in which the writers lived, and of succeeding ages. Both by profane and sacred history, it is indisputably proved, that more than eighteen hundred years ago, there lived such a person as Jesus Christ, who was born at Bethlehem; in the land of Judea, when Augustus Cæsar was Emperor of Rome; who was brought up at Nazareth, and who declared himself to be the Son of God, and the Saviour of men; who led an upright, devout, and benevolent life; who wrought many astonishing miracles, and predicted many things which have already taken place as * Appendix A 1.
predicted; who established the Christian religion as an institution of Heaven, and who was unjustly crucified at Jerusalem under the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, while Pontius Pilate was Procurator of Judea. We have testimony of the facts, from the enemies of Christianity, Josephus and Tacitus, who lived in the first century after Christ; and Celsus, Porphyry, and even Julian, the apostate; and from the Mahommedans and also a host of Christian writers. I will mention four of the latter, eminent for their piety and lives, who have borne witness to these facts; John, the beloved disciple of our Saviour,Polycarp, the disciple of John,-Irenæus, the disciple of Polycarp, and the learned Origen, one of the champions of Christianity. These four persons were successively cotemporaries, and lived within two hundred and fifty-four years after Christ. This being the case, their testimony is of much importance from the consideration that it is more likely to be correct.
Eusebius, Bishop of Cesarea, who lived in the fourth century, tells us, that, the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles of the New Testament, were early received by the Christian Church, and read in their assemblies as "the dictates of heavenly wisdom. He also tells us, that these same books are cited by writers of the second, third, and fourth centuries, as books of undoubted authenticity and genuineness.*
In succeeding ages, many able defenders of the truth of Christianity have espoused its cause, and proved to the satisfaction of every candid mind, that the New Testament is not forged, but genuine—that it is do imposition or cunningly devised fable of a later date, but the sublime instructions of an infallible teacher from Heaven.
Appendix A 1.