Images de page


Prophets, neither will they be perfuaded though S ER M. one rofe from the Dead. Luke xvi. 31, &c. And therefore in his private Discourses with his Difciples alone, after his Resurrection, Luke xxiv. 27. Beginning at Mofes and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the Things concerning himself. i. e. he thewed them what Things were written in the Law of Mofes, ver. 44. and in the Prophets, and in the Pfalms concerning the Meffiah; and then made them understand how all those Things had been fulfilled in himself.

And this is the Reason why I entered upon this Subject in my laft Difcourfe, viz, Because as Truth must always be consistent with itself; this Claim of Jefus must also be true, or else it will deftroy all the reft. And as this Point muft neceffarily be tried by the Evidence of the Prophets; it certainly makes, the Argument from Prophecy fo far needful to the Truth of Jefus and his Gospel. For it must be owned that an Observation made by the Writer that occafioned thefe Reflections is very true; though made with a very ill Intention, viz. "That Miracles in this "Cafe can afford no Help: Because, if the "Prophets have NOT fpoken of Chrift; all VOL. II. Ꭰ .


SERM." the Miracles in the World will not prove,


"that they HAVE spoken of him." * This
was the Reason why the first Preachers of the
Gofpel (although they argued with the Gen-
tiles from the Miracles Jefus wrought, and his
Refurrection from the Dead, yet) did not rea-
fon with the Jews upon any other Topick,
till they had first convinced them from their
Prophets For this Advantage had the Jews,
that unto them were committed the Oracles of
God: Rom. iii. 1, 2. In which Oracles God
had vouchfafed to give them the exprefs
Marks and Characters of the Meffiah he had
promised, by which their Nation might know
how to diftinguish him, when he came.
"The very first Thing therefore the Jews
"had to do upon the Appearance, or preach-
ic ing up,
of any one for the Meffias, was to
"examine his Title by the Characters given
"of him in the Old Teftament: For they
"could not confiftently with their Belief in
"God, and the ancient Prophecies, yield to
"any other Arguments, till fully fatisfied
"and convinced in this. And therefore St.
Paul in his Difcourfe with the Jews at
"Antioch in Pifidia, Acts xiii. v. 17. be-
"gins with God's Dealings towards the Peo-


*Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, p. 31.



"ple of Ifrael," and after a fhort Deduction S ER M. of Matters from the calling of Abraham to the Times of David, he then thinks proper to introduce the mention of our Saviour Jefus, by afferting that God had raised him unto Ifrael of this Man's Seed, Acts xiii. 23. i. e. of David's Seed, according to his Promife. "Where you fee plainly he refts the Strength "of his Argument upon the Authority of Prophecy. And all the Parts of his fol

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lowing Difcourfe are anfwerable to the "Beginning of it; proceeding from one End to the other upon the Authority of the Prophets." "* We declare (faith he) v. 32, 33. unto you glad Tidings, how that the Promife which was made unto the Fathers, God bas fulfilled the fame unto us their Children, in that he hath raised up Jefus again; as it is alfo written in the fecond Pfalm; Thou art my Son, this Day have I begotten thee. So again, Acts xvii. 1-3." at Theffalonica, where was a Synagogue of the Jews; we read that St. Paul, as his Manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath Days reafoned with them out of the Scriptures; opening and alledging, that Chrift muft needs have fuffer'd, and rifen again from the Dead, and that this Bishop Sherlock on Prophecy, p. 178, 179. D 2


[ocr errors]


SERM. Jefus which I preach unto you is Chrift. And II. in the fame Chapter it is noted, ver. 10, 11.

that the Jews at Berea (where Paul afterwards preached) were more noble than those in Theffalonica, in that they received the Word with all Readiness of Mind, and fearched the Scriptures daily, whether those Things were fo. And in the next Chapter we read again, ver. 24-28. that a certain Jew, nam'd Apollos, born at Alexandria, when he himself had been perfectly inftructed in the Way of God, mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, fhewing by the Scriptures that Jefus was Chrift.


In like manner we Chriftians, who from our Infancy are brought up in the Belief of Christianity, and are taught to receive the Books of both Teftaments with equal Revein like manner, I fay, we, when we are to defend our Faith in Jefus as the Chrift, against Jews, who urge that Jefus has not fulfilled the Prophecies contained in the Old Teftament; muft fhew that what the Prophets did really foretel of the Meffiah, was all actually fulfilled in our Jefus, in Jefus of Nazareth, called by the Jews, the Son of Jofeph.


[ocr errors]


And this is what I propofe to do: Though SER M. before I enter upon that Subject, it is proper I should mention to you that in my last Discourse, I had all along the Advantage, that the Authorities I used, and the Books I quoted, were allowed and acknowledged by Jews themselves as well as Chriftians: Whereas in the Profecution of my fecond Head, I have my Authors to establish before I can make use of them. For the Jews and Chriftians both confent that the Prophecies I fingled out in my former Difcourfe, relate to the Meffias; yet when we come to speak of the Completion of them in our Jesus; the Jews protest against any fuch Application, and deny that any of thofe Prophecies were fulfilled in him. And therefore they object to the Divine Authority of the New Teftament, and won't allow the New Testament to have been written by Inspiration, as we confefs the Old Teftament to have been.

But now, whether the Books of the New Teftament were infpired or not; i. e, whether they were written by the immediate Diretion, and under the Super-intendance and Guidance of the Holy Ghost, is a Question we have no Occafion to enter into, upon this Subject. It is fufficient for the Purpose we

[blocks in formation]
« PrécédentContinuer »