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port. The poor, the maimed, the halt, the sorrowful, the blind, the dumb, the paralytic, the lunatic, the lost, followed him, and " he healed them all.” But while healing their bodily maladies, he never failed to administer to their spiritual wants, thus teaching his disciples, in all ages, that religion is intended for the redemption of humanity, in all its aspects and interests, being fitted to heal both the body and the soul, both the church and society.

Christ counteracted no laws of nature, which are laws of God, or the modes in which God acts in nature and among men ; but he gave them infinite force, and threw them into new and marvellous combinations, the result of which was calm, not storm, health, not sickness, life, not death. Perhaps we may say that he introduced new laws, or new modes of communicating the central power, which is life. Thence we find him healing, quickening, controlling, and blessing both the bodies and the souls of men; in a word, bringing out, in new and glorious manifestations, the indwelling might of divinity. Thus he received the testimony of unprejudiced witnesses, who said, “ He hath done all things well.” But the outward, in his case, is only the symbol and expression of the inward; for it is the inward redemption, the inward health, the spiritual and everlasting life, mainly, which Christ communicates.


In this way he went about “ doing good mode of teaching the most impressive. The Platonic philosophers call the great primal and eternal Essence the First Good, while his Logos, or Word, is the Son, or expression of the First Good. We call Christ Emmanuel, which is, God with us; and as such, he is the embodied Good, which is the same as to say, the incarnate God. And what else can he teach, what else can he do on earth, but good, the highest proof of divinity ? Thus every where he preaches, both by word and deed, righteousness, charity, and peace, directs the attention of his followers to the paternal character of God, the universal brotherhood of man, and inspires them with that holy love which unites them to God and to one another, in eternal bonds.

Finally, Christ crowns his teaching by dying upon the cross, dying, “the just for the unjust.” This is the triumph of divine goodness, this the enthronement of disinterested love. In this mysterious act, to use the language of a great poet, " ” “the divine depth of sorrow lies hid."* " Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” There speaks the heart of infinite grace.

This is teaching, this is acting like a God.

Surely the world can never forget the lesson of the cross.

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How the thought thrills us, thrills unnumbered millions, who softly but exultingly sing,

“ In the cross of Christ I glory,

Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story

Gathers round its head sublime."



The works of such a being as we suppose Christ to be, will possess a special divine character and import. They cannot, therefore, be considered apart from himself, or apart from each other. They belong to a supernatural system for the restoration of man to the lost image of God. Hence, in our humble judgment, a serious error has been committed in the discussion of this subject, by isolating the miracles from the essence of Christianity, as itself supernatural, just as if miracles did not form an integral part of the gospel dispensation, whose fair and massive proportions can be estimated only when contemplated as a divine whole. The majority who have written upon miracles have vindicated their title to our respect, as the external defence of Christianity, treating them simply as redoubts and outposts of the sacred citadel; on which account they have seemed to reason in a circle, proving Christianity by the miracles, and the miracles by Christianity. They have admitted, on Hume's own ground, that no amount of testimony will establish a lying wonder, or what may be termed an immoral miracle, that is, a miracle wrought in defence of error and imposture, all of them taking it for granted that such miracles may be performed through satanic or other equivalent agency.

* This chapter, with some additions, appeared in the July number of the Christian Review for 1853.

Hence they have been compelled to defend Christianity by that which Christianity alone can authenticate as divine. Having courageously fought the battle of miracles, and, as they supposed, gained the victory, they have found themselves obliged to fight it all over again in defending Christianity itself. Thus it has come to pass, in the estimation of some of the ablest speculative thinkers, that, instead of being a defence to Christianity, miracles have proved its greatest hinderance. For, without the essence of Christianity, as a religion of purity and power, miracles, as supernatural manifestations, would be utterly indefensible. Some devout men have been able to retain the miracles only by means of the perfect and supernatural religion with which they are associated; a striking instance of which may be found in the case of the eloquent Schleiermacher.

For the same reason, sceptical writers, like

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