« Prev SECT. V. That these authors wrote what was true,… Next »

SECT. V. That these authors wrote what was true, because they knew the things they wrote about.

IT is certain, therefore, that the books of the New Testament were wrote by those whose names they bear, or by such persons as they profess themselves to be; and it is moreover evident that they had a knowledge of things they wrote about, and had no desire to say what was false; whence it follows, that what they wrote must be true, because every falsity either proceeds from ignorance, or from n ill intention. Matthew, John, Peter, and Jude, wore of the company of those twelve which Jesus chose to be witnesses of his life and doctrines; so that they could not want the knowledge of those things they relate:388388   John xv. 27. also 1 Epist. i. Acts i. 21, 22. The same may be said of James, who either was an apostle, or, as 129others would have it, a near relation of Jesus,389389   So others, and they not a few, think; and St. Chrysostom every where. See Josephus also. (Add to these Eusebius, H. E. book ii. chap. 1 and 23. and made bishop of Jerusalem by the apostles. Neither could Paul be deceived, through ignorance, concerning those doctrines, which he professes were revealed to him by Jesus himself reigning in heaven; neither could he be deceived in the things which he performed himself; no more could Luke, who was his inseparable companion in his travels.390390   See Acts xx. and the following; Colossians iv. 14. 2 Tim. iv. 11. Philem. 14. This same Luke could easily know what he wrote concerning the life and death of Jesus, because he was born in a neighbouring place, and had travelled through Palestine, where, he says, he spake with them who were eye-witnesses of these things.391391   In the preface of him Gospel history. Without doubt there were many others (besides the apostles with whom he was acquainted) who were then alive, having been healed by Jesus, and who had seen him die, and come to life again. If we believe Tacitus and Suetonius, concerning those things which happened long before they were born, because we rely upon their diligent inquiry, how much more reasonable is it to believe this author, who says he had every thing from eye-witnesses? It is a constant tradition that Mark was a continual companion of Peter;392392   Irenæus, book iii. ch. 1. and Clemens in his Hypotyposes, cited in Eusebius’s eccles. hist. so that what he wrote is to be esteemed as if Peter himself, who could not be ignorant of those things, had dictated it: besides, almost every thing which he wrote is to be found in the writings of the apostles. Neither could the writer of the Revelations be deceived in those visions which he says were caused from heaven,393393   Rev. i. 1, 2. iv. 1. and the following; xxii. 18, 19, 20, 21. nor he to the Hebrews, in those things which he professes he was taught either by the Spirit of God, or by the apostles themselves.394394   Heb. ii. 4. v. 14. xiii. 7, 8, 23.

130
« Prev SECT. V. That these authors wrote what was true,… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |