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thought, as proper Testimonies of his divine Mission, 'the Works, which my Father hath given me to finish, k the Works which I do in my 'Father's Namey the fame hear Witness of me, that the Father-hath sent me: l 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 oaT of our Saviour's Million, that he was a ^ism" Teacher sent from Qod m to abolish a Form work Miof Worship, which had incontestibly racleS' been established by the Power of Miracles in Moses, and to institute a new Religion, repugnant to the'Wisdom of the World, in many myjlerious Doctrines^ 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 RuinSj to erect a Kingdom of Righteousness \ there was an absolute Necessity 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, Mafler, n we F would
. ' Jdhn v. 3<J. k John x. 15. 'John x. 57. "Stillingfieet's'OriZ' Sacix. />. 17&. ?John vi. 30.
would see a Sign from thee, what Sign therefore doest thou do, that we may see ana believe? What doeji thou Work? But this Demand is effectually silenced, by our Saviour's being able to make the Reply, • If I had not done among them the Works, which none other Man did, they had not had Sin, but now they have both fen and hated both me aud my Father.
Mrifcra-S We sCadilX Srant> P that the Ch"sti
bleto an Revelation supposes, and is built upProphe- on the Jewish, as to. its Foundation; sics' that the Character, which Jesus Christ assumed, was that of the Messiah, a Person promised, and delineated in the Law and the Prophets: And accordingly both Christ and his Apostles appeal to these Prophesies, and apply them, as giving Evidence to his Pretensions 5 and, consequently, the Trial of Chnstianity is, in effect, put upon this Issue, and unlels the Validity of this appeal can be supported, Miracles, exclusive of this Testimony, will not be a sufficient Evidence. But then it ought to be considered, that, when, among the particular Predictions of a Person, promised to the Jews as their MeJJias, it was foretold, that he should 1 be like unto Moses,
• John xv. 24. * Rogers* Necessity of a Divine Revelation. * Deut. xviii.
thatr the Spirit of God Jhould reft upon him, that he should s open the Eyes of the Blind, and unftop the Ears of the Deaf and that he should make the Lame leap as an Hart, and the 'tongue of the Dumb to ling j Miracles became then an essential Ingredient of his Character, and the surest Test of his being a Prophet lent from God. For supposing the Meflias characterize in Scripture in all other Reipects, except the Power of working Miracles, any other Person, falling under the common Description of his being of the Seed o/7 Abraham, of the 'tribe of Judah, of the Family of David, and born in Bethlehem, might, with Ibme Dexterity and Address, have Ib accommodated his Life and Actions* to the other Part of the Character, as to deceive.even an attentive Judgment. Or, Ibppofing him pretending to the Gift of Prophecy, the way to make good his Pretensions must be, either by telling us Things pas, 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 F 3, other
j Isa. xi. 5.. f Isa. xxxv. 5, 6. \ Rogcvit Necessity of a Diviue 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 fulfill'd, 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 fromGod,we have the utmostEvidence of a Divine Revelation, that can be given us. In some The Truth is, Miracles alone, without Cafes a- any other Testimony, had been a fuffificicntsuf" cient Proof of'our Lord's Commission Evidence, (as they certainly were in the Case of
Moses J had not several Prophesies describ'd the Meffias (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 sent of God, these gave him a right to apply to himself the Prophesies concerning the Meffias; 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 can"not render a Foundation valid; which *' is in it self invalid, and can never "mark out a Meffias, or Jesus for "the Meffias, 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 Meffias, if the Prophetical Character of the Meffias be but applicable to him: For this is the Sense of our Saviour's Words, comparing himself with the Baptist, a burning and shining Light indeed, but who himself did no Miracles, x I have a greater Witness then that of John, for the Works F 3 which
° Clark's Evidence of Natural aud Revealed Religion, f John v. 35, 56.