Andrewes - Heaven Collection BV4655 .A6 1675b

48 Chap. ¡z Chrtfiianandjelri religion di(ferenced. IntroduEc, CHAP. XII. Special reafons for theChriffian Religionas- differing from the 3ewifh. It purgeth the Soul. Shews that God is vaaiosuo& The teftimony of the Apoftles and Evangelifts; the knowledge of what they wrote, their Honefly.. Thecredit of thefiery. Teflimonyfront Pagans. TheStar at Citrifls birth. The crop faredwith the Egyptians. The mira- clesat Chriffs death' Theprogrefs of Chriftiánity, by weak means, oppofed by power and learning ; contrary toPlefh andBlood; the excellencyof theproms:As, power inconverfi- on:. The truthof Chrifis Miracle,. The conffanc) of' Martyrs, Theends of the Ape: les. The Devils teftimony agai ft himfelf. 6C Aint Auguffine(out of Porphyriuá(de regrew anime)one of the greateft enemies that Lit TO. ever the Church of God had ) faith, that there is no true Religion, that confeffeth de civ. dti nor, that the Soul of man ought to be purged, and addeth, that the Platonifts re- 3 t ceived from the Caldeans, that the Spul of man, non potuit perfici nifs per principia: and we know that'Plaron principles were r, Ha, teat,, the Father, the mind and love, which wasan enigmatical fpeechofour Trinity. But noReligion teacheth thepurga- R°' $' 3' non ofthe Soul, but ours. And it teacheth, that the word tookthe fimilitude of fin- ful fief: to purgeaway the finof Man. Therefore our Religion is the true, all other arc meetly fabulous. For their Exorcifines and Sacrifices are meetly corporeal, not fpiritual, and the ChriftiansGod is not like theHeathen Gods. z. God is mtidt9p7t a lover of Man , hedelighteth not in cutting of Throats, or burning men to afhes, like to theDevils, towhom Virgins, Babes, old and young men were facrificed. And the facrifices in the oldLaw were tared in there 2 refpedts. I. To be Types ofthings in theGofpel. 2. To admonifh men, that they have defer- ved tobe flain and facrificed; But God is fo far from the fat;ificing of men to him, that he himfelf came down fromHeaven, and fufiered for us, offering himfelf a facrifice for our fins, and what greater love can therebe, than thatà man fhould give his life for thathe loveth, there can be nogreater mt>, =rap:ma than this. 3. For the credit of the Gofpel, we have Evangelilts and Apoftlesfor witneffes ; And in witneffes two things are required, Knowledge and Honefty. r. For Skill andKnowledge, That which ourwitneffes have left usupon record, is not taken upon truft, but they relatedit aseye- witneffes. And none of theirs, either Homer, Plato, or any of them can lay, as Saint John laid, That whichwe, haveheard, which we have feen with our Eyes, whichwehave looked upon, andour hands have handled. For they had theirs froth others, and but upon bare report. Betides, neither any of their ancient or latter Hiftorians, though they hated the writers of the Scriptures, durft at any time offerto ferpen to paper againít them. z. For thehoneftyof our witncffes, there can beno better reafon or proof given, thanihat which 7acituo confirmthe teftimony of anhoneft witncfs,which is, ibaa nullunt eft mendaeü premium, that have no reward for telling anantruth. And certainly, the Evangelifts and Apoftles had nothing for their pains, nay theywere fo far from that, as that they fealed their reftimonies, with the Blood of Martyrdome. ;. For thecredit of the Story it felt. We know,, that the Sybils Oracles were in fogreat credit among the Heathen, that they were generally beleived, Now, if they be true, which we have of them,as there's noqueftion but many ofthem are,(divers of s John r. t. which.we refer to Chrift, being mentioned in their own writers, Virgil, Cicero' and others.) it will follow, thatnothing'tanmake more in their efteem, for the credit and truth of the Nativity, life anddeath of Chrift, than their Oracles, forwe may fee almoft every circumltance in them; endby reading their verles eivers of their lear- nedmen were converted to Chriftinaty, as Meercellima, Secundan tes and others. q., Tacitas and Suetonius fay, that about Chrifts time it was bruited through the world, that the King that fhould rule over all the world, should comeout of ,7ury,and forthis caufeit was that not onlyrefpafian, but Auguftirs and Tiberias (who had heard the like) had a purpofe to have deftroyedall the Jews, even the whole Nation of them, becaufe they wouldbe fore to include that Tribe out of which this King fhould come. $ Coelio