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sible objection to the testimony hítherto produced, that it is all derived either from the devoted friends of the gospel, or else from those who professed to be its disciples. Is there no testimony from enemies ? The books of the New Testament were widely circulated; Christian advocates, in their controversies with the heathen, freely appealed to them; heathens, in their works of attack and defence, must have spoken of them.

In what light did they regard them? Did they ascribe them to their reputed authors; or did they question their authenticity? Now we do not grant that the testimony already produced is justly liable to the least disparagement on account of its having been derived exclusively from the friends of Christ. That certain ancients believed the facts contained in Cæsar's Commentaries, has never been supposed to diminish the value of their testimony to the authenticity of that work. We will take occasion, by and by, to show that the very fact that an early witness to the New Testament history was not an enemy, but a friend, of the gospel, and had become a friend from having been once an enemy, is just the ingredient in his testimony that gives it peculiar conclusiveness. Still, however, we are under no temptation to undervalue the importance of an appeal to the opinions of adversaries. Let us inquire of enemies as well as friends—and first, of Julian.

Julian the emperor united intelligence, learning, and power, with a persecuting zeal, in a resolute effort to root out Christianity. In the year 361, he composed a work against its claims. We may be well assured that if any thing could have been said against the authenticity of its books, he would have used it. His work is not extant; but from long extracts found in the answer by Cyril, a few years after, as well as from the statements of his opinions and arguments by this writer, it is unquestionable that Julian bore witness to the authenticity of the four gospels and of the Acts of the Apostles. He concedes, and argues from, their early date; quotes them by name as the genuine works of their reputed authors ; proceeds upon the supposition, as a thing undeniable, that they were the only historical books which Christians received as canonical — the only authentic narratives of Christ and his apostles, and of the doctrine they delivered. He has also quoted, or plainly referred to, the epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians, and nowhere insinuates that the authenticity of any portion of the New Testament could reasonably be questioned.* Let us ascend a little higher.

Hierocles, president of Bithynia, and a learned man of about the year 303, united with a cruel persecution of Christians the publication of a book against Christianity, in which, instead of issuing even the least suspicion that the New Testament was not written by those to whom its several parts were ascribed, he confines his effort to the hunt of internal flaws and contradictions. Besides this tacit acknowledgment, his work, or the extracts of it that remain, refer to at least six out of the eight writers of the

* Lardner, vol. 4, p. 341.

books of the New Testament. * Let us ascend still higher.

Porphyry, universally allowed to have been the most severe and formidable adversary in all primitive antiquity, wrote, about the year 270, a work against Christianity. It is evident that he was well acquainted with the New Testament. In the little that has been preserved of his writings, there are plain references to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, and the epistle to the Galatians. Speaking of Christians, he calls Matthew their evangelist. "He possessed every advantage which natural abilities or political situation could afford, to discover whether the New Testament was a genuine work of the apostles and evangelists, or whether it was imposed upon the world after the decease of its pretended authors. But no trace of this suspicion is anywhere to be found; nor did it ever occur to Porphyry to suppose that it was spurious." How well this ingenious writer understood the value of an argument against the authenticity of a book of Scripture, and how greedily he would have enlisted it in his war against Christianity, could he have found such a weapon, is evident from his well-known effort to escape the prophetic inspiration of the book of Daniel, by denying that it was written in the times of that prophet. We may ascend still higher.

Celsus, esteemed a man of learning among the

* Lardner, vol. 4, p. 259.
I Marsh's Michaelis, 1, 43.

† Ibid. 4, 231.

ancients, and a wonderful philosopher among modern infidels, wrote a labored argument against the Christians. He flourished in the year 176, or about seventy-six years after the death of St. John. None can accuse him of a want of zeal to ruin Christianity. None can complain against his testimony as deficient in antiquity. An industrious, ingenious, learned adversary of that age, must have known whatever was suspicious in the authorship of the New Testament writings. His book entitled, "The True Word,” is unhappily lost; but in the answer composed by Origen, the extracts from it are so large, that it is difficult to find of any ancient book, not extant, more extensive remains. The author quotes from the gospels such a variety of particulars, even in these fragments, that the enumeration would prove almost an abridgment of the gospel narrative.* Origen has noticed in them about eighty quotations from the books of the New Testament, or references to them. Among these there is abundant evidence that Celsus was acquainted with the gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John. Several of Paul's epistles are alluded to. His whole argument proceeds upon the concession that the Christian Scriptures were the works of the authors to whom they were ascribed. Such a thing as a suspicion to the contrary is not breathed; and yet no man ever wrote against Christianity with greater virulence. Hence it appears, “ by the testimony of one of the most malicious adversaries the Christian religion ever had, and who was also a man

Doddridge, in Lardner, vol. 4, pp. 145, 147.

of considerable parts and learning, that the writings of the evangelists were extant in his time, which was the next century to that in which the apostles lived; and that those accounts were written by Christ's own disciples, and consequently in the very age in which the facts there related were done, and when therefore it would have been the easiest thing in the world to have convicted them of falsehood, if they had not been true.”* • Who can forbear,” says the devout Doddridge, “adoring the depth of divine wisdom, in laying up such a firm foundation of our faith in the gospel history, in the writings of one who was so inveterate an enemy to it, and so indefatigable in his attempts to overthrow it?" Who, I will add, can help the acknowledgment that in Celsus, Porphyry, Hierocles, and Julian—all of them learned controversialists, as well as devoted opponents and persecutors of Christians, extending their testimony from the seventieth year after the last of the apostles, to the year of our Lord 361-every reasonable demand for the testimony of enemies is fully met, and a gracious Providence has perfected the external evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament?

We proceed to confirm the abounding proof already adduced, by a brief reference to THE LANGUAGE AND STYLE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

1. The language and style are in perfect accord

* Answer to “Christianity as old as the Creation,” by Leland, vol. 2, chap. 5, pp. 150–154.

+ Doddridge, in Lardner, vol. 4, p. 147.

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