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LONDON, 0. Rtch, 12 Red Lion Square,
EDITED BY REV. AUSTIN DICKINSON.
Office at the Bookstore of TAYLOR & Gould, corner of Spruce-street and Park-roro,
NO. 5. VOL. X.-OCT. 1835.
CONTENTS :-1. “ The Genuineness and Authenticity of
the Bible, and Madness of Infidelity." By Rev. Dr.
BROWNLEE. II. “ The History, Character, and Importance of the received
English Version of the Bible." By Rev. W. ADAMS.
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THE AUTHENTICITY AND GENUINENESS OF THE BIBLE, AND
MADNESS OF INFIDELITY. HOSEA viï. 12–I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted a
strange thing. The Holy Scriptures are transmitted to us, as containing a revelation from God. Our simple object, at present, will be to show that these Scriptures are genuine, and authentic. They are genuine :—that is, they have been written by the persons whose names they bear. They are authentic: that is,—they relate real matters of fact; and their doctrines and precepts are in exact accordance with the mind and will of God.
The proof of this is precisely of the same kind as that by which the authen. ticity and genuineness of any ancient books are established. Nay, it is the same form of argument, as that by which we establish the authenticity and genuineness of our Declaration of Independence, the statute laws of the land, and the history of our patriot fathers.
A political sceptic might say the same thing of these documents, which the religious sceptic utters relative to the Bible. I deny, he might say, the authenticity and genuineness of your laws, and your Declaration of Independence, which, you pretend, was drawn up in '76, and signed by the members of the old Congress. How should we meet this sceptic? Why, thus :-many witnesses were concerned in preparing this document ; the people saw it when first pub. lished; they read it; took copies of it; and handed it down to us : and the national monuments, such as the 4th of July, commemorate the same; as also our courts, and existing magistrates, and the whole order of our national affairs. Manifestly, then, these documents cannot be forgeries. They could not have been fabricated in the days of the old Congress. The people of that day could not have been so imposed on, as to believe them, if they had not seen with their eyes, and heard with their ears, all these Revolutionary movements, and documents.
Nor could these documents possibly have been fabricated since the death of those patriot fathers. How could any man, or any conspiracy of impostors,
VOL. 10. No. 5.
persuade the whole American nation, unanimously to receive, and credit the Declaration of our National Independence; and in memory thereof, to celebrate the 4th of July,—if no such national event had taken place ?
Perhaps some sceptical royalist may say,—There was, indeed, an Act of Independence made and declared; a Constitution for the United States formed ; and laws early enacted; but we have reason to suspect strongly, that the docu. ments which we now have, referring to those times, are neither genuine nor authentic : they are corrupt forgeries!
But how absurd the suggestion! They could not have been altered and corrupted in the days of the old Congress : for its members lived to detect, instantly, any such attempts at forgery. They could not have been altered, or corrupted since. For, before those primitive patriots died, millions of copies were promulged in America, and Europe! So that instant detection would have followed any attempt to add a word, or to detract from them!
Now, apply this form of argument to the proof of the authenticity and genuineness of the Holy Bible. Take for instance the writings of Moses, on which was founded the national religion of the Hebrews. Moses wrote out the national law and code of religion, from God. To establish before the nation his divine mission, he wrought many miracles, in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the desert. These facts were such, that men's outward senses could judge of them. They were performed in the most public manner. His divine mission being thus established, he delivered to the officers of the nation the code of laws and the system of religious worship; a copy of this was put in the hands of the rulers; a copy was publicly deposited in the ark; and this was, by a national law, brought out every seventh year, and read aloud in the ears of the national assemblies. See Deut, xxxi. 9-11 & 24–26.
In this public document Moses declares to the nation, that God had brought wasting judgments on Egypt, and had slain the first-born in every family; that he had brought them out from that land with a mighty arm; and had made them walk through the Red Sea in a miraculous manner; that he had fed them in the desert by a succession of miracles; that they, and their fathers had cel. ebrated the national festival of the Passover, to commemorate the escape of their first-born; that their daily sacrifices, and their weekly, monthly, and annual festivals were grand national monuments to perpetuate the memory of God's miracles. And he adds these solemn words :- Know ye, this day; for I speak not to your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the Lord, his greatness, his mighty hand, his miracles and acts,”—“ But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which he did.” Deut. xi. 2-7.
Now, Moses could not possibly have persuaded the whole Hebrew nation that these things had actually taken place BEFORE THEIR EYES, if they really had never so happened. He never could have persuaded a whole nation that they were circumcised to commemorate their covenant with God, if they had really not been circumcised. He could not have persuaded the nation to cele. brate The Passover in memory of their grand national deliverance, if they never had been so miraculously delivered. Their national celebration of all these grand festivals, was an unanimous national declaration of their unshaken faith in all these miracles of Moses, and his laws, and doctrines from God. Hence, these laws and institutions could not possibly have been fabricated by Moses, nor by any in his day, or in the days of those who came out of Egypt.
It is equally impossible that they could have been forged in an after age. What man can gravely allege that a whole nation, such as the Hebrews, could have been persuaded by any combination of impostors whatever, to believe, and to receive, as a nation, a code of laws on whose pages it was declared that they