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careful to examine not only whether they be just änd true in themselves, but also whether they be relevant to the matter in hand. In a certain sense, and to a certain extent, the objection to which we have alluded is perfectly correct; but it is correct, neither in that sense, nor to that extent, in which it would destroy or even weaken the evidence for the Gospel. Our argument was simply this,-We observed, first, that the source of the power by which our Saviour performed his miracles miracles whose reality depends upon the testimony by which they are supported-may be proved to have been divine and not devilish, by a reference to the truth of that part of his speculative doctrines and the excellence of that part of his moral precepts, upon which it falls within the province of human reason to determine. We next concluded that he who wrought such divine miracles in proof of his divine authority, must necessarily be regarded as a divine teacher; and then, from his being å divine teacher, we inferred, not only the additional weight which such a circumstance confers apon those doctrines and precepts of whose nature and tendency we are able to judge, but also the truth and divine authority of every other doctrine and precept which Jesus delivered ; and whose truth, either because they are positive ordinances or because they relate to subjects of a heavenly and mysterious character, could never otherwise
have been brought home to the human understanding. From the reasonableness of our Saviour's opinions in common things; from the propriety of his ideas with regard to the attributes and operations of the Deity, and from the excellence of that system which he has set before us as a rule of life, we infer that the power by which he wrought his wonderful works was from the God of holiness and truth. Having thus established his character as a teacher sent from God, we next infer his authority also in all uncommon things, and argue, that the positive ordinances which he enjoined, as of Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, and the mysterious declarations which he made, with regard to the atonement and judgment of the world, must, because made by him, be both certainly and divinely true. It thus appears, that we do indeed prove the divine origin of the miracles by the truth of some of the doctrines, and the truth of some of the doctrines by the divine origin of the miracles. Yet we cannot be said to argue in a vicious circle, because the doctrines by whose truth the divine origin of the miracles is proved, are not the same doctrines with those whose truth the divine origin of the miracles themselves is afterwards brought forwards to confirm. The doctrines, whose truth is brought forwards to prove the divine origin of the miracles, are those within the reach of human judgment. Those doctrines, on the other hand, whose truth the miracles are supposed to establish, are those whose truth it is beyond the limits of man's feeble philosophy to ascertain; and the only satisfactory method ofoverturning the conclusion we have drawn, would be by shewing that these supernatural doctrines are altogether inconsistent with reason or with right. For we allow that miracles alone, however numerous, or merciful, or great, can never firmly establish the divinity of a system which is notoriously unjust or false. But we do confidently maintain, that wherever the character of a religion, so far as it can be understood, is both holy and true, the miracles by which it is accompanied are a sufficient proof that the whole system, if not unworthy of God, did actually proceed from him.
3. The last observation by which we endeavoured to confirm the divine authority of Jesus, consisted in an allusion to the unblemished beauty of his moral character; and here we have happily none of the sophisms of infidelity to contend with. A few sneers against the singularity of his virtue, and a few faint murmurs at the inimitable perfection of his example are the only means by which his enemies have openly ventured to take away from the holy wisdom of his life. We may now, therefore, be permitted to
pass on to the consideration of the validity of the mode in which we attempted to shew that Jesus, who was one of the prophets of God, was also the predicted prophet of the Mosaic covenant.
4. Now the proof of this proposition, that Jesus was the Christ, we made, in obedience to the doctrines of our Lord and his Apostles, to depend entirely upon his fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament; and so numerous and unequivocal, and yet singular, did their fulfilment appear to be, that it is wonderful how a doubt could ever be entertained of the certainty of their completion. But by turning away his face from light unto darkness; by forgetting the accomplishment of every prediction which relates clearly to Christ, and fixing his attention upon those alone in which the reference to him is less evident, one ingenious writer has ventured to assert, that “the prophecies cited from the Old Testament by the authors of the New, do plainly relate, in their obvious and primary sense, to other matters than those which they are produced to prove.” He therefore holds that they are “to be applied only in a secondary or typical, or mystical, or allegorical, or enigmatical sense.'
Admit, for a moment, the whole of this state
ment to be true. Admit that every prediction, which is alleged in the New Testament as a prediction of the Messiah, can be applied only in a typical sense, and what, after all, will this
prove against the pretensions of Jesus to be that Messiah? Nothing. Jesus did many mighty and merciful works. Jesus preached a most holy and wise religion. Jesus lived a most godly and blameless life, and proved himself, by all these marks, to be a prophet of God. Now it is this Jesus, this prophet of God, who, in the New Testament, declares that he was predicted, as the Christ, in the Scriptures of the Old. The only fair and satisfactory way, therefore, of overturning his claims, would be, by producing some express and direct prediction of the Messiah which the life and actions of Jesus contradicted and belied.: In that case, we could neither believe him to be the Christ, nor even a prophet of God, however numerous or astonishing his works; because one main part of his pretensions having been found to be absolutely false, we could have little reliance upon his truth in the remainder. But there is no such contradiction to be found in the case of Christ. The only conclusion therefore to which the fact, if correct, of the prophecies relating to the Messiah being fulfilled only in an allegorical sense, can lead, is this ; that the mind of the Holy Ghost, when speaking of the Messiah, was expressed,