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Shadow of Peter, Acts v. 15, 16. and Says, that. the people, according to ibis account, were, healed of their respective diseases, whether they would or not. p. 216.--And he asks this queition in the run of his argument; if an honest, upright man in

ihe church of Rome, may act otherwise than an .: honest upright man, (admiiting such a way of speak: ing) then, why may not an honest upright man, upon

the same grounds, act oiherwise than an honest up.: right man, in any other church or case? and conse-

quently, how will the miracles wrought by Jesus Christ, and his apofiles be proved to be otherwise than iinpoNilions? supposing them to have been much better: citested than at present they appear to be, p. 230., And this be supposes applicable to St. Paul, in į Cor. ix. 20. 21. ... . - There would have appeared nothing more in- . credible in these accounts than in any other, had it been considered, that miraculous power could not be mistaken in its object: and moreover, that it was what could not be exerted, but in proof of Christ's being the true Messiah.- The effusion of the spirit at pentecost, was a measure fuited to convince, as well as qualify. Mr. Chubb seems to own, that their being taught the languages, seemed needful to their executing of their commission. But then, he thinks, the external ep. pearances could ferve only to firike terror, and excite wonder.

Grant that this was the design, if it can be proved that it was no low design, but every way

worthy of God; the objection to its credibility, .. on this account, will vanish. The history involl forms us, thot the apostles were together in one

place when the day of pentecoft was fully come,
anit that suddenly there came a found from heaven,
as of a mighty rujhing wind, and it filled the house
oshire they were fitting: . An. there appeared un-

s-works. to them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it felt upon each of them.--Now when this voice was made, the multitude (among whom were deviat Jews out of every nation under heaven,] came togetber, and were in the utmost surprize, because that every man heard them speak in his own language! i. e. the language of the country where they statedly dwelt, and which they themselves spoke. Hence it is observable, that the external noise, or voice, Acts ii. 6. was designed to alarm, and bring together the multitude.-Mr. Chubb objected to the resurrection of Christ, because he did not appear publickly: but he should have attended to this circumstance, and he would then have greatly approved it. Besides, the phenomenon of the heavenly voice, was very suitable to alarm, and terrify the city, who had very lately put to death their master! and would at the same time check the rage and fury of the public against them. It was an open testimony given them from heaven; and occasioned such fort of Jews affembling about the apostles, as would spread the fame of them among all nations. ,

With respect to the fiery appearance within, hovering over the heads of each apoftle, this had - its use; since John the Baptist had borne his te· ftimony to Jesus, that he should baptize wiih the

Holy Spirit, and with fire. But before this, he had not done any thing to them, which so exactly answered that prediction of him. Jesus had only breathed on them before; i. e. when he appeared to them, as related, Joh. xx. 22, 23. viz. the time that he restored to them the power of working miracles; which had been withdrawn from them during their Lord's humiliation. At :Pentecojt they have the gift of tongues, and with the solemnity of external pointed or forky flame, hovering over the heads of each of them : an ap

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pearance, very well suited to convince each, and every of them, that they were owned, and fanctified, or separated from heaven for the ministrations which Yesus had appointed them. It would have an apt tendency to confirm and establisha their faith in Jesus, as ascended to the right hand of power: and be a proper means of uniting them in their esteem and affection for one another; forasmuch as they saw, that the signal was the same upon one, as it was upon another. So that the credibility of this narrative is yet unshaken.

The other instance mentioned about the bandkerchiefs, and aprons, might afford matter of burlesque and ridicule, to a man of the most despicable, depraved wit : but to the rational, grave and modest, there will be found nothing that will bear ridicule. It was not possible that any mifapplication could be made of the miraculous power : but if the people did but touch Paul with an handkerchief or apron, (either their own, or that belonged to a fick Person) at whatever distance ; it did fuffice for the healing of those diseased! and they who conveyed the handkerchiefs and aprons, would bear testimony to the amazing, the beneficent power which resided with that apoftle!

Miracles might have been objected to, had they given the objects of their operation any additional powers, or had it conveyed abilities to men, above what are found in a perfect state of the intellectual and bodily; but they only removed defects and impediments, they were constant appeals made to the general laws, and demonstrated the operation of the universal law-giver. They introduced no new appearances, unknown in nature. Moreover, their

honesty is not to be called in question. Sea. Miracles of no kind have an easy admittance XXX1. with Mr. Chubb; for we find him objecting to The fu

natural the preter or supernatural formation of Jesus Chrift, by the overshadowing of the Virgin. And he formation thinks there is just ground of concluding, that he ofte

objected was generated or begotten in the same way, viz. by co the co-operation of a male and a female of the same Species as the rest of mankind are. -- An! he says, that Matthew is guided by dreans, and Luke by visions.--But how John came to call Jesus, God's only begotten, he knows not. Vol. II. p. 271.

276.

But why should the term begetting, or begotten, be objected to ? when Mr. Chubb has him· self said, as I hinted before, that it must be figurative, as Christians are said to be begotten thro' the Gospel. p. 278. So that when applied to the formation of Jesus Christ, I see not, why it ihould offend. For, as men, BEGOTTEN thro' che Gospel, intends no other than the energy of truth, forming the temper and complexion of their spirits to virtue and holiness; so the exertion of creative power in that fingular production of the man Christ Jesus, may with equal propriety con{titute him the only begotten Son of God. Adam was the Son of God, as made by the inmediate energy of his power. All the fons of Adam are said to be God's offspring : but whoever annexed any such base, gross, sensual ideas to God's agency? - The over-hadowing seems to be analogous to the adumbration, or moving of the Spirit, or air of God upon the Waters, mentioned Gen. i. 2. The fæcundity of nature admits no impure notion of the Creator. And men might as well say, that because God is spoken of under the personal pronouns of be, and him, that there ore Deity is of the masculine gender! But would not this render a man very contemptible? So with respect to the productions of omnipotence, tho' imaged under terms that are figurative ; yet no man, who has formed any just conceptions of

Deity,

Deity, will admit of sensual representation. Tho' to the impure, all things will be impure.

The fact does appear to me to be well sup.. ported ; and worthy of credit. He was prophesied of, If. vii. 14. Behold a virgin fhall conceive and bear a son, and Mall call his name InManuel. If any would see the distinction made evident in this context, between Isaiah's son Shearjahub, to which he pointed, ver. 15, 16, and the son of the virgin ; he may consult Bishop Chandler's Defence of Christianity, from p. 316--332. . Matthew relates the fact with every proper

circumstance that may remove doubt or scruple, and make the narrative credible. And so does Luke. Matthew refers to the above prophecy, as fulfilled in and by this event. Joseph was espoused to Mary, but before they came together, Mary was found with child.--The gupinden in geçe', being found with child, will by no means infer, that she underwent no éxamination. It is more probable, that Heli, her father, if living, who some think, had adopted Jofeph from his infancy, and consequently, muft have had great respect for him, it is more probable that he would himself be well fatisfied, and not suffer any such imposition from his daughter. But however this was, we are assured, that it was a matter of great weight among the Jews, as she was betrothed ; adultery being a capital crime. Jofeph is at first much dissatisfied; but afterwards he is wholly reconciled to own her publickly: he is full of care about her; and looks upon the fruit with which she went, as given to him by miracle. He, at the time of the taxation, or enrolment, takes Mary along with him to Bethlehen, Luke tells us, bis espoused wife, being great with child, Luk. ü, 5. Such is the distinction yet, bis espoused wife. And Mary being delivered at Bethlehem,

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