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to raise from the dead a carcase that was 'carrying out to the grave; and another that had lain four days in the tomb: in these and a variety of other .miracles which our Saviour wrought, no force of imagination could have the smallest influence. In truth, nothing can be more repugnant to reason or experience, than the supposition that our Lord's miracles were the effects of any force of imagination, or enthusiastic impulse; or that if any delusion had taken place with regard to them, it would not have been immediately detected and exposed. In proof of this let us briefly consider their infinite variety, and their uniform success—the public manner in which they were performed—their being frequently wrought in the presence of his most inveterate enemies, and attended with circumstances which attracted the immediate attention of these enemies, and excited the severeft scrutiny. These circumstances do not vindicate them more clearly from all fufpicion of having been produced by the artifices of fraud, than from all possibility of being accounted for by enthusiasm.
The impulse of fanaticism will produce its effects irregularly, uncertainly, and imperfectly, according to the different nature of the disease, the force of imagination in the diseased, the temperature of the constitution, and a variety of other cir. cumstances; and these effects will be often as tran
i Luke vii. 11-17.
John xi. 1--54.
sitory as the power that produces them is variable. Not such were the effects of that truly divine power possessed by our Lord; which operated uniformly and equally on every disease, on multitudes of different tempers, ages, habits, religions, so as ne. ver once to fail; and this at the first application, compleatly and permanently, so that no one complained of a relapse, or of having been imperfectly healed. Nothing is more clear in the gospel history than this, the evangelists relate confidently that our Lord healed multitudes at * Capernaum, at the * sea of Galilee, afterwards in the plain, through all the cities and villages of Galilee ; at Gennesareth, even in the temple at Jerusalem on the fabbath-day, shortly before his crucifixion. In all these places were brought unto him all who lay sick of divers diseases, the “blind, the dumb, the lame, fick per“ fons borne in beds, a those that had the palsy, de“ moniacks, lunaticks, and he healed them all-every
one, as many as touched him were made whole."
Of these miracles multitudes were witnesses, who attended him from place to place ; fometimes crouding the houses where he was, so that there was
no room, no, not so much as about the door ;."
* Luke iv. 40. v. 19–26. vi. 12-19. viii, 1.
Matt. iv. 23 -25. ix. 34. xi. 4. xiv, 35. Newcome's Harmony, Ø 28, 29, 30-34, 35, 32-68. y Matt. xxi. 14.
2 Matt. iv. 23. John xii. 37. * Vid. Appendix.
thronging thronging round him in the streets, following him to the fea; to the most retired and uninhabited parts of the country, the mountains, the desert-staying with him near “ a three days together ; fo that he and « his disciples had not leisure scarcely even to eat" and these multitudes came from various and distant places; for great multitudes, say the evangelists, “bfol" lowed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from
Jerusalem, and from “Judea, and from beyond yor“ dan, from Idumea, and they of Tyre and Sidon, « and his fame went throughout all Syria, and they
brought unto him all fick people, and from all " the region round about Genefareth. And what is most important to observe, amongst these witnesses of our Saviour's miracles, we often find his most inveterate enemies, the priests and scribes, the Pharisees and Sadducees, who very early conceived a rooted aversion to the humble and pure Jesus, and watched the progress of his ministry with a jealousy which raged with still encreasing fury, till it glutted itself with his blood.
These enemies always attended the fynagogues where he frequently wrought his miracles; they often also mixed with the multitude, and watched to detect any thing censureable in his conduct.–Did he affume the character of the Son of God, and the power of forgiving fins, they were ready to accuse him of
a Matt xy. 32. Ib. xiv. 13. • Matt. iv. 25. Mark iii. 8. Luke iv. 38-44 and 5: 1--17. John vi. 2.
blasphemy.-Did he eat bread with unwashed hands, in opposition to their traditions, they were filled with indignation.-- Did he neglect to imitate their hypocritical austerity in faftings--and did he associate with the humble and penitent converts, they reproached him with being a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.--Did he restore health and vigor to the diseased, even these works of
if performed on the fabbath, they condemned as impious violations of that facred day.
Such were the men who watched to entangle him in his talk, who laboured to ensnare him with infidious questions, in order to discover fomething that might give room for accusing him to the Roman governor ; yet to these vigilant and subtle enemies did our Lord, at the moment he was about to perform many of his miracles, or after he had perforined them, fearlessly appeal- in vindication of his own character, and to expose their obstinate perverfeness and malignity.--Instances of this are frequent.
At Capernaum, as he was teaching, there were Pharisees and doctors of the law fitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee and Judea, and Jerusalem--a paralytic man was let down through the roof, with his couch, in the midst before Jesus, and when he saw their faith, (the faith of the persons who brought him, as well as of the man himself) he faid unto him, “ Son be of good cheer, thy sins “ are forgiven thee;" but when certain of the scribes and Pharisees “ reasoned in their hearts, saying, who “is this that thus speaketh blasphemies? who can “ forgive sins but God alone ? Our Lord immediately exposes their perverse malignity, “ why think
c Luke v. 17-26. Mark ii. 1-12. Matt. ix. 2–8. Newcome's Harmny, $.30.
ye evil in your heart, but that ye may know that “ the Son of Man hath power on earth. to forgive “ fins, he faith unto the fick of the palsy, arise, take
up thy bed and go unto thy house, and immedi“ately he arose, took up the bed whereon he lay, 5 and went out before them all glorifying God.”
d Thus again, on the fabbath-day, in a synagogue. of Galilee, as he taught, there was a man with a withered hand; " and the fcribes and Pharisees watch66 ed whether he would heal him on the fabbath-day; 66 and he reasoned with them, and asked them, is it “ lawful on the fabbath-day to do good or to do evil, “ to save life or to destroy it? but they held their peace ;
and when he looked round about him with anger, at the hardness of their hearts, he faith unto
the man-stretch forth thine hand, and he stretched “ it out, and his hand was restored whole as the other, " and they were filled with madness, and took council s how they might destroy him.
a Matt. xii. 9--21. Mark iii. 1a12. Luke vi. 6--11.,