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"with t^ose self.evident Notions, which are s Ef.M" "the Foundation of our Reasoning amongst "ourselves; that the Holy Ghost cannot "deal with us as rational, but by proposing tl Arguments, to convince our Understand"ings, and influence our Wills in the fame ct Manner, as if proposed by other Agents *." Monstrous Assertions! provided Men can but blaspheme; what Absurdities and Nonsense will not their Malice put them upon uttering! And yet the Author of these Assertions sets himself up for a Master of Reasoning! And, what is as strange, finds Acceptance with some, who would take it amiss to have their Understandings called in Question.
And yet what Judgment can we form of Men, who can persuade themselves, or be persuaded by others, that he, who made our very Beings, can have no independent Influence over them! that he, who created and formed our Minds, can reveal or discover nothing to them, but of what we must know the Grounds and Reasons! that he cannot manifest his Will to us by any express Declaration j nor otherwise than by making our reasonable Faculties fee and apprehend its Agreeableness
* See Dr. Conybear's Defence of Revelation, p. 287—9. and Zf/k^ against the Moral Phihl'apber, p. 12.
K 3 and
6 E R M, an(j Connection with some self-evident Principles!
But if all this Pretence to superior Sense, be Rhapsody and Nonsense; then surely we may be allowed to listen to common Sense again: and that will convince us that he, who, formed and made our Souls, must needs have a vast Power and Influence over them j and consequently that if he please to reveal himself to any Man; he can give him as clear and convincing an Evidence, that // is He who vouchfafes the Revelation, as the Man can have of his own Existence. He can make him as conscious that the Impressions he receives are made on him by God; as that any ImpreJJiorts are made upon him at all: so that the Person himself who receives an Inspiration, shall have no Room left to doubt of the Author of it.
This being allowed, common Reason will further convince us, that if such a Revelation made to one Man, may by him be communicated to others, and confirmed to be the Word and Revelation of God, by undoubted Proofs of Divine Authority; and if there be good Evidence, that such a Revelation has b>een conveyed down, and in sufficient Purity \ and if the Sense and Meaning of it may be also sufficiently understood and explained; thenSI^M. may we have an Evidence sufficient to. convince us that such traditionary Revelation is the true and genuine Will of God; and such as it concerns all, to whom it is made known, 'heartily to embrace.
And of this Nature are those Revelations which the Scriptures contain; and amongst them this, in which Moses, the great Prophet and Legislator of the Jews, foretels a much greater, who, when the appointed Time approached, should arise in his Stead. By this Test therefore we are to try whether 'Jesus, who claimed, we know, to be this Prophet, was he or not; which is the very Method to which he himself submits to refer us. Search the Scriptures, (faith he) for in them ye think ye have eternal Life, and they are they which testify of me, John v. 3 9. And those that will not take this Method, there is no Hope of convincing; as he himself soon after observes :—Had ye believed Moses, (faith he) ye would have believed me: but if ye believe not his Writings, how //jail ye believe my Words? ver. 46, 47. Agreeably to what he fays upon another Occasion,—If they hear not Moses and the Prophets; neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the Dead, Luke xvi. 3 1. K 4 S E R
The Character of the Prophet that was to be like unto Moses.
Acts iii. 22, 23.
Moses truly said unto the Fathers, A Prophet
shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of
your Brethren, like unto me; him shall ye
hear, in all Things whatsoever he shall Jay
And it Jhall come to pass, that every Soul, which
will not hear that Prophet, Jhall be dejlroyed
from among the People.
SvnrM*T-fAVING undertaken to discourse of 1 JL the three Offices of our Blessed Saviour, which he was to perform as the promised . Messiah or Christ; I entered in my last upon his Prophetic Office, which was the first on which he entered, as standing first in the Divine Oeconomy. To make Way for this, I thought it needful in the Jirst Place to pre
mise what the Office of a Prophet was; and S E R M. then secondly, to shew that Moses, in that famous and celebrated Prediction referred to. in my Text, spake of the Christ; and consequently foretold that the Christ should be a Prophet. I come now in the
III. Third Place to prove that our Jesus was that very Prophet which Moses means j that He did every Thing which that Prophet was to do, and so far answered the Character of the Christ. And,
First, Was the Prophet to be raised up unto the "Jews to be one of their Brethren? i. e. Was he to spring out of one of their twelve Tribes? That Jesus was so, the Jews themselves do not deny: And if there was any Tribe out of which a greater Prophet than ordinary might be expected, Jesus was born of that Tribe also, being of the Royal Tribe of Judah.
Secondly, Was this Prophet, who was to be raised up from among their Brethren to be like unto Moses ?—One distinguishing Character of Moses, we know, was—that he was very meek above all the Men that were upon the Face of the Earth, Numb. xii. 3. One