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of Christ. It was foretold (Gen. xlix. 10.) that " to him should the gathering of the people be," and (Psal. ii. 8.) that“ God would give him the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost part of the earth for his possession:" which was punctually fulfilled by the wonderful success of the gospel and its universal spreading through the world. Lastly, many minuter circumstances were foretold of the Messiah; that he should be of the “ tribe of Judah," and Seed of David,” that he should be born in the town of " Bethlehem,” (Mic. v. 2.) that he should ride upon an ass in humble triumph into the city of Jerusalem, (Zech. ix. 9.) that he should " be sold for thirty pieces of silver," (Zech. xi. 2.) that he should be "scourged, buffeted, and spit upon," (Isai. I. 6.) that his hands and feet should be pierced" (Psal. xxii. 16.) that he should be numbered among malefactors, (Isai. liii. 12.) that he should have “ gall and vinegar" offered him to drink, (Psal. xlix. 21.) that they who saw him crucified should mock at him, and at his “trusting in God to deliver him," (Psal. xxii. 8.) that the soldiers should “cast lots for his garments,” (Psal. xxii. 18.) that he should make his grave among the rich," (Isai. liii. 9.) and that he should rise again without "seeing corruption,” (Psal. xvi. 1c.) All which circumstances were fulfilled to the greatest possible exactness in the person of Christ : not to mention the numberless typical representations which had likewise evidently their compleat accomplishment in him. And it is no less evident that none of these prophecies can possibly be applied to any other person who ever pretended to be the Messiah.
I think it must from hence appear indisputable to every deliberate and fair reasoner, that all the prophecies are not enthusiastic and visionary rhapsodies, and that Christianity is not an idle tale. The deepest philosophers * and the first geniuses in the world have, after the maturest investigation, believed in it: and we may well reply to many an unbeliever of the present age, in the words of the wise man,
« Blame not before thou hast examined the truth, understand first and then rebuke.”
I will now
make some observations
prophecies in regard to popery. Is it possible for any unprejudiced person of good understanding to read the second epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, and not to acknowledge that it contains a description
* Newton, Locke, Bacon, Boyle, Barclay, Boerhaave, Grotius, Milton, Penn, Sir William Jones, &c. gave frequent and faithful acknowledgments of the truth of the gospel.
of popery? After intreating them not to be troubled as if the day of Christ were at hand, he writes, “ Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not.come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or worshipped: so that he as Godt sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." And again in the same epistle, “ And
+ It is remarkable that Mosconius, a popish writer, says the same things of the pope, with the apostle, but in other words. He says, in his discourse of the majesty of the church militant, and in lib. i. de Summo Pontif, (as he is quoted by William Penn in his seasonable caveat against popery)
“ That the pope can dispense above law and against law: for the pope's tribunal and God's is but one: and therefore every reasonable creature is subject to the pope's empire." Vide Select Works of William Penn, vol. iii. page 87.
Sccond Epistle to the Thessalonians, chap. ii. verses 3 and 4. To Mew how the pope is this or Man of sin,” this “ Son of perdition, who op. poseth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,” I will transcribe (while I Make with horror) some of the absolutions, which are said to be in a book, which was published by the authority of the pope, containing a long list of'indulgencies, or fees of the pope's chancery. It was translated into Eng
then shall that wicked be revealed; whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with
lish, under the title of “ Rome a great Custom-House for sin." ABSOLUTIONS.
£.s.d. For him who stole holy and consecrated things,
out of a holy place For a layman for murdering a layman
76 For him that killeth his father, mother, wife, or sister
O 10 6 For laying violent hands on a Clergyman, so it be without the effusion of blood
0 10 6 For a priest that keeps a concubine, as also his dispensation for being irregular
0 10 6 For him that lyeth with his own mother, sister, or godmother
76 For him that burns his neighbour's house For him that forgeth the pope's hand
70 For him that forgeth letters apoftolical
70 Fora king for going to the holy sepulchre without licence
7 10.0 What honest enlightened heart is there, that does not swell with a generous indignation at this flagrant wickedness? Can we conceive any thing, that can more shock humanity, or that can more insult heaven? Here are real and not imaginary Titans, who wished to usurp the powers of the Almighty.
0 1 2
áll power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, in them that perish.”* And in the first epistle to Timothy he writes, “ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils: speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a red hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.”+ Is it possible to read the 17th chapter of the Revelation, and not to allow that it contains a description of popery? St. John says,
And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither, I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore, that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabi. tants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a woman
upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads, and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet
* Chap. ii. verses 8, 9, 1o.