works of God; and the history of the creation of the world; the holy, just, and good law, which Moses promulgated; the excellent judgments, or political laws, which he enacted, compared with those of other ancient legislators, nay, with modern codes of law, even in Christian countries; the sacramental prefigurations, in the ritual law, of

good things to come;" and the prophecies contained in his writings, and either fulfilled in past events, or fulfilling at this day, especially in the state of Israel; are a few of the other conclusive proofs that God spake by Moses.-His disinterestedness, and some laws and promises, which no politician would have committed himself upon, except conscious of delivering the word of God;1 and even the obscurity of his own descendents; render his divine mission illustrious. Yet the whole was introduced and established by miracles; without which there would have been no opportunity of exhibiting the other evidences of his mission, or of calling the attention of Israel, or of mankind, to them.

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In like manner, the holy nature of Christianity, in which all that has been noticed of the perfections and holy law of God, is still more clearly exhibited; and the success of such a holy religion, in this wicked and unholy world, by such means and instruments as have been considered; with innumerable internal proofs, and prophecies already fulfilled, and fulfilling at this day; not to dwell again on the prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled in these events; constitute a full

'Exod. xxxiv. 24. Lev. xxv, 20-22.

proof, and moral demonstration, that Christianity is from God, even apart from the miracles of Jesus and his apostles: nay, the prevalence and continuance of his religion to this day, is more wonderful than any external miracle, or than all of them united. The tendency also of Christianity, yea, its actual effects, shewing that, if it universally prevailed, not in name and form, but in power and efficacy; if men did indeed repent, believe, love God, and love one another, according to its peremptory requirements; universal peace and felicity must be the consequence: this, I say, proclaims its divine original.

Yet the whole was introduced, and must have been introduced, by miracles, to excite the attention of the prejudiced Jews, and of a careless world; to force a temporary conviction, at least, even on its opponents; and to procure the preachers a patient hearing from those whom they addressed. Without this, no other evidences could have been so brought before men, as to obtain a fair investigation. In this respect, the case of the Mosaic, and that of the Christian dispensations are entirely similar.

The nature of our Lord's miracles also should be considered.-Mr. C. seems indeed favourable to tremendous and splendid miracles: and to "turn water into blood" was more suited to "the "law given by Moses;" but to "turn water into "wine" better accorded to him, by whom " grace " and truth came" to mankind. The power which in repeated instances raised the dead, was doubtless sufficient to strike dead the living opponents: and certainly, it ought not to be an objection to our

Lord's miracles, that he did not inflict, I will not say such miraculous judgments as desolated Egypt, but such as slew rebellious Israelites by thousands and tens of thousands, in the wilderness. When Jesus merely said "I am he," his numerous and powerful assailants "went backward, and fell "to the ground;"' and he shewed that his mild conduct in this respect did not arise from want of power. The special miracles wrought by Jesus, which accord to the predictions of the prophets, should not be overlooked.-No prophet or apostle, except the Lord Jesus, ever "opened the eyes of "the blind;" either of those who had been before known to be blind, or were born blind. 2. Nothing of this appears in the history of the Old Testament, or in the Acts of the apostles. The same may be said of his "unstopping the ears of the deaf, and "giving speech to the dumb." "He hath done "all things well; he maketh both the deaf to "hear, and the dumb to speak."3 Not to dwell upon the suitableness of these miracles to be emblems of his salvation; it is plain that the predictions referred to never were accomplished but in him and nothing could more explicitly point out the promised Messiah; for "unto many "that were blind he gave sight." (xapiraro Tò (ἐχαρίσατο τὸ βλέπειν.)

He healed all manner of diseases, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead by a word spoken; rebuked a legion of evil spirits, and drove them out; re

'John xviii. 3—6. 3 Mark vii. 32.

'Is. xxxv. 5, 6. John ix. 32. Comp. Exod. iv. 11. Luke xxi. 15.

Acts xxvi. 16-18.

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"buked the winds and waves" in a violent storm, "and there was a great calm; ""walked upon "the waves of the sea:" and, to complete the whole, he shewed that he had "power to lay down "his life and power to take it again."

This last miracle was the grand sign given to that generation. It was predicted by the prophets; and so clearly foretold by Jesus himself, from the beginning of his ministry, that it was well known to the scribes, priests, and rulers: yet all their precautions were in vain; the body was gone, and their silence, after the bold and explicit testimony of the apostles to his resurrection, with the unqualified accusation of them, as the murderers of the Messiah, "the Prince of life," was a clear confession that they could adduce nothing against it. The testimony of twelve men of sober minds, good characters, and most evident disinterestedness; who had intimately known him for several years, and ate and drank with him after his resurrection, and saw him ascend towards heaven; was enough to prove any fact, not wholly impossible in the nature of things. In this testimony they all persevered, without one discordant voice, amidst labours, hardships, and persecutions, even until death; and most of them sealed it with their blood. Besides their testimony, very many others bare witness also; and the apostle Paul, several years after, could appeal to " to the greater part" of " five hundred" persons, who saw Jesus after his resurrection. But it was deemed proper to put the matter beyond all reasonable doubt : therefore, as if no human testimony was sufficient in such a cause, " God himself bare witness with


signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, "and gifts of the Holy Ghost." 1 The gift of tongues, enabling unlearned men to speak fluently, and understand readily, the languages of all the nations to whom they addressed themselves; every miracle which the apostles wrought "in the name "of Jesus of Nazareth;" every instance in which, by the laying on of their hands, they conferred on others the gift of tongues and the power of working miracles, not only increased the number of witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, but was the attestation of God himself to their testimony. Either the resurrection of our Lord must be disproved; or it must stand confirmed, I had almost said, beyond demonstration, that "Jesus is the "Christ, the Son of the living God."

Impostors have made many vain pretensions; but did any man, from the beginning of the world to this day, having rested the proof of his mission on this ground, Put me to death; and if I do not rise again on the third day, I am a deceiver:' I say, did any man ever establish such a demonstration of his mission, except Jesus of Nazareth? Why talk of magic and enchantment? What could these do in such a case as this?

It appears then, that miracles, public, undeniable miracles, wrought in the name of God, (as an express proof and confirmation of a doctrine not manifestly contrary to preceding revelations in essential matters; and not only destitute of human support, but even vehemently opposed by the powerful, sagacious, and learned, and by

'Heb. ii. 4.

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