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ample powers for that purpose; powers such as nothing less than Omnipotence could be stow. The names of these apostles were as follow: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, another James, Thaddeus or Jude, Simon, Judas Iscariot. These twelve persons, St. Matthew tells us, Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,' “ Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any cities of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand*.” This was the business which they were sent to accomplish; they were to go about the country of Judæa, and to preach to the Jews in the first place the holy religion which their divine Master had just began to teach. Then follow their powers; “ heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” .
After this come their instructions, and a variety of directions how to conduct themselves in the discharge of their arduous and important mission, of which I shall take notice hereafter; but must first offer to your consi* Matth. X. 2-3.
deration a few remarks on this extraordinary designation of the apostles to their important office.
And in the first place, who were the men singled out by our blessed Lord for the purpose of diffusing his religion through the world; that is, for the very singular purpose of persuading men to relinquish the religion of their ancestors, the principles they had imbibed from their infancy, the customs, the prejudices, the habits, the ways of thinking, which they had for a long course of years indulged, and to adopt in their room a system of thinking and acting in many respects directly opposite to them; a religion exposing them to many present hardships and severe trials, and referring them for their reward to
distant period of time, and an invisible world? Was it to be expected that such a change as this, such a sudden and violent revolution in the minds of men, could be brought about by common and ordinary instruments? Would it not require agents of a very superior order, of considerable influence from their birth and wealth and situation in life, men of the profoundest erudition, of the
brightest brightest talents, of the most consummate knowledge of the world and the human heart, of the most insinuating manners, of the most commanding and fascinating eloquence? Were then the apostles of this description? Quite the countrary. They were plain, humble, unpretending men, of low birth and low occupations, without learning, without education, without any extraordinary endowments, natural or acquired, without any thing, in short, to recommend thembuttheir simplicity, integrity, and purity of manners. With what hopes of success could men such as these set about the most difficult of all enterprizes, the reformation ©f a corrupt world, and the conversion of it to a new faith? Yet we all know that they actually did accomplish these two most arduous things, and that on the foundations they laid, the whole superstructure of the Christian church has been raised, and the divine truths of the Gospel spread through all parts of the civilized world. Howthen is this to be accounted for? It is utterly impossible to account for it in any way but that which Christ himself points out, in this very charge to his apostles: "Heal the sick," says he to them in the 8 th verse, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." Here is the explanation of the whole mystery. It was the powers with which they were invested, the miracles they were enabled to perform, which procured such multitudes of converts. The people saw that God was with them, and that therefore every thing they taught must be true.
Here is at once a sufficient cause assigned for the effect produced by agents, apparently so unequal to the production of it. We challenge all the infidels in the world to assign any other adequate cause. They have never yet done it; and we assert with confidence that they never can.
These then were the powers the Apostles carried along with them; and where shall we find the sovereign that could ever furnish his ambassadors with such qualifications as these? If they were aske,d with what authority they were invested, and* what proofs they could give that they were actually commissioned to instruct mankind in the principles of true religion, by that great personage the Son of God, whose servants and ministers they pre
Vol* L Q tended tended to be, their answer was short and decisive; bring us- your sick, and we will heal them; show us your lepers, and we will cleanse them; produce your dead, and we . will restore them to life. It would not be very easy to dispute the authenticity of such credentials as these.
It is further to be observed on this head, that the circumstance of our Saviour not only working miracles himself, but also enabling others to perform them, is an instance of divine power, to which no other prophet or teaeher before him, true or false, ever pretended. In this, as in many other respects, he stands unrivalled and alone.
After this- follow some directions, no less singular and new. "Provide neither gold ROr silver, nor bras* in your purses; nor scrip for your journey; neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves*/'
That is, they wyre to take a long journey, without making any other provision for it than the staff in their hand, and the clothes they had on; for, says Jesus, the workman is worthy of his meat; an intimation that the * Matth. x, G, 10.