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PART vinities; that they were the same, who de IV. manded divine honours to be paid them
throughout the whole world. Such an acknowledgment, in prefence of the very people they had deceived, must have been of infinite service to the advancement of christianity; as Tertullian intimates to us, who boldly affirms in a writing presented to the emperor and senate, that every christian, who shall have preserved his integrity from his baptism, shall constrain the devil by these exorcisms, in their presence to acknowledge, that he made himself to be worshipped by them, and notwithstanding that, is only a spirit of darkness, condemned to eternal punishment. The same author adds, with a thorough security, of that he would consent they should put such a christian to the most cruel death they could invent, if experience did not verify his affer. tion.
Perhaps in another place we shall see what testimony the devil was compelled to give, not only of Jesus Christ, but of his martyrs, and
+ Edatur hic aliquis fub tribunalibus veftris, quem dæmone agi conitet. Juffus a quolibet christiano loqui fpiritus ille, tam fe dæmonem confitebitur de vero, quam alibi Deum de falfo, Æque producatur aliquis ex iis qui de Deo pati existimantur, qui aris inhalantes numen de nidore concipiunt . . . Illa ipsa virgo cæleftis pluviarum pollicitatrix ; ifte ipse Æsculapius me. dicinarum demonftrator ... Nifi fe dæmones confeffi fuerint, christiano mentiri non audentes, ibidem illius christiani procaeiffimi fanguinem fundite. Quid ifto opere manifestius ? quid hâc probatione fidelius? Simplicitas veritatis in medio est. Eod.
Hæc teftimonia deorum veftrorum christianos facere confueverunt, quia plurimum illis credendo, in Chrifto Domino credimus. Ipfi literarum noftrarum fidem accendunt. Ipfi fpei noftræ fidentiam ædificant. Ibid.
even of their ashes. But what we have above faid CHAP. is sufficient; and I imagine, after such an ex 1. planation, people, who have more superficially considered the miracles of Jesus Christ relating to the possessed, than the others, will perceive the necessity of them, and be the more strongly convinced of their connection with the divine mission of Jesus Christ, and the end of his ministry.
CHA P. II.
Continuation of the same matter : the miracles
of Jesus Christ are certain ; and invincibly
Paralytic presented to Jesus Christ by
uncovering the roof of an house, who proves, by curing his; bis power of forgiving fins.
N a certain day * as Jesus Christ
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; and as the power << of the Lord was present to heal them, there “ t were gathered together fo great a number “ of people, insomuch that they could not
come near the door. Now they brought
to him one sick of the palsy, which " was borne of four. And when they could
not come nigh him for the press, they « uncovered the roof where he was, and when
they had broken it up, they let down the « bed, wherein the sick of the palsy lay, “ and placed him in the midst before Jesus, " who when he saw their faith, said unto the “ fick of the pally, Son, thy fins are for
given thee. And the scribes and pharisees
began to reason among themselves, Who is “ this which speaketh blasphemies? who can
forgive sins, but God alone? || But when
Luke v, 17. + Mark ii. 2.
Luke xvii. 19. Mask v. Luke xxl, || Mark viii.
* Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answer-CHAP, « ing said unto them, What reason ye in II.
your hearts ? whether is easier to say, Thy “ fins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up
and « walk : But that ye may know, that the “ Son of man hath power upon earth to for
give sins, I say unto thee, Arise, and take
up thy couch and walk. He immediately « arose, took up that whereon he lay, and “ went forth before them all, insomuch that
they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fathion.”
Such a miracle, which serves as a proof to another secret and invisible one, is attended with every thing that can make an impression on a reasonable soul. It is wrought in the presence of many witnesses, some of whom were secretly enemies to Jesus Christ, and jealous of his fame. The manner in which they presented the man fick of the palsy, is so new, that it is without a parallel ; and shews at the same time the confidence they placed in his power and goodness, and the desire of the paralytic, and of those who bore him. Yet the manner, in which Jesus Christ speaks to him is still more new, by beginning with the remission of his fins (which did not seem to be the man's petition) without faying any thing of his disease, with which he and his bearers were wholly affected. The secret accusation of blasphemy on the part of the doctors and pharisees prove, that they were not apprehenfive of any such thing before the event ; and it is plain, that the less probable çircumstances
PART are, the more certain is the truth, and the IV. more it ought to banish all suspicions.
It follows plainly from thence, that Jesus Christ is God, by the very reasoning of the pharisees, which he supposes to be true by making the application to himself. He did not say that any other than God could remit fins; but he proves by a visible miracle, that he had the power of remitting fins; and what he reprimands them for, is their accufing him of blasphemy, when he says, he forgives fins, instead of relying on his word so many times confirmed by his miraculous operations. From thence it follows, that Jesus Christ was endued with an equal power over the soul and body, since he cured the maladies of both with the same facility. From thence also it may be inferred, that he gives, when he pleafes, internal dispositions preparative to the remisfion of fins, and he needs no other remedies either for the foul or body than those which he himself bestows.
For a few minutes let us behold him in that house, where he teaches, where he remits fins, where he passes sentence on men, and discerns their inmost thoughts : in-that house where the throng press, and must necessarily enter to be cured; which gives it fo great a resemblance of his church. But above all let us consider in this miracle the urgent and indispensable necessity of going to Jesus Christ, in spite of the obstacles which appear insurmountable. If the door is inaccessible, they must ascend the roof; they must uncover it to get at him, and