Page images

SERM. I might add farther, if it were necessary, that CCXXXVII.

many of his miracles were such as no credulity or Lampy

strength of imagination could aflist in the working of them; as I could mike evident from very many instances, particularly that of raising Lazarus after he had lain four days in the grave, But enough of this.

Now to reflect upon this evidence of Christ's divine authority from the miracles which he did, and which were wrought to give testimony to him. What greater satisfaction can any one be imagined to have concerning any person, that he is sent from God, than the apostles had, and the rest of those who corversed with our Saviour, and saw the miracles that were wrought by him, and on his behalf ? Suppose we had lived in our Saviour's time, and had conversed with him, what greater evidence could we have desired of his divine authority, than to have seen with our eyes so many strange things done by him, exceeding any natural power that we know of, and things fo beneficial to mankind; and all these wroụght fo frequently, and so openly? To have seen this person put to death, and at that instant the whole frame of nature disordered and put out of it's course? To have seen this perfon after he had lain three days in the grave, rased to life again ; and to have the greatest assusance of this that our senses can give us of any thing? by frequent and familiar conversation ; by discourfing with him; by eating and drinking with him ; by touching and handling of his body ? and afterwards to have seen this fame person visibly taken up into heaven; and, according as he had promised before he left the world, to have found ourielyes afterward




endued with a miraculous power of speaking, all on S ER M. the sudden, all sorts of languages, of healing diseases, of foretelling things to come, of casting out devils, of raising the dead ? Had we seen all this with cur eyes, and experienced this strange power in ourselves, could there have remained any doubt in us, but that this person was sent from God, and specially commiflioned from heaven to declare the mind of God to the world?

If, after all this, any man will say, that so many perfons, as were eye-witnesses of these things, might be deceived in a plain sensible matter ; I would desire that man to prove to me that he is waking, or to evidence to me by better arguments, any thing else that he thinks himself most certain of.

IV. The fourth evidence which those who lived in our Saviour's time had of his divine authority, was the spirit of prophecy proved to be in him, and made good by the accomplishment of his own predictions. This also was a clear testimony that he was from God: for God challengeth this as peculiar to the Deity, to foretel future contingents, Isai.

“ Shew the things that are to come hereaf“ ter, that we may know that ye are gods." The oracles of the heathen did give out fome dark and doubtful conjectures about future things : but a clear and certain prediction of things was always looked upon as an argument, that the person that could do it was inspired from God; and therefore the spirit of prophecy which was in our SAVIOUR, and by him conferred upon the apostles afterward, hath always been justly looked upon as a good testimony that he was from God. So the angel tells St John, Rev. xix. 10. that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.


xli. 23.


[ocr errors]

S ER M. Now the predictions of our Saviour were many ;
¢CXXXVI, and those very plain, and punctual, and particular ;

and such as all or most of them had their accom-
plishment in that age. That we may take a more
distinct view of them, I shall reduce them to these
five heads.

1. Those that foretold his death, and the circum-
stances of it.

2. His resurrection, and the particular circum. stances of that.

3. The descent of the holy Ghost upon the apo, stics, with the circumstances belonging to that.

4. The destruction of Hierusalem before the end of that age, with the signs foregoing it, and the concomitant circumstances of that.

5. Those that foretold the fate of the gospel in the world, the opposition it should meet with, and yet the admirable success it should have, notwithstanding that opposition.

1. Those that foretel his death, and the circumstances of it. This he did very particularly, and at several times, Matt. xvi. 21. he told his disciples, s that he must go unto Jerusalem, and there fuffer “ many things of the elders, and chief priests, and & fcribes, and be killed.” Mark x. 33, 34. and Mact, xx. 18, 19. he foretels more particularly the manner of their proceedings against him, that “the " chief pricks and scribes should condemn him 6 to deach; but that they should not put him to death, but " deliver him to the Gentiles, to 4 mock, and scourge, and crucify him,” which

25 aiterwards done by Pilate the Roman governor. lie foretold likewise the manner how this ihould be brought aboui, Matt. xx. 18. that he should be

" betrayed into the hands of men.” And he didS ERM.

CCXXXVII. particularly point out before-hand the man that was to betray him, Matt. xxvi. 23. “ He that dippeth “ his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray “ me.” He foretold that his disciples should forfake him, Matt. xxvi. 31. “ All of you shall be " offended because of me this night ; for it is " written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep “ shall be scattered.” And when Peter declared his confident resolution to stick to him, he foretold that he should deny him, with very particular circumstances of the time and manner of it, Matt. xiv. 30. “ This night before the cock crow twice, thou “ Ihalt deny me thrice ;” which was all punctually accomplished.

2. He punctually foretold his resurrection, with the circumstances of it, that'" he should rise again “ the third day,” Matt. xvi. 21. and that, “ after “ he was risen, he would go before them into Ga" lilee,” Matt. xxvi. 32. which was accomplished, Matt. xxviii. 16.

3. He foretold likewise the descent of the holy Ghost upon the apostles, in miraculous powers and gifts, Luke xxiv. 49. “ Behold, I send the promise “ of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city " of Jerusalem, until ye be endowed with power “ from on high.” He specifies the place where the holy Ghost should descend; and what the effects of this descent of the holy Ghost upon them should be, he tells them particularly, Mark xvi. 17, 18. “ And these signs shall follow them that “ believe : in my name shall they cast out de“ vils, and they shall speak with new tongues ; . they shall take up serpents, and if they drink

SER M.“ any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they ccxxxv"; « shall lay hands on the sick, and they hall re

cover.” All which was punctually fulfilled in the second of the Acts, and the following part of that history

There are yet two other instances of our SAVI. our's prophetical fpirit, which I mentioned ; but those I reserve for the next discourie.


« EelmineJätka »