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and therefore the most unlikely to be misled by the delufions of fanatacism.
On this part of my subject, the miracles of the apostles, and particularly of St. Paul, have been placed by a diftinguished writer, treating on the fame. fubject, in fo clear a light, that I cannot avoid availing myfelf of his ideas. I allude to the celebrated Lord Lyttleton, in his fhort but excellent treatife on the converfion of St. Paul." I could enter," fays he, "into a particular examination of all the mira"cles recorded in the Acts to have been wrought by "St. Paul, and fhew they were not of a nature in "which enthusiasm, either in him or the perfons he "worked them upon, or the fpectators, could have
any part. When he told Elymas, the forcerer, at Pa"phos, before the Roman deputy, "that the band of "God was upon him, and he should be blind, not feeing "the fun for a feafon; and immediately there fell on "him a mift and a darkness, and he went about feeking Some to lead him by the hand-had enthufiafm in "the doer or the fufferer any fhare in this act? If "Paul, as an enthusiast, had thrown out this menace, "and the effect had not followed; instead of con"verting the deputy, as we are told he did, he would
the first planting of Chriftianity, Book 3. Chap. v. § 5. vol. 2. p. 100. ad edit. Lond. 1756..
Lord Lyttleton's Obfervation on the converfion of St. Paul, printed in Dublin by G. Faulkner, 1747, P. 59.
u Acts xiii. II.
"have drawn on himself his rage and contempt; "but the effect upon Elymas could not be caufed by "enthusiasm in Paul, much lefs can it be imputed to
an enthusiastic belief in that perfon himself, of "his being ftruck blind, when he was not, by the "words of a man, whofe preaching he strenuously "and bitterly opposed; nor can we ascribe the con"verfion of Sergius which followed, to any enthusi"afm-a Roman proconful was not likely to be an "enthusiast; but had he been one, he must have "been bigotted to his own Gods, and therefore the "łefs inclined to believe any miraculous power in the "apostle.
"When at Troas, a young man, named Euty"chus, fell down from a high window in the third "loft, and was taken up dead, while St. Paul was
preaching; could any enthusiasm, either in Paul "or the congregation then prefent, make them be"lieve, that by the apostle's falling on him and em"bracing him, he was reftored to life? or, could "he, who was fo restored, contribute any thing to it "himself by any power of his own imagination ?— Affuredly not.
"Further, the power of working miracles was not confined to St. Paul, it was also communicated "to the churches he planted in different parts of the
* A&ts x 9.
< world." In many paffages of his epistles to the * Corinthians, he tells them, "that to fome among "them was given the gift of healing by the Spirit of God;
to others, the working of other miracles; to others, "divers kinds of tongues and gives directions for "their more orderly use in their affemblies." Now let me appeal to the unbiaffed reafon of every man, and entreat him to reflect, whether fuch an address as this is not utterly irreconcileable with every fuppofition, either of enthufiafm or artifice. "Suppose for "a moment St. Paul, and the perfons he addreffed, "were artful deceivers, how utterly ridiculous would it have been in an epiftle addressed to them and for their own use, to advise them not to value themfelves too highly on these gifts, to pray for one rather than another, and to prefer charity to all,-to appeal to their past experience, and affert," the figns of an apostle have been wrought amongst you in figns "and wonders, and mighty deeds;"-and this when it appears that at that very period, there were fome amongst those whom he addreffed, who envied the respect which the apostle enjoyed amongst his Corinthian converts, who laboured to disparage his character, and undermine his authority.-How abfurd and impolitic would fuch an appeal in fuch circumstances have been-how utterly inconfiftent with every idea of fraud or artifice, and furely not lefs inconfiftent with the nature of enthufiafm.-" If in
YI Cor. 12th, 14th and 15th chap. Lord Lyttleton's Ob fervations, &c. p. 61.
deed the apostle had told the Corinthians, that they were infpired by the Spirit of God, in fome "ineffable manner, which they alone could under"stand, but which did not discover itself by any "outward diftinct operations, they might mistake
the impulfe of enthusiasm for the infpiration of "the holy Ghoft; but they could not believe, "against the conviction of their own minds, that "they spoke languages they did not fpeak, or healed "diftempers they did not heal, or worked other mi"racles when they worked none: undoubtedly if the "Corinthians were not fully affured that fuch mira"culous powers had been, and were ftill exercised amongst them, they must have regarded the author "of that epiftle as a wild and frantic vifionary, in. "stead of revering him as an apostle of God.
I fhall conclude this view of the miracles wrought by the apostles with fome general obfervations of the fame eminent writer on this argument, which feem peculiarly important and decifive.
УУ 66 Suppose that enthusiasm could make a man think "that he was able by a word or a touch to give fight "to the blind, motion to the lame, or life to the
dead; would that conceit of his make the blind fee, the lame walk, or the dead revive; and if it did not, how could he perfift in fuch an opinion,
Jy Vid. Lyttleton on Converf. of St. Paul. p. 62, 63.
or upon his perfifting escape being fhut up for a "madman; but fuch a madness could not infect fo
many at once as St. Paul fuppofes at Corinth to have "been endowed with the gift of healing, or any "other miraculous power.
"One of the miracles which they pretended to, "was the speaking of languages they had never "learnt, and St. Paul fays he poffeffed this gift 66 more than them all. If this had been a delufion of fancy-if they had spoken only gibberish, or unmeaning founds, it would foon have appeared "when they came to make use of it, where it was neceffary, viz. in converting thofe who understood "not any language, they naturally spoke; St. Paul, particularly, who travelled fo far upon that defign, " and had fuch occafion to use it, muft foon have "discovered that this imaginary gift of the Spirit "was no gift at all, but a ridiculous inftance of fren
zy which had poffeffed both him and them.-But if "those he spoke to in divers tongues understood "what he faid, and were converted to Chrift by that 66 means, how could it be a delufion?-Of all the "miracles recorded in fcripture, none are more clear "from any poffible imputation of being the effect of
an enthusiastic imagination than this; for how "could any man think he had it, if he had it not? or "if he did think fo, not be undeceived when he came
to put his gift to the proof? accordingly I do not "find fuch a power to have been pretended to by any "enthusiast, ancient or modern.