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Julian Pe 4. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with Cana, in riod, 4740.
Galilee. ? mine hour is not yet come.
which at present are daily exhibited, were from this moment
The Jews, as well as others who believe in the authenticity
1. The object of the miracles was worthy of its divine author.
3. They appealed to the senses in such manner, that men
4. They were independent of second causes.
5. Public monuments were set up, and outward actions performed to commemorate them.
6. And this was done at the very time when the events took place, and continued afterwards without interruption.
The miracles of Moses, of Elias, and others recorded in the Old Testament, may be divided into those of a private and public nature. Each of which are to be received on different
unds, according to the object proposed. The public miracles were designed to impress a whole tribe, or nation, or large body of men, with the conviction of a truth, or to confirm them in the profession of the true faith, in the days of indifference, apostacy, and idolatry--those of a more private nature were designed to convince individuals, or smaller bodies of men, of the same truths; by relieving human wants, or sufferings, by raising the dead, or in some cases by inflicting punishment, thereby demonstrating the divine mission of the prophet, and the importance and truth of all that he was appointed to teach.
1. Do the Jews believe in the miracles which were wrought by Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, because it was an object worthy of the Divine Being to save his people at the time when the prediction of bis servant had announced their release! How much more worthy of the divine goodness was that greater deliverance of the descendants of the same Israelites from a worse bondage than that of Egypt, from the captivity of sin and death.
2. Were the miracles of Moses which effected this deliverance publicly and instantaneonsly performed-was darkness brought upon the land-were the fruits of the ground destroyed-was the river changed into blood--and the Red Sea eventually opened for their rescue-and were all these things publicly and instantaneously performed ! Equally wonderful was the darkness at the crueifixion of Christ-the creation of bread in the hands of the five, or the seven thousand--and, above all these, the publie resurrection of the dead to life.
3. Could the senses of the people perceive and know, and judge of the miracles of Moses and of Elias ? So was the appeal made by Christ to the scrutinizing examination of his thronging auditors.
Solian Pe 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he Cana, ia riod, 4740. saith unto you, do it.
4. Were the accumulations of the waves of the sea, as the gathering waters on each side of the passing Israelites rose in heaps, instead of smoothly proceeding on their course, evidently independant of second causes : so were the miracles of Christ, when he rose from his slumber in the endangered vessel at the entreaties of his terrified disciples, to rebuke the raging of the wind, and the roaring of the sea, and command the elements to subside into a calm. What human power could have enabled Moses to divide the sea, or Joshua to roll back the tide of Jordan, or Elijah to part the river and go through dry shod, or Christ to walk himself, and to enable Peter to walk on the bosom of the deep. They were the manifestations of the providence of the same God, watchful over the same people. “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber por sleep."
5. Were public monuments set up, or outward actions perform. ed, to celebrate the miracles that delivered Israel from Egypt; was the Passover appointed as a memorial for ever? Equally is it demonstrable that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was ordained as a continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and likewise the Christian Sabbath for a tes. timony of his resurrection-and, to come to the sixth criterion of public miracles, if the Passover was instituted at the time when the Exodus took place, to be continued from that day to the time of the true Pascal Lamb, we also, who glory in the name of Christians, can demonstrate, by the most indisputable authority, that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was instituted but a few bours before the death of our beloved master, and has ever, from that period, been commemorated by his followers, in remembrance of his precious death, until his coming again. And we can further demonstrate that the Christian Sabbath has been set apart for the celebration of Christ's resurrection, from the time when he appeared to his disciples to assure them that he had risen from the dead,
Let us refer also to lesser circumstances, and compare the character of the witnesses who bave testified the truth of these miracles, under the separate dispensations: the most decided impugner of the truths of Christianity, who receives the Old Testament, will be satisfied with the evidence in favour of our sacred faith. In whatever point of view we consider these witnesses, we shall find them distinguished by the same characteristics. Their motives, circumstances, and conduct, wonderfully correspond. It appears graciously designed by the one Jehovah, the God of the Jews and of the Christians, that the whole system of Revelation should be established on the same evidence-that if one was worthy of faith and acceptance, the other was equally so.
Was Moses the legislator of his people, appointing for their government a new code of laws; so also was Christ the great Jawgiver of his people, to whom he gave a more perfect law, exacting a more spiritual and exemplary obedience. Was Isaiah the companion of the princes of Israel, and of the blood royal, as the Jewish traditions assert-the Evangelist St. John was of the family of the high priest, and St. Paul was educated at the feet of Gamaliel, with ihe principal members of the Sanhedrim, and the most learned of the Pharisees and Sadducees of his day. If Amos was an ignorant and obscure man, “ neither a prophet, por a prophet's son,” but a herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit, it cannot be necessary to shew that the majority of
Julian Pe 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after Cana, in rjod, 4740. the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two 27. or three firkins a-piece.
the twelve apostles were equally unlearned; and so much with-
Are the miracles of Moses to be depended upon, because of
Was Moses brought before Pharaoh-or Daniel before Darius -or the three children before Nebuchadnezzar, to appeal by the miracles that evidenced the superiority of Jehovah, to all the wise, and learned, and noble, of their own day, and to confirm the truth of their religion for ever-so was Christ brought bero Herod--before the Roman Governor-and the assembly of the Priests, who had heard of his mighty deeds. It was in the presence of the rulers of the people that Christ raised the dead, and healed the sick, and created new limbs to the maimed, while they, hating his doctrine, were keenly and maliciously intent upon all his actions, to denounce him as an entbusiast, or to prove him an impostor. St. Paul struck the sorcerer with blindness at the tribunal of Paulus, and St. Peter restored the lame man, who was known to all the heads of the Priests, and the rulers of Israel.
Did Moses work his miracles in that place where detection would have been the most easy-so did Christ when he multiplied bread in the wilderness, which produced only roots and herbs, the scanty provision of nature. Did the ancient Prophets so entirely and unanimously agree with each other, that no contradiction whatever is to be found between themso neither can any variation of doctrine be discovered between the testimonies of the Evangelists and the writers of the Epistles. Was Isaiah tortured with the saw, and Jeremiah cast into prison, so also were the Apostles, and first Martyrs, crucified, stoned, imprisoned, or otherwise persecuted. If we believe, therefore, the writers of the Old Testament, the same laws of reasoning and judgment require that we should give equal credence to those of the New Testament. Of both it may be justly asked,
" Why should men, of various age and parts,
Weave such agreeing truths, or how or why
Julian Pe. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with Cana, in riod, 4740. water. And they filled them up to the brim.
Galilee. Vulgar Æra, 27.
The writers of the New Testament like the writers of the Old, express themselves with the accurate carelessness of truth; no real contradiction exists betwoen them; their deviation is only an additional testimony in their favour, as it proves there could have been no intended deception, where there was no premeditated scheme, not even the reconciliation of apparent differences.
If the representation of this agreement between the writers of the Old and New Testament be not satisfactory to the Jewish reader, let him further consider the singular contrast between his past and present condition.
Unless the Messiah bas really come, and the Jows have despised and crucified him, as we assert, by what means can they reconcile to themselves the fearful change that has taken place in their circumstances. Let them tell the Christian for what reason it is that the sons of Abrabam, so long the peculiarly faroured children of God, who were honoured with miracles, admonished by prophets, directed by visions, and visited by angels, should, for so long a period, be permitted to wander over the whole world, a by-word, and the very scorn of all nations, without a king, a temple, or a prophet. When their proud and noble city was destroyed, idolatry had long ceased. They were zealous for the law-they venerated even the characters in which it was written, and the parchment on which it was inscribed. The gods of the Gentiles were abhorred. They ventured even to encounter the hatred of the merciless Caligula, rather than admit an image into their sacred temple. Jehovah was the God they worshipped, according to the letter of the law of Moses, with an enthusiastic adherence to the minutiæ of their difficult and burthensome ritual. The most embarrassing of their appointed ordinances was their pride and boast. Wherefore, then, las God forgotten to be gracious? They have endured, and suffered, and hoped, and believed, and prayed for mercy, for centuries ; they have called upon the Jehovah who from the beginning promised them a Messiah-yet no prophet has appeared—no miracle has. been wrought in their favour. Since the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem, which took place forty years after the crucifixion of their Redeemer, they have been scattered over the face of the whole earth, an astonishment, and a proverb, among all nations, (Deut. xxviii. 37.) by the command of an overruling Providence, an undeniable evidence of the fulfilment of prophecy, in their own blindness of heart, and of the truth of Christianity. Can any cause whatever be assigned for this standing miracle, this wonderful dispersion, so long, and faithfully predicted by their great lawgiver, (Deut. xxviji. 64–68.) than that which is given by inspiration itself. He came to his own, and his own received him not; and they remain, as Moses foretold they should remain, a “sign and a wonder," till the day in which they shall say, “ Blessed is be that cometh in the name of the Lord (c)."
(a) Com. Evan. Sec. Joan. vol. i. p. 14. de vita Joannis privata. (b) Ceterum non male Chrysostomus--optabat (Maria) et ipsa clarior fieri per filium και τάχα τι και ανθρώπινον έπασχε καθάπερ και οι αδελφοί αυτού, λεγοντες· δείξον σεαυτόν τω κόσμω, βελόμενοι την από των Davuárwv dótav kaptuoao@ai. (c) See the Letter of Mr. Hamilton to Dr. Herschell, chief Rabbi of the German and Polish Jews in London. -Horne's Crit. Introd. first edit. vol. i. p. 584. with his references.
Julian Pe 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear Cana, in
Galilee. Tjod, 4710 unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was : (but the servants which drew the water knew :) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine ; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. '
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him ".
Limborch's Amica Collatio cum erud. Jud. 4to. p. 172. where this learned