صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

or not, the relation itself discovers the writers | Jesus work what miracles he would, still the anown opinion of those principles: and that alone swer was in readiness, " that he wrought them by possesses considerable authority. In the next the assistance of Beelzebub." And to this answer chapter, we have a reflection of the evangelist, no reply could be made, but that which our Savientirely suited to this state of the case : " but our did make, by showing that the tendency of though he had done so many miracles before them, his mission was so adverse to the views with yet believed they not on him."* The evangelist which this being was, by the objectors themselves, does not mean to impute the defect of their belief supposed to act, that it could not reasonably be to any doubt about the miracles; but to their not supposed that he would assist in carrying it on. perceiving, what all now sufficiently perceive, and | The power displayed in the miracles did not alone what they would have perceived, had not their refute the Jewish solution, because the interposiunderstandings been governed by strong preju- tion of invisible agents being once admitted, it is dices, the infallible attestation which the works impossible to ascertain the limits by which their of Jesus bore to the truth of his pretensions. efficiency is circumscribed. We of this day may

The ninth chapter of Saint John's Gospel con be disposed, possibly, to think such opinions 100 tains a very circumstantial account of the cure of absurd to have been ever seriously entertained. a blind man: a miracle submitted to all the scru- I I am not bound to contend for the credibility of tiny and examination which a sceptic could pro- the opinions. They were at least as reasonable pose. If a modern unbeliever had drawn up the as the belief in witchcraft

. They were opinions interrogatories, they could hardly have been more in which the Jews of that age hail from their incritical or searching. The account contains also fancy been instructed; and those who cannot see a very curious conference between the Jewish enough in the force of this reason, to account for rulers and the patient, in which the point for our their conduct towards our Saviour, do not suffipresent notice is their resistance of the force of ciently consider how such opinions may sometimes the miracle, and of the conclusion to which it led, become very general in a country, and with what after they had failed in discrediting its evidence pertinacity, when once become so, they are, for “We know that God spake unto Moses; but as that reason alone, adhered to. In the suspense for this fellow, we know not whence he is.” That which these notions, and the prejudices resulting was the answer which set their minds at rest. And from them, might occasion, the candid and docile by the help of much prejudice, and great unwil- and humble minded would probably decide in língness to yield, it might do so. In the mind of Christ's favour; the proud and obstinate, together the poor man restored to sight, which was under with the giddy and ihe thoughtless, almost unino such bias, and felt no such reluctance, the versally against him. miracle had its natural operation. “Herein," This state of opinion discovers to us also the says he, " is a marvellous thing that ye know not reason of what some choose to wonder at, why the from whence he is, yet he hath opened mine Jews should reject miracles when they saw them, eyes. Now we know, that God heareth not sin- yet rely so much upon the tradition of them in ners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, their own history. It does not appear, that it had and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the ever entered into the minds of those who lived in world began, was it not heard, that any man the time of Moses and the prophets, to ascribe opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If their miracles to the supernatural agency of evil this man were not of God, he could do nothing." beings. The solution was not then invented. We do not find that the Jewish rulers had any The authority of Moses and the prophets being other reply to make to this defence, than that established, and become the foundation of the which authority is sometimes apt to make to ar- national polity and religion, it was not probable gument, “ Dost thou teach us?"

that the later Jews, brought up in a reverence for If it shall be inquired, how a turn of thought, that religion and the subjects of that polity, so different from what prevails at present, should should apply to their history a reasoning which obtain currency with the ancient Jews; the an- tended to overthrow the foundation of both. swer is found in two opinions which are proved to II. The infidelity of the Gentile world, and that have subsisted in that age and country. The one more especially of men of rank and learning in it, was, their expectation of a Messiah of a kind totally is resolved into a principle which, in my judgment, contrary to what the appearance of Jesus bespoke will account for the inefficacy of any argument, him to be; the other, their persuasion of the or any evidence whatever, viz. contempt prior to agency of demons in the production of supernatu- examination. The state of religion amongst the ral effects. These opinions are not supposed by Greeks and Romans, had a natural tendency to us for the purpose of argument, but are evidently induce this disposition. Dionysius Halicarnas recognised in Jewish writings, as well as in ours. sensis remarks, that there were six hundred difAnd it ought moreover to be considered, that in ferent kinds of religions or sacred rites exercised these opinions the Jews of that age had been from at Rome. * The superior classes of the commutheir infancy brought up; that they were opi- nity treated them all as fables. Can we wonder nions, the grounds of which they had probably few then, that Christianity was included in the of them inquired into, and of the truth of which number, without inquiry into its separate merits, they entertained no doubt. And I think that or the particular grounds of its pretensions? It ihese two opinions conjointly afford an explana- might be either true or false for any thing they tion of their conduct. The first put them upon knew about it. The religion had nothing in its secking out some excuse to themselves for not character which immediately engaged their notice. receiving Jesus in the character in which he claim- It mixed with no politics. It produced no fine ed to be received; and the second supplied them writers. It contained no curious speculations. with just such an excuse as they wanted. Let When it did reach their knowledge, I doubt not

* Chap. xii. 37.

* Jortin's Remarks on Eccl. Hist. vol. i. p. 371.

but that it appeared to them a very strange system, illiterate; which prejudice is known to be as ob--so unphilosophical,--dealing so little in argu- stinate as any prejudice whatever. ment and discussion, in such arguments however Yet Christianity was still making its way: and, and discussions as they were accustomed to en- amidst so many impediments to its progress, so tertain. What is said of Jesus Christ, of his much difficulty in procuring audience and attennature, ofhce, and ministry, would be, in the tion, its actual success is more to be wondered at, highest degree, alien from the conceptions of their than that it should not have universally conquertheology. The Redeemer and the destined Judge ed scorn and indifference, fixed the levity of a voof the human race, a poor young man, executed luptuous age, or, through a cloud of adverse preat Jerusalem with two thieves upon a cross! Still judications, opened for itself a passage to the more would the language in which the Christian hearts and understandings of the scholars of the doctrine was delivered, be dissonant and barbarous age. to their ears. What knew they of grace, of re And the cause, which is here assigned for tho demption, of justification, of the blood of Christ rejection of Christianity by men of rank and learnshed for the sins of men, of reconcilement, of me- ing among the Heathens, namely, a strong antediation ? Christianity was made up of points cedent contempt, accounts also for their silence they had never thought of; of terms which they concerning it. If they had rejected it upon exhad never heard.

amination, they would have written about it ; they It was presented also to the imagination of the would have given their reasons. Whereas, learned Heathen under additional disadvantage, what men repudiate upon the strength of some by reason of its real, and still more of its nominal, prefixed persuasion, or from a settled contempt of connexion with Judaism. It shared in the oblo- the subject, of the persons who propose it, or of quy and ridicule with which that people and their the manner in which it is proposed, they do not religion were treated by the Greeks and Romans. naturally write books about, or notice much in They regarded Jehovah himself, only as the idol of what they write upon other subjects. the Jewish nation, and what was related of him, as The letters of the Younger Pliny furnish an of a piece with what was told of the tutelar example of the silence, and let us, in some meadeities of other countries: nay, the Jews were in sure, into the cause of it. From his celebrated a particular manner ridiculed for being a credu- correspondence with Trajan, we know that the lous race; so that whatever reports of a miraculous Christian religion prevailed in a very considerable nature came out of that country, were looked degree in the province over which he presided; upon by the heathen world as false and frivolous. that it had excited his attention ; that he had inWhen they heard of Christianity, they heard of quired into the matter, just so much as a Roman it as a quarrel amongst this people, about some magistrate might be expected to inquire, viz. articles of their own superstition. Despising, whether the religion contained any opinions dantherefore, as they did, the whole system, it was gerous to government; but that of its doctrines, not probable that they would enter, with any de- its evidences, or its books, he had not taken the gree of seriousness or attention, into the detail of trouble to inform himself with any degree of care its disputes, or the merits of either side. How or correctness. But although Pliny had viewed little they knew, and with what carelessness they Christianity in a nearer position than most of his judged, of these matters, appears, I think, pretty learned countrymen saw it in; yet he hail regardplainly from an example of no less weight than that ed the whole with such negligence and disdain of Tacitus, who, in a grave and professed discourse (farther than as it seemed to concern his adminisupon the history of the Jews, states, that they tration,) that, in more than two hundred and forty worshipped the effigy of an ass. * The passage letters of his which have come down to us, the is a proof, how prone the learned men of those subject is never once again mentioned. If, out times were, and upon how little evidence, to heap of this number, the two letters between him and together stories which might increase the contempt Trajan had been lost; with what confidence and odium in which that people was holden. The would the obscurity of the Christian religion have saine foolish charge is also confidently repeated by been argued from Pliny's silence about it, and Plutarch. +

with how little truth ! It is observable, that all these considerations The name and character which Tacitus has are of a nature to operate with the greatest force given to Christianity, "exitiabilis superstitio,” a upon the highest ranks; upon men of education, pernicious superstition,) and by which two words and that order of the public from which writers he disposes of the whole question of the merits or are principally taken: I may add also, upon the demerits of the religion, atford a strong proof how philosophical as well as the libertine character; little he knew, or concerned himself to know, upon the Antonines or Julian, not less than upon about the matter. I apprehend that I shall not Nero or Domitian; and more particularly, upon be contradicted, when I take upon me to assert, that large and polished class of men, who acqui- that no unbeliever of the present age would apply esced in the general persuasion, that all they had this epithet to the Christianity of the New Tes. to do was to practice the duties of morality, and tament, or not allow that it was entirely unmerited. to worship the deity more patrio; a habit of think. Read the instructions given by a great teacher of ing, liberal as it may appear, which shuts the the religion, to those very Roman converts of whom door against every argument for a new religion. Tacitus speaks ; and given also a very few years The considerations above-mentioned, would ac- before the time of which he is speaking, and quire also strength from the prejudice which men which are not, let it be observed, a collection of of rank and learning universally entertain against fine sayings brought together from different parts any thing that originates with the vulgar and of a large work, but stand in one entire passage

of a public letter, without the intermixture of a

single thought which is frivolous or exceptionable: Sympos. lib. iv. quæst. 5.

-"Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which

• Tacit. Hist. lib. v. c. 2.


is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another, but that they were wont to meet together on a with brotherly love; in honour preferring one stated day before it was light, and sing among another: not slothful in business ; fervent in spirit; themselves a hymn to Christ as a God, and to bind serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope ; patient in themselves by an oath, not to the commission of tribulation; continuing instant in prayer: distri- any wickedness, but, not to be guilty of theft, robbuting to the necessity of saints ; given to hospita- bery, or adultery; never to falsify their word, nor lity. Bless them which persecute you; bless, and to deny a pledge committed to them, when called curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and upon to return it. weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind Upon the words of Tacitus we may build the one towards another. Mind not high things, but following observations:condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in First; That we are well warranted in calling your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil the view under which the learned men of that age for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all beheld Christianity, an obscure and distant view.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, Had Tacitus known more of Christianity, of its live peaceably with all men. Avenge not your precepts, duties, constitution, or design, however selves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is he had discredited the story, he would have rewritten, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith spected the principle. He would have described the Lord: therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed the religion differently, though he had rejected it. him: if he thirst, give him drink: for, in so doing, It has been satisfactorily shown that the superthou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not stition” of the Christians consisted in worshipovercome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ping a person unknown to the Roman calendar;

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher and that the "perniciousness," with which they powers. For there is no power but of God: the were reproached, was nothing else but their oppopowers that be, are ordained of God. Whosoever sition to the established polytheism; and this view therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordi- of the matter was just such a one as might be exnance of God: and they that resist, shall receive pected to occur to a mind, which held the sect in to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a lioo much contempt to concern itself about the terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou grounds and reasons of their conduct. then not be afraid of the power ? Do that which is Secondly; We may from hence remark, how good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for little reliance can be placed upon the most acute he is the minister of God to thee for good. But judgments, in subjects which they are pleased to if thou do that which is evil, be afraid ; for he despise; and which, of course, they from the first beareth not the sword in vain : for he is the mi-consider as unworthy to be inquired into. Had nister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon not Christianity survived to tell its own story, it him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs must have gone down to posterity as a "pernibe subject, not only for wrath, but also for con- cious superstition;" and that upon the credit of science sake. For, for this cause pay ye tribute Tacitus's account, much, I doubt not, strengthenalso : for they are God's ministers, attending con- ed by the name of the writer, and the repuiation tinually upon this very thing. Render therefore of his sagacity. to all their dues : tribute, to whom tribute is due; Thirdly; That this contempt prior to examicustom, to whom custom; fear, to whom fear; nation, is an intellectual vice, from which the honour, to whom honour.

greatest faculties of mind are not free. I know “Owe no man any thing, but to love one an- not, indeed, whether men of the greatest faculties other: for he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the of mind, are not the most subject to it. Such men law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, feel themselves seated upon an eminence. LookThou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou ing down from their height upon the follies of shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; mankind, they behold contending tenets wasting and if there be any other commandment, it is their idle strength upon one another, with the briefly comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt common disdain of the absurdity of them all. This love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no habit of thought, however comfortable to the mind ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling which entertains it, or however natural to great of the law.

parts, is extremely dangerous ; and more apt, ihan ." And that, knowing the time, that now it is almost any other disposition, to produce hasty and high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our contemptuous, and, by consequence, erroneous salvation nearer than when we believed. The judgments, both of persons and opinions. night is far spent, the day is at hand ; let us there Fourthly; We need not be surprised at many fore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put writers of that age not mentioning Christianity at on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as all; when they who did mention it, appear to in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in have entirely misconceived its nature and chachambering and wantonness, not in strife and en-racter; and in consequence of this misconception, vying."*

to have regarded it with negligence and contempt. Read this, and then think of “exitiabilis super To the knowledge of the greatest part of the stitio!!"-Or if we be not allowed, in contending learned Heathens, the facts of the Christian hiswith heathen authorities, to produce our books tory could only come by report. The books, proagainst theirs, we may at least be permitted to bably, they never looked into. The settled habit confront theirs with one another. Of this per- of their minds was, and long had been, an indisnicious superstition,” what could Pliny tind to criminate rejection of all reports of the kind. With blame, when he was led, by his office, to institute these sweeping conclusions, truth hath no chance, something like an examination into the conduct It depends upon distinction. If they would not and principles of the sect ? He discovered nothing, inquire, how should they be convinced ? It might

be founded in truth, though they, who made no Romans xii. 9; xiii. 13.

search, might not discover it.

[ocr errors]

" Men of rank and fortune, of wit and abilities, i So far as the epistles are argumentative, the naare often found, even in Christian countries, to be ture of the argument which they handle accounts surprisingly ignorant of religion, and of every for the infrequency of these állusions. These thing that relates to it. Such were many of the epistles were not written to prove the truth of Heathens. Their thoughts were all fixed upon Christianity. The subject under consideration other things; upon reputation and glory, upon was not that which the miracles decided, the realiwealth and power

, upon luxury and pleasure, ty of our Lord's mission; but it was that which upon business or learning. They thought, and the miracles did not decide, the nature of his perthey had reason to think, that the religion of their son or power, the design of his advent, its effects, country was fable and forgery, a heap of incon- and of those effects the value, kind, and extent. sistent lies; wbich inclined them to suppose that Still I maintain, that miraculous evidence lies at other religions were no better. Hence it came the bottom of the argument. For nothing could to pass, that when the apostles preached the be so preposterous as for the disciples of Jesus to Gospel, and wrought miracles in confirmation dispute amongst themselves, or with others, con. of a doctrine every way worthy of God, many cerning his office or character, unless they be Gentiles knew little or nothing of it, and would lieved that he had shown, by supernatural proofs, not take the least pains to inform themselves about that there was something extraordinary in both it. This appears plainly from ancient history."* Miraculous evidence, therefore, forming not the

I think it by no means unreasonable to suppose, texture of these arguments, but the ground and that the Heathen public, especially that part which substratum, if it be occasionally discerned, if it be is made up of men of rank and education, were incidentally appealed to, it is exactly so much as divided into two classes; those who despised ought to take place, supposing the history to be Christianity beforehand, and those who received true. it. In correspondency with which division of cha As a farther answer to the objection, that the racter, the writers of that age would also be of two apostolic epistles do not contain so frequent, or classes; those who were silent about Christianity, such direct and circumstantial recitals of miracles and those who were Christians. “A good man, as might be expected, I would add, that the aposwho attended sufficiently to the Christian affairs, tolic epistles resemble in this respect the apostolic would become a Christian; after which bis testi- specches; which speeches are given by a writer mony ceased to be Pagan, and became Christian.”+ who distinctly records numerous miracles wrought

I must also add, that I think it sufficiently by these apostles themselves, and by the Founder proved, that the notion of magic was resorted to of the institution in their presence: that it is unby the Heathen adversaries of Christianity, in warrantable to contend, that the omission, or inlike manner as that of diabolical agency had be- frequency, of such recitals in the speeches of the fore been by the Jews. Justin Martyr alleges this apostles, negatives the existence of the miracles, as his reason for arguing from prophecy, rather when the speeches are given in immediate conthan from miracles. Origen imputes this evasion junction with the history of those miracles: and to Celsus; Jerome to Porphyry; and Lactantius that a conclusion which cannot be inferred from to the Heathen in general. The several passages, the speeches, without contradicting the whole which contain these testimonies, will be produced tenor of the book which contains them, cannot be in the next chapter. It being difficult 'however inferred from letters, which, in this respect, are to ascertain in what degree this notion prevailed, similar only to the speeches. especially amongst the superior ranks of the To prove the similitude which we allege, it may Heathen communities, another, and I think an be remarked, that although in Saint Luke's Gos adequate, cause has been assigned for their infi- pel the apostle Peter is represented to have been delity. It is probable, that in many cases the two present at many decisive miracles wrought by causes would operate together.

Christ; and although the second part of the same history ascribes other decisive miracles to Peter himself, particularly the cure of the lame man at

the gate of the temple, (Acts iii. 1,) the death of CHAPTER V.

Ananias and Sapphira, (Acts v. 1, the cure of That the Christian Miracles are not recited, or

Æneas, (Acts ix. 34,) the resurrection of Dorcas; appealed to, by early Christian Writers them (Acts ix, 10,) yet out of six speeches of Peter, selves, so fully or frequently as might have been reference is made to the miracles wrought by

preserved in the Acts, I know but two in which et pected.

Christ, and only one in which he refers to miraI shall consider this objection, first, as it ap- culous powers possessed by himself. In his speech plies to the letters of the apostles, preserved in the upon the day of Pentecost, Peter addressed his New Testament; and secondly, as it applies to audience with great solemnity, thus: “Ye men the remaining writings of other early Christians. of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a

The epistles of the apostles are either hortatory man approved of God among you, by miracles, or argumentative. So far as they were occupied and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in delivering lessons of duty, rules of public order, in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know,"* admonitions against certain prevailing corruptions, &c. In his speech upon the conversion of Corneagainst vice, or any particular species of it, or in lius, he delivers his testimony to the miracles perfortifying and encouraging the constancy of the formed by Christ, in these words: " we are witdisciples under the trials to which they were ex- nesses of all things which he did, both in the land posed, there appears to be no place or occasion for of the Jews, and in Jerusalem."+' But in this latmore of these references than we actually find. ter speech, no allusion appears to the miracles

wrought by himself, notwithstanding that the * Jortin's Disc. on the Christ. Rel. p. 66. ed. 4th. † Hartley, Obs. p. 119.

† x. 39.

• Acts ii. 22.

miracles above enumerated all preceded the time those parts of the Christian dispensation in which in which it was delivered. In his speech upon the author perceived a resemblance. The epistle the election of Matthias, * no distinct reference is of Clement was written for the sole purpose of made to any of the miracles of Christ's history, quieting certain dissensions that had arisen except his resurrection. The same also may be amongst the members of the church of Corinth, observed of his speech upon the cure of the lame and of reviving in their minds that temper and man at the gate of the temple:t the same in his spirit of which their predecessors in the Gospel speech before the Sanhedrim; # the same in his had left them an example. The work of Hermas second apology in the presence of that assembly. is a vision : quotes neither the Old Testament Stephen's long speech contains no reference what. nor the New; and merely falls now and then into ever to miracles, though it be expressly related of the language, and the mode of speech, which the him, in the book which preserves the speech, and author had read in our Gospels. The epistles of almost immediately before the speech, “that he Polycarp and Ignatius had for their principal obdid great wonders and miracles among the peo-ject the order and discipline of the churches which ple."'s Again, although miracles be expressly at-ihey addressed. Yet, under all these circumtributed to Saint Paul in the Acts of the Apostles, stances of disadvantage, the great points of the first generally, as at Iconium, (Acts xiv. 3,) during Christian history are fully recognised. This hath the whole tour through the Upper Asia, (xiv. 27; been shown in its proper place.* xv. 12,) at Ephesus: (xix. 11, 12:) secondly, in There is, however, another class of writers, to specific instances, as the blindness of Elymas at whom the answer above given, viz. the unsuitaPaphos,li the cure of the cripple at Lystra, si of bleness of any such appeals or references as the the Pythoness at Philippi, ** the miraculous liber- objection demands, to the subjects of which the ation from prison in the same city,'t the restora- writings treated, does not apply; and that is, the tion of Eutychus, ## the predictions of his ship-class of ancient apologists

, whose declared design wreck, ss the viper at Melita, illl the cure of Pub- it was to defend Christianity, and to give the realius's father, 119 at all which miracles, except the sons of their adherence to it. 1: is necessary, first two, the historian himself was present: not- therefore, to inquire how the matter of the objecwithstanding, I say, this positive ascription of mi- tion stands in these. racles to Saint Paul, yet in the speeches delivered The most ancient apologist, of whose works by him, and given as delivered by him, in the we have the smallest knowledge, is Quadratus. same book in which the miracles are related, and Quadratus lived about seventy years after the asthe miraculous powers asserted, the appeals to his cension, and presented his apology to the emperor own miracles, or indeed to any miracles at all, are Adrian. From a passage of this work, preserved rare and incidental. In his speech at Antioch in in Eusebius, it appears that the author did directly Pisidia, *** there is no allusion but to the resurrec- and formally appeal to the miracles of Christ, and tion. In his discourse at Miletus, ttt none to any in terms as express and confident as we could demiracle; none in his speech before Felix;### sire. The passage (which has been once already none in his speech before Festus ; $$$ except to stated) is as follows: “ The works of our Saviour Christ's resurrection, and his own conversion. were always conspicuous, for they were real; both

Agreeably hereunto, in thirteen letters ascribed they that were healed, and they that were raised to Saint Paul, we have incessant references to from the dead, were seen, not only when they Christ's resurrection, frequent references to his were healed, or raised, but for a long time after own conversion, three indubitable references to ward: not only whilst he dwelled on this earth, the miracles which he wrought; || \| || four other but also after his departure, and for a good while references to the same, less direct, yet highly pro after it; insomuch as that some of them have bable ; 1914 but more copious or circumstantial reached to our times."! Nothing can be more recitals we have not. The consent, therefore, be- rational or satisfactory than this. tween Saint Paul's speeches and letters, is in this Justin Martyr, the next of the Christian apolorespect sufficiently exact : and the reason in both gists whose work is not lost, and who followed is the same; namely, that the miraculous history Quadratus at the distance of about thirty years, was all along presupposed, and that the question, has touched upon passages of Christ's history in which occupied the speaker's and the writer's so many places, that a tolerably complete account thoughts, was this: whether, allowing the history of Christ's life might be collected out of his works. of Jesus to be true, he was, upon the strength of In the following quotation, he asserts the performit, to be received as the promised Messiah; and, ance of miracles by Christ in words as strong and if he was, what were the consequences, what was positive as the language possesses: “Christ healed the object and benefit of his mission ?

those who from their birth were blind, and deaf, The general observation which has been made and lame; causing by his word, one to leap, anupon the apostolic writings, namely, that the subother to hear, and a third to see: and having raised ject of which they treated, did not lead them to the dead, and caused them to live, he, by his any direct recital of the Christian history, belongs works, excited attention, and induced the men of also to the writings of the apostolic fathers. The that age to know him. Who, however, seeing epistle of Barnabas is, in its subject and general these things done, said that it was a magical apa composition, much like the epistle to the He- pearance, and dared to call him a magician, and a brews; an allegorical application of divers passages deceiver of the people.”! of the Jewish history, of their law and ritual, to In his first apology, 8 Justin expressly assigns

the reason for his having recourse to the argument Acts i. 15. tiii. 12.

$ vi, 8. from prophecy, rather than alleging the miracles xiii. 11.

** xvi, 16.

It xvi. 26. of the Christian history: which reason was, that 80 xxvii. 1.

Txxviii. 8. *** xiii. 16. ffxx. 17. 111xxiv. 10. $$$ xxv. 8. Gal. iii. 5. Rom. xv. 18. 19. 2 Cor. xii. 12.

* See pages 297, 298, &c. Euseb. Hist. I. 18. c. 3..

Just. Dial. p. 258. ed. Thirlby. 1991 Cor. ii. 4. 5. Eph. iii. 7. Gal. ii. & 1 Thess. i.5. Ś Apolog. prim. p. 48. ed. Thirlby.

[ocr errors]

1 xiv. 8.

11 xx. 10.

xxviii. 6.

« السابقةمتابعة »