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SER M.

VIII.

Mofes TRULY said unto the Fathers, A Prophét shall the Lord your God raise up unto you : From which Words we may now infer the Counter-Part of what we have proved already : We have proved Jesus to be the great Prophet whom Mofes foretold, because he so exactly answered and corresponded to whatever Mofes predicted of him: And therefore now we may further affirm that, since the Prophet foretold by him is really come, and has fo signally and in every Circumstance, so exactly verified his Prediction; Moses is proved to be a true Prophèt by the coming of Jesus, as well as Jesus is proved to be the Prophet whom Moses foretold. But on Jesus rather than Moses are we now to attend: Though which ever of them we hear, he will send us to the other. .Moses, and the Prophets will send us to Jesus : And as Witnesses to himself, Jesus will refer ús back to them.

But to proceed with the Text-A Prophet Thall the Lord your God raise up unto you:

-HIM SHALL YOU HEAR. And if in deed he is not to be heard, to what Purpose was he raised up? And yet we have been told that this Prophet has taught us nothing but what is as old as the Creation. Nothing

but

VIII.

but what Mankind have been able to discover SERM. of themselves, ever since they were endued with Reason.-Surely it is strange! that the only begotten Son of God should come down from Heaven, Thould clothe himself with Flesh to converse with Mankind, should expose himself among them to Sufferings and Contempt, and at last yield himself up to an ignominious Death; and all this only for the Sake of republisping the Religion of Nature, which Men, by the Help of their Reason alone, are able to defcry!

But if the Truths which Jesus taught us, and the Rules' he has given us, were nothing more than the Result of the Reason of a pris vate Man ; how came his Doctrines so far to exceed the Rules of all the Philosophers and Legiflators that ever were before him? How caine the Son of an obscure Carpenter in Yudæa, a heavy and unpolished Corner of the World, to draw up such an admirable Scheme of Morality, as furpassed all the Depth and Wisdom of the Grecians, the politest and most fagacious of all Nations' upon Earth and outlone the Precepts of the greatest Sages amongst them, as Lycurgus and Solon, Pythagoras and Socrates, and Plato and Arifotle, as much as the Light of the Sun at

Noon

'L 3

VIII.

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SERM. Noon furpasses the twinkling of the Stars at

Night? How should one Man, in two or
three Years preaching, nay in one short Dif-
course, advance the Ethick Doctrines to an
infinitely greater Height and Perfection, than
any or all of the Sects of Philosophers had
ever done before; notwithstanding they had
made it the Business and Study of their whole
Lives, and that for many Ages together?
And yet all this is confeffedly true: And
therefore if they make a meer Man of Jesus
Christ ; they must at least acknowledge,
with the Officers that came to the Chief
Priests and Pharisees, that never Man spake
like this Man, John vii, 46. : And if not;
then, surely, never must any Man bė beard
like him. He, above all, must be heard and
obeyed, not only in the Rules he lays down
for our Practice; but in all the Matters also
he proposes to our Belief,

And this also Mofes, or rather (as appears
by the Text, as it stands in the Book of Deut.]
God himself does by Moses Atri&ly enjoin,
Him shall ye hear, IN ALL THINGS WHAT-
$0E YER HE SHALL SAY UNTO YOU. And
if fo; we must hear him in whatever he says
of himself, as well as in whatever he says
þesides. And then are wę again obliged to

receive

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VIII.

receive him as more than Man: For we must SER M. receive him as the Son of God, which he affirmed, and by incontestable Miracles prov'd, himself to be. So great is the Difference between this Prophet, Jesus, and any one that ever appeared before him. As the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks, God, who at fundry Times and in divers Manners, Spake, in Time past, unto the Fathers, by the Prophets; bath, in these laft Days, spoken unto us by bis Son; whom he hath appointed Heir of all Things, by whom also be made the Worlds : Hebr. i. ), 2. A Character high and august indeed! and sufficient to justify us in receiving him not merely as a Prophet, but as much more than a Prophet : Nor will that comparative Character express his Dignity : For much more than a Prophet his Forerunner Jobn the Baptist was pronounced by Jefus himself to be: Luke vii. 26. Who yet confessed Jesus to be one mightier than be, the Latchet of whose Shoes be was not worthy to unlooje : Chap. iii. 16. He was but the Messenger that was sent before his Face : Matt. xi. 10. Whereas Jefus himself is declared to be THE HIGHEST, the LORD himself, whose Prophet John was, and whole Ways be went before him to prepare, Luke i. 76.

L 4

The

SERM.

The Prophet then being so great, lo di.. VIII.

vine; we, 'most assuredly, are devoutly to listen, not only to his moral Precepts, but also to the several Revelations he has made, and the pohtive Institutions he has commanded us to observe. It is the fashionable Doctrine : indeed at present, that Morality is the whole.. and fole of Religion ; sufficient of itself without Sacraments or Faith: And indeed could we shew ourselves perfect in the one, without the Helps of the other ;, there then might some Room be left for Debate. But did you ever know a Man, I mean a Man who professed Christianity, that ever lived up to the moral Precepts contained in the Gola pel, and did not observe the positive ones alfo? And who did not, after all, place his Confidence and Trust, pot in his own imperfect Performances, but wholly in the Merits of his Blessed Redeemer ? The Question perhaps may seem invidious to fome ; but as the Subject demands it, I will put it plainly: Did you ever find that they who ascribe fo much to Morality, and so much prefer it to all the other Doctrines of the Bible ; are themselves such fhining Examples of Morality, as you would single out and chuse to fola low I doubt not in the least, but there

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