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And certainly a Time there was, that our Lord call'd his Mother by this Apellation, when he was far from beingy«r-> ly or undutiful to her, when he was hanging on the Cross, and recommending both his Mother to the Care of his beloved Apostle, and that Apostle to the Affection of his Mother, f Woman, behold thy Son. And, in like manner, what have I to do with thee? Is a Phrase 'sometimes us'd in Scripture, where nothing of Anger or Paffion is conceived, but only some dislike express'd, and a gentle Rebuke given; which seems to be the Case now before us.
Tile blessed Virgin comes and com* plains to her Son, that there was likely to be a deficiency of Wine. Her Complaint implies a Request of help from him in this Exigence; nor is it improbable, that hereupon she might desire to see him work a Miracle, and that a little Vanity might prompt her to this desire. u But, in Cases where an heavenly Father's Honour is to be the governing Principle, an earthly Mother's Authority is quite superceded. Though therefore, he, who made all Times, could not be under Subjection to anyy or restrain'd in his Power at
r John xix. 26. 'Vid. 2 Sam. xvi. 10*. * Stanb»pe's Jlpist, and Gospel, Vol. a. p. Jo.
one Hour, more than another; yet, to give a Gracefulness and Efficacy to all his Works, there was an Order to be observed, nor were Miracles to be wrought at all Adventures, for gratifying the Curiosity of standers-by, or the Importunity of Friends or Relations, but had their proper Seasons, whereof his Divine Wisdom was the best Judge, and not to be directed by any other.
This seems to be a probable Sense of the Words: And where then, I pray,
. is all that Passion and Peevishness, that Ill-nature and Wafpijhness, so often, so loudly complain'd of (as if they were enough to deftroy the Credit of the whole Miracle) in our Saviour's telling his Mother (for his Answer imports no more) that, in the Business of manifesting his Glory by Miracles, (wherein he approv'd himself to be the Son of God, wherein he had no relation to her, nor stie any right to interfere) she was to
, leave him to do what he thought proper.
And now, to look back upon what The Sum has been laid: Since the manner of ce- °f WM lebrating matrimonial Festivals amongst." the "Jews was put under iuch Regulation, that the most grave and serious Persons might frequent them, without any Imputation on their Characters j since
to this Marriage of Cana in Galilee our Saviour was more particularly oblig'd to go, as being either a Relation, or intimate Acquaintance to the Parties efpoused, and therefore could not, without a breach of good Manners, as well as neglecting an Opportunity of doing much good, decline their Invitation; since, in his miraculous Production of Wine upon this occasion, the Quantity was not so large, as our Translation represents it; or, if so large, was not intended for one Day's Subsistence only, but to last out the Remainder of the Festival, and all that time to supply the whole Company, which usually came in great Numbers; and, lastly, since the Reply which our Saviour made his Mother, was, at the most, but a gentle Rebuke for her intruding into Matters, which did not properly concern her, but depended upon his infinite Wisdom only to determine: Since these Things are so, I say, then was there plainly, neither any Levity in our Saviour's going to this Marriage j nor any Encouragement of Excess, in his supplying the Company with Wine; nor any Signs of Negletf or Disesteem, and much less, of any worse Cause, in the Reply he gave to his Mother: And, that the Miracle itself (which comes next to be vindicated)
cated) was not performed by any artful Trick of his own, or Collusion with others, the Circumstances attending it are sufficient to convince us.
For, tho' the fame Almighty Power, No Tfkk which, every Year, turns Water intoorCoiiu* Wine by the impregnating Warmth ofsi£" j?.^ the Sun, concocting the Juices of the racle. Earth, and the Sap of the Trees, which produce it, could have done Jo by this in a moment of time, without any Helper 5 tho' he could, with the lame Ease, have created Wine out of nothing, and fill'd the empty Vessels with a Word of his Mouth; yet was he pleased to use the Ministry of others, the Servants of the House, and such as could not be tkought in any Confederacy with him. These pour'd the Water in with their own Hands j these therefore were so many unexceptionable Witnesses, that, what themselves knew to be common Water, was quickly after, by the lame Hands, drawn out generous Wine.
Without the Privity of these Servants, 'tis hard to suppose that he ever could be able (allowing he were so abandon'd) as to convey any spirituous Liquor into ib many different Water-pots: hard to suppose, that he would refer this mix'd and adulterated Liquor to the Taste and Approbation of the Ruler of the Feaft, Y whole whose Judgment and Palate were known to be less vitiated, and, consequently, less liable to be imposed on, than those of common Guests: hard to suppose, that this Ruler of the Feast, a Man of Sobriety and Gravity, and who (as the Text informs us) knew not whence the Wine was, should give it so large a Commendation, if he perceived to be no more, than a little Water dajh'd: and still more hard it is to conceive, that this sham Miracle should have such an Effect upon the Disciples, who, (as it was the first) were doubtless inquisitive enough about the Particulars of it, as to engage their Faith and Adherence to him for ever after. But a De- These are some of the Difficulties that monstra- attend the Supposition of an Imposture tion of in this Case: but, on the contrary, the IiKucr. Testimony of the Servants, the Judgment of the Ruler, and the Conviction of the Disciples, plead very strongly for the Reality of this Miracle. And well indeed might his Disciples be convinced, x when they law the Creatures of this lower World so absolutely at their Master's disposal, as to make them start from their fix'd Laws of Being, and change their Natures and Qualities in an instant. He only, they knew, could