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of our holy religion, considered as a message from the Supreme Governor of the universe. That miracle was wrought in the presence of many witnesses in public. The change produced in the poor believing cripple was immediate, and could not possibly be accounted for by any secondary cause, for he had been a cripple from his very birth; and moreover, the fact was afterwards tested by a close public examination, and the rulers of the Jews were totally unable to find the least flaw in it. And I believe it would be well for some skeptical minds to observe the difference between the miracles of christianity, and those false wonders wrought as it were, in secret corners, as some people assert, which have disgraced the annals of some modern religious professors.
Now, my dear friends, the more we examine the recorded history of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his apostles, the more we shall find that the evidence of the direct divine authority of the christian religion, rests on very sober, and very solid grounds; satisfactory to the most enlightened and profound of reasoners, satisfactory also to the simple in heart, who perhaps are the very best judges of plain truth. And I have been led during the very solemn silence which has prevailed in the early part of this meeting, to dwell a little upon this confession made by the apostle; and it seems right for me to remark that, not only have we here an evidence palpable and very plain, of the divine authority of the message of life and salvation
which the apostles communicated to their fellowmen, their words being confirmed by their works, as the words of truth-but it seems to me impossible to take a calm and fair view of this memorable event, without perceiving in it, one evidence among many others, of the true and proper divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; of the omnipotent power in him, by which he controlled and suspended the very laws of nature according to his own will; because we plainly find that the marvellous change wrought upon that poor decrepit one, was not produced by any power whatever in the apostles; they were bare instruments of the introduction, as it were, of that event; it was by the name of Jesus Christ, even by him, that the poor cripple stood before the admiring multitude, whole; and not only stood, but walked, and leaped, and praised God. And it was by faith in the name of the Saviour, that he was restored to that perfect state of bodily strength in the presence of them all; just as the leper was, before many witnesses also, when he came in the true faith to Jesus, "and worshipped, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." And Jesus answered, "I will; be thou clean." So there was first an expression of the sovereign will or purpose, and then the act of divine power immediately follows. And we are expressly informed, that when the apostles went forth on their high, holy, and truly pre-eminent mission of promulgating the great truths of the gospel, in all their full
ness, to a world lying in darkness, it is expressly stated, that the Lord, even the Lord Jesus, went with them confirming their words by signs following. And although the apostles were the appointed instruments by which these miracles were wrought, it is abundantly clear that it was the power of the risen and glorified Jesus, by which they were effected. As on another occasion, when Peter stood by the bed-side of the palsied Eneas; he said unto him, "Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole."
Now it may be remarked, and it does appear a very important circumstance, that the apostle expressly declares, that the miracle of this cripple from his birth, was wrought by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We find it so in parts of the relation; Jesus Christ of Nazareth; the incarnate One, my beloved friends. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Jesus of Nazareth, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, whose visage was more marred than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. Jesus of Nazareth, who took upon him the form of a servant, and washed his disciples' feet; and came not into the world to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus of Nazareth, whose sweat was as great drops of blood, when he was in agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and when the plaintive cry was heard to rise up,
"If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." Jesus of Nazareth, who bowed under the weight of his cross, who was nailed to that fatal tree on Calvary's Mount, and who was hanging there in indescribable agony of body, for the space of about six hours; and you know friends that during these three noon-day hours, there was, the latter part of the time, a veil and a shroud of solemn portentous darkness upon the face of nature, and nature seemed to own her sovereign Lord! And O, the depth of the affliction of his soul, when under the inconceivable pressure of the sins of all mankind, in all ages, he cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And at length in the most solemn and important of all moments that have ever marked the course of time in the history of mankind, he said, "It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." Then, my beloved friends, was the great atoning sacrifice made for the sins of all mankind in all ages. Then were the shadows and ceremonies of the Jewish law fulfilled and abolished, as far as their authority went; then was the glorious gospel introduced in its fulness for the welfare of all men, of every name, of every country, of every colour. Then was the veil which separated between the sanctuary and the Holy of holies in the temple of God, rent asunder from the top to the bottom, and a way of entrance was opened for every poor believing sinner
through the veil-that is to say his flesh, his body that was broken, and his blood that was shed for usinto the holiest place of all, where cherubims and seraphims dwell in their glory, and perpetually do cry, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, and the whole earth shall be filled with his glory. Jesus of Nazareth, who burst the bands of death asunder, triumphed over the prison-house of the grave, breathed upon his disciples, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost;" and after forty days ascended up in a cloud of glory, to the mansions of the heavens above, and sat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, when the cry did indeed go forth to the gates and everlasting doors of the kingdom of heaven, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory." Yes, friends, it was by his name, by his power, a power unchangeable and eternal, that the decrepit one, the cripple from his birth, stood before the multitude in the condition of perfect soundness. He derived the strength of his limb in its new perfection, from the immediate operation of the creative power of the Son of God, one with the Father, who said, "I and my Father are one." Yes, that eter