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lous to a populace disposed to see prodigies every where, but it made less impression on the doctors, who had come on purpose closely to scrutinise the conduct of our adventurer. They conjectured, that it was dangerous to contradict weak fanatics, but they did not, for all that, credit the miracle they had witnessed.
Some days thereafter, Jesus went and preached along the sea coast, and passing near the custom-house, perceived Matthew, one of the officers, who sat there. His mien pleased the Messiah, on whose invitation our subaltern financier quitted his post, and followed him, after having in the first place given a great entertainment to Jesus and his party. Matthew presented to him as guests, publicans, and toll-bar officers, his brethren, and others of similar repute ; but the Pharisees and doctors, who watched the behaviour of Christ, came purposely to Matthew's house to be assured of the fact. Jesus, occupied no doubt with gratifying his appetite, did not at first observe that he was watched. Some words however, spoken rather loudly, attracted his attention ; it was the doctors who reproached the discia ples with drinking and eating with persons of doubtful reputation. “How," probably said they to them, « how dares your master, who constantly preaches up virtue, sobriety, and repentance, shew himself publicly in such bad company? How can he associate with knaves, monopolizers, and men whom their extortions render odious to the nation? Why does he carry in his train women of bad lives, such as Susan* and Jane,
• It appears, notwithstanding all his gravity, that the ladies were the foible of Jesus ; melancholy persons are not the least susceptible of this weakness. He was very ardently loved , by Mary Magdalene, who appears to have been the model of sondescending devotees, or debauched females, whose temperaó when reproached with their iniquitous behaviour, shụt our mouths by averring, that we ought to do as they tell us, and not what they do !*
It cannot be denied, that the discrepaney, which existed between the conduct of Jesus and the principles adopted by the Jews, or even in his own doctrine, required great miracles to prove his mission. Our missionary was not ignorant of this; prodigies, therefore, were commonly the strongest of his arguments, and of a nature well calculated to gain the vulgar, who never pique themselves on reasoning, but are ready in every thing to side with the man who exbibits wonders, and acquires the secret of gaining their fancy,
* In almost all ages complaints have been made of abuses in the church, and reformation has been talked of. Notwithstanding this pretended reform in the heads of the church, it has always been corrupted. Avaricious, turbulent, and seditious priests, have wade nations groan under the weight of their vices, while princes were too weak to bring them to reason. These enlightened men, says Mirabaud, who call themselves the ministers of the Most High, frequently preach nothing but hatred, discord, and fury, in his name. The divinity, far from having in useful in iluence over their own morals, commonly does no more than render them more ambitious, more covetous, more hardened, more obstinate, and more proud. In those countries wbere their empire is established in the most solid manner, and where they enjoy impunity, are they then enemies to that de: bauchery, that intemperance, and those excesses against which they are constantly declaiming ? On the contrary, do we not see them emboldened in crime; intrepid in iniquity; giving full scope to their irregularities, to their vengeance, to their hatred, and to their suspicious cruelties? The priests are generally the inost crafty of men, and the best of them are truly wicked. Of the clergy, it was justly remarked by Boulanger, that while those blood suckers of society wallow in an abundance, shamer ful to the states by whom they are tolerated, the man of talents, the man of science, and the brave warrior, were suffered to lano guish in indigence, and poorly exist on the mere necessaries of Jife.
After Jesus had silenced John's disciples, the chief of a synagogue waited on the Saviour, and besought him to come and lay hands on his daughter, twelve years old, who was dead, according to St. Matthew, but who was only very sick, according to St. Mark and St. Luke: a difference which seems to merit some attention. Jesus complied with the invitation; and wbilst proceeding to the house overheated hiinself so much, that a virtue went out of him fit to cure all those who were in its atmosphere. We shall not form conjectures on the nature of this virtue ordivine transpiration ; we shall only remark, that it was so potent as suddenly to cure a woman afflicted for twelve years with an issue of blood ; a malady which propably the spectators had not better verified than its cure. On this occasion Christ perceived that there had gone out of him a considerable portion of virtue; he therefore turned towards the female afflicted with the piles, whom his disciples had rudely pushed back; and seeing her prostrate at his feet, “ Daughter, (said he to her,) be of good heart, thy faith hath made thee whole." The poor woman, whom the disciples had intimidated, eharmed with being relieved from her fright in so easy a manner, confessed openly she was cured.
When our miracle performer was arrived at the house of Jairus, (such was the name of the chief of the synagogue,) they came and announced to the latter that his daughter had expired a moment before, and that the house was full of minstrels, who were already performing a dirge or mournful concert, according to the custom of the country. Jesus, who on the way had got the father of the girl to prattle, was not discon. certed at the news; he began with making every body. retire, and then hoying entered alone, by the virtue of some words raised her from the dead.
In historical matters we must prefer two writers, who agree, to a third who contradicts them. Now Luke and Mark aflirm that the damsel was dead; but here unfortunately it is the hero himself who weakens his victory. On their saying to him that she was dead, he affirmed that she was only asleep. There are girls who at twelve years of age are actually subject to such Swoops. On the other hand, the father of the damsel appears to have acquainted the physician with the condition of his child; and he, more in the secret than others, did not believe the intelligence of her death. lle entered alone into her chamber, well assured of her recovery if she was only in a swoon : if he had found her dead in reality, there is every reason to believe, he would have returned, and told the father that he had been called when too late, and was vexed at the accident.
Jesus, however, did not wish that this miracle should be published ;-be forbade the father and mother of the damsel to tell what had happened. Our charlatan was not solicitous to divulge an affair which might more and more excite the indignation and fury of the Jews of Jerusalem, whither he was soon after to repair, on purpose to celebrate the passover.-More. over, the account of this miracle seems to evince that the Son of God bad acquired some smáttering of me, 'dicine in Egypt. It appears at least that he was versant in the spasmodic diseases of women; and no more was wanting to induce the vulgar ta regard a man as a soreerer, or performer of miracles. .. Once in the train of operating wonders, Jesus did not
rest satisfied with this one. According to St. Mat. thew, who alone relates the three facts we are going to mention, two blind men who followed him began to exclaim, Son of David, have mercy on us. Though Jesus, in his quality, of God, knew the most secret thoughts of men, he chose to be viva voce assured of the disposition of the sick people with whom he tràn. sacted. He therefore asked, if they had much faith, or if they sincerely believed that he was able to 'do what they requested of him. Our blind folks answered in the affirmative; then touching their eyes, “ Be it unto you,” said he, “ according to your faitb,” and instantly they received their sight.
· We know.not how to reconcile such lively faith in two · blind men, with the untractableness afterwards display
ed. Their physician, who might have good reasons for not being known, most expressly forbade them to speak of their cure ; they however spread it instantly through the country. The silence of those who were witnesses of this great miracle, is not more astonishing than the indiscretion of the blind men who were the objects of it.
A fact more miraculous still is the obduracy of the Jews, who were so stubborn, that the many wonders, performed one after another, and on the same day, were not able to convince the doctors. Nevertheless, Jesus, far from being discouraged, determined still further to exhibit a specimen of his power. A dumb man, possessed with a devil, was presented to Christ, who expelled the demon out of bin, and the dumb began to speak. At sight of this miracle, the people, as usual, were in extasy, whilst the Pharisees and doctors, who had also exorcists among them, saw nothing surprising in it: they pretended that their exorcists performed