gin, Isa. . ^ : 14, in the city of Bethlehem, Micah
5 : 2, of the seed of Jesse, Isa. 11:1, 10 ; that he
should lead a life of poverty and suffering, Psalm
22, inflicted upon him, "not for himself," Dan.
9 : 26, but for the sins of others, Isa. 53 ; and after
a short confinement in the grave, should rise
again, Psalm 16 : 10 ; Acts 2 : 27, 31, and 13 : 35-
3T ; that he " should sit upon the throne of David
for ever," and be called "the mighty God," Isa.
9:6, 1, " the Lord our righteousness," Jer. 33 : 16,
" Immanuel, that is, God with us," Isa. t : 14 ;
Matt. 1 : 23 ; and by David himself, whose son he
was according to the flesh, "Lord," Psalm 110:1,
applied to Christ by himself. Matt. 22 : 44, and by
Peter, Acts 2 : 34.
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 113
The time of his incarnation was to be before
" the sceptre should depart from Judah," Gen.
49 : 10, dm'ing the continuance of the second tem-
ple, Hag. 2 : t, 9, and within seventy weeks, or
four hundred and ninety days, that is, according to
the constant interpretation of prophecy, four hun-
dred and ninety years from its erection, Dan.
9 : 24.
From these, and many other predictions, the
coming of Christ was at all times the general ex-
pectation of the Jews ; and fully matured at the
time of his actual advent, as may be inferred from
the i^umber of false Messiahs who appeared about
That he was Ukewise the expectation of the
Gentiles, in conformity to the prophecies of Gen.
49:10, and Hag. 2:7, where the terms ''peo-
ple," and "nations," denote the heathen world, is
evinced by the coming of the wise men from the
East, etc., a story which would of course have
been contradicted by some of the individuals so
disgracefully concerned in it, if the fact of their
arrival, and the consequent massacre of the infants
in and about Bethlehem, had not been fresh in
every one's memory : by them, for instance, who
afterwards suborned false witnesses agamst Christ,
and gave large money to the soldiers to conceal, if
possible, the event of his resurrection ; or them
lU METHOD WITH DEISTS.
who, iu still later clays, everywhere zealously
"spake agamst" the tenets and practices of his
All over the East, indeed, there was a general
tradition, that ahout that time a king of the. Jews
would he horn, who should govern the whole earth.
This prevailed so strongly at Rome, a few months
before the bii'th of Augustus, that the Senate made
a decree to expose all the children born that year ;
but the execution of it was eluded by a trick of
some of the senators, who, from the pregnancy of
their wives, were led to hope that they might be
the fathers of the promised Prince. Its currency
is also recorded with a remarkable identity of
phrase by the pens of Suetonius and Tacitus.
Now, that in this there was no collusion between
the Chaldeans, Romans, and Jews, is sufficiently
proved by the desperate methods suggested, or
carried into effect, for its discomfiture. Nor in
fact, is it practicable for whole nations of contem-
porary, and still less, if possible, for those of suc-
cessive generations to concert a story perfectly
harmonious in all its minute accompaniments of
time, place, manner, and other circumstances.
In addition to the above general predictions of
the coming, life, death, and resurrection of Christ,
there are others which foretell still more strikingly
several particular incidents of the gospel narrative â€”
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 115
instances unparalleled in the whole range of his-
tory, and which could have been foreseen by God
alone. They were certainly not foreseen by the
human agents concerned in their execution, or they
would never have contributed to the fulfilment of
prophecies referred even by themselves to the
Messiah, and therefore verifying the divine mis-
sion of Him whom they crucified as an impostor.
Observe then, how literally many of these pre-
dictions were fulfilled. For example, read Psalm
69 : 21, " They gave me gall to eat, and vinegar to
drink;" and compare Matt. 21 : 34, "They gave
him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall." Again,
it is said, Psalm 22:16-18, "They pierced my
hands and my feet. They part my garments
among them, and cast lots upon my vesture ;"*
* The soldiers did not tear his coat, because it was with-
out seam, woven from the top throughout ; and therefore
they cast lots for it. But this was to human view entirely
accidental. With the passage in the Psalms, as Eomans,
they were not likely to be acquainted. The same remark
applies to the next instance, from Zechariah.
And here it may be suggestedâ€” in reply to those who
insidiously magnify " the power of chance, the ingenuity
of accommodation, and the industry of research," as chiefly
supporting the credit of obscure prophecy â€” that greater
plainness would have enabled wicked men, as free agents,
to prevent its accomplishment, when obviously directed
against themselves. The Jews, not understanding what
Christ meant by his "lifting up," John 8:28; 12:32, 33,
116 METHOD WITH DEISTS.
as if it had been written after. John 19 : 23, 24.
It is predicted, likewise, Zech. 12 : 10, " They shall
look upon me whom they have pierced ;" and we
are told, John 19:34, that "one of the soldiers
with a spear pierced his side."
Compare also Psalm 22 : t, 8, " All they that see
me laugh me to scorn : they shoot out their lips,
and shake their heads, saying. He trusted in God
that he would deliver him ; let him deliver him, see-
ing he delighted in him ;" with Matt. 21 : 39, 41, 43,
" And they that passed by reviled him, wagging
their heads, and saying. Come down from the cross.
Likewise also the chief priests, mocking him, with
the scribes and elders, said, He trusted in God:
let him deliver him now, if he will have him ; for
and not knowing that he had foretold his crucifixion to his
apostles, Matt. 20 : 19, instead of finally stoning him â€” the
death appointed by their law, Lev. 24 : 16, for blasphemy.
Matt. 26 : 65, more than once menaced against the Saviour,
John 8 : 59 ; 10 : 33, and actually inflicted upon Stephen, Acts
7 : 58, for that offence â€” unconsciously delivered him to the
predicted Roman cross. Again, the piercing of his side
was no part of the Roman sentence, but merely to ascertain
his being dead previously to taking him down fi-om the
cross; "that the body might not remain there on the Sab-
bath-day," which commenced that evening a few hours
after the crucifixion. From his early givi?ig uj) the ghost,
however, it was not necessary that " a bone of him should
be broken,'- Exod. 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20, like
those of the two thieves, his fellow-sufferers, John 19 : 32-36.
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 117
he said, I am the Son of God." His very price,
and the mode of laying out tlie money, previously
specified, Zech, 11-: 13, are historically stated by
Matthew, in perfect correspondence with the proph-
et, chap. 21 : 6, 1. And his riding into Jerusalem
upon an ass, predicted Zech. 9 : 9, and referred by
one of the most learned of the Jewish Rabbies to
the Messiah, is recorded by the same inspired his-
torian, chap. 21:5. Lastly, it was foretold that
" He should make his grave with the wicked, and
with the rich in his death," Isa. 53 : 9 ; or, as Dr.
Lowth translates the passage, " His grave was
appointed with the wicked, but with the rich man
was his tomb ;" which prediction was precisely
verified by the very improbable incidents of his
being crucified between two thieves, Matt. 27 : 38, and
afterwards laid in the tomb of the rich man of Arima-
thca. Matt. 21 : 51, 60.
Thus do the prophecies of the Old Testament,
without variation or ambiguity, refer to the person
and character of Christ. His own predictions in"
the New, demand a few brief observations.
Those relating to the destruction of Jerusalem,
which specified that it should be "laid even with
the ground," and " not one stone be left upon an-
other," Luke 9 : 44, "before that generation pass-
ed," Matt. 24 : 34, were fulfilled in a most surpris-
ii\2:ly literal manner, the very foundations of the
118 METHOD WITH DEISTS.
temple being ploughed up by Turnus Rufus. In
another remarkable prophecy he announced the
many false Messiahs that should come after him,
and the ruin in which their followers should be
involved. Matt. 24 : 24-26. That great numbers
actually assumed that holy character before the
final fall of the city, and led the people into the
wilderness to their destruction, we learn from Jo-
sephus. Antiq. Jud. 18 : 12 ; 20 : 6 ; and B. J.
8 : 31. Nay, such was their wretched infatuation,
that under this delusion they rejected the offers
of Titus, who courted them to peace. Ibid. B. J.
It will be sufficient barely to mention his fore-
telling the dispersion of that unhappy nation, and
the triumph of his gospel over the gates of hell,
under every possible disadvantage â€” himself low
and despised, his immediate associates only twelve,
and those illiterate and unpolished ; and hia adver-
saries the allied powers, prejudices, habits, inter-
ests, and appetites of mankind.
But the seventh mark is still more peculiar, if
possible, to Christ, than even that of prophecy. For
whatever may be weakly pretended with regard to
the oracular predictions of Delphi or Dodona, the
heathens never affected to prefigure any future
event by types, or resemblances of the fact, con-
sisting of analogies either in individuals, or in sen-
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 119
sible institutions directed to be continued, till the
antitype itself should make its appearance.
These types, in the instance of Christ, were of a
twofold nature, circumstantial and 'personal.
Of the fomicr kind, not to notice the general rite
of sacrifice, may be produced as examples :
1. The Passover, appointed in memory of that
great night when the destroying angel, who slew
all ''the first-born of Egypt," passed over those
houses upon whose door-posts the blood of the
paschal lamb was sprinkled ; and directed to be
eaten with what the apostle, 1 Cor. 5 : t, 8, calls
" the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
2. The annual expiation, in two respects : first,
as the high-priest entered into the holy of holies,
representing heaven, Exod. 25 : 40 ; Heb. 9 : 24,
with the blood of the sacrifice, whose body was
burnt without the camp, " wherefore Jesus also,
that he might sanctify the people with his own
blood, suffered without the gate," Heb. 13 : 12 ;
and " after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for
ever sat down at the right hand of God," Heb.
10 : 12 ; and secondly, as "all the iniquity of the
children of Israel was put upon the head" of the
scape-goat. Lev. 16 : 21.
3. The brazen serpent, by looking up to which the
people were cured of the stings of the fiery ser-
pents ; and whose "lifting up" was, by Christ
120 METHOD WITH DEISTS.
himself, interpreted as emblematical of his being
lifted up on the cross. John 3 : 14.
4. The manna, which represented "the bread of
life that came down from heaven." John 6 : 31-35.
5. The rock, whence the waters flowed to sui>
ply drink in the wilderness ; " and that rock was
Christ." 1 Cor. 10 : 4.
6. The Sahhath, " a shadow of Christ," Col. 2:16,
It ; ^nd as a figm*e of his eternal rest, denomi-
nated " a sign of the perpetual covenant." Exod.
31 : 16, n ; Ezek. 20 : 12, 20. And lastly, to omit
The temjpk, where alone the shadowy sacrifices
were to be offered, because Christ, " the body,"
was to be offered there himself.
Of personal types, likewise, I shall confine my-
self to such as are so considered in the New Tes-
1. Adam, between whom and Christ a striking
series of relations is remarked. Rorn. 5 : 12-21,
and 1 Cor. 15 : 45-49.
2. Noah, who was " saved by water ; the like
figure whereunto, even baptism, doth now save us,
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter
3. Melchizcdek, king of Salem, who was made
"like unto the Son of God, a priest continually."
Heb. t : 3.
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 121
4. Abraham, " the heir of the world," Kom. 4:13,
" in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed."
5. Isaac, in his birth and intended sacrifice, whence
also his father received him in a figure, Heb. 11 : 19,
that is, of the resurrection of Christ. He too was
the promised seed. Gen. 21 : 12, and Gal. 3:16, in
whom all the nations of the earth were to be bless-
ed. Gen. 22:18.
6. Jacob, in his vision of the ladder, Gen. 28 : 12,
and John 1:51, and his wrestling with the angel ;
whence he, and after him the church, obtained the
name of Israel. Gen. 32 : 28, and Matt. 11 : 21.
The gentile world also, like Jacob, gained the
blessing and heirship from their elder brethren
1. Moses, Deut 18 : 18, and John 1 : 45, in re-
deeming the children of Israel out of Egypt.
8. Joshua, called also Jesus, Heb. 4 : 8, in acquir-
ing for them the possession of the Holy Laiid, and
as lieutenant to the " Captain of the host of the
Lord." Josh. 5 : 14.
9. David, Psalm 16:10, and Acts 2:25-35,
upon whose throne Christ is said to sit, Isa. 9 : 1,
and by whose name he is frequently designated,
Hos. 3:5, etc., in his pastoral, regal, and propheti-
10. Jonah, in his dark imprisonment of three
122 METHOD WITH DEISTS.
days, applied by Christ to himself. Matthew
The eighth mark is, that the facts of Christianity
are such as to make it impossible for either the re-
laters or the hearers to believe them, if false, with-
out supposing a universal deception of the senses of
For they were related by the doers, or by eye-
witnesses, to those who themselves likewise either
were, or might have been present, and undoubt-
edly knew many that were present at their per-
formance. To this circumstance, indeed, both
Christ and his apostles often appeal. And they
were of such a nature as wholly to exclude every
chance of imposition. What juggler could have
given sight to him "that was born blind," have
fed five thousand hungry guests with " five loaves
and two fishes," or have raised one who had been
/'four days buried," from his grave?
When, then, we add to this, that none of the
Jewish or Roman persecutors of Christianity, to
whom its first teachers frequently referred as wit-
nesses of those facts, ever ventured to deny them ;
that no apostate disciple, under the fear of punish-
ment, or the hope of reward, not even the artful
and accomphshed Julian himself, ever pretended to
detect them ; that neither learning nor ingenuity,
in the long lapse of so many years, has been able
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 123
to show their falsehood, though, for the first three
centuries after their promulgation, the civil govern-
ment strongly stimulated hostile inquiry ; and that
their original relators, after lives of unintermitted
hardship, joyfully incurred death in defence of their
truth. We cannot imagine the possibility of a
more perfect or abundant demonstration.
It now rests with the Deists, if they would vin-
dicate their claim to the self-bestowed title of ^^ rmn
of reason,^^ to adduce some matters of fact of former
ages, which they allow to be true, possessing evi-
dence superior, or even similar, to those of Christ.
This, however, it must at the same time be ob-
served, would be far from proving the matters of
fact respecting Christ to be false ; but certainly
without this, they cannot reasonably assert that
their own facts alone, so much less powerfully
attested, are true.
Let them produce their Caesar, or Mahomed,
1. Performing a fact, of which men's outward
senses can judge ;
2. Publicly, in the presence of witnesses ;
3. In memory of which, public monuments and
actions are kept up ;
4. Instituted and commencing at the time of the
5. Recorded likewise in a set of books addressed
to the identical people before whom it was per-
124 METHOD WITH DEISTS.
formed, and containing their whole code of civil and
6. As the work of one previously announced for
that very period by a long \Y2im oi p-oj)hecies ;
7. And still more peculiarly prefigured by types,
both of a circumstantial and personal nature, from
the earliest ages ; and,
8. Of such a character as made it impossible for
either the relaters or hearers to beheve it, if false,
without supposing a universal deception of the senses
Farther, let them display, in its professed eye-
witnesses, similar proofs of veracity ; in some doctrinÂ£s
founded upon it, and unaided by force or intrigue,
a like triumph over the prejudices and passions of
mankind ; among its believers, equal skill and^equal
diligence in scrutinizing its evidences, or let them
SUBiriT TO THE IRRESISTIBLE CERTAINTY OF THE CHRIS-
And now, reader, solemnly consider what that re-
ligion is, the truth of which is proved by so many
decisive marks. It is a declared revelation from
God ; pronounces all men guilty in his sight ; pro-
claims pardon, as his free gift through the merito-
rious righteousness, sacrifice, and intercession of his
only Son, to all who trust alone in his mercy and
grace, cordially repenting and forsaking their sins ;
rcfjuires fervent love, ardent zeal, and cordial sub-
METHOD WITH DEISTS. 125
mission towards himself, and the highest degree of
personal purity and temperance, with rectitude and
benevolence towards others ; and offers the aid of
the Holy Spirit for these purposes, to all who sin-
cerely ask it. Consider, this rehgion is the oidy true
one, and while it promises peace on earth and eter-
nal happiness to all who do receive and obey it, it
denounces everlasting destruction against all who
do not. It is in vain for you to admit its truth,
unless you receive it as your confidence, and obey
it as your rule. Study, then, embrace it for your-
self; and may the God of love and peace be with
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL,
A LETTER TO GILBERT WEST, ESQ.
" It is stated by Rev. T. T. Biddolph, that Lord
Lyttelton and his friend Gilbert West, Esq., both
men of acknowledged talents, had imbibed the prin-
ciples of infidelity from a superficial view of the
Scriptures. ^uUy persuaded that the Bible was an
imposture, they were determined to expose the
cheat. Lord Lyttelton chose the Conversion of
Paul, and Mr. West the Resurrection of Christ, for
the subject of hostile criticism. Both sat down to
then* respective tasks full of prejudice ; but the re-
sult of their separate attempts was, that they were
both converted by their efforts to overthrow the
truth of Christianity. They came together not as
they expected, to exult over an imposture exposed
to ridicule, but to lament over their own folly, and
to felicitate each other on their joint conviction
that the Bible â€¢was the word of God. Their able
inquiries have furnished two of the most valuable
treatises in favor of revelation, one entitled, ' Ob-
servations on the Conversion of St. Paul,' and the
other, ' Observations on the Resurrection of Christ.'"
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.
Sir â€” in a late conversation we liad upon the
subject of the Christian religion, I told you, that
besides all the proofs of it which may be drawn
from the prophecies of the Old Testament, from
the necessary connection it has with the whole
system of the Jewish religion, from the miracles
of Christ, and from the evidence given of his resur-
rection by all the other apostles, I thought the con-
version and the apostleship of St. Paul alone, duly
considered, was of itself a demonstration sufficient
to prove Christianity to be a divine revelation.
As you seemed to think that so compendious a
proof might be of use to convince those unbelievers
that will not attend to a longer series of arguments,
I have thrown together the reasons upon which I
support that proposition.
In the 26th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles,
wTitten by a contemporary author, and a compan-
ion of St. Paul in preaching the gospel â€” as appears
by the book itself, chap..20 : 6, 13, 14 ; 2t : 1, etc.â€”
130 CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.
St. Paul is said to have given, himself, this account
of his conversion and preaching, to king Agrippa
and Festus the Koman governor : " My manner of
life from my j^outh, which was, at the first, among
mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews ;
which knew me from the beginning, if they would
testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion,
I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am
judged for the hope of the promise made by God
unto our fathers ; unto which promise our twelve
tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope
to come ; for which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I
am accused by the Jews. A^Tiy should it be
thought a thing incredible with you, that God
should raise the dead? I verily thought with
myself, that I ought to do many things contrary
to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I
also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints did I
shut up in prison, having received authority from
the chief priests ; and when they were put to
death, I gave my voice against them. And I pun-
ished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled
them to blaspheme ; and being exceedingly mad
against them, I persecuted them even unto strange
cities. Whereupon, as I went to Damascus with
authority and commission from the chief priests,
at mid-day, king, I saw in the way a light from '
heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL. 131
round about me, and them which journeyed with
mc. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I
heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the
Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
me ? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
And I said. Who art thon, Lord ? And he said, I
am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, stand
upon thy feet ; for I have appeared unto thee for
this purpose, to make thee a minister, and a wit-
ness both of those things which thou hast seen,
and of those things in the which I will appear unto
thee ; delivering thee from the people, and from
the Gentiles, unto whom I now send thee, to open
their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to
light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that
they may receive forgiveness of sins and inherit-
ance among them which are sanctified by faith that
is in me. Whereupon, king Agrippa, I was not
disobedient to the heavenly vision; but showed
first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem,
and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and to the
Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God,
and do works meet for repentance. For these
causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and
went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained
help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing
both to small and great, saying none other things
than those which Moses and the prophets did say
132 CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.
should come : That Christ should suffer, and that
he should be the first that should rise from the
dead, and should show light to the people, and to
the Gentiles. And as he thus spake for himself,
Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art be-
side thyself : much- learning doth make thee mad.
But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but
speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For
the king knoweth of these things, before whom
also I speak freely ; for I am persuaded that none
of these things are hidden from him ; for this thing
was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, behev-
est thou the prophets ? I know that thou be-
lievest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost
thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul
said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also
all that hear me this day, were both almost and
altogether such as I am, except these bonds." In
another chapter of the same book, he gives in sub-
stance the same account to the Jews, adding these
further particulars : " And I said, What shall I do,
Lord ? And the Lord said unto me. Arise, and go
into Damascus ; and there it shall be told thee of
all things which are appointed for thee to do. And
when I could not see for the glory of that light,
being led by the hand of them that were with me,
I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a de-
vout man according to the law, having a good
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL. 133
report of all the Jews that dwelt there, came unto
me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul,
receive thy sight ; and the same hour I looked up
upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers
hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his