Imatges de pÓgina
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men in the midst of such Dangers ; for there they stay
to strip the Body, and lay the Napkin in one Part of
the Sepulchre, and wrap up the Grave-Cloaths in the o-
ther, as two or three of the Evangelists relate the Matter,
whom you your self cannot imagine to fallify, in such a
circumstantial Relation. Now pray consider, how much
Time would be taken up, in stripping off the Grave-
Cloaths from an Eastern Corps. Those Grave-Cloaths
were a Sort of Fascia, or thin Slips of Linen, whích
were rolled round die Body; so that about a dead Body
there might be many score Yards of Filleting, which bem
ing bound over those viscous Balsams, they used, must
make it a long Work to unroll so much Bandage. But,
that the Disciples should do all this unnecessary Work, in
the midst of fo much Danger, and not immediately carry
off the Body, which they might as well have done with-
out it, is a Point, Philologus, that I confess we Christians
have not Faith to believe.

Phil. But still you drop a material Thing objected, Why
Christ should be folloy of his Appearance after his Resurrection.
How do you get over that?

Cred. You make a very ill Construction of these Passa-
ges of our Saviour's Life, to think that there was any
Trick play'd by the Apoftles, because our Saviour did not
fo frequently converse with the Disciples, as he did be-
fore. For our Saviour appear'd to them, so often, and
in such a Manner,as was sufficient to overcome the greatest
Doz-btfulness, and the most obstinate Incredulity.

There are a great many Times which he is recorded, in that short History of the Gospel, to have appeared to his Difciples, and probably there were many more. He shew'd himself to the Women just after his Resurrection ; after that to Peter alone; and then to the whole Number of the Apostles: At another Time, when they were Fishing in the Sea, when he caused them to catch such a miraculous Draught of Fishes. At another Time, he eat and drank with them, and gave them fome principal Points of Instruction; and when they met together to pray, he stood in the midst of them. He talked with some of them as they

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went to Emaus. And, at another Time, he complied with the doubtful Temper of Thomas, and suffered him to view his crucified Body, and to thrust his Hands into his Side. At another Time, he was seen of the five hundred Brethren mentioned by St. Paul, besides the amazing Wonder of his Ascension, which was seen by all the Apostles. Now all these Times, here mentioned, were within forty Days after his Resurrection; so that, if he appeared at no other Time but what is in Scripture recorded, you cannot say he was shy of his Conversation, to be in the Disciples Company so often in so fort a Time. Which makes St. Luke say plainly, That he was seen of them forty Days, Aasi. 3. But I cannot imagine what Trick you can fancy in this ; you have no Grounds to imagine, that any of the Apostles set up a supposititions Christ

, which they were afraid of having too narrowly viewed ; for that strict Examination he underwent of his Hands and Sides, does for ever confute such a Fancy; and the Disciples, by once or twice Conversing with him, were as sure it was he, as if they had seen him an hundred Times.

But, supposing our Saviour did not so often converse with his Disciples and others, as he did before ; There was a very good Reason for it. Before his Death, he was upon his prophetick Office, when he was obliged to teach the World the excellent Morality of his Institution, to make known the Will of God in relation to the Mediatorship of the Messias, and to exhibit in himself the most fbining Example which ever came into the World. But, after his Resurrection this work was over; and it was not reasonable, that the eternal Son of God should converse with Man, kind more than abfolate Necessity, or the Reason of Things, required.

Nay, Who can tell, but that one Reason, why our Saviour did not appear fo publickly, among all sorts of Persons, as he did before, was, because by this he would shew an eminent Example of God's Vengeance upon the wicked Jesus, by giving them occasion to be hardned in their Infidelity, till God, in his good Time, should be plea{çd to open their Eyes and Hearts, that they, as well as

others,

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others, might see and feel the Light and Comfort of the Gospel. For if our Saviour had appeared every Day in the Sight of his Crucifiers, they would have been forced, whether they would or no, to have believed in him : But God Almighty did not see Reason, to afford fo great Blessings to such ill-disposed,malicious,and ungrateful Men.

And there may be another Reason, for our Saviour's sequestring himself, more than ordinary, from the Conversation of this World ; because, though his Humanity was not perfe&tly glorified, yet, by having his Soul separated for a Time from the Body, and by having partaken of the Joys of Paradise, his human Nature must be considerably weaned from the Things of this Life, and, being now more let into the spiritual World, he would be more desirous of that heavenly Conversation than before. He conversed with his Disciples and Followers, as much as was requisite to strengthen their Faith, and to do them good ; but was obliged to associate, at other Times, with those blessed Inhabitants of the intellectual World, to which he was, since his Resurre&ion, more nearly allied.

Phil. Well ! supposing all this true, yet the Heathens themselves have as much to say, for their Philosopher Apollonius Tyaneus. For the Gods, in a Dream, admonished the Mother of the Birth of this great Infant; and when he was born, a Flash of Lightning fell down from the Heaven to the Earth'. He, as well as Christ, broke off the Familiarity which one had with a Damon. He raised a young Maid, at Rome, from Death to Life !. Being bound in Fetters, he shook them off at his Pleasure 4. And being to answer an Accusation before Domitian, vanished out of his Sight'. He, as well as the Apostles, had, by Inspiration, the Gift of all Tongues. And, what is the most surprising Miracle of all, and equal to any you pretend of Christ, after he was dead, he 'rose to life again, and caught the Rules of his Philosophy?. · Philoftrati Hift. lib. 1. cap. 4. • Id. lib. 4. cap. 8.

3 Id. lib.4. cap. 1o. * Id. lib. 7. cap. 10.

! Id. lib. 8. cap. 12. Id. lib. i. cap. 13. ? Id. lib. 8. cap. 13.

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Indeed, for my Part, I am inclined to believe all Miracles alike; but if

you are to be guided by these for the Truth of Opinions, why is not Apollonius's Philosophy as well attested, as the Religion of Christ? Besides, as Hierocles observes, the wonderful Actions of this great Philosopher, are not related, like those of Christ, by such obscure Men as Peter and Paul, but by learned Men and Philosophers, as Damis, Maximus, and Philostratus. The like miraculous Power was in Abaris

, another Pythagorick Philosopher, who used to fly through the Air upon a winged Arrow; and yet, as Celsus says*, He was not for this reputed as a God.

Cred. It is but a vain Cavil, and the poor Refuge of a routed Argument, to compare the Character of Apollonius with that of our blessed Lord; between which two Perfons, there is as wide a Difference as there is between the History of Julius Caesar and that of Guy of Warvick. For the History of the Actions of Christ, were written by Men who either conversed with, or lived at the same Time with him, and all of them to a Tittle agree in the most material Passages of his Life. But Apollonius's History is owing to Philostratus, a Man who lived more than a hundred Years after him, and pretends he had his Memoirs from the Talk of the People in the Cities where Apollonius had conversed; which must needs be very imperfect Stories, when they had been handed about by Hear-fay for so many years. The A&tions of Christ were written by the Apostles, who laid down their Lives for the Truth; but Philostratus ventured nothing for the Writing his History, but was greatly encouraged to write some ftrange Stories of the Philosophers, by the Empress Julia. For the was a philosophick Lady, who had always a great Number of Rhetors, Sophists, and Philosophers about her, and therefore was glad to hear the Account of the Lives and Sie dies of such famous Men, as she admired. Indeed, Pha lostratus says, That a great. Deal of Apollonius's Life 22:30 taken from the Commentaries of Damis, the Commons; Apollonius, which he himself had never preblifised, but fase

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Body had communicated to the Empress ; so that 'tis probable that That Book was a Forgery too, because it was never heard of before that Time, which containing such remarkable Stories, 'tis almost impossible it should not. And as for this Damis, according to the Character Philoftratus gives of him, he was a Man of very little Judgment, as appears all along in his Disputes with Apollonius. But Pris plain, by a transitory View of this History, that it was compiled only to Thew the Reading and Learning of the Author, and rather to give Descriptions of the Places and Customs of the People, with whom Apollonius conversed, than to write the Actions of that Philosopher. He runs off in every page to Things perfectly foreign to the Business of Apollonius, and is for edging in all the fine Stories, he ever met with among the Geographers and Naturalists; as is plain, by his Talking so much of the Armenian Panthers, Elephants, Phænixes, Griffins, and Satyrs. There are in it several foolish poetical Stories of Tantalus, Hercules, Prometheus, and Mnemon ; many ridiculous Forgeries of the Bramins keeping Tubs of Rain and Thunder by them; of the Earth's swelling, just like the Waves of the Sea, by the Motion of a Bramin's Wand; and one of a magical Feast, where the Tables and Chairs, Meat and Drink, came in, of their own Accord, into the Entertainment.

In other Places, there is more legendary Stuff, of Apes as large as a Man; of other Beasts, with a Man's Head and a Lion's Body ; of Wool growing out of the Ground, like Grafs; and of Women, half whose Bodies were white, and the other half black ; of Apollonius's understanding the Language of Birds, and Beasts; of his Feeding upon Dragon's Hearts ; Dragons, which in that Place were so numerous, that the Inhabitants hunted them, as we do Hares.

Now though those Stories might pass off well enough, in Philoftratus's Time, when Geography vas but little understood; yet the Obfervation of Modern Travellers, has proved all these Relations to be ridiculous Lies; and therefore the other Stories, which he tells of his Philofo

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