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of suffering, terminating in some ignominious death. Their fame according to the most flattering of human prospects must be confined to the applause of a few obscure individuals. It would bear but a very small comparison with the infamy and suffering that the Jews in much malice would be likely to heap upon them.

All the rewards the apostles received, or according to their doctrine could expect, in this life, though such as would induce an honest man to do much, would flatter an impostor but very little. To account them honest, opens a large field of glory before them, when we connect their then present life with the future. But when we pronounce them impostors, we confine all their rewards to their temporal lives; and these are of such a nature as would not be likely to flatter a character of this description. Worldly wealth and grandeur were not their objects. If they were, they had no prospect of attaining them, and must have abandoned the idea before they had advanced far in maintaining christianity. Worldly indulgences in word or deed, were not the characteristics of this religion, and could not, therefore, promise rewards to the disciples in their deceitful allurements. If these were their objects, their calculations were extremely unfavorable. They savor not of that wit and cunning that must necessarily be employed to maintain the christian system on false principles. The reward of honesty,

fidelity to their Master, and eternal life, must, then, be what stimulated them to the arduous work in which they were engaged, and which they zealously pursued till death. It follows, then, they were not impostors, but honest men, testifying what they had seen and heard.

Another argument in favor of the apostles, is, they adopted a new mode of living, contrary to the desires of corrupt hearts. The language of Paley in his Evidences of Christianity, pages 22 and 23, is worthy of notice on this subject. "The nature of the case," says our author, "affords a strong proof, that the original teachers in consequence of their new profession, entered upon a new and singular course of life. We may be allowed to presume, that the institution which they preached to others, they conformed to in their own persons; because this is no more than what every teacher of a new religion both does, and must do, in order to obtain either proselytes or hearers. The change which this would produce was very considerable. It is а change which we do not easily estimate, because, ourselves and all about us, being habituated to the institution from our infancy, it is what we neither experience nor observe. After men became Christians, much of their time was spent in prayer and devotion, in religious meetings, in celebrating the eucharist, in conferences, in exhortations, in preaching, in an affectionate intercourse with one another, and

correspondence with other societies. Perhaps their mode of life in its form and habit was not unlike that of the Unitas fratrum,* or of modern Methodists. Think then what it was to become such at Corinth, at Ephesus, at Antioch, or even at Jerusalem. How new, how alien from all their former habits and ideas, and from those of every body about them? What a revolution there must have been of opinions and prejudices to bring the matter to this? We know what the precepts of the religion are; how pure, how benevolent, how disinterested a conduct they enjoin; and that this purity and benevolence is extended to the very thoughts and affections. We are not perhaps at liberty to take for granted, that the lives of the preachers of christianity were as perfect as their lessons: but we are entitled to contend, that the observable part of their behavior must have agreed in a great measure with the duties which they taught. There was, therefore, which is all that we assert, a course of life pursued by them, different from that which they before led. And this is of great importance. Men are brought to almost any thing sooner than to change their habits of life, especially, when the change is either inconvenient, or made against the force of natural inclination, or with the loss of accustomed indulgences. It is the most difficult of all things, to convert men from vi

* The Unity of brethren.

cious habits to virtuous ones, as every one may judge from what he feels in himself, as well as from what he sees in others.'* It is almost like making men over again."

In addition to the quotation already rehearsed, we may observe that in all the relations which they give of Christ and his doctrine, they show no signs of fear that they should differ from each other; but each one relates as he has received. Had the whole christian system been an imposture, it would have been necessary for them to use every precaution against differences of writing and doctrine, lest the whole should fall on this ground. The objections, therefore, brought against christianity from differences of writing in some particular accounts, are evidences of the honesty of their authors, though in reconciling them, we may be some embarrassed. They evidently show that they were not afraid of any disadvantageous exposure, though they were not careful to consult each other in every thing they said or wrote.

From the labor to which we have attended in this discourse, we find evidence from the nature of the case, from the peculiar situation of the apostles, and from what we are able to gather from different sources, that the apostles. of our Lord were not impostors, nor could they have performed what they did, wholly from the force of enthusiasm. We, therefore,

* Hartley's Essay on Man, p. 190.


aver they must be honest and true men. follows of consequence, they spoke the truth according to what they knew. Of the resurrection of Jesus they could not be ignorant. It was a subject that required no more than common genius,-a common use of the senses to judge whether it was true or false. No high attainments in literature were necessary to qualify their organs of sight to enable them to know whether the risen Savior looked and acted like the person, they knew a few days before was crucified. Their sense of hearing could receive nothing from art, that would enable them more infallibly to discern between the voice of their master and the voice of another; nor did their understandings need the assistance of logical rules to determine whether he exhi bited the same originality of manner after his crucifixion, which they had witnessed in him before. We learn that a sufficient number of faithful witnesses beheld Christ after his resurrection, and bore testimony of what they


Did then the resurrection of Jesus depend wholly on the testimony of a large number of witnesses, we are happy to find it as well authenticated as any fact of equal antiquity. But it does not. It has likewise other evidences to strengthen it.

The observance of the weekly sabbath among the followers of Christ, which is a day commemorative of his resurrection, is a strong testimony of the truth of this fact. This was noticed in the days of the apostles, and ever since that time has been observed. At no

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