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Scripture. Then go down to Gath of the Philistines;
Are they better than these kingdoms?
Or their borders greater than their borders?
And cause the seat of violence to come near;
And stretch yourselves upon couches;
And the calves out of the midst of the stall;
And like David devise instruments of music;
| Ch. vi. 1. And anoint yourselves with chief ointments; But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph .
The writings of Obadiah, which consist of one chapter are composed with much beauty, and unfold a very interesting scene of prophecy. Of this prophet little can be said, as the specimen of his genius is so short, and the greater part of it included in one of the prophecies of Jeremiah. Compare Ob. 1-9. with Jer. xlix. 14, 15, 16. See OBADIAH.
Though Jonah be placed the sixth in the order of the minor prophets both in the Hebrew and Septuagint, he is generally considered as the most ancient of all the prophets, not excepting Hosea. He lived in the kingdom of Israel, and prophesied to the ten tribes under the reign of Joash and Jeroboam. The book of Jonah is chiefly historical, and contains nothing of poetry but the prayer of the prophet. The sacred writers, and our Lord himself, speak of Jonah as a prophet of *2 Kings considerable eminence *. xiv. 25See JONAH. Matt. xii.
Of Micah. Jer. xxv, 18-24.
Micah began to prophesy soon after Isaiah, Hosea, 39. 41. xvi Joel, and Amos; and he prophesied between A. M. 3246, when Jotham began to reign, and A. M. 3305, Luke xi. 29. when Hezekiah died. One of his predictions is said † to have saved the life of Jeremiah, who under the reign of Jehoiakim would have been put to death for prophe sying the destruction of the temple, had it not appeared that Micah had foretold the same thing under Heze‡ Jos. Ant. kiah above 100 years before ‡. Micah is mentioned as lib. x. c. 7. a prophet in the book of Jeremiah and in the New Testament . He is imitated by succeeding prophets (N), Matt. ii. as he himself had borrowed expressions from his pre5. John vii, decessors (o). Our Saviour himself spoke in the language of this prophet (P).
The style of Micah is for the most part close, forHis style. cible, pointed, and concise; sometimes approaching the obscurity of Hosea; in many parts animated and sublime; and in general truly poetical. In his prophecies there is an elegant poem, which Dr Lowth thinks is a citation from the answer of Balaam to the king of the Moabites:
Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah ?
Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams?
Josephus asserts, that Nahum lived in the time of Of Nahum. Jotham king of Judah; in which case he may be supposed to have prophesied against Nineveh when Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria carried captive the natives of Galilee and others parts about A. M. 3264. It is, however, probable, that his prophesies were delivered in the reign of Hezekiah; for he appears to speak of insolent messengers of Sennacherib, as of things past; the taking of No-Ammon a city of Egypt, and of the and he likewise describes the people of Judah as still in their own country, and desirous of celebrating their festivals.
While Jerusalem was threatened by Sennacherib, Nahum promised deliverance to Hezekiah, and predict ed that Judah would soon celebrate her solemn feasts secure from invasion, as her enemy would no more disturb her peace. In the second and third chapters Nahum foretels the downfal of the Assyrian empire and the final destruction of Nineveh, which was probably accomplished by the Medes and Babylonians, whose combined forces overpowered the Assyrians by surprise "while they were folden together as thorns, and while they were drunken as drunkards," when the gates of the river were opened, the palace demolished, and an "over-running flood" assisted the conquerors in their devastation; who took an endless store of spoil of gold veh, of that vast and populous city, whose walls were and silver, making an utter end of the place of Nine100 feet high, and so broad that three chariots could city destroyed, that even in the 2d century the spot on pass abreast. Yet so completely was this celebrated which it stood could not be ascertained, every vestige
of it being gone.
It is impossible to read of the exact accomplishment the Jews, without reflecting on the astonishing proofs of the prophetic denunciations against the enemies of which that nation enjoyed of the divine origin of their religion. From the Babylonish captivity to the time of Christ they had numberless instances of the fulfilment of their prophecies.
The character of Nahum as a writer is thus described by Dr Lowth: "None of the minor prophets seem to equal Nahum in boldness, ardour, and sublimity. His prophecy, too, forms a regular and perfect poem; the exordium is not merely magnificent, it is truly majestic; the preparation for the destruction of Nineveh, and the description of its downfal and desolation, are expressed in the most vivid colours, and are bold and luminous in the highest degree.".
As the prophet Habakkuk makes no mention of the Of HabakAssyrians, and speaks of the Chaldean invasions as near kuk. at hand, he probably lived after the destruction of the
(N) Compare Zephan. iii. 19. with Micah iv. 7. and (0) Compare Micah iv. 1-3. and Isaiah ii. 2—4. (P) Compare Micah viii. 6. with Matt. x. 35, 36.
Ezek. xxii. 27. with Micah iii. 11.
Scripture. Assyrian empire in the fall of Nineveh, A. M. 3392, and not long before the devastation of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar. Habakkuk was then nearly contemporary with Jeremiah, and predicted the same events. general account of Habakkuk's prophecies has already been given under the word HABAKKUK, which may be consulted. We should, however, farther observe, that the prayer in the third chapter is a most beautiful and perfect ode, possessing all the fire of poetry and the profound reverence of religion.
-1 Heb. x. 37.38. Rom. i. 17. Gal. iii. 2. Acts xiii. 41. com
Hab. i. 5.
God came from Teman,
And the Holy One from Mount Paran :
And burning coals went forth at his feet.
He beheld and drove asunder the nations;
The prophet illustrates this subject throughout with equal sublimity; selecting from such an assemblage of miraculous incidents the most noble and important, displaying them in the most splendid colours, and embellishing them with the sublimest imagery, figures, and diction; the dignity of which is so heightened and recommended by the superior elegance of the conclusion, that were it not for a few shades which the hand of time has apparently cast over it in two or three passages, no composition of the kind would appear more elegant or more perfect than this poem.
Habakkuk is imitated by succeeding prophets, and his words are borrowed by the evangelical writers .
78 Prophecies Zephaniah, who was contemporary with Jeremiah, of Zepha- prophesied in the reign of Josiah king of Judah; and from the idolatry which he describes as prevailing at that time, it is probable that his prophecies were delivered before the last reformation made by that pious prince A. M. 3381.
The account which Zephaniah and Jeremiah give of the idolatries of their age is so similar, that St Isiodore asserts, that Zephaniah abridged the descriptions of Jeremiah. But it is more probable that the prophecies of Zephaniah were written some years before those of his contemporary; for Jeremiah seems to represent the abuses as partly removed which Zephaniah describes as flagrant and excessive (a).
In the first chapter Zephaniah denounces the wrath of God against the idolaters who worshipped Baal and the host of heaven, and against the violent and deceitful. In the second chapter the prophet threatens destruction to the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and Ethiopians; and describes the fate of Nineveh in emphatic terms : "Flocks shall lie down in the midst of her; all the beasts of the nations, both the cormorant and bittern, shall lodge in her; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresh
Haggai, the tenth of the minor prophets, was the Of first who flourished among the Jews after the Babylonish captivity. He began to prophecy in the second year of Darius Hystaspes, about 520 years before Christ.
The intention of the prophecy of Haggai was to encourage the dispirited Jews to proceed with the building of the temple. The only prediction mentioned refers to the Messiah, whom the prophet assures his countrymen would fill the new temple with glory. So well was this prediction understood by the Jews, that they looked with earnest expectation for the Messiah's appearing in this temple till it was destroyed by the Romans. But as the victorious Messiah, whom they expected, did not then appear, they have since applied the prophecy to a third temple, which they hope to see reared in some future period.
The style of Haggai, in the opinion of Dr Lowth, is prosaic. Dr Newcome, on the contrary, thinks that a great part of it is poetical.
Zechariah was undoubtedly a contemporary of Hag Of Zec gai, and began to prophecy two months after him, in riah. the eighth month of the second year of Darius Hystaspes, A. M. 3484, being commissioned as well as Haggai to exhort the Jews to proceed in the building of the temple after the interruption which the work had suffered. We are informed by Ezra (vi. 14.), that the Jews prospered through the prophesying of Zechariah and Haggai.
Zechariah begins with general exhortations to his countrymen, exciting them to repent from the evil ways of their fathers, whom the prophets had admonished in vain. He describes angels of the Lord interceding for mercy on Jerusalem and the desolate cities of Judah, which bad experienced the indignation of the Most High for 70 years, while the neighbouring nations were at peace. He declares, that the house of the Lord should be built in Jerusalem, and that Zion should be comforted. The prophet then represents the increase and prosperity of the Jews under several typical figures. He describes the establishment of the Jewish government and the coming of the Messiah. He admonishes those who observed solemn fasts without due contrition, to execute justice, mercy, and compassion, every man to his brother; not to oppress the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger nor the poor. He promises, that God would again show favour to Jerusalem; that their mournful fasts should be turned into cheerful feasts; and that the church of the Lord should be enlarged by the accession of many nations.
The 12th verse of the 11th chapter of this book, which exhibits a prophetic description of some circumstances afterwards fulfilled in our Saviour, appears to
(a) Compare Zephaniah i. 4, 5, 9. with Jeremiah ii. 5, 20, 32.
Scriptore. be cited by St Matthew (xxvii. 9, 10.) as spoken by Jeremiah; and as the 11th, 12th, and 13th chapters have been thought to contain some particulars more suitable to the age of Jeremiah than to that of Zechariah, some learned writers are of opinion that they were written by the former prophet, and have been from similarity of subject joined by mistake to those of Zechariah. But others are of opinion that St Matthew might allude to some traditional prophecy of Jeremiah, or, what is more probable, that the name of Jeremiah was substituted by mistake in place of Zechariah.
The 12th, 13th, and 14th chapters contain prophecies which refer entirely to the Christian dispensation; the circumstances attending which he describes with a clearness which indicated their near approach.
The style of Zechariah is so similar to that of Jeremiah, that the Jews were accustomed to remark that the spirit of Jeremiah had passed into him. He is generally prosaic till towards the conclusion of his work, when he becomes more elevated and poetical. The whole is beautifully connected by easy transitions, and present and future scenes are blended with the greatest delicacy.
Malachi was the last prophet that flourished under the Of Mainchi Jewish dispensation; but neither the time in which he lived, nor any particulars of his history, can now be ascertained. It is even uncertain whether the word Malachi be a proper name, or denote, as the Septuagint have rendered it, his angel (R), that is, "the angel of the Lord." Origen supposed, that Malachi was an angel incarnate, and not a man. The ancient Hebrews, the Chaldee paraphrast, and St Jerome, are of opinion he was the same person with Ezra: but if this was the case, they ought to have assigned some reason for giving two different names to the same person.
As it appears from the concurring testimony of all. the ancient Jewish and Christian writers, that the light of prophecy expired in Malachi, we may suppose that the termination of his ministry coincided with the accomplishment of the first seven weeks of Daniel's prophecy, which was the period appointed for sealing the vision and prophecy. This, according to Prideaux's account, took place in A. M. 3595; but, according to the calculations of Bishop Lloyd, in A. M. 3607, twelve years later. Whatever reckoning we prefer, it must be allowed that Malachi completed the canon of the Old Testament about 400 years before the birth of Christ.
It appears certain that Malachi prophesied under Nehemiah, and after Haggai and Zechariah, at a time when great disorders reigned among the priests and people of Judah, which are reproved by Malachi. He inveighs against the priests (i. 6, &c. ii. 1, 2, &c.); he reproaches the people with having taken strange wives (ii. 11.); he reproves them for their inhumanity towards their brethren (ii. 10. iii. 5.); their too frequently divorcing their wives; their neglect of paying their tithes and first-fruits (Mal. iii. 13.). He seems to allude to the covenant that Nehemiah renewed with the Lord (iii. 10. and ii. 4, 5, &c.), assisted by the priests and the chief of the nation. He speaks of the sacrifice
of the new law, and of the abolition of those of the old, Scripture. in these words (i. 10, 11, 12, 13.): "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the Heathen, saith the Lord of hosts." He declares that the Lord was weary with the impiety of Israel; and assures them, that the Lord whom they sought should suddenly come to his temple preceded by the messenger of the covenant, who was to prepare his way; that the Lord when he appeared should purify the sons of Levi from their unrighteousness, and refine them as metal from the dross; and that then the offering of Judah, the spiritual sacrifice of the heart, should be pleasant to the Lord. The prophet, like one who was delivering a last message, denounces destruction against the impenitent in emphatic and alarming words. He encourages those who feared the name of the Lord with the animating promise, that the "Sun of righteousness should arise with salvation in his rays," and render them triumphant over the wicked. And now that prophecy was to cease, and miracles were no more to be performed till the coming of the Messiah; now that the Jews were to be left. to the guidance of their own reason, and the written instructions of their prophets-Malachi exhorts them to remember the law of Moses, which the Lord had revealed from Horeb for the sake of all Israel. At length he seals up the prophecies of the Old Testament, by predicting the commencement of the new dispensation, which should be ushered in by John the Baptist with the power and spirit of Elijah; who should turn the hearts of fathers and children to repentance; but if his admonitions should be rejected, that the Lord would smite the land with a curse.
THE collection of writings composed after the ascen- NEW TES sion of Christ, and acknowledged by his followers to be TAMENT. divine, is known in general by the name of xain diabnxn. $3 This title, though neither given by divine command, Title. nor applied to these writings by the apostles, was adopted in a very early age, though the precise time of its introduction is uncertain, it being justified by several passages in Scripture *, and warranted by the authori-* Matth. ty of St Paul in particular, who calls the sacred books before the time of Christ ada dianent. Even long Heb. viii. before that period, either the whole of the Old Testa- 8. ix. 15— ment, or the five books of Moses, were entitled by 20. dianens, or book of the covenant ‡.
Gal. iii. 17.
+ 2 Cor. iii.
As the word dianen admits of a two-fold interpreta- +1 Mac. i.
tion, we may translate this title either the New Covenant or New Testament. The former translation must be adopted, if respect be had to the texts of Scripture, from which the name is borrowed, since those passages evidently convey the idea of a covenant; and, besides a being incapable of death can neither have made an old nor make a new testament. It is likewise probable, that the earliest Greek disciples, who made use of this expression, had no other notion in view than that of co
(R) axbo Malachi signifies properly my angel.
Scripture. venant. We, on the contrary, are accustomed to give this sacred collection the name of Testament; and since it would be not only improper, but even absurd, to speak of the Testament of God, we commonly understand the Testament of Christ; an explanation which removes but half the difficulty, since the new only, and not the old, had Christ for its testator.
84 Importance In stating the evidence for the truth of Christianity, on there is nothing more worthy of consideration than the ment from the authen authenticity of the books of the New Testament. This tieity of the is the foundation on which all other arguments rest; and if it is solid, the Christian religion is fully established. The proofs for the authenticity of the New Testament have this peculiar advantage, that they are plain and simple, and involve no metaphysical subtilties.Every man who can distinguish truth from falsehood must see their force; and if there are any so blinded by prejudice, or corrupted by licentiousness, as to attempt by sophistry to elude them, their sophistry will be easily detected by every man of common understanding, who has read the historical evidence with candour and attention. Instead, therefore, of declaiming against the infidel, we solicit his attention to this subject, convinced, that where truth resides, it will shine with so constant and clear a light, that the combined ingenuity of all the deists since the beginning of the world will never be able to extinguish or to obscure it. If the books of the New Testament are really genuine, opposition will incite the Christian to bring forward the evidence; and thus by the united efforts of the deist and the Christian, the arguments will be stated with all the clearness and accuracy of which they are susceptible in so remarkable a degree.
It is surprising that the adversaries of Christianity have not always made their first attacks in this quarter; for if they admit that the writings of the New Testament are as ancient as we affirm, and composed by the persons to whom they are ascribed, they must allow, if they reason fairly, that the Christian religion
The apostles frequently allude in their epistles to the gift of miracles, which they had communicated to the Christian converts by the imposition of hands, in conMichaelis's firmation of the doctrine delivered in their speeches and Introduc- writings, and sometimes to miracles which they themtion to the selves had performed. Now if these epistles are really genuine, it is hardly possible to deny those miracles to be true. The case is here entirely different from that of an historian, who relates extraordinary events in the course of his narrative, since either credulity or an actual intention to deceive may induce him to describe as true a series of falsehoods respecting a foreign land or distant period. Even to the Evangelists might an adversary of the Christian religion make this objection: but to write to persons with whom we stand in the nearest connection, "I have not only performed miracles in your presence, but have likewise communicated to you the same extraordinary endowments," to write in this manner, if nothing of the kind had ever happened, would require such an incredible degree of effrontery, that he who possessed it would not only expose himself to the utmost ridicule, but by giving his adversaries the fairest opportunity to detect his imposture, would ruin the cause which he attempted to support.
St Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians is addressed to a community to which he had preached the gospel only three Sabbath days, when he was forced to quit it by the persecution of the populace. In this epistle he appeals to the miracles which he had performed, and to the gifts of the Holy Spirit which he had communicated. Now, is it possible, without forfeiting all pretensions to common sense, that, in writing to a community which he had lately established, he could speak of miracles performed, and gifts of the Holy Ghost communicated, if no member of the society had seen the one, or received the other?
To suppose that an impostor could write to the converts or adversaries of the new religion such epistles as these, with a degree of triumph over his opponents, and yet maintain his authority, implies ignorance and stupidity hardly to be believed. Credulous as the Christians have been in later ages, and even so early as the third century, no less severe were they in their inquiries, and guarded against deception, at the introduction of Christianity. This character is given them even by Lucian, a writer of the second century, who vented his satire not only against certain Christians*, who had supplied Peregrinus with the means of subsist- Pereg ence, but also against heathen oracles and pretended § 12, wonders. He relates of his impostor (Pseudomantis), 16. E that he attempted nothing supernatural in the presence of the Christians and Epicureans. This Pseudomantis exclaims before the whole assembly, "Away with the Christians, away with the Epicureans, and let those only remain who believe in the Deity!" (VOTES TO
a) on which the populace took up stones to drive away the suspicious; while the other philosophers, Pythagoreans, Platonists, and Stoics, as credulous friends and protectors of the cause, were permitted to remain t.
t Alexa It is readily acknowledged, that the arguments der seu drawn from the authenticity of the New Testament Pseudoonly established the truth of the miracles performed by § 25. 32 the apostles, and are not applicable to the miracles of tom. ii. our Saviour; yet, if we admit the first three gospels to p. 232, be genuine, the truth of the Christian religion will be 233. 244 proved from the prophecies of Jesus. For if these go- 245 spels were composed by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, at the time in which all the primitive Christians affirm, that is, previous to the destruction of Jerusalem, they must be inspired; for they contain a circumstantial prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, and determine the period at which it was accomplished. Now it was impossible that human sagacity could foresee that event; for when it was predicted nothing was more improbable. The Jews were resolved to avoid an open rebellion, well knowing the greatness of their danger, and submitted to the oppressions of their governors in the hope of obtaining redress from the court of Rome.The circumstance which gave birth to these misfortunes is so trifling in itself, that independent of its consequences, it would not deserve to be recorded. In the narrow entrance to a synagogue in Cæsarea, some person had made an offering of birds merely with a view to irritate the Jews. The insult excited their indignation, and occasioned the shedding of blood. Without this trifling accident, which no human wisdom could foresee even the day before it happened, it is possible that the prophecy of Jesus would never have been fulfilled.
But Florus, who was then procurator of Judea, converted this private quarrel into public hostilities, and compelled the Jewish nation to rebel contrary to its wish and resolution, in order to avoid what the Jews had threatened, an impeachment before the Roman emperor for his excessive cruelties. But even afther this rebellion had broken out, the destruction of the temple was a very improbable event. It was not the practice of the Romans to destroy the magnificent edifices of the nations which they subdued; and of all the Roman generals, none was more unlikely to demolish so ancient and august a building as Titus Vespasian.
So important then is the question, Whether the books of the New Testament be genuine? that the arguments which prove their authenticity, prove also the truth of the Christian religion. Let us now consider the evidence which proves the authenticity of the New Te
85 We receive the books of the New Testament as the thenticity genuine works of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Jolin, and proved. Paul, for the same reason that we receive the writings of Xenophon, of Polybius, of Plutarch, of Cæsar, and of Livy. We have the uninterrupted testimony of all ages, and we have no reason to suspect imposition. This argument is much stronger when applied to the books of the New Testament than when applied to any other writings; for they were addressed to large societies, were often read in their presence, and acknowledged by them to be the writings of the apostles. Whereas, the most eminent profane writings which still remain were addressed only to individuals, or to no persous at all: and we have no authority to affirm that they were read in public; on the contrary, we know that a liberal education was uncommon; books were scarce, and the knowledge of them was confined to a few individuals in every nation.
The New Testament was read over three quarters of the world, while profane writers were limited to one nation or to one country. An uninterrupted succession of writers from the apostolic ages to the present time quote the sacred writings, or make allusions to them: and these quotations and allusions are made not only by friends but by enemies. This cannot be asserted of even the best classic authors. And it is highly probable, that the translations of the New Testament were made so early as the second century; and in a century or two after, they became very numerous. After this period, it was impossible to forge new writings, or to corrupt the sacred text, unless we can suppose that men of different nations, of different sentiments and different langnages, and often exceedingly hostile to one another, should all agree in one forgery. This argument is so strong, that if we deny the authenticity of the New Testament, we may with a thousand times more propriety reject all the other writings in the world: we may even throw aside human testimony itself. But as this subject is of great importance, we shall consider it at more length; and to enable our readers to judge with the greater accuracy, we shall state, from the valuable work of Michaelis, as translated by the judicious and learned Mr Marsh, the reasons which may induce a critic to suspect a work to be spurious. Negatively. 1. When doubts have been made from its first appearance in the world, whether it proceeded from the auVOL. XIX. Part I.
thor to whom it is ascribed. 2. When the immediate Scripture. friends of the pretended author, who were able to decide upon the subject, have denied it to be his produc $7 tion. 3. When a long series of years has elapsed after his death, in which the book was unknown, and in which it must unavoidably have been mentioned and Look to be quoted, had it really existed. 4. When the style is dif- spurious. ferent from that of his other writings, or, in case no other remain, different from that which might reasonably be expected. 5. When events are recorded which happened later than the time of the pretended author. 6. When opinions are advanced which contradict those he is known to maintain in his other writings. Though this latter argument alone leads to no positive conclusion, since every man is liable to change his opinion, or through forgetfulness to vary in the circumstances of the same relation, of which Josephus, in his Antiquities and War of the Jews, affords a striking example.
1. But it cannot be shown that any one doubted of Do not apits authenticity in the period in which it first appeared, ply to the 2. No ancient accounts are on record whence we may ment. conclude it to be spurious. 3. No considerable period elapsed after the death of the apostles, in which the New Testament was unknown; but, on the contrary, it is mentioned by their very contemporaries, and the accounts of it in the second century are still more numerous. 4. No argument can be brought in its disfavour from the nature of the style, it being exactly such as might be expected from the apostles, not Attic but Jewish Greek. 5. No facts are recorded which happened after their death. 6. No doctrines are maintained which contradict the known tenets of the authors, since, beside the New Testament, no writings of the apostles exist. But to the honour of the New Testament be it spoken, it contains numerous contradictions to the tenets and doctrines of the fathers in the second and third century, whose morality was different from that of the gospel, which recommends fortitude and submission to unavoidable evils, but not that enthusiastic ardour for martyrdom for which those centuries are distinguished; it alludes to ceremonies which in the following ages were either in disuse or totally unknown: all which circumstances infallibly demonstrate that the New Testament is not a production of either of those centuries.
We shall now consider the positive evidence for the Positively. authenticity of the New Testament. These may be arranged under the three following heads:
1. The impossibility of a forgery, arising from the Impossibilinature of the thing itself. 2. The ancient Christian, ty of a forJewish, and Heathen testimony in its favour. Its 3. from the own internal evidence. 1. The impossibility of a forgery arising from the na- the thing. ture of the thing itself is evident. It is impossible to establish forged writings as authentic in any place where there are persons strongly inclined and well qualified to detect the fraud. Now the Jews were the most violent enemies of Christianity. They put the founder of it to death; they persecuted his disciples with implacable fury; and they were anxious to stifle the new religion in its birth. If the writings of the New Testament had been forged, would not the Jews have detected the imposture? Is there a single instance on record where a few individuals have imposed a history upon the world against