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Bishop of THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE STATE of
OHIO.

Sint casta delicia, mea, scripturæ tua ; mec fallar in eis, mec fallam ex eis.
AUGUSTINE.

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Entered by the author, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

Right of publishing transferred to the American Tract Society.

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INTRODUCTORY OBSERVATIONS, . - - - - - - - - 21 The difficulty of presenting the evidences of Christianity arises, not from any lack of arguments, but from the difficulty of a just selection and arrangement where materials are so abundant, . . 22 I. The high importance of the investigation proposed, . . . . 23 The question is, Is the religion of Jesus Christ, as exhibited in the New Testament, a revelation from God, and consequently possessed of a sovereign right to universal faith and obedience? . . . . . 24 We must have the religion of Christ or none, . . . . . . 24 Deism, the only imaginable substitute, shown to offer no refuge, 25 The investigation urged on the experimentally convinced Christian, as a matter of spiritual pleasure and improvement, and as a matter of duty to the cause of truth, and to the good of his neighbor, 34 The same urged on the merely nominal Christian, as necessary to a rational and steadfast belief of what he professes not to doubt, and for a deeper impression of the solemnity of its truth, . . . 36 The investigation derives additional importance from the peculiar character of the present times, as those of licentiousness, under the boast of freedom, in such inquiries, . . . . . 38 It derives, also, advantage from the present times, as distinguished for scientific research and discovery, . . . . . . . . . . 43 II. The importance of strict attention to the spirit in which this investigation is conducted, . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 The opposition between the precepts of Christianity and the natural dispositions of man makes the question one of feeling as well as . evidence, and has a tendency to magnify objections, and to depre

ciate the contrary, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 The pride of human reason is often deeply offended at the claims of Christianity, . . . - . . . 49

It is true of Christianity, as of many other very important matters of truth, that objections are more easily invented than answered, 52

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Phenomena which these considerations account for, . . . . 53 Docility of mind, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 A deep seriousness of purpose, . . . . . . . . . . . 54 And prayer, earnestly recommended as necessary to this investi5. The agreement of the ancient churches as to what were the

gation, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

LECT U R E II.

AUTHENTICITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, . . . . . . 56 The study of the evidences of Christianity may be brief or extended, according as the object is simply conviction; or, in addition to that, the pleasure of collecting all the various lights which may be concentrated on this subject. The evidences are of two general classes, namely, external, or historical, and internal, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 A brief account of what each head includes, . . . . . . . 57 The present course of lectures confined to the external. The complete treatment of this division would begin with the necessity of a divine revelation, as the history of mankind exhibits it, 58 We begin with the AUTHENTICITY of THE NEw TESTAMENT, .. 59 Difference between authenticity and credibility, as used in these lectures, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 The question is, How does it appear that the several parts of the New Testament were written by the men to whom they are ascribed, the original disciples of Christ, and are therefore authentic? . . 61 The same course pursued as in ascertaining the authenticity of any other book, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 A general sketch of the argument, . . . . . . . . . . 62 The books of the New Testament are quoted, or alluded to, by a series of writers, who may be followed up in unbroken succession from the present age to that of the apostles, . . . . . . . . . . 64 This shown by reference to catalogues, etc., from the fourth century to the age of the apostles, . . . . . . . . . . . 65–75 Particulars included in the above which require a more special notice. 1. The books of the New Testament, when quoted or alluded to, are treated with supreme regard, as possessing a singular authority, and as conclusive in questions of religion, . . . . . . . 75 2. They were united at a very early period in a distinct volume, . 76 3. They were at a very early period publicly read and expounded in the churches, - - - - - - - - - - 77 4. Commentaries were written on them, harmonies constructed, copies diligently compared, and translations made into different languages, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

authentic books of the New Testament was complete, . . . 79 6. There was as entire an agreement among the heretics of the earliest centuries as among the orthodox, . . . . . . . . . . 80 7. These several heads of evidence cannot be pretended to be in favor of any apocryphal scriptures, . . . . . . . . . 81 Six evidences of spuriousness, all of which are found in the apocryphal scriptures, none of them in the New Testament, . . . . . 84

Confirmation given by the existence of apocryphal writings to the claims of the New Testament, . . . . . . . . 85 Lesson to the believer from what has been exhibited, . . . . 87

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AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, 89 From the tenor of the preceding lecture, it is evident that the canon of the New Testament was not made without the most intelligent and careful investigation, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 This further appears from the numerous catalogues that have come down to us, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 From the pains taken to procure information, and the decisive censure with which an attempt to pass a spurious book was visited, . 91 The gradual steps by which the canon was completed afforded the best opportunity for the settlement of the claim of any book to authenticity, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Some remarks concerning the formation of the canon of the New Testament, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 The canonical authority of the epistle to the Hebrews, of James, the second of Peter, the second and third of John, of Jude, and of the book of Revelation, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98–105 The testimony of the adversaries of Christianity, . . . . . . 105 The preceding evidence confirmed by a reference to The language and style of the books of the New Testament. 1. They are in perfect accordance with the local and other circumstances of the reputed writers, . . . . . . . . . . . 110 2. They are in perfect harmony with the known characters of the reputed writers, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 The result is, that if the books of the New Testament be not authentic, nothing less than a miracle can account for their early and universal currency, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 On the INTEGRITY of these books, that they have undergone no material alteration, we reason, 1. From the perfect impossibility of any material alteration, . 123 2 From the agreement among the existing manuscripts, . . . 125

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