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he might take away the sins of the world. About the indefinite or illimited truth of both these propositions, there is no controversy amongst good Christians. The limitation, notwithstanding, of both these undoubted truths requires some further disquisition; the limitation of the latter a larger treatise : the main query concerning the former is briefly this: ‘From what beginning of the world our Saviour is said to be Agnus occisus, the Lamb slain,' as whether from the first beginning of time, or from the first day of the creation. To stretch the beginning of the world thus far, is more than the rules of true theology will warrant: for it was neither necessary nor expedient that the Son of God should be slain, or that any bloody sacrifice should have been offered, if our first parents had preserved or retained their original integrity. By the beginning of the world then, in our apostle's meaning, we are, I take it, to understand the sinful world, as it is coeval or confederate with the flesh, or the first entrance of sin into it, or rather into our nature. From the fall of our first parents, at least from their convention before their Almighty Judge and Creator, the Son of God was first destinated, and afterwards consecrated to be the Lamb of God, which was to take away the sins of the world. And of his death and passion, or other undertakings to this purpose, as well

the sacrifice which righteous Abel offered out of the 838 flock, as the bloody sacrifice of himself, being butchered

by his ungracious brother Cain, were true types or shadows. So was the paschal lamb, which was solemnly offered every year, once in token, afterwards in memory of the Israelites' miraculous delivery out of Egypt. The first institution and observance of this solemnity was given as a pledge or assurance unto God's chosen people, that the destroyer should not



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hurt one of them, when he smote all the first-born of Egypt, both of man and beast. The same solemnity was afterwards continued in memory of that mighty deliverance which Israel had from Pharaoh and his host. Howbeit even this miraculous deliverance was but a shadow or typical assurance of that great deliverance which the Son of God in our flesh, and all God's people, in him and by him, had from the powers of hell and darkness, in that great passover wherein this true Lamb of God, predestinated to this purpose from the beginning of this world, was actually consecrated, and solemnly upon his consecration offered.

2. A question there is, but soberly handled by some good sacred antiquaries-Whether the law of the paschal lamb delivered by Moses were to be solemnized according to all the rites and circumstances which were enjoined and punctually to be observed at the time of Israel's departure out of Egypt? One branch of this law it was, that every household which was capable of eating it should take it from the flock four days before the offering of it. This separation was his consecration; and this rite or ceremony, as some good writers tell us, was observed throughout the generations, if not in the lambs offered by every private family, yet in the lamb designed or chosen for the public sacrifice in that great festival, which was brought into the city four days before the offering of it with great pomp and solemnity. But be it that the solemnity of bringing the lamb four days before the passover was to be observed only in Egypt, this will no way impair the sweet harmony between the legal type and the evangelical mystery, but rather give it a better lustre : for that passover which was celebrated in Egypt was the most illustrious peculiar type of this great passover wherein the Son of God was sacrificed for the sins of

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the world. Other succeeding legal passovers were but remembrances of that great deliverance whereof the first passover in Egypt was the pledge or preassurance. And we in like sort were once for all delivered from the powers of hell and darkness by the visible blood of the new covenant; of which deliverance we are more strictly enjoined to continue a memorial, until our Mediator and Redeemer come to judgment. Now to declare unto the world that JESUS, the Son of God and of David, was the Lamb of God ordained from the beginning of the world to effect this mighty deliverance, and to fulfil the mysteries forepictured by the passover in Egypt, he came unto Jerusalem (the place appointed for this and other grand festivals) four days before the passover wherein he was sacrificed, and was brought in with greater pomp and solemnity than any paschal lamb, than any prince of Judah, at any time before had been. His attendants were more, and their respects and salutations tendered in more submissive manner, and the titles given to him much loftier, than either David his father or Solomon in all his royalty had been accustomed unto. The history of his coming is very remarkable of itself, and the circumstances, as they are variously related (yet without clashing or contradiction) by all the four evangelists, most con

siderable. 889 3. For the circumstance of time, which was four

days before the passover, that is determinately and punctually set down by two evangelists, and may be evidently inferred out of all four. The special occasions of a great concourse of people out of several nations or provinces, which at this last passover did expect his coming, or went out of Jerusalem to meet him or wait upon him, after another guise than at any the three former passovers since his baptism had been

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seen, are most fully expressed by St. John, xi. 45, 46 : Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. John xii. 9, 17, 18: Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle, &c. The original occasion of this great concourse, as appears in these passages, was the irrefragable testimony of his raising. Lazarus from the grave, wherein he had laid four days. The special occasions which moved the whole multitude of his disciples (that is, such as for the present did believe in him) to entertain, and did occasion others to entertain, him with those extraordinary acclamations, or other expressions of joy and exultation, (recorded by all the evangelists,) are most punctually expressed by St. Luke, chap. xix. 37, 38: And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen ; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. These acclamations of his followers and disciples were so loud, and their exultation in such sinister construction as Michal made of David's dancing before the ark) so lavish, that they exasperated the Pharisees (who were but a small part of the multitude who did attend or observe his approach) unto more

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uncivil behaviour towards this their King than Michal did use towards David her lord and husband, Lukexix.39: And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples : as if they had said, “Thy disciples play the fools, and unless thou inhibit their folly, they will make thee a laughingstock to wise men.' But his reply unto them for this their advice, though for terms and language more mild and gentle, yet for the matter or mystery implied was more sharp than David's was to Michal : ver. 40. He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. For this was the time wherein Jerusalem and the daughter of Zion had been commanded some hundreds of years before to rejoice after an unusual manner. And the just occasions of this extraordinary point of time above all others did require such a solemn and public testification, that if men, women, and children had been silent, the very stones in the street, the edifices and pavements in Jerusalem and Zion, must have supplied their defect. For these were appurtenances of the city which had been peremptorily injoined to shout for joy whensoever their promised and long expected King should come unto her. As the

occasions of this extraordinary concourse of people, 840 and of their unusual exultation, are most fully ex

pressed by St. John and St. Luke; so the final cause of both, or sweet disposition of Divine Providence in this whole business, is most punctually expressed by St. Matthew, chap. xxi. 4, 5 : All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. The prophet, or one of the prophets at least, which did foretell all that now


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