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PART
IV.

A R TICLE III.

The efforts of the pharisees in order to

eclipse this miracle, establish the truth of it.

HOSE who were informed of the man TH

born blind, and how he was cured, brought him to the pharisees. And it was remarkable, that it was on the fabbath-day. ** Then again the pharisees also asked him, “ how he had received his fight. He said « unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, " and I washed, and do see. Therefore said “ some of the pharisees, This man is not " of God, because he keepeth not the fab

bath-day. Others said, How can a man " that is a sinner, do such miracles? And there

was a division among them. They say unto " the man that was lately blind, What sayest “ thou of him, that he hath opened thine

eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the

Jews did not believe concerning him, that " he had been blind, and received fight, un“ til they called the parents of him that had “ received his fight. And they asked them,

saying, Is this your son who ye say was " born blind? how then doth he now see? ." His parents answered them and faid, We " know that this is our son, and that he was " born blind: but by what means he now

“ seeth, * John ix. 15, &c.

“ seeth, we know not; or who hath opened CHAP. “ his eyes, we know not: he is of age, ask II.

him, he shall speak for himself. These “ words spake his parents, because they fear« ed the Jews : for the Jews had agreed al

ready, that if any man did confess that “ he was Christ, he should be put out of the

fynagogue. Therefore faid his parents, He “ is of age, ask him. Then again called they " the man that was blind, and said unto him, “ Give God the praise: * we know that this

man is a finner. He answered and said, o whether he be a finner or no, I know

not: one thing I know, that whereas Į

was blind, now I see. Then said they to “ him again, What did he to thee? how “ opened he thine eyes? He answered them, “ I have told you already, and ye did not “ hear : wherefore would you hear it again? fr will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his difci

ple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know " that God spake unto Moses: as for this fel

low, we know not from whence he is. " The man answered and said unto them,

Why, herein is a marvellous thing, that ye " know not from whence he is, and

yet

he hath opened mine 'eyes. Sinc the world

began was it heard, that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If ? this man were not of God, he could do

nothing. They answered and said unto him, “Thou wast al ogether born in fins, and * That is, acknowlerge the truth in the presence of God. VOL. III.

E

65 doft

out.

Part “ dost thou teach us? And they cast him IV.

Is not this sufficient? did not the pharisees take the right way to discover the falsehood of the miracle? did they too easily acquiesce to the deposition of the blind man? did the father and mother seem to act in concert with their fon, or to be prejudiced in behalf of Christ? was not the repeated examination of the son made by men in power, who were enemies to Christ, capable of making him commit some mistake, if he had not told the truth; or even to intimidate him, and render him less resolute in his latter evidence, if he had not been endued with more cou. rage than his parents ? was this a just method of examining the truth without prejudice, to pronounce beforehand the sentence of excommunication against those, who acknowledge Christ for the Meffiah! Was not partiality and prepoffeffion joined with the supreme authority ? and, under such circumstances, was it not a strong proof of the miracles of Jesus Christ, that they were de-, fended before his enemies, though with the certainty of attracting their hatred and revenge?

Would the pharisees have cavilled at the circumstance of the fabbath, if they could have fapped the foundation of the miracle, or rendered it doubtful ? don't they themselves confirm it, by 'accusing Christ of having wrought it on a day of rest ? did

not

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not the injurious treatment of the man CHAP.
born blind, (who spoke with so much saga- II.
city) demonstrate, that nothing could with
stand his testimony, and the evidence of a
miracle wrought on his person? by casting
him out, did they in the least cancel the
truth? by cursing him, did they destroy the
benefit he received ? by boasting themselves
to be disciples of Mofes, did they extenuate
the reality of the miracle on one side there
appears nothing but passion and calumny; on
the other, nothing but what is simple, sincere,
constant and coherent, infinitely surpassing the
low jealousy, and malice of the pharisees, who
by their utmost efforts 'did but illustrate the
truth, and add that evidence which they fain
would have wrested from it.

ARTICLE IV.

One such miracle is an evident proof of

Christ's divinity, and of his principal mysteries: depth of Christ's defigns in a miracle, which, in its circumstances, unites almost all the parts

of the Christian religion. JES

ESUS having heard that they had ex

communicated the blind man whom he had cured; " and * when he had found him,

E 2

" he

* John ix. 35, &c.

Part “ he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the

IV. « Son of God? He answered, Who is he, ime Lord, that Í might believe on him? Jesus

“ said unto him, Thou hast both * seen him, " and it is he that talketh with the. And “, he said, Lord, I believe. And he worship“ ped him.”

See the purport of the miracle. It is operated to prove Jesus Christ the Son of God; to oblige us to believe in him, to induce us to worship him. It is a proof of all the essential points of Religion; and its evidence, being palpable and obvious to sense, confirms the mysteries which are above human comprehenfion, such as those of the Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption of man, and of others which have their dependence on these. The light of one single miracle, operated in order to establish truth, verifies all these ; and it is Christ himself, who prompts us to make this use of it, by requiring the man born blind to believe in him, as the Son of God, and to adore him in this quality with an unlimited worship.

Jesus adds: * For judgment I am come into " this world: that they which see not, might “ fee; and that they which see, might be “ made blind. And some of the pharisees, which were with him, heard these words, “ and said unto him, Are we blind also ? Je“ sus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye

" should * Vidifti, put for the present according to the Hebrews; for it does not appear that this man had seen Christ before that time.

+ John ix. 39, &c.

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