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OF JESUS CHRIST, and kis APOSTLES, G! 401 coul amongst the exquisite sufferings of sach tedious execution, rather han renounce his religion, or blaspheme his Sariour. Such trials seen lo us above the strength of human nature, and able to over bear duty, reason, faith, conviction, nay, and the most absolute certainty of a future state. Humanity unasisted in an extraordinacy manner, must have shaken off the present pressure, and have delivered itself out of such a dreadful distress, by any means that could have been suggested to it. We can easily ima. gine, that many persons, in so good a cause, might have laid down tbeir lives at the gibbet, the stake, or the block : bat to expire leisurely amongst the most exquisite tortores, when they might come out of them, even by a mental reservation or an hypocrisy, which was not without a possibility of being followed by repentance and forgiveness, has something in it so far be. yond the force and natural strength of mortals, that one cannot but think there was some miracalous power to support the sufferer.
We find the church of Smyrna in that admirable letter which gives, aq account of the death of Poycap their beloved bishop, mentioning the cruel torments of other early martyrs of Christianity, are of opinion, that our Saviour stood by them in a vision, and personally conversed with them, to give them strength and comfort during the bitterness of their long continned agonies; and we have the story of a young man, who having suffered many tortures, escaped with life, and told his fellow Christians, that the pain of them had been rendered tolerable, by the presence of an angel who stood by him wiped off the tears and sweat, which ran down his face whilst he lay under his fufferings. We are assured, at least, that the first Martyr for Christianity was encouraged in his last moments, by a vision of that divine Person, for whom he suffered, and into wbose presence he was then hastening
There are predictions of our Saviour recorded by the evangelists, which were not completed till after their deaths, and bad no likelihood of being so, when they were pronounced by the blessed Saviour. Such was that won, derful notice he gave them, that they should be brought before governors and kings for his sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles, Mat. *. 18. with the other like prophecies, by which he foretold that his disciples were to be persecuted.
Origen insists with great strength, on that wonderful prediction of our Saviour concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, pronounced at a time as he observes, when there was no likelihood nor appearance of it. This has been taken notice of and inculcated by so many others, that we shall refer you to what this father has said on the subject in his first book against Celsus. And as to the accoinplishment of this remarkable prophecy, shall only observe, that whoever reads the account given os by Josephus, with, out knowing his character, and compares it with what our Saviour fore, told, would think the historian had nothing else in view but to adjust the event to the prediction.
The ancient Christians were so entirely persuaded of the force of our Saviour's prophecies and of the punishment which the Jews had drawn upon themselves, & upon their children : for the treatment which the Messiah had received at their hands, that they did not doubt they would always remain an abandoned & dispersed people, & hissing and an astonishment amongst the nations, as they are to this day. In short, that they had lost their peculiarity of being God's people, which was now transferred to the body of Christians, and which preserved the church of Christ amongst all the conflicts, difficulties, and persecutioos in which it was engaged, as it had preserved the Jewish government and economy for 80 many'ages, whilst it had the same truth and vital principle in it, notwithstanding it was so frequently in danger of being utterly abolished and destroyed. Origen, in his fourth book against Celsus, mentioning their being cast out of Jero"salem, to which their worship was annexed, deprived of their temple and sacrifice, their religious rites and solemnities, and scatterd over the face of
the earth, ventures to assure them with a face of confidence, that they would never be re-established, since they had committed that horrid crime against the Saviour of the world. This was a bold assertion in the good man, who knew how this people had been so wonderfully re-established in former times, when they were almost swallowed up, and in the most desperate state of desolation, as in their deliverance out of the Bebylonish captivity, and the oppressions of Antiochus Epiphanes: Dey, ho knew that within less than an hundred years before his own time, the Jews had made such a powerful effort for their re-establishment under Barchoeab, in the reign of Adrian, as shook the whole Roman empire: but he founded his opinion on a sure word of prophecy, and on the punishment they had so justly incurred; and we find by a long experieuce of fifteen hundred years, that he was not mistaken, nay, that his opinion gathers strength daily, since the Jews are now at a greater distance from any pro bability of such a re-establishment, than they were when Origen wrote.
In the primitive times, the christian religion shewed it's full force and efficacy on the minds of men, and many examples demonstrated what great and generous souls it was capable of prodacing. It exalted and re. fined its proselytes to a very high degree of perfection, and set them far above the pleasures, and even the pains of this life. It strengthened the jofirmity, and broke the fierceness of human nature. It lifted up the mindą. of the ignorant to the knowledge and worship of him that made them, and inspired the vicious with a rational deyotion, a strict pority of heart, and an unbounded love to their fellow-creatures. In proportion as it spread through the world, it seemed to change mankind, into another species of beings. No sooner was a convert initiated into it, but by an easy figure he became a new man, and buth acted and looked upon himself as one regenerated and born a second time into another state of existence.
But we find no argament made a stronger impression on the minds of these enient Paganiconverts, for strengthening their faith in the history of our Saviour, than the predictions relating to him in those old prophetic writers, which were deposited amongst the hands of the greatest eno mies to Christianity, and owned by them to have been extant many ages before his appearance. The learned Heathen converts were aston. jshed to see the whole history of their Saviour's life published before he was born, and to find that the evangelists and prophets, in their accounts of the Messiah, differed only in point of time, the one foretelling what should happen to him, and the other describing those very particulars as what had actually happened. This our Saviour himself was pleased to make use of as the strongest argument of his being the promised Messiah, and without it would hardly have reconciled his disciples to the ignominy of his death, as in that remarkable passage which mentions his çonyersatioa with the two disciples, on the day of his resurrection, St. Luke xxiv. 13, to the end. Besides, the Heathen converts after having travelled through all human learning, and fortified their minds with the knowledge of arts and sciences, were particularly qualified to examine these prophecies with great care and impartiality, and without prejudice or prepossession; so as to establish in their minds the firm belief of the truth and excellency of the Christian religion, beyond the least degree of a doubt concerning it.
Nehemiah H. Fitch.
Jacob Hazen Eben. Hartshora.
* Luke Wadsworth. Seth Cowls Gad Cowls
Dayid Abbe Mary I. ChenevardP. W. Gallaudet
Submit Lyman Cyrus Woodruff Susan E. Seymour
Doct. Mather Elizabeth Burr Sally McCombs
Lucy Caulkins Jared Scarborough
John Southmayd Horace Porter
Wm. Trowbridge Jebial Jobnson Benjamin Tuel
NORWICH. Theophilus Yale Solomon WilliamsNath. Herrick, jr. John De Witt Eras. Wentworth James J. Hyde" Eliphalet Carew Ephraim Harris Joho Pendleton Sally Carew 'Sim. Huntington Eben. W. Tobey Elizabeth Willard Thomas L. Thomas Philemon Havens Chas. F.Herrington Eliab Hyde Eliphalet Baldwin Jähn Hyde William Bebee Sarah Hyde Elisha Tracy Giles Lhomedieu Dewey Brumbley Ebenezer Hydejr. Thos. H. Bushnell William Callyhan Mary Hill David Gilson Samuel Manning David N. Bentley Eliab Rogers Samuel Ripley Maria Brewster". Joseph Chester Joshua Maples Mary. I. Rogers' Sally Hatch.
NEW LONDON Peter Richards R. W. Parkin Nancy Maniere Richard Douglass Abby Lieeds Nathaniel Ledyard Lucy Douglass Mary
Penniman George Chapman Stephen Peck" Johá Ferguson, jr. Ann Frink Elizabeth Hurlbut Susan F. Fox Ralph Stoddard?" "Bridget Barber Daniel Starr William Williams Thomas Williams.
Bartlett S. V. D. Shattock
PROVIDÊNCE, (R. I.) William Price Samuel C. Tobey Oliver Cain Thomas B Mitchel William Eddy Peter Langby John Spelmon D. Willard John Calder William Aplin Sarah Brown
Harvey Scott George E. Brown Thomas Caprons Sarah Jenckes Rath Jones Benja. Luther, jf. John H. Hamlin Sarah Humphrey Susannah Rawson Luther Bush Peter Grinnel, ád Mrs. Richardson Elvia R. Wood Daniel V. Ross Lynda Shaw
Eliza Arnold Nicholas Dami . 'S. Thayer
Abby Peck Joseph Fuller Benjamin Hebbard Louisa Thornton Stephen-Jackson William Hunter S. G. Arnold 2Nancy Mason
Knight Dexter John R. Peck
Spencer George Spafford Jabez Clark Elnathan Warner Benjamin Dyer Henry De Witt Jonathan Walcott Andrew Robinson Chas. Huntington Joseph Huntington Henry Webb Eliab Hills
Azariah Sawyer Abner Reed John A. Smith Justin Blackman Malatiah Martin J. Huntington 2 Philip Hayward Jabez Dyer George W. Webb Lucius C. Frink Amelia Badger Joseph Geer. Zephaniah Ripley
C. 11. Hupljagtón 8Sally Hartshorn A bijah Parker Betsey Littlefiela i Eliph. Huntington Rufus Cary Socrates Balcam Zilpha Robinson Orrio Ormsby Sanford Kingsbury Dan-Lincoln Sally Spafford Nathaniel Howes William Morgan Joseph D. Fitch Elijab Bibbins Calvin Backus Eunice Stoddard Festus Reed Lucy Bingham Dillicena Millard Charlotte Mainard Thomas Bingham Jesse Abbe Charles Beckwith Ebenezer Ballard John Cary Clark Burnett.
writio Webb 185