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the majority of the ancients; and, therefore, that all our present books of the New Testament (the Apocalypse perhaps excepted) have stronger proofs for' their authenticity, than can be produced for any of the other writings of antiquity, for those of Xenophon, Polybius, Tacitus, or Cicero, which nevertheless are received as genuine with such considence, that the whole world pronounced Hardouin insane, when he attempted to call their authenticity in question.—For, in the present case, we have not merely a single solitary witness or two, but a great variety. They name these scriptures not simply in a casual M ay, but relate their history, and make long extraSks from them. These witnesses are men, who were intimately acquainted either with the Evangelists and Apostles themselves, or their immediate disciples; and lived at farthest not later than about two generations after their times. They
were were very well versed in every kind of profane literature; they were philosophers and scholars, who had formed their taste, and sharpened their judgment by the study of the best writers of antiquity, of Homer, Euripides, Æschylus, Plato, and Aristotle; they were scholars, who had read with attention all the works of the Christian authors; who were also familiar with the apochryphal writings (of which, in the sirst century, existed but few'), and
i Even here the enemies of Christianity betray themselves. They confound all together; and mistake writings forged in much later times for works which were in circulation soon after the times of the Apostles under their names. Out of a single book, with different titles, they make many books. And through these effects of ignorance or dishonesty, the number of apochryphal works is magnisied in such an amazing degree, that John Tolland in his Amyntor has silled many pages only with the bare names of them. This v error has been most amply refuted by Mr. Jeremiah Jones, in his 'New and full method of settling the canonical authority of the New Testament," London, 1716, j vol. 8vo. in which he goes through each of
after accurate scrutiny, rejected them. They -also doubted of the truth of some of the books of our New Testament, and thereby established an evident proof that they were by no means credulous. Some of them travelled in person purposely to examine into the truth of the books, which made pretensions to divine inspiration, received accurate information on this point from the communities planted by the Apostles themselves, and in their con
these apochryphal works separately, and proves that the ancients rejected them as spurio\is, and pronounced the Scriptures of our New Testament exclusively to be the genuine works of the Evangelists and Apostles. And this is also testified by Eusebius (Hift.Eccles. Lib. III. cap. 25) from his own knowledge of the earliest writings.—The major part of these apochryphal works were written in the fourth century. They all agree iit essential matters with our New Testament; but they contain also a variety of fables. See these writings in Jo. Alb. Fabricii Cod. Apocr. N. T. vol. iii. in Svo. Compa. Beaufobre Hift. du Manichee, Vol. ii.- and Lardner's Credibility of the G. H. Part II. vol. xu\ p. 157—174.. sust edition.
troversies troversies with the heretics appealed to them with confidence k.
k Lardner deserves the greatest credit for his labours on the proof of the authenticity of the New Testament. In the second part ofjhis * Credibility of the Gospel History,'" (which was originally published in J2 vol. 8vo.) and in the ' Supplement' (in 3 vol.) he has collected the evidences of the Christian author* in a chronological order according to the centuries.