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which he predicted: he declared, that if the people "would not hear, he would weep in secret places lot "their pride;" and his lamentations evince his sincerity. Moses preferred death to the destruction of his ungrateful countrymen, even with the greatest advantage to himself and family.—"Rivers of waters ran *' down David's eyes, because men kept not God's 4' law:" and Paul had continual heaviness and sorrow of heart on account of his unbelieving countrymen. So that prophesying evil does not incline men to wish for it: because all do not prefer their own credit to the glory of God and the happiness of multitudes, as Jonah did most wickedly on one occasion.
The Creator's partiality, if Mr. P. will use that word, appears as much in other histories as in that of the Bible. The Lord does certainly afford advantages' to some nations and individuals, which he withholds from others: but the Scripture never represents him, as conniving at the sins of his favoured nation, or. punishing the guiltless because they did not belong to it. On the contrary, he says," You only have I known *• of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish "you for all your iniquities."*
Learned men agree that three days, and three nights, in the Hebrew idiom, denote any portion of time ending on the third day: and if neither ancient nor modern Jews object on this ground, to the application of the history of Jonah to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; it does not seem very candid in others to attempt it. Our Lord's express testimony confirms the whore account, so that it stands on all the evidence of the New Testament: and the history is replete with most important instruction.
* Amos ill. C.
As to the other minor prophets, Mr. P. leaves them 'to sleep undisturbed in the laps of their nurses the 'priests;' content with having ridiculed the idea of the greater and lesser prophets,* which common sense explains to mean no more, than that the books of the latter are much shorter than those of the former.
'I have now,' says this confident writer, 'gone 'through the Bible, as a man would go through a 'wood, with an axe on his shoulder, and fell trees;'! a man going through a wood with an axe on his shoulder differs widely from cutting down the whole wood;% and Mr. P.'s cavils, against the several books in the Bible, differ as widely from subverting their authority by unanswerable arguments. If he supposes that he hath done his work; " It is as when an hungry man "dreameth that he cateth; but he awakcth and lus soul "is empty."
For I appeal to every impartial man, who will bestow pains fairly to investigate the subject, whether Mr. P. has substantiated a single charge against the writers of the Old Testament; except as its contents do not accord to men's common opinions; its arrangement is not formed on modern notions of method; and some trivial alterations have taken place in the text.
Convinced of Mr. P.'s talents and determined resolution in his undertakings, and conscious, that a joy
fcss life and hopeless death must be the consequence, if the only source of my confidence and consolation could be torn from me; I opened these books with a sort of trepidation. ' But I must declare, that I never felt a firmer assurance that the Bible is the word of God, than I do at this moment; having found, that misapprehension, misrepresentation, wit, declamation, and invective, are the sum total, which the keenest capacity and most virulent enmity can produce against it.
Vol. III. 3 E
The New Testament.
MR- P. opens his attack on this part of Scripture by saying, 'The New Testament, they tell us, is found
• ed on the prophecies of the old; if so, it must follow
* the fate of its foundation.'*—Injudicious concessions have often been made by the friends of truth: and this sems to be one. The prophecies of the Old Testament prepared the way for the coming of Christ; and, as accomplished in him, they constitute an unanswerable proof that Christianity is a divine revelation: and the testimony of our Lord and his apostles so confirm. the divine inspiration of the Old Testament, that if strict demonstration could be brought against it, believers would be reduced to great difficulty; but that is impossible.—In other respects the New Testament stands on its own basis: internal and external evidence confirm most fully it's divine original; and this alone
ipiight be sufficient to support the authority of the Old Testament also, if we had not other proof in abun
• P. ii. p. 64.
dance. But indeed the two parts of Scripture give stability and symmetry to each other. The Old Testament led to an expectation of the New, as its completion; the New Testament presupposes the truth of tile history, and the divine authority of the Taws, ordinances, and instructions, of the Old.
Mr. P. admits in an hesitating manner that such a person as Christ might exist: adding, that 'there is no 'ground either to believe or disbelieve!'* Indeedr— Why, was the existence of any one man since the creation so undeniably proved? It would be comparatively a moderate degree of scepticism, to doubt the existence of Alexander, Julius Cassar, or Mahomet; for the effect of their existence, on the state of mankind in all succeeding ages, is very small, compared with that produced by christianity: and how could that religion have existed, if Christ had not existed?
It is now generally allowed, that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph in the line of Solomon, and Luke that of Mary in the line of Nathan, sons of" David. The method in use among the Jews, in keeping their registers, required the name of Joseph to be inserted, instead of Mary his wife, as constituting a link in the chain or pedigree: and it was proper that both genealogies should be given. This solution of the difficulty is so obvious and satisfactory, that it is wonderful any difference in sentiment should have prevailed among leaned men on the subject. The writers of