Billeder på siden
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

never render a foundation valid, which is ini itself invalid ; can never make a false inference true ; can never make a prophesy fulfillid, which is not fulfill'd ; and can never mark out a MESSIAS, or Jesus for the Mesa SIAS, if both are not mark'd out in the Old Testament. Besides, miracles; said to be wrought, may be often justly deem'd false reports, when attributed to persons, who claim an autority from the Old Teftament; which they impertinently alledge to support their pretences. · God can never be suppos'd often to permit miracles to be done for the confirmation of a false or pretended mission : and if at any time he does permit miracles to be wrought in confirmation of a pretended mission; we have directions from the (6) Old Testament not to regard such miracles; but are to continue firm to the antecedent reve. lation confirm'd by miracles, and contain'd in the Old Testament, notwithstanding any miracles ; which in the opinion of some divines, (c) as splendid gifts as they aré, are no demonstrations of the truth, but) under the circumstance of attesting fomething contrary to an antecedent revelation, confirm'd by miracles, are certainly no proofs of the truth. No new revelation, however prov'd


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(b) Deut. 13. 1;2. (6) Hickes's Apol. Vind. of

the Church of England, p. 23, 24. Stiling fleet's Orig. Sacræ, l. 2. c. 5: n.7

by miracles, ought ever to be receiv’d, unless it confirms, or does not contradict the preCeding standing true revelation.

Moreover, (c) Those among the Jews, who expected a Messias or Deliverer (for all the Fews did not (d) in our Saviour's time, and perhaps none before the captivity) ever expected a real or temporal deliverer.. Such the (e) àpoftles before the death of Jesus expected he would be. Such they expected he would be after his resurrection; when they asked him, whether (f) at this time he would restore again the kingdom of Ifrael, in which notion he seems to leave them, by not setting them right as to the reftoration of the kingdom of Israel; but taking their notion for granted, he only answers as to the time; by telling them, that it was not For them to know the time, when he would restore the kingdom of Israel: and all the primitive christians were, for a considerable time after the ascension of Jesus, in the vulgar error of expecting him to come in the clouds, and reign personally and triumphantly upon earth in a kingdom that was åt band. The Jews expected a Messias, who was to change their miferable condition into a happy one, and to govern them by their own law;


(c) Luke 2. 38. (d) Le Clerci far l'endroitz Ib. Hift. Eccl. p. 4.. i(ej Luke 24.. 216

1) Acts 1.6 See Tillotson's Sermons, Vol. io: p: 226;

without the least imagination of a mere (gi fpiritual deliverance or any alteration of their divine law, (which they thought was (b) to be eternal) in virtue of a new legislative power conferr'd on him by God. Pursuant to which they thought the person and doctrines of Jesus to be fo far from being held forth in the Old Testament, that they (i) knew not whence he was, and look'd on him to be in many respects different from the Christ they expected from thence; and thought (k) no greater contradi&tion could be formd, nothing in nature or terms more irreconcilablé, than affirming the same person to be CHRIST (that is, a triumphant prince) and to be crucify'd. Wherefore the numerous and wonderful miracles wrought by Jesus, tho' equal (1) to what the Jezes expected from their MESSIAS, were no proofs to them, that he was the Mesa sias. They did not take him for the MessiAs on (m) account of them but on the contrary they procur'd him to be crucify'd for pretending to be the Messias, (11) not knowing the Lord of glory, from his miracles.


(3) Scripta' Judæi apud Limborchii Amic. Collat. p. 76, 115.

(b) Whitby's Note on Gal. 4. 21. (i) John 9. 29. (k) Stanhope's Boyl. Le&t. First Sermon for 170c. p.7,8. O John 17: 31. (m) Luke 2, 34.... (n) Acts 3. 17.

.. .in I. t :

Nor had his miracles any effect on his own 6) brethren, and kindred, and family, who seem to have been more incredulous in him, than other Jews. Nor had they the effect, which naturally they should seem fitted to produce, among his immediate, followers, and disciples : fome of whom did not (P) believe in him, but deserted him, and particularly had no faith in him, when he spake of his sufferings; and thought he could (a) not be the Messias, when they saw him suffer ; notwithstanding his miracles and frequent declarations to them, that he was the MESSIAS. And the Jews were fo rooted in their notion of a temporal deliverer, even after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and the progress of christianity grounded on the belief of Jesus to be the MESSIAS, that they have in all times of distress, and particularly in the (r) apostolical times in great numbers. follow'd impostors, who have set up for the Messias with force and arms, as the way to restore the kingdom of Israel. So that the Jews, who mistook in this most important matter, and after the most egregious , D 2


(0) Mark 6.4. John 7. 5. - OP) Ib. 6.04, 66. Mark §. 31. '" (9) Luke 24. 21. (o) Joseph. Antiq. 1. 20. 6. 2. & 6. Ib. De bello Jud. 1. 3. c. 23. 1. 9. c. 30. Lent De Pseudo Meffiis. Vandale Dil sert. de Origine Idol, &c. p. 229, &c. Tillotson Sora mons, Vol. 13. p. 116 1193151. min. : ;

[ocr errors]

manner the meaning of their own books,
might, 'till they were set right in their in-
terpretations of the Old Testament, and
were convinc'd from thence, that Jesus was
the Messias, as justly reject Jesus asserting
his mission and doctrine with miracles, as
any other Person, who, in virtue of miracles,
would lead them into idolatry; or into any
other real breach of the mosaick law.
And the Gentiles, who ought regularly to be
converted to Judaism, before they could be-
come christians, and ought to ground their
christianity on the Old Testament, had à
right to the fame fatisfaction ; and might
want it (as (s) Celsus did) no less than the
Jews, whom they might perhaps allow, to
understand their own books better than the
apostles, who manifestly put new interpre-
tations upon them, and those not agreeable
to the obvious and literal meaning of those
books, and contrary to the sense of the Jew
ish nation. And for this both Jews and
Gentiles might plead the example of the apo-
ftles; who, at first, did, like other un-
believing Jews, expect a temporal prince,
and did disbelieve Jesusto be the Messias on
account of his sufferings, notwithstanding his
miracles; who continu'd in those thoughts
till they came to understand the spiritual

: .' a.. lenle

[ocr errors]

(1) Origen contra Celsam, p. 78, 343.

« ForrigeFortsæt »