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for it was so full a manifestation of the glory of Jesus, that it is said, “ His disciples believed on him." You have thus the three characteristics of a miracle embodied in that, the account of which I have now read.

Now a miracle itself is not a mere action, or a mere operation of nature, and yet it need not imply any more power than is already put forth in creation. For instance, in casting a handful of wheat into the soil, and making it grow up till it produces two or three bushels, there is as much power of God manifested as there is in making a few loaves grow into a few thousand. There is the same power exerted in making a seed cast into the soil grow up into many seeds, as there is in making one loaf grow into many loaves. The difference between what we call a natural thing and what God pronounces a miraculous thing, is not so much the extent of power that is manifested, as the manner of the manifestation of that power. Thus we read in the Epistle to the Romans, that the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” So that all creation, we are told, in its action, as clearly intimates and proves the power of God as any miracle, strictly and properly so called, could prove it. But where is the difference, you ask, between a miracle and the natural laws, as they are called, or operations of nature? I answer, one difference arises from the new and strange formula, shape, mode, or manner in which that power is put forth. Another difference arises from the fact, that the miracle of the seed cast into the earth growing into many bushels, is a miracle occurring every year, and witnessed by every individual upon earth ; but the miracle of one loaf being multiplied into ten, twelve, or twenty, is a thing that occurred only once, and was witnessed by a few; and to that few only, and by their testimony to others, is that miracle addressed. The water coming from the clouds, and descending from springs and rocks, proves abundantly the power of God. That the ocean should be a mighty cistern, that the sand and the rocks of the earth should constitute so many perfect filters, that the water should be constantly supplied through these for us to drink, that the steam which evaporates from the sea should shape itself into clouds, and meeting with cold currents of air, should become condensed, and fall in the shape of prolific and fertilizing showers; all this is an evidence of the power of God

-as great evidence of that power as one could possibly have. But the water

urned into wine is not, as I have said, the manifestation of a greater power, but it is the manifestation of the same power, relieving the monotony which has dulled the impressiveness of the former ; lifting, as it were, the veil behind which God works, enabling us to see, not dead laws which the philosopher owns, but a living hand put forth on the springs of nature, controlling, originating, and creating all. Thus, then, the water from the clouds, falling upon the soil, ascending the trunk of the vine, and ultimately issuing in grapes, and those grapes passing into wine, is one process, and in every stage of this process God's power is manifested; but when God turns water into wine, all that he does differently is to shorten the process. The ordinary process, is that the water in the sea should rise into the cloud, then fall from the cloud in copious showers, give refreshment to the vine and fertility to the earth, develop itself in sap, in blossom, in grapes, in fermentation, in winethis is the long process ; the short process is, the water turning into wine at Christ's word;

but it is equally Christ in both; it is equally Divine power in both, only we have got so accustomed to the long process, that we say it is the natural th and are so little accustomed to the short process, that the senses are startled and the mind is awakened. The difference is here too that in the one case we see a succession of continuous causes, and in the other we see the actor come forth himself, lay aside the machinery by which he has acted heretofore, and in one word say, “Let this water be wine;" and, recognising its Creator and its God, it be

comes so.

In the next place, a miracle is not, as some have tried to show, contrary to nature. Never accept this definition of it, because, as I shall show you in subsequent lectures, Strauss, one of the most subtle and most able infidels of modern times, (but who, I rejoice to say, has been re. plied to by his own countrymen, Neander, Tholock, and many others whose genius and piety are unquestionable,) has laid hold of this, and tried to do great mischief by it. not a thing against nature, but something above and beyond what we call nature. For instance, when we read of our Lord's healing the sick, and

A miracle is

in other instances raising the dead, we hear it said this is contrary to nature. It is no such thing. We call it contrary to nature, because we think that sickness is natural. Sickness is not natural; it is an unnatural thing; it is a discord in a glorious harmony; it is a blot upon the fair creation; it is most unnatural; and was never meant originally to be. When we see our Lord raising the dead, we say it is unnatural; yet it is not so, because death is the unnatural thing, and the patural thing is putting an end to death, and bringing back everlasting and glorious life. Thus, then, the healing of the sick and the quickening of the dead are not contrary to nature, but the perfection of nature; it is the bringing back of nature to her pristine state ; it is restoring the primeval harmony; it is the evidence of ancient happiness, and the augury of future; it is the demonstration to us that all the prophecies that describe the glorious paradise that is to be are possibilities: and hence, every miracle of our Lord was a flower snatched from the paradise that is to be, a tone of the everlasting jubilee sounding in the depths of the human heart; a specimen of that new Genesis, under which there shall be no more sickness, nor sor

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