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fians, when he does not apprehend the plainest Thing relating to Evidence, what is necessary to give Credit to an Eye-Witness, and what to an Historian.

After these Instances, there is little Reason to expect from this Hand a judicious or a fair Answer to the Tryal.

The Conhderer seems to me to have set out at first, with a Design only to write against the Credit of the Resurrection, as reported by the Evangelists; and that it was an After-Thought, and meant to give himself some Air of Importance, to work up his Book into an Answer to the Tryal. It is plainly a Piece of Patch

and has but little in it to entitle it to be called an Answer to the Tryal. Has he weighed the Arguments on both sides of the Question as stated in the Tryal, and shewed where the Author of the Tryal either dissembled the Force of the Objection, or failed in the Answer to it? Nothing like it. He does not so much as pretend it. He has found an easier Method of making an Appearance of an Answer to the Tryal: fome Passages taken independently of the Argument of which they are a Part, he has singled out to furnish Matter of Controversy; but as these were too few in Number to make a decent Appearance of Quotations from a Book, which he professed to answer ; he has taken the Liberty to use the Language of the Tryal to his own Purpose, and has distinguished it by Italics, and referred

the

the Reader to the Tryal, even where the
Words by the Additions and Alterations made
by the Confiderer, are turned to a Sense direct-
ly contrary to that, in which the Author of
the Tryal used them. And by this little Art
the Confiderer appears to an unwary Reader to
to be quoting and confuting the Tryal of the
Witnesses.
As

much as the Considerer has perverted, altered, and misapplyed the Passages he has taken from the Tryal, it is nothing in Comparison with his Abuse of the Writers of the New Testament, whom he treats as Impostors and Cheats, and void even of Cunning to tell their own Story plausibly.

St. Matthew is charged with forging a Prophecy; and Matthew, Mark, and Luke, with fraudulent Designsd; and again, there is Reason, he says, to suspect all the Predi&tions of it (i.e. the Resurrection) inserted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, to be Forgery e.

St. Matthew has given an Account of guarding and sealing the Sepulchre ; the other Evangelists say nothing of it. Upon this the ConJiderer says, they tell different Stories f. How fo? does a Man who says nothing of the Story tell a different Story, or contradi&t the Story? Yes, this is the Considerer's Logic, and he says expressly, in a like Case, St. John says not a Word

• First Edit. p. 28. 31. Third Edit. p. 20. 23. First

First Edit. p. 36, Edit. p. 32. Third Edit. p. 24. 37. Third Edit. p. 27.

of of it, but denies it all 8. Upon this kind of Reasoning, if it is Reasoning, the Confiderer charges all the four Evangelists with Forgery; and supposes that St. Matthew's Story being detexted, Mark and Luke tell another; theirs being also confuted, John comes and tells a Story different from all the rest: And this vehement Charge is founded in this only, that Mark, Luke, and John say nothing about it.

At this rate how easily may all historical Facts be confuted ? It is but saying the Histories are forged; and it requires no great Head, provided there be a good Face, to say it of any History in the World. But there will be an Opportunity of examining this Fact of guarding the Sepulchre, and the Considerer's Reasoning upon it, in what is to follow.

But the Considerer, not content to charge the Evangelists with Forgery, has, to impose on those who will rely on his Word, forged Things for them. John the Baptist says to the Jews, think not to say within your selves, we have Abraham to our Father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these Stones to raise up Children to Abraham h. Let us fee now how the Conhderer reports this Paffage. His Words are, Some believe that Absurdities and Contradictions are posible to the Power of God; be can raise Children from the Loins of Abraham out of the Stones of the Streeti. He plainly faw

+ Mat. iii. 9.

8 First Edit. p. 32. Third Edit. p. 23. First Edit. p.47.

Third Edit. P. 37

I

that

1

that the Passage, as it stood in St. Matthew, afforded no Colour for his Abuse, and therefore he adds, from the Loins of Abraham. I desire the Reader to consider whose Forgery this is.

At p. 67. of the first Edit. and p. 54. of the third, there occurs one of the most extraordinary Paffages that is

any

where to be found, and shews with what Conscience the Confiderer applies Scripture to his Purpose. He is treating of the Ascension, and endeavours to prove, that the Accounts given of it by the Evangelists do not agree.

With respect to St. John, he says, John leaves us at all Uncertainties, and says, Jesus went, like a wandring Jew, without bidding them Good-by, the Lord knows where! To support this Remark he refers to John xxi. 19, 20, &c. The Case there is briefly this: Our Lord after his Resurrection foretells to Peter, by what Death he shall glorify God. St. Peter enquires, what was to become of St. John? Our Lord says, if I will that be tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me, i. e. What is it to you what becomes of him? Do

you

follow the Example I have set you, and glorify God by your Death. One may sometimes see what Handle People take to misrepresent Scripture ; but in this Instance it is difficult to discern what could lead to this wild Conceit. Could it be the Word follow ? Follow me; did the Considerer suppose him to mean wandring and rambling over the World?

It

It can be nothing else. But does he suppose that no Disciple can follow his Master, but by taking a Journey with him? I apprehend the Considerer to be a Follower of Woolston and the Moral Philosopher, but I never enquired how far he travelled with them.

These Instances, which I have selected from many of the fame Kind, will shew, how considerable and how fair an Adversary this Gentleman is. I have brought them in one View, that they might not stand in the way, and divert us from attending to his Reasoning against the Truth of the Resurrection.

II. Before I come to the Points, which more immediately affect the Evidence of the Resurrection, I shall take Notice of one Remark which the Confiderer has dropt at the Close of his Introduction, and which relates to the Credit of Revelation in general.

It had been observed in the Tryal, “ that Reve" lation is by the common Consent of Mankind « the very best Foundation of Religion, and “ therefore every Impostor pretends to it k.” In answer to which the Considerer says, I conceive that which is the Foundation of any, much less of every false Religion, cannot be the Foundation of the true! What poor Sophistry is this ! Cannot this great Confiderer see the Dif

Tryal, p. 11.

First Ed. p. 17. Third Ed. p. 9.

ferenco

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