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great walker. Fortunately he got there in time to per. form an excellent miracle. A poor widow had lost her son: they were already carrying him to be buried; the disconsolate mother, accompanied by a great multitude, followed the funeral procession. Jesus, moved with compassion, approached the bier, and laid his hand on it. Immediately those who carried it stopped. Young man! said Christ, speaking to the dea ceased, I say to thee, Arise. Forthwith he who was dead sat up. This miracle terrified all the assistants, but converted nobody. It is proper to remark, that this transaction is related by St. Luke alone ; and even if it were better verified, we might justly suspect that the disconsolate mother held secret intelligence with the performer*.

Some historians have made John Baptist live to this period; others made him die much earlier. Here St. Matthew and St. Luke introduce the disciples of the precursor, on purpose to question Jesus on the part of their mastert.

Art thou he that was to come, or look

he came to abolish the Jewish dispensation, which, though instituted by God himself, had become obnoxious to him. If this mutable Deity, tired with the worship of his chosen people, had at last repented of his injustice to the Gentiles, it was properly to them that he should have sent his son. He would, in that case, have spared his ancient friends the horrid crime of deicide, which he obliged them to commit, by not teaching them to know whom he had sent. The Jews, surely, were excusable for not discovering their Messiah in a Galilean mechanic, destitute of the characters ascribed to him by their own prophets, and who contributed neither to their happiness, nor to their deliverance. - Preservative against Religious Prejudices, Lond. 1812.

* St. Luke, vii. 11-17.
+ St. Matt. xi, 2. St. Luke, vii. 18—22.

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we for another ?" The Messiah in reply worked miracles in their presence, cured the sick, cast out devils, and gave sight to the blind; after which he said to John's deputies, “Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen*." It was on this occasion that Jesus pronounced the eulogy of John. He had, as we have seen in chapter fourth of this history, his reasons for doing so: Amongst all those,” said he, « that are born of women, verily I say unto you, there is not a greater than John Baptist.” Our panegyrist profited afterwards by this circumstance to abuse the Pharisees and doctors, who rejected both his baptism and John's. He compared these unbelievers to " Children sitting in the market place, and calling to one another, we have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have chanted funeral airs, and ye have not weeped." But we are not informed whether this jargon converted the doctorst.

After this our speech-maker compared his own con. duct with that of the precursor. “John,” said he, “ came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say he hath a devil. I drink, eat, and love good cheer, yet you reject me also, under pretence that I am a drunken sot and a debauchee ; and that I frequent the company of men and women of bad reputation.” He gave the populace, however, to understand, that their suffrage was sufficient for him; as if he had told them, “ I am certain of you—you are too poor in spirit to perceive of yourselves the irregularity of my conduct-my wonders especially pass with you; you should not reflect; you are the true children of wis. dom, which will be justified by youf.”

* St. Matt. xi. ll. + St. Luke, vii. 18, 22.

St. Matt. ii. 11. St. Luke, vii. 33. St. Luke, vü. 31-5. After this harangue, a Pharisee, who, to judge of him by his conduct, had been noways mòved by Jesus, invited the orator to dinner ; but he used Christ in the most unpolite manner. He did not cause his feet to be bathed, nor did he present perfumes, according to the established custom of the Jews towards every person. Though the self-love of Jesus might be offended at this omission, he did not decline sitting down at table; but while he was eating, a woman of bad fame bathed his feet with her tears, wiped them with her beautiful hair, and thereafter anointed them with a most precious perfume. The Pharisee did not comprehend the mystery. As stupid as incredulous, he conjectured that Jesus did not know the profession of the female ; but he was grossly mistaken : the courtezan in question and all her family were intimately connected with Christ. St. John informs us, that she was called Mary Magdalane, and that she was the sister of Martha and Lazarus, people' well known to Jesus, and who, as we shall very soon see, held a regular cora respondence with him. In particular it appears, that. Magdalane entertained the most tender sentiments for the Son of God.

This action of the courtezan did not disconcert the Saviour; he explained her love, the cares she rendered him, and the kisses with which she loaded him, in a mystical and spiritual sense; and assuming the tone of one inspired*, he sent her away, telling her that her

* It is for want of being acquainted with the true causes of the passions, the talents, of poetical rapture, of drunkenness, &c. that these qualities have been deified under the Dames of Cupid, Apollo, Esculapius, Bacchus, Furies.Terror and a fever have equally had altars, and man has

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sins were forgiven on account of the love she had displayed. St. Luke informs us in the chapter following, that Jesus bad delivered this lady of seven devils—a ser. vice which doubtless' merited all her gratitude. Be that as it may, Christ employed this indirect way of shewing the Pharisee the incivility of his behaviour to a man of his consequence.

The relations of Jesus, informed of the noise he made, and suspecting that he could not lead a very pure life amongst the gentry with whom he associated; or fearing that his conduct in the end would draw him into some unlucky affair, went from Nazareth to Capernaum on purpose to seize him, and cause him to be confined. They were evidently afraid of being involved in his disgrace, and chose rather to charge themselves with the correction of their kinsman, than see him delivered up to justice ; an event which they foresaw was likely very soon to happen. They therefore circulated a rumour, that he was a fool, whose brain was disordered.

believed that he ought to attribute to some divinity all those effects which he could not account for. This is the reason why dreams, hysteric vapours, and swimming in the head, have been looked upon as divine inspirations. The Maho. metans have still a great respect for fools. The Christians regard a trance as the favour of heaven; they call visions those things which others would call folly, giddiness, and derangement of the brain. Women who are hysterical and subject to vapours are the most subject to vision and to extasies, Penitents, and Monks who fast, are most exposed to receive the favours of the Most High, or to have fantasti. cal dreams. According to Tacitus, the Germans believed that women had something of the divinity. Amongst the savages, it was women who excited them to war. The Greeks had thcir Pythons, their Sibyls, and their Pro phetessa.

Jesus, informed of their arrival and the motive of their journey, kept close in his quarters, and had a prodigy in reserve for the moment they should appear. The people, who had got a hint of this, or were told beforehand by the emissaries of the Messiah, repaired thither in a crowd. As soon as the relations appeared, a blind and dumb man possessed with a devil was brought forth : Jesus exorcised him, the possessed was delivered, and the people were in admiration.

The doctors beheld with pain the credulity of the rabble, and foresaw the consequences of it. The kinsmen of Jesus, little affected by this miracle, promised to the doctors to use all their efforts to deliver up to them so dangerous a man.-He is a sorcerer, said some : he is a prophet, said others; he must prove it, said a third ; and, notwithstanding the great miracle he had performed, others added, Let us ask of him a sign in the air? “ Good God !” said the Nazarenes," he is neie ther şorcerer nor prophet; we know him better than any body; he is a poor lad whose brain is disordered.”

All these speeches were related to Jesus; he answered them by parables and invectives, and defended himself from the charge of being a wizard, by saying it was absurd to maintain that he cast out devils by the power of devils. As to the imputation of folly, he repelled it with affirming that whoever should attack him on the score of understanding, could not expect the remission of his sins either in this or in the other world. This undoubtedly is what must be understood by the Sin against the Holy Ghost.

Nevertheless the midway course of demanding a sign was followed ; for this purpose a deputation was sent to Jesus; but instead of a sign in the air he gave


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