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received his sight, the deaf his hearing, and the disordered in mind the full exercise of reason ; the dumb spake, the leper was cleansed, the withered hand was restored whole like the other, and the lame walked away praising and glorifying God. To suppose that these wonderful effects were wrought by some superior human acquirement, or by the mere force of imagination on the minds of those who were healed, is equally unfounded and irrational. For not to mention that Jesus removed many apparently incurable disorders without touching the sufferer, or using any medical application, how is it to be accounted for upon either of these suppositions, that he could accomplish perfect cures upon persons residing at a considerable distance from him, and whom he had not seen? It must be acknowledged that surprising effects will sometimes spring from the power of imagination ; but what effect could imagination produce on the centurion's servant, who was effectually healed of the palsy, merely in consequence of his master's earnest entreaty, that Christ would compassionate his sufferings ? But if the captious are still disposed to frame objections, will they venture to assert that fancy may continue to exert its power even when life is extinct, and the tabernacle of clay, the immortal part gone, has begun to decay? Will they seriously tell us that Lazarus was restored to life by the force of imagination, or of some applications which Christ could administer? Will they in a similar manner venture to account for our blessed Redeemer's own resurrection from the dead ?

Suggestions so palpably erroneous scarcely deserve a moment's attention. Consider also that our Saviour's divine power was successfully exerted not only upon the human race, but upon the animal creation, upon vegetable substances, and upon inanimate things. At a marriage festival he turned water into wine ; by his command, a few loaves and small fishes were multiplied into a sufficiency of food for no less than five thousand persons ; the winds and the waves were obedient to his word; and, on a particular occasion, he walked with equal firmness on the surface of the sea as on the dry ground. Since, then, the exercise of our Saviour's supernatural power was attended with invariable and complete success, on what reasonable grounds can the truth of his miracles be questioned, and how can those astonishing works be otherwise accounted for than by admitting that he did indeed receive his commission immediately from heaven, and carried within himself an all-sufficient control over all created things? But to convince us yet further, we may observe, that our Saviour's miracles were openly attested and strongly appealed to at the very time and scene where they were performed. They were not spoken of as wonderful things done in former days, when by reason of the distance of time, their evidence could not be clearly ascertained ; they were wrought before a great number of eye-witnesses, and with an avowed design to convince the world that Jesus Christ was the real Messiah, of whom so many prophets had borne witness. Convinced of the ultimate success of his mission, our Saviour thus addresses the Jewish people in the fifth chapter of St. John's gospel :--" I receive not testimony from man.

I have a greater witness than that of John, for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me that the Father hath sent me."

Nor are the miracles of our blessed Saviour imperfectly and obscurely recorded, or mentioned only in general terms by the historians of his life. If this had been the case, suspicion might have had some hold. But every little circumstance properly connected with them is distinctly and artlessly related. Nothing is studied; simple facts are unequivocally stated. The particular place in which each miracle was wrought; not only the department of country, but the town and village, and generally the spectators who were present, are distinctly mentioned. Nor were these wonderful works performed only in obscure situations, where they might be hidden from the public view, and observed only by a few who were particularly interested in their success.* Our Lord exhibited his astonishing powers in the most populous cities, and before great multitudes of promiscuous persons: in the streets and highways; in synagogues and private dwellings; in cities and in villages ; in the most public places of resort which the metropolis of Judea could furnish; before the assembled populace ; before the scribes, and pharisees, and doctors of the law. “ He did those miracles which no man could do except God was with him."

Our Saviour did not, like the Mohammedan impostor, rest his claims to divine authority on suspicious tales of private revelations and secret intercourse with heaven, but in the open day, and before innumerable spectators, he wrought such mighty works as could not fail to impress every unprejudiced witness with a full conviction that he was indeed that very Messiah whom the prophets of God had repeatedly foretold.

Once more ; we may observe in strong evidence of the truth of our Saviour's miracles, that they were performed before his most inveterate enemies, as well as before his most zealous friends. The opponents of revelation would do well to remember that the Jews, to whom Christ was particularly sent, were strongly prejudiced against him. So far was he from being countenanced by the ruling powers of Judea, that the chief magistracy exerted its most strenuous authority to destroy his person, blast his character, and exterminate his religion. It must be supposed that those who hated him, would embrace every means they could to weaken the credit of his divine pretensions. But among all the reviling accusations which the Jews brought against him, we cannot find that they ever charged him with fraud or artifice in the operation of his miracles. On the contrary, they themselves acknowledged his power to be supernatural, although they affected to impute it to a wrong origin. For immediately after our Saviour had raised Lazarus from the grave, the chief priests and pharisees gathered a council and said, " What do we? for this man worketh many miracles. If we let him thus alone all men will believe on him." Had the miracles of Christ been wrought only in the presence of men already prejudiced in his favour, and disposed to impute any thing strange and uncommon, which he did, to the agency of some more than human power, a suspicion of imposture might then have been reasonably entertained; but what stronger arguments for their authenticity can be wished for than their having

We may except the transfiguration of the Saviour, which took place in presence of three of his disciples only ; but, mark, for this very reason he desired them to speak of it to no man; nor did he ever appeal to this miraculous occurrence as a proof of his Divine commission.

been performed in the presence, and submitted to the free investigation of enemies, who were suspicious of fraud, watchful to detect, and eager to expose it?-than, that these very enemies were struck with irresistible conviction that his miraculous works were not counterfeited, and impelled to confess that they were indeed the work of more than human strength ?

We may also remark, that the manner in which the miracles of our Saviour are recorded, and the character of the persons who relate them, merit a particular and deliberate attention. Their authenticity is not made to rest upon vague report or upon oral tradition; they are communicated to the world in the plainest and most inartificial language, by apostles and evangelists who were themselves witnesses of these wonderful transactions. And it is difficult to show what objection can reasonably be made to their testimony, or how, if we refuse to admit it, we can with any propriety believe in any historical evidence whatever. These men were guiltless of any breach of morality; they were the avowed enemies of wickedness and impiety; why should they then give countenance to any design which they knew to be founded in falsehood and imposition ? Were they tempted by the hope that such conduct would enable them to accumulate worldly possessions, or establish a system of worldly power? No l—they well knew that to devote themselves to the cause of the crucified Jesus was utterly to renounce every hope of temporal emolument or estimation, and the sure method to bring down upon themselves all the accumulated distresses annexed to a state of constant persecution. And can it be supposed that such men should embrace a system which they knew to be false, resigning, at the same time, every prospect of advantage which either this world or the next can afford, and giving up even life itself? Nay, if among the strange characters which occasionally appear upon this mortal stage, some one might arise capable of acting so infatuated a part, can it be supposed that a body of men should ever conspire together in the furtherance of so extraordinary an infatuation? What can be imagined more incredible? Surely, therefore, we have in the character and conduct of the apostolical witnesses, as strong security as can be desired, that all which they relate concerning the miraculous powers of our blessed Saviour is strictly and literally true.

Lastly; we observe that a very striking proof of the authenticity of the miracles of Jesus may be drawn from this consideration—that they were wrought for benevolent and kind motives. Well, indeed, were they adapted to the high nature of his office as the Messiah, by exhibiting an equal mixture of the two most distinguishing attributes of divinity-power and goodness.

It was his peculiar commission to save the souls of men ; and by employing his miraculous endowments to heal their diseased bodies, to soothe their distracted minds, and to redeem their lives from destruction, he evinced a pleasing anticipation of that almighty power which he should hereafter exert, in raising his true disciples from the dead for the possession of everlasting bliss.

I know that two of our blessed Lord's miracles have been vehemently assailed by cavillers, as not manifesting that spirit of benevolence which the rest must be acknowledged to exhibit-I mean the withering the fig-tree, and the destruction of the herd of swine. But without examining closely into this subject, who can pretend to say that even these destructive miracles (so to speak) were not expedient and justifiable at the particular time when they were performed ? Might not the very purpose for which they were displayed have been to give the world an awful demonstration that Christ had power not only to bless and to save, but also to punish and destroy such as should obstinately oppose his authority and violate his laws ?

Since, then, all the miracles of our Saviour appear to have been wrought with a design to promote, in some way or other, the benefit of mankind, they furnish us, from their own nature, with a satisfactory reason why we should believe them to be the fruits of a power truly and essentially divine.

If, therefore, the wonderful works which are ascribed to our Lord carry with them every essential property and mark of truth, we are provided with a proof of his Divine commission which is clear, decisive, and absolute. While, then, we acknowledge with reverence and awe the hand of God in these miracles of Jesus, let us embrace with equal reverence all those truths and precepts of the christian revelation which these miracles were intended to confirm. If sincere religious obedience be withheld, vain will be that assent of the understanding which is produced ever by the most solid conviction. It peculiarly becomes us to prove the soundness and efficacy of our faith, by cherishing a heartfelt solicitude to imitate the example, to observe the ordinances, and follow the precepts of our heavenly Redeemer. If this be our sincere endeavour, he will esteem us as his disciples and his friends; and from his love, as we are expressly assured, neither “life nor death, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come," shall ever be able to separate us.

R. M. T.

NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA.—No. I.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER.

Darling Hurst, near Sidney, Wooloo Mooloo,

June 14, 1839. MY DEAR SIR,- It is my intention, as you know, from time to time to send you word what we are doing in these antipodal parts of the world, and I hope, though like "angel visits," my communications must of necessity be “ far between,” the subjects I shall discuss will be as interesting to your readers as any other of the topics heretofore touched upon by your correspondent in former numbers of the Christian ReMEMBRANCER. To begin at the beginning is always best. I shall therefore say a few words of the voyage bither, before I tell you of what happens here, and this because I consider it a duty to lay before the christian public the thoughts which occur to me respecting the religious instruction of the thousands who annually come out to these colonies.

1. Emigration ships. I sailed in the from Plymouth, on the 22d of January, for the Cape of Good Hope and Sydney, having obtained from the S. P. C. K. a supply of books, to serve as a lending library for the use of the crew and passengers. The ship had suffered much in coming down channel, and was fifteen days behind her time, during which there was ample time for dissatisfaction among the many who had been gathered together by the announcement, that the ship would positively sail on the 7th, a degree of assurance which winds and waves did not sanction, but oppose.

On the 22d the wind became fair, and we bade adieu to Old England, driving on before a strong N.E. breeze, which speedily carried us into the trades (even if it were not the trade wind itself ); so that we passed Madeira on the sixth day, Teneriffe on the ninth, the Cape de Verd Islands on the sixteenth, and the Equator on the eighteenth day. During this period I had service on board every Sunday, save on the 27th of January, when, just as I had commenced, a squall came on and drove us off the deck. The congregation on that occasion was not very numerous. Several of the sailors (of whom there were thirty-two on board), the officers, and many of the emigrants and cabin passengers attended; but others were lounging about the sides of the vessel, or were dressing below; and of the ship servants not one was there. Besides the thirty-two enumerated, there were on board four officers, twenty cabin, twenty intermediate, and 308 emigrant passengers. The whole of these were entrusted to the care of the surgeon, who professed himself a Presbyterian, but did not believe the Bible. His instructions would have led him, if he had done his duty, to perform divine service every sabbath day, to have prayers in the men and women's apartments daily, and to establish a school for the children, having a supply of books for the purpose. There was on board also a supply of Bibles and Prayer Books for the use of the crew, which I distributed to them the first Sunday. I had no official connexion with the ship, being merely a passenger, but I volunteered to undertake the services, which the doctor could not do, he having never seen the Liturgy. I name this, because it shows how irregularly and improperly religious duties are oftentimes performed at sea. Our cargo of emigrants comprised Romanists, Wesleyans, Presbyterians, Unitarians, any-thing-arians, and infidels. With such an assemblage it surely behoved the consigner to see that efficient means were taken to keep up at any rate the form of worship on board. Yet, notwithstanding I urged the matter seriously, had I not officiated on Sunday, there would have been no service at all, and daily prayers were never held. Nor was the school kept, purely because the ship was so crowded that there was no room for one, though there were plenty of children. Below, there was not space to whip a top; on deck, children could not be assembled under a tropical sun, in a tropical rain, or in the midst of a crowded mass of people confined to a few feet in the waist and quarter deck. It so happened, that I became ill with dysentery at the Cape, and was confined to my bed from the time we left Africa till we passed through Bass' Straits; and as we entered Port Jackson Heads on a Sunday, I could not on that day officiate. During the whole previous period, from April 3d to May 19, the public worship of God was neglected altogether, because, as the superintendent said, he could not officiate whilst a clergyman was on board, though he knew I was too ill to set up in bed, and it was his business to attend to it. Surely when emigration is carried on to such an extent, as now,--and it appears by the evidence just published of witnesses before the Committee of

VOL. XXI. NO, XII.

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