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to pass but Ten days after, on the Feast of Pentecoft. 8 Origen acquaints us, that Phlegon, tho he was not so well inform’d, as to distinguish what was foretold by St. Peter, from the prediaions of our Saviour himfelf, yet acknowledg’d that Christ had prophecy’d of things to come, and that his Prophecies were fulfill'd by the event.
Our Saviour's Miracles verified the Prophecies, which had been concerning the Meffias ; for the Jews expected, that the Meflias
should manifelt himself by Miracles to the World, as they concluded from the
ancient Prophets : and therefore St. John Baptist did no Miracles, that he might not be mistaken for the Messias, of whom Miracles were a principal Token to know him by. His Miracles were wrought in the midst of his Enemies, and extorted a confeffion from the Devils themselves of his Divine Power ; they were of that nature, that it was impossible for those before whom they were wrought, to be imposed upon by them, and as impossible for them to be performed but by the immediate Power of God. The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes wastwice done, and the Persons who were witnesses to it, were at one time five thousand men, besides women and children, Matt. xiv. 21. and the other time four thousand men, besides women and children, Matt. xv. 38. a Miracle wrought at two several times, and obvious to all the senses of fo many thousand Men, besides Women and Children, who being hungry, found themselves filled and fatiffied with this miraculous Food in the barren Wilderness, where it was impossible for them to be fupplied by natural means, was impossible to be mistaken. The Miracles of our Saviour were so many, and so publick and undeniable, that St. Peter appeals to the Jews themselves, declaring that Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God among them, by miracles, and wonders, and hgns, which God did by him in the midst of thom, as they themselves also knew, Aas üi. 22. The Nobleman's Son was cured at a distance, and the multitude were witnesses to the request he made to our Saviour, and to our Saviour's Answer upon it, and the Nobleman's Family were witnesses that the cure was effected at that very time. He cast Devils out of one known to have been a long time poffefs'd, and then fuffered them to go into the Swine, to make it appear, that they were indeed evil Spirits, which had poffefs'd the Man, contrary to the Doctrine of the Sadducees, who believed no such thing as Spirits. He cured the Leprosie, and sent the cured to the Priest, as the Law required, that he by inspection might examine, whether it were a perfect cure or no. He gave fight to one born Blind, and this was upon examination attested to the Pharisees themselves. Sometimes he made the Blind to fee, only by touching their Eyes; at other times, he did but command them to receive their Sight, Luke xviii. 43. The Cure was always performed without any Operation, or Application of Remedies ; and it was instantly perfected : So that their Eyes could immediately endure the Light, which no Eye can do, that is cured otherwise than by Miracle. Lazarus was raised to life again, after he had been dead four days, before so many witnesses, that the Scribes and Pharisees were not able to contradi& the Truth of it, but were mightily enraged against him for it, and consulted to put Lazarus to death, because many were enduced to believe on Christ, by reason of so great and manifefta Miracle. For Bethany was but about Two Miles distant from Jerusalem, and this Miracle was the Cause of his Reception there with the Hosanna's and Acclamations of the People: And when the Pharisees, and the ChiefPriests were inform’d of it, they assembled in Council, to advise, what was to be done: What do we ? för
& Contra Celsum, l. 2.
this man doth many miracles, (Joh. xi. 18, 47. xii. 17, 18.) . They acknowledg’d, that he had wrought many Miracles, and when they ascribed them to Belzebub, this was a Confeffion, that Miracles were perform’d by him, tho' they blasphemed the Power, by which they were effected. And not only the Jews of that Age, but their Posterity, have not deny'd, that Christ wrought Miracles, which was also confess’d by h Julian the Apoftate. Some who had been cured, and others who had been raised from the dead, by our Saviour, were living for many years after, i as Quadratus testified of his own time, in his Apology to Adrian the Emperor.
The Circumstances of these, and the rest of our Saviour's Miracles, fhew'd that they were really perform'd, and they were wrought with this Intent and Design, to prove him to be the Christ. The Nature therefore and End of them fhews, that nothing less than a Divine Power could have effected them: For God would never have suffer'd them to be wrought to vouch an Imposture to the World under his own Name and Authority. k A learned Physician has written a Treatise to Thew, that according to the Principles and Axioms of the best Physicians, all the Diseases, which our Saviour cur'd, were incurable by niatural means, and it is evident to every Man, that many of them were fo. He manifested his miraculous, divine Power upon his Enemies, in curing the
h 'Εργασάμενο- (ο Ιησούς) παρ' όν έζη χρόνον ουδεν ακοής άξιον, ει μη τις οίς και τους κυλλούς , και τυφλούς ιάσα, και δαιμονώντας εξορκίζαν εν Βηθσαιδα, και εν Βηθανία , ταϊς κώμας ή μεγίσων έργων eiycus . Julian. apud Cyrill
. 1.6. p. 191. 'Incoūs de, ö tois avouevo σιν επιτάτων, και βαδίζων επί τ θαλάσσης, και τα δαιμόνια εξελαύνων. Ib. p. 213. Edit. Lipt.
i Euseb. Hift. I. iv. c. 13. Hieron. Catalog.
k Guil. Ader Medici enarrationes de ægrotis & inorbis in Evangelio.
Ear of Malchus; (Luke xxii. 51.) in causing those who were sent to apprehend him, to fall to the Ground; ftruck down only by the Word of his Mouth ; and in procuring the Dismission of his Disciples upon demand, in order to fulfil one of his own Prophecies, (Foh. xviii. 6, 8.) But I shall insist more particularly upon the Resurrection of our Saviour, this being the most wonderful, and a Confirmation of all his other Miracles, and of the whole Gospel to us.
CHAP. XIV. Of the Resurrection and Ascension of our
THE Resurrection of our Blessed Saviour was pro
phesied of by David, Psal. xvi. 8. A&s ii. 27. And it was prefigur’d by the Type of Isaac's Deliverance, when he had been offerd up by Abraham, who both believed that God was able to raise him up ever from the dead, and received him also from thence in a figure, Heb. xi
. 19. And it was also prefigured by the Type of Jonas's Deliverance, after he had been three Days and three Nights in the Whale's Belly, Mat. xii. 40. Our Saviour rose, as he foretold he would do, on the third day, including the Day of his Burial, Matth. xvi. 21. xvii. 23. xx. 19. A&s x. 40. He was three Days and three Nights in the Grave, that is, three Nox Jýpreg, according to the Account of the Jews, who reckon'd the Evening and the Morning, or the beginning of the Night and the beginning of the Day, as one Day, or one Revolution of the Sun; and computed from Evening to Evening, Lev. xxiü. 32. And in the Computation of the eight Days
for the Circumcision of their Children, they computed inclusively any part of the Day in which the Child was born, for the whole : Thus the a Romans computed their Nundina and their Calends, &c. And the b Olympiads among the Greeks contain'd five Years inclusively ; and thus we call that a Tertian Ague, which has but one Day's intermission.
But the Resurrection of Christ, which was the Accomplishment of these Types and Prophecies, being Matter of Fa&, must be prov'd, as all other Matters of Fact are, by Witnesses : And the Apostles in a body offer'd themselves as Witnesses to testifie this great Article of our Faith : This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses, Aas ii. 32. The thing therefore to be consider'd, is, Whether they were effe&tually qualified to be Witnesses in this Matter. And to prove that they had all the Qualifications which can be required in any Witnesses, I shall fhew, 1. That they had certain knowledge of the thing which they were Witnesses of, and could not be deceived themfelves in it. 2. That they would not deceive others, having no Temptation to it, but acting against all the Interests and Advantages of this world. 3. That they alledge such Circumstances, as made it impossible for them to deceive those to whom they testified the Truth of Christ's Refurre&ion,tho’they had had never so much mind to do it. And when Men testifie things, which they have such means and opportunities of knowing, as make it impossible for them to be mistaken in them; when they can have no advantage but by telling the Truth, and can expect nothing but Sufferings from it
a Annum ita diviserunt, ut nonis modò diebus urbanas res usurparent, reliquis septem ut rura colerent. Var. de Re Rust. lib. ii. Præf. Tas nenozi o dyogão em 10 spécges. Dionyf. Halicarn. Antiquit. Rom. 1. 7.
b Sed horum omnium rytailneidas maximè notandis Temporibus Graci observant, i. e. quaternum annorum circuitus, qisas vocant Olympiadas. Censorin. de Die Natali, c. 18.