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their conjurations in the name of God, whilst Jesus made his in the name of the devil. Thus they accused Christ of casting out the devil by the devil, which was indeed a contradiction. But this contradiction did not prove the divinity of Jesus ; it proved only that the Pharisees were frequently capable of talking nonsense and contradicting themselves, like all superstitious and credulous people. When theologists dis. pute, we very soon discover that the wranglers on both sides alike speak nonsense; and by contradicting themselves, impugn their own authority. *
* Dom. La Taste, a celebrated Benedictine of the Molinist party, wrote some letters against the pretended miracles of the Deacon Paris, which he ascribed to the operation of the devil. His zeal was rewarded with a bishoprick ; his partizans did not perceive, that the arguments which this monk employed in combating the miracles of a Jansenist, destroyed, by a rebound, the miracles of Jesus Christ, which were less amply attested than those of Paris. A Swiss and Protestant clergyman has also attacked the miracles of Pythagoras, Appollonius Thyaneus, and the seraphic St. Francis, in a manner which equally destroys all those Christians have inserted in the gospel. See the book intitled, De iniraculis quæ Pythagaræ, &c. tribuntur libellus, auctore Phileleuthero Helvetio, Duaci, 1734, in 8vo. The famous Woolston composed a work under the name of “ Discourses on the Miracles of Jesus Christ,"' 2 vols. 1769, in which he proves, that even according to the fathers of the church, all the miracles of Christ are only allegories. Mr. Woolston's discourses were so eminent for the lucidus ordo in argumentation, incontroverti. ble reasoning, and indexible justice, that the secular arm was employed to crush him : thus a man of the most blameless manners, whose literary labours in theology divines and bishops strove in yain to refute, became an illustrious example of the persecuting spirit of churchmen, whose intolerant and sanguinary dispositions, while seconded by the temporal power, (thus reciprocally aiding each other) no pleas of humanity or sacred justice can controwl.
OF WHAT JESUS DID DURING HIS ABODE AT JERUSALEM ;
THAT IS, AT TIE SECOND PASSOVER IN HIS MISSION.
Our doctor had closed the first year of his mission in a very glorious manner. He repaired to Jerusalem with a view to try his fortune, gather the fruit of his labours, or form a party in the capital, which he hoped to carry, after having acquired adherents in the country.—There was indeede very reason to believe, that the noise of the wonders which he had operated the year preceding, in Galilee, would produce a lively effect on the populace of Jerusalem, but it pro. duced consequences very opposite to those which Jesus had hoped for or foreseen. It might be said that the infernal legion which he had commanded to pass into the swine of the Gerasenes, had fixed their abode in the heads of the inhabitants of the country. The gospel shews us in the former only an incredible hardness of heart. In vain Christ wrought before their eyes a multitude of prodigies, calculated to confirm the wonders related to them; in vain did he employ his divine rhetoric to demonstrate, in the clearest manner he was able, the divinity of his mission; all his efforts served only to redouble the choler of his enemies, and induce them to devise means to punish a man, whoin they persisted in regarding as a juggler, a charlatan, and a dangerous impostor.
It is true, the adversaries of Jesus surprised hina sometimes at fault, They reproached himn with violating the ordinances of a law venerated by them as sacred, and from which he had promised never to depart
- They regarded these violations as a proof of heresy, and it did not enter their heads that a God could raise himself above ordinary rules, and possess the right of changing every thing. They were Jews--and therefore obstinately attached to their divine ordinances; and they did not conccive how a true messenger of God could allow himself to trample under foot, what they were accustomed to regard as sacred and agreeable to the Deity.*
* The Jews, the most superstitious nation on earth, relying upon the supposed promise of their God, have always expected the coming of a monarch or conqueror, who is to elevate them from disgrace, and crown them with triumph. It was impossible for them to see this deliverer in the person of Jesus; who, instead of being the restorer of the Hebrew nation, was ils des. troger, and since whose coming they seem to have lost all favour with God. To those who assert that this destruction, and the dispersion of the Jews, is a proof of the truth of Christian prophecy, it is answered, that it was easy to foretel the dispersion and destruction of a restless, turbulent, and rebellious people, who were continually torn and convulsed by intestine divisions; besides, they had been often conquered and dispersed. The temple destroyed by Titus, had previously suffered the same fato from Nebuchadnezzar, who carried the captive tribes into Assyria, and spread them throughout his territories. The dispersion of the Jews is more perceptible than that of other conquered nations, because those nations have generally, after a certain time, become confounded with their conquerors; whereas the Jews refuse to intermingle, by domestic connections, with the nations where they reside, and have religiously maintained this distinction. It is different with the Cuebres or Parsis of Persia and Indostan, as well as the Armenians who dwell in Mahometan countries. The Hebrews remain dispersed because they are unsocial, intolerant, and blindly' attached to their superstitions. Moreover, the Acts of the Apostles clearly prove, that the Jews began to be dispersed, even before the time of Jesus. Jews came from Greece, Persia, Arabia, &c. to the feast of Pentecost. Acts jic8. It was in fact only the inhabitants of Judea that were dispersed by the Romans, after the death of Christ.--Christianity Unveiled, p. 83-5.
So many obstacles did not discourage Jesus. He determined to succeed at any price; and though without a miracle he might have foreseen what would be the issue ofhis enterprise, he was sensible he must conquer or die; that fortune favours only the brave ; and that it was necessary to play an illustrious part, or tamely consent to languish in misery, in the solitude of some obscure village in Galilee.
On arriving at Jerusalem, he devoted his first cares to sick paupers--the rich had their own physicians. At this time there was in the city, and near the sheep port, a fountain, or famous pool, of which, however, with the exception of the Gospel, no historian has ever spoken, though, from its properties, it well deserved to be transmitted to posterity. It was a vast edifice, round which stretched five magnificent galleries, in the centre of which was a sheet of water, that possessed admirable properties--but these were known only to poor people and mendicants, and they knew them doubtless by a particular revelation. Under these galleries were seen languisbing a great number of wretches, who patiently waited for a miracle. God, on giving to the water of this pool the faculty of curing all diseases, bad annexed a condition to it-The first who could plunge therein after an angel had troubled it, which happened only at a certain time, could alone obtain the benefit of a cure. The chief magistrate of Jerusalem, who probably knew nothing of the existence of this marvel, had not established there any regulation of police. The most forward and agile of the paralytics or sick, and such as had friends always in readiness to throw them into the water when it was troubled, ravished, often very unjustly, the mercy of being delivered from their diseases.
A paralytic, among others, had been there for thirty-eight years, without any body having had the charity to lend hiin a helping band in descending to the fountain. Jesus, who beheld him lying on his bed, asked him if he wanted to be cured ? “ Yes,” answered the sick man,“ but I have nobody to put me into the water when it is troubled.” “That signifies nothing, (replied 'Jesus)—Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” This wretched man, perhaps, not unlike many of our beggars, who, to soften the public, feign diseases they do not labour under, and who on this occasion might be gained over by some trifle to be accessary to the farce ;--this miserable, we say, did not leave him to speak twice-on the order of Jesus he took up his couch and departed.
Among the Jews, however, they did not, as among us, promenade on festival days. This cure was performed on the sabbath. Our paralytic having been met by a man of the law, the latter reprimanded him, for violating the ordinances of religion by carrying his bed. The transgressor had no other excuse to give, but that he who had cured him had at the same time commanded bim to do this. He was then questioned about the person who had given this order, but he knew nothing of' him. Jesus had not said who he was; and, as if the action had been very