Imágenes de páginas

of Abraham, ofl the Shiloh which was to come., ofm the Star out of Jacob, of n the Prophet like unto Moses, of ° Davids righteous Branch, of P the Deftre of all Nations, of 1 the Messenger of the Covenant, of1 the Messiah the Prince, of sthe Ruler of Israel, whose goings forth have been of old, and whose Name was to be called' Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the Prince of 'Peace. These are Titles of too high a Strain for any mortal Man, and must therefore be reputed express Prophesies of the Son of God incarnate.

But, as a no (Prophesy of the Scripture And ois of any private Interpretation, (I e. the ^'"" meaning of Prophesies is not, what perhaps the Prophet himself might imagine, in his private Judgment, of the State of Things then present,) because the Prophesy of old came not by the Will of Man, but holy Men spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost -, therefore is it reasonable to suppose, that some Prophesies, though they may have reference to a nearer Eyent, may nevertheless be dictated by the Spirit in such Terms, as make them equally, if not more, applicable to another greater, G 3 and

'Gen. xlix. 10. m Num. xxiv. 17. n Dent, xviii. 15. "Jer. jexiii. 5. » Hag. ii. 6. * Mai. iii. 1. 'Dan.ix.25. fMicahv. a. JIfc.fe.«,7. !*Pet.

i. io=

and more distant Event, which the Providence of God might then have in yiew: And these we may call indirect Prophesies. Some The Analogiesx between the Paschal Quotation out of the Psalmist,z Out os

kinds of j^^ atKi the Lamb Jlain fro/n the ing typi- Foundation of the World; between the cai, Egyptian Bondage, and the 'Tyranny os Satan; between the Baptism of the Israelites in the Sea and the Cloud, and the Baptism of Christians; between the Passage through the Wilderness, and through the present World; and between i the High-Priesls entering into the holy Place, every Tear, with &ood of others, and Christ's once entering, with his own Blood, into Heaven it self, to appear in the Presence of God for us.' These, I fay, and innumerable other Analogies between the Shadows of good Things' to come, and the heavenly Things themselves, are abundant Testimonies, that the Apostles many times made use of typical Reasoning; and that, at other times, And o- they applied Texts out of the old Testathers */- ment pUreiy by the way of Allusion, is ly. a^Matter too evident to be contested.

For, when our Saviour silences the Scribes, who were offended at the Childrens crying Ho/anm's to him, with a


'* Clarh's Evidence of Natural and Revealed Religion. JHeb. ix. s^j.

the Mouth of Babes and Sucklings ha ft thou perfected Praise; when he excuses his Disciples for plucking the Ears of Corn, when they were, hungry, on the Sabbath-Day, from the Words of the Prophet, I will have Mercy and not Sacrifice; and, in like manner, when St. Paul proves the Christian Ministers right to Maintenance from this Precept in the Law, a Thoujhalt not muzzle the Mouth os the Ox that treads oat the Corn; and enforces the Duty of Liberality to the Poor, with a Passage out of the Jewish History, b He that gathered much, had nothing over, and he that gathered little, had no lack \ 'tis obvious, that they both meant no more by these Citations, but only to allude to some known Sentence in the Old Testament, in order to strengthen the Argument, or illustrate the Subject, they were upon.

To such as are accustomed only to J^. modem Languages, and understand not TMfcas"." the Nature of the Hebrew and Syriack M<*Speech,it may seem very surprizing, *J£ that St. Matthew should so frequently might hs introduce his Citations, that it might befrWd' fulfilled, which was spoken by the Prvphet: but whoever considers the Idiom

* G 4 of

1 Matt. xxi. 26. Psal. viii. a. * Peat. xxv. 4.

* Exod. xvi. 18.

of those Languages, cannot but know, that the Phrase, answering to these Expressions, that it might be fulfilled, means no more, than that hereby ivas verified, or that this Event answered to the PrediBion, or the like. For that no Event can happen merely for the fake of the Prediction, or, (in other Words,) that nothing can be done, properly fort hi s End, that a Prophesy may be fulfilled thereby, is very evident; because, on the contrary, the reaibn why any thing is predicted, always is • because the thing was (befqre that Prediction) appointed to be done. Since the Jews then were accustomed to lay, c that a Passage of Scripture was then fulfil/ed, when any thing happened, that was applicable to it, 'tis no wonder at ail, that St. Matthew, who himself was a Jew, and very probably wrote his Golpel in the Hebrew Tongue, for the use of his Countrymen, should naturally fall into their Style and Manner of Expression. St. Ma'- Now, whoever considers the.State of *WeAp- the yews in Egypt, their Bondage, and of #/m Danger of utter Extinction, by reason xi. i. of the Decree, that passed for the Destruction of all their Male-Children (had not the Providence of God prevented * Le Clcn upon Matt. ii. 17. t . vented the Execution of it) will soon perceive the Cause, why Egypt is made, in Scripture, the common Figure and ILinblem of, extreme Danger and imT rninent Death j and why a Deliverance put of Egypt should be applied to every great and surprizing Act of Preservation, where there seem'd to be no visible Means of escape, insomuch that, whenever any Instance of such a ■watchful and protecting Providence happen'd, it was an usual and proverbial Speech among the yews, (who were wont then, as they are still, to apply Sentences out of Holy Writ to the common Occurrences of Life,) to lay, in Scripture Phrase, Out of Egypt have J called my Son, or He hath called him out of Egypt, i. e. he hath rescued him from the Jaws of Death, or from the like Danger, that the Israelites were in, when he brought them out of Egypt with an mighty Hand and a Jlretched-out Arm. Since Joseph then was ordered to flee into Egypt, and to tarry there until Herod was dead, for this Reason, because Herod sought the young Child's Use •, this distinguishing Preservation of yejiis, by means of his Retreat, till the Danger was over, will justify the Evangelist (even though it had been any qther Country, as well as Egypt,


« AnteriorContinuar »