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on their Lives; like that Luminary which ser; Y11; towards it's decline looks the largest, when it's Lustre and Influence are the weakest. And it is visible, that Charity, and even common Honesty have decayed together with Christianity, their firmest Support.
A long uninterrupted Flow of Ease and Tranquillity has lulled us into a fatal Indolence and Insensibility to all religious Notions: Some signal Judgment; some extraordinary Indication of the divine Displeasure, seems almost necessary to purge the Nation of it's Dross, to rouse it into a serious Sense of Religion, and make us discern and value those Things, that belong to our Peace, before they be hidden from our Eyes: Just as when the Sky is full of noxious and pestilential Vapours; some violent Hurricane, some dreadful Bursts of Thunder are necessary to disperse them, to clear the infected Air, and restore it to it's former Serenity.
On'the Evidences: of Christianity, the'
Preached at the Lady Moyer\&_Lecture, in
On the Truth of Christianity.
John III. 2. •.
Rabbi, we know, that thou art a Teacher come from God: For no Man can do these Miracles, that thou doest, except God be with him.
THE Proposition contained in theserm. 1. Text is, that some Miracles are' so circumstanced, as to be direct Evidences of a divine Power. By a Mira• * cle,
cle* is rheant' an Effect fyidtfij'ftFJlie Senses, contrary to the fixed and efrablistied Course of Nature. . Strange !• that Man should disbelieve an .Operation different from trie' hrejent Course of Nature j. wrien Man hirrisefrV tne>^' Marr, frOttr:^hom all the rest descended, could not have been brought' irirdBeing, but by an Act'of Fdwer different from- the Course o£ iv****^,. as it is now established. For fotn& first :Mkn there must be: And, whoever he was, he must be brought upon the Theatre of Nature without Parents, without any second Causes, by the immediate Power and' Will of the firftt or, in other Words, by an Operation, which; if.it: were1 riot^ strictly speaking, a Miracle j was, at least, equivalent to one. . ..'..'...
Nor is it at all improbable, that He, who called Man into Beingyhy a particular'Display of Power, distinct from those general Laws, which obtain at present; would exert some unujual and uncommon Acts of Power for (what was of greater Importance than his mere Being) hfe' WeH-B^ethg^^ eternal WAX* Being.
Iff'the Prosecution of thi8: Subject, •
\ \ ,">': '!•(! ej^tST >, :'.x\;j'a b .'' 1
:^/t mail attempt tomew0nai fevera! Se Miracles are decisive , Profet1 of,a ctivirici' Power. :- ',••"•'•;-J '•' -'"'*,1''- i'' * That we- have lliffi'cieht;Evidence]
that, such Miraetes werev!wrought for the Confirmation of Religion. , -',
1^, I shalt attempt to shew, 'that several Miracles are -decisive Proofs: ;c-f a divine
Power. .,i".*/. 1
What Powers evil Spirits :may have, and, what is the utmost Extent of their Abilities j it is beyond the Extent of oust, in all Cafes, to determine5 iJ E\kl; that <3bd would suffer them to exerr:fchoft!' Powers in working superior ana! uncbntroled' Miracles j thisFeannot-admits:''Because" God is too good to-permit such" a $rtare' to- be laid for the fcfclk of'MahKlhd; who' wiH be always governed more *1iy what affects their Senses, than by those Arguments-, which address themselves, eoldfy to theirUnderstandings; Striking-arid ponipvus Mrracles, though-they enforced a' Doctrine seemingly absordj would 'dazzle antifever-' power the Soul-, and force -'ah' Adnlittatife for' it into the Mind: Whereas'- 'dpy and