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history was so written as to present no apparent contradiction, would the testimony of the four evangelists be sufficient to convince me of the fact?I should say, “ No; laying out of all question the doctrine of inspiration, for I should then fancy that these four writers had previously agreed what to write, and this remarkable deviation from other historians would make me suspicious.” I should say, “ 'That the narration of four disciples of Jesus would, under those circumstances, not be sufficient to convince me."

But we do not believe the resurrection of Jesus upon the testimony and the details of the four evangelists! we believe it, because it was believed and known to be certain and true, above 1800 years ago, and before the evangelists and the apostles had written; we believe it upon the testimony of disciples who say, they were themselves eye-witnesses of the fact,—who saw Jesus after his resurrection,—who avowed it before the Synod at Jerusalem, although they knew that pain and anguish and misery would follow it; some of whom sealed their belief in the fact—(mind, not a belief in an opinion, for opinion, we know, will induce men to support their own ways of thinking at any risk,)--who sealed it with their blood, without any one of

them recalling that belief or disavowing their
knowledge; without any one of them revealing
the deceit, if deceit there was, but confirming
rather their mission by the working of miracles and
the communication of supernatural gifts ; setting
at defiance the Synod of Jerusalem, who never
made any judicial inquiry into the subject, as to
where the body of Jesus was, or whether his
disciples had actually stolen it.

To have publicly ascertained such a theft and
such an imposition, (and, in this case, the arbi-
trary use of torture was a ready instrument in
the hand of a sanguinary governor,) would at
once have removed the imputation which the
high priests conceived might attach to them, Acts
v. 28 : “ You will bring the blood of this man
upon us,” and would have completely crushed
the new religion. To have confessed the theft
would have been sufficient, but the investigation
might have gone further; it might have pro-
duced the avowal of the fact, and the discovery
where the body was concealed.' A man whose
face was known throughout Palestine, and
whose dead body exhibited marks of crucifixion,
whose side had been pierced with a spear, and
whose legs remained unbroken, was not an object
that could be easily mistaken; in fact, no other

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dead body could have been produced for it. If the high priests had any confidence in their own case, they would, as a matter of course, have instituted investigation; but this they never did, although they admit the body to have been in the grave, and confined themselves to the assertion, that the disciples stole it. Herod Agrippa, who certainly was no mean enemy of Christianity, and was a warm friend of the Jews, never ordered any inquiry to be made, although to please them, (Acts xii.) he ord ed James to be executed and Peter to be imprisoned; and the torture was then a common mode of examination, and would have been used with very little ceremony; but we find no attempts at investigation. Indeed the proofs of Christianity were at its origin so strong, that it fairly gained the cause by its intrinsic strength, and persecution had not the power to arrest its progress.

I am going, however, too far for a preface, when the object of the work itself is to examine doubts and reconcile contradictions. The whole, however, of these objections, supposing the contradictions irreconcilable, and that they still operated upon our several minds, is, that the evangelists were not inspired by God, that they were fallible men, like other historians, and that,

them recalling that belief or disavowing their knowledge; without any one of them revealing the deceit, if deceit there was, but confirming rather their mission by the working of miracles and the communication of supernatural gifts ; setting at defiance the Synod of Jerusalem, who never made any judicial inquiry into the subject, as to where the body of Jesus was, or whether his disciples had actually stolen it.

To have publicly ascertained such a theft and such an imposition, (and, in this case, the arbitrary use of torture was a ready instrument in the hand of a sanguinary governor,) would at once have removed the imputation which the high priests conceived might attach to them, Acts v. 28 : “ You will bring the blood of this man upon us,” and would have completely crushed the new, religion. To have confessed the theft would have been sufficient, but the investigation might have gone further; it might have produced the avowal of the fact, and the discovery where the body was concealed. A man whose face was known throughout Palestine, and whose dead body exhibited marks of crucifixion, whose side had been pierced with a spear, and whose legs remained unbroken, was not an object that could be easily mistaken; in fact, no other

dead body could have been produced for it. If the high priests had any confidence in their own case, they would, as a matter of course, have instituted investigation; but this they never did, although they admit the body to have been in the

grave, and confined themselves to the assertion, that the disciples stole it. Herod Agrippa, who certainly was no mean enemy of Christianity, and was a warm friend of the Jews, never ordered any inquiry to be made, although to please them, (Acts xii.) he ordered James to be executed and Peter to be imprisoned; and the torture was then a common mode of examination, and would have been used with very little ceremony; but we find no attempts at investigation. Indeed the proofs of Christianity were at its origin so strong, that it fairly gained the cause by its intrinsic strength, and persecútion had not the power to arrest its progress.

I am going, however, too far for a preface, when the object of the work itself is to examine doubts and reconcile contradictions. The whole, however, of these objections, supposing the contradictions irreconcilable, and that they still operated upon our several minds, is, that the evangelists were not inspired by God, that they were fallible men, like other historians, and that,

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