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in fact universal.
PROP. made various manifestations of God, and discoveries
of the divine will, to us here upon earth; may also, for ought we know, have to other beings, in other parts of the universe, according to their several capacities or wants, made different manifestations of God, and discoveries of his will, in ways of which we can know nothing, and in which we have no concern ; there being nothing in this at all contrary.
to the nature of God, or the condition of things. Of the ob Fifthly, and lastly, if any one thinks it unreasonajection
ble to be believed, that God should send his Son into from the the world for the redemption of mankind, and yet
that this appearance of the Son of God upon earth not being should not be till the later ages of the world; and
after he has appeared, yet his appearance not be made known equally to all nations; such a one must likewise, for the same reason, affirm, that it is unreasonable to believe the necessity and obligations even of natural religion itself, because it is plain all men are not furnished equally with the same capacities and opportunities of understanding those obligations, and consequently no deist can, consistently with his own principles, make this objection against the truth of Christianity. He must likewise, for the same reason, affirm, that God is obliged in all other respects also to make all his creatures equal ; to make men angels; to indue all men with the same faculties and capacities as any, at least to make all men capable of the very same kind and the same degree of happiness, and to afford to all of them all the very same means or opportunities of obtaining it : In a word, he must assert that infinite wisdom cannot reasonably be supposed to have a right of making variety of creatures in very various circumstances; which is an assertion palpably most absurd, in experience false, and a very unjust diminution of God's sovereignty in the world. But besides, though the redemption purchased by the Son of God is not indeed actually made known unto all men, yet as no man ever denied but that the benefit of the death of Christ ex
tended backwards to those who lived before his appearance in the world, so no man can prove but that the same benefit may likewise extend itself forwards to those who never heard of his appearance, though they lived after it.
11. That the history of the life of Christ, contained of the in the New Testament, is a true relation of matters of other par. fact, (not to insist here on the testimony of his dis - scripture. ciples and followers, which shall be considered here- history
contained after in its proper place,) will to a rational inquirer in the appear very credible from hence, that very many par- tament.
New Tes. ticulars of that history are confirmed by concurrent testimonies of profane and unquestionably unprejudiced authors. That, before the coming of our Saviour, there was a general expectation spread over all the eastern nations, that out of Judea should arise a person, who should he governor of the world, is expressly affirmed by the Roman historians, Suetonius* and Tacitus.f That there lived in Judea, at the time which the Gospel relates, such a person as Jesus of Nazareth, is acknowledged by all authors, both Jewish and pagan, who have written since that time. The star that appeared at his birth, and the journey of the Chaldæan wise men, is mentioned by Chalcidius the Platonist.[ Herod's causing all the children in Bethlehem, under two years old to be slain, and a reflection made upon him on that occasion by the emperor Augustus, is related by Macrobius.|| Many of the miracles that Jesus worked in
Percrebuerat Oriente toto vetus et constans opinio esse in fatis, ut Judæa profecti rerum potirentur.--Suelon.
+ Pluribus persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum libris contineri, eo ipso tempore fore, ut valesceret Oriens, profectique Judæa rerum potirentur.- Tacit. lib. 21.
# See the place cited by Grotius, de Veritate Christianæ Religionis.Lib. 3. c. 14.
Il Cum audisset [Augustus,] inter pueros quos in Syria Herodes rex Judæorum intra bimatum jussit interfici, filium quoque ejus occisum ; ait, melius est Herodis porcum esse quam filium.-Macrob. lib. 2. cap. 4. [A testimony so very remarkable and pertinent, that it is strange how Grotius could omit mention it in the place now cited.]
PROP. his life-time are, as to matters of fact, (particularly,
his healing the lame and the blind, and casting out devils,) expressly owned by the most implacable enemies of Christianity, by Celsus and Julian,* and the authors of the Jewish Talmud. And how the power of the heathen gods ceased after the coming of Christ is acknowledged by Porphyry, who attributes it to their being angry at the setting up of the Christian religion, which he styles impious and profane. Many particulars of the collateral history, concerning John Baptist, and Herod, and Pilate, (not to mention the famous testimony concerning Jesus himself, because it is by some suspected not to be genuine, notwithstanding it is found in all the ancient copies,) are largely recorded by Josephus. The crucifixion of Christ under Pontius Pilate, is related by Tacitus;t and divers of the most remarkable circumstances attending it, such as the earthquake and miraculous darkness, were recorded in the public Roman regis, ters, commonly appealed to by the first Christian writers, as what could not be denied by the adversaries, themselves. Then, as to the resurrection and ascension of Christ; these depend on the general proofs of the credibility of his disciples' testimony, and other following evidences, which will be considered here
after in their proper place. Of the day
12. That God has appointed a day, wherein he of judg., will judge the world in righteousness, by that perChrist the son whom he has ordained, in order to reward every judge.
man according to his works; is a doctrine perfectly agreeable to right reason, and to our natural notions of the attributes of God; as may appear more particularly from what has been before said concerning
* See the places cited by Grotius, de Veritate Christ. Rel. lib. 2. + Tiberio imperitante, per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum, suppli
, , cio affectus erat.Lib. 15.
| Eum mundi casum relatum in arcanis vestris habetis.Tertula lian. Apol.
the necessity and certainty of another life after this; PROP. and is evident from the opinion of all the wiser heath. XIII. ens concerning this matter. Nor may it perhaps be altogether impertinent toobserve here, that the poets, both Greek and Latin, have unanimously agreed in this one particular circumstance, that men after death should not have judgment passed upon them immediately by. God himself, but by just men appointed for that purpose.
13. That, in order to this final judgment, not only of the rethe soul shall survive the dissolution of the body,
surrection but the body itself also shall be raised again; this body. doctrine, though not indeed discoverable with any kind of certainty by the bare light of nature, because the belief of the soul's immortality (for ought that appears to reason alone) is sufficient to answer all the purposes of a future state, as far as is discoverable merely by the light of nature; yet this doctrine (I say) of the resurrection of the body, when made known by revelation, evidently contains nothing in it in the least contrary to right reason: For, what reasonable man can deny but that it is plainly altogether as easy for God to raise the body again after death as to create and form it at first? Some of the Stoical philosophers seem to have thought it not only possible, but even probable :* And many of the Jews, who had no express revelation concerning it, did yet believe it upon an ancient tradition, as appears from all their writings, and particularly from the translation in the last verse of the book of Job, which according to the Seventy runs thus : So Job died, being old and full of days, but it is written that he shall rise again with those whom the Lord raises up.f The only real difficulty in this doctrine seems to arise upon putting the supposition of one body's being
* Δήλον ως έδέν αδύνατον και ημάς μετά το τελευτήσαι, πάλιν περιόδων τινών ειλυμένων χρόνε, είς νύν εσμεν αποκαταστήσεσθαι σχήμα.-Chrysippus,
citat. a Lactant. lib. 7. + Γέγραπται δε αυτόν πάλιν αναστήσεσθαι, μεθ' ών ο Κύριος ανίστησι,Job 42. ult.
PROP. turned into the nourishment, and becoming part of XIII.
the substance of another, so as that the same parts may equally belong to two bodies, to both of which it shall nevertheless be absolutely impossible that the same parts should be restored. But this objection, as great and principal a difficulty as it is, is really but a great trifle. For there does not at all appear any absolute necessity, that, to constitute the same body, there must be an exact restitution of all and only the same parts. And if there was any such necessity ; yet even still without making that hard supposition (which Grotius and others have done, *) that God by a miraculous providence always interposes to prevent the parts of one human body from incorporating with and becoming the nourishment of another, (for I cannot see any sufficient ground to deny, but that it may be possible in nature for barbarous cannibals, if any such there be, to subsist for some time and live wholly one upon another, if deprived of all other sustenance ;) without any such hard suppositions as these (I say,) it is easy to imagine many ways by which the resurrection of the same body, properly speaking, shall nevertheless be very possible ; and the whole foundation of this, and all other difficulties of this kind, concerning the parts, and forms, and magnitudes, and pro
portions of our future bodies, be entirely taken away. Of the re
As first, No man can say it is improbable, (and surrection they who have been most and best versed in microbody. scopical observations think it more than probable,)
that the original stamina, which contain all and every one of the solid parts and vessels of the body, not excepting even the minutest nerves and fibres, are themselves the entire body, and that all the extraneous matter, which, coming in by way of nourishment, fills up and distends the minute and insensible vessels, of which all the visible and sensible vessels are composed, is not strictly and properly part of the body. Consequently, while all this extraneous matter, which
of the same
* Do Veritate Rol. Chr.-Lib. 2. 6. 10.