Evidence of Christianity eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 396 pages of information about Evidence of Christianity.

Thirdly, it proves that Luke, or whoever was the author of the Acts of the Apostles (for the argument does not depend upon the name of the author, though I know no reason for questioning it), was well acquainted with Saint Paul’s history; and that he probably was, what he professes himself to be, a companion of Saint Paul’s travels; which, if true, establishes, in a considerable degree, the credit even of his Gospel, because it shows that the writer, from his time, situation, and connexions, possessed opportunities of informing himself truly concerning the transactions which he relates.  I have little difficulty in applying to the Gospel of Saint Luke what is proved concerning the Acts of the Apostles, considering them as two parts of the same history; for though there are instances of second parts being forgeries, I know none where the second part is genuine, and the first not so.

I will only observe, as a sequel of the argument, though not noticed in my work, the remarkable similitude between the style of Saint John’s Gospel and of Saint John’s Epistle.  The style of Saint John’s is not at all the style of Saint Paul’s Epistles, though both are very singular; nor is it the style of Saint James’s or of Saint Peter’s Epistles:  but it bears a resemblance to the style of the Gospel inscribed with Saint John’s name, so far as that resemblance can be expected to appear, which is not in simple narrative, so much as in reflections, and in the representation of discourses.  Writings so circumstanced prove themselves, and one another, to be genuine.  This correspondency is the more valuable, as the epistle itself asserts, in Saint John’s manner, indeed, but in terms sufficiently explicit, the writer’s personal knowledge of Christ’s history:  “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life; that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you.” (Ch. i. ver. 1—­3.)Who would not desire, who perceives not the value of an account delivered by a writer so well informed as this?

CHAPTER VIII.

Of the history of the resurrection.

The history of the resurrection of Christ is a part of the evidence of Christianity:  but I do not know whether the proper strength of this passage of the Christian history, or wherein its peculiar value, as a head of evidence, consists, be generally understood.  It is not that, as a miracle, the resurrection ought to be accounted a more decisive proof of supernatural agency than other miracles are; it is not that, as it stands in the Gospels, it is better attested than some others; it is not, for either of these reasons, that more weight belongs to it than to other miracles, but for the following, viz., That it is completely certain that the apostles of Christ, and the first

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Evidence of Christianity from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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