صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The true reason of my not doing it, then, is this : He burnt a good many of them himself at Paris, and, by a writing found among

what were left, signified, that these were the only ones, fit to be printed; so that without acting contrary to the Bishop's opinion of his own performances, of which he was certainly the best judge, no more could, and therefore no more ought to be published : and it being from thence resolved that no more should, the only effectual way of preventing it, was, to commit the rest to the flames. Which was accordingly done, in my presence, by WILLIAM MORICE, Esq., his dutiful and worthy son-inlaw and executor. To whom I take this opportunity of acknowledging myself much obliged for several considerable acts of friendship; but particularly for the benefit of publishing these pious remains of my dear friend and patron, whom I greatly admired, loved and reverenced; and to whose memory I therefore dedicate them, with a heart full of gratitude and respect.




I. The fair, open, and illustrious manner, in which it

was” promulged, a strong argument of the truth

of it

Our Saviour opened his commission without any parti-

sans or followers, and lived afterwards chiefly in towns

and cities
His miracles performed often upon the most solemn and

remarkable occasions
As his life was public, so was his death and resur-




II. Reflections that arise from bence are



1. The great advantage which the christian religion

has on this account over all other religions


The credibility of Numa's conferences with a goddess,

and of Mahomet’s receiving part of the Alcoran from
the angel Gabriel, depends solely on their own testi-


Neither of them wrought miracles to confirm their



The miracles said to be wrought in the East and West

Indies are reported by persons so much later than the
facts themselves, that we can have no rational assur-
ance of them


And the truth of the Jewish revelation depends, as the

infidels object, on the testimony of friends only


2. The inexcusable and incurable obstinacy of those,

who, notwithstanding the open incontestable manner,

in which the divine authority of the Gospel was

manifested, continue still to stand out against it ib.

3. The vanity of pretences to miracles in the Romish

communion; which have been generally done pri-

vately, in religious houses and places of retirement,

or in remote regions of the world, whither no one

will go to disprove them : or in superstitious coun-

tries, where no man has inclination or leave to dis-


4. The vanity particularly of transubstantiation, the

most absurd pretence of all


Private visions and illuminations, being a sort of miracles

transacted only between God and the souls of those

that pretend to them, can never be made a foundation

for the reception of any doctrine

5. A doctrine once established upon incontestable

miracles, needs not to be confirmed by new ones in


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


gave the disciples an occasion of answering that ques-

tion themselves, which they had proposed to our blessed



The matter of it remarkable,
. 1. For the gradation of its particulars, the last of which

was an instance of condescension the Jews had
before been but little acquainted with

2. For the appositeness of it, in relation to the persons

that made the inquiry: for,

First, since they were not to be convinced by oral tes-

timony, they are taught to judge of the Messiah by the

works they saw in him


Secondly, miracles were a proof of our Saviour's pre-emi-

nence over their master, and were known to be one dis-
criminating mark of his being the Messiah


Thirdly, the particular facts our Saviour mentions, all of

them acts of benevolence, were rightly suited to insinu-

ate that pre-eminence, and to correct those ill notions

the disciples might have conceived from their master's

rigid austerities


Fourthly, the answer is expressed in words taken from

the prophet Isaiah, whose writings had more particu-

larly pointed out their own master, and in which con-

sequently they had been most conversant


The passage in the text is remarkable for its containing

the chief marks and characters of such miracles as are

sufficient to confirm the authority of any person pre-

tending to be sent from God


An exhortation to attention in perusing the several parts

of Scripture, which, like the works of nature, always

appear the more wonderful, the more they are looked



[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »