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The authenticity of the Chriftian Religion demonftrated from the manner of its Pro
JOHN XVIII. 20.
I SPAKE OPENLY TO THE WORLD; I EVER TAUGHT IN THE SYNAGOGUE, AND IN THE TEMPLE WHITHER THE JEWS ALWAYS RESORT, AND IN SECRET HAVE I SAID NOTHING.
HE miracles of our bleffed Saviour, fuch as his raifing the dead, his restoring fight to the blind, and his inftantaneoufly healing the fick and the lame; were not only too great in their nature to be counterfeited, but those cures were performed upon fuch objects as were univerfally known, and many of them fuch as had laboured under their grievous infirmities for many years. When this infallible physician was followed by great multitudes, he would frequently heal all that made their applications to him, were they never fo many; and as fuch wonderful operations were too evident to be the effect of delufion, so we find the scribes and pharifees, though his most implacable adverfaries have not once the temerity to call in question the truth of them; but only look on him with an evil eye, and reproach him for the performance of fuch cures on the fabbath-day. And in like manner
as his actions were public, fo were the doctrines which he taught, infomuch that when the high priest queftioned him concerning them, he made the following intrepid reply. "I fpake openly to "the world; I ever taught in the fynagogue, and in the temple, "whither the Jews always refort, and in fecret have I faid nothing. Why askest thou me? Afk them which heard me, what I have "faid unto them: behold, they know what I faid."
As the fair and open manner with which the Gospel was first promulged and propagated conveys a convincing evidence of its truth, we shall therefore take a tranfient view of the most material acts of our bleffed Saviour and his apoftles; and fhall infift upon fuch only as were most public, and fo well attested, that the greatest adversaries to the chriftian cause were obliged, though with reluctance, to acknowledge they were true.
It must be confeffed, indeed, that our Lord Jesus Christ has not left behind him the least account either of his life or doctrines under his own hand; but then his apoftles and disciples, influenced and affisted by his holy Spirit, have tranfmitted to us a true and faithful narrative of both, in the GOSPELS, ACTS, and EPISTLES: all which, collectively, are distinguished by the name or title of the NEW TESTAMENT. And that those writings are genuine and authentic, every impartial and unprejudiced reader will not hesitate to allow, when he confiders, that the composers of them were living at the fame time that the matters which they record were transacted, and were eye-witneffes themselves of their reality: And notwithstanding they were far distant from one another when they composed their respective accounts; yet they unanimously agree in every article of any moment or importance; and when they had finished them, they openly and boldly taught, and preached up the truths therein contained, whilst there were thousands living, who could prove the facts; nay, whilst their enemies were living who would gladly have embraced the least opportunity to confute them. Moreover, fo zealous