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with aś much severity and rigor, as if Jesus CHAP. Christ now began to manifest himself, and to 1. establish his church; and as if every thing which has hitherto been advanced, did not plainly convince us, that he is risen from the dead, and seated in the heavens upon the same throne with his Father. I shall pass by all the miracles, which have no connexion with circumstances capable of proving their certainty, and even of those I shall confine myself to a small number, in order to avoid prolixity.
marriage of Cana The mystery of
Commence with the first public miracle
attested by the disciples. St. John relates it in this manner :
« There was a marriage “ in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of
Jesus was there. And both Jesus was
called, and his disciples, to the marriage. “ And when they wanted wine, the mother “ of Jesus faith unto him, they have no wine.
Jesus faith unto her, Woman, what have I «c to do with thee? mine hour is not yet
come. His mother faith unto the servants, " Whatsoever he faith unto you, do it. And “ there were set there fix. water-nots of stone, + John ii. 1.
Part“ after the manner of the purifying of the
Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. « Jesus faith unto them, Fill the water-pots “ with water. And they filled them up to “ the brim. And he faith unto them, Draw « out now, and bear unto the governor of the « feaft. And they bare it. When the ruler << of the feast had tafted the water that was es made wine, and knew not whence it was, “ (but the servants which drew the water “ knew) the governor of the feast called the
bridegroom, and faith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good
wine ; and when men have well drunk, " then that which is worse: but thou hast
kept the good wine until now. This be
ginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of « Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; “ and his disciples believed on him.
I have, in another place, animadverted on the truth of this history, wherein Jesus Christ should not have been made to answer his mother in a manner seemingly harsh, had it not been absolutely necessary to describe facts as they really happen'd ; and on which, if reflections had been allowable, fome explanation of that seeming harshness should have been inserted. I obferve further at present, that after such an answer, it neither could be expected, that the blessed virgin should look upon the miracle the required as certain; nor should the warn the servants against hefitating to perform whatever her fon would command, when ho did not seem inclinable to order any thing.
In fine, it appeared no way probable, that CHAP. Jesus Christ should command them to go fetch 1. water, when the wine failed; and all these singular circumstances contribute to render the certainty of this truth more evident.
But waving these observations; how is it pofsible to be sceptical on such a miracle? the servants themselves draw out the water, and fill the water-pots up to the brim. It was then impossible to intermix wine, nor can it be imagined, that there was any there. The wine proves excellent, then it is not counterfeited. It is much better than the first, therefore it is of a different fort. There is now plenty, and there was need of it. The master of the house, not knowing what Jesus had done, wondered that the bridegroom kept back the good wine, till the guests had lost their taste, and were no longer capable of distinguishing the goodness of the liquor. Perhaps the number of the guests being greater than was expected, occafioned the deficiency of wine. The miracle becomes' public, and confirms in the faith the new disciples of Jesus Christ. Whosoever denies his afsent to these proofs, must be an obstinate enemy to truth: he must disown, that God has the power of working miracles, who contests the certainty of this.
To this certainty a farther degree is still added, by the mystery couched under the simplicity of the history. For it appears, that the letter is wrote for the spirit, and that one miracle points out another. The incarnation of Jesus Christ, and its consequence the new alli
Part ance, are often figured in the gospel by a IV. marriage which a king made for his son,
and by a feast, to which many guests were invited. The old patriarchs and prophets foretold, and expected this alliance. They were, in spirit, the amicable guests of the bridegroom, and partook of the first wine he provided. The synagogue, occupied in external purifications, and neither in body or mind prepared for the nuptials, had only empty water-pots, and were satisfied that the ministers, whose power extended no further, should fill them with water.
But when the time was accomplished, the bridegroom came in person to sit down at the table of the guests, with his mo
ther and his disciples : and, by the efficacy of : his Spirit, turned the water-(with which the fynagogue was contented) into a fine-flavoured wine, not only far exceeding that insipid water, but by many degrees more excellent than the wine of the patriarchs and prophets, who had only a bare hope, but not the reality of blessings; and even more delicious and exquifite than what had been served to the disciples at the beginning of the feast, before the ample effusion of the Spirit, and before they were divinely inebriated with it on the day of Pentecost, a day of compleat solemnity of nuptials, in which the bride and bridegroom enjoyed the entire possession of the divinity in common, and in which Jesus Christ's humanity was not only placed at the right hand of the Almighty, but shared also with the Word, the effufion of the Spirit and the heavenly wine,
That Spirit of grace and love was not to be CHAP. communicated with that abundance, till after 1. Jesus Christ had entered his glory. It was requiring a miracle of him, i before his hour 'was come, to ask of him the most exquisite wine before his return to heaven. But the figure might precede without inverting the or. der ; and whilst Jesus Christ refuses the truth even at the request of his mother, in order to obey his heavenly Father, he obliged her with a miracle which was the external sign and pledge thereof.
The first increase of loaves in the de
fart: Yesus Christ's divinity proved :
Great multitude followed Jesus in the
desart, because they saw his miracles
them, and he healed their fick. And
him, saying, This is a desart place, and the
They need not depart, give ye them to eat;
fayJohn vii. 373
Matth. xiv. 14.