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wrought, as proper Testimonies of his divině Milhon, i the Works, which my Father bath given me to finish, k'the Works which I do in my Father's Name, the fame bear Witness of me, that the Father bath fent me: i'If I do not the Works of my Father, believe me not ; but if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the Works, that ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. And indeed, considering the Design Why our
Saviour of our Saviour's Mission, that he was a was to Teacher fent from God m to abolish a Form work Miof Worship, which had incontestibly racles. been established by the Power of Miracles in Mofes, and to institute a new Religion, repugnant to the Wisdom of the World, in many mysterious Doétrin and abhorrent to the vicious Inclinations of Men, in all its righteous Laws and Precepts; that he was appointed, in short, to destroy the Kingdom of the Devil, and, upon its Ruins; to erect a Kingdom of Righteousness; there was an absolute Neceflity for him to be invested with a power of working Miracles: Otherwise, his Pretensions to this high. Character had been ridiculous, and the Yews, with good Reason, might have demanded of him, Master, n we
would , John v. 36. * John X. 15. 'John x. 37. Stilling fleet's Orig. Sacræ. p. 172 Jono vi. 3o.
would see a Sign from thee, what Sign in
ble to an Revelation supposes, and is built up• Prophe- on the Hewife, as to its Foundation ;
that the Character, which Jesus Christ
that 'the Spirit of God should reft upon bim, that he sould i Open the Eyes of the Blind, and unstop the Ears of the Deaf, and that he should make the Lame leap as an Hart, and the Tongue of the Dumb to fing; Miracles became then an essentiál Ingredient of his Character, and the fureft Test of his being a Prophet sent from God. For fupposing the Messias characteriz'd in Scripture in all other Respects, except the Power of working Miracles, any other Person, falling under the common Description of his being of the Seed of Abraham, of the Tribe of Judah, of the Family of David, and born in Bethlehem, might, with fome Dexterity and Address, have so accommodated his Life and Actions. to the other Part of the Character, as to deceive, even an attentive Judgment. Or, fupposing him pretending to the Gift of Prophecy, the way to make good his Pretensions must be, either by telling us Things past, or foretelling Things to come : But now, the Knowledge of Things past may be acquir’d by so many other ways, besides Revelation, that though, where we cannot presently account for it, it may surprize us ; yet where there is no Concurrence of any.
other *Isa. xi. 2. 'Isa. xxxv. 5, 6. Rogers's Necellity of a Divine Revelation. .
other Proof, it can hardly leave the Mind without some distrust of Imposture ; and though the Prediction of future Events, purely Contingent, is, when fulfilld, a clear and incontestible Evidence of a Spirit of Prophecy; yet as this affords no present Conviction, the Man must wait, and perhaps a long time, before he can make his Conclusion : Whereas Miracles carry with them a clear, positive, and present Evidence of the Finger of God. For when an Action is such, as manifestly exceeds all humane Power, we cannot help acknowledging the Concurrence of some superior invisible Agent; in which Case, we have nothing to imagine, but either
good or evil Spirits : If we suppose good * Spirits, the Action terminates in God, and is under his special Direction ; if evil Spirits, the nature of the Doctrine, it attests, will betray their Character; and, therefore, when any supernatural Actions are wrought, and the Doctrine attested by them stands free from all such negative Objections, as assure us it cannot be from God, we have the utmoftEvidence of
a Divine Revelation, that can be given us. me The Truth is, Miracles alone, without Cases a- any other Testimony, had been a fuffilone a suf
uf- cient Proof of our Lord's Commission Evidence. (as they certainly were in the Case of
Moses) had not several Prophesies defcrib’d the Messias (which Title our Saviour assum'd) under other Marks and Characters; but, notwithstanding this, u it is not the Application of these Prophesies, which gives Sanction to the Truth of Christianity, but the Works, by which Christ proved himself to be fent of God, these gave him a right to apply to himself the Prophesies concerning the Messias ; and the Marks and Characters of the promised Messias, given by the Prophets, were so many Tests, by which his claim was to be tried. Tho' therefore “ Miracles can46 not render a Foundation valid, which " is in it self invalid, and can never « mark out a Messias, or Jesus for " the Messias, if both are not mark« ed out in the Old Testament”; yet they can give a Man a just and undeniable Claim to be received as the promised Messias, if the Prophetical Character of the Messias be but applicable to him: For this is the Sense of our Saviour's Words, comparing him
f with the Baptist, a burning and Shining Light indeed, but who himself did no Miracles, I have a greater Witnefs than tbat of John, for the Works
" Clarke's Evidence of Natural and Revealed Religion. • John v. 35, 36.