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PHILADELPHIA :
PUBLISHED BY THE TRACT ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS OF PHILA-
DELPHIA, AND TO BE HAD AT THEIR DEPOSITORY,

No. 50, NORTH FOURTH STREET.

1833.

No. 4.-Stereotype.

ke Summary of the Principal Evidences for the Truth and Divine

Origin of the CHRISTIAN REVELATION. The method I intend to pursue in this treatise, is to present to my readers the following series of propositions, and then to prove distinctly the truth of each.

I. From considering the state of the heathen world, before the appearance of our Lord upon earth, it is evident that there was an absolute necessity for a revelation of God's will, and, of course, a great probability beforehand that such a revelation would be granted.

II. At the very time when there was a general expectation in the world of some extraordinary personage making his appearance in it, a person called Jesus Christ did actually appear upon earth, asserting that he was the Son of God, and that he was sent from heaven to teach mankind true religion; and he did accordingly found a religion, which from him was called the Christian Religion, and which has been professed by great numbers of people from that time to the present.

III. The books of the New Testament were written by those persons to whom they are ascribed, and contain a faithful history of Christ and his religion; and the account there given of both, may be securely relied upon as strictly true.

IV. The scriptures of the Old Testament (which are connected with those of the New) are the genuine writings of those whose names they bear, and give a true account of the Mosaic dispensation, of the historical facts, the divine commands, the moral precepts, and the prophecies which they contain

- V. The character of Christ, as represented in the gospels, affords very strong ground for believing that he was a divine person.

VI. The sublimity of his doctrines and the purity of his moral precepts confirm this belief.

VII. The rapid and successful propagation of the gospel by the first teachers of it, through a large part of the world, is a proof that they were favoured with divine assistance and support.

VIII. A comparison between Christ and Mahomet and their respective religions, leads us to conclude, that while the religion of the latter was confessedly the invention of man, that of the former was derived from God.

IX. The predictions delivered by the ancient prophets, and fulfilled in our Saviour, show that he was the Messiah expected by the Jews, and that he came into the world by

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divine appointment, to be the great deliverer and redeemer of mankind.

X. The prophecies delivered by our Saviour himself, prove that he was endued with the foreknowledge of future events, which belong only to God and to those inspired by him.

XI. The miracles performed by our Lord, demonstrate him to have possessed divine power.

XII. The resurrection of our Lord from the dead, is a fact fully proved by the clearest evidence, and is the seal and confirmation of his divinity and of the truth of his religion.

These are the several points I shall undertake to prove in the following pages; and if these are clearly made out, there can be nothing more wanting to satisfy every reasonable man, that the Christian Religion is a true revelation from God. PROPOSITION I.-From considering the state of the heathen

world, before the appearance of our Lord upon earth, it is evident that there was an absolute necessity for a divine revelation of God's will, and, of course, a great probability beforehand, that such a revelation would be granted.

They who are acquainted with ancient history, know perfectly well that there is no one fact more certain and more notorious than this: That for many ages before our Saviour appeared upon earth, and at the time he actually did appear, the whole heathen world, even the politest and most civilized, and most learned nations, were, with a very few exceptions, sunk in the most deplorable ignorance of every thing relating to God and to religion; in the grossest superstition and idolatry, and in the most abominable corruption and depravity of manners. They neither understood the true nature of God, nor the attributes and perfections which belong to him, nor the worship that was acceptable to him, nor the moral duties which he required from his creatures; nor had they any clear notions or firm belief of the immortality of the soul, and a state of rewards and punishments in another life. They believed the world to be under the direction of a vast multitude of gods and goddesses, to whom they ascribed the worst passions and the worst vices, that ever disgraced human nature. They worshipped also dead men and women, birds and beasts, insects and reptiles, (especially that most odious and disgusting reptile the serpent,) together with an infinite number of idols, the work of their own hands, from various materials, gold, silver, wood, and stone. With respect to their own conduct, they were almost universally addicted to the most shocking and abominable vices; even many of their solemn religious ceremonies and acts of devotion were scenes of the grossest sensuality and licentiousness. Others of them ke Summary of the Principal Evidences for the Truth and Divine

Origin of the CHRISTIAN REVELATION. The method I intend to pursue in this treatise, is to present to my readers the following series of propositions, and then to prove distinctly the truth of each.

I. From considering the state of the heathen world, before the

appearance of our Lord upon earth, it is evident that there was an absolute necessity for a revelation of God's will, and, of course, a great probability beforehand that such a revelation would be granted.

II. At the very time when there was a general expectation in the world of some extraordinary personage making his appearance in it, a person called Jesus Christ did actually appear upon earth, asserting that he was the Son of God, and that he was sent from heaven to teach mankind true religion; and he did accordingly found a religion, which from him was called the Christian Religion, and which has been professed by great numbers of people from that time to the present.

III. The books of the New Testament were written by those persons to whom they are ascribed, and contain a faithful history of Christ and his religion; and the account there given of both, may be securely relied upon as strictly true.

IV. The scriptures of the Old Testament (which are connected with those of the New) are the genuine writings of those whose names they bear, and give a true account of the Mosaic dispensation, of the historical facts, the divine commands, the moral precepts, and the prophecies which they contain

- V. The character of Christ, as represented in the gospels, affords very strong ground for believing that he was a divine person.

VI. The sublimity of his doctrines and the purity of his moral precepts confirm this belief.

VII. The rapid and successful propagation of the gospel by the first teachers of it, through a large part of the world, is a proof that they were favoured with divine assistance and support. VIII. A comparison be

een Christ and Mahomet and their respective religions, leads us to conclude, that while the religion of the latter was confessedly the invention of man, that of the former was derived from God.

IX. The predictions delivered by the ancient prophets, and fulfilled in our Saviour, show that he was the Messiah expected by the Jews, and that he came into the world by

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

GIFT OF
HENRY JOEL CADBURY

31027

divine appointment, to be the great deliverer and redeemer of mankind.

X. The prophecies delivered by our Saviour himself, prove that he was endued with the foreknowledge of future events, which belong only to God and to those inspired by him.

XI. The miracles performed by our Lord, demonstrate him to have possessed divine power.

XII. The resurrection of our Lord fro the dead, is a fact fully proved by the clearest evidence, and is the seal and confirmation of his divinity and of the truth of his religion.

These are the several points I shall undertake to prove in the following pages; and if these are clearly made out, there can be nothing more wanting to satisfy every reasonable man, that the Christian Religion is a true revelation from God. PROPOSITION I.- From considering the state of the heathen

world, before the appearance of our Lord upon earth, it is evident that there was an absolute necessity for a divine revelation of God's will, and, of course, a great probability beforehand, that such a revelation would be granted.

They who are acquainted with ancient history, know perfectly well that there is no one fact more certain and more notorious than this: That for many ages before our Saviour appeared upon earth, and at the time he actually did appear, the whole heathen world, even the politest and most civilized, and most learned nations, were, with a very few exceptions, sunk in the most deplorable ignorance of every thing relating to God and to religion; in the grossest superstition and idolatry, and in the most abominable corruption and depravity of manners. They neither understood the true nature of God, nor the attributes and perfections which belong to him, nor the worship that was acceptable to him, nor the moral duties which he required from his creatures; nor had they any clear notions or firm belief of the immortality of the soul, and a state of rewards and punishments in another life. They believed the world to be under the direction of a vast multitude of gods and goddesses, to whom they ascribed the worst passions and the worst vices, that ever disgraced human nature. They worshipped also dead men and women, birds and beasts, insects and reptiles, (especially that most odious and disgusting reptile the serpent,) together with an infinite number of idols, the work of their own hands, from various materials, gold, silver, wood, and stone. With respect to their own conduct, they were almost universally addicted to the most shocking and abominable vices; even many of their solemn religious ceremonies and acts of devotion were scenes of the grossest sensuality and licentiousness. Others of them

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