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§. 14.

preach it to the Kings and Sovereigns of the
Earth. And if ever the Rich attain Happiness,
they must be poor in Spirit, and sit loose to what Mat.
they enjoy.

Q. What Expectation was there in the World about the Time of the Messiah's Appearing ?

A. The Jews were in a general Expectation of him, as appears from the antient and general Tradition received from the School of Elias; tbat at the End of the second Two thousand Years the Meffias should come. And likewise from that particular Computation of the Jewijl Doctors, Grot. de not long before our Saviour's Coming; who,

Ver.lib.5. upon a solemn Debate of that Matter, did determine the Messias would come within fifty Years. And this is confirmed from the great Jealousy, which Herod had concerning a King of the Jews, that was expected to be born about that Time. And from the Testimony of Josepbus, lib. 7. who tells us, the Jews rebelled againjt the Ro-C. 12. mans, being encouraged thereto by a celebrated Prophecy in their Scriptures, that about that Time a famous Prince should be born among them, that should rule the World.

Q. Was the Gentile World in any Expectation of such an Appearance ?

A. Yes, this is evident from the famous Testimonies of two eminent Roman Historians, Suetonius and Tacitus. The former says, There Lib.8.c.4. was an antient and general Opinion famous throughout all the Eastern Parts, that the Fates bad do termined that there should come out of Judæa those sbat fould govern the World. Which Words seem to be a verbal Translation of chat Pro

Mic. 5.2: phecy in Micah, that out of Judah Mould come ibe Ruler. Tacitus's Testimony is, That a great Hift.



Lib. 5.

many were poffelled with a Persuasion, that it was contained in ihe antient Books of the Priests, that at that very Time the East should prevail, and that they who should govern the World, were to come out of Judæa. Which Phrase, that the

East Mould prevail, refers to that Title given the Zech. 3.8. Mesas by the Prophet Zechariab; where he is

called the Man whose Name is the East; for though we translate it Branch, yet the Hebrew Word signifieth both ; and may be rendered the one as well as the other.

Q. Wbat was the great Advantage of our Saviour's appearing in the World ?

A. The scattering and dispelling that Cloud of Idolatry, and that Corruption of Manners, which had fatally overspread it. For the most contemptible Objects were thought worthy of

divine Honours, the Jews themselves having Jer. 2. 28. at one Time as many Gods as Cities; and the

most brutish and scandalous Vices prevailed, not only among the most polished Part of Mankind, but even in the folemn Acts of the Gentile Worship. Upon which Account our Saviour became a Light to lighten the Gentiles, as he was the Glory of his People Israel, So that under the Conduct of such a Guide, we cannot fail of acquiring the Knowledge of God's Will in this World, and the comfortable Expectation of Life everlasting in the World to come.

Q. Wbercin did our Saviour exceed all those that had before hin made known the Will of God to Mankind?

A. In the Dignity and Excellency of his Perfon, whereby he knew the best and fureft Ways of attaining Happiness. In the Clearness and Perfection of his Precepts. In the Brightness of

11. 13.

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Col. 2.92

his own Exemple, and in the Encouragements of gracious Affistances, and glorious Rewards, which he hath promised to all those that engage and persevere in h Service.

Q. How was our Saviour qualified by the Dig. nity of bis Person to reveal to us the Will of God?

A. He who lay in the Bofom of the Father, Joh.1. 18. and had the Spirit communicated to him without 3; 34; Measure, in whom dwelt the Fulness of the Godbead bodily, could not want a perfect Knowledge of what was most agreeable to the divine Will; and consequently we have abundant Reason to put our Trust and Confidence in that Method of attaining Salvation he hath difcovered, because it was the Contrivance of infinite Wisdom, and cannot fail of Success, if we are not wanting to ourselves in heartily embracing it.

Q. Wherein confifteth the Perfection of his Doctrine ?

A. In that it directs us to the true Object of Worship, and gives us rational and worthy Notions of that Being we are obliged to adore ; and is moft fitly adapted to raise our Natures to the greatest Improvement they are capable of. To prevent our falling into finful Actions, our Saviour layeth a Restraint upon our Thoughts, which lead to them, and obligeth us to govern our Looks, which give Birth to our Thoughts. Mat 5.288 To obviate all those Evils, which proceed froin an inordinate Desire of Riches, he hath difcovered to us that admirable Temper of Mind distinguished in his Gospel by Poverty of Spirit, Ver. 3. which maketh us even fit loose to the good Things we poffefs. To keep us at a Dittance

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Ver. 4.

from the Temptations of Lying and Detraction, Mat. 13. he hath forbid all idle Words, that the Care to 36. avoid them might secure us from falling into

those greater Faults. To hinder the fatal Effects of Anger and Revenge, he hath nipped these

Passions in the Bud, by commanding us to love Mat 5:44. our Enemies, and to do Good to them that do

Evil to us. To facilitate the Virtue of Patience, so necessary in this Vale of Tears, he hath manifeited to us the Treasures that are hid in Adversity, and the Advantage of being persecuted for his Sake; that what the World calls Misfortune and Calamity, often proveth the blessed Occasion of making us happy both in this Life

and the next. Blessed are they that mourn, Blessed Ver. 10. are they that are perfecuted. And to make us

quiet and easy in ourselves, and gentle to others, he requireth us to have a quick Sense of

our own Weaknesses and Defects, and readily to Mat. 11. condescend to the lowest Offices for the Good of 29.

our Neighbours.

Q. W bercin appears the Brightness of our Saviour's Example ?

A. In that he hath set us a perfect Pattern of all those folid and needful Virtues which he requireth from us, and in his own Person hach recommended to us the most hard and difficult, as well as those that are most useful and bene

ficial. To teach us Piety and Devotion he freMut. 14. quently retired, and spent whole Nights in

Prayer; and from worldly Occurrences raised L'ik.6.12. Matier for fpiritual Thoughts; and conforined

not only to divine Institutions, but to human John 10. Appointments that tended to promote Reli

gion. That we might learn Humility, this Prince Luke 2.7. of Glory condescended to the Poverty of a


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Mat. 17.

Stable; this Wisdom of the Father became
dumb, and was reduced to the Simplicity of
an Infant; he spent thirty Years of his Life in
Retirement, unknown to the World, and was
fubject to his Parents. That we might be
ready to exercise universal Charity to the Bodies Aas 10.
and Souls of Men, the whole Course of his Life 38.
was employed in doing Good. That we might.
suppress all ambitious Defires, he refused the Mat. 4.8.

Offer of the Kingdoms of the World, and the
Glory of them ; and, when the People would
have made him a King, he silently withdrew, Joh. 6.15.
and they knew not where to find him. That

24, 25, we might be obedient to Government, he paid &c. Tribute, though he was free from any such Obligation, and was forced to work a Miracle to perform it. That we might live above the World, he chose to have no Part nor Share in the Poffeffions of it, the Son of Man not having Mat.8.20. wbere to lay bis Head. And though he denied bimself in the lawful Pleasures and Satisfactions of Life, yet he was perfectly contented in his mean Condition. That in all our Sufferings we might be resigned to the Will of God, in his bit. Mat. 26. ter Agony he renounced the strongest Incli · 39. nation of Nature, and submitted to the Appointment of his Father. That a Regard to the fudgment of the World might not prevail upon us to transgress the Laws of God, he made himself of Phil 2. 7, no Reputation ; and, in order to do Good to Mankind, was contented to be esteemed one of the worst of Men ; a Magician, an Impostor, Luke 11, a Friend and Companion of Publicans and Sin- 15;

Mat. 11, ners, and a Seducer of the People. That we

19. might resist all Temptations to Anger, and preserve an Evenness of Mind under all Provocations, F 3


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