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lemnity, thus : "Ye men of Israel, hear these words ; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know, &c*." In his speech upon the conversion of Cornelius, he delivers his testimony to the miracles performed by Christ in these words : “We are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalemt.” But in this latter speech, no allusion appears to the miracles wrought by himself, notwithstanding that the miracles above enumerated all preceded the time in which it was delivered. In his speech upon the election of Matthiast, no distinct reference is made to any of the miracles of Christ's history, except his resurrection. The same also may be observed of his speech upon the cure of the lame man at the gate of the templeg; the same in his speech before the Sanhedrims; the same in his second apology in the
presence of that assembly. Stephen's long speech contains no reference whatever to miracles, though it be expressly related of him, in the book which preserves the speech, and almost immediately before the speech, “that he did great wonders and miracles among the people**.” Again, although miracles be expressly attributed to St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles, first generally, as at Iconium (Acts xiv. 3.), during the whole tour through the Upper Asia (xiv. 27. xv. 12.), at Ephesus (xix. 11, 12.) ; secondly, in specifick instances, as the blindness of Elymas at Paphostt, the cure of the cripple at Lystraft, of the Pythoness at Philippify, the miraculous liberation from prison in the same citys, the restoration of Eutychus*, the predictions of his shipwreckt, the viper at Melitat, the cure of Publius's fathery; at all which miracles, except the two first, the historian himself was present : notwithstanding, I say, this positive ascription of miracles to St. Paul, yet in the speeches delivered by him, and given as delivered by him, in the same book in which the miracles are related, and the miraculous powers asserted, the appeals to his own miracles, or indeed to any miracles at all, are rare and incidental. In his speech at Antioch in Pisidias, there is no allusion but to the resurrection. In his discourse at Miletus**, none to any miracle ; none in his speech before Felixtt; none in his speech before Festustt; except to Christ's resurrection, and his own conversion.
* Acts ii. 22.
* i. 15.
$ iii. 12.
** vi. 8.
Agreeably hereunto, in thirteen letters ascribed to St. Paul, we have incessant references to Christ's resurrection, frequent references to his own conversion, three indubitable references to the miracles which he wroughtyy, four other references to the same, less direct yet highly probable ; but more copious or circumstantial recitals we have not. The consent, therefore, between St. Paul's speeches and letters, is in this respect sufficiently exact: and the reason in both is the same ; namely, that the miraculous history was all along presupposed, and that the question, which occupied the speaker's and the writer's thoughts, was this: whether, allowing the history of Jesus to be true, he was, upon the strength of it, to be received as the promised Messiah ; and, if he was, what were the consequences, what was the object and benefit of his mission ?
* Acts xx. 10.
xxviii. 8. Txüi. 16.
# xxiv. 10. ## xxy. 8. SS Gal. iii, 5. Rom. xv. 18, 19. 2 Cor. xii. 12. IT 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5. Eph. iii. 7. Gal. ii. 8. 1 Thess. i. 5.
The general observation which has been made upon the apostolick writings, namely, that the subject, of which they treated, did not lead them to any direct recital of the Christian history, belongs also to the writings of the apostolick fathers. The epistle of Barnabas is, in its subject and general composition, much like the epistle to the Hebrews; an allegorical application of divers passages of the Jewish history, of their law and ritual, to those parts of the Christian dispensation in which the author perceived a resemblance. The epistle of Clement was written for the sole purpose of quieting certain dissensions that had arisen amongst the members of the church of Corinth, and of reviving in their minds that temper and spirit of which their predecessors in the gospel had left them an example. The works of Hermas is a vision ; quotes neither the Old Testament nor the New; and merely falls now and then into the language and the mode of speech, which the author had read in our gospels. The epistles of Polycarp and Ignatius had for their principal object the order and discipline of the churches which they addressed. Yet, under all these circumstances of disadvantage, the great points of the Christian history are fully recognized. This hath been shown in its proper place*.
There is, however, another class of writers, to whom the answer above given, viz. the unsuitableness of any such appeals or references as the objection demands, to the subjects of which the writings treated, does not apply ; and that is, the class of ancient apologists, whose declared design it was to defend Christianity, and to give the reasons of their adherence to it. It is necessary, therefore, to inquire how the matter of the objection stands in these.
The most ancient apologist, of whose works we have the smallest knowledge, is Quadratus. Quadratus lived about
* Ante, p. 74-76.
seventy years after the ascension, and presented his apology to the emperour Adrian. From a passage of this work, preserved in Eusebius, it appears that the author did directly and formally appeal to the miracles of Christ, and in terms as express and confident as we could desire. passage (which has been once already stated) is as follows : “ The works of our Saviour were always conspicuous, for they were real : both they that were healed, and they that were raised from the dead, were seen, not only when they were healed or raised, but for a long time afterwards ; not only whilst he dwelled on this earth, but also after his departure, and for a good while after it; insomuch as that some of them have reached to our times*.” Nothing can be more rational or satisfactory than this.
Justin Martyr, the next of the Christian apologists whose work is not lost, and who followed Quadratus at the distance of about thirty years, has touched upon passages of Christ's history in so many places, that a tolerably complete account of Christ's life might be collected out of his works. In the following quotation, he asserts the performance of miracles by Christ, in words as strong and positive as the language possesses : « Christ healed those who from their birth were blind, and deaf, and lame ; causing, by his word, one to leap, another to hear, and a third to see; and having raised the dead, and caused them to live, he, by his works, excited attention, and induced the men of that age to know him. Who, however, seeing these things done, said that it was a magical appearance, and dared to call him a magician, and a deceiver of the peoplet.”
In his first apologyt, Justin expressly assigns the reason for his having recourse to the argument from prophecy, rather than alleging the miracles of the Christian history:
t Just. Dial. p. 258. ed. Thirlby.
* Euseb. Hist. I. iv. c. 3.
which reason was, that the persons with whom he contended would ascribe these miracles to magick; “lest any of our opponents should say, What hinders, but that he who is called Christ by us, being a man sprung from men, performed the miracles which we attributed to him, by magical art?"
The suggestion of this reason meets, as I apprehend, the very point of the present objection ; more especially when we find Justin followed in it, by other writers of that age. Irenæus, who came about forty years after him, notices the same evasion in the adversaries of Christianity, and replies to it by the same argument: “But, if they shall say, that the Lord performed these things by an illusory appearance (Pertatuadas), leading these objectors to the prophecies, we will show from them, that all things were thus predicted concerning him, and strictly came to pass*.” Lactantius, who lived a century lower, delivers, the same sentiment, upon the same occasion : formed miracles ;-we might have supposed him to have been a magician, as ye say, and as the Jews then supposed, if all the prophets had not with one spirit foretold that Christ should perform these very thingst." :.
But to return to the Christian apologists in their order. Tertullian :-"That person whom the Jews had vainly imagined, from the meanness of his appearance, to be a mere man, they afterwards, in consequence of the power he exerted, considered as a magician, when he, with one word, ejected devils out of the bodies of men, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the leprous, strengthened the nerves of those that had the palsy, and lastly, with one command, restored the dead to life ; when he, I say, made the very
elements obey him, assuaged the storms, walked upon the seas, demonstrating himself to be the word of God. $."
66 He per:
* Iren. 1. ii. c. 57.
† Lact. v. 3. * Tertull. Apolog. p. 20. ed. Priorii, Par. 1675.