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tiones Apojiolorum, speak of altars, of the ordination of bishops and priests, of the subjection of the Holy Ghost to the Son. The pretended writings of Dionysius, a Member of the Court of Areopagus, refute Nestorian and Anthropomorphitic errors; use the word inrorxirt; in the doctrine of the trinity; and speak of monks, altars, and liturgies. And, in the fame manner, all interpolated writings contain something or other, a custom, a science, an expression, which betrays a later age, and does not escape the eye of the criticOn the contrary, we cannot meet with any thing in the Scriptures of the New Testament, which does in the least degree contradictthe pretended character, time, and connection of their authors. And not only this: we discover in them-such traces of genuineness as are indeed extremely striking.
The writers of the New Testament are said to have been Jews by birth,
and and of the Jewijli religion; and this is every where visible. The mode of relating their story, so unaffected, and mixed with various superfluous phrases, and trifling collateral circumstances; the numerous allusions to the religious ceremonies of the Jews; the subject matter interwoven with words, phrases, and thoughts of the Old Testament; the numerous parables and allegories; the variety of Hebraic words, constructions, and phrases in the Greek of the New Testament, betray an author to whom the Jewish mode of thinking was quite natural.
r They are said to have lived in the first century of the Roman monarchy. This also is easily and every where perceptible. The exact division of the Jewish state; its connection with the Romans; the internal transactions and fermentations which took place in it at the time of the sirst Roman Emperors, are not so properly related by the writer as presupposed as matters of fact, which were universally known at the time when he wrote. The little unimportant, foreign events of the first century, which in the books of the New Testament, and especially in the historical, are touched on only casually and very slightly, in so unstudied and unaffected a manner, evince a writer, to whose memory these facts were still quite recent, and who presupposed that his contemporaries were as well acquainted with them as himself. I shall give examples of this in the course of the work.
They are said to have been immediate witnesses of their narratives, or to have themselves seen and heard what they relate. Even this circumstance is every where clearly discoverable. They relate with the confidence of men who are convinced that their readers already know that they themselves saw and exr perienced all, and that their assertions
may may therefore be considered as proofs. They relate, without mentioning thd eras of their history, or carefully chaJ racterising the person of whom they make mention: in short, like men who wrote for readers that were their contemporaries, that lived at the very timei in which their history happened, and knew, or might easily have known, the persons themselves.
They are said to have been all, except one, unlearned men. And who does not remark in the writings of St. Matthew, Si Mark, St. Luke, St. John, St Peter, St. James, and St Jude, that they were composed by persons who were indeed perfectly certain of the facts they relate; possessed also of sound judgment, and in part of excellent natural talents, yet totally devoid of learning, and what is properly called science? We sind in their works no profound inferences; no refutations which betray subtilty; no expressions or similies
taken taken from the walks of science; no acquired knowledge of the world. In every part the tone of an honest historian is perceptible, but of one to whom it never occurred to argue on his narrative as a philosopher. Compare their writings with those of St Paul. If we even put oat of the question the Epistle to the Hebrews, which is replete with Jewish learning; yet what profound inferences are drawn in the Epistle to the Romansc? What a variety of fine knowledge, and how much adroitness in defending himself with delicacy and fubtilty against the accusations of his enemies, are betrayed in the Epistles to the Corinthians? With what acutenefs does he oppose the doCtrine of the necessity of circumcision, and of adherence to the Mosaic law, in the Epistle to the Galatiansd? The Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Coloffians, and Thef