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WHEN the following Enquiry into the Divine Millions of John the BAPTIST, and JESUS CHRIST, was first submitted to the Public, it was not introduced by any arguments, intended to prove, that those Passages, from the contents of which it is deduced, are genuine parts of the Two Gospels in which they are found. Those Passages being not only of great length, but likewise in their contents extremely remarkable; and having been transmitted, from the first ages of Christianity, as certainly authentic ; notwithstanding it was universally known to the Church at large, who transmitted them, that their contents were
garded as impossible, and therefore disbelieved, by some of the earliest Christian Sects; their authenticity was considered as necessarily included in that of their refpective Gospels ; and, therefore, as not standing in need of any separate proof.
But as there are persons who entertain a perfuafion, that even these passages; so remarkable in themselves, and so peculiarly circumstanced ; are in reality nothing better than fpurious interpolations; and the very object of the Enquiry into the Divine Missions of Jesus, and the Baptist, is to fhew, that the particulars recorded in these passages, considered by themselves alone, fupply us with one complete, and independent proof of the Divine Character of Jesus, and the truth of the Chriftian Revelation ; it cannot but be of service to the cause of Christianity in general ; as well as confirm the propriety, and promote the defired effect, of this Enquiry in particular; to prefix to it a direct, and special proof, that those Narratives, on the contents of which it is founded, must certainly have been authentic parts of the two Gospels, in which they have been transmitted to us.
WHETHER the following Arguments, now first advanced in proof of this point, will be found sufficient to establish it, the event alone can determine. But as they are the result of the Author's endeavours to strike out, for himself, such lights upon the subject, as might give even abundant satisfaction to his own mind; and he has not been able to discover any particular in which they are fallacious; he submits to the consideration of others, what
abfo. lutely conclufive to himself.