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other than acts of justice, which God himself deigned to execute for a contravention of his law? It was a disrespect fhown to the house of the Lord, to change his dwelling into a market for buyers and sellers. And although the Sanhedrim and its priests might permit this traffic for the greater convenience of their facrifices ; yet the God to whom these facrifices were offered, might, doubtless, though under a human shape, overturn this profane practice. In the same manner might he punish those who brought into the country whole troops of those animals which were prohibited by that law, of which he himself deigned to be an observer. These two examples then have not the least connection with persecution for religion-fake; and the spirit of non-toleration must certainly be founded upon very false principles, when it every where seeks such idle pretexts.
Chrift, in almost every other part of his gospel, both by his words and actions, preaches up mildness, forbearance, and indulgence. Witness the father who receives his prodigal son ; and the workman who comes at the last hour, and yet is paid as much as the others; witness the charitable Samaritan; and Christ himself,
who excuses his disciples for not fasting; who pardons the woman who had finned ; and only recommends fidelity for the future to the woman caught in adultery. He even condescends to partake of the innocent mirth of those who are met at the marriage-feast in Cana, and who being already warmed with wire, and wanting still more, Christ is pleased to perform a miracle in their favour, by changing their wa. ter into wine. He is not even incensed against Judas, who he knew to be about to betray him; he commands Peter never to make use of the sword, and reprimands the fons of Zebedee, who, after the example of Elias, wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume a town in which they had been refused a lodging. In a word, he himself died a victim to malice and persecution; and, if one might dare to compare God with a mortal, and sacred things with prophane, his death, humanly speaking, had a great resemblance to that of Socrates. The Greek philosopher suffered by the hatred of the sophists, the priests, and the heads of the people; the Christian law-giver by that of the Scribes, Pharisees, and priests. Socrates might. have avoided death, but would not; Christ offered himself a voluntary sacrifice. The Greek philofopher not only pardoned his false accusers
and iniquitous judges, he even desired them to treat his children as they had done himself, should they be one day happy enough, like him, to deserve their hatred. The Christian lawgiver, infinitely superior to the heathen, befought his father to forgive his enemies. If Christ seemed to fear death, and that the agonies he was in at its approach, drew from him sweat mixed with blood, which is the most violent and rare of all symptoms, it was because he condescended to submit to every weakness of the human frame which he had taken upon him; his body trembled, but his soul was unshaken. By his example we may learn, that true fortitude and greatness consist in supporting those evils at which our nature shrinks. It is the heighth of courage to meet death at the same time that we fear it.
Socrates accused the sophists of ignorance, and convicted them of falfhood : Jesus, in bis Godlike character, accused the Scribes and Pharisees of being hypocrites, blind guides and fools, and a race of vipers and serpents.
Socrates was not accused of attempting to found a new sect; nor was Christ charged with endeavouring to introduce a new one.
told in St. Matthew, that the great men and the priests, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus to put him to death.
Now, if they were obligrd to seek for false witnesses, they could not charge him with haying preached openly against the law; besides, it was evident, that he complied in every respect with the Mofaic law, from his birth to his death. He was circumcised the eighth day like other Jewish children ; he was baptized in Jordan, agreeable to a ceremony held sacred among the Jews, and among all the other people of the East. All impurities of the law were cleansed by baptism; it was in this manner their priests were consecrated at the solemn feaft of the expiation, every one plunged himself in the water, and all new-made proselytes underwent the same
Moreover, Jesus observed all the points of the law; he feasted every sabbath-day, and he abstained from forbidden meats; he kept all the festivals, and even before his death, he celebrated that of the paflover; he was not accufed of embracing any new opinion, nor of observing any strange rites. Born an Ifraelite, he always lived as an Israelite,
He was accused indeed by two witnesses, of having said that he could destroy the temple, and build it up again in three days; a speech algether unintelligible to the carnal Jews, but which did not amount to an accusation of seeking to found a new sect.
When he was examined before the highprieft, this latter said to him, “I command
you, in the name of the living God, to teli us “ if thou art Christ, the son of God.” We are not told what the high-priest meant by the son of God. This expression was sometimes made use of to signify a just or upright man *, in the
very difficult, not to say impofsible, for the Jews to comprehend, without an im. mediate revelation, the ineffable mystery of the incarnation of God, the son of God. In the fixth chapter of Genesis, we find the sons of great men called " the sons of God.” In like manner the royal Pfalmift calls the tall cedars, “ the ce« dars of God.” Samuel says, 66 the fear of God “ fell. upon the people ;" that is, a violent fear feized them. A great tempest is called the wind of the Lord, and Saul's distemper, the melancholy of the Lord. Nevertheless, the Jew's seemed to