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proach to it, is intended by the Expression. For they knew him not then to be any other than the Governor $fÆgypty nay, it is said s that they tuere afraid, as tho' he sought occasion againfl them, to fall upon them, and take them for Bondpien \ and therefore we may well presume, that they were too much upon their guard, and sollicitous about their own Safety, to give any Way to Intemperance in his Presence. And if the Expression here, and in h several other Passages, may be taken in a virtuous Sense, (unless we can imagine that St. John design'd to expose his Master's Behaviour on this Occasion) we cannot but conclude, that he intended we should understand him in the most favourable manner, Christ But let us for once suppose the worst;

might in- v^z% ^hat notwithstanding these wise goAe Orders and Institutions, in the CelebraMarriaee, tj0n of Matrimonial Feasts among the

and why j some would be ftill apt tQ run.

he was J > . , , , . *.

CoTMTM'* counter, and indulge their Appetites tpg°< to Excess; yet it will not therefore follow, that our Lord could be any Partner in the Guilt. In publick Assemblies of Men of promiscuous Tempers, we see daily, that, though the vicious

part part may pollute and debauch themselves by Intemperance, Persons of a contrary Disposition do innocently partake of all regular and lawful Refreshments, without any Stain to their Virtue and Character. And though a good Man would not delight in such Societies, nor a prudent Man rashly and heedlessly frequent them ; yet since our Saviour, who by the unspotted Purity of his Nature, was secured against every bad Impression, came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance, and for this purpose, must be supposed to take all proper Occasions of meeting and conversing with them; since now he was about to open his Commijjicn, and had here a fair Opportunity of working his first Miracle in the Presence, and for the Conviction of numerous Spectators; and, lastly, since the Invitation, in all Probability, came from his own Kindred j for Tradition tells us, that the Persons, whose Wedding was then celebrated, ■were Alphœus or Cleopas, and her, who, in Scripture, is called, Mary, the Sister of our Lord's Mother (as it seems not unlikely from his Mother's being so ibllicitous for the supply of Wine, and taking upon her to direct the Servants of the House, that they were either her Relations, or very intimate Acquaintance) X 4 fmce

f Gen. xliii, 34. * WbUby'i Annot. in Loc^

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since our Saviour, I lay, was in this Situation, it was highly expedient, both in discharge of his prophetick Office, and the Obligations of Friendship or Consanguinity, for him to vouchsafe his Presence at this Wedding, when he was Invited. That he Had he indeed, when he was there, cncou- given Encouragement to Intemperance ExctTM amongtnc Guests, (even though it had there, Veen by an Act of Generosity) much then might have been said in Diminu-» tion of his Character: But, since the Supply of Wine, wherewith he miraculously furnished them, will, upon Enquiry, appear, neither so large in its Quantity, nor so superfluous in its use, as is pretended, all Suggestions of this horrid Nature, that our Saviour administer'd to their Excesses, and was himself a little intoxicated, mould for ever be silenced, and detested. k We indeed, in our Translation, lay, that the WaterPots, wherein the Wine was created, contained two or three Firkins a-peace -y That the but the Learned of all Communions have, ^swlal of late, looked a little more nicely into •which he' the fjLtlprrht, ox Measure here lpofcen of, supplied, and have brought it much lower, than a £*V TM* Brkin. The LXX Translators»use it for Urge. theBath of the Jews,a.nd that (according

to to Calmet) contains less than§3o French Pints, which are not so much, as fix Gallons of our Measure; but Lamy sets it still lower, and makes it hold verylittle more than 20 French Pints, /. e. under sour Gallons of our Measure. Nay, Le Clerk, and others mentioned by Calmet, fay, that the jui1f,nrh<; held about twenty-five French Pounds of Water, which falls Ihort of three Gallons of our Measure; and the Learned Bisliop Cumberland (supposing the /u.i!fyrrk of Syria to be here intended) computes it to have held less than one English Gallon, so that, according to this reckoning, the wholes* Water-Pots might not contain more than about fourteen or fifteen Gallons of English Measure.

* Dr, Pearce's Vind. Part 3. p. 30. 'a Chron> iy. }\

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But not to reduce the Measure so low, \{m3rey \t we will suppose, at present, that the was no Quantity of Wine, made by our Saviour *£$£ at this Feast, was as large as our Translation represents it; yet, whoever considers the Nature of Jewish Marriages, m how they were celebrated with Feasting and Rejoycings, not only on the Day of Solemnity (as it is with us) but for six or seven Days after; and that, at these Feasts, not only all their Relations, Neighbours, and Acquaintance Were invited, but that it was well taken

likewise; » Dr.Pearce's Vind, Part 3. p. aS,

likewise if any others (tho* not invited) would come to partake of the Entertainment, and bear a share in the Joy: Whoever considers this, I fay, cannot but imagine, that a very large Quantity of Wine must needs be requisite, at such a time, and that, if the resort of a greaterCompany, than was expected (as it is not improbable that many more, than were expected, would come, on purpose to see Christ and his Disciples) had occasioned a Deficiency herein, the Wine, which our Saviour miraculously produced, was to be a Supply, not for that Day only, but for all the succeeding Days, until the Time of the Feasting was expir'd. kn ra- Nay, even supposing that our Lord, ther Cm- upon this Occasion, did not confine himSfiSr self t0 a Precise Quantity, proportionate to the Company, or Period of the festivals and (what is more) n that some of the Company might abuse his Liberality by their Intemperance (which is a Concession, that cannot be gathered from the 'text) yet can't he therefore be charg'd with ministringto that Excess, by making such an ample Provision, any more, than we can charge the Providence of God with being instrumental to all the Qhttony, and Drunkenness, which is

com"

J JYlitly in John ii« io«

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