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IV. “

PART“ of rest; is this justifiable? He moistens clay on the same day in order to open

the

eyes “ of a man born blind: Is it not evident, that “ such a man was not sent from God || ? He restores a withered hand; and up straitens

on that holy day, a woman for many years “ bent, in a full synagogue: can this temerity “ be pardoned? Are there not fix days in the “ week, in which he might have cured them? “ and must one, in contempt of the fabbath, " restore health, or even demand it?

I know not what demonstration could be more conspicuous than these public reproaches, which indeed are very trifling and unjust, but suppose the miracles to be real, and so evident, that envy cannot offuscate them, and which the mind could never suggest, unless it were prompted by an impotent malice.

I “ This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the « fabbath.” John ix. 16.

“They asked him, whether it was lawful to heal on the " sabbath-day, that they might accuse him." Matth. ix. 10.

+ “ The ruler of the synagogue being moved with indigna. « tion, because that Jesus had healed on the fabbath-day, and " said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought '" to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on “ the fabbath-day.” Luke xiii. 14

ARTICLE

CHAP.

IV.

ARTICLE III.
Third proof. Jealousy of the inbabi-

tants of Nazareth.
HY, said the inhabitants of Nazareth

to Christ, do * ye not perform in your own country, the miracles which you

wrought elsewhere? we have heard so much “ of the wonders which you have done at Ca

pernaum, why do you prefer strangers to us?" This complaint, tho’ unjust, and arising from pride and envy, is an attestation of the miracles wrought at Capernaum. They would have disowned them, instead of asking the like, if they had not been certain and notorious. And, indeed, when Christ related the examples of Naaman the Syrian, and of the widow of Sarepta the Phenician, to shew that he was at liberty to perform his miracles where he pleased, and to prefer strangers to his fellow-citizens, they did not accuse him of impotency, but were so irritated at the preference, which mortified their pride, that they were desirous to cast him out headlong; and by this jealousy, which terminated in indignation, they manifested the preference to have been a fact, and consequently, the miracles wrought in other cities : for false reports, and fictitious

miracles,

* " Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also " here in thy country.” Luke iv. 23.

Part.miracles, acknowledged as such, could only

IV. excite contempt, and not a furious jealousy.

ARTICLE IV.

Fourth proof. The reproaches, which

Cbrift makes to the towns, where he
bad performed many miracles, in-
vincibly establish their certainty and
evidence.

T

HE impenitence of the cities, * where

Christ wrought so many prodigies, more strongly enforces their truth, not as impenitence, but as being publicly, reproached. For it is highly improbable, that Christ should accuse the inhabitants of Capernaum, Bethfaida, Chorazin, and other towns, of being more obdurate and impenitent than the Tyrians and Sidonians, and more culpable than the inhabitants of Sodom, for having beheld, without conversion, so many prodigies and miracles,

which

4

1

Wo

* “ Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his

mighty works were done, because they repented not.
“ unto thee Chorazin, wo unto thee Bethsaida ; for if the
“ mighty works which were done in you, had been done in
Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in fack-
's cloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It Thall be more toler-
so able for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
" And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt
“ be brought down to hell ; for if the mighty works which
you have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would
“ have remained antil this day. But I say unto you, That it
“ shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of
“ judgment, than for thee.” Matth. viii. 20, &c.

which infidels, and the most profligate men, CHAP.
would have been so moved with, that they IV.
would have done public penance, and covered
themselves with fackcloth and ashes. These
comparisons, fo grating to natural pride, and
so opposite to the opinion the Jews had of
their justice, would doubtless have induced
them absolutely to disown these prodigies, if
they had been doubtful, or to depreciate them,
if they had not been manifest: and Jesus must
have exposed himself to public censure, in-
stead of rendering himself formidable by his
anathemas, if there had not been a complete
evidence on his side.

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ARTICLE V.
Fifth proof. The ancient tradition of

the Jews, who allow the miracles of
Jesus Christ, but attribute them to
the pronouncing the name of God, or
to magic.

N fine, the Jews cotemporary with

Christ, were so convinced that he had wrought miracles, that tradition has delivered them down to their posterity, and they may be traced in their ancient monuments, where they are attributed to the secret which Christ had found of pronouncing properly the name of JEHOVAH ; or to magic, which his mother

learnt in Egypt.

These

PART These suppositions, one of which is absurd IV. and the other impious, are cogent proofs, and

v testimonies so much the more convincing, as envy and malice are forced to submit to the evidence. We need not the Jews to inform us by what power Christ operated these prodigies; we are content that they acknowledge their being wrought. 'Tis a conjecture sutable to the grossness of their understandings, to ascribe them to the literal pronunciation of

word; and 'tis a calumny agreeable to their impiety, to attribute them to Satan or magic. By this black accusation they manifested themselves true children of their fathers, who maintained, that Christ cured the possessed, because himself * was possessed;, and that he cast out the inferior devils by the power he received from Beelzebub their chief. This calumny Christ refutes by invincible reasoning t, from whence there results, at least, a public renouncing of Satan, a folemn execration of his pretended power, and so terrible a qualification of the crime, which ascribes the works of the Holy Ghost to that lying spirit, that it is esteemed for ever irremissible, and cannot obtain pardon either in this world or in the next.

Do magicians thus declare their horror for him whose ministers they are ? do they thus renounce him from whoin they derive their power ? and if it be true, that the inferior devils submit to their chief, is that the

way * He hath Beelzebub, Mark iii. 22.

+ See Huetius's demonftratio evangelica, p. 421, 422. Bofsuet bishop of Meaux's reflections on the universal history, and bexto:f on the name 171774.

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