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Religion essential in the Love of our Country,
And many other signs truly did Jesus, in the presence of his disci
ples, which nre not written in this book ; but these are wrilten, ihat ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
s God has made us rational crea
tures, the religion which he reA
quires of us must be a rational service. Faith, which is the great principle of religion, must be founded in evidence. Reason, in the fallen state of our nature,
could never discover all the things necessary for us to know. It could never investigate the way
in which, and the terms on which, sinners may regain the lost favour of God. For our knowledge of these things we must be indebted to revelation.
To judge of the evidence, by which the truth of revelation is proved, must be the province of reason. God never requires us to believe any thing proposed VOL. II.
to us, without competent evidence of its truth. Whenever he sends to men a revelation of his will, he sends it accompanied with demonstration of its divine original.
The gospel revelation came to the world in this manner :-It began to be spoken by the Son of God himself, and was confirmed by them who heard him. The disciples, whom he chose for his attend. ants were witnesses of his doctrines and works : And they not only related the m to others in that
age, but have left a written narrative for the benefit of succeeding ages; and this narrative is handed down
The Apostle John, having given a summary history of Christ's works, subjoins this general observation ; " Many other signs did Jesus, which are not written in this book ; but these are written that ye might believe him to be the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.
I. It is here supposed, that the miracles performed by Jesus Christ, were a sufficient evidence of his divine authority.
Miracles, which are effects produced above the cominon powers of nature, and in a way and manner different from its ordinary and stated course, plainly discover God's immediate interposition. And from the goodness and faithfulness of God we may certainly conclude, that he never will immediately and supernaturally interpose to give such credibility to a falsehood, that men, judging rationally, must receive it as a truth. It was therefore a just conclusion of Nicodemus, that Jesus must be a teacher come from God, because no man could do the n iracles which he did, except God were with him.
The miracles of Christ were great and numerous. He constantly appealed to them as divine seals of his mission, and on them he placed the credit of all