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IX. Lastly, the triumphal arch erected at Rome by the Senate and Roman people in honour of the emperor Titus, (which structure is still subsisting, though greatly damaged by the ravages of time), is an undeniable evidence to the truth of the historic accounts, which describe the dissolution of the Jewish state and government, and also relate the conquest of Jerusalem. This edifice likewise corroborates the description of certain vessels used by the Jews in their religious worship, which is contained in the Old Testament. In this arch, are still distinctly to be seen the golden candlestick, the table of shewbread, with a cup upon it, and the trumpets which were used to proclaim the year of jubilee. And there are extant several medals of Judæa vanquished, in which the conquered country is represented as a desolate female, sitting under a tree, and which afford an extraordinary fulfilment of Isaiah's prediction (iii. 26.), delivered at least eight hundred years before, as well as a striking illustration of the first verse of the Lamentations of Jeremiah.1

It would not have been difficult to adduce numerous additional testimonies from medals and inscriptions, which have been collected and described by various learned modern travellers, who have explored Greece and Asia Minor: but the length to which this chapter has already unavoidably extended, forbids the production of further evidences of this kind. - Stronger testimonies than these it is impossible to bring for the credibility of any fact recorded in history, even of the important transactions which have taken place in our own days on the continent of Europe, and to which the British nation has been a party. Yet, notwithstanding this cloud of witnesses, it has lately been statues of those who conquered. His name is not preserved, but he was probably a Roman, as his kinsman, who provided this record, was named Lucius Phænius Faustus. The feast of Diana was resorted to yearly by the Ionians, with their families. Dr. Chandler's Travels in Asia Minor, p. 134. The original Greek Inscription is printed in Dr. C.'s Inscriptiones Antiquæ, p. 13. no. xxxvi.

1 The best engravings of the arch of Titus are to be found in Hadrian Reland's treatise, De Spoliis Templi Hierosolymitani, in Arcu Titiano Romæ conspicuis. Ultrajecti, 1716, 4to. Tolerably well executed copies of Reland's plates may be seen in Schulze's Compendium Archæologiæ Hebraicæ, tab. i. ii. iii. p. viii.—x. Dresdæ, 1793, 8vo.; and also in the Fragments annexed to Calmet's Dictionary, no. cciii. pp. 14-17. The destruction of Jerusalem is also said to be commemorated by an antient inscription to the honour of Titus, who by his father's directions and counsels, had subdued the Jewish nation, and destroyed Jerusalem, which had never been destroyed by any princes or people before. The following is the inscription alluded to:




It is, however, proper to remark that some doubts have been entertained concerning the genuineness of this inscription. The diligent antiquary, Gruter, (from whom we have copied it,) acknowledges that it is not known where this inscription stood; and that Scaliger is of opinion, that it was the invention of Onufrio Panvinio. See Gruteri Inscriptiones Antiquæ, tom. i. p. ccxliv. no. 6.

affirmed that Jesus Christ was a mythological character,1 and that the four Gospels are mere fabrications and romances. With as much truth may it be said that the man, whose ambition so lately disturbed the peace of Europe, (and whose memory continues to be fondly cherished by millions in France,) is a mythological person who never had any real existence. For the events of his career are recorded in a variety of documents, purporting to be issued by the different governments of Europe, which have been quoted or alluded to by various daily and periodical journals, as well as by contemporary historians, who profess to record the transactions of the last twenty-five years; and they are also perpetuated by structures and medals,3 which have been executed in order to commemorate particular victories or other transactions.

1 The assertion of the writer above alluded to was taken, without acknowledgement, from Volney, who first made it at the close of his Ruins of Empires,' and who was refuted by the late Rev. Peter Roberts, in a learned volume, entitled 'Christianity Vindicated, in a Series of Letters addressed to Mr. Volney, in answer to his Book called "Ruins," 8vo. London, 1890. This is only one instance, out of many, that might be adduced, of the total destitution of candour in the opposers of revelation, who continue to re-assert the long-since refuted falsehoods of former infidels, as if they had never before been answered.

2 Such is the Waterloo Bridge over the river Thames, which is said to commemorate the victory of Waterloo, obtained by British prowess, in 1815, over the forces of Buonaparte. Such also is the triumphal column, erected in the Place Vendome, at Paris, to commemorate the victories of the French army in Germany, in 1805, and which, according to a Latin inscription engraved thereon, is composed of the brass cannon conquered from the enemy during a campaign of three months.

3 Of this description are the Waterloo Medals,' distributed by order of parlia ment, and at the expense of the British Nation, to the illustrious general and the brave officers and soldiers who were engaged in the memorable battle of Waterloo; and also the beautiful series of medals lately struck under the direction of Mr. Mudie, to commemorate the achievements of the British army; to which may be added the series of French medals, usually called the Napoleon medals, executed for the purpose of commemorating the achievements of the French armies.





1. Inspiration defined.—II. Reasonable and necessary. — III. Impossibility of the Scriptures being the contrivance or invention of man.-IV. Criteria of inspiration.

I. THE preceding facts have shown that the writers of the Old and New Testaments were men of the utmost integrity, and faithful historians, whose relations are entitled to the fullest and most implicit credit. But since an honest man may possibly mistake, not indeed in facts which he affirms to be true upon his own knowledge, but in inferences from those facts, in precepts and doctrines, or in delivering the sentiments of others, if we can urge nothing more in behalf of these writers, their authority will be only human. Something further is requisite, besides a pious life and a mind purified from passion and prejudice, in order to qualify them to be teachers of a revelation from God, namely, a divine inspiration, or the imparting such a degree of divine assistance, influence, or guidance, as should enable the authors of the Scriptures to communicate religious knowledge to others, without error or mistake, whether the subject of such communications were things then immediately revealed to those who declared them, or things with which they were before acquainted.

II. That the Scriptures were actually dictated by inspiration, may be inferred both from the reasonableness and from the necessity of the thing. It is reasonable that the sentiments and doctrines, developed in the Scriptures, should be suggested to the minds of the writers by the Supreme Being himself. They relate principally to matters, concerning which the communicating of information to men is worthy of God; and the more important the information communicated, the more it is calculated to impress mankind, to preserve from moral error, to stimulate to holiness, to guide to happiness; the more reasonable is it to expect that God should make the communication free from every admixture of risk of error. Indeed, the notion of inspiration enters essentially into our ideas of a revelation from God; so that, to deny inspiration is tantamount to affirming that there is no revelation; and to doubt the possibility of inspiration, is to call in question the existence of God. And why should inspiration be denied? Is man out of the reach of Him who created him? Has he,

- or

who gave to man his intellect, no means of enlarging or illuminating that intellect? And is it beyond his power to illuminate and inform, in an especial manner, the intellects of some chosen individuals, contrary to his wisdom to preserve them from error, when they communicate to others, either orally or by writing, the knowledge he imparted to them, not merely for their own benefit, but for that of the world at large, in all generations. But, further, inspiration is necessary. The necessity of revelation has already been shown, from the concurrent testimony of facts, experience, and history in every age, of which we have any authentic accounts and the same reasoning and facts establish the necessity of inspiration. The subjects of Scripture render inspiration necessary; for some past facts recorded in the Bible, could not possibly have been known if God had not revealed them. Many things are there recorded as future, that is, are predicted, which God alone could foreknow and foretel, which, notwithstanding, came to pass, and which, therefore, were foretold under divine inspiration. Others again are far above human capacity, and could never have been discovered by men; these, therefore, must have been delivered by divine inspiration. The authoritative language of Scripture, too, argues the necessity of inspiration, admitting the veracity of the writers. They propose things, not as matters for consideration, but for adoption: they do not leave us the alternative of receiving or rejecting they do not present us with their own thoughts, but exclaim, Thus, saith the Lord, and on that ground demand our assent. They must, therefore, of necessity, speak and write as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, or be impostors and the last supposition is precluded by the facts and reasonings which have been stated in the preceding pages.

III. As the writers of the Scriptures profess to have their doctrines from God, so it could not be the invention of men.

It could not be the contrivance of wicked men. Had they invented a religion, they would unquestionably have made it more favourable to their own inclinations, lusts, and appetites: they would not have fettered themselves, or laid themselves under such restraints as are imposed by the Bible, neither would they have denounced such tremendous judgments against the evil ways which they prefer and love: they would not have consulted so entirely the honour of God, and the reputation of piety, virtue, and goodness, as the Scriptures do; but they would have adapted the whole agreeably to their own evil nature, wishes, and desires. Indeed, if we could suppose them to be capable of this (which yet is to make them act contrary to nature) we cannot imagine that they should sacrifice all their worldly interests and prospects, and even their lives, for the sake of the Bible. ever bad men act such a part, contrive the greatest good, suffer and die to advance it? Equally evident is it, that the Bible could not be the contrivance of good men. The supposition involves them in a

1 See pp.

4-35. supra.


2 Dr. Ö. Gregory's Letters on the Evidences of the Christian Religion. vol. i. p.

guilt perfectly inconsistent with their character. They speak in the name of God, and they profess to have received their doctrine from him. Now, if it was otherwise, and they were conscious of a forgery, they must be the grossest impostors in the world, which is so directly contrary to all virtue and honesty, that it can never be imputed to any man who truly deserves the name of good. Consequently, the Bible must be the word of God,' inspired by him, and thus given to


IV. Since the Jewish and Christian Scriptures profess to be given by inspiration of God, and have been recognised as such in every age2 (which in itself is no mean presumptive argument that they are divinely inspired writings); and since also there have been many impostors in the world, who have pretended to be divinely inspired, it is necessary that the authors of the dispensations contained in the Bible should produce satisfactory evidences of their divine mission. What then are the evidences of inspiration with which every rational creature ought to be perfectly satisfied? This important question admits of a clear and decisive answer; for, as the existence of any power is demonstrated by its operations, so the possession of supernatural knowledge is established by the performance of supernatural works, or miracles; or, as an acquaintance with any language is manifested by speaking it with propriety and ease, so the gift of inspiration is unquestionably displayed by the foretelling of future events with precision. Miracles and prophecy, therefore, are the two grand criteria on which most stress is laid in the Scriptures. Prophecies are the language of inspiration, and miracles are the operation of that divine agency by which the prophet is influenced. The testimony of our senses is not a more satisfactory evidence of the existence of external objects, than miracles and prophecy are of the existence of inspiration; and though both these modes of evidence are calculated, as well for us who live in remoter times, as for those who lived in the earliest, yet the evidence from miracles seems more particularly ad

1 When we say that the Scripture is the word of God, we do not mean that it was all spoken by him, or that it was written by him, or that every thing that is contained therein is the word of God. But a distinction is to be made between those precepts, which inculcate justice, mercy, and holiness of life, and the historical parts, which show the consequences of a life in opposition to those principles. The first are properly sacred, because they not only lead a man to happiness even in this life, but also give him an evidence of things not seen in the life to come; and thus are called the word of God, as those moral virtues can only have their origin from the fountain of all goodness. The last, that is, the historical parts, though some are the words of good men, wicked men, -or the speeches of Satan (on which account they cannot be termed the word or words of God), have a similar tendency; as they show, on the one hand, the malice, pride and blasphemy of the spirit of wickedness, and, on the other hand, that spirit of divine philanthropy, which throughout the whole Bible, breathes nothing but 'peace on earth, good will towards men.' The nature and extent of inspiration are fully considered infra, in No. I. of the Appendix to this volume.

2 For the testimony of the Jews, in the time of Christ, it is sufficient to refer to the New Testament, and to Josephus against Apion, book i. 8. For the belief of the modern Jews, see their confession of faith, which has been in use ever since the 13th century, in Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, vol. i. pp. 245, 246. Dr. Whitby has collected the testimony of Christians during the first three centuries, in the General Preface to his Commentary, pp. xvii.-xx.

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