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Now had our Saviour been conscious of any Fraud in the Case of Lazarus, how can we think, that he would have come • to Bethany again, and into the House of the very Man, who was the principal Jffor in the Cheat; that he would have gone to 'Jerusalem, into the very Teeth of his Enemies; been receiv'd, by the Populace, withsuch Marks of Distinction, or allow'd to treat the great and leading Men of the City with such Freedom of Speech? Above all, how can we think, that, in the Course of this Freedom, or1 in the Course of his Trial, no one should be found to upbraid him with what had passed at Bethany, which (considering the great Weight of the Objection, supposing it to have been a Fraud, the short time that had pass'd since the thing was done, and that several were to be found, who must have been Eye-witnesses of it) would have avail'd more to disgrace him with the People, than all the little; Artifices they used to entangle him in his T'alk; and have justify'd his Condemnation better, than the false Accusations, which iuborn'd Witnesses alledg'd, of his having a Design to pull down the Temple, and destroy the Law? These things, I lay, can no ways be accounted for, without admitting in our Saviour a Consciousness of his own Innocency of
any just Imputation of Fraud, and on the part of the People, a general Vexiuasion that he wrought his Miracles by the Power of God.
And now to look back upon what has The Sum been said in Vindication of these three 0<ith.e Resurrection-Miracles. Since the Di- Answer. ftinction of greater and less Miracles is destitute of all real Foundation, and, consequently, the raising of one Person from the Dead, is as much a Miracle as raising another j since the Evangelists, in their Accounts of our Saviour's Miracles, are so far from relating every one, that they omit several, which she intended Brevity of their Gospels, and the multiplicity of Matter necessary to be compriz'd in them, oblig'd them to do; since, upon these Considerations, and perhaps in point of Prudence, that they might not exasperate the Jews against Lazarus, the three jirjl Evangelists have pasi'd by that Period in our Saviour's Life, wherein Lazarus was railed from the dead, and contented themselves with relating the History of others ib raised; since the Goipel of St. John was professedly written to supply the Defects of these other Evangelists, and accordingly has done it in many remarkable Instances; since the three Persons, whole Resurrections are recorded by these saB b cred
cred Pen-men, were no improper Objects of our Saviour's Kindnels to them, and the Scripture's 'Silence concerning their future Lives, and the Intelligence from the other World, may, in a great measure, be accounted for; since there could be no Mistake in their Deaths, nor any Circumstances in the whole Story, denoting a Fallacy in their Resurrection; since, in the Cafe of Lazarus particularly, the whole Process was so order'd, as to take away all imaginable occasion of Suspicion, and the bloody Resolves of the Jewish Couccil thereupon, and our Saviour's Retreat from Jerusalem for his Security, were no more, than what, an inveterate Prejudice in them, andaPrin- -ciple of Self-Preservation in him, may be well supposed to suggest; since all these Articles, I fay, have been proved to be thus, the Evangelifts are acquitted from the Imputation of Forgery; their Histories from the Charge of intrinjick Absurdities and Incredibilities; and our Saviour's Conduct, in working these Miracles, from the railing Accusation of Fraud and Impojlure: and ib we are come, at last, to his own Resurrection.
"T3 U T his own Resurrection, as The 6b"Jj the Evangelists have related it, iectiwli "is the most notorious ahd monftruous "Imposture, that was ever put upon "Mankind. Pity it is indeed, that we u have not the Books, which were an"ciently written against Jejus and his "Actions, for they, doubtless, would "have given us an Insight into the whole "Contrivance. However, this Com"fort we have, that the very Acconnty ** which is given by the pretended Wit"nesses of this Fact, is enough to dew stroy the Credit of it. * To this purpose we must remember, that, after e Jeius was crucify'd, and his dead Body laid in the Sepulchre, the Governors of the Jews, calling to mind, that he, in his Life-time, had promised to rise again the third Day, and, considering withal, that he had many Disciples and Followers aliv^, whto u would be ready enough to combine B b 2. "in
* Bp. SherM'i Triages the Witnesses.
tl in any Fraud to verify their Master's "Prediction, addrefs'd themselves to "Pilate, the Roman Governour, and of "him obtain'd a Guard to watch the "Place: nay, and to prevent any fu"ture Fraud, the Chief-Priests took a farther Method, and feal'd the Door of the Sepulchre, upon Agreement with the Apostles, that the Seals should not be open'd, till the time appointed for the Resurrection, in order that all Parties might fee, and be satisfy'd, whether the dead Body was come to Life or no. This was a fair expedient, "one would think, to determine the "Dispute; but, instead of this, we find "the Seals broken, without the Consent "or Privity of the Chief-Priests, and the "Body stolen away by his Diseiples, a "whole Day, before he himself had "spoke of his Resurrection, and early "in the Morning, when the Guards were fast asleep, as they themselves acknowledg'd. . /
"And indeed, had there not been some such Management as this in the Case, we can hardly conceive, why 'Jesus, after his suppos'd Resurrection, "did not appear personally to the Chief"Priests and Rulers of the Jews. Him "they had crucify'd and put to death,