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Of the Truth of the Chriftian Religion. By DAVID HARTLEY, M. A. Lond. 1749. p. 1.

.This Tract is printed from the fecond volume of Doctor Hartley's Obfervations on Man; it is written, as all the other parts of that work are, with fingular clofenefs of thought; and to be well understood, must be read with great attention. Grotius; Abbadie ; Fabricius; Limborch; Jacquelot; Houtteville; Pafcal; Stillingfleet; Stackhouse; Benfon; Clarke; Leland; Lardner; Macknight; Chand ler; Jenkins; Stebbing; Fortin; Fofter; Nichols, and a great many other authors, have taken laudable pains in proving the truth of the Christian religion; but I know not any author, Grotius excepted, who has, in fo fhort a compafs, faid more to the purpote on that fubject than Doctor Hartley has done in the tract which is here republifhed.

Of the Truth of the Chriftian Religion. By JOSEPH ADDISON, Efq. p. 76.

This pofthumous Treatife of Mr. Addifon has been much ef teemed both at home and abroad: the general argument contained in it has been carried to a greater length by other authors fince his time; efpecially by Mr. Correvon of Geneva; by Profeffor Bullet of Befançon; and by Dr. Lardner, who has treated it in all its parts with great accuracy in his Collection of Jewish and Heathen Testimonies to the Truth of the Chriftian Religion. There is, unfortunately, in many men, a ftrange prepoffeffion against every thing written by churchmen, in defence of the Chriftian religion ;that "Priefts of all religions are the fame" that "they defend altars on which their lives depend," with an hundred other expreffions of a fimilar tendency, are frequent in the mouths of unbelievers we fincerely forgive them this wrong; but as the charge of felfishness and hypocrify cannot, with any fhadow of propriety, be brought against Mr. Addifon, and fuch other laymen as have written in fupport of Chriftianity, we intreat them to give a fober attention to what thefe unprejudiced writers have advanced on the fubject furely eternal life is too important a concern to be jefted away in farcaftic witticifm, and frothy disputation, A 2

Vol. V.


Of the Argument for the Truth of Chriftianity arifing from the fulfilment of our Saviour's predictions concerning the deftruction of the Temple, and the City of Ferufalem, and the difperfion of the fews. Being the third chapter of the first vol. of a Collection of Jewish and Heathen Teftimonies to the Truth of the Chriftian Religion. By N. LARDNER, D. D. 1764. p. 103.

The argument for the truth of Chriftianity which is taken from the hiftory of the deftruction of Jerufalem as related by Jofephus, compared with our Saviour's prediction of that event recorded by the Evangelifts Matthew, Mark, and Luke, has always been confidered as one of the strongest which can be urged, either against the Jews in particular, or against unbelievers in general. In modern times this argument has been illuftrated by Jackfon in the first volume of his works, 1673; by Tillotson in the 12th vol. (8vo ed.) of his Sermons; by Kidder in his Demonftration of the Meffiah; by Whitby in his Commentary on St. Matthew, and in his General Preface; by Sharpe in a difcourfe intituled, The Rife and Fall of the Holy City and Temple of Jerufalemn, preached at the Temple Church, 1764; and, to mention no others, by Jortin in the firft vol. of his Remarks on Ecclefiaftical Hiftory. This author has alfo well proved, not only that the Gofpels, in which the predictions of Chrift relative to the deftruction of Jerufalem are delivered, were written before that event; but that the predictions themselves could not have been inferted into the Gofpels, as interpolations, after the event: the reader will not efteem this to have been an unneceffary labour, who recollects the confidence with which Voltaire, with a view probably of evading the force of the argument in queftion, declares that the Gofpels were written after Jerufalem was deftroyed-fans doute après la deftruction de Jerufalem.-Many an unbeliever is apt to think and fay, that he would have faith in the Gospel, if he could fee a man raifed from the dead, or any one notable miracle performed in atteftation of its truth. Now the completion of an ancient prophecy is, to us who fee the completion, a miracle; and I would fincerely recommend it to every one, who is not steadfast in the faith, to examine carefully, and liberally, whether the prophecies-concerning Jerufalem being trodden under foot of the Gentiles-concerning the fterility of Paleftine-the state of the Jewish people-the introduction of the Gentiles into the Church of God-the apoftafy of the latter times--the independency of the Arabs-the fervitude of Ham's pofterity, &c. have not been literally fulfilled. These things are facts which fall within our own obfervation; and if we fearch the Scriptures, we fhall find that thefe facts were predicted long before either we or our fathers were born.


The prefent conftitution of the world, with respect to the civiliza-

tion, the religion, the liberty, or flavery of the different empires

which fubfift in it, is but one ftage of the completion of the va-

rious prophecies, which were of old delivered, concerning the for-

tunes of individuals, nations, and countries. We in our days may

fay what Tertullian, fpeaking of the accomplishment of Scripture

prophecy, faid in his Quicquid agitur prænunciabatur, quicquid vi-

detur audiebatur. The reader may find thefe fubjects difcuffed by
Bp. Newton in his Differtations on the Prophecies; by Whiston in
his Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecy; by Sharpe in his fecond
Argument in defence of Chriftianity; by Lardner in his three Ser
mons on the Circumftances of the Jewish People, an Argument for the
Truth of Chriftianity; by the author of the Principes de la Foi Chré-
fienne; by the author of an Effay in the Univerfal Hiftory, on The
Independency of the Arabs; by Bifhops. Hurd, Hallifax, and Bagot,
in their Sermons preached at Warburton's Lecture; by Jofeph Mede,
and Henry More, in their respective works; and by Worthington in
his Sermon preached at Boyle's Lecture, 1766, &c.

All the Actions recorded in the Gofpels are probable,

P. 177.

This Tract is the 4th chap. of the 1ft book of the Truth of the
Gospel Hiftory, by Macknight. Young men fhould render this fhort
tract familiar to them by a frequent perufal of it; they will find in iç
very concife, but fatisfactory answers to many objections refpect-
ing fome parts of our Saviour's conduct, the poffibility and the
credibility of miracles, &c. which are, fometimes feriously, oftener
in wanton mockery of religion, made fubjects of common conver-
fation, and which never fail to leave a bad impreffion on the minds
of those who know not how to reply to them.

Of the Argument for the Truth of the Chriftian Religion

arifing from the converfion of the world to Christianity;

taken from the Truth of the Gofpel Hiftory. By JAMES
MACKNIGHT, D. D. 1763. p. 199.

made, is a proof of nothing but that the means were adequate to the end, the caufe to the effect. A falfe religion may be fpeedily and widely fpread by force or by fraud; or it may, by degrees, gain an extensive establifhment in the world, from its being propitious to the follies, the vices, and paffions of mankind; or from its being first introduced in an unenlightened and credulous age; or in a country fitted by peculiar circumftances to fofter and fupport it; or from a concurrence of many other human means. This may be readily granted; but that the Chriflian religion fhould have been quickly propagated from Judea through the Roman Empire, during the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, &c. by the human abili ties of the Apostles, appears to me to be an incredible fact. Thofe who think otherwife would do well, in addition to the fact itself, to confider the prophecies which were fulfilled when it took place. es What motive, fays Justin Martyr in his Apology (Reeve's Tranf.), could ever poffibly have perfuaded us to believe a crucified man to be the first begotten of the unbegotten God, and that he would come to judge the world, had we not met with thofe prophetic, teftimonies of him proclaimed fo long before his incarnation? Were we not eye-witnefles to the fulfilling of them? Did we not fee the defolation of Judea, and men out of all nations profely ted to the faith of his Apoftiles, and renouncing the ancient errors they were brought up in? Did we not find the prophecies made good in ourselves, and fee Chriftians in greater numbers, and in greater fincerity, from among the Gentiles, than from the Jews and Samaritans. "This argument has been infifted upon by Henry More in the firft vol. of his works, where there is a chapter intituled, Veritas Evangelii demonArata ex Succeffu; by J. Dine in a difcourfe printed 1725, intituled, The miraculous Succefs of the Gofpel, a Proof of its divine Origin; by Lefley in his Short Method with the Deifts; by Millar in his Hiftory of the Propagation of Chriftianity, and Overthrow of Paganifin : by Tillotson in the 12th vol.-of his Sermons; by Leng in his Sermons at Boyle's Lecture; by Fortin in his Truth of the Chriftian Religion; by Leland in the 6th chapter of the 2d part of his Defence of Chriftianity by Bp. Atterbury in his two Sermons on the Miraculous Propagation of the Golpel; by Boffuet in his Difcourfe` on Univerfal Hiftory; by Lardner in his Collection of Jewish Teftimonies; by Powell in his 10th Difcourfe; by Benfon in his Reafonablenefs of Chriftianity; and by Young in the 2d vol. of his Differtations, on Idolatrous Corruptions; where, alfo, there is a compendious view, fupported by proper authorities, of the countries through which the Apoftles travelled in propagating the Gospel.

An Effay on the Man of Sin, from Benfon's Paraphrafe and Notes on St. Paul's Epiftles. p. 268.

That the Popish religion is the Chriftian religion, is a false pofition; and therefore Chriftianity may be true, though the religion


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