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to raise from the dead a carcafe 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 fmalleft influence. In truth, nothing can be more repugnant to reafon or experience, than the fuppofition that our Lord's miracles were the effects of any force of imagination, or enthusiastic impulfe; or that if any delufion had taken place with regard to them, it would not have been immediately detected and expofed. In proof of this let us briefly confider their infinite variety, and their uniform fuccefs-the public manner in which they were performed-their being frequently wrought in the prefence of his most inveterate enemies, and attended with circumftances which attracted the immediate attention of these enemies, and excited the fevereft fcrutiny. These circumstances do not vindicate them more clearly from all suspicion of having been produced by the artifices of fraud, than from all poffibility of being accounted for by enthufiafm. Lee bien 72
The impulfe of fanaticism will produce its effects irregularly, uncertainly, and imperfectly, according to the different nature of the disease, the force of imagination in the difeafed, the temperature of the conftitution, and a variety of other cir cumstances; and thefe effects will be often as tran
Luke vii. 11-17.
John xi. 1-54.
fitory as the power that produces them is variable. Not fuch were the effects of that truly divine power poffeffed by our Lord; which operated uniformly and equally on every disease, on multitudes of different tempers, ages, habits, religions, fo as never once to fail; and this at the first application, compleatly and permanently, fo that no one complained of a relapfe, or of having been imperfectly. healed. Nothing is more clear in the gospel history than this, the evangelifts relate confidently that our Lord healed multitudes at Capernaum, at the * fea of Galilee, afterwards in the plain, through all the cities and villages of Galilee; at Gennefareth, even in the temple at Jerufalem on the fabbath-day, fhortly before his crucifixion. In all these places were brought unto him all who lay fick of divers difeafes, the "blind, the dumb, the lame, fick per"fons borne in beds, thofe that had the palfy, de"moniacks, lunaticks, and he healed them all—every one, as many as touched him were made whole."
Of thefe miracles multitudes were witneffes, who attended him from place to place; fometimes crouding the houses where he was, fo that there was "no room, no, not fo much as about the door;"
× Luke iv. 40. v. 17—26. vi. 12—19. viii, 1. Matt. iv. 23 -25. ix. 34. xi. 4. xiv, 35. Newcome's Harmony, § 28, 29, 30-34, 35, 32-68.
y Matt. xxi. 14.
2 Matt. iv. 23. John xii. 37. * Vid. Appendix.
thronging round him in the streets, following him to the fea; to the moft retired and uninhabited parts of the country, the mountains, the defert-staying with him near "a three days together; fo that he and "his difciples had not leifure fcarcely even to eat"and these multitudes came from various and diftant places; for great multitudes, fay the evangelifts, "fol"lowed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from "Jerufalem, and from Judea, and from beyond for"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 obferve, amongst these witnesses of our Saviour's miracles, we often find his most inveterate enemies, the priests and scribes, the Pharifees and Sadducees, who very early conceived a rooted averfion to the humble and pure Jesus, and watched the progrefs of his miniftry with a jealousy which raged with ftill encreafing fury, till it glutted itself with his blood.
Thefe enemies always attended the fynagogues where he frequently wrought his miracles; they often alfo mixed with the multitude, and watched to detect any thing cenfureable in his conduct.-Did he affume the character of the Son of God, and the power of forgiving fins, they were ready to accufe him of
2 Matt xv. 32. Ib. xiv. 13. Luke iv. 38-44 and 5. 1-17.
Matt. iv. 25. Mark iii.
John vi. z.
blafphemy. Did he eat bread with unwashed hands, in opposition to their traditions, they were filled with indignation.-Did he neglect to imitate their hypocritical aufterity in faftings-and did he affociate with the humble and penitent converts, they reproached him with being a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and finners. Did he restore health and vigor to the diseased, even these works of mercy, 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 enfnare him with infidious questions, in order to discover fomething that might give room for accufing him to the Roman governor; yet to these vigilant and fubtle enemies did our Lord, at the moment he was about to perform many of his miracles, or after he had performed them, fearlessly appeal in vindication of his own character, and to expose their obftinate perverfeness and malignity.—Inftances of this are frequent.
At Capernaum, as he was teaching, there were Pharifees 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 Jefus, and
© Luke v. 17—26. Mark ii. 1-12. Matt. ix. 2-8. Newcome's Harmny, $ 30.
when he faw their faith, (the faith of the perfons who brought him, as well as of the man himself) he faid unto him, "Son be of good cheer, thy fins "are forgiven thee;" but when certain of the scribes and Pharifees" reasoned in their hearts, saying, who "is this that thus fpeaketh blafphemies? who can forgive fins but God alone?" Our Lord immediately exposes their perverse malignity, "why think 66 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 palfy, arise, take 66 up thy bed and go unto thy houfe, and immedi"ately he arofe, took up the bed whereon he lay, "and went out before them all glorifying God."
Thus again, on the fabbath-day, in a fynagogue. of Galilee, as he taught, there was a man with a withered hand; " and the fcribes and Pharifees watch"ed whether he would heal him on the fabbath day; "and he reasoned with them, and asked them, is it "lawful on the fabbath-day to do good or to do evil, 66 to fave life or to destroy it? but they held their 66 peace; and when he looked round about him with 66 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 "how they might destroy him.
Matt. xii. 9-21. Mark iii. 1-12.
Luke vi. 6 II.