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and especially by Persons invested with Authority, he never once conceals his Divine Nature and Commission. When the Jews v came round him in Solomon'.; Porch, and said unto him, how long do si thou make us doubt? If thou be the Chris, tell us slain ; his Answer is express, I told you, and ye believed not, the Works that I do in my Father's Name, they bear Witness of me, for land my Father are one. When he stood before the JudgmentSeat, and the High Priest demanded of him; w I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us, whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God; his answer is, thou hajl said, or as St. Mark expresses it, x I am; and ye jhall see the Son of Man suing on the Right-hand of Power, and coming in the Clouds of Heaven. Nay, there are some Instances, wherein, of his own accord, and without any demand of this kind, he freely discovers who he was : For, having cured the Man, that was born Blind, and afterwards meeting him accidentally, dojl thou believe on the Son of God? fays he; whereupon the Man asking, Who is the Son of God, that I may believe on him? Our Saviour replies, Thou haft both seen hint, and it is he, that talketh with thee. -^
* John x. 24, &c. r M«tU xxvi. 6$x 64. "M-irk xiv. 6z.
why he And therefore we need less wonder^
cdsh°im-r* t^at> wnen tms Samaritan Woman had self to first of all confessed him to be a Prophet, this Wo- an(j (as her Words seem to imply) was a little dubious, whether he was not the Messiah, our Saviour should prevent her Enquiry, and tell her voluntarily, that he was: especially considering, ? that such a Declaration might be a Means to prepare her, and the rest of the Samaritans, whenever his Apojlles should come and preach the Gospel unto them j to receive their Testimony. And so we proceed to his Miracle upon the barren Fig-Tree.
"DU T, of all the Miracles of Jesus, tl *-* commend me, lays the Unbeliever, "to his curfing the Fig - I'ree for not "bearing Fruit out of Season; which, at 11 the first naming it, appears to be such "an absurd and ridiculous, if not "malicious and ill-natur'd Act, as-can "hardly be equalled in any Instance
'Wbhty in Loeum.
"of the Life of a reputed wise Man. "The Evangelists have represented the « Matter in these Words. x Jesus be(t ing hungry', ana* feeing a Fig-Tree a"far of, having Leaves, he came, if "haply he might find any thing thereon; "jmd when he came to it, he found no11 thing but Leaves, for the time of Figs "was not yet. And he said unto it, let "no Fruit grow on thee henceforward for "ever, and presently the Fig-free wi<l ther'd away. Now how inconsistent ** is it with the Character oijefas, a *l worker of Miracles, and who had "Angels to minister to him when he "pleased, that he should be driven to ** such an Extremity of Hunger; as to "make him Passionate, and out of Hu"mour? How inconsistent with his "Omniscience, that when he saw this "Fig-Tree at a Distance, he should "not know, that it had no Fruit on it, "and so save himself the Trouble of "going to it? But above all, how in"consistent with common Prudence, to ", expect Fruit at an unseasonable Time, u and then resent an unavoidable Difapte pointment at lb violent and outragi"ous a Rate? But, put the Case, that, "coming up to the Fig-Tree he had "haply found Fruit thereon j yet, stili S • J';. . « we
* Matt. xxi. 19, &c Mark xi. 13.
"we may be allowed to ask, what le"gal Right he had to it, and how could "he in Conscience, without asking leave "of the Proprietors,. have pulled and "eaten it? And much more then may "we ask, what Right and Authority w he had to curse it, and where fais "Wisdom, or Justice, or Honesty lay, in "destroying, by this Act of Execration, "another Man's harmlels and inoffen"five Tree? There is ibme Reason, "however, to suppose, that this Act of "Execration did not do the Work a"lone, but that, being minded to put "a Trick upon his Disciples and Fol"lowers he might take an Opportuni"ty to slip from them, and give it such "a private and imperceptible cut, as "would make it wither away. But be "that as it will, the Miracle is certain"ly repugnant to what our Divines "would have us believe of Jesus, and "the beneficent Nature of his Perform"ances. Instead of cursing this Tree, "had he. made a dead and withered "one immediately bud, and flouristi, "and revive, this had been such an "Instance of his Power, as must have "pass'd for an indisputable Miracle; "such an Instance, as (like his Miu racks of healing Diseases) carried "Goodness along with it; and from
tt the one with the other, we might "have justly inferred, that both were a the Operations of a good God: but "this one Instance of his cursing the "Fig-Tree, in iiich a rash extrava"gant Manner, spoils the Credit, and "sullies the Glory of all his other "Works.
It cannot be denied indeed, but that ThcStata 1 our Lord Je/us Christ, who, tho' he was *?d. Con: rich (as the Apostle expresses it) by Na- Qm/v* ture, as being Lord and Heir of all Lisc. Things, yet for our Jakes, became poor, that we through his Poverty might become rich, was frequently destitute of the Conveniencies of Life, and subject, at all times, to the innocent Infirmities of human Nature j yet we do not find that they gave any Perturbation to his Mind. b Foxes have holes, and the Birds of the Air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not, of his own, where to lay his Head, is the Description, he makes of his own Circumstances j c but what he wanted of this kind was occastonally supplied by several of his more wealthy Followers, who are recorded, as making Provision for him, out of their own Substance, and entertaining him from time to time at their Houles. And tho', upon any eS 1 mergenC
"1 Cor. viii. 9. l Mattb. viiL V3* cBp<Smith hreke's Vind, p< 4,10.