« 이전계속 »
reproachful to them to erect Monuments of perpetual Acknowledgment, That they were the Children of them which killed the Prophets, Matth. xxiii. 31. and chose to die any Death, rather than renounce the Authority of their Books, or part with them, even when they had forfaken their Do&rine, and chang'd the Substance of their Religion, for vain Traditions, and superstitious Observances. They referr'd themselves to these Prophets, for the Authority of their Religion ; and acknowledg'd, that they had neither Prophecies nor Miracles after the Captivity. For during the Captivity in Babylon, the False Prophets had lost all Reputation with the People, who found themselves fo miserably disappointed in the deluding Hopes, which those Prophets, that set themselves in opposition to Feremiah and Ezekiel, had given them. Those Prophets became a Curse and a Proverb of Reproach among the Jews, as Jeremiah had foretold, Jer. xxix. 22. And from that time, False Prophets never could gain Esteem enough to vent their Prophecies, if they attempted it.
C H A P. XI. Of the Dependence of the several Parts of the
Scriptures upon each other ; and that the Old Testament proves the New, and the New again proves the Old, as the Cause and the Effeet.
T is a thing altogether incredible, that the Inha
bitants of lo small a part of the World as Judæa is, should lay a Design of imposing upon the rest of Mankind, which could prove so successful for so many thousand Years together ; and that they should be
fuch Masters of Deceit, and the World so fond of
And the Evidence of this Truth is most observable,
arise, and that there would likewise be False Pro phets ; He shew'd how they were to be discovered and distinguished from the True Prophets, and declared, that at last the Great Prophet should be sent, who is Chrift; and he foretold all that was to befal the Jews, from his own time, to the Destruction of Jerusalem. And as Moses has given us the general State of the Jews, for all Generations; fo the several Prophets, who were sent from time to time; according to his Predictions, foretold particular Events, and more-especially they foretold and described the Times of the Gospel. This was the great Design of all Prophecies, and the Tbing that God had spoken by the Prophets, which have been fince the world began, Luke i. 70. For in Christ was the Accomplishment of all the Types
and Prophecies in the Old Testament. And this Dependence and Coherence between all the Parts of the Scriptures, in the Matter and Design of them, which is as great as the Dependence of one Part of any Book written by the fame Author, can be upon another, gives great Strength and Confirmation to the Whole; since it is an Evidence, that it was all inspired by the same Infallible Spirit; and if one Part of Scripture be prov'd to be true, all must be so: For besides the particular Evidence which may be brought for any Part separately, we must consider the Connexion which it has with the rest, and the Evidence which is deriv’d upon it by this Connexion. If the Pentateuch be once prov'd to be of Divine Authority, then the Prophets who succeeded Moses must be divinely inspired; because he foretold the Succession of such Prophets : And if the Prophecies and Miracles of the Prophets were divine, the Pentateuch must be so; because they all along acknowledg’d and appeald to it, as containing God's Covenant with his
People the Jews, and being therefore the Ground and Foundation of their own Mission. If Moses and the Prophets be from God, the Gospel must be from Him, if that be
foretold by them: And if the Prophecies and Mira cles of our Saviour and his Disciples prove their Divine Authority, the Writings of Moses and the Pro phets must be likewise of the same Authority; bem cause they acknowledge them for such, and prove their own Authority from them, as well as from the Miracles that they themselves wrought. And if the Prophecies and Miracles either of Moses or of the Prophets, or of our Saviour and his Apostles, taken by themselves, and
from the rest, be sufficient, they must needs be more convincing, when they are consider'd together, in their united Force and Light.
I might farther observe, That Miracles without Prophecies, or Prophecies without Miracles, or that one evident Miracle, or one evident Prophecy; at least, That either the Miracles or Prophecies of some one Person, in the several Ages in which so many Prophets liv’d, would have been a sufficient ground of Faith, and that therefore they must all be much rather so in conjunction: But I shall only desire it may be remember'd, That whatever Evidence has been brought in Proof of the Divine Authority of the Books of Moses, and of the Prophets, doth reciprocally prove both the one and the other; and that therefore whatever is brought from either of them, in Proof of the Gospel, has the Evidence of the whole; and that the Gospel in different respects doth prove them, and is proved by them, both deriving Authority from the Books of the Old Testament, and communicating its own Authority to them : For as the Cause may be proved by its Effect, and the Effe& by its Cause; so both Predi&tions prove the Things foretold ; and the Accomplishment of the Things foretold, verifie the Predi&ions; and Miracles wrought in consequence of Prophecies concerning them, have doubly the Divine Seal and Attestation. Now, the Messias is the Scope and Centre of the whole Old Testament, as the Jews themselves ever understood it; and whatever Testi
mony is produced from thence, brings with it the Evidence of the wholer And a like Evidence is again reflected upon the whole Old Testament, by the Accomplishment of any part of it in the New, and by the Appeal which our Saviour and his Apostles constantly made to it.
Hat in the Reign of Tiberius, there liy'd such a
Person as Jesus Christ, who suffer'd a under Pontius Pilate, is expresly written by Tacitus ; and thař he cur'd Diseases, and wrought other Miracles, was never denied by the worst Enemies to the Christian Name and Doctrine. So that the Substance of the History of the Life and Death of our Saviour, is acknowledg'd by our very Adversaries, and the Power, by which he wrought his Miracles, is the thing which was in dispute between them and the Primitive Chriftians. And therefore I shall take the Observations which I make concerning our Blessed Saviour, from that account which the Evangelists give of him, which is in great part confess’d by the Jews and Heathens, and which deserves at least the same Credit that all other Histories do, till it can be disproved, and in the following Chapters I shall fhew, that it is infallibly true.
The Divine Nature of our Blessed Saviour is of another Considerațion: We are in this place to consider
Vulgus Chriftianos appellabat. Auétor nominis ejus Christus, qui, Tiberio imperante, per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum, fupplicio affertas erat. Taci. Annal. 1. 15: C. 47;