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that may be produced for the divine. Let. missions of Moses and of Jesus Christ, VIII. is such as never was produced in favour of any others laying claim to divine missions, fince the world began; and it is such as no person can reject, without being obliged to believe a feries of absurdities and impoffibilities, that, in any other case, would choke the faith of the greatest bigot in Christendom: which is bringing the matter as near to demonstration as a matter of this kind is capable of being brought, or as any reasonable being would desire it to be brought.
Thus much being premised, to prevent mistakes, I shall proceed in the next Letter to the consideration of the first section, the subject of which is that of Miracles.
T HE substance of this section,
1 thrown into an argumentative
· One would wonder how the pre-
dence ever after. This reasoning holds let. good, respecting them, as well as 18. other facts; and to reason otherwise, would be to introduce universal confusion.
It is said, “ They are things in " their own nature far removed from e common belief.”
They are things which do not happen every day, to be sure. It were absurd, from the very nature of them, to expect that they should. But what reason can there be for concluding, from thence, that none ever were wrought? Why should it be thought a thing more incredible, that the ruler of the world should interpose, upon proper occasions, to controul the operations of nature, than that he should direct them, in ordinary? It is not imposible that a teacher
LET. should be fent from God. It may be
necessary that one should be fent. If
-“ They (miracles ) require fome“ thing more than the usual testimony “ of history for their support."
Why so ? If they may be wrought, and good reasons are assigned for their having been wrought upon any parti.
cular cular occasion, “ the usual testimony LET. “ of history" is fufficient to evince
IX. that they were wrought. But the truth is, that they have “ something “ more than the usual testimony of “ history ;” they have much more ; for no facts in the world ever were attested by such an accumulated weight of evidence; as we can produce on behalf of the miracles recorded of Moses and Christ; insomuch that the mind of any person tolerably well informed concerning them, till steeled against conviction by the prejudices of infidelity, revolts at the very idea of their being accounted forgeries.
P. 3.“ When Livy speaks of shields “ sweating blood, of it's raining hot “ stones, and the like, we justly re“ject and disbelieve the improbable - allertions."