Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

_ 7 :._o_______ Ch_r_:_ijl_ia_n_Religion proved_b..::_ry_R_ea::....rfo_n_. ____ ~ Grave was a vifiblc Argument to confirm his Do~rine; for that God would not exChap.3. erthis extraordinary Power to confirm a falfe DoCtrme, in a matter of infinite moment, ......,-y-.._.~ that fo nearly concerns his own Glory, and the Salvation of Men, there is (ufhcient alfurance from his Wifdom, Truth and Goodnefs. Was there ever any Pr.ince rhat would permit an U[urper, in his own Prefence to make u[(; of his Royal Seal, ro Authorize by Commiilion his Subje&s to rebel agai"!t him ? And would God have fnffered a Deceiver to work Miracles, and thereby obtam Divine Honour from Men, the .incommunicable Right of the Deity ? Nay, ir had not been a bare Permiffion, but a pofitivc Act of God himfelf, it being impofflble that any other rhould do them. Or, would God wl10 is the prime Verity, work Miracles to give credit to a Lye, and violate the Honour of his Eternal, mofr Perfect Veracity? Or, is it confifrent with his Infinite Goodnefs, to make a Odufion fo fl:rong, that the mofl: fincere would be in great danger to be overcome by it? Therefore the ApofHe urges it as an uncomroulable Argument ofour Saviour's Divine Miffion; Te J.Wen of Ifrael hear thefe Jvords; Jeflts of Nazareth, a M.m approved of God among you, by Miracles and Wonders, and Sig11s wbich God did 1'.1. bim in t~e midfl of yo~t, as you yo1:r [elves alfo k1ow. . Thete were proofS of the greateft v1gour, to mduce the World to believe rhat he came from God, to make known his Counlel for rhe recovery_of lofl: undone Mankind. 'Tis L1id by Libertines, that the ~earh_ens te~l miraculous fl:or~ es to confirm their Religion, that thei r Hero's defcended m a nght lme fi·om fame De1ty; and not to inO::ance in many particulars, they boafted o~ Apo~olt!lfJ" .TJ~n£1H as one that vied with Chrifl: himfelf in wonderfu l works. But thiS ObJ,&tOn IS ea lil y refuted: For if P~~·11if" had a miraculous Power attendmg Jt, why d1d 1t not make ufe of it to difcrcdit rhat Power that Amhoriz'd Chriftitmity in the time it made fierce War againfl: it? If equal to it in Divine Power, and_incomparably fuperiour in humane ai~s, how came it to pafs that the weaker prov'd viCt:onous, and th~ fl:ronger was put to flight? 'Tis evident therefOre the pretended Miracles of P•g•nifiJJ, were Works of the Devil, not to be compar'd With what was done by an Almighty Ha~ d. If it be 3gain objeered, That the relation of the Miracles as perform'd by ]ejiu Chrifi is from his Difciples, who favoured his Perfon and Canfe, and therefore may be juflly fufpe&ed. I anfwtt; The vanity of the Pretence is apparent: for if they had artificially fram'd a Narrative of extraordinary things as done by him in that time wherein they wrote, and in the view of many, how ea£ie had it been to expofe them to the jufl: fcorn and hatred of all for their notorious Falfhood, and infatuated Impudence? But they were never accus'd of this. Nay fuch was rhe number, clearnefs, and greatnefs of his Miracles, that the uncontrouled fame of them forc'd his Enemies irt After-Ages to aC'- knowkdge their truth, The ]ew.< in their Talm11d confefs he did Wonders, but give fuch a ridiculous Acconnt of the Means by whtch they were done, as betrays the weaknefs of their Reafon, and the !trength of their Malice again([ him. And his Apof1les, with their Succeffors, in Preaching the Gofpel, wrought Miracles fo frequenrly in the face of many Nations, that thofc who were mofl: obfimately av~rfe from fubmitting to it, could not deny what was vifible to Thoufands, and that . M~taculom Power they always afcribed to the Name of CHRIST. So that there is no colour for jealoufie, as if his Miracles recordec) in the Gofpel were not true. But bec:111fc the Refurre&ion of Cbrijl .is the great Principle upon which all Chrif1ian hOpes depend, I will fhew that we have all the rational alfurance of it, that it is capable of: This being a matter offa&done many Ages pa!t,is to be proved by Teftimony And fir([, 'tis worthy of Obfervation that the Providence of 'God is concern'd to Authorize this manner of proof that is abfolutely necelfary for the preferving Humane Societies. 'Tis of little importance, whether the truth of things be difcover'd in fpecu- ]ative Sciences, or the appearance of it deceive the Inquirer. 'Tis no wrong to the Commonwealth, that an AO:ronomer miftakes in his dimenfions of the maonitude of the Sun ; for his Errour does not leffen jts Benign Influences ; fl:ill it fhines ~nd cau[es the Spring and Autumn. 'Tis of little Importance that a Philofopher is deceived in his fearch after the Principles of mixt Bodirs: For, notwith!tanding his mi!take, Animals !'rill live, and move, and perform all the Functionsfuitable to their Nature. But in Judgments that refpe& matters of Fa&, if the Truth cannot be known by Te!!Imonies, the civil felicity cannot long fubli([. For the unju([ dif1ribution of Rewards and Punifhments is neceffarily ruinous to the Being of the State. And it is credible the Divine Providence that reaches ro the fmalle([ parts of the World in fuch an admirable manner, fhould leave the condu& ofhumane affairs, even of the greate!t moment, to a deceitful Light? And thar after the mo!t diligent fearch andcaution has been ufed, the refult iliould be only wavering Con-