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"Visions, or Dreams, or by dark and enigmatical Expressions. * 'Tis said indeed of Joshua, that he
was full of the Spirit of Wisdom, for •Moles had laid his Hands us on him, and the Children of Israel hearken d unto him; , but that the Prophesy is not applicable
to him, the following Words declare, But there arose not a* Prophet since i» Israel, like unto Moses, whom the. Lord knew Face to Face, and as Ezra, (who out-liv'd the latest of them) adds, in all the Signs, and all the Wonders, which the Lord sent him to-do. They had no special Commission, no new Institutes of Religion to publish*; nor had they usually any extraordinary Credentials to produce. Their Business, in short, was to explain and inculcate* the Law, which Moses gave, and even in this 'tis hardly supposable that they were always infallibly directed, because it is said of several of them, that they a erred in Vis on, and fumbled in ^judgment. How improper is it then to fay, they were like unto Moses, and how much more improper would it be to give them this additional Character, I will put my Words in his Mouth, and he shall speak unto them a\l that I shall command him; which certainly implies an extraordinary
'Deut. xxxiv. 9, ib. "Isa. xxviii. 7.
nary Commission to publish, something that was not revealed before.
But now, when it is said of the Blessed JesiiSjthathe was *a feather Jens from God^ for that no Man could do the Miracles, which he did, except God were with hint} that he came y to declare God, or, which is all one, to reveal a new Religion, which was confirm'd ! by Signs and mighty Wonders; and, to qualify him for this, that a he was from the Begjn- • ning with God, and b is in the Bosom of the Father: when it is expressly said, that he is c the Mediator of a new Covenant in his Blood, for the Redemption of the Transgressions oj the jormer Covenant, and, d as Moses was faithful in all his House as a Servant, for a Testimony of , those 'Things zvhich were to be spoken after, so he, as a Son, was faithful to him, that appointed him, and was counted worthy of more Glory, than Moses, in as much as he, who hath builded the House, hath more Honour thantheHouse: when all this, I fay, is affirmed and verified of Christ, 'tis manifest, that the great Lines of the prophetical Description here under Consideration, in their true and primary Sense, meet only in him, and that, to apply them to any other Person, must H 3 needs
•Joh.iii. 2. *Joh. i. 18. * Acts ii. 22. * Joh. j. I. f Ver. 16. fHcb. xi. iy. ?Heb. iii. 2, &c.
needs be a gross Perversion of Scripture. And our ^he Prophesy of Daniel indeed, as Qnotati- xl depends upon the Computation 01 a on of particular Period of Time, is somewhat ^"stc" 0°fcure, anc^ requires a competent Skill aii'vindi- in History to clear it up: But then cated. there are certain Truths, contained in it, which are plain and obvious to the meanest Capacity. The Words of the Prqphet are these, e Seventy Weeks are determined upon thy 'People, and upon thy Holy City; to jinijh the Transgression, and to make an end of Sins, and to make Reconciliation, for Iniquity, and to bring in ever la/ling Righteousness, and to seal of the Vision and Prophecy, and to anoint . the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the Commandment to build Jerulalem again, unto the Messiah the Prince,flail be seven Weeks; and threescore and two PVeeks, the Street shall be built again, and the Walls, even in troublesome times. And after threescore and two Weeks shall the Messiah be cut off, bus not for himself', and the People of the Prince, that shall come, flail destroy the City, and the San0uary, and the end thereof flail be with a Flood, and at the End of the War Desolations are determin'd. And he flail
confirm , 'Dan. ix. 24.
confirm the Covenant with many for one Weeh., and, in the rriidfl os the Week, he ..< /hall cause the Sacrifice and the Oblation , to cease, even until the Consummation, and that determind shall be soured us on the desolate.
Now, from the very Letter of the Prophesy 'tis obvious, ill. That a Messras, the Prince (be he who he will) is to come seven Weeks, andfixty-two Weeks, i. e. sixty-nine Weeks after the Date of a Decree to rebuild "Jerusalem, adly. That this Messias is to be judicially put to Death after sixty-two "Weeks, which follow the seven Weeks. 3dly. That, ibon after his Death, a Gentile Army is to waste the City and Temple of the Jews, and, like a Flood, carry away the old Inhabitants of the Land, leaving it, at the End of the War, in Desolations. And 4thly. That, in the iame Week, and before these Calamities should befal the Jews, the daily Sacrifice and Oblation of the Temple is to cease, and another Form of Religion be instituted: So that the only Difficulty, is, how we are to compute the Weeks, and six the Decree and Desolations here mention'd.
$bw it seems to me very plain, ^JTM" that, by the seventy Weeks here ipoken tation 0f pf, we cannot understand Weeks osDays% the Uq which,mh'
which, in the whole, make no more, than one Year, four Months, and some . odd Days, too short a space by much, for ib many Events, as are here specified, to be fulfilled in; and, consequently, are oblig'd to compute them f for sabbatical Weeks, or Weeks of Years, which amount exactly to four hundred and ninety Years; that, by the Commandment to build Jerusalem, can be intended neither the Decree granted s by Cyrus, nor the Confirmation of it h by Darius, because Jerusalem was not restor'd or rebuilt by Virtue of either of these, but the Decree, 1 which Artaxerxes issued out, in the seventh Year of his Reign, which was the fullest and most effectual of any, as giving a general Release to all the Captive Jews, with full Power to return and settle at Jerusalem, and not oply to rebuild their City, but to become (as they were before) a separate People, govern'd by their own Laws, both Civil and Religious: That, reckoning from this Decree seven and sixtytwo Weeks of Years, in the Week immediately following, Christ our Lord did appear under the Character of the * Mejfiar,