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this Mystery of Faith. Had the Prophets foretold that a great Man should do great Things; whenever that great Man had come, it might have been doubted whether he was the Person foretold, and whether his mighty Deeds were not the common Effects of such Might and Power as he was armed with: But when the Prophets declared, that all they foretold should be accomplished by a mean and wretched Man, oppressed with Sorrow, and worn out with Grief; this was a Case that could not be mistaken, hardly two such Men could come; and whenever he came, he would be easily distinguished by the Greatness of his Works, and the Meanness of his Condition. And this leads me to consider,

Secondly, The Evidence of Prophecy concerning the mean Appearance our Lord was to make.

I shall not need to carry you far in Search of this Evidence; the Chapter of the Text alone is so full a Description of this Part of our Saviour's Character, that it looks more like an History than a Prophecy, and may with more Reason be suspected to be a Copy drawn from his Life, than not to be a Description of it. Yet this Scripture was in Be

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ing

ing long before our Lord was born, was in the keeping of his Enemies, of those who hated and despised him, and at last put him to a cruel Death, and were at once the Preservers and the Fulfillers of this Prophecy, Here you

find him represented as void of Form and of Comeliness; as having no Beauty that we should defire bim; one despised and rejected of Men; a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with Grief; from whom we bid as it were our Faces; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Yet this is He, of whom before the Prophet had prophesied: Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is giver, and the Government shall be upon his Shoulder; and his Name Mall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the Increase of his Government and Peace there shall be no End upon the Throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, ta order it, and to establish it with Judgment and with Justice from henceforth even for ever. What Ænigma's are these? Shall he be a mighty Prince, and yet despised and rejected of Men? Shall he be encompassed with the Glories of David's Throne, and yet be void of Form and of Comeliness? Shall he reign for ever, and establish Justice and Judgment for

evermore,

evermore, and shall he yet be taken from Prison, and cut off from the Land of the Living? Where can these Contradictions meet, and in what Manner of Person can they be reconciled? But to go on : After this general Description of his low Estate," the Prophet proceeds to point out some of the most remarkable Calamities of his Life. He was not only despised and rejected, but he was oppressed and afflicted, yet be opened not bis Mouth. He was taken from Prison and from Judgment, and cut off from the Land of the Living; for the Transgression of the People he was stricken. And yet he had done no VioJence, neither was any Deceit in his Mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and to put him to Grief His Soul was an Offering for Sin. And yet after this, when the Prophet had killed and buried him, he addo, He shall prolong bis Days, and the Pleasure of the Lord Mall prosper in his Hand. He Mall see the Travail of his Soul, and

shall be satisfied. By his Knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many; for be shall bear their Iniquities. Where are we now? Must he die a wretched Death, and be numbered with the Transgressors; and yet shall he prolong his Days, and see the Work of the Lord prosper in his

Hands?

Hands? How shall we clear these Things? Look into the Gospel, and there you

will find the Scene opening apace: There you will find

your Lord despised and rejected of Men, persecuted and afflicted, and put to a cruel Death and open Shame, and yet rising to Glory and Honour. There you may see this Prisoner of the Grave ascending to the Glory of his Father, giving Gifts unto Men, and leading Captivity captive,

Let us then, in the last place, consider the historical Evidence we have for the Completion of these Prophecies, which describe the calamitous Condition of our blessed Redeemer.

The Way was prepared before he was born. His Conception led to it; since the Meanness of his parentage could promise nothing for the Child but Labour and Sorrow: And so it proved. This mighty Prince of Peace made his first Appearance in a Manger ; and we may well suppose the other Conveniencies he met, upon his first coming into the World, were answerable to this. No sooner was he born, but his Life was fought after: The distressed Parents fly their Country, and the Child is carried into Banishment, before he knew to distinguish between Good

and

and Evil. His Youth was spent in the Difficulties of Poverty, and his Hands employed in the Works of it; and when the Time came that he was to be made known unto Ifrael, and stood forth in the Power of the Lord, confirming his Doctrine with mighty Signs and Wonders, the Opposition to him increased, and

every Act of Charity he did to others brought new Sorrow and Misery to himself. During this Time, in which he went about doing Good, he had not, as he himself has told us, where to lay bis Head. When he cast out Devils, he was immediately charged to be in League with the Prince of them. When he healed the Sick of their Infirmities, and forgave their Sins, then he was a Blasphemer, an Incroacher

upon

the Prerogative of God. When he restored the withered Hand, and cured the Lame or the Blind on the Sabbath-day, then he was no longer fit to live: These were such Offences, as nothing but his Death could expiate. Consider what he suffered, and he was the lowest of the Sons of Men: Consider what he did, and he appears, as he truly was, to be the Son of God.

But still there remains behind the gloomiest Scene of Sorrow. When the Powers of

Darkness

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