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And the absurdity becomes all the more glaring in the light of this strange fact, viz., that while the doubting professor regarded all the miracles of the Bible as attributable either to mistake or deception, yet he professed considerable respect for the intelligence and moral character of those who, consciously or unconsciously, were guilty of these “pious frauds;" and that he professed also no small admiration of many of the truths which these miracle-workers taught and inculcated! Like Strauss and Renan, he thought that he could deny the reality of the Bible miracles without impeaching the honesty, either of those who pretended to work them, or of those who attested the reality of them with their blood.

Such, then, is the position which is taken up by the modern impugners of the Bible miracles. They endeavour to draw a distinction between the facts and the teachings of the Bible; and while they profess to respect the teachings or some of them, they utterly deny the facts, or miracles, on which these teachings depend for their truth and value as divinely inspired. But is it not clear to every candid mind that the facts and the teachings must stand or fall together? If a man professes to teach certain religious doctrines on Divine authority, and appeals to miracles in proof of his claim ; and if I come to be convinced that he was “merely employing his superior knowledge of natural laws to produce a false appearance of supernatural power," I would at once rejéct his doctrines as an imposition. In attempting to explain away the miracles, and to ascribe them to natural causes or specious appearances, the infidel “ deals a deathblow to the moral character of the teacher, no less than to the sensible evidence of his mission.” For instance, if Christ professed to do many mighty works, and if His apostles professed to have seen Him and talked with Him after He rose from the dead, and if nothing of all this ever took place, but if it were a mere fiction or fancy, then how could we regard them as honest or veracious in teaching anything whatever ? What confidence could we place in their truthfulness and integrity, seeing that they must have known whether the miracles were matters of fact or not? How could we believe in the moral honesty of men who attempt to palm doctrines upon the world by means, of what must be regarded as, on their part, a wilful deception? Such conduct could only be defended on the principle of the Jesuits, viz., that "the end sanctifies the means," or as Paul expresses it, “Let us do evil that good may come,"-adding the significant and terrible words, “Whose damnation is just." It is at least a consistent position on the part of the infidel to deny the doctrines of Christianity because he denies the miracles; but what must be thought of his position in denying the miracles and regarding them as deliberate frauds, while yet professing to believe, or at least to admire, the doctrines which these miracles prove to be divinely true ? As an eloquent writer has truly said, “ If the miracles are false or fabulous, the sayings of Jesus, which rest on them, lose all authority. It is vain to attempt a dubious explanation, which attributes to Jesus a half-designed, half-involuntary connivance in the superstitious ideas of His age.

This explanation shatters itself on the rock of an inevitable contradiction ; for if Jesus was Himself deceived as to the line of demarcation between the natural and supernatural order of things, He was under no necessity to practise the convenient system of pious frauds.

Upon the second pointthat veiled imputation of imposture, so much the more perfidious that it assumes the garb of eulogywe can enter into no discussion. The spirit which confesses in Jesus, the Holy One of God, the great and solemn Witness of the Truth, repels with indignation the charge, and still more the apology. The moral sense is not different in the east and the west; under every sky it condemns falsehood, and cannot endure, without a shudder, the casting of such a blemish on the PUREST MORAL IMAGE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN” (“ Jesus Christ : His Times, Life, and Work,” by Dr De Pressensé, pp. 307, 308).

are we not warranted to conclude that the reality of the Bible miracles stands on an impregnable basis, which cannot be shaken or over

From all this,

thrown? We cannot deny the possibility of a miracle without denying God's omnipotence, nor its probability without denying His moral attributes of love and mercy. Neither can we deny the value of miracles as attestations of a Divine commission, without denying the instinctive convictions of every ingenuous and candid mind, that He who could raise the dead ought to be welcomed as a messenger from God. Nor can the truth and certainty of the Bible miracles be denied without destroying the very foundations of all human testimony.

CHAPTER VI.

ILLUSTRATION OF THE ARGUMENT.

HE most strenuous attempts have been made

by modern infidels to disprove the reality of

the miracles of Moses, in the hope that, if successful, they would shake our confidence in the truth of Christianity itself; seeing that the Old and New Testaments must stand or fall together. Each indeed has independent evidence of its own; but still, if one of these parts of Scripture could be proved to be false, the other could not hold such a strong position as it does. We propose, then, to show that the reality of the miracles of Moses rests upon an impregnable basis.

In considering the nature of those miracles which are ascribed to Moses, when he was in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness, it is impossible to deny that, if these miracles were really performed, they demonstrate the Divine origin of the Jewish economy. Any one can see at a glance that “these things were not done in a corner ;” and also that they were of such a kind that no man could have done such things unless “God had been with him." There was no possibility of deception in the case ; and if any had been attempted, it could easily have been detected. For the miracles were objects of universal, minute, and continuous attention on the part of the people, and they were patent to the senses, and exposed to the inspection of multitudes, during a long series of years. The deliverance of six hundred thousand men, besides women and children, from the bondage of Egypt, with a high hand and an outstretched arm; the dividing of the Red Sea at the lifting up of Moses' rod; the safe passage of the Israelites in the dry bed of the sea, with the walls of water on either hand, and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host by the returning waves then the thunderings and lightnings of Mount Sinai, at the giving of the Moral Law with an audible voice from

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