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thofe fufficiently accurate, and unqueftionably juft, are given by St. Paul to his converts in three several epiftles *.


The relative duties of hufbands and wives, of parents and children, of masters and fervants, of Christian teachers and their flocks, of governors and their fubjects, are set forth by the fame writer †, not indeed with the copiousness, the detail, or the diftin&ness, of a moralift, who fhould, in these days, fit, down to write chapters upon the subject, but with the leading rules and principles in each; and, above all, with truth, and with authority.

Laftly, the whole volume of the New Teftament is replete with piety; with, what were almost unknown to heathen moralifts, devotional virtues, the moft profound veneration of the Deity, an habitual sense of his bounty and protection, a firm confidence in

* Gal. v. 19. Col. iii. 12. I Cor. xiii.


Eph. v. 33. vi. 1. 5.

2 Cor. vi. 6, 7. Rom. xiii.


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the final refult of his councils and dispensations, a difpofition to refort, upon all occafions, to his mercy, for the fupply of human wants, for affiftance in danger, for relief from pain, for the pardon of fin.



The candour of the writers of the New Teftament.


MAKE this candour to confift, in their putting down many paffages, and noticing many circumstances, which no writer whatever was likely to have forged; and which no writer would have chosen to appear in his book, who had been careful to present the story in the most unexceptionable form, or who had thought himself at liberty to carve and mould the particulars of that ftory, according to his choice, or according to his judgement of the effect.

A ftrong and well-known example of the fairness of the evangelifts, offers itself in their account of Chrift's refurrection, namely, in their unanimoufly ftating, that, after he was rifen, he appeared to his difciples alone. I do not mean that they have used G 3 the


the exclufive word alone; but that all the inftances which they have recorded of his appearance, are inftances of appearance to his difciples; that their reasonings upon it, and allufions to it, are confined to this fupposition; and that, by one of them, Peter is made to fay, "Him God raised up the third day, and fhewed him openly, not to all the people, but to witneffes chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead *.” The commoneft understanding must have perceived, that the hiftory of the refurrection would have come with more advantage, if they had related that Jefus appeared, after he was risen, to his foes as well as his friends, to the fcribes and pharifees, the Jewish council, and the Roman governor: or even if they had afferted the public appearance of Christ in general unqualified terms, without noticing, as they have done, the presence of his disciples upon each occasion, and noticing it in fuch a manner as to lead their

*Acts x. 40. 41.


readers to fuppofe that none but difciples were prefent. They could have represented it one way as well as the other. And if their point had been, to have the religion believed, whether true or false; if they had fabricated the ftory ab initio, or if they had been dif pofed, either to have delivered their testimony as witneffes, or to have worked up their materials and information as historians, in fuch a manner as to render their narrative as specious and unobjectionable as they could; in a word, if they had thought of any thing but of the truth of the cafe, as they underftood and believed it; they would, in their account of Chrift's several appearances after his refurrection, at least have omitted this restriction. At this diftance of time, the account as we have it is perhaps more credible than it would have been the other way; because this manifeftation of the hiftorian's candour, is of more advantage to their tef timony, than the difference in the circumftances of the account would have been to the nature of the evidence. But this is an effect which the evangelifts would not foreG 4


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