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thou the prophets? I know that thou believeft. Then Agrippa faid unto Paul, almost thou perfuadeft me to be a christian. And Paul faid, I would to God, that not only thou, but alfo all that hear me this. day, were both almost and altogether fucht as I am, except thefe bonds." In another chapter of the fame book he gives in fubftance the fame account to the Jews, adding thefe further particulars : "And I faid, what fhall I do, Lord? And the Lord faid unto me, Arife, and go into Damafcus, and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not fee for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were. were with me, I came into Damafcus. And one Ananias, a devout man, according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews that dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and faid unto me, brother Saul, receive thy fight; and the fame hour I looked up upon him. And he faid, the God of our fathers hath chofen thee, that thou fhouldft know his will, and fee that Juft One, and fhouldst hear the voice of his mouth. For thou fhalt be his witnefs unto all men of what thou haft feen and heard.
And now why tarrieft thou? Arise, and be baptifed, and wash away thy fins, calling on the name of the Lord." Acts, chap. xxii. ver. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
In the ixth chapter of the fame book, the author of it relates the fame story with fome other circumstances not mentioned in these accounts: As, that Saul in a vifion faw Ananias before he came to him, coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his fight. Acts, chap. ix. ver. 11. And that when Ananias had spoken to him, immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been fcales. A&ts, ibid. ver. 18.
And agreeably to all these accounts, St. Paul thus fpeaks of himself in the epiftles he wrote to the feveral churches he planted; the authenticity of which cannot be doubted without overturning all rules, by which the authority and genuineness of any writings can be proved, or confirmed.
To the Galatians he fays, "I certify you, brethren, that the gofpel which was preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jefus Christ. For ye have heard of my converfation in time paft in the Jews religion, how
that beyond meafure I perfecuted the church of God, and wafted it; and profited in the Jews religion above many mine equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the tradition of my fathers. But when it pleafed God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood," &c. Gal. chap. i. ver. JI, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
To the Philippians he fays, "If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might truft in his flefh, I more: circumcifed the eighth day, of the ftock of Ifrael, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews. As touching the law, a Pharifee; concerning zeal, perfecuting the church; touching the righteoufness which is in the law, blamelefs. But what things were gain to me, those I counted lofs for Chrift. Yea doubtlefs, and I count all things but lofs for the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift Jefus my Lord, for whom I have fuffered the lofs of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." Phil. ch. iii. ver. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
And in his epistle to Timothy he writes thus: "I thank Jefus Chrift our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." Tim. ch. i. ver. 12, 13.
In other epiftles he calls himself an apostle by the will of God, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jefus Chrift ;.... and an apostle not of men, neither by man, but by Jefus Chrift, and God the Father who raifed him from the dead. 2 Cor. ch. i. ver. 1. Col. ch. i. ver. 1. 1 Tim. ch. i. ver. 1. Gal. ch. i. ver. 1. All which implies fome miraculous call that made him an apostle. And to the Corinthians he fays, after enumerating many appearances of Jefus after his refurrection, "And laft of all he was feen of me alfo, as of one born out of due time." I Cor. ch. xv. ver. 8.
Now it must of neceffity be, that the perfon attesting these things of himself, and of whom they are related in fo authentic a manner, either was an impoftor, who faid what he knew to be falfe with an intent to deceive or he was an enthufiaft, who by
the force of an over-heated imagination imposed on himself; or he was deceived by the fraud of others, and all that he faid must be imputed to the power of that deceit; or what he declared to have been the cause of his converfion, and to have happened in confequence of it, did all really happen; and therefore the christian religion is a divine revelation.
Now that he was not an impoftor, who faid what he knew to be falfe with an intent to deceive, I fhall endeavour to prove, by fhewing that he could have no rational motives to undertake fuch an imposture, nor could have poffibly carried it on with any fuccefs by the means we know he employed.
First then, the inducement to fuch an impofture must have been one of these two, either the hope of advancing himself by it in his temporal intereft, credit, or power; or the gratification of fome of his paffions under the authority of it, and by the means it afforded.
Now these were the circumstances in which St. Paul declared his converfion to the faith of Chrift Jefus; that Jefus who called himself the Meffiah, and Son of God, notwithstanding the innocence and holiness