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GOSPELS & ACTS OF THE APOSTLES,
ARGUED FROM THE
TO BE FOUND IN THEM, WHEN COMPARED
1. WITH EACH OTHER, AND 2. WITH JOSEPHUS.
BY THE REV. J. J. BLUNT,
Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, (Eng.); and author of Vestiges of
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION.
PUBLISHED BY PERKINS & MARVIN,
THE following pages consist, in part, of the substance of two Sermons which I had last year occasion to deliver from the University Pulpit in Cambridge, the one in English, the other in Latin, exhibiting Undesigned Coincidences between the several writings of the Evangelists, or between those writings and Josephus. The materials, which might be considered supplementary to Lardner and Paley, I had collected, from time to time, as independent arguments for the Veracity of the Gospels and Acts, without any determinate purpose in so doing, beyond my own immediate satisfaction. Thoughts which have been thus progressively accumulating, I cannot now always trace to their beginnings, however I may desire it. But an attentive perusal of the New Testament, and of the Jewish Historian, has furnished me with nearly all of them. At the same time, it is possible that a hint from a commentator may have suggested one; that another I may have met with, originally applied to a different purpose, though here made subservient to the Evidences; that a third may, without my recollecting it, have been already urged under a similar form, and for the same object. Yet much which was strictly my own, I have carefully suppressed, where I found that I had been anticipated; and what I have retained, I believe to be, in the
main, new, and I trust that it will not be thought unimportant. Of any great profit or praise to accrue to myself from a work so brief and unpretending, I have little hope or expectation; abundantly shall I be satisfied if it should chance to give pause (of which I do not altogether despair) to the scoffer or unbeliever, though it be only to one-if it should lead him to reconsider a subject, of all others, the most weighty that can occupy the thoughts of a reasonable being-if it should induce him to make himself better acquainted with such works as the Credibility of the Gospel History," the "Hora Paulinæ," or (what is indeed of another and more profound character) the "Analogy" of Bishop Butler-before he comes to a final conclusion on a point which the grave may convince him he had never examined with the attention it deserved, or in any other spirit than such as would have frustrated the effect of all testimony whatever.
TWEEN THE SEVERAL WRITINGS OF
By a comparison of the several writings of the Evangelists with one another, I think coincidence without design may be discovered in so many instances, as to go very far indeed towards fixing the truth of those writings on a foundation that cannot be shaken. On the nature of this argument I shall not much enlarge, but refer my readers for a general view of it to the short dissertation prefixed to the Horæ Paulinæ of Paley, a work where it is employed as a test of the veracity of St. Paul's Epistles with singular felicity and force, and for which suitable incidents were certainly much more abundant than those which my present subject provides; still, however, if the instances which I can offer are so numerous and of such a kind as to preclude the possibility of their being the effect