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Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though s E * M. one rose from the Tie ad. Luke xvi. 3 1, &c. And therefore in his private Discourses with his Disciples alone, after his Resurrection, Luke xxiv. 27. Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the Things concerning him/elf, i. e. he shewed them what Things were written in the Law of Mo/es, ver. 44. and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning the MeJJiah; 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 last Discourse, viz. Because as Truth must always be consistent with itself; this Claim of Jesus must also be true, or else it will destroy all the rest. And as this Point must necessarily be tried by the Evidence of the Prophets j it certainly makes the Argument from Prophecy so far needful to the Truth of Jesus and his Gospel. For it must be owned that an Observation made by the Writer that occasioned these 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 spoken of Christ; all
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s E R M." the Miracles in, the World will not prove, that they Have.spoken of him." * This was the Reason whj the first Preachers of the Gospel (although tney argued with the Gentiles from the Miracles Jesus wrought, and his Resurrection from the Deadi yet) did not reason 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' express Marks and Characters of the MeJJiah he had promised, by .which their Nation might know how to distinguish him, when he came. "The very first Thing therefore the Jews u had to do upon the Appearance, or preach,c ing up, of any one for the Mejias, was to "examine his 'title by the Characters given of him in the. Old testament: For they could not consistently with their Belief in God, and the ancient Prophecies, yield to "any other Arguments, till fully satisfied "and convinced in this. And therefore St.. "Paul in his Discourse with the Jews at "Antioch in Pistdia, Acts xiii. v. 17. be-. "gins with God's Dealings towards the Peo
'* Grounds and Reasons of the Chriilian Religion, p. 31.
** pie of Israel," and after a short Deduction S *'* M. of Matters from the calling of Abraham to the Times of David, he then thinks proper to introduce the mention of our Saviour Jesus, by averting that God had raised him unto Israel of this Man's Seed, Acts xiii. 23. i.e. of David's Seed, according to his Promise. ft Where you fee plainly he rests the Strength "of his Argument upon the Authority of "Prophecy. And all the Parts of his folcc lowing Discourse are answerable to the ,c Beginning of it; proceeding from one End "to the other upon the Authority of the "Prophets." * We declare (faith he) ^32, 3 3. unto you glad Tidings, how that the Promise whieh was made unto the Fathersf God has fulfilled the same unto us their Children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm; Thou art my Son, this Day have I begotten thee. So again, ASls xvii. 1—3. at Theffalonicat where was1 a Synagogue of the Jews j we read that St. Paul, as his Manner was, went in ttntb them, and three Sabbath Days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures; opening and alledging, that Christ must needs have suffer 'dt and risen again from the Dead, and that this
* Bisliop Sherlock on Prophtcy, p. 178, 179.
S E h M" yesus which I preach unto you is Christ'. And 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 Tbejsalonica, in that they received the Word with all Readiness of Mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those Things were so. And in the next Chapter we read again, ven 24—28. that a certain Jew, nanid ApoU los, born at Alexandria, when he himself had been perfectly instructed in the Way of God, mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
In like manner we Christians, who from our Infancy are brought up in the Belief of Christianity, and are taught to receive the Books of both Testaments with equal Reverence; in like manner, I fay, we, when we are to defend our Faith in Jesus as the Christ, against Jews, who urge that Jesus has not fulfilled the Prophecies contained in the Old Testament ., must shew that what the Prophets did really foretel of the Mejfiah, was all actually fulfilled in our Jesus, in Jesus of. Nazaretht called by the Jews, the Son of Jojepb.
, And . And this is what I propose to do: Though S E R 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 Christians: Whereas in the Prosecution of my second Head, I have my Authors \o ejlablijh before I can make use of them. For the Jews and Chrifiians both consent that the Prophecies I singled, out in my former Discourse, relate to the MeJJias; yet when we come to speak of the Completion of them in our Jesus; the Jews protest against any such Application, and deny that any of those Prophecies were fulfilled in him. And therefore they object to the Divine Authority of the New Testament, and won't allow the New leftament to have been written by Inspiration, as we confess the Old Testament to have been.
But now, whether the Books of the New1 Testament were inspired ox not; ;'. e. whether they were written by the immediate DireBion, and under the Super-intendance and Guidance of the Holy Ghost, is a Question we have no Occasion to enter into, upon this Subject. It is sufficient for the Purpose we
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