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Opinion of them, when, in the very beginning of his Prophesy, we find him lamenting them, anjd their Captivity, in these. Words; a Ah Jinsul Nation ! a J^eofle laden with Iniquity', a Seed of E•yil-doers, Children that are Corrupters, they have forsaken the Lord, they, are gone away backwards; wherefore your Country is desolate, fays he, your Cities are burnt with Fire 5 your Land, Strangers devour it in your Presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by Strangers.

After this, we need go no farther,'

I think, to prove the Falfity of this Assertion.— b" That- the Proofs, ta*■' ken out of the Old, and urg'd in the "New Testament, are either not to "be found in the Oldt or not urg'd

II in the New, according to their literal u and obvious Sense, because it is poi"sible, (without any Violence to the (C Text,) to adapt them to some other "Person and Event, besides "Jesus and "the Things relating to him . But,

to bring this Matter to a final Issue: why we will suppose, that there really were P-f^lf more Grounds, than what have hitherto i" their* appeared, to dispute the Justness of the AppliciApplication of any Prophesy; yet, still "h°en/^.' we contend, that the Application of pbrsies K4 ChristTMere '"-

* r. fallible,

"Tsai. i. 4. *Vid. Grounds of the Christian Religion- p. 5jM4

Christ and his Apostles is to be preferred before that of any other, because it was attended with such irresistible Proofs of its Fidelity, as must over-bear all the Scruples and Objections, that any other may be liable to. For, upon the Competition of two different Senses of the fame Passage, can any thing in Nature be more decisive, than the Testimony of God? c And can the Testimony of God appear by any stronger Evidence, than by the Power of Miracles supporting the Allegation? God certainly knew the Intention of every Prophesy deliver'd by his Spirit; and therefore if Christ and his Apostles, when they applied any Prophesy to the Mejjias^ gave the best Proof, that could be given, ofnheir being sent by God, and of their speaking and acting by his Commission, God himself must be understood to affirm their Application. The Authority of the Exposition must, in such a Case, be equal to that of the Prophesy; for there cannot be a better Proof, that the Prophet was lent from God, .than the Expositor gives of his Mission, and the realbn for assenting to the one, as well as the other, is on both Sides the lanie.

y But

'Riser's Necessity of Revel.

But this is not all, our Blessed Saviour was not only a Worker of Miracles, whereby he demonstrated that God was with him, but he was a Trophet likewise, d Mighty in Word, as well as Deed, before God and all the People; and, consequently, his Determination of the Sense of any Prophesy could not but be true, because it proceeded from the lame Spirit, from which the Prophesy it self originally came: And, as e no Prophesy came in aid 'time by the Will of Man, but holy Men of God spake as they •were moved bytfhe Holy Ghofl; so that Interpretation cannot fail of Certainty, which is not the Result of private Guess or Reasoning, but directed by the first mover os the Prophesy it self 3 because no single Man is better able to explain the Sense of his own Thoughts and Words, nor any Prophet, the Meaning of his pwn Prophesy, than the Holy Spirit is to interpret his own Inspirations. But this is not all still. Our Blessed Saviour was not only a Prophet, but he was that very Prophet, whose Office it was to explain the Sense of the Jewish Scriptures, and to remove the Obscurity, which was to remain on many Prophesies, until his coming.* For, as the Penmen of old frequently declared £ Luk. xxiv. 19. *aPet. i. 21.

s

clared concerning several of their pro~ pbetical Discourses, that they were dark as yet, and in a manner unintelligible; that their Predictions were closed up, and l their Visions become as the Words of a Book, that is sealed; so they assure us withal, that a time would come, when s the Deaf should hear the Words of the Book, and the Eyes of the Blind fee oat of Obscurity; and that time is no other, than the Days of the Mefjias, " When the deep and hidden "Things of the Law, fays h Maimonides, a shall be made known unto all " j for 11 know that the Mefjiascometh, lays the Woman of Samaria (and herein {he spake the Sense of the Jews, as well Samaritans) and when he is come, he 'will teach us ail fkings. If then our Lord and Saviour was a 'Teacher sent from God, to reveal the hidden Things of God, and to explain the Scripture to us; 'tis impious, I think, to imagine, that he did not understand the true, and blasphemous to fay, that he obtruded false Senses upon us.

But to iatisfy our selves more fully ia this Matter, let us follow him a little thro' some of the Prophesies, than unfulnU'd, whidh he quotes and applies to himself,

'Isai. xxviii. 10. * Isai. xxxii. i, 5. Maim. deReg. cap. nit. | Joh. iv. 75,.

ielf, and observe, as we go along, whe-
ther,in the Event, they were not accom- .
plisiYd according to his Intention and Ap-
plication of them; for this will shew the
Skill of the Interpreter, and justify our
reliance on the Sense, which he gives of
them. He that eateth with me, hath list up
his Heel against me, is a Prophesy, taken
k from the 'P/almiJi, and l applied by
our Saviour to the Tray tor Judas, then
at the Table with him; and yet who
would have thought that an Apojlk
who had liv'd lb long with him, and
receiv'd all possible Assurance of his
divine Mission, heard the Excellency of
his Doctrine, and seen the Wonders of
his Works, and Innocence of his Life,
would have ever enter'd into a wicked
Combination to betray him to Death?
But so it was in the Event,

I will finite the Shepherd, and the Sheep of the Flock shall be scatter'd abroad, is a Text he cites from mZechariah,and applies v it to the Desertion of his Diseiples; but who could imagine, that such a Number of Men, closely attached to him by Duty and Interest, and who, that very • Night, had made iiich warm Protestations to the contrary, should prove ib weak and ungrateful, as all to forsake

him,

*Psal. xli. 9. 'Joh. xiii. iS. * Ch. xjii. 7. "Matt. xxvi. 51. »

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