Imágenes de páginas
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small]

the Evangelist, two different things must be under-
stood, in one Prosperity, in the other Illumination;
both which, according to the Idiom of the Hebrew
Language, the Word Or will bear; and so by the
People sitting in darkness in Isaiah, must be understood
People in Calamity; in St. Matthew, living in Igno-
rance of the Truth. Nothing I think can be plainer
than that the Words of St. Matthew are to be under-
{tood otherwise than in the Prophet from whom
they are quoted, because the principal Words which
determin'd the Sense of the Prophet, are left out by
the Evangelist, Hekal and Hickbith, as well as the
former part of the Verse intirely, which being no-
thing at all to the purpose in hand he passes by, and
only quotes thoseWords which were applicable to the
present occasion: For what Reason can be alledged
why the Evangelist does not quote the whole Verse?
but this, that the Words as they stand in the Prophet
were not proper on the Occasion, and therefore he
pick'd out only those,which confidered by themselves,
would fairly admit such a Sense as was; and I can
see no reason why this Sense may not be allow'd to
be defign'd by the Holy Ghost, tho' as they stand
in the Context they will admit another.
Our Saviour, says the Evangelist, came to reside at
Capernaum, and preach the glad Tidings of Salvation
among the ignorant Inhabitants of the lower Ga-
lilee; and then were fulfill'd those Words of the
Prophet Isaiah, used by him on another occasion,
The land of 23bulon, and the land of Nephthalim,
which lies by the way of the Sea beyond jordam, Galilee
of the Gentiles. The People which sat in darkness saw a
great light : and to them which sat in the region and
Jhadow of death, light is sprung up. . Then, I say, these
Words were fulfill’d; for tho' they admit another
Sense suitable to the design of the Prophet in that

* -> ... place,

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

et but few of them should be saved. And he who ould endeavour to make the Words of Isaiah and St. Paul speak exactly the same thing, would find he had undertaken a Task not easy to be perform'd; because the Apostle does not confine himself to the Expressions of the Prophet, and only makes use of those which are proper to prove the Proposition he design'd to make good, That it did not follow because they were the People of God that therefore they must be sav’d, since God could make any Nation his People as well as them, and Rom. Io. 15. notwithstanding that Title a small number of them oil 36, would be saved; but here, and in several other - places of his Epistles, the Apostle rather alludes to - than direćtly cites, the Antient Prophecies; and therefore I shall confine my self to such places which the Writers of the New Testament plainly refer to as positive Predićtions out of the Old. And the next which occurs in Order is that of the Prophet, thus translated in our Bibles, The - - prepare ye the may of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God; which, as it stands in the Book of Isaiah, is without doubt to be understood of the Babylonian Captives, for whom the Prophet there foretels that God would make their return to their own Country, as plain and easy as if the Mountains and Hills were reduc’d to a level, and the were to travel on a smooth Carpet Ground: And yet the Evangelist positively affirms of St. John Bapc. 3. 3. tist, the Forerunner of our Lord, This is he that was spoken of by Esaia, saying, the Voice of one trying in the wildernes, prepare ye the way of the Lora make his paths straight. Now that the words of Isaiah, referr'd to by St. Matthew, must be taken differently in the Prophet than in the Historian, I

[merged small][graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

or if they did, they might think it very unlikely, to
find it by following the direétions of a few poor

[ocr errors]

on a necessity of looking back on their mispent
Lives, and washing away their Sins by the Tears of
Repentance. . But then Secondly, why must my People
be understood of the Christians? we know that Title
in the time of Isaiah was appropriated to the jews;
they were Gods People, and they the Persons to be
comforted. And then, how could they tell jerasalem
that her Warfare was accomplish'd, and her Sins.
pardon'd, when they knew the Inhabitants of that
City were so far from standing clear in Gods ac-
count, that he had a most terrible reckoning to make
up with them for the Blood of his Son, . But the rea-
son of all this is plainly understood of the Babylonian
Captives, they were in Misery and wanted Con-
solation, and nothing could be more agreeable, or
more reviving to Persons in their Circumstances,

than to hear that the Time of their Captivity was

[ocr errors]

4.

« AnteriorContinuar »