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emperor's reserve was easily affected, or it is possible he mighs not be in the secret. There does not seem to be much weight in the observation of Tacitus, that they who were present continued even then to relate the story, when there was nothing to be gamed by the lie. It only proves that those, who had told the story for many years, perfilted in it. The state of mind of the witnesses and spectators at the time, is the point to be attend ed to.

Still lefs is there of pertinency in Mr. Hume's eulogium upon the cautious and penetrating genius of the historian ; for it does not appear that the historian believed it.

The terms in which he speaks of Serapis, the deity to whose interposition the miracle was attributed, scarcely suffer us to suppose that Tacitus thought the miracle to be real, “ by the admonition of the god Serapis, whom that fuperftitidus nation (dedita superfitionibus gens) worship above all other gods.”. To have brought this supposed miracle within the limits of comparison with the miracles of Christ, it ought to have appeared, that a person of a low and private station, in the nidit of enemies, with the whole power of the country oppofing him, with every one around him prejudiced or interested against his claints and character, pretended to perform these cures; and required the spectators, upon the strength of what they saw, to give up their firmest hopes and opinions, and follow him through a life of trial and danger; that many were so moved, as to obey his call, at the expense both of every notion in which they had been brought up, and of their ease, safety, and reputation ; and that by these beginnings a change was produced in the world, the effects of which remain to this day : a case, both in its circumítances and consequences, very unlike any thing we find in Tac. itus's relation.

2. The story taken from the memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, which is the second example alleged by Mr. Hume, is this : “ In the church at Saragossa in Spain, the canons shewed me a man whose business it was to light the lamps, telling me that. he had been for several years at the gate, with one leg only. I saw him with two."a

It is stated by Mr. Hume, that the Cardinal who relates this story, did not believe it ; and it no where appears, that he either examined the limb, or asked the patient, or indeed any one, a single question about the matter. An artificial leg,

a Liv. 4. A. D. 1654,

wrought with art, would be sufficient, in a place where no such contrivance had ever before been heard of, to give origin and currency to the report. The ecclefiaftics of the place would, it is probable, favour the story, inasmuch as it advanced the honour of their image and church. And if they patronized it, no other person at Saragoffa, in the middle of the last century, would care to dispute it. The story likewise coincided, not less with the wishes and preconceptions of the people, than with the interests of their ecclesiastical rulers ; so that there was prejudice backed by authority, and both operating upon extreme ige norance to account for the success of the impoiture. If, as I have fuggefted, the contrivance of an artificial limb was then new, it would not occur to the Cardinal himself to suspect it ; especially under the carelessness of mind with which he heard the tale, and the little inclination he felt to scrutinize or expose its fallacy.

3. The miracles related to have been wrought at the tomb of the Abbé Paris, admit in general of this folution. The patients who frequented the tomb, were so affected by their devotion, their expectation, the place, the solemnity, and, above all, by the sympathy of the surrounding multitude, that many of them are thrown into violent convulfions, which convulfons, in certain instances, produced a removal of disorders depending upon obstruction. We shall, at this day, have the less difficulty in admitting the above account, because it is the very as hath lately been experienced in the operations of animal mag. netism; and the report of the French physicians upon that myfterious remedy, is very applicable to the present consideration, viz. that the pretenders to the art, by working upon the imaginations of their patients, were frequently able to produce convulsions; that convulsions fo produced are amongst the most powerful, but at the same time, most uncertain and unmanageable applications to the human frame, which can be employed.

Circumitances, which indicate this explication in the case of the Parisian miracles, are the following:

1. They were tentative. Out of many thousand sick, infirm, end diseased persons, who resorted to the tomb, the profeffod history of the miracles contains only nine cures.

2. The convulsions at the tomb are admitted,

3: The diseases were, for the most part, of that fort, which depends upon inaction and obtruction, as dropfies, paldies, and Lume tumors.

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4. The cures were gradual; fome patients attending many days, fome several weeks, and some several months.

5. The cures were many of them inconiplete. 6. Others were temporary.

So that all the wonder we are called upon to account for is, that, out of an almost innumerable multitude which resorted to the tomb for the cure of their complaints, and many of whom were there agitated by strong convulsions, a very small proportion experienced a beneficial change in their constitution, efpecially in the action of the nerves and glands.

Some of the cases alleged do not require that we fhould have recourse to this solution. The first case in the catalogue is scarcely distinguishable from the progress of a natural recovery. It was that of a young man, who laboured under an inNammation of one eye, and had lost the light of the other. The inflamed eye was relieved, but the blindness of the other remained. The inflammation had before been abated by medicine ; and the young man, at the time of his attendafice at the tomb, was using a lotion of laudanum. And, what is a still more material part of the cafe, the inflammation after some interval returned. Another case was that of a young man who had lost his right by the puncture of an awl, and the discharge of aqueous humour through the wound. The fight which had been gradually returning was much improved during his visit at the tomb, that is, probably in the fame degree in which the discharged humour was replaced by fresh secretions. And it is observable that these two are the only cases, which, from their nature, should seem unlikely to be affected by convulsions.

In one material respect I allow, that the Parisan miracles were different from those related by Tacitus, and from the Spanish miracle of the Cardinal de Retz. They had not, like them all the power and all the prejudice of the country on their side to begin with.

They were alleged by one party against another, by the Janfenifts againsts the Jesuits. These were of course opposed and examined by their adversaries. The consequence of which examination

falsehoods were detected, that with something really extraordinary, much fraud appeared to be mixed. And if some of the cases, upon which designed misrepresensation could not be charged, were not at the time satisfactorily accounted for, it was because the efficacy of strong spasmodic affections were not then fufficiently known. Finally, the cause of Jansenism did not rise by the miracles, but fank, although the miracles had the anterior persuasion of all the numerous adherents of that cause to set out with.

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a The reader will find these particulars verified in the detail, by the accurate inquiries of the present Bifhop of Saruin ja his criterion of miracles, p. 131, et seq.

These, let us remember, are the strongest examples which the history of ages supplies. In none of them was the miracle unequivocal ; by none of them were established prejudices and persuasions overthrown ; of none of them did the credit make its way, in opposition to authority and power ; by none of them were many induced to cominit themselves, and that in contradiction to prior opinions, to a life of mortisication, danger, and sufferings : none were called upon to attest them, at the ex. penfe of their fortunes and safety, a

a It may be thought that the historian of the Parisian miracles, M. Montgeron, forms an exception to this last affertion. He presented his book (with a suspicion, as it should seem, of ihe danger of what he was doing) to the king; and was Niortly afterwards committed to prison, from which he never came out. Had the miracles been unequivocal, and had M. Montgeron been originally convinced by them, I should have allowed this exception. It would have stood, i think, alone in the argument of our adversarics. But, beside what has been observed of the dubious nature of the miracles, the account, which M. Montgeron has himself left of his conversion, Ihows both the state of his mind, and that his persuasion was not built upon external miracles. “Scarcely had he entered the church-yard, when he was struck," he tells

us, “ with awe and reverence, having never before heard prayers pronounced with so much ardour and transport, as he observed amongst the supplicants at the tomb. Upon this, throwing himself on his knees, resting his elbows on the tombstone, and covering his face with his hands, he fpake the following prayer : 0 tbou, by whose intere ceffion so many miracles are said to be performed, if it be true that a part of thee surviveth the grave, and that thou hast influence with the Almighty, have pity on the darkness of my underflonding, and through bis mercy obtain the removal of it. Having prayed thus, many thoughts, as he fayeth, began to open themselves to his mind; and so profound was his attention, that he continued on his knees four hours, not in the least disturbed by the vast crowd of surrounding supplicants. During this time all the arguments which he ever heard or read in favour of Christianity, occurred to himn with so much force, and seemed to strong and convincing, that he went home fully satisfied of the truth of religion in general, and of the holiness and power of that person, who," as be pposed,

"had engaged the divine goodness to enlighten his undertanding so suddenly." Douglass Crit. of Mir. p. 214.

OF THE AUXILIARY EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.

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Prophecy. If lii. 13. lii. “BEHOLD, my férvant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonished at thee ; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men : so shall he sprinkle many nations ; the kings shall shut their mouths at him : for that which had not been told them shall they see ; and that which they had not heard shall they conlider. Who hath believed our report ? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is Do beauty that we should defire him. He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid, as it were, our faces from him ; he was despised, and we elteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows : yet we did effeem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgresfions, he was bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned

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one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us ail. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her fhearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment : and who shall declare his generation ? for he was cut off out of the land of the living : for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord te bruise him; he hath put him to grief. When thou shalt

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