Imatges de pÓgina
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tion. Hence Christ is called, The stone cut out of Chap. 6. the mountains without hands, Dan. 2. 34. There was an Almighty Power in the framing his humane Nature; the Tabernacle of his body was not pitched by Man, but by the Lord, Heb. 8. 2. There was a fupernatural operation in the making of it ; it is called a tabernacle not made with hands, that is to fay, not of this building, Heb. 9. II. It was not made in a natural ordinary way of generation. It's true, he took part of our flesh and blood; but the manner of framing his body was in an extraordinary way, the structure of it was Divine, and much above that of our bodies.

Another instance of the Divine Power we have in the Miracles wrought by Jesus Christ. The Jewish Rabbins distinguish of a twofold Work of God; they call his ordinary Works of Nature, opus Berefhith, from the first words of Genesis ; and his miraculous works, opus Merchebha, from Ezekiels Chariot. A miracle is a work lifted up above the Order and Power of Nature : it is a specimen of Creation, something is made out of nothing. What fecond causes cannot reach, that is done by the first ; no» Man, no Angel can do such a work. These are but parts of Nature, and therefore cannot in their Operations exceed Nature ; Quod est totaliter fub ordine conftitutum, non potest ultra istius nature ordinem." agere ; it is only Gods Prerogative to work Miracles. He that let the order of Nature, can work above it; he can lift Nature off the hinges, and set it on again; and when he doth it, he doth it as becomes his infi nite Wisdom, upon very great and weighty Rea--fons. When he brought his people out of Egypt,

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Chap. 6. then his wonders appeared ; when he delivered his

Law on Sinai, his wonders appeared again. In those great dispensations he Thewed himself, not in the ordinary dress of Nature, but in Royal State and Majesty ; much more did he do so, when his Son, very God, was manifested in the Aesh. Then the water was turned into Wine, the Wind and the Seas did obeysance to their incarnate Creator: the blind received their sight, the lame did walk, the Lepers were cleansed, the deaf did hear, the dead were raised, the devils were cast out of Men. Here the right hand of the Lord was glorious in Power. Nature did, as it were, leap and triumph in miraculous elevations above it self, at the coming down of its Creator, to redeem the world: a mighty train of wonders attended on that greatest wonder of all, God incarnate; a life of Miracles ensued upon his miraculous Conception. Now touching the Miracles of Christ, there are three or four things to be taken notice of.

1. The Miracles of Christ were true, and that upon a double account.

The one is this, They were true in the History of them, they were really done: we have them upon Record in the Sacred Volume of Scripture; they were not done in a corner, or before a few, but openly, and before multitudes; there were thousands of eye-witnesses, from whom the truth of them hath been handed down in all ages of the Church. There is no colour at all to imagine, that those first reporters did utter an untruth, or go about to put a cheat upon the world : their own integrity would not suffer it, neither was the thing it

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self indeed practicable. How should so many

thou-Chap. 6. fands, for the most part unknown to, and distant from each other, ever agree and conspire together in the very same story? Or, if they could, what should they propose to themselves? or which way could they think, that a Relation of things to have been done openly, if false, should ever pass in a contradicting World ? They knew very well, that there were innumerable prying malicious Enemies round about them, who would persecute them for that Relation, though true, and brand them as lyars for it, if fallé. Christianity was then a poor persecuted thing, and it would have been strange folly and madness in them, to have ventured their lives and estates meerly to broach a'lye unto the world; especially seeing it must have been such an one, as would have been surely discovered to be such, and severely punished upon the Authors. In all reason therefore, what the first Witnesses spake was true; and what after-ages heard, was but the Eccho of their report. The Miracles wrought by our Saviour were so great, that none of the Adversaries ever durst deny, that they were done. The Jews did not deny it: their ancient Rabbins take those words of P. Gal. de Arc. the Prophet , Then the eyes of the blind Mall be 1. 8. c. S. opened, and the ears of the deaf sall be unstopped : the lame fmall leap as the hart, and the tongue of the dumb mall sing, Ifa. 35.5,6. to be spoken of the Messiah. . Their own Josephus speaks of Jesus as one more than a man, and a worker of great Miracles; only the Jews, out of their desperate malice against our Saviour, defamed his Miracles as done Magick: and, as Dr. Lightfoot tells us, it is said in Talm. Harm. fol. 30.

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Bab. that Ben Şarda (which is a blafphemous name they give to Jesus of Nazareth ) did bring inchantments out of Egypt in incision in his flesh. But there cannot be a vainer thought than to imagine, that Satan should contribute wonders to confirm that Doctrine, which he knew would utterly ruin his Kingdom. When the Pharisees said, that Christ did cast out Devils by Beelzebub. He answered two things : First, that Satans Kingdom, if divided, could not stand, Matth. 12. 26. And then, that they, in saying so, did malicioully oppose their light, and run into the unpardonable fin, verf. 31, 32. But when the Jews saw that this pretence would not ferve their turn, they betook themselves to a contrary shift, and said, That the Messiah, when he came, should do no Miracles at all. The Pagans did not deny Christs Miracles. In Pilates Letter

to the Emperor Tiberius, there is an enumeration Magd. Hit.

made of his Miracles. In the Epistle of Lentulus to Cent. 1. 1.1. Tiberius he is stiled, Homo magnæ virtutis. The Pa

gans, conscious to themselves that the thing was not Aug. de Confen- to be denied, cryed up Æsculapius and Apollsnius, Su Evang. 1. 1. in opposition to Christ'; and withal framed an im

pudent lye, that our Saviour had Magical Books, according to which he did his Miracles. Such devices as these, were, I suppose, first started by Julian the Apostate, and by him instilled into others. The Mahometans, fairer than the other, confess

Christs Miracles to have been done, and that from Morn. de Ver. God. Their Alcoran faith, That Gods Spirit was a Chrif. Relig. help and witness to Jesus, that the Soul of God C. 33.

was given to him. Thus it appears on all hands, that the matter of Fact touching our Saviours Miracles, cannot be denied.

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The other is this, They were true for the nature Chap. 6. of Miracles: they were not, as the Devils wonders are, meer Spectrum's or Apparitions, but real Miracles, things which are above the order of Nature, and lye within the line of Omnipotence only; the matter, mode, and end signally declare them to be such. Some Miracles of Christ, such as raising the dead, were such for the matter of them, that no conatus of nature, no concurrence or conjunction of created Powers could ever have effected them, no, not in Millions of Ages ; some of them, such as Curing the sick, Nature might have done, but in a tract of time, and with the help of second Causes. But our Saviour dispatched them out of hand instantly, immediately, with a word or a touch: To operate after this fort, is only proper to God, who is excellent in working. When Satan, who labours to emulate Divine Works, doth wonders, the end of them declares their Original ; suitably to the Author they serve only to lead men into lies and Idolatries. Antichrist comes with lying wonders, 2 Thes. 2. 9. Lying wonders in themselves, as being phantasms and mockeries of sense;and lying wonders, as tending to confirm men in false Doctrine and Worship : but the Miracles of Christ, being real ones, were done to ratifie the super-natural Truths and pure Worship of God. The Jews have a rule, that we should believe him who doth Miracles, unless he be the Author of Idolatrous Worship : had they adhered to this rule, they could not but have . embraced our Saviour, who with so many Miracles sealed up the true Doctrine and Worship of God.

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