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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 pn this Occasion, was of no Significance, as to the Cure of the Man's Blindness, 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 from christ the Agency of any Person, as fore-know- tainly ing or foreseeing the Event,) is either no left to his Miracle at all, or if it be a Miracle, has LiUr,)'

not i Defence of Scrip. Hist. Part 2. p. 44.

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hot the Appearance or Evidence of one i 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 Words 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 laid, in so many Words, receive thy Sight; 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.

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SECT. XIX.

Of his turning Water into Wine.

"13UT, how can it be imagined, The ob-
"Jj that ib grave, so sober, so jection.
"serious a Man, as Jesus is repre-
"sented in Scripture, mould ever
iC vouchsafe his Presence at a Wedding,
li which, among the yews, as well as
"other Nations, was usually a Scene
"of such Levities, Diversions, and Ex-
*' cesses, as were utterly inconsistent
"with his Character. A Person of his
"reserv'd Temper would have scarce
"been invited at all, one would think;
"but if he had been invited, it is rea-
u sonable to presume he would have
"declined going. Instead of this, tosup-
"pose that he was such an Encourager
"of Excels and Intemperance, as to
"turn a large Quantity of Water into
"Wine, to the Tune of seventeen or
u eighteen Firkins, for the use of those,
*' that had drank enough, if not too
"much before (as the Text seems to
"imply) is quite destroying his moral
** Character, and giving an untoward
X "Umbrage

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"Umbrage of Suspicion, that himself "was not rightly sober, when he gave "such a blunt, surly, and undutiful "Answer to his Mother. The only "way then to make all these Incon"sistencies meet, is to renounce the Mi"racle at once; and to give into the "Gloss, which the Gentiles of old, by "way of Objection put upon it, viz. "a That the Company having exhausted "the Bridegroom's Stock of Wine, and "being in Expectation of more, rather "than that the Bridegroom should be put "to the Blush, Jesus undertook, by a "Trick of Art, to meliorate Water into "what they called Wine; i. e. having "feme spirituous Liquors at hand, he "mingled them with a quantity of Wa"ter, and so, by the Help of the Go"vernor of the Feafl, {who 'vouched it "to be incomparably good Wine,) palm'd "a false Miracle upon the Gu-ejls.

Christ's Our blessed Saviour, indeed, was a grave and Person of a very grave and serious Deportment portment, insomuch, that, whatever Instances may be found of his Pity and Companion to Mankind, of his grieving and being troubled, and even weeping upon some Occasions; we can meet with , none of his laughing, nor any Token of

a

* Apud St. Chrysojl.. in Locum Johan. .

a Mirth or Joy extraordinary, in the whole History of his Life. But we must not from hence infer, that he was of a sullen, or unsociable Temper, or, in any degree, an Enemy to such Forms of Civility and good Manners, as were then in use. If therefore we can but suppose at present (what hereafter will be evinced) that this Marriage of Cam in Galilee was between Persons of his own Kindred or Acquaintance, and that, by the very Rules of celebrating such Festivals among the Jews, all Excess or Intemperance was excluded; then will it follow, that it could be no Dilparagement to our Saviour's Character to accept of the Invitation, and be present at such a meeting.

Among us indeed^ especially among The 2>the Vulgar sort, there are sometimes, on c'ncy,fT these Occasions, Liberties taken, that %^/> are not so very justifiable; but, among Marriage the Jews, there was always the greatest 7^&Si Decency and Sobriety imaginable observ'd, in the celebration of their Marriages. b To this purpose a Governor of the Feast (and, as ibme fay, of the Sacerdotal Race) was always chofen,whose' Office it was to have the Superintendency of the Dimes and the Wine, and to oblige the Guests to observe all the X 2 De.

* Lewis's Anti<j. of the Heb. Rep. Vol. J. p. 301.

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