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with a Word of his Mouth; and healed thes ££rM* Diseases of those who but touched the Hem \ of his Garment: He cast out Devils by a single Command; brought them by Force to confess and adore him. When he fed many Thousands together, it mattered not how scanty the Provision was; for the Fragments, that remained after all were filled, exceeded the Quantity that was at first provided: Water, at his Word, immediately became IVine; or, when he had a Mind to walk on it, it bore him: No Storms could withstand his powerful Voice; but even the Winds and the Seas obeyed him: He raised even the Dead again to Life; the Dead that had been sour Days laid in the Grave: Yea, even himself (being stain on the Cross) he raised again by his own victorious, almighty Power; and at last ascended, in the Presence of his Disciples, visibly into Heaven. And these, surely, being Miracles beyond the Contrivance of any Art, or even the Power of Nature, to perform; they must demonstrate (as Nicodemus could not do otherwise than own; though Jesus, at that Time, had wrought but a few of them) that he must necessarily be a Teacher come jrom God, since no Man could do those Miracles which he did, except God were with him *
s E R M.j0hn iii. 2. And therefore well might Peter pronounce him, after he had worked them all, a Man approved of God, by Miracles, and Wonders, and Signs, which God did by him, Acts ii. 22.
If then he was a Prophet; a Prophet from God; and a Prophet that spake nothing but the Mind of God; as the Miracles, which he could work only by the Power of God, did evidently (hew; we then surely may admit his own Testimony of himself at last, viz. that he was that one supreme, anointed Prophet, the Mefjias or Christ, whom all the Prophets as well as Moses had formerly foretold. This Character therefore he assumed to himself, when, entering into one of the Synagogues at Nazareth, where the Book of the Prophet Ifaias was delivered to him, he opened the Book, and found the Place where it was thus written: Luke iv. i 6—21.— 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the Poor; he has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach Deliverance to the Captives, and recovering of Sight to the Blind, to set at Liberty them that are bruised, and to preach the acceptable Tear of the Lord.—For, as soon as Jesus had read these Words, and
took, them for his Text, (and that to the s E R M# first Sermon he ever preached ;) he closed tht\ Book, and gave it again to the Minister, and sat down: And when the Eyes of all that were in the Synagogue were jastened on him, he began to fay unto them ;—'This Day is this Scripture fulfilled in your Ears. By which he gave his Auditors to understand, that he did not undertake the Office he was performing merely of himself; but that he was anointed and assigned to it by the Holy Ghost: He being that Prophet, whom Ifaias, in the Words he had read to them, foretold j and consequently that he was the expected MeJJiah or Chrifi.
We confess that, notwithstanding all his Doclrine and Miracles, the Jews, to whom they were principally applied, received him not: They would neither hear the one, nor be convinced by the other, but rejected both; harassing and persecuting him as long as he lived; and at last hurrying him to an ignominious Death. But what is it that can be inferred from hence? Did that invalidate, or confirm his Authority ?—-confirm it surely. For hear me read the latter Part of the Text again :—7/ shall come to pass that every Soul, that will not hear that Prophet, shall be de
Vol. II. L Jlroyed
8 vmM'fircye^ srom among the People. And pray what are become of that obstinate People who refused to hear him? Where are now the 'Jews, who rejected and flew him ?—All scattered and dispersed in every Country abroad, and scarce a single Man of them to be found in their own. Indeed had their City and Temple been still standing; and the Jews continued to dwell and worship there as before; we might have had Reason to doubt, whether He, whom they had so cruelly used, (and they yet unpunished) could have been that Prophet, the Rejection of whom, according to Moses's Prediction, was to be followed by so severe a Cutting off and. DejlruBion. But since their Temple and City both were, within a few Years after the Death of Jesus, utterly destroyed, and not so much as one Stone left upon another; (the Romans rooting up the very Foundations with a Plough;) and since also the whole Body of the People were either destroyed or carried away Captive, and fold like Slaves in the Markets of all Nations, to the Amount of above 1,100,000 in all; both which Misfortunes Jesus himself had foretold them should come upon them, for not receiving him j since these Things, I fay, were the 1 . ConConsequences that ensued; it is another good s y*^' Proof, not only that Jesus was a true Prophet; but also that he was the 'very Prophet foretold by Moses, the Refufal and Rejection of whom should be so revenged. Accordingly St. Peter, when he preached to them, the Sermon, out of which I have taken my Text, being sensible that that Judgment was coming upon them, called upon them, if they could, to repent and avert it. Repent you therefore (faith he) and be converted, that your Sins may be blotted out: ver. 19. For Moses truly said unto the Fathers, &c. Which Prophecy being now clearly proved to have been perfectly compleated in the Person of Jesus; I shall now >
In the Close, and by way of Application^ take Notice of the Memento and Call, which both Moses and Peter give unto all Men to hear and attend to him, and the Judgment which they denounce against those that hear him not. Him shall ye hear, &c.—As these are Words of great Concernment to all to whom this Prophet is known; I shall endeavour to fix and settle'them in their Minds, by considering them orderly, Line by Line, and by making my Observations as I go along.
L 2 Moses