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SERM. caufe the prophecy of Daniel tells us plainly, that towards the expiration of them, "the city and the "fanctuary were to be destroyed;" which was fulfilled with a great deal of feverity, as if there were fome extraordinary cause of those fearful judgments which came upon them. And indeed we find that after they had commited the great fin "of crucifying the "LORD of life," they gave up themselves to all manner of wickedness, "filling up the measure of "their fins, that wrath might come upon them to "the uttermoft; "infomuch that Jofephus tells us, "that he did verily believe, that if the Romans "had not come at that time to destroy them, either "the earth would have fwallowed up their city, or "a flood have overwhelmed, or thunder and light"ning, or fire from heaven, would have confumed "them, like Sodom and Gomorrah; for," fays he, "this generation was much more wicked than "they were."

And, which is a very confiderable argument to the Jews, he came at the time when their whole nation were in expectation of the Meffias; and indeed the whole world were about this time in expectation of a prince out of Judea. That the Jews did expect the Meffias about this time, appears by the famous faying of one of their greatest rabbies, Elias, that there fhould be 2000 years before the law, 2000 years the law fhould laft, and 2000 years fhould be the time of the Meffias: and according to the most exact chronology, it was much about the 4000th year of the world that CHRIST was born. That a great part of the world befides were at this time in expectation of a prince to fpring out of Judea, appears from thofe known teftimonies of Suetonius and Ta

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citus. Percrebuerat toto oriente vetus & conftans opi-SER M. nio, effe in fatis, ut Judeâ profeti rerum potirentur, faith Suetonius; and Tacitus to the fame purpose. Both agree in the words of this prophecy, which feem to be taken out of the prophecy of Micah, fpeaking of Bethlehem in the land of Judea; out

of thee fhall come a governor." And Suetoniuš tells us farther, that the belief and expectation of this among the Jews was fo great at that time, that this was the cause of their rebelling against the Romans. A juft judgment of GOD upon them, that those who had rejected the true Meffias fhould be deluded to their own ruin by the hopes of a falfè

one.

2. All other circumftances of those promifes and prophecies are exactly anfwered in the hiftory and relation which the gofpel gives of him. He was emphatically" the feed of the woman," according to the first and very obfcure promife made to our first parents, Gen. iii. 15. “The feed of the woman "fhall bruife the ferpent's head;" I fay, he was emphatically the feed of the woman," being, as our books of the gofpel tell us, born of a pure virgin, which never knew man. He was "the feed "of Abraham," according to the fecond promife of him made to Abraham, Gen. xii. 3." In thee fhall "all the families of the earth be bleffed." He was a" prophet like unto Mofes," being a great worker of miracles above any of the prophets, as Mofes alfo was; and by whom God gave a new law, as He did by Mofes, according to the other famous promife of him, Deut. xviii. 15. "A prophet fhall the "LORD your God raife up unto you, like unto "me."

VOL. XI.

Ee

He

SERM. He was "of the tribe of Judah, and of the feed CCXXXV. of David," as it was foretold the Meffias should

be; therefore he is called in the gospel," the fon of "David ;" and the apoftle to the Hebrews, chap. vii. ver. 14. appeals to the Jews concerning this, as a thing clear and acknowledged among them, "It "is evident that our LORD fprang out of Judah ;' which he would not have affirmed to the Jews without proof, if it had not been granted by them.

:

For the other, that he was of the feed of David, the Jews will by no means admit as a thing at all evident from the hiftory of the gofpel concerning. him for, fay they, if that appear any where, we fhould find it in his genealogy, but there we find no fuch matter; there indeed we have the genealogy of Jofeph very differently related by the two evangelifts, Matthew and Luke; but what is this to the genealogy of CHRIST, when the Chriftians themfelves avowedly declare, that Jofeph was not his father? It is granted that Jofeph was of David's line; but to prove that CHRIST was really defcended from David, instead of the genealogy of Jofeph, they fhould have fhewn Mary's.

This is a very malicious and fpiteful objection, and the Jews infift very much upon it: but yet I think it is capable of a very fatisfactory anfwer, in which I fhall proceed by these steps.

(1.) We will grant that both the genealogies of our SAVIOUR, that in Matthew, and that in Luke, are intended to fhew that Jofeph was of Abraham's and David's line, and that neither of them are the genealogy of Mary. Some indeed have thought fo, but, as it feems to me, with very little probability; I incline much rather to Grotius his excellent conjec

ture

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ture about it, that Matthew's genealogy gives us an SERM. account of the fucceffion of the royal family down as low as Jofeph, and that in St. Luke the direct series of Jofeph's ancestors.

(2.) The Jews grant that it hath been an ancient tradition among Chriftians, that Jofeph and Mary were of the fame family, and that Mary was virgo Eixλnp, one that had no brethren, an heiress, or co-heiress, and fo according to the jewish custom she was bound to marry in her family; which the Jews were especially careful of in the family of David to preferve the fucceffion of the royal line, of which the Meffias was to come.

(3.) The Jews have nothing to object against this which fhews it improbable.

(4.) If so, that they were of the fame family, then the genealogy of Jofeph, though not directly and exprefly, yet by confequence was the genealogy of Mary; and confequently thofe genealogies in the gofpel do fufficiently fhew that CHRIST was the fon of David.

(5.) It cannot be imagined that the evangelifts should have omitted the genealogy of Mary, if it had not been included in that of Jofeph, especially St Matthew, who in his genealogy exprefly tells us, that he intended to fhew that he was "the fon of "David," and alfo denies Jofeph to have been his real father.

(6.) If there had been any question, whether Mary was of the line of David, the Jews would certainly in that time have rejected him from being the Meffias, upon that very account, nothing being more plaufible for them to have had faid than this, that he pretended to have no father, and to be born E e 2

of

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SER M. of a virgin, who was not of the line of David, how could he then be the Meffias, who was to be "of the "feed of David ?" But that he was always owned by the Jews to be of that feed, appears by the title, fo frequently given to him, of " the son of David."

It was prophefied that the Meffias "fhould be "born in Bethlehem of Judah," Micah v. 2. which you find accordingly fulfilled, Matt. ii. 6. the providence of GOD fo ordering it, that Auguftus should then lay a general tax, which occafion brought up Jofeph and Mary to Bethlehem; not only that fhe might be deliyered there, but that their names being there entered, their family might be ascertained, and there might no doubt afterwards arife, but that they were" of the line of David."

It was foretold he should be "born of a virgin," Ifa. vii. 14. which you fee accordingly fulfilled, Matt. i. That this is not the primary, but the my. ftical fenfe of that place in Ifaiah, I think may without prejudice be granted to the Jews, who in innumerable places of the old teftament do, befides the firft and literal fenfe, allow of a myftical one: and if it be objected that this is only the faying of us Chriftians, that CHRIST was born of a pure virgin; to them it is easily answered, that if this be foretold of the Meffias, whoever he be, that he fhall be born of a virgin, as the Jews generally grant, we have as much affurance of this, as they can have, or imagine to have of theirs, whenever he should come. it is not any report or tradition that can give credit to fo ftrange a thing, but the unquestionable miracles which he wrought, which prove him to come from GoD, and confequently to be no impoftor, but to be all that he pretended he was.

For

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