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be objected to them. They began with the miraculous appearance of fire, in a bush which was in † coined by it, the wildring ud restoring of Pets' arm, and the changing his rod into frent, and that serpent into a rod as at ti, it. Then follow the ten great plagues of Esypt, beginning with the changing of the waters of the river into blood, and ending with the death of all the first-born of the Egyptians in one night, according to the prediction of Moses. We then proceed to the pafiage of the Red Sea, while the waters rose on each side to admit of it; the sweetening of the waters of Mara; the delivery of the ten commandments in an articulate voice from mount Sinai; the supplying of the whole nation with manna, and the conducting of them with the appearance of a pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night, during forty years; the drawing water from a rock, enough to fupply the whole nation, at two different times; the death of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, by the opening of the earth, at the word of Moses; the death of Nadab and Alhu, the two sons of Aaron, by fire from heaven; the passage of the river Jordan, by the dividing of its waters; the fall of the
walls of Jericho, and some others of less consequence, all in the compass of one generation.
In the subsequent history of the Israelites, miracles were not so numerous, but it is probable that no long period of it was entirely without them, till they were discontinued after the Babylonish captivity. But in this interval the Hebrew prophets foretold in the plainest language many future events which came to pass in their own times, or very near to them, and among these the fate of all the neighbouring nations, as well as of their own, to the latest period of time. Jeremiah foretold not only the Babylonish captivity, but the exact duration of it, In the time of Daniel we have the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, from the fiery fur. nace; of Daniel himself in the den of lions; and his fortelling the insanity (for such it must have been) of Nebuchadnezzar, and his restoration after seven years, as well as his prophecies concerning the rise and fall of the four great monarchies, which have been wonderfully verified, though part of them yet remain to be fulfilled, After this we have an interval of about four
hundred years, in which we find no pretenfions to miracles, or prophecy. But during the public ministry of Jesus, miracles were more numerous than they had ever been before. His divine mission was announced three times by articulate voices from heaven; he cured the diseases, however obstinate, of all who applied to him, and some when he was at a distance; and he raised at least three pere fons from a state of death. He twice fed several thousand perfons with a small quantity of provisions ; he also changed a large quantity of water into wine. He stilled a tempest at a word, he walked on the sea, and caused a fig-tree to wither by only speaking; he foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, and the temple, and the desolation of the country, to come to pass in that generation ; he rose from the dead after being publicly crucified, and visibly ascended to heaven.
Miracles not less considerable than these distinguished the ministry of the apostles, who fucceeded Jesus. They not only expressed themselves in languages which they had never learned, but imparted this power to all the converts. They healed many fick persons; they even raised the dead; and foretold several future events, which came to pass in their own time. If any person will say that these miracles (and many are omitted in this general view) are not sufficiently numerous for the purpose for which they were wrought, he would say that no number whatever would be sufficient, and therefore his objection would not be to the number, as such, but must be of some different kind, which will be considered under some of the following heads.
2. Many of the miracles recorded in the scriptures were on fo large a scale, or on other accounts of such a nature, that there could be no suspicion of trick or deception with respect to them. If the appearances only existed (and with respect to them, the senses of men could not be deceived) the cause was indisputable. And such were almost all the miracles exhibited in Egypt, as the changing of all the water of such a river as the Nile, as large as any in this country, into blood, or any thing like blood, so that no use could be made of it, and this not momentarily, but for a considerable time, and yet an evil of this magnitude was removed at the prayer of Moses. Persons skilled in tricks of fight-ofhand, which was, no doubt, the case of the
magicians of Egypt, might impose upon a company, even of intelligent and quick-fighted persons, not used to them, and on Moses himself, with a small quantity of water, contained in a bason, or they might dexterously substitute a serpent in the place of a rod, or a rod in the place of a ferpent; but the miracles exhibited by Moses convinced even the magicians themselves that what he did was by the finger of God, as they expressed themfelves.
The plague of frogs, that of the lice (as our translation renders the word), of the murrain among the cattle, of the boils, of the hail, of the locusts, and of the darkness, might each of them separately have been produced by natural causes. But that they should all be announced beforehand, that none of them should affect the district occupied by the Ifraelites, which adjoined to the rest of Egypt, and that they should all be removed at the prayer of Moses, are undeniable evidences that the hand of God was in them. Still more was this evident in the death of the first-born, and of the first-born only, of man and of beast, through all the country, while not one of the Israelites died. By this display