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CHRIST, by the Evidence of their Senfs: And this is the highest kind of Evidence of which human Nature is capable. Foi when the Senses are employ'd about theit proper Objects; ifcheir Organs are in right Order or Difpofition; and there are a due Distance, Medium, and Light, they cannot pofsibly be deceiv'd. Since therefore none of these Things can be questioned, with regard to the Apostles; since they not only faw CHRIST alive after his Death, but also beard him Discourse, and bandled his Body; it unavoidably follows, that they had unquestionable Knowledge of his Resurrection ; and if to, then since they were che Persons, by whom the Refurre&ion of CHRIST was related in the Scriprures; it must likewise be concluded, that those who'related the Resurrection of CHRIST, were Persons of unquestionable Knowledge, with regard to the Matter of Fact relarcd by them; which was the lecond Proposition we undertook to prove. I come now in the
Tbird and laft Place, To show that they were Persons of unquestionable Fidelicy: By which I mean, that they faithfully relaced the Truth, and nothing but the Truth. And what considering Man C? :* believe otherwise: They being very Por 2 D2
and ignorant, 'tis 11ọc likely they fould be yers'd in die subtile Artifices of Deceitand Imposture. Belides; what End.could they propose co themselves, by propagacing a Falliood: Not to gaini. Honour, for they very well knew, as their Experience foon caught them, that Infamy, Scorzand Rcproach, would be their Treatment. Nor to gain Riches, for they were often depriv'd of what few: Goods they already had upon this Accont; and if they were not, yec they could not conveniently inftruct Men the Doctrines which they deliyer'd, without a great, perhaps total Neglect of their worldly Concerns. Nor in short, could they be induced to it, upon any other temporal Views, for it always expos’dthem to; and generally drew upon chem Hunger and Thirst, Persecution, and Imprisonment. The
Again), how could they expect, that their Testimony fhould be embraced, which was so much against the rooted Preposseflions of Jews and Gentiles, in reference to their own ancient Religions ; except they were certified both of the Truch of that which they related ; and allo of Divine Asistance to encourage
and support them Accordingly we find, that they did not
make known the Resurrection of CHRIST; and as a Conscquent upon that, publish his Religion to the World; before chey were aided from Above, and endued with Power from on High: but on the confrary, kept our of the Way as much as they could, and met together secretly, for fear of the Jews.
Buc farther, if we look more closely in to the Måccer, it will appear morally impoflible
, chat any Imposture should be carried on in it. For it is to be confider'd, that there were not a few concerned in the Death of our Saviour. The whole Sanhedrim, and many of the Peo. ple besides, were involv'd in the Guilt of it; and our Saviour having fórecold his Relurrection on the third Day, they were telolv'd co look to it, and thereupon fixed a huge Stone to the Door of the Sepulehre, wherein his Body was laid ; and ape" pointed a Company of Soldiers, to keep and guard ic: And chiere being ac Jerulalem a greac Confluence of People from all Parts of the Jewish Nation, to celebrare the Feast of the Paffover; 'tis very probable, chat a great many of them were, or at least might be, walking in the Fields ar that Time, some sooner, and some lacer. Now if the Body of our Saviour was so bei
stolen away by his Disciples, chey must have first terrified, or conquer'd the Sol:. diers who watch'd it; which yet they çould not so much as attempt to do, without causing such a Noise and Disturbance, as would have foon drawn great Numbers to the Aid of the Soldiers; and to the Destruction of themselves: Not to mention that they must have carefully hid his Body in another Place, which nevertheless would have been quickly discovered, by rcafon of the remarkable Wounds that were in it.
And now let us reflect a little upon the. Whole. What a strange incredible Thing is it, thac a few weak timerous Persons, one of whom had not long before forsworn CHRIST; and who had all coward ly deserted him; I say, how incredible is it, that these ycry Perfons thould all on a fudden, repose an entire Confidence in cach other, and become lo very Bold and Valiant, as to go upon the most hazardons Encer prize imaginable, when there is not the lealt Shadow of Reason to think fo, but a great deal of it to the contrary: In short, those who took Council together, against CHRIST to put him to Death, multibe counted void of common Sense, if they did not narrowly examine where
his Apostles went, and Abode after his Crucifixion; cogether with several other Things belonging to the fame Butinels; Was it not that they were fully satisfied of the Truth of the Soldiers Relation, concerning his Relurrection: But they having determin’d to stifle this Evidence, could do no more than pretend to disregard the Matter; and only cry ic down in general as an Imposture, withopt vencuring to fift thie Particulars of it, as being well aware, that 'cwas impossible to disprove them.
Thus it appears how extreamly weak and trifling that Report was, which the Chief Prielts and Elders invented; nainely, that the Disciples of CHRIST did. come by Night, and steal bim away, while the Guard slept. Indeed there was hardly any Occasion for spending any Time in confuting it, it being so ridiculous and inconsistent, as to confute itself: For supposing that the Body of CHRIST was stolen away, while the Guard Nept, how could the Guard tell who stole it a. way? But to say no more of that; whofoever duły weighs what hath been delia ver'd upon this Argument, will find it to be the most reasonable Thing in the World, to believe that the Apostles were honest and faithful in relating the Resurs