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thew xvii. 18.) yet this was no more than his rebuking the winds and the sea, (as in Matthew viii. 26.)and they obeyed him, like as the Devil, that is, the disorder obeyed him as in the former case. nions, of men being pollessed with Devils, and of the appearance of Angels, and of witches and apparitions, all seem to be of a piece ; and do not appear to have any other foundation than on the ignorance and superstition of some, and the cunning and craftiness of others. As to these circumstances, viz, the disorder entering into the swine, and the swine running into the fea, and being choaked; these, I think, must be an improvement of the story in order to make it more remarkable. If it should be said, that this supposition bears hard upon the histor an, because if those circumstances were added by him, to answer the purpose aforesaid ; then he has greatly imposed upon his readers. Answer: The historian may not have been the author, but only the relater of those additional circumstances, by delivering the story just as he had received it. Moreover, it is better, and, I think, more if, that the historian should be censured, wan that Christ's beautiful character should

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be sullied, if one or other of these must take
place, which may seem to be the case here.
The circumstances referred to, if admitted,
reflect great dishonour upon our Lord, and
are contrary to his general character, and
to the gracious purposes he proposed to an-
swer in this world, and therefore, are very
unlikely to have been the case. Again, we
have an account, in the gospel according to
St. John, chap. ii. That there was a mar-
riage in Cana of Gallilee, and that both Ye-
sus and his mother were at this wedding.
And when they wanted wine, Jesus's mo-
ther said unto him, they have no wine : To
which he answered, in a very rough and
churlish manner, saying, woman, what have
I to do with thee? (or rather, one might
think, it would have been more proper for
him to have said, woman what hast thou to
do with me, or my affairs ?) mine hour is not yet
come. This very naturally leads me to observe,
that, supposing they had no wine
was this to Christ, who came there as a
guest to be entertained, and not to make a
provision for the entertainment? and there-
fore, why should Christ's mother say to him,
they have no wine ? did she foreknow that
Christ would exercise his power in turning

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water

water into wine? or that wine would be wanted to give occasion for the exercise of that power? or were these points settled betwixt Christ and his mother before they came there? Indeed, what Christ's mother faid to the servants, at verse 5.

viz. whatfoever be faith unto you do, makes it look as if those points had been before settled betwixt them ; but then, Christ's answer to his mother, upon this supposition, seems to be greatly improper : For, if it had been agreed before-hand, that when the wine was spent, which had been provided for the entertainment, Christ should exercise his power in supplying them with more; then, when that wine was spent, as thereby the time was come for him to give them that supply, so it must have been very proper for his mother to have acquainted him with it ; and therefore, Christ's answer,

Christ's answer, viz. Woman what have I to do with thee? mine bour is not yet come, must have been greatly improper. And, indeed, the last part of his answer must have been fallacious, let the case be taken in any view, because he contradicted it by his subsequent behaviour, in that 'he presently turned water into wine, to supply that want his mother had told him of;

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. 187 which plainly shewed that his hour was

In fictitious history there are usually such circumstances introduced as bewray it, and that seems to be the case here. Befides, the disrespectful behaviour of Christ to his mother, in the answer he returned to her,viz. woman, what have I to do with thee? without any provocation given, and when his mother had only informed him, in a very civil manner, that they had no wine ; this was so contrary to Christ's general character, as renders it most unlikely to be true; and therefore, I conclude that either this must be a false piece of history, or else that it has been very falsly related to us, either of which is to my purpose. Moreover, the miracle referred to seems to have been wrought, rather to answer the purpose of intemperance, than to supply the wants and necesities of men. Christ multiplied the food contained in fome loaves and fishes twice, and therewith fed five thousand people at one time, and four thousand at another; but then, this was done to answer a good purpose, and upon proper occasions, viz, when the people were almost ready to faint for want of food, and were in a defart place, where that want could not be

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supplied in an ordinary way, and therefore, were instances of kindness : whereas at the wedding referred to, the guests had drank so. freely, as to have exhausted that plenty of wine which had been prepared for the entertainment; and therefore, cannot reasonably be supposed to have stood in need of more; and, according to the proverb, when the barrel was empty, it was high time for the guests to have went off. So that, under these circumstances, for Christ to turn fo large a quantity as fifteen or fixteen firkins of water into wine, when it could answer no other purpose than to furnish out materials for excess, is to me highly improbable. For, tho’ Christ came eating and drinking, that is, he did not exercise such austerity as John the Baptist; yet, surely, he did not live intemperately himself, nor use his miracleworking power in making provision for it in others; because that would be acting quite out of chara&ter, as he came to be a light to the world; and therefore, the forementioned branch of history must needs be greatly incredible. Again, St. Mark informs us, chap. xi. verses 12, 13, 14. And on the 'morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing a fig

tree

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