« AnteriorContinuar »
"a strange, whimsical, unaccountable "Eye-salve was this, made up of Dirt "and Spittle, and fitter indeed to put "the Eyes out, than cure them? unlels <l we can suppose, that Jefiis under-band "made use of a proper Medicine, or had "privately in his Mouth some Sanative "andBal/amick Matter, which, dissolv'd "in Spittle, might effect the Cure." Of all the miraculous Works, which No Fraud our Saviour did, none, I think, is relain the tecj fo fully, and set off with lb many u'' Circumstances, to prevent the least Suspicion of Fraud, as this, of his curing the Man that was born blind. a The Evangeliji has expended a whole Chapter upon it; and therein acquainted us with some previous Questions of the Disciples, which led to it, the uncommon manner of our Saviour's performing it \ the Surprize and Astonishment of the blind Man's Neighbours, when they law such an Alteration wrought in him j the Man's open and undisguised Relation of the Matter, and repeated Attestation of the Greatness and Reality of the Cure; the great Disturbance and Perplexity, which it gave the jfews; their examining and cross-examining the Man, who still continued firm and uniform in his Account; their tampering with his Parents, who
avow'd the Truth of his being born blindj and, at last, (when they saw that they could prevail nothing, but that the more they examined, the more Evidence they found,) their Rage and Malice, which carried them to such a degree, as to excommunicate the poor Man, and cast him out of the Synagogue. These, and some more Circumstances are told in such a plain convincing manner, as stiews the whole Story to be too well founded, for any Cavils, or mere fabulous Inventions to impair or weaken. For had there been any Deceit in the Case, 'tis very strange, that none of the Multitude should perceive any thing of it; but much more lb, that the Malice of the "Jews, with all their Inquisitivenesi, mould not be able to detect it.
Our Saviour might have had some sanative Bal/am in reserve, but what would all the Balsam in the World have availed towards the Cure of the Distemper, we are now considering? Physicians and Chirurgeons, that have studied the Texture of the Eye, and made the Cure of its Maladies their chief Employ, may give us indeed ibmething, that will strengthen the Optick Nerves, when weaken'd or relax'd j or, by some outward Operation may remove such Obstructions, as would otherwise
wise impede the Sight: But Jince th& World began (b as the poor Man here excellently argues) was it not heard, that any Man opened the Eyes of one that was born blind. And therefore it is Folly, as well as Malice, at this distance or Time, to oppose a Matter of Faff, attested with such Strength and Clearness, and, in the room thereof, to insinuate a Forgery, and suggest a suppositious Remedy, which, if even admitted, could not be competent to effect the Cure. Or Folly Various indeed were the Methods of Manner our Saviour's working Cures, by a of it. Touch, by a Word's speaking, by outward Applications, but always such an Application, as had no natural Efficacy in if. Had he made use of any Medicinal Remedies, there might then have been some room to doubt whether the Cure had been a miraculous Operation: But as he rejected all such Methods, as might have a Tendency to the Cure, this removes our Suspicion, and plainly demonstrates, that the Effect could be The Mi- aserib'd to no visible Means, but the in
nessosit. Visible and irresistible Power of the A~
gent. And indeed, the very uncommonness of the Application is so far from diminishing, that it rather inhances the Credit and Reputation of the Miracle j cle; at least, it must be allow'd, to be as great and triumphant a Display of a supernatural Power, to work a Cure by Means, that have no fitness to that End, as it is to do it without the use of any Means at all: for the more improper the Methods are to answer the Design, the more amazing is the Power in making them subservient to it: In the former Case, the Man has only the Distemper to contend with, but here he has a double Difficulty to conquer, and must not only controul the Power of the Disease, but change the repugnant Qualities of Bodies, and make them productive of quite contrary Effects. Though therefore the Method, which our Saviour made use of on this Occasion, was of no Significance, as to the Cure of the Man's Blindnessy yet it was highly pertinent, in order to convince the Spectators, as well as the Patient himself, of his Almighty Power, which could produce such a wonderful and extraordinary Effect by no other Application, than what was indifferent, if not obstructive to the Cure. The Truth is, d a blind Man's coming wherein suddenly to his Sight, (abstracted ftom^;^ the Agency of any Person, as fore-know- tainly ing or foreseeing the Event,) is either no left t0 his Miracle at all, or if it be a Miracle, has L'kr'r"
not the Appearance or Evidence of one: But if such an Effect follows, in consequence of any Act or Operation performed by any Person, as declarative of what will happen, this points out and demonstrates to us both the Miracle, and Person, that wrought it. Our Saviour, no doubt, could have cured this Man with a fVords speaking; but, as the use. of this Ointment was declarative only of his Intention to cure him, and, in this case, every whit as significant, as if he had iaid, in so many Words, receive thy Sight j I can see no Reason, why he might not, without any Imputation of Folly or Whimficalness, be left to his own Discretion to chuse, which of the two Actions he was pleased to make use^of, since both were equally expressive* of his divine Power: And so we proceed to his turning Water into Wine, at a Marriage-Feast.