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duction of a good tree, so a history with internal marks of impartiality, carries within itself the evidence of being written by an impartial historian. All, therefore, that was said to prove the account of Christ's resurrection true, goes to prove that his disciples do not merit the opprobrious title of impostors.

A great manifestation of their honesty, which we believe was never known of an im. postor, in any cause whatever, is they voluntarily submitted to a series of difficulties, losses, and sufferings, without the least expectation of any temporal rewards. Whatever men may do in a cause which they had heretofore espoused, in suffering losses, and afflictions by the force of prejudice or an enthusiastic zeal, we have no reason to believe from what we know of the nature of man, or the precedent of any known transaction, that an impostor will voluntarily encounter such difficulties without the prospect of adequate temporal rewards. It matters not in what the rewards consist, if they only be such as are flattering to the carnal mind. When an impostor foresees a long train of impending evils, naturally accompanying the execution of a scheme which he may devise, and which is destitute of attaining the prospects of temporal rewards, he will, indisputably abandon it in the first outset. But being once engaged, once come to public notice, pride and passion might induce him to pursue to considerable length, to suffer much in his labors rather than

abandon the whole scheme, knowing that a failure in one, would render every succeeding one equally fruitless. But we can hardly believe he would pursue to the extent the apostles did. No man, we think, would consent to suffer the loss of all things, and death itself, for the propagation of what he knew was not true, and what was probable to subject many or most of the believers to privations of a similar nature.

These things are evident concerning the apostles :

1st. They voluntarily espoused the cause of Christ, being sensible in the beginning that cruel persecutions and afflictions would be their constant portion in time.

2d. They expected no such temporal rewards as are flattering to the carnal mind. These two points we will notice particularly; for much depends upon them.

Perhaps some would imagine from the histories, that the disciples were rather unknowingly led into the difficulties in which they afterwards found themselves; that they were engaged in the work before they were sensible what sort of opposition they had to encounter. When they were with Jesus it is to be acknowledged, they were ignorant of his doctrine, and how it would be received in the world. They did not realize the travail of their Master, nor the complicated sufferings of those who should faithfully follow him. Now if we implicate the disciples in the mat

ter of the resurrection, we must suppose the fraud originated in their Master. Surely, if they were led unwittingly to espouse his faith. Allowing this, he could not support it, by his insinuations, longer, than till the time of his crucifixion. At that time, the disciples were completely frustrated in all their hopes concerning him, although he had before told them of the tragic event of his agonizing death. This eventful scene, in all human appearance, must, at that time, be the complete destruction of christianity. Had Jesus and his disciples been impostors, the disciples would have been likely to have thought at that time the fraud was stamped with everlasting infamy. They could not have entertained a hope, had it been ever so dear to them, of maintaining it to any advantage. At the best, they must know, that in engaging in the same cause, and opposing the same prejudices which their Master did, there was no probability of their escaping a fate as disastrous and direful as was his. This was a new era in their undertaking. Their Master was gone. One had openly and solemnly denied him, another had betrayed him. They were few and feeble, and their cause publicly contemned. The dying groans of their Master, his blood, his wreathing and agonizing body, his corpse pale and languid, were scenes, fresh in their memory, living to their sight, and melting to their hearts.

It was not now the business of the disciples

to continue in defence of a religion in which they had been engaged, but to revive one that every believer had given up for lost. To for ever abandon it, could add no disgrace to what they had suffered. Therefore pride could not induce them to attempt to revive it. From such a feeble and dejected situation, and with such hazardous prospects, did the disciples of our Lord bear testimony to the resurrection of Jesus. They boldly and constantly maintained his doctrine. Under such circumstances was it ever known that impostors in the first outset hazarded so much in the prospect of their undertakings? Let an instance be brought, and this argument, which we now consider very powerful, will lose something of its force.

If the disciples were impostors, they knew that the progress of christianity depended wholly upon human exertion. Whatever might be their pretensions, in their hearts they could not expect any extraordinary interposition of divine providence in their favor. Every circumstance rendered it more improbable than otherwise. To hang their lives and whole fortunes in such a hazardous undertaking, upon a mere improbability, never could proceed from calculation. If their undertaking was not from calculation, it is difficult to conceive how they could be sufficiently cunning and artful to impose such a cheat upon mankind with so much success as christianity received. It is impossible it should be the

effect of mere enthusiasm. A blinded zeal in a deceptive cause, could not lead with sufficient art to establish what was established by the preaching of the apostles.

Should we find it necessary to grant the possibility of their imposing upon mankind the testimony of Christ's resurrection, which we do not, we will inquire, what did they expect that induced them to the practice of such a fraud? what in exchange for such a series of sufferings? If to others they promised immortality, and eternal blessedness in the world to come, they could not themselves be stimulated by these motives. Though the resurrection might be an animating and enliv ening theme to others, it could be but a fanciful one to them if they were impostors, aud knew it was false, or were not persuaded it was true. "A city not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; a crown of glory that fadeth not away," must be but visionary dreams to the first sufferers in the christian cause. All the rewards that they could look for, must be confined to their then present scene of suffering. Nothing else could possibly stimulate them to the arduous undertaking of commencing and building up the christian cause.

Can we conceive that a thirst for fame, would induce any villain under such circumstances, knowingly to hazard so much as the disciples did? But what fame had they reason to expect? The loud acclamations of millions? Rather disgrace and shame in a series

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