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20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
That they had seen and heard them is evident from the fact that they submitted to persecution, and ultimately surrendered their lives for declaring that they had so seen and heard Jesus of Nazareth for forty days after he had been put to death.
That fact is evidence to us that what they said was true. Men never go in the face of disadvantage and opposition, without a motive. The motive in this case was a conviction that certain facts were true. It was not, as in the case of the persecuted Puritans, a persuasion of certain doctrines. The boldness of the apostles, on the one hand, and the antagonism of the Jewish rulers on the other, turned upon a question of fact, viz., whether the crucified Jesus had risen. Upon the fact, doubtless, the apostles founded a doctrine, but it was the fact and not the doctrine, that was the cause of the dispute that cost them their lives. Hence their firmness is evidence of the fact, which they asserted, and the basis of our faith.
Their subsequent proceedings and writings show too much sanity and discrimination to admit the suggestion that though sincere, they were hallucinated.
Bro Roberts - Exhort No 4