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on their Lives; like that Luminary which Ser. VII. towards it's decline looks the largest, when it's Lustre and Influence are the weakest. And it is visible, that Charity, and even common Honesty have decayed together with Christianity, their firmest Support.

A long uninterrupted Flow of Ease and Tranquillity has lulled us into a fatal Indolence and Insensibility to all religious Notions: Some hgnal Judgment; some extraordinary Indication of the divine Displeasure, seems almost necessary to purge the Nation of it’s Dross, to rouse it into a serious Sense of Religion, and make us discern and value those Things, that belong to our Peace, before they be hidden from our Eyes: Just as when the Sky is full of noxious and pestilential Vapours; some violent Hurricane, fome dreadful Bursts of Thunder are necessary to disperse them, to clear the infected Air, and restore it to it's former Serenity.

Eight

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On the Evidences of Christianity, the

Corruption of our Nature; the
Redemption, and the TRINITY,

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Preached at the Lady Moyer's Lecture, in the Cathedral of St. Paul, London, in

and

1733,

the Years 1732

SERMON I.

On the Truth of Christianity.

John III. 2.
Rabbi, we know, that thou art a Teacher

come from God: For no Man can do these
Miracles, that thou doeft, except God be
with him.

T

HE Proposition contained in the Serm. I.
Text is, that some Miracles are

so circumstanced, as to be direct Evidences of a divine Power. By a Mira

cle,

Serm. I. cle, is meant an Effect evident to the

Senses, contrary to the fixed and established Course of Nature. Strange! that Man should disbelieve an Operation different from the présent Course of Nature ;; when Man himself, the forf Man, from whom all the rest descended, could not have been brought into Being, but by an A&of Power different from the Course of Nature, as it is now established. For some forft Man there must be : And, whoever he was, he must be brought upon the Theatre of Nature without Parents, without any fecond Causes, by the immediate Power and will of the first, or, in other Words, by an Operation, which, if it were not; - ftriétly speaking, a Miracle; was, at least, equivalent to one.

Nor is it at all improbable, that He, who called Man into Being, by a particular Difplay of Power, distinct from those general Laws, which obtain at present; would exert fome unusual and uncommon Acts of Power for (what was of greater Importance than his'mere Being) his Well-Being, his eternal Well-Being. - In the Prosecution of this Subject,

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chuh 1A, I shall attempt to shew, that feveral Serm. I. Miracles are decisive Proofs of a divine Power

IIdly, That we have fufficient Evidence, that, luch Miracles were wrought for the Confirmation of Religion.

ij

Cerij
IA, I shall attempt to shew, 'that several
Miracles are decisive Proofs of a divine
Power.

!
What Powers: evil spirits may have,
and what is the utmost Extent of their
Abilities; it is beyond the Extent of ours,
in all Cases, to determine. But that God
would suffer them to exert those Powers
in working fuperior and uncontroled Mi-
racles; this I cannot admit: Because God
is too good to permit such'a Snare to be
laid for the Balk of Mankind, who will
be always governed more by what affects
their Senses, than by those Arguments,
which address themselves coldly to their
Understandings. Striking and pompous Mi-
racles, though they enforced a Doctrine
seemingly ablörd, would dazzle and over-
power the Soul, and force an Admittance
for it into the Mind: Whereas "dry and

abstracted

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