« AnteriorContinuar »
Instructing ^them at the fame Time plainly s E R M. and clearly, and not as those before him under Shadows and Types, and commissioning his Apostles, as soon as they should be endued with Power from on high, to disperse themselves unto the uttermost Parts of the Earth, Acts i. 8. to call Gentiles as well as yews to the Knowledge of the Truth; that so the Faith might no longer be confined to one People; but that all Nations of the Earth might become one Church, and be all gathered into one Fold under one Shepherd. .
Nor were the Miracles which the Christ was to work less clearly foretold than his Infiruclions and Doctrine. The Times of the MeJJiah are certainly understood in that Prophecy of Isaiah—'Then the Eyes of the Blind Jhall be opened, and the Ears of the Deaf shall be unstopped; Then fiall the lame Man leap as the Hart, and the Tongue of the Dumb Jhallfeng, Ifai.xxxv. $, 6. From which Predictions the Jews themselves in their Talmud and publick Commentaries infer, •' That all "the Miracles of Moses and the Prophets "shall be nothing to the Miracles of the "MeJJiah when he cometh*." Upon which Notion undoubtedly was founded that Ques
* Mi4«^ Copiieleth, c. X.
S E R M. tion among the People recorded by St. 'John j i When Chriji cometh will be do More MiraCles than these which this Man has done? John vii. 31. From which Words it appears that they expected the Christ should do many Miracles, and yet that he could not do more than had been done by Jesus. And these Miracles were so unexceptionable, so plain and obvious, that our Saviour himself puts the Test of his Mission uppn the Evidence of the 'truth. For when the Baptist sent to him two of his "Disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Matt. ii. 3. Jesus in his Answer supposes that his Works would be a sufficient Resolution of the Question proposed; and therefore he faid unto them, Go and shew John those Things which ye do hear and fee: The Blind receive their Sight, the Lame walk, the Lepers are cleansed, ,the Deaf hear, and the Dead are raised up; and blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Having thus shewn that the many and great Miracles wrote by Jesus, prove him to be the MeJJiah foretold by the Prophets; I shall shew next that the Manner in which he was received and treated by the Jews was another Mark by which several Predictions were
fulfulfilled. And hitherto must be reduced all s E R M. the Sufferings of our Lord, with the lndig~ nities that were (hewn him from his Entrance upon his Ministry, to his Death upon the Cross. And here will not improperly come in that Description of him in Isaiah, which begins with his Person. He bath no Form, nor Comeliness; and when -we shall fee him, there is no Beauty that we should desire him, Ifa. liii. 2. The Prophet seems to describe a Personage no Way beautiful, but rather uncomely: And so the most ancient Writers of the Church have interpreted Jsaias, and have confessed the fulfilling of it in the Body of our Saviour*. In later Ages indeed they give a contrary Der scription, and begin to magnify the Beauty of his Person; every several Nation representing his Picture in the nearest Similitude to the handsomest of their Country .j-. But what was the real Aspect of his outward Appearance, since the Scriptures are silent, we cannot now know. It is enough that we are assured that the Condition of his Life was in the Eyes of the Jews without Honour and inglorious j and this those Taunts of theirs sufficiently prove—Is not this the Carpenter's Son? Is not his Mother called Marys and his Brethren,
SERM. 'James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? \and his Sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this Man all these Things % Matt. xiii. 55, 56. A Man so meanly born and related, they could not think deserving of any Regard; and therefore the Text tells us they were offended in him, ver. 57. And this is sufficient to verify what Isaiah immediately subjoins to the Meanness of his Person, viz. That he is despised and rejected of Men, a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with Griefs: /bid we hid, as it were, our Face from him; he was despised, and we ejleemed him not.
As to the last Paffion and Death of our Lord, and those Indignities and Sufferings, which immediately preceded it; the Prophecies in Scripture are so copious and express, as to reach every material Circumstance relating to them. But these and the proper Inferences from the whole I shall reserve for another Opportunity.
Jesus foretold by Moses and the
Luke xxiv. 27.
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the 'Things concerning himself.
IN examining the Prophecies in the Old* ERM, Testament concerning the Christ, in orderv to mew, how they were all of them most exactly fulfilled in our Jesus; having at first confined myself to those which related to his first Appearance in the World; viz. such as his Family and Lineage, the Place of his Nativity, his miraculous Birth, and the Time of his coming; I was then willing to proceed to shew further that every important ABion, Event, or Circumstance, in the Life, and Death, in the Resurrection, and Ascension of the fame Holy Jesus, all came to pass, as being particularly foretold in the Old Testament, ^nd