Catalog Record: Six discourses on the miracles of Our Saviour | HathiTrust Digital Library
Not long before Noon. And if the Apostles had stood to this Covenant, Christianity had been nipt in its Bud, and suppress'd in its Birth. But they had other Views and another Game to play at all Adventures. Bur, for all this Precaution, I say, the Body was in a barefaced Manner taken away, a Resurrection talk'd of, and to the Amazement of every one, who can think freely, has been beleived thro' all Ages of the Church since. Upon the whole then, I think, you may as well say, when a seal'd Closet is broken open, and the Treasure gone without the Privity of the Signators, that there's no wrong done; as that in the Resurrection of Jesus, there was no Fraud.
The Cases are equal and parallel.
I have been thinking, what they will or can say; and upon the maturest Consideration I don't find they can make any other than one or more of these shuffling Answers to it, viz. And I am of Opinion, that the Thing was not only possible, but easy, feassible, and practicable. But not to insist on either of these Ways to evade the Watch ; our Ancestors said, what your Evangelist has recorded, that the Disciples, taking the opportunity of the sleep of the Guards, carry'd the Body of Jesus off; which was a thing both possible and probable.
Of what Number the Watch did consist is uncertain. Peter, who upon occasion, could swear and curse like a Trooper, would hardly scruple to fuddle a few Foot-Soldiers. But which way soever it came to pass, the Watch were asleep, which is neither hard to conceive nor believe; and then the Disciples executed that Fraud, which has been the Delusion of Nations and Ages since. If there had been a real Resurrection to their Astonishment and Amazement, as it is represented in your Gospels, no Money could so soon have corrupted them to a false Witness, being under such Fears of God and of Jesus.
It was not at all impossible for the Disciples, who stole the Body away, to avoid the Guards, who were and may reasonably be supposed to be lull'd asleep, when the Disciples did it. Neither is there any more Force in the. Second Answer to it, viz. Ay, this is somewhat like an Answer, if there be any Truth in it. But how was his Resurrection manifested to them?
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Very fine indeed! When therefore Deceivers will not be Lyers ; nor Theives, Dissemblers of the Fact, they are accused of, I will own Jesus 's Resurrection to have been manifest enough to our Cheif Priests. Celsus of old 6 in the Name of the Jews made the Objection; and Olibio, a late Rabbi 7 has repeated it. To recite the poor, short and insufficient Answers of those two great Authors, to the Objection, would be the Exposing of them, and giving such Strength to the Objection, which it don't want.
Why it has been believed thro' these latter Ages of the Church, is no Wonder at all. The Priests had their Interest in it; the ignorant and superstitious had their Comfort in it; and the wise and considerate, for Fear of Persection, durst not enquire into the Grounds of it. The only difficulty here is to know, upon what Principle, the Project and Story of Jesus 's Resurrection was at first devised. If these Appearances had been more frequent, better circumstanced, and more solemnly averr'd, they would have wanted no Confutation.
The Ghosts of the Dead in this present Age, and especially in this Protestant Country have ceas'd to appear; and we now-a-days hardly ever hear of such an Apparition: And what is the Reason of it? Why, the Beleif of these Storys being banish'd out of Men's Minds, the crafty and vaporous forbear to trump them upon us. Sometimes I think your Evangelists wanted Wit to adapt their Tale to Sense, and to accommodate the Transaction to Nature; and sometimes I think them crafty, and were minded, like Daniel de Foe in his foresaid Romance, to put the Banter upon the Credulity of Mankind, with some disguised and latent Absurdities, that, in the Conclusion and Discovery, they might be heartily laugh'd at for the Belief of them, I dare not, I say, so much a hint at one of these Absurdities, least I should be unwarily tempted to crack a Jest on it.
But the Time, I hope, is coining, when I shall use more Freedom. What would all reasonable Men have said here? That it was an impudent and bare-faced Imposture. And at another Time he appear'd to his old Acquaintance, who knew him, not by the Features of his Face, but by an habitual Motion and Action of his Hand in breaking of Bread. About eight Days after that, he appear'd among more of his old Friends, but for all their former Intimacy with him, some of them doubted whether it was the Doctor or not.
At another Time he came to them in another Form and Shape, unlike to his pristin one, but they were sure it was He by his Exposition of the Scripture. And the last Time he appear'd, there was one of his intimate Friends had not known him, but by a Sore in his Breast, which the Power of God in his Resurrection did not heal: After which, they said, he vanish'd away, was taken up into Heaven, and they saw him no more.
I need not make the Application of this Case and Story, which your Priests know how to do for me. Emms above, is a mistake. Accordingly one 11 of your ancient Fathers says, that they who lived according to the Law of Nature, were true Christians. They have a potent Reason for their Faith, which we Jews can't come at; or I don't know, but we might believe with them. It was your own Imprudence to rave, as you do, against Ecclesiasticks.
What occasion had you to call them Ecclesiastical Virmin, and to speak of the Happiness of Mankind upon their Extinction? And here's the true Sourse, in my Opinion, of all your Troubles! Assert still, if you can, with Dr. If the weight and solidity of his Argument don't grieve the Clergy, I am in no Pain for the Levity and Ludicrousness of if.
And whether the weight and nature of his Argument against Jesus 's Resurrection will at all startle and surprise them, I know not; but I profess for my self, that I might have study'd long enough for such an Argument against it, as this Rabbi, with his great gray Beard, has presently hit off. If his Application be just and true, the Consequence is that the Resurrections of Jesus and Lazarus are both Impostures.
It grieves me to the Heart to think of this Consequence, which our Divines are to see to, and evade, if they can. What must they do then? Religious news. Popular Pages Home. Deism: About the God who went away Books on Deism. Links to Deistic web sites Sponsored link. Sponsored link: Links to web sites that discuss Deism: " World Union of Deists, " is a Florida-based group that pubhlishes a quarterly called " Think!
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