Imatges de pÓgina
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Chap. 6.

2. The Miracles of Christ were not a few, but very numerous ; not in one or two places, but diffused over the Creation, thereby to proclaim that the Creator was come down to redeem the World. There were Miracles upon the Water, he turned it into Wine, John 2. 9. Shewing himself to be the Lord of Nature ; here doing that in an instant, which he doth every year in the Vine : Miracles in the Sea, a fish brings him the tribute-money, Matth. 17. 27. to declare, that all Creatures were Tributaries to him. After an whole nights toil to no purpose, the Net being let down at his word, enclosech a great multitude of fishes, Luk. 5. 52.6. So that the awe of his Divine Power fell upon all the Spectators. Miracles

upon the Sea and Air together ; in a Tempest he rebuked the winds and the Sea, and there was a great calm, Matth. 8. 26, as a proof that all the Elements were his servants. Miracles upon the loaves, in multiplying of them, John 6. 11, and upon the fig-tree, in making it to wither away, Matth. 21. 19; as a clear demonstration, that his blessing and curse were

great things. Miracles upon the bodies of men, in healing all manner of sickness and disease, Matth. 4. 23; and upon their souls too, in making them every whit whole, John 7. 23; in token that he was the great Physician of both. Miracles in Heaven: at his Birth a star conducted the Wise-men to him, Matth. 2. 2;, at his passion the Sun was darkned, Matth. 27:45. The star waited upon its Creator at his Birth, the Sun sympathized with him in his Passion. Miracles upon the Devils, in casting them out by his Word, Matth. 8. 16. A sure sign, that the Powers of Hell could not stand it out against

him. Very various are the Miracles of our Saviour Chap. 6. recorded in Scripture: But if all had been written, the world could not have contained the books, saith St. John, Chap. 21. verf. 25. The words are Hyperbolical, yet they import, that many of his works were not committed to Writing. Arnobius enumerates the miraculous Works of Christ, and then cries out, Quid Adv. Gent. I. 1 simile Dii omnes, a quibus opem dicitis agris di periclitantibus latam ? When did the Pagan Gods do the like, from whom you say, that help is afforded to men in sickness or danger? Never was there such plenty of Miracles as here.

3. The Miracles of Christ were very great : He did those works which no other man did, Joh. 15. 24. It was never so seen in Israel, Matth. 9. 33. I shall instance in two or three things : First, he raised up the dead: The maid in her Fathers house, the young man carried out upon the byer, and Lazarus four days dead and stinking in the Grave. What things are these? How much above all the Powers in Nature? In the sixth Council at Constantinople, Poly- Crab. Tom. 25 chronius a Monothelite, in Confirmation of his opi- 386. nion, offered to raise up a dead man ; but upon tryal he could do nothing at all, which made the people cry out, Novo Simoni Anathema, Polychronio Jeductori populi Anatkema. The Emperor Bafilius being in great grief for his deceased Son, Theodorus Spondón. Ano Santabarenus presented bis Son to him as alive; but this was but a meer Spectrum, an illusion of sense: After a few kisses and embraces, the Emperor saw his Son no more. Apollonius did call up the Ghost of Achilles, that is to say, a Devil, as the noble De Verit.Relig. Mornay speaks. Elifba raised the Slunamites Son

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Chap. 6. to life, but he was only a Minister and a Type of

Christ'; the Power of God did the work: but our Saviour raised the dead by his own Divine Power. Another instance is, his restoring light to one born blind, John 9. Touching which the blind man faith, Since the world began was it not heard, that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind, vers. 32. It was a work fit for the Messiah. It is indeed storied, that Vespasian the Emperor restored light to the blind; but it may be the person was not really blind, at least not naturally. Satan ( as Bellarmine well observes ) might possibly reside in his Eye, and impede the use of that part, that he might seem to cure, when he did but cease to hurt. But our Sa viour by a Power above Nature and Art, did cure one really and naturally blind, and that with Clay ; a thing in it self more probable to put out Eyes, than to cure them. And so there was, as the Rabbins speak, Miraculum in miraculo, one Miracle within another ; much as it was, when the bitter waters were made sweet by falt, 2 King. 2. 21. Another instance we have in his casting out Devils : this was the Finger and Power of God. It is said in

deed, that Apollonius did cast Devils out of Men: Rayn. de lib. But how? It was in the very Method and Discipline Ap. Tom. 2. fol. of Devils, by such words and symbols as they them

felves had prescribed ; so it was not an ejection, but a going out by consent, to honour the Sacraments of their own making. But our Saviour did not cast them out in their own way; but whether they would or not, by his Almighty Power. It is further to be noted, that soon after the Death of our Saviour, the Devils Oracles were struck Dumb. The

Oracle

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Oracle told Augustus, That the Hebrew - Child bid Chap. 6. him leave that house, and be gone to Hell, no more answers were to be expected from thence. Whereupon Augustus erected an Altar in the Capitol, with this inscription upon it, Hæc ara est primogeniti Dei; the Altar of the first-begotten of God. The Evangelical light made the Oracles cease, the Priests of Delphos were brought to beggery. Plutarch, wri- Morn. de Ver. ting touching the ceasing of Oracles, at last cometh to this point, That the Spirits were mortal, and by their Death the Oracles ceased. Oh! what an one was our Saviour, who made the Pagan Gods shrink and hide their heads ? What a Divine Light was he who chased away those false Lights? These Works were for Greatnefs, such as became God manifeft in the flesh.

4. The Miracles of Christ were excellently suited to the Evangelical design. Miracles in their general Nature are exccfles of Nature, and therefore things very congruous to seal

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those super-natural Truths, which are above our Reason. Evangelical Mysteries are such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have they entred into mans heart. They are above the line of Reafon, and so very aptly ratified by those miraculous Works, which are above the line of Nature. We are in all Reason to conclude, that God, who acts above Nature, is to be believed, even when he speaks above Reason; which, being but a part of Nature, may be as well exceeded by Mysteries, as other parts of Nature are by Miracles. But further, his Miracles had a special aptitude in them to confirm the Gospeľ; they were not destructive, as the wonders in Egypt were, nor meerly

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Chap. 6. to raise an admiration, as Simon Magus's were, who

would present himself Aying in the air, frame Spond. Annal.

walking-statues, and make bread out of stones, that he might be esteemed a great one, a kind of Deity among men : No, our Saviours Miracles were for the good of mankind; he went up and down doing of good, he healed the distempers of men, and calt Devils out of their bodies. And what works could be more admirably fitted to the Gospel, which was ordained to heal inward distempers, and cast Satan out of the Souls of men ? What can better accord together than healing Miracles, and healing Doctrines? It is very reasonable to believe, that he, who did such wonders on the bodies of men, can do as much and more upon their souls. He, who cast Satan out of the outward man, can eject him and all his furniture out of the inward. Moreover it is to be observed, that bis Miracles were ordinarily wrought upon Faith. Thus he said to the Centurion, As thou hast believed, so be it done to thee, Matth. 8. 13. Thus to the blind men, According to your faith

be it unto yon, Matth. 9. 29. Thus to the Father of the possessed Child, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth, Mark 9. 23, as if the Divine Power were made over to Faith. We see here, how our Saviour in doing his Miracles, did put an honour upon Faith, which is the Condition of the Gospel ; and withal, what great reason we have to go to him for Spiritual Miracles, who hath done so many Corporal.

The last instance of the Divine Power, is in converting the world to Christianity, in raising up a People to God out of the ruins of the Fall. The

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