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William Nicholls.

A Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) online

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his Difciples, and probably there were many more. He
fhew'd himfelf to the Women juft after his RefurreBion ;
after that to Peter alone ; and then to the whole Number
of the u^poftles: At another Time, when they were Fifh-
ing in the Sea, when he caufed them to eaten fuch a mi-
raculopis Draught of Fiihes. At another Time, he eat and
drank with them, and gave them fome principal Points of
InflruEiion ; and when they met together to pray, he flood
in ths midfl of them. He talked with fome of them as they

went



44-4- ^ Conference I

went to Emaus, And, at another Time, he complied
with the doubtful Temper of Thomas^ and fuifered him to
'view his crucified Bodj^ and to thrufl his Hands into his Side,
At another Time, he was feen of the five hundred Brethren '
mentioned by St. Paul^ befides the amazing Wonder of his
u4fcenfiony which was feen by all the Apoftles. Now all
thefe Times, here mentioned, were within /orry Days af-
ter his Refurred:ion ; fo that, if he appeared at no other
Time but what is in Scripture recordeci, you cannot fay
he wasjhy of his Converfationy to be in the Difciples Com-
pany fo often in {oJJjort a Time, Which makes St. Luks
fay plainly. That he was feen of them forty Dajs, Ad:s i. 5»
But I cannot imagine what Trick you can fancy in this ;
you have no Grounds to imagine, that any of the Apo-
flles fet up a fuppofititiom Chrift, which they were afraid
of having too narrowly viewed ; for that ftrid Examina-
tion he underwent of his Hands and Sides, does for ever
confute fuch a Fancy ; and the Difciples, by once or twice
Converfing with him, were as fure it was he, as if they
had feen him an hundred Times. ^

But, fuppofing our Saviour did not fo oftei\ converfe .
with his Difciples and others, as he did before ; There
was a V try good Reafon for it. Before his Deaths he was
upon his prophetick^OSiCQy when he was obliged to teach
the World the excellent Morality of his Infiitution^ to make
known the Will of God in relation to the Mediatorfinp of the
MeffaSy and to exhibit in himfelf the m.o{\. fi}ining Exam-
tie which ever came into the World* But, after his Refur-
redion this Work was over ; and it was not reafonable,
that the eternal Son of God Ihould converfe with Man-
kind more than ahfohte Necejfitj, or the Reafon of Things,
required.

Nay, Who can tell, but that one Reafon, why our
Saviour did not appear fo publickly, among all Sorts of
Perfons, as he did before, was, becaufe by this he would
ihevv an eminent Example of God's Vengeance upon the
wicked Jews^ by giving them occafion to be hardned in
xh6x Infidelity^ till God, inhisgoodTime, fliould be plea-
fed to open their Eyes and Hemsy that they, as well ^s

others.



Part III. 'With a The I ST. 44.5

others, might fee and feel the Light and Comfort of the
GoJpeL For if our Saviour had appeared every Day in
the Sight of his Crucifiers, they would have been forced,
whether they would or no, to have believed in him :
But God Almighty did not fee Reafon, to afford fo great
Bleflings to fuch ill-dirpofed,maliciouSjand ungrateful Men.

And there may be another Reafon, for our Saviour's
fequeftring himfelf, more than ordinary, from the Con-
verfation of this World ; becaufe^ though his Hwnamty
was not perfedly glorified, yet, by having his Soul fepa-
rated for a Time from the Body, and by having partaken
of the Joys of Paradife, his human Nature muft be con-
fiderably weaned from the Things of this Life, and, bcr
ing now more let into the fpiritual World, he would be
more defirous of that heavenly Converfation than before.
He converfed with his Difciples and Followers, as much
as was requifite to ftrengthen their Faith, and to do them
good ; but was obliged to alfociate, at other Times, with
thofe bleffed Inhabitants of the intelledual World , to
which he was, fince his Refurredion , more nearly al-
lied.

PhiL Well ! fuppofing all this true, yet the Fleathens
themfelves have as much to fay, for their Philofopher
^pollonius Tjanms, For the Gods, in a Dream, admo-
nifhed the Mother of the Birth of this great Infant ; and
when he was born, a Flafli of Lightning fell down from
the Heaven to the Earth '. He, as well as Chrift, broke
oiF the Familiarity which one had with 'a Daemon ^. He
raifed a young Maid, at Rome, from Death to Life '. Be-
ing bound in Fetters, he (hook them off at his Pleafure^.
And being to anfwer an Accufation before Domitian,
vanifhed out of his Si^ht \ He, as well as the Apoftles,
had, by Infpiration, the Gift of all Tongues *. And,
what is the moft furprifing Miracle of all, and equal to
any you pretend of Chrift, after he was dead , he *rofe
to life again, and taught the Rules of his Philofophy 7.

« Fhflofirati Hift. lib. i. cap. 4. * Id. lib. 4. cap. 8. ^ Id. lib.4.
cap. 10. 4 Id. hb. 7. cap. 10. I Id, lib. 8. cap, u. f Id. lib. i.
cap. 13. 7 Id. hb. 8. cap. 13, ^

I))deed



44-6 -^Conference

Indeed, for my Parr, I am inclined to believe all Miracles
alike ; but if you ai-e to be guided by thefe for the Truth
of Opinions, why is not uipollomus's Philofophy as well
attefted, as the Religion of Chrift ? Belides, asHieyocles
obferves, the wonderful A(flions of this great Philofopher,
are not related, like thofe of Chrifl, by fuch obfcure Men
as Peter and Paul, but by learned Men and Philofophers,
as DamiS) Maximus, and Philoflratus, The like miraculous
Power was in Abaris, another /^//?^^(?r/c/ they reported, and were fure they underfiood them fo welly
the matters f\j^ they could not he deceived in them, if they had re-
they relfi- j^j.^j Things which tliey did not underftand, their Te-
jiimonj was not to be val jed. Indeed, if feme ordinary
M^(^hamcks were to make Report of the Ohfervations of a
Learned Mathematician, they might, by Miflake, repre-
fent an ^fironomer for a Conjurer ; becaufe Mathematicks
was a Thing as miUch above rheir Underflanding as A^-
cromanry. But fuch Akchanicl^ were as good Judges of
what tney heard, or felt, or faw, as the beft Philofophev
in the World. They faw dead Men raifed to Life,
blind Men have their Eyes, and lame Men have their
Lirribs reflored them ; they, feveral times, faw and hand-
led Chrift after his Refurredion, and viewed him when



Online LibraryWilliam NichollsA Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 40 of 47)