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BISHOP OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE STATE OF

OHIO.

Sint castæ deliciæ meæ scripturæ tuæ; nec fallar in eis, nec fallam ex eis.

AUGUSTINE.

NINTH EDITION.

REVISED AND IMPROVED BY THE AUTHOR.

PUBLISHED BY THE

AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,

150 NASSAU-STREET, NEW YORK.

M3

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.

CONTENTS.

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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 selec-

tion and arrangement where materials are so abundant,

22

1. 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,

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 investi-

gation 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,

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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 con-

centrated on this subject.

The evidences are of two general classes, namely, external, or histor-

ical, 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 neces-

sity 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 lec-

tures,

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,

4. Commentaries were written on them, harmonies constructed,

copies diligently compared, and translations made into different

languages,

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AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT,

From the tenor of the preceding lecture, it is evident that the canon

of the New Testament was not made without the most intelligent ond

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 circum-

stances 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 authen-

tic, nothing less than a miracle can account for their early and uni-

116

On the INTEGRITY of these books, that they have undergone no mate-

rial 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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versal currency,

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