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As foon indeed as the Days of his Mother's SER M. Purification were accomplished, ver. 22. and She had performed (with Relation to herself and her Son) all Things according to the Law of the Lord; (the Evangelift tells us, that they returned into Galilee, unto their own City, Nazareth, ver. 39. And Jefus was there fubject to his Parents during his Minority; when afterwards he came to execute his Ministry, he made Galilee at firft the chief Scene of his Actions. For which Reason he is ftiled, throughout the whole History of the Gospel, Jefus of Nazareth, Acts xxii. 8. A Title he is pleased to give himself in his miraculous Call of St. Paul from Heaven. But this is fo far from being any Objection to what the Prophets foretel; that it is an actual Completion of another eminent Prediction. For St. Matthew tells us, that the Reafon, why Jefus departed into Galilee, was, Matthew iv. 1416. That it might be fulfilled which was Spoken by Ifaiah the Prophet; The Land of Zabulon, and the Land of Nephthalim, by the Way of the Sea beyond Jordan, GALILEE of the Gentiles ;—The People which fat in Darkness faw a great Light, and to them which fat in the Region and Shadow of Death, Light is fprung up. The Land of Galilee,
SERM. or of Zabulon and Nepththali had the Misfortune to be the firft that were taken into Captivity by the Affyrians, Ifai. ix. 1—3. Upon Occafion of which Calamity then newly happened, Ifaiah comforts them with this Prophecy; and affures them that in Recompence of that Mifery, they then suffered above the rest of their Brethren, they should have the first and chief Share of the Meffiah when he fhould come.
III. Thirdly, The next Thing I am to take Notice of, in which the Prophecies of the Meffiab are compleated in Jefus, is the Manner of his Birth. which was to be miraculous and divine. The very firft Revelation of him feems to infer that it was to be præternatural; The Seed of the Woman was to bruife the Serpent's Head: For as the Seed, there mentioned, is not to be taken collectively, for Mankind in general, but determinately and individually for that one Seed, which is Chrift; fo the Woman is not to be understood in Relation to Man; but particularly and determinately of that Sex, from which alone Chrift fhould come. But from Ifaiab and Jeremiah I fhewed more expressly, that the Meffiah was to be conceived and born of a Virgin. And this Prophecy also was
most truly fulfilled in our Jesus; for that his SER M. Mother was a Virgin when he brought him forth, the Evangelifts are exprefs. We have St. Luke's Testimony and her own too, that fhe was a Virgin when the Angel Gabriel faluted her. For he was fent to a Virgin efpoused to a Man whofe Name was Jofeph, Luke i. 27. and fent on fuch a Meffage as caused her to afk, ver. 34.-How shall this be, feeing I know not a Man?-Elpoused to Jofeph, St. Matthew, as well as St. Luke, tells us she was, Matt.i. 18. But then according to the Meffage which, St. Luke relates, Ch. i. 35. the Angel delivered to her, St. Matthew affures us, that before they came together, fhe was found with Child of the Holy Ghoft. And though in such Circumstances Joseph, in Obedience to God's Command by the Angel, took unto him his Wife; yet the Evangelist further affures us, that he knew her not, till fhe had brought forth her first-born Son, Matt. i. 25.
IV. Fourthly, I come now to the last Thing mentioned under my former Head, and that is the Time when the Meffiah was to make his Appearance in the World. And of this I gave you two Predictions, one out of Mofes, that it fhould be before the Scepter E 4 fhould
SERM. fhould depart from Judah, or a Law-giver from between his Feet; the other out of the Prophets more fixed and determined, that it fhould be during the standing of the fecond Temple, and within fo many Years after the Decree for rebuilding Jerufalem. Both which Times will evidently appear to have been past for many Hundred Years,
As to the first, viz. that the Scepter has long fince departed from Judah, and a Lawgiver from between his Feet, or, which is all one, that the Jewish Government has totally failed, is a Fact fo notorious that it is not without the greatest Folly to be denied. The only Question that remains is, concerning the Time when the Defect happened. And this, upon Enquiry, we fhall find fell out, a few Years after Jefus was born.
For from the Death of Jacob, who utter'd this Prophecy to the Babylonish Captivity, we can prove this Dominion in the Pofterity of Judah, efpecially over his own Tribe or Descendants, either by Judges or Kings, from Scripture itself *. And during the 70 Years of their Confinement at Babylon, feveral Paffages alfo of the Old Teflament give us to underftand, that the Power and Scepter of the * See Bishop Sherlock on Prophecy, p. 325-328.
Tribe of Judah, relative to the Being and SER M. Subfiftence of the Tribe, were not remov'd: But that, during their whole Captivity, they had Chiefs and Elders appointed by and from amongst themselves, who managed and decided and governed their Affairs. And that the Authority of the Perfian, and other Kings over them, after this, did not destroy the Rule and Authority and Polity of the Jews, or Tribe of Judah; but that they fubfifted ftill as a diftinct People, under Heads and Rulers of their own, and that quite down to, and during the Time of the Afmonaan Princes; may be collected from feveral Paffages in the Books of the Maccabees, and especially from the Preambles of publick Leagues made by and with the Jews, which are there recorded *. But in the 38th Year of Auguftus Cæfar, Archelaus the Son of Herod, (a Family who had by Profelytism been long engrafted into the Name and Nation of the Jews, and thereby been made at leaft adopted Sons of the Tribe of Judah+; this Archelaus, I fay) who had reigned over the Jews for 10 Years after the Death of his Father, and governed them according
* Bishop Sherlock ibid. p. 329--333
+ Prideaux's Connection Vol. II. p. 402, 3, and 660.