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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 espoused, 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 lay, then was there plainly, neither any Levity in our Saviour's going to this Marriage; nor any Encouragement of Excels, in his supplying the Company with Wine; nor any Signs of Negleff 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 perform'd 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 Trk1t which, every Year, turns Water intoorCoiiu* Wine by the impregnating Warmth of si£n jj, 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 fame 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; these therefore were ib 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 so 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 FeaJt 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 ity 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 pWff, 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 saw 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
repeal repeal those Laws, who iriade them: He only could alter their Forms, who at first appointed them: And when this they saw done, without invoking the Aid of any higher Power, they could not but esteem it an Evidence, that there was no higher Power to have recourse to, and, consequently that his Power and Authority was Supreme.
* Stanhope, ibid. p. 7$.
Of bis Curing the Paralytics at
"Hp" H E Story of this Miracle, The ob-
"should have waited a little, until the
"Multitude was dispersed, rather than "be at the Trouble of getting Ropes "and Pullies, to hoist him up to the "top of the House, and Hammers and <( Hatchets to uncover the Roof, and "make an Hole large enough, for the "Man and the Bed to be let through. "This shews a great Zeal and Eager"ness indeed; but, if the Cure was in "such haste to be done, it would have "look'd much better in Jesus, either to "have healed the Patient at a Distance, "" or ordered the People to make way "for him, than to have suffered such "Waste and Havock to be made in the "House. In short, had there been such "a Multitude about the Doors, as is , "pretended, it would have been next "to impossible, for the poor Man and "his Couch to be hoisted over their "Heads, and raised to the Top of the "House; highly unreasonable, that "the Master of the House should suffer "its Roof to be broken up without "some Resentment; but most of all so, "that Jesus should not give forth the "healing Word, or, by his divine Power, disperse the People, that the Paralytick might have present Access to him."