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PART“ of rest; is this justifiable? He moistens clay on the same day in order to open
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
tants 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
* " 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.
Fourth proof. The reproaches, which
Cbrift makes to the towns, where he
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,
* “ Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his
mighty works were done, because they repented not.
which infidels, and the most profligate men, CHAP.
the Jews, who allow the miracles of
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.
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.