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transcend the reach of Nature, they are not so justifiable. In Effects, that are produced by human Power, we are apt to lay indeed that some of them are greater than others j /. e. that they require more and greater Degrees of Power for the Production of them, and make a nearer approach to the utmost Boundaries of our Capacities: But this Distinction vanishes in our Consideration of the supreme Being, since his Power is not to be measur'd, like ours, by Degrees, nor limited to any certain Extent. The greatest Effect, we can imagine, gives no Limitation to his Omnipotence, but is, equally with the smallest, within the Compass of his Power. And therefore, since all the Miracles which-our Saviour did, were the undoubted Effects of a divine Power, his raising any Person to Life again (if actually dead) tho' dead but for an Hour, is as great a Miracle, as if the Person had been dead twenty Years, since between dead and dead there can be no difference: and consequently, tho' we could not give a satisfactory Account why the three jirji Evangelists have made no mention of Lazarus's Resurrection, yet since Lazarus's Resurrection, is, in reality, no greater Miracle, than that of the Ruler's Daughter, or the Widow's Son, the matter
ter seems to be indifferent, and entirely"left to his Choice, which of these three Miracles each Historian should think proper to record.
The Evangelists, no doubt, recorded The £the Miracles of Jesus Christ for the fame w"^ Reason that he wrought them, namely, ny. to shew that he was a cProphetsent prom God j but so far were they from Vanity and Ostentation in what they wrote, ib far from expatiating upon this copious, Subject, that, after a Recital of some Particulars, we find them frequently mentioning the rest in a summary way. Thus b St. Matthezv, having let down the miraculous Cures of a Leper', of the Centurions Servant, and of Peter's Wife's Mother, relates no more, but Only fays in general; that, c when the Even was comei they brought- unto him many that were pojfefsed with Devils, and he cast out the Spirits with his Word, and healed all that were (ick; and, in like manner j St. Luke, having related a Cure or two, one done in the Synagogue, and the other in a private Houle, concludes what he had more to fay upon the Subject in this compendious manner; d Now when the Sun was Jetting, all they, which had any sick with diverse Diseaja, brought Hi 1 them
* Chap. viii< * Ver. 16. "Chap, h, 40.
them unto him, and he laid his Hands on every one of them, and healed them. e Nay, such is the Modesty of the Evangelijls, in regard to our Saviour's Miracles, that we have some reason to presume, they certainly knew of more Persons, by him restor'd to Life again, than they have particularly named: For, when St. Matthew relates his Answer to John's Disciples, who were sent to enquire concerning him, f the Blind receive their Sights the Lame walk, and the Dead are raised ^ 'tis plain, that, by mentioning the Dead in the plural Number, he had the Knowledge of more than one, tho' he has given us a particular History of the Ruler of the Synagogue's Daughter only. For what And indeed, considering the vast Ex
thf"7o tent of tn^ir Subject, and intended Bre.
it. vity of their Books, in order to make
them more useful to People of all Ranks and Capacities, it was absolutely necessary for them to omit several things, which must have occurr'd to their Remembrance. The whole four Gospels, bound together, make not a large Volume, but each singly is a very small Book; and yet, besides the Miracles of our Saviour, attended, as they are, with
• Lardner's Vind. of three Miracles, p. 7- tMatth.
*■• 5. . ."
the Circumstances of Place and Time, the Names of the Persons, and the Occasions of their being wrought; they have, in these short Pieces, inserted an Account of the wonderful manner of our Saviour's Birth, the Dangers of his Infancy, the miraculous Appearances of divine Providence in his Favour, and his Removals, and Journeyings from one Place and Country to another. They have recorded the Substance of his Doctrine in plain Terms; have set down many Parables spoken by him, together with his Explanations; and given us a full Account of the Mission of his twelve Apostles, and the other seventy Disciples. The Cavils and Questions of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians, together with his Answers and Solutions, the Observations and Reflections of the People, his publick Discourses before all, arid his private Instructions to his Disciples; his Predictions of his own Sufferings, of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and many other Events; a long and particular Account of his Persecution, Condemnation, and Crucifixion, as also of his Resurrection, and Ascension; not to mention the History of the Birth, Preaching, Baptism, and Sufferings of John the Z 3 Baptist,
Baptist, his Forerunner, are all compriz'd in one snort Volume: and therefore, having such plenty of Matter before them, they were obliged to be silent, as to some Matters, after they had related others of the like Nature, in order to reserve room for such important Events, as were essential parts of their History; lest they fhonld proceed to such a length and prolixity, as they had determin'd to avoid. And hence it is easy to suppose, in behalf of the three former Evangelists, that when they came to a certain Period in their History of the Ministry of ye/us, and observ'd they had given a sufficient Account of his Doctrine and Miracles, being to reserve a Space for his last Sufferings, and Resurrection, they thought proper to pass over in Silence what ever happen'd between that Period, and the time of his last Journey to Jerusalem. Why the Now, whoever looks into e these three thr e si'st Evangelists with any due Attention, will JSJi^find, that, from the time when our Sato Laza- viour returned into the Coafts of Judea **'• beyond Jondan, which (as h St. John tells us) was soon after the Feaft of the Dedication, (and that was always observ'd
* Compare Maith. xix. ver. i, a. with ver. 17. and M.xrk x. ver. 1. with ver. 32.
* John x. 22.