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into everlasting punishment, and to reward all who fincerely believe in him and obey him, with eternal happiness.

But notwithstanding these high pretensions, 'tis farther declared of him ; that he died the ignominious and accursed death of the cross, that he died a facrifice for the fins, of the world, that by his death he drew all men to himself, and brought to pass that great mystery of calling in the Gentiles, taking away the difference between them and the Jews, making them one houshold and family; thus founding his kingdom upon his own blood, and not on the blood of his enemies and opposers, But tho' he died to answer these ends, yet the fame records testify

, that in spite of all the malice and opposition of his enemies, he role again the third day, effectually to remove the offence and scandal of his own cross, and to give an exemplar and fure proof of the resurrection of others by his power, at the end of the world. That after his -Jesurrection he abode forty days on earth, to settle the affairs of his kingdom with his disciples, commanding them to preach his gospel

, sending them forth in such a style of majefty, as could never be equall'd by any earthly monarch, or author of any other revelation : All power is given me in heaven and in earth; and affuring them that the terms upon which they thould declare men acquitted or condemned, partakers of eternal life or death, under the infallible conduct of his spirit, should be ratified and confirmed in heaven: in this sense entrusting them with, not only the erection and ordering his kingdom upon earth, but also with the keys of heaven and hell.

After this commission granted to his Apostles, 'tis declared of him, that in their presence he ascended into the heavens, a cloud receiving him out of their sight, leading captivity captive, triumphing over those powers of darkness, whose works he came into the world to destroy, fpoiling those principalities and powers, those spiritual wickednesses in high places; that he was seated on his father's right hand, angels being made subject to him, and the God of this world, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience, being put under his feet, and reserved by him to be finally bruised at the judgment of the great day.

And lastly, the same records that give an account of his investiture with this high dignity and office, do with great consistency and propriety declare, that the father hath committed all judgment to him, that all shall appear before his judgment leat; that when he shall come to execute this important trust, he shall appear in his own glory, and in his original form of God, all the holy Angels attending him, and folemnly

waiting round his tribunal. That then he shall be feated on the throne of his glory, that all nations Thall be gathered before him, that he shall separate them one from another on his right hand, and on his left, pass sentence on them, and thereby determine their everlasting ftate ; that the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous be adjudged to life eternal ; that he Thall present them blameless before his father's glory, and that, as the conclusion of all, he himself shall lay down ail rule, and all authority and power, deliver up the kingdom to God even the father, become subjeet unto him who put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

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A scheme so sublime and grand, lo consistent with the prerogatives of the great God, fo suitable to the high dignity and infinite merits of the Son of God, so calculated to awaken men to virtue and piety, carries in it all the characters of probability and truth, and highly deserves the most attentive confideration and regard.

IX. As these peculiar doctrines of Christianity carry their own recommendation along with them, and appear wörthy to be received for their intrinfick excellency, so they come to us attended with many

clear and convincing demonstrations, that it is the will of God we should regard them as truths coming from him, and as revealed to us by his special order and appointment, for our recovery, improvement and perfection.

Jesus of Nazareth, the person from whom these doctrines receive their general name, and are called christian, was called the Chrift, becaufe he made pretenfions to a divine mission, and always thought and spoke of himself as anointed and impowered by God to make these discoveries of his will to den, declaring himself the Son of God, and that per. son whom the Jews, with whom he lived and conversed, had been all along trained up and taught to look for. And of the truth of these pretenfions he gave sufficient evidence to every unprejudiced and attentive observer.

It was very wisely ordered that, just before 'his appearance in the world, there Tould arise one who Mould prepare men for his coming, and give 'notice of his approach. This John the Baptift did, preaching in the spirit and power of Elias, , and saying, Prepare ye the way of the Lord; and tho he did no miracle, yet by his virtuous and striét deportment, his felf-denial, his pathetick exhortations, his bold and impartial admonitions and reproofs, he obtained the character of a great prophet.” This man bare witness' concerning Jesus, and the things he said of him could not but attract the eyes of men towards him, and raise great expectations from him; and the gradual accomplishment of several things which John had foretold of him was at least some evidence that Jesus was a very extraordinary perfon, and was suited to keep every honelt and impartial mind' open to any farther proofs that Jesus might produce of his pretensions and mission from God.

And of these he gave many during his life and ministry that were beyond all reasonable exception. He wrought many great miracles, i.e. did many things evidently and confessedly above all human power and skill to effect. He healed the sick and cured all manner of diseases, such as by all the art and efficacy of medicine had been found incura able ; inveterate palfies and lunacies. He opened the ears of the deaf, loosed the tongues of the dumb, made the dame to walk, rendred the maimed perfect, opened the eyes of those that had been born blind, and raised the dead. These amazing works he performed in an inAtant, even by the speaking of a word, in the cities and towns of the country where he lived, in places of the most publick resort, before multitudes of his enemies as well as friends, and at fúch seasons, and **such particular places, on the fabbath, and in the synagogues, as he

well knew would occasion the most critical and narrow enquiry into all the ciscumstances of the facts. All these things he performed withG&2


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out any oftentation or vain-glory. In all his most publick miracles there was always some circumstance or other, which plainly fewed that they were intended for the conviction of thofe who saw them, and not to gain applause to himself.

But besides these extraordinary works, he anfwered all those characters which the prophets of former ages had given of the Melliah. As he was promised under the Character of a prophet like unto Mofes, but whole ofice was to be more general and extensive than that of Moses, as one who was to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel; he accordingly came furnished and commiffioned to instruct all mankind, Jew and Gentile, in every important truth, that they were concerned to know, in order to their obtaining the divine acceptance, and the happiness of a future state ; commanding all nations to be discipled, taught and profelyted, that all men might come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved.

As he was foretold under the Character of a King, as the Son of man to whom should be given a kingdom, dominion and power; so Jesus came aflerting his right to a kingdom, fetting up the kingdom of God amongft men, and claiming and exercising a rightful authority, over their hearts and consciences.

He appeared just at that time when a person of such a character was generally and reasonably expected ; just as the Scepter was departing from Judah, and at the period fixed and determined by the prophecy of Daniel.

He came of the nation, tribe, and particular family, from which it was prophesied he should descend, being of the feed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and house of David; and by a wonderful interpofition of providence born at Bethlehem, the Place from whence was to come forth be who was to be ruler in Israel.

When he appeared and conversed amongst men, his disposition and behaviour were suited both to the character he sustained, and to the prophecies that had been given out concerning him. He was meek and lowly in heart, holy and without blame, so that his most inveterate and malicious énemies could not convince him of sin.

His circumstances in life were exactly such as they were foretold they hould be. He was despised and reje&ted, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He lived in want of many of the conveniences, and sometiines of the very necessaries of life, and was subject to reproach, and the most ungrateful and inhuman usage. At last he was led as a lamb to the naughter, suffered death as a malefaétor, and was cut off for tbe transgressions of the people. All this he endured without murmuring, complaining, reviling again, or threatning. His enemies and accusers

, his judges, executioners and guards, his friends and relations, and a numberless multitude of curious and inquisitive spectators judged, faw and knew him to be dead. He was taken from the cross, buried in his sepulchre, and yet rose again from the dead, and by this resurrection be was declared to be the Son of God with power, beyond all posible contradiction.

During his life and ministry he had often mentioned this great event : as what should certainly come to pass, resting and laying the trels of

his pretensions upon it; fometimes in plain words, at other times in figy. rative expressions, declaring how long he should continue in the grave, and in the state of the dead, viz. three days and three nights, i. e. part, of three days and three nights Accordingly on the third day he rose, and thewed himself alive to his disciples, whom he had chosen to be his stated companions, with this particular view, that they might be quali. fied to testify the most remarkable facts which occurred in his life, and that they might be proper and unexceptionable witnesses of his Resurrection from the dead.

And as they have unanimously declared this to the world, there is no just reason to object to their testimony. For in asserting this, they assert what they so knew themselves as that they could not be deceived in. They knew the person, features, manner and speech of Jefus. They were allowed to handle him, that they might be sure they were not imposed on by an airy Phantasm, and delusive appearance only. They had free and familiar converse with him, and that repeatedly in the space of forty days. He discoursed to them largely on subjects, of which he had before his death given them more general hints, and renewed the great promise he had made them in his former life, of pouring out his spirit on them, with this additional circumstance, that it thould be made good to them not many days from the time of his speaking to them.

Upon these accounts it can't be fupposed that these witnesses could be deceived themselves in what they relate, nor is there any reason to think that they attempted to deceive others, by bearing witness to the truth of a known imposture. For as to what appears, they were persons of honest minds, not crafty, covetouş, ambitious and designing: they had no temptation to invent such a story, or publish it if they had not known it to be true. They had no prospect of gain or worldly grandeur, however succesful they might prove in propagating the Atory; The doctrine they taught enjoins the stricteft regard to veracity, and the greatest abhorrence of fraud and guile, under the most solemn and awful fanctions. Their testimony was uniform and consistent in all the parts of it. If the story had been forged, those who opposed and endeavoured to ftifle it, might easily have detected the forgery; the sureft, nearest, and plainest way to expose the aụthors, abettors, and believers of it, and to prevent its spreading in the world. But instead of this, they loaded the witnesses with hardships of every kind. Reproach, shame, proverty, bonds, imprisonments, fcourgings, &c. were the arguments made use of by their enemies to stop their mouths. Nothing of this kind silenced them, or made any one of them to retract. They chearfully underwent the feverest persecutions, and submitted to death itself, rather than they would deny or conceal what they knew to be a truth of the last importance to mankind.

In fhort, a testimony fo circụmstanced as this is, in any other case, never did, nor ever can be disputed or disbelieved, but in any age and place would, and in any time or country still will meet with a general credit and reception from all reasonable and fair men, without any cavil, besitation, or demur. As Jesus Christ did in his life-time, and after his resurrection, pro



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mise his disciples, that they should receive his spirit

, or power from on high, he accordingly poured it down upon them, in all its extraordinary and miraculous gifts, and thereby manifestly proved his ascension to the right hand of power and glory.

Besides this the divine miilion and authority of Jesus Christ is farther established by the actual and exact accomplishment of those important events, which he expressly and clearly foretold many years before they came to pass.

He pubļickly declared before multitudes that heard him as well as his own disciples, that the city of Jerusalem, and its glory the temple, should in a few years be utterly laid waste and destroyed, and that the gospel which was at first offered to the Jews and rejected by them, Ihould be taken away from amongst them, and be tendered to the Gentiles ; and that persons of all nations and languages under heaven should receive and become proselytes to his religion ; and that the gates of hell Thould not prevail againft his church, but that he would be with it to the end of the world.

These remarkable events, tho' at the time when he foretold them they were far from being probable, tho' there appeared no signs or tokens that should lead to such a conjecture, did nevertheless come to pass exactly according to his prediction. Before the generation of men to whom he addressed himself had passed away, Jerusalem became desnlate, and the nation was destroyed; and the history of that dreadful calamity, as it is related by Josephus, doth remarkably agree with the prophetick account given by Jesus concerning it, as it is very

circunItantially recorded by the evangelists.

And after the Apostles had in vain attempted to persuade the Jewish nation and people to receive the Christian Religion, they turned themselves to the Gentiles, who in almost every place, where the gospel was preached to them, shewed a better disposition, and minds more open to evidence and conviction ; multitudes of the Gentiles receiving the word with gladness and all readiness of mind.

And notwithstanding the tares that have been fown, the strifes and divisions, which have been excited and fomented,' the declensions and degeneracy of many christian professors, the persecutions with which the avowed enemies of the christian church have frequently worried it, and the antichristian spirit that for many ages hath thewn itself amongst the greater part of those who have born the christian name ; notwithstanding christianity hath been often moved from one place to another, and in many nations entirely supprefied; notwithstanding the objections that have been urged against the doctrines of christianity, and the con tempt, ridicule, and insolence with which the person and miracles of Jesus have been treated; yet ftill the religion of Christ continues unto this day, in its external profession and internal efficacy: Not by might nor power, but by the spirit and favour and blessing of God, and its own native excellency and intrinsick worth.""

From these considerations, I am even forced to acknowledge and revcrence the divine character and mission of the Son of God, and to receive his religion in all the parts and branches of it as a revelation is mediately from God,

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