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SER M. that could patiently bear the Reproaches of
the People, with whom he had to do, and sustain and put up all their Injuries and Affronts. And like to him was the Prophet to be, who is here foretold: One who, in delivering what he had to say, should use the same easy, familiar Discourse, which Moses did; and, when slighted and opposed, should return Pity and Compassion, instead of Anger and Revenge. And who can look back upon the Behaviour of Jesus, without discovering as much Meekness and Forbearance, as much Patience and Temper, as much Sweetness and Benevolence, as it was possible for the most Godlike Man to shew? But,
Thirdly, Was this Prophet, so humble and so meek, yet to declare to those that beard him, the Mind of God?-Let any one look into the Gospels and see, whether all that Jesus preached and taught be not worthy of God for its Author. For he not only explained the moral Law, and rescued it from the corrupt Inclinations of the Jews; but he advanced it to a higher and nobler Pitch than was ever taught or suggested before: extending its Dominion to our very Thoughts, and adding such Precepts as are sufficient to raise us from Human to Divine. Such are the
Injunctions of loving our Enemies and those S ERM. that hate us ; of renouncing the World, and abstaining from Things that are lawful in themselves, purely for the Sake of subduing ourselves, or for the avoiding the giving Offence to others.-Add to this the great importance of the Revelations he made, which concerned no less than the Salvation of Mankind, and the Reconciliation of the whole World to God. He discovered to us all the Laws and the Precepts, the Covenants and Conditions, the Promises and Threatnings which any Ways concern our future State. He did not (what other Prophets were ordered to do) confine himself to the Reformation of one particular State, or denounce the Fate of any one particular Nation only; but his Design reached to the Instruction and Conversation of all People, in all Places, and through all Times, even to the settling a Covenant universal and perpetual. He brought forth Mysteries never before known or thought of: And to the final Doom of all the World did his Prophetical Promises and Denunciations extend. But
Fourthly, Was that Prophet, who was to speak and declare these great and mighty Things of God, to speak and declare them
by Inspiration from God? Was God to put his own Words into his Mouth ? Deut. xviii. 18. (as he told Moses he would do.)—Why then look again into the Character of JESUS; and, if you can, name the Prophet that ever was so acquainted, so intimate with God as Jesus was;
or any one that could possibly know his Mind so well as he. The Prophets of the Old Testament, we are told, saw Visons and dreamed Dreams : And the Prophets also of the New Testament had the same Privilege vouchsafed to them. For St. Peter had a Vifon ; Acts x. Saint John had a Series of them ; Rev. per tot. and Saint Paul had them frequently communicated to him. Acts Ch. xvi.
Ch. xviii. 9. 2 Cor. xii. And yet we do not read that Jesus ever Jaw a Vision, or dreamed a Dream: But then we know that he had immediate and intimate Communication with the Father, which set him infinitely above the Need of them : Insomuch, that when we look back again upon Moses to whom God vouchsafed the glorious Privilege of talking with him Face to Face, as a Man speaketh to his Friend ; Exod. xxxiii. II. yet how low was even this when compared with him, who lay continually in the Bofom of the Father, who was one with the
ix. Il. 5:
Father, and had the Fullness of the Godhead S ER M. dwelling in him. John i. 18. Ch. x. 30. Ch. xvii. 11, 22. Col. ii. 9. For as he was the eternal Son of God, he was always with him from all Eternity. And therefore must not only be supposed fully and perfectly to know his Will ; but also to be privy to his secrete and inmoft Councils and Thoughts. So able was he to declare the perfect Will and Mind of God, and to make known to us all Things that he had beard of bis Father, John xv. 15. as he himself told his Disciples he had done. And there was nothing which a Son so united with the Father could not hear. And therefore we may be sure that nothing now remains unrevealed, which relates to the Purpose of God with Man. For this Reason it is, and for good Reason too, that he has such high and great Appellations in Scripture: Such as—the Angel of the Covenant as Malachi
pronounces him; Ch. iii. 1.įhe Wisdom of God, i Cor. i. 24. and he in whom is hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge as he is pronounc'd by St. Paul; Col. ii. 3. and above all-The Word of God as he is stiled by St. John, ch.i. 1. Which last Title seems to intimate, that he bears as near a Relation to God the Father, as a Word
SERM. or Expression does to the Mind : For as it is
the Office of our Speech to declare our Minds to one another; so it is the Office of the Word of God, to declare God's Mind or Will to Men.
But Fifthly, Will you ask, how does it appear that our Jesus was so intimately united with God, as he declares himself to be; or that the high Titles and Characters given of him, were really his due ?-If this
you ask; My Answer is-Produce me a Prophet that ever brought such Credentials of Truth and Authority in all he said, and all he acted, as Jesus has done : Even Moses himself (who was so renowned for his Miracles) must here again keep at as great a: Distance as before. For how far were those of Jesus superior to his, not only in Number, but in Quality alfo? Let us but recount a few of them only ; and they will enable us to judge of the whole. Turn but to the Gospels and there observe ; how he gave Sight to the Blind, and to a Man born blind; which no one was known to have done before him. The Eyes of the Blind he opened to see ; and the Ears of the Deaf he made to hear : He made the Lame to leap like a Hart, and loosened the Tongues of the Dumb to sing: He cleansed the Lepers