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whereunto he retir’d) in applying to him the proverbial saying, upon that Occasion, out of Egypt, i. e. out of
manifest Danger, have I called my Son. of Mala- How usual a thing it is for Persons, ehi iv. 5. who resemble others in Qualities, Of
fices, or Actions, to be describ'd by the Names of those, whom they resemble ; no one can be ignorant, who is the least acquainted, either with Scripture Phrase, or the common Forms of Speech. The Meshas is promis'd by the * Name of David, because he was to be a King : Zadok, the High-Priest, and his Sons, are recorded by t the Name of Aaron, and his Sons, by reason of their Office : And among us 'tis no uncommon thing, to call the rich Man a Cræfus, the wise Mạn a Solomon, and the great Warriour a Cæfar, an Alexander, or the like : And where then, I pray, can the Misapplication þe, in our Saviour's calling the Baptist by the Name of Elias, when, in the Severity of his Life, his Zeal for God's Glory, his boldly rebuking Vice, his suffering Persecution, and doing every thing, he could, to restore the true Spirit of Religion, he fo nearly resem. bied the Tisõite
The 4 i Chron. vi. 49.
* Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24.
The Resemblance of a contrary Na- oslum ture, between the Jews os old, and TM" S* those of our Saviour's time, occaiion'd him to recite the Words of the Pro- • phet, by hearing ye shall bear, hit Jball not understand, &c. and where, 1 ask again, is the Incongruity of this? Is any thing more customary, both in Words and Writings, than to apply an ancient Character to a present Sett of Men, if Ib be their Conduct deserves it? But what if this ancient Character be not given to the Jews of Isaiah's time only, but to their Posterity likewise? The Words of the Prophet are these; * Go and tell this People, hear ye indeed, aud underjland not; and fee ye indeed, and perceive not; make tip Heart of this People fat, and make their Ears heavy, tXc. then said I, Lord, how long? viz. How long shall this Blindness last? Jnd he said, until the Cities be wajled without Inhabitants, and the Houses without Men, and the Land be utterly deflate, and the Lord hath removed Men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midjl of the Land; i. e. until some sweeping Destruction and Captivity shall come upon them. And who will affirm, that the Captivity here threatened was not
what * Isaiah vi. p, &c.
what 'situs brought upon the yews, a little more than 30 Years after our Saviour's Death? In this Light, our Saviour applies the Prophet's Words with great Propriety to the yews of his time. They were then such a perverse hypocritical People, as they were in Isaiah's Days. Isaiah foretels that they should continue so, till God's final Judgment should over-take them: Our Saviour charges his Generation no farther, then the Prophet did his. He told the Duration of their spiritual Blindneis; our Saviour remarks it of the Age he liv'd in; and, within any part of that Period, as well as in the Beginning of it. it might be pronounc'd with Truth, shis People's Heart is waxed gross, and therein is the (Prophecy of Isaiah eoncer fling them fulfill'cl. . , f There is another Passage indeed in Isaiah vii. the Prophet Isaiah, which St. Matthew 14. vin- applies to the Birth of ye/us, and yet, dicate . accorcjing to the Context, it seems, at first fight, to have a more immediate Reference to another Event. The History, from whence this Passage is taken, is this. In the Days of Ahaz, King oiyudah (and probably in the second or third Year of his Reign) Rezim, King of Syria, and Pekah, King of Israel, united their Forces to come a
gainst gainst "Jerusalem, which put the King and his People in such Consternation, that d their Hearts were moved (according to the Prophet's Expression) as the Trees of the Wood are moved with the f^ind. Hereupon Isaiah is commanded l>y God to go and meet Ahaz, and aslure him, that the Design formed against him by the two Confederate Kings mould not prosper. But, finding no Credence with the King, the Prophet undertakes to perform whatever Miracle he should ask, in Confirmation of the Truth of what, he had promised j which Ahaz still refusing out of a specious pretence of not being willing to tempt God, the Prophet turns from him, and, addressing himself to the HSfobles of the Royal Blood, Hear ye MOW) 0 'House es David, fays he, the Lord himself shall give you a Sign \ behold a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his Name Immanuel. 3Sfow, e iuppofing Isaiah himself could possibly (at the time when he spake these Words) understand them of a Son of his own, or of any Son to be born of a young Woman afterwards, who at the time then present was a Virgin; and that his being stiled Immanuel,
meant meant nothing more, than, that before the Child was grown up, Judah should be delivered from the then threatened. Incursions of Israel and Syria; yet, if afterwards any Person, comparing the s lbkmn Introduction of the Words, with the Promises repeated to the House of David in other Passages of the Prophets,1 and with the Character of that illustrious Person, who was to descend from that House, Ihould, in his own Days, find a Son really Born of a Virgin, attested to by nurqerous Miracles, and, by God's Command, named "Jesus (which is synonimous to lmmanuel, a potent Saviour, or God with us) could any Person, I iky, possibly entertain the least doubt, whether God, who sent Isaiah to repeat the forecited Words to the House of David, did not intend thereby to describe, if not wholly and solely, at least chiefly and ultimately this latter Saviour?
* Isa. vii. 2. * Clarke'i Evidence of Natural and Revealed Religion.
For, not to insist upon the original Word, \_Alma,~\ which (as f learned Men have observed) signifies almost always a Virgin untainted by Man, and which the Greek Translators before Christ (who were not interested in the Controversy, and yet knew the Signification of Hebrew Words much better, than any
Moderns 'Vid. K/ddtrs Inmost. Part ar.