96 ESSAYS PHILOSOPHICAL, MORAL, 8:12.

rical accounts of Cmfar or Alexander, becaufe the hiliorians of thofe celebrated conquerors were not infpi-red with the knowledge of the faEts which they relate. I nfpiration then adds nothing. to the certainty of facts, and is wholly unneeef- fary in order to eflablilh the credibility of them. Nay, it may juPtly be apprehended, that to refort to infpiration forthat purpofe may operate with fome as a motive to rejeEt them, from a fufpiciom that the plea of infpiration is fubliituted merely to fupply the deficiency of other evidence. To fuppofe infpiration without utility, is to admit. miracles without purpofe or propriety-and thus- to multiply difficulties and furniih objections t0 unbelievers, who are fuiiiciently inclined to re-

jeEt fuch miracles as are of real ufe and neceility.

The Prophets were doubtlelis infpired, becaufe they could have no knowledge of future events but by infpiration. The doEirine of the Gofpel wasallo infpired, becaule the Apoiiles received it from Chrilt, who received it from God him- felf. But St. john, without having recourfe to infpiration, founds the truth of the fa€ts which he records merely upon his own teIiimony.-- That which we have Teen and heard,” fays he, declare we unto you.” And St. Luke ad- vances no higher pretenlions to credit than fuch as arife from his intimate intercourfe with thofe

xvho had been xvitnefies from the beginning; and who