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every action of his life went to establish?
“ If I had not done among them,” says he, “the works which none other man did, they had not had sin : but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.”
Let us, then, take heed that we do not fall after the same example of unbelief.
The Gospel, which was preached to them, has been delivered to us, and if we have not those living evidences of miraculous power which they possessed, we have all the light that a rational being can require, either for the conviction of his faith, or the foundation of his hope. A faithful record “ of all that Jesus began both to do and teach until the day in which he was taken up," has been handed down to us, and this record is farther illustrated and confirmed by the writings and lives of his immediate followers. Let us open this work with singleness of heart, and study it diligently as that which contains the charter of our salvation. Let us bend our knees in devout adoration before the throne of grace, for so plain and merciful a dispensation conveyed to us by so holy and distinguished a person as the Son of God. And finally, let us pray, " that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."
THE EVIDENCE OF MIRACLES.
JOHN vii. 31.
AND MANY OF THE PEOPLE BELIEVED ON HIM, AND SAID, WHEN CHRIST COMETH,
WILL HE DO MORE MIRACLES THAN THESE WHICH THIS MAN HATH DONE?”
The character of Jesus Christ, in every view which we take of it, strikes the mind as something singular, and shows a peculiarity of feature different from other men.
He claimed to be the Son of the Highest, and it is natural to expect, that, if he were indeed that distinguished person, the credentials to attest his divine origin would be of a very extraordinary kind.
Had the Son of God exhibited no proofs of his high descent, but been altogether like an ordinary man, the want of dignity to support his pretensions would have detracted from the credibility due to them, and mankind would have rejected a Messiah who had nothing to show but what was entirely common.
The fallen condition and the rooted depravity of mankind, required not only a revelation to give them clearer ideas of God, and juster sentiments of humanity, but an example too which should at once
illustrate and adorn the duties of a religious and social life, and teach, by living evidence, the perfection of which our nature is capable. It does not appear how men, as accountable beings, could be instructed in the obligations of life, and have the attributes and the requirements of God developed to them, otherwise than by means of a revelation; and if it was worthy of God to create and sustain them, it was surely worthy of him to teach them the knowledge of himself, and of the way that conducts to happiness. The method by which he should make such revelation, must, evidently, be left to his own choice, and a rational creature cannot but conclude, that God would adopt that course which was most agreeable to his wisdom, and best calculated to produce the effect desired.
Now, God was pleased, among other instruments, to select his dearly beloved Son, both as a revealer of his will to mankind, and as an ensample of godly living; and that Son, known by the name of the Word of God, came down from heaven, and appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. All the circumstances of his visit were extraordinary.
His birth was out of the common course of nature. His talents were of an order that no wisdom or cunning could overreach or circumvent. His conversation was the most open, artless, and innocent possible, free from guile, hypocrisy, immorality, and error. His life was entirely devoted to the welfare of others, whose temporal and eternal interest he sought to promote in every possible way
And his general deportment was so
easy and affable, so condescending and gracious, that the coinmon people thronged him as he went, and heard him gladly. These were strong evidences of the peculiarity I have alluded to, as befitting the character of a very high-born and extraordinary per
But the most remarkable feature of all, in his history, was his
was his miracles. These he wrought in various ways and on various occasions, according to the diversity of motives and objects which presented themselves to his notice, or sprung up before him. Some he performed by a word; others by a touch : some on the spot where he was; others at a distance from him : some in private before select witnesses ; others in public before all the world : some at the urgent request of particular individuals; and others at the instance of his own mind. Now, it is these miracles which prove the truth of his pretensions. However singular his life and character may appear in other respects, and however much he may differ from ordinary men, the power by which he inverted the order of nature, and did things which none but God, or persons inspired by God, could do, is the foundation on which the truth of his pretensions depends. “ The works that I do in my Father's name," said he, “they bear witness of me.”
“ If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” Miracles, indeed, do not prove that the performer of them is the Son of God. For Moses, Elijah, and other distinguished