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UNDESIGNED COINCIDENCES

IN THE WRITINGS BOTH OF

The Old and New Testament,

AN ARGUMENT OF THEIR VERACITY :

WITH AN APPENDIX, CONTAINING UNDESIGNED COINCIDENCES BETWEEN

THE GOSPELS AND ACTS, AND JOSEPHUS.

Caii ni
BY THE REV. J. J. BLUNT, B.D.,

MARGARET PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY.

FOURTH EDITION.
GJINITY ECHOON
LIBRARY

HARVAR

ERSITY

VARD UNIVERS

2d (d. 1847
LONDON:
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

1853.

LONDON: PRINTED BY WOODFALL AND KINDER,

ANGEL COURT, SKINNER STREET.

ЗАР B65 un 1853

PREFACE.

THE present Volume is a republication, with corT rections and large additions, of several short Works which I printed a few years ago separately; and which, having passed through more or fewer editions, have become out of print: I have thus been furnished with an opportunity of revising and consolidating them. These works were: “ The Veracity of the Books of Moses ;” “ The Veracity of the Historical Scriptures of the Old Testament ;” and “ The Veracity of the Gospels and Acts,” argued from undesigned coincidences to be found in them when compared in their several parts; and in the last instance, when compared also with the writings of Josephus. They were all of them originally the substance of Sermons delivered before the University, some in a Course of Hulsean Lectures, others on various occasions. And though two of them, the Veracity of the Books of Moses, and the Veracity of the Gospels and Acts, were divested of the form of Sermons before publication, the third, The Veracity of the Historical Scriptures of the Old Testament (which constituted the Hulsean Lectures), still retained it. I have thought that by reducing this to the same shape as the rest, and combining it with them, the whole would present a continued argument, or rather a continued series of independent arguments, for the Veracity of the Scriptures, of which the effect would

be greater than that of the separate works could be, which might be read perhaps out of the natural order, and which were not altogether uniform in their plan. But as this test of veracity proved applicable, though in a less degree, for reasons I have assigned elsewhere, to the Prophetical Scriptures also, I have introduced into the present Volume, in its proper place, evidence of the same kind which had been long lying by me, for the Veracity of some of those Writings; thus employing one and the same touchstone of truth, to verify successively the Books of Moses, the Historical Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Prophetical, and the Gospels and Acts, in their order.

The argument, as my readers will of course be aware is an extension of that of the Hore Pauline, and which originated, as was generally supposed, with Dr. Paley. But Dr. Turton', the present Bishop of Ely, has rendered the claims of Dr. Paley to the first conception of it doubtful, by producing a passage from the conclusion of Dr. Doddridge's Introduction to his Paraphrase and Notes on the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, to the following ffect:

Whoever reads over St. Paul's Epistles with attention will discern such intrinsic characters in their genuineness, and the divine authority of the doctrines they contain, as will perhaps produce in him a stronger conviction than all the external evidence with which they are attended. To which we may add, that the exact coincidence observable between the many allusions to particular facts, in this, as well as in other Epistles, and the account of the facts themselves as they are recorded in the History

1 In his “ Natural Theology | Brougham's Discourse,” &c., p. considered with reference to Lord | 23.

of the Acts, is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of

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Be this, however, as it may, Dr. Paley first brought the argument fully to light in support of the Epistles of St. Paul; and I am not aware that it has since been deliberately applied to any other of the sacred books, except by Dr. Graves, in two of his Lectures on the Pentateuch, to that portion of holy writ. Much, however, of the same kind of testimony I have no doubt has escaped all of us; and still remains to be detected by future writers on the Evidences. For myself, though I may not lay claim to the merit (whatever it may be) of actually discovering all the examples of consistency without contrivance, which I shall bring forward in this volume,-indeed, I could not myself now trace to their beginnings thoughts which have progressively accumulated —and though in many cases, where the detection was my own, I may have found, on examination, that there were others who had forestalled me, qui nostra ante nos, yet most of them I have not seen noticed by commentators at all, and scarcely any of them in that light in which only I regard them, as grounds of Evidence. It is to this application, therefore, of expositions, often in themselves sufficiently familiar, that I have to beg the candid attention of my readers; and if I shall frequently bring out of the treasures of God's word, or of the interpretation of God's

1 I have availed myself in this communicated to me in substance republication, of several sugges- by letter, by the Rev. T. W. Mosstions on the subject of the Patri man; and of one (No. xi. Part iv.) archal Church (No. i. Part i.), also in part supplied to me in the offered to me some years ago in a same way by the Rev. J. Daniel, letter by the Rev. J. W. Burgon, of St. John's College, Cambridge, of Worcester College, Oxford; of soon after the first edition of the one coincidence (No. ii. Part ii.) | Veracity of the Gospels came out.

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