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disobeyed his Precept to the Ruin of them- s E .R M. selves, and their whole Posterity, but his Mercy immediately provided a Remedy, and graciously promised them a powerful Redeemer; a Redeemer that should conquer Sin and Death, which now they found let loose upon them, and crum in Pieces the Serpent's Head, which had then reached higher than Yam's Heel. A Redeemer, that should fully repair the Breaches of Mankind, and if Man« kind was but just to themselves, should render their Condition better than before. Nor need we doubt but the gracious Redeemer was immediately ready to have come amongst us; had our ungracious and unworthy World been but in Readiness for the receiving him. But Providence faw us as yet indisposed and unfit for his coming, and therefore reserved him till the Fulness of Time, when he should be manifest and known j and till such Fulness of Time was come, he was graciously pleased to wait for us, and during all that while to prepare us to receive him. From the very beginning entertaining us with Hope; and through every Age confirming our Faith j and still (as you have heard) the nearer the Time itself approached, clearer C 4 Tokens
$ E R M. Tokens were given to know him. And thh i indeed was the chief End of God in foretelling so often, and in Terms so explicit, the coming of the MeJJiah. The several Prophecies of him were proportioned to the Wants and Necessities of the World at the several Ages in which they were given; and with* out the Communication of such Hopes and Promises as those Prophecies conveyed, it was impossible that Religion could have subsisted amongst them. Of this Use therefore were the several.Prophecies, that have been mentioned in this Discourse, to the People of God before the coming of Christ amongst them. Of what Use they are now, and how far we build our Faith in Christ upon the Completion of them, shall be shewn, God willing, in another Discourse.
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Jesus foretold by Moses and the
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John i. 43. 1
We have found him, of whom Moses in the "Law, and the. Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth\ the Son of Joseph.
IN my last Discourse (after an IntroductionSerm. preparatory to the Season which is now^" approaching) I mewed that the Meaning of these Words was this:—That Jesus of Nazareth, which Nathaniel calls the Son of Joseph, was the MeJJiah or Christ, i. e. that great and anointed One, so eminently foretold by Moses to the Jews, and so often spoken of by the Prophets afterwards. This Proposition therefore I undertook to establish, and to make it as clear and as plain as possible, pro*
posed to observe this natural Method, viz.
SERM. I. First, to enquire, what those Things 'are, which Moses in the Law, and the Prophets did write, concerning the MeJJiah, and then
* "II. Secondly, to (hew how all those Things were really fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the then supposed Son of Joseph.
By the first of these, I told you, we should discover the several Marks by which the Messiah was to be known, when he came: By the second it would appear that all these Marks concurred in Jesus: From whence it would follow beyond all Contradiction, that Jesus of Nazareth, here called the Son of Joseph, was the Messiah foretold by Moses and the Prophets.
The first of these Heads I then went through; by collecting several of the plainest Passages in the Old Testament, such as may best assist us to discover the Meffias, and to distinguish him from any false Pretender to the Character.
From Moses, or the five Books written by him, I shewed that the Mejiab was in a peculiar Manner to be the Seed of the Woman; was to descend from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob j was to be of the Tribe of Judab; «'. '"-' J. .-. was tvas to make his Appearance before the Seep- s E * **■ tre or Dominion should cease from that Tribe; was to be a Deliverer of his Church from Bondage and Oppression , was to give them a new Law; and to be the Author of a new Dispenfation. From the Books of the Prophets, we gained the additional Light, that he was to be of the Stock and Lineage of David j that he was to be born of a Virgin, and in the City of Bethlehem; was to make his Appearance in the second Temple, and that within 500 Tears after the going forth of the Commandment to restore and rebuild the Holy City.
And that the Blessed Jesus of Nazareth, the then supposed Son of Joseph, answered all these several Characters, and so fulfilled all the Prophecies concerning the Messiah, is the Business of my second Head to shew. And this, if we believe a pretended Representer of the Grounds and Reasons of the Cbri~ Jlian Religion, is the more necessary to be done, because it is the best, and, according to him, the only Proof we have for Christianity. But though we contend with as much Seriousness and Reality, as he does with Mockery and Ridicule, that the Prophecies recked in my last Discourse relate to the Mef