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the Disciples faw Christ after his Death. Allowing this, what follows? The Question is not, whether he that fees a Man come from the Dead, may be sure he fees a Man come from the Dead; but whether he has a better Foundation for Faith and Religion, than the present Revelation affords? This is what our Saviour affirms: If they hear not Mofes and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the Dead. The fame Reasons, that move you to reject the Authority of Christ and his Apostles, would move you to reject the Authority of your new Acquaintance from the Dead: Which will appear by confidering,
Secondly, That the Objections which Unbelievers urge against the Authority of Revelation, will lie stronger against the Authority of one coming from the Dead : For, first, as to the Nature of this Sort of Evidence, if it be any Evidence at all, it is a Revelation: And therefore whatever has been said against the Authority of Revelation will be applicable to this kind of it:' And, consequently, those who, upon the foot of Natural Religion, stand out against the Doctrine of the Gospel, would much
more stand out against the Authority of one coming from the Dead. And whether it would weigh more with the Atheist, let any one consider: For no Revelation can weigh with him; for the Being of God, which he disbelieves, is supported with greater Arguments, and greater Works, than
any Revelation can be: And therefore, standing out against the Evidence of all Nature, speaking in the wonderful Works of the Creation, he can never reasonably submit to a less Evidence. Let then one from the Dead appear to him; and he will, and certainly may, as easily account for one dead Man's recovering Life and Motion, as he does for the Life and Motion of so many Men, whom he sees every Day, Is it not as hard, do you think, to make a Man at first, and breathe into him the Breath of Life, as it is to make him up again, after he has once been dead? And therefore he that can satisfy himself as to the first, need not be troubled about the last. For I am sure the Appearance of a dead Man could never teach the Atheist,
his own Principles, to reason himself into the Belief of a Deity, though possibly it might scare him into it: Which is too low a
Design Design for the Providence of God to be concerned in, and therefore can never be a Reason for his giving this sort of Evidence to Mankind.
But farther ; Let us suppose a Man free from all these Prejudices, and then see what we can make of this Evidence. If a dead Man should come to you, you must suppose either that he speaks from himself, and that his Errand to you is the Effect of his own private Affection for you, or that he comes by Commission and Authority froin God. As to the first Case, you
have but the Word of a Man for all you hear: And how will you prove that a dead Man is incapable of practising a Cheat upon you? Or, allowing the Appearance
to be real, and the Design honest, do you think every
dead Man knows the Counsels of God, and his Will with respect to his Creatures here on Earth? If
do not think this, and I cannot see possibly how you fhould think it, what Use will you make of this kind of Revelation ? Should he tell you that the Christian Faith is the true Faith, the Way to Heaven and Happiness, and that God will reward all true Believers ; you would have much less Reason to believe him, VOL. III.
than now you have to believe Christ and his
pared to answer such Objections, as you are now ready to make against the Mission and Authority of Christ and his Apostles. First then we ask, how this Commission appears? If you say, because he comes from the Dead, we cannot rest here; because it is not selfevident, that all who come from the Dead are inspired: And yet farther than this
you cannot go; for it is not supposed that your Man from the Dead works Miracles. The Mission of Christ we prove by Prophecies, and their Completion; by the Signs and Wonders he wrought by the Hand of God; by his Resurrection, which includes both Kinds, being in itself a great Miracle, and likewise the Completion of a Prophecy : Which Circumstance, as was before observed, adds great Weight to his Authority. Besides, we are often urged to shew, that the Authors of our Religion were free from Interest and Design, and that our Faith is not founded in the Politics of cunning and artificial Men; and we must desire you to do the same good Office for the Prophet who comes from the Dead. As for ourselves, we appeal to the known History of those who were Founders of our Religion : There you may find them persecuted, aflikted, and tor